Self Control

I can forgive every wrong to keep my heart clean.

I can evaluate my failures to make changes I need.

I can not let the things around me make me bitter or lose my sense of peace.

I can keep writing about it all and hope that someone who needs a new perspective sees.

I can only control me.

“If you learn self-control, you can master anything.” – Anonymous

Galatians 5:23
Gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

“He who angers you conquers you.” – Elizabeth Kenny

“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and objectionable.” – Plato

Still Waters

I see this is by Your hand.

Though not all will understand

How You’ve led me into

Your promised land

The pasture is green

The waters so wide

A land flowing with honey

You there by my side

My soul is refreshed

My heart so content

Each labored step led

By divine Providence

Years in the storm

Now worth the wait

The desires that were born

The mistakes that were made

The changes that occurred

All through grace

Ushering me here

To this moment, this place

Psalm 23:1-6

1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk

through the darkest valley, a

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

Heaven’s Power

He’s the hope for the broken

The light in the dark

Our sight 

when we can no longer see 

where we are

He’s the producer of miracles

The way out of our storms

Bringing heaven’s power

To our fading earthly forms

Revelation 19: 11-13, 16

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. …. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Will You

Will You do it for me

Will You be my strength

Will You face my enemies

And counsel me at length

Will You bring redemption

And hold me safely there

Will You offer forgiveness

Will You hear my prayer?

Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Seed of Faith

I have a seed of faith

And oh how small it feels some days

But You say a seed is all I need

To move mountains as I pray

So here we go little seed

Show me the way

Matthew 17:20

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

A Cross to Bear

The trial I want You to remove

Is the one You’re asking me to face

The longing I’m trying to fill

You want to suffice by Your grace

I see You up ahead

Asking me to carry my cross

Telling me Your burden is light

And Your joy surpasses all loss

Matthew 11:28-30

28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Stillness

Your eyes see ahead

Your hands hold all the cards

You’ve made and erased all the rules

You’ve let me taste your heart

So when You ask me to be still, I will

Lest I err in my own way

I’ll take life slowly, let it unfold

And keep waiting with you today

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Aristotle

Toothbrushes and Trusting

I got a new toothbrush. It’s a very good Power toothbrush with a pressure sensor, timer and 2 intensity settings. I can feel such a difference with my teeth using this one compared to a cheapy store bought standard toothbrush. But, there was a learning curve when I first started using it. I was so used to doing all of the “heavy lifting” with my old toothbrush, I found myself still asserting a lot of pressure. I was used to using my own force to scrub hard and get those teeth sparkly clean. But, with this new toothbrush, if you push too hard on it, it vibrates to warn you the pressure is too hard. So, I let up to not wear down the bristles and let the rotating toothbrush head do it’s work. The power behind the toothbrush does not need my added pressure. Angle the toothbrush right and glide it along all four quadrants and wah-lah, super clean teeth!

This process, of course, led me to think isn’t that like learning to trust in God? We get so used to working out of our own efforts and power, that when we are given God’s limitless and effective power, we still don’t know (or have to learn) how to let go and trust in the sufficiency of His power. If we continue trying to exert too much of our own pressure, it wears down our faith the same way it wears down the bristles on my toothbrush. Instead, we can hold on with a comfortable grip and trust in His design to love and care for His children. We can trust Him to get into the crevices that need cleaning and polish us until we are shining. And He does all of this as we put our trust in Him, His unmatched power, sufficiency and grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Faith in Trials

Can I believe what You say to me in the midst of my brokenness?

Will I believe Your promises when life feels like one big mess?

Can I trust your plans for me to fulfill a holy destiny

When trials get the best of me and everything looks different than it ought to be?

James: 1: 2-4, ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Dawn

Lord heal us from the shrapnel left behind
from the war that waged in our lives
The cuts were deep. Alone, we can’t go on.

Lord teach us the lessons we refused to see
But continued on in our stubbornness
We battled for way too long.

Lord carry us into your loving light
Through the brokenness of this night
Awaken us to a new dawn.

You Will Sea

We’re getting closer to the sea

Torrential waves and armies surround

Our hearts now feeling the fear

That Your promises will not be found

Were our steps not led

By Your Sovereign hand?

Was our destruction

The goal of Your plan?

Oh, why bring us this far

Just to watch us fall?

But a voice reassures us

That’s not You at all.

So we take a step in faith

Our last option before defeat

And before us appears dry land

Where once was only rough sea.

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21

At Your Door

Certain things I’ll never understand 

And some of them cause me pain

But when I place them in Your hand

They never quite feel the same

The sting is dulled, hope gets brighter

Faith feels renewed and restored.

So I’ll keep placing life in Your hands

And keep my torn heart at Your door

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Discernment

My name is discernment

Trust what I reveal and know

I show you the hidden things

You’d otherwise never be told

I show you opportunities for blessing

And how to count sorrow as joy

I whisper God’s wisdom 

Amid this world’s noise

I sense when something new is brewing

When it is time to block an attack

I sense calmness and times to be still

When to move on and when to hold back

I’m a gift, don’t ignore me

Shut me out or throw me away

Embrace me and listen

Trust what I say

My Pain

It’s taken me captive 

Been ruthless and cold

Gripping my heart

Unwilling to let go

I’ve pressed on despite it

Used it to grow

Gotten used to its presence

And welcomed it home

It’s had purpose, made gains

Inspired me to change

Been my friend, left me slain

My daily reminder, my pain

2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Sailing

You steered me into the storm

On my trusty boat I went

But the winds picked up

Soon flailing overboard

All my senses spent

This was the way to go?

Why on such a rough sea?

Isn’t there a smoother path

Somewhere designed for me?

But the wind against my sails

Taught me a lesson or two

Gave me new strength and courage

And pointed me straight to you

For Sinners

Jesus is with me

because I have the greatest need

He didn’t come for the Saints

For those strong in good deeds

He came for sinners

He came for me

Mark 2:17

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Tested Faith

In the darkness, hope becomes visible

It’s the glimmer of light around the bend

In doubt, faith becomes tangible

Turning trials into a dearest friend

James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance

Doubt, Faith, Possibilities

What if…

I never discover a solution

My battles never find resolution

My actions never match my words

My thoughts are always disturbed

I never write a famous song

I never find a place to belong

My worry doesn’t cease

My soul never finds peace

What if…

Promises are fulfilled

I perfect the art of being still

I continue to grow and gain

I find purpose in the pain

I gain insight and faith

I discover new strength

I hold fast to the truth

I stay beside You

What if…

These Three

Pride quiet yourself

You will not be entertained

Suffer silently through

your offense and inflated pain

Regret you’ve been replaced

This is no longer your domain

You ruled uselessly for years

Now turn and go on your own way

And last but not least

I am abandoning you fear

For all the missed opportunities

You caused me while here

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Being Mean

This morning on the way to school, my 4 year old said “sometimes Caleb (his 7 yr old brother) is mean to me. So sometimes will you be mean to him too?”  I laughed a little on the inside thinking “of course I won’t be mean to your brother because he was mean to you. He’s my son too.”  

Then I wondered if that’s how it sounds to God when we wish He would “repay” the wrongs done to us. He hears us, gently smiles, understands why we feel that way but then reminds us that the person who hurt us is His child too.  And instead of “being mean to them”, He disciplines out of love and infinite wisdom, knowing exactly what each of us needs.  He provides mercy upon mercy just as He has done for me…. and for that, I am extremely grateful.

In the broken, In the silence

I sit and wait

Your hand is at work
I watch and pray
I give You the pieces
I trust what You say

Grace

Just when I think I’ve found the right to judge

The right to hate, not forgive and not budge
You pull me aside and remind me of my sin

You remind me of your love and the grace You keep me in

1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

Give Him Praise

Should there be any comfort in Christ

By His blood, should we be saved.

Should His arms ever hold us tight,

Then let us give Him praise.

 

Should our failures ever meet His grace

Should our tears be wiped away

Should our hope be restored again

Then let us give Him praise.

 

Should our lives reflect His name

Should we be rescued from our shame

Should He speak to our hearts each day,

Then Let us give Him praise.

Friend of Sinners

I don’t look the way you think I should

I won’t fit inside your box

I can’t get enough of the people I love

You may disagree with the way I walk

Don’t expect me to condemn I won’t

These are the people I long to know

They need me and I died for them

To walk along side wherever they go
Luke 7:34

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’