Sunday, August 30, 2009

A good reminder

God is god. I am not. God deserves our richest praise and our deepest worship. I'm reminded of this as I continue to read through Isaiah. Hear the words of Isaiah 40 and 43.

Is 40:12-31
Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed out the mountains and the hills?
Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to be his teacher or counselor?
Has the LORD ever needed anyone's advice? Does he need instruction about what is good or what is best?
No, for all the nations of the world are nothing in comparison with him. They are but a drop in the bucket, dust on the scales. He picks up the islands as though they had no weight at all.
All Lebanon's forests do not contain sufficient fuel to consume a sacrifice large enough to honor him. All Lebanon's sacrificial animals would not make an offering worthy of our God.
The nations of the world are as nothing to him. In his eyes they are less than nothing ? mere emptiness and froth.
To whom, then, can we compare God? What image might we find to resemble him?
Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?
Or is a poor person's wooden idol better? Can God be compared to an idol that must be placed on a stand so it won't fall down?
Have you never heard or understood? Are you deaf to the words of God, the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant?
It is God who sits above the circle of the earth. The people below must seem to him like grasshoppers! He is the one who spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.
He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing.
They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and their work withers. The wind carries them off like straw.
"To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" asks the Holy One.
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And he counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away.
O Israel, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case?
Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.
Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up.
But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

43 Vs. 10 "But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the Lord. "You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, beliee in me and understand that I alone am God. There is not other God- there never has been, and there never will be."
Vs.11 "I, yes I , amd the Lord and there is no other Savior."

43 Vs 13. "From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snactch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done."

May your hearts overflow with love, wonder, and awe at our God.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What highway are you on?

I love the book of Isaiah. Those of you who know me are smiling right now. Yes, she does!

Isaiah 35:8-10 reads,
"And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
fools will never walk there.
Lions will not lurk along its course,
nor any other ferocious beasts.
There will be no other dangers.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness."

At first when I read verses 8-10 I thought, "I sure like that Highway to Holiness. Where's the nearest on ramp? It sounds like an expressway without any chance of going the wrong way. Sure sounds better than the winding country back roads I sometimes find myself on as I try to make the right decisions and do the right thing. In fact, it sounds like a super easy way to travel."

But then I did some rereading and thinking. I know this road already. The road he's talking about is Christ! Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." AND this is what He was talking about. He is our way to holiness. I know that in ancient times a highway was a wonderful thing. It lifted a traveler out of the rough terrain and gave him a smooth path. Jesus does the same for me. He lifts me up and sets my feet on a smooth place. It's a path only for those that are pure in heart. Those that have decided to pursue righteousness. It's only for those that have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. And those traveling this highway do not have to worry about dangers. I have The Way. I don't need an easier way. What blessing! What joy!

Did you see where this road takes us? It's a celebration like no other! A worship celebration I believe. Those who travel this road will come to worship the One who redeemed them. These verses are prefaced with a chapter in which Isaiah shares how God will pour his wrath out on the nations. But the chapter that these verses are found in speaks of hope for the nation of Israel. God will provide deliverance! Those that are weak will be made strong. Those that are blind will see. Those that are deaf will hear. Those that are lame will walk. He will restore. And don't you just smile as you see that Jesus is the ultimate reality of this restoration! We'll be worshipping Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life! All that was before, will be replaced with joy and gladness.

So, what about you. What highway are you on? Are your pursuing holiness? Are you walking with the Holy one? Praise the One who leads us to holiness and may we proclaim Him afresh in the lives of those we pass on our earthly byways and highways.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The journey, the silence, and the return

It sure is hard to restart the blog when one has been gone for so long. I even find myself thinking, "Why should I start writing again? Does what I have to say matter to anyone?" I'm not sure about the answer to that question, but I do know that God challenges me through the writing of this blog, so I'm sitting down and starting to type. I hope you're glad to sit with me.

A month has passed since my last post. Two and a half months or so ago I began a journey to pray and to learn more about prayer. The journey was filled with "interruptions", and I felt much more like a wandering Israelite than a woman with a purpose. Then came more interruptions as God took me to girl's camp and then to time with family. Those times were filled with stumbling, with learning, and growth.

For one, I learned that I'm not the answer to every problem. Imagine that! I began to see that lesson in an experience with a tent on the first day of precamp. A group of people that I'd never worked with before and who I thought seemed to have clicked in some way I'd missed and I were to put up screen tents. The instructions and not sure if we have all the parts. I wanted to get in an act, but I quickly discovered I didn't know what to do. Finally someone took charge. I wonder why it was finally....was I the stumbling block? By the time the tent was up I was aware that I was going to be learning some big lessons at camp this year. There's a reason we're part of a body. And over the rest of camp I was aware of that more and more! Aren't you glad you're part of a body of believers, each with the talents and gifts that we need to support each other?

Secondly, I've learned (been reminded) that I have a wonderful family. I love my husband and look forward to time with him. With all the busyness we've had good times and not so good. But I love him and seek God to continue to mold me to be the wife he needs me to be. I also have been reminded that I have a great mother-in-law. Mom came and watched Ethan during the week of camp. And then we spent another week or so with Mom and Dad at their home. All that time to visit was a treat. I love seeing her with Little Man. And it filled a longing I have to chat with a mom over coffee on the front porch. I am blessed. May you also be reminded that those we so easily take for granted are dear treasures.

Third, I was made aware how easily I can fall away and mess things up. I learned the truth of Psalm 14:2-3, hence why I'm now memorizing it. "The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one." I was really hit by the part that says..."No one seeks God". Without my built in safe guards and habits, I really struggled to have quality time with God and to live in Him. I don't like who I am without God having control. AND I pondered what I'd be like if I didn't know Him at all. Thank you for your amazing grace, Lord. I am so unworthy!

So, now I'm back. I still may find blogging a challenge for this season, but I'm looking forward to seeing where God takes us.

Oh, and while away, I stumbled on a blog that I've really enjoyed visiting.
holy experience
I've still been learning about prayer, this post in particular spoke to me. May we all take time to tear down the idols in our lives and worship our God.