Monday, May 30, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

Ah, the things we’re told that are scriptural. Our daughter used to tell us all about James chapter 15. Yes, I know, James only has five chapters but it was always entertaining to hear what she would come up with. She knew that it was a joke and that I didn’t believe her but we still had fun with it. “Moooooommmmmm, you know what James chapter 15 says?” I would humor her and ask her what it said. “It says parents obey your children.” or “Parents, give your kids chocolate.” There was always something new followed by her giggle.

I’ve heard people quote the Bible as saying, “Waste not, want not.” I knew it didn’t say that verbatim so I had dismissed it as being just a fairly wise thought. But this weekend I felt like God was saying that to me. It was in a far different context than I had ever thought of it. It all started with feeling lead to take communion more regularly as a reminder of who is in control of my life and who is not. God is in control, I am not. God is in control, Satan is not.

One morning as I was taking communion, I kept remembering scenes from The Passion of The Christ, along with on overwhelming feeling of “Waste not, want not.” With each heartbreaking scene, I began to realize that every time I entertain thoughts of anxiety, doubt, negativity, condemnation, or bitterness I’m just wasting the gifts that HE paid so dearly for.

–verb (used with object)
2. to fail or neglect to use: to waste an opportunity.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to obedience of Christ.
What are you wasting today? The way you finish the following sentence may be a key indicator of your area of waste. “Ow, no! What if…………………….”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ow Me of Little Faith

Thank you all for praying and please continue to remember our family. While waiting to see how all of the resent struggles will work out for our good, I’ve felt like God wanted me to pile up some “stones” to remind me of all that He has done for us in the past. “Ow Me of Little Faith” is the first of those stones.

Joshua 4: 6 - 7
“.... Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them......”
Ow Me of Little Faith  

Matthew 18:3
And He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

With Emily graduating soon, I find myself reminiscing about her kindergarten days. There are even days when I have to do a double take as I see those huge, brown eyes still filled with such child like faith that she looks like my little kindergartener all over again.

With the exception of a very tough time of testing, she has always seemed to have this excitement about approaching her God. She goes to Him with the same assurance and confidence that she used to have when bounding through the door as the ice cream truck made its way into our neighborhood. She was so confident that she didn't just come seeking one dollar for herself.  She often brought a friend, or two or three, and asked for dollars for the ice cream truck.

I remember when “ow me of little faith” was worried that she would be disappointed when God didn’t let her take the day off from school. She kept asking if we could skip school and work for the day. Normally, she loved to go to school but she really had her heart set on staying home that day.

Just like every other morning, we prayed in the car on the way to school. I reached back to hold her hand and prayed over our day. Normally, she would end her prayer with, "Mommy, you didn't close your eyes." and then giggle at the thought of me driving and closing my eyes.  This time though she prayed, “And God pleeeeeaaaassssssssse let me go back home today.” As we pulled into the parking lot, I tried to explain to her that I had a lot of work to do and apologized for not being able to take her back home.

I’m sure God must have been amused with me as I drove to work praying that she wouldn’t be too disappointed when He didn’t answer her prayer the way she wanted. I had barely made it into work when I received the school’s call saying, “We’re sorry but the power has gone out and it is too cold for the children to stay. You need to come back and take Emily home.”

That child giggled all the way home. That was the day that “ow me of little faith” realized my child could go over my head straight to God anytime she wanted. But it also served as a challenge to me to approach God with the same excitement and confidence - not a confidence that He will give me what I want but a confidence that He loves me and wants me to share all of my concerns and desires with Him.

I’ve had lots of little nagging concerns in the back of my mind lately. Reminiscing about Emily’s prayers have made me realize that I really need to bring all of those little nagging thoughts to Him. I’m still working on creating a habit of bringing everything to Him; but I must say that as relieved as I was to give it all to Him last night, I just can’t imagine that this will be a difficult habit to dive into.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Now What? Worship!!

Whew, rough rough week but thankful I came back across this lesson God taught me at the beginning of our son's health struggles.  I hope it will enourage anyone else that has had a rough week.  And please keep our little guy, Ryan, in your prayers as he struggles with seizures this week. week I hope to write about how God used all of the tough stuff this week for our He often does.

Now What?  Worship!!!!

What can you do after a doctor gives your child a diagnosis that seems to drain every ounce of energy out of your body? There’s a sense of urgency that you have to do something, and fast. But you don’t understand half of what they are saying let alone even begin to know what to do about it? Job went through something much worse than a health issue with a child; he actually lost all of his children. I had to see what a godly parent would do in the face of such grief.

Job 1:20

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshipped.

Of course! He worshipped. Although worship wasn’t the first thing on my mind, it should have been. I’ve watched children worship and witnessed the power of His presence. I’ll never forget bringing the neighborhood children into our house for Kidz Blast, a Bible club. We talked about how lifting our hands during worship was like giving God a hug and how we close our eyes so we won’t be distracted. There were about eight children and at the end of our worship song their eyes were as wide as saucers. I quietly asked, “Do you feel that?” No one spoke; they all just nodded their heads in wide-eyed agreement.

I’ve also watched children, labeled as ADHD, stand quietly with all of their attention on Him, worshipping. I don’t know whether they all truly have attention deficits, but I do know that there are no deficits as they stand in His presence and worship. Many times we adults also seem to have a deficit in our attentiveness to Him, especially during a crisis, which can only be corrected in worship.

We tell the kids every Sunday that praise is about thanking God for all that He has done for us and worship is about thanking Him for who He is. It makes sense that the first thing we should do when facing fear, grief, doubt, anger, and hopelessness is to remember Who He is. Only in worship can we redirect our attention to the One that can give us peace and strength.

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.