Thursday, April 28, 2016

Half the bed is empty now

Half the bed is empty now
No one to look at as they sleep
Half the bed is empty now
No one to greet
Half the bed is empty now
No smile to make my day complete
Half the bed is empty now
No one to tell about my day who understands the things I say
Half the bed is empty now
No one to hold me when I am down
Half the bed is empty now
So very lonely, so cold, so dark
Half the bed is empty now

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dreams that have died

I had dreams
Simple dreams they seemed

Ignoring the ugly reality 
Thinking that beauty could be easily born
To proud to see others had tried before 
Only to eat ashes

So sure we would succeed where others failed
Thinking we were better and brighter
So foolish, so foolish

Even after the flames had burned to the ground all hope, like a Phoenix we gave birth to the dream again and again out of the ashes.
Never surrender, never surrender

You asked me, when do we give up and I say, who said we were giving up.  Then I see that the time had come for you to let go.  So slow, so slow.

Tears in your weary eyes.  Only then do I see the cost of the dream to you.  The price of the loss. The shattering reality. Sorry my friend I did not understand. 

Can the dream be reborn?  Nothing simple about it anymore.  Oceans of blood, sweat, tears, and years. 

Outside of my control.  Only God knows.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lord, I am faint, have no strength, weary, and exhausted. Help!

Isaiah 40:29-31

29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might, he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Lord, I feel faint today.  Give me power.   I have no might today, give me strength.   At my best I could become weary and exhausted facing the struggles of this day.  Help me to be renewed in energy and give to me an attitude of trusting you in the darkest of times even when I don't see any answers.  

Lord, today lift me up and let me fly, let be run, and let me walk in your power.  Allow me to sit in the heavens with YOU, Lord Jesus and live life based on the wonder of your victory on the cross and resurrection.  Lord open my eyes to see and believe the gospel.  Come now to me.  Amen

Monday, April 4, 2016

Help me not lose heart in my grief

James 1:12-14

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

Lord, help me remain steadfast, unmoveable, stable, in my faith, hope, and love for you when things have gotten insane, painful, frustrating, and scary.  Help me to face my losses and even my failures as part of the process of growing in grace.  Good LORD, you never tempt me to lose faith, hope, or love.  

My loss of these is due to my own desire to trust in sin more than I trust in YOU during the hard times.  It is the wrong unbelieving and self-centered desires within me that lead me into becoming unstable in my love for you.  

Holy Spirit, come now and sing the gospel of love and grace into my heart that I might be filled with love.  

Forgive me when I have not been stable.  Increase my faith and be glorified in my life.  Amen


2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)

Lord, let me not lose heart.  Day by day things I love are wasting away.   It is not easy to see this happen.  Some of these seem to have eternal weight.  So the line between transient and eternal seems less clear to me.  

LORD, from your perspective the struggles we have are a light momentary affliction.  Help me to see them from that perspective.  They seem to me to perhaps a heavy momentary loss.  In some cases, I fear they will be a heavy forever loss.  Help me cope with this fear.  

Open my eyes to see the eternal weight of wonder, awe, and fulfillment to be found in seeing YOU, knowing YOU, and experiencing YOU incompleteness.  May I value that union and communion more than anything else in my life.  

Good Shepherd, come now and help me this day.  Remember that I am but dust and so very frail.  Lead me through this time of travail.  For your glory, my good and the good of all those my life touches.  Lord have mercy.  Help me today.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fear, faith, and grace

Jeremiah 10:23
23 I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
LORD, master, you who have all power, help me see that my way and my walk is not in my control ultimately but in yours. Help me not trust in luck or chance since they are illusions. Creations of my mind to make sense of things insensible. Help me see that YOU LORD alone guides me through this day and this life. Amen
Isaiah 43:1-3
43:1 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Lord, I fear a lot. I fear what may happen and what has happened What has happened fuels my fear for what may happen.
Take my fear from me. Let me see you have redeemed me at the cost of your suffering hellfire for me on the cross. Help me more deeply understand what this means. You have created me and recreated me, formed me and reformed me. I am a part of your new creation.
Good Shepherd, you have called me by name to be part of your life, family, and kingdom. YOU have chosen me to be your friend.
When I feel I will drown in the pain, struggle, and defeat and be swept away into despair; YOU are with me and get me through all the things that seem that will overwhelm me. YOUR presence is my hope. Even when everything I value is burned to the ground, you are there to get me unconsumed through the flames. Nothing can separate me from your love.
LORD GOD of Israel, YOU are my SAVIOR.
Psalm 23:4
4 Even 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. (ESV)
Good Shepherd, remember that I am just dust and so very frail, come now and lead me through this time of travail. Lord help us.
Help me not to fear the evil because YOU, Good Shepherd are with me.
LORD, have mercy. Amen

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Difficult promises

James 1:2-4

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Lord, help me more deeply believe that the struggles, pain, and losses of my life and the lives of my loved ones is actually going to produce a deep profound change in character and godliness.    Only if I can see this end result, could I have joy in the painful process. Like pregnancy, these times of struggle can only make sense in light of a baby.   Let me see the "baby" of greater character, competence, and compassion that is to come from all of these struggles.  Give me more faith Lord, for this is many times hard to accept or believe. 


James 5:7-12

7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Lord, give me a waiting and patient heart as I look to see the good harvest that will come, either on your return or in revival.  Either way you will come.  Keep me from bitterness, judgement, self-righteousness, and complaining.  

Help me remember the prophets and Job.  No one had easy lives.  Unbelievably hard lives they had.  Yet, while having real and dynamic relationships with you, they all remained in a relationship with YOU since YOU alone have the answers to life. 

The hard times do not take away the reality that YOU, LORD, are compassionate and merciful.  We deserve hell fire.  So having hard lives or hard times is nothing compared to what we deserve.  YOU LORD, also know that some greater good will be lost, unless this suffering is permitted.  The cost of the greater good is high but necessary.   YOU, cry with us in our struggles. 

Keep me from foolish words and radical actions during painful, sad, and horrible moments in my life.  Let me now try to use vows, promises, and wild divine bargains to move you to take away the pain.  Let me see that I cannot bribe YOU.   Help me remain sane in my pain. 

Thank you, LORD, for your faithfulness during difficult times even when I am unfaithful, for you cannot deny yourself.   Help me walk before you in steadfast, steady, sane, and serious faith in your character, competence, and compassion.  

Lord, have mercy and increase such faith in me.  Amen

Friday, April 1, 2016

How can my grief ever have joy?

1 Peter 1:6-7

6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Lord, here in the words of brother Peter I see my reality.  Or what I think should be my reality.  I am grieved by various painful losses and events.  My world, the one I knew and lived in has been lost.   How then can I rejoice since I grieve?  Because my faith is being made into a purer and better quality.  It is becoming purified gold.   This faith will at the second coming and resurrection bring to the Messiah Jesus praise, glory, and honor.  The LORD Jesus will be held high by the faith that the Spirit has created through these disasters of these days.  Joy and grief; grief and joy are married. 

Job 23:9-11

9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside. (ESV)

Lord, during the times of struggle, loss, and darkness,  like brother Job, it is hard for us to see YOU.  We look to the left and we look to the right and we do not understand or comprehend what you are doing.  To the left is a scorched earth where once there was a fruitful field and to the right a graveyard where once our home stood.   No sign of YOU or of your compassion, care, or concern that we can see.  

Help me to know that you know my way.  Help me see that you are purifying my inner trust.  Making pure my relationship with you of idols and selfishness.  Hold my lifestyle faithful to you.  Let me follow you more nearly.  Let me not turn aside from your ways.  

Teach me to trust you in the dark.  Lord have mercy now today.  Amen