Archive for March, 2011

Beyond our pay grade

March 31st, 2011 by Maureen

I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself… Ps. 131:1b-2a

It’s good to be curious and ask questions but God has perspective and knowledge that puts some answers beyond human understanding. Peace comes when we can accept that there are some things we are not going to be able to understand or explain completely. The mind of God is way beyond our pay grade.

Lord, help me to understand the things I have the capacity to grasp, help me to accept wonder as a viable option to understanding, and give me the wisdom to know the difference.

Get over it

March 30th, 2011 by Maureen

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

Sometimes we hurt one another. Sometimes we deliberately lash out in anger and frustration and sometimes we just annoy other people or let other people annoy us. The more we think about how offended we feel the more we are going to feel offended and the harder it’s going to be to restore our relationships.

Lord, help us to get over ourselves and to get over one another.

God is Brilliant

March 29th, 2011 by Maureen

He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light. Daniel 2:22

There is a lot we don’t know, a lot we don’t understand about what we do know, and a lot we don’t even know exists. God is constantly revealing answers and truths to us as we explore His creation and seek His counsel. He’s has the information and the wisdom we need to work through our doubts and fears, to help us make enlightened choices, and to guide us when we have to act without all the information.

Lord, please help me find answers for the questions I ask and reveal those deep and mysterious ideas that I haven’t even thought to wonder about but actually need to know.

Serious joy

March 28th, 2011 by Maureen

Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.I Chronicles 16:26b-27

That we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever yet God makes His home in our hearts right now is another spiritual paradox. We don’t fully understand how that works but we do know that iving in the constant presence of the amazing and awesome God is serious business and our choices should  respect and honor Him. That said, God is no fun-spoiler and wants us to experience moments serious joy and captivating wonder all day long.

Lord, thank you for the joyful moments You put in this day for me.

Bottomless baggage check

March 27th, 2011 by Maureen

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. I Tim. 2:8

Church is a place where we check our baggage at the door and hopefully never come back to pick it up. Instead we choose to stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow worshippers and agree to make God the center of everyone’s attention. His response to our worship is to draw us into experiences of unity, love, and power that change and equip us and that may be closest we will ever come in this world to understanding what it means to be the Bride of Christ.

Lord, I lift my hands, please make them holy and make us one.

The argument room

March 26th, 2011 by Maureen

Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. Phil. 3:15

God is not threatened by questions or misconceptions and His Holy Spirit is more effective than any of us at revealing truth. We can waste an awful lot of time and energy arguing with people we could probably influence more through love, prayer and service. Our motives for arguing easily shift from getting at the truth to proving we’re right and showing off our skills in research, logic and debate.

Lord, redirect my disagreements and clear up my misconceptions.

God messes with my head

March 25th, 2011 by Maureen

You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Ps. 139:6

 God goes ahead of us to prepare opportunities and set up support systems for the challenges of the future. He comes behind us to forgive the mistakes and heal the wounds of the past. God doesn’t just work in the past and the future His hand on our heads changes our perspectives and expectations. 

Lord, keep your hand on my head.

Margin for error

March 24th, 2011 by Maureen

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Col. 3:13

We can become brittle and ungracious when we don’t allow some margin for error in our own lives or in the lives of those around us. In the course of doing life we might hurt one another intentionally or unintentionally. As the injured party it’s kind of satisfying to nurse our righteous indignation instead of taking the opportunity to reveal a tangible picture of Christ’s grace and restoration by extending  forgiveness when we could take revenge or hold a grudge instead.

Lord, help me to forgive the faults of others with the same grace that You’ve forgiven mine.

Stumbling through together

March 23rd, 2011 by Maureen

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Ps. 37:23-24

When it feels like we are not moving forward and every step feels like a stumble, God uses the tangible hands of our friends and family to hold us up and walk us through the bad patches. And sometimes we’re the ones He uses to steady someone else. We’re all on this journey together.

Lord, thanks for the love and support that keeps me on my feet.

His grace is enough

March 22nd, 2011 by Maureen

Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. Hos. 14:4

This is God’s response when we say to Him “in You alone.” God is not our last resort or a fallback plan after we’ve tried everything else we want to try. He offers healing for the control issues, insecurities, or impulsiveness that cause us to try to meet our own needs, feed unhealthy desires, and chase distractions instead of trusting Him for satisfaction and fulfillment.

Lord, you are my first and only hope.

Spiritual springtime

March 21st, 2011 by Maureen

Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Ps. 85:11

Just like the earth needs spring, our spirits need seasons of renewal. Our spirits live on the grace and truth and righteousness and hope that God provides through His Spirit, His word, His people, and His creation. While we can’t force a spiritual season into our lives any more than we can force spring, we can get our spirits ready for spring and expect positive change from God.

Lord, renew my spirit.

Mooning

March 20th, 2011 by Maureen

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Cor. 3:18

The moon, on it’s best night, is never is bright as the sun, but when it’s full and when it’s close the moon can reflect enough light to be glorious. When Jesus has an straight shot into our lives we are better able to reflect His light to those around us. If we stay out of the shadows and fully reflect His brightness upon the world there’s a chance that someone we know might catch a glimpse of God’s glory.

Lord, make me full and bright so that others can see You.

What’s good for me

March 19th, 2011 by Maureen

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him? Mark 7

When we ask God for what we want we may not always ask for something that is good. We get better at recognizing “good” when it comes to our own children. Maybe that is why God approaches our desires with the heart of a father.

Lord, give me what’s good for me and help me to want good things.

Instruments of peace

March 18th, 2011 by Maureen

Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. I Pet. 3:11

We face continual tension between good and evil and make choices every day that sow one or the other. Keeping an intentional focus on doing good and maintaining peace helps us in our personal relationships and strengthens us spiritually. Prayer and participation in missions and service help us contribute to goodness and peace in the world around us.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace and help me to sow love, forgiveness, faith, hope, light, and joy in the face of hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness.

In the words of St. Patrick

March 17th, 2011 by Maureen

The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. Is. 32:4

I would not be silent… in spite of my lack of knowledge and my slow tongue…How much more should we earnestly strive to do this, we, who are, so Scripture says, a letter of Christ for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth, and, though not an eloquent one, yet written in your hearts, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God! ” – Confession of St. Patrick 450 A.D.

Lord, make me a letter for salvation written in the hearts of those I meet.

Community

March 16th, 2011 by Maureen

When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. Jn. 19:26-27

The bonds we form because of mutual faith and similar calling to God’s purposes sometimes transcend even family ties. The Lord creates communities of believers so that we can offer one another support and because we grow stronger and accomplish more when we live and serve side by side. Through community we begin to understand that we belong to an even larger community, His Church, which stretches across time and georgraphy.

Thank you Jesus for surrounding me with a community of faith.

 

Tangible prayer

March 15th, 2011 by Maureen

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,O God our savior.You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. Ps.65:5

God cares about every disaster, every pocket of unrest, and every place wracked by disease and starvation. It’s  important to respond to a desire to help and feelings of compassion with tangible help…and to remember that prayers are spiritually tangible help. God responds miraculously when we pray for people we don’t know in situations we can’t control.

Lord, provide tangible emotional, physical, and spiritual help to those on distant seas who need your help, even to those who don’t know they need to seek it.

Annoying people need prayer too

March 14th, 2011 by Maureen

As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. I Sam. 12:23

Some people seem so unreceptive that we may want to burn the bridge and walk away. Love compels us to keep praying and stay open to opportunities to connect. Even the most annoying person is beloved by God and needs his love and help desperately.

Lord, help me to show your soft and open heart to those who seem hard-hearted.

Extreme soul tattoos

March 13th, 2011 by Maureen

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death. Song of Solomon 8:6a

There is a ministry called To Write Love on Her Arms that exists to show people struggling with depression, self-injury, or suicidal thoughts that they are loved and that they matter.  Jesus wrote love on His arms for us and wants to permanently carve His name into our hearts. It’s as if our souls have tattoos all over them that mark all the God moments in our lives so that anytime we look inward we see Jesus written on our souls.

Lord, I am so glad that You’ve written your love on me.

Follow the leader

March 12th, 2011 by Maureen

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matt. 9:36

We may not always like being led but we need leadership because confusion results when each of us, or any one of us within a group, defaults to selfishness. As a leader Jesus always has our best interests at heart.  Jesus’ compassionate yet confident leadership style is the one to copy.

Lord, when it falls to me to lead, fill me with Your compassion and confidence.