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Heavenly Father,

My granddaughter is learning to do tricks on a balance beam along with a whole menagerie of spectacular flips and bends. Hours are spent in practice to keep her focus intent so her balance and skill improve. She did not inherit even a tiny bit of her athletic balancing skill from me. I seem to have a knack for tripping very ungracefully. Yet as clumsy as I am, I can testify it also takes practice to train our spiritual eyes on You, Lord. When I fix my heart, mind and soul on You, I can do amazing things far beyond my own capabilities.

There are times I know I am “walking on water” so to so speak (like Peter did when he crawled over the side of the boat and walked out on the lake to Jesus). When I find myself truly focused on You, Lord, I can glide above the most turbulent waves unruffled and do what seems impossible. I know it’s  because I have my eyes glued to You. I’m walking (perhaps even soaring) towards You and nothing can stop me…until I take my eyes off You. It only takes a second to shift my gaze from You to what seems total chaos around me. I suddenly realize there is no possible way for me to be doing what I’m doing. There is danger all around. There are voices of fear and mockery telling me I can’t walk above crashing waves of finances, health, future plans, the world situation, looming disasters…When I look at the circumstances, my mind sees there is nothing to hold me up and I cry out “Help me, Jesus!”

You pick me back up, set me back on my feet, and remind me to keep looking at You. I watch my gymnast granddaughter fall and get back up and keep practicing until she perfects her focus. Father, I may not be able to do gymnastics, but I can tell my spiritual focus is improving. The fears and loud crashing waves of the world don’t disturb or distract me so easily—at least as long as I keep my focus on You. Father, keep training me to look at You all the time.

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During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them , walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to You on the water.’ ‘Come,’ He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:25-31

 

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart might be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you; the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”   Ephesians 1:18-21

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Heavenly Father,

The camping trip we recently took is still perking in my mind. Before we left, I was worried about leaving my comfy bed and home… but after we set up our tent that was barely big enough for the two of us and started a fire, I remembered why I love to be out in nature with You, Lord.  At most of the state parks we stayed at, we were the only tent among large RV homes complete with heat, satellite TV and microwaves. At the campgrounds, we felt like we were by ourselves because no one came outside. We sat around the fire and cooked over the open flames and savored the silence (except for that large creature making loud noises in the dry leaves that turned out to be a mouse!)

The contrast between our tiny dome tent and the massive RVs, made me thing about the different ways people live in our world. Though our little temporary home seemed pretty humble, I couldn’t help but think that we were still living better off than a majority of people now living in the world.  I may be willing to go camping but my husband is kind enough to set up at state parks which usually have nice bathrooms and even hot showers. Our van is stocked with bottled water and food. We had pretty much everything we needed and didn’t go into town so we had a week away from crowds, media, news, phone calls, and responsibilities.

Our week in nature was delightful (even in the rain). It was refreshing to focus on You, Your magnificent creation and simply enjoy one another. It was a reminder that sometimes the less we have, the less we have to keep up with and the fewer distractions from the real riches we’ve been given in Jesus Christ. This past week was a reminder that we are just traveling through this life to our true home. Whether we live on the streets, in a shack, a tent, a RV or a really nice house none of those will not be our final home. Father, help me travel light and keep following Jesus. In the meantime, Home is where You are.

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“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”    

2 Corinthians5:1-5

 

“In Him(Jesus Christ)the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”  

Ephesians 2:21-22

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Most Holy and Glorious Heavenly Father,

We just got back from a week of camping in several areas filled with breathtaking Fall foliage. Coming from a noisy large city, it is so refreshing to step into the quiet stillness of heavily wooded paths. I didn’t realize how much background noise I constantly live with. Apparently, I tend to block a lot of it out. Emergency sirens, big rig trucks, horns honking and music constantly blasting become a background to everything in my urban life. It takes silence to realize just how noisy my life is! It also takes silence to enjoy being still and listening for You, Lord.

I asked You to lead us on this trip…and once again, You did (In more ways than I probably even realize). On this vacation, more than any other, I realize that this life is not about me, my wants, my dreams, my comfort, my plans…it’s all about You. My husband and I hiked paths that many others have probably walked through the years– though we were the only ones on those paths during this particular time. It is one thing to view the beauty of the trees driving past hill after hill of magnificent color. It is a whole different perspective to venture out on a path less traveled, walk far into the woods and be immersed in Your beauty. You were in the path up ahead and the path behind us. We looked up and saw You in the trees overhead and the skies above. We even saw You down below in rocky streams and tiny bits of moss and the intricate design on rich colored leaves lying on the path.

There were no words to say because there were none to describe the beauty of Your presence. Then in the midst of the stillness came a sudden light breeze swishing the branches overhead. As we looked up, leaves floated down all around us, showering us with Your presence…and Your love…and Your Spirit. I raised my face to catch – not the leaves– but  You. You are all I need. Fall on me, Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

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“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”   Psalm 4610-11

 

“Be still before the Lord and patiently wait for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”     Psalm 37:7