Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just shoot

I'm upstairs in our playroom listening to the bounce, bounce, bounce of the basketball just outside. It is my son. It is a good sound, the continuous dribbling with an occasional pause as he shoots. He practices out there a lot of evenings between homework and waiting for Dad to arrive home from work. Dribble, dribble, shoot. Dribble, dribble, dribble, shoot. Never moving the ball down the court; it is just a driveway with a hoop. But dribbling just the same. I suppose he is waiting to get his nerve up or just waiting for the perfect timing or perhaps that sweet sense that occurs just as the ball "needs to be shot". Whoosh! There it goes again!

How much time we spend waiting for the perfect shot. Dancing around the edges rather than stepping confidently into our place of purpose. Half-hearted attempts to know Him more. A Hokey-Pokey type of existence summed up with "you put your right foot in, you take your right foot out". Never fully committing to that which we have been called to. Our purpose.

So as for me, well it's time to stop dribbling around the court. It's time to turn my eyes toward the goal and take the shot. Releasing control of the ball. Putting aside the desire for my own perfect game. Surrendering all fear of failure. Giving my all over to this God that has proved Himself over and over. It is time to trust Him fully. Time to seek HIM earnestly. Time to live wholeheartedly for HIM and in HIM. Time to let HIM bring me into my own land of milk and honey. My purpose place. The purpose He created me for, that which will bring HIM glory.

Praise HIM!
Numbers 14:24 "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it."

1 Kings 8:22-24 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said:"O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today."

Joshua 14:7-9 "I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.' "

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. "

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Time Well Spent

As many of you know, I spent this past week touring Washington, DC with my son and his 8th grade school group. I boarded a bus loaded with 13 and 14 year olds and rode for nine hours in a somewhat cramped seat. But the long drive with limited leg room was well worth it. It was a spectacular visit!(Although a bit frigid for this child of the sunny south.)

I felt like we took a quick tour through the history of America. Our visit began at the FDR memorial. Next, we visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and viewed the many changes in flight that have taken place throughout history. We toured the United States Capitol and spoke with our Congressman who was busy making policy and law. We marched up the steps of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. We even treked along the same ground that George Washington once plod, Mt. Vernon. The docents there shared that in just one year, George Washington had over 612 visitors to spend at least one night on this plantation. Can you imagine the conversations that must have taken place as this young country began! But you know the most amazing aspect of this was that everytime I looked over I beheld this slender, bright eyed, red-headed young man alongside of me!

I loved being so near to him as he learned, as he explored, and as he interacted with his many friends and teachers. I was especially delighted when he occasionally ran up and swung his gangly 14 year old arm around my shoulder and and quietly told me "I'm glad you came, Mom!" Just a few simple acts allowed me to hear those precious words. Setting aside time from work. Packing a bag. Pulling out my snow boots. Three little things to prepare me for the great pleasure of walking alongside my boy. To know him better. That friends, is joy! Time well spent!

I love the fact that we have a Father who invites us to walk alongside Him. And all it takes are just a few simple acts. Setting aside a time. Finding a quiet place. Pulling out our Bible and partaking in the conversation He begins in His word. Three little things to allow us to know better this Creator of the Universe. This Savior of the world. To know Him more. My friends, that is joy! That is time well spent!

Deuteronomy 4:7 " What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?"
Matthew 4:18-20 "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him."

Lord, thank you for inviting us to walk alongside you! For inviting us to know You more. Your word is a "lamp unto my feet" and I praise you for that light. I thank you that I live here in America where I am free to read your Word. Let me never forget that freedom. Lord, continue to give me and others the desire to spend time with YOU. For Lord, every minute with You is time well spent! I praise YOU!

Praise HIM!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love Letter (re-post)

This is a repost from last fall. I'm off to Washington, DC with my youngest on a one week field trip. To my Chuckles, see you on Thursday!
Dear sweet precious one,
I remember the day you were born. You and I both labored for you to make your way into the world. Each of us struggling with one final push and then there you were. That moment everything changed. I was captivated by you. Oh, how I cherish that first moment when the doctor handed you to me. I held you close and watched you breathe. I felt your little heart beating so quickly under your tiny chest. I looked at your tiny fingers and toes, counted them one by one. I breathed deeply the sweet scent of your freshly born baby skin. I touched your nose and lips and precious downy hair. I peered deeply into your eyes and wondered what you must be thinking. I remember whispering "Hello little one. I am your mommy and I love you. Your daddy and I love you." Yes, precious one, everything changed.

It has been a while since we were first introduced. I no longer have to count your fingers and toes. But sweet child of mine, I still like to step into your room at night and watch you breathe peacefully as you sleep, or smell your sweet skin, or touch your hair. O child you are more precious to me than you were even the day we first met. I have watched you walk and stumble, pray and fall, wound and be wounded. I am still watching, waiting, hoping and loving. I love you dear child. A love that at times completely overwhelms me.

I am at once struck by both amazement and peace to know that I have a Heavenly Father who chooses to love me like that. A FATHER who has watched me walk and stumble and pray and fall. One who has watched me wound and be wounded. A Father who still watches and waits, who hopes and loves. Who calls me His child. Who loves me. A love that at times completely overwhelms me.

Father, thank you for choosing to love me. Sometimes it is easy, so easy to love my own beautiful children and yet so difficult to understand how you could love me. But I thank you that you do and I humbly accept your love Lord. I thank you for the moment that YOU changed everything.

Romans 8:38-39For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Praise Him!

Monday, February 4, 2008

You are what you eat!

In my house, we love Italian food. I mean we really love it. We have a theory that the greater the amount of garlic in a recipe, the greater the satisfaction to the palate! The only thing better than the enticing fragrance as the dish cooks is the savoring of each delicious bite. But tomorrow always comes. The garlic that delighted the previous evening greets everyone you meet with its noxious odor for the next couple of days. You try scrubbing. You try soaking. You try brushing. But try as we may, we can't get rid of the smell. Each breath delivers a whiff to those who dare to stand close. In short, we stink!

Did you know that when we fill ourselves up with Christ and His power, we can smell up a room for HIM. Not the noxious odor that comes along with last night's spaghetti. But the sweet, sweet aroma of a saving GOD who reaches to all the senses of the lost! The "fragrance of the knowledge of him" that "through us" Christ "spreads everywhere". Why that makes me hungry! For HIM! A hunger that is satisfied only with this God who fills up our lives, and penetrates all our senses. I want to be the child that with just one sniff, others will know whose I am. I want each exhaling breath to deliver a whiff, a whiff of an incomparable God! Who, when we are in HIM, makes us a new creation. Not a fixed up reproduction of our old selves, but a totally new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!")

So breathe deep. What do you smell? May each breath deliver a whiff of Christ who is in you. Anything else just stinks.

2 Corinthians 2:15 "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

Praise HIM!

"Weighting" on the Lord

Let this be a place of encouragement for you in your own walk!