Saturday, April 28, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
It has been hard to choose 5 fav blogs. I could choose blogs all within my friends (a fantastic group), but I have chosen some from outside our circle as well in order to share other "Thinking Bloggers" that I have discovered - thus expanding our circle.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"Busyness is not a spiritual gift."From an interview with~ Lisa Harper ~
Does this describe your schedule? Busyness is NOT a spiritual gift!! God has not called us to cram as much as we can into each day. Yes, He has called us to serve, but we can be so busy serving that we forget WHO we are to be serving – GOD Himself.
Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV) says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I like it even better in The Message: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
He does not want us to be so burdened down with serving that we actually become a slave to it. Servanthood is not to be slavery; we are not to be driven to exhaustion trying to serve God. Instead, we are to serve Him as He leads us, with a willing and glad heart, confident that He will not require more from us than we are able to give.
Being “a slave to Christ” refers to ownership – He has paid the price for our freedom and now we “belong” to Him. It does not infer that Jesus is our Master and we are His slaves. Slaves have no choice, no option as to whether to obey. We do. The Old Testament refers to “hard taskmasters” – this does NOT describe our relationship with God.
Jesus came to give us “rest for our souls.” John 10:10 (KJV) says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
More abundant does not mean “the ability and/or energy to do more things.” The Message says it is “so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” The thief wants to steal, kill, and destroy – this includes stealing our time, killing our relationships, and destroying our health. That doesn’t sound like an easy yoke or a light burden, does it?
God has given us many gifts, but He wants us to ask for His guidance in how and when we are to use them – for Him. 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV) says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
For more on "Busyness," read my post: God’s Pace
Please visit Fruit in Season, this week's hostess for more “In Other Words” posts.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Martin made a stand on his beliefs and would not back down. It caused uproar and conflict in the church. This "revolution" caused a revolt and much bloodshed, many dying for their new found revelation. Luther was shocked and discouraged - Why can't they just accept it? Here's the line: "Did you think it would be accomplished without a cost?"
It did cost them, and dearly, but how could they go back? He stood before the Emperor of the German provinces and said, "Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture... I cannot and will not retract... Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God, Amen." The Protestant Reformation was birthed and it spread throughout the provinces and across Europe. Over the years, the princes or rulers of the provinces either embraced it, or tried to crush it.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I really like what Victoria wrote in her post "Teach Us to Number our Days"
Has life for you become frantic and exhausting? Stop and assess. Are you overworked? Overcommitted? Overwhelmed?
This week I asked myself these questions:
- Do I take time to deepen my relationship with God on a daily basis?
- Do any of my activities hinder me from living out my calling?
- Do I spend enough time with friends and family?
- Do I take time for renewal and relaxation?
How about you? Pray and modify your schedule where needed. Ask the Lord to show you how to live the life He intends you to live. Never mind what others are doing.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” ~Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”~ Psalm 90:17 (ESV)
It is so, so easy to be overwhelmed with busy-ness. There are so many things that we feel MUST be done now and it all takes TIME!! God has a timetable that doesn't always align with ours. We need to ask Him each day -"What do YOU want me to do today?"
Thank you, Victoria. These are very vital questions. Their answers will definately influence how we walk in God's peace and fulfill His calling for us. Very practical steps. God help us with our answers
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor,how can a commission by a Heavenly Kingbe considered a sacrifice?" ~ David Livingstone ~
Is it the same in God’s kingdom? God may call us to accomplish a specific task. We do feel “honoured” to be chosen, but we must allow Him to prepare and strengthen us for the journey ahead. Then with His guidance and in His timing, we will succeed – triumphing over anything the enemy brings our way. Victories in Him! :o)
Do we then expect to be rewarded by God? Do we want payment for our services rendered? If we pursue a reward, then we will not receive our reward in heaven – we will have spent it here prematurely (Matthew 6).
Some seek for the rewards of recognition and honour, but we are called to serve humbly and not for the fanfare of this world. This is contrary to our sense of “fairness.” Some say, “Surely God will reward us for our faithfulness.” He does, but not in the ways most would expect. We are to allow Him to bring honour in His way – not exalt ourselves. After all, it is for His glory and in His power that we accomplish anything at all of value for His kingdom.
Remember the widow who gave all she had? She was commended and recognized by Jesus – honoured. She did not seek to be honoured – no, she gave quietly with no fanfare. She gave the equivalent to 2 pennies, but He said that she gave the most because she gave all she had. She sacrificed and she was honoured.
We are to serve God without expecting to be “reimbursed” for our service, no more than we would expect our children or spouse to pay us for every little thing we did for them. We serve them out of a heart of love, not for expected rewards.
It is a motivation or heart issue. How much will we risk for the quest? Will we give all for His request? Will we only serve gauged by the amount of the reward? Will we serve if we get “this much” reward and no less? How selfish. How sad. I am not saying that those in full-time ministry should never be paid. Yes, we do have to cover costs and expenses and they do need to make a living – but not above reasonable wages. Otherwise we are taking for ourselves what could be invested in God’s kingdom.
King David said he would not give a sacrifice that did not cost him something. Otherwise it is not your sacrifice. You have not given of yourself.
It is an honour to serve God and fulfill what He has planned for us, but we do it for Him, not because we are motivated by any reward that may come. When we sacrifice all to give to our Heavenly King, we give it out of our love for Him. Our gift to Him is our sacrifice to Him.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Crawling along the walkway, he was totally oblivious to how vulnerable he really was. Soon he would have been in danger of being squashed as people began to arrive for our morning service. I scooped him up and took him in for "Show & Tell" to the 4/5 yr old class. I love watching little ones as they are amazed by God's creation. (YES, I believe bugs and insects are interesting!)
I switched him into a stryofoam cup and it was really interesting to watch how people reacted as they "saw what was in my cup." Most kids thought he was "cool," but the adults had mixed reactions - some jumped back and weren't impressed at all (I really wasn't trying to "scare" them), while others didn't seem to understand why I was so excited. Some thought I found him in my coffee!!
Easter has many symbols. It is significant that we celebrate it in the spring at the launch of a new season with "new life" popping up everywhere - a time for new beginnings!! Easter is a celebration of Jesus' Resurrection. The butterfly is a perfect analogy for us. The lowly caterpillar enters his own little "tomb" and essentially "dies" (we never again see him as he was). Then he "resurrects" into a beautiful butterfly - free and able to fly to new heights that were never before possible or even imagined.
We are like that little caterpillar - crawling along - oblivious to the reality all around us. Jesus scoops us up and gives us a new beginning - new life! Then we are NEVER the same again. He redeems us - no matter what our life was like before. A new creation!! HE gives us a freedom we couldn't imagine possible. Because of Calvary, we will never be "caterpillars" again. What better reason to celebrate: HE has RISEN and HE is ALIVE!!
I released my little Easter friend in the grass where there was no chance of him being stepped on. He was free to continue his journey. Then I thanked God for my Easter gift from HIM. The reminder that no matter what things look like, WE ARE HIS REDEEMED!! Some days don't look like spring, but spring IS here. There are times that we don't feel like butterflies, but the reality is - we are no longer caterpillars - HE has set us FREE!!
He paid the ultimate price for us - Walk in His Freedom.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Within her post was this quote by A.W. Tozer: "Was it not Voltaire who said that some people were like insects, they would never be noticed except that they sting? A traveler must make up his mind to go on regardless of the insects that make his trip miserable.... One thing is certain, a Christian's standing before God does not depend upon his standing before men. A high reputation does not make a man dearer to God, nor does the tongue of the slanderer influence God's attitude toward His people in any way. He knows us each one, and we stand or fall in the light of His perfect knowledge."
Look at the word "Criticism" - do you see the word critic staring back at you? WOW. Interesting how it is hidden in there. Don't even hear it when we say the word. Do we have the right to be the critic in someone else's life? I think that is God's position to "judge" their hearts and actions. After all, HE truly is the only One who is really able to make that "judgement" perfectly, not us with our limited perspective (and limited mercy!).
There are sooo many scriptures warning us against judging others. I like Tozer's last line: He knows us each one, and we stand or fall in the light of HIS PERFECT knowledge. Thank God we can stand secure in Him - the One who KNOWS our heart inside and out - the Lover of our soul!!
Lord, guard us against judgements. Help us to see others as YOU see them. Let Your mercy flow through us.
(at the end of Day 3)