While on a fishing trip, nine miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, I caught a promise!
Maybe I missed the part in science class about migratory birds flying over large bodies of water enroute to their winter homes. Nonetheless, I got a crash course recently when a tiny brown bird with green trimmed wings and a crimson spot on the crown of its head, found a resting place on my fishing rod. Sitting a few inches above the reel, our eyes met momentarily, and we wondered what to do next. I remained breathless and still, while my feathered visitor rested himself from his long journey.
As my little friend flew away I thought about the experience, how much it reminded me of the ministry which Jesus provides for His children.
He is my resting place when I am weary from life.No matter the time or place, wherever I may be, Jesus is there to provide a strong branch upon which I may rest my weary soul.
GospeLines Prayer:Heavenly Father, when upon life's journey I have faltered, You have picked me up; when I have followed the wrong path, You have chastened me back into the way; when I have entered the broad gate, You have slammed it shut. Now, Lord, I am weary... give me a place to rest so that I may continue on until You say it is over. In the Name of Jesus I pray, amen and amen.
In a recent sermon, the pastor challenged us to have a place that mere mortals could not penetrate - an altar for our conversations with God.Our friends, children, spouses, would not have access to it because it is deep within us.It reminded me of the place I reserved a long time ago…
I found a neat little place all my own,
Where I can contemplate my thoughts and prayers alone.
Sometimes in the still of the night,
My thoughts are erased clean out of sight.
If I lay very, very still, it’s just me and my heartbeat,
By virtue of free will.
In this warm and comfortable place there’s something
many people find it hard to penetrate there.
And when and only when I choose do I give it away,
And that is the only time it’s on public display.
It is my sanctuary, my solace, my joy,
My haven from manipulation as though a toy.
Many people have yet to touch…
That which I value ever so much.
We can make a sanctuary any place where we can speak directly with God.Admittedly, we aren’t going to honestly share everything going on in our lives with other Christians, no matter how close to us and committed they are.There are some things that are reserved just for Him; even when we know He already knows all!
And, in that quiet inner sanctum, we can bare all to Him who gives us life…our fears, our joys, our sorrows, everything that constitutes our very being.He will hear us because when we are honest, He will grant us mercy.But, the key is being honest because He does know our hearts and there is nowhere we can hide.He offers us forgiveness when we earnestly repent and turn our backs to our old ways and He grants us life anew.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, let me speak to You from the most inner part of my being.Hear my cries, Lord… of joy, of sorrow or any other emotion that I bring honestly to You.I am grateful that we have a connection and that You offer grace, love and forgiveness when I fall short of the mark.Even when all appears quiet, You hear me hum and offer protection in my waking hours and when I am asleep.
Oh merciful God, please grant me another day to lift my hands to You and to thank You for all of the many blessings you continue to provide.Amen and amen.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Skateboards were the absolute rage when my oldest son was growing up. Our driveway was the launching ramp for the neighborhood kids. One boy would stand at the street and watch for traffic, while another would race down the length of the driveway, cross the street and hit the ramp at full throttle. If he was lucky he would land on the grass next to the sidewalk without breaking anything. It was difficult for me to watch, but hard not to as well. I would stand and peek out the window as the daredevils flew through the air with glee, hoping and praying for a safe landing (They did the hoping while I prayed)
My son learned a new trick and escorted me outside to watch the traffic while he performed. He whizzed down the runway, hit the ramp hard and missed his landing badly. All I saw was elbows and ankles going in four different directions, and the skateboard sailing toward the neighbor's tree.
"Wipeout!" he grimaced, as he struggled to pull himself off the concrete.
Recovering from life's wipeouts is something we get better at as we grow older. Know why that is? Two reasons... one, we get lots and lots of practice, and the second is the older we are the closer we grow toward the Lord. (Someone said the third reason is that we learn not to take as many chances. Maybe so…)
Have you noticed that, like the good Father He is, God is always around when we fall off the skateboard, regardless of whether we acted responsibly or foolishly? Our Lord is there for us, peeking through the window of our souls, awaiting an opportunity to pick up the pieces and set us on the right track again.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, if it seems that I love you more when I am pain-free, I confess that I have not yet learned how to say thank you with skinned knees and bloodied elbows. I don't ask for preferential treatment just because I am your child, but I will ask that you hasten my spiritual education to get me past my childish mistakes.Amen and amen
The vernal equinox marks the first day of Spring and is one of only two times a year when day and night are of approximately equal length.Last year, this equinox occurred on March 20th at 8:07 pm EDT.
Equal night and day… equal dark and light…
Nature has its equinox; how about people?Do we come to a point when the dark in our lives starts to be overtaken by the light?
Isaiah prophesied long ago that God would "honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan" and that people walking in darkness would see a great light - "on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:12-15)
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world.Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 - NIV)
Are you ready for Spring?Are you ready to move from the dark into the light?The next vernal equinox occurs on March 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm EDT.At that time, the earth will move from more darkness toward more light.However, you don't have to wait.It can be 1:48 for you right now.
Jesus isthe gate; whoever enters through Him will be saved...He came that you may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:9-10 - NIV).Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household (Acts 16:31).
It's always 1:48 somewhere - are you moving into the light of the Lord or remaining in the darkness of the world?
Hear the cry of the Lord: "And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness." (John 12:44-46 - NASB)
Accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and move into the light…
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
A tribe of ferocious fighting men would often fight to the death with neighboring villages.When they were victorious, they would cut off the ear of their opponent, hang it in their straw huts in full view to remind them of their anger and hatred.This symbol would give them added adrenaline to renew their battle another day.
That's a far cry from what Paul said in 1st Thessalonians 5:15, "Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people."
There would be fewer battles and kinder workplaces if we could only practice that.Sometimes our competitive marketplace encourages us to take an eye for an eye rather than turn the other cheek.
May God forbid that the career ladders we climb be strewn with the bodies and souls of our victims, lain waste by a shrewd tongue and unforgiving heart.
GospeLines Prayer:My Lord and my God, teach me to play fair in the jungle.Give me a trusting heart to find my way to success through your Holiness.Lead me away from the daily battles of pettiness and uncaring comments and place my feet firmly on the foundation of goodness and kindness.Amen and amen.