Noticing

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Watering:

 

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.

 

Watching:

We will always find what we are looking at…

If we are looking at things to worry about,

or thundering Goliaths to cower under,

or a world going to hell in a hand basket… they will fill our view.

But the Truth is:

the whole earth is filled with his wonders.

The Truth is:

these wonders deserve our awe.

 The Truth is:

from the first peak of sunshine to its last, God calls for Joy to be sung.

 

Wondering:

The goodness of Life is smack in front of my nose. It is my choice whether I see it or not, whether I pay attention to it or bury it under all the “disses” of the enemy

distractions

disillusionments

discouragements

disappointments

 

It takes work to see each day as brand new.

It takes guts to see beyond the subtle despair and focus on the beauty and abundance of every day life.

It takes eyes to see and ears to hear… that

 

God is good.

He is loving, all knowing and kind.

He is not rattled by my foolishness, nor “put off” by my questions.

He is merciful and faithful

and keeps his word in each turning of this planet.

 

Everyday he whispers.

Everyday he waits.

And every. single. day… he creates joy

orchestrating its song to be sung…

 

Will I listen?

Will I sing?

 

Waiting:

Lord, today, I will remind myself that You are good. All the time.

Today, Jesus, I will awaken the dawn.  I will leave behind my grave clothes, and let you drape your robe and your rightness on me…

I will listen

and I will sing your song of Joy.

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Until I do

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Watering:

Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
 I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63

 

Watching:

There is always reason to praise.

even from a hiding place

even in the clinging to a wing and a prayer

even as the road buckles underneath each step

 

In his hand, there is always reason to sing.

 

Wondering:

There have been times in my life when praise to the God I love has laid me out in a great way a flat-on-my-face takedown of thankfulness gushing from every pore.

And there have been other times when just being able to stumble out from under the covers has been the height of gratitude for the day – barely.

Yet in each scenario, etched deep into my heart’s Memorial Wall, I remember.

I remember the “Dark Days” and the black tunnel of sadness I could not explain

I remember the threatening Void that tried to swallow me whole.

I remember the hopeless words that ran like a raging river through my head, “Something’s wrong with me. Something’s wrong with me. Something’s wrong with me.” Chiseled into the gravestone, like a scene from Scrooge’s grim future, hope seemed lost forever.

 

But God…

 

But God, my Sweet Nazarene, met me right where I was. He scooped me up and held me tight. Even as I fell at his feet screaming and waving tightened fist, “I won’t leave until you touch me!”… he stilled me.

And then, scattering the Black that had threatened to take me out, Jesus resuscitated every part of me

– His breath of Life pushed deep into my gasping lungs.

 

I remember.

I will not forget.

 

There is always reason to praise.

Real praise.

Honest praise.

Sometimes for the profound,

more often for the simple…

There is always reason to praise.

 

And every morning I determine: I won’t leave this chair

… until I do.

 

Waiting:

Jesus,  I love this  adventure I’m on, strapped in next to you – your hand in mine. Let my life be all you have imagined and created it to be. How ’bout we just  start with today.

 

Watering Today

Prov 30; ps 30, 130, 63; Ezekiel 20-21; Revelation 8; 2 thes 1-3

 

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What Sayeth you? (Part 1)

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Watering:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. (Luke 9)

Watching:

The disciples are having quite a day! Jesus has sent them out (with no provisions) to “drive out demons and cure diseases, to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal the sick.”

And when they come back all pumped with experiencing the power of His name, they face a hungry crowd of 500+ (… which Jesus then says they are to feed – with only laughable provisions.)

Yet Jesus isn’t laughing… because He knows:

what we think is “not enough” is all God needs to make everything more.

So, par usual, Jesus models his lesson:

First, he gives thanks, then He takes the meager and delivers the miraculous.

And for that proof we all crave, He makes them count the leftovers –  the “spoils” that come with trusting and thanking God.

Yet, the day’s not over and Jesus has not yet summarized His teaching “point.”

So, he asks the question:

Okay, so now, who does the crowd say I am?

… and what about you? Who do you say I am?

Wondering:

As a teacher and a mom, how many times have I heard kids tell me what someone else thinks or what someone else has done. But Jesus wants to make it clear:

What others say is theirs to say, but right here, right now, I’m asking you

…what do YOU say?

Who do you say I am… when you’re asked to do miracles with “only” my  name as your provision?

Who do you say I am… when you’re sure what you have is “laughable” and certainly not enough?

Who do you say I am … when life is bubbling over with everything Good and everything God and suddenly a crowd of neediness comes your way and spoils your fun? What sayeth you then?

And what sayeth you now?

Have you forgotten to thank God in all things, break bread with a needy crowd… and give from your lack?

Who do you say I am to you, really?

(Oh, and by the way, I will always keep asking.)

 

Waiting:

Lord, you are the son of the living God, and you have words of eternal life. Help me live them.

Watering Today: Prov 9; ps 9, 109, 99, 90; Luke 9; Lamentations 9; Acts 9

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Fightin’ Words

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Watering:

Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand. (Ps 20:6)

Watching:

“Now this I know…” them’s fightin’ words.

Powerful words.

Anchors of Truth.

Seeds of Life.

 

Wondering:

So, what is it that I know?

Know for sure.

I mean really know

– in that up-close and personal way.

What beautiful knowledge changes me, guides me and leads me beyond any tickle of doubt?

 

* * *

I know

that God is for me, and not against me.

I know

that he hears me when I call.

I know

that he called me from the womb and has ordered every day of my life, every step and every good deed that I should walk in them.

I know

that His ways are not my ways; I cannot out guess him, out smart him, or even begin to out wait him. And yet he waits for me and nudges my heart to surrender into the peace of “nevertheless.” Nevertheless, Father, not my will, but your will be done.

I know

he forgives me every time… every Fall-On-My-Knees-I-Need-a-Do-Over time.

I know

that he knows me. He made me, for goodness sake. He’s my dad. I will never be good enough, kind enough, holy enough, wise enough, selfless enough, loving enough – not even thankful enough – to earn anything He’s given me. And yet I know he’s not asking me to. He’s not asking me to be anything more than just me, his little girl on her daddy’s knee.

I know

he simply (and oh so not) loves me. The One who fashioned me to. be. me. from the womb cares for me with an everlasting love.

I know

I am His, and His alone.

Forever and always.

By wisdom a house is built,
    and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures. (Prov. 24:3-4)

Waiting:

Lord,  my house is not filled full enough with your rare and beautiful treasures. Teach my heart and spirit to know you more and more and more.

Watering Today: Prov. 25; ps 20, 85; Jeremiah 31-32; 1 John 4

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of Spit and Mud

Scripture: John 9: 5-7

 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam.” (This word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Observation:

Jesus didn’t need to spit. He could have just said, open your eyes and see. He could have just gently touched his eyes or called down an army of angels to stir the healing waters.

 He could have healed so many ways…But he chose to paint healing with mud.

The God of all the universe used heavenly spit and mixed it with the down-and-dirty earth from which he first made man…  and He created again.

And in the process He got his own hands dirty.

Application:

My filth. My disease. My germ-ridden life is no match for my Maker. Never has been. Never will be.

… and He’s not afraid to get dirty to make me clean and new and whole.

Prayer:

Lord, I am so often blind, this day to day living can do that… can blur the vision, and dim the light. But I stand now, this moment, caked in the Truth of your love for me again, ready to wash up and live in the Light. Thanks for finding me,  for stopping for me. Thanks for listening and caring and seeing beyond the hurt. Thanks for spitting and using my mud to make something beautiful.

Help me live loved.

 “They overcame the world by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.”