Friday, October 30, 2009

Pursue Love

Love. That's it. That's the point--the bottom line, the test of soul, the motivating factor. If we are not loving others, then we are missing it. We miss the entire summation of God's Word. Love.

True love--love that rises above emotion and seeks the good of another--is an act of the will. It is a choice. It is a command. It can be "known only from the actions it prompts" (taken from Strong's definition). It moves. It does. It is expressed. Feelings often follow.

The greatest example of love is seen in the "work" of Christ. He came to die--not only for His own, but for those who rejected Him, hated Him, and murdered Him. He died out of love. He gave Himself because He submitted to the love of the Father. This is love.

And it cannot be conjured from our flesh. This kind of love--love that crucifies self and sacrifices for others--can only be made manifest by the power of God. This kind of love is from God. It is God. We cannot do it on our own. "Father, love through me--my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, even those that betray me, hurt me, use me, and neglect me. Only by the power of Your might."

We learn that our love towards God and others is the evidence that we are Christ's disciples. So would others know who you and I follow by our love?

"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous; love is not boastful, it is not arrogant; it is not rude, not selfish, not resentful; it does not think evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...Pursue love." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 14:1)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keeping Watch

Day...who knows. My early ambitions for documenting all of the insights God granted during my study of Revelation have fizzled to a few sporadic writings. But today, as we had our final Wednesday morning study, I found myself so inspired--so fired up--from the Revelation prophecy. Here are three closing comments that I hope stay impressed upon me:

  1. God's Word can be fully trusted.

    Some may say it is outdated. Some may question its validity. But His Word, graciously given to us--His creation--is profitable, piercing, and powerful. His promises will come to pass. His instruction is an anchor regardless of feeling.

  2. Jesus Christ will come again.

    God the Father--out of His immense love for us--sent His Son to be the sacrifice for the sins of mankind. And as hundreds of eyewitnesses attested, Jesus was killed on a cross then rose again three days later--defeating death. Who does that?! Who plans such a redemption?! Only God. Jesus then publicly ascended to the Father where He said He was going to prepare a place for those who choose to believe.

    I know it may seem crazy, mind-boggling in its detailed perfection. But if it is true...

    This same Jesus who ascended to the Father will come again to this earth. He will come for His own. He is waiting for the Father to say, "It is time." So what will He find you and I doing this day--fighting the fight of faith or succumbing to the hopelessness of this fleeting world?

  3. God is worthy of continual praise.

    We in our finite minds cannot even fathom His glory. If we could just get a glimpse of His holiness, then our only response would be continual praise. Pray to see Him rightly.

These truths are not just distant ideas that have no effect upon our day. These truths have the potential of completely transforming our days...if we will simply believe. True--the road will be bumpy. But He desires we know Him intimately and trust Him fully every step of this momentary path. I am telling you, nothing else can fulfill that aching in your soul. Nothing.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Broken Cisterns

So I woke up this morning with my mind encircling a portion of a verse from Jeremiah. I love it when that happens--when I wake up and my mind is singing praises or thinking on His Word. It is so much more refreshing than waking up singing a Barney song or stressed about the day. Once I made it downstairs with my hair still standing on end and my eyes still straining from the light, I opened my Bible to the place on which my spirit had been meditating.

Father speak to me. Jeremiah 2:13, "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water." A few comments as He brought them to my heart:
  • He was speaking to His own.
  • His own were capable of doing evil.
  • It is evil to forsake Him.
  • He is the fountain of living water.
  • A fountain is fresh, moving, and alive.
  • The water He gives to quench our thirst brings life to our weary bones.
  • Yet, His own forsake Him.
  • It is evil to make cisterns--an artificial reservoir for water.
  • A cistern is anything we place above God thinking it will fulfill us.
  • But the cisterns we make are broken.
  • They cannot hold water.

His people were experiencing many consequences due to their forsaking. They had become slaves, had been plundered, their land was waste, and they had brought this upon themselves in that they forsook the Lord their God. (2:14-17)

I am not sure why this verse was in my spirit this morning. But for me personally it causes an evaluation of my situation. Am I committing this evil--forsaking the Lord and not reverencing Him? Are any of my own "struggles" of bondage consequences of my own rebellious heart? Something to think about.

If the answer to either of those questions is "yes," then the solution is clear, (1) return to the merciful God who loves you, and (2) acknowledge your transgression before Him. He will then bless and give a beautiful heritage. (see 3:11-18) Thank you, Lord.

Now isn't this much better than Barney.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Hope Secure

This life is but a vapor--a breath. How quickly things can change, money can vanish, and our once "stable" days become unrecognizable. So where is our hope secure? Only in the God whose love is uncontainable and who pursues us with passion.

He first desires to adopt us as His own--a choice of the will He graciously gives to each person who steps on this earth. He then desires that we learn how to walk our journey in the freedom He has for His own--freedom from sin, freedom from despair, freedom from unrest. This "transformation" from bondage to freedom is a process called sanctification. And it is His will that we be sanctified. (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

But to be sanctified often requires pressing--being in situations and states of mind where we are at the end of ourselves, pressed beyond our means, and we have to fully trust in His faithful hands. And all of it hinges on love. He is motivated towards us by His love. He allows everything into the lives of His own out of His love. He is working in us a far greater glory, beyond what this fleeting life can bring. As we begin to grasp His unmeasurable love for us--individually--then we can start to trust His allowances into our brief stay on this planet.

Our minds can be so cluttered--mine can anyway. But if we can learn, by the power of His Spirit, to bring every thought captive to obedience (2 Corinthians 10:5)--bring every thought back to the foundation of His love and work in us--then freedom awaits as a burden light. It is a process. We are in process. But through the process pursue love. (1 Corinthians 14:1) May it increase more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10) May our hope find rest in His perfect love.

For further nourishment: 1 Corinthians 13

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Wallow in Truth

I've got lots of emotions. OK, so I am a woman--multi-dimensional, complex, and (to be honest) hormonal. All of this results in lots of emotions. And I like to feel them all, analyze them all, get to the root of them all--which truthfully makes for a cluttered mind at times. But what are we to do when our emotions do not line up with what God says is truth? They often feel so right--justified. We can defend them, explain them, and believe them. But if they oppose God's Word then they cannot be trusted.

Recently I struggled through some "unfaithful" emotions. And they affected me. They affected my mood and my perspective. I knew in my head that they were not based upon a trust in God's sovereign way--living free of fear, in love, and always forgiving--but they affected me. So what are we to do? We are to stand firm on what His Word declares as truth.

I began preaching to myself and crying out to God, "Lord you have called me to forgive. Help me. I want your love to spill out onto others. Enable me. My emotions have me cast down. Lift me." I acknowledged the emotion and questioned it's foundation. Over and over I declared truth and sought after His wisdom. By His strength I did not revel in the feelings; rather I desired for my emotions to submit to Truth. As I battled for the peace rightly due to God's child, He faithfully spoke to my spirit so clearly.

Sometimes our emotions will not line up with God's Word--but the heart is deceitful. When those days come, we must fight to put our hope in God and not in the unstable ground of feeling. Stand on truth. Keep preaching it to your spirit. Eventually the emotions will bow down.

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God... Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." Psalm 42:1-2a, 11

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Heavy Stuff

There seems to be a disconnect--a disconnect in grasping our spiritual depravity and our gaping need for a Savior. In our culture we as humans tend to think we can do this "life" thing fairly well--at least on the outside. We can make a little money, get a house, have a family, work a job--all the while somewhat disconnected to our true spiritual dilemma. Truth is, when viewed next to the perfectly Holy, righteous, Creator of the universe, we are desperate for His mercy.

I have sporadically been working through the book of Revelation. And the one thing that continues to hit me is the complete "other-than"ness of this sovereign God. He is infinitely beyond our minuscule comprehension. He is absolutely just and abounding in love. By His grace He gives us--His creation--a glimpse of His glory...if we choose to look. And the closer we get to Him--the more defined His character becomes in our being--the more depraved we know ourselves to be.

By His grace, out of His unmeasurable love for you and me, He made a way for us to rightly enter His presence--namely through the sacrifice of Christ. His love for you and me goes beyond the intellect and invades the spirit. He desires for us to know Him intimately. He pursues and prods that we might trust fully in Him. Jesus came to die a substitutionary death for us--enduring a vile ripping on a rugged cross then crushing the power of sin under His feet when He rose again. We no longer have to drink the cup of wrath rightly due to our natural, rebellious selves. By faith in His sacrifice for our own sin we are made new--cleansed.

That is the victory.

Accepting His sacrifice does not mean life will always go as we think it should. But it does mean that we are now called His son or daughter--and He will never forsake His child. He gives peace in the most devastating of storms. He empowers and renews the faintest of hearts. All the while transforming us to the place of freedom through faith.

Just preachin' a little today. Run to Him, friend. He is worthy.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Day at the Store

I think the bag boy at Harris Teeter today may have vowed celibacy after his interaction with my kids. It's not that they were awful, they were just how kids can be. My 2-year-old has discovered that he has an opinion about everything, but he cannot express it well, hence the screaming. Then my 3-year-old could win a gold metal in a whining competition. Use your imagination.

I tried to tell the cashier that I would be fine to walk myself out to the car--I was used to juggling. But they insisted on giving me a hand. I then explained it might take me a minute because I had promised the boys they could sit on the dragon and pick out a balloon--by the way, have you actually heard the Harris Teeter dragon song? It will be stuck in your brain for days. Anyway, in spite of my warnings, the young man stood at attention waiting to push my cart to the car.

The pressure to move quickly was on--and if you have preschoolers you know they have no comprehension of "quick." After about a minute I looked my 2-year-old into the eyes and calming explained to him that we were all done with the dragon--it was time to go. He declared his opinion with a resounding "NO" followed by a death grip onto the handlebars. I glanced over at the poor young man who was now avoiding all eye contact with me and seemed to be retreating within himself for peace.

After I pried my little guy from the big, green, plastic, probably germ-infested dragon, I gave him a much deserved balloon and we all hurried to the car, which included the young man practically running over my older son--I think he was completely beside himself. I strapped my boys into their seats, with my one son rubbing his clobbered head, and gave the young man my most genuine smile, internally thinking, "You have no idea."

So now you understand, I think he may have vowed celibacy.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Expect Delays

We are all in process--you, me, our spouse, our neighbors, our kids, everyone. I have said it many times before but it is hitting me afresh lately. My natural tendency is towards type A perfectionism--something God is transforming and purifying in me. This tendency causes me to be hard on myself if I am not doing something "perfectly." (No need for long "awwww's"--God is working.)

Take parenting, for instance. My thought life is often bombarded with a plethora of questions, "Was that too harsh? too lenient? too loud? too passive? Should I have done this or that?" But thankfully God sees the heart. My overarching desire through all the uncertainty is to glorify Him--to teach my kids what it means to love the Lord and love each other. And I believe His Word is clear--He will honor a heart that is running after Him.

When we are in the midst of transformation--which we all are if we call ourselves His children--then we will sometimes miss the mark. But it is a process. He is shaping us and teaching us, forming us to be men and women that abide continually in Him. Let's give ourselves, and those we meet in our paths, a little grace and space to move.

"Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Worth the Moments

If the Word does not change our days--our moments--then what's the point of all of this? Just thought I would lay that right out there this morning. If we are not internally transformed, then why do we study His word and seek to learn His ways? Christ came that we would have life abundant in spite of circumstance. He came that we would have peace when the waters rise, power to love the difficult, and patience to trust His sovereign way. So how goes our moments?

As believers we are called, instructed, challenged to die to self. But what does that mean? It means we surrender our rights and our agenda to the One who holds eternity in His hands and loves us with abandon. It means we open our hands and give Him our moments, asking Him to work in and through us. It means we have a life of influence, ministering to those our paths will cross this day--from inside the walls of our homes to those we meet on the street. Every moment--His.

Is He worth it? Is He worth our every single moment? The answer is a resounding "YES!" Nothing will satisfy our depths like Him. No one will heal our burdens like Him. No plan will bless our days like His. He is totally and completely worth it. Do you believe?

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why the One?

Picture the scene. A multitude of people--sick, blind, lame, and withered--laying there hoping for a miracle--hoping they would be the first to enter the water after its stirring and experience a healing. Most likely they had their regular places on the side of the pool, with familiar faces and stories next to them. But this day there was a multitude. So, why just the one?

I was in John 5 this morning and that is the question that quickly stirred in my mind after reading the account. The scene was Jerusalem during a time of a Jewish feast, so the crowd was more dense than usual. Here Jesus confronted the one man in the midst of this multitude at a pool named Bethesda. This pool had five porches--according to the text--with it's waters being fed from a nearby spring. It was a place where the sick came in hopes of being healed by the waters. But Jesus only sought out the one.

He could have, with the word of His mouth, healed every ache in sight. But He didn't. He could have touched the water with His hand and cured the seeming incurable. But He didn't. He only made one man well. Why, Lord, why?

Remember, when faced with things beyond our realm of understanding, we go back to what we know. In this case we know something about Jesus' earthly ministry. He came to do the will of the Father and finish His work. (John 4:34) So, what is the will of the Father? That many would be spiritually free to truly worship Him--loving with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. (John 4:23) Jesus did not intend upon reforming society externally--healing all diseases and crushing social injustice. He came to touch the heart of man, transforming us internally that we might learn what it means to abide in Him.

So why the one? I don't know, but He does. Maybe this was the only one who truly wanted to be healed--all the rest somehow dependent upon their infirmity as a place of identity. Maybe in seeing the hearts of the multitude, He knew that no one else would really believe that He was the Son of God. Maybe it was simply meant to be His example to the religious leaders whom He addressed in the latter half of the text. Regardless of the details we know one thing, this is the one He willed. (John 5:21)

Interestingly Bethesda means "house of mercy." But a pool of water is only a reflection of the greater reality. God Himself authors mercy. As we seek after Him--through the sufferings of this day--He promises to meet us with mercy immeasurable. "I, the Lord your God...(show) mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep My commandments." (Exodus 20:6) His mercy endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34b) When questioning the ways of His hands, we must rest upon the revelation of His heart. He is merciful to those who love Him.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ways Unsearchable

Day...18...I think: Revelation 19:9-16; won't be able to publish a commentary from my sporadic writings on Revelation. But, here I am, pressing through.

Today in the text we get a glimpse of the almighty Jesus. You know, there is a tendency to picture Him in our minds as petting little lambs and picking dandelions. But that does not fully portray the savior who bore God's wrath for our redemption. Yes, He is the giver of peace. He does welcome the little children to Himself. But there is a dimension of His character--His righteous, holy character--we often overlook. He is almighty.

In Revelation today He appears riding on a white horse, eyes blazing, robe crimson stained, with the armies of heaven behind Him. His power and glory are revealed in the fullness of time. And juxtaposed next to His scorn upon the cross, our minds clamor to grasp this God-man.

Truth is He humbled Himself, letting go of the glory due His name, when He came as a servant on this earth. (Philippians 2:5-11) Then He submitted His will to that of the Father and drank the cup of wrath rightly due to us--those who reject God's love in our flesh. (Matthew 26:36-46) This Jesus then died a brutal death--physically and spiritually--out of His love for you and me, then defeated death that it would no longer hold its sting. He is almighty.

God's ways are not our own. He is infinitely higher than us. His plans go beyond our reach. But He is seeking those who will trust in Him, that He may then lavish His grace and wisdom upon the faithful follower.

The days and moments of this life can be so difficult at times. But when our understanding ends--when our hearts go astray--if we as His children will come back to what we know is true, this almighty God will bless our walking by faith--abundantly beyond our conceiving. He is that good.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

He Answers

God is so patient with us--His children. I mentioned that my "box exploded" last week. I thought I would elaborate.

It was an interesting week in my spirit with Him. I had been pondering upon and questioning the existence of the child sex trade industry--questioning it in light of God's holiness and justice. Ultimately I was encircling what has been termed the problem of evil--my philosophy professor would have been so impressed. I even reached a point where I asked, "God are you really good?" He is so patient with His own.

He is not intimidated or shocked by our honest searching for truth. He ever-so-gently led my spirit to greater understanding of His ways--though my greater understanding is simply a scratch on the surface of His infinity. He did not leave me in the place of uncertainty. As I sought hard after Him, He--our faithful Father--spoke. And I was, and remain, humbled that the God of this universe would care so intimately for those who love Him.

I don't have the time this morning to go into the details of what I "learned," but I will leave you with this. When we don't understand His ways, we must go back to what we know is true: the revelation of His character--experiential and theological. He can be fully trusted. His ways are eternally above our own. He sees from beginning to end and is unfolding His plan of redemption. He is holy, righteous, just, and LOVE. Stand there. Fall down there. And wait for His hands to lift you up. He will not forget you.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

My Box Exploded

Not that I thought God could be put "in a box," but it seems in the last 24 hours He has become even more uncontainable to my finite mind. I don't know what to say. Nothing life changing has happened, I have just been pondering some difficult issues and I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the infinitely high character and unknowable ways of our Creator.

As I said yesterday, I return today: when things cannot be explained or understood, we must go back to what we know is true--the glimmer of His eternality that has graciously been revealed to mortal man.

Just humbled in my thinking...

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Defend the Fatherless

Day 15: Revelation 11:15-19 spurred my thinking.

She had us skip to chapter 11 today. Here we are told that there will be a day to come when God will rightly judge everyone--both those who loved Him and rejected Him. And this got me thinking. You know, it is difficult to rectify the presence of evil--absolute, putrid evil--with the sovereignty of God.

Volumes upon volumes have been written in an effort to grasp this complex co-existence. So my mere blog entry could never do justice to the discussion. But I want throw a couple of things out there for us to ponder.
  1. There is great evil in this world. Over the past few months I have become increasingly aware of the atrocity of child sex trafficking, not only around the world but in our very nation--the land of the free. It is horrifying to hear the stories and see the faces of these young children in the grip of perverse enslavement. So, the presence of evil is not debatable.
  2. When faced with incomprehensible matters, we must go back to what we know is True. I believe the Bible to be true. I think Christianity is a reasonable faith. Based upon rational evaluation, I also believe the Bible to be both reliable substantially and piercing theologically and spiritually. That said, the place I return when faced with incomprehensible matters is the Word of God.
  3. The character of God is a resting place. There are certain aspects of God revealed throughout scripture that bring great peace in the presence of evil or uncertainty. He is motivated by love for His children. His grace is sufficient in trial. He sees all and is our perfect Avenger. He is affected by our pain--moved with compassion. He is good, faithful, righteous, holy, and completely trustworthy. He is all-powerful. This is where we rest.
  4. There will be a day when everyone will be rightly judged. We see only a vapor of time, God holds eternity in His hands. For us, justice should happen in the now, making the wrong things right. But God's vision is from beginning to end. If we have chosen to love Him, then we are just pilgrims on this earth--this is not our ultimate home. He can be fully trusted with the injustices of this life--even the precious children being exploited.

We are called to seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17) But in so doing, we must trust Him and His character with the outcome. Every human has been given freedom to choose--love Him or not. For those who choose to reject His ways, He sees. Time will unfold. The victory is our faith.


To find out more on how you can "defend the fatherless" check out

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

That Day

Days 11-14: Revelation 4-5

I haven't given up.

The basic theme of these past few days in Revelation has pointed back to one thing: Worship is the automatic response of being in the presence of God. Seeing Him evokes praise--pure and powerful.

Truth is this life is full of distractions--from morning til night. But one day, that day, we will see Him without distraction--in the fullness of His glory; and multicultural, indescribable, uncontainable joyous worship will ensue. What do you think about that?

In the meantime, though, He graciously gives us glimpses if we choose to look--if we choose to seek His face. I desire His gaze to stop upon me, seeing that I long to be a true worshipper of His--through the distractions and all.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lego Mania

We finally gave them to my son. But to understand the magnitude of the gift, you have to grasp my husband's childhood addiction. He absolutely loved Legos and could build practically anything. The hundreds of pieces have been stored in our attic, inside of an old metal popcorn container from the '80's--just waiting for the perfect moment.

This past weekend, the time was right. And for my husband it was a moment he wanted to remember--the unveiling of a very special gift. He brought my son into the kitchen and tried to give a short heartfelt "speech"--as much as a 3-year-old could handle--then he opened the lid. Hours of playtime--both for my kids and nostalgic husband--have followed in these past few days.

This got me thinking. You know, God has gifts for His children--precious, timely, and chosen gifts. But often He has to wait on our "becoming" before they can be given. He waits for our maturing--spiritually, emotionally, or physically (so we don't eat the gift). Then when the time is just right, He--with anticipation of our joy--gives the gift--one that was set aside just for you and for me from the foundation of the earth.

Thank you, Father. You are gracious.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blessed Indeed

How do I define a blessing--
Based on ease of days?
Flowing with my circumstance?
Gaged by come what may?

Or do I count the brokenness,
Aware that only He
Can bring about an overflow
From ash struck poverty?

Do my eyes catch glimpses full
His ever-stretching grace,
That meets me when the thorns pierce deep,
That soothes the stricken space?

His blessings are not measured
By how much my hands can hold,
The health of those who love me,
Or my dreams that all unfold.

His blessings seep to places deep--
Refresh, Renew, Restore--
Peace and rest in spite of tests
And mercy shore to shore.

There will be days that pull my gaze,
But how I long to be
One who's fixed upon my Lord--
One who's blessed indeed.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Molecular Change

Day 10: Revelation 4:1-3a, somewhat forcing myself to the text

No, honestly, I have noticed that on the days I am in Revelation I really have to make a conscious choice to be there. Not that it isn't inspiring, it just takes effort because much of it is so completely "other-than" our day-to-day happenings. But God is completely "other-than" so teach us Lord.

The phrases that made an impression this morning were Christ's words, "Come up here," followed by "at once" John was in the Spirit. Though I cannot fully explain what it means that John was immediately "in the Spirit," I would venture to say that he was somehow transformed with a view of the spiritual realm of which we on this earth have no idea. Wow.

The point? God's spoken word has the power to molecularly change anything He wills. Just think about that. We see in creation that He simply spoke it and the world was created out of nothing. That should completely blow our minds. His power is infinite and consuming. For a short time on this finite earth, He is allowing His plan of redemption to unfold--seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4) But dare we let our "freedom" of choice take anything away from His absolute power.

So how should that affect me in my moments of today? Moments that are often really messy--literally. If He has promised it, spoken it, either in His Word or personally to your spirit, it will come to pass. A door He opens cannot be shut. This is a place of great rest--a place on which to stand when our vision seems so limited. When He declares blessing over those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, believe. When He declares blessing over the merciful, believe. When He declares blessing over the pure of heart and the peacemaker, believe. (see Matthew 5)

I want to stand on His word rather than riding the waves of my emotion or circumstance. Lord, transform our minds so that we might be awed by your power and rest on Your promises, even when the moments may seem so uncertain.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Confession of the Mind

God is so faithful to discipline His children. Thank you, Lord. He does it perfectly with the motive of pure love for His own. If we would--I would--be quick to listen. Oh, that we would not grow hard of hearing or calloused of heart. Help us, Lord.

He is working in me, prodding me, to "put off" an attitude of my flesh. It is almost as if His faithful hand is on my back side pressing me away from a certain mindset--a mindset that tends toward the inessentials rather than the essentials. A mindset that most often surfaces in mommyhood. It is something He wants me free of, that I might walk these days with a lighter burden. Teach me, Lord.

Most battles of the heart begin in the mind. For a while I have been praying for awareness with my thought life--that my mind would not wander down roads that could lead to relationship destruction. God is so faithful to reveal if we truly want to see. Then I have been challenged to replace erroneous thinking with thoughts that honor and bless. Hence, my current dilemma of shedding. (I love that I can use the word "hence" in writing--it just isn't a word I get to say without strange looks.)

In the power of His might, in submission to the mind of Christ, we are able to "bring every thought captive to obedience." (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) Honoring speech is not enough--spoken through clinched jaws. He wants our hearts, overflowing with His love, spilling out of our mouths. Change us, Lord. That is freedom. That is joy.

May we His people be a people pure of heart. Praise you, Lord.

Here is a song by Kari Jobe that just does not grow old, "Revelation Song." He is totally, completely worthy.

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