Friday, June 11, 2010

Silent Summer?

"Be still, and know that I am God." PSALM 46:10

Today is the last day of school for my kids. Many others have already been finished for a few days or weeks. In any case, we're all set for a busy and fun summer. Will there be sufficient or satisfying room for quiet reflection on life and love, not to mention a holy God?

For some of us, summer is an opportunity to slow down, take a break from routine and enjoy a new pace. For others, life ramps up in a whole new routine filled with camps, lessons, vacations, summer jobs, yard projects, etc. Temptations to neglect worship are all around. As one who both works hard and plays hard, I sometimes find myself challenged between two extremes: in some moments I will settle into summer's metaphorical "armchair" and loose myself in the lemonaid and at other moments I will get very caught up in the new treadmill before me. Either way, I risk missing important quiet moments of revelation unless I am intentional about BEING STILL with God.

Only in slowing down and being silent can we come to grips with who we really are...and who God really is. No doubt, Isaiah the prophet was quiet and alone when he experienced the vision of God that inspires us all to awe yet today. "I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple...Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." ISAIAH 6:1-3

I appreciate passionate, expressive worship like David and will enjoy praising God with fervor and in fellowship with others many times this summer. But I begin this summer with one very intentional goal, to have dedicated time every day for God-honoring silence and stillness. I expect and pray for insight, encouragement, and challenge out of those times.

What about you? Is the Lord prompting you to embrace some personal spiritual goal or discipline this summer?

Please share your ideas! Let's inspire one another and hold each other accountable.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's ENOUGH for You?

"Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." COLOSSIANS 3:2-4

There are a lot of moments/days when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. I'm consumed with TO DO lists, pressures, ideas, hopes, and plenty of thoughts about myself and what I need or want...and a lot of concerned prayer for others (because, through this ministry, we are contacted by people every day who are facing overwhelming circumstances).

Only because I have trust in and strength from Almighty God can I make it through. I'm so thankful for the peace I have even amidst the storms of life. Nonetheless, I often find myself craving more tangible and more frequent expressions of our loving and ever-present God in my life.

I've been blessed and stretched lately to re-consider my cravings for a more tangible experience of God. I've been convicted of being almost addicted to NEEDING to have some circumstantial or visible evidence of God's blessing or those emotional boosts that God finds occasion to provide. Yet, lately, it seems everywhere I turn, I'm being challenged to have faith that does NOT see...and does not always even FEEL. I've been prompted to just KNOW.

Yesterday's devotion in "Glorifying God" by Thomas Watson (compiled and adapted by Patti Hummel) pointed me to an important truth in a very simple way:

"Mercy coming to us in a covenant is sweetest. It was mercy that God would give Isreal rain, bread to fill them, peace, and victory over enemies, but it was a greater mercy that God would be their God."

What do you think? I know, it's a little heady and deep but well worth our taking pause to noodle it a bit.

Do you struggle between feeling like you're not getting enough of God while also having times of deep assurance that He simply IS who He says He is...and that is enough?

What do you do about it?

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