Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Favor with God

Mary must have had a great love for God's Word and a great respect for God's work. She was looking for Messiah to come and deliver the Jews from the Romans as much as any other Jew.

I'm sure God's reasons for selecting her to carry His Son were many, but the one the angel gave her was that she found favor with God.

Was it that she was pure and loved the Most High God with all her heart, soul and mind? Was she astute, wise beyond her young years, always looking for God's presence in life around her? I expect she hungered for righteousness and regularly found God's filling.

When Gabriel informed her of the holy pregnancy and gave instructions in naming the Son of the Most High, Mary wondered at the impossibility of the assignment. Gabriel proceeded to give her some general information then reminded her that "Nothing is impossible with God."

She would have known about the impossible crossing of the Red Sea on dry land; God's provision of manna in the desert; the commandments that sprung out of God's covenant love for His people. She knew the Lord was capable of pulling off the impossible and often did so using humans who obeyed God's instructions.

So, beyond the first greeting, after which Gabriel told her not to be afraid, there is no hint that Mary started worrying. Though she was young, I'm sure she was no fool. She trusted God to take care of the details. She would have been well aware that this role would be demanding, that the village gossips would have a heyday with her growing belly. She didn't know yet about the sword that would pierce her side, and the horror God's Son would face, but God chose her because she would trust Him implicitly.

What she did know was she had found favor with God and she wanted to give everything she had to do His will.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." (See Luke 1:38, NIV.)

For Your Consideration:

What might give you favor with God?

What does the Most High treasure about your availability?

Can you wholeheartedly say, I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said?

May we enjoy the blessings of walking in full surrender to the Lord's will for our lives this Christmas and in the coming year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Treasure in Clay

But we have these treasures in jars of clay to show the all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV).

My demitasse decorated with oranges and blues and highlighted in gold had once been mere dirt, molded, painted and fired specifically to hold Turkish coffee. After I drank my coffee this morning, I noticed the cup had a hairline fracture. It held the coffee just fine, but an almost invisible line reminded me I had dropped it in the sink yesterday.

Though I enjoy these pretty cups, my most important reason for holding, washing, and trying to keep them safe is to enjoy my coffee. Coffee with Scripture. Coffee with my husband or with other loved ones. It's the coffee that's important to me!

Like the clay pots in this verse, we were designed by God to hold amazing treasure. We've been hit by life: divorce, financial shortfalls, wayward children, health surprises, untimely death. The fracture lines they bring are actually occasions for us to discover God's amazing power. No other power is more powerful, even though we might reel with pain. God's Spirit, present and more powerful, transforms each trauma if we let Him. What we thought would have killed us, made us better.

Because the presence of Jesus Christ transforms each trauma, we can still carry the rich tasting, robust smell of God's power. We could have been thrown away or set on a back shelf, but the One who has the power to transform works in us, revealing more and more of God's glorious power.

That's clearly not our own doing.

For Your Consideration

Read and meditate on 2 Corinthians 4:6-9.

How have you found God's power greater than your traumas, helping you heal?

What helps you experience  Christ's transforming presence when life gives you a jolt? What keeps God's presence at bay at such times?

Will you rejoice in God's desire to indwell you, His treasured vessel?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Alice: Sharing New Life

"Did you see that lady?" my sister-in-law asked as the slim, gray haired woman went through the food line?

I asked to be excused from my volunteer work at the church's food booth. Business was slow and I was intrigued when I heard how she had spent her day.

Offering to take her food to her table, I introduced myself. I shared my admiration that she would spend a hot day at the county fair handing out pieces of Good News at the Gideon booth.
Alice's face lit up when I asked why she chose to do that.

She had been raised in Boston by parents who were caught up in the social scene. Her unitarian father thought Jesus was an illegitimate man, and her main faith input was a grandmother who read her Psalms and prayed for her. Before age 30, she had 3 active children, a husband who was often absent with work, and many socialite friends--all of whom were not enough to stifle the nagging suspicion that there was more to life.

That is, until she met Lois.

Lois had rediscovered her Christian upbringing in a way that was exciting and vital. After their children were in bed, they would talk by phone and Lois would share scriptures with Alice. At first, she was offended to hear that she (along with everyone else) was a sinner. But later she discovered and treasured Ephesians 2:8-9. No matter how hard she tried to be a good person, it wouldn't be enough. God had a better way, and He'd already opened the door for her to have true life.

In a Bible Study, honest discussion watered and sprouted Alice's faith. Years passed as her faith grew tall and her relationship with God changed from vague and intellectualized to robust and vibrant.
At first, her husband thought she was crazy, but her new serenity intrigued him. He, too, eventually came to accept Christ's invitation to a transformed life.

Widowed now, with grown children who had themselves discovered new life through Christ, it was Alice's joy to share the treasure she had found. Though stamina and social networks had changed, God's love was just as relevant. As she shared her story, her brown eyes sparkled with life.
Those tracts were maps so others could discover it too.

Monday, May 6, 2013

No More Apathy

Do you remember the last time you purchased a Bible? If you live in the west, you probably perused the bookstores and the internet, asked your friends which study Bible they preferred, prayed over your decision, thumbed through the pages, and finally purchased the one you chose.

We take that process for granted. We western Christ followers still have easy access to the best seller in the world. But its life giving words are not so easily accessible to many--including those hated for following Jesus.

Sadly, in our politically correct world, we've backed off sharing life-giving words because of fear of offense. Or some other hurdle. All the while this treasure sits in our homes (sometimes in our hearts), begging to be released to accomplish God's purpose to bless many.

Easy access has borne apathy.

We have a different sense of urgency when we have five Bibles on our shelves as opposed to a smuggled sheet torn from one Bible shared among underground Christ followers.

Instead of apathy, let's ask God for a renewed urgency to share the difference Christ makes.

God says NOW. Now is the time of God's favor. Now is the day of salvation. (See 2 Corinthians 6:2)


Read 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 in its larger context.

What is the day of salvation? How are you involved?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Truth and Consequence

My people will be destroyed, because they have no knowledge. (Hosea 4:6, NCV)

These are not the people in my story
Before Pope Francis was selected, I watched a TV interviewer ask people on the street their opinions about the new pope.

I was amazed at the ease in which people pontificated about the yet unelected pope. When asked followup questions, they spoke into the roving mike with ease and confidence.

But they were deluded. They spoke glibly with no understanding. There was no new pope--yet.

I hate to admit ignorance. I'm sure they did too. Or perhaps, they didn't even know they were ignorant!

Whatever the cause, their actions challenged me to take another look at myself.

Is it more important to make a good impression or to speak the truth? Is it more important to take another person's opinion as valid or do the hard work of digging for the facts?


Read Habbakuk 2:6 in context.

Is there an area in your life in which you might need information? 
Would you be willing to search the scriptures while asking the Author of Truth to inform, instruct and give you wisdom?
What other other sources might you need to research?
What action will you take?

Out of the Saltshaker

God's Spirit was with us as we took a personal look at "Being Transformed through Sharing Faith" last Saturday.

I highly recommend Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World by Rebecca Manley Pippert. It is an extremely practical gift to help you face and overcome your fears. Full of practical examples, you will observe many possibilities and explore how you can grow in confidence in sharing the Good News you've found. It also has questions for group study in the appendix--another practical tool.
Thank you to readers who prayed for us that day. We will discover one day how those prayers impacted eternity.

I never lead a retreat or speak unless I've asked a group of people to pray for me, because when we pray according to God's will, I KNOW He hears us. And, since that's the case, I know He greatly blessed those women with a refreshed urgency to share God-words, marrying them with the good deeds.

I also want to lift up Ed Silvoso's Prayer Evangelism as another great tool. The reminder is that we pray and become sensitive to God's holy nudgings before we say anything. Talk to God about your neighbors before you talk to your neighbors about God!

There are many good tools available. There's a resurgence of interest--finally--in obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). It's time. It's past time, yet the Lord is patient. Let's not waste His favor.


Read 2 Cor 5:11-21 and listen for the Spirit's alerts. What do you discern?

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God (verse 20).

What is Christ's appeal through you?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Transformed Through Sharing Faith - Women's Seminar

Women's Seminar- Saturday, April 27th, 9 am to 3 pm.

Poor examples and distorted expectations often undermine our confidence in sharing our faith. "Transformed Through Faith Sharing" will examine the Great Commission, the role of the Spirit's enablement, and common fears.

Besides spiritual and emotional refreshment, you will leave with practical ways to overcome your identified fears and share your faith.

This women's seminar will be held at Cross-Wind United Methodist, 616 N State Road 25, Logansport, Indiana on Saturday, April 27th, 9 am to 3 pm.

Your registration of $39 includes a healthy and delicious lunch catered by Rob & Angie McMinn. We invite you to get a group of friends and come sharpen your skill as a disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of your world!

Groups of 5 or more pay $29 each if registered together and prepaid by April 20th.

Please send your name, address/email, phone, church affiliation, and checks payable to Paula Gast, 5801 Trinity Road, Muncie, IN 47304. For groups, please send in one envelope with info for each person. Thank you.

 Please contact Paula Gast through if you have further questions.


The Morning After

My only regret yesterday was that I ate too much desert.

But I was with family, and we laughed around the table. Earlier, my pastor reminded me about the overcoming Christ who gave His life blood for me and the rest of humankind.

For me, He died; for me, He lives!

In a time of increasing skepticism and biblical ignorance, I get to view the story of the resurrection with fresh eyes. I can ask the Lord to disturb the numbing that can come with familiarity or ignorance.

Lord Jesus, my Savior, deliver me from dullness of heart or imagination. Infuse faith into familiarity and give me joy from freshly discovering the power of Your cross and resurrection.

My best words lack the eloquence Your eternal gift evokes. Build on our recent celebrations of Your resurrection and live on in us with resurrection power.


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, NIV)

With your Easter celebration still fresh in your mind, take a look at your life and the mind scrambling evidence of Christ's resurrection.

So what?

Monday, March 25, 2013


The evening news described airport delays and car accidents as folk weathered the latest snowstorm. While people complain "It's supposed to be spring," the truth is that we need water, and especially after a dry summer.

One snowflake or drop of rain seems inconsequential, but en masse, it delivers water to replenish earth's crops. A torrent can disrupt life, carve river beds, and help bring fruit. A steady supply can seep deep into the soil and prepare it to help produce a harvest.

Isaiah says God's Word is like that.

Just as our Creator sends snow and rain to water the earth and provide seed and bread, so He sends the Word. Like rain, it waters our souls. Like snow it blankets us with truth. If we will let the Word soak into the deep places of our lives, it will do the hidden work of causing seed to grow and bringing spiritual food to make us strong.

That's a lot of power falling.

Makes me want to spread wide my arms and let the Word settle on my tongue and slip down into my thirsty heart.


As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth ... so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It ... will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)
Reflect on your life. Can you see a connection between the power of God's Word and fruitfulness?
How have the scriptures carved a river bed in your heart?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cupped Ear

"Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard" (Daniel 10:12, NIV).

Hard times alert us to turn to God.

When circumstances weigh on our emotions like an elephant on a potato, we become excruciatingly aware that we need help. We search for understanding. A potato is no match for an elephant.

It takes humility to agree that the situation is beyond our capacity to conquer. But as we come to the One who humbled Himself to serve us (Philippians 2:6-8), we look into eyes of wisdom and hear His comforting word: He has heard us. Humility and tenacity put us in touch with the Savior. They provide answers from God's eternal perspective.

God is listening for our call. In fact, like the prodigal father (Luke 15:17-20), God is waiting for us to come to Him for help. His ear is cupped in our direction.

As we humble ourselves and search for understanding, God sends His messengers to our aid.

Even if we don't see them right away.


Do you have a hard time asking God for help? What gets in the way of humbling yourself before God or searching out His perspective on a matter?

You may be experiencing a delay in hearing God's answer. Read Daniel 10-12 and search for insight to your situation.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Every day Christ calls us to come to His table.

We no longer have to scramble for food. It has been provided. We just have to wash our hands and hearts with the power of God's Word and come to Love's lavish spread. The more we thoughtfully read, meditate, and pray the scriptures is the more our ears get tuned to the Creator's frequencies. We hear His invitation to come, sit, and eat with Him and be satisfied.

Other tables entice us. They draw eye and taste buds, but the fare makes us sluggish.  A steady diet of glazed strawberries on cheese cake (while tempting) do not deliver the nourishment we were designed to have. Also, poor eating habits--if we don't eat enough, eat healthily, or on time--can lead to sickness. A diet of sugars, refined products, and deserts drains energy and lures us away from  life giving food. When we let schedule or stress push God's nourishment aside, we chose a level of dis-ease and dis-satisfaction.

So we choose what will satisfy.

Facing Wisdom across the table, we smile and exhale the deep satisfaction God called us to experience.


Using the Lectio Divina, read Isaiah 55: 1-3 slowly and thoughtfully.
After a second reading, take time to reflect on the image or phrase the Holy Spirit gives.
On the third reading, prayerfully respond to God's nudgings.
Lastly, reread the Scripture and lean back to rest, satisfied with your Lord's nourishment.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Upsetting Your Normal

You remember the story, don't you? Jesus had just ordered a legion of demons out of a tormented man after they'd greeted Jesus with a plea to not torment them.

When Jesus was done with them, a large herd of pigs was drowned and the once naked man was clothed. Torment and terror had been exorcised, replaced by peace and clarity.

The villagers came en masse to see for themselves. They found the crazy man sitting at Jesus' feet: calm, thinking straight, hanging on Jesus' every word. He drank in Jesus' healing presence and wished he could stay with Him forever.

The villagers and demoniac had exchanged places: the man now calm at Jesus' feet, the villagers terrified asking Jesus to leave.

Some had tried to clothe and chain "Legion." They had failed, trumped by unearthly terror and violence. Jesus, above all powers, encountered him and brought restoration.
Photo from PhilosophyGeek
You'd think the villagers would have wanted Him around. Instead, they were scared. While Jesus had done the impossible, He cost the pig farmers their livelihood. And He had upset their normal.

Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. (Luke 8:37, NIV)

Unexamined fear slammed shut the door of their hearts. What would Jesus do to them? Would His interventions bring further loss? Discomfort? Changes in their routine?

So [Jesus] got into the boat and left.

Read Luke 8:26-39.

Consider how fear of the unknown might chain you away from Jesus' restoration.

What might be Jesus' motivation in drawing close and upsetting your "normal?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest Blog--Insights in the Dark

One of our daughters shared this experience with me and kindly agreed to share it with you also. Thanks, Charissa.

It's 4 a.m. and I am wide awake. My alarm certainly didn't go off, and I didn't get to bed till 1:30 a.m.. I lay in bed for a half hour hoping to fall asleep. My day is full--I know I need rest, but it makes no difference. So I get up and go to my desk to get some work done for the day.

It's now after 5 a.m. and yoga seems like a good idea. If I can't sleep, I might as well relax and stretch out my body from the craziness of the week. It's only 5:30 now. What to do?

I get a sudden urge to go down to the beach, so I peer out my window and see a quiet sky lit only by stars. The urge is so strong I don’t question, just change my clothes and grab my phone.

No one in the elevator, no one in the lobby, not even in the gym I pass by. I get to the stairs that lead down to the ocean. I stop and wonder, What am I doing? It's 5:45 in the morning--not a soul out, it's pitch black, and here I am going down to the beach by myself.

What if there are scary men down there? I feel a quiet check in my spirit saying what I’m doing is right, so I proceed down stairs I can barely see.

It is beautiful and creepy stepping into the sand. Not a person in sight, the little I can see is directly in front of me. The stars in the sky envelop me and the sound of the waves crash around me. I stumble upon some chairs near the stairs, so I decide to sit in what seems like a safe place.

I look up admiring the stars and the moon, thanking God for the beauty he has put on display for us. I close my eyes and breathe in the fresh salt air, thankful that God has worked healing into nature for mind, body and soul.

I open my eyes. There is a dark moving object on the shoreline. With each wave crashing, it takes new shape. Is this an animal coming out of the ocean? Will it harm me? Will it kill me? Should I be afraid? Realizing I shouldn't have watched those videos of killer whales surfacing on the shore to kill their prey then return to the water, I begin to feel fear release from my body. At a tender rebuke from my Creator, I close my eyes, focus and meditate on God, and breathe calmly again … even though I occasionally open my eyes to confirm there is no killer whale coming out of the ocean to harm me.

With eyes opened and focused on what is most likely a rock, I become aware of how fear separates me from the sweet connection I have with God when I focus solely on him.

I wonder: of what else am I afraid?

What if a man is going to walk up towards me, realize I am alone and harm me?
What if the company I so love working for has to close their doors and I am out of a job?
What if the house I am in now sells before I can find something else? Will I even be able to find a place I can afford?
Will I ever meet a Christian man I want to marry?

The waves continue to crash around me, but calm has come. God is replacing fear with truth.

The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?

Fear and trust don't work together. I will focus on what I can't quite see, or what I can't see at all. Gazing up at the stars and the moon that is taking on more light from the rising sun, I choose to trust.


Read Psalm 27 and Luke 12:22-43.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze up on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27: 4).

David had reason to doubt and fear. Evil was planted at his door, but he made the choice to live in trust, not fear: to seek, dwell, gaze and seek some more.

What are the things that breed fear in your life?
How can you actively shift your gaze from the things you fear to God who is good, strong and our salvation?
What does it mean to seek, dwell, gaze and seek some more?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Come and Listen

It's one thing to come, another to listen.

Sometimes we dress up for God's banquet but we're distracted by demands clamoring in the background. We look and smell good, we think, but procrastination or disobedience smear our shoes and untie our laces so that the threat of tripping keeps us occupied with ourselves.

God's longing is not merely that we come to Him, but that we listen and apply His insights.

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare (Isaiah 55:2b, NIV).

Our attention to Jesus' invitation becomes our invitation that He nourish us and fill us with joy. We put aside foods that bloat and fatten. At His table, we relish grace's provisions, no longer distracted by empty calories. We bow in holy delight, the reward of saying yes to Jesus' call to come and eat His food.

Isaiah calls these full and amazing plates of food the richest of fare. Nothing frugal about it. The King's food nourishes. It calls eyes and taste buds to enjoyment. Jesus' food and drink satisfy with goodness like nothing else can.  

What takes the lion's share of your attention?

Is God's Spirit calling you to listen to a new perspective on your activity that will help your soul delight more fully at His table?

Monday, February 11, 2013


Years ago I stumbled on Picasso's Frugal Repast. The gaunt lines and hollow emotions pulled me into their plight although I myself had never experienced deep physical hunger.

Not long after, the Holy Spirit showed me His art work in Isaiah 55. In contrast to empty plates and bellies, empty calories and frustration, Isaiah pointed to wine, milk and satisfying bread at God's table.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; ...
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy? (Isaiah 55:1-2, NIV)

The One who said He'd give living water freely (John 7:37-39; Revelation 22:17), Who said we need not thirst again if we drank from Him (John 4:13-14), welcomes us to His table with open arms.

Thirsty from spinning endlessly on our hamster wheel, we can stop our unproductive activity and go to Him. He freely offers water, wine, wheat, and oil. Broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cakes are all on the table.

There, He provides nourishment for weary, sad souls. He knows we are unable to meet our needs without His intervention.

Jesus Christ has spread a lavish table at great cost. He stands at the corners of our life calling out, Come, you who are thirsty!


Do you hear Jesus' call to you, "Come?" What might He be calling you to leave, to exchange for greater satisfaction?

What food is He offering you today?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Treasure Hunt

I was hunting for a verse in Psalm 119 before going to the book of Colossians. My Bible opened to Daniel where an underlined sentence grabbed my attention.
There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries (Daniel 2:28, NIV).
I refreshed my memory with the context. Daniel and his friends desperately needed divine intervention so they could discern and interpret the king's dream and save their lives.
When I read Psalm 119:18, Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law, it was as if Daniel’s God, the Revealer of Mysteries, shone His spotlight on the page. So, I released a fresh breath of anticipation as I headed to Colossians.

"Mystery" was my next clue on this treasure hunt. Very aware of the mysteries ahead in our transition of housing and job, I searched for more clues in Colossians.

Historically, God revealed mystery through His law. Then as Christ revealed Himself, His followers discovered that He—Himself--is God's mystery revealed! Christ in us, the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:26-27.)

The Revealer of Mysteries will make His ways known. The Lord of Daniel, David, and Paul does not change. He revealed dreams, battle strategies, presentations, and navigational routes.
Christ in us still reveals mysteries. As we search out His ways, He leads us to amazing treasure. Each spotlights breathtaking discovery: Christ in us, the hope of glory.


 How does God reveal Himself to you through "Christ in you, the hope of glory?"


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dragon Slayer

Elizabeth Mitchell has a way with words: God has a way with her heart.

In her most recent post, she beautifully describes our inner struggles and the process of inviting God's truth and peace into those vulnerable places. It's well written and worth your time.


If you've ever planted a garden, you know the joy of watching the flower turn to fruit. You powder your plant with insect killer and pull the inevitable weeds. When you enjoy and share your fresh zucchini or beans, you experience the satisfaction that only a gardener knows.

As fruit bearers because of Christ's life in us, we can also bring our Gardener much pleasure (John 15). Productivity reflects well on God's care and nourishment. His sap in us is life giving. Christ in me (Colossians 1:27). Christ interested in me. Christ intent on revealing His ways so I can obey and benefit.

As I act on what He reveals, I can be confident of remaining in His love and producing fruit of His planting. I will develop a heightened sense of His life in my mind, body and spirit, and the mature fruit I bear will speak well of the Gardener, my Creator.

Inevitably, God shares His fruit through me with others. They too can discover the love I have found in Christ.


Today, I invite you to slowly read these verses. Then listen for God's revelations as you meditate.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.... 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other (John 15:8-11,16-17).

I encourage you to jot down what you discern.

As you bear the fruit of Christ-in-you, may you realize the joy you bring your heavenly Gardener. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Delightful Discoveries

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NIV '84).

As I meditate on that verse, some questions arise:

           How do I delight in the Lord? What helps me be intentional about it?
           What do I discover about God's character as I do so?

This is a 'when-then' verse. When I make the Lord my joy--enjoy conversation with Him, notice and appreciate His gifts, count on His help--then He fulfills my longings.

This verse runs like a deep river. The light sparkling on the surface invites us to experience its depth. We may swim well, but it is wise to put on the safety jacket of the Holy Spirit's guidance as we jump in. Strength, wisdom and joy of being a part of something stronger than ourselves will bring delight.

We can't experience the strength and exhilaration of the river until we are willing to immerse our weakness in its strength. Regular immersion in God's river will strengthen our muscles, defog our minds, and fill us with joy ... scare us too sometimes. We don't get past debris by passively floating. We must actively read the water, think carefully, and exercise faith. Whether or not our adrenaline runs high, our Creator uses all opportunities for us to experience Him.

Often, after an arduous stint, the bend reveals new delights.


After meditating on Psalm 37 and especially verse 4, how would you answer the questions above?

What aspect of delighting in the Lord has brought you joy?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Clarify Goals

Blogging gurus have great advice: blog often, invite others to participate, blow your own horn, and get involved in other social media. I watch others do it, but I don't want to jump into that circus. I don't know that it's just because I'm an old dog. I think fuzzy motivation makes for fuzzy performance.

So, I'm asking my Lord Jesus to help me clarify my goals--including the goal of this blog.

Sure, I want to blog to God's glory (Colossians 3:17). But I have to discern a narrower focus. So I am currently praying for clarity and confirmation.

As God's friends, He trusts us to bring His presence to others using the gifts and opportunities He gives. To participate fully, we get to co-operate in goal setting and execution.

When it's hard to find time or be disciplined, we may have to clarify or refocus on our goal. We can ask help from friends and the best Friend of all. Our Jesus kept His eye on the joy of finishing His God-given task (Hebrews 12:1-3).

To help me in this process, would you let me know:
  1. What topics interest you?
  2. What challenges you face?
  3. What would make this better?

I will treasure your answers. And your prayers. Thank you. 


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2, NIV '84).

How does riveting your eyes on Jesus Christ help your motivation? What did He do regarding His mission that you might imitate?