Sunday, September 8, 2013

Scripture Sunday 9.8.13

 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here.
So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes,
and put on the shining armor of right living.
~Romans 13:12, NLT~
    Thank you that we have a savior in a dark world. Thank you that we have a hope. Thank you that you give each of us 'a day of salvation'. I pray for those who have yet to experience their day of salvation...I ask in advance that you would soften their their eyes that they can see You clearly and realize their need for You...unplug their ears that they might hear Your wooing voice calling them. In advance I ask, Holy Spirit, that you would surround this person with Your presence at the moment when they face the most important decision of their accept Jesus' salvation.
Whoever you are...wherever you are in this vast world...know there is hope and a future for you. Remove your dark deeds, lay down your old ways, humbly at the feet of Jesus and He will cloth you in shining armor and clothes of righteousness. We all have a point in our lives when we can make that choice...I pray when your day of salvation comes, that you have the strength and humility to make the choice to accept it.
The night is fading...salvation is coming.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Scripture Sunday 9.1.13

But Lord, be merciful to us,
for we have waited for you.
Be our strong arm each day
and our salvation in times of trouble.
~Isaiah 33:2, NLT~
    We have waited on You...our hope and trust lie with You and Your promises. Be merciful to us in these times... times when it is hard to wait without seeing the fruits of our labor, or the things which our heart longs for. Be our strong arm each day...fight for us...wrestle with us against the forces that would seek to steal away that which we are waiting for...working for...trusting for. When trouble comes and difficulties assail us, be our salvation...preserve us and the dreams You have placed in our hearts...redeem what has been tampered with...deliver us. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scripture Sunday, 8-25-13

Pray for all people.
Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
~1 Timothy 2:1, NLT~
I love the NLT translation of this verse. I keep coming back to it because it touches my heart and reminds me to think outside of myself.
   Thank you for making a world full of diverse and beautiful people...various cultures...unique communities...and one of a kind individuals. Each nation, culture, and person brings something needed and beautiful to the table of world. Thank you for showcasing your creativity and different ways of approaching life through your creatures. Lord, I pray that the peoples of the earth would see Your face and be awakened to Your forgiveness and love for them. We cannot end wars, hunger and pain...but You can bring peace to the war that rages in their hearts, the hunger in their lonely souls and peace to the wounds of their spirits. Help them to see their need for You and the hand of forgiveness  You have already extended to them. Thank you that Your promises are for all people.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Scripture Sunday, 8-18-13

Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
~ Proverbs 4:26-27~ NLT


      Thank you that You have given me the tools to mark out a straight path for my feet...give me the strength to walk over the ups and down on this road, and the grace to stick with it. Guide me as I mark my lines through life, direct my efforts, steady my hand. Help me see through the fog of distractions Your face, Your me hear through the clamoring voices Your peaceful invitation and wooing tones. Thank you that your always with me, give me eyes to see more clearly that path You've laid for me.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Scripture Sunday, 8-11-13

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: 
Look! I am going to put breath into you 
and make you live again!

~ Ezekiel 37:5~  NLT


   Your breath brought me to life in the beginning, and it sustains me now. Breath a fresh wind over me, bring new life...hope...dreams. Revive what the enemy has withered and stamped out. Breathe Your breath into my existence and aspirations...not anything I can conjure up, but only that which comes from You. Make me live again!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Healing Resentment, Envisioning Grace

"When things don't go your way, accept the situation immediately. If you indulge in feelings of regret, they can easily spill over into...resentment. .... Remember I am Sovereign over all your circumstances...and humble yourself under My Mighty Hand."
-Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, May 22nd reading

I usually pride myself on my ability to see and visualize potential in a person, project, room, etc. To see what a thing can be...could be, is indeed a blessing...but can too quickly lead to pride and disappointment.

This excerpt from Jesus Calling hit me hard because it poked at a soar spot I have been struggling with...resentment.

Because I can envision what a thing or a person could or should be, I can get so fixed on that image, that I come to resent what is actually before me. I can't accept what I actually see and have because I know it could be better.

When I get transfixed on perfection, improvement and constantly visualize a better version of something, I am actually doing a number of negative things.

1. Lift myself up in pride, declaring I know best. When we look at a person or a thing and instantly chalk up a list of criticisms and improvements, we are functioning out of pride. Pride says, "I am better...others always have flaws...I can pick them out and see what needs changing." That is the opposite of love. Love overlooks an offense (Prov. 17:9), it is kind, does not boast, is not proud or rude (1 Cor. 13:4-5).

Our pride however can lead to...

2. Trying to take control myself. Do you remember the story of Sarai (Sarah), wife of Abram (Abraham- their names had not yet been changed at this point)? She saw a situation...her husband, with no heir...her womb with no child, and thought she had a solution. She had become disappointed with God and his timing, she looked and thought she saw a way to get things done. And she made it happen. In the end it caused heart ache and discord.

3. Essentially make an idol out of my ideals.  By putting so much importance on our 'perfect versions' and ideal people, we are actually making that/them a sort of idol. They distract us from God and absorb our energies. We lift up that image believing it is the best...that when we have reached its realization, then, then we will be happy.

Can you imagine if God responded the way I do? If He looked at things through my eyes?

Just imagine the perspective God has on life and the realm of possibilities He sees.

 God is the only one who will ever see all of our potential...what we could have been like had sin not gotten to us first...and it far surpasses the 'ideal version' we can ever conjure up for ourselves.

What if, when He looked at us, He resented and despised us because of how inferior we are to His perfect model? No matter what we did, it would never be good enough because His good enough is so vastly beyond what we could ever attain.

What if He saw us like that?

And He could, you know...if it weren't for grace.

Because of grace...
when God looks at us, He sees us through the Blood of Jesus...
covered in His promises, blessings, righteousness, and authority.

Time doesn't separate His perception of us...He sees our past, present and future-self all rolled up into one...He sees what will be like once we have completed this life and stand without all the junk of the world on

When God looks at me, He extends forgiveness towards me. He doesn't bring up my faults and failures to shame me or try to force me to change and improve.

When God looks at me, He extends love towards me. Gently, carefully, He molds and refines me. Imagine if He acted out of pride, He would tackle all of our faults and sins at once, and that would be too much to bear at one time.

Through the eyes of grace and love, God sees me.

Now I need to do the same when I look at others.

"Remember that I am Sovereign."

I am a little I person, He is a big God.

"Humble yourself before My Mighty Power."

His power working in others and in me is what makes change possible.

Be humble enough to extend grace and forgiveness, and humble enough to let God take care of it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

After Much Deliberation

I'm back.

If any of my previous readers and viewers are still here, "hi" to you.

Yes, I fell off the face of the earth for a while, but I climbed my way back up and I want to write again.

As you can see, 'Streams' has had a face lift. I was never really satisfied before, and if you have been peaking in the last month or two, you will have seen all my many tinkerings to this blog.

I wanted to create a space that was calming, simple and inviting. I don't know if I quite got it yet, but I think I'm mostly satisfied and I plan to leave things 'as is' and focus now on writing.

So I guess you could say this is the official re-opening of 'Streams'. I hope to move forward from here and really settle in.

See you around?

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's All In the Timing

"Hey, I just killed a snake."

These were the words I heard from my 14-year old brother. He had been mowing the lawn, and I was sitting beside Mrs. P in her comfortable, town house garage.


If there is one word that sends tremors through my heart, you just read it. I firmly believe in the verse that says we shall 'crush' the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15), and I have no spiritual dilemma following it through!

Now it doesn't take a geographer or zoologist to know there are lots of snakes here in Texas. In fact, when you hear 'Texas' what picture comes to mind? Rolling desert, robust cacti, roaming cowboys maybe? And, more likely than not, you thought rattle snakes.  Well, you are not too far off.

One would think, or at least the one writing this story, that rattlesnakes would stay far away from any humanized, motorized, form of settled civilization. But apparently, when it comes to snakes, they must be as dumb as they are ugly.

On a bright, beautiful, beaming suburban morning, my little brother Anthony came upon our unwelcome guest, not but four yards away from the house, coiled comfortable under the shade of Mrs. P's well watered pear tree.

Unknowingly my brother had walked right past Mrs. Snake as he mowed one length of grass and didn't notice him until his return trip when the snake was right in front of the mower. The perfect place I would say, because Anthony did what any snake-fearing person would do...he mowed right over it and chopped it to bits.

At the time, Anthony didn't actually realize it was a rattler. It wasn't until after his 'I killed a snake' declaration at which I time I followed him to the scene of the crime, that we made the discovery. While picking up the pieces, we had about decided it had been a harmless snake when I spotted a tail piece we had missed...and there attacked at the end was the infamous rattle.

Now, although I rejoice in the death of any rattlesnake, that isn't the best part of this story. The best part comes in the timing and God's hand in the events that took place before hand.

You see, Anthony had actually been late that morning. He was supposed to have been there hours earlier. But, for some reason, his alarm clock had failed to go off.

Imagine if it had.

At the time he found the snake, according to his earlier schedule, Anthony would most likely have been done and gone.

All the menfolk at my home and those of Mrs. P's sons were out and away during the morning, so there would have been no one to call for help. And I can assure you, I would not have been able to kill a rattle snake by myself.

And what if we had taken our walk later, or Mrs. had taken a walk by herself earlier in the morning before I got there, like she sometimes does? Things could have turned out very differently.

God took care of me and Mrs. P that morning. And hey, He may not have held back the sun, but I think it is pretty special that He held back the alarm.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A New Revelation, A New Creation

Always and whenever I read about being a 'new creation', 'being made new',
and 'being transformed by the renewing of your mind',
I pray and ask God to make it so in my life.
It has been said we never see change taking place in us until it has fully come upon us.
No one knows when being snuck up on that they are about to be surprised until they are overtaken.
I realized as of late that I had been overtaken by my answered prayers.
The suddenness of that realization came upon my mind sharply.
Once again, I found myself reading about  'the new man'.
Once again I wondered if I would ever be so.
Once again I prayed.
But this time, in answer to my "Lord, make me new" I heard without hesitation,
"You are ."
Across my mind flashed a recent conversation I had with a good friend
who had gone through a break-up.
This friend was not a Christian.
As I listened to them share their woes and tell how things had fallen apart- I was dumbstruck.
Completely, utterly, speechless.
Their perspective, their basis upon which they built this entire relationship,
their concepts of material loss or small victories in keeping some item
from their ex's grasp, was so pointedly and 100% opposite and removed from my own.
My views, beliefs, priorities and morals were so utterly dissimilar
that I had no grounds on which to meet this friend.
We were worlds apart.
There was no way of translating my before-planned counsel so they could grasp or
understand some shred of the truths I had wanted to communicate.
 Because my friend didn't even know the phonetics, if you will,
the very basics of Christian morals and principals, there was simply no way.
Yes, we were indeed of different worlds, speaking different languages.
As recollection of this experience washed over my memory,
bringing afresh a small, concentrated dose of the emotions felt from it,
reality struck me.
"You are are a new man."
I was so entirely different in my approach to life and its issues,
my convictions and beliefs so stirringly, strikingly opposed,
the very workings and reasonings of my thoughts, emotions and responses
were on the other end of the pendulum in comparison to my friend's.
In fact they are not those of an 'ordinary' person, a person of this world.
A way of thinking, feeling, seeing and interpreting life's events
had gotten ahold of me that was not 'normal',
was not like other 'men' around me.
I was like an alien operating on a strange planet, under a different set of 'kingdom rules'.
I was like...
a new man.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Thought

God allows each man some vice or shortsighted vision
 of His truth in one area or another
simply so we as humans won't lift them up higher than we ought
 and make a 'christ' out of them.
No one sees all truth.
Truth is God, and it is impossible to see all of God in our human form.
All of His glory is too much to take in all at once- so it truth.