Monday, October 26, 2009
Every day you visit it. Take care of it. Feed it. Plump and fluff it. Morning, noon and night your thoughts drift back to it. You feed it some more. Your thoughts keep returning to it.
What are you nursing? A grudge.
Someone has wronged you. Someone has hurt you. Something unjust happened to you.
And you are stuck. Stuck nursing it and thereby keeping it alive. The more you think about it, the bigger it gets until it becomes like a patient who malingers - it just won't go away no matter how hard you try to banish it (while at the same time nursing it).
How many grudges are you nursing? Isn't it time that you saw the grudge for what it is - a parasite draining the very life of God out of you.
Did God intend that we live in such torment? NO!
What's the antidote for a bad case of the grudges that you are tired to death of nursing?
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. - Jesus in Matthew 5:43-45
Heavenly Father, please empower me to DO what Your Word tells me to do so that I can walk in the freedom that You have for me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Years ago my family and I lived and worked in a living history park. It was our job (and pleasure) to help bring life to a dying park.
Our dreams were big and by the time we were done, there was a log home brought in log by log, a land office, a mercantile, theatre, demonstrations gardens of herbs, vegetables and flowers. It was a thriving place filled with music and people on event days.
Then something happened and the 'powers that be' decided to take the park back. Concerned that could happen, the volunteers had made everything portable - ready to move at a moment's notice. They didn't want their good hearted hard work confiscated and used for other purposes.
Now, years later, I returned to walk through the park. It was like we had never been there. The carefully restored buildings were gone. The is no more. The flower and have returned to carefully mowed lawn. There isn't a trace that we had been there.
Yet within us we know what remains. Friendships were forged. Diligence was learned. Hard work was practiced. Life lessons were noted. Memories both good and difficult remain. Those qualities that God was working into our characters are within.
For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brother affection and brotherly affection with love. II Peter 1:5
Heavenly Father, though nothing may remain as tangible evidence of what we have done in this world, please create the inner character within us which was Your intent from the beginning of time. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Maybe someone else has coined that phrase, but that's what I experienced this week. Have you?
It had been a full six months of working and writing. Then another two weeks of intense polishing each word. Than a weekend finishing. I was tired, but since it was a work week, it was time to work.
I began to wonder WHY I felt so horrible - the sparkle had gone out of my life. The week before I was so excited about the project I was working on and my life. Now I just wanted to sleep.
It seemed to go from bad to worse as the week wore on. One night I just gave up and was in bed by 9:10 pm. How unlike me. What was wrong with me?
As I woke on Friday with a work day stretched ahead of me, depression nagged at the edge of my mind. And, if you are anything like me, I hate to be depressed - it makes me depressed! Then it was like God was gently reminding me of the Elijah Effect.
After Elijah (read I Kings 19 in the Old Testament), had tremendous victory and run a day‘s journey, he sat down under a tree and wished he were dead. (I could identify, can you?) What did God tell him to do (as we often tell ourselves) - snap out of it, don't be such a wimp, get up and get moving.
No, God told him:
Arise and eat. I Kings 19:5
God knows we are but dust. Now if only WE will realize it.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You don't expect me to be super human - You expect me to be me, learning and growing at the pace You want me to learn and grow. Please help me, when I stumble into those moments of the Elijah Effect in my life, that you will remind me that I am to rest, to eat, to be restored. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I know, I've cut off the scripture mid-sentence but sometimes maybe we should look more closely at what is being said.
Normally when we think of this scripture, we see
"I will never leave you or forsake you." Hebrews 13:15.
That is comforting for an eternity!
Yet when I read that today, right this minute, I see only the first part -
"I will never leave you . . . "
For me, right now, that means He won't leave me as I am. God's intent is that I become more like Jesus. To have His mind on things matters. To have His attitude toward people and circumstances and to have His actions in everyday life.
He will never leave me stuck in selfishness, rebellion, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, hard heartedness and/or hard headedness. He won't leave me there. He will send circumstances, people and His very own Spirit to change me into being who He created me to be - filled with all that pleases Him.
What is He speaking to you about today, What is He not leaving you in?
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that you won't leave me, ever. In Jesus' name. Amen