Henry David Thoreau: Walking Where I Can Go

April 30

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”                               ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

  
Stop focusing on what you have not done and start looking at what you CAN do. Unless you don’t REALLY believe that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

In a very depressing day of self-awareness, I am left to answer this simple question: Why are we so quick to grow discouraged, so easily disheartened? Is it that we don’t know the truth or do we just fail to apply it? I have Him in me to stretch my thinking and my experience beyond what feels comfortable and right and easy. I just hesitate to use the resources Christ gives me and utilize my full potential in Him.

It takes so little to bring us so low. It takes so much to lift our heads again. Thankfully, our God is Powerful, Patient and (most importantly) Willing to stoop as low as he needs to do so in order to raise us up… again and again. In my case, He must have a pretty strong back. I just hope God lifts with His legs because on days like today, well… I feel as if I am just too much dead weight! He doesn’t see it so and for that, I am grateful, too! There are many things I can focus on, things NOT to do but really – these aren’t difficult to remember. Though I certainly need to be conscious of these things at all times, today I am focusing on the things God WANTS me to do. Both amount to the same thing, but sometimes, when I feel like I do today, I feel better when the Holy Spirit nudges me into this realm of what’s possible – and what I am so obviously capable – of doing because, well… I’ve been doing them for awhile, now. Walking His path is just as much knowing WHERE to step as it is knowing where NOT to step!

Peace to you, today! Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 5:15-21

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

August Wilson: Exposed By Light

April 29

“Confront the dark parts of yourself and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”  ~ August Wilson


We keep things in the dark for a reason. We want them to stay hidden. I have to physically step into the light of Jesus Christ for my crap to be exposed, and quite honestly, I’m not always fully committed to my “stuff” being out there in the open for everyone to see. But Christ can only attend to the things that need fixing when I am willing to expose them, bringing them into His Light.

What am I willing to have exposed? And if that question isn’t everything, then I must ask myself… why not? Why am I determined to hang onto certain sins and keep hidden certain things? These things are keeping us dead in my sins and yet Christ wants me to experience His resurrected living but the only way that can happen is to BRING my complete life and each desire into His Light.

I have demons that need bringing to heel but I admit… they overwhelm me. But only the illumination of Christ, Jesus can bring them to heel. He will eliminate them completely.

Peace, today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 5:13-14

13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,

14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

George Eliot: Yield To Be

April 28

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

Ngariam (2010) Day 8-11 007 (2)

I can see how life is so good, even through the haze of discouragement and disappointment. God is amazing and… at my age, I am still… me. For some reason, this still surprises me. I keep waking up hoping I’ll be someone else, but imagine my surprise to see the same face staring back at me in the mirror… with just a little bit more gray!

It is within me to be who He created me to be. That should be enough… but the Power is God’s not mine. I have only to yield and then BE. I could’ve started at 16 or 20. 26, 28 would’ve been nice. And yet, wherever you find YOURSELF today, BEGIN today to just yield and be. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve gotten a few things right along the way, and still tomorrow is one more chance to yield and to be exactly what God desires me to be. I cannot afford to dwell on the past in either regret or trust it’s success to get me through to a perfect tomorrow. Each day is it’s own, unique start to something possible, something extraordinary, something amazingly great. I understand that for each day I am able to stack upon one another, the greater the mountain may be that I may scale. Yet if I look back at the end of it all to see only one tiny hill I’ve been able to come up, that will be enough. Still… I KNOW there is more for me then just one hill. God made me a mountain climber and I intent to scale on up into the heavens!

What amazing things does God have in store for you this day? We have this incredible power within us we fail to yield to, refusing to use. How sad that we seldom access the power within us simply because we can’t recognize that it is there? As easy as flipping on a light switch and still we choose to remain in the dark.

Peace, to you, today. Sean G.

Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:7

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

Zig Ziglar: So Much Yet To Learn

April 27

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.”

                        ~ Zig Ziglar

IMG_1084

We never have a complete handle on the things we struggle with. So we cannot afford to ever think, “I got this!” The moment I do, I know for certain, what lies ahead… absolute and complete humiliation! As the thought begins to creep into my mind, the wheels are already beginning to come off…

Being afraid of the sin that so easily entangles me can be very beneficial to my walk with God. It can always serve as a reminder that I will not survive long without Him. It can always be a tremendous motivator to continue striving to work hard and diligently… but there is the danger, too, of letting that fear becoming our companion and not our perspective. When fear begins to paralyzes me, that is when I’ve stopped trusting God.

When it’s all said and done, God is true to His character: ever merciful and abundantly kind… He has such a wonderful way of gently telling me “Son, you still have much to learn… but I love you never the less!” Peace, today. SAG

 

Today’s Scripture: Hebrews 13:5-6

5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Frederick Douglass: The Progress of Love

Worth another read.

StationVI Blog

April 26

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”~ Frederick Douglass

IMG_6872

In my struggles,one thing I must do… is to let go of a few things. That, as it turns out, never gets easier. We cling to the intangibles and fail to seize what we have been given each day. How many missed opportunities will it take for me to understand that?Time seems to fly by and what causes the greatest anguish is how I know that one day I may look up to see that I missed so many opportunities with my kids. Time will not slow down for me as it grows more blurry. The chances I have with my children dwindle. Seize each moment you can with life’s true treasures. For these are the greatest moments which God so often uses to not simply GET us through the struggles but actually MAKE each…

View original post 391 more words

Frederick Douglass: The Progress of Love

April 26

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass

IMG_6872

In my struggles, one thing I must do… is to let go of a few things. That, as it turns out, never gets easier. We cling to the intangibles and fail to seize what we have been given each day. How many missed opportunities will it take for me to understand that? Time seems to fly by and what causes the greatest anguish is how I know that one day I may look up to see that I missed so many opportunities with my kids. Time will not slow down for me as it grows more blurry. The chances I have with my children dwindle. Seize each moment you can with life’s true treasures. For these are the greatest moments which God so often uses to not simply GET us through the struggles but actually MAKE each struggle worth it!

How great a life is it when I can even see that the source of a particular struggle can in the very same breath also be the same source of some of my greatest blessings? A child is bullied and yet, father and child are bonded together even more closely as a father is given Holy wisdom to impart upon his child. A child makes a severely poor life choice and through a father’s anguish, still Grace, Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness can be displayed; and felt; and experienced first hand by the child. And so on, and so on. Even when I struggle personally as the parent with my own choices, hurts and pains, I am given more opportunities to explore and display the wonderful Grace and Goodness of my Heavenly Father. Through tears I can still point and say “Yes… even your dad struggles and hurts. I bleed just like you, but look…! God is still beside us and He will carry us through; He will heal me; He will mend my heart just as He will yours and we will not abandon our Trust in Him… NO MATTER WHAT…” These are the greatest moments, no matter how painful they may be. We are afforded so many opportunities to actively display our Trust in Christ and He brings even more opportunities for us to show our children, our friends, whomever we know just how active and endless the Love of Christ truly is. And that’s an incredible thing.

My love fails. It ultimately reveals itself as incomplete, even incompetent, and eventually, even my children will see this. Yet, through each struggle that I have, where the Love of Christ is evident in my life, progress will not just be seen… progress will be made. Not for my sake, this time… but for theirs.

Peace, today. Sean G.

TODAY’S Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

FDR: Comfort Awaits

April 25

“When you get to the end of your rope, tie the knot and hang on.”
                  ~ Franklin Roosevelt

  

Gratitude; virtue; growth in failure; God waters us with what we need to grow in love. What I need, when left up to me, is to feel comfort and secure and full of restful peace. What I truly need is beyond me. Really. Only God knows for certain. Restful peace may be a by-product of all that He gives me but rarely will I feel comfort and security along the way while He takes me there.    

There is comfort and security that await. But I will only find it by going through difficulties and hardships and many other trials. Comfort in the face of uncertainty is yielding only through our absolute trust in Him. Security in the midst of raging storms can only be found in the enduring character brought about by our faith in Him. Peace, Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 51:5-7

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

William Shakespeare: Honesty Starts Here

April 24

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
        ~ William Shakespeare

  

Have I been honest with myself, today? Then how can I expect to be honest with God? How much further could I go? How much more could I do if I could get ahold of this idea…

 

Calm the soul and quiet it’s voice and then search for the voice of honesty in the quiet places. God will be found. He waits for me to exhaust myself until, in exhaustion, I collapse and am forced to hear Him speak. 

Don’t fear facing the honest Truth with yourself. Listen for Him today. His response will find you and you do not have to fear His voice… it comforts like a cool breeze and is certain to refresh your wounded and weary soul. 

Peace to you, today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 131:1-2

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Charles Schulz: No Denying It

April 23

“I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time.”

~ Charles Schulz 

2015-02-13 22.05.04

What a day. Struggles and prayers and apathy… I ran a full gamete of spiritual emotions today… but then again, don’t I always? I get sick and tired of writing the same thing… apathy this and apathy that… but honestly, it’s where I am at right now. So I’ve got to just continue to fight, scratch and claw my way through it. I feel like a spinning record… Turn the turn-table off. Stop searching and grasping for those selfish desires and reach for the tangible things of God. 

 DENY! DENY! DENY! DENY!

It begins by turning away from myself and tuning into God. He has so much more for me then I could ever give myself. If I am to truly follow Christ into God’s perfect Will for my life, it must begin with me first denying myself. Struggles will continue but they may no longer persist. Apathy will still show itself but I’ll be better equipped to eliminate apathy quicker. It can seem like a slow process, but the moment I begin, the dividends that it pays are immediate. And they are vast and they are rich! Peace to you, today, Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture:

Matthew 16:24

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mark Twain: The Ordinary Majority

April 22

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~ Mark Twain

 

Look, today I am going to shoot absolutely straight with you. So you are going to listen to what I have to say and heed this message for you – from the Lord – today. It may hurt a little, but just open up your hearts today to receive, alright? It really is that important… here it is:

YOU GOT MAD SKILLS, MAN!

This is that day that, for whatever reason, you actually stopped to read the devotion today. And that means that God wants you to hear this message today. He NEEDS you to hear it today, because there’s something He needs you to be doing. Now I’m not saying your NOT doing it, but maybe you just need to understand that whatever it is you ARE doing, well… it’s important to Him. And whether people see it or not, those skills remain in you.

I think it’s vital we realize this. You have talents. You have skills. You have passions. You have dreams and very particular things that have been placed within side you and they were placed there by God, Himself. His Word says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Like a master craftsman, God studied His design and very intentionally constructed you – but He did so for very specific reasons, reasons that only He fully knows. All that we can do is to embrace our design and pursue life armed with our particular skill sets, aiming for one goal: to do the Will of God and pursue His purposes. Only in so doing, will we be satisfied. Our passions may shift and our skills may even diminish over time but for each season of life we find ourselves in; there, too, will be found unique ideas, passions and skills to continue pursuing the things of our Lord. I get nervous and so should you when everyone around you keeps saying “you’re done fine…” Because our mad skills aren’t fine – they were meant to be great. They were crafted to do the impossible, the unthinkable, the improbable… not just the normal, everyday “what people come to expect” kind of things. Your skills may go unnoticed but not by the Master Craftsman… He creates us to change lives and reach outlandish heights! The majority settles in, the majority will be swayed by comfort, the majority will not reach, nor can they be stretched. The majority sticks with what they know and can never see the shifting and evolving of their gifts and in so doing, their gifts grow rusty never being polished and being updated and renewed. 

Don’t neglect your gifts; keep working hard in the work He has called you to. Polish and cultivate your gifts. And tomorrow when the work changes and the direction He wants us to go in shifts, keep working just as hard as ever. We will be satisfied by our pursuit of the things of the Almighty. Relish this. And immerse yourself in these things! Peace to you, today! Because you got some MAD, MAD SKILLS! Again, I say… Peace! SAG

TODAY’S Scripture:

1 Timothy 4:14-16

14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.

16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.