TODAY

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Today
I awoke
To rich life found in grace,
Strong faith that abides
And promise that makes me whole.

Today
I arose
With fresh hope in my heart;
New thoughts on my mind
and feelings I’ve never known.

Today
I composed
A glad song full of joy,
To sing of great love
And mercy that ever grows.

Today
I will give
An offering of true praise
To honor the One
Whose compassion fills me so.

Welcome

This blog is dedicated to expressing all of the good things of God.  It is specifically christian on purpose.

If you’re thinking, “Oh no:  Religion!”  Relax.  To quote a saying from the Jesus Movement, “Christianity:  Not a religion, a relationship.”  This is about knowing the loving god.  It is not about “do’s and don’ts,” doctrine  or dogma (sorry dogs!)  Do feel free to raise contravercial topics; just be respectful.  Please refrain from name calling, criticizing specific people and crude language.  Thank you.

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”  1 Peter 1:3

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

DECLARE

In the past couple of years, I have learned about the importance of declarations.

Unlike affirmations, which are usually meant to convince us of something that is not yet true, declarations are all about proclaiming the truth of God’s Kingdom.

Here are some verses to encourage you in this:

 

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  1 Chronicles 16:24

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Psalm 19:1

I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. psalm 22:22

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15

Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Psalm 71:17

I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. Psalm 82:9

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psalm 96:3

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9

 

All praise and glory to God!

JESUS, MY SOURCE AND GOAL

Arms of love are opened wide,
Inviting me to come in;
To know the way of truth and light,
Since I have been born again.

“Come, dear one, and be refreshed
Partake of My Heavenly food,
That heals your soul and warms your breast;
That teaches you I am good.”

In God’s Presence I am filled
His abundance strengthens me.
My doubts dissolve, all fears are stilled;
I have been healed and set free.

As I live and work each day,
I have everything I need
To reflect His glorious way;
In attitude, word and deed.

Not in my own strength, but His,
Do I love and serve Him so.
The Alpha and Omega is
Jesus, my Source and my Goal.

HOPE

“If we aren’t overflowing with hope we are believing a lie.”
“What you believe about a problem is more important than the problem.”  (Steve Backlund, Global Legacy)

“Hope is the expectation that something good is going to happen. That there is a future that makes the present trials and troubles worth going through.
There are many things that the world offers that give false hope, like a marriage that excites only to bring greater disappointment.  God is the only sure hope. He is faithful. He has a good future for us. He knows what we need and what we want. It is warfare to let go of those things that we have hoped in apart from God.1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life
to come.  I think that physical training would include most things that we classify as working up ourselves.”  (Kent Hug, Pastor of New Hope)

If there is one thing I have learned about hope in the past few years, it’s this:
Hope is built on the knowledge that God is good and we can trust Him to pour His best into our lives, even when circumstances say otherwise.  It’s always all about God, not us, our abilities, circumstances or any other entity.  To hope in any person, place, thing or power other than god is idolatry.  He is the Only Source and Goal; the Alpha and Omega.

THE BEST WINE John 2:1-11, Part IV

9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.
He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone
brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Jesus is the best wine.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; the Hope of all nations; Lord of lords, King of kings; Healer, Savior, Redeemer.

Later in His short time here, right before He is betrayed, tortured and killed, He says that wine represents the blood of the new covenant.
“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”   (Luke 22:20 NIV)

Again, the best wine was saved for last.  God’s new covenant saved us by grace through faith.  We have all of the blessing and inheritance that Papa God has for us.  Instead of depending on works, which we are not able to do, we get to rely on God through the Holy Spirit, sent to be our Comforter, counselor, Teacher and Helper.  We are reborn into His family, made members of His household and given full rights as sons and daughters.  How absolutely miraculous and wonderful is that!

RESPONSE; ACTION; REVELATION John 2:1-11, part III

4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
There is a principle in prayer and prophesy that I have learned:
We can “foretell” things, which is when god reveals something that is going to happen; we can “forth tell,” which is when we bring the future into the present.

Jesus always did what He saw His Father doing and said what He heard His Father saying.
When Mary said there was no wine, He checked with Papa, who was not yet giving him the signal to act.  When Mary told the servants to obey Him, she called the future into the situation at hand.  This account actually reminds me of another Gospel story, in which Jesus seemed to say, “No,” but the woman’s response brought a different result:

“Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.  In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil
spirit came and fell at his feet.  The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied,” but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.”
Mark 7:20-30

I wonder a couple of things:
*Did God withhold His permission to strengthen Mary’s faith, much like what Jesus did with the woman whose child had a demon?  Are there times when He seems to hold back a bit to get our attention and strengthen our trust in Him?

Verse 11 says this was the first of His miracles, performed in a small town that was considered to be the middle of nowhere and completely insignificant.  It does seem that God works in ways that defy our expectations and ideas of how things should be done.
His glory (true presence and nature) was revealed; His disciples put their trust in Him.  Wow!

BACK TO THE PARTY John2:1-11, part II

Mary didn’t stick around to see whether Jesus would answer her concern; she went back to the party.
I bet she had a really good time!

We can do the same:  Once we bring a need to Jesus, we can rejoice in His goodness and go about our lives.  We don’t have to wonder if He will answer.
I can hear some people now:  “Sometimes He says, ‘No” or “wait.'”  I’m not sure that matters.  Whatever answer He gives is the best one by far.
Not only that, but if we are listening to the Holy Spirit and praying in agreement with God, we know the answer is “yes;” in fact, 2 Corinthians 1 tells us that all of God’s promises are “yes” and we join in saying “amen” to the glory of God.
“Amen” carries the understanding that whatever God says is reality.  He said, “Let there be…”  There was…
God is always good; He is always in a good mood.  He loves to bless us.
May this truth dispel all fear and doubt when it comes to trusting Papa.

“THEY HAVE NO WINE” John 2:1-11, Part I

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee.
Jesus’ mother  was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”  (NIV)

 

I have appreciated Mary’s heart and approach in this account for many years:  She doesn’t tell Jesus how to solve the problem; she doesn’t panic or beg.  Instead, she simply brings the need to Him.
Mary knows who Jesus is and what He does.  Her belief makes His response possible.
Without debating or trying to convince Him, she tells the servants to obey.
The result:  The best wine at the party.

I consider this to be one of the most powerful models of prayer we could possibly find.  when we come to God, knowing who He is and what He does, we can present any matter; then we put our trust in Him because He is God; He knows exactly what needs to be done and He accomplishes it.  He really doesn’t need us to figure out the solutions; He isn’t moved by crisis, panic or need; He responds to our faith.
This is about relationship, not recipes.  God loves us.  We are constantly in His thoughts.  He wants us to love and trust Him as well.  It’s this open connection that causes us to hear Him so we know what and how to ask; then, He answers with enthusiasm.
The result:  The best answer there could ever be.