Tag Archives: attitude

4 reason we don’t have joy

Why is it that absolute joy always seems to be just out of reach? There is often in my life temporal joy, but the pure, unencumbered joy is always looming in the distance. I can see it… but I never quite reach it.

As I continued my reading in the book of 2nd Kings this morning I happened upon the history of King Jehu and perhaps the answer to that question.

2 Kings 10

28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. 29 Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan. 30 And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. 32 In those days the Lord began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;

Israel came up short. They missed out on the full blessing of God because Jehu, although he got rid of Baal worship, continued on with some prettier sins.

It’s the little things in life that prevent the big joy. The things on the lower shelves of life that are readily available and a distraction from our walk with Christ, but we never remove them. I’ll start with the easiest thing to prevent us from having pure joy:

The Law

The Jews created 613 laws out of the 10 commandments. It was proven in the first generation of God’s people that we couldn’t keep one rule, (not to eat of the tree of life) and to add 612 more to the equation gave many more reasons to feel like a failure. So the wonderful Savior we have devised a plan to replace the law with grace. But we (or I) keep law on the shelf as a reminder that I’m a failure. I discard grace pretty often by reminding myself of past failures, as if the blood of Jesus Christ wasn’t enough. That thought just made my stomach roll over.

The Attitude

“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you handle it!”

What a great truth. I don’t’ know who said it but they were spot on. How is that Paul said from prison in Philippians 1:4 “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” He could pray for those who were “living the life” with joy, even though he was in the worst of circumstances and he could do so because he had the right attitude. Much of my joyless days are created by the attitude that began them with.

The Appetite

Oh… I could preach to myself on this one.  Both spiritually and physically. Many, many, many of my issues arise because of my appetite. Those things that I desire that are not necessarily wrong, but are wrong for me. That delightfully pink cupcake on my counter is oh so tasty, but the waistline it creates is less than lovely, and yet I let my appetite rule. Let me put this one on for size… rather than reading the word of God when I get up in the morning, I press the home button on my iPhone to read the gospel according to social media, and then wonder why I’m not feeling all spiritual inside. It’s because I just digested somebody else’s heartache, anger, disgust, or perhaps it was a cute puppy pic, but it still took my mind away from the pure joy of the word of God.

The Belief

You’ll note that lie is italicized in the center. I more often than not believe the lie of Satan that joy is unobtainable. I’ll never be good enough. (the law) I’ll never be in the 10%, (the attitude), I need what I see (the appetite) I’m an what Satan says I am (the belief)

Although I went from the bottom shelf up, our problem in life is from the top down. BAAL. Jehu got rid of the big sin, but he kept the little sins in his life. And caused Israel to fall short. Wow, is there some truth in that for my life. What about you?


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What to do when you’re feeling Down

moodI almost laughed out loud when I read David’s Psalm. I so got it. It’s what happens when an optimist has a down day, or perhaps several down days. There is no doubt that I’m a glass half full kind of gal, but even we have days where the cups looking  a little empty and there’s not a coffee pot in sight. Yes, that’s what my joy cup is filled with. That orange and white bag of pure goodness called Duncan Donuts! Life will get you down and it’s not a time to let go of your sunny disposition at the hand of a joy snatcher. They’re out there ready to steal your joy, suck the life out of your day and drink the last drop of liquid sunshine. So what can you do to get your joy back?

Let’s take a gander at what King David did.

HE COMPLAINED

Psalm 77

Vs. 1~ I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

Pray and believe God listens. The first thing Satan will tell you is that God doesn’t care about your trouble. Yes He does and Satan’s a liar, move on. Even if life doesn’t get better for a while you have to trust God. Listen to David’s complaint.

Vs. 2-10 ~  In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

God’s okay with a complainer. From God’s vantage point our problem has a beginning, middle and end. He knows them all, but He understands that we don’t. God doesn’t expect us to be a super saint, that’s why He put the illustrations throughout the bible of real people like David who made huge mistakes, who had huge troubles and huge enemies and God delivered him, even after he whined.

HE COMMUNED

 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

David complained but he finally got to the realization that “he” was going to have to get over it. When he communed with his heart. This is my infirmity he said. This is not God’s problem, God doesn’t have problems. I have to get over myself and realize that God’s got me covered. Just as David did we can complain or we can choose to move on and allow God to do something amazing in us. But He can’t do that if we’re stuck in the mire of complaining. We have to search our spirit and find that happy place that will allow us to pull ourselves up out the mire and start afresh. It’s when taking three steps back is a good idea. Look at what God has not only brought your through but the examples He set before us.

HE COMPILED THE VICTORIES

Vs. 11-20 ~ I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.  The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

David got into the word of God and looked at the victories God had won in the lives of His people. Seriously, what does our problems look like in comparison to Moses and the children of Israel being chased by Pharaoh’s army? Facing 40 years in the wilderness? David had the Old Testament, we have the New Testament.  Look at the victory won for us on the cross; the Holy Spirit dwells within our soul and encourages us from within to go on, God’s got us covered. We have so much more!

Yes, we’ll have bad days and we can complain, But Commune with the Spirit of God and Compile your list of things that God has brought you through before. And move on! Let God do something so amazing that you can’t even comprehend it!

That’s my God! I’m headed back for another cup of liquid sunshine to get this day started.

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Have You Heard it Said?

chick excuse“That’s just how I am!”

How many times have you heard it said? I’ve heard it far too many and each time I do I want to give them a holy slap on the back of the head! (I wouldn’t, but if I got in the flesh I could) I’m speaking about people who have told me they’re saved but their behavior (not randomly) but habitually doesn’t back it up.

They’re often of a critical and negative spirit about others, especially toward fallen Christians and yet they don’t see that same critical and negative spirit as an issue.

I want to say to them in return “Ummm… okay. Explain this.”

You’re Broke Buddy!

You’ll note that I called you friend. I’m not throwing rocks because my garden is full of my own. I’m not sin free, or self-righteous….but I’ve been charged as a mouth piece for the Lord and I feel the need to share this thought today.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If you’re saved, that may have been how you were –  but now you’re broke and you need to fix it. (Totally stole that thought from Pastor Perry Noble) And it put the shout in my soul! It’s truth in it’s entirety when you read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and you are without excuse. That way you were; God fixed it when He saved your soul. But you put it back in your sack and thought it might come in handy later on when you needed to call someone out and make them miserable, stomp on someone’s heart and call it “tough love,” be rude or smart aleck for the cause of comic relief. You’re not only broke…

You’re Busted!

Galatians 6:15

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

No matter what you do (not of works lest any man should boast) or say (It’s under the blood of Jesus) justifies it. Are you forgiven, of course! But what damage are you doing to the cause of Christ who has now entitled you through His blood to be a member in good standing in Heaven? And the lost or hurting soul looks at you who just told them “You need to get over it because that’s just how I am!” and thinks, really? Thank you for showing me Jesus.

Owch!

Like I said, I’m not throwing rocks because I’ve been guilty of getting in the flesh and saying “stupid stuff.” But I’m talking about someone who habitually uses the flesh as an excuse or because they’re speaking to family, feels that they know how they are and should just get over it and go on.

Sorry… you’re busted. Jesus’ blood covered it all, but He didn’t excuse it.

Matthew 12:36

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Owch again!

chick encourage 2

Church and Chick Emotions out of Control

chick emotionI get really excited over the silliest of things. For example, the latest iPhone update included additional emoji’s, of which two were… are you ready! An emoji which rolled it’s eyes and one wearing my glasses. I know!!!! Is that cool or what? I warned you it was silly. But I’m am eye roller, just ask my kids. I need that eye rolling emoji if for nothing else, just being able to send it to my kids so they know I’m rolling my eyes. And the one wearing my glasses, well that’s just cool.

I’d like to add a few Christian emoji’s to the list for the next iPhone update.

How about an “I’m holier than you emoji.” It would have a dangling cross beneath it’s chin and a smug look. I needed that one last week when someone looked down their nose at me because sometimes my warped sense of humor goes too far. It would have been wasted though because I don’t foresee myself being in a “texting” conversation with that person. But I’d still like to have it for grins and giggles.chick emotion 1

What about animated emoji arms of praise. I need that!!!!

A more practical use of an emoji would be the preacher one. I’ve seen the emoji with Catholic collars, but we’re Baptist so I’d prefer my emoji preacher would skip the collar and perhaps be behind the sacred desk. I could use this one as a reminder to my kids that services start at 10. Or any other time I wanted to remind them that they need to attend church. And when they responded with an excuse I could send them the rolling eye emoji. Win win!

chick emotion 2

One that I’m sure we could all use is a “What were you thinking” emoji… no wait. Just use the eye rolling one it’s universal!

There most assuredly needs to be that Baptist “talk to the hand” not to the face emoji. That way when someone else tried to share their opinion they could just message them this emoticon and the arguments would cease. Imagine how   great that would work for church unity. (not)

chick emotion 3

What about a “back of the head emoticon?” For those church folk always looking back when someone has a new idea and they say “That’s not the way we’ve done it here.” Oh… now I’ve gone to meddlin’!

chick emotion 6

While I’m there… we need an “eye rolling, smug face, if only emoji’s had hips so I could put my hands on them” emoji so that when kids cost the church money or made a mess someone could send that to the deacon board. Wow… I may have just crossed the line.

We Christians are an emotional lot are we not?

But the emoticon that we really need is the Holy Kiss. The one that says I’m just a sinner saved by grace, but I sure am glad you’re here. I need  to share that one before I share any of the others, even with the mean people.

chick emotion 5

Romans 16:16

Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

1 Corinthians 16:20

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12

Greet one another with an holy kiss.

1 Thessalonians 5:26

Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

But Now… a 2015 kick in the pants

 

chick kick

G. Wodehouse (Reader’s Digest[July, 1984], ) told about a member of the British Parliament who was once standing in the lobby of the House when a tall, distinguished looking old gentleman came up and begged for a moment of his time. He had a sad story to tell.

By hard work and thrift he had amassed a large fortune, and now his relatives had robbed him of it and, not content with that, had placed him in a mental home. This was his day out. “I have put the facts down in this document,” he concluded. “Study it and communicate with me at your leisure. Thank you, sir, thank you. Good day.”

Much moved by the man’s exquisite courtesy, the Member of Parliament took the paper, shook hands, promised that he would do everything in his power and turned to go back to the debate. As he did so, he received a kick in the seat of the pants that nearly sent his spine shooting through his hat.

“Don’t forget!” said the old gentleman.

I smiled when I read that story, mainly because I too tend to forget important commitments that I make. Oh the world gets so busy and I am in such demand and yada, yada, yada… it still doesn’t excuse it. I’m a compassionate person, often hurt by others insensitivity, frustrated by a dried up generation of Christians who forgot what God did for them and yes… I’m taking my frustration out in this blog but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that I too forget.

And then God makes me laugh…

Numbers 11:6

But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Those whining Israelites have nothing on me. How many times do I find myself whining that something isn’t how it should be? And then God kicks me in the seat of the pants and says, “Do you remember where you came from?”

And then I hear myself say “But now God…” Like it’s an excusable whine. When truthfully my but now is crazier than theirs. They at least were in the wilderness, I’m crying about my manna in the U.S. of A. Israel frustrated God, frustrated Moses and I’m sure at times frustrated themselves.

But our soul is dried away… meaning that they were disappointed and withering away like the water from a brook in the hot sun. The manna was the same ol’, same ol’ every day and every day. I have a feeling that’s what God thinks about our gratitude and attitudes. I see it everywhere I go and I see it in the mirror every morning. For 2015 it’s my goal to start the year looking at the 56 “But now’s” in the Bible and learning the lesson behind each one. It’s my proverbial kick in the pants. I’ve been whining because God’s manna wasn’t enough, I wanted everyone else to enjoy the manna too. Well, the truth is, I’m only responsible for my manna. I can’t collect anyone else’s or deliver it for them and I certainly shouldn’t allow that to affect my enjoyment of the manna God has for me, but it has been.

God’s manna is new every day, just as it was for the children of Israel. It’s new and a miracle of grace and my gratitude needed and attitude check. But now, I’m grateful… tomorrow I’ll probably whine again.

If my words stirred your heart, share it with your friends. Blessings! from the Jesus Chick.

 

 

What attitude are you bringing into the relationship?

ruthlarge

Ruth 4:6

And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

I love the story of Ruth. I have yet to see a movie that could top the truth in God’s word. There’s intrigue, love and war, suspense, but here in the book of Ruth we have the story of my redemption. Unworthy to have been redeemed by God and accepted into the family as an adopted child, an heir to Heaven’s riches. Ruth was a poor Gentile, she brought nothing into the relationship except a good attitude. I hope I have brought a good attitude into my relationship with God because that’s all I have to offer.

Ruth’s kinsman had the right to marry her before Boaz, but because she was a poor woman, and he would possibly have children by her who would take away from his own children’s inheritance he opted out. Praise God my Savior did not opt out on me. Boaz, who loved Ruth, had to have been giddy inside when the man turned her down; Boaz could see the treasure within the woman of Ruth.

She had an attitude of Allegiance

How loyal a woman was she to have stayed with Naomi after their husbands had died. She was facing the worst poverty one could imagine, she was willing to accept by faith that Naomi’s God would see them through. The allegiance in relationships of today is nigh gone, is it not? Marriages begin with an attitude of separation potential, parents turn their backs on children and visa versa, loyalty to the church of God is dependent upon how much attention one gets and the value of your opinion. Oh to have the allegiance of Ruth to say in Ruth 1:16 ~  Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

An attitude of Affection

Ruth simply loved. There was no accolades for what she was doing, she didn’t go into it with attitude she would surely be rewarded, yet that’s what happened. She just loved… she loved Naomi enough to leave her only family. She loved Boaz… In Ruth 3:7-9 we find love.

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

She truly cared about Boaz and was ready to be his servant. She was following God’s providential guidance that would lead to her care, but she didn’t know that. At this point she was a willing servant. That’s the heart I desire, to to love and serve without knowledge of the end result but wisdom and discernment to understand that God is in it. That’s enough!

I pray God is made a part of your day and mine from start to finish. Thanks for spending time with the Lord and I for this little bit.

 

On the Brink of Possession

Deuteronomy 2:31-33

And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.

The children of Israel, after 40 years of wilderness wandering were on the brink of entering the promised land, and earlier on in chapter 2 God begins the journey with instructions to pass through certain parts of the country that are not intended to be theirs, but then came Sihon… and the Lord said it’s already yours, but not without a fight.

There are some beautiful things in life that I’d like to have. My “wanter” is alive and well. But for reasons, some known and some unknown, I have yet to achieve or receive. So this morning as I read through this chapter and heard God tell Israel, “move along, this isn’t your stop.” my heart sank a little. I’ve had to move along a lot in my 30 some odd years of adulthood. Most of which was for the same reason Israel wandered in the first place, rebellion, plain and simple. But now Israel is about to possess their portion of land, the day is finally arriving that they’ve longed for, but not without a fight.

My first thought was, “Why didn’t God strike fear in the enemies hearts and cause them to run, as He had others, why did they have to fight?” God not only didn’t strike fear in them, in verse 30 it says “But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.” God stirred up a ruckus.

A Battle Strengthens the Mind

God told them in verse 31 to “begin to possess” the land. It was mindset they needed to have before the battle ever began. I’m not a ‘name it and claim it’ gal, but I believe there are some things that God intends His people to have and before we get it we have to make up our mind that it’s ours. It may not be a tangible something, perhaps it’s a position in life, or a victory over an issue, but whatever it is you’ll know. Because God will give you clues in advance. It’s those desires of the heart that are for His glory.

A Battle Strengthens the Man

Much like the physical battle strengthens the physical man, a spiritual battle will serve to strengthen the spirit of man. If God gave us everything we asked for, we’d be weak and puny Christians; but knowing that our adversary the Devil strikes against us every day, I believe that God puts some training maneuvers in our lives to build us for the battle. The battle we’re in may just be boot camp.

A Battle Strengthens the Memorial

How many movies have been made from the wars America has fought? We love reliving those time of Victory. The victories of Israel according to history occurred in 1422 BC, and here we are in the year of our Lord 2014 remembering their Victory. It’s good to remind ourselves of the sweetness of a battle won, it encourages our hearts.

My ‘wanter’ still wants. There are desires in my heart that just may be on the brink of reality, but I may still have to fight. You may too… get your boots on soldier…

Why are you being so Ugly?

evil queen

That was the question to myself yesterday during the business conference I’m attending. Perhaps it was because my sinus’ have caused my head to  feel as though it’s going to pop off of my shoulders, or a half dozen other factors of the week, but one session yesterday left me in a seething mood as the rude woman spoke. Her information was outdated and non-relevant and she read all 57 gray and black slides with little emotion and an occasional awkward snicker. The conference folk made the mistake of giving me a link to an online evaluation survey of her piece of the event at the beginning of the session. Well, in my boredom I felt compelled to fill it out on my iPhone. I didn’t care if she thought I was texting and being rude, she was rude.  And as I entered each little black dotted rating I happen to wonder what God might think of my own behavior. After all… as a speaker I’ve been extended favor and mercy on more than one occasion and amazingly enough been invited back. Seriously Shari… why are you being so ugly?

1 Peter 3:8-9 ~ Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

A Compassionate People

I certainly want compassion in my life when I have an off day. For certain the woman was not ready for the conference, she stumbled over ordinary words in her slide that would likely not have been an issue if she’d studied. Tell me you’ve never shown up somewhere less than prepared… I can’t. Another issue I have issues with is uncompassionate people who feel compelled to rip everyone apart as if they’re they authority on life, I just about slipped into that one myself.

A Contrary People

I’ve met many a contrary railing people. They’d argue with a fence post if nobody was around, but Peter said contrariwise blessing. I highly doubt God has appointed you or me as “Heaven’s Critic.” Our job is to be a blessing, and that can’t be done when you’re tearing someone apart. Let some chick gain a little wait (or a lot), have on an unkempt pair of jeans or a dress without a slip and watch the party start among critical women. Oh my goodness, I’m meddlin’ now! But it’s the truth and if you’ve been in any church across America you know it’s a fact. I remember one particular time the “slip” issue slipped out of someone’s mouth about a mother of several children. My first thought was “are you serious? You’ve never seen the profile of a leg before?” Not to mention the fact that this perfectly tailored lady had grown children and had long since forgotten what it was like to pile the kids in the car and get to church on time. It was a miracle she was at church, and you dare comment on her lack of a slip. The truth of the matter was, she’ll likely find a slip before that lady finds some manners.

A Called People

Knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing….

We’re called to not only be a blessing but to inherit one. My lesson today, as I began another day of long sessions is to remember what God called me to do. I’m to be the example of Christ. When someone looks at me that should see something contrary to the world. The world will eat you up and spit you out, I should have no part of it. My presence should be like a balm on a wound of a soul in pain, because that’s what my Lord has been for me.

A Dangerous Attitude

As fate would have it, in the pop and chip aisle of the local grocer, I met an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Within seconds he turned to show me a scar down the back of his neck and to tell me of the miracle that had occurred in his life of a brain surgery that had taken him from a slobbering, stumbling, weak soul to a new lease on life. I praised God for it and encouraged him to come to church with me on Sunday and praise the Lord himself for what God had surely done. His response sent a shockwave through me that still reverberates in my soul, he said “No I don’t think so, people spend too much time worrying about eternity and less about this current life.”

I was sick, and disheartened. I felt for sure he would understand who it was that held his fate in the palm of his hand.

Daniel 5:22-23

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

That same night Belshazzar the King was slain.

Arrogance against God was dangerous business then, and it’s dangerous business today, yet so prevalent in our world. Because my parents brought me up in a God fearing household I had a healthy respect for God even unsaved. I didn’t know God as my Savior but there was an instinct within me to know that He was the God in whose hand my breath was. As my friend walked away my prayer was that God would shake him to the core that night. I was hurt for God and I believe righteously angry that this world is so deceived.

I had just witnessed the miracle of birth with my grandson Parker, and I knew that God held his breath in His hand and had blessed us with this beautiful little soul. And in the hours that followed that early morning call that Tiffani was being rushed in for an emergency delivery at only 30 weeks I knew that God could also choose to take Parker home, and Tiffani as well. And as I knelt in tears beside my bed asking God to spare them there was no arrogance within me only absolute reliance on the Creator of life.

Why God chose to allow me to be raised in a Christian home is beyond my understanding. I could have just as easily been in a home where God does not dwell. There is always that underlying seed of arrogance within me too that likes to rear its head thinking I hold the steering wheel of life. Parker’s birth was a “Jesus take the wheel” kind of moment for me. I knew the only power I had was the Holy Spirit of God speaking peace to my soul. He is in control.

Less than the length of time it took for me to type the punctuation at the end of a sentence is the length of time when your world can go upside down and out of control. Do me a favor and tell God how very much you love Him and that you know He alone is in control. Acknowledge His Sovereignty of your life. My heart hurts for Him and for my friend who’s missing out on the greatest blessings of life. Knowing the Creator of our existence.

Who Then is Willing?

It’s Sunday! My favorite day of the week. I spent the bulk of my Saturday preparing for a Sunday two weeks from now. During our Easter Cantata I’ll be putting the finishing touches on 7 paintings as the choir sings; paintings that for me tell the Easter story. I hope I’m “writing” one that the congregation can understand, sometimes my warped way of thinking doesn’t connect the dots like everyone else. But what a privilege it is to have your hands used by the Lord, especially when you know that there are likely more skilled hands in the congregation of the Lord for such a work as this.

In 1st Chronicles 29:3-6, King David is getting ready to pass the holy baton to his son, Solomon for the building of the temple. But before he does he lays a charge to the congregation of the Lord about their responsibilities for the house of the Lord.

Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house. Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal: The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord? Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,

The charge still stands:

Setting your affection

Sunday mornings don’t come easy for any of us; the last thing Satan is going to do is allow a child of God an easy ride to worship. He’ll use any and all methods of distraction to make sure that your heart and mind are in a thousand other directions and not on the things of God. Setting your affection is a lot like the setting of the foundation of the house of the Lord. It’s putting the idea of your service in concrete so that no matter what other things arise in life your heart is set on serving Christ.

Sacrificing your assets

David summed it up in verse 14 when he said “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” The reality of the matter is you’re not sacrificing your assets, you’re returning the smallest of portion which God gave you to begin with, and what a privilege to be able! It’s also a mindset. Given the choice, most will choose to keep it for themselves.

Submitting your artistry

Everyone has talents! And David as leader searched those talents out and used them all in the building of the house of the Lord. Our church house may be built but the church is far from finished, else God would have called us home. I hope today you’ll discover a talent worthy of the Lord’s service either in you, or in someone you lead and when God asks “Who then is Willing?” your hand will be lifted high in praise and service for the Kingdom of God. “It’s me O Lord! Ready and Willing!!!”