Sunday, April 26, 2009
Hello friends!!! As always, I have way more I would love to tell you than I am going to be able to right now. So for now I'm going to stick with explaining my new blog title/theme. : ) It all started a couple of years ago with an ice-breaker question. "If you were a sea creature what would you be and why?" I decided I would be a sea turtle because in some areas of my life I feel as free and graceful as a sea turtle in the ocean and in other parts of life I feel like a sea turtle plodding along on the beach in the sand. : ) For example, today was a day of life "in the ocean." I got to lead worship this morning at church, got to challenge and encourage people (and see them respond! Woohoo!), then spent the afternoon in a leadership meeting for church with people that I LOVE talking about what God's doing in our church. Today was just sweet. : ) Tomorrow, however, will be life "on the sand." My house is a mess. The laundry is piling up all over the place. The floors are sticky and crumby. And I have other things to try to get done aside from pulling the house back together. I have struggled through the years with housework, time management in general and have many times gotten overwhelmed by it all. One day as I was pondering the "sea turtle" feeling and how hard it was for me "on the sand" I heard God whisper to me to "Bring the tide in..." Ahhh... I knew what He was saying. Bring the spiritual stuff INTO the mundane. PRAY when I'm doing the dishes. WORSHIP when I'm folding the laundry. SPEND TIME fellowshipping with God throughout the day. So for me that's what "Bringing in the Tide" means... learning how to view everything from the perspective of bringing God glory, no matter what I'm doing. I'm still learning a lot... but you know me. I'll be back to tell you about it!!! : ) Bless you all this week!!! Remember Jesus loves you so much more than you have ANY idea or ability to comprehend... : ) Love, Melissa
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Well if you're reading this on my blog (and not in Google reader or something like that) you might see that things look a little different. I'm playing around with changing the look (and title!) of my blog and it got goofed up and I don't have time to do anything else, so for now (after I change just ONE more thing...) I'm just going to leave it alone and hopefully this weekend I'll have some time to work on it because I'll be at the coast with my hubby celebrating our 13th anniversary WITHOUT OUR CHILDREN and it seems very logical that I would spend some of my free ttime playing with my blog. Ideally, while I'm sitting on the beach listening to the waves. (Though I suspect the wind would blow sand into my keyboard and that would not be good... so maybe not on the beach.) Can I just tell you I can't wait????? Not to work on my blog... to get away! It's been a year since we've gone anywhere without the kids and while I love them dearly, I am really ready for a little time away - and I know I'll love them even more when I come home. : ) And I can't wait to spend some time reminiscing with my hubby about when we got engaged and stuff like that (b/c that's where we're going!) Maybe I'll see you there...
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Once upon a time, a couple thousand years ago, a seed was planted… surely by the very hands of God. The Father, Son and Spirit must have formed this seed carefully, intently watching it fall to the ground, to be covered with earth and die so that it could live and grow. For this would be no ordinary tree. It would grow straight and strong and someday be cut down… to be raised up again so that the Son of Man could die upon it for you and me. It must have been a holy moment when the seed first opened beneath the ground, beginning to reach for the sun and the sky… And to this day it still points to the Son. I wonder. Did Jesus know? Did he ever walk by that tree and know it was the one? Was it already growing the night the angels appeared to the shepherds singing “Glory to God in the highest!”? Did it grow like a silent keeper of the time that was passing, of the time that was coming when Jesus would fulfill the prophecies and shed His blood so that we could be forgiven and one with the Father? For long before the seed was planted, a curtain was hung in the temple. Woven under the watchful eye of God by skilled hands, it stood as a symbol of the separation between God and man. Sacrifices were offered. Blood was shed. The merciful Father forgave, but knew that one day, the curtain would be torn! Not by human hands bent on destruction or even the passing of time, but by the mighty hands of God as Jesus cried “It is finished!” God reached down from heaven and tore the curtain in two from top to bottom! How He must have longed for that day to come! How all of heaven and hell must have been awestruck at the death of Christ giving way to this! The removal of the separation between God and man! The price was paid for all! Hallelujah!!! But those who loved Him didn’t understand. They didn’t know. And they came searching. Grieving. Mourning. They didn’t know that when the foundations of the world were laid, a stone was formed... a stone that would seal the tomb of its Creator, only to be rolled away on the 3rd day! The beloved women and astonished disciples came and saw that huge stone, rolled away to reveal the empty tomb and the fulfilled promise that Jesus would rise again. And they believed! The stone was rolled away. The curtain was torn. The tree had served its purpose. It was finished. And Jesus was alive!
The Matthew 27: 50-54"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, 'Surely he was the Son of God!' "
Friday, April 03, 2009
My next memory verse/passage (as part of this) is Psalm 91. Yeah, the whole thing. I actually had it memorized several years ago, but it's been buried under all the mommy things in my head (hah! I have piles of stuff lost in my head just like in my house!) SO, in light of the intensity of life these last few weeks, God and I agreed it would be good to re-memorize it! I just wanted to share a couple of things I have already gotten out of studying the first two verses. It's neat (to me, anyway!) that in the first 2 verses alone, 4 of God's names are used by the Psalmist. I love that! Here is verse 1 with some other meanings of the words in ( ). 1 He who dwells (remain, sit, abide, inhabit) in the shelter (covering, hiding place, secrecy) of the Most High (Elyown – the Most High God) will rest (lodge, stop over, pass the night) in the shadow (shade) of the Almighty. (El Shaddai – almighty, most powerful) I just love this image. Sitting (makes me think of how hard it is for me to sit still…) or dwelling – staying in the hiding place of the Most High God… It’s not just a shelter, but a secret hiding place! I LOVE THAT… maybe because I feel so surrounded and watched by the enemy right now, the idea of having a hiding place in God seems like something I’m desperate for. So if I stay in the Most High’s hiding place, I will rest – pit stop! – in the Almighty El Shaddai’s shadow. I love the picture of being hidden in His huge shadow. Ahhh... 2 I will say (speak, utter) of the LORD (Jehovah - Yahweh), "He is my refuge (shelter – from elements or danger) and my fortress (stronghold), my God (Elohim), in whom I trust (trust in, be confident, to be bold, to be secure, to feel safe, be careless.)" God continues to put me (or allow me into) situations where my faith is tested and I am challenged to TRUST HIM. The other day I was at my old college without my kids and I stopped in at our old prayer chapel. It was the strangest thing to open those doors and walk into this little old building and feel like I had walked back into 1994. Same carpet, same smell, same pews, same pictures on the walls... That place is so special to so many people that I don't think anyone will ever let it be updated or modernized. I walked up to the front and found a binder from the years I was a student there. It contained prayers people had written, including some of mine. I found a few and one... well, let's just say it could have been written by me today. I was getting ready to graduate and nervous about the future and the change that was looming on the horizon. What's funny is that I had NO IDEA what really was in store for me in the months following that entry (some of you know what I'm talking about) but GOD KNEW. Even then He was calling me to trust Him and I knew that I could and had to. And HE WAS SO VERY FAITHFUL. I'm in another one of those places right now. Change is looming on the horizon and it's quite scary for me. I was so struck the other day by how much and how little has changed in the last 15 years. I still struggle with trust... but God continues to be faithful. He always will. I wonder if trusting ever gets easy. I sort of think that when trusting Him with some things gets easy, He just finds new things for us to trust Him with. Because if it wasn't hard, would it really be trust? I don't quite know how to explain what I mean... maybe because I need to go to bed. Maybe because it can't really be captured in words. But either way, I'm thankful for Psalm 91 and what God is reminding me through it. My job is to rest in Him and trust Him. His job is to protect me when I do. And I know He will.