Dylan rocks, but God’s paper covers it

Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence Universit...

Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence University in New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. – James 1:17-18

 

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I always have a hard time knowing what gift to give him that he will really like. I gave it to him already, so I’m safe sharing it on here. He is a big fan of Bob Dylan and I came across a set of DVD’s with a book on his tour in 1965. John loves the classics and really was enthusiastic about the set opening it up and looking through the book … talking about his friend, who is also an enthusiast, being jealous (kids and their toys).

 

Perfect gifts are not a problem for God. He knows exactly what we need and when. One of his best gifts is the Bible. He shares truth that is perfect for everyone. We can open it up with expectant hearts and delve into the pages of life written just for us. No one needs to be jealous for it is available for all.

 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for my husband. He is a perfect gift for me. Your truth is the one gift that keeps on giving … throughout eternity. Amen

 

Faith Tip: Relive the excitement of opening God’s message for you today … he has something to say to you.

 

Quick fixes

big stretch

big stretch (Photo credit: pixieclipx)

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

I knew as soon as I did it that I shouldn’t have done it. I was practicing a drama and forgot to stretch beforehand. As soon as I twisted I knew I was going to pay. My back has a history of being strained over the smallest things. Once it is hurting, it seems to take forever to feel good again … about 2-3 weeks. Being the impatient person I am, I try the quick fixes to feel good like heating pad, ice, Tylenol … but it takes time and rest.

There is a lot of healing needed in this world and if we need to look closer, our country, our state, our community, ourselves. We look for what will fix the situation … what can we do to make it right? We spend a lot of time, money and energy attempting to control situations, but it takes God to make it happen. God’s answer seems impractical to simply humble ourselves, pray and seek God, and make a commitment to turn from the ways of the world, and then God will heal our land. Can we do it?

Pray: Lord, forgive me when I do not even attempt to do what you call me to do. I pray that my eyes, heart, mind and soul are obedient to you at all times. Amen

Faith Tip: What are you willing to do to heal?

Your plan for today.

Right Brain Planning {elements}

Right Brain Planning {elements} (Photo credit: stargardener)

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain. – Psalm 127:1

I am planning for my day what I am going to do. The day includes meetings, writing, preparing food for a gathering tonight, and a late night telephone meeting. These are all good things, but unless I know God is there and empowering and directing me, it has no value. I have come to realize that every part of my life is being built on for God’s purpose … not mine.

All of us make plans each day and for the future. We need to discern the ultimate goal of our plans and look through spiritual eyes what God has in mind. His plans are so much bigger than ours. Without the Lord, our plans are futile.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for today. I pray that I walk in obedience in the plans you have set for me today. Amen

Faith Tip: Pray for God’s enlightenment as you plan your day for him.

Help!

English: Brooding Mountain Top Ben Ledi at 879...

English: Brooding Mountain Top Ben Ledi at 879 metres watches over the River Teith. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm 
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore. – Psalm 121

These promises from God refreshed my soul this morning. I have been putting in a lot of late nights at the computer trying to keep up with the deluge of work recently put on my plate. Please don’t think I am complaining, because I am not for I love the work I do. But there are times when I wonder, and I have been there before, how am I going to do all of this?

God has walked me through these types of days before and I am sure he has done the same for you. He is faithful. Knowing that at all times God is watching over me and protecting me gives me great peace.

We can go forth in this day knowing that the times we don’t know which end is up that we can look up to the mountains as the psalmist says and know without a doubt where our help comes from.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the daily plan you have laid out for me and helping me to accomplish all that you would like me to do. I pray that I lean into you during those times when life gets busy. Amen

Faith Tip: Lots to do today? Keep this psalm in mind as you go throughout your day.

The refuge you can trust

Refuge Refresh

Refuge Refresh (Photo credit: Adam_Wood)

It is better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes. – Psalm 118:8-9

I have learned from different experiences in life to enjoy the moment. As my schedule fills up with various meetings and activities, I enjoy the relational aspect of these things. Relationships are important to me and know there is purpose in the people for whom I come in contact. I truly believe it takes a village to accomplish great things.

However, I have also learned that people can let you down. I know I have let others down throughout my life and that I have been let down. It’s part of human nature. No matter how perfect a person may seem, whether they are rich and powerful, or a spiritual mentor, at some point, they will show their humanness.

God is always a safe place to go. He can be trusted more than any human on earth. Depending on God is where we need to be and not on people. The Lord is a safe place.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being that safe place for me where I can run when life seems too hard to handle. You refresh my soul. Amen

Faith Tip: Think about the people you trust the most. They are God’s gift to you, but they don’t replace the ultimate value of the Giver.

Silver, gold, rocks and other unrelational items

English: Image of a pet rock

English: Image of a pet rock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But their idols are silver and gold, 
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them. – Psalm 115:4-8

Remember pet rocks? This was a product that relied totally on the marketing of the idea of the perfect low maintenance pet. There were promises of relationship and commitment, but actually it just sat on a shelf and collected dust. I imagine someone going in their yard and finding stones to make a family. People would talk to their rocks and take them places. Pretty sad.

It’s the same with our spiritual relationship with idols. We want to believe they can do things for us, but in reality, they are nothing … they are not alive. God is alive and desires a deep relationship with us. Not only that, but he has power to do anything. But we have a choice to make. Do we place our trust in a rock, a piece of wood, money, success, etc. or do we trust God?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being my living God whom I can talk to any time. You respond with your great love and grace, and I know that you love me dearly. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider what it is you are trusting today. If it’s not God, you may want to reconsider.

Protection against rejection

"Scripts from Crypt" writers group

“Scripts from Crypt” writers group (Photo credit: St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral – Memphis)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place… – Ephesians 6:14

Last night at my writer’s group, we talked about getting rejected in writing. There were various expressions of emotions shared with the fear of getting rejected. Rejection of a writing piece can be for many reasons ranging from the submission needs more work to the editor was having a bad day. To think all of our submissions are going to be loved by all who read them is just not reality. Knowing and living the truth of who we are as writers is most important in the submission process, not the acceptance or rejection. This protects our hearts and minds in continuing to fight the spiritual battles that surround us.

We must choose to put on God’s armor to be protected from the attacks of the enemy. If we go out in battle unprotected (no time to read God’s word or pray), then we run the risk of being injured. However, if we are fully prepared then we will experience the victory of Christ.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the time spent with you this morning that readies me for any battle I may face today. I pray that I don’t lose sight of who you are and what you can do. Amen

Faith Tip: Take time now to become ready to face the day fearlessly. The armor of God is ready for you to put on.

Pull over

downpour no. 3

downpour no. 3 (Photo credit: hdznrrd)

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven. – Psalm 107:29-30

I’ve been driving in storms that come up suddenly and have been so intense that I needed to pull over to the side of the road because I couldn’t see anything clearly. The storm was raging around me and the wipers couldn’t keep up with the steady downpour of rain and wind. I needed to wait until conditions calmed a bit before moving ahead.

Our lives can seem like a sudden storm coming upon us where it can be so intense that we have a difficult time seeing ahead. That’s when we need to pull off into the prayer corner with God. God turns chaos into peace. By his word, he stills the storms around us and puts light on our path ahead.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the peace you give to me in times of storms. It is you that keeps me steady in my journey. It is I that allow distractions that cause me to get off the road. I am so thankful for your grace that helps me get back on the right track again. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you in a storm today? If not, most likely one is on the radar headed your way. Remember to pull off and pull into prayer.

We need only to ask

Porsche 928

Porsche 928 (Photo credit: kenjonbro)

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 16:23).

When I was young, I was shy. Asking anyone I didn’t know for anything was difficult for me, which is probably why I don’t enjoy any type of sales work to this day. I think I held the belief of being unworthy to ask for anything and already accepted the negative response before it was given.

The voice of truth tells us something different. Jesus says that we are to ask God for anything in his name, and it will be given to us. That, of course, doesn’t mean that a Porsche is going to show up on the driveway if asked for, but as we pray in line with the Spirit, we will be given what our heart desires. God gives the greatest gifts to the children he loves dearly … that’s us. In fact, many times he gives us more than we ask for … the joy that fills our hearts is meant to glorify him. We needn’t be shy in showing our appreciation.

Prayer: Lord, so many things come to my mind for which I can thank you. Today, may I find ways of showing my appreciation to you. Amen

Faith Tip: What desire has God placed on your heart? Pray in boldness and watch your heavenly Father respond.

Bouquet of hope

Français : Bouquet d'oeuillets multicolores

Français : Bouquet d’oeuillets multicolores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Yesterday, I communicated with someone struggling with pain in her life. She struggled with relationships in her family and didn’t understand why things were happening. As I listened to her story, I understood for I have experienced similar pain and was able to share what God has done for me. I wanted to give her hope. I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone for all families seem to have dysfunction in some manner. It’s part of our human state.

Life can be very hard as we all know. Struggles are our classroom in learning to trust God. That is where the hope grows inside of us and blossoms into the joy and peace promised by the Lord. As we love to give a bouquet of beautiful flowers, we can give an abundance of hope for it never runs out, but continues to flow freely from the hands of Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, you know the pain that I struggle with and thank you for the hope you give me. I pray that the hope I have been given will be used to encourage another. Amen

Faith Tip: Gather the hope the Lord has given you and be ready to present your bouquet to someone in need.