I pray for hope to fill our hearts today. Who knows what joy awaits us today? Who can tell us? Only God knows the good gifts in store for us. We look and wonder. Mostly, we enjoy God’s presence. He’s here now.
I finish the Psalms this morning. What a beautiful journey! On August 1, we can start reading the book of Psalms all over again and read 5 a day. Why not record special moments that you love in each chapter?
I love Psalm 150 as a culmination of what life is all about. I think about what we’re made for. I think about how everything about our lives can work to praise God. What if we’re made for this? We read this:
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Let everything praise the Lord. I love how we praise God for His power and greatness, and we do so with music and dancing. Add a little more music into the day. Add a little more dancing. And do it to praise the Lord.
In Psalm 145, we read a beautiful phrase about God. David says, “his greatness is unsearchable.” Unsearchable! We cannot ever finish learning about God. We cannot end our investigation of Him.
You know that feeling you get when your favorite novel finishes or when your television series ends? The sadness. The longing for more. The feeling that something has been lost. Well, we don’t ever have to feel that with Jesus. The fresh experiences with Him never end. His greatness is unsearchable. Each time you open your Bible, there’s something more. Every prayer is new.
After all these years of blogging at Live with Flair, I’ve learned the power of expecting good things from the day.
I love the hope that God will scatter little bits of joy for us if we remember to hunt and gather them. The joy might arrive in something we observe in nature. It might arrive through a song, a conversation, a fresh prayer, or a new thought we’ve never had before. It might come through miraculous provision, unexplained peace, and supernatural patience. We might discover the joy of extending ourselves past what we thought we could ever do. It might be a simple moment when we pet a cat or a dog and marvel at the creature in our hands.
We have to, as Emily Dickinson once wrote, learn to “dwell in possibility.”
I’m re-reading We Would See Jesus by Roy and Revel Hession. I highly recommend this book! I began reading this book in college, and it’s an old favorite.
It’s always so joyful to observe a woodpecker!
Lately I’ve been thinking about what we would do and what we could endure if we truly remembered Jesus is with us. Imagine! Go do that hard thing! Jesus is with you.
I think about the words in Matthew 28: “And surely I am with you always.”
Or think about the power behind God’s words in Isaiah 41: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Twice stated in the first chapter of Jeremiah, we hear this from God: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.”
The people in the Bible endured difficult, painful, and terrifying things, but they knew God was with them. God with us means we can do hard things. His presence means we have the power, peace, and provision for whatever happens in our lives.
Bigger is not always better. Be led, not driven. Consider your capacity.
I say these things to people in my life who want to grow a business, expand their influence, or get “to the next level.” Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’ve been resisting the cultural pressure to be more and do more ever since I published Seated with Christ.
There’s often a counter-cultural and more biblical way to think about it.
Remember this: Seated people abide with Jesus to produce the fruit He has ordained for their lives–whether big or small. I think of the pressure around Jesus to be more and do more. He often resisted big crowds and kept His influence to a small group of people. It didn’t seem like a good business strategy. It didn’t seem like anything could go viral when He told people not to say anything about Him after He raises a little girl from the dead (Luke 8:56). It’s so odd how little attention Jesus desires.
Jesus was led and not driven.
“A smartly-dressed enterprising tourist is taking photographs when he notices a shabbily dressed local fisherman taking a nap in his fishing boat. The tourist is disappointed with the fisherman’s apparently lazy attitude towards his work, so he approaches the fisherman and asks him why he is lying around instead of catching fish. The fisherman explains that he went fishing in the morning, and the small catch would be sufficient for the next two days. The tourist tells him that if he goes out to catch fish multiple times a day, he would be able to buy a motor in less than a year, a second boat in less than two years, and so on. The tourist further explains that one day, the fisherman could even build a small cold storage plant, later a pickling factory, fly around in a helicopter, build a fish restaurant, and export lobster directly to Paris without a middleman.
The nonchalant fisherman asks, “Then what?”
The tourist enthusiastically continues, “Then, without a care in the world, you could sit here in the harbor, doze in the sun, and look at the glorious sea.”
“But I’m already doing that”, says the fisherman.
The enlightened tourist walks away pensively, with no trace of pity for the fisherman, only a little envy.
I like to remind myself of the point of the hustle. Sometimes, we begin to work so hard and chase a dream that’s already happening right now.
I enjoyed an interesting moment while reading Psalm 119 this morning. I noted how the priest says, “I am a sojourner on the earth.” I’ve always loved this idea of Christians just traveling through earth on the way to heaven. There’s a lightness about the idea. There’s a sense of not clinging to things so tightly. We are strangers here. Our real home is heaven.
But when I looked up the word “sojourner” in the Hebrew, I noted that in some cases, it translates from the word “guest.” We are guests upon the earth, invited by God to enjoy our visit. What a different sense of the word! I normally think of the expression “sojourner” as aligned with being an alien and stranger (Ephesians 2:19); it’s a negative connotation. Strangers don’t belong. Strangers don’t enjoy their time. Strangers aren’t part of the party.
But what if we’re also to see our time here as being God’s guests? I consider a shift in my attitude; I’m invited as a guest to this day. I think of God laying out the delights, the comforts, the sights, and the experiences a host might provide for a beloved guest who is passing through. A guest worries over nothing; the host provides everything. And God is a fabulous host.
The Candy Explosion Cherry Tomatoes do not disappoint! They are delicious and so sweet. I ordered my seeds from a farm in Michigan through GardenHoard.com.
I watched the seeds grow by the sunny window all through March, April, and May. I carefully transplanted in late May. And today? The harvest!
Today, I’m thankful for sweet cherry tomatoes. Tomorrow, I’ll pick more! The harvest brings such joy.
When people ask me what habits and rhythms I adopted during the pandemic that shall carry over to a post-pandemic world, I tell them about my vegetable garden. Back then, the garden was everything: I had nothing else to do, so I weeded, planted, mulched, watered, and weeded some more. I oriented my schedule around whatever the garden needed, and I learned the blessing of rainy weather. I designed meals based on whatever the garden offered that evening. When autumn came, I gathered and dried seeds for the coming spring. The COVID summers gave me the blessing of growing fruits and vegetables, and for this I am thankful.