Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning?

Oh yes my friends, it is that time of year.  We clean out all the stuff, clean all the dust away, bring out the summer wear and start dieting so we can fit into them :) Uh-huh, don’t even act like you don’t!!!  :)  But, what about our spiritual junk?  We need to get rid of that too!  You have to walk away from the bad and walk into the good.  You have to let the baggage go and walk into what God has called you to.  There is work to be done, and we are the ones to do it!  We can’t do it with mess in our spirits.  So, while you are doing your spring cleaning on the outside, pray and seek God so that He can help you clean up the inside.  Remember, you are called for such a time as this and if you are called He WILL equip!  Get rid of that junk and get on with the Father’s business!!!! 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reach out….

"A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said "Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  "I am willing", he said.  "Be clean!"  Matthew 8: 1-3

It is easy to just read a verse such as this and keep going.  But, we need to really stop and consider what God is saying through this.  Back in the day, lepers were feared.  They were thrown out of their villages and treated as outcasts.  It was absolutely the worst thing you could have other than demon possession. They were required to yell out "Unclean! Unclean!" if they came across anyone's paths. Notice in this Jesus TOUCHED the leper.  Now understand that Jesus could have just told him to be healed and it would have been done.  But, Jesus knew this man had not been touched in a while.  He knew that this man needed to be loved; and it just so happens that this is what Jesus came to do---LOVE.  So, Jesus reached out and touched the man.....touched a leper.  This was against Jewish law and anyone who even touched a leper was to be punished or even put to death.  You see, Jesus didn't care what the rules said or what other people thought, he wanted to love this man.  He wanted this man to be made whole physically and mentally. Do we always love?  I know I don't.  I could be a lot better.  We are called to love all people  no matter how dirty or rotten they may be or we think they may be.  Reach out today and touch someone's life....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Patience? Hummm………

“Patience is a virtue”.  We have all heard this familiar saying.  What does it mean?  Well, by definition, virtue means “an admirable quality” or “a characteristic of particular value”  The Bible tells us that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. HOWEVER…….sometimes all of this is easier said and read than done and lived.  Patience?  Really?  When the kids are screaming and the dogs are barking? When the boss is blaming me and it’s not my fault? When I have to get an assignment in and I have a house to clean and bills to pay and…..well, the list goes on and on.  How about when I am praying for that perfect job and the doors just aren’t opening?  How about when I am sick and praying for a healing and I am just as sick as I was yesterday? Or when I am praying so hard for my marriage to be restored and I don’t see any change in my spouse? All of these are things that people I personally know are going through.

There was a man in the Bible named Abraham.  Now Abraham and his wife wanted a child.  They wanted a child in the worst way.  They had been promised a child by God.  However, when it didn’t happen in their time, they decided to fix it themselves.  So, Abraham got Hagar (his wife’s servant) to bear his child for him.  Hagar has a son and begins to treat Sarah like dirt!  This child was not the promised child.  This child was a result of Abraham’s impatience with God.  We are still feeling the consequences of this act today in the middle East specifically.

Patience must be cultivated and grown.  We are not in nature patient people.  We live in a now society.  If I want information, I go online, Google, and PRESTO!  I have my information.  If I am hungry I go through a drive thru or nuke something in the microwave.  But God’s word says “I waited patiently for the Lord.  He turned to me and  heard my cry”.  Wait.  Be patient.  Know that God is not a man that He should lie.  If Abraham would have just waited and believed in God’s promise, he never would have had the mess he did and his wife would not have been hurt the way she was.  Poor Hagar and Ishmael would not have been turned away and sent out of their home.  When we take things into our own hands, everyone gets hurt.

I know that patience is not easy.  I tend to be a very inpatient person actually and have to remind myself continually to slow down, don’t try to fix it, and let God do His thing.  Hard?  Yup!  Does it work when I do this?  Yup…you better believe it! “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12. Let me encourage you (and myself) to slow down, read the Word of God, pray, and know that God is not limited by time the way we are.  He already knows what He’s doing….just be patient and trust.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Desires of Your Heart…

God’s word tells us that He will give us the desires of our hearts.  This does not mean that every single thing we desire will be given to us.  No, if we read the verses above that verse we will see that the Word tells us “trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness…” THEN He will give you the desires of your heart.  As I mediated on this word, I began to really notice the word cultivate.  (This is, by the way, why God tells us to meditate on His word, not just skim through it out of duty.  Things sink in that way). Cultivate means “to nurture; to grow or tend” If we nurture faithfulness….if we do the things of God, even when everything and every force of hell is against us, then He will do what He says He will. You see, we have no testimony if there is no test.  You will never know He is faithful without a trial.  You will never know He is a deliverer unless you call on Him.  You will never know He is a healer unless you are ill.  We have to go through trials.  This is true.  BUT, if you cultivate your faithfulness and remain true, He WILL give you the desires of your heart.

Last August, I felt that I needed to go back to school. I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grow up.  I want to be a Christian Psychologist.  I knew that I had to go to a private Christian university to do this.  So, I began my search and then my application process at what is one of the best universities around now; Southeastern University.  I got accepted.  My next step was financial aid.  Got that done with no problems. From the time I began the process to now has been smooth. I even had favor and got my application fee of $200.00 waived!  I have worked my tail off and put in a lot of hours a week in studies.  Top that with working full time, being a mom to 2 teens, a wife, a worship leader, and a youth pastor and you have one busy woman.  But you know what? God gives me endurance.  God gives me enough time to get it all done.  He can after all, hold the sun in place if He needs to. I have not neglected any part of my life, I simply get it done.  School is a desire of my heart and God, seeing my faithfulness for many years, gave it to me.  I have to do my part and work hard, but He set it all in motion.  Awesome!  I just found out today that I have made the dean’s list!  What an amazing accomplishment!  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What are the desires of your heart?  Have you shown faithfulness?  If you have, keep cultivating it, keep doing good.  He will give you the desires of your heart that line up with His will….