Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Scripture of Comfort ~ Rest in Me

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest." ~ Matthew 11:28, The Message

"Come to Me," Jesus said.
"Rest in Me. Abide in Me."

Like the gerbil racing frantically around and round, around and round in her metal wheel, I was wearing myself out, but getting nowhere. Striving. Methodical. Insistent that if I could only push "this little wheel around one more time - surely I could get somewhere."

Jesus called to me from my relentless activity. Child, what are you doing? Do you not know that I have a better way? Do you not know that apart from Me you can do nothing? My yoke is easy, My burden light and yet, here you are so tired you can barely put one foot in front of the other. Here you are, so stressed that you can be of no use to anyone. Your eyes are on yourself instead of Me. You're like the duck who glides upon the water, appearing to be calm and peaceful, but beneath the water her webbed feet are in constant, frenzied motion. Come. Sit with Me awhile. Learn of Me. Learn of My rest. I will set you free from the burdens you have insisted on carrying. Come. Sit with Me and I will show you great and mighty things of which you know not. I will teach you that you are not alone. I will open your eyes to see Me all about you. I will open the eyes of your heart to understand that I - the Maker of heaven and earth - dwell within you. Rest, my child. Rest in Me.

I'm learning to rest in Him. I'm learning that it is in Him, and Him alone that I will find peace. I'm learning to hop off the frenzied wheel of motion and kneel at the foot of my Savior, resting quietly, listening intently and loving fully.

Please, take my hand and join me.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to enter into His rest through worship with the song, "Jesus, I Am Resting".

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Liquid Alabaster

"'My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the Lord. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

"'The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.

"'It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

"'You will live in joy and peace.'" ~ Isaiah 55:10-12a, NLT

Snow fell on our beloved mountains. Giant flakes with dazzling designs lingered on the wind, then fell to the earth, accumulating into a heavenly blanket. The earth slept beneath its frosty cover. Roots snuggled against the insulated dirt, strengthening themselves for the summer heat that lay ahead. With morning came the sun. From its radiant beams flowed warmth and light. The snow became a trickle of water. Like a sponge, the earth soaked in the life-sustaining power from the liquid alabaster. Water ran deep. Water pooled in layers upon the ground, waiting, anticipating the moment it would be received to saturate and replenish the land. The snow was sent with purpose - with the intention of sustaining life.

The snow accomplished what it was sent to do.

And so it is with God's Word.

God's Word is breathed from the source of life Himself. Out of the depth of His Spirit, God's Word is sent forth with purpose. With power.

And it will accomplish what the Lord our God intends.

Has God written a dream upon your heart? Are you standing on a promise that leaped from the pages of your worn bible - the assurance of His provision, the power of His deliverance, the healing touch of His Holy Spirit?

Dear one, reach out your hand and take hold of the Father. Kneel at His throne of grace. Pour out your heart before Him and then be still. REST in Him and wait. Wait with expectation, for His Words are Truth. His Words are life. And His Words will accomplish all that He promises for you, His child.

O God! You deserve the highest praise! You, indeed, are God alone. Your majesty amazes us. Your power thrills us. And Your mighty love comforts us. Thank You, Lord. You are faithful and true. You surround us with Your awesome Presence. Open our eyes to see, Lord! Open our eyes to see...
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to join in worship with Steve Green as he sings, "God and God Alone". I know you will receive a blessing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


"Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." ~ Psalm 73:23-26, NKJV

Nevertheless, I am continually with You.

I love this.

The last words David spoke to the Lord before he made this statement was, "I was like a beast before You." I love the honesty of David - or, as we would say - his authentic faith.

David had just poured out the stench in his heart to his God. He didn't mince words. He didn't "plate" his words with holiness like the silver-plate camouflaging a tin vessel. No. David had a conversation with God that some would deem sacrilegious.

But not David.

He loved God and God loved Him.
He belonged to God and God belonged to him.

David was secure in the knowledge of God's love and could thus say, "Nevertheless, I am continually with You. You hold me by my right hand."

Nevertheless, You guide me with your counsel.
Nevertheless, You will receive me into glory.
Nevertheless, whom do I have in heaven but my God?
Nevertheless, there is no one I desire but You.
Nevertheless, You are the strength of my heart.

No matter what life throws my way I can say, "Nevertheless, I walk in the Presence of my God."

I pray that you, my precious reader, will step into this same place of safety and peace, surrounded by His love because no matter what, you are nevertheless, His child.

You belong to Him.

Father God, What a comforting thought. Thank You for Your great love. Thank You for loving us in spite of ourselves. You are worthy of our praise, Lord. We bless Your Holy Name.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to encourage yourself in the Lord as we worship with Kathryn Scott singing, "I Belong".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

He Holds My Hand

"For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you,'Fear not; I will help you!'" ~ Isaiah 41:13, The Amplified Study Bible

The squeak of the porch swing sang its lullaby to my restless spirit, soothing me into a peaceful calm. My mind settled. My muscles relaxed. And my thoughts turned to Jesus.

It seems that I have been filled with anxiety recently. Much more so than usual. Sometimes I think anxiety is the "thorn in my flesh" that keeps me calling out to God, depending on Him, leaning on Him.

Or...maybe anxiety is the lesson that, if I can learn it, will open my eyes to see the Lord like never before. Could it be that my racing heart, my sweaty palms and conflicted thoughts are the very thing that God will use to show me His mightiest power, His greatest love? Will my anxiety be the very thing that will draw me closer to my God?

I swayed back and forth on the swing. I yearned for the Lord's Presence. My gaze trailed towards the heavens and I watched the clouds - those magnificent pops of brilliance that stream across the heavens. You know, the Lord tells us in Psalm 104 that the clouds are His chariots as He rides on the wings of the wind. When I take hold of that image in my mind's eye, I get goosebumps. The majesty of the Lord - His splendor - is beyond our comprehension.

And even so...

And even so, He holds my hand and says to His child, "Fear not. I will help you."

When I feel overwhelmed. When I feel afraid or consumed with worry. When I can't find my way in the darkness and I trip over the broken pieces, GOD wants me to understand His Presence. He promised that He would never leave me nor forsake me. He promised that NOTHING could ever separate me from His love.

And He holds my hand.
When I feel anxious or afraid, He holds my hand.

Father God, All I can say is thank You. Thank You for being there for me and for being there for my friends. You never leave us. Open our eyes to see You and to know You more. Draw us close to You. Make us aware of Your Presence, not just in words, not just in concept, but in Truth! Help us walk in the Truth of Your Presence. Thank You so much Lord. We love You!

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to be drawn into worship through the song, "Draw Me Close" sung by The Katinas. Know that I am praying for each of you. Sweet blessings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You Are My Everything

"How great is the goodness You have stored up for those who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of Your Presence..." ~ Psalm 31:19,20, NLTV

The shelter of His Presence...
The secret place of the Most High God...

That's where He hides us when the world seeks to consume us. That's where He hides us when we need His comfort, His healing touch, the reassurance of His great love.

I believe the shelter of His presence was where I first beheld His love on the cross. For you see, He sought me out, drawing me to Himself. His Presence was there all along, but, on that wondrous day of my salvation, He opened my eyes to see Him.

And He did that for you, as well.

His gentle whisper called to us out of our broken places, beckoning us to come to Him. He lavished His goodness upon us.

Come away with me my precious one and run beneath the shadow of His wing - the secret place - near to His heart. That's where the greatest love story of all began.

We love You, Lord and we give You praise, for You Lord are worthy of our praise. You are the Most High God, Ruler of all the nations, Maker of heaven and earth. And yet You know us by name. You love us in spite of ourselves. You are faithful and true, merciful and good. You are everything to us, Lord. Yes, everything.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to enter into worship with a song titled, "You Are Everything", led by Brian Doerksen.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

You Are Amazing God

"When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of earthborn man that You care for him?" ~ Psalm 8:3,4, Amplified Study Bible

It took my breath away.

The illuminated sphere with its cavernous shadows and mystical halo rose above the ridge. The "snow" moon was huge! Bigger than any I have ever seen. A wisp of a cloud, leftover from a dreary day, ribboned its way through the moonlit night, brushing up against this lamp in our darkness.

Like I said, it took my breath away.
My thoughts turned to the Lord.

How can we fathom the glory and splendor of our God? Elohim, the Creator of the Universe, shaped this astonishing sky-jewelry out of virtually nothing. It's the work of His hands, we casually say, as if fashioning the moon and the stars and placing them in a dark and enormous sky was like running to WalMart to get some Kleenex.

Amazing, isn't it?
Not only is it amazing that our God is a god that could do such a thing. It is amazing that we are so nonchalant in our recognition of such power.

I know.
Me, too.

Chris Tomlin says it best, "Indescribable! Uncontainable! You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name. All powerful! Untameable! Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim: You are amazing God."

And the best part?

"You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same. You are amazing God."

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High" (Psalm 9:1)

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to worship along with Chris Tomlin as he sings, "Indescribable". I think you might sing this song with more fervor than before. I know I did.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grace is Like That

"For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows (present) grace and (future) glory - honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." ~ Psalm 84:11, The Amplified Study Bible

I trudged up the country road that meandered past our home. Feelings of fatigue overwhelmed me. I looked up towards the heavens and began to sing, "I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You. O my soul, rejoice." I worshiped. My praise lifted me above my worries and nestled me beneath the shadow of His wings.

And then God opened my eyes to see.

I noticed the trees were beginning to bud. I noticed the wild primroses that grew in mass along the creek bank were bearing new leaves. Even though the starkness of winter remained, the plants were responding to the warmth of the sun.

I couldn't help but think about grace.
God's grace.

A familiar definition of grace is that of unmerited favor - favor that we do not deserve. The Hebrew word for grace found in Psalm 84:11 is chen (chayn) and means favor, graciousness, kindness, beauty, pleasantness, affectionate regard.

Affectionate regard. I love that.

God is, and will always be, a sun and shield to His people. "We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, He will be to us a sun to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but He will be to us a shield to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thickly about us." (Matthew Henry)

The sun gives warmth.
It illuminates and invigorates us. It replenishes us with bursts of new life.
That's what God's grace does.

His amazing grace illuminates our darkness. It warms our soul with hope, with forgiveness, with affectionate regard from the One who made us. When we find ourselves in a season of winter, God's grace warms us as the sun. It causes the power of the Holy Spirit to flow within us and bear new fruit, in spite of the barrenness around us.

Grace is like that, you know.

And so is the Giver of grace.

Thank You Lord. Help us to understand the power and faithfulness of Your grace. The concept of Your grace has become too familiar to us. Its name slips easily off our lips, but we dilute its value. Open our eyes to see Lord. Open our hearts to grasp the love that grace contains. Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love. Bless Your Holy Name, Lord. We love You. You are precious.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to worship the Lord through a song titled, "Grace Has Called My Name" by Kathryn Scott.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And Then He Rested

"Look at Him! GOD, the Master, comes in power, ready to go into action. He is going to pay back His enemies and reward those who have loved Him. Like a shepherd, He will care for His flock, gathering the lambs in His arms, hugging them as He carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture. Who has scooped up the ocean in His two hands, or measured the sky between His thumb and little finger? Who has put all the earth's dirt in one of His baskets, weighed each mountain and hill? Who could ever have told GOD what to do or taught Him His business? What expert would He have gone to for advice, what school would he attend to learn justice? What god do you suppose might have taught Him what He knows, showed Him how things work?

"So who even comes close to being like God? To whom or what can you compare Him? Some no-god idol? Ridiculous! It's made in a workshop, cast in bronze, given a thin veneer of gold, and draped with silver filigree. Or perhaps someone will select a fine wood - olive wood, say - that won't rot, then hire a woodcarver to make a no-god, giving special care to its base so it won't tip over!

"Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening? Haven't you heard these stories all our life? Don't you understand the foundation of all things? GOD sits high above the round ball of earth. The people look like mere ants. He stretches out the skies like a canvas - yes, like a tent canvas to live under. He ignores what all the princes say and do. The rulers of the earth count for nothing. Princes and rulers don't amount to much.

"Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted, they shrivel when God blows on them. Like flecks of chaff, they're gone with the wind.

"'So - who is like Me? Who holds a candle to Me?' says the Holy One. Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name - so magnificent! so powerful! - and never overlooks a single one?

"Why would you ever complain O Jacob, or whine, Israel, saying, 'GOD has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me'? Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? GOD doesn't come and go. GOD lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch His breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind." ~ Isaiah 40:10-14, 18-31, The Message

The man sat on the knoll, leaned back on his elbows and lifted his eyes towards the heavens. Burdened by a restless spirit, the man had come to the mountaintop to sit alone with God. A stiff breeze rustled his jacket. Trees swayed against the indigo sky.

"Rest in Me," the Spirit of the Lord spoke to his heart. "Rest in Me. I've got it all under control."

At that moment two hawks came from behind the treeline. Their wings stretched out like carefree children playing airplane on a sunny day. The hawks moved smoothly on the wings of the wind. They didn't flap and flutter and try to take charge of the wind. The powerful birds soared with no effort at all.

The man watched the birds intently.

If God can put the stars in place and call them each by name, if He can teach these hawks to rise above the turbulent winds and soar with abundant grace, then I know He can order my steps, thought the man.

And then he rested.

Father, So many times we just need for you to hold us. Teach us to run to You. Teach us to sit in Your Presence. Teach us to rest in You and You alone. Thank You, Lord. We love you so much and we praise You.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to be a part of Todd Agnew singing "If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile".