Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nesting

All mothers know what I'm talking about when I write that word. It's something you just cannot explain to anyone who has never given birth. It's this totally subconscious motivation to get your house in order that an expectant mother experiences, generally, in the last few weeks (sometimes days) of her pregnancy.

It's very hard to explain what motivates a woman, having a body heavy with baby and all that entails, to move furniture, wash, dry, put away, stock up, etc., like a mad woman just prior to her baby arriving.

That's the way I've been lately, but thank the Good Lord, I am not expecting a child (again, at my age (52) since I just had one at age 42)! But there seems to be an unseen hand moving me around. I feel compelled to read as much Scripture as I can, I constantly feel the need to look for signs in the skies, I want to be well informed of what's happening in the news, I want to pray more, I feel the need to tell others what I know about the Lord and trusting Him. I feel pregnant at the expectation that The Lord is coming back.

Do you feel it, too? I believe the world, at large, is pregnant with expectation for something. Some people know what it is they're expecting; others haven't got a clue. It's sort of like that old expression, the "pregnant pause". An expectant mother rushes around maniacally putting her nursery together, stocking her kitchen, cleaning her house, stocking up on diapers, baby supplies, and on and on and on, and then wham. She stops what she's doing, exhausted and rests, and the pregnant pause starts. The next thing you know she's in labor and the baby arrives.

The chaos in the world is multiplying every day. The US is not the only country where problems are abounding and multiplying at exponential rates. But there is a sense that the level of fear, noise, hatred, unease, distrust and disbelief are growing louder and stronger daily. People are running to and fro, they are stocking up on food, water, guns, ammo, Bibles, and getting their homes and lives prepared for the unknown. When that pregnant pause occurs, what happens then?

Just as in the delivery of that precious baby, when the pregnant pause happens, stop all that busyness, put yourself at rest in the hands of God and watch the miracle that He has planned and prepared for unfold before your very eyes.

Trust Him to have your best interests at heart, ask Him to show you your sin, ask for forgiveness and then don't let go or look back. Walk forward into each new day in confidence knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for everything that happens.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Isaac Watts

Each morning as I do my time with God, I spend a little time entering information into my gratitude journal. One of the headings is: I am Grateful for:

here's what I wrote today: God's Holy Spirit. Just when I get down on myself, the Spirit reassures me of that which I need to acknowledge daily...greater is He that is IN me than he that is in the world, and I can do ALL things through Him who gives strength to the weak and power to the powerless.

Writing that brought to mind a hymn I used to play in church (20 years as a church organist)....O, God, Our Help in Ages Past. The first verse reads:

O, God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home.

The words are divinely inspired. It is unfortunate that in today's church pastors are inclined to minister to the masses by incorporating rock and roll and secular music to services which are supposed to be held to worship God, lift up His name and give blessings to Him and not to give man what he wants,....rock and roll and a good show.

O, God, our help was written by Isaac Watts, known as the father of English hymnodie. His parents were "dissenters" (not members of the Anglican Church) and therefore faced severe persecution in their day.

What kind of a man was Isaac Watts? To quote from his biography: "We can form some idea from an essay written after a violent thunderstorm in which he wrote the following words: "Happy the soul whose hope in God composes all his passions amid these storms of nature, and renders his whole deportment peaceful and serene amid the frights of weak spirits and unfortified minds.""

Isaac Watts wrote many hymns that bring a smile to this old organist's face; such as:

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Am I Soldier of the Cross
Abide With Me
All for Jesus
All Glory, Laud and Honor
And Can It Be
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

AND

America the Beautiful
Away in a Manger
Angels We Have Heard on High
Christ the Lord is Risen Today

This is just to name a few, there are many, many more. Isaac wrote over 600 hymns. He has a fabulous history and is one of those people we and our children should be reading about today. His inspirational biography is on line and can be read FREE! HERE.

I believe we are living in days when we will need to be inspired by those who have gone on before us and our children even more so.

Here are the rest of the words to O, God, Our Help in Ages Past.

So, today when you read about all the difficulties that are happening around us, remember Isaac Watts and his method of dealing with the madness: Put all your hope, thoughts, and dreams in the hands of the Lord of Our Righteousness, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Psalms 15 and 16

When I prepared to have my quiet time with God this morning, my Bible opened to Psalms 15 and 16.

Psalm 15 (NLT):

Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
(1) Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts;
(2) Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends;
(3) Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts;
(4) Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.


Psalm 16: 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11

.....You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you....
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing......Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. I know that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

First of all, notice who is able to worship the Lord in His santuary on His mountain: the blameless, those who do right, those who REFUSE to gossip about their neighbors and friends and family members, those who hate flagrant sinners and keep their promises no matter what and those who don't charge interest and can't be bribed.

Possibly, this could be interpreted as: the innocent, those who know what sin is and hate it, those who guard their tongues, the ones who have turned to God, the promise keepers, the generous and the honest.

For most of us walking the earth at this very moment, we are not innocent, we don't want to recognize sin and call it out, guarding our tongues sounds like a personality defect, ....what's a promise?, generosity, who me, I don't have any money to help you with, and truth, what's truth...we all see things differently.

Yes, as we stand in the world today, there is none who can enter God's santuary and worship. But as we continue in the Word, we come to Psalm 16, we see that when we run to God for help, He responds, and when He does, we can't help but understand the way God planned for creation to be.

He is our master, he gives us every "good" thing. And yes, God can bless us materially if He so chooses, but his Word tells us that there is only one thing that is "good".... (Mark 10:18) And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God.

It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we receive His inheritance to us, everlasting life in heaven with Himself and the one true God, Yahweh, Jehovah, the Lord of the Spirits. He is, indeed, our cup of blessing.

He stays by our side day and night, guarding us and protecting us so that we can sleep well and work hard. We don't have to be shaken by every wind that blows or trouble that shows up on our door step. He shows us the way of life and living in His presence and the joy of living with Him forever.

If you have not had a personal encounter with the Lord, Jesus Christ, you are not living life to its fullest. You are not experiencing life the way the Creator planned it. Stop for just a moment, clear your mind completely, and sincerely ask that He reveal Himself to you. Whether it be that moment or an unexpected moment, keep your eyes focused and your ears open. Each day, take one moment and ask Him. Persevere, be patient and be open. He promises that if we seek Him, He will come.

When He does come, don't hesitate, don't procrastinate, don't speculate. Your heart will recognize Him. After all, He knit you together, He knew you before you were born. But, He is not always on our time schedule, and you must wait for Him. He knows your heart; He knows when you're serious, so don't do it unless you mean it.

May He Bless You Today With His Presence.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I have been sensing God calling me to a deeper walk with Him through the removal (cutting out of my flesh) of all things that are more important to me than He is.

1 Kings 18:22-24 tells the story of how the prophet Elijah confronts the prophets from King Ahabs's court by challenging them to a contest. Two bulls were sacrificed (cut) and the altar was set up accordingly. At the evening sacrifice, the prophets who were worshipping Baal were given an opportunity to call down the power of their "gods" to set the bull on fire. They called and called, to no avail. It's proof of God's sense of humor to see how Elijah mocked these so-called prophets when they did not produce the requested proof of their existence. Verse 28 relates how they danced, shouted and "cut themselves with knives and swords until blood gushed out, but their gods failed to show up. Elijah, however, only had to call upon the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob once when lightning came from heaven and not only burned the bull, but all the water surrounding it.

Genesis 15:8-15 tells the story of God establishing His blood covenant with Abraham and how the flesh of all the sacrifices were cut with the exception of the birds. God walked through the pieces of the sacrifice and made a pact with Abraham that God says he will keep forever.

And, so, we arrive at Romans Chapter 12, verses 1 and 2, which admonish us to "give our bodies to God because of all he has done for us. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind that He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for yourself, which is good and pleasing and perfect".

The pattern is set throughout the Bible showing how the flesh must die in order to be an acceptable sacrifice to God. Dying to our flesh while still walking around in these disease-ridden bodies is quite a task. It's hard to refuse the flesh when it wants something to eat or drink, or when our eyes want to look on something that is not to God's liking. ... and what about those movies that we want to watch that surely God disapproves of, and maybe, just maybe, that still, small voice that we turn off in our heads is correct when it says, "don't buy that, you don't need it, use that money for someone else's good, and don't ever doubt the power of the mouth to have its say".

When I read the opening verses of Romans this morning, it hit me: I must offer up my body/flesh (read: die to the things I want) to God so that He can transform me by changing the way I think. This is my sacrifice to Him. Only then can I take another step to becoming "good and pleasing and pefect" to Him.

Lord, today I humbly approach your throne (even though your word tells us that because of Jesus' perfect sacrifice, that we may "boldly" approach you and ask for anything in His name), and I ask you to help me do as you require of me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, Lord; give me the desire to do as you want, and the wisdom to know when you have spoken to me whether it be through a word or through a message that I have seen. Purify my heart, Lord, so that I can run this race with integrity. When I have completed this life, Lord, God, I want to hear those words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". Show me what it is that you want me to cut out of my flesh today so that I can be more like you. I ask this in Jesus name.

Are you being sought by God to begin walking with Him or for a deeper walk with Him? Don't run away. He loves you more than you can imagine, and He wants the very best for you. He deserves our praise and adoration. Open your heart to his guiding spirit today.

Kim