"abide in me as I abide in you..." John 15:4
Today I read 1Kings 15 & 16. I'm enjoying this in conjunction with 1 & 2 Samuel that our house group is working in. I am meditating on "man sees outward appearance, but the Lord sees your heart."
I am apologizing ahead of time because this might be a long post.My devotion came from an unexpected place today...a children's book that I was reading to Skylee called, The Tale of Three Tress. It is about three tress that have one idea of what they want to become when they are cut down. The first wants to be a treasure chest, the second a majestic boat that carries Kings, and the third just wants to stay where she is so when people look at her they look towards God because she is the tallest tree in the land. When the three woodcutters come and chop the first two they are so excitied to fullfill thier dreams. When the third is cut she is saddend b/c she is no longer pointing toward God. Each tree becomes what they want but in unexpected ways. The first tree is cut into a feed troft which ends up being the manger that baby Jesus is put in, then he realizes instead of holding material treasure he is holding the greatest treasure of all. The second tree is turned into a boat but just an ordinaey fishing boat, not one that can sail the ocean and hold mighty Kings, but he learns during a storm on a lake when a man says, "peace" and calms the storm he is carying the greatest King of all. The third tree gets cut up and put in a scrap woodpile and sits for a long time until she is put together as the cross that Jesus carries to Calvary and she understands that when anyone looks at her they will see God. This got me thinking about how we ask God for certain things and if we don't see it the way we want we might be missing his answer. For example, if we ask for patients will God give us patients or the opportunity to be patient? If we ask for courage will he give us courage or the opportunity to be courageous? If we ask for direction will he give us a direction or an opportunity to moved?
I am entering my 3rd day of silence after my little surgery, and it is exhausting for a person like me to listen all the time. Don't people need me tell them what I think every 5 seconds!!?? I'm realizing how much freaking noise I account for around here. With me being silenced (forcibly by a surgeon)my house is really quiet right now, Could my blabbering be the biggest racket in the house? What I read really has nothing to do with that, but the last part of Ephesians really resonated with me (10:11-19) "Put on the full armor"..."Our struggle is not against flesh and blood" (Its FOR flesh and blood by the way), "stand firm with the belt of truth around your waist, the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace"
Today I went to chapel at NTS. They were doing a conference on imagination & worship which is right up my alley. But we had a public scripture reading first. The reader slowly read Ephesians two and then we reflected silently on it for about 5 minutes. Then we sang a hymn. It was really cool. I was impacted by how differently the scripture appears to me when it is read aloud in a group. Today this was a very good devotion for me.
Today was more of a prayer day. Jeff and I flew back from LA. I afraid to fly, but do it because it is the only time that I truly can acknoweledge that God is in control. It always makes me wonder why I have to get on a plane to realize that he is in total control. Jeff and I spent time being thankful beyond words.
I’ve been thinking about what to do for my spiritual exercise for today. I’m going to try and keep the hours all day - I just did the morning prayers from Phyllis Tickle’s “The Divine Hours.” I used the one online:http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/ But I’m also thinking about starting a new ritual of Friday confessions. You guys get to hear the first one:- I confess that I am really undisciplined right now. I can’t even make myself read theology very well, which is a problem for me.- I confess that I have a really bad attitude about my professor in 20th Century theology – I think he’s arrogant & I judge him all the time.- I confess that I was too hard on Nick last night because he tackled Lewis into a wall & it made me angry.- I confess that I wasted way too much time this week doing nothing.- I confess that I have no control over my appetite – I eat everything in sight right now.- I confess that I care way too much what other people think about me.That's all for me, for this Friday. Feel free to join in confession...it's pretty cathartic!!- Peace
Prayed the hours a couple times yesterday and again this morning. The refrain from this morning was sort of interesting given my last confession:"Incline my heart, O God, to your ways. Turn my eyes from longing after vanities." - psalm 119
I'll join you in Friday confession:-I confess that I have used my week of quiet to "eat the bread of idleness"-I confess I actually threw a footstool in anger this week (do you want me to be honest or clean it up for you?)-I confess my self-centeredness-I confess I have not really tried this week to have a devotional life, and have blamed the fact that I don't have a good "study" or devotional book to follow-I confess that I think God is looking at me with a stern face and that if I were honest I believe that God probably doesn’t like me this week because of the above list.
I will join in Friday confession although it is Monday.-I confess that I have only done one devotion this week and that is really disappointing to me.-I confess that my fuse was entirely way too short this week with my kids-I confess that I sometimes think my daughter is more spiritual than I am.-I confess that I tuned out my friends or just didn't answer the phones because I couldn't handle the drama. I am really going to be displined this week and strive for 3 days of devo time.
I'm really moved by your confessions. I don't know why, but it makes me feel better to know you guys are struggling with life as well. Thanks for your honesty!Peace,-t
Hey Everyone,sorry it took me a couple of weeks to get going on this. i really love everything you all have shared up to this point. this feels like we are onto something. instead of trying to catch up on the last three weeks, i'll just jump in on today.Before i came to staff meeting this morning, i spent some time in first John. a number of really cool things stuck out to me, especially a few of the passages about God's love for us: "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us. Just look at it, we're called children of God! That's who we really are" "This is how God showed his love for us; God sent his only Son inot hte world so we might live through him. He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. I wanted to read 1 John this morning because i don't really feel loved by God right now. I feel like i am kind of a screw up actually...so this was good for me to read.I can also really relate to all of you about a lack of discipline in my life. i wonder if this is because we are living so individualistic lives spiritually? I have decided that i am going to change my morning routine so that i can be more consistent wiht my morning devos. i have been telling myself for months now that i just need to wake up at 6am and be more committed, and i think i'm just setting myself up for failure. i think i'm going to push back my sermon prep time a little bit to give myself some time to just engage with God.
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