Archive for August, 2011

The reimaging process

August 31st, 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

Sometimes a computer’s performance becomes so slow and glitchy that it has to be reimaged. Though God made mankind in His image, sin so affects the way humans operate that only a reimaging process can restore us to what we were created to be and to do. With Jesus as the default setting, reimaging takes a lifetime.

Lord, restore me.

Strategic positioning

August 30th, 2011 by Maureen

Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. Luke 10:39

When we feel overscheduled, overcommitted and pulled in several directions the temptation is to sit near the door so it’s easy to slip out. Mary made a choice and sat right at the feet of Christ where she was going to have to climb over everyone to get out.  This is strategic positioning, especially when there are lots of distractions.

Lord, help me to stay centered on the most important things regardless of how long my list becomes.

What can stand against?

August 29th, 2011 by Maureen

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Rom. 8:31b

Even when we face overwhelming odds and insurmountable circumstance or opposition we are not helpless victims and we are not alone. We enter every situation with God’s goodwill, equipped with the gifts and talents He gives us, empowered by His Spirit living in us, and supported by those who journey with us in Christ. Never underestimate the power of the company and the equipment God sends to help.

Lord, thanks for sending the right sort of help just when I need it most.

Carrying your own cross

August 28th, 2011 by Maureen

And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27

Marked by the crucifixion of our own ambitions and passions, we pick up the agenda of Christ’s cross and carry that agenda out into a world. Hanging our own hopes and dreams on the cross allows Jesus to translate our unique experiences of grace and reconciliation into the lifestyle Jesus envisions for us. The beauty and power of how Jesus carried His cross can be communicated by how we carry ours.

Lord, help me to carry my cross like a joyful follower rather than a suffering martyr.

Goodness and mercy have your back

August 27th, 2011 by Maureen

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Ps. 23:6 (KJV)

Goodness and mercy are powerful forces that affect our every step and influence how we interpret our experiences. Charles Spurgeon called them our  “twin guardian angels.” Every single day no matter what is going on in our lives we can be sure that God is merciful, that He is good, and that His goodness and mercy is focused on us.

Lord, thank you for always having my back.

Sharing meds in God’s kingdom

August 26th, 2011 by Maureen

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.I Cor. 1:13

Every day all day there are people walking around who need a good dose of grace and peace. If you need your own dose, go see the Great Physician. If you’ve already seen him, share those healing meds of grace and peace with someone who needs them.

Lord, heal my worry with your grace  and peace. Use me to bring grace and peace to those around me.

A gift for the person who has everything

August 25th, 2011 by Maureen

So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you—whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. I Cor. 3:21-23

God has laid out the entire universe and made it a gift to His children. We are meant to learn from others but sole allegiance to one teacher diminishes this vast gift of knowledge and experience that God wants to unfold before us.

Lord, help me to see Your truth everywhere it may be found.

Inhale some spiritual helium

August 24th, 2011 by Maureen

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this:“I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. Is. 57:15

Maintaining pride and image is a weighty responsibility that makes apology and repentance really difficult. Humility works like spiritual helium, changing our voices and altitudes. God wants to take us to a high and holy place that  we can never reach by just feeling high and mighty.

Lord, thanks for keeping me humble.

Department of the treasury

August 23rd, 2011 by Maureen

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Cor. 4:7

Most of us like the idea of measurable treasure secured in a safe place. God’s treasury is a collection of breakable, porous pots. He equated this treasure with the intangible energy of light which cannot be easily counted and is unlikely to be contained by the jars.

Lord, I’m kind of a cracked pot so let Your light shine through the cracks.

Slaying dragons and mosquitoes

August 22nd, 2011 by Maureen

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. Eph. 3:12-13a

When we face dragon-sized problems and slay them with God’s help, we know there will be an epic story to tell about God’s glory and grace. Often, though, our trials are a conglomeration of mean little mosquito-like problems that annoy and distract and don’t seem to have much glory-bringing potential. God is just as pleased with us when we plow through the insects with grace and focus and He is just as present with us in our smaller struggles.

Lord, it’s not a big thing, but it’s a thing…help!

Cure for insomnia

August 21st, 2011 by Maureen

Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. Ps. 149:5

Even when we don’t feel like it God wants us to continue to follow, expecting our joy to catch up with our obedience. We choose to believe when we cannot see, pray when we cannot understand, and repent when we fail. The faithful can sleep at night instead of lying awake in fear, confusion, or regret.

Lord, help me stay faithful when I get up, when I go to sleep, and all the moments in between.

Another scorcher

August 20th, 2011 by Maureen

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. James 1:11

Fear of loss gives us permission to become misers. Worry about building and securing wealth scorches our spirits and shrinks our influence for God’s kingdom. We gain that which holds eternal consequence by letting go of the things that are going to wither anyway.

Lord, any riches or fame that comes my way is Yours anyway; use it for eternal purposes.

The synergy of the Kingdom

August 19th, 2011 by Maureen

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Eph. 4:16

The Kingdom of God can go viral when a group of individual believers experience synergy as a body and that body experiences synergy with Christ.  “Synergy” describes the process that occurs when two or more produce a result that isn’t individually obtainable. God’s kingdom runs on interdependence.

Lord, help me look outward and upward instead of  “me-ward.”

Empty handed

August 18th, 2011 by Maureen

As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay. Ps. 40:17

The independent, capable, in control approach works great until unavoidable pain, immediate danger, or problems we can’t fix take dependence from a theological concept to a practical reality. We are always in God’s thoughts and He loves helping us so maybe the delay happens because nobody likes to feel poor and needy.

Lord, I am once more falling face first, empty handed into Your mercy and grace.

I’m no superman

August 17th, 2011 by Maureen

God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. I Cor. 1:25b

The guy working the front desk observed that the gym is like a phone booth where people walk in like Superman and walk out like Clark Kent. We go to God with our pride and aggression and come out clothed in grace and mercy.  Responding with the kindness and gentleness of Christ may look unassuming and mild-mannered but it is fuelled by a power that trumps speeding bullets, evil villains, and even the tribulations of everyday life.

Lord, help! I’m no superman.

Breathing room

August 16th, 2011 by Maureen

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Ps. 119:18

Whether we call them “rules, guidelines,  standards, or expectations,” the behavior we define as appropriate reflects what we believe some aspects of truth look like in a particular setting. The moral or philosophical truth behind the instruction can be obscured by rigidity and indulgence, by too much detail and by too little.  Short, clear, and logical instructions give the truth room to breathe.

Lord, whenever I have to set expectations, may the truth behind them be evident.

Singing in tune

August 15th, 2011 by Maureen

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Psalm 96:1

The work we do, the things we learn and ponder, the voices of those we meet, even the daily chores we perform contain the song of the Creator. His voice encourages and instructs us in the rhythms of each day. Everything we experience is an opportunity join our voices in the new song God is singing. 

Lord let all I am and all I do be in tune with the song You’re singing today.

Vital and urgent information

August 14th, 2011 by Maureen

But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21 & Joel 2:28-30

The prophet Joel said it before Christ was even born. Peter quoted it after the Holy Spirit empowered him in the Upper Room. Jesus made it clear through his life, death, and resurrection. He went to great lengths to make sure the invitation was issued. Salvation is the ultimate mission of Christ and His followers. We should treat it as if it were vital and urgent.

Lord, show me how to best communicate Your message.

Rocks and roosters

August 13th, 2011 by Maureen

Upon this rock… Matt. 16:8 I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me. Matt. 26:34

Peter  proclaimed the Lordship of Christ,  walked on water then sunk, cut off a man’s ear, and wimped out on the the night of Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet Peter was the apostle God chose to speak to the crowds after the Upper Room.  We all have rock moments and rooster moments of faith. God empowers the rocks and forgives the roosters.

Lord, thank you for using me even though I fail.

Preparing to stand by

August 12th, 2011 by Maureen

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22

Ever get that strange PC error message “preparing to stand by?”  The Bible is full of challenging information and it’s tempting to spend lots of time trying to understand all it says and try to figure out how it should look in the real world. Maybe it’s time to just get out there and love God and our neighbors, help widows and orphans, admit failures and receive forgiveness.

Lord, it’s time for me to stop preparing to stand by.