Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eyes of the Lord

In 2 Chronicles 16:9, Hanani the seer delivered a message to King Asa. He said "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him"......sweet message right? I love the word picture. How big is our God that he can look over not a city, not a country but our entire planet in a glance! The prophet went on to say "You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war." This message came after over 30 years of peace. So what happened? I'm not sure about you - but I need to know. What foolish thing brought war, struggle, pain after years of rest?

King Asa started strong. He was fully committed in his early years. In cht 14:11, when faced with battle and the odds stacked against him, he prayed "Lord there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God for we rely on you , and in your name...." In cht 15 we read that with King Asa's leadership all Judah wholeheartedly swore an oath to God. "They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side." King Asa even ousted his own grandmother because of her idol worship. So long Granny!

Then, after a long season of peace and rest, the threat of war came up again and for some reason Asa forgot his prayer from years past. He forgot the covenant he had made. He sent a gift to another king to buy an ally for himself. Why? There is no indication in the story of a turn in Asa's heart. Of how he could stand there and say "I got this, God. I'm good, I can handle things this time around. "

I wonder if the shift didn't come out of complacency growing underground during all those years of comfort. Perhaps this foolish thing was nothing more than contentment and ease.

I enjoy comfort, but I find that nothing throws me into prayers of dependency like challenge. When life is steady, I too can pick up an "I Got This" attitude.

So how do we maintain a posture of dependence? Tough question. Most of the time, like King Asa, I feel fairly competent. But the creative artistic side of me has been given an odd gift called insecurity. As much as I get annoyed by my self-doubt and the fear that tags keeps me running to the strong arms of my Savior! And that is a good thing. To say...I don't "got this" I am helpless, powerless, lost without you Lord! Help me! I think this is one reason why Paul said "I will glory in my weakness".

I want to have a heart that the eyes of the Lord is searching for. Fully Committed. Dependant. Needy.

Searching, searching....looking....

"Ah-ha" the Father says to the Son. "That's it! I found it! Right there! Let's strengthen her"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Questions By The Decade

If I was a guy, and I had not already been brain-washed by Dave Ramsey, I'm pretty sure I would be out shopping for some ridiculously pimped-out classic hot rod. I'm 41 years, 5 months and 24 days old today and I think I'm having a mid-life crisis or perhaps some milder form of freak-out. Lately, I've been asking myself questions that I've never asked before. Things like:

This is good but is this all there is for my life?
How will my children turn out?
Will I ever do something great?
This reminded me of a message I heard a from Gordon MacDonald, editor at large of (click on link for an article based on his message). He was speaking to worship leaders and encouraging us to be mindful of the questions people bring with them to church. New questions seem to enter in at each decade of life. If you have a multi-generational congregation...that's a lot of questions.

Questions people are asking by the decade:

  • 20's Who am I? How am I different from my family? What will I do? Am I capable of love? Is there anyone who would love me?

  • 30's How do I cope with the demands of life and all these people who want a piece of me? What can't I follow through? How come I feel like I can never please anyone? What happened to my friends?

  • 40's What happened to me as a child? Why are others doing better than me? Why am I so disappointed in myself? Isn't it supposed to be better than this dull-drum life? Why these uncertainties?

  • 50's Why is time moving so fast? Why is my body unreliable? How do I deal with failures/successes? Why is my marriage not great? Are the best years of my life over?

  • 60's When do I stop doing the things that define me? Am I ready for old age? Why do I feel separated from the world? Do I have a spiritual legacy?

  • 70's Does anyone know who I once was? How much of life do I still control? Why this irritability? How long will people miss me?
I think of this message every time I prepare to lead worship at Shoreline East. I wonder what questions our guests are asking. Perhaps.... Where do I belong? Does anyone care about me? Is there still hope for me? I try to choose songs that would answer those questions: You are loved by God. You belong to His family. And Yes, there is HOPE for you in Christ! I pray that God's presence would lift them above those questions, that his peace would still their souls.....and mine!
We will be at Shoreline East this Saturday, come join us!

Do you see yourself asking questions as Gordon MacDonald presented them?
Or are there other questions you are asking in your current decade?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm singing along to a new song called Shaken by Paul Baloche, and it is just so singable! Then, I listen to the lyrics and I think "who writes songs like this?" This is a dangerous song, I'm not sure I really want to sing it, but I can't get it out of my head!

"Those You love, You will chasten. Everything that can be will be shaken... and only You remain." I wonder, is this an invitation to shaking? It seems risky doesn't it? Like sending an evite to Challenge or Testing. But storms don't seem to need an invitation, do they? They just pop up on our lives like a summer thunderstorm that even the best meteorologist didn't see coming. I've never noticed a bright red ticker at the bottom of my mind's eye warning me that dark days are headed my way. Storms just come. It rains on all of us.

This song is straight out of Hebrews 12...these are verses that we read...but who would have ever thought we should sing them? Well, I guess Paul's wife Rita did....

"Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."
The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—
that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

For whom the LORD loves He chastens

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Since I tuned into the lyrics, I'll be honest....I sing cautiously. I look at my life and I wonder what could be shaken and what would remain? And I think perhaps a little shaking might loosen some of things that I carry that I don't need to be carrying. Like a ship in a storm, I wonder what would I throw overboard? What would you throw overboard?

I do feel shaken by this life at times. But then I remember that David said in the Psalms "because the Lord is at my right hand I will not BE shaken." I sing along because I know that:
  • Strength is birthed in the struggle
  • Pruning is necessary for fruitfulness.
  • God is my ROCK.
  • The storms of life will come.
  • A house built on that Rock stands.
  • God's love will never be shaken!

Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog

My very first entry posted on June 5th, 2008 so my Blog is 2 yrs old this month!

Happy Birthday Blog!

What I have learned in my first two years:
  • I enjoy writing.
  • I enjoy reading what I've written.
  • I appreciate my dorky attempts at humor.
  • I am most likely only person who has read ALL of my posts.
  • I seem to write FOR readers, which is an act of faith.
  • My husband is my biggest fan and most consistent comment leaver-thank you for that Babe!
  • Facebook shares are warm fuzzies.
  • Comments make me smile.
  • Bloggers shall not live by comments alone.
  • Subscribers make me happy....and by the way it's free.
  • I refuse to let numbers mean that much to me, but I find myself caring more about traffic.
  • I was right, things I have written do stay with me longer than thoughts that don't get posted.
  • Blogging is a great creative outlet.
  • I am actively learning and growing.
  • I like to share what I've learned.
  • I don't have to have all the answers.
  • There is lots to learn.
  • There is a crazy amount of learning to be done!
  • The more I learn the more I realize......I don't know much.
  • I will keep writing.

Maybe I'll get one of those nifty books made of my first two years - that sounds like a great Christmas present for my parents. Dad and Mom...pretend you didn't read this one OK?