The Love of God in the Storm

Give thanks to the LORD for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

His goodness plots the course of the sun and clouds to create a beautiful scene. Though the beauty of the moment is fleeting His goodness and love are everlasting.

Thank You Lord that Your love is not limited by my ability to put it into words or to take a picture.

It is greater than my imagination.
It is not measured by what I deserve.
It does not stop when I wander off,
or get caught in a storm.
His love seeks me out and brings me back.
I cannot diminish it,
but I can increase it by receiving His love and giving it away.
It surrounds me like a shield,
and guides me on the right path.
God’s love gives me freedom to be all that He created me to be.
His love washes over me and will never leave nor forsake me.
I don’t have to worry about tomorrow,
because God’s love and mercy will greet me like the sunrise with beauty and glory.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed.
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Give thanks to the LORD for He is good. His love endures forever.

Reflecting on Grace vs. Disgrace

Reflection of Mount Rainier

Disgrace is ignoring or turning from God’s grace.

At the time of Last Supper Jesus announced:
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born. Matthew 26:24

Judas walked with Jesus.
He talked with Jesus.
He witnessed the miracles of Jesus.
He was chosen by Jesus.
Yet he betrayed Jesus and ran off in shame. In trying to undo what he had done, he turned away from God’s grace in Jesus and punished himself.

Peter walked with Jesus.
He talked with Jesus,
He witnessed miracles by Jesus
He was chosen by Jesus.
Yet he betrayed Jesus 3 times and ran off in shame. In time, Peter humbly turned from his failure to receive God’s grace in Jesus.

The difference between them is Peter chose to humble himself, and Judas chose to punish himself.

Woe to those who refuse to admit their need.
Ignoring the cross, where Christ did bleed.
Bemoaning their failure, counting their dross.
Too proud to bow before the cross.
This eulogy of the forlorn…
Better off to had never been born.

There is something more terrible than all your shame, and that is trying to live with it. 

Troubling Thoughts

Beauty from the Bramble

I have nightmares that make me weep.
Dark thoughts unbidden from the deep.
Disturbing dreams that make me wonder,
Where did I get their ugly thunder?
The haunting of my sleep.

Then I think of Joseph, the dreamer from of old.
A baker asked Joseph what his dream foretold.
In this nightmare birds picked at his bread.
“It means three days till you’re hanged and dead.”

Shaken I ask, “What’s my dream’s meaning?”
This ugliness my mind is weaving.
Do they reflect what I am inside?
Take them, please take them, I can’t abide.

The Lord’s response:

Three days I spent in death’s dark terror,
that your nightmares may be condemned as error.
I arose with dawn just and true.
be assured I have good dreams for you,
Remember this, the fight’s been won.
My mercy is new as the coming sun.

epilog

Each morning I awake of this I know,
His unfailing love won’t me let go.
So if fears and hurts plague your thought,
Know that each one He has bought
and buried forever in the deepest hell.
That you might draw joy from salvation’s well.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:4-5

Faith vs. Feelings

Solid rock changing the course of the stream.

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Don’t let your feelings guide you,
Don’t listen to what they say.
For feelings abhor discomfort,
trading future goodness for ease today.

God’s help comes through faith in Him,
and does not depend on how I feel.
Emotions gyrate up and down
causing life to sway and reel.

I’m learning to trust in God alone,
He is faithful in all His ways.
My rock and my salvation,
My shepherd for all my days.

When I stumble in the dark.
Anxious thoughts begin to bound.
God wants my faith to lead the way,
till my feelings come around.

Night Crossings

Sunrise breaking up the clouds

Night swoops in, I cannot see,
Its darkness fills my mind.
Fear creeping up to devour me.
With dread I glance behind.

Voices recount my past disgust.
The shadows laughing at my plight.
In desperation I cry out to God.
Lord, hold me by Your might.

God makes my feet bound like a deer,
to stand upon the height,
and anoints me with my tears
to greet His mourning light.

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. Psalm 18:33

Problems that seem bigger than my prayers

Zion National Park

When my problems are bigger than my prayers I go to this verse:

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. Isaiah 59:1

Holding onto this verse when I pray for family and friends really adds zest to my prayers, and bounce to my worship.

Rejoice in the Lord!

Sunrise penetrating the clouds

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Each morning and through out the day it is good for me to rejoice in the Lord. I need it to put life in my living. Otherwise I am overcome by the trials and tribulations of this world.

  1. Rejoice with gratitude for God’s grace in Jesus.
  2. Rejoice that God is good and His love endures forever.
  3. Rejoice that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
  4. Rejoice that I am His child by faith and not by anything I do or fail to do.
  5. Rejoice that God has good plans for me.
  6. Rejoice that He has sent the Holy Spirit to guide me.

So… REJOICE and give thanks.

Feelings or Faith

Dead snag praising God

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
Let Him lead through all of your days.
Though your feelings will shout,
As they turn trust into doubt.
Seek refuge in a garment of praise.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5