Monday, March 19, 2007

Feeling burdened?

Then Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

My pastor recently spoke about burdens. He found it troubling that many Christians suffer "burn out" and reminded us of Jesus' words "my yoke is easy and my burden is light". He then went on to describe how as a carpenters son, Jesus would've understood very well the process of measuring, making and fitting a yoke to an ox. It would be designed to fit and not put pressure or wear in any one spot. So when Jesus says his yoke is easy it would indicate that we should not feel burdened. The yoke He has given us to carry should suit us well. Perhaps our "burn out" comes from carrying something that He has not asked us to carry. Are you carrying something that He didn't give to you? And think of the illustration of the tree bearing fruit. Does the branch have to grunt and groan in order to produce a grape? Of course not. It is a natural result of the branch being attached to the vine. So, as we fellowship with the Lord, spend time in His word and in prayer our fruit comes naturally. If we have sore spots I guess it indicates one of two things - we are carrying some other ox's yoke, or we haven't been spending enough time with the carpenter getting fitted for ours!

"Remain in me and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me."

John 15:4 NLT

Monday, March 12, 2007


Have you ever noticed when God wants to teach you about something it becomes a "theme" in your life. Everywhere you turn, everything you read, every person you talk to - there it is again! My theme right now is "loving God". I gave my heart and life to the Lord when I was 6 years old, and I have always loved Him. Still, recently it is becoming so obvious how lacking my love for Him is - especially when compared to His love for me! I've spent so much time in my life asking God what I can DO for Him, what His will is for my life, how can I serve Him more...better...stronger...harder. God has really convicted how self centered that line of thinking is. I mean certainly He has plans for me in my life of service to Him, but really above all that, and in fact more importantly, BEFORE all that, he desires that I love Him. Jesus said the most important commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Shouldn't that be my number one priority in life. And then as I get to know the person of God, His character, who He really is, and as I fall in love with Him, it will be a natural progression to then see His work in my life. I will know His voice more clearly. I will be more familiar with how He works. So, that is my prayer right now. "Lord help me to get to know you better. Help me to love you as deeply and powerfully as you loved me when you sent your son to die for me. Don't let me get so busy doing things 'for you' that I forget to just praise and love you simply for who you are."

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Possessing Nothing

I know God's Word is where I need to be most. Still sometimes I find a book that awakens a new part of me. I believe that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit all scripture should do this, but I also think there are certain authors that God has used to really bring to life the Christian walk - C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer to name a couple.

So, that was my guilt free intro to tell you that I just finished reading Tozer's "Pursuit of God". Wow, what a convicting experience. The chapter on possessing nothing really made me take a hard look at my life. I have often returned from a trip to Haiti with a huge pile of guilt on my shoulders because I feel so blessed with my easy life here in the States. I wonder why I was born here and get to have running water and don't have to worry if my children will eat today. Part of me wanted to run away and live a monks life. If I could just deny all these worldy things then my physical life would suit the lowliness of being that I know is in my heart. After all, I do not deserve any of this. I am a pitiful sinner just like everyone else. Why have I been so blessed. I know, I know, talk about being self absorbed!! Someone needed to whack me over the head with the "it's not about you!" stick.

Anyhoo, then I got to the part where he studies Abraham's test of sacrificing Isaac. So, go read Genesis 22:16-18. Tozer has this to say about it,

"The old man of God lifted his head to respond to the Voice, and stood there on the mount strong and pure and grand, a man marked out by the Lord for special treatment, a friend and favorite of the Most High. Now he was a man wholly surrendered, a man utterly obedient, a man who possessed nothing. He had concentrated his all in the person of his dear son and God had taken it from him. God could have begun out on the margin of Abraham's life and worked inward to the center. He chose rather to cut quickly to the heart and have it over in one sharp act of separation. In dealing thus, He practiced an economy of means and time. It hurt cruelly, but it was effective. I have said that Abraham possessed nothing. Yet was not this poor man rich? Everything he had owned before was still his to enjoy: sheep, camels, herds and goods of every sort. He had also his wife and his friends, and best of all he had his son Isaac safe by his side. He had everything, but he possessed nothing. There is the spiritual secret. There is the sweet theology of the heart which can be learned only in the school of renunciation."

So, whether you have much or little is really meaningless in the spiritual realm. As long as whatever you have is wholly surrendered to the Lord you are the blessed "poor in spirit". So, now I look around me and consciously say to myself, "if it were gone tomorrow I would still have the Lord and He would still be good and He would still be in control." And that knowledge is all I ever really need to possess!

"The blessed ones who possess the kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the "poor in spirit." They have reached an inward state paralleling the outward circumstances of the common beggar in the streets of Jerusalem."

A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Here Goes...

So, I've had this blog account for about a month now and... yep I'm just now getting to my first official post. I guess I wonder what a homeschooling, stay at home Mom of 4 (or 5) kids would have to offer to the ever witty and oh so inspiring blogging world. Then I thought, hey, this doesn't have to be about you - it can be a totally selfish, vent my feelings, wonder what God is doing in my life, outlet. So then it started to sound like fun - hehe(: The picture above is my family. Jay is my husband of 12.5 years and my absolute best friend in the whole world. He is an amzing husband and the best Dad in action I have ever seen! Madiboo is our soon to be 10 year old daughter. She is a type A first child and is a huge help to me. Sunshine is our 8 year old daughter and is "the class clown". She can always make us laugh - and she knows it. Goofy is our 6 year old son and he is one big ball of emotion. He is either totally giddy or totally miserable at any given moment and it can change on a dime. He keeps us guessing. Dimples is our 2.5 year old son and he is a goofball with a great adventurous spirit. We are not convinced that our family is complete, but we wait on the Lord for that one...

Just to remove all pretense right off the bat here is what we actually look like on a daily basis: