Thursday, July 22, 2010

Go Global...

Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..."

Recently I was listening to an interview with Joel Houston, Worship Leader for Hillsong Australia.  In his interview he discussed the idea of the Global Church.  I would normally hear something like this and think, "wow, that's is good to reach out and touch the nations with the Gospel..."  and then I would move on and not give it much more thought, simply because I do not feel personally called to serve in the mission field in another country.  But this time when I heard him speaking of getting people to understand that the church is not just this small thing rather a huge conglomoration of people all striving for the same goal.  That we are all here for a purpose and that is to glorify God in ALL the Earth! 

I started really meditating on what the Word says about going out into the world, about ministering.  I started considering the local church.  The local church is just an extension of the Global Church and the Global Church is a beautiful representation of all of creation.  We are created in His image yet we tend to get so caught up in our own image.  We get focused on the image other people see in us.  I believe if we were to start seeing our calling beyond our own forehead we might stop having some of the issues that we face.  I've even found myself wondering over the past several months what it is that makes Hillsong Australia pump out so many CD's, how do they have church services with thousands upon thousands of people, why are they so influential in the Christian community. Then, after I heard Houston discuss this idea of the Global Church, I realized it is that which allows them to be so successful - they have discovered what it means to be the Church.  I'm sure they have their issues and their situations but I'm also certain that their foundations consist of a group of people who are able to see beyond themselves and into the real purpose of our calling - to be used by our Saviour to save a lost and dying World.  If we were to realize what we are really here for we'd stop concerning ourselves with worldly issues - repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community (if that doesn't sound familiar pull out your Bible and look up Galatians 5, I took this from The Message Bible).  Unfortunately, even the local church is riddled with lives that look like this.  Why do we continue to be okay with this in our own lives?  Why are we not aspiring to go global by taking on a more Godly lifestyle - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity...develop[ing] a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people... find[ing] ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

I have no doubt if we were to focus more on the World around us and get outside of our own motives and "all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants" we would see such a change in our personal lives and then it would bleed over into our service for Him. 

Something to think about....

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Kitchen is My Classroom

Early morning
Rise and Shine!
I hear the kids yell,
"Is it breakfast time?"

Around the kitchen table
   we gather.
Eggs and bacon
That's all that matters.

We finish up all our yummy grub
and head to the sink for a
Dirty dish scrub.

The big square table sitting on the kitchen floor
is about to transform into so much more.

Crayons, pencils, paints and books,
It's school time here
for all of us Cooks!! kitchen is my classroom!

Happy First Day of School!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reckless Abandon

Galatians 2:19-20 (MSG) "What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that."

I love how The Message version translates Galatians 2:19-20.  As women most of us can probably relate to the beginning of this verse well.  We run around trying to "keep rules" working our head off to please God and everyone else - even ourselves - only to find ourselves tired, worn-out, disappointed and frustrated.  Not only do we try to keep the rules but we get mad when other people aren't keeping the rules.  We work hard so why isn't everyone else?  We live completely abandon to the tasks at hand or the people we are trying to impress without giving much thought at all to the Lord's plan.  But I'm here to testify that when we finally realize that we are not going to succeed in anything without giving over our own desires and plans, life will become so much more peaceful!  

That's all. I'm going to let you meditate on that above verse and determine whether or not you are ready to live in reckless abandon to the One who made you instead of the things He made for you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Fresh Look @ the 10 Commandments

I haven't spent much time on the computer for the past several days and have gotten quite far behind on my blogging!  But then this morning I got up and read something in my devotional time that I wanted to share with everyone.  It comes from a little devotional book called, "Our Daily Bread."  Here is what the writer, Julie Ackerman Link, had to say:
"Sometimes I wonder why God didn’t list the Ten Commandments in reverse order, since the 10th commandment correlates to the first sin—desire. Eve’s sin wasn’t simply her desire for a piece of fruit; it was the desire for knowledge that Satan told her would make her like God (Gen. 3:5). Eve’s covetousness caused her to violate both the first and tenth commands that God later gave to Moses.

When we don’t covet, we pretty much eliminate our reasons to disobey the other commands. Wanting what isn’t ours causes us to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder, and refuse to honor our parents. We refuse to rest because we can’t get what we want in 6 days of work. We misuse God’s name when we use it to justify something that we want to do. We make gods out of wealth and relationships because we don’t want to have to put all our trust in God.
I have a hard time coming up with sins that don’t involve some form of covetousness. Yet because it’s the last in the list, we tend to think of it as being the least important. But it’s not. When we stop sin while it is still in our hearts and heads, we avoid making others the victim of our sin, and we avoid many of the serious consequences of sin."

We tend to brush off the 10 Commandments as something of the spiritual past not looking at them as being relevant to our daily lives.  I believe this article will give us a fresh perspective of how we can make this relevant today as we interact with those around us.  As the author of this article says, "wanting what isn't ours causes us to lie, steal...murder, refuse to honour our parents" (who by the way are MUCH wiser than we give them credit).  What do you want today that isn't yours?  A different job, a different talent, a new wardrobe that you can't afford, a different husband, new kids?  Are you looking around you thinking it seems that everyone has something you want and you can't attain to it?  King David did that the night he saw Bathsheba on the rooftop leading him into horrible decisions....lust, adultry, murder, lying....all because he wanted something that was not his.   His covetousness caused him to break almost every commandment on the tablets!
 I think this girl is right on about her fresh look on the 10 Commandments.  Maybe it is time we opened the Old Testament closet and brush off the first gift God gave His creation; Not to live under legalism but to remind us that He really does love us and desires that we walk in a way that pleases Him by doing what is right and loving others.