Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You've been made free!


The book of Romans is often considered a difficult text for the average reader. But reading it in the Message has really made it come alive for me. It was exciting to read Romans this morning!! Take a look:

Romans 6:12-14 (The Message)
12-14That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God
.

Photo: My children waiting for the amusement park to open. : )


Monday, March 23, 2009

A Tough Day


I was showering this morning, listening to myself, and the Holy Spirit, and whining a little bit. I heard Him speak to my heart:
"Just because you are having a tough day today, are you going to believe that every day is going to be a tough day?"
So I thought about that, and focused in on the word "tough". It reminded me of how you sometimes get a steak that is just to hard to chew- there's not much joy in eating it, and it's harder to digest.
I asked myself: what do you do when you have one of those days- one that is just too tough to chew?
Then I thought about our lunch yesterday with friends. They had served a delicious dinner, but when the father served up his smallest girls, he took their plate aside, and cut the meat into tiny, bite-sized pieces. Then he returned their plates, and they thoroughly enjoyed the meal, along with everyone else.
"That," I told myself while showering, "is the way to deal with a tough day." Hand it back to your Heavenly Father, and let Him cut it up into bite sized segments.
There may be more on my plate than I know how to deal with, but He can carve it into something which I can not only process, but enjoy!
Today we each have a choice. We may not be able to choose every one of our circumstances (we are not in control the same way that He is) but we can choose how we will react to our circumstances. We can choose what we will say, how we will treat the people around us, and what we will believe.
We can yield to our emotions, and have a screaming fit, we can yield to depression, and storm off to our bedrooms, we can manipulate, reject, and think selfish, fuming thoughts. But we could also forgive, and then move on.
I have heard the word Grace defined as "empowerment to prosper", but the way I was thinking on it today, I defined it:
"You have been forgiven- now you have the power to forgive."
Yes, Lord. Let it be so for us today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

prayer


From the Message, Chapter 6 (on prayer)

6"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,

Reveal who you are.

Set the world right;

Do what's best— as above, so below.

Keep us alive with three square meals.

Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.

Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.

You're in charge!

You can do anything you want!

You're ablaze in beauty!

Yes. Yes. Yes.

14-15"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.

22-23"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.