His Love

Do You Believe God Really Sees You?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Faith, God Speaks, His Love, Our Hope | 22 comments

kyle skully 1

 

He sees you, in fact he never takes his eyes off you. He watches – and even prays for you.

 

Give your heart the freedom to believe this today. Take a deep breath and consider what it means to have the author and creator of all you see take note of you. Believing this fact will change how you feel about yourself and how you live.

He sees your thoughts and your dreams.

He sees your good days and the not so good.

He sees your pain and your celebrations.

He sees your past.

He sees your future.

 

And the One, who sees you, loves you still.

 

In a world that constantly evaluates our performance and grades us accordingly – it can be difficult to believe God really loves us – scars, bruises, deficits and all. But he does. His love covers our shame and also lifts us from it.

The scripture says he loved us with a complete love – even before we knew him. Can you imagine?

His visible and tangible presence all around us opens our eyes to see him back.

There’s comfort in knowing he sees, but there’s power in seeing he knows.

 

He loves us in order to commune with us.

 

Picture the most powerful person in the world today. Odds are, you can’t imagine having an audience with that person – much less an intimate two way conversation.

The truth is, the God of the universe knows the exact number of hairs on that powerful person’s head and waits to listen to both of you.

Can you imagine.

We are wired for relationship by the one who fashioned us after himself.

He enjoys interactive conversations. He listens and doesn’t leave us for a better ear.

 

Yes, God sees you. He loves you. And He waits to be with you.

 

photo credit

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Morning Prayer for You

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in God Speaks, His Love, Our Hope, Prayer | 16 comments

#40 hidden treasures

 

It’s a tremendous privilege to pray with you this morning, friend. As I thought about our needs today, I was impressed with God’s faithfulness to us. He surrounds us with confirmation of his trustworthy nature. His attention to detail and generous love is everywhere if we’ll just look for it.

 

Please do more than listen to my simple words – listen for the love and care your Heavenly Father has for you. Seek him today. Wait for him. And then go out and find him. I’ll be doing the same.

 

What joy to do the journey with you. BLESS your day!

 

 

 

 

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Lens Caps, Raindrops and Perspective

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Control, Freedom, God Speaks, His Love | 16 comments

apple blossoms

Isn’t this a great picture – I can’t believe I took it!

 

I love beautiful art, both on film and canvas. Admittedly I’m neither an artist nor a photographer, so the fact I took this picture from my inexpensive point and shoot camera is beyond amazing to me.

I especially appreciate how the camera captured exactly what I wanted it to – crystal clear drips showcased on apple blossoms. Breathtaking!

It also blurred out what I didn’t want shown – the backdrop of our yard.

If the picture were to pan out, it would include the unsightly elements I choose to crop, such as the web of electrical wires above and brown spots on the lawn below.

 

Rain was falling the day I shot this picture, both on our yard and in my heart.

 

Some days just feel that way.

 

Circumstances unfold causing a tightening to the chest that moves up the throat and into our minds like lava from the core. We know the boil over won’t be pretty. So we fester and steam. We isolate and focus inward.

The day I took the picture was like that. Circumstances I had no control over were holding me hostage like the rain – I was stuck inside, both literally and figuratively.

When I find myself in that condition I can’t see clearly. My vision is out of focus or focused on the wrong things. Some call it morbid introspection. I call it suffocation. Electrical wires seem to wrap around my neck, holding my gaze on all the brown spots in my life.

That day I heard God’s voice prompt me to go outside. He challenged me to, “Keep my mind on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, and proper.” as Phil 4:8 says.

 

He knew my mind needed a singularity of focus – a refreshing.

 

When I apply the lens of his love to my sight – both in my mind and on my circumstances, he is faithful to show himself every time. Glimpses of him are life breathing, fire quenching and heavenly.

The beautiful little water drops were true, they were pure and right. They were also God’s mysterious way of cleansing my sour soul and drenching the fire within.

 

A fresh focus can also lead to a broader perspective.

 

Panning my focus out a bit, I could reclaim the truth that my life is my life, given by him – electrical wires, brown spots and all. The very wires I resent, even the circumstances I beg to control – are all here for my good. Who am I to question his divine plan for me?

He is certainly found in the beauty of raindrops – refreshing, cleansing, clinging. But he also sits unscathed with the birds on the high voltage wires I resent.

Today, my focused heart clings and releases. I choose gratitude for his divine care. I choose vision beyond what I see and freedom to exploit the perimeters of my own sight.

 

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Live Like Sion

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Courage, His Love | 12 comments

mavericks 3

 

The ocean has claimed its share of ambitious surfers. Some victims learned tough and lasting lessons simply by underestimating its strength. Others spend a lifetime respecting and conquering waves – then one day, by no fault of their own, they paddle out for the last time – forever remembered as one who loved the sea.

Author, Christopher Paolini describes the ocean this way, “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”

I agree. It’s a consistent force that cannot be tamed – just like the one who created it.

The surfing community is a tight-knit group with connections that span the globe. Anytime a fellow surfer dies the community mourns. Often memorial plaques mark the spot where a life was ended.

One surfer is remembered on the island of Kauai with multiple handmade signs located up and down the small island’s coastline. The sign simply says, LIVE LIKE SION. It obviously does more than memorialize the place where the surfer died – it’s a statement, the summary of a life.

Local Kauai ‘an, Sion Milosky was 35 when he died in CA at the Mavericks big wave content. He was a husband and dad of two small children. Sion’s legacy lives on, through his signage.

I wonder if Sion would think his life was worth following. Would he suggest we live like him in light of his untimely and tragic death?

The handmade signs made by his friends suggest we follow Sion’s example of bravery, fortitude and give-it-your-all lifestyle. I’m challenged to ask myself who I want to live like.

I can’t say I have the kind of courage it takes to crest a fifty foot wall of water on a thin piece of foam to scale down its face at 30-40MPH – all the while hoping it doesn’t come crashing down on you. It’s no wonder there’s only a handful of brave souls who actually do that.

However, I do strive to follow one who did even greater heroic acts. His father left signs encouraging us to do as he did. His signs are written in the indelible ink of his son’s blood. He also lived a shorter than average life – however he willingly took his last wave, giving his life up in order to write the sign, LIVE LIKE ME.

The sea is just one of the many portraits he left of his indescribable, incredible self. No matter how simple our life might seem, how ordinary – just following his signage has reward – and points to a place of adventure on the untamable sea of his calling.

 

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above – deeper than the depths below. They measure longer than the earth and wider than the sea.” Job 11:7-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Day I Saw Jesus in the Pharmacy

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 in Christmas, Extraordinary Everyday People, His Love | 18 comments

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Last minute shoppers crowded into the messy Christmas aisle of our local pharmacy. Items marked down for quick sale were strategically placed for the busy shoppers darting in and out to grab what they needed.

The aisle had everything from ornaments and lights to holiday slippers and crock pots.

I watched as harried mothers and busy shoppers cruised through, snatching up items to throw into their cart and be on their way. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry – everyone, except one old woman halfway down the aisle.

She was small in size, modestly dressed, and leaned on her pull-cart for support. The cart was also used to hold the oxygen tank she was hooked up to. She didn’t look strong enough or healthy enough to be out shopping by herself. Her wispy grey hair hid most of her face from my view, but her frail body and gentle countenance held my attention. I lingered to watch her.

Every item she picked up seemed precious to her. I watched her examine candles, cheap garland and children’s gifts like they were delicate crystal or valuable jewels.

With each item she placed in her basket came another careful evaluation of what she had already selected. She would rearrange the content again and decide whether or not to make a substitution.

I don’t know how long she’d been in the store before I arrived – but what I witnessed took close to an hour.

When she finally finished, she straightened up and pulled out her wallet. Her eyes shifted back and forth between her selections and the cash. She made her way up to the register.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had been watching her.

At the register, the old woman pulled out her cash in one hand and began laboriously unloading her cart with the other. She asked the person at the register to please keep a running total and not go over the amount she was holding in her hand.

Then I saw Jesus. He took on the form of a gentle man, an ordinary man. A man who cared.

He quietly slipped in between the woman and the counter, giving the attendant his credit card. The old woman was so focused on her job of emptying her cart, she missed seeing him.

The gentleman didn’t need recognition. He sweetly stepped aside as the woman finished emptying her basket. Eventually she learned someone had given her a special gift. Her purchase was paid in full. She didn’t jump up and down like a lottery winner, she didn’t even insist on knowing who had done this kind act – she merely clutched her bag of selections and turned in my direction to leave.

With tubes wrapped around her ears and across her nose, her dim eyes released a tear as it made its way down her wrinkled cheek and our eyes met. Mine were damp too.

We both knew we had witnessed Christmas in the rawest form. We had seen Jesus.

“Then Jesus said, I’m telling you the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

I saw Jesus in the face of the generous gentleman – I also saw Jesus in the face of the old woman who graciously received the gift he gave her.

May we all be as generous to give and to receive this Christmas! I can’t wait for an opportunity to stand in the aisle of the pharmacy again – I just know it’ll be my turn to be Jesus on one end or the other.

 

 

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When Prayer Aches

Posted by on Nov 23, 2013 in His Love, Prayer | 28 comments

window light

 

My heart aches as I remember people I’ve promised to pray for. Powerlessness stands hand in hand with weakness at the door of my soul. They taunt me and threaten me with paralysis.

I think of several friends sitting on the brink of financial ruin – not the kind of ruin that means eliminating a few luxury items, but ruin that puts them on the street. I’ve given money, encouragement and strategized ways to sidestep the inevitable. I pray. Nothing changes. Days and months pass by while their savings vanish and debt has reached the ceiling. They somehow continue on. I pray more.

For others, it’s the insidious snake of disease that has somehow slithered into their bodies without warning. How did it get past the gate of their faith? They seemed so healthy. I boldly pray for healing, while silently cursing the strength of the foe. I wrestle with my theology, reminding it what I believe. I quote scriptures, I cry. I pray for strength to pray again. I hurt for my friends. Powerlessness and weakness want to stake claim to my soul.

The softness of the ache is tempted to yield to a more comfortable place – to hardness, anger and defeat.

I promised to pray for a place for my friend to live. I promised to pray for a friend’s drug addicted child. I promised to pray for healing and restoration – for deliverance. Instead, I find myself focusing on my own wounded heart that yearns for quick fixes, solutions and the easier road.

I fail at my promises – I don’t dare accuse God of failing at his. I hurt.

Prayer is a mystery to me. There are times I drift into the safe harbor of God’s presence, thinking I’ll never return – and I don’t want to. Nothing seems impossible in those moments. I can taste his goodness and see his strength. So why wouldn’t I use those moments to advocate for my friends? Am I just too selfish? Do I easily forget about my friends?

Or do my own suggestions disintegrate in the light of his sovereignty.

I think the mystery is God himself, not prayer. Praying through our own heaviness of heart and for the needs of others is a gift, not a task. Prayer fulfills the two commandments he left for us – to love him and love others. Praying is the act of loving others by speaking their name and sharing their pain. Ultimately, prayer leads us to the mystery of God’s higher place – his better plans.

I should be free enough to welcome powerlessness and weakness when I pray. For they remind me of my own limitations. They point me to his vast and mysterious capability.

My heart aches when I forget who calls me to the privilege of prayer. When I forget who plans – who listens.

My soul soars when I remember that I’m not remembering alone.

 

(Please visit the COMMENT BOX and shore your thoughts with us too)

 

 

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