As the Sun Sets and All Through the Night

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It’s so enjoyable to come before you,

With uncontainable praises spilling from our hearts!

How we love to sing our praises over and over to you,

To the matchless God, high and exalted over all!

At each and every sunrise we will be thanking you

For your kindness and your love.

As the sun sets and all through the night

We will keep proclaiming you are so faithful!”

Melodies of praise will fill the air

As every musical instrument, joined with every heart

Overflows with worship.

(Psalm 92:1-5 TPT)

 

Where You’ve Not Been Before

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I hate feeling incompetent. I enjoy being asked questions when I know the answer. Memories of first day on the job stress when I knew less than the customers or the students still get shoved back in the closet as soon as they make a peep.

As much as I enjoy new things and find routine stifling there are times when I enjoy feeling like I know what I’m doing and that I can handle this. I can coast. I can offer free advice. Dare I say it? Sometimes, in my Walter Mitty-type imagination I picture the Networks calling to ask me to come into the studio as their talking head expert of the day.

Mid dream sequence the music screeches to a stop. God asks me to follow him.

“Where?” I ask.

“You’ll see.”

“But I finally know what I’m doing here. I have a system.”

“I know. Let’s do something else now.”

I wish I was faster at saying yes. I’m learning that growth only comes as I depend on God and quit relying on what worked before. I have a bad habit of not noticing that change lies ahead until I run into a dead-end or get kicked out of the nest. Sometimes asking God for guidance and yet not moving until the yank of a bridle twists my neck or a stick pokes my butt and the guidance is no longer subtle is not the most comfortable way.

Part of the problem is still my fear of making a mistake, of being wrong, of having to backtrack, or worse, make an apology. But grace gives us latitude to learn. Somewhere deep down I am still fighting the notion that I have to earn this grace with a perfect performance. That’s when failure becomes freedom. His love is not conditional. I never knew how much God loved me until I offered him my incompetence as an ego-sacrificing form of praise.

He says his eyes will be our guide. We can respond more quickly when our eyes are focused on his face. If we are more focused on our work and personal improvement projects than on where he is looking we will miss it.

Stay close. Listen. Watch. Trust.

This is going to be good.

I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you,
Instructing and guiding you
Along the pathway for your life.
I will advise you along the way,
And lead you forth with my eyes as your guide.
So don’t make it difficult, don’t be stubborn
When I take you where you’ve not been before.
Don’t make me tug you and pull you along.
Just come with me!”

(Psalm 32:8 – 9 TPT)

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Re-gifting and Re-joicing

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“It’s pretty and all, Lord, but I miss the flowers,” I told God while out on a walk in the winter garden. Then I walked past this cluster of snow flowers and felt him smile. It was as if he was saying, “Here ya go!” I smiled back and thanked him for the gift.

I took a photo and now I pass it on to you. My gift to you.

I love getting gift cards for Christmas, especially for coffee shops. One day I was with a friend who was popular among the many families she worked with. She collected a pile of gift cards on her desk in the days before the holiday. Then I saw her do the most surprising thing. She took a some of the cards, re-wrapped them and wrote other names on them.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Re-gifting,” she said. “I have been given so much I just want to share. These are going to people who live alone or just need some cheering up.”

Today I was reading about the fruit of the Spirit and how joy comes from God because he delights in us. He is the source of joy. Re-joicing is like re-gifting. It is taking from the abundance of God’s delight and giving back to him as well as to others.

The good news of Jesus Christ is a gift of abundant love, joy, and peace. Pass it on.

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What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

(Romans 8:31, 32 NLT)

Just ask.

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