The Lord’s Prayer


Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

This is an adaptation of a meditation on The Lord’s Prayer from Dr. Kieran Beville, Pastor of Lee Valley Church, Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland. 1

“Our Father…

● We belong to God; we are given a special audience; 24/7 access

 …in heaven…

● His power is unlimited and His love unrestricted. There is no greater authority

…hallowed be Your name…

● Expresses a desire to see God’s name revered more; promotes and defends His name

 …Your kingdom come…

●Extensive dimension: we want to see the kingdom of God become more widespread

●Intensive dimension: work toward a more mature faith to increasingly acknowledge God as the Sovereign ruler in our lives

 …Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…

● Acknowledges that our wishes and desires are imperfect; His will is preferable to ours

…give us this day our daily bread…

● The Lord starts with our physical needs before going on to the spiritual; our daily needs depend on God

…forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…

● When we forgive we bear a family likeness to God

● The forgiveness that God gives is one where there is reconciliation and restoration of right relationship

● Unforgiveness robs us of joy

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…

● Request from God to shield us and protect us from temptation; preventative prayer – avoid temptation rather than overcome it

● Be diligent in prayer (Mark 14:38)

● Bring our desires under the scrutiny of the Lord so that our motives and ambitions are purified in prayer

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”

● Be preoccupied with God in prayer! His name, His honor, His kingdom, His will, His glory!

1 “The Lord’s Prayer: A Meditation,” Rediscovering The Lord’s Prayer, Kieran Beville 2012

Waiting


“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 NIV

Wait on the Lord.  Right now this is a very relevant scripture for me.  I am literally waiting on pins and needles for Him to deliver something that is completely out of my control.  It’s a miracle kind of thing.  It has required a level of surrender that I have never engaged in before.  That being said, I pulled this scripture and this entry from a journal entry dated over a year ago.  It struck me as I was reading it today that he began preparation for this moment a long time ago.  He knew that I was going to be waiting and that I was going to need an encouraging word!  How gracious is that?

So I have to give thanks over and over again: Thank You Lord!  Thank You Lord!  Thank You Lord! It’s another one of those mind-blowing moments when I get to see His order.  His care in every little detail.  His love and grace and mercy.

My entry from over a year ago said: “Lord, before I go any further I just want to write down this scripture.  It gave me a wave of peace this morning.  It was a good reminder.”

Thank you God for Your good reminders.  Thank you for Your gentle and loving ways with me.  Thank you for all the care that you take with me and my family.  I praise You Almighty for the gifts that You have given me.  Thank you most of all for giving Your Son to ensure that I am Your child.  Thank you for the inheritance that grants me.  Teach me to walk humbly and confidently in the authority of Your kingdom with a kingdom mindset in all that I do. Give me strength and courage to take heart and wait for You.

Psalm 25:21, 31:24, 33:20; 1 Corinthians 16:13, 2 Timothy 4:5-8

Rejoice!


“Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer.” Hebrews 1:12 The Voice

Rejoice: to be glad; take delight.

So when I reread this as “do not forget to be glad…through the hard times…” it is an excellent reminder.  Sometimes circumstances can challenge me and pull me into a not so glad place.  Giving thanks helps get me back to that glad place.  Prayer helps get me back to that glad place. Believing in the Word of God sustains my hope and makes me glad. It helps me take delight in not only the tangible things around me but also the spiritual. It reminds me to stay tucked into God and trust His promises. Trust in the unseen.  I am in a place like that right now.  I don’t want to go back to old patterns. I want to trust God alone as my source and resource. I have to leave everything in His hands and not pick it back up in order to do that.  Waiting. Trying to wait patiently and gracefully…Being glad and taking delight in the journey. Trusting that He cares for me and has ordered every step. Trusting that His best is worth waiting for and not creating a counterfeit to relieve the current discomfort. I want His best and nothing less!

Philippians 4:4, Romans 5:1-5, Luke 15:3-10, Luke 15:11-24

A Better Place

“Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.” Hebrews 11:1 The Voice

 I recently began a strengths coaching certification class with 11 other individuals.  We are meeting each other for the first time with the intent of learning how to apply not only our personal strengths but others.  One of the core concepts is “confident vulnerability.” As I examine this concept it resonates with my faith walk on so many different levels that it makes my head feel like it’s going to explode.  It’s one of those concepts that may roll around in the back of my mind for the rest of my life as I look for opportunities to exercise and apply it.

In the context of Strengths Strategies Coaching Certification™, confident vulnerability is defined as “courageously celebrating and embracing strengths, weaknesses and needs of both self and others without judgment.” Think about that and prepare to be amazed.  Immediately I think of Jesus.  Who better models this incredible combination? Quiet, humble confidence full of the most incredible love that this world has ever seen.  A love worth dying for…and He did for each and every one of us. It was so fragrant and attractive that it was irresistible to folks from every walk of life.  People were curious and wanted to know more about His teachings and way of life.

As I was reading this morning, I ran across this statement1: “The only reason a shepherd would guide his sheep into a dangerous valley would be to lead them through it to a better place.” It was reassuring to know that my Shepherd knows that better place for me.  As I follow Him through what appear to be dangerous valleys, I can be confident that He is taking me to that better place.  Confidently vulnerable and trusting with absolute conviction that He can see the realities that I have never seen.

Lord, I praise you for guiding me into Your realities that are so much more than what I can see with my natural eyes. Mold me and make me suitable to serve others when called upon to shepherd them to that better place.  Give me strength and wisdom and discernment to follow Your footsteps through the dangerous valleys encountered in this life.

Romans 8:28, 12:3-5, 12; Psalm 31:7, 69:32

1  “I Shall Not Want,” April 26, 2014, Discovering God’s Design

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know…

“Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.” Psalm 35:19 NIV

Have you ever been bullied? Did you have a sense that those around you were a bit treacherous? I think our natural instinct is to become fearful and defensive in those situations.

When I was in middle school, there was a girl in my gym class that bullied me.  She began picking on me in private and then it became more public.  It was mostly verbal with an occasional push or shove. I could hear her talking about me loudly to others as I would walk by.

I made up my mind to be consistently nice…not just to her but to everyone.  I smiled every day.  I greeted everyone I came across every day.  I went out of my way in the hallways when I passed others to wave and smile when we made eye contact.

After months of this, she finally stopped me one day after class.  She confessed that she had thought I was fake and too good to be true.  As she had watched me she saw what I had hoped for: that no matter how she or anyone else behaved I would treat them with kindness and respect.  I simply wanted to be a ray of light.

We became friends.  We didn’t hang out after school, but at school we became team mates on the high school volley ball team and we could count on each other. We laughed together. We joked and poked at each other.

What I didn’t know is that she had a very abusive home life.  One evening after school she went home and placed a gun in her mouth and shot herself on the family living room couch.  I had no idea what she had been battling at home.  She had kept that private. I did not know all the pain that she was dealing with inside.

When I read today’s scripture in Psalms, it reminds me to lift these kinds of behaviors up to God.  My mission here is to be a light.  God knows and sees everything that every person is dealing with.  Sometimes just being a light is enough to turn their day around.  It makes me think of Jesus.

Father, help me to be more like Jesus every day. Teach me when to speak and when to be quiet.  Give me the discernment to see what others need and give me ears to hear. Always let me be a reflection of Your love light.

Matthew 14:25-32, Acts 23:9-23, Philippians 4:9

Status

Hello everyone!

New posts at The Ranch have been offline for a while….Just know that we will be back soon with more words of encouragement.  To be very transparent, I recently moved out of my home of 16 years, have placed everything in storage and am temporarily in a pet-friendly hotel while awaiting my new home!  I hope to be settled soon and will definitely pick up with daily devotionals soon.  Hope everyone is doing well.  I look forward to getting back to a daily check-in!

Thank you to all the new followers.  Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you’ve been able to peruse the archives.  This site is a reflection of my heart to yours.

Much love and many blessings to you all,

Lucy

Obedience

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16 NIV

What does it mean to be a slave to obedience? Once again, we find Jesus as the most incredible example.  In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked his Father three times: please don’t make me suffer like this.  Three times.  Ultimately, He also wanted God’s will to save humanity.  He deferred obediently to his Father’s wishes and suffered a martyr’s death.  He was separated from His Father for the first time ever just to open a window for our salvation.

So, obedience can be uncomfortable. It’s not always what we want to do.  We may not feel like it.  We may have no desire whatsoever to comply.  But then there is this nagging feeling…we know when we haven’t moved on what God has asked.  We sense a missed opportunity. That is uncomfortable too.

There is no substitute to obedience.  We can delay it.  We can ignore it.  But if we really love God and want His will in our lives we will be obedient first and question later.  Now there are ways to ensure that we are receiving correct direction.  Most of it depends on the condition of our heart, which also ties to our willingness to be obedient.  If there is something that I am really wrestling with, meaning it sticks in my mind and my heart taking up too much real estate, I ask God to show me the root of my struggle.  If I can sit in prayer without distraction, He consistently shows me.

Father, help me to desire to be obedient to Your will. Help me surrender what I want for what You want.  Help me put You first. Teach me. Place a passion inside of me to become righteous through obedience to You, my first love.

Mark 14:32-41, 2 Corinthians 9:13, Philemon 1:20-22, 2 John 1:6