Monday, December 13, 2010

intercessor...


Intercessory Prayer ~ My Utmost for His Highest
Dec13. . . men always ought to pray and not lose heart —Luke 18:1





You cannot truly intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption. Instead, you will simply be turning intercession into useless sympathy for others, which will serve only to increase the contentment they have for remaining out of touch with God. True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. Intercession means to “fill up . . . [with] what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), and this is precisely why there are so few intercessors. People describe intercession by saying, “It is putting yourself in someone else’s place.” That is not true! Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.

As an intercessor, be careful not to seek too much information from God regarding the situation you are praying about, because you may be overwhelmed. If you know too much, more than God has ordained for you to know, you can’t pray; the circumstances of the people become so overpowering that you are no longer able to get to the underlying truth.

Our work is to be in such close contact with God that we may have His mind about everything, but we shirk that responsibility by substituting doing for interceding. And yet intercession is the only thing that has no drawbacks, because it keeps our relationship completely open with God.

What we must avoid in intercession is praying for someone to be simply “patched up.” We must pray that person completely through into contact with the very life of God. Think of the number of people God has brought across our path, only to see us drop them! When we pray on the basis of redemption, God creates something He can create in no other way than through intercessory prayer.

help me to pray on the grounds of Redemption
and not just from sympathy
for i trust, my Father that You are still working
and want me upon my knees

long years of suffering tempt me to falter
God, why must this still go on?!
please help me remember You always are working
that suffering isn't too long

for You have a plan ~ and it's in Your timing
that answers to prayers we will see
give me the hope, and the faith, and the focus
for loved ones i must intercede!

*jb~sdg

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the gift of tears...

Repentance ~ December 7 ~ My Utmost For His Highest
Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. 2 Corinthians 7:10


Conviction of sin is best described in the words:

My sins, my sins, my Savior,
How sad on Thee they fall.

Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person. It is the beginning of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (see John 16:8). And when the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God—
“Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight . . .” (Psalm 51:4). The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.
The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable “goodness.” Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in the person’s life (see Galatians 4:19). This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance followed by unconscious holiness, never the other way around. The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be truly repentant.




the old puritans used to pray
for "the gift of tears"
oh, that You would break my heart
and make it ever clear

where i need repentance, Lord
where i have been wrong
show me, Lord, truth of my sin
break the chains so strong

sin i can't seem to escape
sin that weighs me down
only You can break the bonds
and turn my heart around

may my true perspective be
~against YOU, Lord, i sin
then please give me hope and grace
to humbly make amends

excuses want to trickle in
to ease my bitter heart
but this is not the truth, i know
when with You, Lord, i start

it does not matter others've done
it's in my heart You speak
conviction from Your Spirit, Lord
brings me to my knees

grant me, Lord, "the gift of tears"
for long my eyes've been dry
but reminded my sin's against You, Lord
surely i must cry!


*jb~sdg

Sunday, December 5, 2010

my heart...












Lord, make my heart ever tender
always willing to hear
where my life surely needs changing
please make it perfectly clear!

sometimes i sit and i wonder
"what's the problem with everyone else?!"
and then the reality hits me
'tis i that am really a mess!

show me the truths of my actions!
let me, Lord, hear my own words!
as i interact with my loved ones
teach me where work's to be done!

it's easy to look out at others
to think "can't they see things my way?!"
so, God, please change my perspective
and make me more willing to say

"i am no better than others.
in fact, i can often be wrong!"
help me to choose to be quiet!
to listen to You all the day long!

for i am no martyr of suffering!
in my life, blessings abound ~
let those, Lord, be more my focus
than losing by standing my ground!

oh, make my heart ever tender!
oh, make me, Lord, willing to hear
where i am the one who needs changing
to better love those i hold dear!

*jb~sdg

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas 2010...



i look at these Christmas pictures
from years now so long gone by

my heart almost aches with the memories
tears tempt the edge of my eyes

i knew they were not mine forever
that one day they'd make their own way

and that is for what we're preparing
yet coming too fast seems the day

oh help me to slow down and cherish
oh help me to take time to spend

more moments to add to the memories
with children who're becoming my friends


i LOVE my Sam and Elle! ~ i pray i will "let go" well and, Father, that You will be pleased and glorified.





*jb~sdg

Monday, November 29, 2010

more than a pattern...












today's Utmost For His Highest:

He will glorify Me . . . —John 16:14

The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with “the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty!” Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.

The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God!

Jesus said, “. . . when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He will glorify Me . . .” (John 16:13-14). When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally.


help me, Jesus, more to be like You!
ah, yes, that's what i so want to do!

to follow Your example to a "T"
that You may see my efforts and be pleased

but, Jesus, You are more than a design
that i should follow - staying in the lines

help me, Lord, remember all you gave
for a wretch like me that You would save

You are much more! may i ne're forget!
You came not a pattern just to set!

but You came, Lord, to save my very soul!
through blood and pain, from death's grip, i You stole!

You alone - Salvation are to me!
You. The Gospel. Savior. All i need.


jb~sdg

Friday, November 26, 2010

may i have Your eyes...












abundance of blessings for which to give thanks
leave me just wondering why
i sit in comfort and prosper in peace
while so many voices cry

mercy, oh Lord, on a suffering child
healing for one racked with pain
an end to the violence faced everyday
food that would cease hunger's reign

oh Lord, in the place and the time You have me
help me to not close my eyes
nor busyness keep me from seeing the need
from hearing the voices that cry

for i know Your ears catch every small sigh
Your eyes turn to each suffering one
You miss not the sparrow that falls from the sky
nor struggles that seem never done

give me the grace to walk through my days
not denying that there is great need
in a world full of contrasts of hunger and pain
to one filled with excess and greed

may i have the blessing of having Your eyes
may i see the world as You do
and look for the good works set just for me
that others be drawn close to You


*jb~sdg

Monday, November 22, 2010

the old one - two!












I got it from Tim Keller and Oswald Chambers this morning! I'm reading Counterfeit Gods by Keller. Such conviction about what I have set up as idols in my life...good things...idols!...ouch! and then Oswald Chambers too! The entry for today was "Shallow and Profound", and again, right between the eyes! Oh, to put to death my thinking so well of myself! and oh, to find the balance of my responsibilites and His being in control! Conviction hurts, but I am so grateful He does not just leave me alone!

Shallow and Profound
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God
1Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.
To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).
We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.
Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

Friday, October 29, 2010

suffering prayer...












oh that i had the words to say
what's in the heart of me
but i am at a loss, my Lord
and silent on my knees

so many suffer quietly ~
desire to know Your plan
yet painful as the suffering ~
yet resting in Your hand

oh may Your presence be so strong ~
the comfort that You give
that we would trust Your goodness, Lord
as through the pain they live

that purer, Lord, and purer still
the suffering'd make them be
until Your work is finsihed, Lord
and You alone we see

but teach me, Father, by their pain
may I share in their hope
that when my times of suffering come
it's You we better know

*jb~sdg

Monday, October 25, 2010

holding onto hope...

our church's women's retreat was this weekend. a lady named nancy guthrie spoke on suffering. the message she had to share was amazing! she has lost two babies to a genetic disorder and God has taught her so much through her suffering. i just wanted to share one of the quotes she shared with us about our idea of who God is and how He works. it's a quote by Abraham Kuyper...

Nancy ~ When I read what Abraham Kuyper wrote in Near Unto God about what happens when we suffer, first published in 1908, I realize that doing battle with the God we’ve created in our own mind is nothing new. Though he wrote one hundred years ago, Kuyper completely captures the modern mind-set and experience:

Abraham Kuyper ~ At first what our heart feels is that we cannot square this with our God as we imagined Him, as we had dreamed Him to be. The God we had, we lose, and then it costs so much bitter conflict of soul, before refined and purified in our knowledge of God, we grasp another, and now the only true God in the place thereof . . .

We fancy ourselves the main object at stake; it is our happiness, our honor, our future and God added in. According to our idea we are the center of things, and God is there to make us happy. The Father is for the sake of the child. And God’s confessed Almightiness is solely and alone to serve our interest. This is an idea of God which is false through and through, which turns the order around and, taken in its real sense, makes self God, and God our servant . . .

Cast down by your sorrow and grief, you become suddenly aware that this great God does not measure nor direct the course of things according to your desire; that in His plan there are other motives that operate entirely outside of your preferences. Then you must submit, you must bend . . .

This is the discovery of God’s reality, of His Majesty which utterly overwhelms you, of an Almightiness which absorbs within itself you and everything you call yours. And for the first time you feel what it is to confront the living God. And then begins the new endeavor of the soul, to learn to understand this real God.

job 13:15 ~ though He slay me, yet i will hope in Him.

job 42:5 ~ i had heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee


nancy ~ faith is lived out through submission - not manipulation to get God to want what we want. what we need most is not "yes" to all our prayers, but when He says "no" to know that He's doing what's best...God wants to use the difficulties in your life not to punish you, or to hurt you, but to draw you to Himself...

http://nancyguthrie.com/

Thursday, October 21, 2010

exceptional in the ordinary...

"discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God...it requires the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored exisitence as a disciple of Jesus. it is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. we have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes."
~oswald chambers (of course!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

words cannot express!!

Romans 10:14-15
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"


Matthew 25:35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' ... 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' ... 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


























Friday, October 8, 2010

mission trip...

our family leaves today for Mexico. this will be our children's first mission trip! we are so excited and hopeful about how the Lord will work in each of our hearts and lives. please join us in praying for safety as the team travels and builds a new home for this sweet family,that we will be a blessing to them and have LOTS of opportunity to show Christ's love to each of them!

the trip is through the organization YWAM. this is the link to the family we are serving!

http://www.ywamsandiegobaja.org/articles.aspx?id=27958&menu=HOH&nodate=t
rue

Homes of Hope Family Profile
Miranda Vazques Family




Husband’s Information
Name:Jose Antonio
Age:35
Occupation: Security Guard
Weekly Salary: $130/WK
Place of Birth: Guerrero

Wife’s Information
Name: Maria Isabel
Age:35
Occupation: housewife
Weekly Salary:
Place of Birth: Guerrero

Children’s Information
Erick Daniel, 15YRS, 10th Grade
Areli Isabel, 14 YRS, 9TH GRADE
Gloria Vianey, 4 YRS, Kindergarden

Community Information
Name: Frace Sonora

Police Station: NO
Hospital: yes
School: Yes
Church: Yes
Shopping Area:NO

General Information
Time Married: 18 yrs
Time Living in Tijuana: 2 yrs

Current Living Conditions: cement floors with scrap wood construction
Property Information
Time Living on Property: 2 YRS
Electricity: YES
Running Water: NO


“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”
Hebrews 3:4

Sunday, October 3, 2010

prayer...












i know that You are working,
drawing to Yourself,
one who's lightly sought to follow You

and though it's sometimes painful
to see him start to grow,
i trust that You will fully see this through

i give him, o our Father,
into Your gentle hands
knowing there is purpose in each trial

and trust the other side, Lord,
that he'll more clearly see
You walked with him 'long each and every mile

who to better teach him,
that he'll more clearly see,
than You? the One controlling everything

so when he's more mature, Lord,
more fit to to face this world,
it will be only You to whom he clings

so draw him, Father, draw him,
a deeper place with You,
not satisfied to stay but status quo

that ever he may seek You,
surrendered to Your will,
as for himself, he comes Your heart to know


*jb~sdg


ephesians 3:16-19
that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Friday, October 1, 2010

worldliness...


Life in this fallen world can draw our hearts far from God and from growth in godliness. Worldliness equips you to search your heart for the presence of worldliness and gives practical help for resisting the world's influence in the areas of media, modesty, music, and material possessions.

oh my goodness! a MUST read for us!!!


1john 2:15~do not love the world or anything in it

what does this mean for us? how does it look?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

hard conversations continued...

wow! i guess the Lord is going to open doors right away to these conversations! the first one started in the drive-thru at in-n-out :) we were talking about college and where some of the kids we love are going - in this case a big state university - and our son's "fascination" with this big school experience. the subject turned to examining what was drawing interest in that direction - then to what some of satan's "lures" might be for him...HONEST MOMENT :)... he thinks he's wanting to know if he can fit in with this young man he has looked up to for years...question? is this a person to follow? answer...not really b/c i think one of his lures might be the same as mine!...follow up...where do you see that lure active in your life today? what are you doing or will you do about it now to combat it in possibly a bigger way in the future?

conversation 2 - waking me up to say he's worried about the SAT/ACT. (he had just read a Puritan sermon for one of his classes that was about God's decrees and providence - PERFECT!) questions...are you praying about this yourself? what will you do when hard/scary things come up when you are more on your own? is God's being in control something you just read and write about or something you actually believe? what does it look like when you really believe this? are you willing to surrender to His plan, or will it be a battle?...silence - thinking, but able to go to sleep :)...follow up...are you having time with the Lord daily? are you praying regularly and learning to rest instead of worry? are you willing to go where He leads even if that looks different than you thought it would?

My part...to look for natural opportunities the Lord provides for these conversations. to pray for His words - not my own!!!


john calvin~ gratitude of mind for the favorable outcome of things, patience in adversity, and also incredible freedom from worry about the future all necessarily follow upon this knowledge (of God's providence)...ignorance of providence is the ultimate of all miseries; the highest blessedness lies in the knowledge of it.

james1:5~if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

hard conversations...

a friend and i talked recently about our children's sanctification. it's time to have what i will call "some hard conversations". our son is a junior in high school -looking at colleges, thinking about the future - all exciting to him, a little scary to me :)

some of the questions... for me - do i love him enough to risk having these conversations? do i see a servant's heart? do i see gratefulness or a sense of entitlement? do i see fruit of the Spirit?...for him - why do you do the "right" things you do? what is your motivation? are you loving your neighbor? who is your neighbor? what responsibility to do have to others? your sister, friends, girls? what do you see as the "lures" of sin that satan might use on you? what do you believe about sin? and to whom do you feel accountable?
...the list goes on - LOTS of opportunity for growth and good, but hard conversations!

and after waking up in the middle of the night and making note of several questions...a poem...


i watch his chest move up and down
the breath of life within
i reach to stroke his fevered head
this little life begins

before i know it i unpeel
the little hands that cling
the nursery seems a major step
what will the future bring?

does he ever see my tears
or know my deep, deep love?
i must give him everyday
and trust my God above

i hope the t-ball soars so far
as he the bases rounds
that life is filled with lots of friends
and much new confidence found

choice to keep him home for school
equipping so many ways
my hopes and prayers i lift to God
each step along the way

then glasses,
growing,
and braces too
and now almost a man
was i but checking off a list
was i making the plan?

oh no! my Lord, much more than that
Your call for me as a mom
to pray and give him back each day
to You my loving God!


*jb~sdg

Saturday, September 25, 2010

known...











there is a wave of darkness, Lord
that threatens from within
it wants to overtake me now
it whispers to give in

but You are always with me, Lord
still walking by my side
at other times You carry me
as i learn to abide

the world does not have time for this
nor care my thoughts to hear
and i must learn ~ You are enough
You wipe away my tears

for though i feel so oft' alone
i know You never leave
and in this quiet, empty place
i more and more believe

that You withhold the things You do
to teach me to depend
upon Your presence ~ You alone
and i must learn to bend

submit my will and my desires
and trust You have a plan
and find in my heart gratefulness
contentment in Your hand

for though i do not understand
~i'll not pretend i do~
You give me faith that's big enough
to know You will be true

so i will meet You everyday
sustained by You alone
and walk, though it be just with You,
as one who's deeply known

*jb~sdg

psalm 23

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

delicious weekend...


saw this friday afternoon with my sweet friend, Kim, who loves to cook too! loved it!!!!!



then tommy and i went to essence bakery for b'fast this am ....YUMMMM!!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

dancing...












keep me, Lord, in step with You
though i am not a dancer
oh help me follow every move
and yield to Your sweet leading

i am amazed that You would choose
one lacking perfect rhythm
but trusting, i will take Your hand
surrendered ~ i Your maiden

for who am i to question You
the partner of Your choosing?
for You, Lord, take the simple things
and bring to Yourself glory

oh may we dance in loveliness
and bless each heart who passes
yet i will know deep in myself
it's only by Your leading


*jb~sdg


now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, September 6, 2010

healing...












i looked in the mirror
and what did i see?
i saw me
looking at me

and then You told me
to look once again,
and i saw me
exposed in my sin

but You didn't come
just to leave me exposed,
but healed and restored
deep in my soul

layer upon layer
oh peel them away
taking apart
the me that i've made

and answer the questions
that lurk within me
of just who i am
of just whom You see

open me, Jesus,
to Your healing ways
removing my blindness
and self-focused days

heal me of thinking
so much about me
of what others think
of who i should be

just let me be real
no need to pretend
a work still in progress
but loved to the end

and when, Lord, the healing
You started is done
now free to love others
than when You'd begun

*jb~sdg


mark 2:17
and when Jesus heard it, he said to them,"those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous,but sinners."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

unsullied...



Oswald Chambers ~ Holiness means
unsullied walking with the feet,
unsullied talking with the tongue,
unsullied thinking with the mind
~ every detail of the life
under the scrutiny of God.



oh, unsullied may i be
as i live this life 'fore Thee

feet that go where You would lead
meeting others in their need

words just pleasing, Lord, to You
bringing encouragement ~ hope that renews

and, Father, the challenge of an unsullied mind
thinking toward others, only thoughts that are kind

of these simple details, will You ever take hold
under Your scrutiny, continue to mold

and move me toward holiness, teach me to be
unsullied, Father, ever for Thee


*jb~sdg

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

can this be redeemed...












can this, oh my Lord, be redeemed?
some things seem as though they maybe can't
but i know of Your powerful right hand
and i must put this there and learn to wait

in my unbelief will You work?
will You give me faith to believe?
i want to trust You with this oh so much
but all that is within me seems to say

that i'll not see an answer to this thing
that it is much too deep and far too long
but You see through the years don't You, Lord
and You've said NOTHING for You is too hard

reason to believe is all i need
let some word of courage lift my head
do the work in me that is required
my heart is broken, scattered on the shores

and though it seems impossible to me
put it back together as You do
this is just the place You love to be
repairing all the damage caused by man

redemption is the work You came to do
restoring us to what we're meant to be
so take this broken thing that needs Your touch
and make it whole and lovely by Your plan

*jb~sdg

Sunday, August 22, 2010

this is the gospel...









I'm reading a new book. It's called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. I just wanted to share some of what I read this morning.

"I remember sitting outside a Buddhist temple in Indonesia. Men and women filled the elaborate colorful temple grounds, where they daily performed their religious rituals. Meanwhile, I was engaged in a conversation with a Buddhist leader and a Muslim leader in their particular community. They were discussing how all religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different. "We may have different views about small issues," one of them said, "but when it comes down to essential issues, each of our religions are the same."

"I listened for a while, and then they asked me what I thought. I said, "It sounds as though you both picture God (or whatever you call god) at the top of a mountain. It seems as if you believe that we are all at the bottom of the mountain, and I may take one route up the mountain, you may take another, and in the end we will all end up in the same place."

"They smiled as I spoke. Happily they replied, "Exactly! You understand!"

"Then I leaned in and said, "Now let me ask you a question. What would you think if I told you that the God at the top of the mountain actually came down to where we are? What would you think if I told you that God doesn't wait for people to find their way to Him, but instead He comes to us?"

"They thought for a moment and the responded, "That would be great."

"I replied, "Let me introduce you to Jesus."

"This is the gospel. As long as you and I understand salvation as checking off a box to get to God, we will find ourselves in the meaningless sea of world religions that actually condemn the human race by exalting our supposed ability to get to God. On the other hand, when you and I realize that we are morally evil, dead in sin, and deserving of God's wrath with no way out on our own, we begin to discover our desperate need for Christ."

Friday, August 20, 2010

each day first and last...











give me Your perspective
as i pass through all my days
as if it were my first one
let me be amazed

help me catch the beauty
in the simplest of ways
the eyes of my children
the coolness of the shade

the colors of the rainbow
against a stormy sky
the voice of a loved one
let me not pass by

help me to take notice
of all the varied ways
You let me know You love me
each day as my first day

then help me also,Father,
to walk through time You give
as if each day's the last day
i might have to live

help me speak with kindness
to those You've given me
finding ways to show them
their preciousness i see

let me not be short
or in a hurry with my time
but give them full attention
as they share their hearts and minds

help me,Lord,to focus on
all in them that's good
stop wasting, ever wishing,
they'd be as i think they should

so each day as my first day
and each day as my last
living in the moment
not dwelling on the past

nor focused on the future
but the gift that is today
my life a living sacrifice
before You, Lord,i lay

*jb~sdg


proverbs3:27
do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

dependence...












bless our children,
Lord, we pray
as they walk
each in their way
move them each & every day
to more dependence, Lord

"more dependence?"
one might say
"that is surely
not the way!
for independence is the goal
for every self-actualized child!"

oh, my friend
but don't you see
i don't want them
to depend on me!
so everyday i'm on my knees
to pray for their dependence

"you make no sense
you silly girl!
INDEPENDENCE!"
says the world
but i know a secret
a precious pearl ~ pray for their dependence

for the dependence
that i seek
will not leave them
at home & weak
but send them soaring
on eagle's wings
dependent ONLY on Him!

*jb~sdg

isaiah 40:28-31
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

"a healthy relationship between parent & child moves from dependence to independence, but a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father moves in the opposite direction...we put so much pressure on ourselves, as if the eternal plans of almighty God are contingent upon our ability to decipher them. the truth is, God wants to reveal them more than we want to know them. and if we think one misstep can frustrate the providential plans of the Omnipotent One, then our God is way too small. not only does God want us to get where God wants us to go more than we want to get where God wants us to go, but He is awfully good at getting us there. He may not always reveal His plans how or when we want Him to, but when we chase the Wild Goose, our future becomes His responsibility. "in His heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." do me a favor. stop reading for a moment and take a deep breath. now let it out...a deep breath recalibrates us physiologically. it relaxes us. the sovereignty of God has the same effect on me spiritually. when i'm reminded that God is the one ordering my footsteps, it helps me relax. God is in the business of positioning us in the right place at the right time. and that ought to give us an unshakeable sense of destiny even when we feel disoriented." ~ mark batterson, Wild Goose Chase