watchful eyes

 

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Watering:

 

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there.  All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

1 Samuel 22:1-2

 

Watching:

David left. He boogied. Exit stage left… He fled.

He didn’t take anything with him.

He wasn’t trying to build an army, or make a case for his “cause.” He was escaping. Into a cave… and people around him were watching.

Here was a once great and mighty king

now in distress,

unable to be content or at peace where he was

… like them.

Someone who could see life from their side of the lens.

This man, they were willing to follow.

 

Wondering:

When life is hard, escape has its place and its purpose… and God has his.

 

I wonder,

how many people are looking toward me when hard times come – hoping for a glimpse of what life, when it’s tough, looks like for someone who claims the ear of God?

 

I wonder,

if all of David’s trials weren’t mainly for those waiting, watching, hoping with every cell of their being, that his God could be real for them as well?

 

Waiting:

Lord, don’t let me ever think that this is all about me. Give me an eye and a heart for those “in distress, in debt or discontent” … Let my life lead them to the One who never leaves. Never forsakes. Always loves.

 

Watering Today

Prov 26; ps 26, 126, 1 Samuel 22; 1 Kings 10,11;  Acts 26

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Today I will Awaken the Dawn

 

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Watering:

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psalm 57

Watching:

David is the best self-talker. ever.

So he reminds himself, and reminds God,

“My heart, God, it will remain steadfast.

I will give praise and honor where it is due…

No matter what.”

Wondering:

No matter what: God is all good. All loving. All kind. All powerful. All wise.

As a teacher, I love to ask my students questions. I especially love to ask them, “Are you sure?” And they have finally figured out that when I ask them a question about their answer it rarely means they’re wrong. It means I want them to stop, think, and be so sure that they can stand up and declare, ” YES Mrs. Williams, I’m sure! And I can PROVE it!”

 

Could it be that God, like me, … just wants us to know if we’re sure about him?

Could it be that we, like Peter, are asked, “Who do you say that I am?” so we can freshly declare the Truth to our own heart?

Could it be the Morning Sun is sent each and every day to ask the same burning questions,

“What will you do with what I’ve given you?

Where will you place your heart’s desires?

Who will you serve this day?

 

Waiting:

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

I will sing – and not grumble

I will make music – and not complaints

I will awaken that which lies sleeping in me.

I will remind myself that God’s love is vast and powerful and reaches higher than I could ever reach;

Today, Jesus, I will awaken the dawn

for you.

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Pick me! Pick me!

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Watering:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Watching:

Yep, I did that. I got on His team. I’m good. I’m cool. I’m with the “In” crowd.” I made the right choice.. and the Lord says, “No. You did not choose me. I’m the Captain. I chose the team and I chose you. And I am the one who’s put you exactly where I want you in this Game of Life.

And not only that here’s the game plan:

  1. Go bear fruit that holds up to the test of time.
  2. Ask me for what you need to do that.

And here’s the rules:

Love

Wondering:

I’ve always been pretty athletic (I grew up with an athletic brother so I simply had to be…for survival purposes). But here’s the deal, I was never the last chosen. I didn’t have to stand there waiting with held breath shamed by the pecking order. I was never the dead last “Loser.” In fact, I was often “the Chooser.” And I am ashamed to say now, I cared more about winning, (and saving face with my growing team), than I did for the ones who looked hopefully up at me, wiggling their raised hands and desperate hearts hoping beyond hope to be chosen.

I’m not proud I only thought about winning when hearts were being trampled at my call.

What if, in this game we call Life, we changed this sad “usual” and became the unusual?

What if we followed our Captains’ lead and let the last go first?

What if we rallied behind the dejected and rejected, the crusty and over ripe “unlovelies”?

What if we welcomed the lost like the strip clubs and bars do, only without a two drink minimum?

What if we made our team with the profane and the pornographic, the cutthroat and the dissident and all the “tax collectors and prostitutes” of our day?

What if we loved the lowly in truth and deed, holding out our hands until they trusted we wouldn’t yank them away, or drag them where they weren’t ready to go.

 

What if we lived our lives remembering this: we didn’t choose Him. He chose us.

And Lord knows, we weren’t chosen us on any merit of our own.

We didn’t earn his love

and nor will we lose it.

But, bottom line, our Captain chose us to give us a job to do:

 

LOVE him and love others.

 

And he gave us every. resource. we. will. ever. need…to do the job well:

His love.

His lead.

His example.

Him.

Waiting:

Oh Lord, help us love like you did. Help us remember who’s Captain. Help us play by the rules… with your kind of love that leads to pouring out lives out for others.

Yet for the joy that was set before Him… He endured

and because of you we can too. Help us, Lord.

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Every Morning

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Watering:

Every morning I will put to silence
    all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
    from the city of the Lord.

 

Watching:

Every morning.

Each one.

 

Wondering:

Every morning I will say, “As for me and this messy house with neglected laundry and dishes in the sink…we will serve the Lord!”

Every morning I will put to silence every clambering thought that screams, “Listen to me!” scrambling to drown out the voice of the Lord.

Every morning I will cut off the Sneaky One from my land of restless pets and growing “To Do’s” and say, “Lord, here I am… just as I am, with sleep in my eyes, coffee in my hand, and ears too slow to hear. Nevertheless,  here I am. I am yours. ”

 

Waiting:

Jesus,… you and I, and morning are a perfect threesome of unseen possibilities.

I’m hoping this morning – and in each choice that comes my way – to put a smile on your face today.

 

Watering Today

Prov 30; ps 30, 130, 60; Revelation 15-18

 

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Even though

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Watering:

So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.

Watching:

 

“… during the time of testing”  the Lord gave proof of his faithfulness, proof of his provision and proof of his care and guidance. Daily in-your-face proof.

“… during the time of testing”  the Lord was patient (in that forbearing way of his). He had a bigger plan, an eternal plan – but the Israelites couldn’t see beyond their noses.

“… during the time of testing” God saved, fed, watered, and clothed his children.

And yet, even though they saw what He did for forty years

 

… they never really saw past their bellies.

 

Wondering:

So what about me?

For 56 years, God has surrounded me with his faithfulness and for 33 of those years I’ve wrapped myself warm in the blanket of His name.

But even though, for these many years I have seen what He’s done, like the children of Israel,

… too often I grumble and complain, looking for the cheese to go with all my whine

… too often I forget the parted waters, the manna, the quail, the shoes that never wear out… the pillow under my head, the sun streaming through my window, the wonder of breathing without thought

… too often I forget that my “promised land” is right in front of my eyes, smack dab in the middle of my camp:

God with me.

Not what He gives, but who. He. is.

He is my promise maker,

my promise keeper

… my Dad, leading me home.

and His presence alone is my promised land.

 

Waiting:

Lord, I will remind myself of all that you’ve done, and all that you are. You are God, alone, and I will praise you.

 

Watering Today

Hebrews 3; Isaiah 8,9,10

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How much does my heart weigh?

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Watering:

A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.

Watching:

Our thoughts – our constant companions.

Each wondering, each figuring, each wayward idea weighs us down or lifts us to new imagined heights.

All logic, reasoning and knowledge pushes us to choices and actions.

And every. single. thought.

we weigh on a scale of what we deem is right…

 But God weighs our hearts.

Wondering:

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, rethinking, analyzing and evaluating…

all my thoughts leading me to decisions and actions for my next thought, my next choice, my next action (or lack thereof.)

But God weighs the heart

so I have wonder:

How do my thoughts measure up on His scale?

Weighted against the balance of Truth, how does my vain reasoning and futile arguments compare

to the substance of a life surrendered?

Can I replace my fattened thoughts with the strong and lean beauty

of praise,

of prayer,

of faith, love, peace

… of repentance?

In the calm of this summer morning

when thoughts are silenced and I hold my breath to listen

In this quiet place, I have to wonder…

how much does my heart weigh?

Waiting:

Lord, you have given us yourself – every part of you. So let your heart by ours.

Not just in word, but by your Word – in love lived out, by lives poured out.

Because your word is alive and active — sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. But our thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are our ways your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways higher than ours, and your thoughts higher than ours. And yet, you’ve given us the mind of Christ. So Search us, God, and know our hearts; test us and know our anxious thoughts, and replace our thoughts with yours. How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts and How precious to us they are. How vast is the sum of them! Therefore, we will fix our thoughts on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. So help us Lord. Help us “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” Help us take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Help us keep our minds stayed on you as we train our thoughts on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—Lord, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy help us think about such things”… that our hearts may be overwhelmingly weighed down in love for you,  and for those you gave your life for.

He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord God Almighty is his name.

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Common ground

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Watering:

Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.

 

Watching:

Rich or poor.

Fat or thin.

Gay or straight.

Criminal or Free.

Democratic or Republican.

Homeless or home-free

American or … not

 

Beautiful or … ‘not’ – in any perceived way, shape or form – the Lord, God Almighty, Savior and King

is the maker of us all.

 

Wondering:

 

It would appear we humans have in common what matters most: GOD!

Therefore

we should be wise and use our words and actions to bring LIFE to every walking, breathing image of God – of which we are only one.

Therefore,

if we struggle in doing that, then it is best to just. shut. up… and do our talking to GOD instead.

Therefore,

we must love because God IS love …  radical, outlandish, to the ends of the earth lavishing love

 

 Because bottom line:

It is the love of God that brings a man to repentance.

It is Love which covers a multitude of sins.

It is LOVE that laid down His life for the very ones that held the nails: … you, me, “them.”

 

And we are wise if we remember that.

 

Waiting:

 

Let my life, and my words, and my attitudes, be signboards of your love, Jesus.

 

Watering Today

Prov 22; Ps 4, 104; 2 Kings 15,16; Hosea 1; Hebrews 1

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