Tag Archives: shallow

Wet Paint

Today looks to be quite full, Father. As I have already prayed, I would ask for Your guidance and wisdom. May the contacts I make bring You glory. Amen.

1 John 5:1-5 (<<click here)

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” v3

One thing that we, as human beings struggle with is abiding by rules and regulations, Lord. A “wet paint” sign in our brain translates to “touch me”. From the very beginning of time we have listened to the serpent whispering in our ear, “Did God really say…?” Genesis 3:1 And we just fill in the blank. Abiding by the “do’s and don’ts” makes us bristle.

A couple of days ago I looked at the top two commandments according to You, Lord. Loving You and loving others. (Matthew 22:36-40) And in that very last verse You stated,

“The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” v40

All the “do’s and don’ts” boil down to …love. And we love love…right? We are sure obsessed with it. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love” – to quote an old song. But to quote another old song, “What’s love got to do, go to do with it?”

Where the problem lies is that the world’s love is shallow and short-lived. It’s selective. It’s limited. It’s conditional. And quite often it’s just plain selfish.

But Your love? It is deep (and wide!) and it is eternal! It is inclusive. It is unlimited! It is unconditional! And by Your own example, it is not selfish but it is sacrificial.

Lord, may I take upon the mantle of Your love. My I live it out. May I give it out – liberally! To all who will receive…and even those who won’t. Amen.

May 17th, Wed, 7:21 am

Love of Money

This is a big day, Father, things to be wrapped up this morning then a drive to the airport as we head out to see our boy! Be with us as we travel. Please, keep us safe. Lay Your hand upon our shoulders that we follow Your leading each day; that though we are away for some time off that we would continue to attune ourselves to how You would have us live. Fill us with love, may we be considerate, may we be compassionate. May the children shine forth their Father’s influence and do You proud.

Hebrews 13:5-6 (<<click here)

Lord, I think our tendency is to play these concepts down. If someone were to ask me if I loved money, I would say, “no.” I just want to make sure our needs are met for the here and now and to assure that we can make it when we can no longer punch the time clock, I wouldn’t say I loved money… but I am quite fond of security. Are they the same thing? Maybe not technically but it’s sure easy for them to control my life.

A lot of it has to do with our attitude about it all. Am I so intent concerning my security that I care little about the needs of others? Am I so diligent in securing my future that I neglect to put my faith in God’s ability to meet my needs? And even if I do trust You to meet those needs, am I not really satisfied with what I receive. “Oh, God, I wanted the green one not the red one!” We can be pretty shallow and selfish.

Lord, help me to trust You more. As Your Word says, You “own the cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:10 And as I am well aware that is a very all-encompassing statement. There is absolutely, no need that You cannot meet. Help me to be diligent in my labors and enable me to be a good steward with the resources You have so generously bestowed. May I be “satisfied with what I have.” vs.5

June 28th, Tue, 5:17 am

Peace in the Ups and Downs

Father, reading “Our Daily Bread” this morning connected it with a sermon You gave me a couple of weeks ago. Both dealt with John 14 where Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. This is something I realize but what comfort I find in being reminded of it. May Your presence in me this day influence my every word and deed. May the peace You give me be evident to all. “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.”

Lord, I thought I was going to read a passage and write on it this morning but You have touched my heart in my opening prayer and I feel compelled to carry on.

In our world “peace” is elusive. Left to us, on a global scale, it is impossible but on an individual basis it is difficult but surely attainable. We all yearn for peace. But our problem lies in the fact that just about all of us search for it in every nook and cranny but fail to look to You – the Prince of Peace. Even Your children are hard pressed from time to time to find it.

Part of our problem is that we feel we have to take care of things ourselves – we shouldn’t have to ask anyone to help us. That would show that we are weak. We may not want to acknowledge it but that’s what we are! We are weak. In and of ourselves we cannot find peace – or we can’t hold on to it.

But probably the biggest contributing factor to our dilemma is the fact that our relationships with You are shallow. You desire deep relationships with us, but we are too busy. Or more likely, we fear giving ourselves over to You thinking that life as we know it will cease to exist – no more fun, just holed up with a Bible somewhere.

But, Lord, nothing could be farther from the truth! When we give ourselves over to You, there is freedom! And there is…peace.

This is a reality, Lord, for I have experienced it firsthand. I have followed You for most of my life but until I gave myself totally over to You, my life was a rotating course of ups and downs, ins and outs. And getting to this point is more than mental assent – it’s more than a wish. It is a deliberate, conscientious act…and I believe it comes with setting aside our precious time and investing it in a heart-to-heart, transparent, honest daily time with You. Only then can we find the treasured trophy of peace, hope and love that You have for us.

Help me, Lord, to stay the course. Thank You for calling out to me. Thank You for having the where with all to answer. Amen.

May 27th, Fri, 6:21 am

Leave It All Behind

Lots of things traipsing through my mind this morning, Father, but I am glad that I can sit with You and that You can pierce through it all. Help me to zero in on what You have for me today. Love You…

Hebrews 11:24-28 (<<click here)

It is interesting, Lord, to think back to Moses’ early years and decisions he made in the light of our cultural mindset. Because he was taken in and raised by Pharaohs’ daughter as a baby, there was literally nothing that was not at his beck and call. But as he grew he saw who he really was – he saw Whose he was – and he turned his back no it all – wealth, power, control, prestige, ease.

I’m sure many today would think that he had lost his mind. He had everything the world strives for and walked away from it all. His focus was higher – his focus was You. What must have gone through his mind as he led the Israelites through the wilderness and all that they longed for was what little they had left behind in Egypt – cucumbers, leeks and fish? And they fought and rebelled against Moses and God because they wanted it so badly. I’m sure more than once Moses thought how foolish they were. He probably wanted to grab them by the shoulders and get in their face and yell, “What in the world are you thinking?! You hardly had a fraction of what I had and you yearn for it. But it is all worth nothing! God has freed You! You are no longer slaves. We are heading to a land that we can call our own. And God, our Father, will go before us. Our every need is met. “What are you thinking?!”

And, Lord, are we any different? We are so blinded by what we want…and it is empty, it is shallow and it will only satisfy us for a short time – then we will want something else. And that’s what we get with an earthly mindset. Here and now is our focus. But here and now is so quickly come and gone. Lord, may I keep my focus on You and help me to be able to encourage others to do the same. True fulfillment, true peace and satisfaction and love is only found in a relationship with You. Amen.

May 20th, Fri, 5:50 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