July 20, 2014

The Steadfast Love of God

Today is a good Sunday. God is good, and His Mercy endures forever. I sing praise to the Lord for His great steadfast love for me. He is not moved, He is faithful, and His love is for all generations!

I cannot believe that it is July 20th already. I have 10 days to finish my ethnography project, and I am starting to feel the prick of panic set in. I have my plans laid out for this week, and I have scheduled each of the next 10 days -- one task per day. Truthfully, I am giving myself a lot more time then I normally would. I can write a paper in a couple days, even with significant research, so allowing myself 10 days to finish this project is good. I have added enough padding to cover me, should any thing pop up that might need temporary focus.

I am short one interview for my project, so I am thinking I will revisit someone I chatted with, but didn't record, two weeks ago. She is an older lady in my church, and she lives right around the corner from me. I am in need of a recorded transcript, so adding in her voice will give me that comfortable feeling that I have all my bases covered. God is good. He knows who I need to interview, and He knows what my professor expects. May the two be aligned in every area, and may my paper be profitable for good use in the church.

I woke up early this morning, around 6:30 am. I surprised my Mom when I came out to get my cup of coffee. She doesn't see me that early normally, so she was shocked when I rolled out of bed, and I was up so early. I have been getting up early since I was at my brother's house in So. California last week. I thought that it might be the bright sunshine of sunny CA mornings, but since my room faces west and is partly shaded, I doubt that the sun's influence here in AZ has anything to do with it.

So after my morning coffee, I settled in at the computer to blog a bit before I have to get ready for church. We are expecting a guest speaker today, and I am looking forward to hearing him preach. He is the Campus Ministries Director at Arizona Christian University (where I will be teaching this fall). It will be good to hear him bring us the next message in our series, "That's Life!"

Last Sunday, our board announced that we are getting an interim Pastor. This was really good news because we have no one to preach each week. The board is working with our denomination, and the person we are getting will stay with us for two years (Lord, willing). I think this is a great way to go, considering that we do not have a lot of resources to begin a search process. Perhaps this person will be the right man for the job. Perhaps this person will like the church, the people, and he will want to stay on. God only knows the plans He has for the church, and I am confident that He will bring to pass His will on the matter.

As I think about all of this "unknown" today, I am reminded of Psalm 52 and the steadfast love of God. In fact, I am reminded of the hymn, "O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus," and how the Saviors love for us is unfathomable like the depths of the ocean.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
The Lord loves us with such a deep and penetrating love. He knows everything about us. He knows our flaws, our failings, and our future. He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) and He understands us so well. I rest in this fact today, and in the truth of His steadfast love.

I confess with David when he writes:

8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever.  9 I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will wait for your mercies in the presence of your people. 

The Lord has done miraculous things for me. He has shown me His great love, and He has showered His mercies upon me. I am able to trust Him for He has proven to me -- shown me time and time again -- that He is God and He is faithful to keep His promises.

Dear Lord,

I confess today that I trust you to work out your will in my life, to bring to pass the plans you have for me. I let go of the worry and the doubt, and I rest in your presence. I believe your word and I look to your hand of blessing as you comfort me this week. Let all that is overwhelming me fall to the side, and let me look up into your blessed face so that I will see your strength, your determination, and your resolve. You are my King, my Savior, and my Lord. I love you, Lord, and I give you all the praise, the honor, and the glory this good day. Amen.

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