December 30, 2010

New Year: New Heavens, New Earth

"Pay close attention now:
   I'm creating new heavens and a new earth.
All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain
   are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
   Anticipate what I'm creating:
I'll create Jerusalem as sheer joy,
   create my people as pure delight.
I'll take joy in Jerusalem,
   take delight in my people:
No more sounds of weeping in the city,
   no cries of anguish;
No more babies dying in the cradle,
   or old people who don't enjoy a full lifetime;
One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal—
   anything less will seem like a cheat.
They'll build houses
   and move in.
They'll plant fields
   and eat what they grow.
No more building a house
   that some outsider takes over,
No more planting fields
   that some enemy confiscates,
For my people will be as long-lived as trees,
   my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work.
They won't work and have nothing come of it,
   they won't have children snatched out from under them.
For they themselves are plantings blessed by God,
   with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed.
Before they call out, I'll answer.
   Before they've finished speaking, I'll have heard.
Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow,
   lion and ox eat straw from the same trough,
   but snakes—they'll get a diet of dirt!
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
   anywhere on my Holy Mountain," says God.

- Isaiah 65:17-25 (The Message)

A happy 2011 to us all. :)

December 24, 2010

God with us :)

On earth, peace and good will toward men...
In the highest, glory to God.
May we all experience Immanuel (God-with-us) this season!

* rephrasing Luke 2:14

December 17, 2010

Need Inspiration? :)

To "inspire" means to "guide by divine influence".

I have this small box of quotes and prayers from way back --- as in, fifteen years ago? It helped introduce me to God's Word and how to walk with faith in Him. Here they are below... hoping you would be blessed as well. :)

If you're encouraged, do pass these on! :)

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
You display Your power among the peoples.
- Psalm 77:13-14

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And being with You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- Psalm 73:25

Oh God, touch my heart today
And cleanse me from all sin,
Put your love and joy inside
And keep it safe within
Till someone comes along
And needs my help
To lift their loads today,
Then may I reach inside my heart
and give love and joy away.
- Mildred H. Bell

My Lord and my God,
take me from all that keeps me from You.
My Lord and my God,
grant me all that leads me to You.
My Lord and my God,
take me from myself and give me completely to You.
- St. Nicholas von Flue

Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders You have done.
The things You have planed for us
no one can recount to You;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
- Psalm 40:5 or 6?

Search me, O God,
and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalm 139:23

Just for today,
What does it matter, O Lord,
if the future is dark?
To pray now for tomorrow
I am not able.
Keep my heart only for today,
give me protection today,
grant me Your light
just for today.
- St. Therese of Lisieux

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to Thy never failing care and love,
for this life and the life to come;
knowing that Thou are doing for them better things
than we can desire or pray for.
- Book of Common Prayer

O heart of love,
I put all my trust in You;
for I fear all things from my own weakness,
but I hope for all things from Your goodness.
- Margaret Mary Alacoque

Lord, have mercy.
Restore me to liberty
and enable me to so live now
that I may answer before thee and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
thy name be praised.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May all who seek You
rejoice and be glad in You;
may those who love Your salvation always say,
"Let God be exalted!"
- Psalm 70:4

I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in thy words.
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate upon Thy promise.
- Psalm 119:147-148

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for You,
O God.
- Psalm 42:1

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in Your righteousness;
turn Your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go...
- Psalm 71:1-3

Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to Your name be the glory,
because of Your love and faithfulness.
- Psalm 115:1

Let Thy steadfast love,
be upon us,
even as we hope in Thee.
- Psalm 33:22

Grant us O Lord,
to pass this day in gladness and peace,
without stumbling and without stain;
that reaching the eventide victorious over all temptations,
we may praise You, the eternal God,
who are blessed, and governs all things,
world without end. Amen.
- Mozarabic Liturgy

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God
as long as I live.
- Psalm 146:1

One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that You, O God, are strong,
and that You, O Lord, are loving.
- Psalm 62:11-12

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go
for to You I lift up my soul.
- Psalm 143:8

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
- Psalm 119:105

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
- Psalm 139:14

For You, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
- Psalm 116:8-9

You turned my wailing into dancing;
You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.
- Psalm 30:11

Because Your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify You.
I will praise You as long as I live...
- Psalm 63:3-4

Teach us to number our days aright
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- Psalm 90:12

Thanks be to Thee,
my joy and my glory and my hope and my God.
Thanks be to Thee for Thy gifts;
but do Thou preserve them in me,
thus Thou will preserve me,
and the things Thou hast given me
will increase and be made perfect,
and I shall be with Thee:
because even that I exist is Thy gift.
- St. Augustine of Hippo

Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Thy sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
- Psalm 19:14

O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day;
I I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.
- Sir Jacob Astley

To do Your will,
O my God,
is my desire;
Your law
is within my heart.
- Psalm 40:8

Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Break me,
melt me,
mould me,
fill me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.

December 9, 2010

To see the unseen God

"To love another person is to see the face of God."
- Les Miserables

"No one has ever seen God;
but if we love one another,

God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."
- 1 John 4:12

December 5, 2010

Success How-To for Today, Dec05

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

- Proverbs 3:3-4

December 3, 2010

And why the heck should I even bother?

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
- Plato

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
- Paul to the Ephesians

Dear friends,

Let us rise above petty conflicts and trivial issues.
Let us look to the people, and value every one as a brother or sister.
(Easier said than done, I know.)
Let us love God by loving each other.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
- Paul to the Romans

Finding it hard to love the people around you?
Remember how unlovable you were (or still are)! :D
This works for me every time...
And how funny is it that when someone "sins against me", I regularly end up remembering at least one time when I did something similar... or worse?
And --- thank God --- I remember that God already loved and already forgave me even back then.

"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.
- Jesus

"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
- John Newton

So to answer the question, "Why should I even bother?"
--- Because God bothered enough to love and restore me.
This is how I thank and follow Him.
This is how I join His work, in loving and restoring others.
This is my part in bringing heaven down to earth. :)

December 2, 2010

what they hate the most

"It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell,
it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons."

- William Gurnall


Like a mighty warrior,
the LORD is with me.

- Jeremiah 20:11a