Monthly Archives: February 2014

Spinning Straw into Gold

straw gold

Again, (the kingdom of heaven) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. . .

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ . . .

Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master, . . . I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. ‘ . . . His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!’  (From Matt 25)

GOD’S PLAN IS FOR INCREASE.  I say this in the most positive way, not to make us feel guilty because we aren’t producing enough “fruit.”  The scripture that comes to mind is, “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”  Is 9:7

Think of Abraham.  God told him, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.”  Abraham did father many physical nations — the Hebrew nation and, through Hagar, the Arab nations.

But Abraham also fathered today’s spiritual nation.  “For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.”  (Romans 4:16b-17a)

In other words, God’s plan for increase is being fulfilled today all around us.

Going back to the parable of the bags of gold,  what the master expected was for his servants to go out and do something with the wealth –  take risks, “cast their bread on the waters”– in order to make the amount  multiply.  It was wicked to maintain the status quo.

In the same way, I think God expects us to do something with our knowledge of him, not just as an act of obedience, but because we realize He is ABOUT INCREASE.  It is only natural that something as powerful and good as God would move in a positive direction.  It is an insult to think otherwise.

And as God cares for His people, it is only natural that His power will be on their side.  This has been proven over and over again in the stories of the Old Testament.  Moses leads the people out of Egypt.  The Israelites conquer Jericho. Gideon is able to defeat the Philistines with only 300 men.  David slays Goliath.  And so on.

The sin has always been in doubting God’s power and His faithfulness to help us.  The sin is that we make God too small in our eyes. 

In the parable of the talents, if you apply it to the Jews of the time, of course God would expect them, as His people, to go out and live effective productive lives.  If you apply it to the gospel, the good news was something powerful, it was MEANT to leaven the whole world.  Of course God would expect those who heard it to utilize this powerful agent.

The crazy thing I’m realizing is that we are living in a time of increase like never before.  Those who believe in Jesus, “will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”  (John 14:12)    There is “incomparably great power for us who believe.”  (Eph 1:19)

And yet we feel impotent and defeated.  We feel like the chaos and evil of the world is winning all around us, crowding out godliness, quenching the light bit by bit.

That is the greatest lie in the world.  It’s not what God is about.  We don’t need to feel bleak and conquered.  God’s kingdom is increasing.  We have to believe it is increasing, and we have to believe that we are meant to be a part of the increase.  It doesn’t matter if we feel weak and ineffective.  Even the smallest mustard seed of faith can move a mountain.  Those with just one talent are expected to do something.

And God will spin the straw of our feeble efforts into GOLD, because that is what He does. 

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  I Cor 3:7

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Filed under Abundance/Greatness of God, Faith, Hope

Contentment

“I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and to maximize my time in it.  I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment.”  From “Resolution” by Priscilla Shirer

May I be content with each day, each moment.  It is all I have.  Let me make the best of it.  Let me glorify God in it.

May I be content with who I am.  It’s okay to have weaknesses.  I don’t have to be good in everything.

  • Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves  Romans 12:3
  • So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  2 Cor 12:9

I am loved, treasured, doted upon, even in my imperfections.  The God who loves me, who works all things for good because He is goodness and love, can work good out of my flawed efforts.

Let me learn to be content.  Build in me the strength to do so.

  • I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Phil 4:11-13
  • Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Tim 6:6

 This strength comes from a growing understanding of the grace that sustains me and falls on me like a waterfall, from having Christ by my side, from the indwelling of the Spirit, and from a sure trust.

  • Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 9:22
  • be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  2 Tim 2:1
  • But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength  2 Tim 4:17
  • But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength  Isa 40:31

Let me be content because what I have is sufficient.  Christ is the richness.  God is more marvelous than I can fathom.  He will meet my needs.

  • And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19
  • And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work  2 Cor 9:8
  • My grace is sufficient for you.  For the purpose of my power is fulfilled when you are weak.2 Cor 12:9  (My paraphrase)

Let me not take shortcuts, or take control.

God, let me experience your shalom, the completion, wholeness, contentment and well being.  The harmony and bliss that come from walking with YOU.

 FOR THIS WAS I CREATED.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit  Romans 14:17

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Filed under Grace, Peace, Synchonicity

Five Things That are Vital

1.  Understanding how God works is vital. 

It was the best of times this past weekend -- the fruition of hard work

It was the best of times this past weekend — the fruition of hard work

GOD WORKS IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, NOT ON MY TIMETABLE.

I read the story of the Israelites’ struggles with the Philistines in the early chapters of I Samuel.  At one point the Israelites try to go to battle against the Philistines, and they bring the ark with them, thinking that by doing so, they will ensure that God is with them.  But they are routed, and the Philistines capture the ark.  It isn’t until later, after the Philistines return the ark, that things come together and they are moved to return to the Lord and repent.  Then God is truly with them, and they defeat the Philistines.

This story reminds me that God works through a natural progression.  Just like a seed is planted, and must go through a process to grow and bear fruit, people must go through a process to be ready to repent.  The people I am praying for, and studying the Bible with, will come to faith in the fullness of time.

This is also true for the things I am praying about.  The prayers will be answered in the fulness of time.  One thing we have prayed about for years is to have permanent leaders in Auburn.  It looks like this prayer and dream is about to come to fruition.  In many ways, I can see that this is the right time for this to come to pass.  Our financial contributions have grown so we can support a leader better now.  We have learned much in the years of struggle waiting for this to come to pass.

  • Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. . . So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.. . . On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.”  (From I Sam 7)
  • You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
  • but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31

2. Maintaining a focal point is vital.

tightrope 1

I read a chapter of “Finding Balance from the inside out,” by Sheila Jones.  She mentioned that tightrope walkers are taught to focus on a point at the end of the rope they traverse.  Keeping their eyes on that point will help them keep their balance through the walk.

In the same way, I must keep my eyes on God.  If I allow myself to be distracted by emotion, ambition, people pleasing, worry, challenging situations, and so on, I lose sight of the one thing that will get me through.  Focusing on God gives me the right perspective for every situation.  Focusing on God gives me strength. 

  • We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  2 Chron 20:12
  • My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.  Ps 25:15
  • the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.  John 5:19
  • I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.  John 8:28

3. Being a good guide is vital.

sherpa

In the first few chapters of I Samuel.  Israel suffered greatly because of the sin of Hophni and Phinehas, who, as priests, were their spiritual leaders.  They lost the ark to the Philistines, and thirty thousand of them were slaughtered in battle.

In the same way, my spiritual walk can affect others.  How I live matters.

And I have a responsibility to help others, to warn them about the “small” poor choices they are making with their lives.  Often these choices seem like they are no big deal.  It is so easy to think I need to give people their space.  It is easy to avoid conflict.  It is easy to procrastinate.

But I have to remember that every negative thing my friends allow in their lives is DESTRUCTIVE.  As a spiritual leader, it is my job to stand up for the purity of living that will lead to the best life for all of us.

  • Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.  I Tim 4:16
  • You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.  Titus 2:1
  • teach the older women to live in a way that honors God.. . . These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.  Titus 2:3

4. Having partners in the mission is vital.

crew boat

  We moved to Auburn because we deeply desired to be involved in helping others to have a great relationship with God.  But we would not have moved here on our own.  We wanted to join a church of like minded people — partners in the gospel.

Jake said on Sunday that being actively involved in the mission builds close relationships, and this is so true.   There is nothing like working together for someone’s salvation — studying the Bible, praying, fellowshipping, going through the ups and downs together.

I have felt at my lowest spiritually when I did not have partners in the gospel.  There’s just something special about feeling that you are putting your hands to the oars, and knowing that others are alongside you, rowing with all their heart as well.  As we pray for this ministry to grow, we pray for God to bring us workers!!! I do want everyone to know the sublime sweetness that come from having a relationship with God and being at peace with him.  But I want, I need, to have those who will be with me heart and soul in the fight.

  • Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.  Phil 1:3-5
  • Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Matt 9:38
  • “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”  I Samuel 14:7

5. Having the right motivation is vital.

I was saved from death row.

I was saved from death row.

I can do the right thing because I am supposed to do it.  But it is much better if I do it from the heart.  Love and grace must be my motivators.

It seems like there are a thousand challenges to build this motivation!!  But it is a good fight.  I am praying to learn to be more loving.  I am fighting to rid myself of the wrong attitudes.  God is guiding me, showing me great verses, speaking through others, helping me to grow.

So I say, if it isn’t going to be done in love, don’t do it!

  • For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, ( Titus 2:11-12)
  • And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  Phil 1:9-10
  • Clearly, Christ’s love guides us. We are convinced of the fact that one man has died for all people. Therefore, all people have died.  II Cor 5:14
  • Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.  I Tim 1:15-16

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Filed under Balance, Having the Right Heart, One Another Relationships, Patience

The Abundant Life — Not What I Thought

To live is Christ  (Phil 1:21)

Traffic stuck

Last night I was driving the 50 minute commute home from our Bible talk in Columbus.  The road was dark, and a constant cold spray of rain fell on my car.  It was one of those times when I just wanted to get home.  I didn’t want to do anything that would involve me expending energy, and that included calling someone, or even praying.  I put on the news and zoned out.

But as I drove and listened to the day’s top stories, I started to talk to God anyway.  I said to myself, “There must be a way to pray at the end of the day so it doesn’t feel like another thing I am supposed to do.”  And I was real with God about how I was feeling.  I thought about what we have been discussing in church: how would we fill in the blank, “To live is _____.”  I thought about the insights I was having on this — that the real question was, “What would make me happy?”  The answer should be Christ, but was it really for me?

And then this thought struck me:  If to live is Christ, then to have the abundant life is to have more of Christ. 

That was a challenging idea.  I had been thinking that the abundant life means we enjoy the things we have more.  This new idea was along the same lines as what Jake preached about the verse,  “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  He said that if you delight yourself in the Lord, the desires of your heart will be to have more of the Lord.

At this point, what should happen, but I saw blue and red lights ahead of me.  There was a wreck.  Traffic came to a complete standstill.

All of a sudden, I had a lot of time to fill.  I could listen to the news some more.  Or I could practice finding the abundant life in Christ.   I began to brainstorm positive things about God/Christ:

  • He is completely good.  He is holy.  There is nothing bad in him.
  • He is light, in him there is no darkness at all.
  • He is love.  There is no malice in him.
  • He is stronger than evil.
  • He leads us in triumphant procession
  • His mercy is so great

And I found this was a powerful meditation.  My tired resistant soul found peace and inspiration.  Enduring the stretch of time before me were no longer a chore.

To live is ______.  What will really make me happy?  If I am honest with myself, what I feel in my heart is, “I will be happy when I can perform perfectly.”  But over time God is showing me more and more riches of what true happiness is, what it means to really have the abundant life —

More of Christ.

More of a realization of who God is.  More of a consciousness that Christ is holding my hands, looking in my eyes and saying, “I chose you.  I died for you.  You can do this.”  More thankfulness for the treasures he drops along my way every day.

More praise.  I read in my quiet time this morning,  “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”  Ps 84:2

As I dissected the verse, I learned that “cry out” actually means “joyful singing.”  It is the same word used in II Chronicles 16 as David and the people celebrated bringing the ark into Jerusalem, “Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD.”  It is the same word that God used when he described how the angels reacted to the creation of the earth, “. . . when I laid the earth’s foundation . . . and all the angels shouted for joy”   Job 38:4-7

If I thirst for what is real and meaningful, what will fill my soul but praise?  Let me shout and sing like the angels.  Let me embrace life.  Forgive me, Lord, for my frustrations and complaining.  Let all that is in me magnify who God is.  As I sang yesterday  morning, we are living in an OCEAN of love, peace, goodness;  we are sustained by grace.  Let us, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” (Ps 100:4)

shout for joy

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Sacred — A Prayer

waves crashing

“Sanctify the Lord, who commands Heaven’s Armies, making Him what is holy in your life.  He is the one you should fear. He is the one you are to dread.”  Isa 8:13 (my paraphrase)

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  Ex 3:5

Father, I cannot bring any doubt into your sacred presence.

  • But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”  Numbers 20:12

Nor can I come to you out of a sense of obligation.  You want me to be willing.  You no more want me to be dutiful, than I would want my children to call me merely because they think they are supposed to.  You want to be the joy and treasure of my life, as I am for you.

  • The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD.  I Ch 29:9
  • Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Cor 9:7
  • For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.  2 Cor 8:12
  • A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  Prov. 11:25

Father, may I bring a smile to your face today.  May you see in me your daughter.

May I understand your grace, and how I need to love you with my whole heart, and also how I have the righteousness of Christ as my own — how there is no condemnation for me.

As we talked about in church yesterday, I want to have that rare thing that is really living.  I don’t want my worries to warp and steal my experiences.  I want to embrace life to the full.

Father, as we realized even more after reading the whole book of Philippians yesterday, you are the ONLY thing that really matters.  Help me not define life in terms of myself, my actions, what I think it will take to make me happy.

Father, help me feel adequate to the tasks before me.  Help me to see that the vast majority of it is up to you, and I am only doing a small part from the hollow of your hand.  Help me find strength and clarity when my emotions overwhelm me.  Help me feel your love and support, strong and solid at my back.

May I spend my days in your presence. . . confident. . . reverent. . . only wishing to make you smile.. 

May you wash over me like the waves until all that is in me is waiting in silence before you.  My hope is in you.

IMG_4283

“Will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?. . . And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. II Cor 3

“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12: 22-24

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Three Things I Am Learning

1. Knowing Christ means sacrifice.  I got a phone call the other night.  I was dead tired, the kind of fatigue when you feel like you’ve been run over by a train.  But I knew this was my only chance to talk with this particular friend before a busy week, so I took the call.  Rather than just trying to gut it through the conversation, I kept up a running dialog with God as I talked and listened to my friend.  I told him how I was tired, and asked for wisdom on how to proceed, as well as for strength.  And the challenges didn’t magically go away, but it was a great phone call with some very encouraging content.  And I realized more than ever that this is how I learn to be like Christ — by giving to people when I absolutely don’t feel like it.  I live a lifestyle of giving to people, but there is a point at which I stop.  Pushing this point further, through fellowship with the Lord, is a whole new dimension.

  • I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.  Phil 3:10-11

2. The “church lady” exists.  I read a blog a few days ago about a single mother who sought God and started going to church at low point in life.  (http://pearlsandgrace.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-new-church-lady.html) She was desperate for help, but what she got was judgment and feelings of shame.  She didn’t try to seek God again for ten years.  The blog brought up the old Saturday Night Live skit about the “church lady,” a judgmental and self-righteous character.  It said that we need to be sure we are not like the church lady, or we can turn people off, as happened with the single mom.

At the time I thought the blog was perhaps too extreme.  We do need to make people feel welcome.  We do need to make sure they know that we don’t think we are better than them, we’re all sinners.  But we don’t need to go so far in not judging them to the point where we don’t tell them the truths that will help them.

But then yesterday I got with a new friend, a campus girl.  She shared her story of going to a local Christian high school.  She lived a worldly lifestyle, but then recommitted her life to Christ.  After she did so, she did everything she could to be friends with the “good girls” at school, but they would never accept her.  It soured her on religion, and she went back to the world.

I could feel for this girl so much.  How heart-wrenching it is when someone desperately needs encouragement in relationships, and the very relationships which should provide the most nurturing are instead the most damaging.

Yesterday Ken and I were discussing whether I should travel an hour to go see one of the sisters in Columbus.  Usually I make the trip for several women.  This time it might only be one.  I told him that it is easy to take care of the sheep that are close by, who are well fed and fat.  But wouldn’t a good shepherd make sure to go out and bring food to the thin sheep that range further away in places where sustenance is more scarce?

We must make sure we aren’t like the church lady, and take Jesus’ command to feed his sheep seriously.   There are people who vitally need love and attention.

  • The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.  John 21:17

3. Humanism is becoming the norm.  In the process of reading an article about the proposed statue of Satan next to the one of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma, I went to the web site for the Satanic Temple.  http://www.thesatanictemple.com/

It was definitely interesting.  It was not a blatant promotion of the worship of evil.  But it was definitely a proponent of the exaltation of man over God: “Ours is the Humanistic Satan who would sacrifice His own Heavenly residence so that Humanity might learn to understand and enjoy the physical world they inhabit.”

The web site also said, “The Satanist harbors reasonable agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true.”  And under its Tenets it says, “The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.”

In other words, Satanists believe there is not room for faith in a God they do not understand.  They will only believe in that which can be proved by the truths they know.  And one of the main truths they know is that there must be compassion, (human) wisdom and justice.

It is scary to me that I see this kind of thinking becoming prevalent in our society. Indeed, someone wrote almost the exact same thought as the tenet I quoted on a Facebook post recently.   While I respect some of the underlying concepts — compassion and justice, the seeking of truth over mean-spirited dogmatism — I fear for a religion that encourages pride and humanism.  Humility, the fear of God, has great value.  God wrote the blueprint.  We can’t just all rely on our subjective sense of what is right.   But still, we must also not be afraid to challenge our beliefs to make sure they are true.  AND, as I remarked earlier, we cannot be self-righteous to the point of obscuring love and mercy.

  • We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.  I John 2:3-6
  • Mercy triumphs over judgment.  James 2:13
  • Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Heb 11:1

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Filed under Discipleship, Having the Right Heart

Addicted to Affirmation

pat on back

I am doing battle with my need for affirmation.

At heart, I am insecure.  It is something I have wrestled with all my life.  I have had many victories.  But lately I have noticed it manifesting in the form of jealousy and envy.  When someone else accomplishes something, I feel that stab in my gut.  I want that recognition.  I have been longing to have a job that gives me tangible evidence that I am worthwhile.

What a wretched thing it is to always have that knee-jerk reaction of envy, the huge hunger in my soul for something else.

So I started to get serious about addressing this, and what I realized is that I need to deepen my emotional connection with God, to rediscover my hunger for Him and only Him.

I read two statements that hit home with me.  Both are from “Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer” by John Piper.

  • “The weakness of our desire for God is not because he is unsavory but because we keep ourselves stuffed with “other things.” 
  • “It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. “

I have been filling myself with so much stuff, that I have lost touch with that vibrant, fulfilling communion with the Lord.  One of the chief culprits is the Internet.  How easy it is to while away free time on Facebook, or random web sites.  Another culprit is filling my life with business.  I love to complete tasks, because I can pat myself on the back about how much I’ve accomplished.  And finally, I have realized that I am too undisciplined with my mind.  Being unemployed encourages my mental ADD.  I surf through it all day, going wherever my thoughts lead me.  Sure, I don’t let them dwell on sinful desires.  But I allow all kinds of mundane stuff consume my thoughts.

  • . . .  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.  (Mark 4:19)

What I need, instead, is this:

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water. . .
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods  (Ps 63)

I need to connect with the sacredness of the universe, to see the poetry in the divine, to experience the fountain of beauty that is my infinite God.

  • One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.  Ps 27:4

Let me remember that Christ is the best and ONLY treasure:

  • “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ . . ”

It is a good battle.  I have been playing the guitar and singing more.  I have been constantly running through the scriptures I have memorized in my mind. I have been making conscious attempts to be in sync with God, and carry on a little dialog with Him on how it is going.   All of this is opening for me a fountain of inspiration.  I feel like I could write 50 blogs a day.

I have been learning to be more thankful, and to praise more, and it reminds me that we were all created to praise.  May every particle of my being join with all of creation in worshiping the Creator.  This is living out my purpose, and it is highly fulfilling.

Sunday, Jake preached about true freedom.  I do want true freedom from the leprosy of pride, jealousy, envy and insecurity.  As I am building my appetite for God, and my hunger for affirmation wanes, I find there is so much more room for God in my heart, so much more to discover about Him, so many good things to fill myself with.  It is true: as I hold to the teachings, the truth sets me free.  Scenes of bliss forever new are my food now.  Communion with Him is the peace that quenches my thirsty soul.

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.  Ps 36:7-8

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (filling our needs), but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit  Romans 14:17

. . . whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  John 4:14


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Filed under Abundance/Greatness of God, More of Christ