Forgot to send out an invite?
God is the cause of all celebration, but do we remember to invite Him to celebrate with is?
Without Jesus the baby would not have been born.
Without Jesus the body would not have been healed.
Without Jesus the couple would not be celebrating 35 years together.
God is the cause of all the good things that happen to us, and if you are wondering how you can involve God in your celebration let me suggest something.
Take a moment away from the pinata and the finger sandwiches to draw everyone’s attention to Jesus. Take a moment of prayer and give the credit back to the one who earned it.
Don’t forget that Jesus wants to celebrate with you. So invite Him into your gathering, that would make Him smile.
Your ways are higher than my ways. Your thoughts higher than my thoughts.
Isiah 55: 8-9
People were never meant to stay on the ground. We always have a need in us to climb higher, build taller and touch above the clouds. Why? Well, the Aztecs believed that the taller they built and the higher up they were the closer they were to god. Or at least that is what I have read. Now. I don’t believe we need to fight to get higher in altitude to be closer to our God, but perhaps deep down we all have a similar feeling. Isn’t that why we reach our hands up when we worship. We are reaching to God. Maybe, just maybe that is why we feel a need to go higher. In truth, we all (even non-Christians) want to get closer to God. It is built into us, that’s why so many people claim to be searching for something. That something is Jesus; and He can be found right here where we are right now.
Thank you Jesus for the blessing of who you are. Thank you that we don’t have to climb to you because you are here with us. Amen
Lately over the past year I have taken up jogging. I say lately because we live in Manitoba and I don’t want to die running on ice. In the beginning I was doing it so my dog would lose weight and my vet could stop giving me ‘that’ look. In the beginning we started slow. About 5 mins.
Then we improved till we could go 10. The other day I set me treadmill at jog speed and started to run while watching TV. 25 mins later my show was over and I still had energy. I then realized that my body had adjusted to going on long jogs.
It’s the same in our prayer lives. We start off wanting to please God but we tire out quickly. Aiming for an half an hour prayer can seem a little much in the beginning. What we needed is persistence. A daily routine and time set. Then little by little, without us even realizing it, our souls stretch and our spiritual cardio expands and we find ourselves enjoying more and more time with God. It may seem like a frustration in the beginning, but once you learn to love it you can’t go back.
Jesus has always showed me what I am made of. When my mom left me with our farm for the first time when I was 19, and was away for almost a month and a half to visit my dad at a work related thing in the NWT I was looking forward to trying to see if I could do it all myself. With so much land to keep up with the grass cutting, my Poppa deciding to redo the back fences and hay season baring down on us my enthusiasm waned. Oh ya, and summer is dust and mud season so the house needed work, often. It felt like as soon as I found my groove, the tornado hit. It took down 30 something trees. So my late 80s Poppa and I got to work. Hauling trees, cutting them into moveable sizes, repairing buildings, tending to my beloved horse who had a minor injury from it. In all of it I looked around and saw how God had protected us. Now I look back and see how it made me grow. No matter what I face, if I have my Jesus I can take it on and do my best. All I have to so is be willing to rise to the challenge. I would prefer a life without tornados, but now whenever I look at a large task at hand and have someone say,
‘Do you think you can handle this?’ I always respond.
‘Of course! It can’t be as bad as the year of the tornado.’
If I could rise to that, God can help me rise to anything. Besides. Sleep is over rated.
Have any of you ever watched Howl’s Moving Castle? It’s one of my favorite movies. Up there with LOTR, Ben Hur and the King and I. Which are also my favorite novels. One line from the movie is often quoted by fans. ‘A heart is a heavy burden to cary.’
Our hearts are one of our heaviest organs. Don’t ask me to explain because it gets gross. But our hearts also carry the most weight. They are the main necessity of the body, everything works through them. Our hearts also carry the burden of our lives. Our emotions effect our hearts; our wants and desires flow through that one muscle causing it to ache and need. Heartless people have hearts to live on but they don’t use them to their full potential. They shut off tue part of the heart that causes one to care and help and be kind. The mind helps them shut off this ability of the heart. When Howl’s heart is restored to him and he wakes up his first words are.
“Why does it feel like there is a weight on my chest?”
Because being frivolous and heartless takes nothing out of you, but to be compassionate and loving takes a great strain. A heart is a heavy burden.
Setting your mind
In one of my favorite movies the main character loves the song ‘country roads’ and rewrites the lyrics to it. The new version has a line that says:
Determined to live alone but fearless, my constant longing is to be courageous. Loneliness is bottled up inside, going down this path that I must try.
It’s a beautiful description of who she is. She knows herself and is willing to allow that to be enough for her. She knows her path is lonely but she takes it anyway with determination to contain that feeling and not allow it to control her. She is fearless and longs for even greater courage. These simple lyrics could apply to many of us. We all have a path to travel and we all have struggles along the way; some we can foresee others we can not, it’s how we handle these struggles that define us. Will we take them on like a ship breaking through a squall, heading for the light? Or will we shrink back inside our cabin and hope that it all goes away? Maybe we try to run from the storm, but we know that that never works out, just ask Jonah. However we face our troubles, however we take on our paths, God knows what He’s doing. He saw these squalls even before you were born, and He also saw a way through them. Some people fear asking for courage because they think that it will add turmoil to their lives, but lives will have turmoil whether you ask for courage or not. Isn’t it better to have already built up your courage before the big struggles come? If you haven’t then those times when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom will be harder to overcome. It’s not easy to look down the road ahead, feel the wind grab your hair, feel the hard path beneath your feet and take off your fear like a cloak throwing it over your shoulder, stepping off the threshold of your comfort zone at a run and smiling about it. Those who have done so have had the chance to touch their stars, yours are still waiting for you. When you look at those who have left their fear behind and taken hold of their path you will see a person scarred. Their cloths may seem torn and their skin marred by the hard falls, but you will also see a brilliant smile of triumph on their faces and when they walk by they drip of starlight, because they have touched the heavens. Why? Because they trusted God would lead them and never doubted His perfect, guiding hand. Do you see starlight in your future? Your future as an accountant, a plumber, a teacher, a doctor, an electrician? You don’t have to be an artist to gleam, you just have to give what you are meant to do everything you’ve got and trust that every time you fall a nail pierced hand will be there to help you back up.
If Jesus proposed to you, would you say ‘yes’?
Are you ready to spend your life with this man from Nazareth? This carpenter’s son, hated and despised by the world. Are you ready to give up everything to follow Him and His dreams for your future? Yes? To say ‘yes’ would mean He is master over your mind, body and soul, are you ready for that?
I’m not always sure I am. Does He have my soul? Oh yes! Does He have my heart? Definitely! Though, sometimes I admit He gets a little lost in all the other ones, things, activities I love; but in the end my heart is focused on Him. Does He have my body? Okay. Harder question. Do I always help the needy? Do I always step in for the little guy? No. If I feel the Holy Spirit say ‘GO!’ Do I go? Sometimes. And here is the big one. Does He have my mind? My mind goes through so many thoughts a day/ a minute/ 1/100th of a second, that it is hard to see what or whom my mind is centered on. There are times when I should pray but I watch Netflix instead. There are times when I am not up to reading my Bible. There are times when I just can’t. Oh I could if I tried, but I feel I just can’t. Does that mean my mind isn’t centered on God?
I like to put it into a less ginormous perspective. My dog is my life. And my horse. Most days they are why I smile and feel I can push through whatever it is that is happening. Sometimes I come home and don’t play with my dog because I feel I just can’t that day. Too worn out. Sometimes I ignore him and watch Netflix, sometimes we don’t walk because it is too cold. He is the center of my world, but sometimes I don’t give him my whole attention. That doesn’t mean he is out of my focus, just not my whole focus for that time. Believe me, he will make it known if he feels ignored.
Just because my mind is 1000% off 60, and I haven’t yet taken time to focus on God, doesn’t mean my mind is off of Him. He could draw all my attention to Him in a millisecond if He wanted to, because I love Him. So does He have my mind? Yes.
If Jesus proposed to you today, what would you say? I say to say ‘yes’ and hang on, because it is going to be a wild ride.
I’ve been there too
So, I caught a cold this past Monday. I have an old family rule that I live by that says, ‘if you don’t have a fever you aren’t sick enough to stay home.’ I hate this rule; but once something becomes engraved in your mind it’s hard to change. So I plowed through and made it to Saturday where I almost died on the couch. Not literally. Then my mom asks me to bring a meal over to my grandparents. Up I get and off I go to carry the food across the yard, (we live on an acreage). On the way back my dog wants to play. It’s so warm and sunny that we play for about half an hour. Then I see him. My horse with his head over the fence. Guess what? He too has a cold. I walk over and rub his neck and he presses his forehead against mine. I have had my horse for nearly 10 years, I knew he was saying he didn’t feel great. I also felt the sense that we were sharing a moment of understanding. He was sick and so was I, he needed a hug and so did I. We understood each other’s suffering. Then I got to work filling his water, because he was low and giving him extra mineral to combat the virus, and feed to keep his strength up and then more hugs.
I have two points here. One is that no matter how you feel there is always someone who needs something and true love is doing that something no matter what. My mom is really great at this. Complain your way through if you must, but Christ’s spirit of carrying one another’s burdens makes us keep giving. Point two. No matter what you are going through there is always someone somewhere who has been through the same and wants to help. You are NEVER alone. With 7 billion people in the world there is zero chance that you are the only one who is suffering this particular way. Others get it and even if they don’t, Jesus gets it and He has always got your back! He will Always help you through the tough times. Even if that though time is pushing through with a cold.
God arms me with strength. And He makes my path perfect. Psalms 18:32
Where faith may fail
Do you ever feel as though your faith has failed?
Ya, me too.
You build yourself up with courageous words and scripture verses to make your heart feel okay, but deep down you still feel faithless. A nagging voice says, ‘you know God doesn’t operate like that anymore! You know that those kinds of miracles ended before the 20th century began. So why pray for it? Why run after something that you will never catch? You’ll just end up looking silly for trying so hard. Give up. Faith has no ground.’
Wow. Say ‘hello Devil, when did you get here?’ because that’s the voice I hear when I hear such words. It is clearly the Devil saying such things; eating away at your Faith like a monster devouring flesh, but that doesn’t stop us from believing such wicked and common lies. We hit a wall where our Faith feels powerless and we just can’t fight through. I realized something the other day. Why do we fight with our Faith? Faith isn’t a weapon. It’s a shield. The Holy Spirit is the weapon! Our Faith feels battered because we are using it to beat down our enemy. We drop our sword, take our shield in both hands and smack our enemy with it with all our strength! And we get knocked back on our belt of hard truth. The truth is that with our own strength we can’t do anything. But if we attack our enemy with the sword of the Spirit the enemy will fall! Because we are using God’s strength to win! Our Faith gets battered because we wield it as a weapon. Which it isn’t. But as a shield, as our defense, our Faith is unmatched in power because our Faith is in the unmatched, powerful God. Whose name is Jesus.
So then, put on the full armor of God-Ephesians 6:10
Downward spiral .vs. upward climb
Have you ever noticed how it is a spiral? Spiral indicates fast, generally out of control and of course spinning.
It sounds like a bad ride at an amusement park, you know, the one your friends dare you to go on and then you feel too sick to do anything else for the next 2 days. 10 years later you have the confidence to laugh about it with someone. Spiral.
And upward CLIMB. With this one I visualize a mountain. I love hiking and exploring. If you let me go with my dog and spend the day someplace hiking and exploring, there is a chance we will be gone that whole day. Generally the moment we feel like…..I am sorry, I feel like, he could go on forever……when I feel like turning around is the moment I hit a steep incline. Usually it is my powerhouse Jack Russell who keeps me moving, he is probably 1/6th of my weight and yet he is the one who pulls me to the top and we stand (and I gasp for air) and he starts to head down the next trail, dragging me behind and I feel this wave of achievement. We made it to the top! Oh Ya! And look! Another hill…… I wonder what the top of that one looks like?
To hit rock bottom takes a simple ‘yes’ or a small give in your normal perspective. It happens fast, it is generally a little sickening and it takes a long time to recover.
To hit the summit takes a lot of hard work, motivation, and sometimes someone else pulling on your lead to keep you going, and you find acheivement in the end.
To climb back up from the bottom is a massive struggle and you can NOT do it without God, but you CAN do it.