Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distess and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him." Deuteronomy 4:28-30

     My car radio has preset buttons so I rarely use the SEEK button. About the only time I have used it is on road trips when I get out of range of my local stations. The verses above come after Moses warns the people against idol worship. If they did what was evil in God's eyes they would not see the Promised Land but be scattered among the nations, places where idol worship is common. The New Century Version of verse 29 says, "But even there you can look for the Lord your God, and you will find him if you look for him with your whole being." We live in a world so full of idol worship we hardly notice it. We go through life choosing the soundtrack from our preset buttons until we hit static. Then, because that is not enjoyable, we hit the SEEK button. And we keep hitting it until it settles on something we like, perhaps even something familiar. On my last long trip to see relatives I hit the SEEK button landing on a Christian station I'd listened to before on that stretch of the highway and then I took it a step further. I hit the SET button. Now anytime I'm in the area I don't have to search through the static and poor excuses for music, I can go straight to the inspirational music that feeds my soul. 
      I've found what I need, no Who I need as I travel life's road. 
      Still it occurs to me that maybe I shouldn't be relying on preset buttons. My SEEK button should not be gathering dust. Now that I've found Him the search is not over. Now it is time to SEEK His Will daily. I can't obey Him if I don't know what He wants. And I can't know that unless I turn off the noise and tune into His Word. Yes, even the Christian music so I can hear His Voice.

SEEK and SET ... two buttons to be used daily.
SET your mind on Him.

Monday, January 20, 2014

"Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

     This is a screenshot of my facebook news feed a while back. I did not edit the picture except to crop. These two posts from different sources really did appear together. Although I chuckled at the irony, it really is sad. How often have I run around in mud puddles only to play the grace card? Too often. God wants to extend His grace to us, there's no denying that, but sometimes I see Him on His throne smacking His Head at our foolishness. Sometimes I turn away because of the tears in His Eyes. My sin grieves Him yet He waits for our repentence and then because of grace, because He cannot deny His very character, He goes to His Garden and picks fresh hyssop. Hyssop was part of the cleansing ritual performed by priests in David's time. 
     Today varieties of it can be used in cooking but they have a bitter minty taste. Perhaps it is the fear of bitterness that keeps us from the first step of cleansing--repentence. You see, God doesn't call out that it's bath time. We have to come to Him. I don't know about you, but sometimes I let the mud get caked on. Maybe this time i really blew it and He'll make the bath water too hot or make me chew on the bar of soap. Of course this is my own foolish thinking. God knew what He was getting into when He gave us free will. He created a fountain of grace with a Source so deep it'll never run dry. 
      Now don't get me wrong, we should not jump on the sin wagon every time it passes by. But if we get lured in by temptation and take a ride we can jump off knowing He'll catch us. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Clear is the word for the new year

"Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?" 1 Corinthians 14:7

     A new year is upon us but I am looking at things of old. The old fashioned radio sitting on the antique dresser are things in my life that are still useful today as is the instruction to the church in Corinth penned by the Apostle Paul. His is a call for clarity in the context of speaking in tongues and sharing prophesies but I see an application in this verse for myself. I see the word that my mother wrote in braille and put on a bag of beads--CLEAR. Her label is in the upper left-hand corner of my laptop. It's a reminder to be clear in my writing.

    But maybe, just maybe it's time for that label to be applied elsewhere. Perhaps it is time to be clear not only with my written words but with my spoken ones as well. Perhaps it is time to be clear with my convictions. Perhaps it is time to be clear with my intentions. Perhaps it is time to be clear with myself, facing my fears and daring to dream.
      And there's not just being clear, there's doing clear. January is a time of resolutions and while I do not officially make any I do often find myself thinking about how I can make the current year better than the last. A recurring theme has been clearing the clutter and for me that means physical, emotional, and spiritual clutter. Spiritual clutter? What in the world do I mean by that? I'm not totally sure but I have a feeling I'm going to find out and when I do clear the spiritual clutter I will gain better access to the spirit.
     How about you? Is clear the word for you this year? Whether you are being or doing, I wish you a blessed 2014. I hope I've made that point clear.