Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taste and See

Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

This past week-end our church began having an additional gathering time on Saturday evenings. What a blessing to be having so much growth! Yet, as we grow in numbers of bodies it has also been our prayer we grow in spirit. As I prayed Saturday asking the Lord to reveal Himself anew to His children, I asked that our awarness of just how close He is would be peaked.
We would feel His very breathe upon our skin. There was a stirring in my heart asking, "will you receive"?
Throughout all three services this week-end this was my prayer, "teach us to receive Lord".
This afternoon Ps. 34:8 came to mind. Then a correlation between what I felt in my heart and what I read in this verse.
Just like having a plate of food in front of you, before it nourishes and can benefit our bodies we must receive it to our bodies. If we simply let the plate of food sit before us it does nothing, we have to get the food into our bodies.
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit can be no closer, He lives within us, consistantly ministering to us.
Yet, if we don't do our part and surrender to Him we will find ourselves complacent and undernourished.
Our lives will always have something for us to be concerned about or to dwell over. But, it's not what the Lord would have us be doing. I know it can be so much easier said than done to just give it to the Lord, yet, I am also seeing the more we surrender the more teachable we become, the more we open up our hearts, the more we receive. The more we receive, the more we grow.

Give us teachable hearts Lord, help us to surrender self to You and all our plans, to lay them down before You and receive all You have for us. Place Your precious peace upon us as we lay every care, every worry down at the foot of the Cross, and help us grow deeper in our understanding, and our love for You and those in our lives.
We praise You and thank You........In Your precious name Jesus, Amen

Be blessed........"O'Taste and see that the Lord is good".

Friday, January 9, 2009

Clutter in our Hearts and Minds

This morning my day started with a hunt, you know the kind I'm referring to, where you know you just saw it, and you search and search and you find many other things you previously went on a hunt for but the one thing your searching for right now is no where to be found. Then you become frustrated and you can think of nothing else, finding this thing becomes almost an obsession. Then as you are on the search you find yourself on the onset of a great throw away session. Are ya with me there ladies? Or am I the only one who does this?
Today as I was on my tirad a thought came to me about "clutter", it's everywhere!
I've often wondered when visiting others what they do with their clutter. You know the kind I'm talking about, all that stuff that comes in the mail that you might (not) use some day, where in the world does everyone hide this stuff?
Anyway I realized, while on my hunt, that this clutter is everywhere, not only with mail, but we have newspapers, periodicals, our e-mail boxes, and also inside of us, in our minds and our hearts. I couldn't help but wonder if the clutter inside of us works the same way as the clutter on the outside, and couldn't imagine why it wouldn't. I have found when we have all this clutter in our lives it keeps us from finding the very thing we need. Have you ever found yourself checking e-mail and finding so many that you just delete them all, then someone asks you if you received the e-mail with an invite or an announcement of an important event?
When situations and circumstances come our way we tend to fret about them almost obsessivley, cluttering of the mind. When we allow our schedules to become overloaded, cluttering of our time. When we worry about things we have no control over, cluttering of our hearts. I am seeing a corralation here between our physical clutter and our inner clutter, aren't you? All this clutter keeps us away from finding the very thing(s) that is most important.
Hosea 10:12 Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteuosness on you.
"For it is time to seek the Lord".
How much of our clutter keeps us away from seeking the Lord? How much of our clutter keeps us away from hearing His voice?
Sometimes it's very difficult in our own strength to let go of something, or a situation that just breaks our hearts. Our thoughts tend to take over or clutter up our time, our minds and hearts. We want to let go but find we are just too weak. Recently I found myself in this very place, where my thoughts seem to be taken over by circumstances heart breaking and out of control, and I found myself constantly thinking about it. In one instant I simply said "Lord, I don't want to be thinking about this all the time" , and a verse came to mind.
Matthew 6:33 But, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
God cares and He knows our hearts. When we bring all things unto Him first, we can then let it go. You might be thinking thats easier said than done, and I agree. But, after the verse came to me, later that day even when I sat down it dawned on me that I hadn't really thought about that issue much at all since I called out to God. He truely had come and helped me unclutter my thoughts. My heart felt lighter upon realizing this and excited for the future. You see this isn't the only time I've allowed myself to be taken over by a situation, actually I had begun to think this was just how I handled things. But, now the Lord has shown me He will help me keep my heart and mind on Him if I simply bring it all to Him, first.
How many times have I thought it would be so awesome to have help uncluttering my life, and all along the only help I needed was just waiting for me to ask.
I don't know if this message will help do anything about that paper clutter from our mail, or the clutter in our e-mail boxes but I do pray it encourage you to let it draw you to the very one who can help you unclutter your heart and mind and bring you to a place of freedom and peace. I pray it will bring encouragment to take a good look around our lives and get rid of the stuff and the doing that just isn't going to bring an eternal benefit. "For it is time to seek the Lord".

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Being Teachable

Proverbs 1:8 Hear my son, your father's instruction
And do not forsake your mother's teaching;

I remember that feeling inside when I would overhear plans being made when I was a small child. That sense of wanting to know all the details, the times, and the day in which these plans were to take place. Sometimes my mother would be accommodating and would fill us in without hesitation, and other times be more lock lipped than Fort Knox. (this was a saying my brothers used all the time when sometihng was not openly available to them, funny how those things stick with you). Mom always had her reasons for either revealing or keeping quiet about what was to take place. I recall for the most part being excited and just accepting that plans were being made for me.
Why are we not as accepting of the plans the Lord prepares for us? Maybe "accepting" isn't the right word here, possibly it's more a need for patience and trust on our part.
In Isaiah 40:31 it says, " But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
When we are children we have such a sense of acceptance and trust for those who care for us, who have shown us love and nuturing. Why then as we grow older and supposedly more mature in the Lord we seem to trust Him less than we trusted our own caregivers as a child? In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, "Truely I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
"Like children"!
What does it mean to "become like children"? My granddaughter loves to sit on my lap and have me teach her how to count, or do puzzles, or read to her. Her curiousity about life and all thats in it overwhelms me at times. I think this is a perfect example of what our Father desires from us, to come, sit on His lap and let Him teach us.
How do we want our children to accept our teaching? With resistance? Rebellion? Or acceptance and trust?
I believe the Lord is calling His children to a deeper understanding and also a deeper commitment to His plans for our lives. The only way this will happen is by trusting Him, knowing He loves us, He helps us, He fights the battles for us. But, we must trust, we must be teachable and accepting of His plans.
Just as when we were little and we trusted the plans being made for us by our parents we are to trust and believe our Fathers love for us would never lead us astray, He loves and cares for us and longs for us to come to Him just like His word says, "as children", trusting Him and having a teachable spirit about us.

Daddy, I come before You today with my arms held high, reaching for You to lift me up to sit upon Your lap and listen and to be taught. Open my ears and eyes, as well as my heart, mind and spirit to receive and trust in all You have for me. Thank You, In the name and power of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Now, go on, go crawl up on your Daddy's lap and have a nice long talk!
Be blessed!