Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Child in God's Family...a prayer

Heavenly Father, I am a child in your family.  I have entered your family by regeneration.  I have faith because your Spirit opened my heart to your Word.  I have been born again because your son died my first death.

I am adopted into your family - treated as an adult and given privileges in your family.  I have food and nourishment - your Word.  I am rich!  I have access to your wealth, and I can use it, for your glory.  I am rich with your grace, mercy, glory, wisdom, and goodness.  I have brothers and sisters with whom to share life - to be excited together about your glory and purpose and to encourage each other toward that glory and purpose.  Though we may speak different languages or look different or live far away, we have a lot in common - life in Jesus, love for Jesus, and concern for the world to know Jesus.  In our relationships we love, submit, encourage, care for, forgive and edify each other.  When we were born into your family, we got to throw away our old wardrobe, dirty and tattered.  In your grace, you lavished upon us a wardrobe of righteousness.  Instead of wearing out, these garments are continually renewed and strengthened so we look more and more like you!  And the best part is that this is only the beginning - what a future we have ahead of us!

As part of the family, we each have a unique purpose.  You want a big family and we have the great opportunity to welcome others into the family.  When we are united with your Spirit and with each other, we help others come to know you as Father too.  Then, as big brothers and sisters, we help each other grow and mature.  And then we live happily ever after (for realz for once, not like the movies).

Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing me into your family.

[This prayer is a reflection of my reading in:  Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be what you are:  12 intriguing pictures of the Christian from the New Testament.  Wheaton IL:  Tyndale House.]

Friday, November 12, 2010

Psalm 62 - first thoughts

God "randomly" directed me to Psalm 62 on Thursday.  I love it so much, and God is already using it to change my heart, so I just wanted to share some of my thoughts as I read through it the first couple times (so as you read my conclusions keep in mind that I have not fully studied this verse, so if my conclusions are off base or out of context, I am admitting to you right now that they might be).

Verses 1-2 and 5-8 are my favorite parts.

[verse 9] At first I did not understand what "balances" meant, but the second or third time I think I got it!
"in the balances they go up" - like, they do not bear much weight

[verse 5]
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,..."
This is probably my favorite verse of the whole psalm.  I especially like that it is David talking to his own soul, and that when I read it, I am talking to my own soul (which I think has much power to affect change in me).  In addition to that, I feel like being positive and patient is my big struggle with my flesh right now.  I must confess and apologize for any negativity that I have conveyed towards this process of developing my team of ministry partners.  It may be challenging, but that does not give me the right or freedom to be negative, as I feel I have been doing.  God has called all of us to do everything without complaining or arguing.  So I like the directness and challenge of this verse to be silent in the waiting.  It helps me to not speak negatively towards something that is good, but to remain silent if all I want to do is grumble.
"...for my hope is from him."
My hope is from him, not from my partners, not from my efforts, not from money and not from my circumstances, all of which are things in which I have sometimes hoped instead of God.

[verse 6]
"...if riches increase, set not your heart on them."
I feel that this is a very applicable warning/reminder for me as I begin to think about receiving a bigger paycheck in the (hopefully near) future.  I must be careful not to put my hope and trust in money, but always in my Provider, Jesus.  My comfort and peace comes not from "enough money" but from my Lord, my Provider.

[verse 12]
"...For you will render to a man according to his work."
(As a side note:  I don't understand how this fits in with the context.  Hopefully it will be revealed to me soon, so I can have an accurate interpretation and application of this verse.)
I must admit, this verse scares me a little.  But only in my sense of guilt that maybe I am not doing enough or that I could/should be doing more.  Despite my continued effort in building my team of ministry partners, I frequently feel like I could/should be doing more.  I recognize that this may be conviction or may be a lie from the enemy (or maybe a little of both).  So I am trying to be careful with my conclusions from this verse, especially considering that I have not dug into it yet.  From that mindset, I wonder if maybe I would be closer to my financial goal if I had just done more or worked harder.  But I know that I cannot dwell on that for too long, or it will get me into trouble!
But, on a positive note, this verse is a good challenge for me to aim higher - to ask God for and pursue more opportunities, more contacts, and more dials.
Yet in all this focus on "my work", I recognize that even that is from the Lord.  For my abilities, skills and desires come from him.  I can work because of him and I see results because of him.

For about a week prior to stumbling upon this psalm I had recognized that I needed a perspective change and I had been asking God for just that.  Though it is only the beginning of it, I feel like this is the perspective that I need.  I really look forward to digging into this psalm more, and I am especially looking forward to God changing my heart through it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My blogging woes!

So I really do like to write, and it is my aim to blog regularly (like once a week to start).  I even have lots of ideas and topics that come to me and I think, "I should blog about that."  But I rarely take the time (because I feel like I don't have the time).  But today I had some time that I thought "Oh!  I could blog!"  Then I got on here and didn't know what to write.  Sometimes breaking the ice is just so hard!  So I hope that this will be the first of a long string of regular blogs.

With that being said, I really want to share some pictures from my "College weekend" with my friends.  The idea behind college weekend was to do crazy things and stay up late, as if we were in college again.  So the last day of our college weekend was Punk Day.  And instead of explaining it myself, I will direct you to a website where you can get a short intro and then see pictures, which are AWESOME!  So check it out!

And P.S. - Katie is an awesome photographer, so if you have any photo needs you should definitely give her a call!  She does family sessions - perfect for the holidays!