Beginnings

New beginnings…The concept has been on my heart a lot lately. Perhaps it is because a dark place along the walk with Jesus seems to have drawn to an end and the Son seems to be shinning again or it is because there is a New thing about to begin within the heart? Which it is, I know not, but that does not frighten me anymore. I know who is in charge although I do not know where He is leading me.

Regardless of where each of us are in our lives, each day is a new beginning – a gift from the Father. When He awakens us to a brand new day, we are assured from His Word that His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is never ending. It is there waiting for us to embrace, nothing else required. We can freely and boldly walk in the assurance that the good work He has started in us, He will be faithful to complete. Each step we take along the path He has lined out for us will never be taken alone.

The question that now must be answered is what is holding us back from walking in the newness of the day, of His mercy, of His love – from claiming our New Beginning? Are we trapped in old methods of thinking, stuck in old mindsets, or too convinced of our own knowledge/abilities? It is time to let it go, to allow Him to lift us out of the pit, set us upon the solid Rock, and walk in the light of His love and grace. When we do, we will not find that our paths are now smoother and easier, but rather we will continue to find that His grace is sufficient, His love is never ending, and His faithfulness with never change.

So, what’s new with you today?? I can tell you what is new with me – I am free!

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Psalm 23

One of my favorite passages in Psalms 23.  It seems to be an often used passage – especially at funerals – but it contains such fundamental and compassionate truth.  Its simplicity and beauty is one of its characteristics that draw me to it often.  This Psalm was once spoken over my life and, although I have yet to fully understand what all the Lord has for me in it, it calls to my heart in a way that goes deeper than most passages.

 

One of my favorite aspects of this Psalm is how the voice changes as it proceeds.  It starts with declarations of what the Lord, my Shepherd, is and does (He is my Shepherd, He leads, He guides, He restores..), but then the voice changes and becomes personal (You are with me, Your rod/staff comfort, You prepare…).  Finally it ends with the statement that He will be with us always and we will be with Him.  In addition to my love for this Psalm, I love the various Hebrew names for God, how each one captures a specific characteristic of His nature and how He works throughout His creation.

 

When one has a love of this Psalm and a love for the Hebraic names for the Lord, it only would seem appropriate to combine the two together, wouldn’t it?  Maybe yes, maybe no, but it happened.  My heart-song and offering of praise –

 

     My Shepherd

 

i

Yahweh Ro’I, the Lord my Shepherd.

He supplies all that I need for He is Yahweh Jireh.

 

I will lie down and rest where

the meadows are sweet.

He will bring me to the still and restful waters,

beside peaceful streams of quiet waters,

so that my soul can rest.

He is Yahweh Mekaddesh.

 

He will restore my soul,

refresh my life,

and renew my strength.

He is Yahweh Rafae.

 

He will lead me in the paths that are right –

He is Yahweh Tsidkenu.

 

ii

During the apprehensive journeys of life,

through the deep, sunless, darkest valley,

yes, even when I come to the valley of death,

I do not have to fear evil,

nor have I cause to dread it,

for You are always with me

and remain close beside me.

You are Yahweh Shammah.

 

Your will protect me and guide

as a father to His children.

You are such a comfort to me

and the rock on which I depend for strength.

You are my Abba.

 

iii

You will care for me

and provide for me,

oh Yahweh Sabaoth,

Even when my enemies are near

Or are standing righting before me.

You pour Your love and joy over my life so that

my cup of blessing overflows

with the abundance and fullness of You.

You are Yahweh Shalom.

 

Your mercy, Your unfailing love

will follow me and pursue me

so long as I live.

You will be always be

the place my heart will call home.

You are Adonai.

Purpose In The Valley

I found myself sitting today in front of a blank message wondering why it was blank.  As I scrolled through the list of prior messages sent, it occurred to me to send out a few “Hey there” messages.  I continued to wonder what kind of difference I can make with “my” words, are they even worth the space on the page on which I type them…  While pondering this rather depressing thought, a whisper broke through asking if encouraging another member of the body of Christ was worthless – is letting someone know they are not forgotten of so little meaning that it is not worth taking the time to type a short message?  Perhaps, there is the purpose behind the words given to me.  Perhaps the responsibility behind the words bestowed upon my heart is not for my own enjoyment, enlightenment, or encouragement, but rather to pass on to another as a blessing to them.

This rather profound moment/whisper comes at a challenging moment in my life.  I have found myself in the midst of a rather formidable valley, in a quagmire, searching for purpose and meaning.  Trying to find a purpose in my writing, a reason to continue writing, and a direction for the same – and all at the same time, too!  Overwhelming!!  But it was not meant to be so…  It would appear as though I have been more focused on the end result rather than the moment in which I am actually living.

Whatever the good Lord’s plans for “my” writing may be, I have to trust Him.  Whatever direction He may take my life and my heart in this respect, I must trust Him.  Whatever doors He may or may not open for me in the world of the written word, it is a joy to trust Him for I know that nothing done out of obedience to Him and for His glory alone is ever without purpose or use to Him.  All I must do is write – write what He lays upon my heart, write what I see through His eyes, write what I feel I must write so that, at least in my life, He is glorified all the more.

Here’s to new beginnings, a fresh perspective, and a step into the Rivers of His Heart!

This is my purpose, my focus, my prayer.  May the words shared here be an encouragement to your heart and may they, if nothing else, help to provide a glimpse of His grace.  After all, if it was not for His grace, there would be nothing worth writing at all.