Tag: Lord (Page 1 of 3)

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.

Morning Oblation

Each morning, Lord,
I come over the hill and see
The vista You’ve laid out for the day.
Sometimes, it’s bright and sunny.
Sometimes, it’s cloudy and overcast,
But whatever it is, I am fascinated
With the way You paint the landscape.
The foggy mornings with a bit of sun,
Peeking out between multi-colored clouds,
Make my favorite scenes!
The rolling hills alternate with smoky valleys
Till Your handiwork hides all the buildings
That mar the image of a grand wilderness.

Every morning, Lord,
I am reminded once again that You,
And You alone, are the source of beauty—
That You only can delight my soul
With the peculiar twist of something unnamable,
Which no person has ever quite given me…
Joy unspeakable, perhaps, but in a quieter sense.
Here, I am replete with contentment,
Sure of Your goodness.
Here, I contemplate and meditate
The brief moments I have for Your new view
Before I am forced to turn the wheel and
Refocus on the drive in to work.

Thanks, God, for the pleasure of Your presence
In the exhibition of Your exquisite earth!

River Richly Flowing

Life is a river richly flowing,
Freely teeming with people, nations, and happenings,
All mingled in Your Spirit’s purposes.
Past, present, future…mesh together because
Nothing limits Your hand at work.
You are our life.
You give us our very existence.
You pour through every moment, every molecule
With the power of Your love—
Sparkling with newness,
Brilliant with Your glory
Revealing every shadow of hidden darkness till it flees…
And the river flows on, full of us, brimming with You
Life is ever moving, ever changing, ever new,
Because, O LORD, of unfathomable, beyond-imaginable You!

Holy Is The LORD Almighty

Angel feathers falling from the very throne of God
From the holy heavens bringing wonder from above.
There the living creatures worship where no man has stood
Crying, “Holy. Holy. Holy is the LORD…?

Golden glory cloud of dust hangs weighty in the air—
Holy Spirit manifests His love for all to see.
So, the sons and daughters in the kingdom stand in awe
Crying, “Holy. Holy. Holy is the LORD…?

Take our ordinary lives in these days full of dread
Radiate your grace and glory to the world around
Let light and life and love come permeate and bring all near
Crying, “Holy. Holy. Holy is the LORD…?

Jesus, Name above all names, let every tongue confess
Your majesty and resurrection power over all,
And every knee will bow before the very Son of God
Crying, “Holy. Holy. Holy is the LORD…?

For Holy is the LORD Almighty and the Lamb, who for us bled—
Everlasting Splendor, Sovereign Love, and King of kings.
He Who sits upon the throne as brilliant, cleansing Light
Calls us all to come to Him, redeemed by His own Life.

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.

Morning Sky

Fingers of the morning sun pierce the clouds,
Like Your hand extended over the landscape,
Hovering above us all as sweet reminder of
Your goodness, Lord…
Your mercy, Lord…
Your continual grace that allows us to
Begin each new day with Your breath of life.
The deeply blue-gray clouds outlined
With golden filaments of light
Starkly contrasts pale blue-white sky
Like the wounded world against the healing heavens…
All held together in Your palm.

Change

Interesting, Lord…
The way You do things
Never ceases to amaze me.
So many “suddenlies? recently
In my life and those around me
Teach me again that
The waiting is always worth it.
I never know when it will end
(And it always seems endless),
But then You turn my life inside out
Or upside down… or right-side left.

I never know quite how
Things will end up these days.
I can sense though that
One of those “suddenlies? is almost here.
I’m not really stressed about it—
Just pondering how different
My life will be in just two months.

It’s like the anticipation I felt on
The first day of every school year.
What new things will I need to learn?
What new people will I meet?
How will I feel when
The holidays come this year and
I am in a different place?

Knowing that change will come, but
Not knowing what change will look like…
This is a good thing.
My faith grows every day because
You did say, after all, that
Father causes his sun to rise
On the evil and the good, and
Sends rains on the righteous
And the unrighteous.

So I know I can rely on You to be
“My strength and my fortress,
My God in whom I trust,?
Whatever change and happenstance
Brings my way.

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.

Psalm

The splendor of Your holiness
Is like a newborn star,
Whose brilliance light the universe,
Whose beauty shines so far.
The glory man cannot embrace
Displays Your greatness, hides Your face.

I pray, O Lord, that I would be
Your light of hope for men
That all who come could only see
Your grace, Your love for them.
Exemplify Your mercy, Lord,
Redeeming lives with every word.

Holy Spirit, breathe new power.
Renew my passion for
Your people in this very hour.
Please, call us all toward more.
And God, please, multiply Your life
For everyone who seeks Your light.

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