Friday, September 30, 2011

Overwhelmed But Not Overcome

I’ve been sitting here this morning for over an hour, staring at a blank screen. Today is 9/11, and I’m a day late getting this piece scheduled. I have meandered through my Facebook posts, have taken out over 800 emails from my inbox, and am sipping on my second cup of coffee. I’m resorting to stream of consciousness writing because I can’t get the words to come out. They’re locked in my brain somewhere, and I have neither the key nor the combination.

Today is 9/11. 

I should be focused on the significance of this day. However, the only thing I feel is an overwhelming weariness tinged with grief. There are too many obligations, too many responsibilities, and never enough time. And then this specter of past atrocity mists across the landscape and whatever strength I have is vaporized.

I want to pray, for those left to stare into the deep abyss that the collapse of those towers brought. I want to hold up those who died in the Pentagon that day, those that never had a chance when thin-skinned aircraft collided into steel and glass, for the firefighters that went in and never came out, and for a flight of passengers that went down as heroes in a Pennsylvania field who, once recognizing the events that were unfolding, preferred death over submission to evil.

Perhaps part of what has me immobilized today is the recognition that the evil is still out there as blatant (if not more so) than ever before, that ten years of war and the death of our children, our husbands and wives, our mothers and fathers has not made a dent in the number of people that want to kill us or subjugate us. We fight and we fight… and for what?

Today I am overwhelmed with the futility of it all, and I think that’s why I am so numb. Today I have more in common with the son of David who penned Ecclesiastes than with his father who wrote most of the psalms. 

"Meaningless! Meaningless!”
   says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
   Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)

This writer goes on to express exactly what is in my heart, that “everything is wearisome, more than one can express” (Ecclesiastes 1:8a). 

I feel guilty, because I am a child of God, and I should know that in the end we win. I should know that yes, this world is compromised and that while evil may seem to flourish and abound in more and more places, while the love for God may wax cold in many, many hearts, and while the vulgarity of the sinful nature of our species may become more and more insidious, we are actually only watching remnants of battles, not the outcome of the war.

We’ve already won that through the death and resurrection of Jesus. So I sit here and pray that God will break through the numbness, through the grief, through the weariness. I should not feel this way, knowing what I know. 

And yet…
For everything there is a season,
a right time for every intention under heaven—
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and time to discard,
a time to tear and a time to sew,
a time to keep silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Perhaps today is my time for disengaging from the world. Perhaps the numbness is God’s gift to me to overshadow the grief and despair that lies beneath the surface. Perhaps it’s His way of forcing a rest of sorts upon me, because without that forced rest I would sit here and work and struggle and cry, never allowing my mind to free itself from the endless tasks I have before me or the images of that day ten years ago that haunt me. 

These passages seem to tell me that I have His permission to feel the negative with good, that it is all a part of this life that I live, and all equally valid expressions of the human experience. Perhaps this weariness is a not-so-subtle reminder that I can do nothing without the strength that He gives me to carry on. 

Today, I will weep and mourn. I will sit in silence and think about the futility of it all. I will ponder not only the significance of this day, but the direction of my life and if I’m where I need to be. Am I on the path God has chosen for me, or am I on a path that is of my own making? It’s okay to think about these things, to work through them and around them, so long as I don’t allow myself to remain in this spot.

And then tomorrow, I will start again, going back to my Father’s work of healing and restoration. For it is when I look through His eyes that I understand there is nothing futile at all in this life He has given me to live.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Changing of the Seasons

Summer may be dragging its heels, but signs of fall are emerging. The sun is setting earlier and the evenings are cooler. The seasons continue their rotation and years pass by.

The end of July brought a birthday that, according to some, catapulted me into a new season of life. In all honesty it caused me to question and contemplate my goals. August ended up being a month filled with travels, giving me time to indulge myself in depressing thoughts. Just like summer I was dragging my heels and resisting change. It was turning to the Word that reminded me that God created the four-seasons in nature, and He also knows the phases of our lives.

A birthday isn’t a magical day that changes the flow of life. God is in control. Whatever the season of life we are in, we can be about our Father’s business, seeking to use the gifts He placed within us and allowing Him to prosper those gifts according to His will.

A Time for Everything
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 

A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (NIV)




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

As for Me . . .

Now fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24: 14 – 15 NIV)
I can remember the times reading this and thinking, “Yeah. Toss out those idols. Serve God with gladness. Depend on Him and seek His righteousness.” 

Since those days, life happened. Trials came. Hurdles needed jumping. Obstacles demanded attention. Anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, and all their friends came to perch on my shoulders. One pecked at my skull, tapping out the words of doubt and fear. The song of the Mourning Dove with its sorrowful woes filled my mornings. Humming Bird came along with his business and inability to sit still long for any depth of conversation. Crows soared back and forth overhead, cawing at one another. I could almost understand, “Hahaa, hahaa!” Their aerial view of my days gave them plenty to caw about.

One calamity after another; delays deferring hope; amazing opportunities going awry; stress filling me from my toes to eyebrows—I was certain the cap would soon flip open allowing everything inside to fly out. Not a pretty thought.

Thankfully, though, I was a neatly sealed can. Lid secured with my best glue. That is until Woodpecker pecked holes large enough for drainage. All contained within began to spill through the holes. It was visible to others. I was exposed. And then, as though being out of control weren’t bad enough, the bottom fell out and I lost everything.

This is when I heard the words, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” (Luke 10: 41b – 42a NIV)

I got it.

“You are so busy, worried, and upset, that you’ve forgotten that I’m here. You’ve forgotten your first love.”

Ouch.

I decided to let everything fall, take in a breath and relax. Just as I was beginning to think the asthmatic pace of my mind was calming, another fowl came knocking at my door. We stared at one another. He dared me to take him in and listen to his tales of trouble. I looked back at the words, 

“Only one thing is needed.”

What is that one thing?

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . .

Someone once said that every day we are given a choice. We can either choose to stand on the side of the Lord by leaning into Him and choosing trust; or we can defect behind enemy lines, by listening and allowing the negative, discouraging, troublesome report to become part of my day’s thoughts and beliefs.

I’ve wallowed in the muck of despair. It’s not only unhealthy, but no one wants to spend time with me there. I don’t blame them.

Today I stand at a crossroads and this is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look; as for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6: 16 NIV)

To this I say, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24: 15 NIV)

anna-karlene-jeffrey






Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Far More than Football

Football is big in our house – really big. For some unfathomable reason, all of my four sons really get into the sport. Their excitement mounts every fall as the teams trot across our television screen and there’s always a mad scramble when the latest issue of Sports Illustrated arrives. I assume it’s due to some recessive gene that showed up in all four of their genetic make-ups. I’d rather bury my nose in a good book than watch a bunch of guys in tight pants run into each other on the field and while my husband enjoys watching a good game, he gets more of a thrill out of shooting some poor deer or turkey to death.

But every Friday night in fall you will find me sitting on cold metal bleachers, cheering for the black and orange. Specifically, I’m clapping my mittened hands for Number 7 because that’s my boy out on the field. And while I still can’t tell you what position he plays and I freely admit to not understanding much about the game at all, I find myself swelling with pride every time the announcer broadcasts, “Number Seven – Will Heywood!”

I’ve been sitting on those bleachers for four seasons now, with one left to go. I’ve become pretty familiar with Will’s style of playing. He’s a good player, from what I can tell. But, he’s not as aggressive as I’d like to see him be. And maybe he’s not supposed to be; like I said, the vagaries of the game escape me. I want to see Will really pummel his opponent, to just throw himself on top of the other guy and not let him go (although, I tend to get indignant when the other team does that to my boy – guess you can’t take the “mom” part out of “football mom”!). But that’s not really Will’s style. He’s a little more hesitant and tends to spend time sizing up his opponent before acting. When he first started playing a few years ago I figured that aggressiveness would come with experience. But now that he’s in his next-to-last year of playing, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

It dawned on me recently, though, that who Will is on the field, is who he is off the field. He’s a thinker, he’s very laid back, he’s generous and gentle. That’s very evident when he plays. So, while I have this wonderful kid, it’s probably doubtful that football scouts are going to come knocking any time soon. Guess we’d better be figuring out some other way to pay for college!


*******


Just this week, I visited a friend. During our conversation, I found myself being very open and honest with her about some of the “uglier” aspects of my heart. Afterwards I chided myself mentally for being so transparent. What must my friend think of me now? But then last night as I watched Will trot out onto the football field it occurred to me that just as my son is being himself both on and off the field, I was being “myself” when I let my friend see some the shadowy areas in my life.

Of course, what I was showing wasn’t pleasant and didn’t reflect Christ’s love. And that’s what I need to change. At the same time, though, it’s too easy and natural to slap a Christian mask on our face when around others so that they don’t see our hearts and don’t lose any of the esteem they have for us. That doesn’t benefit anyone. My desire is that when others look at me, they only see Jesus, because of His work, love, and power that resides in and through me. Only by striving daily to be conformed to His image is that ever going to happen.

It’s hard to believe, but I actually learned something from football this week! These are lessons, though, that will last longer than four quarters – and for that, I am thankful.

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men,that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven

Monday, September 26, 2011

In the Stillness of Quiet



I was gone for 9 days on a wild train trip out west to Washington State and came home to no phone or internet. (oh, the joy!). We brought my 84 year-old mother back with us to stay for 2 weeks, so things have been a bit...different. :) I'm learning many things about myself and my family, and I think there will be much to share in the weeks following, but I am craving my old routine and alone time with the Lord! So, in light of all that has been, is, and will be going on, I'm going to share one of my favorite "Moments"...


In the stillness of quiet, I sense your Presence, away from the din of lips moving-hearts complacent. I hear Your voice in the deepest calm of submission, where I become a shadow, cast by Your silhouette against the Light of Day.
Touch my lips with the coals of Holy Fire, Lord, let me not utter hollow praise. Keep my heart beating in the palm of your hand, lest I stray from Your purpose and be found wanting. See me, Lord, through the prism of Your Grace...color me with Your Love.

In His Love, Always!


Graffiti InspiredMid's PointMid's Pix

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One of the "Whosoever"

Someone was crying in the church.

Molly had been walking by, cleaning up the cooking fires and getting ready for the night when she’d heard the soft sobbing of someone inside the little adobe church.

Breathing a soft prayer, she gathered a lantern and walked inside. The church wasn’t large, so it wasn’t hard to find her. Molly thought she recognized the young woman. Although her face looked aged from the wrinkles of many trials, Molly knew she wasn’t yet twenty years old. Molly spoke in the native language: “Kira? Is that you?”

The woman nodded, but kept crying even when Anne put a hand on her shoulder. “What is wrong, Kira? Can I help you? Is it your children?”

“No, you cannot help me. And, yes, it is my children. Well… not the living ones. They are fine.”

Molly waited; saying another prayer for wisdom. Ever since she and Larry had come to this remote rain forest, at the edge of Colombia, they had prayed to make a difference with the people. Their mission was miles from the nearest city; several tribes lived in this forest. There was no running water and many of the natives still wore no clothes. Molly and Larry yearned to break through to the scattered tribes; all with their own cultures and beliefs. They had worked to learn the language and honor the native customs. Yet, despite two years of work and their daily prayers, not one person in the tribes had yet to make a decision to follow Jesus. Most of the people still clung to beliefs in pagan rituals and evil spirits.

“Please tell me, Kira.”

Kira shook her head and cried. “If I tell you; you will cast me away.” Molly shook her head, but Kira continued: “I know I have done wrong. I have done like the Cain man.”

Molly wondered what she meant. That evening’s Bible study had spoken of Cain and Abel. Could Kira mean…? “You have killed your brother?”

“Not my brother,” she whispered. “It was my children. I have killed my children.”

Molly gasped. She had heard of this tribe’s beliefs; if a child was born with certain defects, the tribal leaders ordered the new mothers to bury them alive. She had even heard that, when twins were born, one of the twins must be chosen as a sacrifice in order to prevent evil spirits from possessing the other twin. Molly had heard of the practice but had never seen any proof. Molly thought of her own precious daughters; she couldn’t imagine taking their lives. She cringed at Kira’s confession, but again asked God to help her hear it through to its end.

Little by little, the story came out. Kira had had two healthy daughters, but her third pregnancy had resulted in twins, so the leader had told her one must be given back to the gods. “I could not bear to look,” she told Molly. “I buried him with my eyes closed and closed my ears to his crying.” She went on to say that her next child looked normal to her but the tribal leader told her the boy was cursed, and she had buried him, too. “I cannot face God. I am like the Cain man and must flee from His face.”

Molly swallowed her horror; she knew this was her chance. “No, Kira. You do not have to flee. God can forgive you.”

Kira looked up. “Can it be? He can forgive me?”

“Yes,” Molly grasped Kira’s hand. “He can forgive you.” Molly ran to find the newly-translated Bible; prepared by missionaries in the language of Kira’s tribe. She opened the Book. “Let me read you John 3:16… that whosever believes in Him will not perish…”

“Who is this ‘whosoever’? Is it me?” Hope washed away her despair; her eyes lit up with it.

“Yes, Kira. It is you. And whoever else can believe.”

Kira wept again, but this time the tears flowed with the joy of her newborn belief. “Please, Miss Molly. Tell me more.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Praying for Livestock


It was one of those questions I will never forget. The image of her inquisitive eyes gazing into my horrified, panic-stricken face would probably have made some photographer very rich. The only problem was this was not a moment I was going to be thrilled to remember. Does any parent look forward to discovering that today is the day? She waited expectantly and one thought rattled my already overloaded brain. Oh. My. Gosh. We are really going to have to do this now, aren’t we? I don’t want to do this now why do I have to do this now I need a minute to think wait let me call your dad and get back to you. Just one second. Be right back! I called her father and implored on behalf of us both. 


“Hi, Babe! How are you?”
“Good? I’m so glad! Well, uh…things are…interesting around here. I think it’s time for The Talk.”
“Yes, I do. She came home today with more questions and if I don’t take this opportunity now someone else is going to get to her brain before I do.”
“Ok. What should I say? It’s not exactly like I’m an old pro at this.”
“Great idea! I’ll let God do the talking. Ok, I will let you go. Pray for me!”

We hung up and I took a deep breath. I looked toward Heaven and begged for mercy and exactly the right words to say. How did the pioneer mothers do this? They didn’t have television or public schools so I imagine their kids just watched the livestock and learned that way. Oh dear God I wish I had some livestock! An hour and several scriptures later all her questions were answered, my brain was completely fried, and my stomach felt like it just been on a visit to the tilt a whirl. She on the other hand was perfectly content to finish her game of tether ball alone in the backyard. That was almost too easy. Wait! That was too easy! Oh dear God I still wish I had some livestock!

When I woke up the next morning my head ached, my stomach was still upset, and I really just wanted to cry. Lord, I could sure use a friend right now. I silently watched for any sign of mental anguish coming from my child. Shouldn’t she be at least as freaked out about this as I am? One would think that such a colossal discussion would have left some residual discomfort. Apparently I was the only one who was still covered in a thick coat of awkward. Alrighty then.

Peering out the front window, I noticed there weren’t any cows on the front lawn. Not that it would have mattered at this point. Stupid cows. The phone rang just as were headed out the front door. I had to smile at God’s sense of priority. Suddenly I didn’t mind my empty front lawn so much. I had a good friend waiting for me at our favorite coffee shop.

Beneath the smells of fresh brewed lattes and pumpkin bread I gave her a rundown of the previous day’s discussion. In turn, she hugged me and asked for my notes. Then we went shopping. I suppose there are advantages to being the first of your friends to hit this milestone. They will come to you when it’s their turn to pray for livestock. Then after it’s over everyone gets to reward herself with good coffee (or good tea in my case) and a little retail therapy. After having gone through one of life’s most difficult and fundamental rites of passage, I am thankful God gave me such a wonderful friend to help lighten the load.





Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.—Proverbs 27:10 NKJV











Friday, September 23, 2011

Going to the Dogs for a Lesson


We’ve had three poodles that were part of the family in our home. Doodi came to us when he was about seven months old and promptly adopted my husband as “his” person. Doodi was generally well mannered, except when he chose to “mark” our dining room chairs as his special territory. Since he was so much a one-person dog, Leon would not believe that as soon as he left the house, Doodi would crawl into my lap and settle there, only turning once or twice to find the most comfortable spot. So one day Leon went out the side door and came around to look in the back French doors to see if that was really the case. Doodi looked up and saw him and slunk down from my lap. “Busted!”

Doodi only lived about seven years before he developed back trouble and died following surgery. We missed him so much, we decided to get another poodle right away, female this time, for the protection of our furniture. Missy then became the feisty “boss” of our house, and she chose me as “her” person. She was smart and could learn many tricks, but she snarled all the way through the training. She was excessively protective of both of us, but she did not want Leon to put his arms around me. (Of course, that was a preventative!)

Missy had an intense dislike of rabbits. She was really upset when a mama rabbit had her nest of bunnies inside the bushes right outside our living room window. All we had to say was “rabbits,” and Missy would go to the window and bark ferociously. Our vet had a name for her—Mad Missy because she tried to bite a man who put his head in the basket when we had brought her in with her new puppies.

Missy lived about ten years when she died from cancer. We were determined not to get another dog; that decision lasted all of two weeks. Our first two poodles had been apricot in color, but a little black poodle stole our hearts completely. Jennie loved us equally and was the essence of sweetness as long as she lived. All she wanted was to be near one of us at all times. She was also firmly convinced that anyone who came to our house had come to see her. When Jennie died, and we moved to a townhome, we decided we would not get another dog, just enjoy the memories of the little pets that had brought humor and joy to our home.

Thinking about the poodles that we have had and how much we loved each of them reminded me of how God loves each one of us, no matter our personalities. After all, He made us—in His own image, no less.
“So God Created man in his own image,. . .” 
(Genesis 1:27a / ESV).


He knew all about us, even before we were born, for He created us in our mothers’ wombs.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” 
(Psalm 139:13 / ESV).

In Galations 4:22-23, we find a list of personality attributes that are fruits of God’s Spirit within us:
"love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
I don’t have any of these perfected yet, but God forgives my failures and gives me the desire to please Him more each day.

May you take joy in knowing that God made you, personality and all, and He loves you, just as you are.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Holy holy holy!

I want to take a little bit of your time for us to worship God. I so wish we could close our eyes but then you wouldn't be able to read. Oh well. Wouldn't it be awesome for us all to be in the same room to worship our Lord and Savior together?

God whisked John up to Him. It may have just been in a dream or maybe it was for real. We don't really know but it was for real enough that John remembered to record it all for us -- it sure seems for real to me!

Revelation 4:1-11 (NIV)

"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 



2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 


3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 


4Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 


5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 


6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 


7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 


8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”


You are worthy, Lord God.  Please accept our praise and worship right now in each comment that comes Your way.  Forgive us when we think we're too busy for You.  You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power forever and ever!  Amen and Amen!

We can worship God online as one.  Let's praise Him in the comment section.  Holy holy holy God Almighty!  And then, as we go about our day, let's keep our eyes fixed on Him.

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Singing Children

We have a teenage girl in our church who occasionally gets up in front and sings a song. She sings for the Lord. I’m always thankful for God’s goodness as I listen to her. She was born in Russia, and was adopted by an American Christian couple.

Another little girl likes to sing too. Her mother is the secretary of our Christian school. Before the little blonde girl started Kindergarten, she was around the school. She always came into the computer room, which is near her mom’s office. She would often come and sit on my lap as I worked on a computer. We’d usually watch the Panda on the San Diego Zoo webcam.


One day she came into the room, and someone asked her if she knew any songs. She was three or four at the time. She stood next to my chair and proceeded to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” The students and I were quiet as she sang, and she didn’t know that the school administrator and the pastor had stopped in the doorway behind her to listen. As I remember, she sang another song for us. Now she is in the fourth grade, I believe, and when she sings in the children’s choir, I can easily pick out her voice.

God hasn’t given me kids, but I have been very blessed by other people’s children. Children are a gift from the Lord.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22: 6


SUNNY

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Service With A Smile

When I was younger, the whole world seemed stretched out in front of me—a virtual wide open sea of opportunity. I thrived on the idea that I could accomplish anything I wanted to accomplish. My favorite verse as a teen was Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Everything. That sounded pretty good!

 

As I've gotten a bit older, reality has started to set in. Sure, there's things I can accomplish, but they probably won't be as grand and glorious as the things I imagined I could do when I was a teenager. Let's see. Become one of the elite at NASA? Nope. Win a Pulitzer Prize? No again. Headline a Broadway show? Nope, nada, zilch. So what HAVE I accomplished, anyway?

To quote Beth Moore in her fabulous Bible study, Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman, “Think about it, Sister. Couldn't the craving to do something great keep us from doing something good?”

Oh. Am I so busy dreaming of the someday that I might write the great American novel that I resent doing something a little less glamorous but a whole lot more necessary in the meanwhile? Uh, guilty as charged. I can't say that I look forward to washing dishes and cooking meals, but I do it anyway, out of duty.

Duty? In Ephesians 6:7 it says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Uh oh. Would I want to serve God a piping hot meal of grumbling? No, I sure wouldn't. I shouldn't do it to my family, either. I should serve them as if I were serving the Lord himself!

Moore reminds us, “Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God-things. His holy hand resting on the least act renders the ordinary extraordinary. Spooning soup into the mouth of the weak or manning the nursery so a tired mom can go to church are acts of high worship when offered in the name of Christ.”

Be encouraged! Everything we do to the glory of God is a great thing! Even cleaning toilets and changing diapers? Especially those things. We don't have to be the very best at anything—we have only to give our best for the Lord in everything that we do. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”

From now on, my family is getting dinner service with a smile.

 


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