Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From Self-Centered to God-Centered

Finally, Saul the son of Kish was chosen. 
But when they looked for him, he was nowhere to be found.
The people prayed, "Our LORD, is Saul here?"
 "Yes," the LORD answered, "he is hiding behind the baggage." 

1 Samuel 10:21-22 cev

But some scoundrels said, 
“How can this fellow save us?” 
They despised him and brought him no gifts. 
But Saul kept silent. 

1 Samuel 10:27 niv

"Self-consciousness constitutes the opposite of God-consciousness.
Rather thank gratefully rejoicing in the privilege 
God was freely extending to him,
Saul's concern ran to himself
and what others would think of him."

-- Beth Moore from the study "David"

This stuff of self
pulls and drags
holding me down,
miring me in the muddiness of this world. 

Pleasing people
is an endless rat-race,
running on an endless wheel
that exhausts and does not fulfill.

Living up to the pictures in my head
is impossible and so defeating. 
I cannot do it.

Focusing on self
brings death.

What is the remedy?
What brings life and peace?

"You can't worship two gods at once. 
Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. 
Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. 
You can't worship God and Money both.
If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, 
it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes 
or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. 
There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, 
more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. 
Look at the birds, free and unfettered, 
not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. 
And you count far more to him than birds. 

What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, 
to not be so preoccupied with getting
so you can respond to God's giving. 
People who don't know God and the way he works 
fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. 

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. 
Don't worry about missing out. 
You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, 
and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. 
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes"

Matthew 6:25-26, 31-34 msg

Monday, December 13, 2010

Passionate Patience

There's more to come: 
We continue to shout our praise 
even when we're hemmed in with troubles, 
because we know how troubles can develop 
passionate patience 
in us, and how that patience in turn 
forges the tempered steel of virtue, 
keeping us alert for whatever God will do next
In alert expectancy such as this, 
we're never left feeling shortchanged. 
Quite the contrary—
we can't round up enough containers 
to hold everything God generously pours 
into our lives through the Holy Spirit! 

Romans 5:3-5 msg

O how I wish I could say 
those Words above are mine.

Patience is not my first choice,
especially in the midst of chaos,
when my tension is rising,
things need to get done,
and kids need to be kept on track.

I feel the pull down
into the whirl of it all
and far too often I lash out.

My discomfort 
becomes all I see.

Oh Lord,
You are right there
waiting for me to come to You,
to wait on You. 

If I choose patience
You will build endurance
and that endurance grows into character.

Please help me to choose to 
hold my tongue and wait.

Help me to choose patience.

But that's not all! We gladly suffer, because
we know that suffering helps us to endure. 
And endurance builds character, 
which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us. 
All of this happens because 
God has given us the Holy Spirit, 
who fills our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 cev

I asked the LORD for help,
   and he saved me
   from all my fears.
    Keep your eyes on the LORD!
   You will shine like the sun
   and never blush with shame.
   I was a nobody, but I prayed,
   and the LORD saved me
   from all my troubles.
   If you honor the LORD,
   his angel will protect you. 

Psalm 34:4-7 cev

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Have Nothing

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. 
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 
"Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."  
He said to them, "When you pray, say: 
" 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 
 Give us each day our daily bread.  
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. 
And lead us not into temptation. ' " 
 Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, 
and he goes to him at midnight and says, '
Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,  
because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and 

I have nothing to set before him.'  

"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. 
The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. 
I can't get up and give you anything.' 
  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread 
because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness 
he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 
 "So I say to you:  


and it will be given to you; 


and you will find;


and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; 
he who seeks finds; 
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, 
will give him a snake instead?
Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If you then, though you are evil, 
know how to give good gifts to your children, 
how much more will your Father in heaven 
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Luke 11:1-13 niv

 I was reading the verses above 
this morning.

As usual, floating around in my head
are the concerns I often 
think about.

Mothering is a huge task.
As I read the verses above,
these words jumped off the page:

"I have nothing!"

 I want my kids to speak to each other in love. 

I want peace to fill my home.

I want my kids to hunger for God and 
live their lives in His power and strength. 

I want to produce Spirit fruit in my life.

I have nothing
that will cause any of this to happen.

Over and over in His Word 
God tells us to come to Him.

He knows I have nothing.

He wants to give me
everything I need.

I simply have to come to Him.

We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, 
and he is Jesus the Son of God. 
That is why we must hold on 
to what we have said about him. 
Jesus understands every weakness of ours, 
because he was tempted in every way that we are. 
But he did not sin! 
So whenever we are in need, 
we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. 
There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, 
and we will find help. 

Hebrews 4:14-16 cev 

We have a great high priest who is in charge of God's house. 
So let's come near God with pure hearts 
and a confidence that comes from having faith. 
Let's keep our hearts pure, 
our consciences free from evil, 
and our bodies washed with clean water.  
 We must hold tightly to the hope that we say is ours. 
After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us. 

Hebrews 10:21-23 cev