Framing the day

2:00 am my son was throwing up in his bed hence, you can know that this post is not written from some lofty seat of imagination, pretending or wishful thinking...

Yesterday, these verses were a part of my Daily Prayer time and they framed my day.  As I read them though, they stuck in my spirit with a greater intensity. I desired to see these verses as a framework around my everyday - as a mother, a wife and a daughter of God.  The image that came to my mind was a house being built and these verses provided the interior framing for it:

Psalm 125:1-2
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

The  Lord surrounds his people - both now and forevermore.  To know exactly where you are placed is so reassuring.  He is before, behind and on both sides!  This position is not dependent upon who we are or what we do, but is dependent on the character of the Lord.  Reflecting on this alone, settles and secures my heart to move forward in the day with confidence and assurance.

Psalm 126
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.

This Psalm became an anthem for me two years ago.  When I initially read it, it rang so true in my life.  I had just come out of a season of many tears  and I was just beginning to see a reaping of many joyful things.  But at the same time, there were now new situations in my life that were causing tears.  With these verses in mind, I decided to approach these situations differently.  I still approached them with tears, but this time there was a new hope of confidence.  I knew that following these tears there would be a season of rejoicing.  I could cry knowing that the Lord was hearing and responding and that I could be patient with His timing.  Before, I had cried in hopes that my tears would make Him move, now I cried knowing that He carries my tears and because of His character the current situation was not the end.  The very next day, I was played a song that sang this Psalm almost word for word in Kristene Mueller's song: Those who Dream.

Psalm 127
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

These verses mean so much to me.  Yes, you can look at it from the negative perspective - that I'm building in vain.  Or you can look at it from the truth of receiving His promises, because of His leading and guidance we are not building in vain.  The investments that we make on a daily basis are planting fruit and fruit that will last.  I love my children dearly.  They bring me so much joy and surprise me everyday.  I cannot wait to see how their lives impact this world for better.  Knowing my life, my daily steps are being walked out in trust of Him gives me confidence and assurance.

As I said in the beginning, these are verses that I want hang onto as a framework for my life in the season that I find myself.  I don't want them to be merely morning drive-by verses that warm my heart.  Rather, I am reflecting on them and letting them frame my thoughts and attitudes so that they provide the stability for the decisions and actions of my everyday.  As I trust in the Lord, His ways provides a security that I can rest in, no matter what is happening in my life at any given moment.

Resting in Him this day,

PS I've included two songs in this post.  Sometimes those who subscribe via e-mail cannot see the videos.  Click through to my blog if you want to hear the songs: Framing the Day

A Story to Embody: November 24, 2012

This weeks readings also contain that 360 Vision that I talked about the other day.  These verses capture the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ (past, present and future).  As you read, I hope that you are awed by the strength and majesty of our King of Kings.  By the end, you will be reminded that this strength also contained a humbleness that He submitted to in order to bring His kingdom here on earth.  It is quite amazing...

What gets me everytime, is that whenever I hear the Gospel presented - I say, "Yes, and AMEN! I want in on this!"  It never grows old to me.  It's an amazing story, it's an amazing truth and we serve an amazing God!

2 Samuel 23:1-7

Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:
The spirit of the LORD speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away; for they cannot be picked up with the hand; to touch them one uses an iron bar or the shaft of a spear. And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.

Psalm 93
 The LORD is king, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved.
 your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the LORD!
Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

7:9 As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire.
 A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him.
To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

John 18:33-37

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"
Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."
Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

Praying you hear His voice this day.

In Christ,

A Story to Embody: November 18, 2012

Psalm 16:5-11

 No, the Lord is all I need.
    He takes care of me.
6 My share in life has been pleasant;
    my part has been beautiful.
7 I praise the Lord because he advises me.
    Even at night, I feel his leading.
8 I keep the Lord before me always.
    Because he is close by my side,
    I will not be hurt.
9 So I rejoice and am glad.
    Even my body has hope,
10 because you will not leave me in the grave.
    You will not let your holy one rot.
11 You will teach me how to live a holy life.
    Being with you will fill me with joy;
    at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.

The Ephesian verses below are the same verses used in my post, 7 Verbs of Reorinetation, feel free to click on the link for further thoughts on these verses.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. 4 That is, in Christ, he chose us before the world was made so that we would be his holy people—people without blame before him. 5 Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, 6 and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. 7 In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace, 8 which he has given to us so fully and freely. God, with full wisdom and understanding, 9 let us know his secret purpose. This was what God wanted, and he planned to do it through Christ. 10 His goal was to carry out his plan, when the right time came, that all things in heaven and on earth would be joined together in Christ as the head.

11 In Christ we were chosen to be God’s people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. 12 We are the first people who hoped in Christ, and we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God’s glory. 13 So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching—the Good News about your salvation—you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised. 14 That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his—to bring praise to God’s glory.

Matthew 4:17-23

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is near.”

18 As Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake because they were fishermen. 19 Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20 So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him.

21 As Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee, he saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus told them to come with him. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and they followed Jesus.

Jesus Teaches and Heals People

23 Jesus went everywhere in Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the kingdom of heaven, and healing all the people’s diseases and sicknesses.

Hebrews 10:31-39

31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those days in the past when you first learned the truth. You had a hard struggle with many sufferings, but you continued strong. 33 Sometimes you were hurt and attacked before crowds of people, and sometimes you shared with those who were being treated that way. 34 You helped the prisoners. You even had joy when all that you owned was taken from you, because you knew you had something better and more lasting.

35 So do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has a great reward. 36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time,

“The One who is coming will come
    and will not be delayed.
38 Those who are right with me
    will live by faith.
But if they turn back with fear,
    I will not be pleased with them.” Habakkuk 2:3–4
39 But we are not those who turn back and are lost. We are people who have faith and are saved.

In Christ,

360 Vision: Lacking Nothing

As Christians, we have the benefit of 360 vision, to bring us through each and everyday.  We have the past saints to look at for inspiration and understanding of how the Lord moves and weaves in an individual's life.  We have the living and active Word of God today - that moves and interacts with us.  Finally, we have the book of Revelation that gives us a glimpse of the reality of our future.  So today, I would like to interact with this 360 vision to help us to see how God invites us to walk with Him into a life that lacks nothing.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Revelation 9:16
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
17For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

These are all familiar Scripture passages, but for this post, I appreciated reflecting on the connections between them.  We all love the imagery of Psalm 23: being led beside quiet waters, having our souls restored.  Yet we don't always find ourselves in those situations.  Sometimes we find ourselves faced with the valley of the shadow of death...Then we are confronted with James - "Consider it PURE JOY, whenever you face trials of many kinds..."

How? Why? 

This is where the 360 vision comes in handy (you can start from any spot) but for this post we will start at Revelation 9.   See the Lamb, seated on the throne and what does He promise to be for us - our Shepherd.  We are reminded in this very picture, that He, himself, the Lamb, walked through a very dark valley of death to get to His throne.  We see His promise to us is to Shepherd us and one day to wipe every tear from our eyes.  We get to step into life with Him, from this place of trust knowing that He sees, He knows, He understands and He offers to come along with us.

From this vantage point we can pan back to present day: consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds... It develops perseverance/ patience and you will NOT lack anything...

Pan over to Psalm 23 - the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...

Do you see the circle? Do you see the benefits we receive from our current position? 

The Message ends Psalm 23 with this:

Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

So my brothers and sisters in Christ - consider it pure joy - no matter what you are going through, because the Lord is your Shepherd.  He is walking beside you, leading you and guiding you with love and beauty.  Sometimes by streams of water and sometimes He is walking with us through a valley, a shadow, a place of trial and uncertainty.  The path may be unclear to you - but the end destination is clear and sure.  There will be a day when He will wipe every tear from your eyes.  

You are not alone and you were never asked to go through this life alone.  Lean on your Good Shepherd today - the Lamb of God who alone is worthy.

In Christ,

Photo courtesy Melanie Guest Photography

A Story to Embody: November 11, 2012

The beauty that I see weaved between today's passages lies in the fact that we can trust God - in everyday situations and with impossible situations.  If the Lord doesn't, if the Lord doesn't, it is of no use... These words start out our first Scripture reading.  If who we are and what we do doesn't orginate and filter down from His heart it doesn't work.  However, when we look into the face of impossibilites and place our trust in Him there is success.  These stories challenge us to look through the stories of others who have seen the impossible done through God and to likewise put our trust in Him and doing it His way even when it doesn't make sense with our physical eyes.

Psalm 127
If the Lord doesn’t build the house,
the builders are working for nothing.
If the Lord doesn’t guard the city,
the guards are watching for nothing.
2 It is no use for you to get up early
and stay up late,
working for a living.
The Lord gives sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
babies are a reward.
4 Children who are born to a young man
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
5 Happy is the man
who has his bag full of arrows.
They will not be defeated
when they fight their enemies at the city gate.

I Kings 17:8-16
8 Then the Lord spoke his word to Elijah, 9 “Go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I have commanded a widow there to take care of you.”

10 So Elijah went to Zarephath. When he reached the town gate, he saw a widow gathering wood for a fire. Elijah asked her, “Would you bring me a little water in a cup so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get his water, Elijah said, “Please bring me a piece of bread, too.”

12 The woman answered, “As surely as the Lord your God lives, I have no bread. I have only a handful of flour in a jar and only a little olive oil in a jug. I came here to gather some wood so I could go home and cook our last meal. My son and I will eat it and then die from hunger.”

13 “Don’t worry,” Elijah said to her. “Go home and cook your food as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread from the flour you have, and bring it to me. Then cook something for yourself and your son. 14 The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘That jar of flour will never be empty, and the jug will always have oil in it, until the day the Lord sends rain to the land.’”

15 So the woman went home and did what Elijah told her to do. And the woman and her son and Elijah had enough food every day. 16 The jar of flour and the jug of oil were never empty, just as the Lord, through Elijah, had promised.

Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
After this, the Lord chose seventy-two others and sent them out in pairs ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go. He said to them, “There are a great many people to harvest, but there are only a few workers. So pray to God, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest. Go now, but listen! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Don’t carry a purse, a bag, or sandals, and don’t waste time talking with people on the road. Before you go into a house, say, ‘Peace be with this house.’ If peace-loving people live there, your blessing of peace will stay with them, but if not, then your blessing will come back to you. Stay in the same house, eating and drinking what the people there give you. A worker should be given his pay. Don’t move from house to house. If you go into a town and the people welcome you, eat what they give you. Heal the sick who live there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10 But if you go into a town, and the people don’t welcome you, then go into the streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dirt from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the kingdom of God is near.’ 12 I tell you, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the people of Sodom than for the people of that town.

17 When the seventy-two came back, they were very happy and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name!”

18 Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Listen, I have given you power to walk on snakes and scorpions, power that is greater than the enemy has. So nothing will hurt you. 20 But you should not be happy because the spirits obey you but because your names are written in heaven.”

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks. 12 Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.

In Christ,

A Story to Embody: November 4, 2012

The theme of this week's Scriptures is children and parents.  It is an awesome responsibility to be a parent, but as I said last week, God does not leave us alone but rather He guides us.  I think the Scriptures this week captures these thoughts:

God is not an additive.
Religion adds God to life; fits Him in.
Christ, however, is our all in all,
the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:8).

The first Scriptures comes from Deuteronomy and I think it clearly spells out that our lives should embody this story God has written! Then, don't miss out on the practical ways we can reflect God's heart to those around us (shown in Psalm 146:7-9).  Finally, in Ephesians 6 that living in these ways will bring promise and life to your children. 

Deuteronomy 6:1-9
1 These are the commands, rules, and laws that the Lord your God told me to teach you to obey in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to take.2 You, your children, and your grandchildren must respect the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I give you so that you will live a long time.3 Listen, Israel, and carefully obey these laws. Then all will go well for you, and you will become a great nation in a fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.

4 Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.6 Always remember these commands I give you today.7 Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.8 Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you,9 and write them on your doors and gates.

Psalm 146
Praise the Lord!
My whole being, praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praises to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes
or other people, who cannot save you.
4 When people die, they are buried.
Then all of their plans come to an end.
5 Happy are those who are helped by the God of Jacob.
Their hope is in the LORD their God.
6 He made heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in it.
He remains loyal forever.
7 He does what is fair for those who have been wronged.
He gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free.
8 The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD lifts up people who are in trouble.
The LORD loves those who do right.
9 The LORD protects the foreigners.
He defends the orphans and widows,
but he blocks the way of the wicked.
10 The Lord will be King forever.
Jerusalem, your God is everlasting.
Praise the Lord!

Ephesians 6:1-9

Children, obey your parents as the Lord wants, because this is the right thing to do.2 The command says, "Honor your father and mother." This is the first command that has a promise with it—3 "Then everything will be well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth."

4 Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord.

5 Slaves, obey your masters here on earth with fear and respect and from a sincere heart, just as you obey Christ.6 You must do this not only while they are watching you, to please them. With all your heart you must do what God wants as people who are obeying Christ.7 Do your work with enthusiasm. Work as if you were serving the Lord, not as if you were serving only men and women.8 Remember that the Lord will give a reward to everyone, slave or free, for doing good.

9 Masters, in the same way, be good to your slaves. Do not threaten them. Remember that the One who is your Master and their Master is in heaven, and he treats everyone alike.

Mark 10:35-40 Then James and John, sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we want to ask you to do something for us."

36 Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"

37 They answered, "Let one of us sit at your right side and one of us sit at your left side in your glory in your kingdom."

38 Jesus said, "You don't understand what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I must drink? And can you be baptized with the same kind of baptism that I must go through?"

39 They answered, "Yes, we can."

Jesus said to them, "You will drink the same cup that I will drink, and you will be baptized with the same baptism that I must go through. 40 But I cannot choose who will sit at my right or my left; those places belong to those for whom they have been prepared."

Be Blessed,

Daily Prayer

Disqus for For His Glory Alone


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