Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring! Praise God!


This is a little different from the last picture I posted. This past week-end I was ministering in Florida, and I took this picture in the yard of my host family. What beautiful flowers they had. Of course, just out of CNY, any flower would do, but I thought these were absolutely lovely.

Spring is always a lift to the heart. After moving to the North East many years ago and experiencing my first winter, I finally understood what spring is all about. When you live in a climate that has warm and hot as its temps, it is a bit difficult to understand what the big deal is about spring time. However, all it takes is one good winter in the North East, and then you know; I mean you really know. Spring is felt as much as seen. It is a lift to all the things inside a person, and allows the Lord to teach us that His spring time is the best of all and we can have that at any moment and at any time.

One truth that is often overlooked about the Holy Spirit, is that He is felt as well as seen. He is an intimate part of us and of our Lord, so He too is felt in order to truly know. When we read the Scriptures without the understanding that I will "feel" as well as understand, then it becomes something to grasp intellectually, but does not have the needed impact on our moods and therefore on our lives. This is often the objection of non-charismatics. The non-charismatics do not like the "emotional" expression that charismatics are so prone to express. Quite frankly, without the "feeling," the fruit of the Holy Spirit comes very slowly in a life.

I lived 37 years of my life as a "non-charismatic." I was riddled with periods of depression and many body illnesses. However, once I bowed to the Lord in my desperateness, than even though I could not grasp His doctrine with my intellect, in the bowing came the avenue of healing. It is hard to explain. But in my unwillingness to "feel," the gospel and my choosing to stay in my "English" reserved nature, I had chosen to have a life of up and downs and in and outs.

Mood consistency has come as I have allowed His mood to be mine. It is a grand exchange. It is truly a death to my nature, but I have been empowered to life in a Spring time atmosphere. What a joy He is. I would urge all who read, do not refuse Him in any dimension who is the empowerment of life at each and every level.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Really Winter

Well, this is the way it looked in Albany this past week-end. It was an exciting time in the Spirit anyway. Our groups were small, much smaller than anticipated due to the storm, but very open to what the Lord would do among us.

Lauren's leading of our worship was sweet in His presence, and the reception of the scriptural understandings very warm. I am constantly amazed at the love our Lord shows us through His people. Each of the groups was interdenominational, and that made for a rich sweetness in belonging. Really a heart blessing.

Well, this Thursday, I fly to Florida for a church conference there on the Tabernacle of Moses and the multidimensional nature of our Lord's revelation there. I will post when I return -- just wanted to chime in and let those who read know I am well and so appreciate their prayers as I travel.

Blessings to all. (Photo by Diane H)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Forgot?

My reading this morning was in Jeremiah and the end of 50:6 caught my heart. It says in the King James (unusual translation for me) "...they have forgotten their resting place." The entire context is about Israel prior to the Babylonian captivity, and the Lord through the prophet was describing them.

"...they have forgotten their resting place." Have we be come as they were? Are we so busy in the day-in and day-out exercises necessary for our lives, guilty of simply forgetting that He is the place of solace. He is the place of comfort, He is the abiding presence that dispells all lonliness. He is.

We have so very much available to us to distract us from Him; even the many books we buy, programs to watch, even teachings, or preparations to teach. Yet, have we forgotten that we need to take His book and be quiet with Him in stillness for a bit. He does long to speak and to dwell intimately with us.

Have we in all our efforts to please Him, forgotten our resting place? It is easy to do. Sometimes I get so caught up in my teaching schedule and the needs that that brings, that I forget to remember what is the most important part. To teach out of a stressed life will not do what the Lord wants me to be doing, no matter how "anointed" that teaching is.

Let us return and rest. Today is truly Sabbath. Let's let it be one, not in legalism of rules and law, but in relaxed, receptive relationship in our Lord Jesus!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sabbath

This is not the scene in Central NY on this date. It is below freezing and snow covers everything right now. However, I took this picture a number of years ago not far from where I live. When I think of "Sabbath" I think of a scene like this one. Wouldn't it be wonderful just to sit in the swing and enjoy the lake below on a warm summer's day. Wouldn't it be wonderful not to have appointments to make, lessons to develop, papers to grade, and writing to be done. Wouldn't it be wonderful not to have the cell phone ring with the office needing your attention. Wouldn't it..... I am certain most of you would say "yes," to some, if not all the above questions. However, Sabbath is what we try to make happen in the middle of all that.

Most of the Christian's I know do not have any concept of Sabbath at all. We usually think that all went away with the Law, and therefore in grace we do not need to keep Sabbath. Well, I think the majority of us may be right in reference to a specific day (I think Paul thought so too in Colossians), however, I see the concept of Sabbath everywhere in the New Testament.

Jesus Christ is the Sabbath of God. "Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest..." describes Sabbath very well. Matthew 6 with all its "Do not be anxious..." commandments, was also describing what Sabbath is to mean. Sabbath must be kept. We keep it through obedience and faith. Faith that truly is faith -- the trust of the Lord that allows one to rest in the middle of everything flying everywhere. Jesus is rest for the weary soul.

However, I think we cut short the Sabbath understanding if this is how we think it is now. If we do not literally take time to rest a day, let everything wait, carve out not just small spaces, but a nice big "day" space, then we will miss what it really means to keep Sabbath. I am finding that if the body doesn't find its rest, then the soul can't rest. It is a whole; they are connected. So most of us, I think, need to re-think the ordering of our lives and find Him in rest, allow Him to renew us in rest, and learn to embrace Him and His Word through rest. Not a legalistic keeping of a day and its rules, but a purposeful time of resting in order to delight in Him.

Just some thoughts.