“Filling the Gap”…with God?

There is a longing—or angst—in the heart of every believer that desires a deeper, more intimate walk with God. And to experience this relationship with God, we must learn to “be still.” Learning the art of being still is indeed a daily discipline; a concentrated effort on our part to wait patiently for Him to speak.

For the most part, we rush into our day with so much on our minds–things to do, people to see, places to go, errands to run. Our lives are made up of deadlines, one right after another…or so we believe.

When we’re honest, we admit we often create “a gap of time” in our daily routine for God…the Creator of all that exists….including time itself! We proudly make a check-mark in the box when we’ve spent the 15-30 minutes or so we think we can spare for God. Wow…how arrogantly we’ve twisted our concept of time with Him!

And so we spend time running through our list of requests…for our kids, for our friends… telling God what we need, what we want…talking, talking, talking! Then we close with, “in Jesus name, Amen.” Bam…done! Devotional time is over! Put the check mark in the box. We said what we came to say, and we get up and walk away…on to the next “thing” on our list. Now do we feel better? Ouch!

So what’s wrong with this picture? Let me be clear…there is nothing wrong with sharing the desires of our heart with our Papa God. He loves it when we pour our heart out to Him. What’s wrong is that more often than not we leave our heavenly Father’s presence before we’ve given Him an opportunity to respond. We close His Holy Word as soon as we’ve completed the “prescribed verses,” according to our reading plan.  Our thoughts wander on ahead…on to the next task. And when we get up and walk away too soon, we miss the opportunity to hear what our Lord and Savior—our  Almighty Father—wants to speak into our hearts.

In order to discern the voice of God we must practice the art of being still. Papa God longs to breathe Himself into our souls. He longs to reawaken our spiritual senses. He is more than able to prepare us for our daily assignments…more than able to gift us with the desires of our hearts…gifts that are in accordance with His will.

But He doesn’t want to stop there. God wants to do LIFE with us! He wants to be present in our everyday walk…to lift us up when we stumble and fall…to be there for the “high-fives” of our successes (yes…Papa God loves to high-five me:). He wants to walk with us…all the way through our day…gifting us with an inner peace as we close our weary eyes at the end of another day.

So the next time you think you must just “get through” your quiet time, remember this: Pause…and hear His voice! Be still and listen to what He has to say. Then get on with your day…you and God. Invite Him along…and let Him be your driver! You’ll be glad you did! ~ IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand….pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given – and you will receive even more.” Mark 4:23-24

Being what we’ve become…in Christ!

Being what we've become...in Christ!


God Interlock…

What if we had a “God Interlock” system in our lives so we would not be able to get started with our daily activities until God has breathed Himself into us through His inspired Word!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

A Fleeting Kind of Splendor…

Life is meant to be a fantastic heart pounding adventure. At least that’s the way it seemed to me one day when I was in my early teens. It was a picture-perfect morning in Michigan and I was riding Cheetah, my Quarter Horse, at a reckless gallop across a field of alfalfa. With the spring-fresh wind in my face the exhilaration of the moment filled my entire body with delight. It seemed natural to release my grip on the reins and lean back in the saddle, with my hands stretched high into the air. It was something I had seen in a movie and I was living it—the unrestrained freedom of such a breathtaking adventure. At that moment I determined to live my life at a wild speed with the wind in my face.

The next moment I was tumbling through the alfalfa like Raggedy Rod. I my fleeting thought it would have been better if I was holding onto something when the ring-necked pheasant flew up directly in front of Cheetah. I’m sure she was as surprised as I was when it happened. She veered to the left and I didn’t. I went straight. I think that’s called inertia—one of Newton’s laws of motion.

Cheetah circled back around to pick me up. As I was climbing back on the saddle I felt a little dejected. The reality of how fleeting these moments of elation are came crashing down on me—literally. As I rode back toward the barn with a firm grip on the reins I remember the distinct realization that the thrill of life could be easily tripped up; taken off course. The sensation of tumbling through the alfalfa has come to my mind several times throughout my wild, crazy ride through life.

But I’ve never given up on the idea we are created for something more profound than the lives we live. Knowing we are the brainchild of the One who spoke the magnificence of all creation into being, somewhere deep within me I believe we are created for something much greater than ordinary life. Possibly just knowing we were created for something more than the life we’re living today, even if our knowing is nothing more than a faint sense that something is missing, may be all we need to get on with allowing our original splendor—the splendor of God—to flow in our lives.

(Excerpt from Holy Libido by Rod Smith, 2012)

Are You Shipwrecked Yet?

Matthew 8:24-26 “Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’ Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm”

Trepidation of the unknown can be paralyzing. We convince ourselves that the safe place is to remain  in the boat. We’ve become accustomed to the familiar. It is hard to imagine anything else. We gaze out from time to time at the uncharted waters…so vast and seemingly untamable. We see a storm brewing…and the angst begins to swell within us. Suddenly–sometimes without warning–the storm rises! We are jolted out of our slumber and our first reaction is fueled by fear.

But rather than seeking our Master’s orders, we take matters into our own hands. In desperation we pick up the paddles and begin to row in our own strength, attempting to find a safe harbor. From time to time we dare gaze out but quickly retreat…trembling and fearing the raging swale of the storm. We become overwhelmed and lose our focus we go off course…that path that once seemed so certain.  Finally after what seems like an eternity, our attempts to reckon with the storm prove futile. We finally lay down our paddles and look up and see our Master’s face. His resolute calm provides an undeniable comfort. We realize at that moment that He has been calling out to us all along…longing to reset our course and do life with us once again!

Ours is not to question the calling, it is simply to keep our eyes focused on the ONE who has the power to calm the raging seas…the ONE who determines our course. If we trust HIS hand…He will gently guide us out of our boats…that once safe place we settled into and stayed too long.

Are you ready to make a change? Then TRUST HIM….He will lead you into a splendorous adventure that will bring about unspeakable joy. He’s ready to breathe LIFE back into you! After all, He is our Creator–the Alpha the Omega–the beginning and the end! Let Him bring about the necessary changes to our weary souls, let him be the master of our ship! Let us finish well…having served His eternal purpose!  Are you ready to lay down your paddles and heed HIS call?  He awaits you! ~  IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

Cut it loose!

It’s a grueling scene of a man tortured by his own guilt—beyond what he could bear. He had stabbed his brother to death in a fit of rage when he found him in bed with his fiancée. The inner agony of his soul cried out for relief, but there was no relief from the pain. He would have welcomed death, even by his own hand, but he was condemned to live with the agonizing sentence of his tormented mind.

It’s a scene in The Mission. Rodrigo Mendoza, played by Robert de Niro, is a mercenary and slave trader. Its the18th century in the South American jungle, home to the Guarani Indians. Father Gabriel, played by Jeremy Irons, is a Spanish Jesuit priest who built a mission there so he could introduce the Indians to Christianity. After Mendoza killed his brother he begged Father Gabriel to impose a heavy penance for his sin, so the priest gathered all of Mendoza’s weapons and armor together in a net and tied the burden to the grief-stricken man’s waist with a heavy rope.

For what seems like an eternity, Mendoza attempts to claw his way up the Iguaza Falls, stumbling under the weight of his guilt-laden burden. But nothing will stop him. Time after time he yanks the net past the roots and branches that impede his punishing progress. Dogged determination paralyzes his face of steel as he grinds on.

John Fielding, a Jesuit priest serving under Father Gabriel could no longer stand to watch the agonizing scene so he viciously hacks at the rope with his machete. He set Mendoza free. The cumbersome net rolled back down the slope into the river. Exhausted, Mendoza goes after it, retying the penance to his waist, and sets out once again to scale the falls. It’s excruciating to watch. We want him to let it go.

If only we could see our own burden-laden net so clearly. Most of the time we forget it’s even there. The way we navigate our way through life has become awkward, but it’s a familiar kind of awkwardness. Our spirit is battered and worn out, but we’ve become accustomed to it. The limp we’ve developed in our gait is obvious to others. They see the burden of our accumulated debris. Sometimes we see it too, but we’re inclined to pretend we don’t. Otherwise, we might have to take responsibility and cut it loose. But why on earth wouldn’t we want to?

(Excerpt from Holy Libido, Chapter 13, by Rod Smith, 2012)

Francis Chan on the Balance Beam of LIFE!!

What does our life routine look like…


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