You Are a God Who Acts on Behalf of Those Who Wait on Him

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
-Isaiah 64:4 (NIV)

I am curious, and I anticipate what you will do.  
I have to intentionally bring to mind and come to the realization again that you do things.  
You are a God who acts on behalf of those who wait on him.

I have waited on you and I have seen you act on my behalf.  
You are doing it again right now and I believe you will continue to do so.  
And I will continue to trust you, wait on you, and put my faith in you.

My life is a testimony of your goodness, your acts, your blessings, comfort, and nurture.  
I rest and am activated in your grace.  
I productively live my life, waiting for and anticipating your actions.

My life is filled with awe and wonder at you.  
I marvel at your wisdom, love, and power.  
The only possible response to knowing you is worship.

I praise you, long for you, and weep before you.  
All my heart belongs to you.  
I live in thankfulness for all you have given me today, while anticipating what you will do tomorrow.

Today is beautiful.  
Each day is filled with the fruit of your work in my life and in the lives of my dear ones.  
I wait on you to act on my behalf, as I enjoy the life you have already given me.

I live in curiosity, and anticipation.  
I have brought to mind and realized again that you do things, for me.  
You are a God who acts on behalf of those who wait on him.

Weakness and Rest

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.

I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.

-Psalm 61:2 & 62:1

I just got back to work from a week of vacation.  When we have a vacation, we rest from or normal work, but some of us do other work or even make recreation into work.  Have you ever gone on a trip, that was supposed to be fun and enjoyable, only to feel more tired than when went you left?

I am still learning to rest.  When I have time-off from my normal work schedule, there are many things I want to do.  I think that is a good thing, but I just have to rest after I do them.

For me, physical tiredness affects my mental state.  It is not well with my soul, when I am exhausted.  When I am tired, I am vulnerable to being grouchy and seeing the world through grey glasses.

I remember being at a Saturday leadership meeting and there was a man there who led a significant ministry in California, and he was dozing off.  He had the grace to fall asleep in the meeting.  I was discipled right there, by this older gentleman's example.

Many of the rest of us hit exhaustion while we are going, performing, or driving; with bad results.

Be a life-long-learner.  I have been learning about rest and the need for it, for a long time.  I think it is an essential.

Do you recall a radio program called "Haven"?  They sang a song that went, "I've anchored my soul in the haven of rest".  Heard it many times and I didn't fully get it, but I do now.

Fact: we get tired and we need rest.  Our hearts get tired.  We are weak creatures.  We have limits.

Rest is a posture.  I think we are always in need and always need to be resting in the Lord.  And we especially need to turn into and onto God when we are tired.  That includes feeling faint, heavy-hearted (weighted down heaviness), and just plain overwhelmed.

If you are a productive person, you need to learn the rhythm of rest.

We are weak, frail creatures who need rest.  And the best rest is found in God.  We practice God's presence all the time, when we do stuff, when we are out and about; and we rest in God.

Wouldn't it be great to always rest in God, as in being while doing.  Manifestation is different than hiddeness, but in both places we abide; which to me is resting.

There's a paradox where God puts us in charge of things, saying, "Go, do it", but we never stop abiding or resting in him.  So when we do, he does.  And I think what God is after is for us to be like gloves with his hand inside.

We are dependent completely, but we must do it.  And when we do it, we want to have him in us doing it through us.  And this is resting in him and seeing salvation come from him through our lives.

We both "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord", and, "Take thee thy rod and strike it".  You should do the right thing and repent when you mess up and you should also hear God say, "I've got this", and then participate in God doing something very special.  We are neither robots nor orphans.

We are children, child-like adults, if you are past puberty; who are being given responsibility and freedom into wide spaces to explore and discover, with God, in Christ and by the Spirit.  We are prone to weakness, we get tired and we rest in the Lord always and especially when we are exhausted from the times of a full life.  

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow and we receive comfort and sustaining grace when we suffer.

How Long Lord?













How long, Lord?  Will you forget me forever?
  How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
  and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
  How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, 
  or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, 
  “I have overcome him,” 
  and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
  my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
  for he has been good to me.

-Psalm 13 (NIV)


How Long Lord?

The cry of our hearts is often, "How long, Lord?"  How much longer will I have to wait?  How much longer until God does something?

Suffering 

The Bible teaches that we will suffer.  If you don't get that, then you might try to avoid suffering, at all costs.  We might run from suffering, avoid it, deny it, seek to bypass it; or interpret it as punishment.  "How long, Lord?", asks God to get us through, and in that spoken communication to God, we reach out to him for help.

How Long, Lord.

Reaching out often means being honest.  We need to tell God the truth of how we feel and what we are experiencing, even if it is a negative thought towards Him, like, "How long will you hide your face from me?"  We can  say, that it seems like you are not here.

We also have permission to ask God for what we want him to do, even if we sound a little bossy.  We are children after all: "Look on me and answer, Lord my God.  Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death..."

Father's Loving Faithfulness

After we are honest to God and wrestle before him with what we are suffering with, we come to a place of "But".  I always think of Job's saying, "Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him".  We give all our complaints and requests to God and end up trusting Him, praising Him, and counting our blessings we have already received and trusting in his faithfulness to help us again.

Because, our whole lives rest on and hinge of God's love, Father's love in Christ.  Father's loving faithfulness to save us and keep saving us and keep us saved, is in Christ Jesus, the Lord.  This is salvation, this is what it means to be saved.

We do suffer and in our suffering, we want it to end, and we pray and pray.  Whether we know it or not, He hears, He acts; and the basis for all this is the Lord's faithful love.

When we begin to get it that He loves us, intimately and personally, as our Father, the Father; then we can know, God has heard me.    We begin to, more and more, walk in love; living in the rhythm of suffering, prayer, and  gratefulness.

In Pain and Sadness I Cry To You Lord



Listen to my words, Lord,
  consider my lament.

Hear my cry for help,
  my King and my God,
  for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
  in the morning I lay my requests before you
  and wait expectantly.
-Psalm 5:1-3 (NIV)

In pain and sadness,
I cry to you Lord.  
I am tempted to blame others or shame myself.
Instead I turn to you.  
For you are my salvation.

I am lonely and tired,
restless and anxious.  
But you are my rest:
my home, and my place.  
In you I put my hope.

My vision has faded,
and I do not hear.  
It feels like everyone is opposing me.  
But in you I put my trust.

Again I receive your forgiveness
and seek to live in your grace.  
To you I yield.  
I know you love me,
and I love you back.

This is where my life began,
and where I will live from again today.  
For out of you flows my life.  
All that is fulfilling and joyful comes from you.

When I am tempted to blame others,
selling myself as being right.
When I am tempted to bash myself with shame,
as being wrong;
neither is the path that I want to be on.

You are The Lord who is our Righteousness.  
You are the way for me.

Humbly walking in your love is my destiny.
Your grace is my friend.
Discovering, exploring, and exercising faith;
in what you are building,
is my passion.






This Love of Mine It Happens All The Time


I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 3:10-14 (NIV)

How's your love life?  

My grandparents would always ask me that when I was first going to college.  I was usually taken aback by that question, because my love life was not very good in those days.  My heart was messed up.  I was actually very sad, because of my estrangement from the Lord and lack of direction in my life.

I did not know how much God loved me and how I could love Him back.  I did not know that the whole thing was about the love.  But I was going to find  out.

Our lives are lived through love.  Love has to do with receiving it, trusting it, and living in it.  Some of our human relationships do not do this well

We can even have good love, solid trustworthy, faithful love from our parents and still get some wrong ideas about love going on inside our selves.

The goal of life is love: to be loved and to love.  Our lives are measured by love.  How did you love will be the question when your life has ended.

Along the way in life, we can get in trouble in love.  It can happen in all sorts of ways.  The antidote for trouble is your love relationship with God.  Your reception of God's love is the "keeper of the flame" of your love.

We receive God's love first, and then live loved in that love, loving God back and loving others through God's love.  After we do that, everything else falls into place in our lives behind that love.

So, when our hearts are not on that track which is a lifestyle in God's love, we are vulnerable to love problems.  We will have problems with other people, things, places, ideas, and with ourselves related to love.

Healing love

"Crazy Love" is a book by Francis Chan.  "Crazy Love" is also the name of a song by Poco, from 1979, that is about getting over and moving on from someone.  It is about "breaking free from an imprisoned memory".    The chorus goes like this:
It happens all the time
This crazy love of mine
Wraps around my heart
Refusin' to unwind
Crazy love

But, God heals our memories.  Even Christians get hurt and rejected in love.  The healing is in our relationship with God.

We might need to do something, we might need to get untied or unbound from something in our past that hurt our heart and causes us trouble in the present.

Earlier, I quoted Paul, from Philippians.  Before he says that he wants to know Christ and press on in his pursuit of him, he says that he wants to forget the past: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead".  

Paul had a chequered past.  When he wrote to the Philippians, he was future oriented, but with a past history.  Paul is an example for us to follow of pressing on towards Christ.

If your past haunts you, maybe a person or a situation from the past, you might have a trauma bond.  The trauma could have been abuse or loss.  In the song, 'Crazy Love', it is a loss.  His heart was broken and he had a trauma bond from a lost relationship.

He heals my whole life.

The Christian life is not a life where we just say to each other and to our selves, "just get over it!".  We do not triumphalistically  get over things, but we live in love.  We are walking wounded people who are loved and sorrowful.

We can rejoice and be sorrowful.  We can weep and mourn while still living loved.  We all ought to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn and take care of the sick among us.

We grieve the loss, we have a testimony, we have scars, and we may walk with a limp.  But the key to our lives is love.  And I can not love and hold bitterness or judgement.  Love introduces me to grace, which gives me the power to forgive and become forgetting.

Memories can fade when we see Jesus in our hearts and in other Christians.

If your heart is nagged with a trauma bond, you can begin to walk into healing, by walking with Jesus into and through your trauma.  It is not a formula, but a transformational relationship.  Jesus heals memories, if you let him.

We also need to share our stories with one another.  We need God and we need humans.  Complete healing and wholeness come in community.

We were designed by God to love an be loved.  If you were not loved or your heart was traumatized by faulty love, God has provided a way.  It is tempting to say that God will heal you and you will be cured, like it never happened.

We are survivors.

The healing of a life or of a broken heart or trauma loss will come in and through relationship with Jesus Christ.  The relationship is where the healing is.  We can have our memories healed, that are binding us; but the new life come out of Christ.

Like Paul, we are wounded healers.  We have wounds that are still healing and we have scars.  We have sad stories that are true.  We are survivors.

We have love, love that we are living in that gives us new, fulfilling life.  We have a faith in God's faithfulness.  We have hope that is rooted in relationship with Jesus.

Our whole lives are regulated by love.  What I love, who I love, and who loves me.  I want to have a clear heart.  I see now.

His love is enough.  In His love is my destiny.  In His love is total contentment.


Glorify God

I have glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave Me to do.  Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed...

...I ask for them.  I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours.  Everything I have is Yours and everything You have is Mine, and I have been glorified in them...

...I have given them the glory You have given Me.  May they be one as We are one.  I am in them and You are in Me.  May they be completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.  Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am.  Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world's foundation.
-John 17:4-5, 9-10, and 22-24

The gospel message is that Jesus saves and you now get to live in him.

Are you glorifying God with your life and are you doing the work God has given you to do?  Did you know that the good news, the gospel message, is that Jesus saves and you now get to live in him?(1) We need to get the first part and we want everyone to get it and be saved.  But, maybe we neglect the second part, which is the good news that we now get to live in Christ. 

That is what the Christian is, saved and alive.

Everything we do is for God's glory.

Giving glory to God means that your life points to God.  How you behave, how you talk, how you live, and how you love; all give glory to God.  Everything we do is for God's glory(2). 

God is a 24-7 God.  Heaven is always awake.  So, what I do and how I think and what I say, all the time is for God's glory. 

I can take a nap or get a good night's sleep for the glory of God.  I can cook meals and clean up for the glory of God.  I also can glorify God in how I drive my car and how I shop and treat other shoppers. 

I glorify God with what I do when I'm alone.  God is glorious and I am always either giving God glory, pointing to God; or not.  God is glorious and giving glory to God is the natural way of life for the children of God, lived out by Jesus and now lived out by people who are in Christ.

Saved unto good works.
I have glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave Me to do.
Jesus finished the work that God gave him to do, but what is the work that God has given you to do?
The work that God gives us to do are not works that save us but works we do because we are saved:
Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. -Eph. 2:8-10, MSG
We are saved to do good works!  We are saved to participate in the glory of God (3).  We are inviting and including people who don't yet know God, to be introduced to Christ.  We are saved to be one with God, to work with God, and to go and make learners (disciples)(4).


-This post was first published in 2013.  I did make some minor changes.
_____________________

1. 1 John 4:9-10, " This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him.  This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins."

2. 1 Corinthians 10:31, "So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you should do it all for God’s glory."

3. Habakkuk 2:14, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD's glory, as the waters cover the sea."; 2 Corinthians 3:18, "We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit."

4. Matthew 28:19, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."







Jesus Reveals God & Christians Reveal Christ Who Reveals God

I have made your name known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
-John 17:26 (NIV)


Question: What is a Christian?

Answers might be, "one who is born again", "one who is saved through Christ from their sins", "a believer in Jesus Christ", "a Christ follower", "a disciple of Christ", or, "someone who goes to church".

I define a Christian as someone who is in Christ and Christ is in them.

They have been born again as a second birth, a birth from above, a "start-over in their spiritual life". They are being saved from their sins. They were not just saved at a point in time, in their lives; but they began their salvation life at a time, and continue to be saved. Salvation is an event and a process.

Believers in Jesus Christ, Christians, are known by their love. They are disciples, learners and doers, of Christ which is demonstrated by their obedience to his words.

Children of God

But, what did Jesus originally want his followers, who would later be called Christians, to be all about? God. The true, real, authentic, one God. God is greatly misunderstood. God was misunderstood in Jesus time on earth and God is misunderstood today.

God Revealed

Jesus came to set the record straight on who God is. Jesus showed God's character. Bill Johnson likes to say that Jesus is perfect theology. Making his name known means that he revealed God's character.

God the Father loves the Son

We Christians agree with God. We have the Son in our hearts. God loves those who love the Son.  Jesus ministry is to reveal God the Father.  When we receive Christ into our hearts, we have the One who reveals God in us.

We also become revelators of God, to a lost world

When Jesus says, "I have made your name known to them", he means that he has revealed God, God's character, God's person, God the Father's nature.  Jesus carries God's name, revealing God's name to the people he is saving.

The name is the nature
"I have revealed your name to those whom you gave me from the world...

Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.  While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.

I have made your name known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
-John 17:6, 11, 12, & 26 (NIV)

As Jesus carried God's nature, Christians carry Jesus' nature


God was and is Jesus' authorization.  God was and is Jesus' message.  To have Jesus Christ in your life and in your heart, is to be a carrier of God: who God is and what God is all about.  Jesus carries God's name and Christians now carry Jesus name: who Jesus is, what Jesus is all about, and Jesus' authority.

Praying in Jesus name

Do you ever wonder why we say, "in Jesus name", when we pray?  This is the answer to the question, "by what authority do you do these things?"  The answer is Jesus.  In the name of Jesus, I pray.  To say, "in Jesus name, amen", means, "and by the authority vested in the Lord Jesus Christ, by that authority that you have granted permission for your children, in Christ to invoke, I ask this of you God, amen."  Sometimes we pray in this longer way, but the short way ("in Jesus name") means the same thing.  But, it is good to know what we mean by this.

The name of Jesus

Jesus name is in me because God's name is in Jesus.  Jesus is God revealed.  If we don't get that, we don't get Jesus and we don't have Christ.  Christ is Greek for Messiah and means "anointed one", which carries with it the meaning of God's Viceroy, the royal official who carries the authority of the King.

Jesus' mission to reveal God is also our mission

Jesus' original mission from God and his mission today is to reveal God.  Jesus' disciples in the beginning and Jesus' disciples today and people to whom God has been revealed and carry that revelation in Christ, to a world that needs to know God.  That's the Christian, "Christ-ian", life; having God the Father revealed to you in Jesus Christ and then showing and telling that to others.

When Jesus said, "I have made your name know", he meant, "I have fully caught them up on what you, Father, are all about".

We might ask, "why Jesus, why do you need to give us God knowledge, a knowing about God the Father?"  

Jesus might answer, "so that God's love for me may be in you and I may be in you."  

Jesus is saying that you have to get who God is, His name, His character, His love; in order to have him in your heart.  That's Jesus big prayer for us, that he prayed the night before he went to die.  We need to understand how important that this is.  Jesus prayer was that we would keep getting what he was and is informing us about: God's name, knowledge of God: God's character, God's essence, revelation of God's person.  

The Christian life is a lifetime of knowing God; being loved, knowing God loves you, and then passing on that working knowledge and being the message of God's love.


-The post was originally published in 2012
 

Living in Mercy

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
-Hosea 6:6

I was thinking about where we will live in the future and the idea came to me that God wants us to live in Mercy. Merced, in Central California means mercy. They named it Merced because the explorers had gone for 40 days without finding water before finding water in Merced.

Mercy is God's steadfast love. It means caring for those who are hurting. The disposition of caring is compassion. God is compassionate, merciful, and gracious. Living in mercy means receiving God's mercy and being merciful.

Go figure out what this Scripture means: "I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders." Kingdom Come.
-Matthew 9:13 (The Message)


-The post was originally published in 2009.

Trade The Weight of Your Troubles for The Weight of God's Glory



Cry out to, call upon, pray to, call on me, or call for help

Whenever you are in, in the day of, or in time of trouble.

I will deliver, help, and rescue you.

Then, you will or shall, honor me, glorify me, or give me glory.

-Psalm 50:15 (CEB, ESV, MSG, CEV, & NLT*)


God wants us to trade the weight of our troubles for the weight of His glory.  God loves to deliver his children over and over, again and again.  God wants his children to live in awe of Him, giving him glory and honor, daily.  

But we must do something.  We must cry out to God when troubles or adversities come into our lives.  Deliverance and giving glory to God on a daily basis are not automatic.  Joseph M. Scriven wrote about this in his famous hymn:
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Are you missing out on the peace of God?  Are you needlessly bearing pain that God has made provision in Jesus to deliver you from?  Carry it to God.  Cry out to God.

"Jesus paid it all", as another old song states, but I have to give God a call, in order to get relief from the encroaching, uncomfortable, troubling adversities that come my way.  You have not because you ask not

When we are in trouble, we are tempted to focus on it too much.  We are tempted to dwell on the trouble, talk about the trouble, maybe complain about the trouble, and live with it.  We might get bitter or embittered and even resent God for the trouble.  We might even build a theology of personal suffering around our adversity.  We are giving our troubles or adversities more weight than they are worth.  We're weighed down with them.  We're saturated with out troubles or sorrows.  We might even let our troubles define us.

In all this, we have forgotten to do something that God advises us to do.  We forget to cry out to God for deliverance.  The short prayer, "help, God", or "God, help", is a good prayer!  The shorter version is, "help".  We might pray once, call out one time and nothing changes; so we give up and accept the negative as our inheritance.   The word does not say that when you cry out, God will not deliver you and you will not honor God.  No, it says the opposite of that.  The word says that when you cry out, God will deliver you from trouble.  It comes down to, are you going to believe the word? 

There are delays sometimes.  Prayer is not magic.  We are admonished to pray in all circumstances and to live a life of worship and prayer before God.  Prayer and worship are not events or times and places, but your life as a child of God. As children of God, we cry out, call upon the Lord and trust Him as a lifestyle.  God delivers.  It's one of the things God does.  God may deliver you immediately or after some time.  

We are not self-sufficient.  Nor are we people whom God "sets and forgets".  We are and remain God's children and God is an active father who is involved in his children's lives.  We need to get that, before we move on to anything else.  Are you living a life that witnesses, "He loves me"?  Do you know you are loved?  Do you know that you are special to God and God cares about the smallest details of your life?

What is the most important event in the Old Testament?  The exodus, the deliverance from Egypt.  God's people cried out for a long time before he delivered them.  Sometimes there is a waiting and a continual crying out, with massive disappointment, but God hears your cries.  God's plan for deliverance and the answer to your prayers is massively beyond your imagination.  

When God delivers us and breaks the chains off us of our troubles and sets us free, the weight of his glory descends onto us and we worship him with out entire beings and give our lives to God on deeper and deeper levels, living a life of awe and thankfulness and obedience to God and intimacy with God, knowing in an experiential way, that God loves us.



Cry out to me   whenever you are in trouble.  I will deliver you     then you will honor me.
Call upon me    in the day of trouble.             I will deliver you    and you shall glorify me.
Call for help     when you're in trouble.          I'll help you           and you'll honor me.
Pray to me        in time of trouble.                  I will rescue you    and you will honor me.
Call on me        when you are in trouble.       I will rescue you    and you will give me glory.

Psalm 50:15 (CEB, ESV, MSG, CEV, & NLT)



-This post was originally written in 2012

The Cow Jumped Over The Moon: Glorious Joy

You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
-1 Peter 1:8-9

I have an idea that God wants to give us joy that not limited.  I have a thought that the joy that God has in store for us, in this life, is something that seems impossible; but He is going to give it to us anyway.  I believe that God has unrestricted happiness available, that we get to live in.

I believe that God has unlimited delight for us, that he wants us to have now.  I believe that joy is going to be the story, the fragrance, and the personality of God's people.  I believe that a door is opening, for people, to walk into the unlimited space of delight.

I believe that God wants to take us into unrestrained happiness.  People who thought they could never be happy will be surprised.  People who thought that the Bible only gave us theory and truth, will find out that the experience of God, that the Bible's authors describe, is coming to them.

We are about to come into a place in God where we will experience unfettered joy.  We are about to have unimpeded happiness.  The controls that kept us back are about to be lifted.

God is about to do something that, in our minds, we deemed impossible.  God is going to give us untrammelled delight.  We are being set free to enjoy life.

You might be wondering why the title of this post is, "The Cow Jumped Over The Moon: Glorious Joy"?  Here is the answer: 

The phrase, "The cow jumped over the moon", means "untrammelled delight", or, "very happy or delighted".  Some people think it also means, "something impossible".
Untrammelled
-Not deprived of freedom of action or expression; not restricted or hampered.
I would say, that, "The cow jumped over the moon", is an expression of unrestricted, unfettered, delight, joy, and happiness experienced.  I have read people saying, "I love you to the moon", or, "over the moon", or, "to the moon and back".  These seem to signify great delight and pleasure in another person.

If we try to analyze the the nursery rhyme, "Hey Diddle Diddle", and not just say, "it's nonsense", then, we can see the absurd pictures that the words paint as meaning something.  
Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
To see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
Cows do not jump over anything, much less, the moon.  So, a cow jumping over the moon signifies something beyond our experience, beyond our rationality: something impossible.  And that is how, I suppose, that people get that definition.

But, in literature, there is the saying, "Ready to jump over the moon in delight", from which we see the idea of extreme delight.  I wonder if many children intuitively know what a cow jumping over the moon means, and then they begin to forget, as they grow out of childhood?

If you can make the connection, what I am saying is that I believe God has in mind, in store, and available now; "The cow jumped over the moon", experience of joy unspeakable.  Have you ever thought about that verse?  It means joy that can not be put into words, because it is so immense.  Have you experienced that joy?

That joy from God is also glorious, or full of glory.  Imagine I have a white board in front of us.  In a circle, at the center of everything is the glory of God.  God is glorious.

Everything about God is glorious.  The meaning of the word glory carries the idea of honor.  This is why we call the flag, "old glory".  When beings in heaven say, "Glory!", it means "honor".  God is honorable and The Honorable One.

We automatically worship God, when we come into contact with him.  We give God glory.  If God visits you, worshiping, and dropping to your knees or getting on your face, is the natural response.

The idea that the joy from God that he gives us is glorious joy, is that it is a gift from him and that we give back to him.  We thoroughly enjoy what he gives us, but we give it back to him in living lives of worship.  It is glory to glory.

The joy comes from God and we enjoy before him and give it back to him and he gives us more and it goes on and on.  The giving it back does not mean we lose it, but the life lived from God is lived through God.  We are completely free in God.


My Life is Written on The Palms of Your Hands

Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.

Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You.
-Isaiah 49:16, Psalm 139:16-18

Do you know that God has you?  God is very cognizant as to what you are going through.  God knows all about you and your life.

Do you know that God cares about you?  God cares about us as individuals.  God knows about the trial or trouble, the joy or jubilation that you are living in right now.

God knows if you are bored, frustrated, depressed, or suicidal.  God is intimately acquainted with each one of our lives and each one of us as unique individuals that he has created.  God knows and God cares.

The Bible reminds us of this fact, and I am glad it does, because I think that we tend to forget.  We forget that God knows and God cares.  He is all-knowing and forever caring.

My life is written on the palms of Your hands.

Yes, God knows and cares.  I need to be reminded of this.  I need to remember.

Everything that I experience, God experiences with me.  I am with God, even when I don't remember that God is with me.  God intimately knows my life.

When I experience disappointment, regret, emptiness, or frustration about my life; God is there with me.  "You were here and I did not know it", or, "There you are, with me... Oh, you are here."  Now that I realize you are here, I can live differently, by your love.

God believes in me.  Will I believe in God?  Yes I will.

Whatever challenge we face, God is with us.  Don't forget to realize that God is with you in what ever you are going through.  God is the essential ingredient in our lives.

We at not left alone or just known from a distance.  But God is with us in our lives.  God counsels us, advocates for us, comforts us, empowers us, teaches us, and encourages us; all of the time.

Like the psalmist says, when you wake up, there God is, with you.  We always want to be awakened to the awareness that God is with us.  This is such good news, and we need to get it, to know it, and to live in it.

The only life I can live is the life lived by the faithfulness of God.  If things are dreary, look for God's faithfulness towards you.  God is faithful, so I need to find it, count it, and walk in it.

He knows.  Since I know he knows and sees and is with me, I want to be with him.  I will lean into God in my life.

I will lean into God's grace, God's presence; knowing He knows and He cares.  He has good gifts and plans for me, and the greatest good thing or gift is knowing Father's love.

Yep, it is enough and the rest is all gravy, as they say.


Sing A New Song

Sing a new song
-Psalm 33:3, 96:1, 98:1, 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9, 14:3; Judith 16:13

Have you sung a new song lately?  It is good to celebrate what God has done for us and others, in the past.  We never want to lose the heritage, and the awareness that we are part of God's whole story (His-story), that goes through the two testaments of the Bible, and into our present time.

The same God that is worshiped by us today, is the one God that all the believers in history have worshiped.  But, each new time has new songs that come from the hearts and lips of people being newly touched: saved, healed, delivered by God.

New songs are continually being written.  But will we hear them and join in and sing them?

Imagine if, when you grew up, that your parents and grandparents celebrated the birthdays and anniversaries of your deceased great, great grandparents; but not their own or yours.  Imagine that, your parents and your parents always told the stories of your great, great grandparents; but rarely if ever, told their stories and never let you share your stories.  Imagine, that if you expressed a desire to have your birthday celebrated and remembered, but your parents and grandparents said, "no", and then said, "we are glad you are here, but now be quiet and respectful and join in on remembering our bygone relatives".

This is a picture of how strange it is to celebrate today, but with yesterday's songs only.

The songs written a hundred or two hundred years ago and all the way back to David, were written at that time, to worship God for what he did then.  Songs today are the same way for now.  The call to sing new songs does not stop with the book Psalms and David, but is echoed by Isaiah and the book of Revelation.

Singing the old songs is fine, just as praying old prayers that have been written down in books of prayer.  But there is a call we need to hear, to always be making new songs.

Singing the older songs and new ones creates exquisite worship to God.

We always have new stories.  It it is sad, strange, and annoying when someone only tells old stories. We want to hear about what God is doing in your life now.

We do need to hear each other's whole stories.  But life is lived going forward.  While I do have a history that I tell, I am going to be praising God primarily, for what he is doing currently, in the present.  It is proper to, "sing of the mercies of the Lord forever", but we also want to, "make know His faithfulness", specifically.

Sing the new song of what God has done for you.  Let others make known His current, present and recent faithfulness, in song.  Let's hear it.  Teach it to me, so I can sing it with you.

The old songs may very well apply to today and nothing is wrong with singing them, but where are your new songs?  Why would you not have new songs or why would you resist others having new songs and wanting to share them?  And why would people take offense at new songs and flee from people who desire to share them?

Perhaps people form a sentimental attachment to the old songs and have an issue called nostalgia.  God honors the past and God's songwriters have catalogs of songs that were new once and still ring true today.  But God is not sentimental or nostalgic.

God does not look at the past and want us to go there.  God is always in our present and beckoning us into the future.  God does not long for us to return to the old days or this or that revival or renewal.  God does not want to take us back to be like this or that people he worked with in the past.

God is always doing a new thing.  We follow the ancient paths, yes.  But God is moving us in a new way.

New people, new salvations, deliverances, and healings: new songs come out of new experiences with God.  It has always been this way.  The songs that some people are sentimental or nostalgic for, were once fresh and brand new.

Great new songs, eventually become old, but some leaders keep doing them, for sentimental reasons.  For example, Darlene Zschech wrote "Shout To The Lord", in 1993.  That is 23 years ago.  It was very old by the year 2000.  Yet, people became sentimental for that song and kept doing it.

It is or was a great song.  But to continue to try to repeat that feeling we got the first 100 times, is sentimentality and is blocking the place where new songs should be sung.

New songs are one of the ways that our faith in present oriented and current.  New songs come now for today.  We stand on a glory filled past, but God is not in the past.  God is in the present, doing things today, with his eyes on the future.

Our worship should reflect that.  Worship is for God after all, and not for me to have a feel-good time.