Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jesus Commanded Rest

This week I begin a new adventure, graduate school.  It's been on my bucket list for a long time...even before I finished my undergraduate degree 18 years ago.  As classes opened online, I accessed my account and began to look at the details of the syllabus.

My eager heart craves to study, but I can see clearly the extra demand of time I have just assumed after cleaning out my life just a few months before.  Its taken only a few days to become overwhelmed with the amount of additional work.

There's a great song out right now by Tenth Avenue North called "I'm worn."  It was written by a parent, exhausted from the work it takes to care for a toddler.  Most days the responsibilities we assume are mentally and physically tiring.  "Worn" is a step beyond...when you are so tired you lose the desire to continue the fight.

Worn, I have been there.  Spending more and more time trying to accomplish things on my own.  The harder you work, the more work there is to do. Its easy to become burned out, exhausted, finding a gaping hole in the center of your heart as you go through the motions of life unfulfilled.

This week God brought me to Mark 6:30.  Its a verse I shall not take lightly. In the midst of pressing crowds, after healing the sick and sharing the message, Jesus spoke these words to his disciples "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

The to do list is often longer than the day, but it is so important to spend time with God. He refuels our worn out spirits.  He helps us achieve a place where even though the list is longer than the hours in the day, we can tackle it head on.

My friends, if Jesus can take the disciples aside for rest in the midst of a busy day, we need to let him also take us aside for some rest.  Don't put your quiet time aside...its important.  When he becomes the head of the list, the list becomes much easier to handle, I promise.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Standing In The Hallway

About three weeks ago, God laid a message on my heart about the doors he opens in our lives, and the ones he closes for us.  As I prepared to teach our ladies group Wednesday night, I had struggled with a lesson.  God gave me a great follow up to my lesson doorways:  How to Live your Life in the Hallway.

We often expect when God closes a door for us, he’s supposed to immediately open another one.  I expected that 11 months ago when I made a life changing transition.  Today, I'm still standing in the hallway. We all will face those hallways in our lives, the important lesson for us is how to live during the process.  I learned a lot about that this week from 1 Samuel, and the story of David.

Charles Swindoll in his book David, “I wonder how many people think that David, after he killed the giant, within a matter of a few days became the youngest king in the history of Israel?  Well in case you were one who thought that, you need to know it didn’t happen that way.”

David was a teenager when he battled Goliath, and he took the throne as king of Israel at age 30. He had some very tough years between, running for his life from Saul. There's so much to write from these chapters! Here are a few highlights:
  • David earned the respect of his people, and that position followed him through his tough days. When God was ready, his position as a role model helped him be a successful king. (1 Samuel 18:6-7). Our character helps determine our future.
  • God provided for David and kept him safe. He put barriers in front of the enemy. (1 Samuel 19). God takes care of us during both the good times and the hard times of our lives.
  • David sought God's will for his life. There are several passages mentioned where he seeks the will of God on a specific situation. (1 Samuel 22:3, 1 Samuel 23 v. 1 and 12). If we aren't seeking where we are going, we most certainly aren't going to find it.
  • David holds his integrity, even against his enemy, in spite of what the world had to say. He has not one, but two opportunities to kill Saul and uses them as an example of God's love and supreme power. Both times, he lets Saul go free. He ignored the voice of his army who told him he deserved the right to kill this man. (1 Samuel 24 and 26). David was a great example of God's love and mercy. We have that same opportunity. How we handle our trying times is an example for others. 

Waiting is not a negative experience. The dictionary definition of wait means to remain in a place so as to be ready for something or because something is to be expected.  The Hebrew word wait is closely aligned with the word “Hope.”  

We should expect great things from God in our lives, and we should remember the times where we wait on them to come are part of our growing process.   

I've fought some big battles in this hallway I hadn't expected to face.  They have taught me trust, and yes, patience.  I've learned the importance of integrity and holding your head high in the midst of the storm.  There have been rewards too, precious time with my husband and kids I would not have traded for the world, and the opportunity to dig deeper and to be able to share lessons like this one.  

My favorite Bible verses (in case you could not tell from my blog title) are from Jeremiah 29:11-13.  God's great promise for us, of a future and hope.  Verse 13 reminds us we can find it when we seek it with our WHOLE heart.  
Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) 
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
A promise from God is a promise you can bet on!  Stand strong in your hallway today.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I don't usually post videos in my blog, but I wanted to share this one.  I found it several weeks ago preparing a skit for our youth group, who did an excellent job this morning of sharing the message.

Prepared by a church group and their youth, it talks about the baggage we carry.  Whether you are fifteen or 50, chances are you have some "baggage."  I know I do.  Christ takes each of us and wipes our slate clean when we take him as our savior.  What a great message for the person who says they aren't good enough...or the Christian who can't seem to let go.  Christ already has, won't you?