Archive for the ‘Isaiah’ Category

Go jump off a cliff

January 6th, 2018 by Maureen


Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom wrote, “there is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still. Despair zaps our energy and motivation. It can make us feel immovable, stuck in a pit. “Hope can seem so unrealistic and fragile with despair pressing down on us.

When even the daily routines of life seem like pointless optimism, God invites us out of the pit and onto a cliff called hope. There we can fall into the lightness and lift of His vision and truth.

Sometimes God supplies us with wings and uplift to give us flight; and sometimes He just picks us up and flies us out under His own wings. If you’ve seen Lord of the Rings,  imagine the scene near the end when the eagles come and carry Frodo and Sam away from the lava flow on Mt. Doom. When we feel helpless, hopeless, and completely spent, this is a great picture of God’s rescue. He always has us and nothing we face is too hard.

Thank you giving me wings to fly and for taking me securely under Yours.

The realities of perception

December 27th, 2017 by Maureen

Look, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth. Do you not perceive it? Is. 43:19

What is perception?
-awareness of all the elements, the distinct parts, that make up our environment. Where are you now?
-what we experience through our physical senses. What did you see, hear, smell, touch, or taste?
-the way we regard, understand, or interpret ideas and experiences. How do you process and give meaning to what you experience through your senses and environment?
-intuitive recognition or appreciation of the qualities found in something. What causes you to recognize that something is important, useful, or beautiful?
God is always making things new again. God is always revealing new things to us.
Perception is sometimes dulled because we dismiss everything doesn’t confirm our assumptions. Perception is sometimes dulled because we focus on one thing and ignore the wonder around us. Perception is sometimes dulled by busyness, pain, or worry.
These are not insurmountable obstacles. When we are able to recognize that these things are obstacles and understand what forms our perceptions we become better equipped to perceive differently and to receive new things that what God puts in front of us.

Lord, open my senses to You. Help me to interpret what I experience through the filter of Your loving Self. Give me inspiration and understanding so that I see the new things you are doing around me, in me, and through me.

Peace at Christmas and always

December 25th, 2017 by Maureen

For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us,  and the princely power is on His shoulder. He is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Father or Eternity, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

Our hopes and prayers are filled with desire for peace, for a world without war, hunger, or disease; for a journey without conflict; for relationships without anger, resentment, controlling behavior, or hurt feelings; and for peace in body, mind, and spirit. When peace is shattered we grieve, look for reasons or assign blame. Yet, the peace of God that has always been remains uncompromised, bright and clear, in the love of the Father of Eternity who is also the Child who is also the Counselor. The Three in One invite us into Wonder, into overpowering Love where peace, joy, and hope are continuously born in us through Him. This is Christmas.

Lord, let Your peace reign over my spirit, mind, heart, and body, my home, neighborhood, city, country, world, and universe.

 

Remember and make peace

May 29th, 2017 by Maureen

I will give them—within the walls of my house—
a memorial and a name
far greater than sons and daughters could give.
For the name I give them is an everlasting one.
It will never disappear! Is. 56:5

We remember those fallen in the defense of our nation. We honor them. We are grateful for their service and sacrifice.

Lord, give present and tangible comfort to those who have lost loved ones in battle. Heal the physical, emotional and spiritual wounds of those who returned home, but lost the life they had before and the person they were before. Give the wisdom and desire to make peace to those who have the power to do so. Let our remembering lead to peace rather than more war.

 

The sky’s not even the limit

March 9th, 2017 by Maureen

And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. Is. 15:16

The one who stretched out this morning’s sky has each one of us hidden in His hand. He paints color and light into our uninspired lives. He speaks words that connect and illuminate so that our inadequate expressions express meaning and communicate beauty. He inspires love in us so that we can experience and reflect His nature.

Lord, carry my through this day under the canopy of Your beautiful and creative care.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel…

December 24th, 2016 by Maureen

Angel of the Lord to Joseph: She will bear a son and you will call him Jesus…The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel. Matt. 1:21,23 and Is. 7:14

It is not our perceptions of Jesus that define Him, but how we individually process Who He Is does determine how each of us experiences His redemption and His presence.

יְהוֹשׁוּעַ – Hebrew – Yehoshua or Joshua literally means “he who saves, redeems, or delivers.” Even when we don’t recognize the ways in which we are threatened, bound, or limited, Jesus established freedom for us and continues His rescue mission into our hearts and minds.

עִמָּנוּאֵל – Immanuel means “with us is God.” Even when we don’t feel like He’s there, God is still with us to the very same extent that He is in those moments when His presence feels absolutely tangible to us. How can we be separate from Him in whom we live and move and exist?

Jesus came to ransom our captive souls and end our lonely exiles.

Oh come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh bid our sad divisions cease,
And be Yourself our King of Peace.

Behold now the Kingdom

May 15th, 2016 by Maureen

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. Is. 61:1, Luke 4:18-19

Jesus read this and said: “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” This was His mission statement, His proclamation of His advancing kingdom. When our Spirit-led lifestyles, relationships, words, and deeds are a response to citizenship in His present kingdom our natural response to others is to  desire freedom, vision, and blessing for them. The great commission is inviting participation in the hope and joy of His fulfilled work of grace and redemption, His present and advancing Kingdom.

Lord, help me to focus on Your priorities and Your mission.

Relaxed time management

February 22nd, 2016 by Maureen

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. Is. 30:15

Life is full of urgent dashes from emergency to emergency punctuated by periods of impatient waiting in which our heads fill up with plans and concerns. Even our “quiet time” can become noisy when prayer becomes 10 minutes of begging and arguing for our own agendas and Bible study means racing through chapters to meet a goal. To find rest and quiet we need to clear our schedules, clear our minds and let God pour into us. Resting in Him might be especially important when we are under pressure and think we don’t have time. God invented time, He can certainly manage a random Monday.

Lord, help me to slow down, manage my time for me, help me to absorb the quietness and confidence found in You.

Thoughts for an off day

February 19th, 2016 by Maureen

So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. My right hand will hold you up. Is. 41:10

It might be worse when fear or dismay is a general feeling rather than when these are responses to something specific and legitimately distressing. Some days seem to come with negative vibes. We can’t put our fingers on what is wrong but something just feels off. Whenever we feel dismay over anything, real or imagined, defined or undefined, God is no smaller on that day than He is in our happiest moment of our best day. His love, power, grace, goodness, and kindness towards us are limitless. Whatever we may be feeling does not define spiritual reality. In fact, there is an enemy of our souls who would like spread fear and dismay over every thought, attitude, feeling, and response in our lives, but Christ has already defeated this enemy. The only power he has left is to lie. We are always being held up, even when we feel like we are falling. God is always with us, even when we feel alone. By providing us with His Holy Spirit, His Word and encouragement from people who love us our minds can be renewed and we can have the day He made for us to have.

Lord, cause me to rejoice and be glad in this day You’ve made for me.

Full bellies and fat souls

November 20th, 2015 by Maureen

Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink. Even if you have no money. Come and choose milk or wine – it’s all free…Why spend your money on groceries that do you no good? Listen and I’ll tell you where to get good food that fattens up your soul.  Is. 55:1 (TLB)

This time of year we push away from the table with full bellies. We gather with loved ones who fill our hearts. We feast because we have much to appreciate and much to celebrate in our lives. Thankfulness causes us to become more keenly aware of all the ways God cares for us our lives and inspires us to participate in His love and care of others. Communion and feasting with Him makes our souls fat.

Lord, may we all have full bellies and fat souls this season.

 

Huge, enormous, colossal God

August 26th, 2015 by Maureen

Psalm 8 asks: What is man that God is mindful of him?

Is. 49:16 answers “I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.”

God’s greatness does not relegate us to insignificance. Our relationship with God begins in His love for us.  Luke 12:7 says that God knows how many hairs on on your head. Each of us is so valuable to Him that He calls you, “Beloved!” His love for us elevates us to the status of being called children of God and the privilege of calling Him “Father” and His concern for us extends to every detail in our lives so we can case our cares on Him knowing that He cares for us. Our enormous God is capable of enormous love for an enormous number of people. No matter how much time passes and how many people pass through this life, each of us matters to Him.

Thank You, Father, for Your great love for me.

Mother’s Day when mothers are a mess

May 10th, 2015 by Maureen

As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you. Is. 66:13

Mother’s Day might be all pink roses and teacups for some people, but it can be painful for those who feel that they missed out on the tender, comforting, safe and accepting love usually associated with mothers. Some of us had messy mothers or have been messy mothers. Mother’s Day might even arouse resentment, disappointment, or guilt. Whatever our “mommy issues,” God can transform our relationships, our memories, and our perceptions about our mothers and ourselves. He loves us and no matter how we think we’ve been failed or how we think we’ve failed, He can heal and restore the years the locusts have eaten. God longs to gather us under His wings like a mother hen to love, comfort, and restore us, our mothers, and our children. It doesn’t matter who failed because He hasn’t.

Thank You God for being there with the messy mother I had and the messy mother I’ve been.

Arise and shine

February 23rd, 2015 by Maureen

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Is. 60:1

Not only do we get to rise with Him – restored, redeemed, made new and alive – we get to shine with Him. His grace and truth bring the qualities of His light into our everyday lives. We enjoy the warmth, illumination, and direction that come from the light of His glory; and we get to shine that light out onto the people we encounter throughout each day.

Lord, may Your glory rise upon and through me this day.

God is on our side

January 23rd, 2015 by Maureen

For you are valuable and honored in My eyes. I, you God, am your strength. Is. 49:5

We matter to God. He is for us. He is in us and with us and before us and behind us because He is for us. He wants to protect us and provide for us. He wants to empower us and enable us. He wants to love us and free us. His strength is enough for whatever trials we face without and whatever struggles we face within.

Lord, I am so glad you are on my side.

Change is the new normal

December 26th, 2014 by Maureen

A child is born to us, a son is given, and the government will rest upon his shoulders…and it’s peace will never end. Is. 9:6a, 7b

Jesus changes everything all the time. The Bethlehem shepherds heard about Jesus, told everybody they saw, then went back to their normal lives? The Magi returned home and never gave the new King another thought? Over the next 33 years did they wonder about Him? Did they think he was dead? The Bible doesn’t tell us their stories or if and how their encounters with the baby King changed their lives. What each of us can speak to is how believing in Him has changed each of ours. There is no ‘going back to normal’ after Christmas. There is only further up and further in.

Lord, keep changing my life.

 

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

December 16th, 2014 by Maureen

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

All of us operate under the authority of others. We want to be able to trust and to learn from our parents, teachers, counselors, bosses, mentors, and government leaders. Those who have trust issues with authority usually have been disappointed or betrayed by someone who had power over them. Those who haven’t experienced the love a father tend to gravitate toward those who will fill that role in their lives. God is the authority we can absolutely trust with all our lives.

Father, I trust you to always be my Wonderful, Mighty, Everlasting Prince of Peace.

…still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light

December 13th, 2014 by Maureen

And I give thee for a covenant of a people, And a light of nations. To open the eyes of the blind, To bring forth from prison the bound one, From the house of restraint those sitting in darkness. Is 42:6-7 YLT

Just as the light we see coming from a star may in 2014 be millions of years old, the light that God put on earth over two thousand years ago is just now being seen by many of us. When we sit in darkness, held back by whatever restrains us from knowing or seeing, God is still with us and always has been. He has already sent Jesus to open our eyes and bring us out of our personal prisons. His light is still proceeding and eventually will impact everything that is still sitting in darkness.

Lord, help me to keep seeing and following Your star of wonder.

 

Let nothing You dismay

December 7th, 2014 by Maureen

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

There was a lot to dismay Israel in the time leading up to Christ’s birth. The perception was that the Messiah would address the things that caused dismay. In our personal lives, our neighborhoods, our cities, our country, and out world we witness and sometimes personally experience horrors that dismay and confuse us. We may not understand or be able to prevent painful events but we can choose to trust God and allow Him to address the dismay we feel with His comfort and yes, even His joy.

Lord, help me to bring tidings of comfort and joy.

Passive contributors

September 30th, 2014 by Maureen

I will protect and carry you all the days of your life. Is. 46:4

We like being teamed with people who will do their share of the work and make measured decisions that protect the team. We like being trusted with our own portions of the load and being active contributors to the project. Here in the western world in the 21st century we see ourselves as individual contributors to a team. but in the eternal spiritual realm Jesus is the team. He carries all the weight and we ride into victory on His back.

Lord, without shame or reservation I surrender control of this project I call life to You.

 

 

 

The happy, peaceful message of salvation

April 3rd, 2014 by Maureen

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Is. 52:7

Jesus walked this earth with His beautiful feet, healing and speaking hope and grace. His feet were nailed to a cross to attain salvation for us. After His resurrection He offered to let the doubtful examine His beautifully wounded feet. Because He reigns, the salvation message our feet bring can be full of peace and happiness.

Lord, when I am neither peaceful or happy, help me remember what salvation means and focus on Your reign instead of my inadequacies.