Saturday, September 20, 2008
God did call me to 'dance' and step out with Him in many new areas. To abandon the safety of my chair, hugging the side of the wall, and join the dance of life. We 'slow danced' as He held me close and taught me to be still and know Him. We did a 'quick step' as He introduced me to livelier music and exciting adventures. Regardless of rhythm or style, I was held in His divine embrace.
I'm hearing the music again. Music that has been crowded out by too much activity. Music that I have muted as I've ignored God's invitation. Yesterday as I shared my heart with my dear friend Elaine, she wrote the following to me: "Love you and asking God on your behalf to sweep you off of your feet and swing you around the dance floor one more time!"
Friends, He is calling me to register for some more dance lessons and as with any commitment comes the requirement of time. He is calling me to private lessons - just Jesus and me. He has a new dance He desires to teach me and a composition He wants me to write.
I have been sequestered to the Ballroom and I must follow. The music coming from within this room is too beautiful not to pursue. It's penetrating so deeply that my heart is beating wildly in response.
The joy of embracing something new, also brings the pain of letting go. So many of you have become such treasured friends, yet I have put an unhealthy pressure on myself to daily check in and visit with you all. I have been spending more time on the computer than with family and God has been urging me to 'let it go'. I have been using my blog to validate me, when I should only be seeking the Audience of One.
I will still be posting, but only once a week. I will let you know how the dance is going and the ‘moves’ my Instructor is teaching me. I want to share the lessons in this dance,. The pain of ‘sprained ankles’ and ‘tired muscles’, but also the delight of breathless wonder and the joy and freedom of twirling with my hand in His.
I realize that for some of you, this will mean farewell. Thank you for dancing with me for this part of my journey. I have enjoyed each step. You have each taught me valuable lessons and encouraged my heart. I pray that the Lord will continue His dance with you and take you places that will capture your heart with new wonder. Many of you have been that refreshing drink of cold water when my own heart has been parched and needy. I will still be waltzing my way into your lives from time to time and I look forward to reading the melody He’s playing across your days.
Maybe some of you hear the call to dance, but you’ve held back. The chair is safe. The dance unknown. You may be hesitant, but don’t be afraid. We don’t have to worry about the steps ahead. Just feel the music, fall into His arms and follow His lead. Let Him hold you so close you hear Him whispering in your ear. I pray that "if you get a chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you'll dance". (Lee Ann Womack)
Thank you Lord for calling my name, extending Your hand, and inviting me. I love the way You love me so completely. Thank you for stirring my longing to be held by You. May I remain in Your arms until this dance becomes reality and I see You face-to-face.
Please visit my other blog, "Pondering in His Presence" for a further word on this following.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Danger is anything that makes you liable to loss pain or injury. Do I sometimes choose to walk paths of peril? Do words I decide to say cause pain? Do activities I partake in hurt others? I make some dangerous choices every day. I know they aren't God-honouring, yet I carry on regardless, allowing emotions, instead of truth, to guide my way. You may respond, 'At least they are not life threatening', but that's not true. God's Word says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. My destructive words can kill.
I heard a story once of a suicide note that was found. It simply read, "They said...." Apparently this young person could no longer face the cruelty and accusations that tore at her heart in silence. The childhood rhyme is only half true. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names do hurt us. Do not allow your mouth to be a weapon of Satan, leaving a trail of devastation greater than any force of nature.
Temptation lures in many areas, and I succumb. The winds that blow with gale force strength can demolish my character and beat upon the lives of others. A decision to follow Christ down a safe street is abandoned to indulge in a thoroughfare of trouble. Why? Because it feels good? Because I think my actions are justified? Because I have my 'rights'? Because it satisfies some sick sense of self vindication? The results of not heeding the Spirit's prompting can range from personal feelings of guilt and failure, to loss of relationships and disappointing God.
There's another path that results in even greater danger and that is a roadway walked in rebellion. Refusing to acknowledge that God is God. One day at His return it will be too late to change direction. No one knows the day, the hour or the time of Christ's reappearing. Unlike predicting the land fall of severe weather, Christ will come again like a thief in the night. Scripture warns of the gradual, increasing winds of wars and rumour of wars, giving opportunity for decisions to be made now. Those who choose to laugh in the face of approaching apocalypse, not ignorant of the truth, but ignoring it's severity, will find themselves tormented in a state of frantic confusion.
God implores, today, while you hear His voice, respond. (Hebrews 3:7-8) Do not harden your hearts. Do not reply in foolishness, believing you alone will be exempt from devastation. There will come a day when all will be judged, both the living and the dead. (1 Peter 4:5)
When warnings are adhered to, lives are spared. May this be a warning for eternity today. If you are not prepared for the sudden evacuation from earth to heaven, a decision today can change your life forever. Christ is the Eye of the storm. He is the calm in the center of life's chaos. Turn to him today. Like those who remained behind in Texas ignoring wisdom, it is the fool who has said in their heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1).
**Please know that my heart goes out to any who lost life in the wake of Hurricane Ike. It is not my intent to sound calous or insensitive to those who lost friends and family in this storm. Please forgive me if any of my words have sounded harsh and uncaring. I realize there were some who remained behind serving as agents of rescue and protection. I just see a parallel between those who took a risk to stay behind, shown on the news broadcast I watched, laughing in the face of danger and those who are risking eternity by the choices they are making today. My desire is to be an agent of rescue as well.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I knew immediately the reason for his enthusiasm. Back in August my son had written a 3-hour music theory Counterpoint exam, and we were awaiting his results. With "Auntie Sharon" being his piano teacher she had access to his grade upon it's availability. My son could contain himself no longer - "I got 81%!"
Still sitting in the car, I sat in amazement! WOW! 81%! Prior to his exam he was passing the practice papers, but he had not obtained a mark that high on any of them. This is First Class Honours! AMAZING!!!
When was the last time you were amazed? Does it take a lot to bring about that emotion or are you easily surprised by life's joys? Just this morning I read the following verse during my quiet time:
"Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, 'I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.'" Luke7:9
That intrigued me. Was there any other time that Jesus was amazed? I quickly did a search on Bible Gateway and discovered one other verse:
"And He was amazed at their lack of faith." Mark 6:6
These are the only two times in scripture when Jesus is 'amazed'. Once at lack of faith and once at incredible faith. He reserved this emotion in response to the level of faith.
I wonder, is there anything about my faith that amazes Christ? Which amount of faith would Jesus be amazed to see in my life...in your life? IF Jesus is amazed at me, is it for my great faith or lack of it?
"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." Hebrews 11:6
**Just have to add one more "Amazed" moment!! I just found out that the Birthday poem I wrote for Holly on Lysa TerKeurst's blog - won! I am so totally surprised!!!! Overwhelmed by the kindness of others and God's love for me!
Friday, September 05, 2008
It was very early in the morning. My husband had just left for work and I was sitting on the bed, Bible open before me, journal resting on my lap, pen in my hand.
Suddenly the scamper of little feet drew my attention away from the peaceful shroud of silence. I must admit to momentary feelings of frustration as I realized my coveted time in His presence was about to end. Looking towards our bedroom door, the sweetest, little cherub appeared and entered our room. At three years of age it was still a challenge to crawl up on our big bed, but he managed it without too much difficulty, as one accustomed to this daily routine.
Before I could even say 'Good morning' or draw him into my arms for a cuddle and embrace, he looked up at me quite seriously and asked, "Mommy, how do I ask Jesus into my heart?"
So many thoughts instantly and simultaneously invaded my mind. 'Where did that come from?' 'Did he have a dream that provoked this question?' 'Was there a Sunday School lesson that had preceded his inquiry?' 'Oh my goodness Lord, he wants to ask You into his heart. He's only three years old'. 'Father, help me explain salvation in a way he can understand'.
With God guiding me, and my precious little boy beside me, we bowed our heads and prayed a simple prayer of confession and invitation. I will never forget that moment.
Today, thirteen years later, we celebrate my son's decision. He was 'Christopher' then, but he's 'Chris' now. His spiritual birthday is a highlight each year, complete with a special dinner (tonight it is Chinese food), birthday cake and a small gift of remembrance. Sincerely the scripture is true - there is no greater joy than to know that our children walk with God.
As I've pondered those memories today, my thoughts are captured with several wonders.
I wonder...what if I had asked my son to come back later, after I finished my 'quiet time'. Would his desire have waned? Would I have missed that priceless opportunity of witnessing God tugging at a child's heart? What if I had sent him away, not wanting to be interrupted? How often in our quest for holiness do we miss the holy?
Christ's life was not without interruption. On many occasions He was detained or presumed upon by those who were unafraid to approach Him. Those with whom His spirit found entrance and they responded. Their need was greater than their trembling and their nerve stronger than their trepidation.
There was the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her hair, pausing a meal to feed and nourish her soul. There was the man who was lowered down through the roof, disturbing a sermon for the sake of a message in healing. A woman who reached out believing a touch of the hem of Christ's garment would see faith honoured and rewarded. A father's earnest request on the roadside for his dying daughter that paved the way for resurrection. The adulterous, unharmed by stones, forgiven at the feet of the Solid Rock.
Interruptions. Some are demanding. Some a delight. All are divine. Some I receive, others I initiate. All fall under God's control. He is not caught unaware or surprised. Each phone call, each knock on the door, each diagnosis, each invitation, each casual encounter orchestrated by a God who views interruptions as intentional opportunities to grow in Him and share His love.
Rejoicing today that a blessed interruption changed a life for eternity. Love and hugs to my son, Chris, today!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I was thinking of how often I'm functioning and going through the motions, yet my 'hinges' are broken. My relationship with the Lord has been distanced and I'm operating under my own power. I'm looking good on the outside, but my heart is far from God. I'm working, but I'm broken.
Webster's defines a 'hinge' as anything on which matters turn or depend; a cardinal point; pivot; the person or thing around which something turns. Anything that becomes 'unhinged' falls apart and separates from the source. The same is true of my life. If I don't stay connected with God, I can be going about my daily life, but not joined to my Source. He, if you will, is my 'hinge' holding my life together.
I was just reading in Luke 4 a couple of days ago that Jesus came "to heal the brokenhearted" (vs.18). Jesus came to repair and restore. He came to minister and mend. He came to secure and save.
Maybe your hinges aren't broken today, but they are 'rusty'. They need the polishing of His presence and the cleaning of His grace. It's so easy to be working on the outside, yet broken on the inside. Praying that the God who restores will repair and heal any brokenness in your life today. "There is a time to mend". Ecc.3:7
"To heal a broken body
To mend a broken heart
To knit together healthy homes
That once lay torn apart
To glory in the praises that
His grateful children sing
These treasures are the pleasures of the King"
("The Pleasures of the King", Steve Green)