Thursday, August 18, 2016

Slow Dance: A Poem To Ponder

This poem, called Slow Dance by David L. Weatherford, is one of my very favorites due to its thought-provoking nature.

It speaks to me in so many ways! How many times do I just run here and there, constantly hurrying with the busyness of life? Well, as it says, "time is short, the music won't last" - so you could take that as a call to do as much as possible in the short period of time God blesses us with. But really, its a call to do what matters most and be done with the rest! Don't run so fast through life that you miss all its simple pleasures.

How much lovelier would life be if we took more time to "slow down and smell the roses"? I'm sure our health would also be much improved if we made a point to take life as a Slow Dance. An exciting, beautiful dance; but one that isn't rushed. When you rush a dance, you slip up, make more mistakes, and don't have as much fun. In life, as in a dance, you must take it one step at a time, making the most of each step along the way.

I hope this poem is as thought-provoking for you as it is for me!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

His Loving-kindness

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 106:1

This week I've definitely felt the topic of the Lord's loving-kindness on my mind. Though we can stray outside His will, grieving our Good Father, yet when we repent and turn towards Him wholeheartedly - He bestows compassion upon us and gives mercy (or loving-kindness).

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;

therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! 
Isaiah 30:18

What an awesome God we serve! His mercies are truly new every morning or each of us! Although, of course, this is not to say that we have "free reign" to just keep on doing wrong and coming back to Him. No. Instead we should do as Paul says in Romans 12:1 - 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, 
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—
this is your true and proper worship.

He gives us unmerited mercy, and we strive to daily give Him our all, offering ourselves as living sacrifices for the One who sacrificed everything for us. We cannot fathom the depths of His love and compassion for us. His loving-kindness towards His children is so great that even before we call out to Him for help, He answers. 

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

While we are YET SPEAKING, He hears. He knows the thoughts of our hearts before we speak them, and this verse shows that even before we call He is already working for us. This special verse speaks so loudly to me right now, that I can't even begin to express how grateful to Him I am for all He has been doing for me....little 'ol me.

I hope each of us can take great comfort in Isaiah 65:24.  Knowing that, even in hard times, when it seems like God isn't answering our prayers; even then He is working "behind the scenes", as it were, to bring about the answers.

What are your favorite verses about God's Loving-kindness?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A New Chapter

"Whatever is good for your soul; do that."

Every day this week I woke up thinking, "I can't believe I won't be going to work today." For a workaholic like myself, it has been a strange thing.

From working five days a week to zero. From spending forty-five hours a week commuting and at work - to none. From spending most of my waking hours away from home, to spending almost all my time at home. Getting nine hours a day back into my life is a huge thing....

And honestly, I thought these first few days would be really difficult to acclimate to this change.

But it hasn't been hard.

I scared myself a little bit during the last days at my job, when I thought with some shock that I couldn't remember what being at home all the time felt like. I feared that I would go stir crazy, feel unhappy, be bored all the time, not know what to do with myselfand basically wish for my "working life" back ASAP.

But I don't.

I thought taking a break from most of the films and tv-shows I had been watching would be incredibly difficult.

But I don't really miss them.

Instead, even in this first week, I have this great peacefulness and happiness. A stillness in my soul. And the only explanation I have is that God's will done God's way will never lack God's supplies. He will never leave nor forsake His children in their times of need. He has us in the palm of His hand. He sustains us, even when we don't see it.

"Whatever is good for your soul; do that."
^^^ It comes back to this. ^^^

This Sabbatical, this is what my soul needs. I don't need my job. I don't need 45 hours a week away from my home. I don't need all those time-sucking films and tv-shows. I don't need anything that I allowed to become a distraction take away any more of my time from what is most important right now: coming closer to the Father than ever before, and searching out His will rather than my own.

Life is like the struggle of climbing  huge Mayan Ruin steps.

Yeah, its not the easiest thing in the world to disconnect from the laundry list of things the Lord has asked me to, but He never tells us that our lives will be easy. He does give us that blessed assurance that it will be worth it. Giving over complete control of our lives to Him, instead of seeking to have complete control on our own, isn't a piece of cake. Our flesh would rather live our lives according to our own plan.

But I can tell you right now that God is infinitely wiser than we are. Giving the wheel to Him is definitely the best decision ever. He is to be our pilot, and we are to take a back seat. It is indeed difficult for those of us who like to be "in control", but do we want Easy or Worth It?

It takes courage to follow the Lord's prompting in your life, especially when He is asking for you to make sacrifices in certain areas. But let me encourage you to boldly follow the Lord's leading, even when it hurts. He tests our resolve and our fait, in times like these.

He asks:
"Will you follow Me now? How much are you willing to sacrifice for Me?  - I gave my all for you."

In the end, if you trust Him to guide you, if you Wait Upon the Lord, He will - renew your strength; you will soar on wings like eagles; you will run and not grow weary; you will walk and not faint.

And that's a promise that is Worth It.