Tuesday, April 10, 2018

HEAR TO LISTEN



Sometimes we just want to be heard—to be known in the moment. It’s a basic human longing to connect in an understandable way, just “ask” a two-year old. This type of being heard requires true listening. Have you had the experience of someone hearing your words but not listening to your heart?

In our noisy world, listening requires effort. The effort of laying aside our personal agenda and longing to be heard in order to hear another person’s words, longings, point of view, cultural starting points.

I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.   Psalm 116:1,2

Amazingly God inclines His ear to hear us! He listens to our pleas, our longings. And this can change everything inside of us as we experience that we are known in the moment. He shows us His love by listening when we call on Him.  We then love Him because He listens, and we call on Him for as long as we live because the power of His inclined ear profoundly draws our hearts to Him.

Images can help us listen to our own hearts and the hearts of others. Consider the practice of listening and the image above. Does it connects with your longings and if so then call on the One Who truly listens.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

COASTLANDS




There are 372,000 miles of coastlands in the world (according to NASA) and about 2.4 billion people live within 60 miles of an ocean … and many others wish they could live closer!

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!   Psalm 97:1

Put yourself in the above image. What do you notice? What do you find yourself thinking? feeling? hoping?
How do coastlands impact the way you worship God? Or do they? What do you sense in the power and mystery of the oceans meeting the land? When you look at this picture and ponder the verse, what do you notice or what comes to you? 

I grew up on the coastlands in North Carolina. Though I currently live inland, my heart is still drawn to these magnificent views, smells and sounds. In this environment, I came to follow Jesus—His power and mystery drew me then and  continues to amaze me as I seek to surrender to His reign more deeply each day.


Today we are invited to open up our hearts, minds and wills to  the reign of God. We are sometimes resistant, but God is not finished with us as His children.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

DELAYED HOPE





Put yourself in the above image. What might you be thinking? feeling? hoping?

We all need hope—it fuels our futures when the past or the present seems overbearing. Hope can give us a joy that is indescribable, without seeing its fruition. However, delayed hope can cause us to grapple with disillusionment. The sense that our hope is an illusion or meant of someone else.

Surely Simeon and Anna wrestled with delayed hope as they waited for the first coming of Jesus. Day after day they went to the temple. Surely they must have known that they hoped for the same coming Savior. Surely the delay impacted how they lived out their latter years of life.

Today we hope for a second coming of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, this hope is key to our faith and those who have gone before us. We have wait for years—we experience delayed hope. As this year unfolds, may our hope not turn to disillusionment for what He has promised He will surely do in His timing!

They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4

What promise(s) do you cling to when hope seems delayed in your world? How might your hope spring into indescribable joy?

Reflect …
As life unfolds for you today, how might this passage encourage you to walk with God? What longings or decisions might this passage impact?

Share …

Are you a parent, mentor, ministry leader or friend? Consider sharing this passage and image as a way to encourage others to walk with God.