Monthly Archives: August 2010

1Samuel 24; 1Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39

I am a sojourner with You… a guest.

Hmmm. Often I am tempted to think that each day belongs to me. That I am the master of my moments.

Do you ever feel that way too?

Other times I get caught up dealing primarily with the urgent, and afterward find myself reeling to regain balance in the quiet between storms. Sometimes, when things are difficult, I cope my way through; waking up when they are over, exhausted. Those days…
When I am there, I can’t help feeling the futility of this way of life. I cry out…

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!”
Psalm 39:4

Remind me again how all of life is just a breath, a shadow. the turmoil is but for a moment.
Remind me that You have made my days… that You are the Master of them.

I close my mouth. I look to You. I wait.

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.”

All that I have is Yours.
My time, all that is precious to me, is Yours.
I am a sojourner here. a guest.
Give me strength to hold my peace,
to wait for You, the Giver,
In whom is all my hope.
To please You is my sole desire.
Please, Lord make it so.
My hope is in You.
Amen.

amy in peru

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I Samuel 23, I Corinthians 4, Ezekiel 2, Psalms 38

So I sit down to read my assigned passages … praying for inspiration to write for 66 Books.

·         I Samuel 23:  Saul chases David …

·         I Corinthians 4:  That should be something to work with … I always like Paul.  Nothing really strikes me in this passage.

·         Ezekiel 2:  I’d go off on a political tangent (rant) if I commented on this passage and that would NOT be good.

·         Psalm 38:  Okay, I better find some inspiration here.  Psalms is always good!  I have had a few bad days in my life … but nothing like the lament and petition that David pours out … “no health in my body … searing pain … many are those who are my vigorous enemies …”  How am I going to apply this to my cushy 21st century American Christian life?

Turn the page.  There it is.  The last two verses I read.

Psalm 38: 21-22

O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.

Instantly, I know these words are where I need to land.  Many are the times I have turned my back to the Lord.  I have pursued my ideas, my plans.  Thank you … thank you Father for not forsaking me.  Thank you for being not far.  O Lord, my Savior … come quickly!

Lord, you are an ever-present help and comfort and I am so grateful for Your grace, Your presence and Your mercy every day.

Karen (byhisgracekml)

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1 Samuel 21,22; 1 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 1; Psalm 37

As I grow older and as each day draws closer to the day when I will finally stand before Jesus, I find myself dreaming more and and imagining more just how awesome it will be to see Him face to face.  Many times, I am overwhelmed at the prospect of seeing Him.  What will it be like?  How will I react?  I know it will be joy incomprehensible, but what will that abounding joy be like?  I can’t wait!  God has placed eternity on my heart and it is something I think about, pray about and dream about nearly every day.

But I know that God has a purpose for me here on earth.  I am physically alive today.  My heart is beating.  My lungs are breathing.  And I truly believe that God has me alive today for a reason.  He has given me responsibilities and holds me accountable for how I will spend the days He has given me.  I will answer to Him one day, and give an account of how I lived this life and how I have built on the foundation that was given to me by Him.

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  For no other foundation could anyone lay other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. ”  (1 Corinthians 3:9-11 NKJV)

Am I building on Him?  That is the most important question and I must answer it with discernment and total honesty.  He expects me to build on the foundation, the Rock, which is Him.  Am I building my life on the only true Rock, which is Christ, or am I building on an imperfect and faulty foundation, which are the things that make me comfortable, such as security, success, material possessions, relationships.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 talk of the materials that will have to face a test of fire in the final judgment.  Fire will burn some of the materials but other materials, such as gold, silver and precious stones will not be burned by fire.  The fire actually purifies the three that are not burned, but the other materials will just vaporize.  They will disappear and cease to exist.

In this life, on this day, I am at liberty to build on the foundation with materials that I choose.  This gets my attention for the result will be forever!  Eternity is never ending and the choices I make today have eternal significance.    The life I live now, has an eternal impact on when I really start living.  Therefore, I must be absolutely certain I not waste this time given to me.

Lord, I pray that you teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom.   There is nothing in this world that could possibly satisfy me, fulfill me, or bring more joy to my heart, than a life lived with you in the drivers seat.  I want ALL of my days to be lived out delighting in you for you are the joy of my heart and you are my reason and purpose for living at all.

There is not time to waste!  Life is so short and my days are few.  I need you to magnify yourself in me, Lord, especially in those times of anxiety, sadness and emptiness.  Search my heart, Lord and reveal to me the sin in my life.  Point it out to me so that I may repent and be in fellowship with you always.  Know my ways and lead me in YOUR way everlasting.

Years ago, Lord, you put Psalm 37:3-5 on my heart and you have given it to me as my life verse:

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this.

Lord, you know I love you and you know my heart, but take me to a new level of trust in you.  Make the desires of my heart to be the desires of your heart.  Help me to love the things you love and hate the things you hate.  I present this vessel to you as a living sacrifice and I ask you to set me apart and use me however you see fit.  Take this existence, Lord.  Commit your will to my heart.  You already make my dreams pleasant and joyful, but make my dreams into your dreams.  Transform my heart into the likeness of your most Holy and beautiful Child.  I am yours.

I cannot wait to see you face to face.  But until then, I will live this life every day with passion, excitement, joy and wonder over who you are!  You are God!  And I am so overjoyed and overwhelmed over how awesome and great your love is.  Thank you for giving me life, especially life with you!  There is nothing better!

I love you so much!!

John (johnd7264)


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1 Samuel 20, Psalm 36, Lamentations 5, 1 Corinthians 2

Our family has spent this whole week watching the vast Atlantic Ocean from the shoreline of our rental home. Relaxing & laughing with and loving on each other.

My oldest daughter recently shared with me an ocean fact that she read in a book, just before we left for our beach trip. The fact was about how much water there was in the oceans per person on the earth. She was not exactly sure what the correct figure was, so I thought I’d do that math.

There are 343,423,668,428,484,681,262 gallons of water in the oceans. The world population is approximately 7 billion. Dividing the first number by the second gives an answer of 49,060,524,061 gallons of ocean water per person on the earth. That’s alot of water!

Why all this ocean fact knowledge on 66 books?

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, You preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”

Psalm 36:5-7 NIV

Another ocean fact:

“Beneath the world’s oceans lie rugged mountains, active volcanoes, vast plateaus and almost bottomless trenches. The deepest ocean trenches could easily swallow up the tallest mountains on land.” *

So, when I read and contemplate these verses about the Lord’s love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice while at the ocean, I am consumed with the vastness of it.

Especially in light of verses 1 & 2…

“An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”

How many times have I been like this wicked man David writes about? How many times have I acted in a sinful manner with no fear (respect) of God and His holiness? How easy it is to become tangled in the web of sin,  thinking that I deserve this or that, or that I have a right to act this way, or to think these thoughts. I have flattered myself in my eyes, so much that I do not detect and/or hate the sin that is consuming me.

But God’s love, oh His unfailing love is so vast, so merciful, so forgiving. When I turn from my sin and acknowledge Him as the Lord, He is so quick to show me grace and to cover me with His righteousness. God’s justice for the contrite is forgiveness and reconcillation, certainly not what I deserve or am due. What I deserve or am due is the opposite of what He gives, when I turn from my sin and accept His gift of redemption.

Lord,

Thank you once again for your unfailing love to me.

“You will again have compassion on us;
       you will tread our sins underfoot
       and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19 NIV)

Your love is truly, wonderfully,  and magnificently amazing!

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

*http://www.mos.org/oceans/planet/features.html

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1 Samuel 19; 1 Corinthians 1: Lamentations 4; Psalm 35

When Paul writes of thanksgiving in 1 Corinthians 1, words soothe.

4I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

David hunted and on the run. Gaping, gleeful attackers with gnashing teeth and malicious winks. I read oppression. And I read thanks.

18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among throngs of people I will praise you.

And:

28 My tongue will speak of your righteousness
and of your praises all day long.

I became part of an online gratitude community some time ago, to count up to 1,000 gifts from the Lord. I search daily for the Lord and see him, some days effortlessly–a heart-shaped cloud (because he knows I will find it and smile); Crepe Myrtle blossom petals in a summer breeze; soft, green grass under bare feet. Some days require more effort–struggling for self-control and to hear his whisper to my soul; sadnesses that mount up and stresses that grip; relationships broken and the mend is slow.

Thankfulness, thanksgiving, praise to God–they are a heartsong and hallelujah on days when I feel full. Or empty.

Courtney (66books365)

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1 Samuel 18; Romans 16; Lamentations 3; Psalm 34

In the crazy cacophony of life my quiet times bring me back to my old friend, my ever faithful Savior. I forget how timely His words, how appropriate His message when my bullet train of a day takes off. And, still the next morning, there He is again.

Same familiar melody. Perfect for whatever occasion. Like sweet tea in a rocking chair on the back porch in the August heat, or a hot chocolate buried beneath whipped cream in front of a roaring fire in January. He is always just what I need.

Lamentations 3 met me again in that homey way — just the refreshment I craved.

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; [2]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

I know I still do not find enough quiet in my day. He calls and I rush on. He beckons and I schedule more stuff. He waits while I overdo.

When I do make the choice and wrestle back the time from my out of control calendar I respond like David in Psalm 34. I will bless Him. I find the joy in obedience. He is everything I need and so much more, when I take the time to notice. I taste and see, I savor His goodness toward me. And, each day I make slow progress on the road toward holiness in the steps of my gentle, unwavering teacher.

Thank you, Lord, for your patience and perseverance to teach me and grow me according to Your Word. Help me to grow in faithfulness toward You. I crave consistency in this sanctification journey. Thank you for giving me a fresh start each day as I seek to know You more. I love you, Lord!

5intow

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1 Samuel 17; Romans 15; Lamentations 2; Psalm 33

As I wrestled this past week with a difficult theological concept, I allowed myself to ponder how my life would be different without the hope that is founded in Jesus.   The overwhelming feelings of loss and despair brought on by this consideration cannot be overstated.  Interestingly, these feelings reinforced the fact that the major life choices I have made over the last 15 years or so ARE a direct reflection of my hope in Jesus.  

The contrast between the abundant life I am living and the life I would be living without the hope of Jesus is illustrated in our scripture readings today.  Lamentations 2 paints a bleak picture for the nation of Israel.   In this passage God is alternately portrayed as actively opposing the Israelites:

The Lord is like an enemy;he has swallowed up Israel.  He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. (Lam. 2:5)

 and absent

The Lord has rejected his altar and abandoned his sanctuary. (Lam 2:7)

Either way, clearly he is not providing comfort and reassurance for Israel.  Why?  Did He change or did they?

Contrast the utter despair of the Israelites with Paul’s encouragement to the Romans:

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 15:13)

That is my prayer!

Lord, you are the God of hope.  Fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in you.  May I overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

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