Thursday, July 30, 2015

I have learned, I have forgotten

I have learned, I have forgotten
I have been a Christian 
for 30 years
in that time I have learned some
very important things,
in that time,
I have also forgotten
some very important things…

I have learned:
God is near…
God is powerful…
God loves people…
God’s way is the best way…
Pride sneaks up on me…
I am tempted easily…
I am a clay pot…
God has more forgiveness
than I have sins...
I always think I’m right…
God is infallible, I am not…
If God said it, it’s true...

At times I forget:
How much He loves me…
How much He paid for me…
How often He thinks of me…
That He will never leave me
or forsake me…
That we win…
That He is for me…
That there is a great cloud of
Witnesses rooting for me…

I have learned, God helps me
And I can do anything
When He helps me.
I have learned to give God glory.
I sometimes forget to give God glory.
I have learned I am forgiven
I forget that sometimes too.
I have learned…
(so many times) I have learned
Nothing satisfies but Jesus!

And lastly,
the most important thing I have learned…
the way to have the most joy
for the longest period of time
with out fail
is to live
in loving relationship

with Jesus Christ

Monday, July 20, 2015

When God says "No"

There's no "candy free" isle for grown-ups.
I mean a place where we can avoid temptation.
It's really all out there;
the good, the bad and the ugly
and we must choose.

For most, if you can afford it
and it's within your grasp
and you want it
you should totally go for it!

But what if it's OK for others
but not for you?
What if it's destructive?
What if it only looks good
but it's not best?

What if God says "No'.

I don't care how nice a person says it,
if I hear the word "No",
my insides are ready to fight.
I'm angry
or I'm hurt
or I'm envious of those who get "it",
and I'm sad.

But what if God says "No"
because He wants to give you a Porch
and you were asking for a Pinto?
(No disrespect to the Pinto owners out there).
But we often set our sights too low.

The key in finding peace when you hear that word
is knowing when He says "No",
it always means "Yes" to something better.

A man named Paul said:
"and we know that God causes all things
to work together for good
to those who love God"

Now if you do not love God,
you do not know God,
because to know Him is to love Him.

He's that good.

There's a worship event happening next weekend.
It seems totally good.
It seems like something that would bless me so much.
It seems like a thing I would be helped by and I cant imagine "it" not being best for me.
But on the calendar that night is something I simply must do.
I have asked if I could somehow miraculously go,
but I need to be at peace with "No".

The trouble is,
there's not much joy in hearing that word.
Unless you know God,
and I mean love God!

Because as good as the worship night is,
I can trust that He is saying "Yes" to something better.
I cant (at this point) even see how this could be better,
but I trust God with my joy.
I trust God with my peace.
I trust God with all my moments,
so I rest when He tells me "No"
with full assurance,
He's also saying "Yes".

UPDATE: God made a way (He said "Yes") and I was able to go!
God is so cool! I told you "to know Him is to love Him". :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How's it feel to want?

How's it feel to want?
My brother used to say it when we were kids.
I'd say something like "I want some!"
and he'd say:
"How's it feel to want!?"
it still feels awful.

I was wanting this morning,
it was like a craving
then it occurred to me,
I have it,
under a pile of disorganization
is the space I need.

Then I wondered how many times
I'm wanting something,
and already have it.

Some times I want time,
but I waste time,
if I had more, I might waist more,
so the answer is to be a better steward of what I have.

Sometimes I want new clothes,
but when I do laundry and put everything away,
I find things that are new to me (for having been lost for so long).

Sometimes I want stuff because I'm afraid the stuff I have isn't enough,
but before it runs out, I have more.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

I shall not want.

I shall not want.

God is the supplier of all my needs,
but I take for granted much of what he gives me,
and am ungrateful.
and wanting, hurts.
It's born out of fear,
and pride,
and insecurity.

But when I look at how much God loves me,
and how good He is
and how He always takes such good care of me,
I never am in want.
As His child I lack no good thing.

Can we learn nothing from the loaves and fish?
Christ thanked His Father for the provision He had
and it was made (more than) enough.

I'm actually excited
to challange myself next time I want something,
to both thank God for what I have
and to check and see if I already have it!

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. ~Paul [written while in prison for His faith]

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I don't want to miss it

Do you ever feel like there's more going on
(than you are getting)
and just wish you would stop
missing it?
Like, a deeper meaning,
that (if you could just grasp it)
would bring you a gift of healing,
or a blessing of joy and peace,
or totally set you free?

I feel that way at Christmas,
and Advent, and Easter.
I long to slow down and savor the truth
(before it all passes, and I've missed it).

Communion is like that for many.
It is the place our sin collides
with God
our sin collides
with the worst pain
suffered by the most innocent,
loving, Son of Man
and our salvation is sealed.

You see,
"on the night he was betrayed, 
Jesus took bread,
and when he had given thanks, he broke it" 
Many of us thank God for our meal
before we eat.
But Christ picked up the bread,
and thought about
how God provided,
and He was thankful,
He thought about how the bread was like His body
soon to be broken
And He was thankful.
"and said, “This is my body, which is for you; 
do this in remembrance of me.” 
How could Jesus ask His friends,
to take the life
that lived to heal,
the life 
that lived to love,
the life 
that lived to show us the Father,
How could He ask us to participate
in the breaking of His body,
and eat?

This life 
that was fully God
and fully man.
This life that was knit together in His mothers womb,
that lived as a baby, a boy and a man,
that was tempted in every way we are tempted,
but without sinning
so He could offer His perfect life,
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
A sacrifice,
made once,
and for all.

And just as bread nourishes our body to give us strength,
He desires His gift of life to be part of us,
to nourish us
and give us strength.

"In the same way, after supper he took the cup, 
saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood;" 
The old covenant was based on obedience to the law,
and was sealed by the blood of a spotless lamb.
The sacrifice was still imperfect,
and had to be made regularly.

But this New Covenant,
based on faith in Christ,
is secured by His blood,
the blood that flowed through the veins
of this perfect man
the very heart of God,
making a way for holiness,
and adoption,
into the family of God

He willingly makes this sacrifice
to wash us from our sins.
And He said: "do this, 
whenever you drink it, 
in remembrance of me.” 

For whenever you eat this bread 
and drink this cup, 
you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Christ knew how quickly we forget,
how easily we get distracted,
how consistently we settle for less
than the joy and freedom He died for us to live in.

And He didn't want us to distort the truth of this gift,
or miss it's holiness, and benefit and blessing.
"So then, [He warned] 
whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord 
in an unworthy manner 
will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 
Slow down.
Consider the love.
Consider the gift
(represented by the juice and bread)
and be blessed.
Everyone ought to examine themselves 
before they eat of the bread 
and drink from the cup. 
For those who eat and drink 
without discerning the body of Christ 
eat and drink judgment on themselves.

before they eat of the bread 
and drink from the cup. 
For those who eat and drink 
without discerning the body of Christ 
eat and drink judgment on themselves.