Psalm #4

In the early rising sun, Lord, I praise your name, as the dew reflects your glory.

In the heat of day, Lord, I praise your name, for You alone are worthy.

In the times of trouble, Lord, I praise your name, for you have delivered Your people. Your faithfulness to us stands unwavering.

May we be found with the same steadfastness, and declare Your name above all others, even in the face of trial.

Help us to remember those You’ve saved before us, the miracles you’ve worked, the blessings You’ve provided

Let us not divide but to unify for Your purpose. Heal our land, Lord, forgive us of the sins we’ve done against You, both as individuals and corporately. Restore our hearts, let us come humble before You and beg Your mercy. With all humility we ask you to heal us. Through that healing, may we turn to You for salvation. May we fully surrender everything we have. Mold us and shape us into who You’ve intended is to be all along.

Let us serve You with abandon, losing all our inhibitions for Your glory alone. Let Your light shine so bright in us, Lord, that others would see and follow. Give us words when we have none. Fill us with Your love and compassion. Lead us to You

Let us hear Your voice above all others, Lord, amidst the chaos and the news of devastation, death and deceit.

We lift our leaders, local, state and federal, and leaders of companies, both large and small, teachers and administrators an d all those making decisions about the present and the future. Grant them wisdom and peace. Let Your will be done.

Remember those who have loved You faithfully, and draw those who have wanted to but been afraid of others’ reactions to release their inhibitions and follow You wholeheartedly. Let those who love You be a beacon of light for those searching for Truth, that Your kingdom would multiply. Instill in us Your passion for humanity that we would be found faithful to Your calling

Humbly I pray.

SB

Behold, I stand at the door and knock

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3:19 | ESV

I started my study of the book of Revelation last night. It’s a hard book to understand, and for that reason, many steer clear of it. I’m drawn to the imagery and to the prophetic language, in anticipation of coming days. I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I know I’ve placed my faith in my Lord and Savior, who has transformed me from the filthy sinner I am into what He needs me to be. I lay myself at the foot of the cross daily, and ask Him to forgive my sins, to continue to refine me for whatever He’s called me to do and to give me the courage to obey. I listen quietly and intently for His voice, which is sometimes hard to hear over all of the clamoring noise in my life. In my quiet prayer time, I ask Him for guidance and favor, protection and healing, for me and for those I love.

This scripture is an invitation for anyone who hears His knock to follow, and He will dine with them. What He offered to me, he offers to you. today is the day to obey, my friends.

Be blessed

SB

Are you going to trust Me?

Over the past eighteen months, events in my personal life have been filled with more drama than a Hallmark move. Just as I declared my 2018 word of the year WAIT, God blesses me incredibly with some answers to prayers that were 12 years old, and some that were nearly 30 years old!

Part way through the year, I heard the inaudible but unmistakable voice of God ask me, “will you still trust Me when it gets really bad?”

I answered instantly, “yes, of course, Lord,” and instantly knew I was in for some rough water. I had no idea what would unfold, but in that moment, I knew God was preparing me for something big, and I knew that He was asking if my faith was strong enough to sustain me when things got “really bad”.

It’s taken a lifetime to grow my faith. Truth be told, in my young life, my faith really wasn’t very strong at all.. I was angry with God for taking my daddy when I was young, and it took me years to trust that God had a plan. The process of developing spiritual grit happens over time, by going through trials and learning to trust God to provide and deliver. As I reflect on my spiritual growth, in hindsight, I can see that I grew the most when I went through the fire, when all I had left was to rely on God. There were plenty of times throughout the process where I couldn’t feel Gods presence, and didn’t seek His Word for comfort, and relied on my own strength and abilities to get me through the tough times.

The battle I found myself in late last summer was a doozy… and included physical battle for my dear friend’s health as well as spiritual battle from other Christians (yes, even Christians can be ugly to one another) and my own doubts and fears. There were moments during this battle when I confessed to God that I didn’t know if my strength could last, and I found myself in unknown territory where I literally could do nothing but pray. For once in my life, I was completely powerless to change the circumstances of my tiny microcosm, and found the absolute only thing I could do was pray. I knew with my head that I trusted God, but quite honestly, I had to be reminded of God’s faithfulness to His people more than once.

God is leading

During my battle, I turned to scripture, and studied how God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and literally parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry land when their enemies were in hot pursuit. He literally provided a way when it seemed they were out of options.

Miraculously, God intervened and provided grace and healing to my friend, and brought healing to other areas of my life which seemed impossible.

Wednesday What If

As we entered 2020, I declared my word of the year PRAY, as I learned so much about true prayer when I could do nothing but pray. To be clear, God wants us to pray.. He wants us to converse with Him, and He wants to reveal Himself to us through prayer.

In the past two weeks, I have been haunted by the question, “will you trust Me when it gets really bad?” I couldn’t help but think He was preparing me then, and now, to trust Him completely. I have a calm peace about all that is happening across our globe right now, that can only be explained by the presence of God. I know that God will deliver His people. He always has… and He always will.

I don’t know the extent of “really bad”… either for me personally, or for us as a society. All I know is that I will trust Him…. and I will pray. When I am completely powerless to change my circumstances, I will trust God for everything.

Be blessed, my friends.

SB

Psalm #3

New International Version Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

The peace I feel right now comes from knowing that the God of the universe is my Savior. He has forgiven my sins, and cleansed me. He is my ultimate healer and my coming King. I know that someday I will spend eternity with Him in The Heavens He’s created.


New Living Translation
Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

Oh Lord, my God, I will trust You to deliver us prepare our hearts for what You’ve called us to be. Bring healing to our land and our world, turn our eyes toward You. I pray that You will give people an opportunity to ask forgiveness for their sins and put their trust in You alone. If I can be part of that process, equip me with the right words to say to show others what You’ve done for me.

Guide me in all decisions, refine my heart to love You above all else. Prepare me and help me prepare others for Your coming.

In Your Holy name I pray.

Psalm #2

Precious Lord, You alone are worthy of our praise… You alone are our Hope, an ever present help in time of trouble.

In You, I find my purpose. You’ve given new life, breathed breath into dead lungs, brought light to the darkness, created ways where there were none, restored broken hearts, restored minds, given second and third and fourth chances to us, even when we can’t fully understand Your sacrifice. You have been merciful to the most undeserving, those who have trampled Your name under their selfish feet.

You’ve allowed me to grow in Your ways, and refined me by Your fire, allowing my trials to strengthen my faith in You.

I trust Your sovereign will, Lord, and trust that You will bring all things together for good to those who love You.

Use me, Lord, the story of my redemption and transformation, which You alone have allowed. Let that story be shared with others who will hear and come to know You.

Help me to hold loosely that which You’ve given, knowing that You will always provide all I need. help me to align my desires with Your plans.

Lord, I bring to you my loved ones who don’t know You personally… I pray that You would give them a desire to know You, that You would prepare their hearts to learn about You. Open opportunities to share Your goodness with others, helping me to always be ready to obey you. Forgive me when I sin against You. Help me to be real with others. I pray that they would see You through me. Help me to honor You with all I think and do. Continue to refine me to become the person You’ve intended, and help me to love those whom You love.

Heal our land, heal our hearts and minds. Bring healing to others where healing is needed, restore that which needs restored, and refine which needs refined. In Your Holy and precious name I pray, amen

Listening

3 am… east coast time. Been laying awake in my bed for an hour so I finally get up to make a cup of tea.

In the quiet darkness I pray, as talking to my Father brings comfort. The house is eerily quiet despite its inhabitants… as it has been throughout the past days.

I listen for my Father to tell me everything will be ok. And I know it will. I wrestle with decisions being made by others, some outside my control and some within my reach, hoping and praying that those making them are seeking God’s council and listening for His guidance.

In three short weeks, our lives have completely changed.

In my head, I hear the lyrics to “Go rest high upon the mountain…. your work on earth is done”. My daughter and I recorded it at the request of a friend, still grieving the loss of her brother… yet I can’t help but wonder if the haunting harmonies are deeper.

Half-way through week two of a voluntary “work at home”, with a home that is fuller than most, I feel eerily isolated. As coincidences go, my son brought two friends and a girlfriend home with him on spring break this year. As news about Coronavirus broke just before their break started, his school, located 1,000 miles from home, suggested students bring all their school materials home on break in the event they’d have to finish school online. My daughter’s university gave the order for students to move out, so she and her roommate are here as well.

My work, for a medical device manufacturer, has never been busier, as demand for ventilators and other hospital ICU equipment soar. I’ve been asked to do my job from home, and have spent the past week and a half with a headset and my computer 8 or more hours a day, sitting by myself in my bedroom. It’s eerie to be honest.

In the evenings, I’ve been teaching piano lessons, which have all resorted to FaceTime or Zoom, everybody’s favorite new ap. While others post about their hibernation projects, I find no time to tackle mine.

Connected yet isolated. I’ve felt compelled to ask those in my care how they’re doing… to make sure their emotional needs are being met, with little regard to my own. I’ve inadvertently neglected some while trying desperately to make sure I didn’t. Connected yet isolated… in this strange time where the term “social distancing” has become commonplace

Lord, I’m listening,

as a million thoughts run through my head.

I hear politicians and leaders speak nonsense, ebrazened by the chaos abounding,

I see others’ with fear of drowning, fall prey to hype and dread

Lord, I’m listening,

Let me hear Your voice instead

Stay connected, my friends. isolated but connected…

SB

My psalm…

Good morning, precious Father. Lord, I bow before you, in this present pestilence, knowing that You are the same today as you were yesterday, knowing that You’ve created me and love me… and will rescue me. To remember my years of darkness before I really knew You is to remind me of all that You’ve done for me, and want to do for others.

I trust that You hear me when we converse, as I listen for Your voice in my heart, I know You are here and I feel Your peace amidst the chaos. Thank you for Your peace.

Thank you for teaching me to love like You love. Fill me with compassion for those who are afraid, for forgiveness for those who mislead, or worse, take advantage. Let Your peace fill our land and Your world.

In this time of chaos and confusion, Lord, let it be Your voice we hear, Your voice that guides. I pray Your protection on our country, it’s leaders, those who are making decisions that have lasting impact on our physical, financial, emotional health. Let those decisions not impact our spiritual help, except to bring others to a place of spiritual journey, seeking You. Let them find You and be blessed by You, that they, too, would see Your mercies and goodness.

Find Your people tender and loving, sharing The Gospel of your Son, Jesus, who was humbled and crucified on earth so that we’d have a way of salvation, a pardon for the sins we’ve committed, so that we would be reconciled with You forever. Give us courage to stand strong in the face of uncertainty and criticism. Give us wisdom to act, encouragement to help others.

I’m so very humbled by Your blessings, and all You’ve provided. May every thing You’ve given be used for Your glory alone. May the work of my life reflect Your beauty.

Forgive me for all of my shortfalls, for all of the times I’ve sinned against You, sometimes willful disobedience and sometimes careless. Cleanse me again, and refine me in ways only You can, for Your purpose. Use me, Lord, to fulfill what You’ve asked of me.

Forgive our land, Lord, forgive the corporate sins we’ve committed and restore our core to the God we trusted. Protect our resources, heal our bodies and our hearts, fill us with love for one another.

Love You forever, my Lord and Savior, Sanctifier and Healer. Amen