Faith

Monday Morning Meditations: {Luke 2:34-35}

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “…And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
(Luke 2:34a, 35b)

Mary, when you held your Son for the first time, were you aware of the grief that would one day pierce your soul?

Did you know that you would have to return Him to His Father so soon?

Did you understand that your precious child would be called upon to give His life as a ransom for many?

Were you prepared to endure such heartache, such grief?

How were you able to let go?  How long did it take before you felt whole again?  Or did you ever?

Do your arms still ache to hold your Son?

Father God, this week my heart is broken over the loss of so many young lives, and the heroes who tried desperately to save them.  My mind immediately goes to the mamas, the ones whose hearts have been pierced, whose souls have been crushed, whose cries of anguish I cannot fathom.

Lord, they did not know what was coming.  How could they?  Such young lives, such innocent ones, those who stood on the edge of time, with dreams, hopes and promises yet to be fulfilled.  Yet their lives were taken, not by their Heavenly Father, but by one whose life was lived in darkness, void of hope, void of peace, without Christ.

Father will you comfort the grieving today.  Will you wrap your arms tightly around them, as they shake and shudder under the weight of what was lost.  Will you breath hope into their hearts, the kind of hope that pierces the darkness that threatens to overtake them?. Will you let them know, Father, that it will be okay?

My friends, this week, a sword has pierced our souls.  We may never be the same.  But one thing is certain, this lost and dying world is in need of a Savior.  Father, You sent Your son, as a ransom for many.  You sent Your Son to save that which is lost, that which is dying. Father, would you reveal the light of Jesus to all of humanity?

You are the light.  In You, there is no darkness.

Linking up with my new friend Jane today, and continuing to pray for the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings.

USE this for BLOG

Faith

Monday Morning Meditations: {Romans 12:18}

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)

Is it possible to live in peace?  I believe so.  Whether I choose to walk in it or give it away to others does not depend on my circumstances.  It does not depend on the state of the economy or the volume of my childrens’ voices.  What it does require is a choice, an act of my will.

I must choose, on a daily basis, to take the hand of the Good Shepherd and allow Him to lead me beside the still waters, to make me to lie down in green pastures.  (Psalm 23).  It is only there that my mind and my heart are realigned with His will, His purposes.  I cannot walk in peace, unless His peace is reigning on the inside.

When chaos looms around me, I can choose to breathe in deeply and whisper, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Prince of Peace.  Peace be still.”  This peace I carry is not always evident.  I can tend to voice my frustration on a whim.  I yell at my kids in a moment of unrest, when I forget to breathe and instead exhale my disapproval, my disappointment.

So I ask Him to come, to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)  I must remember to put on peace like a blanket, this peace that covers my insufficiency, my shortcomings, my frustrations.  To remain in a place of peace and rest, I must remain in the One who gives me peace.

It’s about stopping.

It’s about being still.

It’s about waiting.

It’s about surrender.

Yes, it is possible to live in peace.  But I must choose it.  The outcome depends on me.

I am linked up today with my new friend Jane at Girl Meets Paper.  Will you join me?

Faith

Monday Morning Meditations: {Phil. 1:4-6}

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am all about the Word of God and coffee!  I was so excited to have stumbled upon Girl Meets Paper last week.  I was overwhelmed with peace just by looking at her header, and then I saw a cute little button on her sidebar that was all about meditating on the Word of God with a hot cup of coffee (or perhaps tea or cocoa, if that is what you like).  I just knew I had found a friend for life and decided to participate.

 

Each Monday, Jane will share a scripture and asks us to participate in one of three ways:

  • reflect on the passage and share a story or example from your life that exemplifies the truth of that passage
  • write a devotional of sorts, providing a more theological perspective on the selection
  • post a photo that you think captures the heart of the message
Today, I am simply sharing what came to my mind as I meditated on this week’s verse.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:4-6)

Do you ever feel incomplete?  Unfinished?  I know that I do.  Whether it is in ministry, or relationships with my family, or issues I am walking through with friends, I often am reminded of the phrase, Be patient. God isn’t finished with you yet.

I often wonder when my time of completion will come.  Sometimes I get a little anxious in the waiting for the fulfillment of the promises that He has spoken to my heart.  This I do know: that I was created with a purpose.  And I wonder what do I need to do in order for God to complete the work that He started in me?  I need to get out of the way.  There is a saying, God will meet you half way.  I believe this is true.  But, I must begin to take baby steps towards God in order for Him to grab my hand and take me the rest of the way.

There is a joy and confidence that rises up in my heart when I make my requests known to Him, because I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  He is faithful to finish what He started. But, it’s a partnership.  God cannot do what He wants to do without me.  

Are you feeling left unfinished today?  Pray and ask God if there is something you need to do to get out of the way.  You can approach Him with joy and in confidence today knowing that He will bring you through to completion.  He is faithful to finish the work that He began in you. You will not be left unfinished!

Head on over to Jane’s blog and see how you can participate.

Faith

Beautiful Boundary Lines: {Finding Peace in Psalm 23}

I am linking up with Kerri of A Simple Princess as we continue our journey of finding peace in Psalm 23.  Today we are discussing the Shepherd’s rod and staff.

your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.  (Psalm 23:4b)

When I was a new Christian, this portion of scripture was confusing to me.  When I thought of a rod, I thought of a harsh form of discipline or a spiritual spanking.  I could not understand how someone could find comfort in a rod of discipline.  It wasn’t until I became actively involved as a singer and intercessor in the House of Prayer and began meditating more on this portion of scripture that I came to understand that there is comfort to be found in the Shepherd’s rod, as well as His staff.  In our House of Prayer, we like to refer to it as “beautiful boundary lines”.

The Rod.

At a very young age, a shepherd boy selects a rod particularly suited to his own size and strength.  Shaped to fit into the owner’s hand, the rod was an extension of it’s owner’s right arm, and stood as a symbol of strength, power and authority.  It was used as a means of protection, and as a form of correction to discipline any wandering sheep that would go astray.

My Shepherd, Jesus, disciplines me when I stray away from His path.  He does so because He loves me and desires the best for me.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
(Proverbs 3:11-12)

He also protects me from the schemes of the enemy, by stretching out his rod of protection over me.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.
(Psalm 138:7)

The Staff.

The staff identifies the shepherd as a shepherd.  It is a unique instrument used for the care and management of sheep.  The staff is normally a long, slender stick with a crook or hook on the end.  The shepherd takes great care in selecting his staff, which is shaped, smoothed and cut to his own personal use.  The staff is especially comforting to the shepherd, as he leans on it during the long night watch and gains support and strength.

There staff is used to draw sheep together in an intimate relationship.  The shepherd uses his staff to gently lift a newborn lamb and bring it to its mother if they become separated.  He does this because he does not wish to have the ewe reject her offspring if it bears the odor of his hands upon it.

The staff is also used for guiding sheep gently into a new path or along dangerous routes.  He does not use it to inflict pain on the sheep; rather, the tip of the long slender stick is laid gently against the animal’s side and the pressure applied guides the sheep in the way the owner wants it to go.  By this method, the sheep is reassured of its proper path.

My Good Shepherd uses His staff to draw me to Himself, and to gently lead me on the path He has set out for me.

Back to the beautiful boundary lines.

God has given to me specific guidelines to follow.  They are outline for me perfectly in His Word.  His Word is the road map of my life.  When I stray off the path laid out for me in the Word of God, My Shepherd uses the rod to gently nudge me to turn back.  Even when I am walking in darkness, His light illuminates my path so that I can find my way home again.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
(Psalm 119:105 NLT)

God draws me into intimate relationship with Himself through His Word.  I think I could live with every other thing but the Word of God.  It is my source of strength, my hope in times of distress.

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
(Psalm 119:114)

Beautiful boundary lines.  God has set boundaries for me, parameters which are meant to protect me and keep me safe.  Yet, at the same time, He’s given me the freedom to choose how much of these boundaries I want in my life.  And even when I choose to cross the boundaries of His safety and comfort, His rod and staff are right there, gently drawing me back into the fold.

A Simple Princess