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Be in Solitude

Posted on: Monday, March 18, 2013

Matthew 6:6 "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Mark 6:31 And He said to them, As for you come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and rest a while—for many were [continually] coming and going, and they had not even leisure enough to eat.

Luke 6:12 "Now in those days it occurred that He went up into a mountain to pray, and spent the whole night in prayer to God."

Be bear hugging

Posted on: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lamentations 3:22-23 says "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

What an ocean of relentless love.  The Lord does not hold us captive to our mistakes and wrong doings from the day, week, or year before.  His mercies are new every single day!  His mercy triumphs (James 2:13).  I think so ofter we forget that the Lord wants us to embrace His mercies each morning, rather than feeling like we have to beg for it or search for it throughout the day. Lord I want to bear hug your mercy you each morning.

An "Auj Poj" of Psalm 61:
"Lord you hear my silent tears and
I know that you are listening to ever word that I pray. 
I keep calling to you over and over Lord. 
My heart is exhausted. 
Lead me to higher ground, 
you are my guidance and guardian, 
through and against the gusting winds 
that toss me around. 
I want to dwell with you forever. 
I want to dwell with you, and you in me, 
under your umbrella of love. 
I know you hear me Lord and I thank you 
for blessing me with a family in Christ Jesus 
that has taught me to listen to you. 
Lord you are my King that reigns forever, 
may you reign in my heart. 
Bless the Lord oh my soul, 
even when my body grows weary 
I will praise your greatness and compassion on me, 
and I will bear hug Your mercy EVERY MORNING."

Psalm 61 (ESV)
"Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 
2from the end of the earth I call to you 
when my heart is faint. 
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 
3for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy. 
4Let me dwell in your tent forever! 
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!Selah 
5For you, O God, have heard my vows; 
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6Prolong the life of the king; 
may his years endure to all generations! 
7May he be enthroned forever before God; 
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! 
8So will I ever sing praises to your name, 
as I perform my vows day after day."

BE Honest

Posted on: Friday, March 8, 2013

Lately I have been praying the Psalms.  It has been a good way for me to pray with assurance that I am asking in accordance with the Lords will, and to be honest, it is also a nice break from my often forced and redundant prayers. In the past I have heard the Holy Spirit's whispers as I rewrite the Psalms in my own words.  I was doing this for a while as a "response" to God's love letter (the Bible) that was written to us, awaiting our response. 

Here is my honest prayer as I read and rewrote Psalm 57:

"Have mercy on me, Oh Healer, be merciful to me, 
for I confide and trust in you, under cover of your umbrella I will stay protected from the Portland skies, 
even though the storm rages all around me.  
I will wait with you. 
2 I will cry out to the Great Physician, 
the One who promises great plans for my future. 
3 I know You can heal me and I know Your healing
is greater than any other doctor or treatment.  
God please send me the fruition of your faithfulness 
by Your merciful compassion and love. 
4 My whole being seems under constant attack, 
and even everyone and thing that I once loved seems a burden. 
5 I only want to honor and bring glory to Your name Jesus, 
for Your burden is light. 
6 Oh God I ask that these troubles and strongholds would be under my feet.  Burn them up until they are ashes 
and never able to rise up again. 
7 My heart is undividedly devoted to You 
and every day I give it to You 
and lay before You my heart's cry. 
8 I want my life to be a joyful melody again Lord, 
RENEW my life in order that I might announce Your glory.  
I want to sing Your praises in the morning, 
rather than the mourning. 
9 I thank You Lord that when I am healed 
I can give all thanks and praise to You.  
I want everyone to know You did it Lord! 
10 Your love can redeem anything.  
It is faithful forever and you remind us of that 
through sweet simplicities of Your creation.  
11 I pray that Your presence in all things would manifest itself in all the earth and in more and more human hearts." 

Be Pointing to Him

Posted on: Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I loved
Would no one else show up?
Was I Jesus to the least of us?
Was my worship more than just a song?

I wanna live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You
If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Reckless abandoned
Never holding back
I wanna live like that
I wanna live like that
Am I proof that You are who You say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

I wanna live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You
If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Reckless abandoned
Never holding back
I wanna live like that
I wanna live like that

I wanna show the world the love You gave for me
(I wanna live like that)
Longing for the world to know the glory of the King
I wanna live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You
If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
(Where I stand)
Reckless abandoned
Never holding back
I wanna live like that
I wanna live like that

Be Loyal

Posted on: Saturday, March 2, 2013

A few years ago I started reading this devotional book called "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  I read it daily for a couple years, but recently I have become less and less diligent about it.  The structure of my time spent in the Word has changed over the past year, due to my current season of life.  Now I only read it randomly, but the random times that I do, it never fails to stir my soul.  And yesterday was no exception. 

 The author capitalizes the words "I" "Me" and "My" throughout the devotion as if the Lord were speaking specifically to you.  This makes it much more personal when reading.  At the bottom of every day she lists the verses that the devotion was inspired from (which are also represented in the italics phrases).  I have an ESV study Bible, so when I would look up the verses and read the notes at the bottom, it would often direct me to other places in scripture where the Lord emphasized the same truths.  Both of the verses that were listen at the bottom of yesterdays devotion were good reminders, but the scripture that I was subsequently lead to was a great one.     

Whenever I read a verse that seems to hit my heart like an axe to an avocado (no idea where that came from but I'm just gonna go with it..) I usually look it up in other translations. This one I especially like in the Message version. 

"Make a careful exploration of who YOU are and the work YOU have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." Galatians 6:4-5

When I read this it seemed perfectly pertaining to the part of this devotion that struck me the hardest. I italicized the word "compare" when I typed out the verse because I think that that is at the root what this devotion is illustrating.  

In the beginning when it says "You are on the right path," to the end when it says "Follow Me," I kept asking myself what would distract me from following the Lord on the right path that He has set out for me (the "creative best"). Answer, comparison.  

Comparison can take many forms.  I think a large part of this issue is derived from society and cultural norms...  

-Employers are constantly comparing thousands of applications 
-Graduating college students are constantly comparing themselves to the experience and accomplishments of other college students who are applying for the same jobs
-Parents compare their families to other families
-Women compare their boyfriends to other relationships
-Husbands compare their wives to other women
-Athletes compare themselves to other athletes who train under different conditions, with difference coaches, and different teammates
-High schoolers compare themselves to the popularity of their friends
-Girls compare their appearances to other girls (and to computer imaging advancements) 
-Boys compare their muscles to other boys (yes I said this... they do) 
-Sisters compare themselves to their brothers
-Pastors compare themselves to other churches
-Politicians compare themselves to other candidates
-Governments compare themselves to other countries

In my opinion, comparison is the opposite of loyalty and the thief of joy. But if we are loyal to Christ, just as husbands should be loyal to their wives (and vise versa) this eliminates the possibility for comparison to creep in and haunt our minds into thinking that we aren't good enough, or that we aren't on the right path, and maybe we would be better off if we trailed behind on someone else's. But this is not God's design for us.  He has a uniquely perfect path designed just for each of us.  That's why the author of the devotion says "It is a lonely way, humanly speaking..."  But God reminds us more than anything throughout Scripture that He both paving the way for us, and walking by our side with each trusting step. He is loyal to us, so we should BE LOYAL to Him. 

These are a couple of my favorite quotes pertaining to the comparison thief.

"Do not expect anyone to understand fully My ways with you, any more than you can comprehend my dealings with others."  

This is the part of the devotion that I needed to hear more than anything.  I am in a place in my life right now where I am constantly asking the Lord about His ways with me.  I do not understand them, so how can I expect others to.  And how can I compare my season of "winter" to someone else's season of "spring."  Just as our Creator carries out the seasons at different times in different places of the world, He will also be faithful to carry us through the dry months into a time of blooming and flourishing.  We simply need to be loyal. 

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