Monday, September 27, 2010

Will you be left behind?

I have been a student of end times prophecy since I first started attending church back in the 1970's (I guess I just dated myself again). Tim LaHaye's book, The Late Great Planet Earth, was very popular then and our youth group would pile into various parent's cars to attend the WVCY "rallies" that were held at the the War Memorial in Milwaukee where they spoke about the topic.

Even though I found it scary at times, the topic was interesting and it showed me that in the end, God wins, and I found that comforting during my depressing teen years.

The Cold War was in full swing during that time and I remember that many people couldn't believe that a super power like the US was not mentioned as a major player in end times events. It was also hard to imagine how the Mark of the Beast could ever be implemented and how everyone on earth could be able to see the two witnesses laying dead in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 days, all at the same time.

Boy, have things changed since then! These things are absolutely possible today. The world economy proves that it would be very possible for the US to be uninvolved in future events and technology now exists that would enable both the Mark of the Beast and watching the two witnesses all over the world at the same time, a piece of cake. Recent world events as well as a marked increase in earthquakes and floods, all point to the possibility that the end times may be near or even at the door. It is a sobering thought, at least for me.

Last week I tuned in to a TV program that is dedicated to the study of end times prophecy and I was shocked that that particular show was a special presentation ultimately made as a message to people that had been "left behind". It began by explaining why millions of people had suddenly disappeared (in the Rapture) and went on to explain what they could expect during the 7 year Tribulation and how they could come to God and repent and be saved. I was shocked because I always thought of the end times as something that was going to happen way in the future. I realized that I need to be much more vigilant in telling people about Jesus and that faith in Him is the only way to be saved from having to go through the Tribulation and ultimately from the fires of Hell.

I urge you to consider Jesus' command in the Great Commission and seek to make disciples among those in your circle of influence. It is so important during these chaotic times. People are searching for hope and love and Jesus is the answer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vengance is Mine, says the Lord

Have you ever felt wronged by someone or something? Maybe it was a policy that you felt was unfair? I know I have. Here is a good quote from Jill Briscoe:

"Lord, let me learn to let it bother You, and refuse to let it bother me."

I used to get so upset and mad when these things happened in my life and instead of giving the situation to the Lord, I tried to take care of it myself.

Proverbs 24:12 says "Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work? And in Proverbs 20:22 God says "Do not say, 'I will repay evil'; wait for the Lord, and He will save you".

God is aware of everything that goes on in our lives and He tells us in these verses as well as many others that vengeance is His. He will repay.

So, now instead of getting all riled up when I feel that I have been wronged, I remember that God saw what happened and that I need to leave it in His hands. I need to let it bother Him and not let it bother me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

When you don't think you can endure "that"....

A few weeks ago I had a problem with my leg that was broken so badly. Its been almost 3 years since the original injury, but there have been so many complications I was told I would always have trouble.

In our backyard the ground is very uneven and there were many large tree roots. My husband and I were doing some yard work there and when we finished, I realized that my leg was very sore. Then I remembered that the surgeon warned me that at the point where the strong metal plate on the bone ends and the remaining unprotected bone continues, there is an area that can easily be cracked. I thought about how uneven the ground had been and realized that I may have actually cracked the bone. I felt a sick feeling come over me.

I decided to just stay off of it as much as I could and put ice on it and see if it would feel better the next day. But, when I woke up the next morning and got out of bed, I felt that same, sickening pain. I was afraid that I had really broken it again and I just told God that I didn't think I could deal with more trouble with my leg.

I quickly realized what I had said. I wasn't willing to yield to God's will, I just wanted things my way. I wasn't willing to persevere through that trial. I also realized that I was trying to do things in my own strength again, and not relying on God's strength.

Thankfully, the Lord didn't allow that particular trial into my life. My leg is getting better. But, I sure did have an awakening and God showed me these sins in my life so I could repent and change my thinking. God is good!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This morning I awoke with excitement in my heart as I got myself ready for church. I was actually going to sit in the service after 6 whole weeks out. Six blessed weeks of either being in the nursery or teaching Sunday School. It was a good 6 weeks, but I am telling you I missed the fellowship of listening to a sermon with my brothers and sisters and walking among them greeting one another as we leave to gather our little ones. Then, the unthinkable happened! Is that a cough I hear? A sneeze perhaps? Who is blowing their nose!? Ugh! No church for me this fine, sun - shining morn! I battled a brief moment with discontentment. Why now? Why this particular Sunday? Couldn't my daughter (bless her little heart) have just waited until I had been able to listen and fellowship for a week or two before having her own personal hack fest? No, no, it was not possible. Indeed, the nose was running and the cough proceeded vehemently out of her mouth. No fever, no headache or tummy ache, just a good old fashioned cough and cold. Of course ever since the rest of the family left for worship this morning I haven't heard a single hack, sniff, sniff, kerchoo! I am sure the cough and cold meds are doing their fine work.

Now, I cannot wait till Community Group this evening - my life line! The life line of any mother , Sunday School teacher and nursery worker. We get to hear thoughts on the sermon, laugh and cry and care for one another. Oh the bliss of connection with the blood purchased body of Christ. These people feed my soul and are hands and feet and mouth of Jesus to a woman sucked dry. It doesn't take much for my soul to feel parched and ready to be watered with the word and the sweet communion of the saints. Which is why I can't imagine living in my own little corner in my own little world apart from my brothers and sisters at Missio Dei Fellowship. The members of my Community Group, the young woman who comes to help me with school every other Wednesday, the women who put up with me week in and week out as we meet for discipleship and accountability, the friends who pray for us and care for us and sharpen us, my shepherds who lead us and care for our souls. Ah, Body life! Missio Life! The life of a disciple of Jesus Christ- oh Jesus how I thank you for your people. Thank you that we are not by ourselves. Thank you that this young, busy, frantic, helpless, needy mommy has a family. Missio Dei, I love you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A New Year!

As many students might agree, the "new year" doesn't start on January 1, but rather on September 8 (or whatever date your particular school starts on). I've decided to take the fresh start of the year as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf, so to speak, for my personal life. I'm hoping to make some dramatic changes, so perhaps posting it on this blog will help me be held accountable by my church family! :)

Our pastor has just recently finished a sermon series on self-control, which dealt quite a bit with laziness versus diligence and procrastination versus responsibility. I have felt incredibly convicted the past month or so about my own laziness, and I need to stop procrastinating (oh, the irony!) on getting my life together. A lot of people tell me the same thing when I confess my laziness: that I am so incredibly busy I could not possibly be a lazy person. Let me take a second to clarify: not true!! I am so lazy! I am learning to look at my life a bit more acutely and see that business does not equal diligence. During the school year, I typically leave the house at 7:30 or 8:30 in the morning, barely waking up on time. Then my day is typically filled with catching up on the prior day's assignments, which will be turned in within the next half hour or so, going to classes, sometimes without my materials (so I take notes in the wrong notebooks), and rehearsals and lessons, which I have not practiced for. Then I come home at perhaps 9 or 10 in the evening, sit around for a few hours because my brain is "fried" from the day, and go to bed without doing that day's homework or spending adequate time in the Word. What a horrible way to live!

I confess all this to you bloggers so you are not fooled by the responsible appearance I'm told that I have. I am a sinner, and it is most obvious in the ungrateful way I manage my time day after day, year after year. After much thought, I had decided a few weeks ago to make some changes that will, Lord willing, reflect the gospel in my life. My life is a testament to God's faithfulness, so my self-control in day-to-day living should reflect the perseverance of the saints that the New Testament continually refers to. I need to be a good steward so that I can more accurately reflect Christ! I'm reading through the gospels right now, and I am amazed at Jesus's unceasing work. Even when he was tired and withdrew from the crowd, there was always work for him to do, whether it be explaining the parables to His followers or praying to His Father. I want my life to be like His.

I've made a daily schedule in which I budgeted time to do all my homework, attend class, eat, sleep, practice, blog and journal, pray, and study Scripture. The last few weeks of summer were a joy to me because I saw fruit in my life with this self-control that God is graciously giving me. I had time to do everything that needed to get done (including the hard things! I scheduled those first!) as well as the things I wanted to do. I'm more willing to make cuts where necessary (something I struggle with) because I see what I physically cannot do due to over scheduling versus what I won't do because I'm lazy. God has been gracious to me!

Now with school beginning I hope to do the hard things first, be diligent, spread the gospel as much as possible, and, most importantly, LOVE CHRIST MORE. I pray that I will be able to do so, as He sustains me and gives me grace! God is good.