Monday, March 30, 2009

Praying Childlike Prayers

It is interesting how some sermons linger in our brains, how we grab a wee thought and dissect it and then regurgitate it and ponder some more. I have been thinking through the aspect of prayer and also the no holds barred give myself to God sermon. What does that look like, what I am holding onto, what is off limits? I think this type of sermon could be intimidating because most of us are perfect on the outside.LOL It could also be intimidating because we are in denial, and think we are perfect on the inside too. (LOL even harder than the first.)

On prayer: I am so thankful that God meets us where we are. I am trying to ascertain what I felt like as a young adult Christian. Did those who spoke well, who had an anointing and such boldness, intimidate me? Did I feel less than them, or not as powerful, did I question whether God would actually hear my prayers. Absolutely! A fancy smacy prayer with big words was not where I was. I am still not that type of pray “er”. So why do we set standards, although they are not written down or verbalized…we do as a community of believers pray in a certain way. Childlike prayers are pleasing to God, imagine a child praying and they stare in awestruck wonder in faith from the heart. They have no baggage, no history of unanswered prayers, no heartaches covered up with a tough exterior. I want to pray like that. Which brings me to …what is off limits to God?

I pray that my prayers are full of passion, that what God hears is simple faith filled childlike requests. If God calls me to do something, I pray I wouldn’t question the motive, or wonder if there was a hidden agenda. I would unconditionally surrender even the things that are hidden on the outside. I don’t want to pray like anybody else, with eloquence and knowledge and well versed. I am thankful that God meets me, Colleen where I am. I cry, I beg for confirmation, I ask for the world, nothing is too big for my God, I grapple for the right words, stumble and ask for the Holy Spirits’ leading, not knowing what to pray. But we know God hears our prayers.
I want to be willing to give up whatever God puts on my heart for the work of the kingdom. I want the vulnerability, willingness, and humbleness of the women that touched Jesus’ robe. Graham Cooke mentioned that God doesn’t talk to our heads, he talks to our hearts; that is where I evaluate my service. Is it no holds barred, is my heart well protected. Is my heart listening? Is yours?

I have in the past, been asked to share with an old friend, one I had not seen in over 15 years. I had a million reasons why I would not look that person up and share God’s love and the message of salvation. Over a million I would guess, including pride…or being turfed out of the house. In retrospect, that would have been fun for my reputation.

I realize now what a mistake it was, but I was a work in progress and God is patient. I ache that I limited God’s potential, He couldn’t move, I tied His hands. His magnificence could not be shared. I pray Jussi and I can continue to seek God’s will for our lives. No holds barred, I pray that there is nothing holding us back, and I pray for the women in front of me in the express line that is waiting for a price check. Instead of sending us to the mission field, I see now God is bringing the mission field to us, how cool is that… now bring on the sun of Haiti!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I want to sit at your feet....

One of the themes I love to read about is transformation. The reason? The Bible teaches that, as a Christ-follower I can leave behind my dumpster of mistakes, regrets, hurts, and failures for a renewed mind and a transformed life. Nothing can be better than that. I envision my future as a life filled with God-given purpose, passion, adventure, forgiveness, health, relationships, and more!

In the song Christ for the Nations, we sang at church how we need to seek more of God and if we do we will find him and he will overwhelm us. I can hardly sing the words without tearing up.

I wanna sit at your feet,
drink from the cup in Your hand
Lay back against You and breathe, feel your heartbeat

CAN YOU IMAGINE??? Yes I am screaming now, oh my, I can’t even articulate what this means, how this would feel….and then sing….

This love is so deep,
its more that I can stand
I melt in Your peace,
its overwhelming…

I love the thought of melting, I know many times in my life, I just wanted to melt away into the safety of His loving arms, not to say I have wanted to die, I just want to feel His heartbeat, I want to know He is real, I want more, I want answers to the why’s of life. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that is what He does. He dwells within us, he feels our pain, our anguish and he shares our excitement, He holds us up and fills us up, when no one else can. WOW is this not all too much to comprehend? I looked up the definition of overwhelmed, to see how I could best use this definition of love when I am sharing with others.

overwhelm |ˌōvərˈ(h)welm
bury or drown beneath a huge mass : Christ’s love can cover us and those around us.
defeat completely : His love overwhelmed the enemy!

There were other definitions too, but they all used encompassing, overpowering, inundating…I WANT to be overwhelmed by HIS love and it is my prayer that we ALL can share with others the overwhelming acceptance, love, peace and the beauty of grace with others as we go into all the world, here in our neighborhoods and in our workplaces and in every situation where God intends to use us!

Comfy vs Stylish..which would you chose??

Today I thought I would check out some runners on line so that when I went to make my purchase I would know which ones I wanted, or ones that fit my budget. Was I in for a surprise! This is MY advertisement for making your Google searches specific, don't just type shoes...Check this out, Can you imagine??? Old ugly feet shoes???
Or toe shoes??

Security Shoes for Ladies that work the streets, complete with active emergency help buttons. .
Or shoes with a built in cd player..wonder how they play without skipping?? GPS shoes would be a great idea for hikers and for kids, I certainly would never tell my teen it is in their shoe.LOL

Or a Finnish fave, daddy can I walk on your toes shoes…

Painful high heels…. Or just plain happy shoes!

My education for the day swings far from scriptural passions or deep pondering thoughts. Today looking at the perfect morning, I can swing into comfy shoes, and the need to get out and spend time in the crisp morning air, and the fact that I love my old runners, I don’t need another pair!

I am thankful that the Lord can use the internet for good and teach us the difference between comfy and secure vs stylish and new..even when it comes to shoes! C

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Life doesn't just HAPPENS..

There is no doubt that here in North America we live the good life. We have our share of political condundrums, poor water quality, soaring prices and endless rain, but nothing compared to living in other parts of the world. The valley captivates those that come to visit, cements those of us that choose to call it home and beckon those that have never skied, golfed and gone to the beach all in one day. We can benefit sometimes from reading all the tourism propanganda and be reminded, we really do live in the land of plenty. I personally have seen a huge change in the last 25 years here, some things for the good and some things that hurt. So all the say "NO" to Walmart people stop reading now...but bringing affortable shopping options has been a good thing. The airpark construction has been one of mine and Jussi's greatest joys. He loves planes and I love the beach. Many of you too have spent endless hours there, sometimes chatting, power walking, chasing a kid on a new skateboard or sometimes just because you have some time. I cannot hide the hurts though and I struggle with how to help, how to get involved, how to make a difference and just how loud we need to be. The affordable housing projects that need to be okayed and put into action are the first of many sore spots with our local government. Do your part and don't let these matters sit for another year. Ask questions, PRAY, we have been given favor, it is like an umbrella, so YELL bring on the rain...because no matter what paperwork is necessary and what heads need to turn, OUR GOD is much bigger. I remind myself daily of God's incredible faithfulness and love...he blesses us, we hear from an old friend, have time to chat with a new friend, and life just goes exponentially with favor! Life in Christ doesn't just HAPPENS!