Thursday, July 31, 2008

Learning To Rest

There is much activity in my personal life right now. My daughter will shortly be closing on a two family dwelling and my husband and I will be moving into the lower flat of the home. My daughter will move into the one upstairs. This is wonderful! It will put her near us as we get older and it will put her in a home of her own -- yet not alone. Her Dad always knows how to do things (we have not found things he cannot figure out how to work or make work) so he will be near to help her. All in all it is awesome of the Lord to allow and make provision for this.

Yet, because so much seems up in the air (so to speak) I find my body not wanting to relax. I see so much to do and so much to think through that I have a tendency to stay tense. This was pointed out to me in a big way this morning as I went to see my chiropractor. Her office always puts us in a room for 10 - 15 minutes before she comes in, and that is good, because we are instructed to lie on the table and wait. Well, I got there and did as instructed and my body began to tell me "No!," Nothing in it wanted to relax. This relaxing is essential so she can adjust the body appropriately. She is excellent and I always feel so much better after a visit, but my body did not want to let go and just rest. Well, before she came into the treatment room, my body did relax and she was able to work her miracle.

I know we are all very much alike. We get tense when life gets busy, or excited, or even difficult. Relaxing or resting is one of the most difficult things to do when we first try. But, as with my body this morning, when we choose to rest and allow ourselves to do so, then matters find their priorities and we are able to rest in the middle of whatever.

Our Lord has called us to "rest" in Himself. It is a call purposely out of tenseness and work. It is a call to trust -- to rest and let Him exercise His role as Lord of all. That "all" means me and my body and my life. It is a call out of trial and past. It is a call out of stress and worry. It is a clear call to trust Him and to allow Him to order our lives. It is a call to Sabbath (Jesus is that Sabbath as the day in the Old Testament was a prophetic statement of the role of the Christ in our lives).

He loves us so very much. He knew from the beginning that being tense and stressed would work against health and well-being, so He provided Himself for that peace and that rest. "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry." Matt.11:28-30 Net Bible

(Photo of some of my flowers on my balcony. Taken yesterday).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Prayer as Foundational

Prayer is not an option for a person who follows Jesus Christ. My students know that I even hesitate to use the word "prayer" because so many do not know what it means. It is not a form, it is not a set of words (though it involves words some of the time), it is not a formula. Many, many books have been written on prayer and I have a lot of them in my library. However, everyone of them fall far short of the truth of prayer. 

It is impossible to describe and it is impossible to live in the Holy Spirit without it. However, it is the easiest so called "discipline" of the Christian life. It is the easiest, because all one does is just turn the mind and the heart and say "Jesus." Amazingly it can be said out loud, silent, or simply an impetus of the heart -- and He's immediately alert to us. Now He is is always with us so we do not have to summon Him. He is always listening, so we do not have to get his attention. Just a turning of the attention and He is very present. 

Verbal prayer is needful at times, but not always. Sometimes the sweetest time with Him (which is what I call prayer) is simply becoming quiet and listening to what He will share with me. His Word is always His springboard and the main source of His sharing, yet He is exceedingly personal (since He knows the number of the hairs of our heads) and brings deep contentment in our moments. 

I would just encourage you to let Him love you and include you. He will and much more than that! His word just makes it very simply "Draw near."  His throne is called "the throne of grace" in Hebrews. Now what could be better than that?!

Use a form, or a formula, or whatever you choose, or none at all. Just be with Him and share yourself. That is all He wants from you in any moment. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

His Sufficiency

(These "bleeding hearts" are from a friend's garden. I think they are (were) beautiful).

Our Lord has done all that is needed for the entirety of the human race! That sounds a bit like heresy, but it isn't -- it is good theology. Our Bibles tell us that He entered into the Most Holy Place of the eternal sanctuary "once for all" just like His sacrifice was "once for all." Sometimes we protestants have fought the catholic people over their words in their liturgy without realizing we do the same thing when we do not understand that all sins have been forgiven. It is true that everyone must accept our Lord and what has been done for each and every one of us, but our sins were taken away over 2,000 years ago!

No one will be eternally separated from God because of their actions. We, however, will be separated from Him if we do not receive Him and move into relationship with Jesus Christ. The lesson of Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews (I do not believe Hebrews was a Pauline book -- due to internal textual evidence) sin was paid for on the cross and mankind is now free to relate to God freely and very personally.

When we try to impose "law" upon one another, we undercut the work of Jesus. I think Paul makes that very clearly. We cannot live by law and by grace. Titus 2:12 tells us that "grace teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness." So we do not even need the law to teach us right and wrong. Grace does that.

Just how grace does that, I am studying and working to find out its pieces parts. It is exciting so far and oh so life giving. I am hearing the Good News all over again in newness and freshness. You are welcome to come on the journey with me.

"Jesus loves me this I know, For the Bible tells me so" -- He is not mad at me or at you. Isn't that wonderful?!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wordle

I just had www.wordle.net create a "wordle" for MannaWord. I am sorry it came in so small, but it is really quite nice . I think I'll keep it.