Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Roaring Lion

A thought from Jennifer Rothschild taken from her book Self Talk, Soul Talk...

"In 1 Peter 5:8, the great apostle compares Satan, the enemy of souls, to a roaring lion. He says something like this "Be careful! Be alert. Watch out. Stay awake. A roaring lion is out there, and it's stalking you and seeking to destroy you."

That passage has always confused me. How does a roaring lion sneak up on anyone? Unless you happen to be deaf, you can't help but notice his approach. His roar gives him away, even if you're busy or occupied with other things. Even a dull roar would cut through your thoughts and interrupt your senses. You don't have to be that alert to notice, do you?

That question sounds logical, but what if we heard that roar all the time? What if we heard it so often that we gradually tuned it out and became desensitized to it? It would be like living in a house next to the railroad tracks; after a while, you don't even hear the trains. We grow so accustomed to the distractions around us that we barely notice their influence.

And that's when we become easy prey."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When Life Slows You Down

I have recently been re-reading through my favorite book series...The Mark of the Lion by Francine Rivers. The 3 books are a work of Christian historical fiction. While the story is fictional, the books are historically and biblically accurate. Anyhow, each time I read them I get ministered to and inspired. Today I wanted to share with you one of my eye openers.

In the story there is a woman who has 2 grown children, both of whom are far from the Lord. She is a Christian and devotes herself to serving the needs of the poor. One tragic day she has a stroke that takes away her independence. She can no longer walk, talk, or care for herself. But her mind is still sharp. The physicians even go so far as to suggest that the family put her out of her misery. After all, what possible use can someone be as an invalid? But the author seems to suggest that God may have a purpose behind this woman's condition. What possible reason would God have for taking a healthy woman who was devoted to serving Him and allow her to live in such a state? I honestly hadn't a clue. But the woman found her pray unceasingly for her unsaved children. God had to make her slow down from her busyness so she would devote herself to prayer. The story doesn't end there...but you'll have to read to get the rest :)

So it got me thinking about all the ways God can slow us down....illness, injury, traffic, waiting rooms, sleepless nights. I don't like these inconveniences that keep me from doing what I want to be doing. But what if during these times we just say "OK God, I'm here. What do you want me to pray about?" We can transform those boring, frustrating moments into something useful and powerful for the Kingdom of God. I would never claim to be a prayer warrior of any sorts, but lately God has been laying things on my heart to pray for. There are people and issues that burden me in such a way that I can get emotional while praying for them...which is so foreign to me that I know it must be God at work. And the peace that follows is pretty cool too.

So what will you do the next time life slows YOU down?

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Date Night

I love Fridays. Not just because it falls at the end of the work week, but because it means time alone with my hubby with no kids...for free! For those of you who have never heard of a babysitting co-op, you don't know what you're missing out on! This is how ours works. We have 4 couples in our co-op. Each couple takes a turn to watch all of the children on 1 Friday per month...which leaves 3 date nights of free babysitting! Not only do Jeremy and I look forward to this, but the kids do too. They love hanging out with their friends every Friday night. We have been doing this for 6 years now and I'm sure my marriage has been strengthened because of it. And even tonight, our turn to watch the munchkins, isn't so bad. We enjoy being able to bless our friends by watching their kids and giving them alone time. So I encourage you to get a group of your friends together and give it a try!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Request

If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be? More money? A job? Better health? To fall in love? Those are all things I've prayed for. But reading about Solomon reminds me that there is one request God longs for us to make...a request that can involve every aspect of our lives...the request for wisdom.

Listen to God's response to Solomon's request: "The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever will be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for - both riches and honor - so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life" 1 Kings 3:10-14

Lately God has been opening my eyes to how much greater His wisdom is than my own. I think back to situations in which I felt disappointment and wondered why God wasn't coming through. But now that time has passed I can look back on those situations and understand that God knew what was best for me. He knows that what I WANT is not always what is best. When God imparts His wisdom I begin to take the focus off of me and instead see the big picture. Satan wants my life to be about me. When I think about my unmet needs (which are really wants) I begin to feel depressed and withdraw. But when I seek God's wisdom and perspective all of a sudden life becomes not about me, but about Him! I begin to pray for and serve others and my joy returns. It's something I need to ask for and seek daily. I want to be like Solomon and please my Father by asking for a wise and discerning heart, for I know that He already has my needs taken care of.