Category Archives: Journal Entry

Use This Broken Vessel

Father, I enjoy our time together and I really feel incomplete when we don’t connect like this first thing. I want to praise You this morning for Your minute by minute presence in my life. Every day You help me, encourage me, direct me, correct me and more! Everything You do for me is because You LOVE me!

Colossians 3:12b (<< click here)

Lord, since You chose me to be a holy person that You love (12a) I must clothe myself “with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility gentleness and patience.” (12b)

This list may be short, but Lord it is a lot to process! I am not complaining whatsoever; I just want to get every possible benefit from it! So much to take in and learn from.

“tenderhearted mercy” – compassion (NIV), bowels of mercy (KJV), heart of compassion (NASB) Lord You call me to love others without reservation – to extend to them the love You extend to me

“kindness”– not harsh or rough, not brutal but a genuine desire to be benevolent to others – caring

“humility”– not full of myself, but thinking of others and their needs and feeling first

“gentleness”– amiable, mild, not severe or rough

“patience”– the beauty of provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain without complaint, loss of temper or irritation

Wow! This is not a little list but a BIG list! And really it boils down to clothing ourselves with Christ! It is a lot to live up to. On some of these fronts, I have a decent handle most of the time but sometimes I fail miserably and of course patience is often a struggle.

Lord, all I can do is to give myself over to You every moment of my life! I see You working through me. I know there is still a lot of “bad” me to work around or sometimes through but with all my heart, soul and mind, I truly want these attributes – Your attributes – to shine through in how I live my life. Use this broken vessel to touch others, to love others, as only You can.

As the old song goes, “Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.”  (Daniel Iversion, 1926)

June 21st, Sun, 6:26 am

God Loves ME!

Father, thank You for the sleep I was able to get last night with no electricity after the storm until mid-morning. Help this day to go well, enable me to process information to do my job in a way that is pleasing to You, i.e. help me to do it with the utmost of my abilities and most importantly to let You shine through me in all I say or do.

Colossians 3:12-17 (12a)

Lord, You would think after all these years that I would stop being astounded when You bring this together but I am grateful that this is not the case! I had no idea what this morning’s passage contained – but You did!  And even as we came together this morning You were guiding my thoughts and heart! Praise Your holy name! Thank You Lord for your unfathomable love!

These 6 verses are too full of richness to swallow whole, so I will take them in small bites!

Lord You chose me (Ephesians 1:4) to be holy because You love me. It has been this way for all of time! Even knowing what I would do and say and think that would hurt You, You still loved me! I was created because You loved me and because You desired my love for You. I do love You, Lord! And I pray I will love You more and more each day! Help me to know Your love for me and that will fuel the fire for me to love You!

Half a verse is all I can handle today! Help me to chew and savor this small portion – God loves me!

June 19th, Fri, 6:45 am

Zombies, Weeds and Illness

Zombie

Father, thinking over yesterday, I want to thank You for being with me throughout the day. Holy Spirit I know Your presence is with me 24/7, but there were several instances yesterday where I felt You were guiding and directing me. My response to one particular incident set the tone for the day, and because I prayed and followed You, You were glorified. I in my selfishness could have hindered Your kingdom, but because I was obedient, Your kingdom was lifted up. Thank You for working in me and through me. Thank you for patiently working with me, for chiseling away at my hard heart, for molding me more and more into Your likeness.

Colossians 3:5-11 (<<click here)

Lord, reading this passage brings so many visual images to mind – “zombies”, gardening and disease (illness) to name a few.

I’m really not a fan of anything “zombie”, but putting “to death” “sinful, earthly…lurking” things bring them to mind. We are called to “strip off [our] old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds”, but the undead regularly come back and want to eat my brain. I know this is a weird train of thought, Lord, but without You working in my life “sexual immorality, impurity, lust,…evil desires…greed…anger, rage, malicious behavior and dirty language“ don’t want to stay dead. Those things, and more, rear their ugly heads and want to destroy me!

Vegetable gardens come to mind too. We clear off a plot and work up the soil. We rid the area of rocks and debris then plant seeds in anticipation of a good harvest. But inevitably weeds show up and if we are not diligent they can overtake the good we have sewn. Evil sprouts up everywhere. We must regularly go to the Master Gardener, for help – to rid ourselves of the “weeds”, to learn how to keep disease from destroying the harvest, to discover how best to ward off critters that would eliminate the fruit of our labors.

Sometimes things can pop up that look “good” and our curiosity allows them to continue growing, but they take our time and energy from the important tasks at hand and we end up with problems. Lord, help me to fastidiously maintain my plot and to come to You at every opportunity for guidance.

Disease and illness are things we are always on guard against. Some things are easy to avoid for we know they are not good for us, but sometimes we like things that are detrimental to our health and well-being. We may love peanut butter, but if it causes an allergic reaction it could kill us.

Sometimes we come in contact with things that have never bothered us before, but You call us to let them go. Help us to be obedient or our “spiritual” health will suffer. They may even be things that we didn’t realize were hurting us, but we will need to be wary and avoid them.

Lord, You want us to keep ourselves pure and free from sin. Help me to listen to You and obey You even when it doesn’t make sense to me. Help me to continue to rid myself of my old sinful nature and to wrap myself up in my “new nature and be renewed as [I] learn to know [my] creator and become like [You].”

June 18th, Thurs, 6:21 am

Going after God’s Heart

Good morning, Father! Thank You for so many things – a good night’s sleep, my wonderful wife, my exceptional son, a job that more than adequately meets my needs, a beautiful home, two churches that You have blessed me with to serve, a world of diverse variety in which to live – and my mind goes on and on! But, Father, most importantly thank You for Your love for me! For my salvation sure and free, for the awesome (and this is where this word truly fits!) sacrifice You made to make it possible for me to love You back! All praise and glory and honor to You, O God!

Colossians 3:1-4 (<<click here)

“…set your sights on the realities of heaven…” v.1b

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” v.2

Lord, I have much in this world for which to be grateful – but in reality all of it is temporal. In the blink of an eye, it could all be gone…or I could be gone. There is nothing here that is forever. Only what You are involved with is eternal. When I step free from the clutches of this world nothing that I cling to here will be anything – it will all be as nothing. The only things that will remain are my relationships – my relationship with You (may it grow every day) and my relationship with others that are based on You! But even those relationships will be different – deeper, fuller, richer!

Help me to be a “man after your own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) and in that frame of mind to be forever seeking to establish your kingdom here on earth. May I be always striving to bring others into a closer relationship with You, Lord, so that they and I will be investing in what is truly worthy of our time and energies.

June 16th, Tue, 6:06 am

Immersed in Honey

Father, I am so sorry that we have taken Your beautifully perfect creation and have twisted it to something ugly. What You meant to be purposeful and fulfilling we have warped into many things that are lost, misguided and empty. I pray that You could help me to be an instrument used by You to draw my world once again to You, for beauty, perfection, purpose and fulfillment is truly only found in You.

Colossians 2:16-23 (<<click here)

Lord, this world is a discombobulated hodge-podge of thoughts and ideas, it is a cacophony of voices pulling us all here then there. We are literally commanded to be inclusive, tolerant and expected to accept every conceivable variance of reality. “Political correctness” can tell us what we say, what we do, how we act. But Lord, You are “reality.” And You alone can set us “free from the spiritual powers of this world.” v20b

Interestingly enough with all our “open mindedness” and accepting and inclusive mentalities You are excluded. The Way and the Truth is rejected.

We press others into believing what we believe because we don’t want to be pressed into believing what You say we should believe. How ironic…we cast aside the one true God so that we can be our own gods. We in our perverted, sinful way want others to be like us because we don’t want to be told by You to be like You.

Lord, help me to keep You first and foremost in my life. You alone are reality – the world is a very cheap imitation, a house of cards ready to fall – destined to do so. The idealistic mindsets of this world are like honey – initial sweet and enticing but we cannot immerse  ourselves in them, doing so is death – we cannot move, we cannot escape, we cannot breath. Only by coming to You in repentance, humility, seeking forgiveness can we be set free.

Lord, help me not to be carried away by the “sweetness” of the world and help me to show the world who You truly are so they may be saved as well. Amen.

June 15th, Mon, 5:48 am