Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Blessings May Be Just Down the Street"

Mark 10:14-16 - "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

The day after Thanksgiving as I was walking my dog I considered shortening our walk when I saw some children playing at the end of the street. Now it's not that I dislike children or anything, on the contrary, I think they're precious and oftentimes purposely go in their direction knowing how much they love my dog. But since I wasn't feeling that great I just wanted to walk the dog, let him do his business and be on my merry way with no distractions.

Well, my little social butterfly of a dog, Gideon spotted the children from at least a half a block away and was pulling on his leash to get to them. So, while I was considering crossing the street before the kids spotted us he was already charging full force ahead. How could I deny him? He loves everybody and especially children! I guess he figures they're so much like him, care-free, full of energy and always ready for fun.

As soon as the little ones saw him they all came running, asking excitedly if they could pet Gideon, getting licks all over; their faces full of joy and laughing with delight. I smiled too and took delight watching them get acquainted as they rolled on the grass together.

One of the little girls, who had been first to approach Gideon, who was no more than eight or nine years old, stood up after she had finished loving on him, very mature and adult-like, with a hand on her hip, looked me square in the eye and said ever so thoughtfully, "How was your Thanksgiving Day, did you have a nice one, where did you enjoy it?" Then she shared with me some of the activities of her Thanksgiving Day and how much she wanted a dog but how her Mom wouldn't let her have one right now and how she'd also like to have a horse and other aspects of her life. I think she was a bit of a social butterfly herself.

She was such a little lady, her nails polished for the holiday and just a real girlie girl. She was something else and actually had me in stitches listening to her and watching her little grown-up self, so out-going, smart and confident. Her girlfriend shared with me that her Grandpa just had staples taken out of his head and that her sister called it a zipper. They just blurt out these things and make me laugh. You never know what they might say. They can be absolutely hysterical; and they're not even trying!

Aah, kids. They really do say the darndest things. I watched them in their sweet innocence, running, jumping and playing, going from one thing to the next without a care. How adorable and beautiful they were. I'm glad I went to the end of the street. They blessed my whole day - and Gideon's too!

Lord God, keep and protect these precious ones by Your mercy and grace. Draw them near to You and grow them up in the things of God. May they know You from an early age, love and serve You and be bright and shining lights for all the world to see. Lead and guide them into all truth through the Lord Jesus Christ all the days of their lives and into Your divine destiny and perfect will. Preserve in them the innocence and child-like spirit they now possess throughout their lives. Use them mightily for Your glory.

Thank You Lord for these little ones who helped lift my spirit and brighten my day. Help me to be more like them, instilling within me more of a child-like spirit. And in days to come, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, may You lead others also to walk just a little farther; perhaps just down the street where a blessing may be waiting. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Broken but Refined"

John 15:1-5 - “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

Philippians 2:13 - for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 
Hebrews 12:5-11 - And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Luke 5:36-39 - Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”

Tears often come out of nowhere
is my heart still soft?
I wish I would shine brighter
I pray remove the dross.
So often I seem to stumble
My God, I'm frail and weak
I pray I'd not repel them Lord
but cause them Christ to seek.
Forgive me where I've failed You
helping me to stand
Point me in the direction
of Your kind and outstretched hand.
Forgive me when I've been frightened
and close in from the fear
Break me out of the confines
Father, draw me near.
To see from Your perspective
and not through the eyes of this flesh
But anointed by Your Holy Spirit
the Name of my God to be blessed.
Lord, surely I'm not perfect
but the Perfect One is dwelling inside
Work in me to will and to do
for Your pleasure, as in You I abide.
I've not the ability to change myself
and so I keep pressing in
Desiring the depths of Your holiness
ever grateful You've paid for my sin.
I'm laying at the feet of Jesus
once again at the foot of His cross
Relying on the crimson red color
where You've given me life for my loss.
I'm asking for new garments
to drink of the new wine
Preserved within a vessel
Lord, that You've refined.

"Open My Eyes"

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.
Isaiah 50:4-5 - The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened my ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.
Matthew 13:16-23 - But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Psalm 1:2-3 - But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 23:1-3 - The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Open my eyes Lord
let me speak what You speak
Unto those that are weary
and those that are weak.
Awaken me each morning
open my ears
Help me Lord God
most gladly to hear.
Through good times or bad times
bearing much fruit
For I am planted by rivers
with prosperous roots.
Continually producing
for Your law's my delight
Wondrous, extraordinary
the Lord gives me sight.
Oh, the beauty and the splendor
of an omnipotent yet tender God
Who lovingly leads ands guides me
with His staff and rod.
Who brings me to quiet waters
there to give me rest
Holding me in His strong arms
my head against His breast.
To listen to His deepest thoughts
to share with Jesus, mine
Thank You for precious moments, Lord
alone with You, for time.
Thank You for refreshing
and for healing as I wait
Thank You for Your righteousness
and paths that You make straight.
You deserve the glory
I'll forever bless Your name
So grateful You pursue me
and for the heart that still You change.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Secure in Him"

Psalm 119:89 - Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.

Our lives pass by quickly
in an instant they change
But God's Word is settled
His truth remains.
So it's Him that I look to
in these uncertain times
My confidence is in Him
Who will lead me and guide
Into all that is good
and all that is right
I'm reaching out Father
I'm holding on tight.
Letting go of the things
that are weighing me down
Help me Lord Jesus
only in You to be found.