It is my nature, I guess, to take on more tigers to tame than the most experienced animal trainer could handle! A full schedule, a house frequented by lively and diverse people, and a juggled armload of projects tend to come with the husband I chose and the life I live. What I crave deep inside is simplicity, so that the clock, people, and projects don't eat me up. Sometimes I just don't know where to begin or how to find peace in the midst of the frantic pace.
Back again to the Lord! What does He have to say about this crazy life that I'm usually crazy about but often don't know how to deal with?
Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
All the time??!! No, just enough to stay focused and centered on Him. I can learn to be still inside when life is racing and raging around me, because He is my peace.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and He guided them to their desired haven. (Psalm 107:29&30)
Yes, our activity level can be considered a storm, especially if we haven't bothered to consult the Lord lately on what we're adding to the schedule or how we're neglecting important focuses for urgent ones (e.g., time with Him or time with family, for community or church committee meetings, or for paying bills because we forgot because we were too busy rushing too many places).
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
If we truly desire Him above all else, and we ask Him to empower us to live that way, He'll show us what the priorities are, and things will gradually fall into place, the proper place in the scheme of things. (Pinch! I have to remind myself.)
All Scripture references are New International Version.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Have you heard this: "Witnessing is just one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread?" (I believe it was Corrie Ten Boom who said this.) When we are sharing the Good News we sometimes think of ourselves as Better because we are already saved. The Gospel is the Good News, not an award that designates us as the Elite-Special-Chosen-of-God-Because-We-Are-Worthy. It is precisely BECAUSE we weren't--and aren't--any better than those we share the Good News with that we embraced it in the first place. We needed the wondrous message that Jesus died for us to forgive our sins and bring us into friendship with God. That need for forgiveness fulfilled for us and yet to be fulfilled in others is what drives us to show and tell others. Or it should.
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. -- II Corinthians 5:14, 15
We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf. Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -- II Corinthians 5:20, 21
Sunday, August 13, 2006
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Something possessed me, while I was catching up on the computer, to play a classic oldies CD (circa 1963, for you Generation NeXt kids). Just think, no one had HEARD of compact discs in those days. Suddenly--so it seems--Baby Boomers like me are nearly Oldies. (Did one of you young whippersnappers just snicker and say, "Nearly?! Are you kidding me?!") Well, here's my news for young and old alike: none of us is getting younger. Whatever our generation, if we are learning from our mistakes and experiences, while expecting to see the work God wants to do in us and through us, we seize opportunity for a life make-over. From the outside no one may notice the changes; but WE know the difference.
What would be a crime is if we have lived to our midlife or golden years and are still choosing the same paths each day or blundering through the same mistakes, or we're blindly following the same routines that we lived in our teens, twenties, or thirties. How can we expect a different outcome if we haven't changed the way we think, speak, or act? We can start fresh, any time, right where we are, changing the course of our lives. There are myriad examples of this, but I can certainly cite one of my own from about six months ago.
For years I neglected writing as more than a casual pastime, probably partly due to my failure to finish a course I had begun. I was able to forgive myself for this, after I realized that now was the perfect time in my life to follow God's leading to see where writing carried me. Now I am pursuing it with all the passion He has given me for the written word. It does not matter that I failed to approach writing with discipline in the past. Because the Lord strengthened me in other areas of my life over the years, I brought discipline to the writing. Not that I've conquered self-discipline. Nope. It's just that He's given me enough to get started, and, like my "muscle" of faith, he strengthens that self-discipline the more I practice using it! Before, I didn't truly believe that I could change in this way just by choosing differently.
I suspect I am not alone in changing the course of my life, even though well past the college years. Let me hear from you about a choice or a learning experience (mistake?) that led to Divinely-wrought change in your life.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
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 say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
. . . for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
Hebrews 11:11 & 12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Scriptural quotations from New International Version