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I wasted time a few weeks ago waiting for my daughter to finish work. Walking a few shops down, I found a wall hanging with this statement, “Until God opens the next door praise Him in the hallway.”  My first reaction was, “Yes, Lord I am in the hallway, but there aren’t any doors to open.”

 

I smiled to myself with tears rolling down my cheeks.

 

I’ve stepped out temporarily from ministry, which started a strong tug of war. The two sides pull hard with the intent of winning. On one end of the rope, confidence.  I have made a good decision to rest.  One the other end is busyness and the need to be back in the race.  As I talked to a friend about this struggle, he mentioned a devotional by L.B Cowman Streams in the Desert which gives a wonderful illustration of the periods of rests in our lives.  This is the author’s take on the period called rest:

 

 “There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music.  In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests.  During those rests, we foolishly believe we have come to the end of the song… He (God)* brings a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent.  We grieve that our part is missing in the music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us! And how long He waits for us to learn the lesson.”  (Cowman pg.43,44)

 

Resting periods in my life (a masterpiece) is part of the grander piece. Sometimes these come as hardships, illness, struggles and trials or the everyday mundane.  These rests are times of silence and solitude in which He uses to grow me in my relationship with Him. God is the composer and conductor of my life and He creates rests for reasons.  Some reasons I see some I don’t, but all are for His glory and honor.

 

I love what Margaret Feinberg said in her book Fight Back with Joy, “Always be suspicious that God is up to something.” Even in the resting there is the hope that God is going to do something wonderful through it.

 

For me there are a couple of reasons for my rest: 1.  to grow closer to Him which in itself brings about rest  2.  To understand better who I am in Him, and how He sees me.  There is probably more to it, but that is what I’m observing now.  How cool is that?

 

Yes, I’m in a hallway right now that has no doors. I sit and wait in expectation when not only a door appears but opens and I walk through.  Praise God.

 

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46:10 (The Message)

 

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Have you noticed the news lately? There seems to be no end to the troubled teens, high crime rates, teen pregnancy, school dropouts, poverty and a lack of morality in this country not to mention the world.

Over the past few years I have cried out to God much like the prophet Habakkuk, “Why aren’t you doing anything about this? Why are you allowing those of us who truly follow you suffer the consequences of those who don’t? (Not to say that we are perfect)

The pastor of my church just finished a series entitled “Live Sent”. He challenged us to prayer walk our neighborhoods asking God to show us how we could reach our neighbors. He had the audacity to tell me I needed to do more, by getting out of my house and meet new people and share God’s love.

He was nuts. He was right. I needed to come out of my hiding places (the walls of my home and out from the written word) and become “Jesus” to those around me. And dare I say it, move outward from my neighborhood into the community. I wasn’t to be a Bible thumper but show love and build relationships. One neighbor, ended up in the Bible Study group I had been in three weeks later.

A month and a half ago I was called by someone at my daughter’s middle school and asked if I would like to become a mentor. I went to the training session just to see what it was all about. I walked out saying “It’s not my thing.” Why should I give a half an hour a week to some one who probably was not there on their own accord and rebellious to the core?

God gently reminded me that even a middle school student needed His love. I felt ashamed especially when I looked at my own daughters. They aren’t perfect or have the perfect parents. What they do have are parents who try to live as an example of Christ. If I can give another middle school student a little hope and godly love, it would be worth it. That is what it’s all about, being available to what God has for me. I can’t wait to meet the middle school student I am going to mentor.

What about you? Will you live sent and do something with the pain, hurt or need you see around you? Maybe He is waiting for you to say “yes, I will go.” Maybe it will be the local pregnancy center as a counselor, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or feed the homeless. It could simply be getting to know your neighbors next door.

WARNING: Don’t ask unless you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, because He will answer.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21 (NIV 1984)

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