Tag: heart (Page 1 of 2)

Posted on LinkedIn as a response to a recommendation to read

I’m a pretty avid reader (think 3-5 books a week), and I have been since I was five years old. The thing that trips me up about that is that I have found my time consumed by books that DON’T MATTER in the grand scheme of things, primarily because my favorite reading material is sci-fi/fantasy with mystery/thriller/action books a close second. Those things are just stories about fictional characters, and it’s just another kind of addiction/method of escapism. I know this. I have known this for years and years.

I do read non-fictional books as well, although not as many. 98% of those are Christian in nature. When I do read those, I find God speaking to me in a lot of different ways… but even those have not helped me as much as the people recommending those books thought that they would, or that I thought they would (help me, that is).

What I have found, though, is that reading the scripture gives me an almost tangible sense that God is breathing new life into me. Even if it’s something I’ve read repeatedly hundreds of times in my life time (Psalm 23 for example). When I’m desperate for a touch from the Lord, I don’t pick up a book that some really anointed (no sarcasm at all here!) spiritual leader has written. I do go back to the basics and reread the book of Genesis, or Isaiah, or various Psalms, or the gospels, or some of Paul’s letters, or even Revelation (especially when I need hope).

I realize the value in reading, and it is a sorely neglected skill. DO read. Do read recommended books. Maybe something that spoke to the person making the recommendation will speak to you. But first and foremost, READ THE BIBLE. It was my favorite storybook when I was a child, and that’s exactly how I think people forget to read it. We’re always looking for something from God in a verse that we want to speak to us, relevant to our situation. We’re usually studying it to dig out deeper meanings or to find support for things we feel God has put on our hearts.

How often, though, do we just sit down and simply read HIS story? It’s the story of His glory… how often He showed up and moved or spoke or breathed into a situation and changed that situation by simply being there. If you can just take it in, over and over again, then without even intending to do so by human effort, you will find yourself hiding His word in your heart.

Today was one of those days when I woke up flat on my back and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t do anything but lay there and cry for a few hours. But when I talked to the Lord, the scriptures whispered back to me. When I said, “I can’t handle this, Lord,” He said, “My grace is sufficient.” When I thought of how dark my life looks right now, Psalm 23 wandered through my heart: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” When I just wanted to scream that despair was overwhelming me, I heard, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Even now, I keep hearing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Reading matters. Reading the Word matters even more–not just to obtain something for a sermon or a song, not just to find an answer for an argument against Christianity, not just to find something that speaks to us when we’re looking for answers, but just because IT’S GOD’S WORD. When we know it well, He DOES use it to speak back to us when we need it, and He can use it to speak through us for someone else’s benefit in song, sermon, or just daily conversation.

Hope this has been helpful for someone.

On My Bed

I still my mind, when I can’t sleep,
To seek my Lord’s embrace.
He whispers with a voice so sweet,
“Come, tell me all your care.”
With grateful heart I throw it all
Before His throne of grace.
In answer to my Lover’s call,
I give Him every prayer:

The lonely hearts that I can see
And others that I know
Who battle with the enemy…
For grace and peace and rest;
For any who can serve or lead,
From high down to the low,
I feel a need to intercede,
And so, I give my best.

Then finally my heart grows still
And sleep begins to come,
Now I’m content, I’ve done His will.
I let myself succumb.

Orion

Hello, Orion, brightly shining in the winter night.
As time moves on, your stars aligning give my heart delight.
I still declare when seeing you that there is always hope,
For you’re prepared, you’ve set your view with all encompassed scope.

The hunter’s bow is ever ready to supply the food you need.
The warrior is always steady meeting every foe with speed.
Your eyes are focused forward to the goal with cool command,
Yet ever conscious all around the place in which you stand.

Your knees stay bent with arrow notched to move at slightest whim.
So, I am sent by God who’s watched me, called me out in Him.
To watch, to learn, to hear, to move as Holy Spirit leads—
To pray, to burn with holy love—He through me intercedes.

I still repent on bended knee, convicted when I sin.
We war against my enemy, in battles fought within.
Father meets my every need and gives me daily bread.
So, on my knees I rest indeed, submitting without dread.

Hello, Orion, brightly shining in the winter night.
As you shine on, you are reminding me of Father’s Light.
Keep running through the skies above despite the winter chill.
Your hope anew blooms while God’s love enfolds me in His will.

Wind and Fire

Upon reflection, I must disagree with you.
The Spirit still comes with wind and fire
To those who need His mighty touch,
Whether we are babes or long in the faith.
He is the I AM after all is said and done…
Great in power, mighty in deed,
Overwhelmingly here when He is manifestly present.
I will not dispute that He comes,
Quietly whispering peace to the soul’s distress,
But all of us need His unmistakable touch at some point,
To a degree that we cannot contain our reaction
Within some meekly restrained outward appearance of calm.
To rigidly constrain the Spirit as He flows through us
Is to quench the work that He is doing in us.

More times than not these days,
I find myself sitting still beneath His weightiness,
His unmoving, “I-AM-doing-something? presence.
I weep with the outpouring of His healing oil on me.
Even so, on occasion the sense of HIM, here,
Causes me to let go of my physical restraints
Till I am drunk with divine wine, and
He graces my soul with the joy of easy laughter.
Sometimes, the electrical shock of Spirit meeting flesh
Shakes me all over until my flesh submits and
The Spirit has His healing, life-changing way with me.

When He is done, I am more myself than before…
Just a little more light of heart, a little more rich with Him,
A little more deeply rooted in His all-sufficient grace.
There is no more refreshing experience
Than to be overcome by the Holy Spirit’s power,
But it is not the experience itself that is refreshment.
It is His explicit manifest presence and
My submission of self with all its flaws
So that I may know Him in the power of His resurrection,
As well as I am coming to know Him
In the fellowship of His suffering.

Threshing Floor

You sift the wheat from the chaff,
Separate the barley from the hull,
Till all that remains is Your harvest.
You call us all to let go of the stuff, the fluff,
The unnecessary things and habits we cling to
Till all that remains is Your perfect work
Forming us to Your character
So that others can see real substance in us.
You also separate those who turn away
From those who choose to follow…
Those whose hearts are not truly committed
From those who will never look back.
These are difficult times but
The winnowing process is meant to be hard.
The winds of trouble are blowing
Through the threshing floor now…
O Lord Jesus, let me be of the substance that matters,
Not of the stuff that You are blowing away.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Things seen or things unseen?

For Ryan and Shawna

You are astonishing, Lord!
It amazes me to stand here
As your hand slowly unfolds
To reveal the tiny gift inside.
The waiting isn’t over, but
It seems as if Your plan is clear.
My friends are rejoicing
With some reserve as of yet.
But life bundled up in a baby boy
Just bounces around and
Smacks you in the heart with joy!
It’s hard not to hope that
Your hand is holding grace, that
Your goodness will be the sure hand–
Even though, for now, we still wait,
I’m going to trust You to know best
Still hoping for long years of prayer
To be answered in THIS gift.

Called and Chosen

It’s very obvious to all who know you—
The stirring in your heart,
The deep longing of your soul
To win the lost.
Holy Spirit moves and you respond
With tearful intercession,
With passionate desire
To see all of us reaching out as you do.
It’s a marvel to my being—
This change in you so amazing(!)
That you are not who you were
Before Father spoke to you.
I can but rejoice and pray
That God will stir me up again
So I might intercede
For continued change in both of us and
Healing for the nations.

Moving On

On a cold May afternoon,
When the sky was dark and gray,
And my heart was filled with gloom
From the long and dreary day,
I was waiting for a word
In my wrought-up frame of mind,
But the message that I heard
Said, “Keep moving. There’s no time.
Holy Spirit’s on the move
Spread your wings and ride the wind.
Lift your eyes and see my truth.
Trust My Love, that lives within.?
When I heard my Father speak
He dispelled my foolish doubt.
He gave strength when I was weak.
With His love, He drew me out.
Though the road seem long and hard,
I will hear the still, small voice.
When my Shepherd is in charge,
I’ll stand strong and make His choice.

untitled

To dream a dream, to hear You speak,
To trust Your Holy Spirit in my life;
To shape, remake; to burn, to break,
While Your word cleanses me with holy fire…
Conflict and doubt, within, without
Have wrecked my heart and left me waiting still.
I can but stand here in Your hand,
Trusting You to move me where you will.

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