He Parted the Heavens

It was a stormy day today. The clouds were captivating to view. You could see layers of clouds as the darker ones moved past the lighter ones.

In the book of II Samuel in the Old Testament, we find a song that David sang to the Lord when He had rescued him from his enemies. Here are a few verses from that song:

  In my distress I called to the LORD;
       I called out to my God.
       From his temple he heard my voice;
       my cry came to his ears.

  "The earth trembled and quaked,
       the foundations of the heavens shook;
       they trembled because he was angry.

  Smoke rose from his nostrils;
       consuming fire came from his mouth,
       burning coals blazed out of it.

  He parted the heavens and came down;
       dark clouds were under his feet.

  He mounted the cherubim and flew;
       he soared on the wings of the wind.

  He made darkness his canopy around him—
       the dark rain clouds of the sky.

  Out of the brightness of his presence
       bolts of lightning blazed forth.

 The LORD thundered from heaven;
       the voice of the Most High resounded.

 He shot arrows and scattered the enemies ,
       bolts of lightning and routed them.

  The valleys of the sea were exposed
       and the foundations of the earth laid bare
       at the rebuke of the LORD,
       at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

  "He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
       he drew me out of deep waters.

  He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
       from my foes, who were too strong for me.

  They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
       but the LORD was my support.

II Samuel 22:7-19

 

I don’t normally hear people attributing God’s spiritual actions to physical actions. Can you just imagine what David is really saying here?

He was in great distress because of the threat of his enemies. He prayed, and God heard his prayer. God was angry because of the threat against David. He came down from Heaven to earth, parting the clouds, riding a cherubim on the wings of the wind. Bolts of lightning shot out from His presence. He spoke and rebuked what was happening. He picked David up out of a life threatening situation and rescued him. David understands that it is God who is his support.

I wonder how many times God has "parted the clouds" in order to come to my rescue when I called Him.

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me."

What a wonderful picture for us to remember—-the LORD reaching down and taking a protective hold on us.

The LORD is our support…

 

 

Tablets of the Testimony

This past Friday, I was in an area church that I have only been in once before, several years ago. I did not remember that the walls were filled with stained glass windows, depicting different occurances in the Bible. One of the pictures was of Moses with the tablets given to him by God. I quietly pondered the artwork as I sat in the sanctuary.

 

God is awesome. We hear the word awesome so much, I feel it has become commonplace. To be awestruck—to be speechless because of what you are experiencing—-what would that be like?

Last night, as I was reading from the Bible, I found that the angel, Gabriel, was the one sent to Zechariah to tell him that his wife would be giving birth to a son. They were to name him John. When Zechariah asked how he could know that what he was saying was true, the angel’s reply was, " I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God."  Somehow, this seem to reverberate within me. 

He stands in the presence of God. 

I looked up the account of the angel visiting Mary in order to tell her that she was going to give birth to Jesus.

It was Gabriel.

The first thing he said was, "Greetings."  He came with an important message, yet he took the time to greet Mary in a familiar way, perhaps to set her at ease. The angel who stands in the presence of God came with a message to both Zechariah and Mary.

God sent His people a message long ago in the form of the Ten Commandments. God wrote them Himself on the tablets and gave them to Moses. Surely Moses, Zechariah and Mary were filled with awe. Surely they knew—

God is awesome.

 

 

 

 

Honest

 

My husband and I are in a small group that is studying the book, "The Genesis Process." In the reading I did yesterday in the worktext, there was a quote from Rick Warren: "Change comes from taking risks, and the greatest risk is to be honest with yourself and others."

Oh.

Honest with myself? Others? What others?

If being honest with myself is risky, what’s the risk? Will I stop kidding myself about some important things I’m avoiding? If I’m honest with other people, will I make them angry or hurt their feelings? Mr. Warren penned a tough statement, didn’t he?

Currently, I am working on realizing the truth and owning it. Carefully, I have approached being honest with others about my struggles. It is freeing when I know that my imperfections are being accepted and I am still counted as a friend. Is it easy to open up and say what is true? I think for most people it is not.

The Bible tells us to use honest scales and honest weights. While I would hope to never cheat anyone by using dishonest weights, what am I doing when I am not speaking the truth in love and instead remaining silent?

When I consider myself, are my weights and scales accurately set?

 

 

Bore Our Sins

It’s an old song.

As I was cleaning house today, I was listening to a CD of piano music. The song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" came on. My eyes became teary as I realized something for the first time.

For two and a half years, I lived across the street from my grandmother. I moved there when I was in the second grade; she died in January of my 4th grade year.

She would sit in her living room and play a very small electric keyboard. It was a "Magnus Organ." I could hear her playing from across the street. She would play, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Many things had not gone well in her life. Living in poverty for most of her days, she was going blind and had lost many, if not all, her teeth. She had divorced as a young woman and never remarried. Things had been hard, yet she still played the familiar hymn.

So, why did I feel so emotional? I realized that the words of the song had continued to live in my mind, even though she was gone. It was as if she was sending me a message through those lyrics back then when I was a little girl. I would remember the message throughout my life. It would return to me many times, just like today:

What a friend we have in Jesus, 
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

 

 

 

He Restores

 

 

 

 

 

Things didn’t go the way I’d planned.

He restores my soul.

I’m unsure about what to do next.

He restores my soul.

I don’t understand the attitude of others around me.

He restores my soul.

I feel inadequate sometimes at work.

He restores my soul.

I feel alone.

He restores my soul.

Hurtful words stick to my heart.

He restores my soul.

I bring my conerns to Him.

He restores my soul.

He restores.

 

 

 

 

Friendly

 

About a year ago, a kind friend gave me an orchid plant. For quite some time, it displayed beautiful yellow blooms. For several months now, it has been without its flowers, existing very nicely in its leafy green state.

As I was walking up to my front door this week, I saw it—-the first orchid bloom of the year! Golden yellow, its perfect design was poised at the top of the stem as if it were just waiting to be noticed. The gift I had received so many months before was once again treating me to a visual delight.

The love of friends is like that—once it is given, it sets in and grows, blooming strength and encouragement season after season.

 

 

 

 

 

Calmness

There have been times when I have not responded in a calm way to whatever was happening at the moment. There have been times when I did actually respond calmly. Looking back, I am most pleased with the calm times—the times when I didn’t say something I didn’t mean, I didn’t hurt someone’s feelings, or I didn’t waste a lot of time or energy on just being upset.

I may not be able to control the actions of everyone I meet, but I should be in control of my own. Responding in Christ-like calmness is a skill I am eager to learn.

 

 

 

Oxen

 

It’s been a long time coming. School is like that. It takes time to be real, to be worth something.

Our oldest son will graduate from college this week. The future is here, now. I can remember thinking specifically about how old he would be when I was a certain age. That will happen this year.

The new job, the new place to live, away from the house he’s been in for ten years….it’s all coming into view now. The misty, foggy, up-ahead someday life isn’t so misty and distant anymore. It’s becoming very clear.

I’ve already started thinking about what furniture he could take with him, just to help him get started. There will be a day when all the sons in our home are gone from their primary residence under our roof. I hope they never leave the deep connection to the family and the memories we have made and will continue to make.

Will our house be cleaner and neater when they have established their own homes? It’s possible. With the neatness wiil no doubt come a quietness that goes hand in hand with lonliness. Perhaps God will fill the calm with grandchildren!

Whatever the future, I am grateful for our family. God has blessed us with each other.

Proverbs 14:4 says, "Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest."

As I apply that to our lives, I consider that where there are no children, the house is clean; but from the blessings that God brings through them, much….so much……is gained.

 

 

 

Break Down Their Wall

If you were to ask me to name someone that I admired in the Bible, Nehemiah would be on the list. Even through trials and insults, threats and deceptions, he stood firm on his faith and trust in the Lord.

One such incident of discouraging words was when Nehemiah and the Jewish people were working to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. A particular scoffer uttered the words, "What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!"

Even in the face of dissension, Nehemiah continued on with the work that God had placed on his heart. When darts of contention were hurled, he raised his shield of faith in prayer.

Have you ever been intent on doing just what you knew God wanted you to do, only to find a voice of discouragement and ridicule rising up to halt your efforts? Recognize them for what they are, spend time in prayer and raise your shield of faith. God is with you.

 

 

 

Doers of the Word

This past week I was drawn to thinking about the verse that says, "Be doers of the word."  I couldn’t remember exactly where it was located in the Bible. While I was at work one day in particular, I felt that I just had to find that reference, as the verse was so on my mind.  Looking online, I found it.  Why it was being so imprinted on my thinking was still a mystery. Be a doer of the word? How, exactly, was God wanting me to understand this application? I just didn’t know.

During the service that I attended this morning, the speaker chose to emphasize this verse:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

A great deal of what he had to say centered around this thought. Am I sitting, week after week, listening to what is being presented at church and then walking away, unchanged in my words and actions?  Is my family different because of what I allowed God to do in my life, or are they the same?  Is the atmosphere at my workplace more positive because of the changes in my life brought about by the Holy Spirit? Am I a "doer" of the word or just a "hearer"?

True, I am allowing God to work in my life…...in some areas. In others, I lack confidence, so I find myself dismissing opportunities, holding back, and second guessing what I had once felt sure about. This does not need to continue.

Lord, please help me to know what you want me to do; give me the strength to do it; give me the guidance to know when and how. Please forgive me for when I have failed You in this area.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

 

 

Trees

 

 

The yellow leaves were so striking against the blue sky. I had to stop the car to photograph them. It’s the time of year for renewal, as plants and trees that have lain dormant now burst forth with color.

It’s wonderful to recieve a bouquet of flowers delivered to your door for a special occasion.

Each spring, God delivers a vast array of blooms and blossoms for everyone to share. What’s the occasion?

He loves us.

 

 

To the Poor

 

Compassion. Kindness. Empathy. Those are all worthy qualities to exhibit. When we extract them from our character, the void becomes obvious. Cultivate them, and they will serve us well.

I heard a story of compassion today. While mowing a lawn, a young man passed over a rabbit hole. He was unaware of the rabbits’ presence. Coming back to cut the next row of grass, he noticed that the blades had killed a small bunny. From the hole, another tiny rabbit emerged, looking for its sibling. It hopped to the lifeless form and remained there.  Was it because of fear? Was it to somehow fulfill a need to protect and care for the one who had died?

Since no mother rabbit was to be seen, the frightened creature was given to someone who could care for it properly.

Kindness, compassion and empathy all had been shown to this poor, helpless one.

Shouldn’t that be the response we give to those we encounter who could be described as being so?

Proverbs 28:27a tells us that, "He who gives to the poor will lack nothing…"

Kindness shown to others will indeed return to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring Me Back

 Thus says the LORD,
         "Restrain your voice from weeping
         And your eyes from tears;
         For your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD,
         "And they will return from the land of the enemy.
    There is hope for your future," declares the LORD,
         "And your children will return to their own territory.
    "I have surely heard Ephraim grieving,
         ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised,
         Like an untrained calf;
         Bring me back that I may be restored,
         For You are the LORD my God.
    ‘For after I turned back, I repented;
         And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh;
         I was ashamed and also humiliated
         Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’
    "Is Ephraim My dear son?
         Is he a delightful child?
         Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him,
         I certainly still remember him;
         Therefore My heart yearns for him;
         I will surely have mercy on him," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 31:16-20

 

 

 

Faithfulness

 

 

 

For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
       your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
       and let your glory be over all the earth.

  Save us and help us with your right hand,
       that those you love may be delivered.

Psalm 108:4,5,6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts

Today, God gave me a gift.

A couple of major issues occurred early on that threatened to rob me of joy. When I arrived home, I was greeted with something very special.

Recently, the owner of the orange grove near our house decided to put up a fence surrounding it. Word had gotten to me that the orange grove was now going to contain cattle. I was pleased at the thought of having cows only a few yards from my home.

As a wonderful surprise, shortly after I pulled my car into the driveway, I saw them—lots of cows—and a horse! Not even taking the time to go into the house first, I parked and walked to the fence to greet my new animal neighbors. The horse and I especially began an immediate bond. I have never owned a horse. THIS horse, however, will be the next best thing. He looked at me with kind eyes while extending his head to be stroked. I explained that we were to be special friends now and that I would give him a name–Black Socks. I’ll call him "Socks" for short.

How happy I was to have a horse to visit with. It brought joy to my heart. The farmer may have placed the fence around the orange grove, but it was God that brought me the horse on a day that was challenging. He knew I would love having the animals so close. I believe it pleased Him to make me happy.

Matthew 7:7-11 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

 

 

 

Before All Nations

Just when you think things will stay the same…..well, they change.

It’s easy to become accustomed to familiarity. When something moves out of the area of the familiar to the different, we take a second look.

When I come home each day, I walk the concrete path to my front door. About nine years ago, a friend gave me an aloe vera plant. It’s permanent, in-the-ground home became the area beside the front door path. Faithfully, it has lived through frosts, hurricanes, and intense tropical heat. It has grown larger through the years, still maintaining its basic shape. For nine years, I have passed my green friend each time I entered my home from the front yard. Very predictable. Very familiar. Same old, same old….that is, until lately. Now, EVERYTHING is changed.

Completely on the timetable that God intended, my aloe vera plant is changing. Small changes at first, caught our eye. No one quite knows what to expect, now. Tall stalks have risen from our lowly plant. That’s not all. Tiny little "things" that look like miniature bananas are forming on the stalks. Each day, we look to see what else it’s doing. Whatever it is, it took nine years of preparation!

We are curious to see what each tomorrow will bring in this new found development. After all, this was totally unexpected.

In the book of Isaiah, chapter 61, we find the section marked, "The Year of the LORD’s Favor."  Isaiah describes what it will be like when there will be gladness instead of mourning and praise instead of despair. God will change what has been to something new and different, completely on the timetable that He intends. He has told us. Do we expect it?

I delight greatly in the LORD;
       my soul rejoices in my God.
       For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
       and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
       as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
       and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

  For as the soil makes the sprout come up
       and a garden causes seeds to grow,
       so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
       spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 61:10,11

 

 

Wash

Have mercy on me, O God,
       according to your unfailing love;
       according to your great compassion
       blot out my transgressions.

  Wash away all my iniquity
       and cleanse me from my sin.

  For I know my transgressions,
       and my sin is always before me.

  Against you, you only, have I sinned
       and done what is evil in your sight,
       so that you are proved right when you speak
       and justified when you judge.

Psalm 51:1-4

 

 

Where

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
         You understand my thought from afar.
    You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
         And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before there is a word on my tongue,
         Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
    You have enclosed me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
    Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
    If I take the wings of the dawn,
         If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
    Even there Your hand will lead me,
         And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

               Psalm 139:1-10

 

 

A Sun-scorched Land

 

 

I thought it was time. The danger of frost seemed to have passed. I had taken a very special potted plant and placed it inside for protection. Now, it would be safe outdoors again.

If only it had been a few feet over in the shade, things would have been fine. Without careful planning, I positioned the pot where it would be exposed to too much sun. Later, I noticed that it had wilted and some of the leaves had turned a terrible black and brown, scorched by the relentless rays. It looked horrible, with every leaf bent over, dying.

The trip back inside entailed a temporary home for my precious plant. I tucked a dinner plate underneath the plastic pot and poured water on the dry, crusty soil that cushioned its roots. After quite some time, it didn’t look much better. Could it be that I was noticing just a slight uplift in the leaves? Perhaps not.

The next day, I had a pleasant surprise awaiting me. There, on the counter, my plant proudly stood upright, scorched leaves and all, rejuvenated by the nourishing water and the absence of the intense heat. It should be fine from now on, given that I continue to care for it properly.

Lately, I have found myself to have been misplaced. Instead of being positioned in a safe environment, it’s as if I have been too close to the damaging rays of discouragement. Wilted and zapped of energy, my attitude has been sluggish and bent over.

If I am to gain the proper perspective, a move will have to be made. I will have to allow God to "water" me with His wisdom and comfort. True, some of my leaves will still be scorched, but they will be reminders to stay closer to Him and away from the damaging rays of independence.

 

 

 

 

 

Look at the Birds

Am I worth more than a bird?

A friend loaned me a book by Joyce Meyer recently. As the author speaks of worry, she says, "I have personally never seen a bird sitting on a tree branch having a nervous breakdown due to worry."

Matthew 6:26 reads, "Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?"

God would not have us to worry, yet it steals our joy and wastes our time every day.

I don’t want to waste any more time. Do you?

 

 

 

Chicks

Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

God longs to have us in right relationship with Him. You may know someone like this:

A coworker has invited them to church several times. They’ve never attended.

Last year, their aging grandmother sent them a Bible for their birthday. It’s still in the box, unopened.

While going through a divorce, the attorney mentions joining a Christian support group he’s been to.

They refuse to go.

At a funeral recently, the speaker shook their hand and asked if they could pray for them. They declined.

God longs for us.

Could this "someone" be you?

 

 

 

Discernment

I knew it wouldn’t be long before the sun would be completely gone. From my view, I could see the lake in the distance, just beyond the trees. Calm and serenity framed the moment with a backdrop of golden yellow hues mixed with sea greens and dusty shades of blue.

Most of the people in the near vicinity were not having the experience I was. My vantage point was high; I could see what others were not.

How many times have I made decisions based on limited perspective? If only wisdom and discernment had been my companion! Instead, my confined understanding led to narrow choices with poor results.

With the wisdom that comes only from God, our vantage point is high; far above what the world knows or understands. We can "see" what others cannot.

When choices are set before us, God is ready to hear our prayer for guidance:

   "Teach me good discernment and knowledge…."   

  Psalm 119:66a

 

 

 

Sustain Me

Last night as I was reading the Bible, I came upon a verse that I had circled at some time in the past. I did not recall why. The words seemed to stand out at this time, in a special way. A family friend had been admitted to the hospital recently. Somehow, these lines seemed to speak to this situation:

 

Sustain me according to Thy word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. (Psalm 199:116)

 

When I visited the hospital today, the fountain was constantly streaming water into the air and down on the surface—a continual flow that never stopped.

At some level, surely the fountain was placed there to be soothing to those who passed by. The sight and sound of the moving water was captivating. The continuous flow could serve as a reminder that God’s love is continual. He sustains us, throughout every day and every moment.

 

 

Enlarge My Territory

 On the way home this past week, I decided to take a detour from my usual route. Road crews had been out earlier in the day, and traffic was slow, due to the construction.

I suppose I just wasn’t thinking. I knew which road to take that would eventually lead to my front door, but I absent-mindedly turned onto the one right before it. As I drove a small way, I realized I was not where I had planned. I turned the car around and began retracing my path. To my delight, I noticed that I was right beside a large field—not just any field; a field with GOATS.

As I stood close to the fence, (you didn’t expect me to stay in the car, now, did you?) they began to offer a vocal response to my unplanned visit. Their voices were clear, almost baby-like. The goats were different colors. A white one ran along in the pasture, far from the wire confines that dictated his territory. Although their area was quite large, I can just imagine how they might run, if they were given more acreage.

In I Chronicles, 4:10, a man named Jabez asked something of God. His petition?

"…Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory!"

Take a moment to define your territory. Where do you live? Where do you work? What family do you have nearby? What people are in the area that could be described as being in your scope of influence for Christ?

Picture what it would be like to have these facets of your life enlarged. More places, more people. More people, the greater the possiblity of influence.

When God opens the gate, revealing the lands beyond the wood and wire, what do you see yourself doing?

I think I’d run–with a smile on my face.

 

 

 

 

 

Papyrus

Suddenly, I noticed them. TALL bamboo trees, standing stately near the water. They were grouped together, sharing the same area by the shore. Like papyrus, bamboo has been used as a writing material.

In the book of Job, chapter 8, verse 11, we find these two questions:

Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?

Can reeds thrive without water?

It would be wise to ask myself some questions.

Can I grow strong in the Lord if I neglect reading the Bible?

Can I thrive in my faith without prayer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scorpions

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that God is bringing me into a good place, a renewed place of service and opportunity–a new way of looking at how I live life. When things seems to be going terribly wrong, it’s easy to think of God and how I need His help. When things are going well, do I seek Him still? I don’t ever want to forget God. He has brought me throught the "deserts" of my life–those places that were indeed dreadful. When the venomous snakes and scorpions of unseen evil were poised against me, God faithfully protected me. I need to remember the Lord my God, for it is He who has given me all I have.

Deuteronomy 8:6-18

 6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

 

 

Strong Tower

Imprinted in my mind are the words, "You are my strong tower, fortress when I’m weak…"  Why? I spend quite a bit of time listening to the radio. These words belong to a song from the group, KUTLESS.

At times, God brings scripture to my mind to encourage and comfort me. I also believe that He brings the lyrics to songs that do the same to my mind, as well. Here are the lyrics from the song, "Strong Tower:"

 

When I wander through the desert
And I’m longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I’m stranded in the valley
And I’m tired and all alone
It seems like I’ve lost my way

I go runnin’ to Your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free
You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I’m weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You’re my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder’s all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

Are you in need of a strong tower today? If the storm of life is raging, take a few moments to pray. Ask Him to come into the middle of your darkness and fear and to speak—softly to your soul.

 

 

 

 

Deliverance

 

 

Deliverance is mentioned several times in the Bible. Here are a few phrases:

I look for your deliverance, O LORD.

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.

I delight in your deliverance.

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you…..

 

God is our Deliverer. Our eyes should be fixed and open, looking ahead, expecting to see Him at work in our lives.

A Gentle Answer

 

Proverbs 15:1-4

 

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
       but a harsh word stirs up anger.

  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
       but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

  The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
       keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

  The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,
       but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

 

 

Enough!

A few short years ago, the forested land near our home caught on fire. Normal existance was transformed, and acres and acres of trees and plants burned. The eery orange glow that surrounded the community was a constant reminder of the continuing devastation. I watched as trees succombed to the flames; I listened to the crackling sounds coming through the night air.

I recieved a call today while I was out. The news? The wooded land near our home was on fire again.

God would not have me worry over the situation.  He is in control. Though fire is consuming, it obeys His voice. Though relentless, it must stop at His bidding.

Are there other things in my life that I am tempted to worry about? Consuming, relentless things?

I must remember…..He is in control.