Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thankful Heart

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders,
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."

(Psalm 9:1-2)

These words went from the heart of David to the ear of God. He continually prayed for God's help and then followed it up with praise and thanksgiving. God said of him, "He is a man after mine own heart." Why? What did David do that God would say this about him?

When I read David's journal - the Psalms, these are some phrases I see, "Teach me; come to me; You are my portion; I lift my eyes to you; I call with all my heart; Out of the depths I cry to you; I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I cry aloud to the Lord; I will exalt you; Praise the Lord, O my soul; How good it is to sing praises to our God."

I think God called David a man after His own heart, because David continually sought God's presence in his life. He sang praises to God and urged others to join him. He was a man with a thankful heart even when his life was in peril. He called out in despair and ended in praise.

This Thursday will be Thanksgiving. It has become a tradition to celebrate with a feast that represents the abundance of our blessings.  As we set our turkey dinners on the table and join together with family and friends, may we set a place in our hearts for His presence. May we lift up our voices in praise and thanksgiving to the One who has provided for our needs and blessed us beyond comprehension.

Let's enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; let's be thankful to Him and bless His name!

Along with all the other things in my life that I will be thanking Him for, I will thank Him especially for you - my friends.

Counting my blessings,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Dwelling Place

Our Dwelling Place

By C. Foster

A house is only made of wood,
With hammered nails and mortared stone.
Where men have worked to frame a place,
That others someday call their home.

A living space for families,
Moving trucks with boxes fill.
Unload a home with fancy things,
And in the yard a garden till.

They hang a sign above the door,
That reads, “All Welcome Here.”
There’s only one whom they keep out,
And don’t allow Him near.

The One who builds a different house,
Not made with earthly hands.
One that’s built upon a rock,
And not on shifting sands.

He wants to be our refuge here,
A place out of life’s storms.
The Most High God will be our home,
That only He adorns.

He prepares for us a mansion,
Where we will see His face.
And while we wait to take that move,
He’ll be our dwelling place.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
(2 Corinthians 5: 1)

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.
(Psalm 127: 1)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Move Out Of The Way!"

      Today I was driving back from my women’s bible study at the church when I noticed in my rear view mirror a police car following very close behind me with its lights flashing. A few thoughts went quickly through my head and then settled into this one – “I need to pull over!” I have no doubt that my driving got worse just because of the guilt I felt being tailed by a highway patrol officer. In the mirror I could see the frustration on his face but I couldn't see his eyes through the sun glasses he wore (This probably didn’t help my driving). It took a while before I could find a suitable, safe place to pull over on the winding road, but eventually I did. I knew I hadn’t impressed him with my driving ability so I thought I would try to impress him with my parking. I even took his safety into consideration and left enough room behind me for him to park out of the way of traffic.

      Funny thing is, when I turned around after all of my thoughtful consideration, he wasn’t there- he was gone! As I glanced back at the road ahead of me I just barely caught a glimpse of him rounding the next turn and then disappearing from sight. There I sat thinking about how silly I had been, how guilty I felt, and how I totally misinterpreted the whole situation.

      The officer was after someone else, not me. I was just driving along minding my own business (not sure why I felt guilty about that) and I got in his way. The frustration on his face was probably him biting his lip to keep from yelling, “Hey lady, get out of my way!” He apparently wanted to go faster than my “just moseying home from bible study” four-cylinder minivan was traveling.

      I think there are times when that very same thing happens with me and God. Sometimes (a lot) I misinterpret what He is doing in other people’s lives around me (especially my children’s) and I get in His way. Sometimes I even take on unnecessary guilt, or start the “thoughtful” plans to handle the situation with the least amount of suffering or harm to others as possible. I wonder how many times He has wanted to blow me out of the way with His mighty breath or pick me up and move me. How many times has His Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “move out of the way?” Sometimes it isn’t about me, it is about someone else and I need to move over and let God pass. Let Him do His work in that person’s life without getting in His way.

      At first I was thinking it might be nice if He had lights to flash at me or maybe a siren. That way I would know to pull over, but now that I’ve thought about it for a minute, I am reminded of 1Kings 19:11-12. God didn’t choose to speak to Elijah in the light of fire, or the sound of a powerful wind, He spoke in a gentle whisper. I’m pretty sure that is how God wants to speak to me. I think He chooses that way because it requires me to really listen hard, to be still (and quiet) and know that He is God. Today perhaps He did choose to use the lights of a police car to get my attention and teach me a lesson. I hope I learned it.

      I’m going to do my best to mind my own business, watch my own speed, and keep my eyes on the road ahead of me and not the road ahead of someone else. Hopefully, God won’t have to keep patiently speaking into my life, “get out of the way!”

And when it is me He is after…well, that is another story!

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by,”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1Kings 19: 11-12)

Monday, November 2, 2009

What Time is It?

This blog is named “For Such a Time as This” for a reason. I began it shortly after doing the Esther bible study at my church. I was so impressed by what I learned in the study that I felt compelled to do something to share my Christian faith with others.

For several years I have written poetry to express my beliefs and share them with others, but I never knew exactly what I was supposed to do with the poems or who I was to share them with. The one thing I did know, especially after doing the Esther study, is that God has put me here on this earth at this specific time to do something for Him…for such a time as this.

What kind of time is this? What is He calling me to do in these days, at this spot on His time-line in history? When I look around I see a lot of things He may be calling me to do. Things are happening that will be logged in history books for my children’s children to read when I am long gone. Just like Esther, some of the things happening today are being done for the destruction of my people. And just like Esther I am left with a decision to speak or to remain quiet.

Esther chose to speak, yet she didn’t run into the king’s presence the moment she heard of the evil plans set against her people. Instead, she asked everyone around her, and all her people to fast and pray with her. Her pleas came before the ear of God long before they came before the ear of the king. She knew where her help came from so she went straight to the source.

God had been working all along. He had been carrying out His plans, and in obedience, Esther joined Him. She became a part of what God was already doing. That is what I would like to do in this period of time God has placed me. I would like to join in the work He is already doing, to say yes to His calling, whatever that may be.

Esther spent a lot of time contemplating what she would say to the king and how she would say it. She was aware of the fact that the best time to speak was in God’s timing, not her own. He set the stage and brought in all the characters just at the right time for everything to play out as He knew it would. Esther didn’t have to say much, just a few simple facts, the rest spoke for itself. Before the day was over, everything was turned around and those who planned destruction were destroyed. Every evil thing planned in secret was revealed in the light of truth.

So what was Esther’s role in it all? I think it was to be obedient to God. He didn’t need her to accomplish His will, but He chose to make her a part of it. He gave her the opportunity to experience His power in her life. He gave her the opportunity to join in His work and to say yes. I think that is what He wants me to do, to just say yes to Him. Whatever He asks me to do, I know He can do it without me, but He is giving me the opportunity to join in His work and experience His presence and power in my life. Why? Because He loves me!

He loves you too!

What is He calling each of us to do? How will we be a part of His plans…for such a time as this?

Such A Time As This

By Charlotte Foster

As His royal daughters,
He placed us here today.
To be a light of hope,
In a world that’s gone astray.

Not to hide in silence,
Secluded from the crowd.
But out among the people,
Wearing faith out loud.

He’s promised us His presence,
No matter where we go.
His Spirit dwells within us,
His power ours to know.

His Truth in us stands ready,
To counter every lie.
The destroyer has been preaching,
To the people passing by.

We hold in us the answers,
Asked by dying men.
And knowledge of the only One,
Who saves the world from sin.

Will we embrace our destiny,
Or His calling will we miss?
Let’s have no doubt He’s chosen us,
For such a time as this!

(“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14)