Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Surprising Voice of God

God has been speaking to us throughout our lives. Many times, we look back and realize that the nudge we had to do something, or the thought that passed through our heads were moments when God had broken through to us to direct our steps or to comfort us with His love...

True Friends

Jesus is surprising. He leaps from the written page and into your life, shaking your world. Prayer goes from just Him listening to your requests to a conversation where He in turn shares His most intimate secrets. That is one of the most astonishing things about Jesus. When we entrust Him with our hearts, He in turn tests the waters by sharing something that’s on His heart. Well, isn’t that what a relationship is like? If it’s all one direction, with one person’s needs being met while the other is ignored, there is no real closeness. The silent Partner is kind and loving, but still a stranger. And God so longs to be known, not just in reading about Him, but as a true Friend. No longer speaking in parables, He speaks in language we can uniquely understand. How? He knows our inside jokes, the hidden meanings behind words that only intimate friends pick up. When we realize He is not only there for us, but that we can minister to His heart, a beautiful and dynamic relationship has been formed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jesus' Time Management

Life is so busy that we can’t stop to pray, let alone use the bathroom or sleep. We sprint from one activity to another, putting out fires, problem-solving, and just working down our to-do list that never seems to end. Time passes so quickly, and we find ourselves overwhelmed, uninspired, and exhausted. Any stop in our rush feels like a retreat from the battle. But if I recall right, Jesus was busy, too...

Stop For God's Directions

Jesus was busy-- so busy that at times He didn’t stop to eat. On one of these occasions, His mom and brothers came to try and talk some sense to Him. It's interesting to note that Jesus didn't get sidetracked from his task of teaching, but continued, using their coming as an object lesson (Mark 3:20-35). Yet when on His way to heal someone, Jesus stopped for a woman who had touched Him in a crowd of people. She had been healed and Jesus acknowledged her faith (Mark 5:25-35). In all His comings and goings, He sensed when to continue and when to stop. He never seemed overwrought or stressed. He could sleep soundly in the bow of a boat during a life-threatening storm. He demonstrated perfect peace to His terrified disciples and then spoke peace to the storm (Matthew 8:26).

In proportion to His constant interactions with people during the day, Jesus spent the solitude of the night and early morning hours with His Heavenly Father. And the fruit of that relationship was the knowledge and ability, as well as the desire and confidence to carry out His Father’s will in the natural flow of the day. In three brief years, Jesus completed His monumental task. May we follow Jesus, communing with Him and receiving His plans for the day before the morning dash begins.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Creating Space

In our worlds, there is little space: room to fit our things and our activities, let alone room in our minds to think beyond the daily functional necessities. My prayer is that we may get beyond the clutter to the beauty.

From the Battlefield to the Garden

The mind is the battlefield where heaven and hell are pitted against each other until we choose who will influence us. Even when we choose heaven, it is God who rescues us against the tactics of the enemy who would infiltrate our thoughts. The problem is when we unwittingly aid and abet our adversary by feeding our minds with words and images that bear his slogans. His propaganda is catchy, and we are easy victims. If only our senses were engaged to understand the spiritual battle arrayed before us. Then we would tune out the opposition’s frequency and focus in on our brave Hero who has already conquered hell and death.

Our minds will then transfigure into a beautiful garden for God to commune with us. Its walls are secured against attack and its gate is guarded: a safe haven for a love relationship to grow and thrive. Then God’s ways and thoughts would flourish in you and in me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My daughter helped me set up my blog while on "vacation" in Hawai'i. Vacation is in quotes because I'm from Honolulu, and Christmas and family situations make it a hectic time. It was wonderful to reconnect with family and friends, so the busyness was well worth it. It rained a lot, and I felt sorry for the tourists! It was green and beautiful and much warmer than Charlotte, NC:)

I'd like to inaugurate this blog with an earlier writing from my notes on Facebook. Welcome to my heart and thoughts. May they bless you as much as it has blessed me to express them.

Giving God Space

If we don't have time for the basics in life, those things that keep us healthy, could it be we are overcommitted in our schedules? Life is so full of rushing around, running from the moment our eyes open until we finally get to sleep. It has been said, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. And in that planning, if we haven't spent those quiet moments in God's presence, we don't know His agenda for the day. We might accomplish important things, but we might miss divinely appointed meetings. Having s-p-a-c-e for God to speak is a skill worth cultivating. Space in our minds when there are no competing thoughts, in the very first stirring of the morning.Young Samuel heard Someone calling to him in the still of the night. Like him, may we say, speak Lord, we are listening.