Monday, November 23, 2020

kind words

Monday, November 23, 2020 (4:20 a.m.)

Holy, Blessed God,


How I thank You Lord. Yes! Thank You.


I get to come to You. Turning to Your Book of Truth and promises. First to Psalm 23:6. And ultimately to Proverbs 16:24.


Thank You God. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.


Yes Lord, my thanks continues. Infinitely.


Getting to think of You as “my Best Friend and Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1 The Passion Translation) my heart calms and swells alternately. Reading the next line of this verse, “I always have more than enough.” I do Lord.


Thank You for this important reminder. Because You are who You are, “I shall not want.” I lack nothing. I have what I need. I have everything I need. I will never be in need. You care for me always.


Just think of that. You tend to and care for us. We can choose to follow You and find rest. Thank You Father. Praise You.


The last words of verse 2 in The Voice provide such hope. “He soothes my fears” How is it Dear Lord that I forget Your Truth and promises so often?


(5:52 a.m.)


Back over to Proverbs 16:24. “Kind words are like honey - they cheer you up and make you feel strong.” Oh yes, Lord. They do!


Varying translations provide thought provoking word pictures. Various adjectives are: pleasant. Well ordered. Gracious. Fair. Enjoyable and healthful. Good taste to the soul, quick energy to the body. Sweet to the soul and health to the bones.


The Passion Translation. “Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits.”


This is absolute Truth that I believe. Yet there are so very many times that “flesh tearing” [sarcasm] takes over. Forgive me Father.


I long to live this day for You. Gratefully. Lovingly. Good-naturedly. Encouragingly. Using kind words. The ones that build up, not tear down (1 Thessalonians 5:11).


Mm yes, Lord. Kind words. Help me use them Father. Regularly. Often. Naturally. Readily. Without great thought or effort.


I love You Blessed God. And I ask You to do all You must in making me the loving woman You created me to be. Thank You. Praise You. Amen.


(385 words ~ 6:35 a.m.)


Sunday, November 22, 2020

intentionally changed thinking

 Sunday, November 22, 2020 (7:15 a.m.)

Holy God,


There’s a whole lot of sadness around us. And You are really good Lord!


Just when I thought I had turned to 1 Corinthians 13:13, I found another mistake. Second Corinthians isn’t the same as First. And still You speak. Loudly. Clearly.


NONE of anything that happens to and around us surprises You. You are ahead of every circumstance. Thank You Father. Praise You.


Before opening my eyes this morning my thoughts were of mistakes and mishaps. Rather than staying there I intentionally changed my thinking. Remembering Your promises.


Oh look!!! Or is it “listen”? Chris Tomlin is singing in my mind right here. ♪So remember Your people Remember Your children Remember Your promise Oh God Your Grace Is Enough… for me♪


Most Dear and Blessed God, You speak to us. Give us ears to hear. And eyes to see. I’m asking You to make me receptive to Your direction.


Reading The Passion Translation my mind begins equal doses of agreement and dispute. And even here I thank You Lord. You provide me language with which to express my deepest thinking.


“For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love - yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).


How can so many claim to be Your followers while at the very same time seem to be demonstrating anything but? Where is the patience? Kindness? Generosity?


We see a lot of self-promoting. Rudeness. Shame. Irritability. Offense. Focus on flaws. Teach us Dear Father to truly celebrate honesty and be loyal to the end (vs. 4-8a). We, as Your beloved children, do not seem to be holding up our end of Your command to love one another (John 13:34).


And here what seemed an error earlier. Paul’s Final Greetings to the Corinthians, “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet each other in Christian love. All the Christians here send you their greetings. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:11-13).


Following Your Truth with The Life Recovery Bible comment on verse 11. “As Paul closed this letter to the Corinthians, he left them with some worthy challenges and goals to pursue. In essence, he admonished the people to open their minds and hearts to personal change and the healing of relationships. Such spiritual growth and interpersonal harmony can be fueled by faith in God, the ultimate source of healing love and peace. As modern readers of this letter, we, too, can benefit by acting out Paul’s wise counsel.”


Yes Father please! Intentionally change our thinking. To You. Your will. Your way. We love You. Teach us. Praise You. Amen.


(557 words ~ 9:17 a.m.)


Saturday, November 21, 2020

back around

Saturday, November 21, 2020 (5:20 a.m.)

Holy God,


Thank You. I woke up singing again. Yes God. Thank You.


Thank You that I can bring You what seems to me the most bizarre lyrics and You shift my thinking back around to You. ♪What’s the difference if I say, “I’ll go away”…♪


Hmm, yes. Back around to You.


As the words to this century old tune were forming in my mind and the music beginning to swell, my original thought was to dismiss it completely. How could I possibly come to You singing ♪Oh My Man I love him so♪?


Yet, here I am digging deeper into the origins of the song I thought to have first been sung by Billie Holiday in 1937. Nope. It wasn’t even Fanny Brice in 1921. No, no. It was originally composed in French. “Mon Homme” 1920.


Why does all this information fascinate me so? Because it reminds me of how easily I allow what I think to become what I believe… And I can be SO wrong!


Thank You Father that I can change just one word to this well established, often covered, old song and come singing it to You. ♪Oh, my God, I love Him so…♪ Yes! Even music that is a century old can come back around to representing You in my life!


♪All my life is just despair But I don’t care When He takes me in His arms The world is bright All right [huge crescendo here!] What’s the difference if I say, “I’ll go away” When I know I’ll come back On my knees someday For whatever my God is I’m His forevermore♪


Yes God! Yes. I am Yours. Forevermore! Thank You. Praise You. Use me. Exactly as You know is best. Even if that means taking a hundred year old secular French song and singing it lovingly back around to You.


I love You. Thank You. Amen.

(322 words ~ 7:01 a.m.)


Friday, November 20, 2020

smile of gratitude

Friday, November 20, 2020 (5:42 a.m.)

Holy God,


I love You. I thank You. I got to wake up singing again. And I am grateful.


Lord, there is so much going on in the world. And inside my head. So I come to You. Asking. Seeking. Knocking (Matthew 7:7).


I’m in need of direction. Guidance. Leadership. A master plan.


And here is the smile. Of gratitude. Yes. Praise You Father.


The sunrise just keeps getting better. More beauty and color with every glance outside. Thank You God.


Thank You for so very many reasons to smile. To be grateful. Mm, yes Lord. Thank You that we can turn to Your Word. And find ourselves.


Reading Matthew 25:25 I readily see myself in the words of the third servant. “I was afraid… so I hid…” Me. Right there!


Thank You God. I can be so innately hard on myself. And then come to Your Word and find hope.


The Life Recovery Bible devotion entitled Perfectionism describes me repeatedly. Paralyzed. Shamed. Not what others wanted me to be. Unrealistic expectations. Fall short. Not even try to succeed.


All of this leading to the wisdom behind Jesus’ illustrations. “All God asks of us is that we try to do something with our abilities and resources. When we allow ourself the option of just making modest progress, we will find the courage to progress in recovery. Even the least improvement is better than not trying at all or being doomed to complete failure by our perfectionism.”


Yes! That’s what happens to me. And it is absolutely not Your best for any of us. 


Lord, I come to You this morning. Asking again that You would truly free me to be the woman You created me to be. The one clothed in strength and dignity, who laughs with no fear of the future. Whose words are wise and kind. And whose children rise and call her blessed and her husband praises her (Proverbs 31:25-28).


Make that happen in and with me Dearest Lord. By, through and for me. Take all my fear and turn it into the courage needed to live this day fully. With faith to believe that You truly are all You claim to be.


I love You. I long to serve. Exactly as You alone know is best. Do all You must that I will genuinely glorify and enjoy You. This day and forever. Thank You. Praise You. Use me. Amen.

(414 words ~ 6:50 a.m.)


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Enough

Thursday, November 19, 2020 (5:13 a.m.)

Holy God,


I’m confessing a bad attitude. Yep. One simple request by another and “Bam!” the gloves were on.


What the heck was that anyway? Why did I react so intensely? And negatively.


There we were, working along. Each at our own pace. Truly I’m asking You Lord because I honestly don’t have the clue. Why am I still upset over this all these hours later?


I am harshly judging another for not being sorry enough. YOU don’t work that way! That is not the love and forgive tenet You teach. So what do I do now?


There it is! Reading Psalm 60:1-4 the singing and the smile started immediately. ♪Your Grace Is Enough


Mm… speak with me this morning about all that is enough Dearest Lord. You are enough. Your grace is enough. Your faithfulness. Your mercy. Your love. Your justice. 


Enough - as much or as many as required. Enough. Teach me more Lord.


Here is where I thank and praise You Father. You allow us to be honest. To act and react badly. To sin and begin again (Revelation 3:19b). Thank You God.


Thank You that I get to be this honest with You. I get to say out loud for everyone to hear, “I was wrong! I behaved badly. There’s still a hint of justification left inside from what I perceived as fault-finding. Blame.”


And… I get to bring these thoughts and fears and mistakes straight to You. Asking (Matthew 7:7) to be changed. Not to my own specifications. But to Yours.


Father God, You alone know the plans You have for each of us. Plans for good and not for evil. Plans to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Here I am asking You to continue leading that I would follow.


Take yesterday’s blunder as the perfect example. I recognized right as it was happening. I didn’t like what had been said and I didn’t know how to address it. In and of itself it was a perfectly harmless request. And it triggered something deep inside me.


So as I work to follow You past yet another seemingly harmless mishap, I ask You to grow me stronger. Your grace IS enough! (2 Corinthians 12:9). Steep me in it this day.


Teach me what it is You want me to learn regarding Your love. And forgiveness. Your grace. And goodwill. Do all You must in, with, by, through and for me that I would truly become the woman You created me to be.


I love You Father. Use me as You know is best. ♪Great is Your faithfulness oh God… Your grace is enough for me♪ Praise You. Thank You. Amen.


(454 words ~ 6:38 a.m.)


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

snippets

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 (4:58 a.m.)

Holy God,


I’ve had snippets of songs singing with every waking throughout the early morning hours. Thank You for the ready recognition of each before falling back to more sleep. 


First it was, ♪You unravel me with a melody You surround me with a song [No Longer Slaves]. Then came ♪You call me out upon the waters The great unknown where feet may fail [Oceans]. And finally, ♪I love You, I love You, I love You… [For so many Sentimental Reasons]


Thank You that I get to bring them all to You with a heart filled with peace and hope.


Blessed, Holy God, we are looking to make big changes around here [“Big. HUGE!”]. Even as I consider all there is to be done, I know that we cannot successfully do any of it without Your leading and guiding.


Most Holy Father, we are so very grateful to be Your children. To know that we can come before You with snippets of songs and Scriptures and never ending “to do” lists. Work in us this day. With. By. Through. And for us. That we will truly continue transforming into the people You would have us be.


I read Your Word. Matthew 12:1-8 (Hosea 6:6), 12:17-21 (Isaiah 42:1-4). And I smile. Contented. Hopeful. Asking that You would make Your promises true in me.


Let me walk with You this day. Following Your lead. Obeying Your direction. I love You Lord. Be glorified. Thank You. Amen.


(257 words ~7:24 a.m.)


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

zest

 Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (6:20 a.m.)

Holy God,


A word came to mind and here I am reading Psalm 27:1, followed by John 1:5, 9 and 1 John 1:5. Use me this morning as You know is best Dearest Lord.


Mm… The Message A David Psalm Light, space, zest - That’s GOD! So, with Him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.”


Zest - great enthusiasm and energy; a quality of excitement and piquancy [of being pleasantly stimulating or exciting].


Talk with me, won’t You? About living this day zestfully. Yes. Full of energy and enthusiasm.


As I sit here, reading and thinking I find my smile growing larger. Father, thank You. Thank You that we get to come to You. With whatever word comes to our minds.


Illustrated Bible Handbook describes “Psalm 27. A prayer of confidence in God, on whose person David’s whole being is concentrated.” Hmm. What would that be like Lord?


To TRULY depend on You for every aspect of who we are and all that is to come. Thank You Father. Thank You for the hope that comes from reading and depending on Your Word.


The verses cited above speak of Your Light overcoming darkness. Oh look at this!


The Passion Translation. 1 John 1:5. “God Is Light This is the life-giving message we heard Him [Jesus] share and it’s still ringing in our ears. We now repeat His words to you: God is pure light. You will never find even a trace of darkness in Him.”


Blessed, Holy Father God, I turn to You with all my hopes, all my thoughts, every fear that begins to manifest itself asking that You would continue guiding me more deeply into knowing, trusting and worshipping You. You are good. You are kind. You are vital.


Thank You Lord. Teach me to embrace and live this day with all the zest that You alone provide. Thank You. I love You. Amen.


(332 words ~ 7:43 a.m.)