Monthly Archives: January 2014

More Joy

I have been am asking God to put a new song in my heart. I want to say “yes” to the more joy God invites me to experience each new day. So, I have been praying these words from Psalm 3:7:

You have put more joy in my heart
than ___________________________.

The Psalmists fills in the blank with the phrase: “they have when their grain and wine abound.” But I find myself filling in the blank with other things that abound and even control my life. As I name those things, the Lord graciously reveals how freeing it is to dwell on the more joy God provides.

The exact words of the new song God is putting in my heart remain a mystery, but I do know it is a song of joy and freedom. After all, it is for freedom that Christ has set you and I free (Galatians 5:1a ESV).

As we rejoice in our freedom from what abounds and even controls our lives, may you and I share with others the more joy God puts in our hearts!

Chasing toward God

Today I read a few chapters from the book of Job and was reminded of how often I have the privilege of listening to the struggles of those who are dear to God. In response, I spent time asking the Holy Spirit to give all of us the courage to go to God and be emotionally honest before the Lord, each new day.

Fenelon, a French Catholic priest in the late 1600, has taught me to pray that our difficulties would “chase us toward God.”

Patiently endure the ups and downs of everyday life.
Behind every annoying circumstance, learn to see God governing
all things. See that he trains you through troubling situations as well as
through pleasant ones. The intrusions that God sends you will no doubt
upset your plans and oppose all that you want.
But they will also chase you toward God.
(Source: The Seeking Heart)

May we find ourselves chasing toward and then responding to God as Job did: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).

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A Benediction of Sorts

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all
we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV)

May my life be
a benediction of sorts…
Forever and ever

Real sounds of praise
power at work
A whole new song
rising up within me.

Honest prayers of hope
askings, imaginings
A glorious chorus
permeating the church.

Actual thanksgivings
immeasurable more
A wholehearted gratitude
guiding all generations.

May our lives be
a benediction of sorts…
Forever and ever

What an honor to be invited by God into this life of blessings and amens!

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The Gigantic Secret

This week I have continued to reflect on what it means to rejoice in hope. Is it possible to rejoice even when I am feeling hopeless? The apostle Paul says it is.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.                      (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)

You and I can rejoice in times of suffering because God’s love has been poured into our hearts. In fact, I believe in our darkest hours, the Holy Spirit empowers us not to just endure but to hope and to keep on rejoicing!

G.K. Chesterton is quoted as saying, “Joy…is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” Who are we going to share our gigantic secret with?


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1, 2 ESV)

Slowly, I have been putting away the reminders of Christmas: the special decorations, the greeting cards from loved ones near and far and all the thoughtful gifts. Surely now then is the time to put away the nativity set. But is it? Perhaps, the beginning of a new year is the best time to ponder like Mary all these things in our hearts. For I realize I have a choice to make.

Will I box up the nativity set until next year and store it in an out of the way place? Or will I daily say “thank you” God for the incarnation which fills my life with meaning? You and I have been given an incredible gift. Through Christ, who justifies us by faith, we have been given peace with God and have access to the grace in which we daily stand.

This is the Good News God invites us to lovingly and appropriately “regift” all year long. And may we be inspired to do so often in 2014, by rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God!