Archive for November, 2009

BE ME!

November 2, 2009

BE ME!

*** I CAN ONLY SHARE “ME” ***

I didn’t get to choose who I would be. I was put here, evidently for a purpose, exactly the way I am: Psalm 139:16—“fearfully and wonderfully made”!

My choice comes in the accepting of who I am, in the “doing” of what is truly “me.” I cannot be you; you cannot be me. If I am to be me in the fullest sense of the “ME-ness,” I have to come to terms with Me; I have to learn to love Me AS I AM, not as I wish to be! I can only give “ME” away as I learn to “receive” ME!

This is not selfishness. Airplane safety instructions tell you to put an oxygen mask on yourself first in order to be able to save others. Similarly, because of weight restrictions, guides in the Arctic carry only one emergency protective suit—for themselves—because if they don’t survive, the party they’re leading doesn’t stand a chance. (—taken from a footnote in a book titled The Blue Bear)

I AM “ME” & I NEED TO BE “ME” IN THE FULLEST SENSE OF WHAT THAT MEANS. Otherwise, I am depriving me of my destiny, you of the gift I could be, & God of the investment He made in Me!

The world needs me to become what I was meant to be. “Creation is groaning,” we are told, “waiting for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8)—they are waiting for us to come into our true inheritance!! They’re aching for it with a longing created in the chambers of eternity, & it echoes out for us to become that authentic voice in the wilderness, that creative son/daughter we were destined to be!

BE YOU—

NO ONE ELSE CAN!

(Trying to be someone else just doesn’t work!)

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GIVE!

November 2, 2009

GIVE!

*** GIVE YOURSELF AWAY! ***

Somehow, the “more blessed to give than to receive” (somewhere in the book of Acts) escapes us. Nancy, you have a great heart to give—just look at how you welcomed us on the spur of the moment! I love that about you! Don’t ever STOP!

Jim Elliott (martyred by the Aucas in Ecuador in 1956—see the movies Beyond the Glory & End of the Spear) said,

HE IS NO FOOL,

WHO GIVES WHAT HE CANNOT KEEP

TO GAIN WHAT HE CANNOT LOSE!

We give our lives—fall into the ground & die—daily, moment-by-moment. It’s always a choice, & the total accumulation of choices determines our rewards, & perhaps even our very destiny.

We can choose to look at it as INVESTING: putting deposits into the Bank of Heaven for the sake of eternal rewards. One proverb says, “He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord.” The fascinating thing about this verse to me, is that the Lord would allow Himself to become “indebted”! Imagine—in debt to me!

Not all of us have money or earthly goods to give, but we all have these to give:

TIME                                                   LOVE                                                PRAISE

ENERGY                                             FAITH                              “GOOD” DEEDS

THOUGHTS                                       HOPE                                        DILIGENCE

PRAYERS                          ENCOURAGEMENT                   FAITHFULNESS

REFUSAL TO ACCEPT OR “DISH OUT” GOSSIP                          JUSTICE

GLORY TO GOD                                         DEFENDING THE DEFENSELESS

A LISTENING EAR                        THANKFULNESS             OUR HEARTS

[and probably the list could go on & on….]

BE GIVING

GIVING IS

—LIFE

LIVING

—JOY

GOD MULTIPLIES! (rather than reducing!)

NOW!

November 2, 2009

NOW!

*** ONLY THIS MOMENT MATTERS! ***

We get consumed with the past (guilt/ regrets/ etc.) or the future (dreams/ fantasies/ wishful thinking/ greed/ envy/ etc.). These distractions keep us from being

FOCUSED ON THE NOW!

ETERNITY IS IN THIS VERY MOMENT!

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

Corollary to this, is that

AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, I CAN RE-FOCUS!

Remember the water-to-wine miracle? (John chapter 2) When Mary asked, Jesus replied, “IT’S NOT MY TIME!” (Was He wrong? Hardly; otherwise He couldn’t have remained sinless!) Somehow Mary’s faith caused that to change: Jesus got in touch with the Father (“I do only what I see the Father do,” He said elsewhere) AND HIS TIME CAME! HE RE-FOCUSED! WOW! “Today if you will hear His voice…” (Hebrews 3, quoting several spots in the Old Testament, including Psalms)

“NOW” IS MOST CRUCIAL (“CRUX”)

NOW IS MOST IMPORTANT

I CAN CHOOSE TO BE A “NOW” PERSON!

GOD IS “IN” THE NOW!

HEART #1

November 2, 2009

HEART #1

*** GOD VALUES MY HEART ABOVE ALL ELSE! ***

Time & again, Scripture emphasizes how God looks at the heart, desires rightness of heart over sacrifices, rules, etc.

Rewards are based on the heart—consider the widow’s two mites on the “low” end & the alabaster box (broken and poured on Jesus’ feet) on the “high” end.

And it only makes sense, since His “heart” was poured out for us: medically, the water & blood from His pierced side were in sacs around His heart!

Bruce Wilkinson explains this well in a book titled The Life God Rewards. We get rewards in heaven based on our heart attitudes, not on appearances. (Rick Joyner also does a good job of illustrating this with the wino who got saved at the end of the book The Final Quest.)

I AM GOD’S “HEART”!

GOD’S HEART IS “FOR” ME!

(Romans 8:28 ff.)

“ONE THING” MY HEART DESIRES…

(Psalm 27:4; Luke 10:42; etc.)

“OUTNUMBERED”

November 2, 2009

“OUTNUMBERED”

Nancy:

So you feel outnumbered, do you? Yes, life can be overwhelming. We feel out-manned, out-gunned, out-maneuvered, out-witted, out-________, out-_______, out-_______. You name it, we feel OUT of it! <grin>

And so we should!

WHAT? You say? Yes, I said, we should feel out-________!

You see, “sin,” that great choosing of our own way rather than God, made, & makes, each of us feel like OUTCASTS, b/c we are! We chose (& continually choose) to place ourselves “OUT”-side of God’s circle. But what did one poet say?

I drew a circle to keep him out…He drew a circle to take me in.

That’s a description of God! He chose (while we were still “sinners”—enemies, not really wanting to come in) to INCLUDE US!

THE GREAT ROMANCE

November 2, 2009

THE GREAT ROMANCE

Nancy/Nancy/Nancy/Nancy!

How He loves your name! It echoed in His heart before He ever created the world!

Take a minute & read Psalm 139:13-18. That’s YOU He’s talkin’ about!

v.13     —HE CREATED YOUR “INMOST BEING”—YOUR SPIRIT/MIND/SOUL—ALL  THAT DEFINES THAT INCREDIBLE INNER “YOU,” YOUR “HEART OF HEARTS”

[Romance novel writers, eat your heart out! Here’s a love greater than any romance novel you could ever imagine!!—Nancy, try reading TED DEKKER’S Trilogy BLACK/ RED/ WHITE to get a “true” picture of this Great Romance!]

—HE “KNIT [YOU] TOGETHER” IN MOM’S WOMB! He took the “time” (He created it, remember?) first to plan you before the world began, then to go through all the incredibly complex processes required to get you here IN THE FLESH! Imagine that! (the next few verses amplify & expound on this incredible thought….)

v.16     —“ALL THE DAYS ORDAINED FOR ME [YOU!] WERE WRITTEN IN YOUR BOOK BEFORE ONE OF THEM EVER CAME TO BE….”

Talk about incredible planning! Now do you see how it’s really more about

DIS-COVERING (UN-COVERING) God’s plan for you?

I know it feels “hard,” but that’s b/c we walk by “faith” in a culture that doesn’t know how! (They are “dream-snatchers”: b/c they deny their dreams, their calling from eternity, they want to deny you yours!)

Remember, though, that every creation originally existed as a thought! So too we have to learn to “think” God’s plan, that beautiful Great Romance, into our lives.

The nice thing is, though, that we get to

LIVE

THE

FANTASY!!

LOVE

November 2, 2009

LOVE

Nancy,

Love is the divine lubricant that makes life flow. There is, of course, our love for Him, but we learned it. HE FIRST LOVED US! AND HE LOVES LOVING US! Our love is the echo, the mirror image, the reflection, the “after-glow” of the Divine Romance.

Do you ever stop to think about this great love? About how incredibly great this love is? (Several of Paul’s prayers are prayers for us to lay hold of the incomprehensible greatness of this love….See Ephesians 3:18; Philippians 1:9; see also 2 Peter 1:3-11 & consider the relationship between love & knowledge of God.)

Song of Songs paints a picture of it (4:9), when the groom [Jesus/God] is “ravished” by one look from his bride. We might say it this way: “One glance form you toward Me & I’m wasted!” Even the smallest effort of our hearts to reach out toward Him are rewarded by His heart bursting with love & pride & joy! “Look at this!” He yells to the universe, “She loves Me! She loves ME! She LOVES ME!” And the universe marvels b/c we are “dark yet lovely.” Somehow His seeing that love in us makes it so! (The one forgiven much loves much!)

And so the love grows in us, & we begin to HUNGER, & we want MORE, & our “love-hunger” for “more” GROWS! We can never get enough! And the universe looks on in wonder, &, interestingly, their “love” begins to grow—a hunger is created in them, & they long to enter in! [This is the heart of true evangelism—to create an insatiable hunger/thirst for the love of God as it is manifest in us, in our relationship w/ God, & w/ each other!]

And so we get rapt in Him, as does Paul: “What then can we say to all of this? IF GOD BE “FOR” US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? WHO CAN EVER SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD?” (Romans 8)

Think about it. Picture a Jesus Who could rightfully call legions of angels to assist, voluntarily letting Himself be arrested/mocked/beaten/stripped/humiliated/CRUCIFIED—WITHOUT A WORD SIMPLY B/C OF THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM (Hebrews 12:2 ff), SIMPLY FOR THE LOVE OF

NANCY!

YOU!

GROW!

November 2, 2009

GROW!

So where do we fit into the picture, Nancy?

We are called to rule [government] and to reign [kingdom] with Him!

Satan is a “blip” on the radar, designed as a “testing ground” for us to begin to enter into true Sonship (rather than “slave-ship”) in maturity (rather than remaining an immature child, treated as a slave b/c not yet ready to handle the “checkbook”!)

We are called to GROW INTO THE CALLING WE ARE DESTINED FOR!

Ephesians 2:10 says that we are His “workmanship” (Greek POEMA = masterpiece, master work of craftsmanship [& the word we get “poem” from]), CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS WHICH HE ORDAINED FROM ALL ETERNITY FOR US TO DO.

Somewhere back in eternity, God created a set of “blueprints,” architectural drawings with a stamp on them, approving them for you & you alone. They bear the name “Nancy”—not the Nancy you know, but rather the one you are created to be.

It may very well be, as some have postulated (among them Richard Bolles Nelson, author of that famous job-hunters’ manual What Color Is Your Parachute?, in a lesser-known book entitled How To Discover Your Mission In Life) that somewhere back in eternity, you & God had a “meeting of minds.” In much the same way as He called to the prophet Isaiah (ch.6) & others, He may have said, “I need this [& this & this….] done in this world I’m creating… Who will go & do it?” And YOU stepped forward & said, “I WILL GO!” And so you and He contracted/covenanted/agreed that this would be your special particular earthly assignment. You, & you alone, were uniquely called, commissioned, & empowered to do this thing.

Unfortunately [we wrongly think!—b/c it is actually our good fortune!] we are launched into life with a “divine amnesia,” much as we don’t really remember time in the womb & the first few years of our lives—we don’t remember the calling! And so our first “calling” is to GROW INTO OUR CALLING! And of course, this becomes part of our “hunger pains”! <grin>

Nugget 2 MORE!

November 2, 2009

MORE!

Nancy—

Did you ever stop to think why we’re never satisfied?? We tend to see it as a product of fallenness & sin, but that may not be the case. We may very well be created to always want more. Our very dissatisfaction, rather than being a curse, may be a divine gift that God Himself alone can fill & keep on filling eternally.

Adam walked with God in the cool of the day… Are we given any indication that that would ever have ended if sin had not entered the picture?? No, b/c it would never had ended!! Adam—& we as his offspring—would still be walking with God in the cool of the day, each & every one of us!

God did not have to make us. Why then did He? He wanted someone “to enjoy Him forever.” God desires relationship! Isn’t your own life richer b/c you have your husband, Jeff, your daughter Loren, your son Garrett? Don’t you just simply enjoy them (when things are “right,” of course)? Aren’t you looking forward to that grandbaby (“grand” baby!) about to be born? Don’t you want MORE??? Of course you do! It’s a God-created hunger, a mirror of God’s own desire for more!

Consider Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of His kingdom and government there will be no end.” Our minds cannot logically wrap themselves around this concept, & so our initial interpretation is to think that “His kingdom and government” will never end.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IT SAYS! HIS KINGDOM AND GOVERNMENT WILL NEVER STOP GROWING!

Why do you think the universe is expanding? God is always increasing territory! (The “JABEZ PRAYER”!)

AND HE WILL NEVER STOP!

===>>>   THERE WILL ALWAYS BE

MORE!

HUNGER FOR GOD

November 2, 2009

HUNGER FOR GOD

Nancy,

Your highest calling—and mine—is to hunger after God. Pascal called it the “God-shaped vacuum.” The Westminster Catechism/Confession states it this way: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” Jesus calls it the Great(est) Commandment: “To love the Lord your God with all your heart/soul/mind/strength/being/focus/passion/…” [Matt. 22:37-40 & parallel passages] Paul quotes one of the Greek poets to express it: “In him we live & move & have our being.” To paraphrase that, He is the atmosphere we live in & are unaware of 99.9% of the time, & which is our essence within & without. He is all we could ever hope for, & without Him we are totally lost. He is the one to whom Peter pointed when Jesus asked if he & the other close disciples would also leave when most everyone else was turning away, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life!” (That kind of life that has the quality of being worth living eternally.)

Nancy, there can be no greater calling in your life than HUNGER FOR GOD. That calling alone can eclipse & encompass all others. It is the “One Thing” we are called to in Ps. 27:4 (“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may behold the beauty of the Lord & dwell in his temple all the days of my life….”) and Luke 10:42 (“…one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better/best thing, & it will not be taken from her.”) as well as one or two other places.

One of the central beatitudes (BE-ATTITUDES) [in Matt. 5:3-12] is the blessing promised to those who hunger & thirst for righteousness (= right standing/relationship with God & of course flowing out of that, w/ other people) FOR THEY WILL BE FILLED.

Yet, as in this life, every “filling” of food & drink, every satisfaction of hunger & thirst, is only temporary. The truth we fail to see is that this is a picture of eternity also, b/c even though we will be satisfied there as we cannot here, there will always be MORE! …