Friday, March 18, 2011

Kids = God's Training School

Have you ever wondered WHY your kids challenge you in certain ways that just make you want to scream? Or even asked yourself "why can't my kids be more like 'so-in-so's' kids.... they act so normal". Well, I have a long held belief that God gives us the kids we NEED as a way of working out in US the characteristics that he want's to heal.

Actually, I think that kids teach us WAY more about how to live for Christ then we will ever teach them. I think they are "God's Lab" for our life.... Ya know?

Well, I had a tough exam in that lab yesterday. I think every one of my sharp edges, unrefined points, and ugly characteristics were challenged to rear their heads yesterday.

I love those kids of mine with a love I didn't know was possible. But boy O boy are they helping work out the sinful characteristics in me. They teach me to confront my fears, kill my preconceived ideas, adapt to circumstances, love (when I don't want to), serve (when I don't want to), and be tireless in seeking the good for another at the expense of my own desires.

Sounds a bit like how God wants us to Love the World doesn't it? So you might even say that parenthood is a great missionary training school, if we pay attention what God is trying to teach!

What is God teaching you through you kids?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spiritual Discipline and Sleep

" But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."Luke 5:16
If there is one thing I have never been good at it's self discipline.  I don't know if you share this trait with me, but I am way too easy on myself. I would much prefer to stay warm and cozy in my bed rather than get up into a cold house. I make excuses like...

" Really Lord, I could just lay here with my eyes closed in this bed and have some quiet time with you"

When I give in to this temptation it always results in more sleep... not prayer or bible reading. Then I berate myself for not having done what I know is so important to do. The flesh wins, the enemy wins, and I have not started my day submitted to the Lord.

Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline says "Superficiality is the curse of our age. The discipline of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem."

Boy is that ever evident! I am all too satisfied with a quick lesson, a quick prayer, and to claim grace over my inability to stay in prayer and explore the deep things of God. And yet, I have a deep Love for those deep things of God. Don't you? I hear the spirit within me call to them, beckon me to come and explore even deeper. There are days when "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" is the testimony of my life. But I will not be mastered by my flesh. I will not allow it to steal my joy, or my effectiveness for Christ.

So This week I have finally given in to the prompting of the spirit and have chosen to go to bed early and rise early so I can spend time alone in a quiet, dark, cold, house with my Lord. I am saying to my flesh and all it's desires for ease and comfort. "I am your master, you will not master me"..... I am on day two. Pray with me that I make it to day three!

What Spiritual discipline do you desire to master?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Warning Signs and Hope

"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Luke 21:26-27
 I am so impacted by what is happening in our world. My heart breaks for the people of Japan. For all of those who have lost their lives, loved ones, and belongings.

I am struck by all the different earthquakes, tsunamis, Nuclear explosions, and wars that are around the world. I believe we are living what has been written in the bible right now.

"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. " Mark 13:10
Everyday we seem to see a new horror in the news.
Whether it is a devastating earthquake...


Or War...

The world is shaken, the waters rise to destroy, and the people of the world fight everyday. 

But there is hope in the ONE who is NOT moved.  The one who can not be shaken. He is our rock and our salvation. He is Faithful and True. And He is coming again soon.
"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." Luke 21:28
Life has been put back in perspective. I don't know about you, but I want to be about my Father's business until that day.

In His Peace,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Action Steps and Seeking the Lord

I was reading Psalm 37 the other day and I realized that vs 1-8 showed me an action plan for seeking the Lord in any situation. 

Now I LOVE action plans. You know there is just something in me that wants a 5-step plan for everything I do. I guess it helps me to stay on track. I'm just so happy to see that the Lord is gracious to provide one here for me! 

Seeking the Lord based on Psalm 37 vs. 1-8

Vs.1 Do Not Fret... Because the Wrongs will soon die away.
Vs. 2 Trust in the Lord... Because you will always be safe in Him.
Vs. 3. Delight in the Lord... Because he will give you your hearts desire.
Vs. 4. Commit your way to the Lord... Because He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Vs. 5 Be still and wait.... Because The righteous will never be forsaken (vs. 25)
Vs. 6. Refrain from anger.... Because the evil men will be cut off and those who hope in the Lord will inherit the Land

I don't know about you. But this gives me hope! So many times I want to fret and trust in myself instead of the Lord. It's easier to delight myself in other things in life (children, work, relationships) instead of delighting myself in him first. 

If we were honest with ourselves how often are we more committed  to OUR own cause rather than his? I don't know about you but I can get impatient and angry when things don't go my way. 

Today, I want to bind myself to His promises and decide to not be moved. I want to cling to them like my life depends on it. Today let's remember the promises he has made, and find our joy in seeking him, rather than just seeking a solution to our immediate need. 

Be blessed today friends!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trusting for Answers

I am struck today by the answers to prayer that have come to me from prayers that I begun long ago. Just the other day I received a surprise in the mail that came from a very unexpected place. When I researched it, I see that it had traveled to me from far away, and had gone through many crazy twists and turns to actually get to me. Though it was sent the very month I began praying for this specific blessing, I didn't get it for 4 months.

It reminds me of the story in Daniel when the angel says to him...
"Since the first day that you sent your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your Words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian Kingdom resisted me twenty-one days." Dan 10:12-13

Sometimes when we pray our answers are delayed, but God hears us when we set our mind on gaining His understanding. When we seek HIM first and HIS understanding then the answers come. Even if they are long in coming we must ALWAYS trust him. He is so faithful. Oh how I love that about him.

Amy Carmichael says it best...
  "...Do not forget that the answer to many prayers is, 'wait', or Sometimes, 'No, not that, but something else, which, when you see ME, you will know was a far better thing."

Oh I love that, don't you? When we see Him we will know that everything was worth it, and that what he chose for us was a far better thing that the ease we would choose for ourselves. It all comes down to trusting. Trusting even when we feel we are being bound and placed upon the alter for sacrifice

Thank you Lord, remind me of your trustworthiness often. I know I can trust you. you are good to me!

What are you trusting the Lord for today?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are You Thirsty?

I was reading AW Tozers "the pursuit of God" the other day. It is Exactly what I need right now. The prayer at the end of Chapter 1 summarizes so well the prayer in my heart. Perhaps it is your prayer too.
"O, God, I have tasted your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. i am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the triune God, I want to want you; I long to be filled with longing, I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me your glory, I pray, so that I may know you indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love with in me. Say to my soul, 'rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow you up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus name, Amen" 
~A.W. Tozer "The Pursuit of God"

I don't know about you, but this prayer is right where I am at. I am so in love with my savior, but that love makes me thirsty for more of him.

I want to stay thirsty, how about you?

I think when we stop being thirsty for him, it is a sign we've been wandering in the "misty lowlands" too long.

I want to want more of him. 
He is so good. 
He is so Holy. 
He is so loving.

Stay thirsty with me today!