Tracing our Path

IMG_2391

In chapter 1 of the Book of Matthew, Jesus’ lineage is traced from Abraham to Joseph. It is a long line of sinners from kings to prostitutes. Almighty God has favored us all with a king that not only knows us, but came from us, and He is more than able to wash us and cleanse us and carry us home, if we will let Him?


Father,

Long before the foundations of the earth were laid down, You conceived a plan and that plan was for One who was from us to redeem us to our former state. He came down from above to extend His hand in love. Reveal to all who hear Your word to take hold of that opportunity.

Thank You, Lord.

Amen.
<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/trace/">Trace</a>

via Daily Prompt: Trace

Just Start Walking He’s Right Beside You

IMG_1926

Psalm 23:6
New International Version (NIV)

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


So, how do we “walk with God”?

Enoch walked with faith and God took him away to heaven.  Noah found favor with God and was spared from the flood. Abraham had faith and was made a father of nations. King David was a man after God’s own heart and he was promised an everlasting kingdom. The disciples of Jesus were remade into Sons of God.

So how do we walk with God? Well, you can search the web and find thousands of websites with thousands of methods from thousands of very qualified theologians. I would not discourage you from reading all you can, but since I’m just a simple layperson I stumbled upon what worked for me several years ago.

I had heard the gospel all my life. I would sit in my grandmother’s kitchen for lunch before I began school and I can still hear her radio playing – “This is Back to the Bible Broadcast!” the announcer would shout and a chorus of I Love to Tell the Story would break forth into the room as I sat at the dining table, dangling my feet, and savoring whatever the day’s lunch fare would be.

There were many times though, in later years, that I was far from God. Slowly though He pursued me and convinced me that He was not a big, bad dictator just waiting to slap me up beside my head and throw me into the darkest hell. No, when I allowed myself to honestly look at Jesus. His life, His message, His works, I found God to be a loving Father just waiting to embrace me and bless me. He has countless times protected me, guided me, and provided for me.

The biggest gift (outside to Jesus Himself) though is prayer. Through a series of events in these past few years He has lead me into intercessory prayer. I fought this. I just didn’t think that prayer was “my thing”. Once I started though, it has proven to be one of the biggest blessings I have ever received.

At first, I prayed and prayed. I prayed BIG prayers. I prayed for hours. I hoped my words would move God and if not, perhaps my persistence would? Slowly the Holy Spirit revealed what would make the difference between praying to and praying with God. It’s just a conversation. A conversation with someone who loves you more than anyone else. Who understands you and your needs better than anyone else. Then, after all those years, I began to walk “with” God. Before I was letting Him come along with me. Now I’m listening. I’m asking to come alongside of Him. I’m even beginning to listen. You have to listen in order to have a conversation.

So for me that’s how to improve your walk with God. If you don’t know about God or don’t think you need Him, give Him a chance. He loves you. He’s right beside you all the time. Then start praying. It doesn’t have to be fancy. He doesn’t even like fancy prayers. Just start talking to Him. Tell Him about your troubles, your needs, your fears. Finally, start to listen. Start to look for Him. He’s a spirit so you have to feel Him to know He’s there. If you don’t feel Him don’t worry because whether you feel Him or not, He’s still there. He’s always there. Always.


Father,

Like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, David and the disciples help us to trust in You more every day. Let us feel You and see You. Let Your Light enter into our hearts and heal all that is wrong. May we take time to slow down and humble ourselves so that we may listen to Your word. May we hear it. May it change us from beggars into sons and daughters of God.

In the name of Jesus who makes all things possible,

Amen!

 

Two Questions…??

IMG_2395

Two Questions??

John 10:27
New King James Version (NKJV)

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.


Detonate: To be set ablaze.

Noah was told to build an ark, Abraham was told to go to a new land, Moses spoke to a burning bush, David grabbed a hand full of stones and went to fight a giant, and Saul went to kill the church but became its greatest disciple. The Lord detonated their spirits and set them on their life’s calling. Today, let’s ask ourselves two questions:

1. What will detonate me? What am I inspired by? Do I see art or nature and want to paint? Do I want to serve the poor? Am I good at making money? Whatever it is… what sets you on fire?

2. Will anything set me on fire? It may seem like a strange question, but it’s the most important. Is there anything that I will allow to move me or change me so that I will get set in motion, or have I become “set in stone”? So complacent or unmoved by anything, to be willing to go where my talents would be best used?


Father,

Come to us today and speak to us. Light a fuse in our lives that will spark us into action. That will set us on a path to find our true calling and to make a difference in Your kingdom. Then and only then will we find true joy and fulfillment.

Thank You for all things.

Amen.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/detonate/”>Detonate</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Detonate

We are Radiant

Egyptian Sunset
We are Radiant

Exodus 34:29-35
New International Version (NIV)

The Radiant Face of Moses

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.

33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.


Radiate: (of persons) to project or glow with cheerfulness, joy, etc.: She simply radiates with good humor.

We are all radiant. We exude a glow of whatever is in our hearts, minds, and souls. We can’t help it. We are what we think. We are what we believe.

What do you radiate?


Father,

We ask You to change us more each day, to take control of our thoughts, emotions, and actions. When we find ourselves angry or disgusted or just not in a good mood, help us to look around at all we are blessed with and let our tongues give praise rather than poison.

Thank You, Lord for all good things, in the name of the One who radiates Love. Amen.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/radiate/”>Radiate</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Radiate

The Choice

273

Joshua 24:15

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”


The Choice

Choices – they’re everywhere. We can’t get away from them. Which car is best for me? What’ll we eat tonight, honey? Whose gonna watch the kids while we’re gone? That’s just a few. When you think about it, we’re all besieged with having to choose every moment of every day. No wonder a lot of us finally throw up our hands and just refuse to choose. It’s tiring physically and emotionally.

So what are we to do? I mean, come on, we can’t stop living or at least I would hope that would not be a viable choice. “See! You’d even have to choose that!” We’re stuck. We have to make choices. That’s just part of life.

If that’s our fate, maybe we should somehow limit our choices as much as possible. That can be achieved by closing ourselves off from much of what is going on around us. Become like a turtle and pull inside our shells. It’s a choice, but not a great one. What seems to be a good idea would be to have already made our choices. To find a marker to follow, a clear ideology, or a road map to help us with all these decisions. Then we would be infused with a truth that guides us, not to rid us of choices, but to make those choices less stressful.


Father,

You guide us through life with Your word. It is a map to a treasure, and that treasure is peace. If we choose rightly and follow after You, then life can be lived without fear, without sorrow, without regret. Infuse us with Your love and help us to choice Life.

Thank You, Lord. Amen.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/infuse/”>Infuse</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Infuse

So What about Justice?

IMG_2464

Isaiah 53:4-6
New International Version (NIV)

4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.


Justice Reprieved

Judge beyond compare
Jesus came and took my stripes
Propitiation!


Father,

Who but You, Lord could remain a holy judge and a loving father? You offer not just a reprieve, but a holy sacrifice. We thank You, for You are just. We praise You, for You are mercy. We long for You, for You are our Father.

In the name of our Redeemer, Amen!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/reprieve/”>Reprieve</a&gt;
via Daily Prompt: Reprieve

Got It Made!

IMG_1929

 

Revelation 6:16-17
New Living Translation (NLT)

16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”


We all have a problem. It’s a big one. We’re stuck in this physical world…for now, and we don’t know what’s beyond. Lots of people, like myself, believe that there is one way to solve this problem, and Jesus is his name. That’s my opinion. I can’t prove that as though it were a scientific experiment. Jesus said we needed faith to overcome and that’s where the faith comes in.

Others believe there are other paths. Well, that’s not quite right. Others believe their way is “the way”. There are still others that either don’t believe there’s a problem at all, or some just don’t want to think about it. That’s alright, it’s a choice that we all get to make for ourselves.

I only hope that we all will ponder the problem. Really think it through. If there is a God beyond this world, how will He view how I lived my life, if I meet Him face to face?


Father,

I posed this question for others to hear and ponder. Long ago You proved Yourself to be the answer to all my questions, all my longings, all my problems. Today, please reveal Yourself to all who are searching for answers. If they are sick then heal them, if they are struggling with finances then bless them with resources, if they are unsure of their futures be the Light that guides them safely home. May they not only survive, but thrive.

I thank You, Lord for all good things here in this world and for the good things I know are coming.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/survive/”>Survive</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Survive

A Tall Tale about T-bone

Uncle Jim

 

 

Things change. Life is like a train rolling down a one-way track and we must stay on board, like it or not, so we might as well find some humor in the journey.

Above is a picture I found in an old box. It is one of my great uncle Jim standing in front of the house that my  great grandfather built a very long time ago in Bezer, MS, just outside of Raleigh in Smith County. I’ve visited that site several times. The family that owns it now are distant cousins. Today however, that building is gone and a new home sits in its place. The den of the new house has wood from the former as paneling in one of its rooms. The land is much as it was then though. Smith County, Mississippi is primarily farming country. It’s mostly flat, as is the whole state, and produces a number of crops from cotton to catfish, but Smith County is known for its delicious watermelons.

I digress however, what sparked my memory was a story I had been told for years about Uncle Jim. Now, Uncle Jim was a lawyer and later a judge, who lived in a small town in Texas. Many in my family migrated west to Texas during a banking scandal here in the state that cost lots of folks their homes and land. Uncle Jim just went there I believe. Anyway, the story takes place after he was older and his vision was failing him. He would roar through town in his T-model Ford and everyone would have to jump out of the way, move obstacles from in front of him, and generally just “make way!”  Uncle Jim was a character now.

This went on for some time with him threatening life and limb of the citizens until the sheriff finally was made to go before the judge and tell him (ask him) if he didn’t think that he should have someone drive him, him being such an important man there about. Well, the judge wasn’t thrilled at all about the suggestion, but with the coaxing of his son, he agreed to think about it.

A few days later you could hear the judge coming into town in his T-model, but there was an unusual sound accompanying him. “Bark, bark, bark!” It was T-bone, his little terrier mutt out in front of the car.

They say he would run in front of Uncle Jim and guide him through town. Uncle Jim was just a plowing through as always, but following the barking of T-bone. He would do that until he reached the edge of town where a small one-way bridge went over Brasher Creek. There T-bone would cross the bridge and bark. Uncle Jim would ease across. Then open the door of the T-model. T-bone would jump in and off they’d fly until the next time Uncle Jim needed to come to town.

The old house Uncle Jim stood in front of in Smith County, Mississippi was evanescent and has long since been gone. Uncle Jim is gone too. He got sick and they put him in the local hospital, but they wouldn’t let him have his nightly “hot toddy” so he proceeded to leave in his hospital gown. It was raining and twenty-four degrees outside. He got his hot toddy, but also got pneumonia and passed away about a week later. Everything comes to an end. Even this tale of Uncle Jim and T-bone, but I believe that humor might live on forever. Let’s at least hope so.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/evanescent/”>Evanescent</a&gt;

via Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Who am I?

Matthew 16:13-19
New International Version (NIV)

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”


Webster’s dictionary defines “impression” as: a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence. We typically think about the impression someone or something makes on us. It can be either good or bad. We have “first” impressions. We have “lasting” impressions. Sometimes we are not “impressed” at all. What is it that impresses us about someone? In the world today, more often than not, it is what someone looks like. Studies have shown that someone who is attractive by the world’s standards is more likely to be hired by a business and is usually paid higher wages. What else can impress us? Are they powerful? Are they smart? Are they evil? Are they whatever?

“Whatever” is the question. What do we judge by? We all judge by a lifetime of influences. When we meet someone for the first time we naturally look at them through the myriad of lenses that we have developed over our lifetime. “He just looks evil.” “She just seems so kind.” “They appear to be so in love.”

We must do our best to judge rightly in all of our decisions. We do have to call upon all that we know and we should, but we should not allow our “impressions” to cause us to jump to conclusions.

Who will you say that people are today? Who will they think you are? Who will you really be?


Father,

Grant us knowledge, wisdom, and discretion. Help us to know the truth of someone, to be wise about our decisions, and strong enough to make to the right decision no matter what the world might think. Help us lead lives that make a lasting impression on this world and on Your kingdom.

In the name of the Messiah.

Amen.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/impression/”>Impression</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Impression

Who Do You Know?

Isaiah 61:1-3
New International Version (NIV)

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.


My wife and I have been watching the television show, The Voice, this year. There are some amazingly talented singers of all ages. Some have been as young as thirteen. “When I was thirteen I think I might have been able to do something worthwhile, but I’m not sure.” Tonight is the finale and one of the four remaining contestants will be catapulted into a new and glamorous lifestyle. Millions of people clamoring to see and hear them, and if they manage their money and fame well enough, they will be rich and famous for the rest of their life. And all this fortune and fame is due in large part to the exposure they have been given by this show. There was one young girl who had over 60,000 viewers on her YouTube channel when she came on the show, but even after being eliminated, her viewership went into the millions. Like the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”.

Who do you know today, whose favor will lift you up to a life you’ve never dreamed of?


Father,

You stand at the doorway of our lives and wait to enter in and bless each and every one of us with the life abundant. Let us hear Your knock and welcome You in. Let us prepare our hearts and minds so that we will be fertile ground for Your master plan. It is a plan to bless us, to protect us, and to heal us. Your favor opens every door of opportunity and closes every avenue of despair. May we all be wise enough to choose life…to choose You.

Thank You, Lord for every good thing.

Amen.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/catapult/”>Catapult</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Catapult