March 2 – Music In The Making

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Can you tell by now there is a rhyme and a reason to what’s going on? Somebody is orchestrating a piece of music that has been written for quite some time. And you and I are coming in at this particular stanza.   You probably feel like I do; sometimes ill- equipped! What am I doing? I don’t know the first thing about playing an instrument. By the way, which one am I supposed to be playing?   Stop! Stop worrying yourself. Close your eyes and lean into the rhythm. It’s there. It’s you! Not only are you part of the music, you are the actual “notes” themselves. You are destined and designed as a song of honor by the Father of Creation Himself.   So no time for wandering and worrying about stuff! You’ve got music to make! Press in and focus on the Conductor’s every direction and let Him take you where He wants your song to go.  

The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me– Psalm 42:8 New King James Version

1 Chronicles 16:31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”

March 1 – Get on the Train and Enjoy the Ride

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Who made you? Who knows you, I mean really knows you? Listen to King David pour out his heart to God in Psalms 139:

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—  your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight?  If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;  you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

God knows each of us better than we know ourselves. If the truth be known, He longs to introduce us to our real life (Colossians 3:1-4). Therefore, our lives are designed to simply be a journey with Daddy God guiding us from one place to the next. My prayer today for all of us is one derived from the statements of a dear brother in Christ; may we choose to get on the train and enjoy the ride! There is no need to worry about a thing because our heavenly Father has paid the tab and He is well able to handle any obstructions amidst the train tracks of life. Happy Travels!

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? Matthew 6:25

 

 

February 18 – Classy Conversations

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Just because something may be true doesn’t mean you go around blabbing it. And sometimes things appear one way when truly they are not that way at all. Those are the moments when you might be glad you don’t open your big mouth.

As a kid, I had a hard time knowing when to be quiet. Back then I was smaller than everybody else so I tried to make up for it with my mouth. One day I let my mouth get me into a good-size mess with some ornery older boys and they decided to teach me a lesson. Several of the neighborhood kids and I were all hanging out at the playground at the end of the block.

All of a sudden, I found myself peddling my “banana seat” bicycle toward my house as fast as I could go. The boys I had smarted off to were about 14 or so and I was only 11. All I could think about was beating them to my front door and diving in before they got a hold of my neck. But as I bolted into my driveway, my dad pulled in.

He surveyed the situation and gave those bullies a few stout words about picking on me. Boy, don’t you know my chest was sticking way out. I thought to myself, “Yeah, you’re not so tough now!” After daddy finished chastising the boys and they rode off, he quickly turned around and got right in the middle of me.

In no uncertain terms, he gave me the “how come” about my mouth. “Son, you better learn when to keep your mouth shut or one of these days somebody might help you shut it!”

I didn’t know it then, but having “class” about when to speak and when to listen is a Biblical principle. I often counsel friends and family members to take their matters to God in prayer first and ask Him for wisdom before they start sharing their ideas with others.

The primary reason I’ve made this a permanent practice in my life is because I’ve come to realize the hard way that words are like toothpaste; once they’re out of the tube, there’s no getting them back inside! So today I invite you to join me in allowing God to further develop discretion in our discussions. And maybe, that way, nobody else will have a chance to!

The Character First I WILL’s for Discretion:

I WILL choose my words carefully

I WILL practice good manners

I WILL listen to criticism

I WILL not make fun of others

I WILL turn down any invitation to do wrong

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 New International Version

 Biblical Meditation: James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…

 

February 3 – The “Be” Blessing

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 There is an unprecedented blessing attached to just being. Often it is missed, looked over, or simply ignored in the daily hustle to get things done.

But every living creature has received it. Before any plant, animal or person could do a thing, the “be” blessing was activated.

Take humanity for instance. We are known as human beings, not human doings. Sure, throughout the course of our days on earth we “do” a lot of stuff, but that is not our primary purpose in the presence of our Creator.

He is pleased when we start and end each day with a conscious awareness that it is not what we do for Him that makes the greatest impact. It is, first and foremost, our acknowledgement of what He has done and is doing for us continuously.

We are His workmanship, His masterpiece, His clay! Our job is one of daily rejoicing in being and from that position joyfully molding to the wants and ways of the Master.

In my estimation, it is the “be” blessing which puts the “do” list in its proper perspective!

 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Genesis 1:22-23

 Biblical Meditation: Isaiah 64:8 Yet, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand.

February 2 – Every Day Counts

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“Repent, forgive, and believe… quickly.” I heard a man make this statement many years ago, and I still remember it.

It seems that those three commands can be easily bypassed in our day-to-day lives. Noah was a beautiful example of a person who took the directions of God and ran with them. We’re not sure exactly how many years passed from the time he built the ark and the time the flood came.

At the very most, around 100 years passed by. And yet, we see no record of the wickedness on the earth turning around for the better. Many years went by and no one was moved to follow Noah’s example of righteousness.

I believe that our physical, mental, and spiritual health all hinge on these commands. Repent, forgive, and believe, quickly. In the six hundredth year, second month, and seventeenth day of Noah’s life, the curtains of water fell.

And time ran out. God was speaking through Noah and his actions all of those many years. We are again in the “days of Noah.” Regardless of the moment of Jesus’ return to earth, our world is filled with signs that point to His coming.

Just like the days before the floodwaters came, it can be easy to ignore the landmarks all around us. God is gracious and full of mercy as we turn to Him and hand over the reins of our life. Let us follow in the footsteps of Noah, and may we let others know that every day counts.

Jen 🙂

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11, 12

Biblical Meditation: Matthew 24:36-39 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

January 17 – Word Trumps Wonder

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 I’ve often thought how wonderful it must have been to be alive when the Son of God walked the earth. It seems like it would have been a lot easier to believe in Him. In my mind, I also tend to think surely everyone must have been completely enraptured by His mighty works.

Surely they knew this was indeed the Son of God! However, the Bible gives a number of accounts that don’t validate my mental ideologies.

One such instance occurs around the feeding of five thousand men and their families (John 6). After Christ transformed two tiny fish and five small barley loaves into a massive smorgasbord, the crowd was set on making him king. But in less than 24 hours, many of that same bunch turned their backs on Him.

His words were too heavy for them. Besides, in all reality, they were more interested in the miracles than the message anyway.

Thankfully, this was not the case with everyone. While people were leaving in droves, The Lord turned to His inner-circle disciples and asked if they wished to leave also.

Now, Simon Peter, one of the twelve, does not maintain a flawless track record when it comes to saying and doing the right thing. But on this day he spoke with great wisdom. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

He and those who chose to stay that day didn’t allow their limited understanding to keep them from standing under the grace and truth residing in His words.

I estimate our day is no different. Though Christ is not present in physical form, His message and ministry still lives on. And to those who dare to believe, His glory is as visible as it was to those who walked with Him in the days of old.

The decision just has to be made to hold fast to His Word that is never-ending…instead of looking for His wonders that are often here today and gone tomorrow!

 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 NKJV

Biblical Meditation: Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

January 14 – The Sky’s the Limit

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Often, the difference between a good idea and a great one is time and space. Take for instance, growing potatoes.

This vegetable is one of my favorites, especially the red ones. But my success in growing a good crop has not been all that great, to say the least. Truthfully, up until recently, I haven’t been willing to give much attention to the process.

I’ve just been content with buying them from the grocery store when I need them, even though the flavor is not what I want. But the other day I was visiting a good friend and caught a glimpse of what might be causing my potato dilemma. He has some cut “potato seeds” waiting to be planted and at the time of this writing, it’s early spring where I live.

Being a novice in the whole garden game, I had somehow missed the right time element for planting red potatoes. They require a certain amount of seasonal space to mature. Therefore, I can’t just throw them in the ground in May or June and expect a good harvest, no matter how much I hope and wish.

It seems to me that God has strategically placed time and space as governors on all that he has created. Everything from plants to people are guided and directed by seasons of time and space.

The natural “skies” God has set over us are there for our protection and provision. In Genesis, God used the expanse, i.e., the sky, to separate water from water in order to create a continuous canopy of moisture on the earth. This allowed all living things to receive just the right amount of water at just the right time.

Word to the wise today: Consult the Creator before you fly. Stay within the guidelines He gives you, let His words comfort, not control you. Don’t force the altitude; He already knows how high you can handle. Never forget, He wants to see you soar more than you do.

 Then God said, “Let there be firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. Genesis 1:6-8 NKJV

 Biblical Meditation: Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven…