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Complete

Complete, finished, no more work to be done.

I love when I complete a task, whether for my job or around the house or some special project I have been working on.  Sometimes it is hard to be motivated to complete things, I get stuck part way through, bored by the tedium of it or just worn out by the size of it.  

I wonder if Jesus, while on earth, either in school or in the carpentry shop with his dad, or later during ministry ever got tired of it and wanted to quit.   I wonder when he was walking with the disciple if he every grew weary and wanted to stop, to do something different.

I kind of doubt it because, He was perfect and always wanted to fulfil His Father’s purpose.  I think He had an understanding that we do not.  Though He was man I think there were things he knew that we don’t, not that it made it easier but it gave Him motivation.  I think motivation is what keeps the momentum going to be able to complete a task, or job.  He also knew for certain what he was doing and why he was here.

I know I have many times wanted to quit, not just to quit, but to have a change, to do something different.  Recently again this has come up.  I have been teaching and caring for children pretty much my whole life.  I often look back and wonder what it would have been like to have taken a different path, to have followed a different dream.  As I get older I realize that there are so many things I haven’t done that I would like to do, and so many places I have not been that I would like to go.   

 I long to go back to school and have time to study and write, but  that costs money.  So, I keep doing what I do, which is teaching, tutoring students and caring for others.  My life is full, I should be content and okay, yet there is this yearning desire to do something different.  

I knew at one time I was to go to China, I knew when I was finished in China, now I wait and watch and see what God is doing and desire Him to say “It is finished here.  Let’s go” or for there to be enough money to spend more time writing, to take piano and to just be me and fulfil some other dreams.  But I hear, not yet, wait, watch and see.  Even though I know God is working and moving in me and my community of people, it is not easy to stay.

I guess when I think of the Lord, he persevered no matter his feelings or desires.  He walked the walk His father wanted him too.  He never quit and He completed the work the Father gave him to do on earth.  Now some of that work was exciting, and adventurous but some of it was frustrating and difficult and painful.  He did not always have it easy.  He had to confront Pharisees, rebuke his disciples, and deal with crowds.  Yet he continued on despite the stubborn hearts of the people around him, despite the  hard headedness of his disciples and despite physical hardships and eventually excruciating pain, He completed his Father’s work assignment.  He cried out from the cross “It is finished”.

Whatever comes I long to hear My Father say,  “Well done good and faithful servant.”  

This was a five-minute Friday write with Kate Motaung,

 

 

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CROWD

Five-minute write with Kate Motaung, where we write for 5 minutes.

“Large crowds followed him wherever he went-people from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River.  One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down.  His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.” (Matthew 5)

Dali 2013 winter holiday 043.JPG

China:  Crowded cities and market place

I remember the crowed places in China and when I read that the crowds gathered around Jesus I can imagine it all.  I remember the first time riding on a city bus that was crowded and feeling pressure from all sides because we were packed like sardines in a can.  There was no room to move, yet the bus driver would stop at every stop and let more people on, it was a wonder that the doors could close.  Now imagine being in the middle of that crowd with a backpack and having to get out, you literally had to push through the crowd to get to the door and then pray you could get out on time, with everything intact.

I remember one time a friend of my who is very tall stepped up on the ledge of the front side-facing seats to move out of the way for other to pass by.  One thing you didn’t have to worry about was falling down if the bus stopped suddenly, because the crowd kept you standing.

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I wonder if Jesus was jostled and pushed as he walked, did the crowds follow him that closely or did they keep back a few paces out of respect or fear?

The descriptions given indicate he must have been pressed on all sides at times,

“A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak,a and many others.  They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.” Matthew 15

As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds.  A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding and she could find no cure.  Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe.  Immediately, the bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?’  Jesus asked.  Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”  Luke 8

Imagine Jesus walking, people fall at his feet people pressing up against him, touching him on all sides.  Yet, his reaction was calm and peaceful and full of grace and love.

My reaction in China was anything but this, I was agitated and frustrated and could not wait to get out of the crowd most days.  Some days, on the rare occasion, I was okay with the crowds, even laughing and enjoying talking with people.

Did Jesus ever get tired of the crowds?  Did he ever complain to His Father or did he just rejoice with him, thanking him that so many were coming around and asking for just one more every time, so that the Glory of God would be revealed?

I wonder about this after my experience in China, I wonder what it will take for me to react as he did when I feel pressed on every side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RAIN

RAIN RAIN RAIN

When it rains, it pours.

Raindrops keep falling on my head, but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red, cryings not for me, cause I’ll never stop the rain by complaining because I’m free nothings worrying me. (Burt Bacharach and Hal David)

It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring…

These are some of the sayings and songs I grew up hearing.    

Most of the time rain has seemed to be negative because it causes events to be cancelled, meant we had to play inside and that it is colder out too.  The expressions we used and songs we would sing also made it seem as if we did not like or appreciate rain, because they were filled with a yearning for the sun.

When it rains, it pours was always used when a negative event, like an unexpected expense, happened and then another and another would come, and it was like it was pouring bills on our heads.  It also was used when other troubles heaped up at the same or close to the same time.

Whenever it rained outside as kids we would sing its raining its pouring the old man is snoring, bumped his head on the bottom of the bed and he couldn’t get up in the morning; as we looked out the window wishing we could go out to play.

Now the thought of rain provokes a different picture in my mind.  God’s rain, the blessing of rain on the grass, trees, flowers and crops.  Rain brings new growth, rain refreshes on a hot day, rain gives provision.  God’s rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous alike.  All people are blessed by rain upon the earth and God’s blessing can fall on all people.  I have learned that it can pour blessings too.  Blessings of love and care from friends and family, the unexpected, surprise provision of a loving Heavenly Father through the acceptance and love of family and friends.  So now I say let it rain, let it rain because even in the negative rain blessings will be found if you look for them.  The blessing of growth, God’s presence in the unexpected.

So let us sing:

Raindrops keep falling on my head but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red, cryings not for me, cause I’m never going to stop the rain by complaining, because I’m free, nothings worrying me….

 

This was a five-minute Friday post, a little late.

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Thorns in the Flesh

What is it, a thorn in the flesh?  What causes my reaction to be so negative, so selfish?  Is it a wounded heart, a torn soul, a wrong thought pattern?  How is it I can love Jesus yet still wound the ones He calls me to love?

I know the scriptures, I know His word and what He commands, how He loves me, so why do I wound the people in my life with my abrupt answers, my short replies.

I had just sat down to read, when she came home, oh hear the attitude in me how rotten to the core.  Just for a day to be alone to do nothing; to read, to hear, to see; that’s all my heart desired yet distraction came to pull me away.   What will it take for me to really be able to unplug, to stop what the world’s whirlwind of life calls me to do and to sit with the one I love first, before doing all the things that need to be done.  I had gotten everything done and ready to go back to work first, rather than taking leisure first so what happened then to the time.  It was gone and an unexpected arrival caused me to put the book down and finish what work was left to do.  Stolen moments interrupted, stopped, sidetracked for good things but not necessary at the time.

Was it the words she spoke that left a thorn that rubs and irritates when she is present or is it a fault with in me that stirs up when not alone.  Oh Lord change me, heal me so I can respond like you do to interruptions.  I know you had many in your journey but still you let grace have the last word, grace and mercy always working through you to say truth with gentleness, to do what needs to be done in Love.  No anger or entitlement or self-righteousness, not demanding or taking only giving, giving love at all times no matter what.

Thorns, do they cause such division and strong emotions that walls are built and bridges pulled up so people go away?  Thorns of words and actions that penetrate our hearts and cause pain, anger, even when we think we have forgiven is it not so, how do we remove them if we have said we forgive and then served the person to make it so; what is the root that keeps the thorn growing in our hearts poisoning our minds and relationships so walls are built and gates are shut?

How I have prayed as Paul did, “Oh Lord, remove the thorn, teach me how to live a free life of Love, unconditionally for all people.”

Paul asked 3 times to have the thorn in his flesh removed.  Many debate what this thorn was,  in Hebrew culture a thorn in the flesh referred to people.  Looking at the wording of the scripture, the thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan intent upon tormenting and harassing Paul.  Paul asks God to remove it that IT might leave him.

In 2 Corinthians 12 we read (Amplified version):

Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations, (which I received from God), for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me–to keep me from exalting myself!  Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you (My loving-kindness and My mercy are more than enough–always available–regardless of the situation): for my power is being perfected (and is completed and shows itself most effectively) in (your) weakness.” 

Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ (may completely enfold me and ) may dwell in me.  So I  am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ;  for when I am weak (in human strength), then I am strong (truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength)

New Living Translation :

“If I wanted to boast I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth.  But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God.  So, to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, “My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.” 

So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

So in light of this, God will not always change our circumstances or remove the “thorn” but He will be what we need.  He will give us the grace to overcome and we will change to become more like Him in love as we continue to follow Him, obey Him and love Him.

 

 

 

 

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Blessing upon Blessing

Peaceful, Quiet, Restorative

Blessings poured out in little things,

Quiet moments

Conversation

Renewing relationships with young and old

Games

Celebrations

Gifts

Love abounding

in that the Presence of God exploding

with delight

pouring out His blessings

through others

to show His mercy, grace, and love

Unexpectedly rewarding

abundantly providing

What an amazing God

YHWH  IS

 

 

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Return

Five-minute Friday with Kate Motaung, where you write for 5 minutes on a topic.

Return, means to go back to where you once lived or had been, to go back to what you once knew.

Almost one year ago I returned to Canada from China.  It has been a difficult adjustment.  I have struggled to reconnect and to again get back to what I once knew as life.  It has not been easy but as the page turns it has been another part of my story.  God is still in control and sovereign over it all.

“Return to Me”, He calls us from Isaiah all the way to Revelations, “Return to your first love”.

This call is constant in my life, whenever I start to go my own way and do my own thing I hear his voice saying “Come, return to what you first knew.”

What did I first know but an intimate relationship with Him where there was much communion and intercession.

Where am I now, still walking the road back as I sort out my feeling, my dreams, desires and wants, as well as disappointments and fears.

Where am I headed?  Back into his arms and deep communion, because that is the only way when He returns I can journey back home with him.

End of five minutes.

Let us Return to Him with a repentant heart and focus on Relationship with Him as well as seeking His Guidance for our lives, rather than running off on our own to make life happen.  He Knows the plans He has for us and those plans are for good.

Trust Him, He Knows

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Turn

http://www.youtube.com/watch

Turn five minute Friday word

Seasons turn one into another

in nature,

in our lives.

There is a time to be a baby which

turns into a time to be a child

which turns into a time to be a       youth

and then a time to be an adult

this turns into a time for middle age and finally turning the page of time; a time to be old

With all this turning season roll one into another through the years.

A season to learn

A season to grow

A season for school

A season for work

A season to serve

A season to change

as we age

change address

change what we do

but mostly to be changed into his likeness

to be turned into a pure spotless bride

 

 

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Settle

Never settle for less than the best God has for you.

I have been on a journey the last six months seeking direction from the Lord.  I hear him say, “Trust me I will provide.”

I hear, “Volunteer and help others.”

So I volunteer, and I study and I pray and I seek.

And….I wait.

I don’t want to settle for a life less than what My Father has planned.

I want all He has for me which might be less of worldly thing, no most probably is less of what the world has to offer.  After all He knows the plans he has for me, he knows the gifts and talents he has given me and he knows my personality.

Trusting him rather than settle for a regular life, so I can live the adventurous journey he planned rather than following my own plan.  This is my desire.

 

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Routine

Five-minute write with Kate Motaung of Five-minute Fridays on Facebook.

Some things are easy and more natural to get into a routine about, but somethings, unless started young,  are not so easy.  Work, eating and sleeping are pretty routine activities in life, but  other thing like exercise and stretching take a lot more discipline to do regularly. 

Some things are essential to have a routine for and others are not. 

Some people need routine but others don’t.   

Routines can help us to develop self-discipline which is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and in that way routines are great. 

However, once in a while we need to break from the routines to add some color to our lives, to color outside the lines that the routines create.

Routines of time with God, though each day it looks different, is the most precious routine of all. 

He calls “Come,  sit at My feet and rest, learn from Me, listen to what I want us to do today.” 

Without this routine life would be too overwhelming with all the stress of the day to day activities and thoughts, especially when finances are a burden. Sitting, listening with his word, to His word, adds color which adds joy, because He gives light to the situations and order to our lives, out of that order comes the routine of serving Him when and where He goes in this city.

 

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Tired

5 minutes word prompt for Five Minute Fridays with Kate Motaung.

Tired to be worn out, exhausted, have no energy or to be tired of something in particular.

I think we can all relate to the word tired.  Many are tired after work, after a day of shopping, after a day of fun… so many things physically tire us but that can be a good feeling, especially if it was fun or an accomplishment of something.  However, there is another kind of tired where we become drained and just want life to stop.

Recently that is how I felt.  I was tired of the stress and anxiety of life.  Physically I felt exhausted all the time.  Just like there was no life in me anymore.  Then I got tired of being tired, especially since I could not understand why I felt tired all the time.

For myself much of the tiredness comes from an overactive thought life, I had to think about what I was thinking about and notice the words coming out of my mouth to start to change, to change my attitude and change my thinking about life.

Life is difficult, God never said it would be easy and the sooner it is accepted that this is so, the sooner I can make a change in my thinking so that I can overcome the tiredness.

Jesus said he has overcome the world, he calls me to come rest in Him.  When I come to him he helps me to overcome my worldly worries of thinking, over thinking, what my circumstances are.  Lately, he reminds me over and over, seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added unto you.  He will provide and take care of me.  All the worry and over thinking doesn’t add anything to my life except tiredness.  To be relieved of being tired it, for me, is about trusting in Him, not overextending myself because of the worlds’ demands but a resting in Him, knowing he will take care of me, because He cares for me.

So, I am on a new path to freedom from this heavy tiredness I have been carrying, I am changing my thinking about life and finding there is joy found in gratefulness, in His presence strength and encouragement can be found to walk through one more day not knowing, yet knowing.  Focus on Him is the way for me to get out of the depths of tiredness because He is my strength.

In Proverbs 23:7  it says, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he”.  If we think and speak “I am tired” all the time then we create that tiredness and heaviness of heart.  I didn’t use to believe this because I thought, I am just expressing how I feel, but as I have grown in the Lord and listened to others I now see that maybe it is true, maybe half the battle against the tiredness I feel is a change of attitude, a change of thinking and speaking.  Maybe that is where half the battle is to be won.