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

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

Love Is

sunset-815270__480What is love?  To me, love is Jesus forgiving Peter for denying that he knew Him.  Love is Jesus inviting Matthew, an unpopular tax collector, to follow Him, learn from Him, and to be His friend.  Love is Jesus washing His friends’ feet.  Love is Jesus multiplying loaves of bread for the hungry masses.  Love is Jesus asking His Father to forgive His persecutors at the same time that He was suffering.  Love is Jesus assuring a humbled, dying thief that he would, that day, be with Him in paradise.  Jesus gave us the perfect example of how to love.  He forgave.  He invited.  He washed.  He multiplied.  He interceded.  He accepted.  Thank you, Jesus.

“And now these three remain: faith hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

From A Long Way Off

merciful-father-2629952__480Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is how God in the Old Testament (OT) sometimes seems different from the God Jesus came to make known.  I know that He is not different because God does not change…“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).  The Bible also reveals that Jesus is God…“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation” (Colossians 1:15), and that He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  So why does it seem like God was more stern in the OT, whereas Jesus makes familiar a God of love, patience, mercy, and forgiveness?  First, I need to say that the OT is not without examples of the love and forgiveness of God…I just get more insight into the gentleness of God, in Jesus.  So this is a question I will continue to ask God about.  But one thing I do know.  I know that God is love…“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).  And I have experienced His love first hand, when at times I have acted less than loving toward Him and He has made it known to me, whether it was through something I read, something someone said, or just a reassuring thought, that He was still there and was present with me.  Through Jesus, God forgives us our shortcomings and not only that, but like the prodigal son, He sees us from a “long way off” and is “filled with compassion” (Luke 15:20).

If I Were Lost

For some reason, I was aware of the love and reality of God, early on…

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“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
“‘Am I a God who is only close at hand?’ says the Lord.  ‘No, I am far away at the same time.  Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?  Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?’ says the Lord.” – Jeremiah 23:23-24
“The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” – Psalm 121:8

Being Still and Knowing

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Have you ever woken up feeling anxious about the state of the world?  If so, Psalm 46 is a good one to read.  It reaffirms God’s sovereignty and His continual presence.  It also includes a truth that is helpful in countering every worry…

“Be still, and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation.  I will be honored throughout the world.”- Psalm 46:10

From Seed to Stalk

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Seed to Stalk

I saw you shoot from soil to sky
So little I knew of the you still inside
That one day you’d flower
that your stalks would reach high
So little I knew of your special design

I saw you flourish, then one day you stopped
Your pieces changed color ’til some parts, they dropped
the earth below you seemed hard as a rock
Then suddenly life in a place it was not

I saw you move as soon as you knew
that you had a home, and quickly you grew
almost out of the pot you came home in, it’s true
And the more that you grew, the more beautiful you

It’s from God, is it not?  You, from seed to stalk?
The flowers that bloom, and the new life in spots?
The reason we grow almost out of our pots?
‘Cause we now know Home, with His life, has been bought.

– kb

“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” – 1 Corinthians 3:7

Everyone Familiar

handshake-2056021__480“It was not only the people of His day, but it is so common for people of all times to just keep commandments and church laws and observe the externals of religion.  In living this way, we miss the point of what worship of God really is, falling each day more deeply in love with God, expressing that love by our sensitivity to the pain and hurt around us, and reaching out to help others, even strangers.  To a person who has found God, no person, ever again, is a stranger.  In that is the perfection of love, the kind of love that God is, a love that knows no strangers.” – Joseph F. Girzone, “A Portrait of Jesus”

“…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me…” – Matthew 25:35