Choose This Not That

I will or I will not.  I can or I can not.  I change or I won’t.  I seek or I don’t.  I act or ignore.  Choose.  Today is just another day, really.  But the world was created to be marked off in years, and so we begin a new year.  365 days.  What will you do with yours?

I want to read through the Bible in a year, something I did 3 years in a row once.  It changed my life.

I want to walk/run/bike 1000 miles.

I want to determine to speak words of encouragement and kindness and build up those around me, to be a living, breathing, walking example of Ephesians 4:29.  May Grace fall on those around me and may I not sound like a clanging gong or a noisy cymbal.  This one needs work.  I used to be an encourager.  But “used to”s are yesterday’s vapor.  We must guard our heart but not let it harden. “Watch over [guard] your heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

I want to choose people over schedule.

I want to be a person who chooses God’s strength over my weakness and can face weaknesses, submitting them to the loving Potter hands of God who can mold me no matter how stubborn or set in my ways I am.

I want to take a photography class and capture time in space, a moment of falling suspended snow or the invisible curiosity of my grandchildren who are cousins and know they are connected in that untouchable thing called love and can’t quite figure out why.


I want to choose Christ over culture.

To do that, I must understand that more than being a choice, it is a submission of my will to God’s will and that to do that I must yield to the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within me.

It is supposed to snow today.  I’m going to put on my ten layers of clothes and boots and outerwear and take a walk with my husband in the subzero windchill.  Maybe I’ll even make a snow angel.  Catch snowflakes on my tongue and wonder how each crystal can be as different as every one of the billions of humans on the planet.

Listen to the deafening presence of God in the winter stillness and know that I am connected to Him in that untouchable thing called love and can’t quite figure out why.


Redefining The Big Mouth

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.  Open wide your mouth, and I will fill it.”  Psalm 81:10

Change.  The very word causes heart palpitations and anxiety within the human heart and mind.  The world seems to teter on collapse every day…financially, politically, nationally.  People move more frequently…statistics show us that the American family moves an average of every 3-4 years.  Technology updates so quickly that our young children learn it more quickly than we do.

All you have to do to throw a work place into a heightened state of panic is to say, “We’re updating our computer systems.”   Has that ever happened to you or someone you know?

I find it interesting that the God who never changes requires us to continually change.

He asks us, no, really He commands us, to take our human nature and transform and conform it to the nature of Jesus.  Too often, our stubbornness trenches in or we offer excuses.  Even worse, we try to reform ourselves instead of yielding to the refining power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside us as believers in Jesus.

God asked the people of Israel to leave Egypt.  That’s a lot of change!  Although they had cried out for hundreds of years to be released from slavery, there was something of the familiar in remaining in the brick pits with their baskets of straw.  Perhaps it was easier to remain where they were than to trust the unknown ahead. In Psalm 81, the poet reminds us of all the LORD acted upon:

He removed the burden from their shoulders. (Psalm 81, verse 6)

He set their hands free from the basket.  (Psalm 81, verse 6)

He rescued them. (Psalm 81, verse 7)

He answered them.  (Psalm 81, verse 7)

He tested them. (Psalm 81, verse 7)

He brought them out of bondage, where they had forgotten who they were. (Psalm 81, verse 10)

He promised to fill their mouths…to give them manna, their omer, an actual measured amount that perfectly met their daily need and in turn filled them with a voice that praised God from a heart full from obedience. (Psalm 81, verse 10)

If only they would listen.

Three times in Psalm 81, God says, “Listen to me.”

What other gods are before us that roar in our ears and deafen the stillness of God speaking?  The gods that sap our strength and suck our life dry?

The god of dissatisfaction?

The god of acceptance?

The god of self?

The god of hurry?

Do you sense God asking you to let go of something to move ahead in trusting Him?  To change?  

Don’t let the familiar pain of yesterday keep you from experiencing the unfolding beauty of today.

Listen.  God will meet you there.  And then expect Him to satisfy you with the abundance of His finest provisions and fill your mouth to give Him praise.