Wednesday, June 30, 2010
9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
Sometimes, God really does tell us to not go to, or do, or be perfectly good things.
Asia & Bithynia were perfectly good places for Paul & Silas to go preach the Gospel.
But that's not what God had in mind. And they didn't dare go against what He had told them to do. Why? The favor of God would probably evaporate. They needed all the favor they could get. (Read the rest of the chapter to find out about favor.)
Sometimes it seems God is moving us away from perfectly good things - things we are, things we do, places we are, places we could go to.
We have to trust Him when He says be this, go here, do this. It may not seem to make sense, but it makes sense to Him. He sees the BIG picture.
We often have a hard time just seeing, let alone the BIG picture.
This isn't something I'm postulating about - this is something I'm living, right now.
It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
my eyes are not haughty.
I don't concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
just as a small child is quiet with its mother.
Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD—
now and always
Anyone tried to do this in regular life, let alone when you're in transition?
When should we be proactive, & when should we wait?
When are we responsible for walking toward something, & when do we wait?
I'm a lot better at this than I used to be, but even now, I sometimes still wonder when do I act & when do I wait?
Monday, June 28, 2010
Here' what my Life application Bible says at the end of this book...
"In the world's eyes, Jeremiah looked totally unsuccessful. He had no money, family, or friends. He prophesied the destruction of the nation, the capital city, & the Temple. but the political & religious leaders would not accept or follow his advice.
"No group of people liked him or listened to him. Yet as we look back, we see that he successfully completed the work God gave him to do.
"Success must never be measured by popularity, fame, or fortune, for these are temporal measures. King Zedikiah, for example, lost everything by pursuing selfish goals.
God measures our success with the yardstick of obedience, faithfulness, & righteousness. If we are faithfully doing the work God has given us, we are successful in His eyes."
Interesting words as many of the people in HOG are going off or will be going off to do the World Race, internships at IHOPMacon or IHOPKC, or who are off in foreign lands like Cambodia, Uganda, Haiti, Tanzania, Jordan, or Israel.
Interesting words as many people who read this are off on less glamorous but just as important adventures with God - med school, internships, new jobs, new relationships, new everything.
Interesting words as Lynn & I walk toward our "next"
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Are you ever impressed with your own sinfulness? I have been lately.
In the sequential reading I do, I was supposed to read Jeremiah 51 (all about the fall of Babylon), Psalm 129 (all about being strong against your enemies), Acts 13 (Paul's 1st missionary journey).
Then, toward the end of Acts 13, here lies these 2 verses, underlined sometime in the past...
Acts 13:38 In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for all your sins.39 Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt & declared right with God
I don't think so.
What are the chances of me reading exactly what I needed to hear this morning? Sure, the new testament is filled with thoughts exactly, or similarly, to what's said in these 2 verses. But why would I read these two verses this morning?
This is why I tell people ever & over to read the Bible EVERY day. God REALLY does speak through it.
It spoke to me this morning, again, in exactly the way I needed to be spoken to.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
all who follow his ways!
2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
How joyful and prosperous you will be!
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
as they sit around your table.
4 That is the LORD's blessing
for those who fear him.
I underlined these verses & dated them on 12.29.06, a very very dark time in my life.
It's interesting to me how in such a dark time, God gave me a word that has comes true in ways I could not have ever imagine.
Friday, June 25, 2010
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
For decades, as a music minister, I made things happen.
I could go crazy wondering how much during that 30 years I made things happen, rather than let God make things happen.
These days, particularly as Lynn & I walk into what we think is our "next", it would be so very, very easy for me to start making things happen.
I think making things happen rather than letting God make things happen basically comes from a lack of trust in Him. I guess I felt like I needed to help the process along.
Besides, God helps those who help themselves - right?!
(btw, that saying is NOT in the Bible!)
Anyway, I guess this morning, the Lord poked me (not in the eye) & reminded me that unless I let Him be in charge of moving into our next, & the playing out of it once we're in it, well, it's a waste of time.
The King James translation says they labor "in vain".
Here's what The Message paraphrases it to be...
"If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks."
Don't do like I've done way too many times - making things happen, "helping" God out - rather than waiting for God's timing, & God's plan to unfold.
This ain't something I've read in a book, or something I've seen - it's something I'm livin' right now. It's unfolding for me, just like it coud be unfolding for you.
Let's walk in it together & let each other know how it all comes out.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
2 Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever.
3 The wicked will not rule the land of the godly,
for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.
4 O LORD, do good to those who are good,
whose hearts are in tune with you.
5 But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O LORD.
Take them away with those who do evil.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Our Abba Father is never satisfied with us getting all content & settled in - we get complacent & jaded, and lazy.
He's always moving us on, changing things up, being creative.
Because He love us.
And He dreamed a BIG dream for our lives a gajillion years ago that He wants to implement.
Life is never dull when we're on the adventure He has for us.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The LORD himself watches over you!
The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The LORD keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
(Everyone who's privy to my life right now knows why the 1st verse tickled me.)
who do we REALLY depend on most of the time?
what would our lives be like if we REALLY depended on God, like this psalm suggests?
Friday, June 18, 2010
'The stone that you builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.'
12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved."
(dan note: well, so much for "all roads - all religions - lead to God)
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. (dan note: I wonder if people say that am me, or you?) 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. 15 So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.
16 "What should we do with these men?" they asked each other. "We can't deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17 But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus' name again." 18 So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John replied, "Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard."
(dan note: I wonder if I say the same thing, or do the same thing in similar situations in my life?)
21 The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn't know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God 22 for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 But Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"
7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man's feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. 8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
9 All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon's Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. "People of Israel," he said, "what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate's decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
16 "Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus' name has healed him before your very eyes.
Peter & John did not emphasize what THEY could do but what GOD could do through them.
It's SO difficult to rely on God to be & do through us. We're all so bloomin' independent! Or maybe it's a control thing. Or maybe we just don't think He'll come through?
It doesn't matter what we're facing...
a loss of a job,
a new baby,
a new job,
getting victory over an addiction,
dealing with bad relationships,
moving forward in directions He leads us whether here at home or off in a new place where no one knows us & we don't know what we're gonna do,
figuring out who we are in Him,
saying yes (big or small) to whatever it is He wants,
or ______________ (you fill in the blank)
...we must rely on Him to make it happen.
This isn't something I've read about, or heard about - this is something I'm living right now.
All I've got is His promise to continue to guide me in this life He dreamed for me.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sometimes, His Word is all we got.
Sometimes there's nothing else pointing the way but what we're reading in the Bible.
Many people I know jump around when they read the Bible (if they read the Bible)
I believe that it's probably the smarter thing to sesquentially - like when I'm reading Psalms, I read one right after the other. I don't jump around to suit my needs.
I believe God knows about what lies ahead for each of us so as to guide us to the areas of the Bible through which He can speak.
The trick is to get ourselves into a mode where we read every day to set the stage for it to happen.
Btw, a verse I'm holding on to is Psalm 139:5 God both precedes & follows me.
Iow, God is out ahead of me in the future, preparing the way for me, lining things up, preparing hearts, engineering events, so that His will can be expressed in the way He wants in my life.
I also believe that He's coming in behind me, mopping up & taking care of the consequences of my obeying Him.
I'm really holding on to that as I walk through this season in my life, one with lots of "I don't know's" & "waiting"
So much of my life right now is very much up in the air - a promise from His word that He's got it all covered is pretty encouraging, especially since it seems the devil is trying to derail me & discourage me every time I turn around.
He's out ahead of us, preparing the way...
He's following behind, taking care of the consequences of our obedience.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I've said it before. I'll say it again.
The smartest thing I've EVER done in my life is to start reading the Bible EVERY day.
The dumbest thing I've EVER done is wait until I was 52 1/2 to do it.
I will warn you, though...
If you do, GOD WILL MESS WITH YOU!!!
Will I ever stop reading EVERY day?
"Your Word is my only source of hope."
I'm just sayin'...
(do it - start today)
Monday, June 14, 2010
This is the last of the 4 passages God gave me for 2010, It's mid-June. It's been an interesting year so far.
I'm feeling the need to listen to the remind to patiently endure. Iow, keep on moving in the direction I'm going.
Sometimes this year, it seems that all I'm required to do is put on foot in front of the other in my walk of faith with our Abba Father.
What that means is I'm just supposed to keep my mind & heart open & be & do what I know from Him to be & do - & try not to figure everything out, & not run ahead.
I'm a really curious person, so trying to figure things out is a default setting for me.
And when I think I know what's coming up ahead, I run to see to.
Anybody out there like me?
My job right now is to walk with Him, be where I am, & let Him make it happen, not me.
iow, keeping on
Sunday, June 13, 2010
My Life Application Bible has this footnote about this verse...
"Jesus again identifies Himself with His Father. He told His disciples by whose authority He did His work. The He passed the job to His disciples of spreading the Good News of salvation around the world.
"Whatever God has asked you to do, remember...
1)Your authority comes from God,
2) Jesus has demonstrated by words & actions how to accomplish the job He has given you.
"As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends His followers...& you."
For some reason, I felt compelled to underline that verse on 4/8/07.
I was leaving the leadership of HOG for the 1st time, feeling like such a failure, so incompetent, & such a disappointment to so many.
It was soon after that that God started turning my heart toward downtown & all He has done through that.
And now, He's turning my heart toward our "next"
His call on our lives is never withdrawn. We are constantly "sent" to do His will, whether that is close by, or far away.
Our only responsibility is to get up & go.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
vs 8 It is better to trust in the Lord that to put confidence in people.
vs 9 It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (dan note: or rich, influencial people, or charismatic leaders or preachers, or government officials?)
vs 17 I will not die (dan note: for now?) but I will live to tell what the Lord has done.
words to live by, no matter our circumstances
Friday, June 11, 2010
This morning, I thinkin' about the "next" for Lynn & I.
I have no illusions. And I was kinda worrying about it.
But His Word spoke a very simple message...
His love is unfailing.
He's got us, no matter what.
Don't cling to your life.
Don't worry about your life.
God both precedes & follows me.
Where would I be without His Word?
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I find it amazing that in the prayer shortly before He was arrested & killed, Jesus not only prayed for his disciples but He also prayed specifically FOR US - for you & me - "all who will ever believe in Me"
Amazing that at that point in His life, He was not only thinking about what was ahead & for the guys who'd lived with Him those last 3 years. He was thinking about you & me.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
13 There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I would like to give you a glimpse into my life these days by giving you some of the top things I say during the course of a week…
17. I think I’ve been defiled.
16. Not only take a shower every day, but wear clean underwear.
15. Is it a full moon?
14. You’re not the only person in the world.
13. Surviving is the best revenge.
12. I did that once. Don’t do that.
11. Could you run that by me again?
10. This isn’t something I’ve read in a book; I’m living it right now.
9. Go for it!
8. You’ve got what it takes
7. So… how’s that workin’ out for ya?
6. Not only show up for work, but be on time
5. I believe in you.
4. A little money is better than no money.
3. I’m proud of you
2. You did what?!
1. I love you
Sunday, June 6, 2010
God's got plans for us. The trick is to not try to make them happen, to stay out of the way, to walk when we feel like running.
It's just amazing that the God of the universes has plans for you & me, & is all about making them happen for us.
Our responsibility is to stay surrendered to whatever.
Then the fullness of those plans is released.
As Lynn & I watch & listen out for our "next", it's amazing what holding on to these verses has done for us.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
If we follow Jesus, doesn't that mean we go with Him?
Friday, June 4, 2010
This summer, I'll turn 60.
That's a lot younger age to me, now that it's here.
But, I have to say that my energy reserves are not quite what they used to me. Well, there's not much about me that is the way it used to be! ;-)
As I walk the walk with our Abba, being whatever it is He wants me to be, I find something interesting.
These days, I can always tell when I'm trying to do something in my own strength.
I get tired.
But if I just depend on Him to give me the strength to be whatever it is He's needing me to be, I seem to have enough energy reserves to carry it off.
I wish I learned this lesson 30 years ago.
Don't be as stupid as I was.
Ask God to give you the strength you need to be all He wants you to be.
He "will renew (us) each day, like the morning dew".
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. NIV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. NASB
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. The Message
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). Amplified
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ESV
A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. CEV
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. NKJV
No matter how we translate it, Jesus promises us a like far more than we imagine.
So why is it, when He's transitioning us from one season of our lives to another, we always mistrust Him, figuring the "next" will be worse than the "now"?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
John 9:4 (Jesus is the one talking here) All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent Me, because there is so little time left before the night falls & all work comes to an end.
In the Psalm 108 verse, the operative words there are "with God's help."
I won't go into how many times in my life I've done what I thought was what God wanted me to do, but did it under my own steam, not His.
I like it a whole lot better now that I'm relying more on His strength than my own.
In the John verse, there's 2 things:
1) the use of the word, "quickly" doesn't mean like in a rush - what I think it means is to not lolly-gag around - iow, be about the things He has for us to be about.
2) "assigned us" just reiterates the fact that God actually did dream a BIG life for us, which includes things that are designated for us to be & do.
This isn't busy work for God. It's all a part of His overarching plan.
And there no such thing as a small part in this plan. We may think it's a small part, but God doesn't think so. (Remind me of this in the days ahead ;-)
Ya know, I was an idiot for waiting until I was 52 1/2 before I started getting up & reading the Bible every day.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
So, iow, we won't be blindly wandering clueless?
We'll eventually know the direction He has for us in any given season & what it's all about?
That's where I am these days. I'm not stumbling - I'm just waiting for the picture to become clearer, the direction to become more specific, & all the details to be worked out.
I'm trying to follow what I think is His direction(s) for the "next" in Lynn & my life. It was good to be reassured this morning that if I purpose to follow Him, He's gonna show me the way - I won't be wandering around like a blind sow in a rye patch.
I kinda feel that way sometimes. It's good to know that even though I may feel that way, in the end, He's gonna show me the way.