Monday, June 30, 2008

The price of a meal these days

I had the privilege of leading a wonderful Bible Study in my home this evening. We are going through Precepts, Genesis chapter 24 through something or other, the life of Isaac, Jacob and Esau.

First of all, to see the growth in the women was absolutely beautiful and awesome. There are nine faithful women in this group and God has blessed my home bountifully.

Secondarily, I was totally blown away by the video and the application of Esau’s decision to sell his birthright for a single meal and applying it to a quick overview of the Book of Hebrews.

I have read Hebrews several times, but to hear the quick overview from chapter 1 to the end picking out the main verses that applied about not drifting away, not going forward but instead turning away.

Immediately before the Bible Study I got a letter that was quite disturbing to me. But God, He is so wonderful to me. I guess this brings me to the third great thing:

The letter that I found and read immediately before the Bible Study then totally applied the Bible Study of the video to my life. So Kay Arthur was teaching about how this world and the things of this world is the equivalent of Esau’s bowl of stew.

The things of the world, to me is no matter what in the world is of the world, my house, my property, all my worldly possessions – when I worry about those temporal things that is my drifting away from my birthright. That is my choosing the things of the world over the spiritual.

When I choose to think about the things of this world over the spiritual, then that is me being like Esau. Then that is me despising my birthright.

God gives me His Son and my great inheritance in heaven, but no, I am worried instead of my house? What good is my house when I die anyway? What if I didn’t have my house? Would the Lord not take me through that? Would He not remain faithful? So, then I guess I would learn the benefits of living wherever the Lord has me to live.

I felt like maybe tonight the Lord has set me free from worldly possessions after my entire life including as a Christian - that He has been drawing me to this point of deliverance.

That is the fourth highlight. The Lord has been working on this area of my life for many, many years - that of finding my security in possessions and all that is associated with that. A couple of years ago I repentant before the Lord because I had been wanting the Lord to “fix” some things more than I wanted to know Him through those problems. So then I “let” the Lord have the liberty of doing what He wanted in those problems because I wanted to know Him more. Knowing Him was more important than the financial problems getting fixed. For the first time. Okay, I’ll open my hand. (That was about two years ago.)

After the Bible Study was over and I was in my kitchen, I was overwhelmed for the second time this day. I guess that is the fifth point of the evening, but was the second time of being overwhelmed today. “And you are daughters of Sarah if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” When I thought of that verse, I realized something great that I am.

(The first time I was overwhelmed today was this morning in the car singing, “I’m desperate for You,” and knowing how desperate I was for God and crying and the release of that was accompanied with the realization that “yeah, that prayer is answered” – complete knowledge that yeah, God will provide all that I need today. The realization that, whereas Esau found no repentance though he sought it with tears, I found the place of redemption of Christ. That sweet location of where I want to be – that perfect spot at the center of Christ Himself which is on one side of the coin the suffering of ME dying on the cross of I Peter chapter 2 and on the other side of the coin is ME being found in Him in Ephesians, far above all principalities and powers. That is, dying on the cross and the resurrection life. They are both ours in Christ to receive and find our peace there and our escape from the world there and all our security.)

It was overwhelming for me to think of “being a daughter” of Sarah. Though that is better written without the quotes. I am a daughter of Sarah! I am not a daughter of my mother or my other mother, but I am a daughter of my mother Sarah. Do you realize what a possession that is? What a prize?

And I am going to equate my house, my property, my possessions, anything in this world to God’s inheritance? I am going to sell my birthright, my ability to dwell “in Him” far above and say instead, “this thing really pisses me off” or “I’m hungry” or “this hurts” so therefore I am going to exchange the incorruptible for the corruptible?

You see it? Worrying about the things of the earth and not seeing and applying the spiritual instead, not receiving the discipline of the Lord instead (and with joy), is selling my birthright for a bowl of stew.

And I don’t want to do that.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:22 PM | 1 comments

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Almighty and Sovereign LORD,
You can do anything.
Do it in my life –
And those I love.

Let the dew from heaven collapse low to Your people;
Touch us with the knowledge of Your sufficiency
Awaken us with the benefits of Your majesty
Fill us with the miracle of Your glory
Humble us with Your love.

Let Your satisfactory grace be all we want to know.
Let all we want be the agenda of Your perfect will.
Cover our unrighteousness like a blanket;
With Your blood,
Remake us to Your image.
Establish us as Your people,
Following the Shepherd.
Endow us with the blindness of innocence.

Cause us to love,
Cause us to bear much fruit
So as to bestow a fitting reflection of Who You are.
Enable us to endure like a soldier,
Establish us to stand.
Like a child, let us wait in You;
Like a wise man, we know the battle is not ours;
Like a victor, we overcome completely.

We embrace all You are, as all we want to be -
And all we want to be, is emptied into Your love -
Found in Christ alone
Trusting never in ourselves.
We are fully supplied for every good work
And steadfastly we wait for every next drop of food from heaven -
Desperately hungry
Yet completely aware
You will never forsake us.

So we drink in Your Holy Spirit,
Like baby chicks we open our mouths wide before You;
We stay by Your side
We know Who we are;
We are Yours
So we do not faint.

May Your name be known throughout all the earth
And may it start through us.
Let Your light come up upon the horizon
And let Your people stoop low.
Look not to our works
But because we have asked,
Extend Your mercy over us.
Ignore our stubborn ways,
And fill us with Who we need
Announce the coming of the Lord through us.

Give pleasure to Your will!
Express Yourself through our otherwise impotent lives.
Like a bird in flight,
Spread Your wings and set Your children free.
Fill us with the wonder of Who You are
Do in us new works not seen before!

Reveal Yourself through us
Seen and known of all men
Though we are sinful before You,
Though we are broken cisterns,
Though in ourselves we hold no water,
You seal our gaps
And through our brokenness
You reveal beauty not otherwise seen,
Through our problems
You became all we need.

You are a merciful God!
We need Your hand of healing
We desire Your touch of love.
You work in the affairs of men
We call for You to enable us to extend grace
To not count trespasses
For we hate and loath
And are no good on our own.

We are lifted up in pride
And seek only to establish ourselves
We seek to be filled inside
With the satisfaction of ourselves
And to comfort and be filled
With whatever we can find.

We have no capacity for good
Only by Your Spirit we live
Only by Your enablement we can extend grace
Only by Your power we walk
But through You we do all things
You are moved by the prayers of Your people.

Let us not be dense
Though we are ignorant of the spiritual nature of our condition
We are stupid like a stone
We are impulsive like animals
In our own efforts we are wander all the day
Only by Your efforts are we anything at all.

Help us desire Your reputation over our own
Help us want the good of Christ and forsake our way
We repent of our foolishness.
Like a wave of the sea,
Wash us anew
Change us and create us anew -
Filled with power, humility, grace and love
Established in Your word
Strengthened by Your love
Satisfied in You alone
Emptied of ourselves
And filled with the adequacy of You alone.

In that atmosphere of wanting and needing You alone,
Do an astounding work in us, and throughout the world.
Yet we strive not for it
Because we are satisfied in simply You.

We have been trained by the Master
And behold the weather in the sky
So we walk according to Your pattern
And we take hold of all You want to do;
Not grasping those things dear to us
Not groping for what we want
Not anxious for anything
But with humble heart
We open our hands.

We worship You with our lives
We give our hands to the plow
We turn our face like flint
To whatever path You call for us;
Whether it be suffering or lack
All things are in Your hands
We trust in the kind intention of Your will.

We open our empty hands,
Looking to the Shepherd, we allow You to work
We embrace all You want to do.
We invite You to be free
We give You all that we are.

We look to Your face and in the side-view we know,
You are enjoying Yourself!
You play in the day
And like a song that must be sung
You are singing through us!

So we delight with You
We open our mouths
And lift up our voice.
As we watch Your face,
Let our dance steps keep in stride with Yours.

We are Your people!
We have a Shepherd
We are not alone
We are not abandoned, not forsaken.
We know who we are.
We are who You say we are,
And we are satisfied in You.
You are our God
And we love and serve You alone.


posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:09 PM | 0 comments

Friday, June 06, 2008


To be a Friend of God.
To be ...a Friend of God.

I want to be a Friend of God.

Imagine such a thing! To be a Friend of God!

"Be happy, Abraham, I am Your Great Reward!"

I am happy. He is my great reward. He has pity and mercy upon me because He knows that I am but dust and my heart tends to be divided. But as simple as drawing a line in the sand, so my heart is not divided. Because I ask Him to cleanse me from a divided heart and He grants to me a pure heart. At this time.

Take my divided heart, oh God. Of course I want You. My only Reward. My only Savior. My only Redeemer. The One who is for me, from the beginning until the end of time. The One who looks after my back. The One who knit me in secret within my mother's womb and who rests Your secret head upon my chest, who knows every thought before it enters my restless mind. You are my Friend that comforts me. You are there for when my heart hurts because it was not formed properly and has pains that others cannot help. That is why You are there. Yet You allow me to love other people and you give them to me also, in such a kind and generous way. You have taken that which was tossed aside and said, "this is priceless."

You are the only worthy goal of my vision, yet my aim is not to You alone, as it should be. But You will not let me go and remind me right away, that I am not my own. I am Your happy bond slave. Then I say, "oh, I remember, how foolish of me." I am Your happy sheep! I am your little lambie that You hold and will not let go.

Oh yes, and I have these prayers too. What were they again? Well, how about to know You. To serve You. To be a fool for Christ's sake. To count it all loss. To remember that, "it is finished." My Lord has bled and died for me. And I rest upon His monument of grace. There is joy here. It is a secret intoxication and satisfaction. Silly and happy and God's friend. Having counted everything else out and having concluded, I'll choose Christ.

What is man that Thou art mindful of him? The son of man that Thou dost care for him?" It is a mystery. He creates seemingly great abilities and then is honored when we realize our foolishness. It is the child who asks the basic and good questions. Like the mental health worker who asked at the hospital meeting, "Well, can't you do something different for the patient so he doesn't keep coming back?" Like, basic.

Oh Lord, You use the foolish to profound the wise. "Who has known the mind of the Lord and who has been His counselor? Yet, we have the mind of Christ."

I can't remember the rest of the prayer list, like the specifics. But You remember Lord, and I lift those things up to You too.

Loving You Lord is kind of like falling. Falling backwards and knowing You are there.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 10:32 AM | 3 comments