Saturday, February 16, 2008

15 February - Am I My Brother's Keeper?

I was going to complain about our Valentine's Dance but I decided not to ... oh, I still want to, but it's just not worth. I didn't get home until late, I was exhausted and I never even thought about this blog.

Yesterday's devotion really should be what we are about ... the Father's business. But I'm learning some interesting stuff. If we spend so much time worrying about our Father's business or our friends', families' or bosses' business, who is living our life?

Chambers had it right when he said that our lives must be devoted to building His Kingdom because once we have the truth, there is only one thing that can happen ... either we build or we tear down, but we must take action. Our action becomes the example for everyone around us. EVERYONE.

No pressure ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

14 February - The Discipline of Heeding

Read today's devotion and you will know exactly how I am feeling right now. I think I should just keep my mouth shut for a while ;-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

13 February - The Devotion of Hearing

Can you imagine the entire purpose of your life being a dedication to God? That's what Samuel's life was. Did that reality make it easier for him to hear the Lord when He call him?

I think the perception is that it did, but Samuel still had work to do. We all have work and that work is made easier if we listen, hear, and follow the instructions the first time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

12 February - Must I Listen?

So when was the last time you asked your kids to do something, and they just blew you off? Or your spouse? Or your employees? How did it feel?

Yeah, well, that's exactly how God feels when He gives us commandments. Chambers says there is no willful disobedience ... I know there is! I knew much of the time that I was doing the wrong thing. I know even more fully when I do the wrong things now. Yet, I did them and do them anyway.

That's painful to the Lord, but I think it's more hurtful when we don't listen because we cannot hear. We are just so busy with all the day to day, the routine, the idols (and sometime American Idols ;-), and we miss the subtleties of God's instructions for us. We miss the personal moments, meant only for us, that are lost forever because our hearing is poor.

I'm going to try harder to listen tomorrow ... how about you?

Monday, February 11, 2008

11 February - Is Your Hope in God Faint and Dying?

So I tried it ... I tried to imagine myself in the presence of God as I prayed. Ummm, it was not the most comfortable thing I've ever done ... no, actually it was THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE thing I have ever done.

The amazing thing was that my "problems" seemed incredibly insignificant and it wasn't even possible to focus on them for any length of time. All I wanted to do was focus on other people and other things outside of myself. Yet, because of my "condition," I couldn't stick around too long. My prayer was very short, but I hope they will get longer.

I anxious to see what it will be like to add my imagination with my thoughts about God's creations. I'll let you know how it goes ;-)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

10 February - Is Your Imagination of God Starved?

How have your prayers been lately? I couldn't help but think about how ineffective mine have been as of late, except when I get them out of myself. We have had a few families to pray for the past couple of weeks and when I was praying for them, my heart was full with peace and joy. Then I started praying on other things and was completely stupefied.

Well, let's be real, shall we? I started praying for myself, my small little self, and all the power went out of the effort. "One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God." Yeah, do you know what stultification means. Man, when I read the definition, I just shook my head ... ya ready?
  1. To render useless or ineffectual; cripple.
  2. To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous.
  3. Law To allege or prove insane and so not legally responsible.
I can see how God could fit my prayers into each one of those definitions. I've been so worried about what is going on with work and school and my marriage and my family that I haven't been thinking about what I can do to build the kingdom of God on the Earth. Only when I went outside myself and forgot myself was I NOT useless, ridiculous or insane.

And as I read the quote from the devotional today again, I thought about using my imagination to put myself "deliberately before God," as if I were really at His feet praying. If I am that close to His presence, working hard mentally to stay off the "irresponsible" aspects of my life, then perhaps I can stay more focused on the useful, smart and amazing causes of the Lord. Granted, the Lord needs to hear my concerns, but not in the context of an idolatrous relationship with my problems, but one of surrendering those problems at the feet of God.

Hhmm, I'm looking forward to praying tonight ;-)

9 February - Are You Spritually Exhausted

Oops ... I forgot about yesterday ... I guess I was physically exhausted ;-)

Yesterday's message is an interesting way to look at service ... through us, others are nourished by God. And quite often they will suck you dry. Man, how many times have I complained of being thoroughly exhausted by an event or the whole of a calling? I really don't want to count!

But if I were focused on what the Lord will provide me through that service ... what He provides us when we are totally focused on Him ... then I would never be exhausted. Wait a minute ... could we forget the energy drinks, caffeine, and other things that are supposed to give us energy? Because all we apparently need is to be nourished by God through word and deed -- His word and deed, building His kingdom and establishing His righteousness.

I'm going to try that as soon as I can (right after I finish my Diet Pepsi ... argh!)