What's In A Name?

The pastor at the church we attend here in Davao preached on that this past Sunday.
God often changed a person's name when He called them - Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel,...

....even in John 15:15 he no longer calls us servants but friendsI no longer call you servants, because a servant does not knowhis master's business. Instead, I have called you friends

Imagine....Friends with Jesus.....
Let that truth sink in deeply.

Do you have a good friend? Someone you can talk to and share your heart with? Someone to go out for coffee with, or shopping, or hunting, or whatever interest you and your friend share.

It is an awesome, amazing, deeply life changing transition to realize Jesus calls me His friend. I am deeply humbled and thankful to be friends with Jesus.

"A friend is someone who stays with you in the bad weather of life, guards you when you are off your guard, restrains your impetuosity, delights in your wholeness, forgives your failures, does not forsake you when others let you down..The Friendship of Jesus enables us to see others as he saw the apostles: flawed but good, wounded healers, children of the Father."Brennan Manning

True Poverty

As any of you know who follow this blog, I really like the writings of Brennan Manning. Today's devotional struck a chord with me and I decided to share it with you all. This is from his book "Reflections for Ragmuffins" January 22.

Poverty is not just physical - we see that daily here -

there is a poverty of heart - to be as a child - humble and relying on our blessed Saviour, Lord and Friend.

Jesus, my Brother and Lord, I pray as I write these words for the
grace to be truly poor before you, to recognize and accept
my weakness and humanness, to forgo the indecent
luxury of self-hatred, to celebrate your mercy and trust in your
power when I'm at my weakest, to rely on your love no matter
what I may do, to seek no escapes from my innate poverty,
to accept loneliness when it comes instead of seeking substitutes,
to live peacefully without clarity or assurance,
to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention,
to do the truth quietly without display,
to let the dishonesties in my life fade away,
to belong no more to myself, nor to desert my post when
I give the appearance of staying at it,
to cling to my humanity, to accept the limitations
and full responsibility of being a human being-really human
and really poor in Christ our Lord.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in HIM, to the one
who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation
of the Lord. Lamentations 3: 25- 26

He Shines in the Darkest Places


photo taken on Samal Island by a high school student attending
Faith Academy. He is a gifted photographer.
I think this picture captures this quote.

"Only God can make the mess of dark past into a beautiful tapestry
of light and redemption. He shines in the darkest places, the darkest corners of the heart."
(POMFMV quote from book I am working on)

Seasons

funny how things tend to go "in spurts" or "in groups" -
the camera batteries no longer hold a charge; the ones we bought here in the Philippines to replace them don't really work; the hard drive on a main computer in our house fails; appliances break....

paperwork collected for adoption according to the list given "isn't enough". Tomorrow Kurt and I fly to Manila to get a notarized affidavit of adoption eligibility from the US Embassy. Another hurdle to jump....another hoop to go through......

trials of various shapes and sizes hit us - some minor, some major, some on-going and the pressure from them can build up to breaking point.....

and sometimes, my humanness says "why? why can't it just be easy for a moment or two?"

then i read the refreshing word in Romans 5 and know my ABBA is growing me and us into His likeness. He is there each step of the way. And in that I can rest.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the
glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance
produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love
has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us.

Snuggle me

James this morning says to me, "my stomach says you need to snuggle me"

and i started thinking about Psalm 131
sometimes I say to my ABBA "snuggle me"

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

and in Isaiah 40

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

His Arms carry
His Love heals
He is all we need
He is our safe ABBA

STILL
by Rueben Morgan

Hide me now Under your wings
Cover me within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul In Christ alone
Know his power In quietness and trust