From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Archive for May, 2010

Is it time for Spring Cleaning?

Spring is here in SE British Columbia. The buds are coming out on the trees, birds are chirping and with that comes my annual urge to clean! The winter months have been long and I am itching to refresh my home with the sights and smells that come with the first signs of spring. I’m sure that this urge comes from childhood memories of mother’s spring cleaning. I know it may seem old fashioned to some, but in my mind there is nothing better than to scrub away the grudge that has accumulated over the long winter months. I reach into every dark corner of my home in an effort to make it feel fresh and new. It is a lot of work but the reward of a fresh clean home with everything in order is well worth the effort.

Then it’s time to move outside. I love to pull all the dead grass away and get the flower beds and vegetable garden ready for new plants. The smell of the fresh turned soil and the promise of new growth are wonderful. It is sure to make me smile!

Sometimes we need to do the same thing with our spiritual house and surroundings. Just like the season of winter, our spiritual winters can leave us discouraged, lonely, and sometimes isolated. It is easy for us to grow stale and need a spiritual freshening up. The dust, dirt, mold, and weeds of life creep in. We need to scrub away the grudge, dejunk and pull out the weeds. We should always remember Who is dwelling in our spiritual house with us. We who have claimed the greatest gift have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Where He resides there is no room for the clutter of a spiritual winter and the weeds & junk of the world. We are to remove them.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 &18
Just think about that for a moment; isn’t that an amazing picture of the new life that spring gives us?

Now imagine the smell of a freshly mopped floor or the first lilac bush blooming. That is how fresh and fragrant our Lord would have us be.
“Now thanks be unto God, who leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ, among those who are being saved, and those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NKJ

You may have been through a long hard winter. Maybe you have accumulated that grudge in the crevasses, hallways and walls of your heart. Hurts, anger, selfish desire and bad habits may be tucked into our spiritual closets. Is it time to do a thorough cleaning? Our loving God desires to do a new thing!
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NLT

So you may ask, “How are we to go about this spiritual housecleaning?”

Get Rid of the junk – those hurts, anger, selfish desires, bad habits
If it’s something you should keep in your life it will pass the following guidelines of Philippians 4:8 NLT
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Scrub away the grudge – When you clean your house you know what supplies you work for you such as scrub brushes, mops, and brooms and various cleaners that are specific to the task at hand. For our spiritual house it’s much simpler. There is only one cleaner needed. God’s word and He will supply the good old elbow grease if you allow Him.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Kill the weeds-Is there a method to kill the weeds that hinders your spiritual growth? The answer is a most definite yes! We who claim the name of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation he offers us now have the power to “kill those weeds”. Jesus said He would send a helper in the Holy Spirit. When we have the Holy Spirit residing in us we have the power to sin no more. As we submit to leading of the Holy Spirit and the instruction of His Word; denying the desires of this world you will see the weeds die away. We do not have to be like the “others” referred to in this scripture. Do not let the worries of this life or the deceitfulness of the world choke out the life of peace and contentment that can be yours.
“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful”
Mark 4:18-19. NIV

Write a letter to God about what is going on in your life just like you’d write to a long trusted friend. Tell him everything! Are you happy, sad, angry, confused, or peaceful? Write it down. When it’s all down on paper write “God, I’m handing all this over to you to do as you wish.”
Now It’s Time to plant- Once you kill out the weeds you need to replace them with a good crop. God provides everything we need for spiritual growth. As Psalm 119 says, hide God’s word in your heart (plant it) so you may not sin against Him.
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 NLT

Fill those empty rooms with things of the Lord so there is no room for the “junk to return” God sent the Holy Spirit to help you through life. He longs to help keep your house fit for Him. You are his temple. Dejunking your spiritual life without filling it with things of the Lord leaves space for grudge and junk to move right back in.
“Whenever an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through waterless places looking for a place to rest but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will go back to my home that I left.’ When it arrives, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there.” Matthew 12:43

Tap yourself in to the power of the Holy Spirit! Have you ever heard of heavy duty extractor carpet cleaners? Many claim to have non-stop high flow cleaning. Well that is what the Holy Spirit is to us! Claim that for yourself by feasting on God’s Word and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 NLT

So, is it time for spring cleaning?


Created To Do What?

Well, it’s shaping up to be a very busy summer. Our July 1st outreach in KP Park is just around the corner and Connection 2010 right on the heels of that! God has given us some tremendous opportunities to reach out to the people of Salmo. He is already working in the lives of many and has shown us places where He wants us to get involved. God created us to serve and wants to use us in a mighty way. That is very exciting and humbling to me; and of course it can be frightening too.

Serving God calls us to forget ourselves in order to help others. It is not something we do just when we feel like it, but is a calling that lasts a lifetime. A calling that doesn’t end until God takes us home. Service is hard at times because it is not a short term responsibility. When we became a child of God, he did not ask that we devote an hour or two a week to honor and serve him. What he wants is our life, not the leftover pieces. I want to make my life count for something. I don’t mean I want to be great in the eyes of men. I am not concerned about prestige or possessions. I try to remember “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-20 NIV
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just get by in life. I want to be about the business of the Lord! At the end of my life when I am face to face with our Lord I want to hear “well done good and faithful servant.”

John Newton once said “If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will.”

What should my service look like? The short answer to that question is to live as Jesus lived. Jesus is our example. When we pattern our lives after Him we will serve God as He did. Now for a lot of people this is a scary thought.
I have heard from people “My life is in such trouble that I’ve got to look out for myself first. I’m am too busy I don’t have any time to help anybody else; I can barely make ends meet as it is, I can’t afford to help out others. Maybe when I pull myself together, I’ll have time for God and serving others.” Then there are those statements like “well if those people were a little nicer I would be more willing to help, or they have made bad choices they can face the consequences”.
People are basically afraid that if they give to God and others that they’ll come out on the short end of the stick and their stick is pretty short to begin with. God loves us, all of us, no matter what path we have chosen in life. He also commands us who are His children, who have been forgiven because of the sacrifice of Jesus to sacrifice for others. A sacrifice isn’t doing something when it’s comfortable, easy, something you want to do.
If you’re one of those people who are making any of the excuses why you can’t serve, here’s what God says to you “Just close your eyes and jump into serving me and others and see what happens. See if your life doesn’t change for the better, don’t be afraid just jump in.” So I challenge you to make a decision to just jump into all that God has for you in serving Him and others. This summer you will have a perfect opportunity to try your hand at serving!

Yes, we all have limited resources, limited time, and limited energy. God promises that if we step out and do what He asks that He will provide all we need. This summer He is supplying help and resources for a projects He has given us. We have team of young people arriving in Salmo to help us with the July 1st games in the park. This is a huge answer to prayer. We will have enough people to staff all the games for the children and we will be able to interact more witht he parents.
The 1st week in August we have another misson team of arriving to help us with Connection 2010. They all have a heart to serve God. They care about us and the people in Salmo that do not know the Lord. They are traveling 1443 miles at their own expense and using over a week of their personal time because they care. They have spent countless hours in planning and gathering supplies for us to use during the week. Will you give a few hours of your time to join in this exciting mission God has given us? What will it cost you? It may cost you energy, it may cost you money, it may cost you watching your favorite TV program, and the list could go on. But does it really matter what it will cost you? Romans 12 speaks of us offering ourselves as living sacrifices to God being our” reasonable service”. Yes, it will cost us and we’ll be tired. There is a song that I have listened to often the last few months and it has given me much needed encouragement. It’s called Good Tired. The chorus goes like this, “A good tired is when you know you have done the best you can to reach out to a hurting world and lend a helping hand. No matter who or where you are you can make a difference. But I can tell you there will be times when you’ll get tired but that’s a good tired”. Are you willing to do all you can to reach the hurting people of Salmo; are you willing to get “good tired”?

Serving Him with you,