Tag Archives: grace

Blackjacket!

Father, this day can go many different directions. I pray that Your hand will be upon us regardless of the direction it takes. Use us for Your glory even in the midst of the mundane. Amen.

OK…I am not a fan of stinging insects. (I’m sure those who are are few and far between!) Anyway, this past week I have been working to clean up around where we stack our wood. Now I haven’t been stung (thankfully!) and I haven’t even seen a nest but as I was working I saw, what I would classify as, a hornet! I guess technically they are a part of the yellowjacket wasp family – it is commonly known as the bald-faced hornet but one of its names is the Blackjacket. Regardless, I jumped back and scrutinized my surroundings. I saw none but the one on the wood but from then on I kept my eyes peeled for any others. I sure didn’t want to give them any reason to sting me!

Lord, why don’t we respond to sin that way? You would think that once we are “stung” by sin, we would want to avoid it. But no, we go back again and again regardless of the pain and misery that is inflicted. It would be different if it only stung us once, but like the Blackjacket, sin can sting over and over again.

I also read that they can squirt venom from the stinger into the eyes of nest intruders. The venom causes immediate watering of the eyes and temporary blindness. Doesn’t sin do the same? Its venom blinds us – it may be temporary but eventually we sin so repeatedly that our blindness no longer fades.

Lord, I may have been the fool but I am so grateful that, no matter how many stings and squirts I’ve taken, that Your grace overrides them all.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

Aug 31st, Thurs, 7:13 am

Love in the Center of It All

Father, the day is ahead and there is much to be done. I would pray that You would guide my thoughts and my actions. May I squeeze as much from it as I possibly can. May I bring glory to You through it all. Amen.

Revelation 1:4-6 (<<click green)

Here I am, Lord, at the beginning of the book that speaks of the end. For those who have had any exposure to teachings from this book we think of many horrific and terrifying things – and those will come as we move forward. Even our own culture paints the apocalypse as being that way, full of evil, death, and destruction.

Lord, You will be our judge, there is no doubt about it. But first and foremost we have to get it in our heads that we were not created to be judged – we brought that upon ourselves – it was our choice, it has been our actions that have made judgement a necessity. In all of our existence from the beginning of time until the end of time, we have been created to be loved. Love is at the center of it all!

As we begin reading these verses we don’t see anger or judgment or condemnation. In the first words of John’s letter to the seven churches we see, “peace”, “grace”, and “love”. John 3:17 tells us,

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

God, You love us…period. The hymn “To God Be the Glory” has a line that clearly states Your intentions towards us,

“The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

Peter in his second epistle addresses the question of scoffers who say, “What has happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” v4 and he answers the question in verse 9,

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

Lord, as I begin my journey into this book, help me to look at all that will transpire through Your eyes and with Your heart. May I be a man after your own heart as I interact with people of all races and creeds, for You love them all. Amen.

June 7th, Wed, 8:23 am

Correct Perspective

Sitting here, Father, many things have passed through my mind – situations, people, etc. In my quiet time with You, my mind has been anything but. In spite of the rumbling of my brain, while I’ve sat here in silence, I have prayed for some of those things and I have the calm assurance that all is well in Your hands. Thank You, Father.

Lord, in reading through a Puritan prayer this morning this phrase sticks out.

The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls,
      bring afresh into my mind the remembrance
            of thy great help, of thy support from heaven,
            of thy great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.

I know, Lord, that when it comes to the failings in my past that when asked You forgive…and You forget – my sins are as far as the east is from the west. But I still remember.

This section in The Valley of Vision is a grouping of prayers of penitence and deprecation. It’s tough to read through but it helps to keep my spiritual walk in a correct perspective.

Today’s reading does just that. Memories of improprieties are unavoidable but may each thought be followed by memories of Your help, support, and grace. These things are freely given to me in bounteous supply! May I cherish them. May I hold them close to my heart, for Your love is what saves me. May I never forget. Amen.

Dec 7th, Wed, 6:26 am

 

Hand in Hand

Sometimes, Father, it is difficult to come and sit with You. I am unworthy. Being who I am, doing what I do, saying what I say, and thinking what I think… I don’t deserve what is extended to me… grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, acceptance. But me being me does not change You being You. I am so grateful that that is the case. I am even more grateful that You being You does change me being me! You are my only means of saving me from myself.

All praise to You, and You alone, Almighty God!

Lord, I am grateful, too, that You join me on my journey. You understand my weaknesses, though, in love, you do not condone them. In Your strength and wisdom, You enable me to strive to move forward. You truly are a Savior many times over. Truly You sacrificed Yourself for my salvation (for which words cannot convey my gratitude!) but every day You extend Your hand to me – to encourage me to carry on and not stop, to lift me up when I have fallen (again!), to provide me with the calm assurance that I am not alone. You love me more than I’ll ever be able to grasp and I can rest in that irrefutable reality!

All praise to You, and You alone, almighty God!

So, Lord, let us be at it. You and me, again this day moving ever forward. Guide my steps. Direct my thoughts. The past is ahead the future is before us. Onward and upward we go – hand in hand. Amen

Nov 15th, Tues, 5:29 am

Invited to the Table

It was a very full weekend, Father, and it is a great comfort to have our time together this morning. May I be attentive to what You would have me learn from You this day – not just now but as we walk together through the hours ahead. Amen.

A passage from The Valley of Vision strikes me this morning.

Thou hast seen an abhorred all my sins and
     couldst easily and justly have punished me,
     yet thou hast spared me,
                                 been gracious unto me,
                                 given me thy help,
                                 invited me to thy table.

Lord, I will never cease to be amazed at the grace You so freely extend to me. It seems that I consistently give You ample reason not to but over and over again You lavish me with Your love. You are always there for me…

The portion of today’s Puritan prayer that caught my mind’s eye is “yet thou hast… invited me to thy table.” It could refer to Your communion table but my thoughts went to a simple table of fellowship.

Some of my fondest memories are times when family or friends or even strangers have gathered with me, around a table, sharing a common meal together. Food is shared but so is laughter and stories. Love and fondness, joy and gladness are a part of our time, trust, and acceptance, too.

And You, Lord, invite me to Your table, as well. We share these things, too. I am welcomed – I am cherished. Oh, what a blessing! Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy, grace, and love. Amen.

Oct 24th, Mon, 6:17 am