Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meditations On the Call

The children of Israel had been ravaged by the King of Babylon. It was not without warning. For years, even decades, Jeremiah had been delivering the word of the Lord, calling them to repent, telling them of impending destruction if flagrant disobedience continued.

They dismissed his words. Readily.

Now they found themselves in desperate straits. The promised destruction had come. Broken and hurting, they search out Jeremiah, seeking a word from the Lord. And this was their pledge regarding the word:

"Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God." Jeremiah 42.6

Those are the right words. They should be our very own daily declaration. Oh, that we would so long to walk with Him that the path becomes irrelevant so long as He is on it with us. Oh, that we would hunger for His presence so much that our situation becomes insignificant in comparison to His relationship with us. To obey Him becomes our chief desire, to please Him our daily goal. Let Him take us where He will. Let Him bless us as He chooses. "Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey..."

But their hearts were not sincere. They were not broken enough, hungry enough, devoted enough. Jeremiah speaks only a few sentences more, delivering the call to live in the promised land and not return to Egypt, the land that represented no want or lack, no danger or war.

"But if you say, 'We will not dwell in this land,' disobeying the voice of the Lord your God, saying, 'No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there we will dwell,' ...none shall escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them." Jeremiah 42.13,14,17

Oh, how we prefer safety and ease. We do not like the trumpet sound, the call to war, the challenge to live without comfort, the opportunity to sacrifice. But sometimes the will of God requires us to respond to that trumpet, to wage war, to go without comfort. In fact, we are called to die daily. Imagine that.

A new year is upon us. Are we prepared to hear His voice, to answer the call, to take up the cross?

Now is the time. Stir yourselves once again. Put away the feasting, the pleasures. Renew your hearts desire to follow after Him, no matter where He leads. Prepare to hear the trumpet, to wage war, to sacrifice for His will.

He is, after all, the Lord of all. Forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Word Again

For example...

you're traveling with your little brother or young son. He wants to play 20 questions. You really, really don't like playing car games. What kind of seed could you sow in this situation? How will your choice effect your future? When you're 85 years old and desirous of some trivial catering will you have it?

Here's the scriptural principle and answer: Sow seed now and reap in the days to come.

The Word is relevant today. Every day, actually.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Word to the Wise

Plant an apple seed, reap an apple.

Plant a complaint, reap a complaint.

Plant a word of joy, reap joyful words.

Express disappointment and in time you will be surrounded by others expressing disappointment. Express confidence in God; in days to come those you've impacted will be faith-filled.

So be careful, little ladies everywhere, of what you sow. Years from now it will come back to you. May it bring you blessing, not dismay.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Script from: Smile for the Day

Honey: We're going to get the tree this morning. Guess we should leave around 10:30.

Me: I'm wondering if I should go or stay behind and get lunch on the table for the homecoming. I'm never sure what I should be doing...

Honey: Well, everything's always more fun when you're there.

Me: smiles and sighs... "Awww..."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Skimpy Christmas -- or is it fuller?

Budgets are tight -- both financial and time. So... less in the stocking, one present per child under the tree, minimal December commitments, simple decor made from what we have, no time for long deliberation = buy the gift and be done.

I am loving this. Really. Less pressure, simple joys, tapped into creativity, people time versus busy doings. Even with a wedding looming (two weeks from tomorrow!!) life seems relatively simple here. Am I missing something?

It could be that tomorrow I will wake up and remember everything I've forgotten, but maybe not. Maybe things are almost together. I do have shopping left to do. And I need to try on dresses for the wedding. And plan a Christmas party. And...and...and...

But I'm not uptight about it all. With the house full (17 for pancake and sausage breakfast with 2 or 3 sleepy heads drifting in later, scrounging food for themselves) I've learned to relax, enjoy the journey, make the most of the moment.

Today will hopefully find me crossing off various list items: a trip to the florist, some final online shopping, a dress chosen, phone calls made, and food cooked.

Tomorrow will find us at our local Christmas tree farm dressed from head to toe to battle the cold. Certain things must be done and this is definitely one of them! But I'm finding that other things can be dropped or altered; the holiday will still be celebrated. Songs, laughter, prayers of thanksgiving, tears of joy for the Gift given, warm moments shared -- these will be ours in abundance, maybe even more so thanks to skimpy budgets!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

"I'm not gonna lie..."

It's been a l-o-n-g week since Thanksgiving -- or has it been two? I don't even know without much concentrated effort!

But here I am. A trip to CA behind me, rehearsal and performance with a young group of thespians and musicians successfully completed, a party or two with presents wrapped celebrated, the meager beginnings of Christmas shopping (which still took more than a couple of hours), dresses to wear to a formal December evening wedding looked over (none chosen yet), and a few groceries purchased.

Now I sit in bed, ready to peruse some online shopping sites. I will also be putting together an "undone" list for that previously mentioned December wedding. There are odds and ends of things yet to do. Of course...

So, that's what's up with me. Not really complaining, mind you. But I'm not gonna lie -- it's been a l-o-n-g week!