Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 22 "Prepare for Battle" Jeremiah 46, 47, 48

And the first word is that this has come from The Lord their God. And it is the same for our day, our country. Prepare to hear & obey The Lord. “Prepare buckler and shield,
    and advance for battle!
     mount, O horsemen. Take your   stations with your helmets,    polish your spears,
    put on your armor!
Jer 46:4.  Way more than physical armoir. Repent. Put on the armoir of God. 
Advance, O horses,
    and rage, O chariots!
Let the warriors go ,,, That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts,
    a day of God'd Presence. He knows our thoughts. He hears your cries for help. 
‘Stand ready and be prepared. Call the name of the King. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 21 "Seek Great Things" Jeremiah 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

"Do you seek great things for yourself?  Seek them not." Jeremiah 45:5

"No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you as much as you do." I love this quote by Paul David Tripp.  Are we counseling ourselves in Truth?  According to the Word of God?

"Johanan, the son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done." Jer 41:11.  There is more evil in these chapters than we see in a lifetime.  So what do we do with this kind of trouble?  How did they live in the midst of this stress and uncertainty and horror?

And what did they tell themselves?  "Whom shall I fear?"  "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the Goodness of God in the land of the living."  Jeremiah offers a word as they wrestle to remember what God has done.

And Jeremiah's mantra is recorded for me and for you this very day:  Seek not great things for yourself.

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Oh God, we all have problems, and will have more as we walk uphill all the way home.  Would you reveal to each of us what we are really telling ourselves?  Would you let us see straight, the plumbline of our souls.  Come, Lord Jesus!

PHOTO:  When the clouds roll in on the farm, don't forget the work of God in your past life.  Remember today what He has delivered you from.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 20 "Forward Faces Coming Against Us" Habakkuk 1, 2, 3

In the midst of all we have going on...
In the midst of all we need to trust you blindly...
In the midst of all we don't even know...
Revive us.
Show Your Work.

Here's an honest prophet
who doesn't mince his words.
"The unexamined life is simply not worth living." Socrates.
Are we self-aware?  Do we really know what stirs within?

We prayed tonight together for things to fall where God wills.
We prayed for Grace and Favor and Mercy.
"Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord."
Habakkuk 3:17-18

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Oh God!  Help us see through what stirs within, the good stirrings, that Your Power is the Energy that will help us make it through this crazy maze.  Col 1:29.  

PHOTO:  Standing on this Brazos river bank thinking about the unexamined life in me and those I love. Have mercy O God. 

August 19 "Divine Providence Prevails" 2 Kings 24, 25

Embroiled in a midnight mess, I came to these Scriptures today. There is no excuse for my sins even though prompted by another's sin. We bump up against other's sins every day of our lives and it gives us no peace if we give in to wrongdoings. The evil continued in this story today is frightening. May we never be complacent about our sin.

"It is for the sins of a people that God hides from them the things that belong to the public peace. And in fulfilling the secret purposes of his justice, the Lord needs only leave men to the blindness of their own minds, or to the lusts of their own hearts. The gradual approach of Divine judgments affords sinners space for repentance, and believers leisure to prepare for meeting the calamity, while it shows the obstinacy of those who will not forsake their sins." Matthew Henry

And the side story that grips me is found in 2 Kings 25:27 - Divine Providence is always moving. Can we find the Good in the midst of the evil?

COME BOLDLY: Timeless Prayers

Oh Father, You silenced me through this story of evil kings following each other's footsteps. No longer self aware of their own departure from grace, decision to grovel, dilemma of magnitude. Oh! Deal with my own heart. I lay these things before you that I am wrestling with. Thank you for stirring me to righteousness.

PHOTO: It's midnight here. Madness. Mystery. Silence. Surrender.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18 "Old Rags" Jeremiah 38, 39, 40 Psalm 74, 79

Again. They take Jeremiah and cast him into a cistern. No water. Just mud. Jer 38:6. And God plans a rescue of Jeremiah by the eunuch, Ebed-melech. It's a rescue of rags and worn-out clothing. Jer 38:11. Matt Chandler spoke today of how God intervenes and gives us opportunities to change. But this fellow, Jeremiah, followed God fully. And God delivered because of Jer 39:18 - Jeremiah put his trust in the Lord.

God doesn't want our strength. He wants our weakness. Our surrender. Our dependence. Just like Jeremiah. Whether it's from a prison cell or the prison of our hearts. "When we are confident in God, we set our minds to worship. Then we attack with passion the brokenness in our world." We somehow have it upside down. Turn us right side up, Lord. We want to attack the brokenness more than we want to worship. Calloused hands need calloused knees.

Psalm 74:22 - "Arise, O God, defend Your Cause."

COME BOLDLY: Timeless Prayers
Father, when we are weak, then we are Strong, because of You. Make us strong within our prison walls, imposed or of our own making. Turn us right side up. May we never fail to worship You first.

PHOTO: As the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean, may we be self-aware of what we are truly doing.  Passion for God over passion for ministry.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17 "Make my Sons & Daughters Stand" Jeremiah 35, 36, 37

Start with me.

Here is Jeremiah, unjustly thrown into jail, again. So hard to believe. Yet, so surrendered to his God. It's okay. What stirs within this giant of the faith? What secret thoughts drive him depend?
And what beautiful God intervenes when it's too much in the house of Jonathan. God knows our name. God knows our frame. God knows our flame.

Jeremiah 35:19 - the house of the Rechabites shall never lack a man to stand before God. Oh, it is what I long for my house more than anything. God says to the Rechabites: "Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, shall never lack a man to stand."

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Oh Father, I come boldly to you on this one.  Make our house stand before You.  And start with me.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see Your Goodness.  I cannot make my children obey You, but You can.  Give them all hearts for You.  And start with me.

PHOTO:  So taken by this beautiful sunset.  So longing for those I love to find a deeper trust.  So wanting it to start with me.  All I can deal with is my own stuff.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 16 "Nothing Too Hard for God" Jeremiah 32, 33, 34

Beside myself reading this passage.  Jeremiah buys a piece of property from jail!  This piece of ground signifies hope.  There is a new day coming!  Houses.  Fields.  Vineyards.  Gardens.  They are coming back!  And Matthew Henry wisely writes:  "It is good to manage even our worldly affairs in faith; to do common business with reference to the Providence and Promise of God."

Jeremiah sighs in praise to the God he worships and adores:  "Ah LORD, Thous has made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee."  Jeremiah 32:17.  And there it is right there.  A man in prison, unjustly.  And I complained or maybe threw a fit tonight cause Public Storage changed the lock on my storage unit without telling me and I was trapped with no belongings to take to another city---an empty Uhaul.  Great in counsel; mighty in work; Thine Eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men.  Jer 32:19.  What more do I really need to lay life on His lap?

And God's beautiful response to this beautiful Jeremiah! "Call unto Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you know not!"  Even in jail!  Jer 3:3.

COME BOLDLY,  Timeless Prayers:
Ah Lord!  Your Eyes, Your Ears, Your Hands are all over our world.  Nothing is too hard for You.  So, we lay before Your Eyes and Ears this day the things that obsess us.  Help us let go long.

PHOTO:  I stood next to this solo tree hovering over the Pacific Ocean wondering about God's Power.  What mystery.  May we believe deep down where it counts that your outstretched arm is headed our way, in our behalf.