Choosing To Dwell With Him

skateboard-331751__480We have a choice as to where we dwell, and God gave us this ability to choose.  He gave us this choice knowing that we could make the decision not to dwell closely with Him.  Freedom to choose is something I value highly.  I think the same is true for lots of people.  Thank You, God, for giving me a choice as to where I dwell.  It’s comforting to know that if we choose to seek God and desire for Him to be at the center of our lives, we can never be out of reach of His hand or in any situation where He will not lead us.

“If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will take hold of me.” – Psalm 139:9-10

He Took Me

joy-4223806__480This morning I read Psalm 18.  It’s a Psalm that King David wrote, praising God for rescuing him from his enemies.  It must be a pleasing Psalm to God, and it lives through the ages by means of His Bible.  In the Old Testament, God often stresses to the Israelites the importance of passing along what they know of Him and His miracles…His saving power…to their children (future generations).  This Psalm accomplishes that same purpose.  There were many verses or parts of verses that I underlined while reading it, however one in particular resonated with me in a deep way today…”He took me…(Psalm 18:16).”  The whole verse reads, “He reached from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.”  But “He took me” sums things up for me in my life.  There are all of these complex emotions and thoughts I have every day.  Some are helpful and some are not.  It’s clear to me that when I try to figure life out without submitting myself before God first, things are confusing, a struggle, and at times, dark.  But God doesn’t leave me there.  He didn’t leave me there.  He took me.  He lifted me up from a place of not knowing Him, to a place of knowing that I’m known by Him.  He took me from darkness to the awareness of His love.  He gave me things I didn’t deserve and topped them with a handful of, “I love you.”  And there were no strings attached.  Before I knew Jesus, I was on my own, at least in my own mind.  I had made my decision that I would lead the life I wanted to and that I was only accountable to myself.  I didn’t realize God’s love for me.  But He took me.  He took me from there and said, “No, I’m real, this is Who I Am, and I love you.”  I am sure this is similar to what every parent wants their child to know…that they are not alone and that they are loved.

“I will give thanks and praise You, O Lord, among the nations.” – Psalm 18:49

The Need To Be Loved

switzerland-4290226__480What is our deepest longing, as people?  I would suggest that it is to be loved.  I have listened to numerous testimonies by people who at one time lived lives that made it appear as though they gave absolutely no thought to the need to be loved, when in reality, they were yearning for it on the inside.  They wanted someone to love them enough to show them a better way of living…someone who had their best interests at heart.  Someone who would be a compassionate listener when they needed to vent their deepest frustrations, allowing them to be as honest and flawed as they truly are, and yet still offer love and acceptance.  Someone who would allow them to put the weight of their discouragement, fear, anxiety, abandoned hopes, feelings of worthlessness, and all of their other struggles onto them and give them the wisdom to navigate through them.  Someone to hold them when they were feeling…done…tired…burnt out…shame…at the end of their rope…and who would whisper, “I love you,”…”I…loveyou.”  We all long for this, and this is the kind of relationship God offers us through His Son, Jesus.

“What is the price of five sparrows?  A couple of pennies?  Yet God does not forget a single one of them.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Luke 12:6-7

A Healing Of Heart

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A Healing Of Heart

In stillness, I hear my heart beating
See more clearly the wind through the trees
Watch pine needles fall, mountains stand tall,
and heavy thoughts move in to seize

It’s deliberate, this moving about
This putting things out of my mind
It’s easier that way, a chance to delay
the pain that does echo and find

I wish I could tell it, “Be gone!”
And far away it would go
Like a leaf on the stream
floats away in sunbeam,
or like footprints that fade in the snow

Struggles they come, but they’ll go
Once and for all they’ll depart
And I’ll find my strength,
be renewed by each length
and all with a healing of heart

-kb

“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.” – Isaiah 40:31

A Trip to Tahoe

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Tahoe

Giant dandelions,
as big as my fist
If there, they are
I’m not likely to miss

And, if I see
a new creature to me
Like a bright, orange fish
that’s in river, not sea
I’m astounded once more
at the things He’s made be

Then, when the wind
blows straight through my face
When the air that I breathe
feels like an embrace
I’m reminded once more
that there is a place
Where someday I’ll see God,
one day, face to Face

-kb

“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” – Psalm 145:5

Will You Find Me Here?

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Will You Find Me Here?

It’s hard to put it into words
the inadequacy I feel
I’ve accomplished so little
with so much time
and being here makes it more real
If there is something I’m good at
it’s saying “no,” or not finishing things
It’s losing interest, assuming defeat
or sitting on my wings
It’s fear that consumes me now
it’s fear that consumed me then
And self-pity makes it easier somehow
I can call feeling sorry, my friend
But I’m not ready to be the problem
or accept blame for falling short
For not impressing family or friend
or for staying in my port
I’ve heard some say that accepting yourself
and what has come of yet
is the secret to living life peacefully
instead of with regret
Did I ever want?
What did I desire?
To step onto another’s path
and make their flame my fire?
To hop onto another’s back
while they walked through the mire?
I don’t deserve the things I have
the blessings He is giving
The comforts or the kind of love
that make a life, good living
But I would never argue this
the gratitude I owe
To the God Who brought me here
and helps me as I grow
And when I pray for just one thing
to feel I can be proud of
Something followed through to end
and had no single doubt of
I hope it counts as brand new seed
that sprouts within my heart
In soil that is watered well
from which efforts don’t part
Though maybe you will find me here
once again, in gloom
Where tears they fall from cheek to chin
as I watch others bloom

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” – Psalm 138:8

Two Promises of God

person-2806280__480Have you ever heard the phrase, “the promises of God,” and wondered what those promises were?  Well, I know what one of them is.  It is that God will send His Holy Spirit to dwell in His people.  Not only with them, but in them (John 14:16-17).  When I think about all of the day-to-day challenges that come up in our lives, or the small details we ask God to be a part of, I sometimes wonder if He wants to be a part of those things.  Does He want us to pray for the courage to speak up in a meeting, or for safety while driving to work?  I would say that because He has sent His Spirit to dwell so closely to us (in our hearts), that He does want to be involved in every intimate detail of our lives (and by default, He will be, which is comforting :)).  It is not only a promise, but a blessing.  Which leads to another promise.  That we are never alone.

“And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.” – Ephesians 1:13

His Care In All Things

 

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His Care In All Things

When an ant, carries
When wind moves the leaves
When palm branches creak
And when birds nest in trees

When pine needles fall
When stars, they sit right
When sunrise, it beams
And moon claims the night

When a creature is born
or yet, born and made new
From a worm to a butterfly
wings, purple and blue

It’s these things
All these things
remind me of You
and the care that You take
in all things that You do

– kb

“Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.” – Psalm 65:8

 

Learning to Love Others

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The more I learn, the more I understand that one of our main purposes while we are here on this earth is to love other people.  That, and to know God. Of course, knowing God is first and foremost, because only by knowing Him do we get a better understanding of what love is.  In 1 John, we are told that someone who claims to love God but “hates his brother,” is a liar (1 John 4:20).  Jesus tells us to go beyond what we are used to and to love not only our neighbor, but also our enemy.  He tells us that when we do that, we are acting like God’s children, and He makes the point that if we only love those who love us, we are not really doing much to stretch ourselves in the way of loving others (Matthew 5:43-48).  In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about the many gifts he could have (the ability to prophesy, an understanding of God’s plans, the possession of all knowledge, faith that could move mountains), but points out that without loving others, he would be nothing.  He concludes the chapter with, “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians, 13:1-2, 13).  So, loving others does not seem to be optional in God’s plan, but of primary importance.  I believe that one of the best things we can do when desiring to love others better is to look at the example God has given us, in Jesus.  Jesus was forgiving, patient, compassionate, and humble.  We can also study what the Bible teaches about how to love others better…being slow to speech and quick to listen (James 1:19), giving a gentle answer to turn away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).  Finally, we can ask God not only for His strength to love others better, but to give us the desire to love others, because sometimes, we are lacking even that.


“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

When Crawl Became Climb

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When Crawl Became Climb

I thought it just me
weeping aloud
filling the room
with water and cloud

‘Til His voice, I felt
echoing mine
gave strength to my soul
and crawl became climb

-kb

 

“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings
like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31