Day 22, Psalm 22

In psalm 22, David is cryiing out to God, wondering when He will step in and help turn things around. When days, weeks and months go by and your desperate prayer has yet to be answered, you are faced with reconciling your heart with God’s sovereignty.   We can’t control God, like we can control some situations in our lives.  God’s ways are not our ways.

I have been in a few relationships with addicts.  One of my survival techniques was to take control when things got out-of-control in our lives.  Once in a while, forcing a solution would work, but mostly it was like taking one step forward only to slide back down the hill.  When God intervened and began to unwind this behavior, in me, it wasn’t easy. I was so frustrated. Instead of saving someone else from the consequences of their decisions, I let it go. I may have prayed for their sobriety, but God went after my co-dependency.   He knew what I needed most.

May your will be done, Father God, on earth as it is in heaven.

See you tomorrow for Psalm 23

Day 20, Psalm 20

This psalm was written during a time of battle.  David cries out for help and knows that God will help.  The first verse reminds me of the prayers I would say as my kids grew up and began to live their lives outside of my reach.  I would pray that God would protect them and help them when they are in trouble. 

I have several friends and family members who have kids heading off to college, or getting married, or moving to a new location.  Their worries are the same as mine were, but not all have faith to trust God with their kids.  I want to tuck this verse in their hand, with the hope they will find it on the day they need it most. 

We trust you Lord to watch over our kids.

See you tomorrow for Psalm 21

Day 10, Psalm 10

This psalm is very similar to yesterday’s psalm.  It is a little more relatable to me, since it talks about “those people” that seem to succeed regardless of their evil actions and intentions to harm others.  We’ve all seen this very dynamic in our life circles.  A bully at school, an immoral co-worker, a neighbor we would like to avoid, etc.  This psalmist asks the same questions I have asked or wondered.  He also proclaims what he knows to be true, God is just and fair and He will vindicate the oppressed. 

God doesn’t always act as fast as we’d like Him to – and we may not ever see the correction He will give to the person we are watching.  But He will, according to His perfect timing.  He will also restore the one(s) who were victims, but maybe in a way we are yet to understand.  This psalm encourages us to trust that God’s got this.

See you tomorrow for Psalm 11.   

Day 6, Psalm 6

The picture I found for today’s psalm, makes me pause.  To me it says, “through my pain, I reach to you, in hopes you will hear me.”  I have felt just this way a few times in my life.  For some reason, it’s hardest for me to reach out when I am experiencing deep pain.  For me, it feels like I have so much on the line, I don’t want to risk being let down.  Often one of my close friends will encourage me and pray with me, like this picture so gently shows. 

Over time, just as this psalmist experienced, we learn that God will hear our prayers, and He will accept our prayers, just as they are. He will be faithful to take great care with your request. If you don’t experience an immediate answer, you will be able to look back one day and see how He helped you through this time in your life’s journey. He is known for his lovingkindness and faithfulness.

See you tomorrow for Psalm 7

Day 5, Psalm 5

Yesterday, in psalm 4, we closed our day by resting in the assurance that our Lord would protect us.  Today, in psalm 5 we begin our day with thoughts of our Lord and send him our requests.  Then, we wait in anticipation for His reply.  I think it’s much easier to talk to the Lord than to wait for, and hear His reply.   

Hearing the Lord takes practice and patience. He isn’t limited to the English language and can talk to us in so many creative and surprising ways.  Tuning in to His frequency and staying aware of His presence in our lives is a life-long adventure. He may talk to us through the circumstances in our lives, through music, through a friend’s counsel, through scripture, through nature, His communication methods are unlimited and deeply personal. 

We want to hear from you Lord, we are listening.

See you tomorrow for Psalm 6

Let me Sow Peace

In this well-known prayer, Saint Francis models for us a posture we can chose when faced with uncertainty. He begins by humbling himself, inviting Jesus to work through him. Submitting his own will to God’s will.

I wonder, how would Jesus use my life today, if I submitted myself to him? How could he reach out, through me, to bring peace. How could he sow love, with my hands, with my words, with my heart, if I simply moved my will out of his way? His will has to be better than all the thoughts I am wrestling with right now.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. In my small territory on this grand planet. In my sphere in these United States of America. Bring your peace through me. Please sow your love. Amen.

Children of God

I have had several conversations lately about the kingdom of God and how it compares to the world that we know. Instead of just settling on the phrase “well, it’s completely different”, I want more specifics. My focus for the next five weeks will be a look at what the bible says about who we are in Christ. How is our identity in Christ different than our identity in the world?

We are children of God.

When I think about what it means to be a child in this world, I think about my experience as a child in the family I grew up in, as well as the experience my own children had with me. Both imperfect because we are imperfect. Its hard for most of us to think of being part of a family free of competition, criticisms, feelings of being lover-looked, misunderstood or unloved at times.

As a child of God, we are fully loved, fully accepted, nothing we do surprises our father, he will never leave us and he will never forsake us. We don’t have to compete with our siblings or wonder if we are loved. It’s a paradigm worth exploring. How can I live my life more aware of being a child of God?

Thank you Jesus for what you’ve done – so that we may be a child of God.

Amen

The greatest of these is love.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

I’m ending my love series with the powerful promise packed into verse 13. A reminder that our relationship with God begins with His love – and never ends. Love welcomes us, approves of us, and stays with us, now and forever. The perfect shelter for any storm. The ever-present comfort that never wears out.

Focussing of God’s love over the last 25 days has changed me. I tested every verse against my experience of Jesus. Where have these words been true in my life? Kind of like when you test a company’s mission statement against your experience with them. In this exercise, however, I found way more love than I was looking for. My understanding of God’s love has broadened and I have a new degree of freedom to just be me. I am loved.

Lord, thank you for your love. A love like no other. May we all continue to seek you and grow in our understanding of who you are and who we are in you. You are our good good father. Amen

A love that we crave.

I have carried this verse with me all weekend. Mulling it over, and looking for its presence in my life. How would i describe this verse – as it lives and swirls around me.

To me it holds a complete description of the unfailing love God has for us – and – a the description of the love we all seem to crave. Does this describe the God-sized hole we all have in our hearts that only God can fill? A love that endures the circumstances we struggle with. A love that carries a banner of hope for us to follow. A love that upholds a faith in us, that we will find our way through the sins we struggle with. A love that never gives up on us. With this ever-present love encircling us – how can we fail? I am so grateful.

Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Years ago, I was mediating a conflict between a foreman and a union employee he supervised. The tension had steadily risen for weeks as the foreman held his ground. During our session, the foreman finally spoke the truth and admitted to what he had said to the employee and sincerely apologized. I was struck at how fast the tension left the room once the truth was spoken. We were now able to move forward and soon their relationship was mended. It was a lesson I carry with me today.

Lord, help us speak truth when it’s our turn to share and help us discern when truth is spoken by others. Thank you for being the very best example of truth. Amen

Love does not dishonor others.

In my series on love, this is my verse for today. I have been quietly staring at it throughout the morning. There is so much to say and so little to be said. My heart is troubled and sad. The last several weeks have been so painful here in Minneapolis. My prayer is that love will grow up through the ashes. ❤️ Amen.

The Ultimate Gift

Lord, thank you for the provision of eternity. We will one day be with you, with unveiled faces, we will see your glory and understand more deeply what your gift to us means. Help us to see you working around us today. Amen

Miracle-worker

Lord, you are not bound by the limitations that surround us. You can break-through and transform any situation. Please break-through with your healing and perfect will for our lives. You can work all things together for good. We need you. Amen.

Victorious

Lord, today we look to you and see you have not changed. You have no restrictions, no fear, and you are at work all around us. Your Good News lives on. We praise you Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.

Miracle-worker

Lord, when we align our prayers with your will and have faith that you can do things that are beyond human strength, the impossible things in our lives can change. Today we are going big and asking you to end the deadly impact of the corona virus – around the world. Amen ❤️🙏.

Kindling for Joy

Lord, your will for us is perfect. In times of stress, your will and your words, challenge us to rise up and push in the opposite direction of our worries. Today we will pray and thank you for everything we can think of all day long. This will rekindle our joy. Thank you for your encouragement! 💛🙏