“I Shall Not Want”

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We are never limited to our human resources. Nothing we will face today…or any day…can break us…if we trust our loving, supporting Shepherd. Our human strength will never be enough.

You’ve planned this day…carefully. You’re prepared. But what about the unplanned? The surprises that are sure to come?

The psalmist said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

He promises to be your resource in every situation you will face today – the most routine of tasks…and the unexpected situations that call for wisdom, patience and strength beyond our human limits.

“The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid.”

Psa. 27:1

Lord, keep me from the sin of depending on my own strength. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2016

“The Lord is My Strength”

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“When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed before the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power has no boundary known unto men. For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

Annie Johnson Flint, the author of this encouraging hymn, lost both her parents before she was six years old. Afflicted with arthritis as a teen, she was soon unable to walk. When her illness kept her from playing the piano she wrote these powerful words…and other hymns…typing with her knuckles. Her life was a constant witness to the truth that “His power has no boundary known unto men.”

Help me, Lord, to draw on your unlimited resources. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016

Come to the Quiet

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Some days we just don’t feel like praying. We know we should pray. But we just don’t have the right words. Or the right attitude. Or the demands of work and service are already too pressing. External demands often seem like they rule our day.

If your heart is racing, let it get quiet. If you don’t have prayer words, give God the precious gift of your silence.

We often make the mistake of acting as if prayer is the words we say to God. In fact, it is the simple act of giving God our full attention and our openness…with or without words. But it is even more. Prayer is a shared experience of intimate listening and loving.
“It is simply receiving the ever-warm, embracing gaze of God and returning it.”

Let the embracing love of God fill you with the riches of His presence.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016

Strength from Above

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So much of what is ahead for today is duty; things that simply have to be done. Daily tasks. Routines. Demands. Do-them-and-get-them-over-with kinds of things. But what if…right in the middle of the most common task…you added an unexpected kindness…an extra tender gesture? A gentle touch. A soft response – or maybe none at all – to a critical comment?

Routines are often cold. Unexpected tenderness touches a hardened heart. A kindness tends to lift the spirit of the receiver…and the giver. A tired body and a  weary heart has little to give. But there is a Strength beyond our own.

There is a Strength that only can be experienced when our human resources have failed.

“God is our strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” Let His kindness, His comfort strengthen your spirit today…and touch the one you serve.

Lord, help me to experience and share your comfort today. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2016

A Safe Hiding Place

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Sometimes…even before you get out of bed…you can feel the pressures of the day. First there’s one thing. Then another. And something you’ve been putting off. The day is just beginning…and already you want to hide.

Go ahead. Hide. God understands…and provides a safe hiding place. Right now, use this moment to be alone with Him. Focus your attention on Him, the Ultimate Always-available Caregiver.

God cares…when your emotional strength has reached its breaking point.

Anticipating the pressures of the day will only magnify them. Committing them to the hand of God helps to lift the pressure and makes it possible for you to draw on His unlimited resources. He invites you to hide in the safe shelter of His protection.

Help me to remember, Lord, that I am safest in your protection. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016

Our Dependable God

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We trust people and things that have proven to be reliable. We trust that the water from the tap is pure. We trust that the chair that held us yesterday will do so today. We don’t usually think about those things, or make a conscious decision to trust. We’ve simply learned from experience that they can be trusted.

Over time we’ve come to know that particular people are trustworthy. Experience has taught us that we can count on them. They do what they promise. They’ve earned our trust.

“Trust in the Lord…” Solomon advised, (Prov. 3:5), and because he knew the damage that doubt can do, he added “…with all your heart.

Throughout Scripture, throughout history…and in personal experience, God has shown Himself to be trustworthy.

Dependable…and abundantly willing to do what He has promised. In whatever this day may bring, you are not alone. “Trust in the Lord.”

Lord, please fill me with a sense of your faithfulness. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016

More Than Enough

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All the emotional and spiritual resources you will need for the demands of today are ready for you to draw upon. Our Lord’s mercies are abundant. They are more than enough for any situation. When you feel as if you’ve reached the end and have nothing more to give, our Father’s limitless giving has only begun.

In today’s most trying situations, you are God’s chosen channel.

But He will not force Himself on you. We must come to Him. Open ourselves to Him.  Allow Him to offer through us…Bread to the hungry. Cool, refreshing streams for those who thirst. Clear paths for those who seek His direction. A helping hand for those who stumble.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Lord, I respond to your invitation. Quiet my anxious heart. Give my soul rest. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2016

A Very Present Help

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“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). In troubled times we can feel as if we’re trying to draw water from an empty well. But in truth, when our strength has failed…

we have an unlimited resource. Our father’s love. Unearned. Undeserved. Inexhaustible. Always available.

No crisis you will face today is beyond His resolution. Nothing you will experience is so dark that He does not offer hope. Our weaknesses are opportunities for us to trust…and discover God’s great strength.

Lord, Help me to trust…even in my weakest moment. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones. Copyright 2016

Simple Gifts

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Hospitals and medical research centers are named in honor of major donors. Their gifts help to make medical breakthroughs possible. Now…day by day…it is your quieter, simpler gifts, given lovingly, often without recognition, that nurture and sustain the person you care for.

God’s love is deep and broad. Draw on it freely and often as your simploe gifts touch those around you today…

–    A thoughtful, kind response in a tense situation.

–    An unspoken prayer, drawing on God’s resources when  yours are drained.

–    A loving touch meant to show our Father’s compassion.

O Lord, may everything I do today be a gift to you and to those you call me to serve. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2016

Quieting the Storms

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Conflicts, no matter how great or small, put a strain on our ability to care. Differences divide, Especially when I’m “right” and the other is “wrong“.

Storms are inevitable: stress, unresolved irritations, demands beyond our ability to cope, things you’ve tried to change…but can’t.

There is One who can quiet our storms. He can change our attitudes. Open our eyes to new solutions. Heal broken relationships. Teach us new levels of gentleness.

In a life-threatening storm on Galilee, Jesus said, “Peace be still”.

At his command the storm on the sea and in the disciples ceased. Let Him speak that same “peace” to your soul today.

O Lord, I trust you to quiet the storms I may face today. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016