Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Psalm of My Own

As long as I can remember, the words to the 23rd Psalms have been a part of my life. Having memorized this passage as a child, the words are as familiar to me as the Pledge of Allegiance. Unfortunately, they were merely that...words. Until recently, that is.


After eighteen successful years in my career of choice, God began to lead me in a new direction. He had a plan. A Psalms 23 kind of plan. While circumstances in my life seemed out of my control, I now know they were never out of God's control.


He knew I would never venture away from the familiarity and "safety" of my job on my own, so He allowed what had always been a comfortable and preferred environment, to become a place of unrest and misery for me. Through each trial and each unpleasant experience, God was leading me away from an old, familiar place toward something new.



Thus began my journey with the Shepherd. He led and I followed. While the way wasn't always clear to see, the love and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father became clearer and clearer with each and every step. Like David, I was no longer simply speaking the words of his psalm, but instead living them. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. As we walked together, God was faithful to provide for my every need. After several years of searching and seeking, God led me to a new place of employment.


Recently, a friend asked me how I liked my new job. The words from my mouth surprised even me. "I love my new job. It is so peaceful and stress free. I find myself laughing again and thoroughly enjoying my life. It's as though God led me to a place of rest!" He maketh me lie down in green pastures, beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.


From this place of rest, I can look back over my life and see heartprints of God's love every step of the way. Through the ups and down, the highs and the lows, He IS there. Through the times of plenty and the times of need, He IS there. Through the times of laughter and yes, in the times of sorrow, He IS there. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evi: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Truly, I am blessed.


Daily my loving Shepherd has led me through the valleys, over the mountain tops, and beside the still waters. Through this journey with Him, I have never been out of His care or without His love. Like David, I can rejoice in my God...and I can rest in His guardianship. The Shepherd knows the way that is best. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Don't Let Us Miss Your Glory

Isn't it funny how a song can suddenly pop into your mind? From out of nowhere, you absentmindedly start humming the melody or singing the lyrics. Then, for the rest of the day, the song keeps on showing up, time and time again. This happened to me today, and I had to laugh! You will, too, when I tell you the name of the song. It was none other than......the Arky, Akry song! You know the song I'm talking about.

The Lord said to Noah:
There's gonna be a floody, floody
The Lord said to Noah:
There's gonna be a floody, floody
Get those children out of the muddy, muddy
Children of the Lord


I hear you singing along......

So Noah
He built him, he built him an arky, arky
Noah
He built him, he built him an arky, arky
Built it out of gopher barky, barky
Children of the Lord


I'm sure, like me, you know all the words by heart....

The animals, the animals,
They came in by twosie, twosies
The animals, the animals,
They came in by twosie, twosies
Elephants and kangaroosie, roosies
Children of the Lord


Wow! You're really getting into it now!

It rained and poured
For forty daysie, daysies
It rained and poured
For forty daysie, daysies
Nearly drove those animals crazy, crazies,
Children of the Lord


Go ahead....you just keep right on singing!

The sun came out and
dried up the landy landy
The sun came out and
dried up the landy landy
Everything was fine and dandy, dandy
Children of the Lord


All together now....

Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Children of the Lord


Here come the animals.....

The animals they came off
They came off by three-sies three-sies
Animals they came off
They came off by three-sies three-sies
Grizzly bears and chimpanzee-sies zee-sies
Children of the Lord


Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Children of the Lord.


Bring it on home, now....

That is the end of,
The end of my story, story
That is the end of,
The end of my story, story
Everything is hunky dory, dory
Children of the Lord


One more time....sing it like you mean it....

Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Children of the Lord


Ummmmm...I wonder if this song will make another appearance in your mind today?

I have to admit, as a child I never really understood how the chorus fit into this song about Noah. Now, I get it. God asked Noah to rise and shine and give Him glory, and Noah did just that. He rose to the occasion....building a boat....where there was no water.....for the upcoming flood....when until now, no one had even had reason to break out their umbrellas! He shined his life of faith for all to see....yet sadly, those watching him day after day, totally missed the boat. All they saw was the arky, arky and the gopher barky, barky! They never saw His glory! They even saw the elephants and kangaroosies, roosies....but they never saw His glory! God was actively working in their lives, through the obedience of His faithful servant Noah, and they never saw Him.

Not a day goes by that God is not actively at work in your life and mine. Long before we ever even know we have need of something, God is already on the job, planning, constructing and building. He alone sees the end from the beginning. All He asks us to do is to see Him. After all, it wasn't the ark that saved Noah and his family, it was God's hand of protection. Noah and crew found themselves in the grip of God's grace. Isn't that where you and I long to be, too?

When you look at your life, what do you see? Do you see circumstances that are hard to understand....(a boat? Here?) Do you question all that God is telling you....(a flood? Are you kidding me?) Are you in jeopardy of missing the boat? How we need to focus on His glory. But how? How do we look beyond what is in front of us to see God's glory? By looking into the face of Jesus.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The answer is Jesus. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. Through His life, death and resurrection we have seen the glory of God. You and I have experienced His all consuming, stop at nothing short of death, love for us. How can we not expect God's glory to show up in every single moment of our life?

By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, through eyes of faith, we will see the glory of God at work in our life. Maybe He is building an ark in a dry and barren place in your life right now. Don't be afraid to heed His call, and climb aboard. When you do, like Noah, you will find yourself in the grip of His grace, mercy and love. I can't think of anyplace I would rather be, can you?

Through the life-giving death of Jesus, God is now dipping the pen of His grace, into the blood of His Son and writing our life story. We can believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that in the end, everything will be fine and dandy dandy. We can trust God with our lives. We can rise and shine and give Him the glory, all the while resting in the beautiful truth that our life story IS and always WILL BE hunkey, dorey dorey! Let's not miss the boat. Let's not miss His glory!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Without Saying A Word

As soon as I walked through my front door last Tuesday night, I was reminded of just how much my husband loves me. No...He didn't give me a kiss. And no...He didn't hop up and give me a hug. He didn't even say "hello". Normally, my honey would welcome me home by doing all three! That night, however, I happened to arrive home before he did. His love was there, though....waiting to surprise me!





As I walked through the door, this is what I saw! What an unexpected surprise!!! It wasn't our anniversary. It wasn't my birthday. Valentine's Day is still yet to come. This beautiful, gigantic heart-shaped balloon was simply my husband's exuberant way of saying, "I love you!" His actions spoke passionately and my heart heard every word.

As grand as this demonstration of love was, it can never compare to the passionate love of my Jesus. Without saying a word, He was led to Calvary. Without saying a word, He was nailed to the cross. Without saying a word, He suffered and bled.

He wasn't guilty. He had done no wrong. He didn't deserve to die. Relinquishing His life on an old, rugged cross was simply our Saviour's exuberant way of saying, "I love you!" Without saying a word, He proclaimed His perfect love for all to see. On the cross, Jesus spoke passionately and my heart heard every word.

Have you heard the passionate cry of Jesus? Has your heart heard His exuberant love for you? Jesus is never silent. Right now, quiet your mind and still your heart....and listen. Without saying a word, He will speak His love into your heart.