Tuesday, March 26, 2013

They're just words, right?

Wow, did I really have over 20 hits on my blog yesterday?  About a quarter of them are always for a post I made on 'submission'. I get hits on my blog for that post every day. I know I've commented on that fact several times now, but it still suprises me and somewhat un-nerves me. 

I think the reason for that is this: larger my audience is, the more I feel the weight of the need for the things I say and do to reflect God accurately.  Get what I'm saying?    My thoughts on this blog are not private. People read them.  Apparently, quite a few people are reading them.  My words hold weight.  They have the power to influence people in many ways if people actually listen to them. 

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue.   I believe the word tongue could very easily be a word used to mean our words, our tone, and the meaning behind it all. Kind of all encompassing in a sense... 

The question comes to mind... is what I'm saying bringing life or death to people?  Are my words on their screen leading them closer to God?  or further away from him?

There may be nothing wrong with the blogpost I made on submission, but just the mere fact that I have an audience for that particular post makes me want to be absolutely sure. Not just sure about that post, but all the posts I make.

So with that in mind, I think I'm going to spend a little more time thinking about the post I originally intended to make when signed on.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Are we missing God's faithfulness in our lives?

You would think that being forced into solitude would make you a bit more productive....  Well it hasn't yet. At least I don't think so.  I'm still adjusting to my new work schedule, but I am finding it a little bit easier to stay up later.  I actually slept until almost 5pm (I want to say today, but it was actually yesterday) after I got off of work.  I wanted to get up at 2pm but that would have given me less than 6 hours of sleep, so I just slept until I was done being tired.  I know I slept more than 8 hours. It's weird.  When I work, if I sleep more than 7 hours, I get a headache, but once I get a day off, I can easily sleep 9 (or more) hours if I want....

But that's all beside the point. I'm happy that I'm adjusting to the new schedule, I just want to be more productive at night when no one else is up.

So anyway,  every day, I listen to the Daily Audio Bible (www.dailyaudiobible.com) on my way to work.  I have found this to be an incredible tool in my life.  I'm finding myself becoming rather absorbed into the passages as I listen, and I love the thoughts that Brian gives before/after the reading.   I think this really works for me because I try to read through Scripture and there will be times when I am just not in it so it's like I'm reading to finish and I absorb nothing that I read.

The readings have been in (I think) Numbers in the OT, and we just started Mark, in the NT, and there is always a Psalm and Proverb.  In Numbers, we've been listening to the journey of the Israelites in the desert, and one thing struck  me one day on the way to work. 

For the past.... I don't even know how many chapters we've read through.... but the Israelites have been complaining, sinning, and repenting in cycles, and God has been dealing with them accordingly.  A while back they left the desert and complained to Moses that they had nothing to eat and that he had brought them out of Egypt to die in the desert... Well, recently God was giving instructions about certain sacrifices and such, and there was mention of sacrificing bulls, and the number was so large... I think it said something like Sacrifice for 7 days, reducing the amount each day so that on the 7th day, there are 7 bull sacrifices.  I might not be remembering that correctly, but the important part was that it made me think about something.

Where did the Israelites get all these bulls to sacrifice?  From their flocks and herds, some of which, perhaps, were given as a parting gift from the Israelites. (Although I'm not sure about the second one, because I thought one of the plagues might have destroyed any flocks or herds owned by the Egyptians...but then, Pharoah granted Joseph to give his brothers the land of Goshen because they were Shepherds and Shepherd were detestable to Egyptians, so that begs the question of whether they any...  I'm just going to have to go back and re-read). But thats a tangent that doesn't matter anyway....

The thing that struck me is that they must have massive amounts of sheep and cattle... they were wandering through a desert... not a lush promised land... a desert.   Now maybe not all of the land was sand and barren wasteland, but we are talking about a desert. The land wasn't exactly equipped to provide for the needs of millions of men and women, let alone their flocks and herds. And they Israelites cried out against Moses and God saying they were led out of Egypt to die in the desert.  And then God provided manna.

Is it funny that my thoughts were to wonder what the flocks and herds ate? God MUST have provided for them. Maybe they ate the manna off the ground.  Maybe the Israelites brought grain with them (there was a requirement for a grain sacrifice too, so perhaps?) Maybe they ate sand.  Who knows. But the bottom line is that God had to have provided... But I don't think this was even a concern of the Israelites.  At least I can't recall it ever being mentioned in Scripture.  Maybe it just wasn't an important concern. Or maybe you just don't care about some things when you're own life appears to be hanging by a thread.

But doesn't that lead you to think about God's provision?  In the midst of the desert, The Isrealites were concerned about what they were going to eat, but even their flocks and herds had provisions.

That leads me to the verse in Matthew 6:26  "Look at the birds of the air [or in this case sheep and cattle]; they do not sow or reap or store away in bards, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable they they?"

Hindsight is always 20/20, so I don't say this as a judgement on the Israelites, but as an object lesson.  God's faithfulness was staring the Israelites in the face, and they couldn't see it because they were blinded by their own concerns.

In the same way, God's faithfulness stares us in the face day after day and we miss it!  We don't see it.  In the Old Testament, the Israelites own flocks and herds should have been a clue of his love and provision.  What clues of God's faithfulness are we missing today?

But I can't stop there.  Seriously.  I cant end it there.  I don't know if anyone is actually reading what I write, but if you are, this is not just about food.  God provides for ALL of our needs. We may have to check ourselves and decide in our own hearts what is actually a need and what it simply desire (by the way, God sometimes even provides for desire too. Check it: The Isrealites longed for meat, and God gave them quail, and actually told them they would have so much of it, that they would become sick of it). 

I know that I don't always understand God's ways, and I know that sometimes his provisions are not what I expect or even sometimes the way I wanted it. But He still provides, in His time, and in His way because He loves us.   HE LOVES US!!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

God is the Great Romancer

One of the things I think becomes evident to a person as they fall deeper in love with God is the realitity that He is more than Savior, more than friend, more than Father, more than creator, more than whatever role you choose to describe him. He is not one thing to us, He is all, and in all, and over all... He reveals a little more of His character to us as we have that need for Him.

God is the Great Romancer.  He is husband, and He is lover. And sometimes He gives us a little poetry.  This is gold.