Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Worship: While I'm Waiting

Loads of writers returning from the recently held ACFW conference raved about a song they'd heard in the worship sessions. I made a note of it so I could look it up at some point.

Then, we found ourselves in a bit of a jam earlier this week. My critique group sent up many prayers for my family's welfare, and forwarded a link to this song. Boy, did it meet me right where I am, waiting.

I have a lot of experience with waiting on God. I also have a lot of experience with Him meeting my needs. So I wait. And While I'm Waiting, I'm still serving Him.

Are you waiting on God for something? Is your wait an active one, filled with faith and service?

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Worship: He Will Supply

In these recessionary times, it may seem as though the things we need and want are unavailable to us, that the supply has dried up for now.

Not so!

God's supply is infinite and eternal. And we know that He has--and is willing to supply--all that we can ever think or need.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock 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. -- Matt 7:7-8
Fear not but believe and rest on the truth of His Word. He will supply!

Peace & Blessings,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Freefalling Faith

Growing your attitude of faith, raising your expectations of God--not because God suddenly got better but because you realize you've been shortchanging yourself, not to mention possibly insulting the Lord by believing and expecting so little--is not easy.

Faith is not for the fearful.

You're got to be a cliff jumper to have big faith.

We serve a big God, capable of big things. Some people say that God's miracles ended in Biblical days, that we're wrong to believe and to expect to see miracles of the sort that were witnessed when Jesus walked the earth.

Why? God is no less God. He's just as big a God as He was then, just as powerful a God. He might choose not to perform miracles before us, but it's not because He is incapable of performing them. Since He is capable, and to my knowledge, He's never said He wouldn't do great things in our sight, we should expect them.

But that's easier said than done. We've been hurt. We've been disappointed. We've seen our dreams and desires go unfulfilled. We've let ourselves and others down. We harbor sins and lies and unforgiveness. Evil still abounds. Our prayers have gone unanswered.

In this environment, it's easy to lower one's expectations, to be grateful for simple things like getting up every morning, "in your right mind and with the activity of your limbs". It's easy to thank God for shelter, food, clothing, and a job.

When you lack these blessings, which so many take for granted, trust me, it gets even easier to lower one's expectations. You may no longer expect to have a clean change of clothing every day. You may not expect to sleep upon a soft mattress. You may not expect to be able to buy and cook fresh food for yourself and your family, to eat in nutritious, life-giving ways.

But we fail to remember that even those simple things are a test of our faith. When we lie down at night, we're not assured that we'll wake up. When we eat a good meal, there's no promise that we won't get sick.

If you're not careful, by the time you're done lowering your expectations based on your circumstances or past experiences or multitude of disappointments, you'll find yourself at a point where you don't expect anything at all. From God. for your life.

Now, this is not easy for me. I have never been a proponent of "prosperity gospel", at least not as it appears to be practiced in current times. It's not that I don't think God's people should prosper financially. In fact, I'm all for that. But, I do have a problem with boasting about it, flaunting it in the face of others who may not be quite as fortunate, and most of all, continuing to acquire way above and beyond one's own needs. I mean how many mansions can one live in at one time? How many cars can one drive?

So I'm not talking about compiling a list of every material blessing you've ever imagined. This is not about writing your wishlist. But I am talking about having wonder-working faith, a faith that expects greatness.

When you hear that someone's been stricken with cancer or some other life-threatening illness, is your first reaction one of sorrow, that their time is near? Or, do you expect to see that person healed? Do you expect to see someone who's never had much in the way of material wealth to suddenly amass a fortune? Do you expect an ordinary, unassuming person to be elevated to a higher stage, to assume a place among kings, queens, and world leaders?

On a personal level, have you placed outer limits on how influential you can be, on the great things you can accomplish?

We say we can do all things through Christ from whom we gain strength, but do we really believe that? Do we live and operate as though we do?

It's not quite so easy to believe and expect great things to unfold right before your eyes and in your life.

But believe and expect we must. To the glory of God.

When you do, it's like jumping off a cliff, freefalling in God. No safety net. No guarantees. A little scary, but very invigorating.

It's the best place in God you could ever be. A place of limitless faith.

Is there something that you want to believe or expect from God, but you've held back? Have you stepped right up to the edge of your cliff, but been afraid to take that last step of faith?

Remove the shackles and unleash your faith.

Then step off the cliff and rest in God.

I can't say I'm fully there, but God's moving me closer and closer to that point. And I'm enjoying life so much more. Won't you join me?

Peace & Blessings,


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Worship: Awesome Wonder

Provider, Defender, Master of the Universe
You know me,
You are an awesome wonder.

I think I could write a whole message about each word, each phrase in these lyrics. They're so powerful.

You know me... That might be scary to some folks but not me. I love that God knows me. Every ounce of me, every part of me, even the parts I try to deny to myself or that have yet to unveil themselves to me. I can trust someone who knows me that well...and still loves me.

Oh-oh, what a wonder you are,
Oh-oh, you are an awesome wonder.

You know me, my weakness
You know just where I hurt the most
That's why I call you Healer.

Isn't God an awesome wonder, an awesome healer, salving all the wounds and bruises of our bodies, minds and spirits with the sweetness of His grace and precious Holy Spirit?

You're an awesome wonder, Lord!

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Worship: I Never Lost My Praise

Making the rounds for the AM school drop-offs, we were listening to the local gospel radio station and this song came on the air.

There's something about Tramaine's voice that makes me thing she's on a first-name basis with the angels.

As I listened to the words, I realized that she was singing about me. After all I've gone through, and my life has been considerably better than many others, there were times when my faith was challenged and I could have packed it in.

But I never did. Never even thought about doing so. No matter what storms I had to endure, I never lost my praise.

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday Worship: Bless the Lord (Son of Man)

One of the things I like about Tye Tribbett's music is there's a cornucopia of music. It's all gospel, but beyond that, the songs cover a very broad range of styles.

A longtime friend, Donna Roberson, reminded me that I hadn't featured anything from this group in a while. So this one's for you, Donna!

Peace & Blessings,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Now Is The Time

Time has a way of escaping us.

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. His brother and wife, my childhood best friend, celebrated their 24th. And this Saturday, we'll all gather to celebrate his parent's golden 50th wedding anniversary.

This post is not about the longevity of marriage. I've got another one on that later in the week.

But rather I've been meditating lately on the passage of time.

Time is our most precious commodity, the only one we truly have and the equalizer, in that we all have the same amount. Whether we use our time wisely is a matter of choice.

How often have you wanted more time to get more things done or to savor a moment? How frequently do you wonder where your time has gone? Do you allow time, the ticking of the hands of the clock, to rule your life, telling you what to do and when to do it?

There is chronological time, the passage of the seconds, minutes, and hours that make up the days, weeks, months, and years of our lives. It was it is, and we get what we get. No less and no more, no matter who you are, who you know, or what you have.

There are 566 references to time in the King James version of the Bible. Time is important to God, and therefore, should be important to us.

We're admonished in Scripture to make the most of our time.
This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. -- Rom 13:11-12 NLT
What are you doing with your time? Are you using it to live a godly life, one that is pleasing to God in behavior and attitude? If you are, this is a good first step, but only a first step.

Because God wants more for us than simply a good life. He wants us to live a life that abounds in love and peace, in health and fullness, in favor and purpose.

Are you making the most of the opportunities God puts before you, taking the time to prepare yourself according to His will for your life and seizing the day when your moment arrives? Do you recognize your "God-cidence" when it happens--something totally unexpected, miraculous and inexplicable which could only be of God--and snatch it up, walking in God's unmerited blessings, or do you hesitate and shy away, for lack of preparation, lack of confidence, or lack of faith, unsure of what God wants or has for you and thereby unable to take hold of it?

Now is the time.

The time to hear God's whispers into your heart, the seed planting of dreams and visions for your life. The time to work hard, to prepare yourself for your purpose. The time to patiently await your "God-cidence", and the time, when it arrives, to walk right in with your head held high, not out of arrogance but out of recognition of God at work in your life.

Now is the time. Are you making the most of yours?

Peace & Blessings,