THE FOCUS OF MY DESIRES
Date: 6/12/2013 06:41 - Subscribe
Brennan Manning says, to live by grace means
to acknowledge my whole life story, the light
side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side
I learn who I am and what God's grace means.
When I have experienced his grace, I humbly
sing songs of love and praise to God with all
that I am.
I experience the grace most deeply when I have
acknowledged the shortcomings, temptations,
and desires that increase the distance between
me and God, instead of drawing me closer. I may
reject them, but the desire often lingers. The
psalmist recognizes the desires this world and
the ego holdes. I will be careful, while also crying
out to God for aid—His grace. That grace is
offered to each of us. It is offered to our shadow
side and light side. I will humbly bring us to our
knees in gratitude and praise.
Gracious God, I recognize my desires that put
distance between us. I cry out to you, and you
were there. I am yours. All of me. Amen
(The Covenant Home Alter, Daily Devotions,
author Jennifer Andersson)
THE FOCUS OF MY ADMIRATION
Date: 6/11/2013 06:49 - Subscribe
Paul's caution to the Philippians is also force today.
Ask yourself, what is it that holds my focus? Where
do I find my identity? What am I hungry for? What do
I believe will satisfy that hunger? Foods? Shopping?
Money? Work? Electronics?
As we reflect on Jesus-His suffering leading up to His
resurrection-we are invited into a time of lessening
extremes in our life, perhaps even eliminating or fasting
from that I used a few fasting is something I desire
being taken away from me. Sometimes it felt more like
a punishment than anything else. What this spiritual
practice actually offers us is the opportunity each create
space in which God will meet us in our weakness. God
will fill that empty space with Himself, with His love and
grace. He reminds us that our identity is as His beloved
child, not in the short-lived things that our world values.
Let us create that space. See how God you.
I have created space for you, Lord. Fill it with you. Amen
(The Covenant Home Alter, Daily Devotions, author
THE FOCUS OF MY SENSE OF SAFETY
Date: 6/10/2013 07:10 - Subscribe
When I was a young girl, I discovered the
coolest hiding place underneath the role of
bushes that ran alongside my church across
the street. I would go there to be alone, to have
a place that was just my. I felt safe, secure,
protected, close to God.
The psalmist sings, "that you, old Lord, are a
shield around me" (v.3, NLT). Often, when I call
on God for protection, I picture Him putting a
force field around me, warding off danger. Other
times, I see God as my hiding place, like the
bushes around my church I am seeking the
comfort of His embrace. There I feel safe, secure,
"I lay down and sleep, yet I woke up in safety, for
the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid"
(vv. 5-6. NLT)
Lord, you are my hiding place. You fill my broken
heart with songs of deliverance. You see how the
weak or strong. You never meant for me to walk
(The Covenant Home Alter, Daily Devotion, author Jennifer Andersson)
THE FOCUS OF MY FAITH
Date: 6/09/2013 07:12 - Subscribe
I admit to periodic short-term memory loss. I may
recognize God's blessing in my life, celebrated, and
thank God wholeheartedly for it. But, not too long
later, I am back to ruminating on a challenge I'm
facing, or focusing on what someone else has that
God's word reminds me that I'm not alone. In this
passage God promises Abraham that his reward will
be great. Yet despite this reassurance, Abraham is
more focused on what he does not have been what
he has been given and promised by God. Remarkably,
God does not take offense to Abraham's challenge.
Instead, God offers him grace and another opportunity.
He calmly takes Abraham outside to look at the stars
and help them gain perspective, promising him a son
and countless descendents. This time Abraham
believes the Lord, and God declares him righteous
because of his faith. Abraham was figuring out his faith.
God offers us the same grace as we work out our faith
Lord, help me remember and give thanks each day for
your activity in my life. Amen
(The Covenant Home Alter, Daily Devotions, author
THE FOCUS OF MY HOPE
Date: 6/08/2013 08:15 - Subscribe
Nearly every day I walk alongside individuals and
families who are knowingly facing their last days.
Some people, in the midst of their grief, sense
peace and hope. Others are consumed with anxiety
and fear. In the 20-plus years I've been a social
worker, I rarely hear what people did professionally,
how much money they made, how much stuff they
accumulated, or how many extravagant vacations
they took. What I hear about is her healthy or broken
relationships; how someone's presence and support
helps carry them, or how the void of a lost relationship
adds to the emotional and physical pain.
Our human existence is but a breath. Are you afraid
that what you do and have is the sum of your ultimate
worth? Does it prove God's love for you? What do you
focus on as your source of hope? This life is fleeting.
We are merely moving shadows. God offers Himself
freely as our source of life, value, worth, and hope.
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
You are my hope now. You are my hope for ever:
(The Covenant Home Alter, Daily Devotions author
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