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

Extraordinary

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The sun shining through the trees…extraordinary!

O LORD make this an extraordinary day.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

Jesus didn’t come to just save us from evil, He came to give us an abundant extraordinary life.

What makes for an extraordinary life? Living this day to the fullness of God’s blessing. What is God’s blessing? His love for us in Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Eph. 1:3

Life is not about fame, or power, or fortune, but living in, and through, and by the love of God.

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.  Eph. 3:17-19

Stop for a moment an let the love God has for you build into a crescendo of joy. For one day of God’s blessing and love, at work in us, and through, and for us is worth a lifetime elsewhere.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;  Psalm 84:10

Coming Before the Throne

Before the Throne

At Heaven’s gate

Trying to write, but I am so uninspired and sleepy.
Trying to pray for a good friend who has terminal cancer, but I am so lifeless in prayer.
Trying to live for my Lord, but I am so weak and easily tripped up.
How wonderful is my great high priest who sits enthroned at the right hand of God.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

My soul soars to His mercy seat and I fall before Him in thanksgiving.

When Lupine Call

Lupine

Come and enjoy

The lupine are so inviting, but many people just drive by not realizing what they have missed.

But I tell you it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgement than for you. Matthew 11: 24

Does this verse mean judgement will be metered out based on some sort of reverse merit system? Scripture also states that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6: 23), how are some more dead than others? I think this instead refers to knowing you had great gift before you and instead of receiving it with joy, you passed it bye. How dreadful to spend eternity with the thought of what might have been. Thinking of the “great wedding feast,” but knowing you chose to do something else. It is easier to bear the loss when you chose hell over heaven than to know you just ignored the invitation.

An Invitation from Heaven

Heavenly Initation

The sun breaking through storm clouds at Yosemite National Park

In the final summation of life, there is only one true blessing, also only one horrible tragedy. The blessing is eating at the great banquet with God, the tragedy is choosing anything else. Both of these final outcomes transform all that has happened to us. For those who choose to trust in God, all life’s happenings (including tragedies) will become blessings that brought us to sit at His table. We will look back and see how God used all to lead us to Himself. On the opposite side all the events of life (including what we thought of as good) become tragic if we allowed them to lead us away from God.

Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. (Read Luke 14:15-24 for the entire parable)

Jesus tells us in this parable of invited guests, who had good things happen that kept them from attending the banquet. So the poor, crippled, blind and lame were brought into the the great feast. Those who let other things interfere were excluded. Blessings become tragedies and tragedies become blessings.

Trust the Lord in all things, and He will make them a blessed invitation to sit with Him.

Background Music

The sun is the background music for the pines

The sun is the background music for the pines

My granddaughter is constantly singing while she plays. It is wonderful and brings me great joy just listening to her voice. This eavesdropping on my granddaughter reminds me that we all have songs playing in the background. Oh to have a good song rolling through us, just like my granddaughter, for it gives joy to all who hear it. Unfortunately, some of us have distressing clamor playing in the background instead of wonderful music, fitful cries of hurt, pain, or anxiety. This dissonance subtracts from life, instead joy we spread clamor. This is not the way life is supposed to be, but we are trapped unable to change what plays in our life. This is where Psalm 118 is so wonderful. A prayer given to us over two thousand years ago and is still filled with power and meaning. Listen to the Psalmist…

“I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the Lord helped me.
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.” (Psalm 118:13-14)

The psalmist teetered about to fall, when the salvation of the LORD came in, becoming his strength and song. But what does the “salvation of the LORD” mean? Further into the psalm it gives the answer.

“The LORD’s’s right hand has done mighty things!
The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;
the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” (Psalm 118:15-16)

The reference here is to the Messiah, Jesus. He is the LORD’s right hand.

“Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:19-23)

God tells us through the Messiah we can enter the gates of righteousness, and He becomes our strength and song. Then, when thoughts of hurt, pain or anxiety try to take over I can say: “In the name of the LORD I cut you off” (verses 10-12). Replacing the noise with the song of my God, “Oh, Immanuel.”