Tag Archives: death

Stand Tall

Even at this early hour Father, my mind is starting to roll. Help me to put the brakes on and to stop smack dab in the middle of Your presence. I need Your guiding hand or who knows where I’ll end up! Thank You Father, for Your steadfast love for me. I am so grateful that You never give up on me.

2 Timothy 4:13-18 (<<click here)

Reading this passage, Lord, I am made aware that the end is very near for Paul. This is his second and final imprisonment in Rome and he knew it. It must have been evident because even his supporters are much fewer in number. It sounds like things had moved pretty fast – no time to gather his things – not even his coat – just hauled off. And when he stood before the judge the first time he was alone. Scary stuff! But he is quick to share that truly he wasn’t by himself but You stood with him.

I’m sure when Timothy read this letter it was scary for him, too – I mean who wouldn’t be! This wasn’t going to end with a reprimand and a slap on the wrist. Death was looming ever closer. But Paul writes, “Timothy, please come as soon as you can” v.9

In the midst of everything Paul stood tall and he was extending an invitation for Timothy to do the same.

I cannot help but think, Lord, would I do the same? I would like to think that I would. Help me, Jesus, to invest in our relationship – the stronger it is the stronger I will be. And absolutely nothing in this world is a fair trade – not even my life.

Lord, my life is Yours – do with it as You will. Help me to stand tall, each and every day. May I not slip into the shadows but step decisively into the light of Your will. My life may not be on the line but the advancement to Your kingdom, relies on my willingness – and those like me – to step up to the call! Use me this day as You will!

Jan 8th, Fri, 6:26 am

What I Deserve vs. What I Receive

I realize, Father, that it is only because of Jesus that I can sit in Your presence this morning. I am quite often astounded that I am so eagerly welcomed. I am so grateful that Jesus’ extreme sacrifice and the blood He shed covers my multitude of sins, which is the only reason that I can be with You. It saddens me to think of the many; many times I have had to seek forgiveness for the things I have done that were outside of Your will for me. But I am gladdened because though I fall, You would rather I would seek Your face instead of turning away, defeated and not return. Truly I don’t deserve it. Punishment and death is what I deserve but grace and mercy are what is extended to me… Thank You, Father for the most precious of all gifts! May my heart and mind be focused on You this day. Enable me to stay true to You, to live out Your call on my life. Help me to wholeheartedly love You in response to Your love for me and in so doing may that love shower those around me. Because I have been so richly blessed “make me a blessing out of my life may Jesus shine. Make me a blessing to someone today.” It is the least I can do! Fill me this day. I am Yours to use as You will.

Sept 28th, Mon, 6:31 am

Not Just Thoughts but Faces

I am eager to see what You have in store for me today, Father, both in our time here this morning and throughout the events of this day! Enable me to hear Your voice and to act upon Your direction. It’s exhilarating to realize that You choose to use me! Thank You for the privilege.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (<<click here)

Lord, there is much in these last few paragraphs of 1 Thessalonians and I don’t want to miss any of it! In these two verses Paul speaks of honoring our leaders in the Lord’s work. I feel the people I serve do so but I also strive to honor the other leaders of my churches as well. I am definitely not in it for the money but I am compensated well enough. The other leaders of my churches are volunteers. I respect them, I cherish their input. I look forward to worshipping with them each week and for the most part even enjoy our time together even when we must conduct the “business” of the church.

I work to live out my relationship with You, Lord, before them. I learn from You each and every day and want to pass that learning on but their lives teach me as well. My leaders pull weeds and scrub pews – servant leadership is a lifestyle for many. I watch as they struggle with difficult situations of aging parents and wayward children – yet their faith holds. I see them valiantly fight against cancer and remain strong though death pulls loved ones from their arms.

Lord, as each of these examples goes on paper, they are not just passing thoughts. Each one has at least one face that fills my mind’s eye – sometimes there are several faces. These scenarios involve those who are still with me today but I can think of many others that involved those who are no longer with me, but with You.

Your faithful followers continue to build Your church and all of them deserve to be honored and respected. I do my part but most assuredly I have not and cannot do it alone. Lord, give us Your direction and fill us with Your love to carry on. Amen.

July 29th, Wed, 7:06 am

Why Me? Will It Ever Stop?!

Good morning, Father! Forgive me for the wandering of my thoughts last night, but thank You for helping me to cast them from my mind. And in that arena, for sure all the glory goes to You! Not that long ago I would have been like a runaway train heading for a horrendous crash and burn…but not this time. Thank You, Holy Spirit for giving me the fortitude to overcome.

Philippians 4:7 (<<click here)

To worry less – pray more! Lord, doing this will bring about a peace found only in You and as the old translation reads, it will be a “peace that passes all understanding”– from the world’s perspective, it makes no sense!

Something has been rattling around in my head for some time – as Your children, how do we respond to the absolutely horrific thing’s this life thrust upon us? Death, disease, heartache, financial woes, loss, and rejection – the list goes on and on. We cry out, “Why me!?” “Will it ever stop?!”

Now Your Word tells us in Romans 8:28 that “… in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” NIV So the question we deal with then is, how does all of this gel? If You love us why do we experience so much pain in life? And how does pain which is included in the “all things” of Romans 8:28 work for our good? Again going to Your Word tells us in order to stress less we must pray more and that will bring about a peace that is beyond comprehension.

First of all, You do not bring about the pain. We, the whole of humanity, have brought that upon ourselves. Eve’s yielding to sin started it and every one of us since has perpetuated that sin – our depravity knows no end. Our great propensity for wondrous creativity from being created in Your likeness has been pushed to all limits by our perversion and wickedness. We have so polluted the world with our rebellion that inevitably we encounter pain.

Secondly, because You love us so much – which is proven by the fact of how far You went to bring us back into right relationship with You – the giving of yourself to the point of a horrific death at our hands – because You love us so much You can take all that is ugly and revolting about ourselves and our lives and make it good! The impossible becomes possible!

Lord, most of us would have no problem acknowledging these two points through most of the ebb and flow of life. But when those times of pain and suffering are so intense that we feel like we are going doing for the count, is the answer to worry (which seems like an awfully small word in this context) less and pray more? ‘That’s it?’ we yell? ‘With all Your power and might and “love”, that’s all You have to offer?’ And Your answer is…a resounding ‘YES!!’

We absolutely cannot wrap our minds around it, but giving ourselves over to You and praying in place of worrying brings us peace – not peace of the world which is shallow and, oh so temporary, but Your peace. Your peace is deep, and rich and most importantly – never ending!!

Miraculously, You take the absolute worst of our lives and bring the absolute best out of it! From a worldly perspective – it makes no sense at all, but Your peace is not of this world. Being Your children, whom You love, You give it to us freely and in abundance!! Lord, all the praise goes to You for this awesomely overwhelming gift!! In the midst of the hurricanes of life – You are there – solid and strong- FOR US!!

Help us, Lord, to trust in You – to throw ourselves into Your mighty arms. Give us Your peace we plea! When we do so the glory will be given to You! Others will ask how we do it and we can proclaim that it’s only because of You!! You are our only answer to everything this old world has to throw at us!  Even if death is what is thrown our way, yes, even death, You are the answer – being escorted into Your presence, what could be better?

Praise You Lord!! Strengthen us!  Enable us!  Empower us!! Use us through all of life to hold our lights high, showing the world that there is HOPE and LIFE found only in You! AMEN!

June 2nd, Tues, 8:07am