Tuesday, August 31, 2010
It seems that the strong often overcome the weak, or even intimidate them. But sharing our weaknesses is far more inviting, even embracing. Why? Because we tend to identify with weaknesses more readily than with strengths. Although I may cringe at my own weaknesses, they are often the bridge that touches another when I fall on Jesus to assist and cover me.
My richest relationships have been safe harbors for weaknesses, warm hearts of forgiveness and wise words that encourage!
Praising God for the 'company of the weak' that encircle and love us, no matter what...dmc
PS - Today is my precious daughter-in-love's birthday!
Amber Dawn Colaw, you have blessed our lives immeasurably and have encouraged us so many times. We love how God uses you and your amazing story to advance His Work in the lives of so many others!
Birthday Hugs to YOU!
Monday, August 30, 2010
I will often tell my grandchildren that it feels like I have a little cheerleader inside me that jumps and cheers whenever I see them!
That's similar to how Zephaniah says God responds to us...cheering and singing!
It's hard to imagine, but it's wonderful to know! May I bring such joy to my Father's heart today.
Listening for His Song of Delight...dmc
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Our devotional for today says, our Heavenly Father prompts us to "Wait Before You Work." "By waiting with Me before you begin the day's activities...this act of faith ...is noted in the spirit world, where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers of darkness." (252)
I try to focus my waking thoughts on Him...praising Him! It helps to set the emotional climate of my mind and sets my heart in the right direction. There are so many distractions in my day, so having paused to wait in His Presence, to read from His Word, makes a huge and worthwhile difference!
Although no one may "see" me...those in the heavenlies take notice and the powers of darkness are weakened while all the Powers of Heaven rise up to strengthen and minister to us.
Waiting in the Right Place...dmc
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The spiritually well-fed are strengthened, nourished with supernatural strength! Psalm 34:8 tells us to "taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!"
Sometimes the only way those around us will know how "good" God is will be to "taste and see" by nibbling at us! Sometimes even biting us...and it can be hurtful...but it can be the necessary appetizer to spiritual nutrition and their own experience with a soul satisfying Savior!
I was inspired by the following story of the Brazilian soccer hero, Kaka'. May God use our tasteful lives as the appetizer that attracts others to Jesus!
Kaká, the athlete...who was named in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, was less concerned with what people thought of him and more on what God thinks. The title of best fútbol (“soccer”) player on the planet is not as important as the title he has proclaimed to the world "I belong to Jesus”.
The Brazilian soccer legend believes in the importance of sharing the love of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Kaká has become the “Ambassador Against Hunger” for the World Food Program of the U.N. as he has actively worked to uplift those who are struggling in poverty all over the world. As a believer in Jesus Christ he understands that faith is not just manifested through words but also through action as Jesus said of the righteous “I was hungry, and you gave me food.”
In a world that glorifies the rich and famous, it is refreshing to see Kaká has not become caught in the trap of self importance but instead has pointed the direction on the one who deserves all the glory, Jesus Christ. Kaká states in an interview with Atletas de Cristo;
“To those who already have Jesus: you have made the best choice and are in the best team. Go ahead. Do not give up. The fight is great, but we can only win being on Jesus’ side. To those who have not yet surrendered their lives to Jesus: What are you doing being outside of this team?! Come to learn the Word of God, come to know who God really is. Stop eating cookies, while God offers us a banquet.”
I have tasted and I have seen..."THE LORD IS GOOD!"
Feasting on Him Today....dmc
Friday, August 27, 2010
When I am focused on the presence of Jesus, I am able to move through my day with a greater sense of His companionship. It makes all the difference!
It reminds me of a synchronized dance between two partners who ebb and flow with rhythmic ease. It's like dancing with Jesus to the rhythms of heaven, delighting the Father, delighting the Son, delighting the soul!
When I get distracted and tempted to dance awhile with the devil...everything feels out-of-synch and I feel totally worn, torn and abused.
The video clip Melissa shared with us yesterday illustrates this in such a powerful way! Watch for the companionship, the distraction and the struggle to refocus! Join the cheers as Jesus defeats "the world, the flesh, and the devil!" Copy & Paste, then watch it for yourself!!
Ah, yes I will be...
Dancing with Jesus Today...dmc
PS - Joe's mom, Mabel Colaw, went to be with Jesus today at 2:50 pm. She has blessed our lives and so many others. What a privilege to have been her daughter-in-love!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Have you noticed how a "messy day" gets a whole lot messier when we let it mess with us? I believe the enemy tries to mess with our minds by messing with our lives to ultimately mess with our eternal destiny!
Messed Up Life + Messed Up Mind = Totally Messed Up!
We can't always prevent messy circumstances in life, but we can protect our own minds from messy thoughts that lead to a total mess up!
Cleaning up messes can be a huge task. But then cleaning up old mental messes can be a much greater task!
So, catching a mess early on, cleaning it up quickly, is a far better way to go. Then, all that's left is a message of deliverance!
No Messing Around...dmc
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I've battled with wandering thoughts, even in the midst of prayer, bible reading or worship. That tendency troubled me... until I discovered how research affirms that most of us can catch ourselves thinking about things other than what we are actually doing much of the time. This cognition tendency can be a huge hindrance or, if handled creatively, can be a great asset, especially when it comes to prayer!
So, I started using those wandering thoughts like mental stepping stones to redirect myself back to Jesus. Now, whenever my mind wanders, I immediately talk to Jesus about it. I've discovered this allows me to confess quickly and to "bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5)
With quick confession comes the ability to ponder the situation from a whole new perspective! Wandering thoughts become another opportunity for prayer!
I've noticed that when I get distracted and share it with Jesus I am immediately put back on track, prayerfully "collaborating" with Him. I have talked to Jesus about many things that would have never made my official prayer list, but they've certainly become a part of my prayer journey.
This kind of unceasing prayer becomes a type of ongoing conversation with Jesus, who's become a close traveling companion. He is interested in the landscape of my mind and weighs in on the various scenes and conversations my mind experiences. The relationship that develops is enjoyable and rewarding!
What a great way to intercede for others, for situations and for my own deepest desires and hurts that are often too difficult to express otherwise.
Catching Wandering Thoughts with Pondering Prayers...dmc
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
God really knows us better than we know ourselves. "Aware of all(our) ways." (Ps. 139:3)
At times I mystify myself. I wonder what's happening within me...emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally, etc. So, it is especially comforting to know that my Creator really "gets" me. He totally understands, yet totally loves me!!
When I am searching for insight from Him, when I need direction, or an answer I will ask Him to increase the font in my life. Just like when there is print too small to decipher, I may need Him to increase the font so I can clearly read the situation (or myself) better.
I picture it like the expanding capability on my Iphone that enlarges pictures and print with a simple two-finger technique. I like living the "open, large-print" life with God. Nothing hidden, nothing unconfessed, nothing uncovered...
Monday, August 23, 2010
My precious friend, Lori, tearfully shared the most beautiful example of this in our Truth & Dialog bible study last week. Here is her testimony...
Since my son was going to be leaving for the Air Force Basic Training I decided to look ahead to the 23rd of August to just see what it said. The devotional for today was written for me and every other mother that is struggling with children moving on either to college or to the military. The first line was like WOW! As I read thru the devotional, I saw I needed to release him so God could bless him. That had such a impact on me! I need not "idolize" my relationship or my love for my son because God would watch over him and I needed to keep my thoughts on God. I have been so excited about this devotional jewel. I have told everyone about what God was telling me for this very day, the day he leaves for military training. The peace I have in my heart tells me that this is a good thing for him.
Thank you, Lori, for speaking to all mothers who are releasing their precious children into this uncertain world. Whether it be kindergarten, the military, a surgical procedure, a new babysitter, or whatever...we have a God who will gently lead our young, as "He gently leads those (of us) that have young!" (Isaiah 40:11 NIV) No matter what their age, we're...
Releasing & Rejoicing...dmc
"God, thank you for watching over Garrett. Shower him with blessings as we place him in Your Hands...and hold Lori's hand as You gently lead her through each day!"
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I find it nearly impossible to enjoy a blessed and abundant life when I am harassed with fear. I've observed and experienced how being fearful can certainly mess with sound judgment! Fear steals away self-confidence, God-confidence and a heart full of praise. No wonder Satan will often attack with annoying, even paralyzing, fear.
It is good for me to be reminded often that "God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love and sound judgment." (2 Timothy 1:7) I am so grateful that...
My God is Greater Than My Fears...dmc
Happy 73rd Anniversary to my precious in-laws, CB & Mabel Colaw!
I am grateful for the example and encouragement they have given through the years, touching many lives in so many ways!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The other evening Joe and I were sharing with a discouraged young father. He was experiencing what so many have wrestled with - even when we are "walking the path" and trying to seek God's will, life can become so overwhelming and very discouraging. Our hearts hurt deeply for him.
It is good that one generation speaks encouragement into the following generation. These are perilous times and we desperately need each other as we wait on God's answers and intervention! The "chosen" path does not always feel privileged...we must rally to support each other as we 'herald the reality of His glorious Presence.'
Grateful God Walks the Chosen Path...dmc
Friday, August 20, 2010
There's a lot I do not understand about healing, but I do know that the closer I live to Jesus, the more I experience Him and He touches me with "degrees of healing." My prayer is that after others have spent time with us, they will be less broken and far more blessed... All because the Gentle Healer is alive in each of us!
Staying Close to The Healer...dmc
Powerful clip: The Gentle Healer (Michael Card)
The gentle Healer came/Into our town today
He touched blind eyes/And the darkness left to stay
But more than the blindness/He took their sins away
The gentle Healer came/Into our town today
The gentle Healer came/Into our town today
He spoke one word/That was all He had to say;
And the one who had died/Just rose up straight away
The gentle Healer came/Into our town today
Oh, He seems like just/An ordinary man
With dirty feet/And rough but gentle hands
But the words He says/Are hard to understand
And yet, He seems like just/And ordinary man
The Gentle Healer/He left our town today
I just looked around/And found He'd gone away
Some folks from town/Who followed Him, they say
That the gentle Healer is/The Truth, the Light, the Way.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The secret to trust is really the ability to stay focused on Him more than on the issues that distract and distress! I am learning that as I keep my focus on Christ, the "wellspring of Joy within" me tends to bubble up and flow over into every area of my life and I am refreshed!
When my thoughts wander down troublesome trails I am reminded of Psalm 131, "I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child...putting my hope in the Lord, both now and forever."
It's all about setting up the mental boundaries that keep me from wandering into "things too great or too difficult for me" and just letting God deal with those things, as I snuggle in close and quiet myself...
In His care...dmc
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Living in this "deeply fallen world" can be deeply disturbing. I much prefer God's original, supernatural 'Plan A' where we were created to be living in Eden, before the fall of man, feasting on fruit trees, enjoying exotic animals, a perfect life partner and having fellowship with our Creator in the cool of the day.
But sin has so tainted our world that living supernaturally, in this world, is impossible...unless we learn how to live empowered! I found that the empowering place is "under the shadow of the Almighty" not under my own abilities! So when faced with adversities, difficulties and impossibilities, I must realize all the more my inability and His great Ability! So the very things I dread (adversity, difficulty and impossible situations) help remind me to stay exactly where I am suppose to be...
Under the Shadow of the Almighty...dmc
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Although we may not be as familiar with the word "maelstrom" we are very familiar with one of it's meanings: a restless, disordered, or tumultuous state of affairs, a vortex of conflicting currents.
I often feel the vortex of conflicting schedules, expectations and various daily demands. Years ago I started to practice (what I called) "micro-mini vacations" where I would close my eyes, breathe deep and prayerfully meet with Jesus. I often envision Jesus and myself in a calm, quiet location. I will breathe in His protective, peaceful Presence and exhale the distracting "maelstrom" within me. It really works for me...because HE really works for me! Even just whispering His Name calms my tendency to get caught in whirlpools of expectations. Jesus knows just how hazardous they are for me!
Whispering Whirlpools Away...dmc
Monday, August 16, 2010
While I am often blessed by God's Presence, I am also blessed and amazed to think that He enjoys spending time with me! With you! With us! In fact, it brings Him pleasure!
Philippians 2:12-16 says it this way, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to do His good pleasure (purpose.) Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. Hold firmly to the message of life.."
God is working in us, enabling us to WILL and to DO His good pleasure so we can "shine brighter day by day" like stars in this dark world! It is interesting how "grumbling and arguing" can dim the glow of His Presence in our lives. It is also interesting how we must "will and do" to experience His good pleasure.
The longing in my heart, to know Him, originated in His Heart! That is such a priceless privilage!
Responding to His Heart...dmc
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Just what do you do "when things go wrong?" Who do you call? Run to? Lean on? I am grateful for the hearts I can trust, for the souls who love me no matter what! But calling out to Jesus is a whole other thing because He really knows absolutely EVERYTHING about me. He even knows me better than I know myself!
Today's devo reminded me of a song that has healed my heart many times. Please copy and paste this song, He Knows My Name, by Tommy Walker. The words are so impacting and the pictures powerful.
I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands
I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call
Calling to the God of All Time, Anytime...dmc
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Change is so dichotomous, sometimes comforting, sometimes distressing. I was quite captured with the myriad of changes that were involved in raising children. First of all, I was amazed how my own body changed to accommodate the growing new life within me, during pregnancy. Then, observing the necessary changes for normal development from infancy to childhood totally captured us, keeping us quite entertained! But to successfully raise a human from childhood to adulthood requires the ability to be flexible, yet firm, in navigating their own unprecedented changes...of mind, clothes, friends, hair, moods, whatever!
Change impacts our lives continually. Sometimes change is amazing, sometimes it is assaulting. Certainly the changes that come with the typical aging process can be quite distressing, even demoralizing.
I am comforted in knowing that Jesus is the "rock-solid foundation" that never changes. He's the constant, reliable anchor that gives reassurance no matter what has happened, is happening or will happen.
Anchored in Him...dmc
Friday, August 13, 2010
When I was in my early teens a Youth Camp speaker spoke about the "God vacuum" everyone had. Now research reveals how our brains respond (using imaging technology) when the Presence of God is experienced.
There's no doubt...we are divinely crafted to "know and enjoy (God's) Presence." Allowing His Presence to fill my thoughts means I am inviting Jesus into every thought and I am using my brain to glorify Him!
Staying Mentally Healthy by Praising Him...dmc
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I often long to be better equipped or do much more than I am able to accomplish...wishing I had more strength or energy, wisdom, creativity, talent and other resources. Today's passage encourages me..."He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick..." (Isaiah 42:3)
So when I am feeling bruised or my flame is dim and smoldering, He draws in closer. He does not deal harshly with those who feel inadequate, yet are sincerely seeking after Him. What a wonderful comfort! What a safe place to land when I need a haven!
May I be so stirred with compassion for other bruised hearts around me who are also on a spiritual pilgrimage. He really knows "how difficult (our) journey has been."
Alittle Bruised, Alot Blessed...dmc
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
His gentle "holy whispers" can come in the most unlikely ways and unexpected times. However, I've discovered that when I whisper praise or a prayer to Him, He will often whisper back to me! It's a wonderful exchange of love that "cannot be measured or explained, but it can be experienced." It's an expression of His love that is so "wide and long and high and deep" that it can fully cover and carry us! (Eph. 3:16-19)
As I started to read today's devotional, this Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice whelmed up in my heart.
Copy & Paste the following:
Let's "Come to Jesus" all day long...dmc
Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) LyricsWeak and wounded sinner/Lost and left to die/O, raise your head, for love is passing by/Come to Jesus/Come to Jesus/Come to Jesus and live!
Now your burden's lifted/And carried far away/And precious blood has washed away the stain, so Sing to Jesus/Sing to Jesus/Sing to Jesus and live!
And like a newborn baby/Don't be afraid to crawl/And remember when you walk-sometimes we fall...so Fall on Jesus/Fall on Jesus/Fall on Jesus and live!
Sometimes the way is lonely/And steep and filled with pain/So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then Cry to Jesus/Cry to Jesus/Cry to Jesus and live!
O, and when the love spills over/And music fills the night/And when you can't contain your joy inside, then Dance for Jesus/Dance for Jesus/Dance for Jesus and live!
And with your final heartbeat/Kiss the world goodbye/Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and Fly to Jesus/Fly to Jesus/Fly to Jesus and live!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I have days where I feel like the sands of time are dashing through my hour glass at an unprecedented speed and with each grain of sand a precious burst of energy suddenly slips away, too!
What a comfort to know that the time I spend with Jesus will help me "discern what is important and what is not" protecting both my time and my energy today!
Taking & Making Time with Him...dmc
Monday, August 9, 2010
Have you ever tried to dress for an event that you had nothing appropriate or fitting to wear? It's very disheartening!
The rigors of this world leave us stripped and destitute mentally, emotionally, relationally, financially, physically but especially spiritually. Life can become so disheartening!
Jesus knew we would be made vulnerable and exposed, so He fashioned a Robe specifically for each of us. Carefully crafted to equip and cover every issue, need or challenge we would face.
I love this song, The Robe, sung by Wes King. While you listen...get dressed!
In the Folds of The Robe...dmc
Copy and Paste:
Anyone whose heart is cold and lonely/ Anyone who can't believe/ Anyone whose hands are worn and empty/ Come as you are
Anyone whose feet are tired of walking/ And even lost their will to run/ There is a place of rest for your aching soul/ Come as you are
Chorus: For the robe is of God/ that will clothe your nakedness/ And the robe is His grace/ It's all you all you need/ Come as you are
Anyone who feels that they're unworthy/ Anyone who's just afraid/ Come sinner, come and receive His mercy/ Come as you are.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
While the ocean intrigues me, it also intimidates me...all at the same time. The way that waves can roll in, crashing over each other, or the way a breeze can send gentle ripples over the glassy surface, gives it an ever-changing, nearly living, breathing, expression of nature.
The ocean resonates deeply with me. It reminds me that God's grace, His mercy, His unfathomable love goes far deeper than any soul struggle I may experience or encounter. My misery calls out to His mercy. My sin cries out to His saving grace. I am overwhelmed with praise, captured in worship, as the deepest part of my heart is caught up in the depths of His love.
Wading into Sacred Waters...dmc
Check out this clip of "O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus."
It captures the healing, nearly haunting, sounds and sensations of the ocean.
What an awesome God we have! Copy & Paste the following.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I believe Satan often uses our "voracious appetite for trying to figure things out" to distract and derail us spiritually. I've worked with some brilliant people who eventually must face a situation or problem that baffles and frustrates them. They generally fall into two categories, that most of us also wrestle with...
The tendency to "figure things out" makes them hyper-focus on the problem leading them to overlook the more important, even obvious or eternal issues.
The other extreme, is their tendency to justify or excuse themselves from resolving situations that may challenge or expose their own flawed conclusions.
Basically, pride in our personal perspective or understanding of a situation can severely hinder us from humbly seeking out the Master's higher perspective and obeying Him.
So, it makes sense that the enemy will want to throw "an endless series of problems" in our path to keep our minds sufficiently distracted with troubles...and we've all experienced how a troubled mind cannot truly enjoy or emit peace. Then, Satan wins and we experience the costly fall-out.
What's God's rather simple, yet solid solution? Seeking Him "and the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7)
A heart and mind at peace is a much wiser, winsome, healthier way to live!
Simply Seeking Him...dmc
Friday, August 6, 2010
When things seem be be going all wrong, it is hard to navigate forward, hard to clear my thoughts, hard to discern what's best, what's necessary or what needs to be eliminated. It's hard to focus on possibilities when my thoughts are filled with impossibilities and haunting concerns.
The picture of a graceful deer springing over tangled terrain, leaping over dangerous crevices or jumping from one rocky ridge to the next inspires me to believe that God will enable me to move forward with supernatural grace in my own rough times.
Even when the landscape of life gets rugged, the landscape of my mind can be renewed, energized and graced because of a Good and Gracious God!
Dancing with Deer Feet...dmc
Thursday, August 5, 2010
At times, in my devotional pilgrimage, I've journaled the God-inspired thoughts I've received. Thoughts that would often stretch me and challenge my perceptions of who God is and how He is impacting my daily, ordinary life. Somehow, in the midst of those inspired-musings, I never doubt His Sufficiency and that He will provide and protect all that concerns me.
Looking back over those recorded thoughts, I am amazed and inspired to stay in continually communication with the Wisdom of the Ages.
Sitting Quietly, Just Listening...dmc
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
How easily I can be distracted, with worries or even with wonderful blessings that take my focus off of Him! It reminds me of a type of Attention Deficit Disorder that wrecks havoc on our souls. I've come to call it...Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder. Too many of us suffer from SADD!!
I find it quite applicable because once my focus is misdirected I will grow continually more and more SADD!
Refocused and Ready to be GLAD (God's Loyal Attentive Disciple)...dmc
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Although I do not totally understand this, I know that all sound operates on frequencies, invisible to the eye, yet can be captured by the ear! As God's image-bearer, when my words are in agreement with Him, as an extension of His heart, something resonates deep within my soul. It's like every cell of my body is grateful when my words glorify God and bless others!
The voice I am most familiar with is my own. I must monitor it responsibly, making sure that my words are in concert with God's heart. When I voice words that are dissonant, or out-of-tune with my Creator, it scrambles the harmonies within me. I grow uneasy within myself and can sense I need to stop and "tune my heart to sing Thy grace." (Hymn: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14.
Longing to be synchronized & harmonized with His heart today...dmc
Monday, August 2, 2010
There is a huge difference between "living water" and still, stagnant water. One is refreshing the other is disgusting.
I love how His Living Water can clear out the sludge, slime and stink of my stagnant soul. Taking time to "be still" in His Presence stirs up the stagnant waters...until a stream of living water is flowing in, through and out of me. Always Living Busy does not necessarily mean Living Blessed.
Opting to be Still...dmc
Sunday, August 1, 2010
To experience the kind of love that goes deeper than any misunderstanding, any miscommunication, any mistaken intention or mishap is a rare and wonderful gift! Our relationship with Jesus is based upon His Amazing Love that will never forsake, never abandon, never withdraw, never misrepresent, never miscommunicate or mislead us.
Have you noticed that the more of Jesus we experience, the more grace-filled our own love becomes! I am so thankful for a loving Savior, a loving husband, a loving family, a loving church and loving friends whose lives reflect this God-kind of Amazing Love!