Be still? Today? But there are so many distractions all around me, clambouring for my attention. Demands on my time and energy tug at me. The tyranny of the urgent, some have called it. As if that weren't enough, my own thoughts are so scattered, lacking focus.
But in the midst of it all, God calls out to me. "Be still, my child. Come to me and find rest. Listen to my 'still, small voice' leading you in paths of righteousness, bidding you lie down in the green pasture, so cool and refreshing."
So often, I come to the Lord with heart and mind full of requests, and yes, with suggestions on how He could answer them! Nevertheless, He graciously extends an invitation. He, the King of kings, requests the honour of my presence! He loves when I come to Him with an open mind and heart, ready to actively listen, not saying a word. I don't have to. After all, He already knows. In these times, my Father is longing to share HIS heart with me, for me to be satified and at rest in His love. What a privilege, what comfort!
I cannot fully comprehend such a gracious invitation, but have tasted in a small way what it must be like. When our daughters were small, they so often came to me with their requests. "Mummy, could you please get me a drink?" "Mummy, please read me a story." And on it went, day after day. Then one day, our oldest daughter came to me, dressed in her cozy pj's. "Mummy." She began. Before she could finish her sentence, I jumped in, asking what she wanted. Her reply warmed my heart. "Mummy, I don't WANT anything. I just want to curl up on your lap and cuddle. I love you so much." Does my Father's heart warm to such a response from His child? I have every reason to believe it does!
I have posted a link to the wonderful song, "Be Still, For The Presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is Here." May you be blessed as I was as you listen.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Valentine's Day has not always held a special place in my heart. I can still remember those years in primary school, when it seemed that Valentine's Day was the focus during the first two weeks of February. Our classroom would be lavishly decorated with red cardboard hearts, chubby cupids with their bows and arrrows, red and white streamers and lacey doilies. My dread increased with each passing day.
My teacher would have us decorate brown paper bags and put our names on them, then attach them along the bottom of the blackboard ledge, in anticipation of that grand day when the bags would be filled with cards. The cards had pictures of boys and girls, and had sentiments such as "Be my Valentine", "Valentine, Be Mine", "You are the one for me", and so on.
My mum took me shopping to buy a book of Valentines, which I carefully cut out, writing the name of a classmate as well as my own name on the back of each one, then placing it in a small white envelope. I loved choosing special ones for each one in my class.
The day finally arrived. As we entered the classroom, we each placed our Valentines in the appropriate bags, then waited until it was time to collect our bag and discover who had given us a special card.
I watched as others grabbed their bags and poured their cards out on their desks. The children were giggling, giddy with excitement. Most had their desk covered with those special cards. Finally, I gathered courage to open my own bag, and there would be 3 or 4 cards in it. Saddened, but not surprised, I placed those treasures back in my bag. I was not one of the popular students, I was not one of the pretty ones, and did not have pretty clothes. My hair was short and straight as a board, unlike some who had long flowing curls or ringlets. Finally, the bell rang, and I sauntered off toward home, by myself.
As I think back on those early years, I wonder how many others feel as I did. Neither pretty nor popular, just plain and ordinary. Shy, sad, alone.
One day when I was 12, I reached into another Valentine bag. In it there was one large heart. On it were written words so loving and tender, words that stirred my heart and filled me with hope. "Lynn, I love you. Jesus". Joy overflowed as I sensed the embrace of the one who had sent that card. For the first time, I knew that I was loved deeply and accepted, just as I was. I wanted to run into the arms of the one who had sent that card to me that day. And run I did, straight into the arms of the One Who loves and accepts me without condition, with an everlasting love.
There have been other loves in my life, such as my sweet husband, children, in-laws, grandchildren and dear friends. But Jesus will always and forever be my one true love, above all others. He had filled the emptiness in my heart as nothing else could. Bags of valentine sentiments from classmates are nothing in comparison. My heart is filled to the brim. May that love spill over and touch those around me. May they, too, come to know the love of our great Saviour.
"He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
(Zephaniah 3:17 - NIV)
No love song could ever compare with the one He sings over us, His beloved ones!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
PURE PLEASURE by Gary Thomas is a thoughfully written and thought-provoking book. In it, Gary addresses the question "Why do Christians feel so bad about feeling good?"
The book is full of Scripture quotations as well as illustrations from his personal experiences and those of well-known and lesser-known Christians throughout history. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion and reflection. These are not questions with easy answers, but rather, the reader is challenged to delve deeper into the "why" of what we believe and how we live.
This book is not a quick read. I would recommend it for group discussion. It is powerful. I have been challenged personally, and believe this will be a book to loan out to others. Well done, Gary!
Gary's website - http://www.garythomas.com/
Blog tour participants - Be sure and stop by for a visit Feb. 1-5 http://www.blogtourspot.com/thomas-tour/thomas-tour-stops
Pure Pleasure may be purchased through http://www.amazon.com/
I wish to thank Zondervan for providing a copy for review.