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Archive for the ‘Sunday devotional’ Category

BLOGWORDS – Sunday 20 January 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A NEW THING

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A NEW THING

 

When the same thing, whether Scripture or something else, whether via a meme or some other means, keeps showing up in my face… it’s pretty clear Father is telling me something.

And that something, this time at least, is:

 

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43:18-19

 

It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? Dwell on the past? Whether good or not so good, or utterly awful, the past follows us around, taunting us of what was or what might have been. Good we’ve perhaps lost. Or, as is true with me, failures that glaringly accuse me of what I should have done and what might have been.

 

But what does Father say?

 

He is doing a new thing. That’s what He says.

 

Does He give a time limit? Is it a one-time offer? No. Certainly we miss opportunities that will never come again. But our Father God is tender hearted, and He will not leave us forlorn at the dock, so to speak. If we miss one boat or plane or train, there will be another. He always extends His mercy, always offers another chance, whatever our situation might be.

 

Is it always the same offer? I don’t believe it is, and this is why—He is always doing a new thing. While He takes us as broken, tarnished, even ruined people and makes us new, restoring us, some opportunities only come once. Those opportunities are unique to each of us.

 

But our tender Abba Father never gives us on us, never turns His back on us; He is always, always, waiting for us to come to Him. No matter we’re on our knees (figuratively speaking) daily, or we’ve been running from Him for years, He is always waiting for us to embrace Him.

 

So what does this ‘new thing’ look like that He is doing? Springing up like a stream in the desert?

 

For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. Mark 4:28

 

I don’t know about you but when I have a dream or Father gives me a vision, I immediately long for the finished product. I don’t expect a packette of seeds or a box of jigsaw pieces. Perhaps it’s our hurry-up, instant everything world we live in, perhaps it’s basic human nature, but I want the dream, the vision, whole and complete, NOW. The moment I see it.

 

But if I don’t look for—and recognize—first the blade, then the head… then I might miss it altogether.

 

So I’m looking on my horizon, looking for that first blade emerging from the black soil of what is, and what has been. And I can see it, there alongside more mature plants, some in full grain and bloom, some dormant awaiting a new spring, new blades pushing through. Father’s “new thing” He is doing, in me and for me, and with me.

 

Father God is always doing a new thing. It’s who He is, a creator. He doesn’t change, His Truths never change, but He is doing a new thing.

 

We just have to have eyes to see it.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, A New Thing, Isaiah 43:18-19, Mark 4:28

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 13 January 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – DEATH COMES AS A THIEF

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – DEATH COMES AS A THIEF

 

            Dedicated to Israel Jeremiah Burton 12-27-18 – 1-4-19

 

I read a book several years ago, Living the Lord’s Prayer. In it, the author (whose name I cannot remember) broke the prayer into its parts, a separate chapter for each phrase in the prayer. Of all the depth of revelations in it, it was the second chapter, “Who art in Heaven,” the meaning, and a single image that has stayed with me:

 

Basically, we’re not God. He sees and knows things that we cannot begin to understand. And when we have questions, sometimes we have to do the thing that goes against every fiber of our natural being, and accept the unacceptable.

 

Like death.

 

Do I believe that God had some reason to take this child’s life? No, I do not. Do I believe He allowed it? Sadly, yes, I do. Was his death some form of punishment? Or lesson? No, with all my heart and spirit, I do not believe that is how God operates.

 

I could rail against Him, rant in His presence, curse at Him even. But that won’t give me answers, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better.

 

Do I grieve with my friends? Yes, certainly. My heart breaks for their loss, and I feel the sting of it with them.

 

Does this mean God is not sovereign?  Not Who He says He is? No, not at all.

 

How, then, do we explain?

 

Sometimes, we just don’t.

 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

 

Sometimes, we have to let go of our natural understanding, and trust that our Father—who art in heaven—will see us through. Will carry us when we can’t go on.

 

That He weeps with us in our sorrow.

 

 

Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of His wing.  Psalm 91:1

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Sorrow’s End, Living the Lord’s Prayer, Death Comes as a Thief, Psalm 46:10, Psalm 91:1

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 6 January 2019 –  FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – SPECIAL EDITION – NEW YEAR NEW WORD – RESTORATION

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – SPECIAL EDITION – NEW YEAR NEW WORD – RESTORATION

 

Each year, toward the end of the year for the past four years, Holy Spirit has dropped a word for the coming year in my spirit.

 

This year not so much. Always by September or October I’ve known my word for the coming year. But September passed, then October. Even November came and went, and I’d heard nothing of my Word. Fleeting thoughts, words—RECONCILIATION, COMPLETION, ADJUSTMENT—but none that really resonated in my spirit. I was floundering.

 

In truth, I’ve been floundering on all counts for months—since my last book in May, and my surgery in June if I’m honest. Recovery from both has been tedious, shall we say. While learning something new—using my knees in ways I’ve not been able for so long—I’ve also been rather lost without my writing. (And thus, no post for New Year’s Day.)

It seemed I wasn’t ‘hearing’ my word for the coming year. But that wasn’t entirely true. In fact, it was Tuesday or perhaps even Wednesday, I realized why I was so flustered—RESTORATION, my word this past year, is making a repeat performance. Co-starring RECONCILIATION, COMPLETION, and ADJUSTMENT. With guest appearances by FOCUS and DISCIPLINE.

While I’ve seen so many posting about the difficulty of 2018, and rejoicing to see the year end. I sat quietly in my little corner and marveled at how gracious Father has been to me during this past year. And, it seem, He’s not done yet. Is He ever? Done with us?? Isn’t He always reaching to us, drawing us, wooing us to His side?

 

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

 

What has this to do with Sunday Devotional? Seems the word of the year has become quite trendy. I’ve seen quizzes and an app or game to discover your word.

 

But for some of us, it’s not a silly thing at all. Rather, it’s a deeply spiritual thing. And for me, at least, it’s not even something of my own choosing. For me, it is an intimate promise from the Father.

 

This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43:18-19

 

Restoration is not mine to do or give. Restoration is Father God’s to give. It’s in His hand, it’s all in His hand. And I’ve claimed what’s mine, what He’s promised me. And now it’s time.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Year’s Special Edition, 2019, New Year New Word,  RESTORATION, Alignment, Adjustment, Completion, Reconciliation; Focus, Discipline; Restoration, Breakthrough, Shift, Forward, Inhabit, Expectation, Rest

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 23 March 2018 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – LUKE 2:1-20

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – LUKE 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

Glory in the Highest

 

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Luke 2:1-20, Glory to God in the Highest

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 16 March 2018 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – ISAIAH 9:6-7

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – ISAIAH 9:6-7

 

Isaiah 9:6-74

 

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,
upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI6dsMeABpU

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Isaiah 9:6-7, Handel’s Messiah

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 18 November 2018 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – THANKFULNESS

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – THANKFULNESS

 

 

There’s a wealth of things I could say about thankfulness. Benefits, the endless goodness of God, or an inane list of things I’m thankful for.

 

But today, I just want to offer thanks to our heavenly Father for being Who He is. For loving me and holding me in the palm of His hand.

 

As we enter the holiday season, and as we celebrate in whatever way this week, may be thankful to Father for His love and devotion and faithfulness to us.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Thankfulness

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 5 November 2018 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – FAITH and PATRIOTISM

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – FAITH and PATRIOTISM

 

Did you vote already? Or, are you going to vote this week?

What does our faith have to do with being patriotic? Aren’t we supposed to ‘separate’ them? Church and state? How can we? Are we divided individuals? Do we possess split personalities?

As followers of Christ we are called to relationship with Him. And that daily communion, minute by minute really, does affect the whole of our lives. Or, at least it should.

 

CINO’s (Christians in Name Only) give Christianity a bad rap. I don’t know about you but I don’t like being with, or even talking to, someone who is two faced. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. But if we aren’t reflecting Him, then we are nothing but tasteless sand and a cold candle in the dark.

And as our nation faces unprecedented hope, how can we neglect so great a duty—nay, opportunity to act on our faith.

I was once asked, quite scathingly—and mockingly—“What about your faith?” “I thought you had faith.” It was in that very dark time in my life that I had been forced to take action. Action which created a great division—and crushed my heart in the process. But I had done what I had to do. I knew I had done the right thing.

 

And to answer that mocking question, faith is not some idle concept. Faith is more than ‘just’ believing God is there.

 

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.  – James 2:19

 

Demons shudder? They know Who God is. And they shudder because they oppose Him. Just knowing Who He is does not a Christian make.

 

Relationship with Him is what makes the difference. That relationship affects and colors everything we say and do. I defer yet again to my signature Scripture,

 

Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  – Romans 12:2

 

Being in communion with our heavenly Father does not make us a bunch of mindless minions. Rather, we are empowered to be the unique individuals He created us to be. As such, we are called to act in obedience, and to boldly proclaim His kingdom. Bringing God’s kingdom to earth.

That means doing our civic duty. And this week specifically, that means voting. The purpose of my blog, this post is not to support one candidate over another. Rather, my intention is to speak to Godly Americans, and encourage you to act on your faith. Don’t sit by idle. I did for too many years, and we as a nation can no longer afford that passive luxury.

As followers of Christ, too many of us have become complacent, allowing others to give voice in our stead. The term ‘silent majority’ was coined for a reason. I don’t when or by whom, but it is a sad sad thing that the majority would be silent. It is time for us, the MAJORITY, to roar. No longer silent. Speak out, and vote, and we will see our America restored. We will see the kingdom of heaven prevail.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Faith and Patriotism, James 2:19, Romans 12:2

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