Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Groundbreaker (Re-post)

I have heard it over the last several days. The reverberations of a chain saw wielded by the strong hands of workers in my next-door neighbors yard. They are busy slicing through hard and soft wood trees readying the land for their expanded garden. These are not new trees. Some must be years old and deeply rooted in the land. All being removed to break up ground that has long been covered with roots, rocks, and the shade of the woods. But boy, they have plans for some delicious sounding summer vegetables. I can't wait to see the bountiful by-product of all this work later this year.

It reminded me of a verse in God's word that teaches us to "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you." Hosea 10:12.

I have chewed and chewed, as my dear friend Ann recommends, on this verse the past few days. What is the "unplowed ground" in my own life? As I have asked HIM the Lord has shown me much in my life that I need to "break up" in preparation for His harvest. The massive roots of unhealthy thinking and the deceit of the enemy which huddle just beneath the surface. The pebbles, rocks, and sometimes boulders of sin that crowd me and prevent HIS good fruit from growing to its fullness. And the shady areas of comfort and complacency that keep me from stepping into the fullness of His light.

So I begin to break up the ground. With His word. Replacing the enemy's lies with HIS truth. Removing the rocks of sin with THE ROCK of Ages. And stepping out of my settledness and into the adventure certain to be heated at times, but ready for an abundance of HIS fruit! I'm ready for a good tilling, planting, and a harvest with an abundance of His righteousness. Rain on me Lord!

Praise HIM!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dwelling Place

I left my house and children one evening in the care of a dear family friend. I arrived home later to a greeting of "SURPRISE!!" Surprised? Stupefied, dumbfounded, and a wee bit angry would be more like it. That sweetie friend of mine had been watching way too much HGTVand had decided to re-arrange my den furniture! This was a great miscalculation on her part. She must not have known what all the wise know... you just don't mess with a southern gal's husband, children, or her decor (probably shouldn't mess with her hair or shoes either.) This was my house and my arrangement and I was quite pleased with the way it looked, thank you very much. Let's just say as soon as the door slam....closed, I put it back the way it was supposed to be. I giggle a little now, but honestly.

So, I think the Lord must be taken aback by the way HIS home is sometimes treated. Too much junk food, too little exercise, way too much self-criticism, and a great lack of sleep are just a smattering of the things we subject these bodies to. With thoughts like "I'll eat another heaping helping of the latest item from the how to have a heart attack menu" Or I'll catch up on my rest over the weekend." Yes, I act like I own this body.

Oh, but I am reminded that it is "not my own" and furthermore, "it was bought at a price". A great price! So next time I think, "I'll eat what I want" I will think again. I will remember the great care that the LORD gave to the building of the tabernacle. Exodus 25:8-9 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you."

With the same care and purpose, He created me. And you. I can no longer ignore the fact that as I misuse my body in any way, I am destroying the very place HE dwells. I don't want to do that. I won't.

1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Praise HIM!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good Gifts

We have a feather topper on our bed. It has really added a lot of comfort to that old queen sized mattress. Only the topper has seen better days. The feathers had gathered to a few corner quilted squares leaving the area that my husband and I tend to lay on FLAT. So I began talking to Chuck about a change a few days ago. (I tend to get something in my mind and proceed to talk a lot. )"We need to replace this topper."; " I think we should get a new mattress topper, don't you? ; " I really love this thing but it needs to be thrown out..it has been washed one too many times. " It was true though. There were more feathers stuck in my pjs than there were left in that topper. So tonight, I returned from Bible study and there my husband is with a giant box. Yup, a new memory foam topper. And what do I say? Thank you? NO. I said, with a quick and biting tone, " you know I don't like those memory foam things." I could tell that it was a verbal zinger that really stung. I felt horrible. I later headed up to our room, apologized and thanked him for his thoughtfulness. We put the mattress topper on and I tell you what, it is comfy! Much better than the old thing and so much better than I ever expected.

I imagine my husband is not the only one that has had a taste of my ungratefulness and sharp tone. The Lord himself has been on the receiving end of a not-so-good grumbling party in response to His good gifts. Sometimes we set our minds on how we want the Lord to respond to our requests and when He gives us better than we asked for, we turn to him and say "You know I don't want that." Maybe we do it when we are on the precipice of a bad decision and He provides a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Perhaps it occurs when we are busy sulking in our self loathing over our latest sin, even as He stretches out His arms and offers forgiveness. I know one thing, I don't want to put the look of pain and rejection that I saw in my husband's face tonight on anyone. Especially not on the ONE who always has my best in mind. And you know what, you can bet that ANYTHING He gives will be much better, so much better than we can ever imagine!

Matthew 7:11 "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Praise HIM!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Moving Forward

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that 2008 is behind us and we are now into our first week of 2009. I am always excited to start fresh! Aren't you!

I heard a comment today by a bible study leader at our church. He talked about Moses and his talk with God in the burning bush. (Exodus) He pointed out how many excuses Moses made in trying not to accept God's call to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He was, of course, enjoying a nice life helping his father in law. Nothing bad about the work he was doing. Good actually. But, and this is the thing that hit me, good can become "the enemy of God's BEST." (Bryan Beyer) Wow!

Now I don't know about you but I had a pretty "good" 2008. Not great, but pretty good. But has my "pretty good" kept me too complacent to step into "God's BEST"....the promised land that He has in store? It is all part of trusting HIM. Trusting Him with my health. Trusting Him with my pursuits. Trusting HIM because my good will never compare to HIS best.

Our First Place(www.firstplace4health.com ) session here in SC this winter is called Moving Forward. I love that God doesn't make us go back to where we were and I love that He doesn't leave us where we are. What a God we serve, one who invites us to move forward with HIM to the land of the very best.

Praise HIM!

"Weighting" on the Lord

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