February 19, 2010

Thin Places

I am reading a new book today called, Thin Places, (An Evangelical Journey into Celtic Christianity), by Tracy Balzer. This book was recommended by Dr. Wray last year when I had audited his Spiritual Formation class. A thin place is a place where you feel close to God, a place where the distractions are at their least. A thin place to me is where I can feel God's presence and my focus is on Him. The book uses the term "thick place" for the places that are full of distractions that keep us away from focusing on God. The author so far has shared some "thin places" that were built by the Celts, in much earlier times. The places she writes about are places such as Ireland and Scotland. To "go" somewhere intentionally like the old monisteries or nunneries would be quite special, but we know that God is always with us, our Emmanuel. Where ever we are can be a thin place.

I love when I have met God during the thin places in my life. Sometimes these thin places are born out of convenience, I have set time aside, I have chosen silence as my companion along with the scriptures or a book that points me to them, or maybe it is through praise, to feel God in the presence of lifting my hands and my heart to Him while I am worshipping Him. But most of the thinnest places of my life were born of desperation, the morning I fell on my knee's and asked God to save me from my sin...the evening I tearfully poured over scripture looking for an increase of faith from Him to face Jack's diagnosis just 24 hours earlier. Those were precious times, when all is stripped away but my beckoning the Father to make me more like Him. He so graciously wrapped me in Him during those times. Those are the days that a million dollars seems like nothing compared to the hope that only the Father has for me. Those moments are precious to me.

Being with my family both immediate and extended is a thin place for me. To be with my grandfather who has lived close to 90 years talk about the faithfulness of God even while missing his precious wife and in agonizing pain himself is a thin place. My children, my husband, those are sacred thin places for me. In each of them I feel the love of Christ, they are a gift of grace that God has given me mercifully.

Church for me is a thin place. A place where I can worship God, but also look into the eyes of my church family and deposit God's love or many times be the receiver of God's love through them.

Those thin places help me stay focused on God in the thick places, they fill me with the love of God so that I can be emptied out like a drink offering on His behalf.

That is a thin place, to be in the service of the Glorified Christ.

February 18, 2010

My Favorite Song Right Now.

I can't listen to this song without my eyes tearing up and having to remind myself to breathe. This song literally takes my breath away. You can also google and get the official music video.

The David Crowder Band singing How He Loves

"When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great your affections are for me."

Here is a link to hear a live version of this song and how they came across the song.

February 16, 2010

There's A Contest A'Brewin'

I took some fun pics of the snow several days ago...there is a contest to give a framed, matted print
over here.

February 10, 2010

Wanted to Write...

Wednesday, Feb. 10th. Not a lot going on right now. School of course, work, although mainly on the computer right now, forming my presentation for the Ladies Retreat coming up at the end of the month,...o.k. quite a bit going on. But I am not feeling overwhelmed at all, which I directly attribute to the Lord.

A couple of tests under my belt with school, am amazed at how quickly we get our scores back as everything is done on the computer, grading the scan trons and then the grades posted to our computerized blackboard for each class. Makes for a quick turn around time.

Valentine's day is coming up, need to either take the twins out to buy cards (not something I normally do) or get to making them a.s.a.p.

The Olympics are starting in just 2 days, we are ALL excited about it, Rob has been on the countdown for weeks now. It's the small things in life that make our household happy.

Jack has been counting down the days till The Lightening Thief is released which is also just 2 days away. He read the entire Percy Jackson series, then Rob read it, then I read it. It was a fun series. We are going to see it on Saturday morning, first showing.

Rob has a busy weekend as this is the Quail Hunt Fundraising Weekend for DRI. A lot going on out there. One of the "folks" passed on earlier this week from an aneurism, please keep the staff and the rest of the "folks" in your prayers. This gentleman passed with his friends around him all of a sudden, so there are some sad friends who miss him a lot.

I decided to buy the New Testament on DVD last week and ordered it from amazon.com, I bought The Experience, it is narrated by many familiar voices. I knew it would be a dramatic reading, which I like because it helps me stay focused and in the moment a bit more, but what I didn't know is that the voices transition from one to another every couple of minutes with a gospel song here and there in the midst of it all. I love it. If I would have known it was set up this way I might have opted for a different version, but I didn't know so I chose this one. What I like about it is that just when one voice becomes a bit repititious a new voice comes in and I am engaged again, then a song which might or might not fit the specific theme of the book starts up and after the song is over the scriptures continue. All of this has done a good job of keeping me engaged and not letting my mind wander too much. It is difficult for me to listen to the bible on tape and stay engaged, but this one does a great job.

Well friends, that is it, I don't have much to write about today, just wanted to write. God's blessings on you.

February 01, 2010

Is it Convenient Yet Felix?

My bible class at school is studying the book of Acts right now. The book starts off with Pentecost, then Peter takes several stands for Christ, then one of my favorite followers of Christ, Paul formerly known as Saul, has a blinding meeting on the road to Damascus. I always love to read the story of Paul and his many journeys. While he was still Saul, he gave authorization to precious Stephen's stoning, Stephen the man with the face of an angel. To think of such a man as Saul, who hated Christians and The Way, and his transformation to Paul and the divine ways God used to get his attention is an inspirational story.

When I think about my past I find comfort in Paul's past. He was never afraid to tell other's he was the worst of sinners, but the ending to that story is look what he became with Christ as his King. He is my role model for sharing Christ. I am not nearly as bold or tough as Paul, but I strive to live for Christ as he did more and more each day.

During the last couple of years of Paul's life, he was accused by the Jewish Leaders and sent to be judged by Felix, who was a governor. Felix called Paul in to hear his side of the story and as Paul does he shares his story, and his hope. There was no basis for Paul to be held, but Felix kept him in prison for 2 years hoping that Paul would give him a bribe to be set free. Here is the scripture from Acts 24:25.

As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you."

The Lord reminded me today as I was praying with a friend that there have been times in my life, sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of rebellion, that I have pushed God away and said "that's enough for now, You may leave, when I find it convenient, I will send for You."

God will always be right there ready to walk back through the door when I open it for Him. But I will have missed out on many an opportunity in the mean time. I love the words of Mary the mother of Christ when she found out she was to have a baby, a virgin birth, "May it be to me as you will." I like those words much more than, "I will call you when I find it convenient."