Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Heart of Worship

Like so many others, I need to come back to the heart of worship. For too long I  allowed the troubles of this worldly life to interfere with my primary purpose, worshiping our Father. Instead of focusing on HIM, I erroneously focused my time and energy on the trials and tribulations of my life. My "to do" list and a long list of worries have occupied my mind. I even found myself putting off my devotion time in favor of getting stuff done.

Clearly, I had made a tremendous mess out of things. I was putting both my chores and my troubles before my God. In fact, my troubles were becoming like a god to me.

The commandment to "have no other gods before me" sounds simple enough. In fact, I'd bet that a vast majority of believers may think that commandment is one of the easier ones to obey. After all, they only worship one god, the true God. But if you think about that, it is not always so. A number of people worship things of this world without even really thinking about it. Or they allow the things of this world to get so important that they, like me, neglect to worship God.

Open our eyes, Father, and make us realize that we need you everyday. Not just when it's convenient. Not just in a crisis. During the good times and the bad times. We are called to Worship You. Truly, honestly, with our whole heart and soul. Worship.

Here is a definition of Worship that I recently found :

 "Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose - and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin".

William Temple’s (1881-1944)    Readings in St. John’s Gospel.

May I suggest that each of us spend some time and reflect on the fact that Jesus made it possible for us (that's you and me!) to have the privilege of being able to to come before the throne of God. The throne of God! There is not one person worthy of such a privilege. But we have the opportunity to do so every day. 

Have no other gods before me........What do you have in your life that is preventing you from spending  time worshiping our Father. Is it your job? Your family? Your hobbies? Money? The Internet? TV? Are there things that somehow seem more pressing? Don't be fooled into thinking that the things of this world are more important than your relationship with God. Because they aren't. And they will never be.

Come back to the Heart of Worship. Because it is All about Him.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There're No "Buts" About It!

Do any of these sound familiar?
  • “Forgive me, Father, for losing my temper but  he provoked me...”
  • “I know I shouldn’t have done it, but the temptation was just too great.”
  • “Lord, I know I need to be patient, but...”
  • “Forgive me, Father, for feeling envious but it’s been the desire of my heart...”
  • But why?”

The word “but” is so annoying. How many parents count to ten when they hear a child say, “But everyone does it!” Or how about, “But it wasn’t my fault, honest!”

It is foolish to think we can justify our behavior to the Lord. He’s not interested in our excuses. And He certainly does not want us to blame someone else for our own misdoings. Instead, He wants us to be accountable for our thoughts and behaviors. He wants us to acknowledge our sin and to stop playing the “blame game.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

Life is a Tangled Mess

Imagine, if you will, five skeins of yarn all clumped together in a tangled mess and you've been asked to untangle the clump. Looking at the clump some folks will automatically assume the job is impossible and will just throw it out without even trying. Some will make a feeble attempt and give up almost immediately. And some, like myself, will launch into the project with frenzied determination to solve the puzzle.

Converting a skein of yarn into a ball is advised by many before one attempts to start a project. As long as the skein is without snags, rolling up a ball of yarn is often an easy task. It's accomplished automatically and without any particular fanfare. With skill and a little imagination, all kinds of beautiful things can then be made.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In Sickness and In Health

 I just love weddings.

The hope. The promises. The look of love in the couple’s eyes.

I love to listen to the vows. Often I’ll reach over and squeeze my husband’s hand as I remember that precious day in October 1984 when we proclaimed our love and made promises before God and our families. …..”to love, honor and cherish, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health...”

Sadly, the joy felt at weddings does not always last. The divorce statistics tell us that! The challenges of every-day life get in the way and the next thing we know the hopes, dreams and promises are shattered. This is especially true if one of those every day challenges happens to be a chronic illness or disability. A staggering 75% of couples faced with a chronic illness or disability choose to end their marriage.

How can we reverse that trend? Why is it so much harder to stay married in these circumstances? What does the Bible say we should do? How can we safeguard our own marriages from this deplorable statistic?