Monthly Archives: September 2014

EZEKIEL 17:24

“All the trees of the field will know that I am the LORD ; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD ; I have spoken, and I will perform it.” Ezekiel 17:24

Isn’t it intriguing to remember that God acts in surprising ways!
He treasures relationships so much, He will do whatever it takes to build them.

Prophetically, trees represent people or nations, so if we read this verse with that in mind, we get:

All of the people and nations on earth will know that I am the Lord;
I bring down the proud and high-minded,
I exalt the humble,
withhold from those who are self-sufficient and cause those who rely on Me to flourish.
I am the Lord; what I say is and I will make it happen.

Sorry, no recipe or formula here; only utter dependence on God.  In John 15, Jesus told His disciples, “apart from God you can do nothing.”  Then, in Philippians 4:13, Paul writes, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”

Perhaps one of the biggest buggaboos here is that humility has nothing to do with devaluing or criticizing ourselves; instead, it is a matter of agreeing with what God says about who we are, even when our experience and opinions say otherwise.  By the way, He says we are precious, a chosen nation, sons and daughters, royalty, reflections of His glory, dearly loved by Him.

I have encountered this repeatedly:  When I give into temptations to do things my way, rely on my own understanding and expectations or build strategies according to my limited knowledge, I get trouble, especially when I am reacting to perceptions based on shame, fear, doubt, pride or false humility.

When I was taking a course in Old Testament Survey, we learned this definition of idolatry:  “Trusting in and serving any person, place, concept or thing other than God.”  Okay, I’d say that’s pretty comprehensive.  It’s Joshua saying, “Choose today whom you will serve…  As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.”  (Joshua 24:15)

When, on the other hand, I run to Papa God and cooperate with Him, I flourish.  Joy, peace, hope, love and all of God’s goodness are evident to me.  I reflect Him to those around me and His Kingdom comes.

I live out Colossians 3:
My life is hidden with Christ in God
I have put on the  new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator
I am dressed in love
I have been called to peace, which rules in my heart
His word dwells in me richly
All I say and do is in the name (character) of Jesus
I thank Papa God through Him

So, here’s a picture:
As I said, trees represent people or nations. It’s wonderful when individuals or households within the Church walk in obedience; what happens when an entire nation or people group becomes utterly dependent on God and agrees with Him?  Wow!

MINISTRY

The ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus is to testify to the gospel of the  grace of god. (Acts 20:24)

These were Paul’s words when he was about to go to Jerusalem, where he would be arrested and begin his trip to Rome.

They can easily be the words for all who follow Jesus.  Each of us is called to declare the Good News of God’s grace through how we live and speak.

Have you ever wondered why God wants all of us to do this?  I can think of at least two reasons:
*Each person is so unique, he or she is the only one who can reflect God and His reality in the way that he/she does.
If you were to look in God’s “kitchen,” you would not find a set of cookie cutters.  That is because He never repeats the same things.
When He made me, He only made one; when He created you, He made a one-of-a-kind.
The way you speak and act is specific to you; how I live and move is unique to me.

*Living out the Good News strengthens and blesses every believer, whether one is declaring or receiving.
God really wants happy people, not sad, gloomy ones!  He knows that we get to savor the fruit of the Holy Spirit when we live according to His ways.  He also knows that doing is far more powerful for us than simply hearing and speaking.

So, what shape are you?  How do you express the Good News of God’s grace to the world where you live?

Happy ministry!

ALL CREATION SINGS

All creation sings
Praises to the living King!

Thundering oceans keep the beat
While springs and waterfalls
sing anthems sweet.

Wind and raindrops sing along,
While sun, moon and planets
Join in the song.

Birds and mammals add their parts;
As all sing and worship
With all their hearts.

People living everywhere
Raise their happy voices
With loving care.

All creation sings
Praises to the living King!

Strong and Wonderful

How strong and wonderful
Is faith in god:
To trust him completely,
Rest in his goodness;
Fully know his love.

Powerful and intimate
Steadfast and deep
So full of compassion;
He knows who I am;
He created me.

Because God is so good
what He says is;
I put my hope in Him,
who always fulfills
all that He promises.

I live in His presence,
He lives in me,
Demonstrating His ways;
Speaking and acting
To give him glory.

FRAGRANCE

The woman stood at his feet
While he reclined at the table.
She washed him with her tears,
Wiped his feet with her hair
And anointed him with oil.

“Daughter you are forgiven,”
He said to her with compassion,
“now go and sin no more.”
She was set free that day,
Because she met the Savior.

The oil’s fragrance still lingered
And she found she was different now;
She knew she had been changed;
Because of His great love;
Perfume provided the way,

WONDERFULLY MADE

Papa God, I thank you
For your awesome work:
You made me your poema,
With beauty expressing your goodness.

You knew me in secret;
Brought me forth in love:
Filled with your hope and promise;
To shine as I reflect your glory.

Awesomely created;
Made out of a dream:
Your wonderful thoughts declared;
Your bountiful compassion spoken.

Papa God, I bless you
For giving me life:
Every breath and emotion
A song to worship you with delight.

GENTLE REMINDERS

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The cat’s rhythmic purr;
The dog’s full devotion;
Bright morning sun
That brings such emotion;
These are gentle reminders
Of God’s love.

Lovely fresh flowers
Whose fragrance is so sweet;
My own soft breath
The feel of my heartbeat;
These are gentle reminders
Of God’s love.

To be with close friends
My family’s affection;
Sing a new song
Of God’s great perfection;
These are gentle reminders
Of His love.

Oh, Papa makes sure
That I never forget
His compassion;
His faithfulness that lets
Me have gentle reminders
Of His love.

MIRRORS

I look in a mirror called opinion,
Set by people around me:
Oh, my nose is too big:
My belly is too fat;
I don’t think I’ll look at that!

Then I look in a mirror labeled “deeds:”
Set by my expectations:
I’m so long and skinny;
There are holes in my soul;
This mirror is too weird, so I’ll go.

I look in the mirror known as  Riches,
Set by commercials I see:
Oh, I don’t have enough;
I can’t begin to pay;
I will simply walk away.

I discover the mirror of God’s love,
Set here through His precious son:
I can see His likeness
Developing in me;
As He declares, so I’ll be!

LET ME FOLLOW

Let me follow you, Jesus:
Lead me to where we’re going next.
When you rest, help me to join you;
When you move on, help me to keep up.
If you turn left or right,
I want to do the same.
When work is done in one place;
When it’s time to serve somewhere else,
I want to be there with you.
Whether staying or moving,
Resting or working,
I want to follow you, Jesus.

EVERYTHING TO ME

This song was released by Avalon on May 15, 2003.  It’s passion, well expressed words and music are beautiful.  Enjoy: