Monday, June 20, 2011

Real Mom's, Real Jesus by Jill Savage

Just to start out, since I know I among friends…I wanted to share a little something with you all.  There was a play written in 1697 called The Mourning Bride.  In that there is a famous saying that goes like this…”Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”  Now this was obviously written by a man.  His name was William Congreve, and I am pretty sure that he did not have children…If he had ever seen a two year old, in a full blown fit or screaming, kicking and crying….This line would have read differently.  My son lately, at three and half, has decided that I got off too easy when he was two, and that he is going to make up for it now.  So Real Moms Real Jesus is just what God knew I needed right now. 
After reading just the first few chapters of this book it has already changed my perspective on being a stay at home mother.   I wanted to talk about a few points I have come across so far.  Jill says “Mother’s are natural teachers.  We are imparting wisdom, giving direction, and helping our children learn about their world every day.”
Now sometimes, the “wisdom” we impart is not quite what we pictured when we were hoping to be mothers.  I polled some of my friends, and these are some of those things we never thought we would have to say to our kids:

       Brady, don’t lick the cat
       Molly, the toilet brush is not for your hair
       No honey, your fanny does not make a print like your finger
       No Elaina, Eskimos do not live in eggrolls, they live in igloos.
Sometimes giving direction does not look like we thought either.
       FINE!! You've worn me down; yes you can have donuts for dinner.
       Or – you cannot have just ice cream for dinner; you at least need to put some fruit on it.
       Don’t put your hands in your pants! ACK - don't put that poo on the counter! NOOOOOOOOOOO - don't wipe your hands on the wall!!!!!!
       Blake, you cannot hip check the girls at school!!! Hip checking is for roller derby only!
       When you say “Joe, Santa will be here soon, are you on the "nice “list”? And Joe says, “mom, I need a "medium" list.”

But then, there are the glimpses of a job well done…
When you’re 18 month old, kneels next to her 3 year old brother at bed time to say prayers.
When your child talks to God about his bad day and asks for help without you prodding him to do so.
The pure laughter that fills the house and your heart with joy as only children can.
The first time through the ABC’s, the first book read all by themselves, the first homerun hit, goal scored, or dance recital completed. 
I love the part on page 40 where Jill says “When we do laundry with the right attitude, it’s Worship.  When we prepare meals with the right heart posture, it’s Worship. When we drive ten miles out of our way to take our husband his cell phone that he accidently left at home, and we do it with a heart of grace and forgiveness, it’s Worship.”
Even when we are imparting our not so wise wisdom, we can Worship God and bring Him glory.

I recently finished reading a book called Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo.  If you haven’t had a chance to read this book yet, I highly recommend it.  It is the true story of a four year old boy’s trip to heaven.  There are several times in the book where the little boy says Jesus really loves kids.  Jesus REALLY loves kids.  He loves kids a lot; did you know that Jesus really loves kids?  He says it so many times over the course of months and maybe years that his parents finally have to tell him that they get it and enough already.    Did you know that Jesus really loves kids?  In fact, He loves your kids so much that He made you their mother.  He made each of us for this purpose, at this time.  He is not going to abandon us now – it’s not like he said “ok, here ya go, good luck with that.”    Often times people joke about getting the instruction manual for raising kids and how they never got a copy of it.  But we all have access to a copy.  It’s our Bibles.  Every tear, every frustration, every joyful heart, every angry moment, every odd piece of wisdom we give, every strange direction we see ourselves going in with our kids…He knows it.  He saw it coming, He sees the outcome.  He loves us through it, gives us hope and strength and everything else we need.  Philippians 4:19 – My God WILL supply ALL your needs. 

Last Sunday, Pastor Jim Phillips finished up a series they were doing at Mountainview Community Christian on the book of Romans.  I was struck by a particular verse he mentioned which was Romans 12:12, Be joyful in Hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Just a quick Greek lesson here, those who know me are not that surprised that I got my Strong’s out here….but the word for patient here is hoop-om-meyno, which means to endure bravely and calmly.  That convicted me with my kids and how I can react sometimes…and it’s not calmly. 
The word for affliction is thilpsis which also means pressure or distress.  And finally, the word for faithful in the KJV is “instant” in prayer and the Greek is pros-kar-ter-eh –o.  This means to be devoted, to continue all the time, to persevere and not to faint, to show one's self courageous and to wait on constantly for something. 

So I encourage you all to be Joyful in the Hope we have in Christ.  Be brave and calm under pressure and times of distress. And continue to pray all the time, persevere and do not faint, be courageous and wait on God.  He is faithful.  

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Breaking up the unplowed ground

As the start of a New Year comes around, we all start thinking about resolutions, even if we don't make any.  I wanted to hear what God was telling me about how to make a "new" start for 2011.  This is what He has been showing me.

Hosea 10:12 says 
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;  for it is time to seek the LORD,
until he comes and showers righteousness on you.  

The original word in the Hebrew for Unfailing Love is checed (kheh'-sed).  According to Strong's "this word is used 240 times in the old testament" and "is one of the most important in the vocabulary of Old testament theology & ethics."  This word means the interaction of strength, steadfastness and love.  It also implies personal involvement and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule of law. Devotion is sometimes the single English word best capable of capturing the nuance of the original word.  So if I may...  
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of devotion.  Your devotion to God and His devotion to you.   In order for us to harvest the fruit He has for us, we need to breakup our unplowed ground.  How do we prepare our soil (our hearts, minds and lives)?   We need to remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 5 (the Beatitudes).  

  1. 1.    We need to be willing to surrender to His will (poor in Spirit)
  2. 2.    We need to repent our sins (mourn)
  3. 3.    We need to be humble, remembering that we are nothing with out Him (meek)
  4. 4.    We need to be hungry and thirsty for an attitude like God's.  He tells us He will fill us if we earnestly seek Him.  Not just satisfy us, but fill us. 
  5. 5.    We need to be actively compassionate. (Greek word is Eleemon, an adjective meaning "of those who are like God")  (Merciful)
  6. 6.    We need to know Jesus as Savior (This make us "pure in heart")
  7. 7.    We need to have harmonious relationships, not just with other people, but with God as well. Are you mad at someone or even at Him for something?  It's ok, He understands mad, but let Him work it out in your heart!  (peacemaker)
  8. 8.    We need to be prepared to be persecuted because of our relationship with Him.  Peter tells us in 2 Timothy 3 that everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.  Are you prepared to be talked about,  to loose "friends" or be outcast for Him?  

Mark 8:35-38 says 
35 For whoever wants to save his life( also means soul and in vs 36) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.

If we are willing to do the things He asks us, then God promises to bless us.  I am looking forward to seeing what God has for my life in 2011 and the changes He will make in my soil….

Dear Lord, You are the Lord my God.  I desire to love you, listen to Your voice, and hold fast to you, for you Lord, are my life.  (Deut 30:20)  I pray Lord that you help me to breakup my unplowed ground so that I may reap the fruit of your unfailing love. (Hos 10:12)     Help me to continue to earnestly seek you, and increase my faith everyday so that I may please you and show your light to those around me. (Heb 11:6)  ~Amen

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kneeling With Kings

I came across this and thought I would share.  I have talked to so many people lately that get frustrated with the commercialism and lack of Christ in Christmas.  Maybe this can help us remember  not just what Christmas is about, but why He came for us at all.  Pass it on, and Merry Christmas!

Kneeling with kings at the crib of my Savior,
Singing in praise with the angels on high;
Here with Your people, wondering about You,

I’m thinking of Jesus and wanting to cry!
Father, I love You for giving me heaven
Wrapped in the form of a newborn so small,
But how could You stand to know all that would happen
When You left Him in Bethlehem in an animal stall?
Treasured in glory and praised by creation
God as a baby to humans on loan;
Why didn’t You run down the stairway of heaven,
Snatch up Your God Child and take Him back home?
What’s that You’re saying? You left Him to save me?
You love me as much as You love Your sweet Son?
You gave me Your heart when You gave me Your Jesus
And my Father’s full giving is only begun.
I bring You my life and the years lent for living
For Your crib-and-cross sacrifice tear me apart;
When You count all my tears as I kneel at this altar,
May You know it worthwhile when You look at my heart!
Jill Briscoe
From The Garden of Grace
©Copyright 2007

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blessed Among Women

With Christmas fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about Mary. Luke 1 28-33 says : 

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Several things speak to me here. First of all, Mary was most likely around 16 years old and was approached by an angel.  I love that it says that Mary was "greatly troubled at his words".  She was not freaked out that an angel was there, but by the words he spoke to her.  She was not questioning that there was a celestial being, but that she might have found favor with God.  The King James says in verse 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."  I think she was so humble that she was concerned that the angel had gotten the wrong person.  I am sure she did not feel blessed among women.  The angel tells her she is to carry the Most High.  We know the initial reaction of "I am a virgin", but what about just the fact that she is going to be pregnant.  What was she going to tell her parents, her betrothed Joseph, her friends?  She knew that she could have been stoned to death for such an offense.  Even if she convinced them that it was of God, just being pregnant for the first time is scary.  (Wonderful, but scary)  I can not even imagine the anxiety of knowing you are carrying the Emanuel.  And what does she say?  She says in Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord's servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.  
I wonder if she said "Wait! - I changed my mind" , or "I have questions, don't go yet!"  I would have. Maybe at month four, or six, or eight, she thought "I wonder if God would give this blessing/burden to some one more deserving.  Someone more righteous, someone more capable." 
With this season of remembering the greatest gift ever given to this earth, I wonder if I have it in me to give Him a gift in return.  The next time He asks me to do something that scares me, or that I feel I am not worthy of, or best fit for; I want  to say "I am the Lord's servant."  What is He asking you to do?  You know if we don't do the thing He is asking us to, He moves on to ask someone else.  But what blessings are we missing out on by not doing it?  What joy are we loosing out on?

Dear Father in Heaven, please give me the courage to be your servant and to trust in your will.  Help me to be a woman who finds favour with you Lord and to know the joy of doing your will and reap the blessings you have in store for me. Amen


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello again

It has been a while hasn't it? Here we go...

Why is it that we worry so much? Our world and lives are filled with so many things that cause anxiety. Out kids, our spouses, our safety. Everything from world hunger to global warming. Just turn on the news or pick up a paper (I know, click on the "paper") and you can not miss the devastation of this world. Even Job anguished over the evils of this world (Job 24) 

But what about hose of us who know Jesus? When I start to ge consumed by the heartache of this world around us, I try to remember these things...

Phil 4: 4-7 
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Mat 6:25-34
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus tells us here that if we worry, we have little faith. Hebrews 11:1-3 says 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.
3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
We believe that God made the earth and all that is in it out of nothing - why do we find it hard to 
Hebrews 11 also tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. So our worry and anxiety is actually displeasing to God. He wants us to be secure in Him. 

Romans 3:3-4 says 3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:“So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” (Psalms 51:4)

Psalms 16:8-9 (KJV) 8I have set the LORD always before me:  because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
And finally Romans 8:28-31 tells us 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  So lets try to remember as Beth Moore once said - "This all ends really well for us."

Dear Loving Heavenly Father,  according your perfect word help me to remember to be anxious for nothing but to bring all my concerns and requests to you with thanksgiving. Help me to remember that because you are for me, than none shall be against me.  Help me also to remember Lord to help those who need help in this world according to the gifts that you have given to me.  And that according to Mathew, whatever I do to the least of my brothers, I do to you.  May your Mercy, Peace and love be multiplied to me Lord and those whom I hold dear. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still listening

It has been a long time sine I posted anything here, except for that wonderful bit from Priscilla Shrier.  I just want to say that I am still listening for and to God.  I have been asking Him to draw closer to me, and He has been.  He has been brining me to my knees more, taking my breath away more, humbling me general just showing Himself to me more.  I am amazed and often times frightened of it all.  When I am able to communicate what He is teaching me right now, I will if I can.  For now, just know that I have not abandon this blog.

Here are a few favorite scriptures for me right now...

Col 3:12
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Remember that He chose us and that we are dearly loved by Him. 

Exo 33:15
Then Moses said to Him "If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."

Remember to ask Him where you are to go, and make sure He goes with you when you go...

Eph 4:1
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

What has He called you to do right now?  Whatever it is, be it a spouse, a career person, a parent, a person in your life worthy of that which HE has called you to do right now.

Lord help me to live my life going where you tell me to go, following your path and your lead.  Help me to wear the clothes that reflect your grace, patience, kindness and love in my life.  Help me to live this one life you have given me, worthy of the gift that it is.   Amen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who's your Daddy?

This is thanks to Priscilla Shirer taken from the first session of Anointed, Transformed and Redeemed.  Had to share this.

God is the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  He’s the keeper of creation and the creator of all.  He is the architect of the universe and the manager of all time.  He always was, always is and always will be. Unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone. He was bruised but brought healing, He was pierced but eased pain, He was persecuted but brought freedom, He was dead and brings life. He is risen to bring power, and he reigns to bring peace.  The world can’t understand Him, army’s can’t defeat Him, schools can’t explain Him, leaders can’t ignore Him. Harrod couldn’t kill Him, Nero couldn’t crush Him, the new age cannot replace Him and Oprah cannot explain Him away. Remind yourself that He is life, He is love, He is longevity and He is The Lord.  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness and He is God.  He is holy and righteous and powerful and pure.  His ways are right, His word eternal, His will unchanging and His mind is on us.  He is our savior, our guide, our peace, our joy, our comfort our Lord, and He rules our lives.  I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light and His goal for us is abundant life.  I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers the leader of all leaders.  His goal is a relationship with me.  He will never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you and never cancel your appointment in His appointment book.  Never.  When you fall, He will lift you up.  When you fail, He will forgive you.  When you’re weak, He is strong.  When you’re lost, He is your way.  When you’re afraid, He is your courage. When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He will heal you. When you’re broken He will mend you.  When you’re blind He will lead you. When you’re hungry He will feed you.  When you face trials He is with you.  When you face persecution He shields you.  When you face problems He will comfort you.  When you face loss He will provide for you and when we face death He will carry us all home to meet Him.  He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time and in every way. He is my God and that is who I belong to!