Friday, July 20, 2012


Romans 8:31-39
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: " For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nordemons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Overwhelmed, saddened, distraught, grieving, shaken; just a few adjectives to describe my last 48 hours.
Yet God still reigns.
He has not changed and will not change.
God is our constant.
He is our stronghold.
In Him shall I trust, in Him shall I cling.
Rain down mercy and healing on us oh Lord, and fill us with your Spirit of love that binds up the wounds of the brokenhearted.
Pray for the Ashley Family who lost their son Josh this week from an IED in Afghanistan.
Pray for Aurora, Colorado.
Pray for broken marriages and hurting children.
Pray for the abused, the hungry, the raging, the addicted.
Pray unceasing until He returns or takes us home.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jars of Clay

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Jars of Clay. Everyone has some. They are the containers that hold are staples, the boxes and albums that store our pictures and the totes holding are personal essentials. The outside isn't that important. The lids may be warped, the box corners snagged and disheveled, the jars, cracked and chipped, but they continue to serve their purpose.  The treasure lies within.

The Apostle Paul makes this comparison, when addressing the Church in Corinth to encourage them. He speaks later in verse 16, that although the outward body is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day. 

Some days I just feel beat up by this world.Some times, those wounds are emotional tolls, stabs of disappointment to the heart and soul by people I love.  Evil rejoices in his mini-victory, but I am reminded by the Spirit that my cracks, my bruises and chips, my wounds are temporary. Many times, I am sure, I caused a crack in someone else's jar. But like a jar of clay, what lies inside is precious and preserved. It pours out and opens up as a testimony to the Glory of God. His work is best displayed in us,  a simple jar of clay, a humble servant, faithful to the end, when all things will be made new. 

When I am feeling crushed, I will think of a grape who pours out sweet juice. When I am feeling hard-pressed, I will think on the rose bud between two sheets of wax paper, preserved in a book. When I am perplexed, I will think of all the times God has answered prayer in ways I never imagined. When I am persecuted, I will pray out loud for my foe, and when I am struck down, I will rejoice, for with my Heavenly Father, I shall live eternal. 

Father God,  I thank you that I am filled to the full with your Holy Spirit. May what pours out bring You glory and what I hold within, satisfy my soul when life finds me buried, pressed upon and disrespected. For in this too, You seek to make me shine. Amen.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cleaning Up and Moving Up.

Psalm 51:10   Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Are you a clean freak? 

Both my parents were, but I am not. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do vacuum, dust occasionally and clean the dishes daily, but it is not what rules my day, my weekend, or my thought process.  I tend to gather piles, and then I re-divide the piles, and restack somewhere else.  Anybody with me? 

I'm a sentimental soul,  so I keep a lot of memorabilia.  Looking back, I am glad because it now helps me to remember and write about my past experiences. I just need to deal with it right away, find the spot to put it and do it—a discipline.

What does bug me?  I like clothes hung up, towels hung up a certain way, and stuff folded neatly in drawers.  I like my dishes all organized and grouped. I love a clean car!  On a nice day, you’d probably find me in the garden than scrubbing a tub.  I delight in a nice manicured lawn and weeded out planters.

My writing area, computer room needs some attention; in fact I am in the process of moving the whole thing upstairs.  Some things may linger down here and not make the move. I am ready to really deep clean and better organize. Good-by edits, scraps, outdated, unused—CLUTTER.  Why keep it around?

In our walk with the Lord, many times the work that moves us forward requires a big trash bin.  Past hurts, failures, disappointments, and unworthiness; whatever it is the clutters up your heart,  it gets in the way of seeing the beautiful banquet table the Lord prepared for us.  We can continue to divide and give it to God a little at a time, and He will be patient, but why not just tackle this project all at once? 

Hey, call in a few fellow believers. Prayer purges piles, grace gathers garbage , truth tosses trash  and faith refreshes familiar spaces. Then, celebrate the new surroundings!  

Lord, you created me a certain way and have blessed me with a space to share my heart and my gifts. I ask you Lord to help me stay on top of what sometimes clutters and hides your Spirit in my life and in the practical sense Lord,  help me to be better organized as I seek to do Your will. Amen.