Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Everything We Need

Saturday morning, the sun was streaming into my living room and kitchen and it made me so happy. I was talking to my kids about it and Laney says, "Mom, we don't like the sun as much as you do." And I said, "What???" She said, "I like the sun, but you are like a sun freak!" And Gabe says, "Yeah Mom, the sun sorta hurts my eyes." First of all, I was surprised because I thought everyone loves the sun like I do and then I thought it was funny that my daughter put it the way she did. But it was really neat because when we went to church on Sunday, I think every worship song we sang said something about the sun. We sang that "Glorious One" song that says, "Light of the world, You outshine the sun." This morning, I read Psalms 84:11 which says, "For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right." I love that He can warm up our soul the way the sun can warm up our bodies. That we need Him to grow and flourish in any way that matters. I love that He shines His face upon us and it is all we need. Since, you know, He is also the Living Water and Bread of Life. ♥

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Correction of Last Post

I don't believe Jesus was saying we shouldn't want food and clothes and laughter and riches. In speaking of these things as often as he did, he was more saying he knows those are the things we will want. But he is telling us, "There is something better than those things, don't focus on what you don't have on this earth, don't work and strive for these temporary things, live for the Kingdom of Heaven. You won't be sorry if you give up your life and wants and wishes, for my will."

He is so wonderful and wise. My heart is singing to Him right now. But my sick, whiny kids are about to get up, don't know how long it will last. Because, you know, I haven't learned to live beyond my circumstances very well yet. :)

Do we live like we believe this?

So, I just finished reading Luke 6 and realized how much I am not living this out. To think this is what we are supposed to desire is shocking to my system. Kinda turns everything all upside down:

20Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (I always thought this was for poor people, not for me, so they could feel better about their circumstances, very embarrassing admission.) 21Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. (I hate being hungry and find it very annoying and painful) Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. (I much prefer laughter to weeping) 22Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man (I thought we were supposed to live in such a way that no one can find any fault with us, let alone call us evil! ) 23"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, (I more picture myself bawling on the floor under these circumstances) because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
24"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. 25Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. (This is more how I see American Christian, myself included, living our "lives of faith")
It seems to me that we pray for the direct opposite of what Jesus was saying here. And I don't think we need to whip ourselves and start wearing hair shirts, life has many opportunities for suffering. I just realized how much of my time and energy and focus is on having all these things that Jesus tells us we should do without. Whoa. Scary moment!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wonderful Wirlwind Weekend

This weekend was so fun. It was Delayna's 11th Bday party. The kids went rollerskating and spent the night at Julene's since it was also Riley's 11th Bday party. And I farmed the rest of the kids out, so Jason and I had our (I think) 4th night/day alone in 14 years! Kala also unexpectedly came to town and surprised everyone which was so great because we have been missing her so much since she moved up to Timbuktu (Wallawa County). So we all went to Porters and spent way too much money but it was yummy and it was so wonderful to all be together again. AND Jason and I finally got cell phones, so make sure you get my number if you want it. Incoming calls are free. So I may be able to stay under my minutes. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More from John Franklin (slightly re-arranged by Tawny)

I have wanted a good definition of this for years, I think I finally have one.

Walking with God:
Paying the price in time, prayer, and sacrifice to understand God's perspective of our life and work. Once understanding it, diligently setting about our Father's business. As we pour out our lives in rolled-up sleeves, sweat (tears!) and service for His purposes, we will feel God's power course through us. When this pattern of seeing as God sees and working with Him become a day-in, day-out lifestyle, the Bible calls it "walking with God."

In the book of Acts the entire church demonstrated this kind of relationship with God and consequently the power of God flowed through the whole church.

Doesn't that sound amazing??!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Importance of Corporate Prayer

I am reading a book one of my friends gave me called, "And the Place Was Shaken" by John Franklin. I only read the first couple of chapters but I LOVED it and wanted to share. He studied Jesus' teachings on prayer and according to him, "Out of those thirty-seven verses [from the Gospels] the word you was plural in thirty-three of the thirty-seven verses. You can be either singular or plural in English, but there is a difference in the Greek. Given the individualistic nature of American society, most people tend to read it as a singular even when the opposite is true."

So far, this guy's point is that God moves much more powerfully when two or three are met together in His name, asking for His will. The author says that in the Old Testament God moved much more often when just one person prayed, (and He still can and will) but in the New Testament, under the New Covenant, God is more often moved by His people asking for something together. He also says that God's people were never described as His Body until the New Testament and that is part of the reason the author believes God wants His people to pray together. It is part of our inter-dependence.

This rings so true to me. I see God's people LOVING to pray together in the New Testament. I have also walked in late by to a prayer meeting before and been overwhelmed by the beauty of God's people praying together. I didn't realize that my heart was so moved because His heart is. I have also received shockingly clear answers when I pray with other people about something that I don't normally receive when I just pray by myself.

I am very excited to pray with His people tonight!