Sunday, September 28, 2008

Loving fall....

I just love fall. The cooling temps, the turning leaves, the pumpkins and gourds. Love it. It's a beautiful time of year. Fall is definitely here...or at least coming. Today as I saw the leaves gathering a thought just kinda hit me.

Fall is so beautiful and yet, fall is a time of death. A season of dying and a season of preparation. The fall leaves were once attached and alive on the and full of life, until they dried and blew/fell off- at the proper time. Now, there purpose is complete. What kinds of things dry up and fall off my life? What is in a season of death, in your life? What is blowing away? Dead and gone, and yet the Lord wants you to see it as beautiful? What in your life is like fall?

I'm thinking of quite a few things...expectations, attitudes, trials, friendships, thought patterns, emotional baggage and so much more. Some things I wish wouldn't die...other things I can't wait to get rid of. If we think about it, so often, life is a time of dying and preparation and He sees it all as beautiful...the question is do I? Or do I just mourn over it? Or get overwhelmed by the mess of the "leaves" I look up and see the beauty? Do I see that this is just a season?

I need to be reminded that God is working and He is on time. I need to be reminded that the "dead" leaves in my life need to fall prepare me, for Winter and for Spring. I need to be reminded that the mess of Fall and the leaves are beautiful...because He is Beautiful and I am His.

Loving fall....and choosing to see Him in it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What did you see at the Pole?

"See you at the Pole"...if you have no idea what I am talking about let me fill you in...this is a once a year event for kids in the public schools (maybe all schools, not sure) . On the fourth Wednesday of September kids meet at the flagpole all around this country to pray. Wow.

Well, I'm still in my jammies and I have to leave to teach in 30 minutes but I have to tell you, I just got back from seeing what was at the Pole (yes, in the car in my jammies) . What I saw was beautiful and made me cry. I saw probably 6-10 middle school kids at each of the middle schools and I saw what looked to me like at least 100 students at the High School.

Do you know what I saw at the Pole? Part of the next generation of the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and support of truth (1 Timothy 3:15) in their generation...What I saw was so beautiful. What are we investing in this next generation? Love for the lost? Love for the Word? Love for Jesus? Love for righteousness and Truth? A small part of this next generation of what the Body of Christ will look like....some of them were at the Pole.

Off to take a shower...I'll come back to all this later! :) Back now. :) Well the count I heard was...Boston 14, Kesling 12, and Laporte High 137. Wow. Amazing. May these kids all grow up to stand firm on the Truth. May they grow into fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. May they lead their generation in Truth and Love. Oh...what is this generation following? What am I teaching them? How about you? They are all seeing this generation of the Church....what are they seeing? What I saw at the Pole was a glimpse of what the Lord wants to do in the next generation.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I feel sad.

I just feel sad. Sick and sad because of "drama", sick of the lack of peace and unity in the Body of Christ. Sick of myself and my worry issues. Sick and sad. I could go on and on...I know, you are so thrilled. Why is it just so difficult sometimes? My heart is so heavy, a little sick and yes...sad.

I'm having real trouble looking up and catching a glimpse of the Big Picture of Our God. Why doesn't the gospel of Jesus Christ "look like" it works in so many Christians lives? In my life? Honestly, so often it seems to "look like" just another option..and a not very effective one ,at that. Kinda like the latest diet thing on the market...that may or may not work. Sometimes I feel I/we treat the ministry of the Holy Spirit under this New Covenant just like that...optional and no real guarantee that it works.

Jesus said it works. Spend some time in John 17 today. This is Jesus' "High Priestly" prayer right before He goes to Calvary. He prays for them, He prays for us. He prays for protection. Truth. Unity. Oneness. To be with Him. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is like the "glue" of the Body of Christ. The "glue" that the Body is going to be held with. The Holy Spirit is the common denominator every believer had. It works. He works. It is working...He is accomplishing everything He said He did and will. He is in control. The question for I being Spirit led? My flesh is so strong sometimes, OK most of the time but my old man died at the Cross.

Galatians 2:20 " I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me...I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law than Christ died needlessly."

Righteousness comes thorough the finished work of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So again, am I being Spirit filled and led? If I was, I wouldn't feel so sick and I would be able to operate in the realm of reality, the reality of Hope- confident expectation. So now I'm repenting and looking at the finished work of the Cross and yeilding to the Spirit Who sealed me.....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just another day...

Just another day. Today is Saturday and it was just another day or was it? I cleaned and tried not to flip out...those would be the words of my 12 year old. " You did a good job, Mom. You didn't flip out today." Man, out of the mouth of babes, huh? So what makes you flip out? Me? Well, messes for one and the lack of help is another.

I just have to say, aren't you so very thankful...that the Lord never looks at anything as a total mess and He never feels lacking for help. First of all, God is not "put off" or "flipped out" by any sort of so-called mess and secondly God never needs help. Wow.

Isaiah 46:9-11 "Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it."

Right now (now it is Sunday), I have a few things in my life that seem to be...or at least potentially seem to be very messy. My instinct is to "flip out". I really, really want to as a matter of fact. And of course, I think He may very well need my help to sort it all out! Obviously He doesn't.

So, wherever you find yourself today. Cleaning a real messy house or trying to clean an emotional or spiritual one...remember Who you belong to. He sees it all and is not "flipped out" and He is Able to do what He has promised...which is to bring great glory to His Name. If you belong to Him, you bear His Name...Praise the Lord.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Redeeming God...

Our God is a God who redeems all things. All things. Do I really believe that? Honestly, it certainly doesn't look like it sometimes and so I struggle. I just love the book of Habakkuk. If you have some time read's short.

Habakkuk was an Old Testament Prophet to the Southern Kingdom of Judah and he had a conversation with God, we get the privilege of reading it...if you read it just look for the exchange of conversation. They go back and forth.

Habakkuk just can't wrap his mind around the fact that God was raising up a nation for the purpose of destroying His nation, Israel. How could that be? What about me? How is that good? It was going to happen...period. How was Habakkuk going to respond? How do you and I respond when things seem very much like God is not in control or He is at least "asleep at the wheel"?

Habakkuk 2:3,4 "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come,it will not delay. Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith."

What choices do we have? Two. Pride or faith. Pride doesn't always look like we might think, I believe at its root, pride is simply "all about me". It can be pretty, ugly, vain or can look so different for each of us but really our pride is just "all about me".

Faith on the other hand, is all about God. He is Who He says He is. He has done what He has said. He is working. He is good. He is able. He is enough and so much more. So, how do I live when all looks bleak or for crying out loud when all is peachy? How do you choose to live, when God may seem to be distant....He is Redeeming, all things for our good and His Glory. The righteous will live by their faith- faith in Him. How are we walking today? By faith, sight, emotion or all of the above? Yep, me too.

Striving to be found walking by faith....and actively amputating the "all about me" pride(I get pleanty of chances!) .....and looking to Our Redeeming God...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Clean the table...

We have a great porch...we also have a bunch of "porch kids". The porch itself is nothing special but the kids that sit on that porch, they sure are. We live in a very kid-a-fied downtown neighborhood so....we get all kinds of kids. We don't live in a very big town but nonetheless we live near 3 schools and we get a lot of different kinds of kids.

So yesterday Maggie (my 6yr old) was playing outside with some neighborhood girls and well drama broke out. What is up with girls? I have 2 boys and not near as much drama! Anyway, we had some trouble and I had to go out and sit on the porch. We've had problems with 2 girls in particular not getting along and I asked them if they needed to "clean the table"? They looked at me like I had a third are you, I know. Hang with me...I asked them if they were to eat their snacks and dinner and have the table covered with junk, garbage and dishes. Would it be hard to get their books out and do their homework? Of course they answered "yes", so what would you need to do? "Clean the table", they answered.

Ephesians 4:26,27, "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity."

These girls needed to "clean the table" of anger, bitterness and hurt feelings...guess what, they couldn't even remember why they were mad at each other. Shocker. If I'm not careful to "clean the table" in my own life, relationships can get pretty messy, pretty fast. "Clean the table" so that we don't give the enemy an opportunity....he's out to rob, steal and make us useless and unfruitful for the Kingdom of God...we need to "clean the table" early and often.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hands in your mouth...

I just had two sets of hands in my mouth and numerous drilly thingy's ...yes, I was at the dentist. Sorry, but I have to say...I'd rather been cleaning toilets or a vast number of other things. Yuck and Ouch. As I picked a spot on the wall to stare at and as I bit down on my "bite block" (a very nifty gadget) I thought I should make some time to pray (I have issues and always feel the need to multitask) ...but as my mouth was stretched and pulled and as what seemed like hundreds of other "tools" were used, I just couldn't concentrate. Shocker.

Needless to say, I felt out of control... as Maggie my 6 year old sat in the corner chatting away,it only added to my lack of control...not knowing what was going to come out of her sweet mouth! "My mom yells at me when I don't brush my teeth." That was one thing...and with ALL that was going on in my mouth I couldn't defend, shrug or even smile my way into one little smig of control over the situation.

If you can't tell, I didn't like that experience very much...actually, it reminds me of how many areas of my life I tend to feel like God has "His Hands in my mouth"...working. He does know what He's doing...I just don't like how it feels so often and the lack of control it gives me. Like I have any real control anyway! Honestly sometimes I feel I'd rather do anything else but have Him get "His Hands back in my mouth".

After what seemed like hours (probably 20 minutes) the dentist gently laid her hand on my shoulder and said, "We're almost there, you're doing great." It meant a lot to me, I know I sound like a baby, but how often has the Lord gently laid His Hand on me and said in His Word or quietly in my spirit..."We're getting there're doing great." I need the reminder to let Him do His work...for my good and His glory. He knows what He is doing and He is in complete control!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Whose approval?

I had a break-through today...I realized again, yet another thing that the Lord is asking me to lay down. Approval. I'm a approval-holic....there I've said it. The news that I have this issue is not new but I realized (through the wisdom of my hubby) that I seek approval for the sake of pleasure.

I want the pleasure of approval so I seek to please. Here's the thing, it's never enough. First of all ,the seeking of the approval of others is never enough to make everyone happy and the pleasure of the pay off (of making some of them happy) is never enough- is doesn't satisfy me, I'm dissatisfied with the pay-off. Am I making any sense?

I've been in this cycle...pleasing, approval seeking, dissatisfaction, pleasing, dissatisfaction, approval seeking and so on. Here's the thing...I'm not doing anything wrong, per sea...BUT my focus is all wrong. This is where I'm looking: Approval- others. Pleasure- me.

Approval- Others. I fall into that trap so easily...others can not give me what I am looking for, only He can. Some rulers in Jesus' time struggled with the same thing: John 12:42,43 says," Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God."
What were these leaders looking for? Their own pleasure...their standing and the Pharisees could not give them what they were truly look for, approval. The rulers focus was all wrong, just like me.

Pleasure- me. So what is the answers to my approval-holic situation? Answering the question...where is my pleasure found? What pleases me? Is is all about me? This is where the trap lies...and the Truth. Is God's Word true? Do I really believe it? Can my greatest pleasure and need be met in Christ? I want to yell YES, at the top of my lungs but what does my daily life really look like (on the inside, where only me and the Lord see?) Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Do I really believe He'll give me Himself and that will be enough? That I will be satisfied? That in Him I will find the True Source of pleasure I seek.... Him-approval-pleasure-satisfaction. Where are my eyes, this moment?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Buy For Free.....

Isaiah 55 is one of my favorites Old Testament it sometime, how about right now? Verse 1 says, "Ho, (Hey, my translation) Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost."

Isn't that an interesting thought? Come's for free. Not much in this life is really free. I'm always getting those "free" offers in the mail...there is always a catch. Is there a "catch" with God? Is there a catch here in Isaiah 55?

Verse 2 say, "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance."

What is abundant? The "food" we are to buy for free...and eat abundantly from. It will satisfy. Do you know what that food is? It is the Word of God. It is the Lord...He reveals Himself in His Word and satisfies our hungry souls with His Food and Himself. There is no catch. There is just buy for free. He will be abundantly Enough and He will satisfy. Are you hungry and what are you eating today?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Hate Laundry!

Laundry. I hate it. I don't hate a lot of things in life...I can handle doing the toilets, I can even do the dishes with some gusto, but laundry, I hate. Currently, at this very moment I have a mound (and that is putting it lightly) right beside me....needing to be folded, please don't tell my Mom. As I sit...typing away, the mound seems to grow in my peripheral vision. Laundry.

Life can be kinda like laundry. Problems- big and little, fears- big and little, sin- big and little. You pick, any of these things can mound up and get out of control. Our peripheral vision as well as our straight ahead vision can get pretty blurred with the laundry of life and if left, what a mess.

So, how's your walk with the Lord going...are you doing the "Laundry" with Him or are you letting it get piled up and out of control? Are you overwhelmed? If you're at all like me with my real laundry, at some point I don't even want to try. Why bother? It won't ever be done! If I'm not careful, that kind of attitude can spill on into my spiritual life too.

I love the book of Hebrews,especially how Jesus is explained in His role of Great High Priest. He is above all. He is "greater than" the angels, Moses, the law, any priest, any sacrifice...HE went to the better and greater place and we have access to Him at all times.

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the in the of need." Hebrews 4:14-16

Let the Lord do your "laundry" today....don't get overwhelmed, don't try to hide it (I've been known to move the real laundry from room to room or shove it in the closet! Then again, I can try to do that with my spiritual laundry too!)...He knows how to deal with it and finish the job. Draw near to Him, you will find nothing but grace and mercy to help in the time of need and One Who understands your weaknesses... Do your spiritual laundry today. I'm off to do mine...