Monday, February 18, 2008


Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”says the Lord;“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”says your God. (Isaiah 66:9)

What's this? Has God put a dream in your heart? Does it seem so far away that you've begun to wonder if it could ever become reality? Often I have told you that when you walk with the Lord, your dreams are born of his Spirit. He put desires in your heart for the purpose of fulfilling them!

When God gives a dream or a vision, he does it with the intention of seeing it fulfilled. The only exception is that sometimes the Lord does ever so much more than we can think to ask or imagine. Don't give up your dream; paint the vision in bright colors, tell it out loud, walk in the knowledge that your hopes are not in vain.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
(Eph. 3:20-21)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I love the all-inclusive nature of God's promises:

Let not the [stranger] who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;and let not the [one who is 'damaged goods'] say,“Behold, I am [totally useless].”4 For thus says the Lord:“To [all] . . . who
choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant . . . to them I will give an everlasting name that shall not be cut off."
(Isaiah 56:3-5, [Kathy's paraphrase])

Though I believe the Bible, sometimes I wonder if God's promises really apply to me in a personal way. I don't always feel it. Sometimes don't feel very special, at all, as a matter of fact. In those not-so-special moments, I begin to wonder if God will really change me, if He will let others see his character in me, if I will ever get it right, or whether I'm bound to keep digging the same rut without ever moving forward.

There is a purpose for that doubt that creeps in from time to time, in that it qualifies me to speak to others who think the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is simply a dry historical record, a relic of history. I know the feeling. From promises to prophecies, I read and consider, I think and ponder, "I want this to be true, but it really pertain to me?"

That is exactly the question in my heart when I read the verses above. And what is amazing about the Bible, which proclaims itself to be "living and active," is that it really IS! The verses above clearly answered the honest questions of my seeking heart, and I receive that message gladly. I receive the hope, the vision, the mindset, and all that it implies: the security, all the good things for the future, the promise of true and lasting CHANGE.

God is "The Lord God, Who Gathers the Outcasts." Is there someone who needs reassurance of a place in the kingdom? Is there someone who doubts that God will ever intervene? Let's talk a lot about the truth of God's love for everyone -- not just those who look the part, but everyone with a heart to seek Him. Let's keep an eye out for even those close to us who are battling discouragement and distress. Most of all, tell it to your own heart, and I'll tell it to mine: "Yes, there is a place for ME!"

" . . . these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their . . . sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." The Sovereign LORD declares—he who gathers the exiles: "I will gather still others . . . besides those already gathered." (Isaiah 56:7-8)

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I know it is hard at this time of Lent, to rejoice in what you have given to the Lord for this season. Once again, I'll remind you that I "have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Colossians 1:9).

My prayer of blessing over you is for clear purpose and direction: to know his will. I know God will bless you with full of the knowledge of his will, just as it says above. The Lord will "fill you with the knowledge of his will" -- so full that there is no room at all left for doubt. May he plant a vision in your head that will not be overshadowed by doubt and disappointment.

Has God given you a desire in your heart, and a dream to follow? It is there because it is to be fulfilled! In spite of any evidence to the contrary at this moment in time, He will bring your fondest hopes to pass -- and will give you more than you can ever hope or desire. Trust him! (I know that you do.)

He will surely be gracious to you

at the sound of your cry. As soon as he

hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord

give you the bread of adversity and

the water of affliction,

yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore,

but your eyes shall see your Teacher.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you,

saying, “This is the way, walk in it,”

when you turn to the right or when

you turn to the left. (Isa. 30:19-22)

Monday, February 11, 2008


. . . the burning sand
shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground
springs of water . . . And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness . . .
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools,
they shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast
come up on it; they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
(from Isaiah 35)

Jesus promised us trouble in this world (John 16:33), and yet through Isaiah God clearly speaks to us of a spiritual truth when he refers to fools living in complete safety on the Way. When everything is difficult, when everything hurts, I have to wonder whether I might be off track.

Truly, walking with the Lord is like walking in the eye of a storm. All is calm. Though things are falling apart all around me (in my own life), I feel perfectly safe. May the Lord bless you and me to measure our steps today, to be sure that we are on track and out of the danger zone.

I submit my will today, my plans, my preconceptions, my way of thinking, to His scrutiny and revision. May the Lord give us the mindset of Christ, and cause us to walk in a manner worthy of his calling today. May we see that in spite of the storms around us, we are perfectly safe.

Friday, February 1, 2008


A snippet from a reading earlier this week is still on my mind:

I will place on his shoulder
the key to the house of David;
what he opens no one can shut,
and what he shuts no one can open.
(Isaiah 22:22)

Do I really believe that? Is God in control? Does He hold the key to the future? If his open doors really do stay open, and his closed doors are locked and barred, then why do I insist on trying to make my own way? Why am I so anxious to try to straighten others out, to point out their faults and shortcomings? Why am I so disappointed at a turn of events that is not what I anticipated?

Rather than focusing on how things and people are messed up, I need to concentrate on the One who holds the key. When He opens a door, I'll just walk on through. My prayer is that the Lord Jesus will help me -- and you, too -- to trust Him, to allow him to open doors, rather than trying to beat them down ourselves. Let us concentrate on Jesus. Wonderful things will happen, and true joy will result:

. . . and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. (Isaiah 25:8)

Keeper of the Key, I trust in You,
To bind up, to break down, or to rearrange,
To open the door, or to bar the way,
To make secure and yet to cause change.

P.S. Don't forget to read your Bible today!