Tag Archives: Presence

Unless you strengthen me

Again the One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength…” Daniel 11:18

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How can I be strong,

except you strengthen me.

How can I know your will,

except you speak to me.

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How can I have you near,

except you dwell in me.

How can I be worthy,

except you cover me.

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How can I call you Father,

except you loved me.

How can I live forever,

except you died for me.

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He still stoops low

But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built.” 2 Chronicles 6:18

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Nothing Solomon built could contain God. Can the one who made the trees be held by their wood? Can the one who set gold in the rocks be adorned by its grandeur? The one who placed wool on sheep has no need to be covered with its warmth.

Would He stoop to dwell in a temple built by man? And yet, he did come, like a parent thrilled with what his child had made.

When our boys were little they’d make tent houses by spreading blankets across the ottoman and couch cushions propped up around the room. Grandpa would bend down and join the fun. He was thrilled with the shelter his grandkids had thrown together; it gave him great joy to be with them.

Like Grandpa, God stooped low to enter what man had made. God would do just about anything to be among us. He even gave his Son, Jesus, as a way to connect. Before Jesus, God chose to dwell in the temple. Today, Jesus gives his Holy Spirit to live in the temple of human hearts.

Yes, he still stoops low.


When there are no answers

Isaiah 50:10 “…Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of The Lord and rely on his God.”*

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When the hallway is dark, but that’s where He’s led, it’s better to be there. Better to follow His word one step at a time. To trust that His way will lead to a lighter room.

Gently, He’ll nudge the way to go. Step here. Now there. To the left. To the right. Straight ahead, and now…still.

His presence is our guide and better to be in the dark with God than living by the light of self-lit torches.

When there are no answers in the middle of frustrating circumstances, when the hallway is dark — it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong place. A hall is just a passageway to the next room.

So then, wait. Listen for the Lord’s guidance. And though you don’t see the outcome — the important thing while walking in the dark is to stick with God.

Better to walk in the dark with the presence of The Lord, than to light your own torch and be singed by it’s flame.

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Related reading: Isaiah 30:20-21, Isaiah 50:11

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*The One Year Bible, September 26, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Hover here

Psalm 48:3 “God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress.”*

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As morning sun awakens

then stretches through the day,

when light is shooed away by dark

may nighttime find you staid.

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A fortress of days gone by

a bulwark when afraid,

as you covered Zion long ago

Lord hover here today.

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by Patty Perkins

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*The One Year Bible, March 5, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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In the here and now

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”*

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i long to be

on the same planet spinning

not merely gazing from a distant star

to experience you in the here and now

not by a telescope far.

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and that your

internal compass tilt

the fragile axis of life events

tipping here and then over there

and sometimes saying

just sit.

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by Patty Perkins

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“Come to me…and I will give you rest.” My hope is to know his presence as an internal, guiding compass—not just read his word from a distance. It would be easy to learn all about him and miss knowing him.

*The One Year Bible, January 16, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Pervasive presence

I Chronicles 14:14 “The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.” (NIV)*

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Begonia (photo by Patty Perkins)

I can’t help but wonder what Obed-Edom’s household was like before the ark of God came for a visit. We do know that once the ark was there, the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.

What difference would it make if we invited the presence of the Lord to dwell with us. What if we acknowledged him as Lord each day and lived that way. Beyond the legalistic trying to do everything right. Beyond lists of rules and people pleasing. Beyond the limiting chains of perfectionism. Not striving for a perfect life but walking in his presence.

Perfectionism strangles life. Presence gives life.

And then I’m reminded that he dwells in human hearts. As unbelievable as it sounds, that’s what he calls home. This, my heart. That’s where he longs to dwell. Just maybe the difference in my outward home begins in my inward heart.

Lord, do come,

dwell and abide–

take up residence, today.

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Lord, make changes,

cleanse and purify–

equip for lasting purposes.

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Lord, erase perfectionism,

restore and replace–

with pervasive presence.

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by Patty Perkins

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*The One Year Bible, July 12, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.


His presence

I Kings 8:11 “And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.” (NIV)*

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God’s presence filled the temple so much so that the priests couldn’t perform their acts of service! As difficult as it is to believe, the New Testament (I Corinthians 3:16) tells us we, his children, are the temple of the Lord. His Spirit dwells in us.

Come, dear Lord,

fill this shell of a temple

that you call home–

reside here.

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Repair cracked walls

replace broken windows

restore worn floors–

dwell here.

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May your nearness

cause the to-do list to drop

from freed hands–

abide here.

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May duty halted

glorify our God exalted

when his presence–

inhabits here.

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photo and poem by Patty Perkins

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I Kings 8:11 is in the June 11th reading of The One Year Bible.

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.