Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It was by Your mighty power that they succeeded;
It was because you favored them & smiled on them.
How long have I been in ministry? Well, never mind... long enough to know better ;-)
How many years did I spend doing life & ministry in my own strength? I guess I had a "God helps those who help themselves" kind of attitude. Or maybe I just didn't think He'd come through?
In the last ten years I've moved more & more toward an attitude of that if this is what God wants me to be & do, then He's gonna have to provide the strength to do it.
And I think I'm learning more & more in very graphic ways that whatever good happens around me or through me is simply because He chooses to have it happen. Iow, I'm completely dependent on His favor, or His smile, in & on what I am & what I'm doing.
That does release me from having to be the one who keeps everything going.
It also means I have to be surrendered to whatever His will may entail.
It also means that my life has to be lined up with His. I have to "seek first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness" so that "all these things" can be "added" (Matthew 6:33)
I guess what it all boils down to is I only have to please one person - God.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Isaiah 26:3 You (God) will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You. 4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
Psalm 43:3 Send out Your light & Your truth; let them guide me.
vs 5 - Why am I discouraged?
Why so sad?
I will praise Him again - my Savior & my God.
I wonder if what I heard in my head about an hour is true?
Well, we'll see...
Sunday, March 28, 2010
for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
You planned them long ago,
and now you have accomplished them.
Psalm 42:11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again—
my Savior and my God!
Matthew 11:28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
I got up earlier than normal this morning because I couldn't get back to sleep - I had some "stuff" going all around inside my head.
I got up in the hopes God would have something to say to me.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I went to Greenvile, GA yesterday have lunch with my friend & brother, Jack.
(It was the beginning of a LONG day. I went from there to ATL to REI to pick up a tent for The Warehouse. Have you ever noticed that there's a lot of people in ATL, & they all drive cars & are on the roads at the same time?!)
Anyway, back to lunch with Jack...
We were sitting around talking after lunch about our lives. While we were doing that, I'm kinda sorta having a conversation in my head with God.
For the last 3 years, I've been living with this verse, & God's been trying to make it a reality in my life.
I wish I has a dollar for every time He's poked me & said, "Don't cling to your life..."
Iow, don't cling to something in my life I think I can't live without, or cling to something I think defines me.
During this time I've thought about the fact that we spend out lives trying to make OUR dreams happen, & get frustrated, cranky, or depressed if they don't happen like we want them to, or if they don't come to fruit at all.
But God's been poking me with the idea that He dreamed a dream for each of our lives - for my life - a gajillion years ago, long before any of us were born.
And if we simply let go of our lives & basically say, "whatever" to God, this frees Him to make this life He dreamed for us to happen.
Iow, we can quit making our life happen & let Him (the God of the unverses) make it happen.
Do you sense the release & freedom that can bring?
Anyway, sitting there on the big green couch in Jack's house, I was thinking how much I've changed recently. I think I'm the closest I've ever been to really "giving it up for Me" than I've ever been.
I'm beginning to think I pretty close to REALLY in a "whatever" mode with God. (I know - it's about time!) I'm trying to quit making my life happen, & letting Him make it happen.
Now, ya gotta kinda be in a "whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however" kinda thought process for this to work, but just think of this...
If we relinquish control of our lives, if we let God have His way in our lives, He can implement His dreams into our lives...
Let's remember He created each of us, knows us through & through, knows the BIG picture for humankind - like how it all's gonna play out, & knows how to use us in the overarching plan He has for humankind.
It's been interesting how my life has taken some pretty amazing & creative turns the more I do this.
It's definitely not dull.
It's definitely not the what I would have picked for me.
Would I trade it for a life I've conceived for me?
The more I let God make my life happen, the more I find that the life I've always wanted in happening.
Friday, March 26, 2010
(dan note: well, I don't know about the "patiently" part...)
for the LORD to help me,
and He turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
(dan note: you have no idea...)
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
(dan note: yeah, He really has, these last 10 years )
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the LORD.
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
(dan note: Life's a whole lot simpler when I do)
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5 O LORD my God, You have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
(dan note: and if I knew what they were, I'd probably run away or mess them up!)
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that You have made me listen, I finally understand —
You don't require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
(dan note: so what does He want? Me)
7 Then I said, "Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
8 I take joy in doing Your will, my God,
for Your instructions are written on my heart."
(dan note: I think I'm finally getting to the point where I believe the life He's dreamed for me is better than the one I dreamed for me.)
17 As for me, I am poor & needy
but the Lord is thinking about me right now.
(dan note: every time I read this I'm astounded!!! God is thinking about me!)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.
6 We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.
How many of us, &/or people we know, spend so much time securing our place here on earth?
How many of us all don't remember or realize that this life here is less than an nano-eyeblink of eternity?
How then should we live?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
7 "Keep on asking,
and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking,
and you will find.
Keep on knocking,
and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks,
Everyone who seeks,
And to everyone who knocks,
the door will be opened.
9 "You parents - if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!
11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Don't know who this is for, but feel like this is for someone out there this morning.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Psalm 37:7a Be still in the presence of the Lord & wait for Him to act. (NLT)
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (NIV)
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him (NASB)
Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him (The Message)
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him (KJV)
2 "be still's" & 2 "rest's" - hmmmmmmm... I guess that means I don't have to run my mouth a lot with God?
Psalm 37:34a Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along the path. (NLT)
Wait for the LORD and keep his way. (NIV)
Wait for the LORD and keep His way (NASB)
Wait passionately for God, don't leave the path (The Message)
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way (KJV)
4 "waits" - hmmmmm... anybody here like to wait?
I guess I'll keep "moving in the direction I'm going" & just see what the Lord's up to in His time.
Monday, March 22, 2010
3 Then the LORD said, "My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign—a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia. 4 For the king of Assyria will take away the Egyptians and Ethiopians as prisoners. He will make them walk naked and barefoot, both young and old, their buttocks bared, to the shame of Egypt. 5 Then the Philistines will be thrown into panic, for they counted on the power of Ethiopia and boasted of their allies in Egypt! 6 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.'"
Here's what my Life Application Bible says about this chapter...
"God asked Isaiah to do something that seems shameful & illogical. At times, God may ask us to do things we don't understand. We must obey God in complete faith, for He will never ask us to so something wrong."
I gotta think about this one. This chapter could give people the excuse to demonstrate some pretty bizarre behaviors. Where does the fine line get drawn between obeying what we think God is leading us to do & what is illegal or simply really weird?
I'd REALLY be interested in what some of you think about this...
Sunday, March 21, 2010
3 During that time the devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread."
4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say,
'People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "
Ya know, I know y'all get tired of hearing me talk on & on & on about how the bottom line of my life is that since 2003 I've been getting up early to read the Bible & listen out for what God may have say to me.
And I can talk endlessly about how much it's changed my life.
And then, to add insult to injury, I can talk for what seems forever about how I believe you should do the same - find time, each day, without fail, a time to simply sit, read the Bible, & listen out for whatever He may have to say to you.
It's hard to keep quiet about something that's completely changed my life.
I've discovered what the 4th verse in this scriptur passage means.
If I didn't read the Bible each day, I simply starve to death.
I'd be out of sync with our Abba Father. (I'm out of sync with Him enough as it is - but if I went a while without reading the Bible every day... well, its not a pretty thing.)
Why the Bible? Why not read other things?
I do read other things. But here's why the Bible is so important...
The Bible is the Word of God.
It's God speaking directly to us.
If that's true, then why not read something that is the main tool that the God of the universes uses to speak to His children?
Think about it. Just a thought. I'm your friend.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
vs 4 I prayed to the Lord, & He answered me, freeing me from all my fears.
vs 8 Taste & see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who trust Him.
It's always all about trust, isn't it?
Friday, March 19, 2010
4 For the word of the LORD holds true,
and we can trust everything he does.
6 The LORD merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.just
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
9 For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.
10 The LORD frustrates the plans of the nations
and thwarts all their schemes.
11 But the LORD's plans stand firm forever;
his intentions can never be shaken.
15 He made their hearts,
so he understands everything they do.
18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
20 We put our hope in the LORD.
He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD,
for our hope is in you alone.
Colossians 4:17 Be sure to carry out the work the Lord gave you.
I've quotes the footnote from my Life Application Bible before - it bears repeating, for me & maybe others.
"Paul encouraged Archippus to make sure that he carried out the work he had received in the Lord.
"There are many ways for us to leave our work unfinished.
We can easily get sidetracked morally,
we can become exhausted & stop,
we can get mad & quit,
or we can let slide & leave it up to others.
"We should see to it that we finish God's assignments, completing the work we have received."
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
For a chronic worrier like the me I used to be, those are some sweet words.
Colossians 2:13b God made you alive w/ Christ. He forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record containing the charges against us. He took it & destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross.
It's interesting how God speaks sometimes. Here Paul says God basically has wiped the slate clean for us - all those sins we commit have been wiped away from His radar screen. Yesterday, in Colossians 1:21, Paul says that God views us as "holy & faultless" because of Jesus' sacrifice.
I don't know who needs to hear this fact this morning, besides me. Paul is saying here that because of Jesus, our relationship with God is fundamentally changed. Because of Jesus, He sees us as holy & faultless, who list of sins have been wiped away.
I don't know who needs to know that today, but because Jesus can offer His perfect life in exchange for yours, your sins are wiped away & God doesn't see those sins anymore. Whoever of you who are out there being condemned by the devil & your own guilt, you can let it go. God doesn't look at you as someone tainted with sin anymore - He sees you sinless.
All that gunk in your life He simply doesn't see anymore. He see you for the beautiful person He created, because that who you are now. So you can let go of all the condemnation you've been feeling - let it go!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through Him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can't see —
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through Him and for Him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So He is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through Him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ's blood on the cross.
21 This includes you who were once far away from God.
You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions.
22 Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.
As a result, He has brought you into His own presence,
and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.
I know me & I know how sinful I am. How can God look past all that?
It still blows my mind that God sees us through the filter of Jesus - that He sees us without the stain of sin(s) on us. He sees us as we truly are, the people & the person He dreamed us to be a gajillion years ago.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Ten years ago this week my family & I came to Christ Chapel for the first time. We weren’t really sure what we were getting into, but we felt like this was where we were supposed to be.
We weren’t used to operating in the real & transparent atmosphere that is so characteristic of the chapel. It took some getting used to.
We discovered something that I now caution newcomers about – if you come to the chapel for very long, God’s gonna mess with you a lot.
Our Abba Father started messing with me in the areas of my life I least wanted Him to address.
The first 2 years I was on staff (starting in January, 2001) I spent my days “in the woodshed” getting a whipping for various issues.
I found out what it REALLY meant to be a servant. (Anyone who says, “All I want to be is a servant of the Lord” has never been one!)
And that was just the beginning.
Last Sunday when Beth was talking about “9 lessons she’s learned in 9 years at Christ Chapel,” I was thinking about the person I was back in 2000 when we showed up on Christ Chapel’s doorstep.
I don’t recognize that man anymore.
I was a man defined by his issues, filled with anger, hurt, frustrations, pride, arrogance, & a whole lot more. I don’t think many of you would have liked me then. I didn’t like me then. How did the staff stand me?!
So, who am I now? Maybe you should be the ones who quantify that.
Most of the issues have been resolved.
Most of the anger has been washed away.
So much of the hurt has been healed.
The frustrations have been released.
And the pride & arrogance? Hmmmm… well, I hope a lot of that has gone away.
I know I’m free – deliciously free.
I know I’m more in a “whatever” mode than I’ve ever been.
I know that reading the Bible every morning (that started since January of 2003) has completely changed my life.
And, at the risk of sounding trite, in the words of Chris Tomlin, “I know I am loved by the King, & it makes my heart want to sing.”
Thanks John for obeying the Lord 15 years ago. Where would I be, & who would I be if you hadn’t?
And thank You, Abba, for a love that will not let me go, & will not let me stay the same.
6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Worry will kill us, or rob us of life.
At the beginning of 2008, when God started talking seriously to me about downtown, one of the verses He gave me was from Matthew 6:25, which in the NIV translation states singularly, "don't worry about your life."
Over & over again in the time that has ensued, when I have "what if'ed" Him, or fretted about the how, who, what, where, when, of thing, downtown related or otherwise, He has simply whispered, "don't worry about your life."
As a result, I'd like to think that my life as a world class worrier are behind me. The last 3 months I wondered, but I think maybe I just may be past it.
It's a trust issue, bottom line. It's all about REALLY trusting God. If He whispers to me, "don't worry about your life," what He really saying is, "I've got you covered."
This is the God of the universes talkin' here, remember?
The God of the universes is whispering to us, "don't worry about your life." He's saying, "I'm gonna take care of you."
It's hard for me to remember what it was like to be a world class worrier. I still fret about things, but NOTHING like I used to.
It's all about trust - trusting that God really is gonna take care of things; trusting God no matter what happens.
Think about it...
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
1 Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort...
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
12b I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
16 But we must obey the truth we have already learned.
21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger,... See More
so why should I tremble?
2 When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
11 Teach me how to live, O LORD.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I've never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I forget all time Who's in charge of me becoming more like Jesus. I think I am.
I forget that it is God who instigated this whole connection with me. I certainly wasn't the one who first got interested in God. He just continued to poke me, woo me, love me, & let me know He wanted to be in my life - to BE my life.
And He's not gonna stop remolding me out of that sinful me I've created into that person He dreamed me to be a gajillion years ago.
Sometimes the wonder & patience of God are a little overwhelming.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers,
against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world
and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.
14Stand firm then,
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17Take the helmet of salvation
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise.
16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
17 Don't act thoughtlessly,
but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
18 Don't be drunk with wine,
because that will ruin your life.
Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,
19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves,
and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
20 And give thanks
to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
lead a life worthy of your calling,
for you have been called by God.
2 Always be humble and gentle.
Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other's faults
because of your love.
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,
binding yourselves together with peace.
4 For there is one body
and one Spirit,
just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
5 There is one Lord,
6 and one God and Father,
who is over all
and in all
and living through all.
Monday, March 8, 2010
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Sometimes I don't feel like a masterpiece, but at least I live in & accept the truth of that statement.
I used to not believe this verse. I just couldn't see it. But once I did, it change my whole life.
I chose to believe as true the things the Bible said about me & what God thinks & feels about me.
Iow, I chose to believe that God really love the me that is me (because He created the me that is me).
I chose to believe that He takes a real delight in me.
And I chose to believe that He has a real pride in me.
He may not be proud of some of the things I do, but He's proud of the me that is me - the real me.
And I chose to believe that He had dreamed a dream for my life a LONG time ago, a dream that's a whole lot better, more perfect, more exciting, more crazy, more scary, more eternally significant than anything I could dream up.
And choosing to believe Him has made all the difference.
You may not believe you're a masterpiece, let alone one that God would think of that way.
You may not feel particularly lovable.
You cannot imagine anyone being proud of you, let alone God.
You can't imagine anyone taking the time to dream about you, certainly not the God of the universes.
Well, it doesn't matter what you think or feel about the matter - God thinks of you as His masterpiece, loves you infinitely, is unspeakably proud of you, & has dreamed up a life just for you.
Choose to believe it. That's all you have to do.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ — everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
12 God's purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God's people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I remember it was the winter of 2005. I was at staff prayer that morning, praying about a person for whom I care deeply. I just couldn't seem to see how that person would ever walk in the free & easy life they could have.
It seemed God whispered to me to go read Galatians 6. I thought that was kinda odd, but what do ya do when ya think the God of the universes tells ya to do something?!
I'm reading along, thinking, this is all good stuff, but none of this has anything to do with this person I've striving for - that is, until I got to verse 9.
"Don't get discouraged & give up" jumped off the page.
I was pretty discouraged about this person.
"...we will reap a harvest of blessing" was next.
"...at the appropriate time" let me know that it probably wasn't gonna be soon.
"Don't get tired of doing what is good" helped me know that I was supposed to continue to love & care about this person no matter what.
More than once over the 5 years that have come & gone I've become discouraged about my relationship with this person. More than once I've felt like giving up. I've come to think that maybe the freedom that I hope for this person won't occur until they've gotten to heaven.
I just know that I'm not supposed to give up on them.
And no, I don't know if this person is any closer to walking in the freedom I've longed for them since before 2005. I just keep on loving & caring.
Since 2005, God has given me this promise for another person with the same imprisoned life.
I love them both a great deal. If you know me well, please don't try & guess who these two people are. Just know that I'm not gonna give up. The stakes are too high.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
1 I love you, Lord; Psalm 18
you are my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
3 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.
4 The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
8 Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
9 He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
10 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,b]">[b] he flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
and rained down hail and burning coals.c]">[c]
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.
15 Then at your command, O Lord,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
22 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
23 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
27 You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
28 You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
38 I struck them down so they could not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
39 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
40 You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
41 They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
42 I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
43 You gave me victory over my accusers.
You appointed me ruler over nations;
people I don’t even know now serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
foreign nations cringe before me.
45 They all lose their courage
and come trembling from their strongholds.
46 The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he subdues the nations under me
48 and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.
Now in The Message...
1-2 I love you, God— you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.
3 I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
and find myself safe and saved.
4-5 The hangman's noose was tight at my throat;
devil waters rushed over me.
Hell's ropes cinched me tight;
death traps barred every exit.
6 A hostile world! I call to God,
I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
my cry brings me right into his presence—
a private audience!
7-15 Earth wobbles and lurches;
huge mountains shake like leaves,
Quake like aspen leaves
because of his rage.
His nostrils flare, bellowing smoke;
his mouth spits fire.
Tongues of fire dart in and out;
he lowers the sky.
He steps down;
under his feet an abyss opens up.
He's riding a winged creature,
swift on wind-wings.
Now he's wrapped himself
in a trenchcoat of black-cloud darkness.
But his cloud-brightness bursts through,
spraying hailstones and fireballs.
Then God thundered out of heaven;
the High God gave a great shout,
spraying hailstones and fireballs.
God shoots his arrows—pandemonium!
He hurls his lightnings—a rout!
The secret sources of ocean are exposed,
the hidden depths of earth lie uncovered
The moment you roar in protest,
let loose your hurricane anger.
16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
20-24 God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
25-27 The good people taste your goodness,
The whole people taste your health,
The true people taste your truth,
The bad ones can't figure you out.
You take the side of the down-and-out,
But the stuck-up you take down a peg.
28-29 Suddenly, God, you floodlight my life;
I'm blazing with glory, God's glory!
I smash the bands of marauders,
I vault the highest fences.
30 What a God! His road
stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
31-42 Is there any god like God?
Are we not at bedrock?
Is not this the God who armed me,
then aimed me in the right direction?
Now I run like a deer;
I'm king of the mountain.
He shows me how to fight;
I can bend a bronze bow!
You protect me with salvation-armor;
you hold me up with a firm hand,
caress me with your gentle ways.
You cleared the ground under me
so my footing was firm.
When I chased my enemies I caught them;
I didn't let go till they were dead men.
I nailed them; they were down for good;
then I walked all over them.
You armed me well for this fight,
you smashed the upstarts.
You made my enemies turn tail,
and I wiped out the haters.
They cried "uncle"
but Uncle didn't come;
They yelled for God
and got no for an answer.
I ground them to dust; they gusted in the wind.
I threw them out, like garbage in the gutter.
43-45 You rescued me from a squabbling people;
you made me a leader of nations.
People I'd never heard of served me;
the moment they got wind of me they listened.
The foreign devils gave up; they came
on their bellies, crawling from their hideouts.
46-48 Live, God! Blessings from my Rock,
my free and freeing God, towering!
This God set things right for me
and shut up the people who talked back.
He rescued me from enemy anger,
he pulled me from the grip of upstarts,
He saved me from the bullies.
49-50 That's why I'm thanking you, God,
all over the world.
That's why I'm singing songs
that rhyme your name.
God's king takes the trophy;
God's chosen is beloved.
I mean David and all his children—
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Dictionary.com defines "endurance" as follows...
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Psalm 16:1 Keep me safe, O God,
for I have come to You for refuge.
2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
Every good thing I have comes from You.”
3 The godly people in the land
are my true heroes!
I take pleasure in them!
4 Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
or even speak the names of their gods.
5 Lord, You alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
You guard all that is mine.
6 The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
What a wonderful inheritance!
7 I will bless the Lord who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.
9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
10 For You will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow Your holy one to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of Your presence
and the pleasures of living with You forever.
Same thing, in The Message...
1-2 Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to You.
I say to God, "Be my Lord!"
Without you, nothing makes sense.
3 And these God-chosen lives all around —
what splendid friends they make!
4 Don't just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I'll never treat god-names
5-6 My choice is You, God, first and only.
And now I find I'm Your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then You made me your heir!
7-8 The wise counsel God gives when I'm awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I'll stick with God;
I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go.
9-10 I'm happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I'm firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell —
that's not my destination!
11 Now you've got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since You took my hand,
I'm on the right way.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I'm is an odd place these days. I'm having all kinds of things running through my head lately, things that are kinda hard to sort through. I'm trying to figure what's just a passing thought, & what's something that God's beginning to draw me toward.
The nice thing about it this time is that I don't think I'm clinging to anything, no am I worry about what may be ahead. I'm just trying to see how it all shakes out.
I know that was all fairly vague, but that's kinda where I am right now - fairly vague. I'm just continuing to walk in the direction I'm going until told otherwise.
It's kinda exciting...