Shaken

“Then the Philistines will be thrown into panic, for they counted on the power of Ethiopia and boasted of their allies in Egypt!  They will say, ‘If this can happen to Egypt, what chance do we have?  We were counting on Egypt to protect us from the king of Assyria.’”  Isaiah 20: 5-6

Is there something you have trusted in your whole life that has boosted your confidence or given you a greater sense of security?  Maybe you come from a family of wealth, therefore you have never given much worry to where your next meal will come from.  Maybe all of the women (or men) in your family have lived long healthy lives and lived well into their 90s so you have great confidence that you will follow in line.  Maybe your parents have demonstrated commitment and endurance to their lifetime marriage and set the example for how you believe the story will go for you.  There are so many scenarios that can be listed here, so many staples in our lives that form a confidence, maybe even an unspoken one, and shape our foundation. 

So, what happens when that foundation cracks and the most reliable thing in your life crumbles?  When the family wealth you had depended on makes a bad investment and files for bankruptcy; when you get a cancer diagnosis in your 40’s and your vision of a long life is suddenly threatened; when one of your parents commits adultery and the relationship you trusted more than any other ends.  What then?

Maybe we would echo the words of the Philistines in the scripture above and wonder, “If this can happen to Egypt (fill in the blank), what chance do we have?!”  And suddenly you are met with the choice to either crumble in despair and hopelessness or rebuild your foundation. 

God has a way of illustrating to us over and over again our faith and dependence should be on Him and Him alone.  Everything in this world is temporary, every person in this world is flawed.  If your trust lies in anything or anyone of this world, it is subject to disappointment. 

This is not to say we shouldn’t be grateful for the blessings of financial security, good health and successful relationships or walk in fear of their failure.  But we should not ever place our confidence in these things above our confidence in the Lord.  He is still who He says He is when we face loss and we can have the confidence in Him to say “I don’t like it, but I trust You.  Show me according to Your Word and Spirit where to go from here.”

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Gospel of Grace

In our longing for justice,
We argue, we reason, we explain
Hoping our offender
Will feel remorse for our pain

But where we have been wronged
We have wronged a thousand more
So we look to the cross
And see the grievances He bore

If we all weren’t in need of this grace
We could rest on our arguments
If all we had was our understanding
All through the day we’d lament

But thank God He teaches mercy
Thank God it’s not about evening the score
Thank God it’s not about who’s right or wrong
Thank God, grace gives so much more.

Prodigals

Please carry the heavy load of our pasts
So we’d be free to walk along
Your predestined paths
Please cleanse us from our regret and shame
So our mouths would be confident
To share Your good name

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Divine Guidance

You will make a way through this uncertain road

You’ll clear a path and illuminate my stepping stones.

Where will you take me? You will not say.

Only that you love me and you know the way.

Along the path my Lord leads me, whispering as we go.

Invisible safety embraces me disguised as a “not now” or a “no”.

Holding me to say “wait”, releasing me when it’s time to go.

Where he is leading me, I don’t yet need to know.

Still Waters

I see this is by Your hand.

Though not all will understand

How You’ve led me into

Your promised land

The pasture is green

The waters so wide

A land flowing with honey

You there by my side

My soul is refreshed

My heart so content

Each labored step led

By divine Providence

Years in the storm

Now worth the wait

The desires that were born

The mistakes that were made

The changes that occurred

All through grace

Ushering me here

To this moment, this place

Psalm 23:1-6

1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk

through the darkest valley, a

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

My Pain

It’s taken me captive 

Been ruthless and cold

Gripping my heart

Unwilling to let go

I’ve pressed on despite it

Used it to grow

Gotten used to its presence

And welcomed it home

It’s had purpose, made gains

Inspired me to change

Been my friend, left me slain

My daily reminder, my pain

2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Grace

Just when I think I’ve found the right to judge

The right to hate, not forgive and not budge
You pull me aside and remind me of my sin

You remind me of your love and the grace You keep me in

1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

Give Him Praise

Should there be any comfort in Christ

By His blood, should we be saved.

Should His arms ever hold us tight,

Then let us give Him praise.

 

Should our failures ever meet His grace

Should our tears be wiped away

Should our hope be restored again

Then let us give Him praise.

 

Should our lives reflect His name

Should we be rescued from our shame

Should He speak to our hearts each day,

Then Let us give Him praise.

Friend of Sinners

I don’t look the way you think I should

I won’t fit inside your box

I can’t get enough of the people I love

You may disagree with the way I walk

Don’t expect me to condemn I won’t

These are the people I long to know

They need me and I died for them

To walk along side wherever they go
Luke 7:34

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 

Your Junk is Worse

My junk isn’t as bad as yours

I’m comfortable in mine,

I’m familiar with every crumb

It’s been here all my life

But when I see yours, 

My goodness what a mess!

You should really clean that up

Keep working, try your best.

See all my junk has a reason 

An explanation for every hurt

A story behind every bruise

But I’m comfy in my dirt.

But to me, yours has no reason

I wasn’t there and didn’t see

I don’t understand your mess

So your junk looks worse to me.
Luke 6:31

Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

Matthew 7:1-5
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

I am

I am the woman at the well

The sinner thrown to her knees

The woman wiping perfume with her hair

Mary, Martha – I am all of these

 

I am the thief on the cross

Zaccheus and a Pharisee

Judas, a friend and a traitor

I am the least of these

 

I am Saul as he was blinded

I am Mary at the open grave

A witness on the road to Damascus

By my faith, I have been saved

 

Luke 7:47-48, 50

47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Battle Scars

I wish I could say I’ve been a victor

And stayed the course with You

I wish I could say I kept my faith

And never truly doubted You

 

I wish I could say I’ve been stronger

And stood on solid ground

I wish I could say I learned my lessons

And never looked back or turned around

 

I wish I could say I’ve been good

And won this war for You

Truth is I’ve been a traitor and a fool

And the only real hero is You