His invitation

Promised presence, caring peace

My soul is rested

Wandering, lonely

Separated, no longer

Shepherd’s protecting

A fireplace chat

God, I love living with you; your house glows with your glory. Psalm 26:8

Cabin in snow

For me, there is nothing like a snowy evening at home. All is quiet, serene – so unlike the normal world. A fire in the fireplace, beautiful music – all refreshes my soul. I don’t need to be anyone in particular – nothing to accomplish. Just all there.

I think my Lord loves those times, too. He waits for me to settle down into his arms. We sit by the fire he has made. Everything is cared for.

Lord, thank you for your intimacy. Forgive me for flying by these invitations.

Valley walking

Psalm 23 is one of those psalms that keeps showing me truths every time I read it. After reading it again, I see this vital lesson opening before me:

I dare not separate walking in green pastures, sitting near still waters, enjoying times of restoration and receiving goodness and mercy every day from walking in valleys.

Mountaintop perspective is not found in this psalm. It is walking with him through the valleys that these blessings are found. He is unceasingly ahead and with me; therefore, no valley causes me to fear. He leads me to my valley walks where I find comforting and healing. From the valley, I look up and see grandeur; things look bigger from the valley. The vision of my Shepherd-Lord is most intimately sharper in valleys. I am small, he is grand!

IMG_4271

Into the valley

Blessing, renewing, living

I am His alone

Lord, you lead me in righteous ways – you lead me into valleys. I am so cared for by you. I love that truth that I need never fear. Keep me from trying to escape the valleys. Help me accept the abundance you offer.

Majesty

Psalm 8:1 [widescreen]

The universe…the best man can do to understand it is to see it like this:

The Universe is all of time and space and its contents. The Universe includes planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, the smallest subatomic particles, and all matter and energy. The observable universe is about 28 billion parsecs (91 billion light-years) in diameter at the present time. The size of the whole Universe is not known and may be either finite or infinite.

This is what we are left with when we toss away the infinite, personal God who created and sustains his creation. Man can only skirt around the question, “Where does personality come from?” He knows that personal does not come from impersonal. He is left with a quandry.

Psalm 8 reminds me that my God is that infinite, personal God who exists. He lives outside the limits of his creation, yet reaches me and knows me! He has made it possible for me to know him! Therefore, he is always bigger than my need and not bounded by anything as he provides for me.

Lord, you alone are inspiring and awesome in all you are and in all you do. Today, our world has turned its back on you and is trying to solve its problems without you. If I am not careful, I can follow the same path and live as if you are not here or somehow believe you are unable. Forgive me for those thoughts. I am your child – you are my God! Come!

Putting the day to rest

The journey from anxiety to assurance means traveling down the road of prayer and trust in God. Psalm 3 is a morning psalm; Psalm 4 is an evening psalm. I find it encouraging to remember that the Jewish day begins with the evening. The former day is settled and the new one is approached with confidence and trust.

Psalm 4.8

I don’t need to carry the day’s events and struggles to bed with me. I need not wake to them in the morning, either. Perhaps that is what is meant by Psalm 1:2.

…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Lord, help me remember to bring all my moments to you and leave them with you. Thank you for coming into my journey and walking beside me. May the peace that you give rest me at night for the coming day.

Stop and think

Psalm 3.8

Following be careful who you listen to and where you are (Psalm 1-2) is a painful Psalm 3. David is on the run, betrayed by many, even his own son. I see the word selah appearing three times. The word encourages me to stop and think, “Could it be true?”

many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.”Selah  Could it be true? Of course, it isn’t. I must be careful to listen to the right voice. Even my heart might betray me.

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah  Could this be true? Stop and think. Oh, yes, this is marvelously true for me at all times.

Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah Could this be true? Stop and think. Yes! I am greatly blessed in every way.

Lord, help me listen to your voice alone and open my heart to embrace what is true, regardless of my situations.

Peace and victory

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

What did Jesus say…to whom…which promises peace with him and victory over a troubled world?

The setting is Jesus with his disciples. He is going away and all they have heard and seen will be tested. Will they stand or fall? To help them stand, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit. Being filled with God’s spirit is the same as personally walking with Jesus. The result of standing strong in the Spirit, allowing his truth to rule my thoughts and actions, is peace with him and victory today.

The source of peace is God, not myself; it never is my peace but always His. The request, Come, Lord Jesus opens the door to his reigning, victorious peace.

Lord, I invite you into this day knowing that your presence alone can bring peace to my heart.

Thirsty

A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, “Will I ever make it—arrive and drink in God’s presence?” I’m on a diet of tears—tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, pestering, “Where is this God of yours?” (Ps 42:1–3)

IMG_4220I have learned that obeying the Lord does not always lead me alongside bubbling brooks and quiet pastures. It most often leads me to depletion. Drought leads me to need him – only him. In this life, a diet of tears. In the life to come, unending joy. But, between here and now, there and then, is life. There are times that I am filled with the sustaining depths of God – heaven on earth – a taste of what is to come. Quickly, I return to the reality of drought all around me. I am not yet ready for there and then.

Dear Sustainer, you alone give me life and promise. My rebellious world cannot do it. I cannot even help myself. As much as I dislike the journey in the desert, thank you for these drought times. You uniquely reveal yourself every time I call to you.