September 23, 2012

You Never Change

Father, thank you for today. Thank you for this beautiful fall weather. The crunchy leaves, brisk breeze, and clear skies. Thank you for quiet Sunday mornings and for your Scriptures. Thank you that they aren't just man's opinions or enlightenment, but God breathed. I pray this morning that I would be able to slow down and see you clearly. In your Word you promise rest to the weary and strength to the weak, but I know you can provide focus for the distracted. 

I know that my faith and dependance on you fluctuates like the sea level. One moment the waves are lapping up on the beach, stretching and striving closer to the shore. Then, not a few hours later, the ocean looks as though someone unplugged a big drain, miles and miles out and the water can't fight its powerful tow. Funny thing is, you designed it that way, you designed animals perfectly suited for these ever changing waves. You designed ecosystems and delicate and intricate time-tables. Never once does a drop of water go further then you intended. Never once does a current pattern change or a storm surge without you willing it. Although it seems wild and unbridled to me, you are completely in control. 

Father open my eyes to see how you're sustaining and guiding every detail of today, every choice that I'm faced with or every success or failure I encounter. It's not outside of your control or a surprise to you. Hallelujah to a God who is all-knowing, all-powerful and always loving. Amen.

[In his hands are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come and worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.] Psalms 95

September 18, 2012

Mess is mess.



Father firstly I'm so grateful that I can come talk to you freely. Hidden messes or exposed messes, either way we need you. You are faithful to stand there, greeting prodigals and reassuring elder sons. Constantly demonstrating your love and patience. I don't understand it enough, I can't begin to wrap my head around those truths. The fraction I can see I'm humbled. I want to pray this morning for a really specific prayer, one that seems timely to so many dear friends and family in this season and I know for me too.

Father I pray that your Gospel would be a thousand times louder than any other noise. The regret of missed opportunities, condemnation about ferris-wheel-like sin circling round and round, bitterness of hurt relationships. These things are very loud. They deafen our ears and disorientate our hearts. Father I know you are bigger than all those things. Your son died on the cross, a sinners death in my place. I have the freedom to stand and look at fear in the face and say, you're defeated, you're finished. You hold no power of me because my Father promises nothing can separate me from him.

For those who are in the trenches of discouragement, frozen in fear right now, I pray that you would lift our eyes to see your finished work. Father you weren't swept up in the emotion of the moment when your Son cried out, "It is finished". You finished it. So in light of that, give strength to the weak, give grace and patience to the frustrated, give love to the bitter, hope to the depressed.

Ultimately Lord my heart is longing for heaven. Oh the day when there will be no more tears, no more suffering, no more pain. But until that day comes we're here, fighting sin, overwhelmed, despairing, lonely, struggling. Give us your spirit to remind us we're not alone, give us community to grow with, give us suffering to point us to you, give us grace to sing loudly of your amazing FINISHED work. Amen.

September 11, 2012

this solid ground


Father this morning I'm reminded of the power of singing. I woke up tired, aware of my growing to do list and very aware of where I've failed. I feel like flopping back into bed and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls. I know I need to open your word, but it's been days and any motivation I did have has been zapped by a busy week and guilt. I know I need it but I know my flesh is too loud to read over it. Skip forward 40 minutes getting into the car and I still know I need truth, in a tired effort I put on some Christian classics. Not ten minutes later I'm crying, stopped at a red light. Music is powerful, music with truth breaks us down.

[Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find]

A practical choice to stop listening to whatever I'm listening to the most, opinions, myself, culture, whatever it may be. When I make the choice to sing to you, I'm drowning out lies with truth, I'm reciting the truth of the gospel. Singing songs of your faithfulness, your forgiveness and acceptance. It's a clear acknowledgment of my failings and my need for a savior.

Help me be a person that sings often, sings loudly, sings with joy. Help me be a person that meditates on truth so that joy overflows. In the middle of any trial help me find safety and remember who I am and who you are when i'm singing truths of your Gospel.

[Tune my heart to sing your praise.]

September 10, 2012

minor and major needs for gospel

[Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not.] Psalms 37:7

In the late 90's there was this boy band, they wrote this song, it was awful and unfortunately really, really, catchy. The chorus went, "Oop's I did it again", do I need to say more, or are you tracking?

Father that's where I'm at again, thinking, how in the world am I back here? When in reality I know exactly how I got where I am... In fact I know this road all too well. I don't know how to word it eloquently, but I know what I'm feeling and (by your grace) I know what I need. 

I'm feeling a little too much. I'm listening to those feelings a little too often. They are preaching lies and I'm soaking them in. Father stop me dead in my tracks, turn of my brain, turn off my fears, give me a sweet little thing called perspective and remind me specifically of the gospel. Wipe out the lies that I've willingly accepted, remind me of that you died for my sin and any guilt I feel is false guilt. Tune my heart to hear conviction and turn quickly to your abounding grace. 

Father for the days like today when I feel like saying, tag your in, remind me that you already are "in". I'm not in this alone, you've made the way possible. Thank you for hearing, and caring for meltdowns of minor and epic measures. 

[But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.] Psalms 13:5