Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Difference

There should be a bigger difference. There should be.

I look at the government of this country and how the people behave and it is appalling. The decisions get poor results. The way they talk about and treat one another leaves little room for hope in the future. Principles are compromised. Relationships are based on what one can gain, not what one can give. I want my kids to behave better than that in this life.

I look around in the church and I see the same thing.

But I want different for my family.

We are trying to put more outside, poetry, and color into our days. I want my kids to be unique, thinkers, kind and brave. I want them to love the Lord. I want them to be the church. I want collegiality, thoughtfulness, the willingness to disagree and not wish harm on the other side, and the desire to obey Christ foremost in their days.

During the government shutdown Christians should have held hands all around the Capital building praying together that our nation honor God. United--congregation to congregation, denomination to denomination--in fervent prayer for God's blessing. We don't even need to be united in what that blessing looks like. After all, God is actually the one in charge of it and He is not a democracy looking for the most popular idea to make happen.

But, as Christians, we should all want His blessing for our nation.

And we should all want His blessings for our churches.

And our families.

So why don't we act that way?

"There should be room for..." I have heard myself say over and over again at ministry meetings. I think what I was really pleading for was room for me. Isn't there room for me? Someone who doesn't think like many of the others; someone who finds it painful to silently disagree, so she speaks out; someone who sees things differently and often predicts things accurately; someone who wants to scream "I told you so" regarding those situations that are lived-out-predictions that others like to call "coincidence". I still wish we could all just get along a little bit better. I wish our lives in church would be built around what we can give and not what we can gain.

I am pretty sure that's what Jesus wants to.

It turns out figuring out how to live that is a more advanced skill than I currently possess.

But I am not giving up. I am still learning and growing.

Earlier this fall I heard a great speaker at an education conference say, "We need to be exposed to consistently reliable and sophisticated language. What is readily available today is consistently unsophisticated and often unreliable language." That is profoundly true.

There should be a difference between the way the world functions and the way the body of Christ functions. There should be a difference between Congress and the church. And if I want there to be a difference between the way my past was and the way my future will be, perhaps I need to concentrate on consistently reliable and sophisticated input into my family and my mind.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Perfection in Procrastination

This Bible Study has been sitting, unopened, on my shelf for years. Literally.

I just never did it. But right now is actually the perfect time for me to walk through the book of Joshua with Henry Blackaby in Called to be God's Leader. It is so insightful and informative.

And convicting.

This morning I found myself seeking the Lord's forgiveness. There was a section in the study about the epidemic of evangelical idolatry and I have lived out the example almost verbatim! Seriously? My intentions were good, but my approach missed the mark.

Nothing is as important as obedience. Nothing. Obedience precedes all other blessings. Obedience precedes growth. Obedience to God is the preeminent and stand alone concern we should all begin and end with. The only focus I should have. How do I show my love for Him? Obedience.

"Throughout the book of Joshua we find the following pattern: God spoke--Joshua obeyed--Joshua experienced success."

I don't hear God speaking as clearly as Joshua apparently did, but I have God's word. I am loving studying it again--I have been in a dry spell for a bit. I am thankful for the fresh anointing; thankful for God's word; thankful for conviction; and thankful for perfect timing that can even bring the best from procrastination!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I have those moments when I am overwhelmed at how good God is. This week gave just these kinds of gifts.

Last Sunday, after doing a ministry booth for Brighten A Corner at a local church, I came home and started working on a Bible Study I am doing. A study that has been sitting on my shelf gathering dust for years. I am loving it! While reading Scriptures and filling in blanks I had an epiphany. I realized that God wants me to deal with my laziness.

God doesn't speak to me in an audible voice. It is hard to articulate what it really looks like when I feel like God is communicating with me, but it is a certainty in my mind and heart. The certainty lines up with Scripture. The effect of the impression would either benefit others or mean more godly character for me.

Not very sophisticated, but that it is my life with Him.

Sometimes a revelation like that is NOT what I want. Really. There are so many areas of my character/life that need "fixing".  But in this tiny moment of time, I found this empowering. I really felt like letting God do His work in me would be a great, great thing.

Monday rolled around and I prayerfully continued to mull around getting rid of my laziness. Lo and behold I had more energy to approach our home school day!

Tuesday my former house cleaner--who I had to say goodbye to last year because we couldn't afford
it--was back. PRAISE THE LORD. She and I cleaned for hours. I put away piles, threw things away, folded and scrubbed. It was the cleanest my house had been in months.

YES! It seemed like the mere act of confessing that I was ready to deal with my laziness made room for change.

I have actually gotten on the treadmill more than once. I have been more patient. God is just so good.