Margaret Mead: The Stability of Humility

May 31

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. ~ Margaret Mead

I want to teach my children humility in the face of an arrogant world. God opposes the proud and lifts up the humble. Humility is the fertile soil God searches for to prepare His purposes and plant His desires within man’s hearts. A heart void of humility has little hope of growing God’s Love and compassion in it.


The hardest part in teaching my kids humility is found in teaching them to consume God’s Words. If they can learn how alive and active God’s Word is, they might learn much earlier then I ever did to always turn there first, regardless of their situations. And hopefully, through God’s written Word, they’ll begin to recognize the sound of His beautiful and powerful voice, that soft, gentle yet firm voice that can calm any storm and temper every sea. I want them to see that God is who He says He is and that He is with them through all things. I want my children to know that God is a God of His word and that He will never let them down… even when all others do. In an unstable world, it will be our humility before the Lord which will keep us strong and stable.

Peace to you, today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 66:1-2

1 Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?

2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

Emily Dickinson: A Life Lived Low

May 30

To live is so startling. It leaves but little room for other occupations.

~ Emily Dickinson

 Interesting how our spirits must live low for our souls to abide on high. But this is the only avenue by which we can ever hope to arrive at that High and holy place with Him… Through the by-ways and low roads of humility, humbleness and sacrifice ride in the vehicle of a contrite spirit. And that’s all God really wants to see – that humility rise in the face of pride.

That is all God acknowledges, a contrite spirit because only the contrite spirit is able to see God for who He is: more then ourselves. He remains on High and what fascinates me the most is that I never need try reaching up where He is. He descends to where my lowly and contrite spirit dwells inhabiting and fellowshipping as often as I make a way for Him to do so. He waits for me to wait on Him.

Peace. SAG

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 57:15

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

William Shakespeare: In the Greatness of God

May 29

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. ~ William Shakespeare

IMG_1041

Where do we dwell? In each moment, this is a critical question that I must be able to answer without hesitation. We’ve grown accustomed to praying and crying out to the Lord but it is when I find myself dwelling in Him that I can see the approaching storms in confident peace then feel the refreshing renewal in the aftermath of the storms rain. The smell of an approaching storm is the sweet fragrance of God’s breath as He softly blows His Grace into my circumstances. That’s what I think of, anyways. “I’m with you” I can almost feel Him say, even as the thunder shakes the ground beneath my feet and I feel the rumble through the souls of my feet.

I often dwell far away from God but take shelter in Him running for cover at the sound of the low storm siren blowing off in the distance. Fear often drives me into God’s embrace but on those occasions when the storm approaches and I am already there, I am amazed at how beautiful and awe-inspiring the storms really are. I am found in the greatness of God when I am found dwelling in Him. And regardless of how I got there, this is the greatest place to be.

Peace, today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 30:19

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.

Robert Frost: Delighted By Praise

May 28

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.”
~ Robert Frost

How important are my praises to God? Sometimes, all that stands between me and God cutting me off just may be my praises. Never underestimate the value of all that your praises bring to the glory of God. Or what they mean to Him personally. Does He need them? No. Does He delight and cherish them? Absolutely!

God loves to be praised. But when I am able to exalt His name and praise God in moments of great difficulty, He unleashes a powerful rush of strength and peace that will be felt from the highest mountains down into the deepest parts of our souls. So powerful, in fact, that my praises can actually altar the mind of God, moving Him from a place of anger to a place of compassion for me, a lowly and unworthy soul grievous in His sight. God never over looks my praises to Him. He takes each praise of mine to heart.

Peace to you, today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 48:9

For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off.

John Bunyan: Secured Fences

May 27

“The road of denial leads to the precipice of destruction”
~ John Bunyan

The fences we build to keep us safe are never as sturdy as we think, hope or want them to be. Ever finish building a fence, stand back then watch a single gust of wind blow it over? What’s worse is when the fence actually falls over ON you. That’s not a very good moment. But you get back up and try to figure out what went wrong and how you can secure the fence better, this time.

What fences are we building and how well are they built? Will they survive the storms or keep us safe from intruders? Have we taken time to build them correctly or have they been haphazardly been erected with little care? God, above all else, has given us every tool and offered all the help we could ever need to build a fence to keep out our adversary. I know I’m not a great builder of fences but I’m determined to keep building it until it doesn’t fall over. Spiritually, I have all that I need to get the job done right. God is our constant protector and provider. Build your fences with God and build them with care, taking time to build them right the first time!

Peace, Sean G.

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 31:5

Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.

Hellen Keller: Mending Fences

May 26

No effort that we ever make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
                                                  ~ Helen Keller

 

  

I look at that broken down fence and it makes me mad at myself. Why does it take so long to attend and mend something that should have been fixed a long time ago?

God reveals things He desires to mend in our hearts and lives. But it’s up to us to pick up the hammer and nail. “Faith without works is dead…” and while we’ve misinterpreted this passage for far too long, what it means is simply this: there is work to be done and God expects us to do our part. The Holy Spirit has equipped us for every good deed put before us, whether in service to others or obedience in our growing process. We cannot sit around and hope God sorts out our lives. From the acknowledgement of my sin, it is at that moment I must then decide whether the issues God brings to my attention will go un-mended… or whether I will get in the trenches with His Holy Spirit and get serious about the work we have ahead of us. Get mending. He’ll do most of the tough work, but I must be prepared for doing my part.

Peace, today. Sean G.

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 64:6-7

6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

7 There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

George Bernard Shaw: Right Kind of Fear

May 25

Fear the man whose God lives in Heaven. ~ George Bernard Shaw

We think we understand not only the ways of God but an understanding of God’s reasoning. We do not. Fear the Lord: if you think of everything the Lord can do, is there anything greater then Him we can fear? Listen, when I fear a thing, I essentially am saying that thing is greater then God. Fearing God simply means knowing God. The Fear of God is the right kind of fear.

The more I know God the more I understand there is nothing greater then God. And pouring God and Christ into my life refreshes, renews, and REMINDS me of all the things that I know about God. Proverbs says that fearing God is the beginning of our understanding OF Him and this leads to Wisdom. When I gain access to God’s Wisdom suddenly I have access to solving any problem that arises in my life. God’s Wisdom is like a spiritual algorithm. So in a sense, the answer to all my questions in every circumstance, in all situations, every pondering of going left or right… begins with Fear. The right kind of Fear. And that’s my first step to beginning to understanding the deeper reasoning and ways of God. I may not always execute that algorithm right but the more I use it the easier it gets until eventually, it becomes like second nature. I’m confident I’ll get there.

Peace, today. Sean G.

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-7

6 “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”

Ruth Gordon: Our Muscles of Courage

May 24

Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use. ~ Ruth Gordon

2015-03-14 22.41.45

I pause to remember those who serve and fight and have even died for this country. The sheer magnitude is not lost upon me. Tonight, it keeps me awake. Growing up my dad always watched old war movies on television and I loved watching them with him. I was never brave as a kid – to this day, I still am not. I have always been thankful never to have been faced with eminent death on a battlefield. I like to think I could summon the courage to be brave in the face of death in battle but… I fear I would succumb to my fears and either run, cower or just wet myself. And that’s why I love movies where guys are brave. I am awed by tales of bravery and love stories of stirring heroics. I wanna be brave. I just don’t think that it is in me. But there are those called to be brave for the privileges I enjoy. And that is something not lost on me either. Nor will I ever take that for granted.

I always wanted to be an Air Force Chaplin. Bet you never knew that! I wanted to attend the Air Force academy but, turns out, you gotta be kinda good in Math to get in so… I became an actor instead. I thought “Maybe if I can’t BE brave, I can at least portray brave people in movies and plays…” But that didn’t really work out so well, either. Perhaps this world needs weak and afraid people like me so there can be room for the brave and the strong to rise up and protect us. What ever the case, I am here and just as my calling is to speak truth through song and through prayer, the noble calling of the warrior and soldier – protectors of my freedom and my rights to not have to face death on a battlefield – is a calling we MUST not forget.

I am grateful. I am humbled. And I am NOT afraid to be called an American. My calling is made possible by their calling and in a small way, perhaps… Maybe they go hand in hand. I am glad to be who I am in the country I live to serve the church that I serve. Still, there is a part of me that thinks… I would have made one heck of a Chaplin! They don’t carry guns, do they?!

On this Memorial Day, I have paused to remember and be thankful… In peace. Just as I should pause each day to reflect and remember the sacrifice of my Savior, God and my King – who has also sacrificed much so that I might be Free. In so much, has He been good to me and brought me into this deliverance.

Be blessed today. Be free today. Be at Peace today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 63:11-14

11 Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit,

12 who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name,

13 who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.

14 Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.

Tim Keller: Where He Walks

May 23

The cross is the place where the Judge takes the Judgment. ~ Tim Keller

 


Walking where Jesus walked, I remember how surreal it was. Reaching down to touch the smooth and worn out stones, distressed from 2 thousand years of carrying the weight of so many before me, I could almost feel the weight Jesus felt as He passed over these stones on His way to His death. This was where they brought Him, after His torture and humiliation. There they threw Him in a corner while they played an ancient game of “Crown of Thorns”, maybe for a days wages; I can almost imagine the unlucky loser, in anger, shoving the crown of thorns – given usually TO the loser – harshly onto the head of Jesus.

Am I still feeling the weight walking where He walked? He walks tomorrow and I must feel that weight again. Will I? He suffered that walk not only so that I might live but so that we might also walk. He walked in shame and humiliation so that I could walk tomorrow in Power and confidence. Yes. I do feel the weight. I will feel it tomorrow.

Peace to you, today. Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 35:6

6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

Mother Teresa: The Intense Calling

May 22

Intense love does not measure… it just gives. ~ Mother Teresa

Man, I love ministry. Whether on the road or at home, serving with this team is such a blessing. To serve God is great enough, but the experience is compounded by the presence of others humbly committed to God’s singular calling in their lives. What strikes me most about these individuals giving up weekends to do these projects is simply that they don’t ever ask why we do it or what we’re doing or any other irrelevant questions. They show up and they serve and… they always do so… gratefully, with Joy! There is nothing more humbling for me, personally, then a person who makes such a huge impact on my team who actually thanks ME (of all things!) for allowing them to be a part of what God is doing. With this type of mindset, before they’ve even closed the wired gates on us, I’ve already been deeply blessed and ministered to. And I’m the guy who’s suppose to be coming in to do the ministering! But that’s how God operates. You see, He needs us in that absolute state of humility to be able TO use us to show the beaten down, the trodden and forgotten the wonderful experience of His powerful Grace.

I am here to witness to the blind and forgotten, those who aren’t remembered because no one WANTS to remember them. But God looks down and He remembers. He still makes Himself available to each one. But I need every single person God sends to help me in ministry. I haven’t the talent, energy nor ability to see God’s purpose to fruition. I continuously pray for Him to bring me capable and able-bodied people to help in all that God calls me to do.


In the end, our jobs are all the same: that others would know His Truth and thus, be able to hear and receive and see what the true Glory and grace of God looks like. I understand my limitations. So does the Lord and am thankful that He faithfully sends so many to help me where I might otherwise flounder.


Whether I am laboring in the fields of Uganda, hammering out worship sets back home or crossing behind the wired and barred gates of prison, this attitude remains prevelant wherever my ministry lands me. I see it, I recognize it and in this intense calling God has brought me into – though I love the intensity – it helps to have such amazing people there with me in the trenches.

Peace,today. SeanGutteridge

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 35:5

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;