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No more excuses

"He is wise beyond his years" - when we say this, we are pointing to the fact the person is making choices "smarter" than they usually would be for their age or station in life. In common thinking, wisdom is something that comes with age. As an individual ages chronologically, the opportunity for multiple experiences have presented the added benefit of learning new things. We get exposed to more, so therefore it stands to reason we will get to learn new things as we grow up a little. I think we can challenge the belief that aging equates to the development of wisdom, though. I have known many an individual who has "aged" chronologically without really "learning" from their life experiences! They just keep repeating them over and over again, not really showing any signs of having learned anything along the way.

Oh, how I love all you've revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long. Your commands give me an edge on my enemies; they never …
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I'm all yours....

We can never forget the "keeping" power of God's Word. It is a stalwart in hard times. It stands the test and keeps on ticking! "If your teachings had not delighted me..." Here is the crux of the "keeping" power of God's Word - it is in the "delight" we take in it. How we treat God's Word determines how much it will impact our lives. Casually reflect upon it and it will likely only have a momentary impact. Dwell upon it, ruminate on it, and it will sink deep into the craters of your life until there is no empty space remaining.

If your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came. But I'll never forget the advice you gave me; you saved my life with those wise words. Save me! I'm all yours. I look high and low for your words of wisdom. The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me, but I'm only concerned with your plans for me. I see the limits to everything human, but the horizons can&#…

Let this serve your plan

As I have grown older, time seems to pass faster. The "ebbing" of a new day seems to be upon me before I even realize that the old one has passed me by! There is one truth that endures through the passage of time - God's Word is dependable! For some, this goes without saying because they have adopted the Word of God as a standard by which they live their lives. They have tested it and found it to be "a sure thing". There is another truth that I think we might miss if we are not careful, but it is equally as important - everything serves God's plans!

What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens. Your truth never goes out of fashion; it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up. Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that's what you ordered—you set the earth going. (Psalm 119:89-91)

You have probably been told that change in inevitable, and that would be true. As much as we can count on the "permanence" of Go…

I've got your number

I will admit to being homesick on more than one occasion, but nothing hit me quite as hard as that first week of Basic Training when I went into the US Army. Those first seven days away from home were torture to my psyche! I had been to Girl Scout Camp for two weeks and been a little 'lonely' for mom and dad, but somehow it just did not affect me quite like being at Boot Camp! Maybe it was because I knew there was an end to Girl Scout camp, but there was no hope of going home from Boot Camp! Those feelings we have internally when we experience homesickness are almost hard to explain, but there is an intense longing to just be safe again. To be home includes that idea of safety (at least for me) and security - - there is just something about being surrounded by what is familiar that gives us that sense of peace, security, and even a little bit of sanity.

I'm homesick—longing for your salvation; I'm waiting for your word of hope. My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign…

Head held high

Okay, I would like us to get a little honest with ourselves and each other this morning. Just how many of us have wanted God to deal with those who stand against us in some form or fashion? It is not unusual to actually converse with God, telling him how much we need him to 'deal with it' as we open up in our frustration, fear, or even anger about how someone is treating us or others. At the same time, God hopes we will allow him to use us in the lives of others - even when they are kind of 'pickles' to deal with! Being perfectly honest here, I actually EXPECT God to help me live my life well - even when what I want isn't perfectly aligned, I EXPECT him to help me get right alignment before I go too far in the wrong direction. Why can I EXPECT this of God? He loves me! His grace has changed my course many times in the past, just because of his love!

Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed…

Scope this out...

It began one way, but ended another. Is that the story of your life? It goes without saying that "hindsight" is often much better than "foresight". If we could see how everything would turn out in the end, we might not take some of the steps we take along the way. If we had insight into the outcomes of some of our words and actions, we might speak up or volunteer more often as we'd want to have a positive impact in our world. The simple truth is that we don't know how things will end - - and this often keeps us from acting in the first place. Sometimes our action ends up being more like us acting in "blindness" - we just move ahead, groping at whatever we can to avoid stumbling, and hoping to make it to our destination in the end.

I can see now, God, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what's true and right. Oh, love me—and right now—hold me tight, just the way you promised. Now comfort me so I can live, really live; you…

Fraying at the Edges?

I don't always stand strong. Some may think I do, but there are days when all I want to do is curl up in a ball. forget about having to look difficulty in the face, and escape into a safe place. I am not alone in this - you probably have those days, as well. In those moments you just don't have the 'want to' - you don't 'wanna' anymore. Have you ever been told to "take heart" while in the midst of one of these times? The term "take heart" means to gain strength and courage in a difficult situation. While it might not seem like it, the example we exhibit in the times of waiting on God to act has the potential of causing others to take heart - - to gain strength and courage for their own difficult circumstances. In the midst of difficulty, what makes you stand strong, even when you don't 'wanna'?

With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. When they see me waiting, expecting …