Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Where Are We Going?! ~ Lessons from Rex

It was a  beautiful day out, sun was shining and the temperature is finally warming up and so off I went for a walk and decided to take Rex with me, he was thrilled.

We have a walking path that we regularly take when we go for family walks and this is the route I took, Rex wagging his tail happily attached to his leash walking right along side me stopping now and then to sniff his surroundings.

We get to the end of the path, the point when walking as a family we turn around and head back home but when I'm out for the sake of exercise I like to walk further than that point, this is where Rex lifts his head and looks at me as if to say 'aren't we turning around?'  I give his leash a gentle tug and we keep walking.  Now we are on a different path and I notice something really interesting, Rex's tail is now slightly down, not wagging as excitedly and every 5 or 6 steps that I take he stops and turns around to look at where we came from.  He did this for the first half mile that we walked, every 5 to 6 steps stopped and turned around, each time I would give him a gentle tug and we kept on walking.  About half way through he fell in step beside me and no longer turned around but instead kept looking up at me to see if I was still there.  When traffic came I would pull Rex close to me so that he could be kept safe from the danger.

As I was walking I was reminded of my walk with Jesus, there are familiar paths that I am used to walking with Him where we can walk side by side, me happily in step beside Him knowing where we are going and how this will end up, then there are the times in my life where He is asking me to take a different path and I'm not sure that I can.  I walk a few paces behind Him stopping every now and then to look back to where I came from knowing that its safe back there,  not knowing whats up ahead I long to go back.  Yet He gives me a gentle tug as if to say 'Louise I am here, you are safe, I know where we are going....TRUST ME'.

This is where I have the choice just like Rex, to continue lagging behind and looking back longing to go back or I can walk alongside my Jesus and fall in step with Him and His leading, and when I am unsure I can look up at Him for reassurance knowing that He has the absolute best for me in mind.  Sure we may come against dangerous situations where I need the safety of the shelter He gives but He promises to see me through. He wants me to trust Him and know that no matter what He wants me beside Him, not continually looking back at my life and the areas that I think are 'safe' but rather to be in the present walking alongside Him, also looking forward to the future with anticipation and hope knowing He has already been to where we are going and I can fully trust in Him.

Just goes to show you that no matter where you are in whatever situation you are in God can use something as simple as your relationship with your dog to give you gentle reminders and a glimpse
of His love for you!

I hope you are blessed today and begin to see hope in your future as you trust in Him today!!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Creation In You and Me

I stand in awe of the new images that come out regularly from the Hubble Space Telescope, they make new discoveries daily, images are shot of stars and galaxies never seen by the human eye before.

The other day I saw a picture of one I thought to myself, wow these are only being discovered now?!?!  I know many, many, many years ago at the beginning of time when God created the heavens and the earth He placed these stars in the sky as Genesis 1 talks about and He NAMED them as Psalms 147;4 points out.  He placed them in the sky and they are only being discovered by humans now with incredibly high powered telescopes up in space, truly amazing!

So of course being the over thinker I am, I sat there thinking, why did He place the stars there?! Light years away, where they may never be discovered?  I mean if it was me I would show them off  from the first day I made them and thankfully I am not God!! I believe He placed them there purely for His own enjoyment, when you see pictures of these amazing things its easy to imagine God sitting back looking at what He had made with a smile on His face loving the beauty of it all and then knowing that thousands of years down the road humans would discover these wonders and those that don't believe in God, would possibly question His existence and do some searching of their own, and for those that do believe in God it would be another solid reminder of His glory.  In Revelation 4:11 it talks about God creating things for His pleasure, He wasn't concerned about the human race discovering them, He created what pleased Him!

As I sat there looking as this picture and kind of chuckling to myself imagining the smile on Gods face, I heard the still small voice ' I have placed magnificent creation into each one of my children. Something great and wonderful that may not be seen by the world, but I see it and it makes me smile.'  When He sees us He sees us the way He created us to be, not the way that we are!  He wants to be in relationship with us so that we can discover our uniqueness our own gifts and abilities and to get free from the hurt, the bondage and pain to ultimately begin to see ourselves the way He sees us. 

We are His amazing creation, made for His pleasure!

WOW, He not only made us in His likeness and image as Genesis 1 talks about, but inside every one of us is a beautiful creation and when we discover this HIS glory is revealed. 

From the beginning of time He knew each and every one of us, called us by name and knew when we would walk out our time here on earth and placed a bit of creation in each of us to impact this world, to make a difference, to love His people and to point all hands back in praise to Him our wonderful magnificent creator!

It is truly overwhelming isn't it?  From the beginning of time He had YOU and ME in mind!!

We are not a mistake, no matter what the circumstances of our birth, we were created in this time and space for such a time as this!!

How then can any one of us doubt our worth?
How then can anyone of us look in the mirror and hate what we see?
How can we live without hope? 

That discovery alone that we are made with a plan and a purpose from the time of creation, for today in this time that we are walking the earth, can send us forth each and everyday on a journey of discovery, following Him and the path He has placed before us on the great adventure we call our life!

Lord, I pray that people would catch a vision of your hope for them today,
that they would realize the uniqueness you have placed into each one of them 
a piece of creation from the beginning of time
that you also smile at how wonderfully they were made 
and when they discover how much you love them and that at the beginning of time you had them in mind that they can begin to SHINE for you just as the stars in the sky!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Do Not Worry

If you've been in the church world at all I'm sure you've heard this verse often:
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

I've heard that verse a million times and yet I tend to be a bit of a worrier by nature, I can worry about anything and everything from our finances to whether or not my children are going to be good adults, to whether or not I said to much to a friend etc etc. I can worry about anything.

Not a trait I am proud of...

Recently though I feel as though God has been dealing with this issue in me more and more because not only does worry just remain worry, it turns into doubt, and doubt can be like a deadly cancer seeping into every area of my life, I will leave doubt for another post.

So through God dealing with me in this area I am learning about grace and mercy, He speaks in His word about His mercies being new every morning (Lamentations 3:23)and about how His grace is sufficient for us and that His power is made perfect in our weakness(2Corinthians 12:9) and clearly this is an area of weakness for me.

So I began to unpack this a bit and I pondered that verse His mercy is new every morning, so every morning I have a choice to believe that:
His mercy extends to me TODAY, 
He is patient with me TODAY, 
He loves me TODAY,
He truly cares about me TODAY.  
Wow that in itself is refreshing and can give me hope to travel through this day. Yet the worry still lingered so I needed to unpack this one a bit further to where He talks about His grace being sufficient for me, this is where I had my 'aha' moment so to speak.  His grace is sufficient for me TODAY, He is lavishly pouring out His grace on me so that I can get through TODAY.  He tells me not to worry about tomorrow because He hasn't yet given me the grace I need to get through tomorrow.  He only gives me daily grace, daily sustaining grace to handle what I need to handle today and if I get so caught up in the worry about tomorrow and the 'what ifs' that await in my tomorrow unanswered I loose the blessing of today.....WOW........simply wow. 

We were never meant to carry the burden of tomorrow today.  This doesn't mean that we can't plan ahead and that we don't use wisdom to plan for tomorrow it simply means that whatever happens tomorrow the grace will be there to get us through when we need it.

So today I rest in the fact that the moment I opened my eyes this morning, swung my feet over the side of the bed God was there, standing with His hand outstretched to me saying "Here I am Louise, take my hand let's walk this day out together, and if any problem should arise I will be here with you every step of the way.".....and when the worry about tomorrow and the day after and the day after that tries to creep in He says 'Don't worry about tomorrow I will be with you every single step of the way but DON'T MISS the blessing I have placed in today.'

Wow sometimes I am overwhelmed by His goodness and faithfulness.  I pray that you catch the glimpse of His love and faithfulness today and if you are a worrier like me I hope this has helped you in some way!!

To close I will add a verse that is such an important part of my walk with Jesus, so much so that I contemplated tattooing it on my wrist (insert my parents freaking out right here, I haven't done it yet but who knows ;) ) here it is.

ISAIAH 41:10 :
Don’t worry—I am with you.
    Don’t be afraid—I am your God.
I will make you strong and help you.
    I will support you with my right hand that brings victory.


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Be Still....

A while back each time I prayed and asked for answers to some of the things I was facing I would hear this echoing in my mind over and over again 'Be still and know that I am God'. Psalm 46:10

The first while after hearing that I kept on thinking, well I do know who God is and I love Him. Trying to convince myself that I was on track and that if I could simply grasp this concept of being still and knowing He is God that the answers would then come.  What I didn't realize is that just grasping the concept and knowing who God is are two different things and not to mention that the being 'still' part has always been a bit of a problem for me. So I tried to unpack this one a bit....
The dictionary describes grasping as: seize and hold by or as if by clasping with the fingers or arms. seize upon; hold firmly.
3. to get hold of mentally
So here I get the picture of grasping God, to seize and hold onto firmly the idea of Him and who He is. As if I have a picture in my mind of what the church says or believes of who God is or even better yet His word.  His word is by far the best way of getting an idea of who God is.  So then I can firmly grasp what the word says of who God is and get a hold of that picture mentally and attempt to go through life with that picture, but that isn't what God is saying, He is saying be still and KNOW that I am God.  Okay so then I go to the definition of know :
1. To perceive directly; grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty.(there is that word grasp)
2. To regard as true beyond doubt
3. To have a practical understanding of, as through experience.
4. To have fixed in the mind.
5. To have experience of.
6.a. To perceive as familiar; recognize: I know that face.
b. To be acquainted with.
7. To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct: knows right from wrong.
8. To discern the character or nature of.

And here is where I stand in awe, see to grasp in the mind is only the first step in knowing who He is.  Anyone can take hold of an idea and grasp it but until they have a knowing through first hand experience with it, it only remains an idea.  
So now this verse repeated in my head was becoming clearer to me and this is where the being still part comes in.  Everything in our world is vying for our attention, media, cellphones, tv, our kids, everything.  Yet here He says BE STILL and KNOW that I am God.  It's in the being still that what we have grasped sinks deeper from our thoughts mentally into our heart. It's in experiencing His love for us through revelation of His word  is where we can begin to KNOW and recognize the face and the voice of our creator, His character and His love for us.
Its in the KNOWING who He is and His heart for me that my questions about health, lack, my path in life and my worth have an answer. 
For in His word some of the answers to my questions are :
1)Psalm 103:2-3~ Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your sins, who heals all your diseases
2)Phillipians 4:19~ My God will use his glorious riches to give you everything you need.  He will do this through Christ Jesus
3)Jeremiah 29:11~ "I say this because I know the plans that I have for you"  This message is from the Lord. " I have good plans for you. I don't plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future."
4)Psalm 139: 13-15 ~For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
I can then choose to look at those verses and only mentally grasp them or I can meditate on them, in the stillness, till they become a knowing in my heart which is so much deeper than a mental grasp.  
Spending time in the Bible, His word, is the best way to get to know Him, He longs for a one on one relationship with us, quietly speaking revelations to our hearts and loving us through His scriptures.  They become alive with His goodness and then we begin to truly know Him.
I am still learning, I know I won't fully arrive in this area while here on earth, I still get distracted and can't possibly pretend to know it all.  I just know He is faithful and that He has incredible patience with me and when I get off track He is there waiting to lovingly restore me to Himself!!
So I say try it, spend time in the stillness with Him.  
He truly loves you and wants the best for you!!