Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm seeing things

No, I have not lost my mind.

I'm not saying it's an impossibility though.
I am trying a few things to help encourage my faith and strengthen my walk in discipleship, and some of that includes visualizing things. You see, I am busy at the moment. But this past Sunday, I committed to Jesus that my busyness was not going to keep me from being His disciple. That sometimes means getting a quiet moment to get control of my tongue, attitude, dissatisfaction with employment, anger, or whatever may encroach. I'd love some whole days to be quiet before the Lord and worship, but some moments will have to do right now.

So, I've been visualizing exactly what I'd love to be doing with the Lord right now. Worship always puts me in a better state. I feel more under the Lord's care, it puts my heart in submission to his authority. So, that's what I'd do. Worship. Loudly. Unashamedly. Arms raised so high it hurts, face down in the dirt, whichever seems appropriate.
So, here's where I'd like to be and what I'd sing. Just a couple, cause I don't want to bore you all with all my favorites. (Yes, that is plural. I am indecisive.)
Standing right here. With the waves crashing loudly right at my feet. I'd think about the continuity of it all, the sameness, day in and day out, and how inconceivable it all is that the Lord put this together so well. Then I'd lift my voice in song and try to drown out the sound with my voice.

When blood and water hit the ground, Walls we couldn't move came crashing down.

We were free and made alive, The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died.

~Phil Wickham, True Love


Or I'd sit quietly next to a stream. Reveling in the fact that He loves me individually. All my sins, insecurities and fears (failure, being unlovely, rejection, spiders, loneliness, I could go on forever) and marvel that they are not too big for the God of the universe to love me. Nothing about me escapes his notice. Psalm 38:9 "All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you."

How great is the love that You've lavished on me, How infinite Your majesty.

You formed the mountains, You calmed the raging seas.

And redeemed this heart in me!

You are great, Your mercies never fade, Your grace is all I need.

~John Larsson, You are Great


I'd stand in the wondrous mountains thinking about how small I am, in all reality. And how incredible it is that He sees and hears me. Matthew 10:29-31, "What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."

I know You're there, I know you see me

You're the air I breathe, You are the ground beneath me

I know you're there, I know you hear me

I can find you anywhere.

~Heather Williams, I Know You're There


Then I'd go here to a meadow in the Alps in Austria and marvel at the shear beauty.

And I'd sing "Sound of Music" just because it's fun, and I'm sure the locals don't hear it a lot.

Where would you go? What's your favorite song of praise?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Attitude Check

I'm a big picture person. I like to see the whole thing first, then it is easier for me to plug in details. Then it's actually kind of fun to plug in details, but details can be vastly overwhelming.

Especially if the picture is huge. It's like finding my hometown; Selma, NC, population 6,820, on a map of the world.

Not so easy.

It's a sort of comparison to what my life has been like lately, more specifically, my thinking lately. Big picture thinking, coordinating things that may have a lifetime effect - and resenting those things that interfere with doing the 'important' work.

I get easily bogged down trying to sort out the 'worthwhile' things from the 'mundane,' and somehow I came to the conclusion that I am the one who gets to decide one from the other. Evidently, I am an expert. (Ha!) How do I know if politely answering a call from a wholesaler at work will have a more lasting impact than preparing a craft for the toddler class or re-organizing the church kitchen? I can certainly tell you which I'd rather be doing.

But that shouldn't be the crux of my decision making. The question I should be asking is, "Would the attitude that I have toward what I am doing please my Lord?" Honest answer: No.

My attitude has not been Christ-like in all the things I've been doing. I've been growing in my vision for Children's Ministry, God has begun to fill me with the desire, passion and vision that I've been asking for. (Another post all together.) And this is great. But in that, I've been having a very bad attitude towards those things that I may not be passionate about, but are no less important in His eyes.

Because our hearts are what is important in His eyes. And I hadn't been guarding the thoughts I let in.

Our women's group studied the Beatitudes last night. I always thought that was a funny name, until someone said it was the attitudes that should be in our lives. (Side-note: how come some words can get sandwiched together and not others? See how my brain is, I distract myself.) And those are convicting enough in themselves, but Matthew 5:13-16 really spoke to me yesterday.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

It doesn't say anything about being salty or a light when you want to, or when you enjoy what you're doing. It says that we are the salt of the earth and we are the light of the world, it's not situational. No matter where I go, I am representing Jesus. I'm his daughter. We are connected. (Still amazes me.)

The reason I'm on this earth is in that paragraph. It's not to be a good wife, to (hopefully) be a good mom, to be a children's ministry director, or an administrative assistant. I'm here to let my light shine before men, that they may see my good deeds and praise my Father in heaven.

The Holy Spirit really is the best teacher, and I don't feel condemned or belittled, I am convicted and challenged. There's a big difference. I am so thankful to be taught, and will put this verse to memory... for future attitude checks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


There are some days I just want to give up the life I'm trying to live in pursuit of the Savior.

I've been struggling with my Hulk-like sin nature frequently lately. It's big, it's bad, it's me... That's who I am, apart from my Jesus. Even if I have every 'right' to be angry or annoyed, I must let Christ live through me. I must repackage my inner monster. (Insert Michael Scott joke here...)

I have prayed so often for the Lord to change me, to use me, no matter what must happen, where I must live, what I must leave behind. So, the Lord is answering my prayers. He's teaching me patience. He's teaching me love. He's teaching me about true peace.

No matter how many times I have to fight back the hulk, I won't change my prayer. One day, these small things won't ruffle my feathers at all. And all the praise will be God's!

I'm going to copy out some of the verses that have helped me over the course of the last month or so, and I'm going to encourage anyone who has a verse that they cling to to share theirs as well.

Proverbs 19:23 - The fear of the Lord leads to life, then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Ephesians 6:7 - Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.

Luke 6:45 - A good person produces good deeds from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from an evil heart. Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

Proverbs 28:18 - There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Philippians 1:6 - And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Psalm 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!