Tag Archives: love

A Shredded, Soggy Mess

Good morning, Father. Thank You for our conversation early this morning. May I stay close by Your side. Guide me. Direct me. Protect me. Amen.

Growing up we almost always had a dog. I remember that at least one of them like playing tug-of-war with an old rag or sock. We’d play until it was a shredded, soggy mess. I also remember them taking that old rag in their powerful jaws and viciously shaking their heads back and forth. It was a lot of fun.

This fond memory came to mind as I was thinking of struggles I have had along my journey of faith. Lord Jesus, You know all too well the troubles with which I have dealt.

Many times I have walked along, faithful and true. My shield of faith has helped me deflect many a flaming arrow. But there have been times, too, then my guard has been down, my shield of faith has not been in place and I have been pierced – not just by one but by many flaming arrows. …there is no one to blame but myself.

So what do dogs and flaming arrows have to do with each other?

Many times in my failings I have not so much felt pierced, but I have felt like that shredded, soggy mess of a rag. I have felt like our old adversary has taken me in his powerful jaws and has viciously shaken me in his powerful jaws…my strength and my righteousness nothing but tattered remnants. He laughs… He gloats…

But You, Lord? With eyes full of compassion, You tenderly reach down, gathering me in You mighty arms. You gently touch my wounds and as I have asked for forgiveness for my failings, You graciously bring healing to my brokenness.

I, though I deserve Your condemnation – and I would no defense otherwise – am loved. …thank You, Lord…thank You. Help me to live out each day in grateful devotion. May I lean on You as we share the yoke. You are strong. You are mighty. In You – not in myself – do I find the victory. Amen.

Oct 23rd, Mon, 11:30 pm

A Fine Line

Thank You for our talk this morning, Father. I needed that time of quiet interaction. May I be sensitive to Your presence throughout all the many tasks of this day. Amen.

Matthew 5:7-12 (<<click the green)

Lord, as I read through these verses it is no surprise whatsoever that though You spoke them two thousand years ago, they are so applicable today in the here and now. The world in which I live today is so divisive! It’s so defensive! Anymore it doesn’t take much tip people over into a fit of rage over almost anything.

What bothers me most is the fact that even those who follow You follow the same track. Where is mercy? If we are truly people “whose hearts are pure” wouldn’t we also be those “who work for peace”?

Is it any wonder we struggle to find Your blessing? We surely don’t deserve it…

I totally understand that we are called to firmly stand for what is right, that we should hold up the cause of the downtrodden. And here is where we must walk a fine line. We are to stand strong but why must we pair it with hatred? Why do we despise those who are in opposition to what we hold to be true?

When I read verse 11 the beginning of verse 12 slaps me in the face.

11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad!”

Our world is in opposition to Your Church and Your kingdom seemingly more than it ever has been. Your Church is mocked. Your Church is persecuted. Your Church is lied about. People say all sorts of evil things against Your bride. …and are we happy about it? Are we glad? …I don’t think so…

We are livid! We are angry! We are retaliatory!

Where is the love? Where is the mercy? Where is compassion? Where is grace? Where are the tears for those who are lost? Where is the “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing”? (Luke 23:34)

Lord, I pray for Your hand to fall heavily upon Your Church. May we take to heart the life You lived before us. May we take upon ourselves Your humility. Make us merciful…and pure…and those who work for peace. May we do what is right in Your eyes, not our own. Amen.

Oct 11th, Wed, 8:37 am

We’ve Made Our Bed

As I am up and about this morning, Father, I am grateful for all of Your many blessings. May I live out my life this day as an expression of that gratitude. May my actions towards others be a reflection of Your love and care for me. Amen.

Matthew 2:16-23 (<<click the green)

What a horrific act on the part of King Herod, to feel so threatened by the possibility of a new “king” that he would call for the annihilation of all the boys two years old and younger in and around the area of Bethlehem! If there was ever a man that could be labeled as wicked it was Herod.

We live in difficult times for there are many “wicked” people throughout our world doing (or contemplating) many horrific things. We may need to run but we need not be immobilized by despair. The evil of sin has run rampant since the beginning of time but God will not be thwarted.

Lord, I surely don’t begin to understand why bad things happen to good people or good things happen to bad people for that matter. You said that the Father “sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 5:45)

The old adage is true that we’ve made our bed, now we must lie in it. We have made the world what it is and we must live in it. We have been given free will to do as we please and on many fronts, we have made a mess of things but Your will will not be undone or held back.

Lord, I realize that this life will be full of hurt and pain but I also realize that I can be a catalyst for love and comfort. You can use me to accomplish Your will. I can be an instrument to thwart evil in the world around me.

The Apostle Peter shares these words of encouragement:

6So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

8You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9

Amen, so be it.

Sept 18th, Mon, 6:29 am

Grow Down

Father, forgive me for yielding to distraction…this is my time with You and Facebook should have no part in it. My phone is down and my attention is on You. Please help me hear and listen to what You have to say to me today.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (<<click the green)

Lord, help me to be “empowered…with inner strength through Your Spirit.” I know You have been doing a new work in me, accomplishing things that I could never do on my own (Praise Your Holy name! All the glory to You!) and I pray that I will cling to You. May my inner strength continue to be powered from Your “glorious, unlimited resources.”

This wonderful passage admonishes me to let my roots “grow down into Your love and keep me strong.”  Without You, I am surely weak and helpless! In my own strength, I fail. Only in You am I victorious. Thank you, Lord…

I am incomplete without Your love. Help me so that my overwhelming desire will be to “have the power to understand how WIDE, how LONG, how HIGH, and how DEEP Your love is”! May I “experience the love of Christ” – overwhelm me with Your love. May it gush and splash over on to all I meet!

And “through Your mighty power at work within me accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or [even] think”!

April 27th, 2015, Mon, 6:30 am

Love Is the Golden Rule

I sat down briefly this morning, Father, and other, out of the norm, responsibilities called, so now is the time I have come to sit…and listen…and write. Though of course, I’ve had a couple of things rattling around in my brain.

Yesterday I caught the tail end of a pastor’s sermon on the radio. He was speaking on another topic (a good one mind you) but something he said resonated within my heart. Now I can’t quote it word for word but here’s the gist of it. The pastor was speaking about Jesus telling his disciples in Mark 6:31,

“Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

They were exhausted, so they boarded a boat to get away for a little while. But the crowds saw where they were headed and met them when they came ashore. So what did Jesus do? Did he barrel ahead with His original plan? After all, they were worn out! No…Jesus’ heart cried out more than His body did. Mark 6:34 tells us that “he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd…”

Before all was said and done, he ended up feeding them all – over 5,000 of them (Mark 6:30-44)!

Lord, plain and simple…You loved them. And You want us to love each other, too. Not because it’s easy. Not just when it’s convenient. Not when it’s comfortable. Not just when we agree.

You said, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12

You said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12

We refer to that one as the Golden Rule.

Lord, with my whole heart I believe that You cause things to intersect in our lives. This had been rattling around in my brain since yesterday but You dropped a video in my lap today. It’s a song by Dottie Rambo, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Its message is strong and so relevant for today. It may make you flinch a little bit but it is well worth watching it through.

Lord, may I live out “Love Is the Golden Rule” in all I am today and every day. Amen.

Aug 22nd, Tues, 6:00 pm