Solo – Find Me

26 02 2009

Psalm 139: 1-12 The Message

Vs. 10 – “You’d find me in a minute – you’re already there waiting.”

Many times I read the Bible either because of problems or I am try to overcome a negative aspect of my life. This week has been such a refreshing time because the Psalms remind us to rejoice in the relationship we have with God. How true! I usually look at the projects of life and sometimes need to be reminded that there is merit in the rest and celebration of the victories.

Our staff went to a strawberry farm this week and how cool it was to walk the fields hearing about farming. We didn’t test or grill the staff. Their natural curiosity had them asking questions. It was a beautiful day of sunshine and being outside, with no agenda. Our hosts graciously answered every question, even fed us lunch and gave us the parting gift of a quart of strawberries. The whole ride home was filled with laughter and talking. Big win. It will show up indirectly in sermons and the work atmosphere, but if for nothing us, the people side of working on a staff. We have an amazing staff and I love the people much more than I love the work they do. They are humbling to work with because they are tremendously gifted at what they do. Plus, they are fun to be with.

The verse is simple – God will find you. No matter what – God will find you.


Solo – Bless God – “Thanks for being you”

25 02 2009

Psalm 103: 1- 14 The Message

Normally, I would share from the scripture. But start there and read it. If you read it in the Message, you will get the same flush of gratitude that I did. Let me quote the devotional part of this passage in the Solo Bible.

“The idea of blessing God may sound odd to us. We might think, ‘Who am I to bless God? Isn’t God the only one to bless people?’ But the literal meaning of the Hebrew word bless is “to kneel.” So when we bless God, our souls kneel to him, usually in worship or gratitude.”

The first two verses talk about me blessing God and the rest talk about how He blesses us. It lists a portion of the “benefits” of being in relationship with God. I love the start. It is so easy to get into the workings of my relationship with God. Just like any relationship, there are things we have to do, say, think. This reminds us just to be in relationship. Slow it down to just “thanks God” for being one on one with me. Thanks for your love and blessing but more importantly, thanks for being you.

Stay there for moment. I use this phrase a lot (much to my wife’s chagrin.) To me it is simple – God made you to be the best you ever and when you walk securely and confidently in that skin, it is amazing. I never thought about God being in that “role.” But yes, “Thanks God, for being you” and being exactly what you promised me you would be when we started this relationship so long ago. Thanks for the blessings, divine intervention, supernatural miracles, and being closer than I could ever imagine.

Thanks God, for being you!

Solo – Back on my Feet

23 02 2009

Psalms 86: 14 – 17
Vs. 17 “Make a show of how much you love me so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed, as you, God, gently and powerfully put me back on my feet.”

When I read this passage, it reminds me of one of my favorite phrases of all time. My wife taught me this – “The devil is a mouse with a microphone.” Now, put in your own words for the “bullies in your life” – fear, worry, anxiety, insecurity, death, life, failure, success, bitterness, lack, poverty, unaccepted…the list is endless. And it is because the enemy will continue to bring “bullies” into your life to back you into a corner. The only way out of the corner is to fight your way out. Now, you can do it in your own strength and show him what you are made of. You will make some headway but you will only go so far. If that is all you want, go for it. I want victory. True victory comes when true freedom is achieved. For that, you need to bring in the reinforcements. The One who is all powerful, all knowing, omnipotent and knows the beginning and end. Bringing God into situations that you feel bullied in through His word, prayer, worship and daily relationship opens the door for Him to intervene on your behalf. Having done this a lot let tell you a couple of things:

It never goes as fast as you want. The bigger the bully the longer it takes.
Only when you totally turn it over to God do you get out of the way and He does His thing.
Treasure silence in hard times – still the hardest lesson for me to learn.
The answer usually comes when you least expect it.
God’s answer is not exactly what I asked for – it is better.
When it is over, I never want to go back and change a thing – God is sovereign.

Solo – Can’t Get Enough

17 02 2009

God – you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you!” Psalms 63:1

Just when you think God has showed his hand and you understand “everything” about Him, he shows you another nugget that hits you between the eyes. Like turning a diamond reflecting light, it continues to change and refract in new and beautiful ways. Many times, I see the struggle of being a christian in a non christian world. I see the turmoil of fighting the fleshly desires versus the Godly desires. But today, I am reflecting on the “wow” of God. Here are a couple of thoughts from the last few days.

My wife is still the most beautiful woman I know. (inside and out)
A cloudless day is hot and brilliant.
Knowing Tater is not living at home is exciting but I miss her more than she knows
Blue makes me smile when she is just herself
Sunshine can beat me at tennis on a good or bad day
A child’s laugh is still the coolest sound
A child’s valentine is one of the most humbling and precious things to receive.
Moving furniture in your truck – need more straps! Need more straps!
God answered a prayer – amazing!
Some hurts don’t change but inviting God to “get into it” does change things.
Riding a bike into a sunrise will rock your socks off!
When you get to the end of a rope and realize you are totally spent and then God picks you up…wow.
A family dinner…the best.

Random as they may be…it’s life and a journey. Would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Solo – Fresh Start

12 02 2009

Psalm 51:1-12

Vs. 10 ” God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”

One of the pleasant surprises of working out of the Message, is that it is one I am not familiar with. When a very famous scripture comes along, like this one about David’s repentence, it will leave you either frustrated or pleased. This one made me smile and dig deeper. As I read the scripture above, I thought about the whole seven days of Creation. How amazing to take nothing and void and turn it into the world we know today. If you have ever stood on a mountain, swam in the sea or really took time to hear people’s story, you would know the raw awesomeness of what created.

As David reminds, that creation can get tainted. And when we do get off course, how cool is it that we can go back to the one who created us. The one who knows us best. Our finiteness is revealed to us every day. It is then that you look at God’s infiniteness and ask for a “Genesis moment.” Renewal has to be a part of our everyday process. God created us with the ability to renew our actual skin and minds. It is also true for us spiritually. In renewal, we must acknowledge and learn from the past. Just as importantly, we must look to the future and the good things that God has in store. Staying in the past is not renewal, it is wallowing. (That can be for good or bad.) Renewal is moving forward in life’s journey constantly putting on fresh skin, thoughts and relationship with God.

Solo – What if there wasn’t a God

9 02 2009

Psalms 28:1 -2, 6-9 Message

This devotion actually made me think of something that I have never thought in my entire life. Very simply:

“What would my life be like if there was no God.”

My family always went to church as I grew up and when I was in seventh grade, I asked Christ to be my personal Lord and savior. I never really wondered if there was actually a God. In the message today, it say, “If all I get from you is deafening silence, I’d be better off in the Black Hole.” Now, I am not strong in my sciences to say much about a Black Hole, but I do know they are all consuming of whatever enters them. It really took me back to think what my life would be like without any type of relationship with someone or something that is bigger than I. You can call it “childlike faith,” or even a sense of hope.

As I pondered this, I actually got a different word. Gravity. Not much sense to that word until you hear the next thought. As long as people have been on this earth, they have been subject to gravity. No matter where they go, they feel the “weight” of it. (OK, bad pun) Here is the kicker though…as much as people have defied gravity, beat gravity, superceded the effects of gravity, they still cannot go a lifetime or even a long time without feeling its presence. Those are short lived events in the span of a lifetime. Even spaceman have to come down and eventually they have to deal with gravity. People have the same relationship with God. Some say there is no God. But with those words acknowledge that God is in the equation even if it means denying him. People say he is not there, doesn’t listen, turns his back on them. People curse God, mock his Son and look at Christians as different. People continue to wrestle with God because He is there and wants to be involved in your life. You just can’t get away from that.

Having said all that, let me bring it down to a bottom line. Life in a black hole is all consuming, collapsing on itself, and has so much pressure that you will never see a glimmer of hope of getting out. Life with God brings in the hope and trust. What do you want? Life is hard enough…

Solo – One Thing

5 02 2009

Psalms 27:4

“I am asking God for one thing, only one thing…”

The psalmist continues by saying that one thing is to live in the house of the Lord his whole life. It is a daunting question. What is the one thing you would ask of God? We all know Solomon asked for wisdom and in doing so, gained great wealth and more. How can you narrow God down to such a simple question?

I remember in “City Slickers” how they pursued finding that “one thing” throughout the movie. It appears elusive – like taking an ocean of thoughts about God and bringing it down to a spoonful of a statement. Yet, it is an amazing journey to sort through all the components of what I believe about God to one request.

No answers for this one…yet.