Monday, June 28, 2010

The Humble Search

Yesterday was a very interesting day for me.  For one, I won a game of Settlers of Catan against my sister-in-law, nephew and niece but that's not really why I am writing today.  I had one of those moments when God humbles you and reminds you that it really isn't about you, but about Him.

On the fourth Sunday of every month at The LIFE Centre ( we have what is called Super Sunday.  It is kind of like a huge kids church where all the kids stay in with me and we sing songs, play games and do a life lesson.  One of the things that I did yesterday was I put all the kids into four colour groups (blue, green, yellow and orange) and took them outside.  What they didn't know was that hidden outside (thanks Emily S.) was the memory verse ... one word on a single piece of paper for their colour group.  So each child was let loose to find 13 pieces of paper in their respective colour groups.

That's when it happened ...

As I stood there and watched the kids run around looking for the pieces of paper I realized that this is why I do what I do.  The kids were running and laughing and playing and searching and having fun.  I was releasing kids to love Jesus ...

but then the humbling part ...

God showed me, however, that I needed to be more like the kids.  They were striving so hard to find all 13 pieces of paper to discover the memory verse.  It was that quiet voice ... that gentle reminder ... that I need to search for God the way the kids were searching for the memory verse.  I need to be like those kids in my search of Christ ... running and laughing and playing and searching ...

So from now on when people ask me if I am ever going to grow up my response will be ... NEVER!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Planned Distractions

This has been a crazy busy week.  There has been some self-sustained delays, but there has been a lot more delays that were either unforeseen or unavoidable.  Either way, it has been a very unproductive week and that's why I am sitting at the office on a Saturday morning trying to pull things together for Sunday.  So far ... well ... I'm on here so that should say it all.

It is funny how things don't always go exactly how we want them to go.  I had this week all planned out and things kept coming up and just delaying the things that I needed to get done back just a little bit further.  Despite the fact that all these 'delays' have come into play, it has been an exciting week.  There have been lots of challenges, but that just means that there have been lots of opportunities to grow.  God has really shown me a lot about who I am through this week and shown me that not everything is about me!  WHO KNEW!!??

I thought I had it all figured out!  I thought I knew exactly what God was telling me, how it was going to go and roughly when it was going to happen.  I guess telling God might be different than hearing from God.  Sometimes I think we want to show God how it should go (and to the point where we believe that "God told me that it was going to happen this way") instead of just resting in His Presence and allowing His Spirit to lead us and guide us.  I find myself playing God as opposed to loving God.

So back to my busy week ... I really should finish off what I NEED to get done but I'm left with this humbling thought:  No matter how things really turn out, no matter if things go the way that I think they should or if they just happen, God is in control and He IS directing my steps.  (Proverbs 20:24, Jeremiah 10:23)  That means that I just keep looking to him and I know that all these 'distractions' happen for a reason.  None of these 'surprises' are a surprise to God.  That's comforting because I know that God is for me, not against me!

All that said, I get back to what I NEED to get done and thank God for all the things that I didn't need to do!  God is truly amazing!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Avoiding the Chair

Yesterday was an interesting day for me.  Thursdays are my day off at the church so I try to get caught up on my 'MUST DO' list.  This Thursday was much like every other Thursday in that there was laundry to clean, fold and put away (my momma brought me up right), there was grass to cut (which was only half done because the backyard is like Lake Ontario currently) and a room that needed to be tidied (okay ... so I don't always listen to EVERYTHING that momma told me).

The difference between this Thursday and other Thursdays, is that I had a dentist appointment to attend.  Now I am not a huge fan of the dentist.  However, I was talking to my friend and she said to me, "You don't like going?  Just think of how clean your teeth will feel after!"  My response was very quick but the impact was huge.  I said, "Its the process that I don't enjoy.  The end result is always good but the process sucks."

How many times do we find our Christian walk like that.  We want to experience the "end result", but we don't really want to go through the process.  In Hebrews 12:3-11, the author gives us a powerful imagery of God as our Spiritual Father.  Check this out:

3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
   “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.

6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?

8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.

9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.

11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

How many times have we tried to take the short cut and avoid the discipline?  How many times have we tried to avoid the dentist chair only to realize that it is going to cost us (both figuratively and literally) more in the long run?

The next time you're going through something where you're feeling the loving discipline of God, remember that it might be difficult in the moment, but in the long run, it will cause you to grow and mature and have lasting benefits.

The pain is over, my pocket book is emptied and my teeth are clean!  Keep smiling!  It makes those dentist's bills worth it!

Never Lose the Passion