Previous month:
March 2007
Next month:
May 2007

I Will Trust in You

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?  - Psalm 56:3-4 NIV

According to my study bible, David wrote Psalm 56 when the Philistines had seized him in Gath while he was literally afraid for his life.  In his despair, David penned these words from his heart.  He knew that God would protect him.  God had protected him in the past and God would protect him now.  David had fought and been victorious in many a battle and God had been there with him through it all.   God had proven time and time again to David that His word was true, so David casted his cares at the foot of God's throne and let God deal with his issues.  David, more than most, knew the benefits of prayer.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22 NIV)

Is it any wonder that David was so victorious a king?  David wasn't perfect, but he sure knew who to rely on when he needed help.   I'm not saying that David never took matters into his own hands, because a study of his life reveals otherwise, but David did ultimately rely on God for deliverance and strength.

As Psalm 55:22 says, God will never let the righteous fall.  Isn't that amazing?  Never.  If we cast our cares on Him, He will sustain us.  God's word doesn't say that He might sustain us if He's in a good mood.  It says that He WILL sustain us.  That is quite a promise.  We can trust in God when we are afraid.  As long as we are trying to do the right things - being righteous - God will never let us fall.  Although sometimes my idea of "falling" is different from God's idea, I am still thankful for His promise to me. 

So friends, what is your fear or care right now?  Is it work?  Is it health? Is it finances?  Is it a relationship?  Cry out to God with it and let Him work out the problem for you.  Let Him take your worries and let Him keep them.  If that burden of worry finds its way back to you, give it back to God again in prayer.  He'll take it back.   If you are having trouble believing God can deliver on His promise to sustain you, think back to a time where He's come through before.  I bet you can remember one of those times.  I know I can.  David sure could.  Because he remembered his past victories through God, he could fully trust God for the future. (Ps 56:13) The same thought process will work for us. 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Buying Time

I want to share a short story today that I received from the E-Mail Ministry (  It really resonated with me because of the busyness we all face in today's fast-paced society.  There are so many things tugging at us all of the time, either of our own making or from societal pressures, that it is easy to get caught up in all of the to-do's and forget about some of the most important things in our lives.   I'm sure as well, that all of us have been on both sides of the "fence", either wanting time from someone or not having the time to give.

As you read the story below, think about where you are in this season of your life.  Are there changes that need to be made?  Most importantly, think about how God must be feeling when we are too busy to give Him our time.


A man came home from work late again, tired, irritated, and stressed, to find his 6-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

"Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the man.

"Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?"

"That is none of your business! What makes you ask such a question?" the man said irritatingly.

"Oh, I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.

"Well, if you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."

"Oh," the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I barrow $10.00 please?"

The father was irritated. "If the only reason you want to know how much money I make is so you can barrow some for a dopey toy or other nonsense, then off to your room and think about your selfishness. And besides, you're only 6 years old, and 6 year-olds don't need money. I work long, hard hours every day to earn money for you and your mom, I don't have time to talk about loaning you money".

The little boy went quietly to his room and shut the door.

After about an hour, the father had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there really was a reason he needed to barrow $10.00, he had never asked before for money. The father went to the boy's room and knocked on the door. "May I come in?" inquired the father.

"Yes Daddy," replied the little boy.

"I have been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man. "It has been a long, tough day and I took my anger out on you. Here's the $10.00 you asked for."

The little boy sat up straight and beaming said "Oh thank you Daddy!" Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some crumpled up dollars. The father seeing that the boy already had money started to get angry again. The little boy slowly started to count out his money, then looked up at his father.

"Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.

"For what," said his father.

"Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?"

-- Author Unknown

A Very Present Help

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,
         And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Selah 
     4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah 
  8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
    Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
         He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
       I will be exalted among the nations,
  I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah


What a wonderful Psalm of comfort for a time of stress or strife, wishing or worrying.  We hear so often that God is our refuge and strength, yet it is so easy to slip into seasons of doubt or anxiety about present or future circumstances.  Today, won't you meditate with me on this Psalm and know that the reason God can be your refuge when the mountains shake and the waters rage is because He is always there for you - a very "present help in trouble".  He is God.  God.  He is the Creator and Ruler of all creation.  The LORD of hosts is with us.  Won't you be still and let Him be God for you today?

Benefits of Brokenness

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one. -- Isaiah 57:15

What do you think about the possibility of being able to dwell with the God of the universe, the One who is Holy?  I think of the song "Better Is One Day" and how the lyrics say that better is one day in God's house than thousands elsewhere.  My prayer is that every day I would want to be with God more and to know Him better than the day before. 

But how do we draw near to God anyway?  We can't physically see or touch Him as we can everything else in our lives.  We can't physically hear Him either.  The way we get close to God is by humbling ourselves and acknowledging that we are indeed nothing compared to Him.  We must have a broken spirit.  We must have a contrite, or repentant spirit - a spirit that is pliable in His hands, willing to sacrifice our own wants and desires in conformance to His will.  It is with that kind of spirit that we most often seek God.  It is with that kind of spirit that God's Word says will draw us close to Him.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. -- Psalm 51:17

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. - Psalm 34:18

For me, a state of brokenness is an interesting place to be.  It is a challenge to remain "broken" all of the time.  After all, we are also suppose to be joyful Christians too, right?  Being a Christian is hard work!  I suppose that is why all of our relationships with God ebb and flow from time to time.  Some days we feel closer to God than other days.   Maybe that is because things get going well and we forget how much we need Him, thereby losing our brokenness. 

Can we be joyful and broken and humble and repentant all at the same time?  Yes. Remember, that being humble, broken and repentant doesn't mean that we must walk around with a somber look on our faces all of the time.  Humility is seeing ourselves in comparison with who God is. Seeing who God is, in all of His attributes should put a smile on our faces.   He is our light in the darkness and our salvation unto eternal life.  His lovingkindnesses are bestowed on us all of the time, even if we don't see them because we are too consumed with ourselves to notice.  Our brokenness and repentance will lead us to God's Holy place, where He promises He will be with us and revive us.  Now that is something to smile about, even if it means checking our egos at the door.

Dear Father, I thank You so much for who You are, not only to me, but to the whole world as I know it. Forgive me when I try to go my own way before first asking for Your guidance.  Help me to always keep your magnificence at the forefront of my mind, remembering that You are God and I am not. Lead me in this life to the Holy place where you dwell.  Amen.

Strength for the Journey

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. - Psalm 37:23-24

This passage gives great comfort to me in a number of different areas.  Unless your life has been problem-free, this passage should provide comfort to almost anyone.  After all, no one I know has had a problem-free life.  Our own minds will give us trouble with our insecurities even if nothing else will.  Let's break down this passage into some principles to take to heart about how God provides us strength for our days, shall we?

1. God will guide our steps.  God has a specific plan in mind for each of us, suited to our own individual talents, abilities and sphere of influence.  God delights when His children follow His path.  I bet He even smiles.   Won't you ask God for direction for each step of your journey today?

2. God will break our fall.  Even the best of us get tripped up from time to time - even if we are following God's directions.  We get tripped up from our insecurities.  We get knocked down by being overwhelmed at all that we have to do.  God will break our fall so that when we do hit the ground we will also be able to get back up again.  Where are you today?  Have you fallen? Have you gotten back up?  If not, why not?

3.  God will hold us up. In spite of our failings, we are guaranteed by God's word that we will not remain down for good: we will not be utterly cast down.  Isn't that a great promise?  We will not be utterly cast down because the LORD will uphold us with His hand.  In what way can you let God hold you up today?

Yes, God will be our strength in times of trouble - when we fall down and don't think we can get back up again (Ps 37:39).  Being a Christian does not entitle us to problem-free living.  But we can know that if we are diligently seeking a righteous life and seeking God's direction in our life, He will delight in our trying.  He will give us direction.  He will help us back up when we fall.  And He will help keep us going down the road.  He is our strength for the journey.

Mourning Into Dancing

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to you and not be silent.  O LORD my God,  I will give thanks to You forever.  - Psalm 30:11-12 NASB

We've had a strange beginning to spring here in the Kansas City area this year.  In late March to early April all of the trees and flowers were displaying their shows of color and it was absolutely gorgeous around here.  But then the cold wave came for about a week with extended nights of below-freezing temperatures.  Some areas even got a few inches of snow.  So now the trees, flowers and shrubs are having to start over again.  And although it will take awhile for them to come back around to being green again, the fact remains that they will. 

Do you see what this pictures in life?  Everything in the physical world is an example of something spiritual.   To me, as I've thought about those trees, I think of how even though we get smacked down by trials in our lives, we always have hope for restoration.  Like the trees, it may take awhile for the "green" to come back in our lives, but it always will in a matter of time. 

The psalmist in Psalm 30 knew this to be true as well.  In fact, from the passage it sounds as if he experienced personally his sadness being turned into gladness by God.  Our Savior is a savior in more ways than one - on an eternal basis as well as a daily basis.  The secret is in first knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives, and then secondly, getting to know and trust Him through daily reading of His Word, prayer and the fellowship of other Christians.  God will provide.  He will supply all of our needs so that we will in turn praise His glorious name.  What is your need today?  He can provide for it, even if it is a need for Him to turn your mourning into dancing.

No Fear

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1

Dear readers, you are getting me totally "unplugged" today.  These past seven days or so have just been crazy and I don't really know why.  I've had internet issues that have come and gone, my schedule has been a bit more hectic than usual, I'm a bit overwhelmed with the possibilities (all good things) in my life right now, and on Monday I got bit by a tick.

First of all, let's discuss this tick bite and why it is relevant at all to this blog post.  I am terrified - TERRIFIED - of ticks.  I'm a surbanite.  I don't walk through fields.  I don't wander off trails in the woods.  I can barely pull a tick off of my dogs, which thankfully they don't get very often.  And thankfully, husbands come in handy for tick removal.  So as I read Psalm 27:1, I think about the "whom shall I fear?" part, and I know deep down in my heart how silly it is to be afraid of something so small as a tick.  Or a spider.  Okay, the spider was last week, but I got him (or her) before it got me.  How do they get in the house anyway?

Where I am going with this? There are a lot of things in this life to be afraid of.  Yes, I know that ticks should be the least of our concerns.  We've got crazy people running around college campuses in this country killing people, after all.  We've got schedules that are bursting at the seams with necessary and the optional.  Life can get very overwhelming sometimes.  Who or what is your strength or salvation through these times?

The Lord has not always been my salvation as I know that I've relied too much on myself - my talents and abilities - and my relationships for my strength in the past.  I think I may have even relied on ministry and the rewards it brings.  But through all of the changes in my life over the past several years, I've learned to rely more and more on God for my strength.  Totally and completely.  I believe that I can finally say that the Lord is the strength of my life.  He has to be. He is the only thing that does not change. He is the only thing that will always be there.  Friendships fade, careers and ministry will change, and but God will never disappear from our lives.  Life in general may get a little crazy and overwhelming, but God will be there to give us strength to endure.  It is promised to us.  All we have to do is wait for God to deliver.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the LORD. - Psalm 27:14 

To think upon:

1) What is your fear?  Is life getting overwhelming?

2) What is your salvation?  Do you know Jesus?

3) What is your strength?  Do you take matters into your own hands or do you wait on God?

My King and Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. (Psalm 23:1-3)

What a passage.  This is one of the world's most beloved Psalms, isn't it?  Beloved because of the comfort it provides through those dark times - most commonly through those fears of death.  But what about the strength it can give us in life?  To me, and to those who are born again into everlasting life through Christ, death, or fear of death, should not be our biggest challenge.  Life is our challenge.

I need God to make me lie down in the "green pastures" so I can rest from the sometimes frantic pace of my days and my mind.  I need God to lead me beside the still waters so I can see how He can still my heart like He calms the seas. I need God to restore my soul and my ways when I take my own detours from His plans.  With all of this that God can provide, I shall not want in this life.  Now, all I need is to let Him make, lead and restore me.

Okay, now for the "bonus" material...  :)

Not only did I read through Psalm 23 this morning, but I read through Psalms 24 and 25 as well.  As I read, I was inspired by the repeated question in Psalm 25, verse 8 and 10, "Who is this King of glory?"  Have you ever deeply thought about how complete God is?  I am amazed at how tender but yet how tough He is all at the same time.  And from my readings today, as I pondered them and prayed, I wrote this poem that I'll share with you:

My King and Shepherd of Glory

King of glory, strong and mighty
Prepare my way today.
Open doors, move my feet
And keep the enemy away.

Shepherd of souls, tender yet strong
Lead me to Your peace.
Calm my mind, still my heart,
Fill me with Your grace.

Leader of lives, Master Teacher
Make my eyes to see.
Give me a word, give me a thought
To direct my way for Thee.

You are my King of glory.
You are the Shepherd of my soul.
Thank You for caring.
Thank You for loving.
Thank You for making me whole.

Sweet Rewards

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:10-11 (NIV)

So what are "they" and "them" to which this passage is referring?  God's word, of course!  :)  How precious is God's word to you?  I like to think that it is more precious to me than anything, all of the time, but my thoughts and actions sometimes get in the way. 

David, the psalmist, the imperfect but loveable king who steals the hearts of those who learn about him, wrote these words about God's word.  He had the world's riches, but knew that knowing God was so much better.  He knew the rewards that an understanding of and obedience to God's Word would provide.  Sweet rewards. Great rewards. 

From Psalm 19:7-8, we see these rewards laid out for us:

1.  Soul Conversion - God's word is perfect.  Not only is it capable of leading us to eternal life (Ro 10:17) but through his word he also restores our souls. (Eph 5:26)

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: (Ps 19:7a)

2.  Wisdom Provision - God's word can make our simple minds wise.  It is unchanging, sure, and rock solid.  To apply whatever it says is true wisdom.

The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Ps 19:7b)

3.  Heart Celebration - God's word is worthy of celebrating because it is right.  We can rejoice in our confidence that if we follow it, we are assured of His promises. (Ps 40:3)

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: (Ps 19:8a)

4.  Enhanced Perception - God's word can give us insights into life because it contains the pure thoughts of God.  If we read God's word, praying that He will guide us, His Holys Spirit will show us things we would otherwise have no way of knowing. (1 Cor 2:12-16)

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Ps 19:8b)

Sweet rewards. Sweet promises.  Sweeter than honey.  Don't you want to just dig in His word right now and get going to see what He has for you?  He's given me a sweet taste again today.  He can give you the same.

Therefore My Heart Is Glad

I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall also rest in hope.  (Psalm 16:8-9)

I love "therefores".  They always tell me that I should have been paying attention because I might have missed some terrific truth. I think that is the case in this passage from Psalms.  It is a verse I have memorized before, which is probably why the verse popped out at me in my reading.  In a nutshell, King David our psalmist is telling us about the personal benefits of a daily walk with God through His word. 

First of all, did you notice that David's steadfastness, joyfulness and hopefulness did not come by accident?  He says:  "I have set the LORD always before me:...".  The word "set" is a verb, which implies action, right?  In some way, David has intentionally put God before him, whether in the reading of scripture, the prayers of his heart, or the meditations of his mind.  Whatever the case, David had to have been intentional about it.  He did not have a relationship with God through osmosis.  Because David had God intentionally "before" him, he was able to remain steadfast in his beliefs throughout many a trial. 

Now let's discuss the "therefore".  Because David always kept God in the forefront of his mind, he was joyful and he had hope.  He was able to remain steadfast in his beliefs because he knew God's Word and could live a confident life knowing that he was living his life according to God's plan.  We can have that too.  We can have confidence in God to protect us and guide us when we are walking with Him.  Consequently, we too can live in gladness and hope.  We can know that no matter what happens, we have the certain hope of an eternal life with God, providing we have accepted Jesus as our savior.  That is true hope. Hope without doubt.  That in itself is gladness-worthy.  :)

So where are you in your life right now?  Are you glad or are you sad?  Do you rest in a hope anchored in Christ or are you restless in uncertainty?  We too, can have the joy, peace and steadyness that David had. We just need to purposely set out to make God a real priority in our lives.  He is the "before" for the "therefore" of gladness.

The "Set" Check:

1) How often do I "set" God before me?  Am I consistent with my time with Him?

2) Where do I "set" God?  What is coming before God in my life?

3) If I'm not "setting" God before me, why not? If I am, am I keeping Him in front of me or am I passing Him by?