26:1 - Can I truly ask God to test me? Do I let Him examine my heart? Do I fear what He will find in me?
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Here are some quotes from people I follow on twitter that really stirred me this week.
@BrianCHouston - The LESS you focus on your lack, and MORE you know your source; the MORE miracles you'll see, and LESS daunting it'll be!
that even though our hearts feel distant, God is not.
God places people in our lives on purpose.
integrity is built not found.
never ask God to take something away that you are not willing to give up.
if you find yourself in a season that you have never been in, it might be because God wants to do something in you that He has been waiting to do for a long time.
the reality on the mind is not always the reality around me, guard your mind.
you should have markers in your life. Things that you place along the journey to look back and see how far God has brought you.
becareful the prayers you pray, God might just answer them.
that God's love and mercy are truly overwhelming.
24:1 - Everything is God's. Everything has been created in Him, by Him, and for Him.
v1 - "My Shepherd" - personal. If He is truly my shepherd I have to submit my life to Him. He knows my needs better than I do. God is MY Shepherd.
I have shared several times that growing up in a small Methodist church in South Georgia taught me a lot of things. I am grateful for the foundation that it laid in my spiritual life. I cherish the the memories of singing hymns every Sunday, the Men's Breakfasts that would happen every first Sunday, the VBS's, and the faithfulness of good people. There was one issue that always seem to bother me. There always seemed to be a formula to the approach to God. Do this + this + that and it always = the path to God. It did not matter how you lived before service or the way you treated people. As long as you had the formula you were a Christian.
- formal looks for results while structure prepares you for awareness
- formula gives God limitations and boundaries while structure gives him order and permission
- formula focuses on what is applied and what the outcome is while structure focuses on God and allowing Him to move in our lives.
The picture on the right was taken Tuesday at the sunset. I stepped out on the balcony of the condo and looked to my right on saw that scene. I was hoping to watched the sunset and saw a bunch of clouds. I was disappointed for a couple of minutes and then rays of the sun started breaking through above the clouds. The clouds could not cover the light of the sun. Even on cloudy days the sun still shines. No matter how big the clouds or how many there are they can not stop the sun from shining. No matter whether you can see it or not it is there.
21:7 - In an unstable world God is the only thing that we can put our trust in that will not disappoint us or fail us. When everything around us is shaking He is our stability, in Him we can only truly find peace.
Last Friday when we checked into our condo the weather was looking pretty iffy. We drove through what seemed like monsoons and did not ever look like they were going to give way to clear skies anytime soon. As we checked in, unloaded, and unpacked I walked out onto the balcony thinking the weather was clearing up around us. The skies still looked grey but did have the slight promise of clearing up soon. As I looked closer I saw that the storm was still hear, I was just looking at it from a different perspective than I was before.
Have really enjoyed spending the last seven days at the beach. It has been nice to relax, read several books, and listen to a lot of podcast. I have had some really good prayer time and really trying to turn my ear to God and ask Him to speak to me. I just want to share some random thoughts that I have had over the last week or so. I am not saying that it was God speaking to me but I am saying it is thoughts that have been stuck in my head and I have been chewing on:
18:1 - Do we love God for what he does or for who He is. Is loving Him for what He does really love?
Last Friday I had a thought that I have not been able to shake for a couple of days. "What bothers or irritates you says a lot about who you are or what you need to work on." Then two things hit me about things that bother me personally:
1 - Everyone wants to know that we have someone who not only hears us but listens to us. God does just that. He not only hears our words, He listens to our hearts.
2 - Our relationship with the Lord has to be a personal one. When I choose to separate myself from that relationship nothing good can happen.
I did not die on the cross. This thought may sound a little bit odd and off based. To some it may even sound a little sacrilegious, but it is a thought that I need to keep in front of me from time to time. It is something that I seem to need reminded in ministry from time to time.
14:1 - "The fool," the unmoral, says that there is no God by the way he/she chooses to live. They say it with their actions. They do not have to say it with their words.
Change is a word that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Can I be an element of change? Can I change anything? What can I change? Can anything change? Can you really stop change? All questions that run through my mind.
12:1 - There are times that we all will feel isolated and alone in today's world. It is sometimes tough to be aware of God's presence with everything in the world screaming at me.
Went and watched the new Karate Kid last night and heard a statement that has replayed in my mind several times:
"Doing nothing and being still are two completely different things."
Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God..."
10:1 - There are times that God does feel far off. When we can not see His hand or hear His voice we have to remember to trust His heart. We can not truly trust His heart unless we spend time with Him or time in His Word.
life does not get any better than when you understand the Grace of God and strive to walk in it.
John 13:14-15, "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."
8:1 - Our God is an awesome God and His finger prints are everywhere in the world.
6:4 - Very thankful that God's love will never fail me or let me down. My prayer is for me not to understand that love but to learn to walk in it.
v2 - "My King" - Jesus has to sit on the throne of my life. He has to rule and reign in every area. I have to give Him total access and total control of everything.
I was reading in John 5 today and there are a few thoughts that jumped out at me that I can not ignore.
- By Jesus asking the man did he want to get well tells me that our "wellness" depends on our desire for wholeness.
- Did this man find comfort in his sickness? Had he built his world around it?
- How did he get to the pool everyday? Who carried him? I do not want to be friends with those people. I do not need people to carry me to the pool, but to the One who stirs the pool. Surround yourself with people that will carry you to Jesus.
- Was the man looking for the pool to bring his healing or God. How many times do we looking for our healing from every other source except God.
- "Get up!" It does not say that Jesus picked him up, or even helped him up. He told them to get up, and HE DID!
- When God speaks healing we can either lay there and remain sick, or get up and walk in the Words of Jesus.
v3 - To be set apart is to be separate from things. Separate from the things that separate us from God.
I just want to share some of my thoughts out of Psalms as I read through it over the next couple of months: