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Month: January 2016

Chasing After God

Chasing After God

For 6 years now we have had Lucy, our cocker spaniel.  She was the cutest little thing as a puppy and had so much energy!  As a 6 year old dog now, her energy level is about the same as it was when she was tiny!  She has made us chuckle on many occasions especially when she chases her (rather non-existent) tail.  Around and around she goes trying to grasp at something that isn’t even there.  She doesn’t realize how silly she looks and that her efforts are in vain, but for those of us observing her it is quite humorous.

You know, we get a kick out of watching Lucy and thinking how silly she looks, but if I am honest, we all can often be like this crazy dog of ours.  It can be so easy to chase after things that don’t really matter, or bring us the fulfillment we are seeking after, you know what I mean?

We can spend our days pining away after more of what the world tries to offer, or what we feel we need in order to fill that missing gap in our life, and we forget the deep treasure we have in Christ.  A treasure that satisfies like no earthly treasure ever could.

As I dug into my Bible reading one morning these verses jumped out at me and I grabbed my pen to underline them.

1 Samuel 12:20b-22.”yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.  For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.”

This little nugget was tucked inside a speech that Samuel, who was now old, gave to the people of Israel.  They were on the brink of getting their first ever king and Samuel had some counsel to give them before it happened.

Here are three little treasures with great impact that spoke to me the other morning.

First, isn’t it interesting that the Lord would have Samuel warn, “turn not aside from following the Lord”?  God knows us, He knows how fickle our hearts can be and that our flesh would be tempted to turn away from Him at times. We probably all know of someone (or maybe even ourselves!) who has/have turned away from the Lord, especially when trials came.  Were it not for grace, all of us would turn away.  Christ beckons us to follow after Him, lets look at Psalm 27:8, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”  We cannot pursue God and the world, it just isn’t possible.  If we are not following after God, what are we following after?

That leads me to my second little truth, we would chase “after vain things, which cannot profit, nor deliver, for they are vain.”  We all are chasing after something, but if what we are chasing after is not Christ, all we will find is emptiness.   Why chase emptiness when fullness can be found?  My dog chases something that is not really there, but still there she is going around and around chasing emptiness.  That is exactly what we do when we chase after anything other than Christ.  So how do we chase after Christ?

Our last little treasure, “serve the Lord with all your heart…..For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake”.  How do we even begin to chase after Christ? By digging chasinginto His Word!  Speak daily with Him!  Serve Him with all of our heart!  The children in our home? We are serving Him by raising them to follow Him.   The nursery children we care for on Sundays? We serve Him by serving them.  Being a greeter at church, cleaning the church, meeting needs, serving in the community, helping others, we are serving Him by serving them!  Chasing after God will lead to fullness like we have never known before!   I am reminded of the verse in Luke 10:27, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”  When we are busy loving the Lord as described in this verse, turning away from Him will not even cross our minds!  

This week, as we jump into our day, let’s purpose to chase after God!  Let’s purpose to spend time with Him daily both through Scripture reading and prayer!  Let’s focus on loving and serving Him with all that we are!  Instead of chasing emptiness, let’s run after God, the One who fills our emptiness with His fullness!

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

 

ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along!

Three tips on Being Still

Three tips on Being Still

In the chaos of life always on the go, how can we be still?  We have learned that life is just busy, but have we been taught how to actually be still and rest?

Let’s take a deeper look together today!

First, being still requires getting alone with God daily.  This seems like a no-brainer right?  Yet, how many of us with great intentions of having faithful devotions with God have found ourselves allowing time to slip by without spending time in God’s Word or in prayer?  I have to raise my hand here because I have been guilty of this very thing. Good intentions without purposeful planning will not produce our desired results.  The truth is, we accomplish in our day what we purposefully make time for!  If we don’t purposefGood intentionsully plan, it just won’t happen.  Spending time alone with God is the most important part of our day! There is nothing that sets a better tone for our day like getting alone with Him and soaking in the truths of His Word and casting our cares onto Him before we dive into our day!

Second, being still requires saying no to some things and yes to only what really works for your family and schedule.  Though we often like to think that we can be all and do all, we really can’t.  Attempting to say yes to every opportunity that comes along will leave us drained and not provide adequate time to get alone with God!  It is crucial to remember, every opportunity presented to us is not necessarily from God.

God would never ask His children to be so busy they never have time for Him.  He longs to fellowship with His children, both privately and corporately through worship at church.  We need to figure out what opportunities are from God and which ones are meant only to distract us from Him.  Spending time alone with God daily and asking for His wisdom will be beneficial in being able to tell the difference between the two.

Third, being still sometimes requires time to get away.  Being in ministry, our lives are almost always on the go.  I have told my husband, “I can go and go and go, as long as I know there is a date on the calendar when we can retreat, get away, and just be us and rest”.  There is something about being able to get away from the “norm” of every day life that refreshes you!  Recently our family was able to get away for a week and though we were not alone, we went to visit extended family, we were away from home with no major responsibilities and were able to rest.  I remember as we headed down the freeway, it literally felt like all of the cares and burdens we had been carrying began to fall off.  We were on vacation!  Getting away also means unplugging and truly resting from everything.  Turn off social media, turn off the phone, get away from it all in order to be still.

I’m excited about this coming year!  Learning to be still definitely won’t happen over night and it will probably be challenging at times, it will definitely be worth the effort we put into it!

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

Ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it!

 

Learning To Be Still

Learning To Be Still

Each year for the past several years now I have had a word, or a phrase that I try to either learn more about or set a goal to be like.  This past year my goal for the year was choosing joy.  Now, even though that was my goal, I did not always choose joy throughout the year.  However God taught me a lot about this tiny little word and how it impacts our lives in such a big way!

As I pondered and prayed about what my “theme” for this year would be two words came to mind.  I am a stay at home, home schooling mabe-stillma and wife to my husband who is also a Pastor.  Our lives tend to keep us hopping, busy with varying activities.  Sound familiar?  I know there are many who can relate!  Busy tends to define most of our days!

This year God has challenged me to take time to be still.  He did not design us to always be on the go, to never have adequate rest.  Actually, it is quite the opposite!  Yes, He wants us to work hard and be diligent, but He created us with a need for rest and time to be still in His presence as well.

Remember the story in the book of 1 Kings 19 when Elijah was told to go stand on a mountain and that God would pass by?  There was immense wind that broke apart the mountain, and though it was powerful, God was not in the wind.  Then there was an earthquake that shook the earth, but God was not in the earthquake.  Next came a fire, but God was not in the fire either.  All of these things were great and powerful, but God was not in them.  Lastly, yes at the very last, after all of the distractions had passed there was a still small voice.  As soon as Elijah heard the still small voice he knew in an instant that it was God’s voice.

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.” 1 Kings 19:11-13a

God chose to pass by in a still small voice and Elijah had to be quiet and still in order to hear Him.  The noise around him may have been a distraction, but he waited and remained still in order to hear from God.

There is often a lot of noise around us, activities pulling us here and there, schedules keeping us out late and up early, and God simply beckons to us, “Come, and be still!  Come find rest in Me!”

I have been challenged by this need to be still more often.  Taking the time I need to rest in the Lord in order to really hear from Him.  Do you find you need this as well?  Come, join me on this journey throughout the year!  Let’s learn together about being still with ears wide open ready to hear from Him!  Let’s learn to recognize God’s voice amidst the clamor around us.  Together, let’s grow closer to Him this year!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it with others!