Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Ponderance of Time

Frequently, I find myself sitting quietly, pondering the concept of time.

This morning was one of those mornings.

What began my pondering?

My inquiry concerning my daughter's pending driver's ed class.

In five short years, my children's ages will range from nearly 22 to 17 years of age.

As I told my mother yesterday on the phone, I am so proud of who they are and who they are becoming.  They have brought me much joy! 

The coming years are going to be exciting for them and for me. It thrills me to participate in their flights, and I am thankful they both welcome me along and take joy in our journeys together.

I am also profoundly thankful for health and youth!  I may be in my forties, but I feel like a woman no older than thirty!  Vigor and deep dwelling joy are my companions.

Too often I find people dread time.  They half-celebrate birthdays and milestones. A sense of regret or time not well spent perhaps haunts their days gone by.  But God edifies us to "redeem the time."

Specifically,  He says:
'Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.'

See then that you walk circumspectly,
 not as fools
 but as wise,
  redeeming the time,
 because the days are evil.
Eph 5: 14-16
That implies that on any given day, you choose to walk or not...you choose to sow or not. You know what that has always preached to my spirit?  Empowerment!  I have been granted a tremendous gift.... the gift of choice.

Everyday I choose how I start my day -- what attitude I embrace -- what I will eat to build up and maintain my health -- what activities I will do to strengthen my body -- what I will study -- what I will teach -- where I will go -- what I will do.

Choice; what a tremendous gift when weighed in the counsel of the Holy Spirit.  But what a burden choice becomes when His counsel is dropped from the equation!

Perception is a most powerful element.  It will either shine light into the fog and into the dark or it will add to the fog and the dark.  I choose -- as is my gift to do so -- the former as opposed to the latter.  How?

By heeding His counsel: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."

I most sincerely pray you do likewise!

Awake from your slumber (ie: your nonchalant, complacent attitudes)!

Arise from the dead (ie: leave - take ACTION steps -- away from the place where flesh dominants and spirit suffocates)!

Receive Christ's light (ie: His empowerment, His way, His will) and rejoice.... and again, I say, "Rejoice!"

As Moses said,
"Teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom."  
Psalm 90:12

So, here's to time!  A gift from God.  Not something to dread or to run away from, but something to lean into and embrace for all the possibilities it brings!

May you too stop and ponder time....
both the value and the gift of it....
as well as the responsibility of it!

Do not flounder time, and do not strive in it,
but master it in the counsel of the Holy Spirit,
lest it master you!


As always, you are invited to visit us at www.joyinthemorning.com!

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's in ink.

Heading to the west coast in April.  I have been invited to be the speaker at a woman's conference. Let God be glorified! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happiest of New Year's to you!

New Year's Eve celebratory supper

We sincerely pray you will walk out 2013 in such a manner as to wholly attract God's richest blessings  to your life! 

How 2013 begins, is walked, and ends up will be largely determined by your moment to moment walk each day.

In the Word, we find references to two different walks.

The first speaks of doing and then subsequently remembering deeds that defile.  It then rapidly brings to light the consequence of such doing through the use of the strong words, "loathe  yourselves."

"....you will remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done."  Ezk 20:43

".... you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations." Ezk 36:31

Do you know what God's number one charge against Israel was?  Wanting His blessings while doing things their way....."being a rebellious people."  I encourage you to read these passages in greater length than just my quick reference to them. They are a powerful check to anyone's walk. I think the most amazing thing that God states and restates is that we do not wholly receive ALL that we sow BECAUSE of His name's sake!  Truly, it is ONLY because of His love and restraint we are still permitted breath!  

"Not for your sake do I do this, says the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your [own] wicked ways, O house of Israel!"

No, God uses restraint so as to preserve His name's sake,  to preserve us as His "misfit band of ambassadors."  He states, "I withheld My hand"  -- "I cleanse you from all your iniquities."

And while I am thankful, abundantly thankful, for His mercy and His ability to cleanse us of our iniquities, should not the goal be to not amass the iniquities on purpose in the first place?

The second kind of walk is seen in Paul's remarks to Timothy.

"I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience..."  2 Tim. 1:3

A what?  A clear conscience.  THAT, my friend, is a worthy goal!  To walk upright before God.

Paul continued:  "the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day,  longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you.....For this reason, I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."  

God has not given us a spirit of timidity.... BUT of power, love, AND discipline

Those who weigh heavy in the "grace corner" don't especially take a liking to that word, discipline, but, dear ones, it is ESSENTIAL to embrace that word - both in meaning and action -- if maturity is to come to YOUR life. 

As I wrote the other day, man relates to God through resolution; God relates to man, however, through revelation. When the two are combined, it gives birth to revolution -- defined as "a radical, sudden, complete change"! 

Some wait and wait and wait for revelation from God before THEY determine even so much as a single personal growth resolution.  On the flip side, many take on a virtual mountain of resolutions (especially this time of year) in the hope that this time next year they will have a radically different existence.  

Those who have read my writings for any length of time know there must be a beautiful balance between these two popular extremes.  A walk with God is very much like a dance.  We must use our ability (our legs, our mind, our will), while looking keenly to God to lead the dance.  God won't lead "dead weight," but neither will He take to  one trying to lead either!  To get in sync with God requires ACTION on our part, BUT the key is that action must be second, only to God's revelation.

Resolution without God's revelation is hollow and meaningless. That's why so many New Year's resolutions come and go without fulfillment -- because they haven't been sanctioned and released by God's revelation.

Take the TIME to apprehend God's revelation on your resolutions -- only then will you gain the revolution you truly desire!   And only then, will YOU be able to declare as Paul declared, "
I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience..."    May YOU be able to boldly proclaim that at the end of 2013!

Godspeed to you, dear one; Godspeed!