The Narrow Path (My Walk with Jesus - a long and winding road)

September 9, 2010
Its a great morning! We're waking up feeling much better after being sick last nite. My oldest child is taking care of all of us this week - I kinda like having her around! ;) Today, I'll share with you what's speaking to my own heart. "Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other." Ps 85:10 (Been into Psalms a lot lately; that David sure has a way with words!) So I've been missing time with my someone special; seems we've both got things keeping us busy while we're apart. For me, it helps to work on other quality relationships and I like to think it's the Lord's way of engaging me in those and guarding my heart at the same time. I still miss him though - I miss seeing his face with the smiling green eyes and tidy little beard. I miss his little kisses, short and sweet. I miss his big bear hugs that melt away whatever troubles have attached themselves to me. I miss sitting beside him watching tv - that's peaceful to me. But, ah, life takes a slow turn sometimes, doesn't it? I'm faithful and I will let the Lord be my guide, my true love and the protector of my heart. He is good to me and provides all I will ever need. This is my prayer this morning - somewhat selfish, but nonetheless necessary for me today. I'm not prompting anything, I'm just sharing what's on my heart; take it into your own and tuck it away for a rainy day.

September 8, 2010
Rise and shine, go out and share the light of your soul. Smile at strangers, wave that car into your lane, hug someone who needs it. You just might be the only bright spot in their day and, oh, what a difference such a small thing makes in the life of a hurting person. God will repay you a thousand times what that's worth to one of His children. What will seem chance to one of His own will be created by His will in you! "Make your face shine upon your servant and teach your decrees." Ps 119:135 Bring a little sunshine into someone else's rainy day and your own storms will pass more easily. Make this great day your own - radiate His love and shine on!

September 7, 2010
"God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity." Ps 68:6. That's you, sweetie. You're the tool God uses to build up your family. And your family is extensive, beyond your household, beyond your community. And they know this, so they call for you and they come to you. They rely on you and know you will speak the truth in love. Take care to keep your spirit wise and your heart pure and full so you can be ready for them. Its a wise man that follows Jesus and leads his family like sheep rather than drive them as if they were, instead, goats. Lead them and protect them, encourage and care for them. This is where you will find your own strength, and success, too. I pray you will take on the challenges chosen for you today with wisdom, a mindful heart, and that you will be full and satisfied when you lay your head down tonite. You are capable and strong, healthy and wise, thankful and loved. You are blessed, sweethear, and we are blessed with you.

September 6, 2010
Its nice to go back and touch your roots sometime, isn't it? I visited my home church this past weekend and I just love those old hymns and enjoyed singing along even though I was on the front row. My daddy is still leading the choir - beautiful! My cousin still plays the grand piano, too - such a beautiful piece and so treasured by everyone. It has its own history of acquisition and has been there since long before most of the members or preachers. And there's my grandfather's picture hanging in the entry hall, the man of God that showed everyone how human he really was. Oh, and Preacher was on fire I tell ya, preaching for the baptism that took place - he even said "God O'Mighty" like he was referring to Him as an Irish fella! I'm not even kidding. It made me smile to myself so I just had to throw out an "AMEN!". Even though there was no clapping or hand-raising, I felt HS in that place and He told me this: "This is where I brought you from. Take it with you.". And for what strangers might have viewed as lackluster, I saw as exuberance - my original evangelism. I have that history beneath me to walk upon and it lifts me up to receive new and exciting blessings of following in His steps. Of the bajillion verses Preacher spit out (ok, there was really only 15), I was touched especially by these 2: "As soon as Jesus was baptized, He came up out of the water. Then Heaven was opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and lighting on Him. Then a voice said from Heaven, This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased." Matt 3:16-17. What an incredible description of such a private moment with God, and to think that He is just as pleased with us as with His own child for our same actions is, well, so humbling and so beautiful. What a Spirit-filled day!

September 2, 2010
Sometimes my own heart mixes in with what the Spirit says to me and a little research into this reveals to me this is actually a form of prayer, termed "crafting" when built upon a particular verse. I like that. Even when I'm visiting with my God, I am crafting. Suits me.

September 1, 2010
Today I’m praying you’ll be able to offer reassurance and lighten the heaviness of someone's heart – you know the one that carries such a heavy load. Remember when you felt like that? Like you needed to take it all on, be in charge, be in control because you wanted to be the one who made God and everybody else happy – but then you came to understand that doesn’t usually make anybody happy, not even yourself, and least of all God. Remember that? Nonetheless, you can bring your own experiences to the table for someone and help them understand that feeling of needing to be in control. And you will do this for them because you love them and because He loves you and because you want to see the darkness that is prevailing be lifted so they can receive the light of our Saviour. “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” PS 148:8

August 31, 2010
He told me thanks for the daily devotionals. I told him thanks for encouraging me to invite the Holy Spirit in and speak through me. I told him it has been an awesome experience so far. He said, "Oh He was just waiting on you!" He's a wise man, this man that tugs at my heartstrings...

August 30, 2010
Are you ready to take on another day, pastor your calling, minister your gifts? I know you can do it; you have been built up and put in a place where you can do just this. Did you ever imagine umpteen years ago that you'd be where you are now? So much has passed through your life, it would have been hard to picture this here and now. And while some would not have been of your choosing, it was chosen for you. It had to be. You would never have selected the difficulties you were made to encounter but He knew they were necessary and allowed them to come into your life right beside the blessings he also hand-picked for you. Because you did choose to glorify God through it all, you have been and will be rewarded. "...whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." Romans 8:30. This day is for you, John. The day after recognition. Fulfill your purpose today as humbly as you would have before, as gladly and bravely, too. He has more in store for you to do. He has set the example for you and has set you as an example - and He has given you all that has passed in order to move you forward. March on, dear one, march on for there's an army behind you.

August 26, 2010
I'm simply not the one in charge. I could go on and on about how this happens often but, bottom line, I need to relinquish control. I am confident God will lead me where He wants me, where I can best work for Him. God-sponsored opportunities are endless and I want to better learn to differentiate those from selfishly created ones. "I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with those. Who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me." (Is 66:2) I can't help but feel as if I'm only being shown a part of the plan as an opportunity for obedience. We are His and I pray for the discipline to live that out. I pray that today we will allow God to speak before we do, to perform before we take action, in order to see the whole plan. Patience is one of the tougher fruits to bear but truly one of the most delicious! Lay your plans for today with that in mind, shine your light with grace and share your wisdom with kindness.

August 25, 2010
You with the sound mind and strong body and kind eyes and loving heart - hope you're off to great start this morning and ready to share your wonderful self with the world. Enjoy whatever comes your way today - you are wise and skilled and nothing can throw you off the path to greatness. Go at it with all your might!

August 24, 2010
It is a good morning - a fresh new day! I hope you have given the events of yesterday their rightful place so you can be renewed again with this dawn. Today, I pray you are admired, appreciated, accepted and affirmed - that these awesome blessings fill you to overflowing and lift you up to new heights. I pray this is obvious to those you come in contact with today and that they find comfort in you as you encounter and love them. This will surely bring you success and favor in God's eyes. "You are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." Eph 2:19-20. I can see the spirit of our Saviour in you, that carpenter quality, carefully measuring and laying stones for your foundation by crafting what you've been given to ensure it is solid and firm and can withhold the storms that will inevitably pass over it; selecting tools from the Word that will help you perform this act of building; and teaching the skills necessary to those around you. Combined, you work to build a household of God where you can rest after your labors and welcome His children. Keep on building and you will be rewarded with a palacial dwelling, it is guaranteed. Build up those around you today as you would yourself. You have the power to bless and to receive!

August 23, 2010
Ready to rise and shine? Do you have a good practice of beginning your days with glory and praise? By doing so, I believe you prepare your household for the day by arming them with the shield of the Holy Spirit. There is no better start for our day than to usher Him back in, to welcome Him to accompany us as we begin again, to allow His return to the places yesterday may have shut Him out. Better than biscuits and gravy is a feast of the Holy Word for breakfast! "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you." Ps 128:1-2 This is not the verse I woke up with in my head this morning. That's alright - I acknowledge where the Spirit is leading me today. The memories of shared meals, feasting together, taking time to share substance, a necessary is a good reminder that we can also begin our day by feeding our souls with His word, substance, a necessary. Feast until you are full enough to be satisfied throughout the entirety of the day. Fill yourself to overflowing so you cannot help but share the Holy meal of God's mercy in your life. May His Word satisfy you today, fill you up with substance, and lead you to feed the hungry hearts you encounter. Amen.

August 21, 2010
Hope you ended your week on a good note and are ready to enjoy the private part of your week. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Cor 5:17 The things of the recent M-F have passed and we're on to the new opportunities of 2 days set aside for refreshing ourselves, reviving our relationships and rebuilding our faith. How awesome is it that we have this time set aside to do these things? And even more awesome is that every single thing prior to this point in time has passed away, closed, shut, handed over. God designed our lives that way, to help keep us from reaching back and taking it up again. We really have no choice but to move forward and are, therefore, a new creation with each waking day - therein lies our power. Because His grace is sufficient, our patterns, our recall, our past experiences, and even our sins are gone, forgiven, dead. Our worldly nature has us clinging to them as if they bring us comfort. We unconsciously reach back, pluck them up and try to re-grow them for no reason other than familiarity. Even the good things remembered from the past pale in comparison to what we will experience as a new creation. We have so much to look forward to, let's praise Him for our past, for what He has lovingly shown us there, reveals His promises for the future. Reach ahead for those - not only is His grace sufficient, His grace provides. His grace rebuilds. His grace refreshes. His grace heals. His grace reveals. Let His grace reign for you today!

August 20, 2010
We're closing out another week, preparing for the down time we look forward to - those couple of glorious days devoted to tending to home and family and worship before we're off again to another week that is the other part of our lives. Why do you suppose the weekends are truly more enjoyable than the work week? Is it because Mon thru Fri we have less control over situations and people? I believe that is a large part of it -because we are at the mercy of others for the majority of that time. I'm drawn to Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish." and I'm struggling this morning with making the correlation with what I'm writing but I'm confident, still, there is a message here. This is how the Holy Spirit works in me. First, a vision of something - in the Word, in a person, in my heart - then the challenge of discovering how it will come to be, so if I'm rambling a bit, please forgive me. Vision - there's comfort in that, in seeing what lies before you; the perception that allows us to plan - and dream. Perish - this is the unknown that creates fear or anxiety - and takes our dreams away. Our dreams are our prayers with wings - those wonderful hopes that, when mused upon, bring smiles to our hearts and give us something to look forward to - to envision. I believe our dreams are one way God shows us hope, allowing us to "see" it as proof of His love for us. Without them, what do we have to look forward to? And as we strive to get closer to Him, we can learn to ask for these dreams, these desires of our heart, and it will be granted because our dreams will begin to take the shape of His will in our lives. So there you have it, the intended voice of this verse - at least as it was intended to be delivered this morning. Today then, as you wind down your work week, make some time to dream. Look beyond those things and people we cannot control. Indulge the Holy Spirit and let Him show you a glimpse of what is in store for you. Build your vision upon the joys revealed to you there and let your prayers take flight. Dream on!

August 19, 2010
1John3:2: Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Confirmation that while we know we're destined for an eternity with Him, therefore knowing the goal of His plan for us, we do not always know what comes between now and then, or even when His promises will be revealed to us. So we rely on faith in a just God and live according to His word in preparation of things to come in His time so that we're ready when the blessings come pouring down. Live out today in expectancy of what your faith will bring you and encourage those around you with this in your heart. Shine baby shine!

August 18, 2010
"And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place and was praying there." Mark 1:35 What an awesome way to start our days - to model ourselves in this discipline, to put our faith in motion and pray even though we have no complete idea of what we will face today. With this, we fill our hearts with goodness so there's less room for all that tries to plague us. We cannot be beaten down if we start out by lifting up our prayers and praises. Arm yourself with this and prepare only for the best - God will take care of the rest. Give Him all you've got, even what's hidden deep inside the realms and crevices of your heart; empty yourself of the pride that keeps those things there for they are burdens and seek only to weigh you down and keep you from heights you've never sought to reach. Today, concentrate on you, stretch beyond your capabilities and what your mind limits you to. Allow those you lead and love to see your vulnerabilities so they can see the Holy Spirit working in you. Give them the model of a works-in-progress so they can see your humanity and relate to it. Leadership is not all about proper processes and directives and there's great learning, for teacher and student, to be had when struggles are exposed and successes are shared. I pray you have opportunities today to reach deep within yourself in order to lift up another with the hands of God. Practice what you preach so that the sermons of your life can speak!

August 17, 2010
I hope you are ready to take on the challenges and blessings in store for you this week. Who knows what's in store for God's children? Our Father God has our eternity planned and this is only the beginning, isn't that exciting? Let's be all there wherever He puts us and give it our very best in that moment. What else is there really? For through His love, we are nothing less than special so expect the very best and it will be yours. Look beyond what you can see and you will be amazed. Reach further than you think is possible and you will have more than you could imagine. Love with all your very heart and you will experience joy unspeakable. Shine your light so others can see our awesome God residing in YOU!

July 18, 2010
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  The words that guide my journey.  This morning I am led to read this in more depth so I compared it to the other translations available and the KJV (my personal favorite) says it like this:  "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  An expected end?  This verse calls for my reflection and prayer this morning...

July 16, 2010
Matthew 8:26 KJV - And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  This verse presented itself more than five times in one week.  I think He's trying to tell me something...