Grateful Mornings

Lord, I am so grateful for waking each morning with thoughts of You, with prayer on my heart, with thankfulness for rest and for my life in You. No matter what is going on in an everyday sense, I never fail to wake with a thankful heart for all you’ve provided, for Terry’s love, for gracious and loving daughters. Many years ago I prayed consistently “Let me hear Your voice when I awake…” and I know that You are faithful to answer the prayers of Your children when we pray according to Your will. It’s another point of strength that helps me to know YES – He’s really there, He’s always there, He follows through, and I am saved–because that’s Your promise. I love You, Lord. Amen

What a Put-Off.

I’ve had good intentions recently. Yes. I woke each of the last two days with no time to blog-pray, and had very good intentions to do it later in the day. But “later” gets busy. Life gets charged with an energy of its own, and I’m left at the end of the day tired, with good intentions that tomorrow will be a better, different day in terms of prayer and worship.

But the thing is, those days I didn’t pray on the way to work. I didn’t read the devotional that I usually read, or pick up my Bible. And it wasn’t til after the fact that I realize the gift, the beauty, the purpose of being intentional FIRST THING…so life doesn’t get in the way. It’s a good life, but dare I say? Well, I have to say, because it’s proven…too busy for God.

Dear Lord, when my good intentions fail, I know you are still there. I know I can always come back and you’ll still be there. But I pray that my life will revolve around worship and prayer and not  be one in which those things are left behind. I pray for strength to fight the sleepiness, the “other things,” the “I’m too busy” life, because communication with you daily matters more than I sometimes believe. I see it in retrospect. Help me to see it in the present tense.

I love You, Lord. I know that if I want to hear your voice, I must take the time to listen. Thank You for being there.

Glimmer From the Contrast

I spoke recently with a fiber artist who has a unique color style. She creates works of art that have a sense of light beaming from the depths of her work. I asked her how she accomplishes this, and she told me that when you put the lightest fabric next to the darkest of dark, then graduate the colors in a gradual shade-rainbow from each, you get that glimmer. She said, it’s like sunset behind the black silhouette of a tree; the sunset would not be so striking without the dark contrast of the tree.

And so it is with the contrast of good vs. evil; of the goodness of God vs. the “world.” Without that contrast, we’d maybe never see the beauty of the glimmering light.

And this isn’t how I expected this post to go when I started. Intention: God’s light shines from the dark world, and the contrast is brilliant and exciting and illuminating. That’s all true and amazing. But as I write, I think: perhaps that contrast is one of the purposes, like when people say “why does God let bad things happen?.” His brilliance is greatly contrasted against it; His love in a world of hurt, His good in a world of evil. It might be that the contrast is part of the purpose. A big bright spot in a world of lesser bright light is seen, but not appreciated. A big bright spot against the deepest, darkest black is startling, acutely impressive, and sometimes life-changing.

Lord, I pray that others will see a bright spot when they see me, for Your precious sake. In a world of darkness, let Your light shine like fireworks among the ashes of hate, of pain, of darkness of whatever kind. And help us to see those bright spots, to recognize them, to appreciate your Glory every day, every hour of our lives.

May this day be full of Your truth. Thank you for bringing me back to your Word and allowing me to jump right back in where I left off. And at such a precious place in Psalms. You fill my heart with true joy.

In Jesus’ precious name I pray.

The Writing Behind the Wall

We’re having some construction done on the house. I’ve noticed a multitude of directional marks on the walls lately, made by the contractor who is making some changes. Pencil marks, made with one of those large-leaded square pencils with no eraser, reminding him where he can find the supporting structure, numbers that mean measurements known only to him.  Although they will be covered up, those marks will remain.

This morning, I looked at the writings that will be hidden behind some trim that is going up in the kitchen. I thought of God’s writings; not the Bible ones, but the ones on our hearts. Everything exterior to those writings may change (our lives, our looks, our residence), but the knowledge that we are His, our understanding of Him, even our future in Him is written by Him on our hearts, in our souls, in our conscience. He’s our contractor. He’s the one who built us and has made a never-to-be-erased mark deep within our lives. I’m so grateful for that.

Lord, open my heart to know and to understand the wonderful, indelible things that you have written on my heart. Help me to push away the things that don’t matter and find the basics, the real truth, of Your way, the “writing” that’s behind all of the exterior mess or glamour. Thank you for the quiet times of devotion to You, of communication with you, when I can look inside myself for glimpses of Your love, Your direction, and Your peace.

How blessed, how grateful I am because of You. I have foundation that is more than solid; it is unmovable, unshakable, undeniable, and incredible.

Thank you for your loving grace through Jesus Christ.

Hope.

I listened to a podcast this morning about hope. It was about having hope in all circumstances. Lord, I am so thankful that I don’t have a sense of hopelessness, I feel your solid strength in every kind of emotional or physical situation. I have hope of heaven, thanks to Jesus Christ on the cross.  My salvation is secure.

I pray today for those who do not have that hope, for those who are struggling to find Jesus, for those who are suffering in any way and losing a grip on the one true God. I pray that they will feel His loving, comforting arms and know the source of that comfort. I pray for those who are cold this morning in the snow, who cannot find a source of warmth – literally and figuratively.

I love You, Lord. May I be a conduit through which others find You.

 

And a New Year is Here.

Thank you , Lord, for this new year, this fresh start. Each year on this date I (and so many people) grab on to the understanding that the past is the past. That time can begin again. That we’re forgiven, for real. I know that every day with You includes that fresh start, and I’m grateful.

On this day, this precious first day of the year of our Lord 2014, my heart opens wide. Fill it, mold it, make it Yours. I have hopes about the coming year; I know that you are the ultimate planner of life, and I sense that many of the things that you have planned for my life are coming toward center, toward a point at which You can really use the gifts you have allowed me to enjoy. Let it be as You would have it to be, and help me to stay out of the way with my shallow, ineffective, misdirected ideas–and my laziness.

I’m not strong and always need Your guidance; I pray that I won’t forget that. Help me to never stop moving forward according to Your plan, even when I don’t understand Your timing. I pray for this world to look to You, to truly see you, and to hang on to Your grace, Your forgiveness, and Your love. Forever.

In Jesus precious name.