Last night we were invited to hear the events of the last 10 months in the lives of Lara Jane and Marshall Coffey. For those of you who remember the Bridgwater family - Lara Jane is number 3 of the 5 girls. They have been planting a church in Waco. As I talked with Lara Jane before the presentation she explained how her two yr. old was praying in a relational way so much faster and deeper than the others did and how she looks back through the rear view mirror and watches her little ones praise God with arms up and eyes closed. Their family is growing through the experience of meeting others and teaching Jesus. They are finding themselves choosing to make friends with the unchurched and working through all that involves. Living very intentional and depending on God for all of the resources needed to walk this journey. They are planning events that would connect them with other families and then making some follow-up. While on this path they see God's finger and timing that looks quite different than what they would plan. As i heard Marshall describe this life, i wondered, isn't this the way we are all suppose to live? It was a challenge to me and a time of questioning. How have I handled my time as I have moved to Abilene? If I want to see God work in my life, I must be a risk taker for Him. There were times in the presentation I could feel tears coming but i suppressed them, and I have had to wonder what was that feeling? Am I touched in how God can and does change lives. Yes. Do I feel I am making the most of the opportunity that God has given me in a new town? Not sure. Am I impatient with myself or with a plan from God? I feel each day I meet people, and events come that i didn't expect but are open to and I ask what was I suppose to learn, or to enjoy as a blessing? I turned to the book, Prayer by Richard Foster I looked at the table of contents and wondered, questioned where am I, what chapter would I best benefit from? I chose the chapter entitled, The Prayer of Examen. After only a few pages I knew I had picked the perfect one.
Psalms 139:1, "Yahweh, you examine me and know me."
I Chronicles 28:9, "The Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought.
I Corinthians 2:10, "the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God"
Richard Foster took me into two different ways to examen.
1. Examen of consciousness - the discovery of God's presence in my day and how I respond to Him.
2. Examen of conscience - the uncovering the areas that need to be cleansed and purified and healed.
The first was what I experienced as I went to the presentation last night. God's power of changing lives was part of what I heard and I responded with suppressed tears and smiles. I was excited to hear what I know but need to be reminded of.
The second is what I began to do as I left and still am doing. I want God to walk with me as I search and I allow Him to search my heart. Foster reminds us that God will show us what we need to see when we need to see it. Yes, this part can be painful but as we remind ourselves of the presence of God's love in our lives we will be glad to have this "purifying fire and welcome it's cleansing."
Check the blog out and support them if you are able. Check out Richard Foster and his book, Prayer. Let God in your mind and heart and let Him help you search your heart. Peace.
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