#4 Name of The Lord for Today: Author Revisited (Author of Life)

photo credit: TempusVolat via photopin cc
photo credit: TempusVolat via photopin cc

 

You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

Acts 3:15

Good morning!  I am excited to come to these times of daily pondering the Name of the Lord.  This is a practice I have longed to do for years, but it has taken this format to actually get me into a consistent discipline!

Today we are revisiting this side of the Lord where He reveals Himself as “The Author”  As I ponder the Author of our Faith, the Author our eternal salvation and the Author of Life.  I think I see the Lord as a God of the REVISIT.  

In my journey with the Jesus, he continues to have me revisit so many aspects of life, of my faith and of my salvation.  He seems to lead me back to things, to give me the benefit of getting everything I possibly can possibly draw out of each moment.  My thought process may seem a bit scattered this morning, BUT I am just intrigued by the fact that God is the God of the RE:

He is the Redeemer

He is the Rebuilder

He is the one who Reveals

He Resets

He Regenerates

He Rekindles

He Revives

He Reframes

He Renews

I could go on and on, but I am in awe of the fact that God continues to turn finality on it’s head, and brings life out of death.  As we see in the verse in Acts 3:15 God revisits the finality of Jesus death and raises him from the GRAVE!  This truth is the way God weaves the Re into our story!  He slap’s the jumper cables onto our deadness, and brings us back to life!  He revives and restores hope, confidence and purpose!

Here is a note I scribbled in my journal Sunday to help illustrate this idea more.

Father I sit in worship this morning longing to express the Joy you bring into the grind of living.  Father there are days when I get consumed with that very aspect of my day, The Grind. But You Lord, bring joy and purpose to the monotony of living life.  You Lord REFRAME the Story, you open my eyes to the the way You see things and You bring value and intention to every moment of Life!  Thank You Father, I love and celebrate You today Yahweh.

I love how the Lord diligently brings me back to the moments I have rushed past in my life, he draws me back so that I get the most out of everything He has for me.  Even my failures are not final in His hand, he rebuilds, he restores, he renews….He cares!

I guess at the end of the day, that is the take away HE CARES and he longs for us to fully know LIFE!

 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent

John 17:3

I hope todays reflection gives you courage today!  As you walk through the day and are constantly slapped but the reality of the grind, may you have the courage to embrace it all knowing the Lord is with you. He is a god that leans into your days!  He is with you!

# 3 Name of the Lord for Today: Author of Eternal Salvation

 ..though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him

Hebrews 5:8-9

Good morning!  As I go through the process of waking up today, getting caffeinated and inspired, I am reflecting of this passage in Hebrews 5. Today’s focus is on the Lord as The Author of Eternal Salvation.

For years I have been a huge fan of talk radio, and in this modern era that has morphed into a love for podcast.  I often refer to myself as a podcast junkie.  In one of the podcast that has captured my attention lately, the host interviews different entrepreneurs and innovators out there taking action, pushing the envelop, and daily expanding the horizons of possibility.  These daily dialogues have been  inspiring and are constantly challenging me to see life with a radically new mindset.

On every show he ask his guest what them held back from stepping out, taking action and risking to do what they do.  Inevitably every person will say that fear was holding them back.   When I am on the show, and asked that question I think my answer will be a little different.  For me I wouldn’t describe it as Fear (though that definitely has played a role) my hinderance for years has been that I never saw myself as “that person”.  Have you ever had that same struggle?  Have you wanted something but hit the wall of “that’s not me”  or “I am just not that person”?

Today I want to share that our creator is a God who is the author of a story that changes the way we see all of life. That moment of salvation took place in my life almost 20 years ago, but for me salvation is not simply a moment in time, it is an ongoing moment and encounter, that has drawn me closer to the author of life, that constantly renews me and my view of life.  The author of my salvation is one that sees the reality of my sin, and my isolation, yet say’s there is room for me in His heart and His purposes for the planet.

For years I never saw myself as that person.  I was aimless and grew increasingly more isolated from friends, family and ultimately God, because I lived in a story and an identity that separated from the greatest source of Life!

Today I thank Jesus for being the author of my salvation, and the way He drew me to the realization that I am that person that He loves, accepts and longs to Save!  I love that He is described as Eternal Salvation it is ongoing always fresh, dynamic  mind-blowing revelation of just how incredible He is.

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’ Then Israel shall dwell in safety, The fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LordThe shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places.”      Deuteronomy 33:26-29

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath.Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

Isaiah 44:22-23

#2 Name Of God for Today: Author and Perfector of our Faith

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc
photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

This verse has been a source of confidence to me for years! I have drawn strength from the fact that Jesus is involved in my story, and is working to perfect my walk with him.  Another aspect my mind is drawn to this morning, is that Jesus is described as the author of our faith.  I have always been fascinated by those with the gift of writing!  I love their ability to create and captivate.  An author has the ability to draw you into a story and carry you across the threshold to new possibilities and realities!

An author has the gift of translating imagination into words, and those words invite many to join the dreams they see.  I love that as the author of my story, Jesus can come in and reshape a plot that has drifted far off course. He enters into my story and reimagines possibilities, and instills hope and confidence in my journey through this life.

This morning as you continue your journey, my desire is that you discover the beauty and power of the author of your faith!  Today’s name of God points to the fact that Jesus is both the Creator and Saviour in your Story.

Nature of God: God is Creator

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.

Psalms 33:6-9

16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:16-17

Nature of God: God is Saviour

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
23 Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it!
Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth;
Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it;
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob
And in Israel He shows forth His glory.

Isaiah 44:22-23

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?

Psalms 27:1

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Follow the Arrows

Great story about avaition history in America! Well written and enjoyable!

thepracticalhistorian

As the summer wears on, and my children increasingly have trouble entertaining themselves, I find myself struck at the genius of my mother. It was well-known in my house growing up in Smalltown, Illinois, that it was a very bad idea to utter the words, “I’m bored” in front of Mom. Her response would, without fail, be, “Great! The toilets need to be scrubbed.”

photo credit: Mykl Roventine via photopin cc</a photo credit: Mykl Roventine via photopincc

But every so often, if one of us had a friend or two over to play and we found ourselves in a lull, she would take pity on us and come up with these amazingly creative ideas, from fun little games to large scale projects of awesomeness. One of my favorites was a game she resurrected from her own childhood in Even Smallertown, Illinois called an arrow hunt.

The idea was that one person (or one team) would take…

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Revo’s from Meg on “The Book Thief”

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Last night Ken and I watched The Book Thief.  If you have not seen the movie, it is definitely worth your time!  It is a tear-jerker so be prepared. Don’t worry I don’t think my post will be much a of a spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie.  If you do see the movie though it will more context of what I am trying to say in this post.  Here is a quick plot summary for this must see movie.

In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, “The Gravediggers Handbook”, which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man. Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Major’s wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a deceased friend that saved his life in the war, in the basement of his house and Liesel becomes his friend. One day, Rosa asks Liesel to deliver laundry to the Major and Ilsa invites Liesel to go to her library and tells that she can visit her to read whenever she wants. But in times of war there are many threats and the lives of Liesel, her family and friends will never be the same.

– Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The narrator in the movie is actually ‘Death’.  I know it sounds morbid, but the personality of death in this movie is not like the Grim Reaper.  This personality manifests as a voice telling the story of how he comes for each one, and how they GO with him. He shares their last thoughts and feelings as they transition from this life.   By the end of the movie, I was actually quite annoyed with the smug attitude that comes with Death, because in the end he always wins no matter how much we fight.

Lately fear and death have been pestering me.  Mostly at night as soon as my head hits the pillow, FEAR comes and gives me more fear of losing more than we already have, and Sadness comes reminding me of all the dreams that have seemingly died, and once again Fear overwhelms me with the idea that all the choices we have made in following Jesus will all have been for no point and our lives, and our kids lives, are just going to end in ruins.  Then for the first time in my life the fear of dying came over me.  I can remember feeling like I will be alone and forgotten in my death, and that I was not relevant to anyone anymore.

So needless to say watching Death parade itself in this movie triggered a lot in me last night  After watching the movie, I began to journal and tell Death what I actually knew to be true, but for some reason had not been PROCLAIMING.  I told Death, yes you come to kill, steal and destroy and it seems you have the final word over everyone’s life, but actually you don’t.  When you come for me,  He will be right there with me.  And then I began to praise Jesus as I was talking to death saying….

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I  flee from Your Presence?

If I go up to the heavens, You are there.

If I make my bed in the depths(Sheol), You are there!”

Psalm 139:7-8

When I finished praising Jesus, I said to death,  ‘Yeah you know the one I am praising right now because He defeated you-yes, you took Him but don’t you remember He rose again-He is the Living One, the Resurrection  the Life.  And when I am afraid again of the power you hold, I will comfort myself with the very words of my Savior as He says,

“Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.

I am the Living One and I was dead

and behold I am Alive for and ever!

And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

Rev 1:17

And again when I lay dying I will again take courage with theses words from the Living One,

“I will ransom them(you) from the power of the grave;

I will redeem them(you) from death.

Where, O death, are your plagues?

Where, O grave, is your destruction?”

Hosea 13:14

Then I still heard Death gloating because of how many he still holds so I just pointed to the end of the story where it says, that “death and Hades gave up the dead,” and then were given the opportunity to stand before their maker.  And then the best part I showed him was where it said,

“Then death and Hades were  thrown into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 20:14

And you know even when I showed Death his fate, he was still quite smug because of all the damage he has done in people’s lives and will continue to do until “that day.”  So I began to search the scriptures to find God’s answer to him and I came across this beauty!

“Since the children have flesh and blood,

He too shared in their humanity so that by His death,

He might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is the devil

and FREE THOSE who ALL THEIR LIVES WERE HELD

IN SLAVERY BY THEIR FEAR OF DEATH.”

Hebrews 2:14-15

Again, I spoke to the enemy of my soul, the devil, the one who holds the power of death, that  where you enslaved me with the fear of death, Jesus is setting me FREE from that fear and EVERYONE ELSE who puts their hope in Him!  And then I reveled in the Truth that the reign of death is almost over because a new heavens and a new earth is coming and I took great joy in reading,

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men,

and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them

and be their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

THERE WILL BE NO MORE DEATH,

or mourning or crying or pain,

FOR THE OLD ORDER OF THINGS HAS PASSED AWAY!”

Revelation 21:4

So, where you Death have filled my heart with the fear of being irrelevant and forgotten, you will reap what you have sown because one day your reign will end and you will be the one who is not relevant anymore! And until that day,  as I tolerate your reign, I will tell Everyone of your coming demise and let you know that to me, you are only the vehicle for me to finally see my Savior face to face!

#1 Name of God for Today: Arm of The Lord

Name of the Lord for today  -from Ken

In an attempt to find some peace in my day, as well as keep the kids active and occupied, I am sitting at the pool reflecting on today’s “Name of the Lord” and how it informs my journey into the heart and the character of our God.

Today’s look into the ‘Character of God’ is revealed through the ‘The Arm of The Lord’

“Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?   Is. 53:1

I have settled in and I am totally ready for some time to focus and get some reading done! That’s always the goal every time I come down, but reality is never what I dream!  As I begin today, Chloe starts screaming my name!  Frustrated I look over to see why I am needed SO SOON, and can tell that Chloe is trying to get a towel that is totally out of her reach.  All it took for me is to take a second and grab it for her.  That’s all just my attention, and the reach of my arm solved the problem.  Getting back to my journal and reading i realized that is was exactly where I am at the moment!  I was sitting i frustration because there are so many things that feel completely out of my reach!  But unlike myself the Lord doesn’t operate out of frustration, and the things in my life that are out of my reach are well within his!  I just have to call on Him and wait for him to stretch out his arm!

The “Arm of The Lord” reveals the reach and strength of The Lord, and his ability and willingness to exercise that on our behalf, as he reaches into the gaps in our lives. I need that today in my own struggles! I need that lesson as i parent my kids! There are time that they need my arm, that need my reach that is greater than theirs. And it also challenges me in my unwillingness to be interrupted!

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?  Is. 51:9

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. isaiah 59:1

My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.  Is 48:13

He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth the Lord God Almighty is his name.   Amos 4:13

I pray that this will encourage you today and give a glimpse into the person of our Lord!

The Art of Inquiry by Matt Rawlins

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Welcome back to Ken & Meg’s Blog!!  We are currently Brainstorming a name that has a little more Zest, and Captures our crazy personalities!

Just so you know we had a great time away, and will share more about our trip down to the Great Sand Dunes National Forest.  (Blog to follow)

Today I am excited to share with a great article by Matt Rawlins a guy that I am a huge fan of and someone that I personally have learned alot from! I love the journey that Matt has been on and the doors that have been opened to Him. We  always had come him come and teach in Wollongong, Australia on the Character and Nature of God, and it was never was a disappointment.   Matt is a consultant in Sinagpore and works with companies and organizations to help them navigate change, and build effective healthy teams.

I am sharring this today simply because it is a skill that I want to further develop in my own life, as well as in the culture of the teams I am a part of working with.  Honestly it is a skill that needs to fully developed in my life, and I feel like I am at ground zero.  BUT I AM HUNGRY TO LEARN AND BE PUSHED OUT INTO NEW ARENA’S!  That is why this it is here!  I want to learn more!  Please see the Amazon link to Matt’s Book on leadership at the end of the blog.

The Art of Inquiry by Matt Rawlins

A recent study estimated that the world generated 161 billion gigabytes of digital information last year. That is like 12 separate stacks of books that reach from the Earth to the sun or three million times the information in all the books ever written.

The report sought to account for all the photos, videos, e-mails, web pages, instant messages and other digital content cascading through our world today.

How much memory would be required to contain the above information? You would need two billion 80GB iPods to hold it all!

This leads to a growing realisation that memory is not automatically the best use of our minds in modern education and computers are much better at data management.

How do we focus on the right data, create space when there is too much data and learn to think more effectively?

The real work for each of us is to relearn the art of enquiry. As children, we learned by asking questions.

There is a Chinese proverb that goes: “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

Victorian writer, historian and Bishop of London, Mandell Creighton, once said: “The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.”

So what does an effective question do?

1. Questions can change our thinking

A consultant was asked to help a group of programmers who were way behind on a $100 million dollar project. He came in and interviewed them all. After much consideration he simply asked one key question.

The question took hold and changed the way the programmers were thinking. The end result was that the project finished on time and was $15 million dollars under budget. The right question changed the thinking of all those involved in the project.

2. Questions create space

A young married woman went to the doctor for help. She asked to be sterilised, as her upbringing had been so painful that she didn’t want to have her children experience the same thing.

The doctor asked her: “What would happen if you could make your children’s life better and could protect them?”

She thought about it and was stumped. She changed her mind about the operation and now has two beautiful girls that are the joy of her life. The right question created space in her thinking to look at life in a new way.

3. Questions validate people

A college student was stuck. He had tried solving a math problem over and over and he just couldn’t get it right. With no small effort, he asked a friend for help.

Although it seems like such a simple example, when someone asks someone else a question, it recognises the need for the other’s gifts and expertise and provides an opportunity for people to work together and ultimately succeed.

4. Questions help communication

A couple sat and angrily stared at each other. The counsellor looked at them and hoped to change the focus of their communication towards each other.

After some dialogue, the man realised that he was asking the question, “How do I change my wife?” when what he needed to be asking was: “How can I encourage my wife?”

When he changed this question, he changed the way he communicated, and when the communication changed, the relationship changed.

The wisest use of your mind is not just holding data, but learning how to work with the data, which requires the art of enquiry.

Simply put, we must relearn how to ask questions. As with all arts, it is not an easy task to learn, and requires discipline and practice with a dose of humility.

Yet, it is a worthwhile discipline that seems guaranteed to produce new levels of success for all who dare to ask.