Monday, March 09, 2009

Fervent Prayer that Empowers God's Forces

The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6: 12 that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

There is a spiritual battle being faught in our midst in another realm - an invisible realm hidden from senses. When we pray it is wise to remember this and to pray for God to move in this invisible realm and to get through to accomplish his will.

In the tenth chapter of Daniel we find that nations have angels and that these angels represent their nation in the heavenly court. These angels or beings may make up the ethos of the nation or city or corporation. So, we are not just dealing with a nation, a city, a government, a corporation, a church, a movement but also the inner spirit of the organization.

When a nation, a city or an organization is not fulfilling its Godly calling then it has lost its way. It has become diseased and disconnected from its divine vocation. It needs to be brought back to its divine vocation. Here is where prayer plays a great role. When we pray for our nation, a city or an organization or a person we are asking that whatever spiritual forces have turned them away from their divine calling would be stumped, and that the wind of God would breathe on them and bring them back to their calling. We may pray for restoration.

Regardless of the situation we do well to realize the spiritual battle and its huge proportions. What we we see in Daniel chapter 10 is that God works in this realm and tries to advance his purposes despite the opposition from the other side.

In Daniel 10:12 we see that Daniel has prayed and is waiting for God to answer his prayer. The text tells us that an angel appears after 21 days. The angel says, "Daniel, don't be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayers" (Daniel 10:12, TEV).

Why does the angel come and appear to Daniel 21 days after his prayer was made? If the prayer was heard on the first day what took this angel so long? In verse 13 we find out that the angel got caught in a battle. The angel explains, "the angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days."

He could not even have managed to get through to Daniel at all, except that "Michael one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone" to contend with the angel of Persia. Now while Michael occupies the angel of Persia, the messenger angel has slipped through and is able to deliver to Daniel a vision of the future of exiled Israel. 1

To read of the battle that ensues when the angel goes back read Daniel 10:20-21. What we find in this text is the importance of prayer and of the obstacles that stand in the way of the prayer being answered. May we be reminded that when our prayers appear to go unanswered that they are heard on the first day and that God is working to answer our prayers from that day. May we, knowing this knowledge of the spiritual realm, pray fervently for God's forces to break through and bring his peace, truth and light to the situation. And may we remember that our God is working all things for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28).

1. Walter Wink, The Powers that Be, Doubleday, New York, New York, 1998.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Giving Our Burdens Over To God

Sometimes I get busy with the things of life and neglect coming to worship God. When this happens I usually come to a moment where I am so burned out on living that I have no other choice but to come to him for healing and restoration. And even though I should have came to him before, he is there waiting for me with open arms.

If he wasn't waiting I would be afraid of him. But because I understand this now, after 12 years of being a Christian, I am able to enjoy him in this time when I need him most. Sometimes we think God has a scorecard and he is keeping track of all the things we have done wrong. But Romans 8:1 states, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

The last time I came to my Heavenly Father burned out on living His presence brougth me to tears. I needed to release my burdens and let go. For it is when we do this that we can experience what Jesus talked about when he said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:30, NIV)."

For he tells us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matt. 11:28-29)."

We just have to take Him on His word. When we do this we are released from trying to do things on our own strength and allow room for God to move in and work in us.

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy www.copyrightfreephotos.com."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Communicating with Love

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Matthew 7:1-2

Here we see Jesus encouraging us to do something that is very difficult to do. The world teaches us that we should use labels for everything, including people. Many of us use statements like, "He is irresponsible" or "She is selfish" and "He is lazy" often. These labels (a form of judging) only make us more upset because they justify our anger. Labels also make others defensive and angry. Nobody likes to be judged.

Jesus tells us to do something radically different than what the world tells us to do. The word judge in the Greek language is "krino" and it means to judge, pass sentence or give one's opinion in a private manner (Matthew 7:1-2, Luke 6:37, John 8:15).

Now try to imagine talking to someone about a delicate matter without sharing your negative opinion. It is not so easy. When we share our opinion in a private matter it many times is negative and paints a somber picture of the other individual. We see this individual as a bad person and many times as someone who has done something wrong and someone who needs to be punished.

To avoid this negative projection of others Jesus tells us to view others differently. In Matthew 7:4-5 Jesus says, "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Jesus is telling us to remove the judging attitude and desire to see others in a negative light. This is the plank in our eyes. The desire to judge. When we remove this we can see this individual as a human being who is hurting or has a need that is not met and then move towards resolving the problem.

When we can identify with the other person's feelings and needs we open the door to empathy. When we do this people want to talk to us. But when we judge we put up a wall. This is why Jesus says, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

If we yell at others they will most likely yell at us. If we criticize others they will most likely criticize us back. The idea here is that our words can either build walls between us or windows into the other's heart.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Stubborn Heart (Prayer)

CAPTION: Photo by Gisela Giardino. This photo is under a Creative Commons license.

My heart hardens with this transgression,
It is sad and does not want to face reality.
It wants to protect itself from pain, guilt and shame;
It knows it has failed and can’t accept defeat.

O, Lord help my heart come to you once again.
Break through and pierce my heart and make it yours.
Shatter the callous wall it builds against you and
Destroy its evil ways with your love, grace and mercy.

Show me the truth again and take me home.
I long to be whole and to find my peace in you.
Help me win the battle with my stubborn heart
And set me free from my chains. I need you and
Want to worship you in spirit and truth! Amen.

"It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

"The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different." - Romans 7:21-25, The Message

(A prayer for when the heart wanders and wants to go its own way. Our Lord can help us in these troubled times as well. He can mold us and change us even when our heart is stuck in its ways.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Spiritual Parking Lots

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." - Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Sometimes we can find ourselves busy with many things to do and very little time for God. This is actually when it is most beneficial for us to spend time with God. If we believe that he is God and can help us and can give us strength then it makes sense to draw near to him when the going gets busy.

It is during these times that we do well to stop and stand still before God. That is the first thing that needs to occur in order for us to interact with him. When we go somewhere (a store, movie theater, zoo, etc.) in our car we first park (stop) our car in the parking lot before entering in to our desired destination. Here are some parking lots to connecting with God. The idea is to stop and open ourselves up to enter in to his presence.

Parking Lots

Worship - We can connect with God by listening to worship music or singing praise songs to him.

Reading Scripture - We can interact with God through reading the Bible. The Word can convict us and speak truth to us. We can also listen to the Bible on tape.

Prayer - We can talk to God through prayer.

Journaling - We can write our thoughts, prayers, feelings and needs in a journal and include God in the dialogue.

Service - We also can feel connected to God by serving him.

Counseling/Church/Small Groups - God speaks through people and if we have a mentor that can speak truth to us this can also be a way to connect with God.

All of these are ways to stop and connect with our God. There are many more. The idea is to find ways to connect and (eventually) add to the time we daily spend with God.

Challenge: Try to spend at least five minutes (for starters) doing one of the activities above and then add to them in time.

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Taking care of the soul

PHOTO CAPTION: A car that I saw on the side of the path as I was hiking a trail on my last camping trip.

"There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ." - Blaise Pascal

A month ago I was hiking a trail in the woods and I saw an old broken down car off to the side of the path. It was shaded by some trees and was beat up, eroding, and had no tires. Initially, I was shocked to see a car in the middle of the woods. The oddity of the moment prompted me to reflect about how many things are falling apart all around us and are either becoming of no use or are of no use. When a material object is no longer beneficial it is usually thrown away and discarded.

Trying to find a spiritual connection I thought about the human soul. Many times the soul is neglected and discarded in day to day life. It is as if we forget that we are spiritual beings. How awful it would be if someday our soul, the place where we can find God, was lost and eventually became of no use. Yet, this will be a reality for those who do not find Christ.

We were created to connect with God and to drink from his fountain. Yet, many times our souls are thirsty, distressed, anxious, and overwhelmed with a deep hunger and emptiness.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) once said that we all have a "God-shaped vacuum." He is implying that we all have a need for God. If we do not satisfy this need for a connection with God we will inevitably try to satisfy the need with unhealthy things that only lead to more pain. Hopefully we, who know Jesus is the living water, will not fall into the habit of neglecting our soul because we are more interested ourselves and in the things of this world than in our need for a spiritual connection with the living God. Let us regularly examine and check to see that our soul is seeking the living water than comes from the great fountain of God.

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." - John 7:37-38 (NIV)

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?" - Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

God is the Author of Perfection

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Sometimes we want everything to be perfect in our lives. But that is impossible. We cannot be perfect or make things perfect on our own effort. It is God who makes things perfect. He is the author of perfection. Only by tapping into him can we have perfection. He makes us perfect when we come to him and accept humbly the sacrifice of his one and only son, Jesus Christ. By paying the price for our sins he washes us and makes us clean so that we can enter into heaven and reflect his glory in this life.

What is tragic is when we come to God with the perception that we need to clean up our act before we can have fellowship with him and/or be saved. We may say, "I need to get my life together before I can come to God."

Yet, God is waiting for us with open arms to embrace us with his love and grace and to begin the process of transforming us into the people he wants us to become. When we try to do the change on our own (and wait to come to him) we miss out on letting him work through us to make the changes. All he seeks from us is repentance (a sincere desire to change our ways) and openess to letting him do his work in us.

Do you want to be perfect? Stop trying to do it on your own! It will never happen! You are not the author of perfection and perfection will never come from you. Come to Jesus and let him do the work of purifying your heart and soul and creating a new creation. He will create a desire in you to reflect his love in your life and every day you will draw closer to making this a reality. Because his Spirit is working in us we can act and live as he did. And when we do, he gets all the glory!

Verses to meditate on: Matthew 5:42-48; Luke 15:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 2:5-7.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Living in the Light

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy www.copyrightfreephotos.com."

Allowing God access into every area of our life can be difficult. I find myself, at times, trying to find ways to avoid his light from shining on a particular area of my life. And my attempts are usually very subtle. I can hear that voice in my mind saying, "Eddie give this to God and find out what he thinks."

I tell myself I am busy and that seeking his will can wait. I then allow myself to get busy with activities to drown out that voice. Many of us are very good at drowning out that voice that we can barely recall what it sounds like. Others of us are more aware of the amount of oil in our car than what is going on in our heart and our spiritual walk.

If I am honest with myself the reason I don't sit and listen to the voice is that I don't want to give something up and/or I fear change. As tough as it may be sometimes to let go and let God it is always in my best interest, but I seem to forget that.

I am continually working on learning the discipline of listening to that voice because I believe that God wants to tell me something many times and I just plain miss it. When I have listened and asked God for wisdom in the past it has always benefited my life. The next time I hear that voice I will try to not run away from it but run towards it. I hope that I find God there and his wisdom to mold me into the person he wants me to be.

"Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love." - Psalm 31:16 (NIV)

"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth." - 1 John 1:6 (NIV)

"You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it." - Ephesians 5:8-10 (The Message)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Heaven

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

In the Bible the word "heaven" is used to describe three different levels of what we consider to be "the heavens." The first is a description of the sky where the birds soar. The second is the stellar heavens (or universe) where the moon, planets and stars reside. The "third heaven" is where God and the angels dwell. When the Apostle Paul talks about he "third heaven" he uses the term synonymously with "paradise" meaning that they are the same thing (2 Corinthians 12:1-4).

While hanging on the cross, Jesus tells the thief on the cross next to him that on that same day he will be with him in paradise (Luke 23:42-44). This implies to us that the moment we die (if we have received the gift of the Son) we will instantly be transported beyond time and space into the third heaven or paradise.

It will be a place where we will be able to commune with God and with those who are of the family of God in an intense and incredible way. A place that is indescribable, especially with human words.

Imagine a mother of a child, who cannot go outside and whose son never has been outside because she and her son are locked in a room with no windows, trying to explain what the sky or birds look like. She draws pictures of the moon and sky and birds and shows them to the boy hoping to depict them to him. After looking at the drawings he responds, "Mom are the birds and sky flat?" No explanation or design is capable of portraying what the boy would see and experience if he saw for himself the world with his own eyes. Heaven is the same way. It is so much better than what we can ever describe or imagine.

How fortunate we, the children of God, are to be given the gift of heaven! But this gift came at a price. Jesus laid down his life on the cross and died for our sins so that those who believe and accept him into their lives could recieve this precious gift of heaven. May we, who have taken the gift, always remember that we are citizens from another place, a heavenly place, and live in that reality as we spend our days on the earth.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens." - Psalm 8:1 (NIV)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Aslan Symbolizes Christ

Aslan, for Narnia, symbolizes Christ—a savior and king who ushers in a new kingdom, brings eternal life, wipes away every tear, and who displays the qualities of both a great lion and a sacrificial lamb.

Aslan, like Christ, willingly sacrificed his life in a demonstration of love. Despite being a mighty lion whose thunderous roar causes all to tremble and stand in awe, we find that he is definitely motivated by love and that those who love him have nothing to fear. His big paws—which can lash out without a moment’s notice at the enemy—handle those in his care with much tenderness and consideration.

He will cover you with feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. – Psalm 91:4 (NIV)

Excerpt taken from Reflections of Narnia. To read full excerpt click here.
CAPTION: "Photo Courtesy of Free Nature Pictures."

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Heart of God

CAPTION: "U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service/photo by Gary M. Stolz"

Sometimes when we say or do something that is less than perfect we may be tempted to beat ourselves up and turn towards self-hatred. Or we may think to ourselves that God hates us and doesn't love us anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. These negative thoughts and others many times keep us from drawing on the one who can help us.

Richard Foster states, "Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him. He grieves that we have forgotten him. He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence."

In The Magician's Nephew (the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series) there is a young boy named Digory who is afraid to ask Aslan (the Great Lion) to heal his mother. He is so scared that he keeps himself from looking at Aslan's face. He focuses and stares at his feet and claws for most of their conversation. The book describes that at one point he suddenly, in despair, timidly looks up at the Great Lion's face and is surprised by what he sees. He finds "great shining tears in the Lion's eyes." Huge, bright tears that reveal that Aslan is concerned, if not more concerned about Digory's mother's fate than Digory himself.

That story struck home with me when I read it. It reminded me that God loves me and is constantly thinking about my needs. Just like Aslan eventually gave Digory a magical apple to heal his mother's illness, God is looking for opportunities to bless us. But we got to draw near and give him a chance! It is amazing what we will find if we let go of fear and look towards our Heavenly Father.

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV)

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grand Canyon

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

The Grand Canyon is a marvel to behold and is filled with many awesome and majestic views. It is definitely a place that we plan to go as a family. The Grand Canyon, which was carved by the Colorado River, spans 1,217,403.32 acres or 1,904 square miles and drops almost one mile at its deepest point. To go to the bottom of the canyon and back on foot would be approximately a two day journey. The walls of the Grand Canyon are made up of rocks, cliffs, hills, and valleys. It is yet another incredible wonder of God's creation. For more information on the Grand Canyon click here and to view photos click here.

"You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations." - Psalm 65:5-7 (NIV)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Seeing the Gift

The other night I was reading Andrew, our three-year-old, two stories before he went to bed. I read him My Big Boy Potty and Curious George Goes to the Aquarium. As I was reading him these stories I was reminded that this was a chance to connect with him in a very special way. I come home pretty late sometimes from work and have a small window of time to spend with him before it is bedtime. I realized that by reading him some books I was meeting his need for connection and order (to have a routine) and he was meeting my needs for connection, love, contribution and beauty.

Sometimes reading books can seem like a chore but with the proper perspective it is truly a gift. I hope to have this perspective every night as I read him two stories before he goes to bed. Sometimes by just looking at what needs of ours are being met by our service to others we can see the gift that God wants to give us. The sad thing is all those times we missed the gift because we were so preoccupied with our self and the cost of our service.

"Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness." - Colossians 3:15 (The Message)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Developing an appetite for God

Sometimes we can get caught up with the things of the world and lose our appetite for God. What are we hungry for? Is it possibly keeping us from seeking and desiring to spend time with the living God?

Some once told me, "If you eat 10 candy bars you will not be able to eat or savor a steak." The idea is that sometimes we fill our lives up with stuff that keeps us from developing an appetite for God. It could be television, video games, shopping, consuming too much alcohol, using drugs, gambling, etc.

The point here is not that these things are bad (though some are) but that too much of anything is unhealthy for us and for our relationship with God. If we can no longer savor spending time with him then it is time to evaluate what we are having too much of in our lives. Jesus also tells us to seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all our needs will be met. This is a great way to make sure our priorities are lined up correctly.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Power of God's Word

When our lives get busier it may become harder to set aside time to read the Bible and spend time with God. And the result may be that we feel distant from God and more stressed. It is important to remember that when we choose to put the Bible on the bookshelf we are putting away the very guide or manual that can guide us through our trials, hectic schedules and difficult times.

My wife recently had a baby and the transition of adding a new member to the family has been tough at times. There are new responsibilities and situations that we have to deal with every day. As I tried to juggle the new responsibilities, one of the things that got pushed aside was spending time with God. The result was that I found myself feeling distant from God. But it was not God who moved. All I had to do was pick up the Bible or set time to pray and start spending time with him. He was still there waiting. The effects of not spending time with God became apparent to me recently. I found myself at times being more irritable, critical, impatient, skeptical, and with less joy and peace in my life.

The good news is that I realized this and was able to do something about it. I realized I needed direction in my life and peace and that I could find that in God's word (2 Tim. 3:16-17). As I started to spend more time in the word it was amazing how my attitude changed and I was able to experience the fruits of the spirit in my life. No longer was I driving on cruise control. God was in charge and it was liberating.

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Importance of the Moon

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Here is another verse below about God and his creation. The psalmist reflects on how great our God is and how wonderful it is that he thinks about us.

It is also intriguing that the moon plays two crucial roles for the earth. It affects the ocean's tides and the earth's orbit (which affects our seasons). If the moon where any further away or closer to the earth it would have destructive consequences for life on earth. It is truly amazing that God placed the moon at just the right distance from the earth. For more indepth information on the moon and its role check out Project Creation.

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens ... When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:1,3 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

All For Us

Squirrels are so much fun. Andrew, my toddler, and I enjoy sitting in front of our window and watching the squirrels in the trees. We will spend up to 20 minutes looking for them and spotting them. As I reflected on this past time that we share, I realized that God's creation was made with us in mind.

Whether it is a beautiful sunset, a majestic waterfall, a volcano, or the millions of stars in the sky, God's fingerprints are everywhere. When we look at the next sunset, a baby's smile, or a squirrel playing in the trees, may we remember to give thanks to the Creator who has given us all this beauty to behold and enjoy.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." - Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)

"...All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future - all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God." - 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (NIV)

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Precious in His sight

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org." A big tree from Sequoia Park.

I came across this photo on pdphoto.org and it made me think about just how humbling it feels to be surrounded by God's majestic creation. When I went to Yosemite last year and climbed Half Dome and looked down I realized how tiny I was in comparison to God's creation. Beauty surrounded me all around.

On our way up to Half Dome we could see people climbing the steep dome. They looked like tiny ants. Being in the midst of such beauty was a very humbling experience for me. But it is even more humbling to know that God despite how tiny we must be in his eyes still thinks of us as precious in his sight. Wow!

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!" - Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)

"The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the pine trees." - Psalms 104:16-17 (NIV)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Waiting on the Lord

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

"Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning."
- Psalm 130:1-6, NIV

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" - Isaiah 30:18, NIV

What a beautiful picture of waiting on the Lord. Heavenly Father I, too, desire to wait on you and put my hope in you. May your Spirit remind me of how much you love me and desire to bless me. Help me to be like the watchman who waits for the morning. May I desire your presence in my life with the same intensity and longing as the watchman. I choose to cling to your word and put my hope in you. Help me to do this consistently in my life.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Building Precious Memories

As Rachel and I were hanging out with our kids last night we had the special blessing of seeing Adam, our 5-month-old, giggling with delight as Andrew, our 3-year-old, dropped a elephant plush doll on the couch in front of him.

It was a wonderful sight and it reminded us of the many joys of parenting. I hope to always keep this memory close to my heart. Let us never forget all the special memories in our life. It is great that we have cameras and photos to remind us! Children really are a gift from God!

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." - Psalms 127:3, NIV

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Driving From The Spirit

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

Welcome to Driving From The Spirit!

This site is an offshoot of my blog Harmony of the Heart. Its purpose is to remind me to let go and let God guide the steering wheel of my life. This blog is designed to have beautiful pictures and short inspirational messages that remind us all to live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The result of living by the Spirit is a purposeful and joyful life. This site is also a place to reflect on God and his wonderful blessings. I hope that Driving From The Spirit will be a source of inspiration and wisdom for all those who visit here.

If you enjoy beautiful photos and not so lenghty text this may just be the blog for you. That's the idea here - keep it brief and beautiful for those of us who are always on the go. Feel free to let us know what you think by e-mailing us.

Rich Blessings!

Eddie

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Beautifully Designed

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org."

The Monarch Butterfly is a beautiful example of the miracle of metamorphosism, which means great change or tranformation. It is a testament of God's incredible and beautiful creation. A caterpillar, which turns itself into a Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis in just two minutes, becomes liguidy mush after releasing chemicals in its body in the Chrysalis. From this mush a body, head, internal organs and wings are formed in eight days to create a beautiful butterfly.

Entomologists have been baffled by this for years and cannot explain how this occurs. Monarch butterflies are an example of how there is an intelligent designer in the universe, a God who creates and whose fingerprints are found in His nature. To learn more about Monarch Butterflies and their incredible migration go to Project Creation.

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl (the Hebrew word for fowl includes all flying creatures) that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." - Genesis 1:20

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Building Bridges to God

Bridges help us get from one place to another. They help us connect. Sometimes there may be something that hinders us from making it to the other side (like the ocean) and a bridge can help us to reach the other side.

An instructor of mine in college told our class that people are like bridges. He said that by sharing with others how they could come to have a personal relationship with God we could become a bridge to help others connect with Him. He said that if the people we shared with were open to the message there was the possibility that Christ would walk right into their hearts. This thought stayed with me. What a wonderful thing that we can do for others! I hope that I and many others can act as a bridge and help others find the living God.

"...Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also." - 2 Corinthians 5:18 (Good News Bible)

CAPTION: "Photo courtesy www.copyrightfreephotos.com."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Soldier's Lawn in Iraq

CAPTION: "Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army"

A soldier who was stationed in Iraq asked his wife to mail him some dirt, fertilizer and grass seeds so that he could grow some grass to remind him of home. As you can see in the photo, he is even mowing his newly planted lawn with a pair of scissors!

How fortunate we are to have beautiful grass, plantation, shelter, transportation, music, tasty food, friends and family and so much more all around us! Often we forget to appreciate what we have and focus on the things we don't have. We may even become resentful and frustrated as a result. Hopefully this photo will encourage us to think about the little things that we take for granted and to appreciate all of God's gifts to us. (James 1:17)