Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don't Let It End!!

As the close of the day comes, I find myself not wanting it to come to the end. Easter, the actual day went way too fast for me. Even the season of Lent went too fast for me. I end the day with going through the verses of the crucifixion and the details of the empty tomb. Both are familiar, but I look for things I haven't noticed before. I love to see God's Word new.

Actually, the entire semester has slipped away from me and that is how day seems also. My thoughts of anticipation of Easter have been different for me the last two years. I am learning more about denying myself of what comes so naturally and I continue with that journey even as today comes to an end. The word VICTORY has come to me several times today and it is JOYOUS to think about my own experience of being raised up with Christ. My continued seeking on the things from above will govern my days and I look forward to the day I will be revealed with HIM in glory.

I saw this celebration today on Facebook and it is how I feel in my heart. I want to enjoy this in all seasons, but I have been able to let the season of Easter prompt new JOY! Let all of us encourage one another as the days walk by. Rejoice in the Lord, again I say REJOICE!!

Take your shoes off and CELEBRATE!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Quick Read!! Mudhouse Sabbath, by Lauren Winner

Lauren Winner converted from Judaism to Christianity in early adulthood. She points out disciplines and rituals that are part of the Jewish faith that could enhance our walk with Christ. There are activities she misses that were part of her Jewish faith experience and each chapter is about some of these topics. Some of the chapters are prayer, candle lighting and weddings, food, aging and our bodies. Mudhouse is the name of the coffee shop where Winner enjoys some down time on a Sunday afternoon. She explores her thoughts as she does things differently in her Christian walk but also enjoys drawing in some practices from her Jewish faith. I loved the way she invites Christians into a deeper and more daily walk of faith.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hearing God's Voice

Last year I went through a study called, Discerning the Voice of God and in August 09 I was given a book entitled God Guides. There have also been other verses and conversations that I have encountered that have influenced me as I have tried to listen more to God.

Since January I have been praying about opening a retail store. I know that sounds like something I have never done before, but after working at Abilene Educational Supply the past few months, the thought came to me. They have been open for 66 years and ACU has decided to close the store since there is a need for space for a new nursing program at ACU. Every person that comes into the store is sad they are closing and there is a real need for an educational supply store.

I prayed, I went to the small business bureau, I asked others for their opinion, and asked them to pray. I came up with a name, I found a location, and got the rent down to the budget I needed to operate with. It took a lot of think time. All the while I was praying and taking steps as I waited for God to answer.

As I listened and prayed about something completely different than considering opening a store, I heard God answer me this past weekend. We were at the hospital visiting Daniel's dad and I was answering three emails while Daniel and his dad visited. As I answered the emails I realized I desired more time to think about what I should be praying for in their lives1 and then actually praying for them. As I look back at all three emails, I asked them each to pray for me this week. Another thing that impacted my thinking was the simple act of looking at a recipe suggestion in my inbox that looked good. I began to think about how my time as I have worked since beginning work in December has been full and there has been very little time for extra things like fully connecting with others, having them in our home and trying a new recipe!! Now don't get me wrong, community is very important to us and we have had people in our home and have enjoyed a game night or two, since December. Time was a big part of what I was thinking about. As I finished the emails, I looked up at Daniel and said, "I'm not going to do the store."

I realized that God had allowed me to do a lot of thinking and dreaming about all of the people I have met at the store and all of the conversation that I have enjoyed since working at AES. I love to connect resources to people - the 12 yr. old girl who is looking for just the right Bible study, the missionary that is moving to Abilene and needs a rent house, the single mom who is trying to explain sexuality to her 2nd grade little boy. I meet a zillion people a day and it is so much fun. But then you have to come to reality, there is much more to running your own store than meeting people and finding resources. God has much more for me to do than all of the details of running a store and He will provide these situations and opportunities without having a store to operate. I don't know what it will look like specifically, but I know it will involve people and me learning to love.

If you wonder if God still speaks, I say YES!! It takes time and it takes being still and listening, it takes expecting to hear from him. He desires to walk close to us and guide us as we make decisions. He wants the glory and I know that I must leave time to think, pray, and listen if I am going to walk on the path He has for me.

As that Saturday ended, I looked back in my prayer journal to April 2, 2009 -- this is what I found, "thank you for all the time you given me to journey, to walk with you and others, to study and not have to give my time to a full time job. I feel I have so much on my heart and my thoughts, it would be hard to set it aside each day."

Thank you God for bringing that back to me two years later!! Peace to you my friends!!