07 November 2005

God's presence was very close to me yesterday. I heard His voice speaking to me several times ... offering peace and encouragement in concrete ways.

Yesterday was also my son Ian's 17th birthday today. I'm so blessed to have him as my son -- he is growing into a fine young man. Through all the ups and downs of being a teenager, I see his heart bent toward God and his choices bent toward righteousness. The past 8 months of uncertainty have been hard for him -- so please say a prayer for him today.

It's my prayer that my experience with God yesterday will set the precedent for tomorrow and for the days that follow. It's not raining today, so I just returned from a 4 mile walk. I need to continue walking more. Seriously.

We serve an amazing God Whose eyes never wander away from us, Whose ears never turn away from us, Whose heart never stops yearning for us to draw close to Him. I've also been thinking about Jesus' words in Matthew 7. They seem so right for where I'm at in life right now. It's like when Jesus spoke them up on the mountain with His disciples all those years ago, I was on His mind. Here they are both from The Message and from the J.B. Phillips New Testament In Modern English ...


7 "Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. 8 This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. 9 If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? 10 If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate?

11 As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
12 "Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get.

13 "Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. 14 The way to life - to God! - is vigorous and requires total attention.


7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you. The one who asks will always receive; the one who is searching will always find, and the door is opened to the man who knocks."

9-11 "If any of you were asked by his son for bread would you be likely to give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish would you give him a snake? If you then, for all your evil, quite naturally give good things to your children, how much more likely is it that your Heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him?"

12-14 "Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them - this is the essence of all true religion. Go in by the narrow gate. For the wide gate has a broad road which leads to disaster and there are many people going that way. The narrow gate and the hard road lead out into life and only a few are finding it."

Good words. Good words to live by. Good words to fall asleep dreaming about. Good words to wake up to and live in. Thanks for your prayers and support these past many months. Godspeed.



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