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, 2012

This is the life!

Last week I talked about the “tricks of the thief” and how they can steal our joy and kill our love for life. We know we have a Helper that can lead us into a full and abundant life. He knows our needs and He will give us the strength to make it through.
We have Jesus whose purpose is not to steal, kill or destroy but to give us Life.
Do the math: Reliance on God = Abundant Life
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 b NIV
That’s a good Christian calculation but how does that play out in day to day living?
Do you have a bucket list?
You know a list of must do and must see before the end of our days on earth. That is how some measure the fullness and completeness of their lives. Now don’t get me wrong. As I said a few days ago there are many places I would love to see and things I would love to experience in this wonderful world. But would that make my life fulfilling?
We can tick off every item on our bucket list, land the job we want and build the house of our dreams. Those are our plans. They can still leave us feeling empty, lacking and a sense of dissatisfaction.
God has a plan for each of us. Our part in that plan is to connect with Him so we can hear Him clearly.
The never ending to do list. I used to spend my days working on what seemed most important that morning. I often felt overwhelmed. That list never ended and at times my efforts seemed fruitless. I was busy; Martha like busy. Not taking nearly enough time to sit at His feet. I needed more Mary traits.
Follow your heart; I once read that is a key to living a fulfilling life. It sounds right in theory. I’ll pose this question today. What is your heart condition?
A friend of mine, Connie Cavanaugh, spoke at a retreat at my church a couple of years ago. She said we all have the need for a healed heart, a clean heart, and then we can have a heart like no other. She said “After God cleans out our hearts; He wants to replace all the lies in our hearts with truth from His word.”
If we follow our hearts like the world’s wisdom dictates must be sure that our hearts are filled with the truth from God’s word. Align your heart with the plans He has for you. Quiet your mind and shut out all the demands of others. Listen to that still small voice and let Him be your GPS.
So forget your plans. When you do it frees you up and replaces the desires of you heart with the desires of His heart. Be open to endless possibilities be because we serve a God of endless power. His passions will quickly become yours and you will be living a life that is so abundant.
As my very wise husband once told me “life in ministry is a roller coaster ride. Keep you hands and feet in and hang on for the ride. God’s got this”.
We are all in different phases of life. Some are raising families and some are empty-nesters. Some of us are full of joy and energy and some are in difficult even discouraging times of ministry. I found no matter what season of life I’m in if I check my “heart condition” and replace the lies with the truth from God’s word I will have that peace and abundant life He promises.
God often speaks to me through music.
There are two songs that come to mind as I write this.
The first is by Pam Thum- Life is Hard. The lyrics say that “Life is hard but God is good. Jesus never said it was an easy road to travel. He only said that you would never be alone.”
For those of you in a discouraging season of life that is a promise you can cling to.
I’ll date myself with the second song. It is more upbeat and speaks the truth of the hope we have in a life in step with Him. This Is The Life by Phillips Craig and Dean says”This is the life. I’m where I wanna be livin’ from the center of a heart that’s free. Oh, I’m feelin’ alright. Day or night, rain or shine this is the life.”
For a good chuckle check this out old video of the Phillips,Craig & Dean. Good message but oh the hair and clothes!
God gives us a “heart like no other” and a “heart that’s free”.

We’re Old!

We’re getting old! My husband and I have said that to each other on more than one occasion lately. If the truth be known we aren’t that old given the statistics of life expectancy. Of course only God knows just how much time we have left. But with the aches and pains that are surfacing and the lack of stamina we had in our youth there are days when we feel OLD.
We also feel an urgency to use our days wisely. But life gets in the way! Or is it that God’s plans get in the way of our plans? During our “over morning coffee” discussions we have both shared the feeling of urgency and the hope that at the end of our days we will hear “Well done”.
We are also feeling the longing to slow down and enjoy more of the amazing world we live in and each other’s company.
My husband would like to go back and visit Yellowstone again. I would very much enjoy seeing that with him. Not a big dream but it seems unattainable at this point. He would also like to show me some of the parks and places in Utah that he frequented during his growing up years.
But I have an even bigger dream……….. visiting the New England States and maybe even up into the Maritimes. Restless, a mid-life crisis? Maybe but I don’t think so.
Even if it is a type of mid-life restlessness that may not necessarily be a bad thing. It’s causing us to evaluate the choices we are making and make adjustments.
We are discovering new ways to address life. Much more change is necessary. However, we are becoming more aware that our time on this earth is short. We should number our days right and be busy about His work.
Personally I reminded that God not only told us to be about His work but he also instructed us to rest. My husband and I are not so good about following the rest instruction. God said obey all His commands. We are so busy doing ministry we are ignoring the rest.
As we question our day to day life it is becoming clearer what we love and what our purpose is. And that yes we are getting older and need rest and more laughter.
What are your dreams? Are you a Daydream Believer? Okay, I regress and once again showing how old I am quoting a Monkees song! But truly I would like to hear from you and learn about your dreams.

And as promised in my last blog I will talk about The Life later this week.

How’s Life?

How’s life? Someone I once knew often asked me that.
Depending on the day that can be a loaded question and often I didn’t really know how to answer them. Truly most people would rather not hear what is really happening in your life.
Some days were good; everything was going as I thought it should.
Some days were not so good; not up to my expectations.
On the not so good days I felt as if I had been robbed. Who robbed me?
Well, I could say that it was people who weren’t cooperating. There were some who didn’t follow through, some who said unkind things, any number of reasons.
Truthfully I allowed myself to be cheated. I developed an attitude. As a result life wasn’t so great those days. I wished those days away.
I wasted them by not acknowledging them as a gift from God. The wiser choice would be numbering my days and growing in wisdom.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy John 10:10a NIV
Have you been sidetracked lately; losing sight of what you knew God would have you focus your energy on.
The thief comes to steal our joy and hope.
The thief comes to kill our love for life.
The thief comes to destroy our relationships and families.
The thief is far too often successful in hindering the work God would have us do.
With the economic downturn and the demands of the fast pace life of today so many have fallen into the mindset of “just get through this day, this week, this month. If I could just make a little more money, if I could just have a little more time, if could get a little help and cooperation. And sadly, statistics say that those who claim to be Christians are just as likely to have this mindset as those who don’t. That should not be the case. We have promises from the One who loves us more than we can comprehend, has plans for hope and a future. He is in control when everything seems to be out of control.
Oftentimes we allow the expectations of others to add to our load. That is a load that God never intended us to carry. If we continue to carry the extra load the enemy will use that to steal our joy of daily living, to kill our love for serving others, to destroy our relationships with those in our church family and our immediate family. It is so important that we constantly be checking with our Helper and evaluate how we are expending our energy. Number your days right and grow in wisdom.
Check back next week when we will ponder John 10:10b and The Life!