Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kings, Prophets, and You and Me

I want to confess something to you tonight...

I am constantly writing blogs. I write them every day in my head, it's just that most of them only make it that far...they never see the light of day, so of course they don't make it to blogger. :)

I've been doing some self reflecting about this...trying to figure out why I don't sit down and write every cool thing that I learn from the Word on a daily basis.

Truly, I'd love to do just that. But I don't. So the obvious question is "Why not?"

I think it's because what I've been studying the past 8 months or so has been so awe-inspiring to me; so new; so laden with the history of Israel, of which I am no expert, that quite honestly, I've had to have some time to really meditate upon what I've learned.

I simply mean I've had to chew on these truths I've been learning. I've had to have time to let them solidify in my heart.

Does that make sense at all?

I sure hope so, for your sakes. For my sake, I'm all good with it. :)

The major lessons for me in our study of "A Divided Heart, A Divided Nation" - (1Kings & 2nd Chronicles) were :
1. It's all about God being glorified. All of it. It has to be. Anything less from us is total    disobedience.
The temple - a place for God's glory to reside
Jerusalem - the city which God chose for Himself where His Name would dwell
King David - God's chosen man, for God's glory and God's purposes although he sinned grievously, he never once turned from serving the One True God, the God of Israel, to serving idols...never. He was repentant over his sin, and submitted to God's discipline all the while trusting in His mercy and lovingkindness.
Solomon - at first it seemed he started his reign well, but I'm not so sure I think so. At the time that he prayed his prayer for wisdom from God, he had already made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh to marry his daughter. This was total disobedience to God.

Yet, at times he really knocked it out of the park with his prayers. He prayed as someone who knew the Lord, and was genuine in his prayer to him, or so it seems.

Yet, his life did not imitate his prayers.
I'm still "chewing" on what I've learned about Solomon. Some would say he had a divided heart. I'm not sure that's possible. I love how one of the ladies in our group put it...."If you cut your heart in half, you die."

How did Solomon do with bringing God glory? Not so good...he worshiped false gods, built houses for the many gods that his 700+ wives served. Yes, he built the temple to God, but then he built other temples/high places to idols! And lots of them!
Rehoboam and Jeroboam are next in line. You see, after Solomon, the nation of Israel divided. 

There were definite consequences to disobeying the Word of the LORD.

There are still consequences to disobedience to the LORD Most High. We don't often hear about that in some of our churches these days, but it's the truth. 

God disciplines those whom He loves.

For our good, for our edification. 

What loving parent wouldn't discipline a disobedient child? If your child keeps putting his head in the oven so he can smell the cookies baking, repeatedly ignoring your instruction not to do that because he could get burned, aren't you going to discipline him at some point, for his best?

Think about this....a kid who is putting his head into a hot oven IS going to be disciplined one way or another....either by you, or by the oven. 

I have a friend who says that either she will discipline her children, or the world will. 

So it is with God. He loves us, and knows what's best for us, even if we don't agree. If we belong to Him, His plans are always to do good for us in the end. (Deut. 8)

What did I learn from Kings & Prophets?

It's all about God glorified. 

In Kings 
In fulfilled plans, like the temple being built 
In honored promises, like how there has always been and will always be a King on the throne of David. 
In Me- My daily question needs to be, "Lord, how to you want to be glorified in me today?
What is my job assignment for Your glory, Lord?"
In You - will you obey? Will you live for His glory in all things, and not for your desires?  

Will you begin your day tomorrow talking with the Lord, and telling Him,                
"I'm here Father, a ready ambassador of Christ Jesus...a minister of the reconciliation that you performed for mankind. Your bond-servant. What "field" do you want me to work today, Master?"

Can you tell that I'm still "chewing" ?

We'll talk about the first King of Judah and the next King of Israel, next.

And, we'll talk about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, too!

Much Love ... 

Friday, April 10, 2009

People Don't Know What To Do With Jesus

Today my sweet little Brennie and I went to the library to check out some movies for the weekend.

While we were standing at the checkout desk, I commented on the beautiful bright pink blouse that the sweet lady behind the desk was wearing. 

"I love that pink!" 

"Thank you. I thought it was nice for Easter, " she said.

"He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!" I said.

She was blank.

Had no idea what to say to me.

The nice man beside her was blank too. Usually he has a smile and a kind word for us when we see him on our visits. Most of the time he's quite the chatter-bug.

Zippo today.


Well, I take that back. He did have a bit of a scowl.


I don't know.

Sure did sadden me though. I wondered as I left, if either of them know the Lord.

Are they believers who have just been squelched by the fact that they work at a library that is on the campus of a public school?

Or, do they know the Lord?

The best news in the world....the best news of all time....

Jesus Christ came to give His life that we might live.

He came to pay the sin debt for you and for me.

It's by His life that we are saved.

If He had not risen after being laid in the tomb, you and I would still be dead in our sins.

If He had just been crucified and buried, He would not have fulfilled prophesy. 
He could not have been Messiah.

What's the Good News of Good Friday?

He gave His life that we might have life eternal. 

And on the 3rd day, He rose again!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Tell someone that over the next few days, won't you?

If you've never shared that blessed good news, share it with at least one person, please.

To be loved by the Lord of  Lords is an awesome thing!

Who do you know that needs to hear how much Jesus loves them...that He gave His life that they might live?

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Caedmon's Call

I should be sleeping right now. Do me a favor, and don't look at the time of this posting, ok?

You'll think I've lost my mind, when in fact, I still have it, it just won't shut off!

So, here I sit, baring my soul with my friends, and countless strangers. 

Good thing I'm not an introvert, isn't it?

Since I'm on a roll, I'll tell you another secret about myself. I tend to get "fritzy"...that's the word that the kids and I have come up with to describe my behavior at times....Fritzy.

Now please, if this is a real word that means something other than uptight, wired, and with a leaning toward DONE, then don't tell me. Just let me go on using my word in my context, because it's just too fun of a word to have to surrender, ok?

Here's an example of when my fritziness shows up the children like to team up on me, at the very moment that I'm loading the van to go run errands. 

And I do mean THE VERY MINUTE...I'm deep in thought, trying to make sure that I have one thing for all of the 12 stops we'll be making, and that I have my cell phone and charger, and iced tea (I drink a lot, but not that kind of's AZ, for goodness sake...everyone drinks a lot...and for some it IS that kind of drinking!)..oh, back to my list....lipgloss, toilet paper roll (I'm too cheap to buy kleenex)...water for the get the idea.

So, it's RIGHT in the midst of all of this that my children, who are seated in the back row of a very long mini-van, like to start peppering me with what they want to do while we're out. 

Remember "going to town" when you were a kid? Well, it's kind of like that for us...I really don't like going out much, so when we do, it's a big deal!

I'll be right in the swing of loading the front passenger seat up with all of my goodies/returns/toilet paper rolls, and in the back I'm getting grilled like it's the Spanish Inquisition.

Due to the great need, I decided we'd have a "rule" about talking to Mommy until I'm at the end of the street! No talking to me while I'm loading the car, no talking to me when I'm backing out, JU JUST NO TALKIE! :)

I mean, if my Mom had had this rule, my cat might still be alive...but hey, I digress. 

So today, they didn't observe my fritzy-free Mommy rule AT ALL!

They were like Mr. & Miss Jabberjaws from the moment we got in the car. 


I thought I was handling it pretty well, until I came up to a stop sign, was trying to find my phone charger, and my fresh glass of iced tea almost spilled all over me.

That's when I blew it. 

Yep, blew it big.

From the back of the van, little man says, "Mommy, I want to tell you something."

I didn't miss a beat. I just went straight into nosedive, headed for full throttle explosion.

No, I didn't yell. I just said, "Caedmon, I just can't do it right now, son. I just can't listen. I'm trying to drive, and there are cars everywhere, and I almost spilled my tea, and I'm FRUSTRATED because I can't find my charger. and I just can't DO it right now!"

From the back I hear, "It's ok Mommy. We don't have to talk about it."

Insert knife, twist, dig deep, twist once more to make sure it's really in deep.

Yes. That's what it felt like.

I knew in that moment that I had really blown it! 

My son didn't want anything. He was just hoping for a listening ear from his Mommy, and I was so focused on myself that I wouldn't even give him that!

Don't you hate it when you blow it with your kids? 

I do. I really, really, really do. I hate it!

It took me three times of asking him, and 3 times of reassuring him that I really did want to hear what he had to say, before he'd finally open up again.

But he did. THANK YOU, JESUS!

And it was rich.

"Mommy. Brad was over playing the other day, and I thought it was the perfect time to tell him about Jesus. I want to make sure that he knows how to give his life to Christ when the time is right, so I told him how to."

Mommy is stunned into silence.

"I told him that he could know the One True God. You know what he told me, Mommy?"

"He told me that that wasn't right. He told me there is a moon god, and a sun god, and a god of the sea, and a rain god. He told me there are lots of gods, no One True God."

"Hmm..So what did you say then, Caedmon?"

"I just told him that those gods weren't real. They were just created from man's imagination, but that the One True God made man, man can't make God."

"Then I asked him if he wanted to become a Christian. I told him he could do it right then and there, all he had to do was repent of his sin, and lay his life down for Jesus Christ. To live for Him, instead of for himself. I told him though, Mommy, that Jesus laid His life down for Brad...He died so that Brad could live one day."

"He said that his parents hadn't taught him this stuff. So, I told him that it's through the children that the parents often get saved."

"What do you mean by that, Caedmon?"

"Well, Mom. Sometimes a child gives their life to Jesus, and then the parents realize that they need to also. I told him that could happen for his parents. Maybe he's supposed to lead the way."

Suffice it to say, a lot rattled through my head at that moment.

1. I need to master my fritzes, not let my fritzes master me.

2. My son is a treasure.

3. I'm so glad we didn't shut this little kid, "Brad" out of our lives because he can be difficult. 
I'm glad that we told Caedmon that the Word says to love him, and that that's exactly what we were going to do.

4. I often look at my kids and wonder what they'll be when they grow up. I really don't wonder that too much anymore with Caedmon. 

This kid loves God's Word so much. He begs me to read the Bible to him, to teach him the Word....and then he goes and teaches others...his friends, strangers on a plane, kids at the truly is the Good News, and he is compelled to share it.

I think I have an evangelist on my hands. Or a pastor. 

That just upped my job responsibilities...but what an honor to be the mother of a pastor, should that happen one day...

Pray for my fritzes, won't you?
And for "Brad" - name has been changed, of course
And for Caedmon - if God does call him to preach or evangelize, he's going to be preaching to a generation that is upside down, quite his Mommy, I'd covet your prayers even now...

Made me think of this verse today...this was when Paul commissioned Timothy, just as Paul was dying..I love this passage.

2 Timothy 4:1-5  I solemnly charge {you} in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

preach the word; be ready in season {and} out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but {wanting} to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
  and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Blue Letter Bible. "2 Timothy 4 - New American Standard Bible." Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2009. 7 Apr 2009. < b="2Ti&c="4&t="NASB">

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Great Bible Study Giveaway from Precept Ministries

Dear Friends....

I am SO excited about this!

Precept Ministries is holding "The Great Bible Study Giveaway", and anyone can enter to win.

You could win a Leather bound New Inductive Study Bible, or any number of Precept Bible Studies!

I'm thinking that after my last post, I need to be sure and sign up to win...oh wait, I have a NISB Bible...I just didn't crack it open that day!

Seriously, though. This is a great time to share God's Word and Precept with those in your church, your neighborhood, your workplace, your MySpace world of contacts, on your blog or through your FACEBOOK page. :)
If I'm not your Facebook friend yet, I sure would like to be...especially if you're a Precept person. I love hooking up with Precept students and leaders from across the world!
Now, for some marketing tactics... (hey, old habits die hard!)
Would you add this link to your Blog or Facebook Wall or MySpace?
Would you please forward this post to your friends and family, and encourage them to enter to win, too?
Think grassroots marketing here, folks!
We need your help to reach as many people as possible with this great opportunity!
Most importantly, I encourage you to join me in praying that many hearts will turn from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh as they are given this opportunity to discover Truth for themselves.

Discover. Go Deeper. Disciple.
Where are you in your journey with God?
Precept has tools for you at any level...from brand new beginners to those who are ready to be used of the Lord to raise up new leaders.
If I can help answer any questions for you, feel free to send me an e-mail.
OK, enough go enter to win! :)

Have a great day!
P.S. I studied my Bible today...what a difference a day makes!
Just didn't want you all getting worried about me. :)