Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All In God's Time

Last week I posted a couple of "thoughts" I guess you could say- just about what I'm learning, hearing, seeing, etc. Today's message is a bit more... um... well, I'm not sure what today's message is. I'm still reading in Zechariah- the end- Chapters 12, 13, and 14. Let's just say that it's probably a good thing that I'm not a Bible Scholar... because days like today would make it really interesting- and confusing for others I think! :)

The introduction to this reading was about who we consider to be strong characters in the Bible. Well, I would have said "Samson, David, or Joshua." But really if you think about it, some of the strongest men (physically) were some of the weakest men. What about Daniel, who sat quietly in the corner of a lion's den? What about Timothy who was young, had poor health, and a timid temperament? Sort of gives us hope after all! It's not necessarily about all the big things- the physical strength- or even recognition.

I'll just be honest... the past couple of weeks have been terrible. I'm struggling in so many areas of my life, and constantly feel like I'm just frantically treading water- but just enough of my head is above water so that I can still breathe. I'm constantly asking the Lord what His Will is in all of this- what I'm supposed to be doing- what steps to take- what words to speak.

But I'm reminded that my strength isn't in and of myself- it's in the Lord. And just knowing that I don't have to ever be alone is enough to get me through one more day of uncertainty. I still don't know the answers, but I'm comforted in the fact that I'm His and He is mine. He does care, and He will show me eventually- when the time is right. Of course, I've been told that I'm the only person in the world who prays with my datebook in hand... "Okay Lord, when are we going to do this? I'm open on the 5th- what's your schedule look like?" haha- I know that's a little extreme, but I think we all sort of pray like this at one point in time or another. We want things in our time, when it's good for us.

News flash: it's not about us! It's not about our timing, or what we think will work out just right. I'm learning this now as we speak... and oh it's such a hard lesson for me. I'm so prideful- and I'm starting to see just how prideful when it comes to thinking that I know better than the Lord. And what's worse- that pride can spread so quickly- and it's that pride that brought down Samson and Daniel. I don't want to be like that! I want to be quiet in the corner of the lion's den, so to speak (Lord, please don't put me in a real lion's den!).

In times like these, I feel like I'm in the lion's den though- except instead of sitting quietly, I'm trying to fight the lion because 'I know better'!!! And I tell myself things like "Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world" and while that's true, maybe the lesson I need to learn is what it looks like to sit quietly in the corner. Maybe this a fight that I don't need to fight. Maybe the uncomfortable quiet corner is where I'll finally hear His voice.

Maybe I'm completely off my rocker- but it's an honest assessment of where I am. More to come as I learn...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Return to me, and I will return to you

The Temple was built, but the enthusiasm waned. Years later, the only movement in the Temple was the wind. Zechariah, a younger contemporary of Haggai, was an encourager. Instead of just giving him the words to speak to the people, the Lord actually gave Zechariah many visions...and really cool visions at that! First he saw an angel on a red horse, with three horses and riders behind- who were "the ones the Lord has sent out to patrol the earth." (Zech 1:10) The Lord tells the angel that He has returned to show mercy to Jerusalem, and that the Temple will be rebuilt.
Then Zechariah looks up and sees four animal horns, which are representatives of the world powers that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
Then he sees four blacksmiths, who have come to terrify the four horns that scattered and humbled Judah.
Lastly, he sees a man with measuring tape, who is going to measure how wide and long Jerusalem is. Another angel appears with the good news that Jerusalem will one day be so full of people that it won't have enough room for everyone- and even those who live outside the walls will be protected!
The Lord says that He will live among them, that Jerusalem will be His own city. And my favorite verse, "Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for He is springing into action from His holy dwelling." (Zech 2:13)

How does that relate to today? Well, I keep hearing statements like, "The Lord has removed His hand from us because our nation has moved so far away from His will." And that may very well be the case. But I take my feelings about the direction of our nation, and I think about the people of Jerusalem, who also saw their land go through complete destruction. In the end, the Lord restored it back to them, and He "sprung into action from His holy dwelling" by sending Jesus, the Messiah Himself, to be housed in the Temple. The Lord calls us to return to Him, and He will return to us. If we want Him to return to us, we must first return to Him. Think about yesterday's message- priorities. Our priority is to put Him first, thus returning to Him. And we can live in His peace knowing that He will live among us- He has chosen us- He is passionately in love with us! And that is the hope that can withstand seeing destruction- that will still stand when nothing else has- that will keep us in the palm of His hand. We are His, and even when everything else falls, He will stand- and we will stand because he dwells within us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So, who has ever really read the Book of Haggai? I'll be honest- I'm not even sure how to pronounce it. But that's where I found myself this morning... all two chapters of Haggai. That whole book is about setting priorities, so of course it rubbed me the wrong way. I'm all about flying by the seat of my pants; priorities, schmiorities. But it really spoke to me by the time I finished reading.
Here's the setup: following the Babylonian exile, the people are returning to Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the city, including what was once Solomon's Temple. So they start working on building the Temple back- but opposition arises. (Enter Haggai, the prophet who tells it to you straight)
The Lord gives a message to Haggai that the people are more interested in themselves and their luxurious houses, than rebuilding his Temple (which by the way looks like a pile of rocks). Haggai doesn't sugar-coat it; He tells it to them straight... put the first things first. He asks them to remember it the way it was, and to take courage and work, for the Lord is with them. After the encouragement from the Lord, the people respond by completing the Temple- and clearing a place for God in their hearts.

Alright so no- it's not exactly like that in my everyday life- it's not about physically rebuilding anything at all. But spiritually, it's exactly where I am. Think about it: there are 168 hours in a week. So how is it that some people get so much done, and I feel like I get nothing done? Priorities! The people finished building the Temple in the midst of opposition because that was their number one priority. And that got me to thinking- and those of you who know me know that's a scary situation. What are my priorities? Well, looking back over the last week, my priorities have been sleep, food, visiting family because I have a new nephew, catching up on work from being out, sleep and food. But what about the Lord? I mean, if I really think about it, what do I want to look back on when I reach the age of 40, 55, 70? My job? The stress that's causing me to worry all the time? NO! I want to know more about the Word of God; I want to have a consistent prayer life; I want to have a family who is walking with the Lord alongside me. So, as much as I hate to admit that I'm wrong about anything- my priorities are out of whack! My first priority should be first and foremost the Lord and my relationship with Him. He says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness. THEN all these things shall be added unto you." Everything falls into the correct place when you're top priority is God.

Haggai, you can slap me in the face and call me wrong. This is the time for getting our priorities straight. Yes, there's opposition all around us- but the reward comes when we stay the course. We build the Temple of the Lord (which is our bodies) to house Him. Then the other stuff can happen. You can have all the power, fame, riches, nice houses, nice cars, and nice clothes because of "what you have accomplished for yourselves"- but where does that leave you? I am nothing unless I'm His daughter first. If He is honored first, all that other stuff can come and go, but it won't affect my stability which is in Christ.

So, how's that for today's lesson? Pretty good I think. I'm off to prioritize my day... which has already tried to take on a life of it's own.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A time for babies- and no, I'm not pregnant!

May I introduce you to my new nephew... William Bradford? He will go by Bradford. Isn't he the cutest thing you have ever seen? After two hours of pushing, he finally decided to give his mom a break and make his grand entrance! It was a wonderful day, and I've never seen my brother that happy. I can't wait to see who this little guy becomes. He's already gotten everyone smitten over him. Plus, he's bound to look good- between his parents' good looks, and their style- he's going to be one good looking baby.
To see more pictures, you can visit my website at: