Thankful

I was sitting with my husband having lunch yesterday when a thought occurred to me that just warmed my heart and made me thankful to God. This past Sunday my son, Anthony, preached the word to the church. He spoke on the relationship we have with God and the obligation we have to each other. The Sunday before son # 2, Charles, preached to the church at youth day. He spoke on humility before God and how we needed to stay pliable before him.

I had simply taken this for granted until the moment God gave me the realization of the blessing he had bestowed on us. Our children pay a high price for what we do, as families in ministry can attest. Ministry is what we do and there aren’t on and off hours for it. Sure, we have great discussions abut the bible and our faith. but we have great arguments about what other kids are allowed to do versus ours. Funny, our kids think we don’t allow certain things because we are a “ministry family”. They don’t understand that we don’t allow certain things because we’re strict parents.

In this moment of clarity the Lord made me realize that despite the guilt I carry, the kids are okay. They know the word of God, they are growing up in the faith that we have taught them and they will, no doubt about it, surpass all that we have done and do even greater still. God has kept his hand firmly on them. God has directed their path even when we felt we were failing at juggling all the balls in the air.

All this to say that the realization was not that the kids were on the platform preaching and that is what made it good. What made it good was their understanding of the word and how it fits in their lives. To see them talk about their struggles and triumphs is what made it good. Somehow we did something right or at least we were carried by abounding grace.

Our daughters haven’t hit the platform (yet). They may or may not but I’m secure in the knowledge that they know God, they love him, and they serve him. That is all I need to feel that life is good!

Breathing

fubiz.net

I was sent this article written by musician, singer/songwriter, Jason Gray. I thought it was profound and wanted to share it with all of you!

The Sound of Our Breathing
Jason Gray

Take a breath and breathe it out. Do it again, slowly, and try to mean it. Breathing – of all things maybe we take it most for granted. Do we ever wonder why we are built this way, this soft machine of ours always pumping oxygen in and out?

In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs. In joy, our lungs feel almost like they will burst. In fear, we hold our breath and have to be told to breathe slowly to help us calm down. When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage. When I think about it, breathing looks almost like a kind of praying.

I heard a teaching not long ago about the moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what His name is. God was gracious enough to answer, and the name He gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.

Over time, we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and an “e” in there to get YaHWeH, presumably because we have a preference for vowels. But scholars have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, aspirated consonants that in the Hebrew alphabet would be transliterated like this:
Yod, rhymes with “rode,” which we transliterate “Y”
He, rhymes with “say,” which we transliterate “H”
Vav, like “lava,” which we transliterate “V” or “W”
He rhymes with “say,” which we transliterate “H”.

A wonderful question rises to excite the imagination: what if the name of God is the sound of breathing?

This is a beautiful thought to me, especially considering that for centuries there have been those who have insisted that the name of God is so holy that we dare not speak it because of how unworthy we are. How generous of God to choose to give Himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive. All of us, always, everywhere, waking, sleeping, with the name of God on our lips.

In his Nooma video, Breathe, Rob Bell (a pastor whose obvious gifts of curiosity and a knack for asking provocative questions can get him into trouble) wonders what this means in key moments like when a baby is born – newly arrived on planet Earth, must they take their first breath, or rather speak the name of God, if they are to be alive here? On our deathbed, do we breathe our last breath? Or is it that we cease to be alive when the name of God is no longer on our lips?
The most ironic of his questions is also the most beautiful: he wonders about the moment when an atheist friend looks across the table at you and says, “There. is. no. God.” And of course, what you hear is “Yod. He. Vav. He.”

There are few better illustrations of both God’s largesse as well as his humility, his omnipresence as well as his singular intimate presence within each of us.

Breathe in. Breathe out. “He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs…the word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth…” (Romans 8:28, 10:8 The Message)

Ever Learning

gramps.org

In The Fear of the Lord by John Bevere, he makes a statement that has resonated in my mind. He speaks of people who know the word, quote it, but never apply it. We can all point fingers to those in our lives who meet this criteria but how many of us are wise enough to look deep within ourselves to examine that truth?

I did just that this week. I began by asking the Lord to examine me and expose those things which I know to be true in the word but do not play out in my life. I discovered some amazing truths that must now either be applied or ignored. Ignoring them comes with a high price because it means I deal with the consequence.

My first realization comes that even though I work in a church, spend a lot of time in prayer over matters of the people, spend a lot of hours working in that setting, that it doesn’t constitute a personal relationship with God. Boundaries over my time would allow my prayer life to flourish. Someone asked me recently if it was about time management? I quickly said no but upon review recognize that it is. I allow the needs of the many to outweigh the needs of myself. It’s a pride issue for sure because just as selfish people don’t take the time to pray for others, neither do I take the time to set boundaries for my personal life. You can get so wrapped up in the service to others that in the end you’ve done a disservice to yourself. In this area of my life, although I lament, I don’t change which exactly exemplifies the statement John Bevere made of ever learning but never applying.

Second, I love to write. It is my passion and the way that I express myself best. I have been given a word from the Lord to write and what to write about. I go through spurts of passionate pursuit and then nothing. This must change or next year I will writing this exact thing again.

For many years I thought if I hired help for the household chores that it would free me up to work. That is exactly opposite of what needs to happen. I have to hire help for work so that I am not consumed there.

Yes, we can all point fingers at our friends who know the word but it doesn’t manifest in their life or we can apply the knowledge to ourselves. I want to choose the better thing, I choose to apply it to myself.