New Perspective

When Christmas comes I find myself reflecting
On all the year’s accomplishments and loss.
Somehow it all comes down to reconnecting
With who I am, acknowledging the cost.

I fall so short so often, and it’s painful
To see as clearly as I need to see,
But honestly, it’s also very gainful
When I allow the truth to set me free.

So once again, Lord God, help me be faithful
In casting all my cares before your throne.
Rejoicing in your goodness, I’ll be grateful
That through your blood and mercy, I am known.

This time I hope I find a new perspective
That keeps me in the center of your grace.
I really want to be less introspective,
To spend my time more focused on your face.

This Christmas, Jesus, help me trust above—
Far more than little fits and starts of faith.
I long to just let go and live through Love,
Immersed in you and changed by your embrace.

This Battle

I’m not sure how I keep going on some days.
It’s hard to just function like a normal human being—
Get up, get ready, get dressed, go to work.
These overcast days make it even harder,
Because then the outside world matches my inside world—
All gray and dreary.
Truthfully, I just want to lay down and go to sleep, sometimes forever.
But something inside me refuses to quit,
So I drag myself up and out and keep on with life.
There’s a core of stubborn fire somewhere deep in my soul
That says I will never let the enemy, or my flesh,
Win this battle over my life.
Faith tells me the bleak tastelessness is just a façade.
I am adamantly determined to never give up.
There are so many people who keep telling me:
They care; they love me; they love things about me.
The ultimate hard line for me is remembering again
I am not my own; I am bought with a price.
I don’t have the right to sit down and abandon hope.
All my hope is in Christ!
Even when my mind and heart fail, and
My strength feels like absolute weakness,
What little I am, what meagerness I have
Belongs to Him.
So I speak to my soul and command my heart:
Trust in God.
Remember His faithfulness.
Believe in His goodness.
Proclaim His worthiness,
Because He is still great and greatly to be praised!
His love and His mercy endure forever, and
He holds my life in His hands.
I… do not, because I am His.

Battered

I am battered against the wall of myself—
Self beating against self in utter frustration
As I try and try, and fail utterly to change in my own strength.
I am left wondering if there will ever be improvement,
Finding there is nothing left to me except
To fall into God’s grace and pray that
He can change what I cannot… because I cannot!
Poor choices hang over my head like an anvil
While I pray in desperation that it won’t fall and crush me.

Oh, God! Please work your will in my heart.
Make me wholly and completely yours,
Some way that I can never fathom
With all my mental gymnastics.
I long to somehow break the stagnation and
Find the flow of your living water in me…
I need to feel the aliveness of your Holy Spirit
Flexing my lungs with holy breath
Until it is your perfect peace moving me.
Please, Lord Jesus,
Help me move again in you, with you.

Wake Me Up

Wading through all the muck that surrounds me,
I have found it difficult to focus on spiritual things.
It’s so easy to get distracted, Lord.
My pursuit of You seems to have been waylaid
By all the mundanities of my life,
But some part of me knows I still need You.
I need Your life-giving breath to blow in me again,
Stirring me up, making me thirsty and hungry for You.
I don’t want to be satisfied with the things in this life…
Books, television, games, shopping, or any random things
That take away the time I could spend with You.
I want to know Your eternity with all I am.
The innermost parts of my being long for intimacy, Jesus,
Despite the dullness laid over my mind and heart lately.
Wake me up, Holy Spirit, from this lukewarm slumber.
Make my heart a roaring, white-hot flaming fire for You.

Psalm 56 Revisited

Be merciful to me,
For man oppresses me.
My enemies surround.
They fight me all around.
When I am full of fear,
I’ll trust that you are near—
My God whose word I praise.
No man makes me afraid.
All day they twist my words
With only evil towards.
They gather, hide, and wait
So my life they can take.
Can they escape by sin?
In anger cast them down!
You watch my wanderings
And capture all my crying.
My tears are in your book.
To you, O God, I look.
When I cry out to you,
My enemies are through!
I know, since God guards me.
In God, the Lord, I see
No reason not to trust.
What man can be unjust?
By vows to you I’m bound;
Let praise in me be found,
For you’ve delivered me
From death and falling feet,
So I may walk with you
In light and life anew.

Master Artisan

I saw a lavender sky the other evening.
After the rain passed,
We drove into the sunset.
The sky and clouds were the perfect purple blend!
Violet-hued air filled the atmosphere around us,
Till we just breathed in awe,
Silenced by the amazing grandeur of it all.
Even now, I can hardly believe
I truly experienced what I saw and felt,
But I am convinced it was a gift—
A reminder of Whose hand crafts the skies,
Whose Spirit infuses us with new life
In such incredible moments of peaceful joy.
Help us find our rest once more,
In You, O Master Artisan.

Infinite Beyond

God of glorious more and more,
Infinite beyond all score,
Deer run panting after you,
Living water flowing through.
Leaves keep reaching for your light,
Brilliant life that’s glowing bright.
All creation crying out,
Lifting up a joyous shout,
Longs for everything you are
To fill, renew, refresh, restart.
Imbue me with your presence, Lord.
So I may through your Spirit pour
All of you in every place
Showing your amazing grace.

Unite My Heart

In so many ways, I find it difficult to come,
Always seeing my shortcomings, my weaknesses,
Distracted by my obsessions (my stupid obsessions!!).
Then I sit down with nothing on my mind
Racing to find some of those things to think about, and
The time slips away from me
Before I can bring enough focus to you.
Why is it so hard, Lord?
Those moments when I do long to be with you are
The ones where I have other obligations to meet or
Other menial tasks that demand to be done “now”
Because they have been put off too long.
Why can’t I have that desire in me
When I have the time to pursue it?
Why can’t I go after you then???
I long for a holy fear, a balance in my life
That gives me the peace to pursue you
In the right time, in the right place,
At just the moment when I can let go of everything else.
You, my Lord God, are the ONLY one,
The ONLY thing worth pursuing for eternity’s sake.
Let me have that holy fear, that awe-filled reverence
That brings me back to your feet again and again.
Let me thirst for you, as the Psalmist says,
Like the deer pants after the water brooks.
Give me an undivided heart, Holy Spirit…
Unite my heart to fear your name, O Lord.

Living Stone

Lord, these are the days when I wonder
Why you still call me to you.
It seems all I do is to wander,
Instead of believing what’s true.

But somehow you keep on reminding me
That I can do nothing alone.
The ties that I have are still binding me—
My family of faith, stone on stone.

The blood that you shed is still precious.
You saved us to be holy priests.
I’m still learning that you are so gracious
Though often I feel like the least.

You keep calling me to be faithful—
Be holy as you are, Lord God.
So, I am eternally grateful
That you don’t cease calling me out.

1 Peter 2:1-10

The Next Right Thing To Do

In the lean times, when communication is indistinct,
Provision feels barely adequate or sometimes insufficient,
And emotional turbulence keeps me off balance,
Sometimes all I can do is crouch down,
Pull in my arms, and wait for something to change.
I don’t feel immobilized today, not by external forces…
Just this need for stillness and silence
In some bid for clarity.
I am surrounded by a cloud of things
Trying frantically to keep my attention,
When all I want to do is find a peaceful moment
Away from all the distractions, questions, and concerns.
I still my soul once more,
Settling again on truths I have known for ages,
Ignoring the feelings of frustration and anxiety
In some attempt to remember who I am,
Whose I am, what I stand for, why I am here.
It doesn’t matter really what others think of me
Or what I think of myself.
Ultimately, only the Father’s perspective counts,
But I need reminding.
I need centering.
I desperately need to find the calm in the eye of the storm.
Jesus, be my rest in these moments.
Be the purifying force in this refining process,
So I can become me in a stronger, more vibrant sense,
As you created me to be.
Be my strong tower, as David said,
My refuge blocking out all the white noise around me,
Helping me to refocus again on you to the exclusion of all else,
Surrounding me with pure presence,
Till I can fulfill the purposes you intended for me,
Till I can hear and see and know the next right thing to do.

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