Friday, September 28, 2007

We're Going to Africa!

My husband and I will be joining two others on a trip to Moshe, Tanzania, Africa! We are going to build a playground and deliver supplies and fun stuff to Treasures of Africa orphanage. We will be gone for two weeks. I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to tell when we return! Please keep us in your prayers. THANKS!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That

I have found the combination of prayer and worship to be so powerful in my life. I love the way I can start with worship and end up praying or vice versa. Even though not every single time is the most amazing encounter I've ever had with God, I find that if I allow myself to get lost in worship or really pour my heart out to God in prayer, I leave His presence changed. Even if it's just that I feel better than when I went in. Or maybe I've got a little more strength for the journey. There's something about God's presence that changes me.

My heart's cry is to dwell in God's presence, to be in constant communication with Him, whether through worship, prayer, or reading my Bible. One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 27. Verse 4 really sums up what I'm trying to say: "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." How amazing would that be! To sit in God's presence constantly, looking at Him in all His beauty and glory! WOAH!

Something that my Bible study talked about last week was the fact that we have to live in this world, but we are not supposed to be like the world, we should be separate unto God. I know this is a common "churchy" way to think, but the context in the Bible study was what got me. We're studying Abram (before he was renamed Abraham). In Genesis 14, he hears that his relative Lot has been taken captive by these four kings who had invaded Sodom. So Abram musters his 300+ fighting men and goes to get Lot. Of course he saves Lot and all his people and goods.

Think about it, these are FOUR kings with their trained army against Abram with his 318 men whom he had trained to fight! That's huge that he won, let alone had the courage in the first place! Beth Moore quotes F.B. Meyer who says that it was only because Abram was separated from the world that he was able to save his nephew and all that belonged to him. He points out that if we are not separated from the world, we will not have the power to overcome the world.

What a thought! Once again God asks us to do something that may seem like a "thou shalt not..." to ruin our fun, when in reality he has only our best interest in mind. He desires to bless us and use us to be a blessing to the "Lots" in our lives. If we choose to live like the world, we may end up being taken captive like Lot. But if we will be found in the presence of Most High God, at His feet, soaking in His strength, then we will be able to be used to our fullest potential.

So you see, if you will choose to separate yourself from the world, and allow your Father to fill you up with Him and His Spirit, then not only will you benefit, but those around you will be lifted up with you too!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Just A Thought

In the midst of chaos
When confusion reigns
There's only one place to flee the pain

When all else fails
And life doesn't make sense
The Father's heart is my only defense

Through it all
My heart and soul cry out

Oh, just to see you
To taste your sweet kisses
To know you even as I am known
My spirit longs within me
For the beauty of your presence
And the warmth of your embrace

There will never be one who satisfies more
There is not one like the God I know
If only I could live with you, in your house,
Make it my home
Then and only then could I be made whole
My life

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Just Don't Know

I wish there were some secret to becoming who God wants me to be. A secret that would make everything work out, and would get me quickly to the point where I've learned what I need to know. Sometimes in our walk, the lessons can seem so painful, difficult, long. Sometimes we're not quite sure if we can make it through to the next step, or if it will even be worth it.

Something that I've been learning is that there is a secret: the more you know God, the more you will want to know Him. It's not really a secret, but it sure is the way it works. When times get tough, maybe you turn to God first, maybe you don't, but eventually we all end up there. The question is, what do you do once the trial is over? That's the real test of your faith: do you continue seeking to fill your deep need for God with God. Is your relationship with God as close and strong in the good times as it is the bad? Do you come out of a trial stronger than you went in?

Sometimes it takes all we have just to get up and press on, but what if we are already in the habit of letting God press for us? What if we start every day with the realization of our deep and ever widening need for Him, and then pursue Him and his presence? What if He really is our every breath and thought?... Honestly, I don't know; I'm not there yet. But that's my goal. That God would be the sole desire of my heart. That each and every day I wake up and take another breath of His mercy, let Him fill me, and walk with Him.

The secret is no secret at all: Prayer and the Word. It may not be easy at first, but as we take that first step, the next one doesn't seem so scary. And the next one is almost a joy. And eventually we find ourselves in the place where we can't help but trust and obey. That's all there is to it.

Beth Moore tells about how her daughters used to cling to her when
they wanted her attention but she didn't have time to play with them. You've seen it or been part of it: a child clinging to his/her parent's legs as if his/her very life depended on it. That's what God wants of us. He wants us to cling to Him as if our lives depended on it. In fact, our lives do depend on it. We need Him!

Look it up!