December 28, 2020 declare

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Good Morning, DearHeart.

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The skies display his craftsmanship.

Day after day they continue to speak;

night after night they make him know.

They speak without a sound or word;

their voice is never heard.

Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

and their words to all the world.”

(Psalm 19: 1-4, NLT)

The world around us – all of creation – is a self disclosure of God Almighty. All of nature is making God known, narrating His story to all of mankind.

The word “proclaim” means to “reveal something which one would not otherwise know” (Key Word Bible). Creation around us testifies of the existence and the excellence of the Creator Himself, who made it all.

The heavens proclaim, the skies display, all making Him known as they continue to speak. The sun bursts, the moon radiates, the earth rejoices. From one end of the earth to the other, God is revealed.

There will never be a day that this revelation of God is not seen as creation will pour out its speech day after day, night after night. Every aspect of creation seeks to make known God’s power,

goodness,

faithfulness,

generosity,

and power.

All that already being spoken and God still gave us His Word, His written Word. Through His chosen writers who were moved by the Holy Spirit, He gave us all we needed to know and penned His thoughts for us to hold and read in the our Bible.

It is between those very covers we will find all we need for this life …

instruction to revive us,

decrees to make us wise,

commandments to bring joy to our hearts,

insight for living,

laws that bring us warning and reward when obeyed,

enlightenment when in darkness.

In looking out at the vastness of the sky surrounded by the beauty of the plains, I see God.

I feel His Presence with me.

The assurance comes that He will always be sovereign and all is in His control. No matter how crazy life may become around me, He remains the same.

We live in a time when disease is wrecking families. Folks are clamoring to make more of themselves – desire for success, building platforms, and looking for recognition.

Instead of being self-focused may we become God-focused. May we seek to get a glimpse of Him – of His greatness – in the world around us … created by His very word.

“We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem … There is greater healing for the soul in beholding the splendor than there is in beholding self.” (John Piper)

Notice today, the splendor of God all around you.

Wake up.

Look around.

Go.

December 24, 2020 eve

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Merry Christmas Eve, DearHeart.
Our tree is a treasure of memories. Every once in a while, especially during the holidays, our minds take a trip down memory lane, reviewing the highlights of years passed, thinking on where it all began. Memories of dreams we had starting out, the twists and turns as life took us on a journey through each bend in the road … journeys with unexpected plots.
Journeys … unexpected plots … here I am … back in Matthew … again … reading about Mary … again.
You know this journey well:
young woman,
engaged to Joseph,
angel paid her a visit.
Unexpected.
There is no indication that Mary thought this ordeal for which she had been “chosen” was a mess. No hint that she felt like she was suckered in or cursed…or even scared or upset. Or, a fine mess she’d gotten herself into. None of that.
I think of my own messes.
I have been a mess,
lived in a mess,
and more times than not, created a mess.
Mess – as in
-a dirty, untidy, or disordered condition
-a state of embarrassing confusion
-an unpleasant or difficult situation
-a jumble
Any way we look at it, a mess leaves us feeling ineffective, at times purposeless, and useless. At times, we can wonder what is it that is wrong with us, or question what is missing in our lives.
But, it is right in the middle of our messes where God does His best work. He can step in to you and me, the ones he refers to as His “masterpiece” and turn those very messes into miracles which will astound for the rest of our days.
Mary, a masterpiece – in a miracle – that was disguised as a mess.
Miracle, as defined by that same dictionary:

  • a wonder; a marvel
  • an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God
    Each and every one of us, known and loved by God, are miracles.
    Our messes, too, are miracles.
    The same work that went into the mother of the Savior of the World is the same work going on in the middle of your mess.
    Every broken piece is a part of the artwork He is creating.
    Every fragmented area, He is looking to make whole.
    Every part of this pandemic – He is pulling out of us a closer walk with Him.
    You know – Mary didn’t see her obedience as a mess. It was just sold-out faith. Jesus surely got her DNA when it came to how He looks at a us … “there’s no mess here, just a miracle at work … right here, in My masterpiece”.
    He’s not so much concerned with who we’ve been, but who we will become by wholeheartedly putting our faith in Him. Like His Mom, Mary, did.
    Our mess is never, ever, ever wasted. It is a tool of purpose in the hand of a very strategic God if we’ll humble ourselves to become fully healed vessels.
    The story is not just a story of a tired and stale religion.
    It is a story of your heart, and my heart, on the cusp of being set ablaze once again.
    God sees the entire picture of our lives, from birth to death. And, He knows what His power can achieve in a life wholly surrendered to Him. He never gives up on any of us but finishes each masterpiece He begins.
    “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT)
    “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
    Wake up.
    Sell out.
    Full faith.
    Go.

December 10, 2020 plays

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www.facebook.com/799652261/posts/10158986928157262/

Good morning, DearHeart.

Each year (well, pre-Covid 🙄) our church has an old fashioned, traditional Christmas play. I love it for so many reasons – how it brings the nativity to life for the children, what it is embedding in their little hearts, what it stirs and brings to the surface in me …

is there anything as precious as the children’s Christmas play?

It doesn’t matter if the child has ever been in the doors of our church or not – if it’s a kid, they walk in and get a robe or a set of angel wings and they are in!

How cool is that?

We watch, we smile, and love their actions, facial expressions, and the little unexpecteds that play out on stage. Psalm 8:2 delivers a nugget of truth –

“You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.”

He Himself will teach us, from a young age, to tell of His strength. This is the very reason I find the children’s play so moving.

God uses the weak,

the defenseless,

the dependent,

and the innocent to be a display of His power, thus silencing our enemies. From the very lips of children, He ordains praise which can silence the strongest foe.

The Bible cross reference led me to Matthew 21:16 where Jesus mentions this verse. He welcomed children and delighted in their

exuberant faith,

joyful praise,

and teachable spirits.

Thinking on this verse, I find myself asking this question …

What is my life lacking this morning?

Is it exuberant faith?

Joyful praise?

Or, a teachable spirit?

We need a little Christmas this year more than ever. It has been and will be so different. God, restore us to You … even though it is different – You are the same … that each of us can embrace the fullness of this Christmas.

Wake up.

We need a little Christmas.

Open up to your restoration.

Go.