The Blessing of Ascribing to the Lord

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Sunrise over Leavenworth WA

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:1-2

Ascribe in Psalm 29 means to attribute, to give homage, to acknowledge in a worshipful manner. It is His infinite strength, glory, and holy splendor we are to ascribe to the Lord.

Unfortunately, I will go through a whole day and not ascribe to the Lord. This robs me of the peace I can have affirming God is more than able to handle the troubles before me. Psalm 29 continues by telling us about the power of God.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. Psalm 29:4-5

It is normal to be anxious about things, but when I ascribe to the Lord His glory and power and strength, then I begin to breathe easy again.

The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

Making the Desolate Beautiful

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My desert His palette

What makes this day?
A day with work and toil,
A day with struggle and worry,
A day with grief and sadness,

Jesus makes this day filled with His love.
He makes it a day of salvation from my troubles,
A day of deliverance from my foes,
A day where past failure is forgiven,
A day where hope can flourish,
A day with purpose and meaning,
A day of good things for me to do,
A day of guidance to His pasture,
A day of communion with God,
A day of feasting in His presence,
A day of giving thanks for His unfailing love,
Thank You Lord for making this day for me.

A reminder for your desert days from Psalm 107

Morning Mist

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Burning away the mist.

“I, the Lord, made you,
and I will not forget you.
I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,
for I have paid the price to set you free.” Isaiah 44:21-22 NLT

As I struggle with the ups and downs of life it is good to remember: God made me and paid the price of my sins that I might be with Him forever. With that in mind I keep facing the Son to let Him burn away all the mist.

“Because of God’s tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 NLT

Thank You Jesus.
Merry Christmas

Breath of Heaven

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Breathe deep of the heavenly air.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5

The love of God is the air of heaven, and the joy of earth. You breathe it in then breathe it out.

Breathe in––God’s love is greater than all my failures.
Breathe out––I can rest easy for His love watches over me.

Breathe in––Jesus loves me, and died in my place.
Breathe out––His life for mine, such love overwhelms me with gratitude.

Breathe in––The Spirit of God has freed me from the dark powers of this world.
Breathe out––peace and blessed assurance the victory is won.

Breathe in––God’s love surrounds me, and will never leave me.
Breathe out––I am His, and He is mine.

Breathe in––God’s love makes me what I was meant to be.
Breathe out––A reflection of Him to those around me.

Breathe in––Jesus loves me, and sent His Spirit to live in my heart.
Breathe out––Jesus loves you, and invites you to breathe Him in.

It may take you a number of slow deep breaths to have His love sink in, but I can guarantee even after a thousand years you have not begun to breathe in the depths of God’s love in Jesus.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21

Where Is the Color?

Recently I traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway looking forward to rich Fall colors. But, the recent abnormally hot weather had roasted the leaves turning them brown, and dropped them to the ground.

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Dreams gone dry

Disappointed, I sat dejected cursing my misfortune. Finally, I let out a feeble prayer, “Lord can You make something out of this nothing?”

Surprisingly He laughed for joy at my request, and pointed me to a small uninviting trail.

As I walked down the path the sun broke through the clouds revealing God’s wonderful creation.

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A beautiful way

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18

Troubles, anxieties, and hurts often color life an ugly brown. We begin to doubt the Lord’s goodness, and our thoughts become buried in the scorched dead leaves of our way. Yet there is hope because the Lord longs to show us compassion, and refresh our souls by His grace. Jesus desires to lead us to green meadows and peaceful streams, because He is our Good Shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name. Psalm 23:1-3 NLT

So, when life seems colorless––remember:

“I am His and He is mine.” Song of Solomon 2:16

Joy to the Full

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Hawaiian sunrise

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:11

Every once in a while I am struck with the joy of life. It is not because of the freshness of the mountain air or the brilliant morning sunrise. It is that these joyous moments are but a foretaste of eternal life in Jesus. When I sit down and contemplate why I have such joy, it always comes back to His love for me. The verses just before John 15:11 confirms it:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. John 15:9-10

“As the Father has loved Me,” Jesus says, “so I have loved you.” There it is––Jesus loves me deeply.

Part of that love for me is to tell me how I should be. Jesus uses the word command because what He says next about staying in His love is absolutely essential. It is the difference between looking through the window at the Christmas celebration, or going in to sit down to fully partake in it. Jesus is telling us that to have complete joy you have to join in His love:

Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

I urge you to let the Holy Spirit pour His love through every part of your existence and join the celebration of joy to the full.

Yet, God still Loves Us.

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When life seems to be going down.

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

The “yet” that starts verse eight is huge, because the preceding verse six lays out the truth about our past.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf, Isaiah 64:6

Though our actions are like filthy rags, yet You are our Father.
Though we have given up on ourselves, yet You do not throw us away.
Though we have made a mess of everything,
Yet, from this lump You will form something beautiful.

Turbulence

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When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2

This morning I was reading from the end of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah is warning the Israelites not to run off to Egypt. They instead are told to remain in Israel to be taken into captivity by Babylon. In other words it is better to go into captivity with God than to seek refuge anywhere without God.

This is a hard lesson to grasp, but so very important.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
than great treasure and trouble with it.
Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is
than a fatted ox and hatred with it. Proverbs 15:16-17

For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10

I find that this day is better because God is with me. This blessing is not found in anything else (not in vacation trips, not in winning the lottery, not in great acclaim, not in anything I can imagine). As I meditate upon this fact it changes my perspective for whatever I’m doing. I begin to worship taking a deep breath of the joy in this moment, for my joy is God being with me.

Dreaming Dreams

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May your dreams take flight

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17

Lord pour out Your Spirit on me.
Dream Your dreams in me.
Let my thoughts come from You.
Then give me the words to express the vision You give,
So others may rejoice with me.

The River of Life

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The might and power of the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park

When I am feeling burdened by the troubles of life, I cheat and go to the last chapter of the Bible to see how it will end.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. Revelation 22:1-5

Next I go to Psalm 46:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;…
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;…
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord Almighty is with us;

Jesus is that river of living water––the power of God. I need to be still and trust Immanuel, the Lord Almighty, is with me and my family. Carrying us along to do His will. Isn’t that good news.