Time to Sway

This morning I was doing my devotions and listening to my praise music. I had laid down my Bible and was reflecting on the message the song I was listening to. Soon I found myself swaying while sitting cross-legged. As I swayed to-and-fro I couldn't help but smile. How difficult is it to explain the sensation of God's love residing in you and you knowing and believing it to be true? Not too simple. Now why am I chatting about swaying and God's love? Well I had to ask myself the same thing, what does swaying and love mean to me? It could mean something different to each and every one of us, but this is what I believe God told me.

He reminded me of my first days of a babysitter. What would I do to a young child who needed comfort from me? I'd scoop them in my arms and rock back and forth, whispering comfort to their ear. While I held them I could feel their little bodies relax and their tears stopped and soon they were smiling at me from their perch.

I remember in one of my CPR classes, or babysitting class one lady told us girls that a baby felt more comfortable in our arms because it reminded them of being in the womb. That's where they first started out, that was their first home. If you've ever had the chance to move to a new home does it feel foreign to you at first? Then slowly over time take the place of your old home? It does to me. And to the babies they haven't had time to get used to this new world or place, to be reminded of their first home is a comfort.

Now I ask you to use your imagination with me. Picture yourselves the crying baby, or young child in desperate need of comfort. Then here comes our Heavenly Father. His strong and loving arms enfold around us, scooping us off in the ground and into his embrace. We might be crying, we might be hurt but His gentle whispers come into our ears. Each whisper assures us of His undying affection towards US. When He sways us back and forth our cares and anxieties disappear as our focus turns from ourselves and onto HIM. We are being cradled in the arms of God! I'm getting excited just thinking about it! But here's the best part, we only needed to give one sigh and God is right there. He's always there! Ready to comfort, ready to support and give strength. He loves us so much! If you doubt this just ask our fellow heir, Jesus Christ. He will vouch the genuine love of our Heavenly Father.

Isaiah 40:11 has this to say about our Father: "He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will father the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young."

I personally love that picture.

When I sway during worship, or my personal devotions I can say that I believe God arms are around me. All the truth I was singing, or reading is true, and God has revealed a little more of Himself to me. I can feel the love swirling around me, bubbling over and spilling onto my being. Sort of like a jacuzzi. The main thing is though it's God's love I'm catching. His love is contagious! Well if you can get sick with God's love, I want to catch as many germs as I possibly can!

So now I'm lifting my hands to the Father in praise and worship. Sometimes our reactions need to be different. Submission to His will, casting our burdens on His shoulders, or praising his Holy Name. But God's arms never grow weary, He delights to be our strength and peace. He delights to be our Father!

Jesus Feeds The Thousands

Start off and read Mark 6:30 - 8:1-21. Cause if you read that, this summary of sorts will make more sense.

In Mark 6:30-44 describes when Jesus fed five thousand men(even more people then that since the account doesn't include women and children, which then could possibly make it double the amount or more ) with five loaves of bread and two fish. They ate till ALL were satisfied. Afterwards there was twelve whole baskets full of broken bread and fish.

After this miracle several other events occurred, read those too (you can't get enough Bible, right?!).

So next thing you know, in Mark 8:1-21, Jesus is stuck somewhat in the same position as before, only with four thousand men (and unaccounted women and children), instead of five thousand men(and unaccounted women and children). Even though Jesus was able to provide and satisfy the hunger of five thousand men and more earlier, it didn't dawn on His disciples that He could do it again. But Jesus did do it again. The people here also were satisfied. At the end of this impromptu picnic of sorts, they gathered up what was left of the multiplied and collected seven baskets full of the remnants of the meal.

Mark 8:16-21 is my third and final description of this passage of Scripture. While in a boat Jesus' disciples realize, "Hey, we don't have any bread".
And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ear do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They said to him, "Twelve". "And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" And they said to Him, "Seven". And He said to them, "Do you not yet understand?". Mark 8:17-21

I love the disciples and Jesus in this. It kinda makes me chuckle when I read the events and the dialogue following them. Because here is the disciples, who have witnessed two GREAT miracles almost back to back that fulfilled a total nine thousand men and unaccounted women and childrens need for a meal, now in a boat with a merely twelve of them all worried about where their next meal will come from while sitting around with the Creator of food made Incarnate, Jesus.
Jesus points out the obvious to the oblivious disciples. It's hard to believe that they didn't see it themselves after the second go round but, Jesus provided not only enough but more than enough each time when they were in need of food. So the disciples were worrying about something they didn't need to worry about. If God was faithful then, why wouldn't He had been faithful then and now?

Think about this, twelve plus seven equals nineteen. NINETEEN baskets of food LEFTOVER.
God didn't skimp and doesn't skimp on what He blesses us with.


Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible,
Order things that they may neither hinder,
nor discourage me,
not prove obstacles to the progress of Thy cause;
Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall,
no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments;
May I follow duty and not any foolish device
of my own;
Permit me not to labour at work which Thou wilt
not bless,
that I may serve Thee without disgrace or debt;
Let me dwell in Thy most secret place under Thy
where is safe impenetrable protection from
the arrow that flieth by day,
the pestilence that walketh in darkness,
the strife of tongues,
the malice of ill-will,
the hurt of unkind talk,
the snares of company,
the perils of youth,
the temptations of middle life,
the mournings of old age,
the fear of death.
I am entirely dependent upon Thee for support,
counsel, consolation.
Uphold me by Thy free Spirit,
and may I not think it enough to be preserved
from falling,
but may I always go forward, always abounding
in the work Thou givest me to do.
Strengthen me by Thy Spirit in my inner self
for every purpose of my Christian life.

All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety
that is in Thee-
my name anew in Christ,
my body, soul, talents, character,
my success, wife, children, friends, work,
my present, my future, my end.
Take them, they are Thine, and I am Thine,
now and for ever.

-The Valley Of Vision

Jesus Loves The Floor Cleaners

I found myself washing the bathroom floor recently. Instead of using a mop, I was doing it by hand with a blue rag and a bottle of all purpose cleaner. I have to say, that I found the task, initially, quite gross. But as I was on my knees, scrubbing away at the dirt and whatnot a thought popped into my head. God talks to people in lots of different ways, and I've come to determine that He likes popping into my private conversations with myself(which really aren't THAT private since He knows them...but anyway).

This thought was,"Jesus loves the floor cleaners". As cheesy it sounds at first, let me explain somethings. Being on ones knees is now, and never has been very glamorous. Red, ruddy knees are not a very often complimented attribute. Then there is a fact of does ANYONE look at floors anyway? Seriously thinking about it, when you go to a person's house you don't automatically examine their floors to see if they are clean. It really is a seemingly pointless task.

But,God loves the humble. And,I don't know about you, but when I think of the word "humble" and it's position,it's being on you're knees. People might not see me cleaning floors, but God does. And, I figured, this is what a humble servant looks like. It's not about being in the highest place to be seen and have people take notice of your actions. Sometimes, it's you, cleaning floors in a bathroom. Or, say watching kids on Sunday mornings. What you're doing might not be glamorous, but God sees, and God cares, and with the right attitude, you could be glorifying God just as much as you could be if you were doing it around others.

Faithful is Our God

We all have our own way of being encouraged on a daily basis. Bible verses are tucked inside a little notebook you carry around all the time. Your Bible itself is the size of a little notebook. Or numerous verses and quotes are plastered to your wall. The latter is my method.

Throughout the day, my eyes will wander over my walls and read a specific verse or quote I have pasted there. I'll nod my head and think it's a good verse, I'm glad to have put it up there.

But yesterday something changed. I sat in my chair and read all of the verses and quotes. Going from wall to wall. But God did something different this time. Instead of me going from each one to the other, after I read a verse, God would take me back to the moment to when I had put it up. Tears could have been streaming down my face when I put up a truth about God being a shelter. Or I could have been rejoicing to know no chains are worn in the courts of the Most High. Every quote and verse had a story.

Then God did something else. Not only did he show me my circumstances when I had put those notes of encouragement on my walls, but He also showed me how He had delivered me from them. Each verse tells a story of God's faithfulness. A time when He revealed something about Himself to me.

God is so faithful! Thank you Lord for giving me a reason to smile and worhsip you with my WHOLE heart! You are an awesome Heavenly Father who delights to serve His little children.

So take a look at your own wall, or highlighted Bible, or little notebook. Ask God to reveal what was going on while you highlighted that verse, or pasted that quote. Then pray He would help you remember how he was faithful in that situation. As you hear time after time God has heard your plea and helped you take time to praise Him! Shout at the top of your lungs about His goodness, dance around your room in praise. God smiles down as he watches.

The Christian's Walk

The Christian's life is often difficult. But God's grace is sufficient, even for the biggest struggle, the strongest temptation, and the 'worst' sin.

I've often heard the analogy of the Christian 'walk' as the 'Straight and Narrow Way', opposite the broad but treacherous and ultimately fatal way of the world.

This morning God allowed me to see a picture of this; in front of our house a ditch and the driveway run parallel to each other. The drive way is wide, but as I have learned the hard way trying to back the car out it has many tight and unexpected curves where one can get stuck or wrecked.

The ditch, on the other hand, is so narrow that only one can walk down it. I saw myself walking down the ditch. Sometimes I would wander towards the edge of the driveway or fell down, but a Hand always picked me back up and guided me straight on. When walking down the ditch I couldn't see what was ahead, but I knew that I could trust the Hand that guided me, the Hand of the Builder of the ditch that would lead me to His side.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17