Monday, July 26, 2010

Ministry of friendship

This weekend was amazing! Not just for the anointed message I received through gifted speakers. Not just for a very comfy bed in my hotel room. But for the precious time spent with a dear friend.

I am just like so many other people: I work, I have kids, I serve in my church, etc... and I allow myself to get too busy for one thing that enriches my soul – my friends. God brings people into our lives to walk beside us, support us, encourage us and give us a big dose of reality from time to time. Do you have a person like that in your life? If not, why?

It's pretty easy to count out reasons why we're too busy to invest time in another person. Life is demanding and it will take every minute from you if you haven't budgeted how you spend your time. But if you're not investing in someone else...who's investing in you?

I'll confess, I've allowed myself to be too busy to spend time with some of the people most precious to me lately. Having the opportunity to spend with a dear friend was like rain falling on sun scorched land. I didn't realize how dry I was and how much I missed sharing life with a friend!

Are you feeling parched? Do you have some stuff in your life that you've been dealing with that you need a friend to stand beside you in? Do you need someone to believe in your dream with you? God gives us the gift of friendship. He chooses who we do life with but we have to nurture those relationships. Just like a plant won't bloom without water, our friendships need a little TLC to become beautiful. Friends aren't a 'have to' they're a 'get to'!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:10-12

Monday, July 19, 2010

Setting the Pace

The traffic flowed at a normal pace for a Wednesday. Everyone was on their way to work just like any other day. While listening to the morning radio banter, a white flash caught my eye. I saw it moving closer and closer bobbing and weaving between the cars until suddenly it blew past my door. The white Mustang was letting all it's horses run and was probably going about 90 by this time. Suddenly wheels squealed to a halt, smoke from the tires filled the air and the Mustang was at a stand still – stuck at a red light.

I'll be honest, part of me felt that 'Hot Rod' got what he deserved. He arrogantly weaved through the cars as if he was too important to be in the normal flow of traffic, who did he think he was? I felt a little self righteous seeing him at a complete stop while several of us minions passed him and kept going on our way. But then God made me see it another way.

'Doesn't he remind you of someone?' God spoke to my heart. I suddenly remembered all the times I've been that white Mustang. Bobbing and weaving, taking care of business, getting things done. Each right move brought just a little more arrogance, getting more and more full of myself as I went along. I would be clicking on all cylinders when suddenly – a stop light. It would usually appear at an inconvenient time and would completely ruin my momentum. I was totally humbled by the thought of it.

It didn't take long to realize the stop lights came from God. It was His way of reminding me that I was running ahead of His plan and purpose for my life. He doesn't intend for me to be a showy race car zooming through people's lives and leaving them in the dust. He wants me to go with the flow of traffic. When I move at God's pace I am more aware of when I need to change lanes or let someone in ahead of me. He prompts and I have time to react.

Are you catching a lot of red lights lately? Think you may be running ahead of God? The frustration that comes from stopping and starting can be avoided if we allow God to set our pace.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” 2John 1:9

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do I have to??

I can always tell when it's time for my little dog, Daisy, to get a bath because she starts smelling like a cracker. She enjoys getting a bath but the process can take awhile and involves several steps. This is why my kids don't like doing it...it's a process.

Requesting that Daisy gets a bath is a process too. Rarely will she be bathed on the same day that I mention it's bath time. We usually go through the 'do I have to?' and 'I don't have time today...' and even 'can't you just do it?' questions before the kids reluctantly give in and give her a bath. Usually by that time I'm feeling a little snarky and I'm just glad to have it done.

I'm like that with my Heavenly Father all the time. He will lay something on my heart that may be uncomfortable or inconvenient and I start saying 'do I have to...?' Then there are days that He'll prompt me to reach out to someone who's on my mind and I come back with 'I don't have time today...' But I think I frustrate Him the most when He is trying to grow me by having me try new things but all I say is 'can't you just do it?'

If my kids would just wash the dog when I ask the first time I would be so pleased that I would treat them to something special. How many times have I missed extra blessings because I didn't do what God asked me to the first time? Obedience isn't about wanting to do it, it's about God wanting me to do it. However, obedience is a process too. I don't have to want it, understand it or even agree with it...I just have to do it. Eventually I will want to, I'll understand why and I'll whole heartedly agree with the reason. But until then I need to just do it! Hmmm, I have a feeling that I'm not the only one...

Be blessed,
Jennifer

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lake Lessons

I just got back from spending a few days at the lake with my family. I'm so thankful that God will reveal Himself when we look for Him! Here's a few things He reminded me of...

Live like fish, stay in groups.
There's safety in numbers and we strengthen each other. We're designed to live in relationship and life is so much better when we go through it together!

You can't judge the depth of something (or someone) just by looking at it. As we skimmed across the lake, sometimes our depth finder would read 135 feet and then other times it would read 6 feet but the top of the lake always looked the same. People are that way too, assuming someone is deep is just as bad as assuming someone it shallow.

Sometimes clouds are protecting you from getting burned!
Our first day on the lake was cloudy with a few rain showers. There was no lightening and we were planning to get wet anyway, so we went boating despite the ominous clouds. It was our best day of boating and no one was sunburned! The next day the sun came out and I got completely fried even w/ consistent sunscreen application. The point is, sometimes God chooses to give us what we need instead of what we want.

Are you choppy water or calm water?
I noticed that there were several areas of the lake that were calm and glassy while other areas were rough and choppy. The same breeze was blowing in both areas but the calm water seemed to have a peace about it that the rough water didn't have. Regardless of our situation, we can either be calm water or choppy water. We can reflect the turmoil and frustration going on all around us or we can reflect the peace that God provides through the Holy Spirit within us.

Enjoy the sunset. I've always been a fan of sunsets! Each one is unique and exquisite, a true blessing from God. He paints a masterpiece each day for us, we only need to take a minute to appreciate it.

Remember that God is ever present in your life. Ask Him to show you something in the 'every day' with new eyes...you'll be glad you did!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, 'We have seen remarkable things today.'” Luke 5:26