Showing posts with the label Soul


Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Mark 8:32-37) Are you a follower of Christ? If so, your life is marked by some very unique things, such as embracing suffering, not being so intent on yourself that you cannot see the needs of others and being willing to allow Christ to take the lead in your life. How many times do we ask Jesus to take the lead in our lives, intending to live a holy, upright, and circumspect life, only to take the lead right back from him whenever the urge hits us? If you are anything like me, it has been like a game of musical chairs! Followers LET Jesus lead - that means w

What have you been saying?

Careless words stab like a sword,  but wise words bring healing. (Proverbs 12:18)  Tennyson reminds us, "Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within." There are words we speak that 'reveal' little bits and pieces of our inner thoughts and dreams. Equally important are those words we never 'reveal' - for they are the truest words that reveal the inner soul of a man, are they not? Most of us have learned to 'weigh' our words - considering if they should be spoken or not. There are times when we should have 'weighed' them a bit but didn't take the time. Those are words that might have revealed a bit more of ourselves than we wanted others to see. When those words have escaped our lips, it leaves us vulnerable - feeling a little 'naked' in the end.  We have all had those times when our words were just the right ones for the moment, but I daresay we have all had many moments when we 'emptied' a bit of our sou

Seen, Spoken, Heard - Made Alive

Plato tells us that "thinking is the talking of the soul with itself." He also reminds us "we are twice armed if we fight with faith." Do you ever wonder why there is so much power in the spoken Word of God? We hear it read out loud and somehow it just sounds 'stronger'. If we truly value our soul, we will 'talk' to it with the scripture. The 'strength' of those words on the pages of our Bibles actually will begin to build up our inner man as they are not only 'seen' with our eyes, 'heard' with our ears, and 'soaked into' our hearts.  The rebel walks a thorny, treacherous road; the man who values his soul will stay away. (Proverbs 22:5) In scripture, the soul refers to all the desires, wishes, cravings, and needs of a human. As such, don't you think the soul deserves some 'special attention'? Without the attention of the Word, our souls will follow some pretty treacherous, and even 'thorny' paths. T

Super-Hero vs. Villain

Have you ever watched one of those 'super-hero' shows where the villain is hard at work trying to destroy all things good and true, while the 'super-hero' is combatting the villain's every move? What comes across is that the villain believes in his heart that he cannot and will not be stopped. No matter what forces oppose him, he will continue to move his agenda forward. Along comes the super-hero, countering each and every villainous thing with some 'perfect' response to keep the villain from succeeding. One thing any super-hero is known for is their desire to continually 'do good' - it is that very desire that keeps them going and actually makes them unstoppable. It isn't necessarily his ability that keeps him going - it is his availability that does. How available are we when in comes to doing good? If we want to live 'super-hero' like lives, we might just want to focus on being more available to doing good in life rather than bemoanin


The Word of God can become an intensive training tool in our life - - we CAN come to rely upon hearing it, using it in practical ways to assist with the day-to-day decisions of life, and leaning on it when no answer seems apparent. It can become our source because we have come to know the one who stands behind it! Did you ever stop to think that the Word of God might just put a little 'iron in your soul'? I wonder how many of us might just suffer from 'iron-deficiency' now and again, having neglected to take in the Word, making it part of our daily intake? I'm homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I'll recognize the sound of your voice. (Psalm 119:174-176) You can ask God to "put iron" in your soul - there is nothing wrong with this request. When we think of the soul, we are reminded it

I see that!

The eyes really tell a lot about what is going on with a person. Whenever someone gets sick, we often see reddened "rings" around their eye, making the eyes themselves look a little "hallow" and "sad". They may not open their eyes as wide, and the "crystal-clear" appearance of the eye may look a little "foggy" or "dry". A "yellow" appearance turning to brighter shades of orange over time can signal huge issues with the liver. The size of the pupil, especially with one larger than the other, can signal a huge issue going on with the brain. The eye really can "alert" us to much that is going on inside a man in the physical sense, but it also betrays what is going on inside of the man in terms of his emotions and spirit! "Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dan

Seeds - we need two types

What kind of seeds do you have planted? It is just about the time of year when folks begin to start their seedlings under grow lights in some protected environment, readying the starter plants for the spring planting season. Various vegetables and herbs will begin their growth - seeds sprouting under the watchful care of those who desire those gardens to flourish this coming growing season. The truth of the matter is that the gardener does not just plant any old type of seed - he plants corn seeds if he wants corn, eggplant if he desires that growth, and flower seeds if he wants to adorn the garden with some manner of color to attract the pollinating insects. It would be insane to think he could just plant one type of seed and expect all kinds of harvest of different produce! His harvest will depend on the seeds - not just that something was planted! Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,  Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. (Psalm 97:11) Light seeds and joy se

Listen up!

Sometime we need to remind our soul - that is, our mind, will and emotions - to bless God with all that we have within us. If you are like me (and I suspect you are), the mind wanders, will is weak, and emotions pull us a thousand different directions. David was not above this very similar struggle we face daily - to keep our attention squarely on God. How do we do that? We engage in "soul-talk". Look at what David does - he focuses his mind on the things God has done in his life - then he begins a little "soul-talk". He recounts the many and overwhelming blessings of God in his life, his family's life, and those he knows at the leader of a great nation. He determines to bless God - he makes it a matter of his will. In so doing, he is bringing his emotions into alignment - his "soul" gets talked into alignment. O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing! He forgives y


Lots of time is spent pouring out our heart and then hearing from God as to what has been transpiring around us that seems to give us concern, fear, or a lack of peace. It is impossible to live without faith, as scripture plainly reminds us that the just shall live by faith. Faith must be growing, continually developing. There are times when all we want is for God to do what he had done at times past in our lives - in other words, be awesome in every way, delivering us from whatever is just about to come in around us, and keep us from any type of mind or heart captivity. It might have been a while since we really experienced God in the 'earth-shattering' way we did in previous times - almost failing to sense his presence and longing for things to 'be good again' where is applies to our 'closeness' with God. We could even say we have allowed our 'souls' to get a little bit on the 'empty' side - we just seem to lack what we need. "Look at th

Just a little pause to look within

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? (James 2:14 NLT) Just about every week I ask myself what my actions are revealing about my relationship with Jesus. Why do I ask this of myself? I guess it is because I know there is a root of selfishness in me that sometimes allows little compromises and unholy actions to slip into my life. I don't want these little things to become bigger things, so I spend some time just evaluating those actions in light of what scripture tells me about how it is I am 'supposed' to be acting. It isn't a bad thing for each of us to do on occasion - evaluating our actions to see what they reveal about our relationship with Jesus. We might just find our relationship needs a little 'tune up', so to speak.  In the second chapter of James, the topic of showing preference to some individuals over others has been presented. Why? There is

I don't have that piece!

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. ( Psalm 139:13-14 MSG ) Body and soul - marvelously made. Being a nurse, I understand much more about how the body's 'parts' interact - seeing the linked relationships between one system and the other. I studied hours upon hours to learn this stuff - because it helped me to understand the potential cause of my patient's symptoms. Yet, even with all my hours of study, I don't fully understand the human body. I went to Bible College an

The Grace-Connection

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who postulated no river could ever be stepped into as the "same river" a second time. In thinking that one through, he was saying the river is constantly changing - simply because there is an ebb and flow to all of life. To say you reached the river is one thing - to say you stepped into exactly the same river is impossible! He also is famous for saying there is nothing permanent except change. We might have thought that last one came from a more "modern" motivational speaker, but it was penned somewhere around 500 B.C. I particularly like his words, "Big results require big ambitions." It isn't just going to "happen" - we pursue what it is we desire. Without pursuit, we are stationary - this may be good for the walls of a building, but it isn't for us! The essence of pursuit is the desire to change something - to realize something different than what it is we know right now. 34 Then, calling the cr

The window is open

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (Psalm 139:13-14 NLT) If you have ever watched people, you know we humans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and dare I say, complexities! The wide range of dissimilarities is evident, while the even wider range of similarities is glaringly obvious, as well! We all have skin - although it may be dark, light, paper-thin, or leather-like from too much time in the sun. We all have eyes - some with two rather well-working ones, others with neither working well. We all have a heart beating within and lungs expanding to take in air and let it out when it is no longer useful to our bodies. As I watch people around me, I observe one thing with almost all of them - their eyes. Why? As it has been said, the eye reveals much more about a person than almost any other feature of their make-up, for it is the w

This soul of mine is killing me!

From all we can read in scripture, we see that man is made up of body, soul, and spirit. Our body is the easy one - we see and feel that all the time. The soul and spirit are a little harder to understand because they are things we know exist, but aren't as "tangible" as the body is. Spirit give us our drive; without it, we'd kind of be "dulled" to the world around us. Soul is made up of three separate parts: Mind, Will and Emotions. Mind is more than thought - it is where we kind of "commune with" thought - sometimes it is a Plato put it: "Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself." You combine all the "soul talk" with a will that wants to go one way and not the other, or a bundle of emotions constantly giving you fits and starts in this direction or the other, and you have a mess of issues!   11  Therefore, let’s make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience,

Divided we fall, united we stand strong

The word of God,  you see , is alive and moving; sharper than a double-edged sword; piercing the divide between soul and spirit, joints and marrow; able to judge the thoughts and will of the heart. ( Hebrews 4:12   VOICE ) Some might say the human spirit is kind of "intangible" - because they really cannot hold it in their hands or see it as plainly as they see a box of saltines on the shelf. I daresay we have "seen" and "held" it more than we might have imagined - in the tiny hand of a newborn reaching out for hold in a strange new world; in the tortured agony of having to go another 15-steps to the finish line; or in the excited gleam in the eye of the one who has just heard those tender words "I love you" uttered with profound adoration. The human spirit is perhaps not "tangible" in the same sense as the box of crackers - but it is evident in all of life. Without it, we are definitely "lifeless" and "unmoved".

You riding a bicycle or tricycle?

Ruined lives surround us no matter where we live.  People start out well, but somehow through a series of misadventures and wrong turns, their lives end up in a state of shambles, almost like falling down shacks.  Along the way, they may have heard advice to not take a certain path, or to turn away from what they were pursuing with such earnest.  In ignoring the warnings, they compounded their misfortune and increased their speed of decline.  Now, at the bottom of the pit, they live with nothing more than regrets and the constant wondering of the "what if".  The worrisome part of their decline into the pit is the possibility of them having blamed God for the decline - for putting them in the pit.  In reality, it was their failure to heed warnings, to turn away from their self-directed pursuits.  Why is it we blame God when things end in ruins?  He isn't a God of "ruin", but of "hope", "possibilities", and even "impossibilities".  

Got spirit?

After watching various individuals go through turmoil and trial in their lives, I have observed the tendency for some to rise high, soaring above that turmoil, while others sink lower into the pit of despair.  It made me wonder why some flourish so well, while others just barely eek by and often have a hard time even holding up under the pressures of life.  Most of us would think it is because some are anchored well in their faith, while others have little to no faith at all, so if faith plays a part in "holding up" and "conquering", then what part does it play?  I have observed Christians and non-Christians alike in both circumstances.  Why do some flourish and others not - maybe it is because of the condition of their spirits.  Scripture points us in that direction, does it not? A man or woman with a "healthy spirit" conquers adversity - a crushed spirit will get us down quicker than anything else! A healthy spirit conquers adversity,   but what can

Hungry? Starving? or Ravenous?

My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!— insatiable for your nourishing commands.  (Psalm 119:20 The Message) Most of us have never really experienced starvation or intense hunger in the physical sense.  Yes, we might have missed a meal or two, but the intensity of being "under-nourished" for weeks on end is something we rarely experience in most developed societies today.  In fact, what we call "hunger" is simply a "reminder" from our brain that regular intake is required! To be hungry means that we have a desire or craving for intake.  To be starved takes it one notch up - it carries the idea of being on the verge of perishing from being under-nourished.  The idea of being ravenous speaks of intensity - to be intensely eager to be satisfied.  Now, let's break that down a little.   David lays out three different "states" of soul condition here.  The first is the simple "niggling" within our mind, will, and emotions that we nee