Friday, October 23, 2009

The Noise in My Head

Here's a little update of what's out loud in my head.
This morning, I woke up like this (click on the pictures to see them better):

After some time in the Word, a few encouraging conversations, and a lot of prayer, the noise changed to something beautiful:

It's not a perfect picture, because I'm not perfect. But with the right tools, what used to be clanging of pots and pans disguised as music can turn into a beautiful symphony.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
you children of his servant Israel,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
Remember his covenant forever—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
This is the covenant he made with Abraham
and the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
“I will give you the land of Canaan
as your special possession.”

He said this when you were few in number,
a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
They wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
He warned kings on their behalf:
“Do not touch my chosen people,
and do not hurt my prophets.”

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and joy fill his dwelling.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before him.
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise,
for the Lord is coming to judge the earth.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.”

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting!

And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
1 Chronicles 16:8-36 (NLT)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Goose Poop on the Sidewalk

Yesterday I was feeling a little tired in my office so I decided to take a walk outside around the building. I do this once in a while to clear my mind or to spend a few quiet minutes alone with God. Things get so hectic in the office sometimes and it's easy to lose focus.

As I was walking, I noticed some geese - Canadian, I think - in the grass near the sidewalk. I think they have been in the growth hormones because they were huge! As I got closer, I noticed if they stood up tall, they were more than half my height. Just another instance of "I wish I had my camera with me." Didn't even have my phone.

The other thing I noticed was the goose poop all over the sidewalk. At first there was just a little and it was easy to avoid. Then as I rounded the corner of the building, it was everywhere. I walked with my head down, inspecting every inch of sidewalk looking for the safest place to step. Of course, all the while keeping an eye on the beasts that made the mess.

As I carefully made my way around the building, it occurred to me that while I was careful not to step in what I could clearly see could cause me harm (or at least distress), I'm not nearly as careful when it comes to sin and temptation that comes my way. I don't carefully navigate my way around it - sometimes I step right in it and carry the stink and dirt and contaminates around with me.

I realize I shouldn't walk around seeking out sin so I can be tempted and then avoid it, but I do know I need to be aware that temptation is all around me (1 Peter 5:8) and I have to be careful not to step in it. And when I see it, look for the escape route.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

How do you avoid temptation?