Beware

Every bright light

Has to be tested and tried

Held up to your Word

So the darkness can’t hide

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

“We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

A Non-Rhyming Yet Good Reminder

Human reasoning and effort do not
Bring about the changes
Only God’s Spirit can accomplish
So, instead of mustering up strength
Surrender to His work in and around you
With steady, hopeful and patient faith

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

Raised to Walk

Crucified with Christ
My heart will remain
All my sins buried
My old self lay slain

He could leave me here
In defeat to face my doom
Wait, His outstretched hand I see
Lifting me out of the tomb

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4

Betrayed

And when He was betrayed, He spoke not a word
For He knew it was all in His Father’s hands
To bring about the worst of earthly conditions
As a backdrop to marvel at His glorious plan

“Look! The hand of My betrayer is with Mine on the table. Indeed, the Son of Man will go as it has been determined, but woe to that man who betrays Him.” Luke 22:22

“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Psalm 55:12-14

Saying R’s

When I was young, I couldn’t say my R’s.  Everyone just thought it made me sound extra cute, or so they would say, so it didn’t seem to bother me.  Even though my brothers would taunt me “Jodi, Jodi, say Dr. Pepper!”  “Doctow Peppew”  And my parent’s friends thought it was so cute for me to repeat after them “Lizards have gizzards”.  “Lizzawds have gizzawds”, I would attempt.  One girl in my class, Tiffany, blurted out one day that she loved my accent.  “Now there’s an idea”, I thought, “I’ll just pretend like it’s an accent”.  But my friends standing around her laughed a little and cleared up her confusion that this was not some cool, rare accent.  I just couldn’t say my R’s.  Once I hit 3rd grade, my teachers started telling my mom she should probably do something about this.  So, on to speech lessons I went!

Speech lessons twice a week after school to learn to say my R’s felt like a daunting task, and I wondered if any amount of training would ever change the way I had spoken all my many years of life.  After several lessons, I discovered how to correctly pronounce the R… “purrrrrrple”.  “I said it!  I did it!  But, wait, that sure took a lot of learning and work just to be able to say the word 1 time”, I thought.  The outcome felt certain that I would have to think long and hard every time I said an R for the rest of my life!  But despite how it felt at the time, my teacher reassured me that after repeating the correct R many times, I would soon start to say it the right way without even thinking about it.  And, to my surprise, he was right.  Sure enough, the day came when I was saying every R correctly without any thought or effort.  That, to me, was amazing! 

Now when I face a change that feels like pushing 1,000 lbs. every laborious step and I wonder if the effort to change, whether it is adjusting to a loss or learning something new, I remember this lesson with my R’s.  I remember that with time and consistency, the load will lighten.  It won’t always be this heavy.  And one day before I know it, I’ll look and the weight will be gone.  I will have changed or grown past that struggle and I no longer have to think long and hard before saying each “R” or taking each step.  The same is true for each of us. 

Thank You, Lord, for growth, change and our ability to learn new things and new ways.  Thank You for promising to lighten the load as we cast our cares on You.         

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:18-19

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29

Gifts of Deficit

Thank You for my sorrow
For it is in the night
I best see Your light

Thank You for my questions
For it is within doubt
My faith finds it’s sight

Thank You for my hunger
For it is the pain of my need
That seeks filling from Your hand

Thank You for keeping my eyes under cover
For it is not knowing tomorrow
That keeps me surrendered to Your plan

Storm Chasers

I work in the insurance industry, specifically with property claims.  Hurricane season for an adjuster is like tax season for an accountant.  Depending on the number of storms and the severity, work can get extremely busy for months on end.  So more severe storms tends to mean overtime and much higher pay.  Therefore, could it be said that adjusters hope for catastrophes in order to benefit financially?  

Maybe a similar question forms when a follower of Jesus reaps the benefits of God’s grace while there is the storm of sin in their life.  Is that person intentionally following after sin knowing God’s grace will be there in abundance for as sin increases, so does His grace?

“The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,” Romans 5:20

I believe in both cases, the answer is no.  The nature of the world is just that, the nature of the world.  It brings storms and disasters.  Things aren’t always the way we think they should be.  They are not the way they should be in the weather, in our homes or in our heads and as long as we’re on this earth, they never will be.  God knows this which is why He gave us adjusters for storms and grace for our sin.  So while we may not ask for the storms or seek them, we know within them does rest His security, love and grace. 

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:15-18

Sustenance

Often times I just get tired of figuring out what I’m going to eat. I wish I could just eat one thing, be full for the rest of the day (if not week) and be done with it. But unfortunately, it’s never worked that way. I eat and feel satisfied just to get hungry again a few hours later and have to start the whole process over again.

Getting fed spiritually feels a lot like this. I wish I could just say a prayer in the morning and be inspired with enough “Holy Ghost” to get me through the rest of the day. After time with the Lord and a word from Him, I chew on it for several hours. I feel blessed and complete and strong. I’m given new revelation that speaks to my heart and feelings of his tender love to help and heal the hurts. But just when I think I have all of life figured out for the rest of time because of this time of refreshing, I start running on fumes. That’s when I realize I’ve come to the end of myself again and must seek Him again for His strength and filling.

I can’t control the way my body hungers for food after one time of eating any more than I can control the way my spirit longs for the Lord after a period of communion.

What a good way to remind us to stay close to Him and never think we have to go through life on our own. He designed us to need Him. We just have to remember to keep coming to the table.

“Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3