Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Growing Up

CJ and Ashlee, happy Mom, happy son
A dear friend of mine at work has a four year old boy.  She is as proud as a mother should be with each new development and skill, but the momma part of her is saddened her "baby" is growing up. (You can read my essay on my own experience of this here.)

This was especially evident the other day when she spoke of how he holds her hand differently now.  "He used to just put his hand in mine, but now he intertwines his fingers in mine."  That simple movement spoke volumes to her of his growing up and becoming more independent each day.

Of course, growing up is the normal and desired course during our children's lifetimes.  We expect our children to grow up, but not quite so fast, please.  We expect them to become independent of us, but be slow about it, okay?  And yes, it brings some pain to us when those ones we cared for from babies now pack up and move out of the house.  But in spite of the pain, it is as we would want it to be.

When we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are birthed into the family of God.  As do our earthly children, we begin as little babes who are capable of little.  But the Lord no more intends for us to stay that way than do we expect that of our own little bundles of joy.  In fact, the Apostle Paul admonished the Hebrew Christians for not having had more growth in their Christian lives. . .

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God;  and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."  (Hebrews 5:12.)

We should be able to look back along our lives and see our progress in the Christian faith.  Our knowledge of Christ should be greater with each step and our awareness of His working "in us to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13,) should be growing.  Let us be vigilant to respond to the Lord in a way that this is true of us this year, next year and every year until we join Him in heaven.

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  
To Him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen."  
2 Peter 3:18

Monday, January 15, 2018

Who is Tua?

A week ago, Glen and I and our daughters watched the 2018 College Football National Championship at our daughter Marie's house.  She is a University of Alabama alumni for both undergraduate and law school and there was no way we were going to miss that game.

We might have wanted to change our minds during the first half  as the Georgia Bulldogs led the Alabama Crimson Tide by 13-0.

Then there was a line-up change for the second half.  

Little known Tuanigamanuolepola "Tua" Tagovailoa (TAHN-go-vai-LOW-a) replaced Jalen Hurts as quarterback for Alabama.  That is when the tide turned (pun intended.)

Tua led the Tide to a 26-23 victory by throwing three touchdown passes including the game-winning 41-yard pass in overtime.  He was named the Offensive MVP of the game.

While many have remarked about his precision-like passes and his remarkable ability to see and even "feel" the lay of the defense, that is not the most remarkable thing Tua did on that field. In every post-game interview I have seen, Tua pointedly deflected any glory from himself to His Lord. In one interview he stated, "First and foremost, I'd just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible. That's what happened tonight." 

In another, "First and foremost I'd like to thank my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. . . All glory goes to God. I can't describe what He has done for me and my family. Who would've ever thought I would have been here at this moment."

Following the twitter feed after the Alabama victory, my favorite "Tua" tweet I read was short 

and sweet:

"I don't know Tua Tagovailoa, but I know his Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ."

Is there anything better to know about Tua Tagovailoa? You can quote me statistics of his high school career, his stats from the Championship game, or even show me his MVP trophy.  None of that, in fact NOTHING can compare with the testimonies he gave after the game. He boldy pronounced Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. That game averaged 28.4 million viewers, most of whom would most likely watch the interviews immediately after the game. In those few moments, Tua was able to testify of his faith in Jesus to more people than most of us will meet in a lifetime. Who knows what influence those few sentences will have on the hearts and lives of some of those 28.4 million people.

Tua may play football for the Crimson Tide, but he has personal knowledge of another, most important, "crimson tide."

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: 
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Isaiah 1:18

Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sins
by Julia Johnston

  1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
    Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
    Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
    There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
  2. Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
    Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
    Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
    Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
  3. Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
    What can we do to wash it away?
    Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
    Brighter than snow you may be today.
  4. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
    Freely bestowed on all who believe!
    You that are longing to see His face,
    Will you this moment His grace receive?

  5. Grace, grace, God’s grace,

    Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

    Grace, grace, God’s grace,

    Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Delighted by Love

Today while we were out walking we encountered a white lab puppy.  His owner had let him out for a bit and the puppy was bounding around the neighbor's yard.  It was obvious he had unlimited energy and probably more curiosity than is good for him.  

I was delighted to see him and immediately thought of Labradors I have known. . .Cairo, Sheba and Remi.  Each has been a delightful, friendly and loving dog.  And each gave as much love, devotion and attention to their families as they received as pets.  Some dogs, especially some breeds, just have a way bringing love with them.  

While some may say that it would be hard to determine if the owners or the pets loved the most, one has only to watch our Sparrow welcome us home to know how great her love is, and how loud!  I would post a video of it, but you would not be able to turn your speakers down fast enough!

While we often underestimate the degree of love our pets have for us, we tend to do that with God, too.  We tend to think of His love as equal to our own, flawed, human love.  But it is not.

His love is never selfish, it is never unseemly, it never rejoices in the pain of another.  His love never tries to promote Himself, but is centered totally on others.

The Apostle Paul described love (charity) this way:

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things; hopeth all things, endureth all things."  (ICorinthians 13:4-7.)
Let's look at it this way.  "Before the foundations of the world," as the Scriptures tell us, God the Father knew that if He created mankind it would eventually mean He would have to forsake His Son on the cross to be the "propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."  He knew this, and created us anyway.  Why?  Because He loved us even before He created us.

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5.)

We should tuck that truth deep in our hearts and minds and contemplate it over and over again.  He knew and yet He created us still.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, 
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
I John 4:10

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How "If" Becomes "When"

It usually begins as a joke, a suggestion made entirely of jest.  Then that tiny seed that wasn't spoken in earnest begins to take root in our brain.  Perhaps the next conversation on that topic isn't a joke, but isn't spoken of as a reality either.  But hearing our discussion of it waters the tiny seed and it sprouts into a tender plant.  Pretty soon we are speaking of the topic, not as some impossible thing, but something that is possible but improbable.  The plant grows.  Before long the discussion changes from "if" to "when" and the plant has taken root.

This is what happened with our walking "marathon" last February.  We had hiked our longest day the previous May, 23.17 miles.  The feat both surprised and impressed us.  I never thought we could hike that many miles in one day, but the weather was great and the path easy.

Once we returned home we began talking that we had almost walked the distance of a marathon, or 26.2 miles.  We began to joke that if we could walk twenty three miles, then we could walk a marathon one day.  The discussions over time changed from "if" to "when."  Then we began to plan our marathon day.  I mapped out our course, we checked the weather and picked the date.

It was a great deal of walking and also a great deal of fun, especially since we kept our friends and family updated with our progress as we walked.  I think Glen had the most fun texting back and forth with our grandson Jackson. (You can read more about that day here in our post, The Unexpected Welcome.)

 Walking 58,361 steps and burning 2885 calories in the process, our course was dotted with stops at bakeries, coffee shops and the Moon Pie store.  It took us 7 hours and 37 minutes of actual walking time, although we did not stop the clock for traffic.

At the end of the day we decided we would never do it again.  Then by a month later we had decided not only to repeat our performance, but to add four miles to the course!  Thirty miles felt much different than twenty-six and again we proclaimed we would never walk that far when not hiking.

Well, you know where this is going, don't you?

In five weeks we plan to do our second walking marathon.  We will follow a certified marathon course in our city, fortunately dotted with coffee shops, bakeries, and yes, even the Moon Pie store is close by.

All this came about because we heard our spoken word and it took root in our brains and hearts.

Tee Shirts made
 by our daugther, Emmie
Such is true of the Word of God.  When we hear the Word of God it doesn't just sit in our ears, it is a tiny seed planted in our hearts and minds.  When we encourage each other in our faith, our words water that seed and the tiny plant of faith is born.  When we confess our faith to others, or encourage others, or share scripture with someone, our own ears hear our words and our hearts begin to believe those words and our faith grows.

This is one reason it is so important for us to speak the truth, not only to others but also to ourselves.  Our ears pay attention to not only what others say to us, but also what we say to others.  "Speak the truth in love," is great advice to ourselves as much as to others.

Let us resolve to speak "that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  And grace to ourselves as well.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, 
and hearing by the word of God." 
(Romans 10:17.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

To the Shore or To the Sea

A few months ago our family spent a few days at the beach to celebrate my 60th birthday.  The weather was absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed just floating around in the water, letting the waves and current push me wherever it wanted.

I noticed an interesting thing in this activity.  The more I pulled away from the shore, the more the tendency of the current was to pull me out to sea. (Not a good way to end a birthday celebration.)  However, the closer I was to the shore, the more the tendency of the current was to pull me to shore.

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8.)

This principle is true of our Christian lives as well.  The closer we are to the Lord, the more the tendency of our lives is to be close to Him.  The more we pull away and ignore His truths, the more the tendency of our lives will be to be drawn to the world.

While I did enjoy just floating, and I love to be far enough out so that my feet don't touch the bottom, I did keep an eye on my distance from the shore.  I noticed that Glen, too, was watching me in case he needed to jump in to save me.  (Fortunately, that was not necessary.)  If I had not been watchful, I may have found myself too far out to easily swim back.

We must have that same watchfulness in our walks with the Lord.  Growing in the Lord does not happen without response and action on our part.  In fact, Paul rebuked the Hebrews because they should have been teachers by the time he was writing to them, but they "need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Hebrews 5:12.)  We must guard lest distraction, discouragement or deception pull us away from the sound shore of Christ.  We must take care to do the things we are called to do so that we will be strong in the Lord and always growing in our knowledge and experience of Him.

"But grow in grace, 
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  
To Him be glory both now and for ever.  
2 Peter 3:18

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Two Little Friends

Last summer my family and I spent several days at the beach to celebrate my 6oth birthday.  One day I spent quite a while just floating out in the water.  During that time I noticed a school of fish about 10 or 15 feet beyond me.  Quite a few of the fish were jumping out of the water and the sea gulls kept a steady flight above this stream of fish.

As I was watching, I felt something nudge me around my knees.  The water was crystal clear and I could see all the way to my feet.  Swimming around my legs were two little fish, not more than three or four inches long.  They would have been a perfect snack for the larger fish in front of me.

I expected these tiny fish to swim away, but they did not.  In fact, when I moved, they moved with me.  I moved in different directions to see if they really were following me and they did.  It finally dawned on me that staying close to me gave them a safety they did not feel out in the open water.

Now some people don't like it when tiny fish brush up against them at the beach, but I have always thought that was just part of the experience.  I did nothing to cause my little friends to move until I was ready to leave the waters.

As I slowly walked through the water back to shore, my little friends stayed close beside me.  It wasn't until I reached the surf and stepped on  shore that we were parted.  I could see them still in the clear white foam of the waves.

I had provided them with shelter and safety and I was glad to do so.  I didn't tire of their noses rubbing against my legs.  In fact, I enjoyed the experience of having them follow me.

How often we feel as if we are "bothering" our heavenly Father? How often do we believe He tires of us coming to Him over and over again.  But never, not once, has the Lord felt a tiresome moment when His children called to Him.  In fact, the Bible tells us of the Lord that "before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24.)

He loves His sons and daughters so much that, like the prodigal's father, He is watching and waiting for our attention to turn to Him. He delights in our prayers, in our coming to Him and delight cannot be tiresome.

"How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!  
Therefore the children of men 
put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings!"  
Psalm 36:7

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Nurses' Cape

When I was a girl, my mother and I went to visit my sister after having a baby.  The hospital was the largest in our town and on the way to my sister's room we passed a poster in the hallway. The poster depicted a nurse in her bright white uniform, perfectly starched and pressed, her white hat perched upon her head and her cape tossed over her shoulder.  It was the nurses' cape which drew my attention.  It was navy blue on the outside and bright red on the inside.  The colors seemed to jump off the paper.  I am quite sure that poster had a big, though subconscious, effect on my becoming a nurse.

I have loved capes all my life. I love the way they cover you up completely, but aren't binding in anyway.  I love the fact that you can pull your arms inside and be hidden from the elements.  I love the way it feels when you pull the cape open and the material floats around you.

I only own one cape.  It is grey wool and belonged to my mother.  If I never own another, this one is enough.  

I do have a robe, though, which is similar to a cape.  It is not blue, nor is it red.  It is perfectly white without any blemish or spot.  Like my mother's cape, it was not mine, it was given to me.  Another paid the price for my right and privilege to wear this robe.  In fact, Another had to die for me to wear this robe.

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; 
for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, 
He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, 
as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, 
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 
Isaiah 61:10

My robe is the robe of righteousness that the Lord Jesus took off Himself and cast around me. There is nothing I did to deserve this righteousness, it was a free gift which I simply accepted by faith.  

But oh, the Giver of such a gift!  How perfectly He lived to be able to bestow this robe upon me, and upon all who believe!  How greatly He suffered, "...who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2.)

All eternity will not be enough to praise Him, to thank Him, to love Him.

"And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, 
which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, 
the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Philippians 3:9

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, 
but according to His mercy He saved us, 
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
Titus 3:5

Awake My Heart, Arise My Tongue
by Isaac Watts

Awake, my heart; arise, my tongue,

In God, the life of all my joys,

Aloud will I rejoice.

'Tis he adorned my naked soul,
And made salvation mine;
Upon a poor polluted worm
He makes his graces shine.

And lest the shadow of a spot
Should on my soul be found,
He took the robe the Savior wrought,
And cast it all around.

How far the heav'nly robe exceeds
What earthly princes wear
These ornaments, how bright they shine!
How white the garments are!

The Spirit wrought my faith, and love,
And hope, and every grace;
But Jesus spent his life to work
The robe of righteousness.

Strangely, my soul, art thou arrayed
By the great Sacred Three!
In sweetest harmony of praise
Let all thy powers agree.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Gladiolus

Returning from our days at the beach to celebrate my 60th birthday, I was surprised by a beautiful arrangement of gladiolus.  I didn't have to look at the card to know whom they were from.  I knew they were from my oldest brother, and I was right.  I was right because I knew something about my brother. . .gladiolus are his favorite flowers.

When we know a person, their nature and character, we can expect things from them based on that knowledge.  We can also expect to NOT see other things based on the same knowledge.

I once worked with a nurse named Darlene.  She was a wonderful nurse and was quite particular in everything she did as a nurse.  One thing I knew, if she said she did something for a patient at, say, 1:23 pm, she meant it was 1:23, not 1:22 or 1:24.  She was precise and careful in everything she did.

If we know the Lord, we can also expect things from Him based on His character and nature, which will never and can never change. And there are things we would never expect from Him.

One thing we can be certain of, discouragement is never from Him.  He wants us to have a life of hope, a life of watching Him do things in our lives we would never expect.

Discouragement is a temptation yelled at us by our enemy who only wants us to fail.  Our flesh is only too quick to grab onto that temptation and use it as an excuse to stay conquered.

But the Lord tells us, "Be not afraid."  He whispers to us, "Be of good courage," and "Fear not."

We can have and know hope because our hope is not of us, but of Him.  As David said, "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him." (Psalm 62:5.)  The Scriptures also tell us He is working "...in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.."

In His working in us, we can both rest and let our hearts be at peace.  Our Lord finishes everything He begins, indeed, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end.  We have abundant reasons to "be of good cheer."

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures 
might have hope." 
Romans 15:4

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Elevation Profile

Recently, with our youngest daughter moving to her own house, we had a room to redecorate.  I wanted this room to contain all the things from other rooms that didn't belong in there.  I also wanted it to reflect our favorite hobby, hiking and backpacking.

I had seen a mountain mural on Pinterest and decided it was something I would like to do in this room, only I wanted the elevation profiles on the mural to reflect the profiles of actual hikes we have taken.

Elevation profiles are simple things, they show only the rise and fall of mountains and vallies.  Yet when I see some elevation profiles I know well the place the map represents because I have been there.  My brain fills in what the profiles leave out based on experience and knowledge.

This is our mountain mural.  When I look at it I see Blood Mountain, GA.  I see the Virginia Creeper Trail in VA.  I see Springer Mountain, GA.  I see Mount LeConte and the Boulevard Trail -- our first hiking/backpacking experience, forever etched in our memories by the shear amount of novice mistakes we made.  

Much like my mural, whose lines are so simple, but represent so much to my heart, the Lord takes His written Word and writes it in our hearts.  Those  words represent so much more than the sum of their letters because His Spirit quickens them and makes them true to us, not only in our minds but in our lives.  He uses these to help us "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18.)

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people."  Hebrews 8:10

"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." John 17:3

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Knows, Loves, Satisfies

My sister, who is 13 years older than me, knows much of my history and childhood that I don't know or remember.   She vividly remembers cousins I wouldn't recognize.

I have friends at work that know me very well.  There is nothing like coming together as a team during an emergency to build trust and friendship.  My work friends know a little about my life away from the hospital, but not fully.

Glen, who knows me better than anyone else, doesn't know me as a Labor & Delivery nurse.  He obviously has never been a position to see me work and has often stated that is one thing about me he would have loved to witness.

There is only One who knows us fully. . .knows our every thought, our hopes and dreams.  There is only One who knows each time we have succeeded and each time we have fallen.  He knows exactly where we came from and where we are going, often even before we know.

And He is the only One to whom we can safely trust our hearts.  

Humans instinctively look for something to fill the void in our hearts.  Some turn to relationships, some to work and others to causes about which they feel passionate.  All are looking for something and few are truly satisfied.  That is because at the end of the day, only God can fully satisfy our hearts.

As St. Augustine wrote, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."  The Psalmist wrote, "For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." ( Psalm 107:9.)

Let us look to the One who alone can truly satisfy our hearts, who knows every bit of us, and loves us still.  Let us fall before the One whom the Scriptures called "Faithful and True" and trust Him to be all we need in our lives.

"O LORD, Thou hast searched me, and known me.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, Thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.  Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me."

Psalm 139:1-10

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. . .

Almost every time we conclude a chapel service at the nursing facilities to which we go, we will end the service with the song,  Amazing Grace.  Each time there will be someone there who rarely speaks, but will sing the words of this old and familiar hymn.

One day, as we were singing it, I began to think about that first phrase.  "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound."  

I began to wonder, what does grace sound like?  

It sounds like a heart and mind full of the peace of God, which passes all understanding.  It sounds like a still, small voice leading the way.  It sounds like a song in the darkest of night when we find ourselves "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexedbut not in despair;" (2 Corinthians 4:8.)

What does grace look like? 

It looks like a blind man receiving his sight, a lame man walking down the street, a damsel brought back to life.  It looks like a God who is "gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." (Psalm 145:8)  It looks like a God who "is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works." (Psalms 145:9)

What does grace feel like?  

It feels like a sinner set free.  It feels like the burden and guilt of sin removed and a robe of righteousness being draped around.  It feels like One who is annointed "with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows." (Hebrews 1:9.)

What does grace smell like?

It smells like sinners clothes as "filthy rags" who have been washed "whiter than snow" and made "unto God a sweet savour of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:15.)  

It smells like the One "who gave Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." (Ephesians 5:2.)

Amazing Grace
by John Newton

  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.
  2. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.
  3. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
  4. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
  5. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.
  6. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.
  7. When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Shared Gaze

I have had a delightful experience many times during the thirty-nine years of our marriage.  Glen and I will be at a social function or meeting and we will be on opposite sides of the room, perhaps in conversations with other people.  Then, from across the room, one of us will look at the other and catch their eye.  Usually there is a smile, then a reciprocal smile and we will share something that needs no words to be communicated.

In this unspoken communication one of us will be the seeker, the originator of the moment.  The other will be the respondent.

It reminds me of our relationship with God.  Our "seeking" after God is never the first step in a relationship with Him, it is always a response to His seeking us.

"There is none that understandeth, there in none that seeketh after God."  (Romans 3:11.)

God is always seeking us, communicating to us, calling us to Himself.  Indeed, the Scriptures tell us that "in Him we move and live and have our being." (Acts 17:28.)  Our responsibility is to be sought, to respond to the calling and communication of the Lord.

What a wonderful thought for us to ponder as we go throughout our days!  We never seek God apart from His first seeking us.  Our desire to pray, to worship. to read the Scriptures are always a response to His seeking our heart, for He greatly desires a relationship with us.  He is always the One to have the first gaze and we are the ones to reciprocate.

This should swell our hearts and humble us at the same time.  The Lord of the universe is seeking us.  The Creator of all things seeks to have a relationship with us. How much more should it cause us to seek His face and in doing so, find His gaze already upon us.  How much it should sadden us for all those times He was seeking us and we never realized it.  Let us in the days to come be more and more aware of His seeking and let us respond with a full heart of thanksgiving and love.

"When Thou saidst, 'Seek ye My face;' my heart said unto Thee,
 'Thy face, Lord, will I seek."
Psalm 27:8

If My Voice
Words and music by Glen Davis

If my voice is sweet to you, Lord,
As your word declares,
And if somehow You find delight in my prayers,
And if Your face You call me to seek Lord,
Your face I will seek.

And my voice. . .
You will hear.

And my voice. . .
You will hear.