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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I think God gets blamed for a lot of stuff. My personal pet peeve is the person who proclaims confidently, "God told me to do this or that." The whole time they are talking, I am usually thinking to myself, "There's no way that God told you that. It's a complete contradiction of His Word or His character." Don't get me wrong. I definitely believe that most Christ followers hear from God on a regular basis--we just choose to ignore him. I also believe there are those people who hear from God so easily and freely. It is as if they had their own personal headset with God's instructions piped in directly to them (boy, how I'd give anything to have one of those). But it really bothers me when someone--be it a terrorist, a pastor or some well-meaning individual--places the blame on God for their misdirected passions. I've actually had young couples sit in my office and tell me that God told them it was okay to live together before being married (and other crazy stories). What are we thinking? How can we take the name of God and pair it with messed up philosophies or selfish agendas? Do we not understand the serious nature of a statement that is preceded by "thus saith the Lord?" (although I hope none of you really talk like that). I desire so deeply to know God's instructions for my life. I want so much to parallel my life with His, to let my desires be a pure reflection of Him. Would you do me a favor? Would you keep your personal "interpretations" of God to a minimum so that the serious followers of Christ can seek out what He is really saying to us? In fact, if we all focused on what God really said to us in His word, maybe we'd all be better followers, better reflectors, better instructors and better disciples. At least, that's what I hear God saying...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NLT

I was just watching the rain as it rolled down the window at my office. It's interesting how the individual drops trace their paths across the smooth surface of glass. Each one makes its way until it joins with another to puddle somewhere in the chorus of surrounding drops. I was thinking about how many drops have fallen today, not just on my window, but all over town as the rains have come. It got me thinking about the tears that have fallen across my face these last 2-1/2 years. Just like the drops of rain, there is something cleansing and purifying about the slow release of moisture as it comes from the corner of my eyes. Every drop, numbered by God and felt deeply in His heart, was another step in healing my heart for what is next. It happened again last week as I shared my story with a group of minister's wives at a conference. I could feel my heart changing as I shared how God had carried me through this. Each time I tell the story, it reminds me of how big God is and how good He has been to me. I know He has never left me. I know He has felt the burden of my pain to a greater degree than I can. I know the level of love He has for me and the great things He desires for me. That's why I shared that verse above. When faced with trial (whether it's taking a country for the children of God or guiding your children through unfamiliar territory) you and I are asked day-by-day "Who will you follow?" I can't tell you that there were not times that following my own plan didn't seem more sensible or even easier. I may have even ventured a step or two or one hundred down the path to "my goals" for my family. But I know where the safe place is. I know where it is that my path should lead. I know Who is wiser and stronger and more faithful than all others. For me and my kids, it's a no brainer (and that's exactly how I feel some times, like a "no brainer"). I will choose this path I walk not from ignorance, on the contrary, but from experience with the One I follow. He is worth the journey, worth the trust, worth every mile I must walk and every valley I must enter. I choose only to be obedient.