Thursday, May 31, 2012


We all know we need to do it, but it just seems so hard sometimes. 

What I'm talking about is priorities.  What things are really important and what things can be left to the side for now?  It gets confusing when we have to work through that dreaded 'is this something I need or just something I want'.  To be honest, we probably have a lot to learn about our wants and needs too, as God's priorities do battle against the values of this world.

For example: what does it mean to have a generous heart?  To live with a deep-seated understanding that we serve a God with unlimited resources?  Do we believe that we can really live 'abundantly' by offering everything we have in service to Him?

I know that I have a long way to go in this, but I also know that He is working on my heart to change it to reflect Him in this.

Priorities:  In the hustle and bustle of life we can get easily sidetracked from the things that are most important--the things that God values most.

Yesterday I was at a prayer meeting and I asked the Lord to show me a verse from His Word that would be applicable to the prayers being offered up and this is what He clearly showed me:  Psalm 132:2-5, "He swore an oath to the Lord and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob: 'I will not enter my house or go to my bed--I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.'

What an amazing word about priorities!

David was so enamoured with his God that he was not going to allow himself any earthly pleasures until he took care of God's business first.  Now it turns out that Solomon would be the one to build the temple, but David's heart cry is still the right model for us to emulate. 

I want to have my heart become so focussed on God priorities that the other things in life, though important too, find their proper place.

I'm sure that many questions arise about 'how':  how do I do this when I have to work everyday?  How do I do this when I have kids that need shuttling around to three different events? How, how, how?

Maybe it starts with our heart and not our schedule?  Maybe God is just looking for a genuine heart that desires this and is willing to include Him in what is going on?  Maybe He is just waiting to be invited?

I live in the same world as you, and all I can say is this:  If God has shown us a priority, then I believe He can make a way to accomplish it--no matter what or where or when.

He is the God of the impossible after all. . . .


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In the presence of wisdom

You may have heard of the saying, "Knowledge is power".  These words spoken by the English philosopher Francis Bacon centuries ago has become the mantra of modern society.  We live in a 'knowledge  based economy' now and if you have access to the data, then you can wield an inordinate amount of power.

But access to data is not the same as wisdom--not by a long shot, and here is one reason why:  knowledge requires no amount of moral character in order to possess it, but wisdom (which is often described as 'applied knowledge') cannot be had without humility.

Think of that for a minute:  knowledge is data acquisition, wisdom is the application of knowledge with a humble spirit.  There is an acquired skill that develops through experience necessary for wisdom to flourish.  This doesn't necessarily mean that only people that are over 60 can exercise wisdom, but the truth is still this:  for wisdom to be wisdom, it needs to have the seasoning of humility.

Proverbs 11:2 says: "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."

I just had coffee with a gentleman who is 'seasoned' in years, and as I listened to and watched him, it was so very evident that he was a man of wisdom.  He exemplified John 12:49 that says that Jesus spoke what His Father wanted and how He wanted it spoken.  The Heavenly Father values humility and wisdom.

I have thought for a number of years now that humility is one of the most attractive characteristic traits.  It is a welcoming thing; somthing that makes you feel accepted and safe.  The presence of humility allows you to honestly examine yourself because you can open up your heart and address the hard and embarassing things without feeling condemned.  And if the most important thing for us is to find our way to Jesus in our heart-of-hearts, then anything that will help to get us there to find freedom sounds a lot like wisdom to me.

Yes, knowledge may be power, but humble wisdom can do the miraculous!

I wonder which one makes the most difference?


Friday, May 25, 2012

To Be Like a Child

I'm reading a book entitled Your Church is Too Safe, and I love it!  In fact, I think there is more to me reading this book than just enjoyment--I think God is wanting to really teach me some things that I need to know.  It's simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking, but all-in-all really good!

In one passage Buchanan (the author) talks about a study done on babies in France and Germany, where they discovered that newborns actually cry with an accent!  Amazing isn't it?  He writes that "In France, babies consistenly inflect from a low to a high pitch. . .[and] in Germany, it's the opposite, high to low. . . .The French language tends to have an intonational rise at the end of a sentence; the German language an intonational fall at the end.  The womb-bound baby hears this, and copies it at birth."

Buchanan then asks this question: "If earth is heaven's womb, if time is eternity's belly, what song do we overhear from heaven that we try to sing on earth?"  He then goes on to say that heaven's song is 'love', and that we are called to sing this out loud and clear to all within hearing distance.

I want to do this--I so desparately want to sing my life this way.  I use the word 'desparate' intentionally because I recognize how weakly and poorly; how falteringly and inconsistently I sing.  My cry is that I would be transformed into a clearer reflection of heaven's song--the song of love.

You may be wondering the same question, asking yourself if you are allowing yourself to be a reflection of God's love in your everyday life.  Well, here is a reminder that should be an encouragement to all of us:  those babies did very little in getting to that place where they cried the intonations of their mother's native tongue--they were just present.  We are asked to do the same: 

To be present.

God is asking us to spend time with Him--to be in His presence so that we can absorb His song.  He does the singing, and through that we become changed and our 'voice', that is all that is who we are and how we live, begins to reflect Him.

My prayer for us today is this:  that God would put in us a willingness, a longing to be present with Him, and in so doing we would begin to sing the native song of love---

Just like a child.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Through the Fog

Have you ever been driving at night through a thick fog--when the swirling gray is so thick that you have to squint to see, even though squiting does nothing to help.  Your best efforts to navigate even start to work against you:  it would make sense that if you can't see well, then you need more light--but turning your lights to bright only reflects more light into your eyes making it more difficult to see!

Sometimes we find ourselves in a fog.  You want to know how to move forward or through whatever it is that you are facing but you just do not seem to make sense of it all, let alone know how to move forward.

We've all been there.  Some of us are there right now.

The last thing I want to do is offer something that puts a positive spin on things in order to just try and sweep reality under the rug just so that things "look" better.  You need much more than that--we all do.

I received an email from a friend who was encouraged by this word, maybe it will be a light for you today:

'The snow and rain come down from heaven, and stay on the ground to water the earth.  They  cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.  It is the same with My word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.'  Is. 55:10-11.

He is sending His word to you today. . .and it will accomplish His good will in your life.  Kind of hard to believe isn't it?

The Lord says that those who follow Him enjoy the fact that He is for you and not against you.  He is the One who is your strong tower when you are facing insurmountable odds.  When you cannot see what is coming next; or if you can see what is coming and it doesn't look pretty. . . .He is there for you.  God does not guarantee that He will change all your circumstances, though He certainly can and does do that often, but He is offering a place where your heart can rest and change your circumstances from the inside out. 

How does peace sound to you?  Like a fleeting dream?  Like something dimly seen through a fog?  Or maybe just something that feels more like a tease than a promise?  How frustrating is that???

God is our guarantee.  He is the only guarantee.  If you want some stability; if you want to be able to lay down your anxieties because you can't see through your fog, He is waiting for you.

When your heart is at peace, the fog turns more into a blanket than a threat.

Enjoy His embrace.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trickle Charge

Growing up in Saskatchewan, I am no stranger to cold winters--very cold winters!  One thing that comes along with bone-chilling temperatures are dead car batteries and when a car battery is dead, it needs some help in the form of a boost.

Well, sometimes we find ourselves in a similar place in our spiritual lives too.  We can find ourselves in a place we didn't even know how we got to--despondant, unsure, frustrated, crying out to God but really not even knowing exactly what happened or why, just knowing something is not right.

When we are there we need a boost.  But I'm not talking about a quick fix, superficial make-over that is so commonly hawked in our popular culture.  Though we need a boost, I'm suggesting something a little different: not a one time supercharge, but a connection to something that will provide strength, hope and life for much longer.

In terms of battery chargers, they can be set to provide one, very powerful boost to get things started, or they can be set to "trickle charge" which is when it will provide a longer flow of energy that will not only make the battery more powerful, but it will build it up so that it performs much better overall.

As I think about it God does both for us.  He provides those major boosts when needed too, but I think we are so used to being taught that everything should happen quickly, that we lose sight of how God wants, yes wants, to be our long-term source of life.

God is also our trickle charger.

But is He really?

Psalm 145:9 addresses one question that may arise:  "Does God really care about me?"  This is His response:  "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made."

If He made you (and He did!) then He loves you.  It's that simple.  I think that's something worth pondering. . .

The second question that might arise is this:  "Does God really have what it takes to help me for the long-haul of life?"  Here is His mind on this matter:  "Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them--the Lord, who remains faithful forever." (Psalm 146: 5-6).

The Lord who remains faithful forever.

He loves you because He made you and cares for everything He made.  He is willing and able to be your source of life and strength for your whole life because it's just in His nature to do so.  You can count on it--better yet, you can count on Him!

Need a trickle charge?  You know where to go. . . .