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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Not Coated in Chocolate

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Watering:

 

Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.

Exodus 17:7

And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

 

Watching:

Meribah means quarreling.

Massah means testing.

The people of Israel had seen the Lord work – up close and personal. They had witnessed their enemy routed. They had stood on dry ground between the walls of a mighty sea.

They had seen

… and just as quickly had forgotten.

Or worse, maybe they were just never satisfied.

Maybe they had let themselves become the spoiled kid who whines for a gift but is satisfied only at its giving – soon discarded, when another ‘want’ comes within view. Gimme gimme!

 

“Do not harden your heart as you did that day when you tested me asking, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

 

Our hearts are left as pillars of salt when we look back with longing at the gift,

instead of ahead with trust in the Giver.

 

Wondering:

Don’t let your heart get hard.

Don’t let it get cold.

I look across my classroom, across the air waves, and interwoven on the web, and it is so easy to feel the finger of wickedness infiltrating its frigid despair.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold
Matthew 24:12

So, exactly how do we keep our hearts warm when death and destruction circle around like a hungry pack of wolves? How do we keep our hearts soft when doubt and despair tighten their grip like a long and hard winter?

… How do we keep the love from growing cold?

Yet here are the directions, as clear as the sun rising beyond my window:

Don’t quarrel.

Don’t test God with hoops to jump through or complaints to cure.

Don’t question the faithfulness of his presence saying,“Is the Lord is among us or not?” This is a question we should ask of ourselves – to water our mustard seeds –not a question to wag a finger in doubt.

We are reminded to daily

forget not all his benefits … and trust.

The truest trust.

 

Simple.

Not easy.

 

Needful.

Not candy-coated.

 

Waiting:

Jesus, let repentance keep soft my heart.

Let thankfulness keep humble my thoughts.

Let your Truth keep strong my spirit.

 

 

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You Have Stayed Long Enough

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Watering:

 The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”

Watching:

The children of Israel have been wandering.

In a desert.

For a long time.

And now, finally, it’s time to get off the mountain.

It’s time to go face their enemy and grab their inheritance.

It’s time to come down from the mountain and get to work.

God is making it quite clear,

“You’ve been here long enough… I’ve taught you. Now, go.”

 

Wondering:

I love mountains.

I love mountain climbing.

I love the hope of a mountain’s peak.

Few ventures so closely mirror the struggles of Life, and the triumph of Grace.

… which makes the mountaintop a very hard place to leave!

But Life isn’t lived on the summit. It’s lived in the valleys, along the rivers, and on the flats. And like the child being pulled to leave a toy store, we can leave a mountain kicking and screaming and end up disintegrating into a lot of unpleasantness if we have forgotten why we went in the first place:

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

… He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.

Prayer:

Jesus. I love your mountain tops. I love learning from you where my heart can stretch its wings and soar… Help me remember and embrace the valleys where I get to practice everything you’ve taught.

 

More Word to Water

 

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Coming Clean

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Watering:

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

….When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
 till I entered the sanctuary of God;

Watching:

I think the thing I love most about David is: he always fesses up.

Always.

He never pulls any punches with God about his fallen nature.

He never accepts the Good of God, without exchanging the Bad of his humanity.

He never hides his questions, or doubts, his frustrations or royal rage

… on his knees, on his face, on his final straw, David lays it all out at the feet of God every. time.

and David never leaves the presence of God until he is left changed

 

from the inside out.

 

David knows where to go to come clean.

 

….When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
 till I entered the sanctuary of God

Psalm 73

Wondering:

I wonder how often I rant and rave just outside the sanctuary’s threshold.

It is just so stinkin’ easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the marketplace… opinions flying, deals making, positions arguing. And either you find yourself joining in, or hiding away – mumbling and grumbling in the privacy with like-minded ranters.

But the truth is, whether we call ourselves Children of the Light or not, it’s all the same outside the sanctuary:

troubles brew

            ranters rage

            and Truth is trampled in the crowd.

 

When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
 till I entered the sanctuary of God

 

Change only happens when

we walk through his gate and start remembering who we are and whose we are  and let thankfulness bubble up from a heart forgiven.

 

Power only happens when

we move further toward our Maker, and lay it all on the line: a life ready to sacrifice itself on the altar of praise.

 

Transformation only happens when we approach his throne boldly on bended knee,

letting our humanity be washed in his loved poured out,

grasping the robe he’s placed on our shoulders,

seeing his eyes crown us with compassion.

 

Life only happens

when we know where to go to come clean.

 

Waiting:

Jesus, it is never about us; It is always about you and your great love. I will enter your gates with thanksgiving, and your courts with praise and I will walk boldly on bended knee to the One who holds my heart in his hand. (Psalm 100)

 

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Portion Size

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Watering:

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Watching:

In this song, David owns up to the fact that he is envious of those who have no problems

so much so, that he almost slipped off the deep end:

 

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Until he realizes what he has in comparison:

 

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Psalm 73

Wondering:

“You don’t know what you have until you lose it.”

Everyone who has lost something, knows this to be so true.

 

How wise of David to wrestle with this truth soon enough to change his heart before more loss.

How wise for him to stop and appreciate the real now of his situation – the reality that matters.

How wise for him to search and keep searching until he finds the right question:

“Whom have I in heaven but you?”

and keep quiet

~ long enough ~

to hear the true answer :

“Earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

 

Waiting:

Lord, my flesh and my heart will fail – no “maybe” about it – but you are the strength of anything true in me. You are my perfect Portion. Everything I need or want or could possibly hope for.

Forever… you are enough.

 

Watering Today

prov 9; ps 9, 109, 73; Leviticus 10-12; Acts 16

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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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This is the Day

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Watering:

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Watching:

This is the day.

Today.

A new day

for new joy.

The day to walk in the good works prepared in advance for us.

This is the day the Lord has made

Reason enough to be glad.

 

Wondering:

Here’s the facts:

God made this day.

Here’s the assignment:

Put your joyful game face on, and be glad.

 

When the coffee maker gives up its ghost before the first cup:

Rejoice! Life is more than coffee.

 

When the light turns red, and the to-do list is so stinkin’ long:

Be glad! Now is the time to breathe and remember what’s important.

 

When the bill comes in the mail

or the car quits

… or the test is one big “Fail!”

When LIfe  seems overwhelming and not well planned

crammed with schedules

and nothing seems well-manned…

Peace is found in re- joying:

– putting the day back in the hands of the one who made it.

Truth’s freedom is found in pouring his oil of gladness on our soiled hearts

–  and choosing to laugh

Counting it all joy

–  and make mud pies from our mess

 

Today is the day to soar beyond the heavenlies where our true home lies.

 

This is the day.

And I will be glad in it.

 

Waiting:

Jesus, let this day go in the record books as a day I live solely for you.

 

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