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Saturday, June 29, 2019


Opening Prayer: Lord, you are my refuge and my fortress, you are the God in whom I trust.  Help me to dwell in the shelter of you, that I might find rest in your shadow, O Lord Almighty.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 91:1-2

Journal: How good are you at dwelling?  How does dwelling in God allow your soul to rest?  How will you practice that today?

Reflection: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)  Only he who dwells in God will be able to find rest in God.  Thus, if we are not finding rest, we are probably not dwelling in him. It is a hard thing to do, this dwelling, especially since it is about not doing at all, but being.  How in the world do we train ourselves to be?
     The Hebrew word for dwell is yashab, which literally means to sit down.  It is also translated to remain, to abide, and to stay.  All of which involve stopping.  All of which point to a lack of movement.  Thus, we learn how to dwell in God by sitting still.  We learn to dwell in God by staying right where we are, by remaining in one place.  And once we are finally able to dwell in God at one place, we might actually be able to dwell in him while we are on the move as well.  At least that is the hope.  For God wants us dwelling in him at all times.  Our feet may be in motion, but our hearts are still and calm.  That’s what it means to dwell in God.  
     The problem is that if we never stop and sit still, and learn the art of dwelling in silence and solitude, we will likely never be able to dwell in him in our everyday lives.  Which means we never will be able to find rest.  We will always be striving, always be moving, always be trying, always be doing.  And that is not restful at all, but exhausting.
     So let us pray the words of this ancient prayer over and over again.  Maybe at some point they will begin to take root in our hearts.  Maybe at some point our feet—and our souls—will stop.  And maybe, just maybe, we eventually might even be able to find our rest in Him.  A man can dream, right?


Closing Prayer: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

soul rest

Opening Prayer: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6, NIV)

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30

Journal: Is your soul at rest these days?  Why or why not?  What are the enemies of your soul finding rest?  What are the friends?



rest is an acquired taste
it must be learned
but can’t be forced

train your ears in silence
and eventually 
your heart will follow

train your body in stillness
and before long
your soul will also be still

rest can’t be taken by storm
nor will it just fall on your head
you have to make time and space
for it to be a possibility
you start by stopping

so stop
open your hands 
and receive the gift
of rest


Closing Prayer: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30. The Message)

Monday, June 24, 2019


Opening Prayer: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:9-13

Journal: What is God saying to you these days?  Are you still enough and quiet enough to hear it?



God works in subtlety
he does not tend to wave his arms
in big sudden movements
but comes in a whisper
like a gentle breeze
that is easy to miss
if we aren't paying attention


Closing Prayer: Speak, O Lord, for your servant is listening.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

God and or God alone

Opening Prayer: For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2, ESV)

Scripture: Psalm 62:1-8

Journal: Best you can tell right now, are you seeking God and or God alone?  Why?

Reflection: The Hebrew version of Psalm 62 starts with the word only:  “Only for God does my soul wait in silence.”  It then repeats that word numerous times over the next eight verses.  Needless to say, it is the major theme of the psalm.  God is the only one who is worthy of our trust, and we are only trusting in him when we trust in him alone.  A. W. Tozer says it this way: “When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God himself.  The evil habit of God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation.  In the “and” lies our great woe.  If we omit the “and” we shall soon find God, and in him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.”    
     Unfortunately, it is a very short trip from God alone to God and.  It is a very subtle shift in thinking and in being that is very hard to recognize.  We start out trusting in God alone, and then, before we know it, we begin to trust in God and our own comfort, God and our own opinion, God and our own agenda, God and our own desired outcome.  Somewhere along the line our desires have shifted from God alone to God and, and we didn’t even recognize it.
     So how are we to know when we are trusting in God and rather than God alone?  The psalm, once again, gives us a clue.  Whenever we trust in God alone, we are not shaken (v. 2, 6), whatever that may look like.  It is our reaction to circumstances and situations that will let us know where I real trust lies.  If I am too attached to a certain outcome or opinion, if I am consumed with a certain situation, if I am frustrated or defensive or argumentative—all of those are signs that I might be trusting in God and rather than God alone.  Which means that I must recognize it, confess it, and repent (turn around).  I need to turn from God and, and return to God alone.  For trusting in God alone takes a good healthy detachment from my own desires, preferences, and opinions.  It requires us to be indifferent to anything but the will of God.  God become the end, not merely a means to an end.
     O Lord, help us to recognize all of the ways and all of the places where we are trusting in you and something (or someone) else.  Help us to let go of those things—whoever or whatever they may be—and return to you alone.  For you alone are my rock, my refuge, and my fortress.  My salvation and my honor depend on you—alone.


Closing Prayer: For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:5-8, ESV)

Monday, June 17, 2019

humble yourself

Opening Prayer: O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 131, ESV)

Scripture: James 4:4-10

Journal: How is God asking you to humble yourself these days?  How’s that going?  What has been the fruit of that?

Reflection: Once the Shepherd stooped and touched the flowers gently with his fingers, then said to Much-Afraid with a smile, “Humble yourself, and you will find Love is spreading a carpet of flowers beneath your feet.”
     Much-Afraid looked at him earnestly.  “I have often wondered about the wild flowers,” she said.  “It does seems strange that such unnumbered multitudes should bloom in the wild places of the earth where perhaps nobody ever sees them and the goats and the cattle can walk over them and crush them to death.  They have so much beauty and sweetness to give and no one on whom to lavish it, nor who will ever appreciate it.”
     The look the Shepherd turned on her was very beautiful.  “Nothing my Father and I have made is ever wasted,” he said quietly, “and the little wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach.  They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them.  Just as though they sang a joyous little song to themselves, that it is so happy to love, even though one is not loved in return.
     “I must tell you a great truth, Much-Afraid, which only the few understand.  All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at.  Every inner response of the human heart to Love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of Love.
     “Many a quiet, ordinary, and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a veritable garden in which Love’s flowers and fruits have come to such perfection that it is a place of delight where the King of Love himself walks and rejoices with his friends.  Some of my servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men, but always their greatest victories are like the wild flowers, those which no one knows about.  Learn this lesson now, down here in the valley, Much-Afraid, and when you get to the steep places of the mountains it will comfort you.” —Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard


Closing Prayer: Lord, my heart is meek before you. I don’t consider myself better than others. I’m content to not pursue matters that are over my head—such as your complex mysteries and wonders—that I’m not yet ready to understand. I am humbled and quieted in your presence. Like a contented child who rests on its mother’s lap, I’m your resting child and my soul is content in you. O people of God, your time has come to quietly trust, waiting upon the Lord now and forever. (Psalm 131, The Passion Translation)

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Opening Prayer: Jesus, show me what freedom is, and what it is not.  Help me to live a truly free life in you.  Then I can serve and love others the way you desire me to love and serve.  Amen.

Scripture: Galatians 5:13-15

Journal: How do you define freedom?  What does the love of God free you from?  What does it free you for?  What is your sense of freedom these days?

Reflection: You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14, NIV)
     How would you define freedom?  What does it look like to be truly free?  How we answer both of those questions has a whole lot to do with whether or not we will ever experience true freedom in our lives.
     Freedom is not about personal rights and privileges, it is not a license to be self-consumed.  Freedom is about us collectively living the lives we were intended to live—being the people we were created to be.  Loving and serving one another the way we were intended to love and serve.  It is not about doing whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it.  It is much bigger than that.  It is about living a life of love.  Freedom is not about being consumed with self, but about not having to be consumed with self.  It is so easy to be held hostage in the prison of self without even realizing we are in bondage.
     Jesus came to show us a different way.  He came to show us what freedom really is—and what it is not.  True freedom is about living a life of love.  It says, “I do not need you to tell me who I am and why I am valuable, therefore I can actually love and serve you without trying to squeeze or manipulate love out of you."  That’s true freedom.

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. (Galatians 5:13-15, The Message)


Closing Prayer: You made us for freedom, Lord Jesus, so help us to be truly free.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

with you

Opening Prayer: Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Scripture: Psalm 46:10-11

Journal: Where and how is God asking you to be still and know that he is God?  What things within you (or around you) are obstacles to that?  Will you be still and know that he is God today? 

Reflection: Don’t try to fix it, just be still.  Don’t start running around like a crazy person trying to manage and manipulate and control things, just know that I am God.  Whether you believe it or not right now—whether it looks like it or not—I will be exalted.  Do not allow fear and anxiety and disappointment to get the best of you.  Nothing has changed, I am still the Lord God Almighty.  And I am still with you.


Closing Prayer: Surrender your anxiety! Relax. Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth. Here he stands! The Commander! The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side! The God of Jacob fights for us! (Pause in his presence) ~Psalm 46:10-11, The Passion Translation

Monday, June 10, 2019


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to see that a gift is only a gift if it is received. Only then will we be able to enjoy its benefits.  Help us to receive the gift of life from you this day, and to do everything in our power to fully embrace it and to pass it along to those in our life and world today.  Amen. 

Scripture: John 8:31-32

Journal: Are you making space for the word of God to abide in you?  How is this practice leading you to freedom?

Reflection: If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)  We tend not to like if/then statements, they seem way too conditional.  Unfortunately, the scriptures are full of them: If you abide in my word, then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  If you delight in my law and meditate on it day and night, then you will be like a tree planted by streams of water (Psalm 1:2-3).  If you lie down in green pastures and if you allow yourself to be led beside quiet waters, then I will restore your soul (Psalm 23:2-3).  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2Chron. 7:14).  You will seek me and find me, if you seek me with all your heart.  Then I will be found by you (Jeremiah 29:13-14).  If anyone loves me, then he will obey my commands, and my father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him (John 14:21).  You just can’t get away from them.  
     The problem is that we want the then without the if.  We want the latter without the former.  We want the freedom without the abiding.  We want the healing without the humility.  We want the love without the obedience.  We want to be a tree planted by streams without having to invest the time and energy and effort necessary to delight in his word and meditate on it day and night.  In other words, we want something for nothing.  We want the benefits of life with God, without having to do any of the work necessary to nurture that life.  And, unfortunately, that will not get us very far.  
     If we truly want freedom, then abiding in his word is the only way to get it.  And it seems like a pretty small price to pay.  In fact, it is not a price at all, but a joy and a delight, once we finally get around to doing it.  It connects us with God in a way that actually brings us to life inside.  Because the truth exposes all of the lies that have held us in bondage for so long, and gives us power over them.  And once we see and believe the truth, we begin to walk in freedom.  But we can’t have one without the other.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to make time and space for your word to abide in us today, for only then will we be able to experience the freedom and the life you desire for us.  Amen.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

rest in my love

Opening Prayer: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8)

Scripture: Psalm 62:1-2

Journal: Where and how do you try to find rest in your life?  How well is that working for you?  What would it mean to rest in God’s unfailing love?

Reflection: My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.  (Psalm 62:1-2)  The only place your soul will truly find rest is in my unfailing love.  You will not find it in circumstances.  You will not find it in your own efforts.  You will not find it in the praise and admiration of others.  You will not find it in achievements and success.  You will not find it in what others think or say about you.  You will only find it in me…alone.  And only when your soul finds rest in my unfailing love alone, will you be able to love others the way I love you.  So find your rest in me and then pass it along to others.  That’s how ministry is supposed to work.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, only in your love can our souls truly find rest.  Help us to find our rest in you this day.  Amen.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

becoming together

Opening Prayer: Together you created us, O God, and together is how you made us to be.  In fact, you even said that, “It is not good for man to be alone.”  You created us to live in community, not in isolation.  So give us the strength and the courage to do just that.  For that is how we become all that we were intended to be.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 133:1-3

Journal: How is your community encouraging your becoming?  How are you encouraging others to become all that God desires them to be?


"How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1)

“We are never more ourselves than when we pray.  But if we remain only ourselves, we are less than ourselves.” ~Eugene Peterson

We can only become our truest selves together.  It can never fully happen alone.  Only together will we ever have the courage and the strength and the wisdom it takes to stop listening to the lies of the world—and our insecure hearts—and listen to the Voice of the One who whispered us into being.  Only together will we ever be able to let go of the false self and become who and what we were really intended to be.  Alone we will always either cave in or chicken out.  Alone we will always be at the mercy of mood and whim and circumstance.  But together there is strength.  Together we are able to call each other to more—to being all that God desires us to be.  Now that really is good and pleasant! 


Closing Prayer: Forgive me, O Lord, when I begin to believe that I can actually become more alone than I can together.  I cannot.  Only in relationship with you, and with my brothers and sisters in Christ, can I ever hope to have the strength and the courage and the wisdom to be who and what I truly am in you.  Amen.