Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord Who guides me;
     even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
     I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.
11 You will show me the way of life,
      granting me the joy of Your presence & the pleasures of living with You forever.

Ephesians 3:20 By His power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

Hillsongs has the song, Made Me Glad. It uses the words from Psalm 91. It seems appropriate today...
Here's the link, if you wanna watch the vid -

I will bless the Lord forever,

And I will trust Him at all times.

He has delivered me from all things,

And He has set my feet upon the Rock.

I will not be moved, and I'll say of the Lord:

You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,

My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need.

Whom have I in Heaven but you.

There's no one I desire beside You.

You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord:

You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,

My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need.

My very present help in time of need.
My very present help in time of need

Psalm 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
  will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
  he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
  and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
  He will shelter you with his wings.
  His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
  nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
  nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
  though ten thousand are dying around you,
  these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
  and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the LORD your refuge,
  if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
  no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
  to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
  so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
  you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love me.
  I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
  I will be with them in trouble.
  I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
  and give them my salvation."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


 Ephesians 2

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed.

           And you can't take credit for this;

                it is a gift from God.

9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,

            so none of us can boast about it.

10 For we are God's masterpiece.

             He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

                     so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Anybody feel like a masterpiece today?

Sit & soak in this reality. It might just change our outlook.

So, He made plans for us long ago? Hmmmmmmmmmm...

Monday, February 27, 2012

with/in us

Psalm 13:5b for God is with those who obey Him.

God's BIG on obedience. Iow, He's BIG on people doing what He tells them to.


Ephesians 1:19 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.

So, the power that works within us is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Did you absorb that?


Sunday, February 26, 2012

don't give up

I had an important relationship that just wasn't working - a relationship I'd been given, not one I'd chosen or sought.

I had come to the point where I just didn't see how there was any hope for it.

I was at staff prayer at Christ Chapel. (The staff gets together first thing in the morning to pray together for about an hour.) I was turning over & over in my mind what in the world I could do to heal this relationship.

As I walked around, a thought dropped into my head...

"read Galatians 6"

(Sometimes that's the way God speaks to me, by dropping a thought into my head.)

Galatians 6?

"go read Galatians 6"


Now, I want ya to know that probably this is the only time in my life, so far, that it seemed like God told me to read a specific place. I wasn't convinced I was hearing right, but, what the heck, what have I got to lose - I didn't have any answers anyway.

So I walked over & sat down to the bar in the grill where we were praying, flipped open my giant print NLT, & found Galatians 6.

So I started reading...

Nothing seemed to be speaking to me about this ruptured relationship.

Then I got to verse 9 & all of a sudden, 5 words HURTLED up off the page at me...

"don't get discouraged & give up..."

Whoa! Hold on!

So, I backed up & started the verse again...

so don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged & give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Galatians 6:9

There was the Word for this relationship. One of the clearest words I've ever gotten about anything.

So, I haven't given up. I've continued to love this person. I've continued to pour into this person. I continue to endure, even though I've lost count of how many times I've wanted to give up - & that's been LOTS of times.

Now, I wish I could report that things are just hunky-dory between us.


But I believe that God has given me one of the most specific words one this person & our relationship.

And I cling to the promise that "we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time."

I don't know WHEN "at the appropriate time" is gonna be.

I just know it's gonna be.

So, I wait, & believe, & love, & care.

Did I mention I wait?

(I seem to be doing a lot of that lately ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Galatians 5

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:








        23 gentleness,

        and self-control.

There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.

26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

So, is Paul saying that if we are walking in a surrendered relationship with the Holy Spirit we will display those attributes as a result of that connection?

Oh my...

Friday, February 24, 2012


Galatians 4
1 If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.

            2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set.

3 And that's the way it was with us before Christ came.

           We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

  4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.

5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law,

         so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father."

7 Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child.

And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.

"Abba" is the familiar term used for father. It's kinda like "papa". I'm not sure if it means "daddy", as some purport these days. I think the important thing to remember here is essentially what it's saying - that our relationship with God fundamentally changed with the coming of Jesus - it says that God has moved into a more familiar, familial, intimate connection with us.

The last sentence is a mind blow - we have become heirs to all God has - iow, we've heirs to the God of the universes - the God who keeps the galaxies from bumping into each other - the God who not only created our universe, but other universes, in a vastness that is incomprehensible.

All that He has, all that He knows, is ours - forever, & ever, & ever.

Think about that for a minute - it kinda short circuited my brain this morning.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Just think about all this - we've become children of the God of the universes

Galatians 3
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ,

             like putting on new clothes.

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,
         slave or free,
         male and female.

For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham.

         You are his heirs,

                  and God's promise to Abraham belongs to you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

nothing else

Isaiah 8:11-14a The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms – do not think like everyone else does.

Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you.

Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty.

     He alone is the Holy One.

If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else.

     He will keep you safe.

Approval & authentication by people who are important to me are still more important to me that I'd like it to be.

But sometimes we have to obey God in the face of what we know our friends & authenticators will not agree with.

That's when a true measure of who we follow & why will become obvious.

How do I know?

I've lived it, more than once. Sometimes I passed the test of only seeking God's approval.

Sometimes not.

And I'm living it now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Psalm 7:9b all those who obey You. For You look deep within the mind & heart.

Here's what my Life Application Bible says about this verse...

"God looks 'deep within the mind & heart.' Nothing is hidden from God - this can be either terrifying or comforting. Our thoughts are an open book to Him. Because He knows even our motives, we have no place to hide, no way to pretend we can get away with sin. But that very knowledge also gives us great comfort. We don't have to impress God or put up a front. Instead, we can trust God to help us work through our weaknesses in order to serve Him as He has planned. When we truly follow God, He rewards our efforts."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

a few things from James 4

James 4
7 So humble yourselves before God.

      Resist the devil,
              & he will flee from you.

8 Come close to God, & God will come close to you.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, & He will lift you up in honor.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Psalm 5:12 For You bless the godly, O Lord, surrounding them with You shield of love.

shield (from
  • a broad piece of armor, varying widely in form and size, carried apart from the body, usually on the left arm, as a defense against swords, lances, arrows, etc.
  • a similar device, often of lightweight plastic, used by riot police to protect themselves from rocks and other thrown objects.
  • a person or thing that protects.

Friday, February 17, 2012

peace & sleep & safety

Psalm 4:8 I will lie down in peace & sleep,
   for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

There are so many people I know who don't sleep well, or don't don't sleep very much.

There was a period in my life when I didn't sleep well. I'd get into bed & lie awake for hours, what if-ing, or second guessing, or covering my fanny, or whatever thinking about crazy, awful stuff might be going on at the time. If I did go to sleep, I wake up a little later & do the same thing over again.

Yeah, those were fun years.

Now, Lynn (my wife) laughs at me. If I stretch out good, I'll be asleep in 5 minutes.

So, how does that happen?

God has given me peace.

He took me out of that terrible place of stress, abuse, uncertainty, & frustration.

But mostly, I think He started dealing with my defining issues. It took Him about 12 years, but He did it.

How did He do that? He'd relentlessly continue to point them out.

He never condemned me. It was like He was just standing there, quietly, firmly, uncompromisingly, lovingly (did I mention firmly?) pointing them out.

And for some reason, I let Him deal with them.

So, how'd that feel?

It hurt like hell. (maybe that's bc living with them was a kind of hell?)

But it was worth it.

That last phrase, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe, doesn't mean we won't be exposed to danger. I think it means He will keep us safe no matter what the level of danger is.

I have one son I call Lionheart because he has a heart of a lion. I think he's a risk taker, courageous, to the extent that he's always gonna be somewhere that's just at least a little dangerous. But he is so alive with a passion for God, & a desire to reach people that don't know Him, that as a result, he'll willingly go to the dangerous place, in his mind, in his relationships, in his reaching out to people, & the places he'll go. I'm not praying that he'll be kept from danger, but that God will keep him safe even in the midst of incredible danger.

That is what God has given us in this promise - not a promise of a tame, domesticated life, but one in which we can be confident that no matter what the circumstances - safe or dangerous - He will keep us.

I don't know who that last sentence is for besides me, but there ya have it ;-)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

James 1

Here's some verses from where I read in James 1 this morning. Some of this is for me, but some of it is for someone(s) else.

James 1
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

  5 If you need wisdom - if you want to know what God wants you to do - ask Him, & He will gladly tell you. He will not resent you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

  12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing...

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

  22 But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Here's what I put in my status later on yesterday...

"As many times as I've read this psalm in the last 9+ yrs, I've never seen this before...

"Psalm 1:3 (the godly) are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail.
Their leaves never wither, & in all they do, they prosper.

"So... is this a promise for me, or you, in the season we're both in now, as well as any seasons to come, as well as the seasons that have passed?!

"it says "every season" & "without fail" as well as "in all they do, they prosper" (but NOT like in the prosperity gospel thinking, I believe)"

We're so ever-lovin' success oriented. Sometimes as servants to our God we need to simply obey what He tells us to be & do & then live with maybe not knowing what the results of our obedience are.

I know, I know - you're thinking something along the line of what I'm thinking - that we'll see something come of our efforts. It's like we HAVE to see fruit produced to validate who & what we are & what we've been doing.

I'm not so sure about that these days. I think it's more about simply being & doing.

I've also wondered if my interpretation of seemingly fruitful seasons & unfruitful ones may not be so valid. My measuring stick has been the one we all use - our own opinion & the opinions of those who validate us. I'm not sure if that's how we should quantify the seasons of our lives.

Maybe the seasons I thought fruitful were spent in the constant maintenance of that success & less on impacting others.

And maybe the seasons I thought were kinda fruitless were periods when I had time to connect more with people, which is really what it's all about, isn't it?

I know, I know - you're probably thinking, "he's just thinking that way to justify his present season." That may be a partially valid criticism, but I'm not sure if that explains everything that's going on inside my head. I think that part of what I'm thinking is colored by all that, but at the same time, I think it's also a new understanding of the ebb & flow of our lives.

Anyway, think about it...

Think about it in relation to YOUR life - the different seasons so far, & those yet to come.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

fruit each season

Psalm 1
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
     or stand around with sinners,
     or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,
  meditating on it day and night.

3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
  bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
  and they prosper in all they do.

"bearing fruit each season"?

in EVERY season?

bearing some kind of fruit in every season of life?


Monday, February 13, 2012

the verse that started it all

Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ.Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ.December 23, 2009 this verse came up off the page & was the first indicator that God was moving me into a new season.

Little did I know...

1 Thessalonians 5:18
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who follow Christ Jesus. (NLT)

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV)

thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (The Message)

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. (Amplified)

Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ. (J. B. Phillips)

Have I always been thankful? No. Have I whined less than usual? Yes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

His child

1 John 5:1a Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God.

These are some of the most used words in the Bible that describe God...

the majestic
our savior
architect of the universe

And this Person says if we believe in Jesus as the Christ, we become His child.

Does that seem as so utterly fantastic to you as it does to me?

Friday, February 10, 2012

some verses to chew on

1 John 3
1 See how very much our Father loves us,

         for he calls us his children,

   and that is what we are!

But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him.

2 Dear friends, we are already God's children,

   but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears.

But we do know that we will be like him,

     for we will see him as he really is.

3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure,

           just as he is pure.

11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning:

                     We should love one another.

  16 We know what real love is

          because Jesus gave up his life for us.

So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

17 If someone has enough money to live well

          and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion... can God's love be in that person?

  18 Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other;

               let us show the truth by our actions.

19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth,

         so we will be confident when we stand before God.

20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings,

              and he knows everything.

  23 And this is his commandment:

            We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,

                  and love one another,

                just as he commanded us.

24 Those who obey God's commandments remain in fellowship with him,

           and he with them.

And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


1 John 1:9 if we confess our sins to Him,

          He is faithful

               and just

       to forgive us our sins

               and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

1 John 2
1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin.


...if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father.

        He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins - and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

This is the scandal of our faith - that we get forgiven.

        He wipes the slate clean,

                over & over again.

We get off,

        we're cleaned out.

But it cost God to do this...

   Jesus' death...

   & Him substituting Himself for us.

It's scandalous we get forgiven...

   We deserve to be punished for our sins, our wickedness.

But He forgives us.

What is the only fitting response to such love, such grace, such mercy?

The surrender of ourselves, totally, to Him...

   our hopes.
   our dreams,
   our very essence,

& in doing so, we find out who we really are,

     and what He dreamed for us.


  3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

light, darkness, sin, forgiveness

1 John 1
5b  God is light,

          and in Him there is no darkness

                    at all.

6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God

      but go on living in spiritual darkness;

            we are not practicing the truth.

7 But if we are living in the light,

     as God is in the light,

  then we have fellowship with each other,

      and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

  8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

9 But if we confess our sins to Him,

     He is faithful

     and just

       to forgive us our sins

     and to cleanse us

          from all wickedness.

10 If we claim we have not sinned,

        we are calling God a liar

        and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

He's waiting

2 Peter 3:15 And remember, the Lord is waiting (dan note: as in delaying His return) so that people have time to be saved.

I'm not sure, but for some reason, in the past year, I've started getting a sense of urgency about reaching out to the peoples who have never heard of Jesus. What does this mean? Have I mentioned lately that I'm clueless about most of my life these days?! All I know is all know. Maybe Lynn & I are gonna go to Tibet to share the good news of Jesus. Or maybe go live in a tree in Borneo & do the same? All I know is I'm feelin' it. Maybe it's just God giving me a boost of urgency to be & do all we're supposed to be & do here in beautiful N GA?

Interestingly enough, it's not just an urgency I feel for Lynn & I - I feel there's an urgency for us all - that's why I'm encouraging people to embrace a call to share Jesus with people, either where they are &/or somewhere else.


Well, let's pretend for a moment...

where would we be - you & I - if the people who influenced us to become Christ followers hadn't answered that sense of urgency & shared Jesus with us?

Yep, that's right - we'd be on the slippery slope to hell.

So, why shouldn't we answer the call we all have on our lives - to share what we've found in Jesus - by giving our lives to that act of love?

Here's an example...

I believe Lowell Nelson had a clothing store in Pierre, South Dakota. In the early '60's, after becoming a Christ follower, he began to feel a call to be a minister.

So he sold the business, packed up his 5 children & his wife, & moved to Ohio as a student supply in a Methodist church while he got his seminary degree.

His ministry at that church was one of the major influences in my life to seek to be a Christ follower.

What if Lowell hadn't answered that call?

Where would I be right now?

And where would the people I've touched & ministered to & with be now?

The ripple effect of our choices & decisions have an eternal effect.

(I wonder sometimes whatever happened to Lowell & his wife, Vera.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

one more time

2 Peter 2:9a the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials.

Yes, I know I quoted these next verses a couple of days ago. I felt like I needed to share them again, if for no one else but for me. I think I'm gonna start carrying verse 10b around with me. "If God did it once before, He can do it again. That promise still applies" ;-)

1 Peter 5
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God,
         and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. 

7 Give all your worries and cares to God,
        for He cares about you.

 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.

He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.
          Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.

So after you have suffered a little while,
     He will restore,
          and strengthen you,
        and He will place you on a firm foundation.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1 thing leads to another

2 Peter 1
3 As we know Jesus better, His divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life.

He has called us to receive His own glory & goodness!

4 And by that same mighty power, He has given us all His rich & wonderful promises.

He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires

      & that you will share in His divine nature.

5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life.

   Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence.

      A life of moral excellence leads to know God better.

         6 Knowing God leads to self-control.

            Self-control leads to patient endurance,

              & patient endurance leads to godliness.

                7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians,

                   & finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.

8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive & useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

after a little while

1 Peter 5
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God,
         and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.

7 Give all your worries and cares to God,
        for He cares about you.

8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.

He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.
          Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.

So after you have suffered a little while,
     He will restore,
          and strengthen you,
        and He will place you on a firm foundation.

Friday, February 3, 2012

some verses I read today

These are some verses that stood out this morning. I feel like even though these are for me, some of them are for someone else too.

From Proverbs 21
vs 3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is just & right than when we give Him sacrifices.

vs 23 If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble. (dan note: y'all, don't go there! ;-)

vs 30 Human plans, no matter how wise or well advised, cannot stand against the Lord.

vs 31 The horses are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.

From 1 Peter 4

vs 8 Continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

vs 9  Cheerfully share your home w/ those who need a meal or a place to stay

dan note: This one is the big one for me today...

vs 19 So if you are suffering according to God's will,

       keep on doing what is right,

       & trust yourself to the God who made you,

            for He will never fail you.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

4 verses from today's reading

Ecclesiastes 7:10 Don't long for "the good old days," for you don't know whether they were better than today.
As I get older, many of my friends who are my age have taken to talking about the good old days. It's always interesting to me how so much of the realities of what life was really like back then get filtered out by nostalgia.
Yes, things were different in former days. But I also remember how tough things were, or inconsistent, or frustrating, or just not fun.
Don't live in the past - those days weren't all that great. Today is what we've got. Enjoy them for the gift that they are.
And remember, the past is passed. (boy howdy! wasn't THAT deep! ;-) LOL) One of my sons told me he's supporting one particular political candidate because he thinks this person will bring things to the way thing "used to be." We can't bring those days into the present - that was then, this is now. Our world changes SO rapidly - some say every 3 years, some say every 4. Instead of trying to make things the way they used to be, maybe we should try to simply adapt the truths we know to be true to influence the conditions, culture, & environment of today.

vs 13 Notice the ways God does things; then fall into line. Don't fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what He has made crooked?
 I just chuckled when I read this. How much time do we spend in futile efforts trying to bend the realities of our lives into something more comfortable when it's clear that God is in control of the speed, direction, & destination of our destiny?

Proverbs 20:24 How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps.
I've never been this clueless in my life - & I've been pretty clueless before. I don't understand it right now. But I've got to believe that it will all come out in the end. Iow, God's gonna keep me moving in the right direction even though all I can see is just the few inches right in front of my feet.

1 Peter 3:14 If you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't be afraid & don't worry.
I've been so afraid so many times lately. I've worried a lot.
And what does God continue to say to me, especially these last 4 years?
Don't worry.
Don't be afraid.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

help, generous, mercy

This morning here's where I read...

Ecclesiastes 6 (When Solomon wrote this book, I think he was a bit depressive toward the end of his life),

Proverbs 19 (another book written by Solomon, a bit more encouraging),

1 Peter 2.

There's a lot of good stuff in each of these chapters. But in all of that, this is the only verse that came up off the page...

Proverbs 19:17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord - and He will repay you! (NLT)

or, in the ESV - Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed.

Here's the paraphrase in The Message - Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.

So, what does that mean for you?

I wonder why it came up off the page for me today?