Faithfulness of God

Anchor

In a world that’s fall-down-drunk on the idea of self-everything I have some good news that may not come across as good news.

You have a keeper.

Not like keep-you-in-a-cage, though I’m quite sure that’s how some people would interpret it.

More like faithful protector, watcher, provider, attender.  And keeping for your Keeper is as natural as being human is for you.

The Lord  keeps all who love Him…( Ps 145:20a).

I love Psalm 145 because it contains a long list of the practical attributes of God, as His followers experience Him.  Things like gracious and merciful and righteous and sustaining, to name a few.  But here’s one I’ve never paid much attention to before now.  It is the Lord’s nature and faithful character to keep those who love Him. [click to continue…]

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Nighttime PrayerJordan’s heart is still awake, even though his body surrendered to sleep an hour ago. He’s restless. Anticipating. Watching and listening for that heart connection he once knew. In the psalmist’s language, Jordan is thirsty like a deer panting for streams of water.  He knows what he’s thirsty for, and He knows that God is faithful.  And yet in this dry season, He feels so far away.

Caitlyn waits all the time, but the nighttime seems the rudest. She waits for a change in her mother’s prognosis, even though no change is coming. She waits for that dreaded decline in respiration, though it seems her Mama is too tough and too stubborn to die. The days keep her busy, but the nights at the bedside turn up the volume on Caitlyn’s grieving heart.  She knows that ultimately what she’s waiting for is the Lord.  And He feels so far away.

Brody is exhausted. It’s been the longest night of his professional life, but the rookie firefighter forges ahead through the rubble of what once was a safe place for kids; a cruel tornado had other ideas. Keeping his own two children, ages 4 and 2, close in his heart, Brody alternately prays he will find survivors and rages that a just, loving God lets innocent children die. His faith is as weary as his body and mind. He wants to believe God.  But He feels so far away.

Cindy sorts through photos and memories of what sometimes looks like someone else’s life. She called it her “days of awakening,” and so they were.  Though she had been a believer since she was 11 years old, amazing things began to happen in Cindy’s life when she was a student in college. Unusual, near-instant answers to prayer. Life-changing mission trips where once she even witnessed a miraculous healing. Extraordinary spiritual growth.  Now ten years later, Cindy is hungry to see those days of awakening again. But it’s been a long time, and He feels so far away. [click to continue…]

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faceplantDid a face plant a couple of weeks ago.  On concrete.  It was ugly, and so was I for a few days.

The irony of the situation was that I was bolting from one meeting to another, with a cross-town drive in-between.  And the place I was in a hurry to?

A radio interview about the mental health of people in the ministry.

I wasn’t exactly expecting to have my own tested in the process.  But that’s the price you pay when you’re trying to move at the speed of light on a sidewalk designed for the speed of pedestrians.

For just a minute I thought I was seeing the light of eternity.  Turns out I was just seeing stars.

Aside from the wounds to my forehead, knees, hands and pride, I did learn a few things, such as what an “orbital nerve” is.  Oh, and that there is more than one kind of black eye.

But the most important thing I was reminded of is that my ability to maintain my rhythm and step in this world of the falling is no comparison to God’s ability to hold me, heal me, and shepherd me home.  Regardless of how I may stumble in a temporal world, in the one that matters most, He won’t let me fall. [click to continue…]

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Faithful: A Scripture Symphony

by Andy Wood on September 6, 2012

in Since You Asked

(Q – What is a good verse for staying faithful?
A – Here is a mashup of several…)

Help, Lord, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.

I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before My anointed one always.

The Lord my God is God; You are the faithful God, keeping Your covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love You and keep Your commands.

Love the Lord, all his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful,
but the proud He pays back in full.

You are the Rock, Your works are perfect,
and all Your ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant. [click to continue…]

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The Finisher

by Andy Wood on September 4, 2012

in 100 Words

Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished” (Luke 18:31).

God is a finisher.

He fulfills His intentions and finishes what He starts.

He’s a promise keeper.

Nobody has ever heard the Lord address a promise, however hopeful or dreadful, and say, “Aw, disregard that.” [click to continue…]

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A Love That Watches

by Andy Wood on September 21, 2011

in Life Currency, Love

Somewhere in the places you aren’t aware of in the moment, in the quietest and yet most powerful of ways, you are being loved.

Past the grand displays and the tender expressions, the soul-stirring words and the daily graces, you are being cared for…

…attended to…

…noticed.

Behind a love that gives, a love that speaks, or a love that serves is a love that stays awake while you sleep and attends to you while you’re lost in the busyness of your day.

This is a love that watches.

This love searches you and knows you… [click to continue…]

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All Loves Excelling

by Andy Wood on September 2, 2010

in Life Currency, Love

The morning sun comes calling a bit later here because of where we sit in the time zone.  But even here in a West Texas version of suburbia, it can be a glorious reminder of the comfort and love of its Creator. 

I realize that most of us, Christians included, live in awe of the Grand Gesture – those spectacular moments in time that define a life, a love, a generation.  After all, nobody ever made a movie about taking out the trash.  And we don’t have to look very far to find that in the Lord.  The cross of Jesus will forever stand as God’s Grand Gesture.

But it’s in the daily expressions of faithfulness and regular reminders of His care that God’s love is most personally experienced.  If, of course, we take the time to notice.  To listen.  To watch.

And so this morning, like most mornings, that’s what I’m doing.  [click to continue…]

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The Party

by Andy Wood on May 8, 2010

in Esteem, Gamblers, Life Currency, LV Alter-egos, LV Cycle, Waiting

There’s a reason you wouldn’t name your precious baby boy “Herod.”  He made Judas look like a choirboy, and Peter look like, uh, the Pope.

Herod Antipas was the kind of guy who would torture your cat for no apparent reason.  A thug and a bully, Herod was a manipulator and would betray his own family if it meant getting more power.  The only thing sacred to this man was whatever he wanted in the moment.

Herod’s first wife was an Arabian princess.  No joke.  Can you imagine a more romantic idea for a lifetime companion in the Middle East?  Apparently Herod could.  [click to continue…]

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No telling how many times I’ve said to someone, “Put this in your oven and let it bake for a while,” or “I don’t have this all sorted out yet – it’s still in the oven.”

I thought I’d share some of the “bread” that’s in my oven right now.  Here are seven half-baked, half-raw ideas I’m heating up.  I may toss ‘em.  I may cook ‘em up.  Put them in your oven too, and let’s see what comes out.  You can help, if you’d like, by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

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There is no such thing as a porcelain healer.  There are expert healers, wounded healers, bloody healers, spiritual healers.  But if your goal is to look pretty on a shelf or remain detached from the broken, the sick, the wounded, or the dying, you aren’t much use.  For God’s sake, stay out of the way of those who are.

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“The Lord has made everything for its own purpose…” (Proverbs 16:4). If God is purposeful, He must be faithful to complete His purpose.  Otherwise, He’s an idiot or impotent, a scoundrel or attention-deficit, careless or passive.  In other words, if He is purposeful but not faithful, He’d be created in our image.

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Even my dog hates closed doors.

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The Ultimate test of a leader is whether he will “lay down his life for his sheep.” In other words, will he say no to his instinct toward self-preservation and do what is best for the people he leads?  If you must maintain your position, your salary, your perks, or your title at all costs, you are no leader.

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“Have you ever considered how often we judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their actions?  Yet intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.”  –Andy Andrews, The Noticer.

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Having a wallet that’s an inch thick is NOT a status symbol.  (Wait for it… wait for it…  Here it comes… What’s in YOUR wallet?)

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Overheard on “Criminal Minds” a few weeks ago:  “Scars remind us of where we’ve been, but they don’t have to dictate where we are going.”

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