# 8 Name of The Lord for Today: The Beginning

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” -Meister Eckhart

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The Beginning:

And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 

Colossians 1:18

photo credit: zheem via photopin cc
photo credit: zheem via photopin cc

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” -Meister Eckhart   I love that idea, The Magic of beginnings

As we imagine beginnings, all of us see ourselves on the strating line, full of promise and potential, energized by the great dreams within us, itching for the opportunity to get out and Begin.

The more I have swapped stories with others on the highway of life, I have been sobered by horrible beginnings!  I have listened to the pain so many broken lives, and seen much tragedy, etched deeply into the introduction of so many peoples beginnings.   I personally have known that ache and longing for a new beginning! Have you ever screamed that thought…If I could only Start Over? 

I love that Jesus is the beginning of our new beginning.   If we long for the significance our lives were wired to have, we need to look a little further back in our story, and discover the truth and potential found in the person of Jesus “The Beginning”  Knowing Jesus, as The Beginning, helps us not only know the width of God but allows us to truly experience His depths as well.  

As we look to Jesus, The Beginning, I want to dip into the well today’s name is drawn from.  In Colossians 1 we see an extraordinary description of Jesus as the one that is the 1st born of all creation, Paul even makes the audiaous claim that Jesus is the very image of the invisible God!  (Colossians 1:15)

Paul opens this letter to the Colossians praying that they be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, and have ALL spiritual wisdom and understanding.  Paul’s prayer is that they might know Jesus in such a profound way that they reengage life with a radically new mind and way of living. Paul’s life long pursuit is that others could encounter this new beginning, and completely reframe the trajectory of their life.  

When we are able recognize the reboot that is on offer, we will release our capacity to dial into the perspective of one who is our True Beginning. This discovery is what will propel us through the remaining years of our lives and set a course that is inline with Jesus truest intention.  

Being dialed into the Begining is essential to true longevity in living lives that truly matter. 

I know at the beginning of the course, we are filled with so much excitement for what might be in store for us in the days and years ahead!   I am also keenly aware of the anxiety that so often creeps into our thinking.  It hits us with questions like, Can I stay the course?  Do i have what it takes to stay on point?  Haven’t you already been down this road before?  

If you are anything like me, the exictmenthope and exlariation of new beginnings invebality hits the resisiatnce of self-doubt and fear.  I want to invite you to check out my next post, and discover how encountering Jesus as the Beginning and the End will give you as you press through that opposition and stay the course with confidence.

 

#7 The Name of the Lord for Today: The Balm of Gilead

gilead heart

The Spirit of peace and compassion will bind up all our wounds.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?
                                     Jeremiah 8:22

Welcome to the lament of Jeremiah the ‘Weeping Prophet’

Jeremiah was a man confronted with the challenge of looking at his nation in light of what God had called them to be.  He was broken by the drift that had taken place. This was a people whose story was so unique! 

This nation Israel was a people scooped up out of the hands of oppressive slavery in Egypt and brought a land of promise to walk intimately with the living God.

As Jeremiah walked with God, and as he observed His ways, he was shattered by how far Israel had fallen. They had settled for lesser pleasures and lesser god’s.  

It is in the tears and agony of Jeremiah that this question comes exploding out of the text!  

IS THERE NO BALM IN GILEAD?

Gilead was a region famous for a healing balm that flourished there.  It was said that this healing salve from Gilead was so sought after it was worth twice it’s weight in silver.    

What was created to be sought after had become despised.  The healing that had once been given through this nation was now barren and void.  Surveying the brokenness of his people Jeremiah was devastated.  

Today’s name of the Lord: “A Balm in Gilead” met the longing of Jeremiah’s heart.  Jesus is the Balm of Gliead.  Like the balm that made Gilead infamous,Jesus was crushed for our healing.  

This fulfillment of this old testament prophet’s heart cry, gives me a deeper insight into the heart God. He is a merciful and compassionate God who is moved by the laments of His people.  He could have washed his hands cleans of this people on many occasions, but rather and He constantly chooses to engage our brokenness and pain.  

Jesus is a perfect example of that truth.  He came as ‘Emanuel’ and lived in our mess  so that he could lead us out of it!  The death of Jesus open our eyes to God’s relentless pursuit of us. Despite our rebelliousness He comes to lavish us with mercy and compassion.

#6 Name of the Lord for Today: The Wonderful Counselor will uphold you

writing to God
Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with My Pen (Active Prayer Series)

During our move this weekend, I unearthed this awesome find!  Meg got this for my birthday a couple years back and it has been a great resource over the years. (Meg always knocks it out of the park with Birthday gifts)  As I was flipping through the pages, I found this entry that I would like to share with you today because of it’s relevance to the Name of the God for Today theme

Prayer of Names:

O God,

if I call you Father,

will you please watch over me and those in my house,

and guard us lie a watchmen at night?

O God,

if I call you Mother,

may I curl up next to you when I have nightmares,

and will you you soothe me when i am sick?

O God,

if I call you Lover,

will you keep me company through thick and thin,

and encourage me to my best self?

And God,

if I confess that you are beyond naming,

will you please be greater than me and beyond my understanding,

so that the things I cannot fathom but so desperately want-

lion-and -lamb peace,

feeding miracles by the millions,

tears-into-joy justice-

can be conceived and built by your imagination?

Will you please be holy so that I can be human,

to the best of my ability

The Wonderful Counselor will uphold you. 

Read Isaiah 9:6

What name of God- from this passage or from you journey of faith- resonates deeply with your spirit?

Take time today to read and reflect on this scripture as well as journal those thoughts in the form of a prayer to the Lord.

 

And the effect of righteousness will be peace,and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever

Isaiah 32:17  

#5 Name of the Lord for Today: He Cares

Hello!  Thanks for checking in on my reflections on the names of the Lord.  There are a several reasons that I am traveling this path.  One of the main reasons is because I really like the intentional focus on growing in my own devotional life, and another  is that I want learn to write.

For those here in the early days thank you for you patience! This quote is the steam in my engine at the moment.

“Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”
― Robert McKee

As I begin my dance today I am stepping out and sharing with you more about the one who sets the melody of the universe!

My last post ended on with the words..He Cares. Today I want to share a devotion from Henri Nouwin that speaks to this very aspect of God’s character. This is a paradigm that shapes my motivation as I engage in the lives of the people I work with.

CARE THE SOURCE OF ALL CURE

Henri Nouwin

 

Care, the Source of All Cure.  Care is something other than cure. Cure means “change.” A doctor, a lawyer, a minister, a social worker—they all want to use their professional skills to bring about changes in people’s lives. They get paid for whatever kind of cure they can bring about. But cure, desirable as it may be, can easily become violent, manipulative, and even destructive if it does not grow out of care. Care is being with, crying out with, suffering with, feeling with. Care is compassion. It is claiming the truth that the other person is my brother or sister, human, mortal, vulnerable, like I am. When care is our first concern, cure can be received as a gift. Often we are not able to cure, but we are always able to care. To care is to be human.

 

Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2009-03-17). Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 41). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

 

I have found this to be the most rewarding approach in ministry.  I have found it to be the most rewarding and honoring ways of investing in others but I have also found it to be one of the slowest messiest and challenging of all calls!  This is a path of pain and disappointments but I honestly feel that it is the path that led Jesus.  It is the path of the cross!  Nounin so masterfully connects the compassion of Jesus to the journey of those seeking to know Him better.

Today i wanted to point you to the heart of a God that Cares deeply for you. May you know the God that says…The Beatitudes

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Blessed because He Cares for 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.

#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!