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Showing posts from May, 2016

I Only Have Eyes For You

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us,  let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us.  Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,   keeping our eyes on Jesus,  the source and perfecter of our faith,  who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame  and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself,  so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. -Hebrews 12:1-3 
I heard the song, "I Only Have Eyes For You", by The Flamingos (1959); which was actually the most successful cover of that song, written by Harry Warren, and first released in 1934, for the movie, "Dames at Sea".  Harry Warren, was born with the name Salvatore Antonio Guaragna, in 1893, in Brooklyn, New York.  Harry Warren also wrote other well-know songs like, "Jeepers Creepers", "You Must have Been A Beautiful Baby&q…


Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.
Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.
-Psalm 126:5-6
Lament.  Do we know what lamenting is or how to do lament?  Lament is a response to loss.

Anger and lament are related, but not the same.  Anger is a response to the "ouch", that might be a loss.  We get angry when our feelings are hurt.

But staying angry is bad: it is unhealthy for us and for others that we are in relationship with.  Staying angry disconnects us from everyone, including God and our true selves.  If I can not get over it, can not get past it, I might just need to let it go, forgive, release it, and just move on.  Maybe and maybe not.

There are some people who are out of touch with their anger and have hidden or repressed anger, that influences their lives and has become part of how they live, that is not healthy or functional.  There are anger groups and anger therapi…

Complaining Prayer

God, hear my voice when I complain.
-Psalm 64:1a

We tell each other, either openly or in our minds to, "stop complaining!" I hear it and say it all the time and I even feel guilty for complaining. We might say to each other, "complain, complain, complain; all you do is complain!"

Complaining takes a bad rap. But in this verse, complain or complaining is a good thing.

Other examples of good complaining in the book of Psalms are:

"Pay attention to me and answer me.  I am restless in my complaint." (55:2)"I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and He hears my voice." (55:17)"I remembered God and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed."  Selah (77:3, NKJV)"I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him." (142:2) Psalm 106:24-25 recounts an instance of negative complaining, from the Exodus/Numbers period: "They despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His word, but complaine…

God is Calming To Me

You calm the roaring seas; calm the roaring waves, calm the noise of the nations.

You silence the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves, and the tumult of the nations.

You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.

-Psalm 65:7 (CEB, HCSB, NKJV)

God is calming.  God silences the roar.  God stills the noise.

God is so magnificent that he is the commending presence in any situation, no matter how big or how loud.  God's trustworthiness is so immense that it overcomes every obstacle.  God is so glorious that praise for him wells up and must be given always, in every situation.

If you have been to the ocean, at the beach for instance, you have had the opportunity to hear the noise of the crashing  waves.  When the tides come up onto the sand, they make a roaring noise.  You have to yell to be heard over it.

Whatever you are going through in your life, that makes a noise in your heart or mind, that might be obtrusive, annoying, or dish…

Admitting Weakness

I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me.
-Psalm 61:2
I read this scripture and was challenged by it.  The challenge was that my heart is also weak or without strength.  I had a revelation that I need more.

My Bible that I usually read first, is the CEB, the Common English Bible.  So when I first read this verse, the other morning, I read, "When my heart is weak".  I was challenged by those words.  "Is my heart weak?"  "Yes, my heart is weak."

Here is the HCSB and the CEB, side by side; Psalm 61, verses 1 to 4:

God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer.  God, listen to my cry; pay attention to my prayer!I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength.  Lead me to the rock that is high above me,  When my heart is weak, I cry out to you from the very ends of the earth.  lead me to the rock that is higher than I amfor You have been a refuge for me, a stro…

Anger part 3: The Hidden Anger

Better an open reprimand than concealed love.
-Proverbs 27:5

Some angry people have hidden anger: repressed or suppressed anger.  This list can be found on many websites and no one seems to know who first complied it.  A few of the behaviors listed are different, on different versions of this list.

The list is not exhaustive nor exact.  In fact, I eliminated "has ulcers" as being one item.   Let's just say that, "some people with hidden anger do this or have this."  I believe this list is helpful in becoming aware of your possible problem with hidden anger.

It might be helpful to repeat that anger in and of itself is not bad.  We have anger when we have loss or hurt.  It's like saying "ouch!" when we stub our toe.

Anger is bad, destructive, or sinful when we are angry much of the time.  On the one end of the spectrum, raging is bad: out of control yelling and screaming, possibly with harsh judgments or controlling and threats, possibly with name…

Hide Me From Horrible People's Plans of Verbal Abuse

Hide me from the scheming of wicked people, from the mob of evildoers.
-Psalm 64:2
There are very bad people who have it in their minds to verbally abuse others with lies, gossip, slander, maligning, or cursing.  They want to shoot their abusive words at people in an ambush or surprise attack, for maximum damage.
We can pray for God to hide us from them.  

You can be visible, popular, or famous; and still ask God to hide you from wicked people and their schemes.  
The enemy, Satan, uses people; and people, inspired by the domain of darkness (Col. 1:13) plot evil against other people.  We need to maintain a relationship with God, where we have the humility, no matter how successful we are, to ask God to hide us from the plots, schemes, and plans of wicked people.
Being hidden from horrible, wicked people is a good thing.  Peter was hidden from Herod, in Acts 12.  Obadiah hid prophets in caves (1 Kings 18).  
Our Christian lives are now hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).  It is a bl…

Letting God Shield You

Consider our shield, God; look on the face of Your anointed one.
-Psalm 84:9
Are you letting God be your shield?  The Israelites were taught that God was their shield (Deut. 33:29), and the teaching goes back to Abraham (Gen. 15:1), and the shield metaphor is used by Paul (Eph. 6:16).
The revelation to Abraham was, "I am your shield", to Moses and David it was, "God is our shield", and to Paul comes, "Take up the shield of faith".  And it is notable that the word for shield that Paul uses is the large shield, that the whole body of the warrior could get behind, and not the pizza sized shield, like Captain America's, that was swiftly moved.
If your Bible is the New Living Translation, you will read that the king is "our shield".  Some commentators interpret the text this way, as to the author asking God to strengthen the king (perhaps David) for the sake of the people.  I think that this language is not a problem for God or us.  The Psalmis…

God Will Revive Us

You, God, showered abundant rain; You revived Your inheritance when it languished.
-Psalm 68:9
Are you discouraged?  Has your journey been long?  Have you been under siege?  Have you been betrayed, disappointed, or just hurt by people you thought were friends?  Are you heartsick from the delay of your hope?
God wants to revive, refresh, restore, confirm, sustain, strengthen, perfect, and establish you... again.
Are you weary, weak, parched, exhausted, tired, and languished?  Languished means, "to continue for a long time without activity or progress in an unpleasant or unwanted situation."  You may feel languished, but maybe you are dormant, like a dormant volcano.
God takes action to care for those who are his.  God takes the initiative.  He initiates.  Our God is an active, moving God.  God will revive the languishing ones who are His inheritance.
We usually think of inheritance and something that we get, but the deepest meaning of inheritance is something we give to God.…

The Move of God

God arises. His enemies scatter, and those who hate Him flee from His presence.
-Psalm 68:1
We are beginning to experience a move of God.  I wondered about that term we use, "move of God".  This idea contradicts the notion that God is fixed and static.  But the idea captured in Psalm 68:1 is of The King standing up, from his throne.
The immediate affect of God moving is his enemies scattering.  When God comes, the enemy has to go.  Much of the good that happens when God moves, is all the bad that has to go.

There is a war that has been going on, since the beginning of time, between God and his enemy.  The enemy has taken territory, and when God moves into that area, the enemy scatters and flees.  People who make friends with the enemy of God become God's enemies as well.

In the New Testament, we are told by James that becoming a friend of the world makes us enemies of God (James 4:4), and John tells us that we are not to love the world nor the things of the world and …

Ephesians 3:20

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—

-Ephesians 3:20

Ephesians 3:20 & 21 is the doxology (glory saying) of the first half of the book of Ephesians.  The first half of Ephesians is theology: dogmatic and kerygmatic  (incontrovertible principals and preaching) that are indicative.  The second half of the book is application: ethical, didactic, and parenetic (moral principals for behavior, taught encouragingly and persuasively) that are imperative.  The proclamation of what God has done is the indicative, followed by the exhortation, which is the imperative.
Ephesians 3:14-21 has been called the highlight of the whole book, as is John chapter 17, the highlight of the Fourth Gospel: "the reader is shown that praying stands above reasoning, even theological".(1)  
For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

I pray that He may grant you, according t…

Anger part 2

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? -Genesis 4:6
There is a lot of anger in the world.  Christians are angry.  Love is supposed to be our forte, but so many of us are more seething and simmering with anger than experiencing and being love.
The first instance of anger, in the Bible, is the story of Cain.  In anger, he killed his brother.  We don't just have that fact, but the story is about hurt or jealous rivalry, with God attempting to intervene, and Cain making the wrong choice, even after an encounter with God.
In our lives, we might feel justified in our anger.  We would say that this or that happened and it might have been brought about by a certain person in our life, whom we become angry with.  What is very unfortunate is that as a Christian, we retain the anger, the bitterness, and the unforgiveness toward the other and wonder why our Christian life is not joyous, fruitful, or filled with peace.
Imagine that in the midst …

The Life is in The Love

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at …