Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I love when videos like this come out. I dream of one day being able to do something like this. Maybe it would take place over an extended vacation. Maybe one day we'll move somewhere that would accommodate this. Regardless, I love the cabin he owns.
Either way, I love the attitude of just stepping out his door and going exploring in the mountains. Simply break-taking. One day.......
Felt pretty overwhelmed this morning. I get that way sometimes. I'd say half the time there's some legitimacy to the feeling, the other half there isn't. Often I just get overwhelmed easily. Being busy, constantly on the go, trying to keep 20 different plates spinning all at the same time is DEFINITELY not my bag. Quite the opposite actually. However, that does not usually get rewarded so much in our culture.........
So I found myself glancing through my daily reading this morning as I work through the One Year Bible. Was reading through Luke 5 when verse 16 stopped me dead in my tracks.......
"But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer."
I shut off my phone and spent 10 minutes just pondering that. My thoughts raced from "Hey, I should go for a quick walk in Busey Woods" to "Nope, can't do that. Too much work to do." Back and forth and back and forth.
I did some work, and then read some from a book titled "The Practice Of The Presence Of God" by Brother Lawrence. It's a great book that I've read quite a few times before.
Did some more work. Thought some about going for a walk in the woods. Didn't. Then my boss posted an article on Facebook titled "Are You Suffering From FOMO (Fear of missing out)? Five Steps to Restore Margin in Your Life"
Interesting timing. Did some more work. Read a few more pages out of Brother Lawrence. Just delaying the inevitable really. I think God is calling me out to Busey Woods. After my lunch meeting, I'm going. I may be hard headed, but I've learned when to say uncle. Yes Jesus, I will retreat to the wilderness with you this afternoon. It's a date.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
yesterday our senior pastor unveiled our Generosity Initiative at church called Crescendo. he mentioned something to the effect of Psalm 112 becoming a theme for us for 2012. i've read over this many times in the previous months as I helped to write our small group curriculum for this, as well as devotionals for everyone to go over. this morning, I reread it, and found something verses that really spoke to my heart. thought i'd share the entire chapter with you here.
"hallelujah! blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, who cherish and relish his commandments, their children robust on the earth, and the homes of the upright--how blessed! their houses brim with wealth and a generosity that never runs dry. sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people--God's grace and mercy and justice! the good person is generous and lends lavishly; no shuffling or stumbling around for this one, but a sterling and solid and lasting reputation. unfazed by rumor and gossip, heart ready, trusting in God, spirit firm, unperturbed, ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, they lavish gifts on the poor--a generosity that goes on, and on, and on. an honored life! a beautiful life! someone wicked takes one look and rages, blusters away but ends up speechless. there's nothing to the dreams of the wicked. nothing."
we read a few different times in the passage about a generosity that never runs dry! what a concept! i found that thought prick something deep in my heart. this is something i want! no doubt, the temptation for many would be to say that this is not possible because eventually resources run out. however, i'm thinking this passage has to do more with attitude than resources. (i have not done an extensive study on this, maybe just what God is speaking to me today) i've found that my attitude greatly enhances or hinders my generosity, not my resources. in fact, one verse here states, "....heart ready, trusting in God, spirit firm, unperturbed...." which leads me to believe that at the very least, attitude is implied here.
if we want to be a generous people, we must first get our hearts in the proper position. i've loved the prayer by the founder of World Vision, Dr. Bob Pierce so much that i got it tattooed on my wrist. "Break my heart for what breaks yours". begin by praying that. but definitely don't wait until you feel generosity flowing from you, just begin to act generous. continually pray that God would break your heart for the things that break His, and watch it happen as you act.
Friday, March 2, 2012
I don't do this very often. Usually I keep my personal journal for thoughts that are all over the place. Some are just random things in the hopes it will get me in a flow to write. Other entries contain some pretty personal items. That being said, I felt like I wanted to post this entry from yesterday. Or at least a portion of it......
"I've been going through the One Year Bible this year, but haven't really read it and paid attention to what I was reading for quite some time. I'm tempted to discontinue this effort because of that, and go back to randomly reading my Bible. Have to give that some more thought. So I cracked open my Bible this morning; it fell to Proverbs 3 where I had one of my many bookmarks in place. Verses 5-12 are giving me much to ponder this morning, especially the beginning verses. '.....don't try to figure out everything on your own.' That's really sticking out to me this morning. What are You saying to me in this Father? Maybe I try to figure out everything because I don't really trust you. Maybe I don't really trust your goodness. Maybe I think I can do a better job. Forgive me for these times. How often do I actually listen for your voice? How quick am I to complain that you aren't speaking loudly or clearly enough. Wow! I've got some nerve. Help me to grow more comfortable with not knowing everything, and help me to develop my faith and trust in You, no matter how difficult that may prove. I love You!"
What is it about life that makes us uncomfortable when we don't know all the details? How boring would that be if we knew how life was laid out for us, every little stinking detail? Part of me thinks that's exactly what I want, but as soon as I got it I know I'd get bored and wish I didn't know. Why not just embrace the adventure life is? No sense fighting it, since we won't ever achieve all the answers before hand anyways. The funny thing is that we don't need to know everything anyways. Proverbs 3 spells it out clearly for us. Don't try to figure it all out, instead learn to listen for God's voice in everything you do. Plain and simple. Now, this does take practice. To stop. And listen. It can take awhile to clear our minds. Sometimes we will get it wrong. But I'm pretty sure God is big enough to overcome that. I've gotta believe he enjoys just watching us try sometimes.
I know that I love watching my daughters try to get something. And I love when they want MY help to get there after trying for themselves. Love it! This also reminds me of what of my all time favorite passages in the Scriptures, found in Isaiah 42.
"But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them--sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute."
Another favorite quickly follows in Isaiah 43....
"But now, God's Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: 'Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end---Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you."
God is surely pursuing us with all He's got. But we must take the time to listen. WE must pay attention.
So there you have it; just some random thoughts today. I went to see Act of Valor last night. GREAT flick! The type where you walk out, not necessarily saying you loved it, but the kind where you walk out sobered. Sobered at the heroic acts performed every day by our military, whether you agree with our policies or not. They serve and give of themselves faithfully. No matter what. One scene particularly moved me, and prompted me to lean next to my friend and whisper, "If only Christians (myself included) had each other's back like this....". Friends, we are family. When one of us hurts, we are all to hurt. When one of us rejoices, we are to join in the celebration! Hm.......yeah. We are family. I love you my family!