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 July, 2010

The Lazy Days of Summer

I heard this term used a lot as a child but I don’t recall hearing it much in recent years. What does it really mean? Is it for days gone by?

Growing up in Oregon my summers were not spent idly. I worked in the berry and bean fields for my school clothes money. However I did have ample time to walk along the creek that was near my home, jump on my horse and ride to the back pasture, or walk through the orchard and climb a tree and just sit. If I was lucky and had 25 cents I would walk ½ a mile and get a bottle of Strawberry Shasta from the country store. And then there was one of my favorite things to do on a hot summer afternoon; flop down in the cool grass of the back yard. There is something about lying on your back feeling the grass between your toes and watching the puffy clouds go by.

Somehow as an adult I seem to have lost sight of the benefit of “flopping down in the cool grass”. My summer days are most certainly not lazy. I have so many things on my to-do list that there is no time to enjoy feeling the grass between my toes. At least that is my reasoning. Today I went outside to take care of couple things on my list. Then I spotted a shady spot in the grass. I did something I haven’t done in years; flopped down in the grass. It felt really good. Our dog must have thought it looked good too because she came to join me. We played for a while. For a moment I felt guilty for wasting time when I had so much to do but then I realized that I could spare a few minutes. Then I looked up and the clouds and God reminded me once again of one word He has been speaking to me lately; “Abide”. “Slow down and abide in me.” God did not intend for us to get so busy that we don’t have time to enjoy the beauty of his creation. We should be able to feel the breeze on our faces and the grass between our toes and remember Who made it all and Who is in control.

After I got up from my rest in the grass, did the tasks that needed to be done and came back in the house. I started thinking about why the lazy days of summer seem to no longer exist. We don’t allow them to exist! Then I did a search and found this quote. “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I took the time to lie in the grass and I still got everything done that was important and hey I even had time to write this!
Slow down, feel the grass between your toes and Abide in Him.

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A Servant’s Heart

I never cease to be amazed at the way God works!

We just completed our first Connection 2010 outreach week. We were blessed beyond our expectations by an amazing group of young people and their leaders. Several months ago when we were in early planning stages for this mission team I had in mind that they would come help us staff free games for children in the park during our July 1st celebrations. I reasoned that teenagers would be great at that. However they offered to spend several days here and serve wherever they were needed. Serving the community is just what our Connection weeks are all about. This group from Immanuel Bible Church Bellingham Washington truly has servant’s hearts. They spent countless hours fundraising and planning for their trip. They came and spent a week of their time and energy to serve people they had never met. No matter what they were asked to do they did it with a smile. I never once heard complaining or bickering among them. They picked up trash, painted an amazing mural, weeded a garden, lead worship, moved a freezer up narrow steep steps and much more. And all the while you could see the joy on their faces; they were reflecting Jesus in their actions and speech.

A servant’s heart has everything to do with your relationship with God. It has nothing to do with being recognized for your good deeds. If you truly have a servant’s heart it shows. As you go about your day Jesus “spills out” on everyone you encounter. When you see a need you are naturally inclined to meet it with no expectations of compensation or even a thanks. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NIV

Thanks to the help from a great group of people with true servant’s hearts our first week of Connection 2010 showed the love of Jesus to our community. God has given Salmo Baptist Church some tremendous opportunities to reach out to the people of our community. As you go about your day listen for God’s prompting to serve others. Listen with your heart. Hear what God wants you to do. Don’t use your own reasoning. I thought we would just put on games in the park for children. God had much bigger plans. We serve a big God who wants to accomplish much more than we can ever imagine. Let yourself be used by Him. There is another amazing thing about this. When you allow yourself to be used by God with a true servant’s heart you are blessed beyond belief.

So, let’s all get ready to serve and watch God move during week 2 of Connection 2010. It’s happening August 2-7. Please be praying that we will clearly see where God would have us serve. Of course we have plans but I am going to be open to God changing those plans all week long. I am excited to see what He is going to do!