Archive for October, 2009

Our Lavish God

October 28, 2009

Lord, being in the mountains yesterday was a time of worship.  It was so incredibly beautiful.  Yet these mountains were not always as they are now.  Volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciers shaped what we see.  Nor will they always be as they are now.  Boulders fall,  dam up rivers and create lakes.  Earth moves and rivers are re-routed.  Climate changes.  Wildlife migrates.  Then there are seasons.  The rushing streams of spring make way for the green of summer, the vibrant tones of autumn and finally life slumbers under a blanket of snow.  You didn’t just create a masterpiece and walk away.  You are directing a neverending epic of beauty.  You didn’t have to be so extravagant Lord.  But you are.

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Nothing is Happening Part 2

October 28, 2009

Once I prayed with great anguish:  “Lord, I’ve prayed and prayed for You to use me, and nothing is happening.”  The answer I received in my spirit was awesome.  I sensed the Lord saying to me:  “Child, are you willing to let me use you, even if I don’t reveal to you what I am doing?  If I use you mightily, in the dark so to speak, and you become aware of it, might you not become puffed up?  If you begin to think too highly of yourself, you may take over the work yourself and cease to be my servant.”

Nothing is Happening

October 28, 2009

It may seem to us that nothing is happening in our lives, but that is not true, for God is never idle.  When it appears quiet, He is always working behind the scenes, preparing people and circumstances for His future plans.  If God has placed a dream in your heart, He will fulfill it.  If He delays, something is not yet ready.  It will be.  Just follow Him today and do those things He has put in your path today.  Perhaps you are doing a work right now of which you are not even aware.  We may be so surprised in eternity to find how mightily He has used us when we didn’t even know it.  It is, after all, all about Him.  We are simple servants.

What am I Looking at?

October 28, 2009

There are endless things to look at every day.  Its always my choice where to place my focus.  I can choose to look at the sky or at the ground.  I can choose to look at the good in people or at the faults in the same people.  I can look at the good and beautiful things God has made and be thankful for them.  I can look at the sin and evil in men and be sad, angry and discouraged.  The bible teaches us where to put our focus.  I call this verse “the mental health verse”.  “Brothers and Sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise.  Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.  Philippians 4:8  New Century Version.

Fixing Things

October 28, 2009

A lot of us are just born activists.  We feel compelled to fix everything that annoys us.  Fixing things is fine, whether they squeak, grind, sputter or drip.  Its fixing people that gets us into trouble.  I should say attempting to fix people, for none of us can change another.  Many of the things about people that annoy us say more about us than about them.  A lot of things tone down as we get to know people and really understand them.  Some of the irritations are barely noticeable as our compassion increases.  Other faults and shortcomings tend to disappear with time and maturity.  We needn’t correct every one, as the Lord does that in the lives of those who love Him, and He doesn’t need our help.  Arguments and fits of temper often die down as a person’s mood and circumstances change.  They may not even remember the argument or blowup after time goes by.  Trying to make everything smooth for everyone else, or attempting to fix every disagreement may actually blow up in our faces, as new issues may be raised in the process.  Sometimes its best not to try to put out a fire that will burn itself out in time anyway.  “Biding our time” was the advice in the old days.  It may have been very wise advice for our time too.

Something’s Leaking

October 28, 2009

There is an Indian legend about a man who goes every day to a well to draw water and return home.  He carries two jugs for the water.  One day he drops one of the jugs and it cracks.  When he fills it, it leaks.  Now he feels he must hurry home with his water filled jugs, so as not to lose too much water from the cracked jug.  One day while cursing his luck over the leaking jug, he looked down and was amazed to see flowers growing all along the path where his jug was leaking.

We are made of clay, according to the creation story.  We are also imperfect, broken creations because of sin.  We most certainly leak.  Yet, what does anything leak?  Whatever its full of, of course.  If we are daily filled with Jesus love, we will leak it over a dry and thirsty human race, wherever we travel.

Servant or Companion

October 28, 2009

I had planned a fishing trip with my son.  The fishing was secondary to much anticipated time of conversation, sharing and just being together.  However, my son had other ideas.  He assumed it was more important to cut  my lawn, and that this would also be more pleasing to me.  He spent the morning and half the afternoon working, paid me a short visit and then was off to his own plans.  How sad I was for what I missed and for what he had missed too.  I could have easily hired out the lawn work.  He didn’t know that, of course, for he never asked me about the lawn–just assumed I’d want it done and assumed I’d be pleased.

Imagine for a moment that we do the same thing to God.  We often do many works with the idea we are serving God and pleasing Him, but our prayers are cursory.  God wants people who will walk with Him, talking with Him, waiting for Him, and watching for his answers.  When we serve alongside Him, letting Him teach us and guide us, we are spending time together.  Its the fishing trip He planned.

Prayer

October 27, 2009

Lord,

I appreciate you so much.  I so love being alive.  If you had never made me, I never would have experienced the beauty of life.  If you had never searched for me, I would never have experienced the wondrous joy of knowing You and having sweet communion with You.

I believe what You tell me in Your Word.  I trust Your promises.  Help me trust You even more.  I love You.  Help me love You even more.  Help me love You as You deserve to be loved.  Help me love You to the height and depth it is possible for a human to love You.

Let me serve You.  Please enlarge my sphere of service.  I will do whatever You ask.  Help me serve You to the best of the ability You gave me.  Then give me  more ability to serve You better.  Let me always give You my very best.  Let Your home in my heart be that of an honored guest.  No leftovers for my Lord.  And at the end of my life may You look at my history and say I used every bit of everything You gave me for Your glory.  I want to be that good and faithful servent who invested your talents well and produced fruit You love in generous proportions.

Unequals in Love

October 27, 2009

The bible has said Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  A lot of Christians take exception to this teaching, believing it to be overly harsh.  This is especially true when the Christian is in love with an unbeliever.  At that point love trumps every teaching and the Christian in question believes love will solve everything.

Love is powerful.  But is it love when the core of who you are, your Christian faith, is rejected by the one you love?  The real you is neither known nor valued by the person you love.  You don’t share your deepest thoughts with your beloved because they aren’t understood.  You don’t share your deepest feelings, for they aren’t appreciated.  You close off your true self from your loved one and not only is there not any deep unity, your own soul begins to suffocate.  You make compromises for the relationship.  You give up some of what sustains you, for the sake of peace.  You do things that cause you vague feelings of shame, for you have compromised your integrity.  The relationship that is left is unsatisfying on the deepest level.  You may still love in an altruistic way, but you lose your own self.  “What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose your own soul.”  –Jesus

Reconciliation

October 20, 2009

Perhaps you’ve had a huge disagreement with someone over a particular issue, the conversation became emotionally charged, and now you are avoiding each other.  You each have deeply held beliefs from which you can’t back down without sacrificing your integrity.  Yet, you value your relationship.  Perhaps you are family or you have a long history together.  There seems to be no way you can both win.  Or is there?  Perhaps you can seek reconciliation.  Reconciliation means a restoration of peace and a restoration of relationship.  Reconciliation says “I value you and I respect you.  I acknowledge your right to your beliefs though they differ from mine”.  This frees you to be honest.  You are not being passive and seeming to agree to something when you don’t.  You are not playing games in order to restore peace.  You are not trying to manipulate the other person into agreeing with you.  You are not in denial about the other person’s position.

How can you broker a reconciliation?  You can begin by making the first  move.  You can listen to the other person’s position.  You can be gracious by sharing with the other person how much you value them and how much you respect them even though you hold a different point of view.  You can suggest reconciliation with out resolution.  Resolution would require the end of the disagreement and that isn’t likely.  Reconciliation means to give up winning, for the sake of the relationship, which has higher value than proving yourself to be right.  Of course, the other person may not accept reconciliation without resolution.  At that point all you can do is leave the door open.  Its possible they no longer value the relationshjip as much as you do.  You’ve done your best to be generous while maintaining your integrity.  You simply have to move on, and never stop praying.