Thursday, May 26, 2011

...Even When You're Naughty

As I was rocking one of my little charges to sleep yesterday, I began to sing the old Patch the Pirate song "I'm Special to Jesus," slightly adapted as "You're Special to Jesus."

Alex looked up at me and said "I'm not special. Jose' at school is special, but I'm not special."

"Oh yes, you are special Alex," I replied. "Do you know why? You are very special because Jesus loves you."

To this Alex said, "Jesus doesn't love me."

"Why not?" I asked.

"I'm too naughty." Alex answered.

"Alex," I said tenderly, "Jesus may not like it when you do bad things, but He loves you very, very much; even when you're naughty. He loves all the little children of the world."

Alex seemed very impressed and quietly replied, "I would like to meet this Jesus."

So, I got to tell him the story of Jesus; how Jesus loves us, but we've done bad things and can't go to heaven. Knowing that, Jesus died on the cross for us, even though He'd never done anything wrong. -And just like a Super Hero, Jesus came back again from the dead on the third day. Now He lives in heaven where we can meet Him if we ask Him to forgive our sins.

No, Alex didn't get saved; but he's definitely heard the gospel, and he's one step closer to Jesus!
My job is so amazing!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Desires of Thine Heart

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; trust also in Him and He shall give thee the desires of Thine heart." (Psalm 37:3-4)

It takes trust to delight. You cannot delight in one with whom you have a quarrel, whom you have no communication with, or whom you believe has hurt you. However, one whom you dearly love, talk frequently with, and believe in is quite easy to "delight" in. If you desire to make the person who delights you pleased, you will speak and act well, to give them joy.

Lately, the Lord has been teaching me the importance and blessing of following this principle. As I put God first in everything, including my finances, He has given over and above my expectations. It seems that not a day passes in which the Lord shines His face upon me, opening the windows of blessing from heaven. A smile from a child, a ride with a friend, a meal from friendly folk, a potted plant for my apartment; all these and more God has used as reminders.

Yes indeed. God IS faithful. He keeps His Word. Those who DO what He commands WILL reap the rewards. What a wonderful God we serve, who loves to delight us as we delight in Him!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A House of Prayer

“And He said unto them, It is written,
My house shall be called the house of prayer;
but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
Matthew 21:13

After His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple. Perhaps He desired a time of prayer and worship with the people. However, His mind changed when He encountered the money changers. Jesus drove them out, horrified that they would take something holy (His Father’s house) and make it common (a market). Then He preached to the people who had gathered in the synagogue.

If Christ, in person, were to accompany me on a Sunday, what would He find? There is nothing secret that will not be made known. (Luke 8:17) What is my relationship with Christ? Is it merely a cloak of religion on a hypocritical life-style?

Revival of a nation begins at the church; not the building, but the people. (1 Peter 4:17) Me. (1 Cor. 3:16-17) I must rid myself of secret sins and plundering to be holy, a dwelling place of the Most High. (Psalm 15, 24:3-6)

Furthermore, this command is an encouragement to spend more time in prayer. Communication with the Commander is essential on the front-line battle of life! (Eph. 6:18) Prayer is power, (Col. 4:2-4) and without it I am defeated. (Matt. 26:41) In order to have one-accord power with Christ and other believers, I must rid myself of anything that would defile my “temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17)

Lord, make me so dependent on You that I cannot go even an hour without fellowship with You. Help me to seek Your face so deeply that I am appalled by my own sin. May I get rid of the ashes that I think are so important that I may cling to the glorious blessings You have for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"He is the Rock, His work is perfect: all His ways are judgement:
a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He."

Deuteronomy 32:4

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seeking God's Face

Violin practice, babysitting, birthday parties, youth group, Bible club, ladies fellowship... the list goes on and on and on. -But wait. Something's missing. All these things are very good, but my Friend and Brother has been sadly left behind. Many of us find ourselves in this position all too often. Just where did our time with the Lord go???

Practically speaking though, how can you and I incorporate God back into our very busy lives? How can we make that time that we DO spend with God count? Amy Vest shares sisterly insights to meaningful devotions with God. Remember: God isn't interested in us following a bunch of rules, but rather in a heart of constant conversation with Him. Isn't it amazing how we can walk and talk with the One who created us?! Let's go find time with Jesus right now girlfriends...

Loving the Lord Videocast #5 - Having Devotions that Change Your Life from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Essence of Servant Leadership

It is so easy to serve my best friend. I know exactly what she will be needing, I know her love language, and I know her schedule. Serving her is not really service- it is fun; and she returns the favor any time she can.

However, this is not God's definition of service. To Him, service means sacrifice. It means giving up my school study-day to babysit my sister's kids. It means chatting with an older lady even when I would rather be outside at the park playing with children. It means giving money to a missionary instead of buying cereal that week. THIS is true sacrifice: that a man lay down his life for his friends.

What does servant leadership look like? Well, one of the best examples I've seen is the staff at Verity Institute. They put their students above paperwork or anything else that needs done. If I needed a hug, a place to cry, or just someone to chat with, any one of Verity's staff would put their work down and open their office - and their heart to me. They are attentive as if there was nothing else on their mind or schedule, even though they have a lot to do that day. Truly, the staff at Verity display God's love to each student there.

What a blessing! How can I be a servant? I can be available to my mom when she needs something done. I can put my book down and listen to my brother. I can give up my cookie to make an elderly woman smile. Yes. Love. Sacrifice. These are what make up God's definition of service.

"...Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister... even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:26-28

Sunday, May 1, 2011

He is NOT here!

"For if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain. Ye are dead in your sins... But now is Christ risen from the dead, and is become the first-fruits of them that slept." 1 Corinthians 15:17,20

Last week in Junior Church, we looked at the death and burial of Jesus. He died, not for His own sin, but for ours. Even though He could have brought down angels to wipe out His persecutors from off the earth, Jesus gave Himself over to death because He loves us.

If Jesus did not die, then our faith would be pointless. God would be powerless, and there would be no purpose for heaven. However, 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us that NOW IS CHRIST RISEN. Many people don't believe that Jesus was God and man, that He died, and that He rose again; but these are central elements of the Christian faith.

This week in Junior Church, the boys and I delved into the accounts of Jesus after He had risen again. It would be hard to override 500 peoples' stories, or to conjure a story where women (not famous men) discover Jesus gone from the tomb. What a comfort to know that our God is big enough to allow Himself to die and then to rise again, defeating death once and for all. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Recital Review

Violin lessons have come to a close. I have enjoyed the weekly lessons as much as the kids do, but alas, all things must come to an end. This semester, getting everyone together with weather and such has been exciting, so our spring recital is markedly shorter than at Christmas. On Friday, four fabulous fiddlers performed for the Heritage Manor in Glendive, Montana. The girls did so well! From "String Dance" to "Trust and Obey," these girls did their very best, and I know the Lord would be proud. -I am! Go girls go! Continue to do your best serving your Savior, and you will go far.

L to R: the Taylor sisters, who have played for 6 months and are a great example to me to practice more; me, and I've played 7 years; and the Eatons, a four year old who has played for 6 months and comes excited to every lesson, and her sister who has played 4 years and is determined to learn each song. I love you girls!