Desire To Do Your Will

At the kitchen table last night I was chatting to my girls whilst my husband stood slightly behind them, heating up the last of our supper. The conversation was on being kind and compassionate, and after my eldest daughter said something, my response was to tell her that it was because she had a kind heart. “Kind Heart” being the term I often use to try and show them what is important in relationships and who they are on the inside.

To my dismay, my three year old’s answer was to look me in the eyes and say, “No mom, my heart is an organ that pumps blood.” Over her head I could see the guilty expression on my science loving husband, who has been showing the girls his giant anatomy book.

Psalm 40 vs 8

“I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

The Bible speaks about the heart being more than just a blood pumping organ. What a wonderful challenge to become known as someone who desires to do God’s will, and who carries God’s law within my heart!

Posted in God's Will

Where Is Your Joy?

As I read through Galatians this morning I was struck by the verse in which Paul asks the Galatians the question about their joy.

“What has happened to all your joy?”

Whilst his letter to them is referring to the false gospel that is being preached and the way they have fallen away from what was originally taught to them, I couldn’t help but notice that he later lists the fruit of the Spirit, and there among the list is joy.

Galatians 5 vs 22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.”

When they turn away from the truth their fruit of joy diminishes. What a challenge as I examine that same list and see what is diminished in my own life and why. If I am not joyful there stands a good reason that I am not trusting with a certain topic. If I am not filled with a love for someone then perhaps I am attempting to love in my own strength instead of His. In fact if I am struggling with any of the fruit of the Spirit, then it stands to reason that perhaps I am not been led by the Spirit at all.

The images that comes to my mind at the moment are my lemon tree and my daisy bush. Both planted at similar times, yet in different soil and in different areas of my garden. My daisy bush is already alive with color and bringing much beauty and brightness to my garden. My lemon tree on the other hand seems like it may not make it through the winter.

Which one am I?

 

Posted in Intimacy

Yellow Praise

Isaiah 61 vs 10-11

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

The last few weeks I have been completely out of my routine as first I was on leave and then I had to work at a different training school for a few days. Finally back at the office yesterday and as I walked through the courtyard I was amazed to see beautiful yellow flowers that had blossomed on several of the bushes. It was raining and the bright yellow really stood out in contrast to the grey clouds.

There are so many things that cause my soul to rejoice in my God. There are hundreds of little prayers of thankfulness throughout my day, hundreds of spontaneous smiles and different situations and things that cause a gladness in my heart.

To be able to sit in our tearoom and look out over the student’s playing field, there is a hope and expectancy in my heart as I witness how the dead and dusty sand of a few weeks ago has suddenly become a brilliant green. It causes me to pray more fervently for the same kind of growth in the lives of those around me. It causes me to examine my own life to see if I am bearing the yellow flowers that will cause others to notice a difference in me.

The good kind of difference.

Posted in Praise

Endurance And Encouragement

Romans 15 vs 5-6

 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This morning my Intentional Rising was made so much sweeter by one of my friends rising to join me. We would message one another at four am about two years ago, each of us praying for four specific things. Within a few months we both received our answers and as human nature is, became lazy and stopped rising early.

After chatting with her yesterday we each chose four new items to pray for, and rising early this morning was easy, knowing that I was going to be accountable to someone else. My prayer is that God will give us endurance to continue and continual encouragement for one another, that Christ may be glorified.

Posted in Prayer, Serving

In His Strength Alone

As much as I would like to do it all in my own strength, the more I walk with the Lord the more that I realize how much I need to depend on Him for His Strength and His Grace. The more that I speak and the more that I listen to the words of those around me, the more I realize the importance of His Word and the importance of listening to His Voice.

Our poor youngest daughter woke up with a sty in her eye yesterday that caused her great discomfort and pain. The more that she rubbed at it, the more that it hurt and irritated her. After three trips to different pharmacies to try and find the right medication, I eventually sat her on my lap to try and put the ointment in her eye.

The reaction she gave me was one of pure fury as her two year old little fists rubbed furiously to try and get the offending cream out of her eye. In all of the frustrations and learning curves over the past two years, this was the angriest I had ever seen her.

Eventually I watched her sleep after thirty minutes of fighting, back rubbing and story telling. By the evening her eye was looking much better, even though had it been up to her she never would have taken the medicine.

2 Corinthians 12 vs 7-9

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

As always I struggle to understand watching others go through pain, as much as I struggle to understand when I go through pain. Paul’s words are such a good reminder of the Sovereignty of God and how His Grace is truly sufficient for us, and how His power is made perfect in weakness.

The next time I get my own eye infection (or thorn in my flesh), my prayer is that I will not throw a tantrum when my Father God applies the cream needed for it to heal. May I have the attitude of Paul that I will boast about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Posted in God's Will

Storm To Haven

Psalm 107 vs 28-30

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.”

After one of those days that start early at work and end late with crying children and housework, the night finally became still and I could turn to the Word of God. As I read through these verses I could clearly imagine the quietness that must have come after the storm and the peace that must have been wrapped around them as the seas were stilled. I could see the waters free from waves, and clearly imagine the desired haven that they sought. All because my day could only be described as a storm.

I am thankful for the contrast that we witness in the world. From the hot days of summer to the cold nights of winter, to the bright sunshine days, and the dark moonless nights. The seasons of life ensure that we are in continual fellowship with God, for we cannot make it through the storms without Him, and we cannot get to our havens without Him either.

Posted in Uncategorized

Simple Or Complicated

Ecclesiastes 7 vs 29

“This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.” (NIV)

“This is all that I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.” GNT

I sat listening to a friend of mine explain her family dynamics to me. I did not know her very well, and had never met her extended family. As she was from a large family, the relationships between the different siblings were plentiful. At some point she switched over to the dynamics between her husbands family, which consists of even more siblings than hers and where the relationships are even more complicated. I could not even work out who was at fault in any of the stories, as my mind became so muddled in terms of who was who and who had done what.

All I could think of was that it shouldn’t ever get that complicated. We were created to love God and to love our neighbor. Yet in today’s world it seems increasingly difficult to keep it simple and we allow ourselves to get into complicated situations when we seek our own way.

Today I pray that I will be mindful of my actions and to make sure that I am keeping it simple. Loving God and loving my neighbor.

Posted in Uncategorized