Thursday, September 18, 2014

Daily Dose - What We Miss When We Rush - Lysa Terkeurst

"Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours." 1 Chronicles 29:11a (NIV)

This one made me tear up. As I find myself telling my little boy to give me just a second more before I pick him up and trying to get everything done, I'm found guilty of rushing.

To what end I'm not quite sure. My home looks as clean as it did before, my dishes are as done as they were before, my laundry is as used as it was before. My point is that this devotion hit a chord for me.

I have to slow down, and sometimes I'm really good at recognizing that. Sometimes I have blinders on and press through no matter what. There are things that need my attention more than the things on my list. (Yes, I still have lists, it's how I function people. Though I don't have nearly as many)

I keep myself to this weird standard that nobody else expects of me. The power, glory, majesty, and splendor is God's, not mine. So why do I feel I need to measure up? Everything is His, sure, I'm given stewardship over some of it, but it's still not mine.

When did we become more about what people think and glory from others over what we're doing for God and what He thinks? I'd rather have a ,"well done my good and faithful servant" than a "that is so cool and you're so amazing" any day. So, why don't I always act like it?

Because I'm human and the fall caused a hole in me and sometimes I think that what will make me feel better is praise and admiration from others. So, I push...I rush...I control.

In the end, I really need that calming love. I need to stop and appreciate the majesty, the power, and the splendor. God saw that it was all good, and yes, our fall has put a little fog on the window, but it's still good and you can find God in so many places if you just stop and look.

I need to remember that my life isn't just about me, it's not about what people think of me, it's about what people will think of my Father through my actions. If they're not full of love and care, then what are people going to think of the one that I say I follow?

Here's my challenge for you: take a moment to think about all the daily things you take for granted (I'm not feeling well, so I have to do this a little more today.) Now, go appreciate these things. Take a moment out of your schedule and go really appreciate them. Even if it's the breath that you woke up with this morning. Sit and breathe. :)

In all His love,
M :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Daily Dose - The "Perfect" Cup of Coffee - Kathi Lipp

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NIV)

 This particular devotion hits me right between the eyes. You all know I'm a recovering Control Addict. Yes, I'm still working on it. More times than I'd like to admit, I find myself pushing forward, past all the things that matter, to "get it all done".

B likes to joke that, "we must not deviate from the plan" and he's right. I make plans and many times there isn't anything fluid to them. I'm aware of it though and have tried to make an effort to just go with the flow. Sometimes, ok many times, I fail.

Kathi gives us 3 ideas to help us through the need for perfection, and they're awesome. I'm all about being a rebel. :)

However, I feel like this problem is even deeper. How often do we find ourselves, our churches, running toward what perfection looks like to us than running toward what perfection looks like to Jesus. Do you know how much of the Bible is about how much God loves us and how he likes the way he made us? How our neighbors are to be loved for themselves, not judged for what they don't do the way we would.

How do we pull ourselves out of the superficial and back to incarnational living? I think Kathi's last idea is going to be key.

Rebel. It won't be easy, but as the key verse today notes, we WILL have trouble. God knew it, the moment humanity had to be kicked out of the garden, we sealed that door. We aren't guaranteed ease, we're guaranteed new and everlasting life. A wonderful, love filled life by way of Christ's blood. Let an f-bomb slip? Covered. Told that little white lie? Covered. See, Jesus didn't just die for our sins before we met him, he died for our humanity in life with him.

So, let's rebel against what we're told is the right way. Let's start diving into the word of God so deeply that we can't help but find his truths. Let's open our hearts so fully to the Holy Spirit leading us, that we can't help but reach out and affect others. Let's show our lives openly, so that others can truly know they're not alone. There's a broken and bleeding world waiting for the hope that we keep tucked tightly into our hands when we start focusing more on what the world wants as perfection.

Here are some other encouraging verses for you to meditate on (don't forget to read the verses above and below):

Colossians 3:15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (NIV)

Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (NLT)
Let's be rebels together shall we? :) Let me know what you're doing to rebel and I'll let you know what I'm doing. 
 Let God's light shine!
M :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Daily Dose - God Will Give You Everything You Need - Holley Gerth

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul." Psalm 23:1-3a (NIV)

I think sometimes we forget that God is actually there to give use rest, to bring us into his perfect rest. Our world tells us that being busier is better and that is what gives you worth. It also gets in the way of ministering to those that need us to. It's interesting that this would come today, after that amazing discussion at one of my women's groups last night. :)

In this devotion, Holley talks about how everyone, when asked, responds that they're tired and that we often get tired by following the wrong person. We're sheep following each other instead of following our Shepherd. For me, it's not just about following my Master where he goes, but following the mission he left for me. Am I too caught up in the world and what other people expect of me to be the blessing I'm supposed to be? Am I forgetting the people in the activities I do?

The next time you say you're too busy to do anything missional, think back to all the missed opportunities because you were to blinded by YOUR purpose to see the purpose GOD had in putting you in your busy situation. Who are you interacting with? Who are you looking past to get your purpose fulfilled.

Sure it'll make your errands last a little longer if you stop to acknowledge the people around you. Yes, you may have to talk to that loud soccer dad at your child's game. Being busy or having things in your life to do, doesn't remove you from the mission Jesus left for us. More people expect a 'trained' pastor to do all the work, when it's all about us doing the work. We're not a primer for someone that's trained, we're the workers.

Find your rest in Jesus when you're tired, ask for his peace and calm when you're feeling overwhelmed, but don't ever give up on the mission you have in your life. Every moment you give counts to someone.

Abba, Help me to remember that though I am just one person, that you set me in my daily life to shine YOUR light and be a blessing to others.