Thursday, April 9, 2015

Has Something Wrecked Your Peace Today?

Has something wrecked your peace today?

In Psalm 73, Asaph's peace was wrecked. It happens to all of us. In Asaph's case, as we often do, he tried and tried on his own to make sense of the issue that was wrecking him...but he couldn't do it. His peace remained wrecked. However in verse 17 there's a turning point as he says,

"Then one day I went into your sanctuary God."

Or in other words, He stopped trying to figure it out on his own, and He turned to the Lord for help.
Spending time with the Lord, can bring a peace that surpasses all understanding. The devotional book "Come Away My Beloved" says it like this:

"Bring me all that puzzles you. Many questions need no answer, for when the heart is at one with the Father, there comes an illumination of Spirit which transcends thought. Understanding becomes a state of heart rather than an achievement of the mind."

Let's set some time aside to spend with the Lord, and we will recognize, as Asaph did in verse 28,

"as for me, it is good for me to be near God"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Are there scriptures that you've heard SO MUCH that they almost sound cliche-ish???

cliche:  a sentence, or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost orginality, ingenuity, and impact by long over use.

Recently I've had a lot of friends who are going through some crazy difficult stuff.

Typically, when a friend is in need, I pray for them, and find some word of encouragement to send them.  A scripture that speaks to their bring them hope.

However, here lately, due to the magnitude of what some of my friends are going through, every scripture I've wanted to send just sounds like a cliche to me.

For I know the plans I have for you... (Jer 29:11)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.... (Phil 4:13)

In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him... (Romans 8:28)

blah. blah. blah.  I've heard them all before, so many times, to the point that they just. sound. like. a. cliche.  And, I feared my friends would think that too...until God said this to me,

"just because you think my word sounds like a cliche, doesn't mean it is a cliche.  It's lost it's meaning to you because you've stopped believing it as truth.  The truth is, it is the living, breathing, word of God....and you can stand on it's promises."

Thanks for reminding me, Lord, of the power and truth of your word.  That it's not an overused quote or saying, but instead...

 all scripture is God breathed...2 Timothy 3:16

Saturday, January 17, 2015

You Know That Situation You're In...What's it really About??

I've decided to read through the Bible in a year.  (When those of you who know me are done chuckling please continue reading.)

I'm more of a "ponderer" than a "reader", so I'm not really expecting to finish the Bible in a year.  I'm thinking it will be more like five years.  Seriously.  Here's why...

I can't help having to stop and think about what I'm reading about.  My first day in and I about had a hallujah breakdown party for 30 minutes over this one passage of scripture:

Genesis 25:21-2 (ESV)

21 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?”[a] So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you[b] shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other,  the older shall serve the younger.”
24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 

Now, there are many things we could ponder from this passage of scripture, but what hooked me in the moment was the reality of what was happening within Rebekah.

She's pregnant, and there is major activity happening in her womb.

Her first thought is, "what on God's green earth is going on in my belly?!"

Her second thought is to ask God about it.  Jeesh.  That's brilliant.

What's beautiful about it to me, is she asks....and He answers.

And guess what?!  Here's another thing that's beautiful.  We can still do that.  We can inquire of the Lord, and He will answer us.

If this was a modern day scenario, we all know what we would do, we would get an ultrasound.  The ultrasound would (if accurate) tell us truth...but not the whole truth.  We would know that there were twins, and that they were active, but we wouldn't know this...

“Two nations are in your womb,    and two peoples from within you[b] shall be divided;the one shall be stronger than the other,    the older shall serve the younger.”

How much insight might God give us into a situation, if we would only stop and ask?

I needed desperately to be reminded of this.  How He longs to lead us down this path of life if we will just , remember Him, Turn to Him, and Inquire of Him.

Give the ONE who created you an opportunity to speak into your situation.

Today.  All day.  Everyday.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Most of the Time I'm Okay...Except for When I'm Not Okay

(This blogpost was written the end of  September 2014)

Mostly, I’m okay…except for when I’m not ok.

I needed a fax machine.  My personal office isn’t set up with one, so I figured I’d go into my best friend’s office and use hers.

The mere thought of it brought me to tears this morning.

Not so torn up over fax machines, but the thought of the office itself.

My brother had spent a couple of months getting that office ready for MarLo.  He tore off old wallpaper, made any necessary patches, painted nearly every inch himself.   I can’t walk into that place without thinking of Brian.  He passed away four weeks ago.

I’m okay most of the time, except for when I’m not ok.

The “not okay” times can come at any moment, and are emotionally painful. As if the grief literally takes my breath away.  And yet in those deep, emotionally painful moments, the one thing I gain is the knowledge of

The brevity of life.

The  mere knowledge of the fact that breath can be here one moment and gone the next makes me want to

Love better
Speak kinder
Enjoy each moment
and, Treat you like the GIFT that you are

My fear is that when the grief passes, the reality of brevity will pass too.  That all too soon I’ll go back to taking everyone and everything for granted. 

We don’t mean to, but most of us do it.

It seems that the one beautiful thing that can come from my own personal grief is the transformation of my own heart, to forever be respectful of the brevity of it all.

Not so I might fear more, but that I might love better.

Most the time I’m okay, except for when I’m not ok…which is ok.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Am I Resolute?

Just because I  believe in Jesus now doesn't NECESSARILY mean that I will always believe in Jesus.

"Well, Melissa, what on earth are you saying?" You might ask.

Listen up cuz here's what I'm saying:

If I was really put through hard testing,
If I believe I had done my best and God had failed me or God didn't show up,
If He withdrew His presence from me and I couldn't seem to find Him anywhere,
If he severely hurt my feelings,

I might begin to question my beliefs.  It's possible that under the perfect storm of circumstances, I might. stop. believing.

Because I understand that possible weakness, it causes me to stop now, while I do believe, and ask myself this question:

Am I resolute?

Am I resolute in my beliefs of Jesus?

The Word says that Jesus set out for Jerusalem resolutely

"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem" Luke 9:51

what does that mean?

to be resolute means this:

admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.

Listen, I've been through a lot with Jesus.  I accepted him at age 13, and I have never wavered in believing, nor do I plan to stop believing.  At the same time, I think it's a good question to ask myself. Am. I. Resolute?

At the core of my beliefs, what do I believe?  What will keep me hanging on?  Though I have felt His love in crazy, amazing ways, really the bottom line for me is this:

It's easier to believe.  If I'm right it's eternity in Heaven.

If I stop believing and I'm wrong, it's eternity in Hell.

I'd rather die believing than die wrong.

1 Peter 1:4-10 NLT
and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you.

1 Corinthians 16:13,14
Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, and love without stopping

Be Resolute.