Woodworking

Our lives are like that wood: It’s the “flaws” that give them character, and once the whole is polished by God’s light, the lives are beautiful flaws and all.

It is the contrast in wood that makes it interesting – the knot holes and variations are what make it intriguing, and the polishing, or sheen over all adds to its beauty. Our lives are like that wood: It’s the “flaws” that give them character, and once the whole is polished by God’s light shining over all, the lives are beautiful, flaws and all. As long as we are active, we will have some flaws in our lives, but as we trust God, they will blend in to become beautiful instead of ruining our lives. (see Romans 8:28)

Spiraling

But if we keep moving, we will come to the center – to the Beginning and the End, and the Meaning.

Our lives are like a spiral leading to God in the center. We go along the path, moving constantly, sometimes wondering if the path really does lead anywhere. But if we keep moving, we will come to the center – to the Beginning and the End, and the Meaning. If we stop in the path because of the difficulties we encounter, then we do not find the Treasure which is at the end of the path.

Jesus Cares for Me

I have been transported from a world to a Kingdom, never moving, but the scene changes because the knowledge comes:
Jesus cares.

Do I feel lonely – deserted?
Jesus cares.
Do I need help?
Jesus cares.
Do I need love?
Jesus cares.
Do I need strength?
Jesus cares.
Do I need guidance?
Jesus cares.
I wander lost and lonely in a void –
Jesus cares…
And the void blossoms into a garden of beauty, pleasing all my sensed, taking me from delight to delight – I have been transported from a world to a Kingdom, never moving, but the scene changes because the knowledge comes:
Jesus cares.

P.E.A.C.E.

We can rest assured that we no longer need to fear the dark.

Meditation Thought: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“You light up my life” – a few words from an old song, but what meaning! In the dark, we are afraid, uncertain of what surrounds us, where to go; we are apprehensive, nervous. A sudden illumination of light – and instant change: our fears vanish, we are assured, we are at peace.

With the Light inside of us illuminating everything with which we come in contact, we can rest assured that we no longer need to fear the dark – for there will be no dark for us. There will be all kinds of circumstances, situations, places – but always clearly seen, as our Guide is with us to deal with them.

P – Pray
E – Everything
A – Anytime
C – Circumstances
E – Everywhere

Psalm 23: A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Two Gears

Only when we can say “I’m yours. Take me as I am, imperfect, inadequate, but completely yielded does the gear slip smoothly into place.

Meditation Thought: “Anything is possible if you have faith.” (Mark 9:23)

Anything is possible if you have faith, because God is taking the action, not human beings. Faith is the lever that changes our gear from ‘our action’ to ‘God’s action’.

Maybe the gears are marked:
– ‘doubt’ and ‘trust’ or
-‘my will’ and ‘God’s will’ or
-‘my strength’ and ‘God’s strength’ or even
-‘my good works’ and ‘God’s grace’.

Whatever the labels, there is no doubt that the pace and the results are different in the two gears. We can be helped by suggestions on how to change gears, but only by our own act can we actually change them. We may have to pull and tug and experiment, but we must keep trying until we succeed in getting the gears changed.

The changing actually takes place when we relax and gently slip our heart and our will into God’s hands, but we may be unable to do this without some pulling and tugging – then giving up our struggle as inadequate, surrendering ourselves as having tried every way we knew and failing. Only when we can say “I’m yours. Take me as I am, imperfect, inadequate, but completely yielded does the gear slip smoothly into place.

Locking the Door on Fear and Worry

The formula of praise-trust-recall serves as a lock on the door of our heart to shut out worry and fear.

Meditation Thought: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“Let not” implies a choosing of letting or not letting. Therefore we do not have to allow the trouble or the fear to stay with us when it first tries to enter. God has revealed a number of ways that we can close the door to worry and fear: praising Him in various forms (singing, words of praise), trusting Him (reading or reciting scripture), recalling His past deeds on our behalf.

In the act of closing out fear and worry, we also open up new possibilities for God’s working in our lives, solving our problems, bringing us joy. The formula of praise-trust-recall serves as a lock on the door of our heart to shut out worry and fear.

A Lighted Path

Listening and doing bring answered prayer.

Meditation Thought in response to Psalm 119:

In His faithfulness, God gives His commandments that we might have His knowledge working in truth. The lighted path brings us peace until we can see the evidence of His testimonies, and give Him praise for His glorious workings in our lives.

  • Knowledge – allowing the Spirit to manifest Himself in us to teach us the knowledge needed for action.
  • God’s Faithfulness (we can trust You)
  • Commandments – if we listen to Your commandments, we know Your will and doing Your will brings answers to our prayers.
  • Truth – (v.104 & 159) Through Your precepts I get understanding; the sum of Your word is truth which brings me to understanding which brings me to right action.
  • God’s Word lights my path
  • God’s testimonies are wonderful (v 129)
  • Great peace for those who love to obey.

Hope Does Not Fail

What better description for a life of peace and victory?

Meditation Thought: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Afflicted (hard pressed) – not crushed
Perplexed – not in despair
Persecuted – not abandoned (forsaken)
Struck down – not destroyed

What better description for a life of peace and victory? No matter what the circumstances, hope does not fail, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

We are not crushed, despaired, abandoned or destroyed because we are not alone, we know our “Reserves” are coming to back us up – all we need do is to wait for them to come to change the situation. What a difference it is to know that our uncomfortable position is only temporary – and that good is being worked in it for us.

It’s easy to take discomfort when you know it is bringing rewards later, easy to take when you know it is improving you every minute. We don’t seek discomfort or problems, but when they come (as they do to believers and non-believers alike), we can rise above them in our minds as our minds concentrate on God, seeking His will – His wisdom – His solutions. Soon – or at least on God’s schedule – we have not only our minds, but every part of us risen above the discomfort and problem and feel exhilarated and happier for the overcoming of the trouble, for the knowing more completely than ever before, that God is sufficient. As we come closer to Him in trust, we can not only throw off fear of events, we can almost welcome trouble because we know God will work so much good from it that eventually it will become a blessing.

Dispelling Darkness

When His glory is perceived, others are drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Meditation Thought: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

“Let” – not “Do” shine. Our part is to allow God to have His way with us, so that He makes our light shine. If we attempt the actual lighting by trying to accomplish it by good works, then people would focus on us, not God. By allowing God to take complete control of our lives, He lights such a bright lamp by the works He does in and through us, that His glory is seen in the light. When His glory is perceived, others are drawn to it like a moth to a flame, and God is then able to work in them, too, lighting their lamp.

The more people that allow God to light their lamps, the more light there is to dispel the darkness. We may never know how many other lamps are lit from our lamp by God, but we can be happy in knowing that our lamp is completely at His disposal.

Peace comes when we are doing the good works, knowing that God is pleased because we are doing His work, according to His instructions.

Miracle Workers

Not a thought, not the smallest of actions is neutral: everything is either to the glory of God – or the delight of Satan.

Meditation Thought: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Not a thought, not the smallest of actions is neutral: everything is either to the glory of God – or the delight of Satan. Practice, practice: learn the meaning of the Word, and having this knowledge, seek the wisdom of the Spirit – by these shall you think and act to the glory of God.

And by these shall you think and act to the salvation of the world: your world – and the worlds it touches.

Let not your preoccupation with your feelings, your desires, your will, short-circuit the flow of power from heaven into your world. The Word and the Spirit are the miracle workers – through the willing mind and body of the believer. A willing mind and body are constructed from a willing spirit seeking beyond self: seeking to know from whom they came, and to whom they belong, and to whom they give glory.

I come not with
pounding drums
Nor searchlights
and parades:
Those you could
not ignore.
I come softly,
quietly, with gentle touch.
Asking, not demanding –
Will you follow Me?
For I go to bring
glory to God;
I seek to show you the way.
The limits you have,
So I had too.
And as I overcame
by yielding My will,
So I show you too:
The Father’s will is
the grace of His glory
Bringing peace and joy
and love.

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