Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Stinking, Old, Bloated, Dead Thing!

Well, The Word has done it again and cut to the very quick! Yesterday was the 62nd celebration of the day of my birth. As I started reading the comments that were coming in from friends and loved ones, I started to feel quite pleased with myself! Yep, I was agreeing that Yahweh was pretty happy to have me on His team for I was making a difference and my friends were acknowledging that! I found myself eager to read what the next person would write and my head just kept getting bigger and bigger as my heart started shrinking more and more away from Him. I didn't grow up with much affirmation or encouragement and as the day progressed, I regressed back to that little girl longing for love and affirmation! I was soaking it up like a sponge and bloating up like a puffer fish! Just now as I wrote 'puffer fish', I realized that I was bloating more like a dead animal left out in the heat, because that ugly stuff bloating up was already dead and stinky and not needing to be resurrected! Thank you, Jesus! The Father is so gentle with His tests to reveal our hearts. The comments coming from my dear people were all good and not meant for evil, but as Father looked on my heart, I believe He determined it was time for a test. I've never cared for tests and never did that great on tests and yet, I love His because they create life in me! His desire for me is to be pure of heart which means the impurities have to go. My response was impure and not worthy of His daughter!

Yesterday I had been reading in Proverbs 27 for my morning time with Yahweh and as I read I was drawn to verses 19 - 21. "Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart. Hell has a voracious appetite and lust just never quits. The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in fire; the purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little praise/fame." Just like Abba Father to give me the diagnosis as well as the cure! I'm so thankful that I'm still young enough to be corrected by my Father even at the age of 62! I'm thankful that He can teach 'old dogs' new ways and that we reap the benefits! I'm thankful for loved ones who share exhorting and encouraging words for they are salve and balm and life! I'm thankful for this life I've been given and for the blessing and responsibility of many friends who love Him and me. I give The Master, Jesus Christ all honor and glory for any good thing in me and any good thing that I have done! Without Him, I am just a stinking, old, bloated dead thing! Praise to Him from Whom all blessings flow!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Mustard Seed" Faith

I've been thinking about faith a great deal the past few months. I've thought I understood what faith is, how it works and what it does. Remembering the "Walk of Faith" from one of the Indiana Jones movies and the Bible's explanation of faith, I was sure that I not only knew what faith is, but that I had it. Today, I'm not so sure.

Now, I know I have faith. I know that my relationship with Yahweh is based on faith - I can't see Him, but I know Him and I know He loves me. That's all faith and I'm grateful for it! I know I have faith to walk onto a second story floor and believe that the builders built it correctly to hold all it has to hold and not fall down. But, the "mustard seed" faith that Jesus spoke of in Mark 17 - that, I'm not so sure I have. In Mark 17, the aspotles asked Jesus to increase their faith. He told them, "You don't need more faith. There is no 'more' or 'less' in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy (mustard) seed, you could say to this sycamore tree; 'Go jump in the lake,' and it would do it." (MSB)

In Matthew 21, Jesus tells his disciples, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to the mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."(NIV) So, looking at those two chapters as well as many others in scripture, I've been thinking about faith a great deal this summer.

I think Jesus was quite clear when He stated that we don't need more faith. I believe we may have some fuzzy thinking when it comes to our own faith. That mustard seed that Jesus talked about, is one of the smallest of seeds and yet, grows a large six to eight food plant that is big enough and sturdy enough for birds to nest in. That's a very small start to a very big faith that is sturdy and safe - bird's only build their nests in protective, safe places! So, our small seed of faith needs to be coupled with our absolute trust in our Father, with no doubts, in order to become alive and useful in our lives and the lives of others. Doubts are faith destroyers that prevent our faith from being active! The best destoyer of our doubts is an intimate relationship with our Father. The more we understand His love and heart towards us and others, the more we can trust Him with the details of our lives without doubting whether He has our best in mind or whether He can bring good out of the circumstances.

It seems to me that the "bare kernel of faith" has to be an absolute, pure knowledge of Who He Is and who I am in Him. That "bare kernel" has nothing covering it; no fear, no doubt, no worry or fretting, no unbelief. Its just pure, undiluted, joyful and expectant faith! I don't think we're seeing too much of that "bare kernel faith" in the Church in America. We seem to have too many distractions, too many choices that start covering our kernels and prevent us from experiencing the Glory of Yahweh in our lives. So, my prayer today for me and my fellow believers;
is not for more faith, but for our faith to be pure and bare; not covered over with the circumstances and worries of our lives, but fully open to the touch and voice of our Master, Jesus the Christ! Then, I believe, we'll experience the active work of our faith and experience the Glory of God being visited on and in us. That's what I want and that's my prayer

Friday, February 18, 2011

Extravagant Dimensions!

Extravagant dimensions! That's what I'm talking about and that's what I'm experiencing more and more in the Father's love. Ephesians 3:16-19 in The Message Bible is God's heart for us and my heart for you.

"I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit - not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength - that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in. And I ask that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us."

Experience the breadth, test its length, plumb its depths and rise to the heights of the extravagant love of Abba Father for each one of us! What a wonderful place to be in this new year of life we've been given. I feel as if I'm really just starting to experience those extravagant dimensions, so my future is very bright because there is so much more to know, experience and understand in this wonderful relationship with my extraordinary Father! Take the journey of exploration for yourself, because its for you as well. Receive and experience the amazing grace and love of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves. (Phil. 4:23) I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you!