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Waiting at the Door
Posted Jun-01-2011 11:22am by Teresa

"Blessed is the man who listens to me (Wisdom), watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Proverbs 8:34

This verse strikes me as a contrast to Revelation 3:20: "Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me."

How much better to be waiting at God's door to hear from Him!  The promise of fellowship is still the same, but how much more often would we enjoy sweet words of wisdom from our Lord if we were intent on hearing from Him, rather than relying on His knock at the door to grab our attention.

Lord, I pray that you would give me "listening ears" and help me to be more attentive to Your voice.  Just like a mother who vigilantly tunes her ear to the voice of her young child, I want to hear You every time You call out to me.

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Enjoy Your Married Life
Posted Mar-24-2011 7:46pm by Teresa

Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 ~ Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.  Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.   Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

Luke 12:16-21 ~ And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.   He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’"

Matthew 6:19-21
~ “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.   But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

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The Christian life is lived on two planes; the eternal plane and the earthly plane.  On the eternal plane, we are living with eternity in mind, storing up treasures in heaven, and becoming more like Christ.  On the earthly plane, we are enjoying the mercies and blessings of each new day and each new season - blessing others and being blessed by others, loving our family and friends, enjoying life.

Living this life on two planes is sort of like walking a tightrope - we are in a constant struggle to maintain our equilibrium.  It can only be done successfully when we remember to take it step-by-step.  Psalm 37:23 tells us, "the steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way" and in Proverbs 16:9 it says, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."  It is good to set goals and make plans, but we must still seek the Lord for His wisdom and guidance, step-by-step, moment-by-moment.

This same principle holds true when transitioning from the single life into the married life.  Marriage adds a new dimension to this dual heaven/earth existence, and makes life a little more complicated.  A marriage is more than just a new living arrangement, it is a new entity.  Something changes in the relationship between a man and a woman when they enter into this covenant relationship with God.  Jesus explains this in Matthew 19:4-6:  “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  Marriage is also a blessing from God.  As Solomon so wisely observed in Ecclesiastes 9:9, it is one of the rewards that God has provided for us in this toil-filled life, something that we are meant to enjoy.

As we endeavor to live out our lives step-by-step, maintaining our balance, it essential that we learn to live in the moment.  I confess that I have allowed a lot of life to slip past me because my heart and my head were somewhere else - either in the past, or in the future, or sometimes even in the life of someone else, a fantasy life.  But none of that compared to the full three-dimensional life that God wanted to bless me with at that moment.  Thankfully, one of the marvelous things about the Christian life is that, no matter how far we have wandered from the path, we can place ourselves right back on it with a single prayer of repentance and surrender.  God is faithful to cleanse us from our sins right at that moment and direct us toward the next step, and then the next, and there we are once again, walking with Him step-by-step.

Living "in the moment" means that we take the time to look around to see who we are with and what we have in front of us.  It also means allowing ourselves the time to grieve our losses as they occur, not stuffing the hurt down inside, and smoothing over the pain.  And it means affording ourselves the time to relish our blessings as they occur, not taking them for granted, or feeling guilty when we are blessed with what we do not deserve.  Our steps are determined by God, whether He leads us through sorrow or blessing, and each person's path is different.

In my opinion, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 sums this all up beautifully:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.

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Look Up
Posted Feb-04-2011 12:16pm by Teresa

"My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare." Psalm 25:16

What can we do when we feel so oppressed by sorrow, so burdened by anxiety, so heavy of heart and weary of soul?  Too weak to stand, too sad to care - what can we do in such a position?

God is still merciful. He does not change with our moods and circumstances.  He knows our weakness; He knows that we are but dust.  It is we who are taken aback by our own "dusty" condition - astonished by our own inability to stand, to move, to feel.

It is at these times when the Holy Spirit asks us to perform one simple act of obedience, something that requires only the slightest bit of effort on our part. He asks us to "look up."

That is our choice, our first and only choice.  And if we choose to be obedient, if we determine to crack open our eyelids and roll our eyes heavenward, we can be helped.  For it is only then that we can see the outstretched hand of our loving Saviour and hear Him as He gently coaxes us toward the next step.

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My Fair Lady
Posted Apr-21-2010 7:49pm by Teresa

“He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”  Psalm 107:9

This morning as I was reading Psalm 107, my mind wandered to the box of See’s candy that I had stowed away at work, while the lyrics of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” floated through my head.

I started to think about someone, really anyone, who was cold and hungry and dirty and weary – what would it be like for this person to be brought inside before a warm fire, to be fed sweet chocolates, to be loved and taken care of?

We all love to hear stories about people who are destitute and later become loved and cared for.  Many popular movies have been centered around this very theme.  “Oliver,” “The Little Princess,” “Pretty Woman,” “My Fair Lady” – all of these stories have central characters who were brought out of desperate situations and transformed by the love and care of someone else.

It is no wonder that these stories are so popular; we have all longed for this.  We have all longed for someone to find us, to care for us, and to transform us into something beautiful.   But, do we realize that this is something that God also longs for?  That He longs to do this for us?

Just like in the parable of the prodigal son, God actively waits for us to come to Him.  He longs to embrace us, to clothe us, to celebrate with us, and to satisfy us with good things.

Lord, I thank you that you sought me out when I was in slavery to sin.  You purchased me with the price of your own blood.  You have cleansed me and clothed me.  You have filled me up with good things.  You love me.

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Waiting A Lifetime
Posted Mar-03-2010 10:50pm by Teresa

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the Sons of God to be revealed.” Romans 8:19

As I was thinking about how long we have waited for Christ’s return, it dawned on me that we only wait a single lifetime.  After that, we go to be with the Lord, where I imagine the “waiting” is much, much different.

“All men are like grass…”  That is what we are and have always been.  Grass.  Even the lifetimes of the Patriarchs; Moses, Abraham, Noah, as lengthy as they seem to us, are still that of grass; flourishing and fading away with a breath.

But the earth waits, the seas wait, the moon and the stars wait.  And every bird and fish and animal that springs up and dies away, comes into its existence with an inner longing for the world to be set right once again, for the Sons of God to be revealed.

And so it is with us, though we may not realize the nature of our longing.  But once we are born again, when the spirit which was dead within us is made alive, when the Holy Spirit himself comes to indwell us, the ache of waiting becomes acute.

Lord, I ask that you help me, as I wait for your return, to use my time well, and to be effective for your kingdom until I go to be with you in heaven.

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"You give them something to eat" Luke 9:12-17
Posted Mar-02-2010 1:09pm by Doug

You give them something to eat.

Luke 9: 12-17
When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” for there were about five thousand men…
Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

So “when the day began to wear away” the disciples became aware of circumstances that apparently Jesus was not paying attention to. It was getting late. The people had nowhere to sleep and no food. They were in a deserted place, all good reasons to call it a day and pack it in. Doesn’t that make sense? Lets all move to a more comfortable, more practical place. A place where we can remain in control and have our basic needs met. After all isn’t that how we live out our days? Living for the moment deciding what is best, logical, practical, and comfortable?

But Jesus responds with a statement that must have shocked His disciples, “You give them something to eat” What in the world was he talking about? They didn’t have food to feed all of theses people. All they had in their hands and pockets was a tiny portion of what was needed for the task. How could He ask them to do something that was so impossible for them to accomplish?

When I read this story again today I thought about the people around me in my little world. Oh how they need to hear the Savior speak but the day has begun to wear away and there is no place for them to rest. They are in a deserted place, they are hungry and the dark night is approaching. And the words of Jesus, “You give them something to eat” are burning in my heart. A task as impossible for us today as it was for His disciples then.

Lord, what do we hold in our hands? Right here, right now? What have we kept safe in our pockets? Can it be that this is all you need to take, bless, break and give to feed the multitudes around us?

Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. So they all ate and were filled…

Take them Lord! All my crumbs and crusts all that I have and am. Take, bless, break and give.

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