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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Be Still


Its hard to do isn't it? 

Sit still.

Listen.

Wait.

God tells us to Be still and know that He is God.   It's hard in this fast pace, achievement driven world, to be still and hear what God is wanting to say to us.

God goes on to say "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth"

God has the whole world in His capable hands.  Why do we feel we have to keep doing more and more?

You know them - the workaholics.  People who work every chance they get to make more, be more, to say they achieved more.  But, what are they missing out on?  A relationship with the almighty God?  Their families?  Life?  They are building up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy.  And at the end of it all, can they take it with them?  At the end, what matters the most? That they worked every chance they got and missed out on what God was saying to them?  Or that they had more numbers in their bank account than their friends?

God has been opening my eyes to the world of IDOLATRY.  Its more prevalent than we think.  
We idolize:
   Money
   Sex
   Achievement
   Food
   Success
   Ourselves

We may think we put God first, but when we take a good hard look at what is most important to us, what drives us every day, is it furthering God's kingdom, or bettering our own?

In Luke 10:40-42, Jesus went to visit Mary and Martha.  Mary CHOSE to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear what he had to say.  Martha CHOSE to be busy, making the food, setting the perfect table, working.  Martha missed out on a divine opportunity because she was too busy.  Mary chose better.  What Martha did wasn't bad in and of itself, but it was a idol that was controlling her.  The idol of achievement.  Martha wanted to be able to say "Look what I did".  She had good intentions of spending time with Jesus, but at the end of the day, she didn't. 

Sounds like us.  We value that extra half hour of sleep instead of getting up early to BE STILL...and spend time with God.  We watch that TV show, one after the other, and go to bed and say "I will spend time with God tomorrow, I ran out of time today".   It breaks my heart to hear the excuses of why spending time with God isn't at the top of the list. 

The most important thing we can do is to Be still and know that He is God.  I sat on the porch again this morning.  It was so quiet and peaceful.  I put my pen down, and sat.  I listened.  God showed me, almost like a slide show, how truly loved and blessed I am. 
  - I have my gym buddies who are happy to see me every day at noon - quick to give a hug and a laugh. There for me if I needed anything.  Blessed.
  - I have the youth at church who run to hug me when they see me.  It's where you will find me on Sundays.  Wrapped up in hugs with the teens and the pre-teens.  Blessed.
  - I get random text messages from friends during the day - wishing me a great day or saying they miss me.  Blessed.
  - It's the morning "virtual coffee" with my best friend.  The one woman on this earth who GETS me.  Blessed.
  - It's the love of my family.  Calling my mom and hearing the excitement and love in her voice because she is happy to hear from me.  Her daughter.  Her best friend.  Blessed.
  - It's my children.  Beyond Blessed.  Two fine young men who are growing up too quickly and turning into men of God.  Each in his own way serving God and making an impact on the kingdom.

Would I have seen how blessed I am if I hadn't been still?  I don't' think so.  God spoke to me this morning because I was willing to be still and listen. 

What is consuming you?  What can you do to find time to BE STILL and LISTEN?  I challenge you today.  Its the most important thing you can do, and HE is the most important relationship you will ever have.  I can't think of a better way to start my day than with Jesus.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Someday



You've said it - 
  
    Someday:
I'm gonna find what I'm looking for
I'm gonna get married
I'm gonna go on a mission trip
I'm gonna have that new car
I'm gonna have a bigger house

Do we ever say TODAY I want to live?  Today I will tell someone I love them.  Today I will spend more time with my family instead of working extra hours for that new thing.  Today I will find satisfaction in my life by serving God more.  

Its become a time in our world where we hear daily of tragedies, killings, accidents and death of loved ones.  This weekend a young girl lost her life because she chose to drive in a car with someone who was impaired.  I'm sure she never said "someday I want to make a choice that will end my life".  No one wakes up and says "Today I'm going to die".  We all live for someday.

BUT, what if we lived for today? Don't spend today looking at tomorrow.  What if we looked at each day for what it is - a gift from God?  We spend so much time thinking about tomorrow or even weeks or years down the road that we forget to appreciate what God has given us today.

Someday is TODAY!  Jesus is what we are looking for.  Jesus is here TODAY.   We spend so much of our life talking about someday - but God is here today!  He is our someday - We don't have to wait for Sunday to pray, to read our Bible. We don't' have to wait for Easter to celebrate His resurrection.  We don't' have to wait till Passover Sunday to celebrate - Jesus is our passover lamb, Jesus is here today.  Jesus is EVERYTHING we need him to be - TODAY!

Today is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it!!!

Jesus is our savior.  He is right here with us today.  Everyday is God's day, not just Sunday.  We don't have wait to live for Him.  We don't' have to wait for Sunday to change.  Living for God isn't like a diet that we start on Monday - someday I will lose weight - because that someday may not come.  We aren't promised someday - we are BLESSED with today.  Meet with Him today - be passionate about Him and humanity TODAY. 

What are you waiting for????

Monday, July 28, 2014

Frozen...Let it Go



Elsa: "don't let them in, don't let them see.
          Be the good girl you always have to be
          conceal don't feel
          put on a show
          make one wrong move and everyone will know..."

I'm not ashamed to say I love Frozen.  As I sat at work today and listened to the songs, this verse in "For the First Time in Forever" struck me.  Elsa has been shut up in a room for her childhood...hiding a secret no one knows.  The time has come where the gates have to be opened...its time for a change.  Anna, her sister, is elated!  Excited to explore, learn, feel, and expand her horizons.  Elsa is scared because that room is all she has known.

Elsa reminds me of me -  and many Christians I know. 

We wear masks so no one knows how we really feel.  We don't want to let people in, because we are afraid it will show weakness, or lack of Faith.  Many suffer silently, instead of letting others in to help them.  Some of us are taught its a sign of weakness to ask for help, so we conceal what our needs are.
We put on a show every day, or every Sunday when we walk through the church doors.  

"How are you today?"
   "I'm great!" (lie #1)
"Things going ok?"
   "Yep, couldn't be better" (lie #2)
"How's work?"
   "Oh, its great, no complaints" (lie #3)

and the questions and lies could go on and on....

Why do we suffer in silence? Why are we afraid to make one move and then everyone will know?  Know what exactly?

That we aren't perfect. 
We don't have all the answers.
We struggle.
We doubt.
We worry.
We need help.
We need a hug.


None of us have it all together, yet we all walk around as if we do.  What would it feel like to let go?  Elsa finally did let go. She finally let all of her pent up anger and frustration out.  What happened?  Did her sister turn away from her? No.  She ran to her.  She said, Elsa, you're not alone anymore.  

All we have to do is let someone in - and we won't be alone anymore.  Open up the doors - Elsa experienced freedom by letting go - what would happen if you let go?  If you tore down the walls and let someone in? 
 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lamentations


Hillsong United is a worship band from Sydney, Australia.  I've been reading through a devotion on my YouVersion App called Hillsong Worship, No other name - the Overflow devotion.   I've had a rough month of feeling God's presence in my life.  People, situations, and circumstances have cluttered my mind and filled my inner soul with too much stress and confusion and I've been unable to feel the Lord.  I love worship and decided to do this devotion to help me feel closer to the Lord.

I sat at dinner with a friend last night and pretty much dumped everything in her lap - what I've been going through, things said to me, hurts and fears.  I felt so bad that I did that, but I've held it all in - tried to deal with it on my own.  I was "lamenting" to her.  The book of Lamentations was written by Jeremiah, who was "lamenting" the destruction of Jerusalem.  The book is partly a traditional "city lament" mourning the desertion of the city by its god, its destruction, and the ultimate return of the divinity, and partly a funeral dirge in which the bereaved bewails and addresses the dead. The tone is bleak: God does not speak, the degree of suffering is presented as undeserved, and expectations of future redemption are minimal.  

This morning I read Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail, They are new every morning, Great is your faithfulness".   I have felt like God isn't speaking to me.  The first 6 months of this year I was writing with a fury - I was on fire and God was speaking and moving in my life.  I pulled up my blog and realized I haven't written in over a month.  I knew I was feeling distant and lonely, dried up and depleted.  Why?  What has happened that caused me to feel so bleak?  I try to read my Bible and write, but my thoughts are scattered and all over the place.  I can't concentrate, I can't focus.  I have been lamenting my drive, my fire, my purpose - feeling like it has left me.  I have become like Jeremiah, mourning the loss of my closeness with God as he mourned the loss of Jerusalem.  But, in God's word, I am given new hope- in the book of Lamentations no less.  Because of God's great love for me, I am not consumed.  His compassion for ME never fails.  GREAT is HIS Faithfulness! 

God hasn't moved from me, just as He didn't leave Jeremiah.  He is quiet, yes.  Sometimes He is quiet to bring movement on our part.  What do I need to do to create change in my relationship with the Lord?  I keep asking Him to speak to me, but I haven't really genuinely spoken to Him.  I've been Lamenting, when He's been there all along.   Hillsong United and many other worship songs have been the bridge between me and the Lord lately.  I have flooded myself with worship to feel close to Him.  Today I know He is with me, full of compassion for my dried up soul and withered spirit.  His mercies are new every day - I just need to be open to receiving them.