Let’s be gloriously changed – Let’s choose to Praise

Let’s make the choice now, no matter the story. No matter the pains, the loss, the new worries.  To start the day with God and giving thanks is fine, but to end it in praise is victory, power, and brings a sound mind.

We be changed through the praise. God draws ever near, as we draw near to Him. Let our voices (aloud) ring clear.

“You are the LORD God Almighty. You are worthy. You are worthy. You are worthy to be praised.

You are Elohim, strong Creator of all the natural beauty we see.

We worship You God. Jehovah, I AM, (YHWH) self-existent, un-change-ing.

The Most High God, El-Elyon is worthy of our praise. There is none like You. Too much, too high, to great for our minds to comprehend and know.

But the Bible tells us, You loves us so.

We worship You Lord, for You alone are worthy. “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”(1) Worthy and  powerful – O so wonderful is Your Name.

We choose to think on things that are noble, right, and true, and altogether lovely. Yes, I choose to worship You:

Father, Son, You are Savior. We worship You Lord, You are Beginning and the End, the Lamb of God, and Friend.

We worship You Lord, for You alone are worthy. You are Eternal and Guide, You are King of all kings. You are Shelter. You are Judge. You are for us,  Cleansing.

You are Powerful, Faithful, Sustainer and Prince.

Majestic and Tower and Everlasting.

There is none like You God. You alone are worthy. I worship Your name, may nothing else take Your place.

You are Wisdom, Faithful, Merciful, Glorious.

You are Peace, Counselor, Healer, and Guard.

You are my Shepherd.

My Deliverer.

My Comforter.

Lord, You are my Hope.

You are my Joy. 

F-o-r-e-v-e-r, You are my Love.

You, God are gloriously magnificent.

You, “so loved the world,” (2) that Your Son You have sent.

I lift up Your name and proclaim with my voice  – “You, Lord God Almighty, are my Lord. You are my heart.”

I love You Lord Jesus, that You first loved me. Forgive me when I forget all that You are, all You did, and do:

Jehovah-Roi, the God who sees me. Jehovah-Shamma, Who promises to be there. Jehovah-Jirah, the LORD will provide.

O God, be my Adonai. My Lord, and Master, that I serve You -always.

I worship You Jesus. You have given me life. Today, this moment … for the rest of my life.

Amen. Amen. Let all the children say again,  “Amen.”

Praise goes before the battle and fight. Victory is won when I see God in all His might. Lead me Good Shepherd, as a sheep I often forget, to speak these words aloud and be transformed again, and … again.

(1) Proverbs 18:10, NIV.

(2) John 3:16.

 

 

Where is love?

Here is love: The Man was taken. Condemned. The people’s cry, “Crucify!” Wrists tied.

The hands that fed. The hands that healed, served, and prayed. The hands that lifted as His Word proclaimed, and “it was so.” As the story goes.

From long ago. And the song is sung, “Jesus loves me this I know.”

Do I know? Do I consider? Do we even think of the rejection, the pain? And yet, He was w-i-l-l-i-n-g?

If we become confused, and forget where to find love. We must stop looking outward, we must “set our eyes above.”

A purple robe, a crown of thorns. The mocking, the laughing. It all could be heard. Stripped, then whipped. And this was only the beginning …

I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

 “For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.”  The prophet Isaiah proclaims in chapter 50. Who is the Me? Can you and I see?  “Jesus loves me.” Do I even come close to knowing?

Obedience to His Father who sent Him to die, on the cross that the Lamb of God might make complete sacrifice, for you and I. Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. (1)

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah the prophet in chapter 53:6. 

The Scriptures proclaim. The Good Word speaks. How could we want to put the Truth out on the street? If God was waiting for me to get it right, He would still be waiting, because I fail every time.

We love Him because He first … loved us. (2)

” ... He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” These are the words the prophet reveals. (3)

God loves the sinner. The guilty. The lost.

We don’t.  Naturally, we don’t (period.)We love “justice.” The human race doesn’t love the “unloveable.” But God does.

God is just. And God is also grace. How can we even think to turn our back to His face? Do we really love God? What is love anyway?

God demonstrates: He laid down His life for all of the human race. Whoever turns from the world’s disgrace, to look and seek for the Savior’s face will find forgiveness poured out. Guilt departs. Peace floods the broken heart. A new day dawns.

There is rest on green lawns. The sound of bird’s singing can be heard once again. Fluffy clouds in the sky abound in joy to our eye. “Today” is all that matters in this moment of time.

He’ll take the sin, the ugliness.  And He gives – His love and His righteousness. We do one thing, turn and trust. He does it all, that we might know …

Love.

Lo! glad I come; and thou, blest Lamb, Shalt take me to thee, as I am: Nothing but sin have I to give; Nothing but love shall I receive.” C.H. Spurgeon.

(1) Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(2) 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”

(3) Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

 

Secure the Anchor!

The winds of change are unescapable. How do we anchor the soul of our ship that we don’t lose our way?

The picture is drawn, so sweet and so clear as we hold a new baby in our arms, so dear. With potential of greatness. Thoughts race ahead, of “first days of school,” and mud pies made, and times being sung to and tucked into bed.

The importance of manners, and character traits.  To sit up and eat and use a napkin for our face.  As little children we are taught what’s “right” and what’s not.

We are given goals to reach and vision to seek. We start at “A” and step next to “B.” “You can do it, if you try. Reach, reach for the sky.”  As time passes by,  . . . 

there’s something amiss. Something is wrong. The path isn’t straight. It seems impossible to get close to “Z”. We find ourselves asking, “How can this be?”

There’s attitude. There’s strife. And so much, “not” nice. There’s struggle, there’s pain:

The struggle to be kind.

The pain of rejection.

The stolen possessions.

Sicknesses.

Mosquito bites, and people’s fights,

natural disasters and sudden death.

But in the beginning it was recorded for us, the great power of Creation and God’s provision for a home.  And the story goes on, only to prove the journey was not without temptation and deception. And this was heeded, today, making us all groan.

So, instead of A to Z, it seems, we travel A to M, because a “great squall” of confusion stirs the waters within. The world cries, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace. Instead there is hurt pride and a communication breach.

What follows next is temptation to escape. To escape and take flight to a deep, dark, unending night. But God is there with complete payment for the debt. He waits with patience, and kindness, in Light . . . “Let down the Anchor! Let us be still, instead.”

Let’s fall to our knees.  Let’s remember Him. Let’s watch Him bless, then break the bread, and pass it out to feed thise who thirst. Let’s receive – lest we enter temptation.

Jesus fell to His knees, for our sakes, not His. He prayed then and still prays. Jesus died and rose. Jesus lives.

Remembering His prayer. Remembering His word. Letting down the anchor, the anchor of the soul:

But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.” (John 17:3).

 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:14-16).

“He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah Psalm 46: 9-11.

 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20.

 

 

As the ducks go by, my vision came clear

The world is a whirlwind of motion and time. The needs are great. Energy is given.

Babies held. Toddlers taught. Children learn what’s right what’s not. Schools full. Businesses open. Roads busy. Food prepared, and food being eaten. Time ticks on.

Are our thoughts all our own?

The pond in the park by the big oak tree sings. The still waters speak to halt my reasoning. My heart is calmed, my pace is slowed, my vision is expanded, and my mind’s thoughts echo:

“Maybe I’m confused. It’s not all about me. Maybe what I think is actually hurting me.

And somehow in the park, when the ducks go by “quacking,” I come to the conclusion: I’m not the center.

The stress, the strife, the fast pace of life, halts as the sun’s reflection sparkles the water. The smells of fresh air, and birds chirping everywhere. All my senses come to life. There’s something special about this moment, this moment in time.

In an instant my vision is expanded to include, not just me, and my world. My woes and and my goals, but to think about God. The Creator of all.

That’s what I need. I need more of Him.

I need God. Bottom line. Period.

As I needed the still waters of this pond, to bring vision to my broken heart. I need God to bring alive what’s died. I can’t look back I must move on.

And suddenly I’m saddened. “I’ve been lied to. Been made to believe that with my own reasoning and actions, I can achieve. That the course is simply A then to B. Then each step of the way, it’s all mine. It’s up to me.”

Oh, the lies I believed.  The whirl of the world and it’s hum of pride: “Yes, there’s a God. He’s “love” and all that. But look at this world. Can you really believe He’s in control? Be reasonable. Use your mind. You must wear your own hat!”

And the sun hit the water and the breeze sang a song, and the duck went by slowly with his “quack, quack, quack.” And my heart stopped singing it’s sad, mourning song.

I looked up, and blocked the intense light of the afternoon sun just by lifting my tiny, wrinkly thumb. I decided right there, in that very moment of time, that the “thumb” of pride and unbelief was going to be set aside.

I was going to use my “reason” and remember my need. I need God. Right now, today. Front and center, no longer me, but He.

If God says He sent His Son to set me free, from myself and the rest of the ugliness, (as I learned as a child, and then unlearned by the world), then that will be my vision. “For God so loved the world that He gave …” who was I to change God – to be what my mind says.

“Jesus, can You see me? Today, I accept Your love. Somehow, as the ducks “quacked” in the still waters of this pond, my vision was changed.”

“You became my vision, and I remembered Your blood. It has washed me clean. But I forgot. I was taught by this world that I didn’t need washed.”

“Wash me again, and again. O God, I’m so sorry. Will You forgive me?”

So I went home and read Psalm 139 aloud, to be reminded again, that in fact, He is the center of all I see:

“O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. 

You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
 
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me.
 
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach 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 (the nether world, the place of the dead), 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 take hold of me.
 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
And the night will be the only light around me,”

 
Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You,
But the night shines as bright as the day;
Darkness and light are alike to You.

 
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
 
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

 
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape]. 

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You …

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139, Amplified.

“Yes, Lord, You see me. Help me grow in You, each day, please.”

12321625_10153771143395350_1928358968783307851_n-1.jpg

 

 

In restlessness – He is peace.

Where is God in all this “restless-ness?” Wars going on outside and in. The struggles, the hardships, the anger, the hate. The words that go back and forth without restraint.

A prophet of old wrote in his letter: O LORD, “How long?” “How long, … must I call for help,” Habakkuk 1:1. This is how Habakkuk felt, yes, open it up – God’s word, and see for yourself.

“Why?” you might ask. Because, today, we “feel” the same way.

Habakkuk writes freely his complaints: “Oh LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, …” (emphasis added), “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, your cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are You silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? …”(1) Questions, questions – these are the same questions we daily ask ourselves.

We’re fighting for some peace, we’re yearning for a song.

And for me, in my house – (that is, in my heart and mind,) He came to rescue. He came to my help. He gave me His Song, Psalm 23:1.”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”

But in great need, and stress and fret, I spoke the full Psalm, from beginning to … “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever,” the end. And I thought, “forever” is a very long time.

Then the question, “Where am I dwelling, right now, in this moment? Am I dwelling in His house, or have I let “faith” walk out His Door?” “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God.”(3) Was this the lesson for Habakkuk as well?

He invited me in, to come into His house, that I am “forever to dwell.” But He knows, I go astray, each and every day. But He offers “peace” unlike the world, “His peace,” He so graciously gives, even though I mess up, and sin …

so very often.

A song, an old hymn came to my mind just then, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”(4) 

It can’t just be “God” and “heavenly thoughts.” I called and I cried to “Our Father in heaven,” and He drew near to me, and reminded me “hallowed be His name.”

He can’t be what my small brain makes Him, He must be Who He is. And “Holy is His name.” But more amazing still, His “grace is sufficient.”(5).

So, to conclude this whole matter of restlessness and stress, and my mind running in circles, (can anyone relate?) May I learn from God’s help that He “presently” sent. And remember as Habakkuk had learned as well) …

I put some breath on the strings, that He, Himself has given (to each of us, no less), and I made the choice to sing, …

to sing praise for His glory, as I was (and seem to be always), in a battle of wills to trust God, it seems.  I sang and I prayed, and a “present” peace I received. But “today”, and “tomorrow” (if God will’s be mine) may I remember to put sound on the strings He designed.

Let us humble ourselves and praise His name “forever.”

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 20:21.

(1) Habakkuk 1:12,13.

(2) Psalm 100.

(3) Hebrews 11:6.

(4) Hymn: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.

(5) 2 Corinthians 12:9.

 

A collage of words of the battle…

“Prone to wander Lord I feel it …”

See God's Hand

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it! Prone to leave the God I love…” (Come Thou fount)

“There is a draught, O God, a great draught of heat and stubbornness. Nothing makes sense, I can’t see anything when anger is in the way!

“Rain down mercy LORD!” What else can I pray? “Merciful Lord, ‘not giving  me what I deserve today!”

“Rain down Your Spirit Lord- “Not by might, nor by Power – Rain down Your Spirit Lord, Cleanse me this hour!”

“Turn  my heart that is stone, back to flesh…back to flesh. Remove my hands from the ears! I need to hear… humbly hear!”

“There is a draught, O God. Great heat, fatigue and slothfulness. Rain down Your Spirit Lord, flood this dark world with Your Light. That the stains of arrogance and pride that make me ‘turn to my own way’, would be washed away… even washed away…

View original post 505 more words

Fruit, the glorious fruit of praise!

The Story reveals it, from Genesis to the last page. Stillness is required. Brokenness invites. Pain and affliction powerfully change our direction. There’s a fight inside to move forward, to move on.

God, in the beginning – created all we see. He is not pacing the heavens, whether or not we believe. But, it does matters ultimately, …

to you and to me – because God is eternal and also His Word. And man who is created in His image as well. Ultimately, it must needs be important to you and to me, to think on where we will spend eternity!

If believed, that God created it all, that He said, “Let there be light,” and we believe that “it’s so.” Then, God puts “light” in the depth of our soul. He divides the darkness of sin and brings sight to our heart. He said, “this is good.”

And evening and morning are the first day – a new birth is born. God’s Name … to be praised!

He, the God of Creation, Elohim, Three-in-One, then separates the waters, and brings the breath back to our lungs. 

He gives us ground to stand on, and restores vision where we knew not, we were blind. He turns us inour  thinking. He touches our confused minds.

“Earth” it is called, which “brings for grass and herb, and seed after it’s kind. God gathered the waters, and as “Seas” they are known. This is the Story given, expanding our place. This is a new beginning, and “God” is the center. He initiates.

No longer do we think the sun revolves around earth. We know that the sun is the center of our Universe. Yes, and breaking new ground, in my mind each new day, is the revelation of … the Son in the center of my life, for now and always!

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth ! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” King James Version Psalms 8:1. A new day has dawned. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast  thou ordained strength…” Yes, indeed, this new babe is proclaiming God’s praise.

By means of “insignificant creatures,” babies, as it were – God’s name is praised. And from these lips, each new day, “Praise” will keep me secure.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Psalm 8:3, brings a meditation to me.

It is time “consider the heavens” and the work that God has “wrought” with only his “fingers.” And the Word from His mouth brings such beauty about. “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.” Believing God and seeking His face is abundant life, each day is new birth.

“We raise our shouts, O God, to thee, And send them to thy throne; All glory to the united Three The undivided One. 

‘Twas he, and we’ll adore his name, That form’d us by a work; ‘Tis her restores our ruin’d frame: Salvation to the Lord!” Old penned words by Charles Spurgeon, bring morning dew and inspiration.

“Glory to God, the center, the Source. In Jesus name,  may we plod His course. Moment by moment, by His glorious power. May we praise and cry out and continually seek, the One who made us and has ears when we call. The One who cares and is a “present Hand to help”those who put their trust in His name. He is faithful, He is able, He is the LORD, above all.

The earth brings forth fruit after its kind. May the foundations of our heart rejoice in God, and seek the face of Jesus and ask continually the Holy Spirit to help us be fruitful as a …  tree, beside the still waters, surrounded by green sod.

Praise be the Lord forever! Praise be to our God!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: