DANCING WITH GOD
When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that. and lets the other lead. both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and ottentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other. My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE When I saw "G." I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i." "God, "u" and "i" dance." God, you, and I dance. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you. Dance together with God. trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life. This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached. If God has done anything for you in your life. please share this message with someone else, for prayer is one of the best gifts we can receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards so let's continue to pray for one another.
I HOPE YOU DANCE
WHEN YOUR HUT'S ON FIRE
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! "How did you know I was here?," asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives . . . . even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
Through Times of Change
A few years ago, I wrote an artilce that appeared in The Upper Room. I told of a little valley that I passed each day on my way to work. The beauty of God's creation inspired me and helped me start the day filled with peace and hope.
I am still traveling the same route to work, but I do not see the same scene. In the past, I saw cozy houses in the valley. In cold weather, smoke streamed from chimneys and spiraled to the heavens, reminding me that God was always watching over me. Now trees and shrubs have grown so tall that they block my view of the valley. Each day as I pass this spot, I remember that many things in my life have changed.
But, I know that God's love for me will never change. Through all the phases of my life -- the birth of my children, the loss of loved ones, the adjustment to an empty nest -- God has always been there, guiding me into the next wonderfut part of my life. Sometimes change is hard to accept; but knowing that God is there, I am able to face each new change. No matter what challenges lie ahead in my life or how the world around me changes, I have the love and grace of God to see me through. Carole P. Harmon (Maryland, USA)
PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for being with us through all the changes in our lives. Amen
Our lives have a purpose, given by God who made us and shaped by the way we live.
How can we know God's purpose? How can e become a part of it? Not by sleeping life away, nor by giving ourselves over to the mad pursuits with which people try to escape the reality of life. Life has purpose -- purpose given by God. We become a part of that divine purpose only when we take God seriously.
You are invited to be Christ's disicple by faith in Him. In this faith you will discover a new intimacy with God, a new steadfastness and purpose that only faith in Christ can bring.
The Gift of Each Day
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Every season of our lives brings its own peculiar banes and blessings. We look forward to some seasons, and others we dread. But they come regardless. God has a purpose for our lives in the only season that is our to live today. But will we be faithful to this purpose?
In his memior Whistling in the Dark,writer Frederick Buechner said: "This is the day which the Lord has made,' says the 118th Psalm. 'Let us rejoice and be glad in it.' Or weep and be sad in it for that matter. The point is to see (this season) for what it is because it will be gone before you know it. If you waste it, it is your life that you're wasting."
But if you live in it, whatever season this may be, you will find God's joy and purpose for however long this season lasts.
Action Step: Today is a gift from God. How will you spend it well?
Prayer: Lord, let us rejoice in each day you give us. Amen (Christine Chakoian, Lake Forest, Illinois
Read Luke 10:25-37
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be childred of your Father in heaven. -- Matthew 5:44-45 (NRSV)
A heated discussion was going on in the church parking lot. I wanted to leave, so I tried to slip past my friends. "Come here!" they called "Answer a question." Who are God's children? " one asked, continuing. "All are God's children and made in God's image. Some get lost and decide not to follow God, but God still loves them."
The other said, "We are not all God's children. Unbelieving, sinful people can't be God's children. My mother has brought hurt to everyone her life ever touched. She isn't a child of God."
I stood there unsure what to say Help me, Lord! I prayed. Suddenly I knew what to say. "I guess it's not important."
Jesus said to love even our enemies and to pray for those who hurt us."
My friend with the hurtful mother started to cry. Then we prayed together. (Upper Room, May - June 2011)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to treat everyone as your child, even those who hurt us. Then everyone will know we belong to you. Amen Susan Boltz (Ohio)
Read Psalm 66: 1-4, Psalm 95
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Psalm 95: 1
A sesame Street song made famous by a brother-sister duo named the Carpenters, encouraged us to sing loudly and strongly, to sing of good and happy things rather than bad and sad things. While surely all of these are positive aspects of singing, nowhere in this song and we told why we should sing.
When we look at God's songbook, the Book of Psalms, we see clearly why we sing joyufully to the Lord; because He is the "rock of our salvation!" A rock symbolizes strength and a firm foundation.
When we face problems, trouble, and suffering in our lives, we can be lifted by the knowledge that Jesus is our Rock, our Fortress, and our Redeemer. He's the foundation and cornerstone of His temple, the Church. Through faith in His saving work, we're members of this temple. We're members of His Body. This is certainly Good News to sing out about, loud, and strong!
Prayer: Saving Lord, I thank You, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that I may sing Your praises for the sending of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and that I may eternally praise You in heaven. Amen.
Source: Portals of Prayer, Concordia Publishing House
Do Your Best
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed. 2 Timothy 2:15
I try to do my best most of the time. Best seems so relative a term, one that is often trumped by the other word, better. I get pushed and pulled in lots of directions. My best depends on the conditions of the day, how I'm holding up with everything else I have going on. Given the circurmstances surrounding the effort, I usually know if it's been my best. I suppose that sense of just knowing works with the way I come before God. I want to bring my best, and at the end of day, I know how I've done.
Scrupture talks about doing our best and being prefect, but those are hard things to do and be. Who knows? Perhaps a margin of grace can be employed as we stand before God each day, and a relative best may just be okay.
Action Step: Ponder your best for God. How do you measure it?
God, accept my life as it is -- a gift to you. Amen. (Carl Horton, Louisville, Kentucky)
Daily Guideposts (Friday, 27 January 2012)
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on . . .---MATTHEW 6:25 (MKJV)
How can you say that, Lord? Don't you know how much things cost these days? Have you priced shoes, or health insurance or gasoline? "Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?"
Well, yes. but we can't go around naked and eating crackers all day. "Look at the birds! They don't plant or harvest or store in barns, but they aren't hungry."
Okay, but birds don't have to drive a car or pay for weddings and college tuition or make quartly income tax payments. "Look at the lilies of the fields; they don't work nine-to-five, and yet Solomon himself was not no well-clad."
But flowers only live a few days. I might live seventy, eighty, ninety years; that's a lot of house payments and car payments and prescription drugs. "But you are more important to me than birds and flowers. I know you need all these things. There is nothing I don't understand."
But my wife has always wanted to go to England, and I would like to retire and enjoy a few years before I die. "I never promised you that all your dreams would come true in this life, or that you would have everything your neighbors have. But if you will put me first, everything you really need will be taken care of."
I don't like surprises, God. I want to know where my next meal is coming from. "Life is full of surprises, but just take it one day at a time."
My faith is small, Lord., about the size of a mustard seed. But You said that's enough to move mountains, so I'm trusting You to care for me.
I am aware of the unifying harmony of God's love.
When listening to a symphony, I hear a harmonious blend of notes that is music to my ears. It resonates within my peacefully. But when a note is out of place or an instrument is out of tune, I hear a discordances that sounds unpleasant.
The harmony of a symphony is like my relationship with God. When I am attuned to God, I feel peace, for I am in harmony with Divine Love. I feel this Love and experience it in every area of my life. When I experience discord in my thoughts or circumstances, it feels unpleasant. It is a reminder to return to the harmony of Love.
Resting in awareness of Divine Love, I experience inner joy. This joy empowers me to face each day with strength and hope.
Clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. --Colossans 3:14
From . . . The Daily Word
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock,
except our God? The God who has girded me with
strength has opened wide my path. He made my feet like
the feet of deer, and set me secure on the heights.
2 Samuel 22:32-34
Trying to tackle life without God is like making your way along through a dense jungle filled with all sorts of perils. It is rough going -- discouraging, disheartening, and often disastrous. On the other hand, the life of faith is one of being led on a well-kept path. Even though trouble may come along, it cannot overwhelm us because the Lord strengthens and guards our souls when we call on him for help.
Father, I entrust my soul to your care today. No matter what may be around the next bend in the road, I know you will lead me safely through it.
Choosing What to Think About
Oh, how I love your law!
It is my meditation all day long.
I woke up the other day with a thousand things running through my mind. Personal responsibilities: send a birthday card to a friend, call my father, take out the trash. Duties at work; finish a project, make a referral, catch up on e-mails. Worries about the world: the struggling economy, political sparring, melting glaciers.
From trivial obligations to global concerns, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But when I live one day at a time, and when I remember to pray and meditate on God's sovereign love, I become less anxious. Then, instead of fretting, I am freed to focus on the most important things, motivated to roll up my sleeves to accomplish what I can, and relieved to put the rest in God's hands.
Action Step: Make a list of your concerns, little and big things. Pray for God's guidance about what steps to take; then put the rest in God's hands for today.
Prayer: God, help me to focus on the things that are most important for today and let go of th rest. Amen
Christine Chakoian, Lake Forest, Illinois