Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Hope of All Nations

"In his name the nations will put their hope." Matt. 12:21
I had the privilege of traveling to the Navajo reservation last weekend in New Mexico with about 50 people from our church including 2 of my kids. I found myself questioning what to say, worried I would say something that would offend them. I knew that the Navajo's have deep-rooted traditions and beliefs. I didn't want to appear to be coming in with all the answers when their families have been steeped in their ways for generations.

But, on Sunday, it hit me. Even though the traditions of the Navajo have been passed down for hundreds of years, God has been around longer...He was first. As we stood in worship with white and tan faces joined in song, I realized that we all need the same thing. I get caught up in the things we have and the worldly possessions the Navajo's might not have instead of focusing on what we all need. We all need compassion, forgiveness...we need a saviour. He is the hope of all nations. No matter what our human ways have been, no matter what we believe, it's not about me, it's not about the Navajo people. It's all about Him. He is the hope. He is the reason we can rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in all circumstances. (I Thess. 5:16-18)

My fear for proclaiming His name was my own fear. Remembering that He is the hope for every nation - every person - put my confidence back in Christ rather than in myself. "In his name the nations will put their hope." Matt. 12:21

When we sang Mighty to Save, I was standing beside Harold, a precious Navajo man. I stopped singing to hear him sing. He needs the same thing I need. We need Jesus. Praise the Lord - we both have Him! To Him be the glory!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Should We Be Scared of God?

Photobucket Why would the bible say, “Fear God?” I’ve asked myself that question over and over through the years. Someone once told me it was to show reverence or respect to God. I could accept that, but it didn’t seem adequate. As my pastor said this past Sunday, “Reverence sounds like distance.” It has a formal tone to it.

So, what did God mean by fearing Him. Ps. 33:18 says, "The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love." A God who has unfailing love doesn’t sound like a distant God. Certainly not one that we should be frightened to approach as the word “fear” often leads us to think.

Over and over the phrase is used in the bible. My very limited index in the back of my bible holds 15 references about fearing the Lord.

I have to admit that I didn’t hear the whole sermon last Sunday. I had children sitting beside me (and actually on me) asking me how to spell things, playing with my wedding rings, burrowing into me trying to find a comfortable spot. But between the wiggling, something sweet appeared on the screen in front of me. To fear the Lord means: desperate dependence resulting in reverent intimacy.

When I realize that without Him I’m sunk, that brings fear in me. Knowing that I need Him, desperately, causes me to depend on Him and builds in my heart a reverent intimacy. Pride goes out the window. Self-pity, shame, guilt…none of those things can find a place in my heart when I am completely dependent on Him.

I want the unfailing love of the Lord; I want His eyes on me. If you do to, then it’s time we understand that He isn’t a distant, hard, uncaring God. He is, rather, a gentle, loving Father who cares about the details of our life and wants desperately for us to depend on Him for all the details.

(Thanks for your insight and study Roy.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toddler to Teen? Time Flies!

Our oldest daughter turned 13 last week. Man, the time flies! Seems like she was a toddler 2 minutes ago! I am learning so much everyday about what it's like to parent this new stage. I've learned, so far,

  • it's best if I take a deep breath before I jump into a lecture;
  • that when she tells me stuff, she's not always looking for an answer;
  • that we enjoy a lot of the same things (that's really cool!);
  • that I shouldn't snort when I laugh because that's not cool;
  • I'm learning not to panic...she's learning and growing everyday. I see glimpses of Jesus in her and it reminds me that He's the one who is ultimately in control;
  • I'm doing all I can to pour into her the blessings and promises of God without shoving them on her...being available at bedtime, holding her when she asks, putting notes in her lunch box, reading the bible or a devotional at breakfast;
  • she doesn't always want me around, but sometimes she does. At those times she really needs me.
  • when she gives me a hard time, most of the time she's really trying to get me to play...when I tickle her, or roll my eyes and smile instead of getting mad, we end of laughing.
  • sometimes I'm an idiot. If any experienced parents want to give me advice, I'll gladly take it!

Lord, we need your help. Please give us the wisdom, patience, understanding, and perseverance we need to raise this strong daughter you've given us. You created her and know her better than we ever can. You're works are wonderful. (Ps. 139) Thank you for the privilege of being responsible for training our kids. I love You and Need You. I ask this in Jesus name...Amen