July 26, 2010

Worship in the Sanctuary

“O come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Psalm 95:6 (KJV)

What is your favorite way to worship? For some, it’s Sunday morning at church in a large group. This is good, because the Lord intends for His people to come together for worship (see Hebrews 10:25). I, myself, like this as well.

Some people enjoy worship through music. I like this too. Others prefer worship through the preaching of the word, which is also a great source of comfort and pleasure for me. I know wonderful godly people who worship in prayer. This is a fabulous way to worship.

I guess I have a hard time picking a favorite. Except for this week. This week, I will get to worship God in the mountains!

As you read this, Bob and I will be boarding a plane for Denver, Colorado. We’ve been invited to our former church’s 50th anniversary celebration. Since July is a great time for vacation, we’re going out early and coming back late. Why? Because the Rocky Mountains and good friends live in Denver as well.

I’ll never forget the first time I hiked in those mountains. Bob and I hardly spoke. My mind kept repeating, “God you are so beautiful!” Now I know He is just as beautiful here, but I am allowed to have a special place to share with my Father and my Savior.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to worship God this week in your favorite way, or better yet – ways! Let Him know how beautiful He is to you. Get intimate with him. Reveal to Him your deepest thoughts and give Him your highest praise. Speak to the Father as a lover, the lover of your soul. Be refreshed and renewed by His Spirit. Bow down. Kneel. Fall back in love with your Redeemer.

Bob and I have a crazy schedule so I’ll be out of touch for the next Monday or two. I will miss you but will hopefully, surely, have many God-things to share with you when I get back.

Until then love God and love each other!

July 19, 2010

Smoke on the Mountain - Fire in the Office?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

Discounting the busyness of the day, Monday has been great. At least it started that way. Bob got me up early. I managed to rise up and shake off the night’s sleep without too much problem. Good thing, I had stuff to do today!

My boss, Cheryle, was in town and we were meeting face to face. Since I don’t get to actually see her that much, this was exciting. However, since we were meeting at my house, cleaning became a priority. I will not bore you with all the details but between cleaning, meeting and lunching together the day sped by faster than I imagined.

After lunch, I was ready to get some work done. Next week Bob and I are going on vacation so I have to “clear my desk” before departing to Denver! Before I could get too much done, my daddy called. I love it when my daddy calls me. So I took a moment away from the computer to talk to dad. That’s when it happened!

Dad and I were discussing an article on the internet which I had pulled up on the computer in front of me. Without warning, the screen went blue! Not blank, but that “kiss of death” blue screen we all dread. I felt the panic start to rise. “Dad, I’ve got the blue screen! Oh no! I have too much to do this week!” I knew a computer crash was on the horizon.

Yet there was a voice of reason on the other end of the phone. I thought I heard dad smile (I’m trained in that) and then he calmly told me to reboot the computer. Brilliant idea! I guess that is why IBM paid him all those bucks for 30 years. With a sense of relief, I reached down to the power button on the CPU and pressed it.

Without any fanfare, the computer blinked and beeped and turned on. The motor fan started to whirl . . . and whirl . . . and whirl. The whirling started to accelerate like Richard Petty on the final lap. My eyes widened as the acceleration continued and I finally decided, “She’s gonna blow!”

“Dad! I’ll call you back!” I yelled and tossed the phone, as I started screaming for Bob. Why scream? Well, it seems by that time smoke started pouring out of every slot and opening in the computer, and all around my desk! Between screams, I dropped to my knees and yanked the power cord from the outlet. Silence ensued. The smoke cleared up.

Whew! No caffeine needed after this incident.

Well, let me tell you . . . the rest of the story. Once we got everything back under control, we made a sobering discovery. There was never any smoke coming from the computer. It was dust. Yes, I said it - dust. I have blown any hope for being awarded the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Yet, I’ve never hid my distain for dusting. But my blatant neglect of a simple, albeit tedious task, caught up with me.

I called Dad back and advised him of the situation. He indicated that a build up of dust could do bad things to your computer and yes, Virginia – computers need to be cleaned as well.

Bob and I properly took my “brain” apart and cleaned it. We reassemble it and now, she’s working great. Who knew what a little dust could do! If it only was that simple, with my real brain!

Now, I know it could have been worse. It easily could have caught on fire. The losses could have been small or they could have been great. I’m grateful God spared my computer and for the lesson I learned.

I just started to write about that lesson and how it applied to a “faux pas” I made earlier today, but I deleted it. I am embarrassed to share. However, I am certain you don’t need to hear my lesson for God to give you one of your own.

Let’s just say, as you go this week, if you do some dusting on the outside, don’t forget tot dust the inside as well!

Love, Barbara

July 12, 2010

Questions and No Answers

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” Deut. 29:29 (NAS)

Sometimes my sense of being literal kicks in and gets the best of me. This generally happens when someone is speaking. Even though, I know exactly what the person means, I can’t help but sometimes assess how the words are spoken. (Okay – move me up on your prayer list!)

I’ll give an example. Yesterday in church someone made the statement that one day Satan would be defeated and Christ would be king. Now I absolutely knew without a doubt that he was referring to the Second Coming of Christ where Satan would be forever taken care of and Christ returns in all His glory. But. . .

My friend and I caught something we had to correct! She said it out loud as I thought it: Christ is already King. Maybe that is nit-picky or maybe God wanted to make sure that she and I still recognized Christ as King today and were living that way – literally speaking.

Then there was the movie last night at church. Movie night at church is great. We were watching a film about Billy Graham. During one point in the movie, I had to get literal again. I really hate that when it happens, but many times I believe God uses it to make me ponder a spiritual point. Let me share.

During one dramatic scene, a close and personal friend of Rev. Graham’s came to a rather overwhelming crisis of belief. It broke Billy’s heart, as it does when any of our friends are in spiritual pain. Therefore Billy Graham prayed. In the movie, the actor cried out to God while lifting his Bible heavenward, “There are questions in this book I can’t answer!” (Now you’ll have to watch the movie, Billy, The Early Years to see how it all ends and to make sure you understand the context which time prevents me from going into.)

I am sure I missed the next few minutes of the movie mulling over the meaning of the statement, “There are questions in this book I can’t answer!” My literal sense kicked in and made me cringe, but what I came up with created a smile and a bit of soul-searching.

You see, my first thought (and remember these are my thoughts) was wait a minute, the Bible does not have questions that there are no answers for. But I do. You do. Mankind does. Maybe the Bible creates questions which there doesn’t appear to be answers for, but is that bad? I mean, if the Word is creating questions in us then hopefully that means we are reading it!

I think it all boils down to man has questions about the Bible that man can’t answer. Man has questions about life that man can’t answer. But God has the answer for everything. Sometimes He reveals it plainly, other times, not so much. Sometimes, He withholds the answer, or at least the answer we want.

It’s those times when I truly rely on faith in the Father and Deut. 29:29. Those things not revealed are secret things. Why? I can only guess. Maybe it is because we couldn’t understand the reasons with our little finite minds. Perhaps it is because the reasons are not as important as our obedience at the moment. My faith helps me to accept that and move on.

I especially like moving on to the second part of the verse where it proclaims the things God has already revealed to us in His word are ours and they’re ours forever! That’s worth repeating! What God has chosen to reveal to us is ours. It’s yours and it’s mine. And I believe by holding on dearly to what God has revealed increases my faith to accept what He chooses to hold secret for a time. Then the faith-blessings follow.

What is it in your life right now that God appears to be holding in secret? Is it holding you back from trusting Him completely with all that you are? Could your holding back be holding back some faith-blessings from Father God?

Let me assign you some homework. As you have some free time in the car or while you are on “hold” during a phone call, make a mental list of all the things that God has revealed to you and dwell upon those things. Call it spiritually exercising your mind-muscle for the day. If you are not used to exercise, this could create some soreness but remember no pain, no gain!

Satisfied with His Secrets!