Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Fire Blower

I've been building a lot of fires lately.  I'm not very good.  Just started last winter, and am highly reliant on the starter blocks and my fire blower.  The girls love it when I use the fire blower because they see the logs glow when I blow on them; and what looks to be a completely failed fire can be revived!

It reminded me of Genesis 2: 7 "(God) breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being." When breath is breathed on the logs that have been in the fire; the flame comes to life again.

I think Jesus can be our fire blower.  I actually think that's His job as the Holy Spirit.  The logs that haven't been in the fire cannot be ignited with the blower, but the logs that have the Spirit in them - have been lit by the flame, can be reignited with breath.

Matthew 3:11 says He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  "He will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you" - changing you from the inside out.  (The Message)

As we contemplate His birth, let Him blow on that Spirit inside of you, and be amazed by the flame He came to set ablaze!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deep Thoughts from "Chipwrecked"...

After I woke up about 45 minutes into the movie; I actually found some (3) cool comparisons to bore the kiddos with on the ride home...

Spoiler alert:

The Chipmunks get lost on an island (I was asleep before that, so I can't tell you how they got there); and Alvin was pretty naughty, so he didn't think Dave would come look for them.  But he did.  He went searching for them because they're his kids.  It doesn't matter how good or how bad they were - Dave would do anything to find them and bring them back (see the parallel?).  Once Dave found Theodore, he picked him up, and Theodore just sighed a big sigh of relief and rested his big ol' head on Dave's shoulders - comforted by the safety of his Father!

Then there was Simon - he gets bit by a spider and changes personalities into "Simone" - a suave, brave French guy/chipmunk.  He used to be this squirrelly (no pun intended), scaredy cat who never did anything halfway risky - to Alvin's dismay.  But all of a sudden he's a new personality; and it's way cool - he's living life to the full; and having fun being brave!  Once his bite wears off, he is reminded by others of the things he had done before, and since he hears that it is in him - he starts being brave again.  We have a true self, too - that has been suppressed for so long, that God is trying to get out of us and show us how bold He really made us!

Lastly, Zoe.  She has been on this island for 9 years searching for some treasure.  She went to the island searching for a treasure - with no way to get home!  So, what is she going to do with the treasure???  Who really cares if she finds millions of dollars in gold if she's stuck on an island!  That's this earth!  We can't take it with us  - "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal - for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also".  Mt 6:19-21

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Indulgence...

For Christmas, I would like a yellow Hummer, a motorcycle of any kind, and the siding on my house to be changed to log-cabin style.

Websters defines indulge as "to yield to or satisfy (a desire); give oneself up to".

Jesus wants us to indulge in Him.
He says to eat of Him and drink of Him.
"To give ourselves up to Him" - as Websters would say...

He came to the world in person, as a baby, to ask for our hand in marriage because that's how proposals are done - by the person - not through someone else.  He's the bridegroom - and wants to rescue his bride (from indulging on other things).
This is the ultimate proposal - better than your name on a baseball stadium's scoreboard, better than your name written in the clouds, or on a blimp, or on TV...  God came down from heaven for you!
And He doesn't make your pockets any emptier, waistline any tighter, or following day any foggier.


"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God.  He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat." Mt. 5:6  The Message
Indulging in our bridegroom allows us to see who we were created to be, to see others as God sees them,  and keeps me pretty content when I don't get my yellow hummer - until heaven...

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Ultimate Goalkeeper

My middlest brought home the picture book about Goalkeepers this week.  I'm sure it was for me, because she is like that, a pleaser (sometimes); so, of course, we sat down and read it right away.  I read way too much for her liking -  all of the words, instead of the ones just under the pictures, because it had a lot in it and I was starting to see something that I had never seen before.  She left, and I continued to read the picture book on my own...  This is what I read:

A Goalkeepers job is to stop the other side from scoring goals.


They must be strong and able to react quickly.

They see how an opposing attack is building up...

They communicate with their team and tell them what to do because they can see the whole field.

A clean sheet is achieved with no goals allowed.



If you are a defender there's nothing better than looking around and seeing a goalie behind you who's in complete control of his area.

Do you see it, too?
Jesus is the Ultimate Goalkeeper.
All those balls we miss while playing the game; HE SAVES FOR US!!'
He gave us a clean slate when He died.  No one has scored on Him!
He sees the enemy and give us wisdom and strength to avoid him.
He is always awake and ready to defend (intercede) for us!
There is nothing better than sitting still and knowing Jesus is with us - and He's in complete control!

I loved knowing that my team had confidence in me as a goalie; how much more must He love being depended on to meet all of our needs, wants, and desires...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Celebrating Silently...

I've been pondering why more Christmas Carols aren't more upbeat and celebratory (can't really work out to most of them).
Why so many of them are slow?  It bothered me, but now, I'm good with it and here's why:

I think it's like when you're on a roller coaster;  they say the people who are truly scared are totally silent.  Or when you witness a huge fire or a big accident, or a major storm - you don't scream about it, you're silent - taking it all in.  And, when you give birth (or witness it) - you don't scream and yell in excitement in the delivery room - even though it is VERY exciting - you are still, you are in awe, or you just cry and can't talk, like I did - you "ponder these things in your heart" as Mary did  (Luke 2:19)

With a little help from Websters, and my Ipod, I was able to see the connection.
"Come and behold Him" = to look, to see, to regard
"Oh come let us adore Him" = worship, love greatly, honor highly
When we are doing these things; it is a deep, internal regard - something we do with our hearts - something that shows what we esteem.  I scream excitedly when my child scores a goal, but I am silent and in awe, when she is born. Because that is bigger.

This is the biggest thing that had ever happened - God has come to earth - as a baby - "Fall on you knees" (O, Holy Night),  "(shepherds) quake at the site" (Silent Night)!  Be silent and treasure these things with a nice, slow Christmas Carol...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Not My Will, But Yours...

Wouldn't it be cool if when you asked your twelve year old (who was very busy texting her friends on the couch) to do the laundry; she paused, thought, and said "not my will but yours, Mom."

Or if, when your nine year was happily singing her lungs out in her room after her younger sister was put to bed and you asked her to stop - she replied, "okay, not my will, but yours."

Or, when your six year old decides she is supposed to have candy for breakfast and you tell her no way - she politely responds "not my will but yours."

That would be pretty cool if they thought about it, decided it was better to obey mom than obey their own selfish desires for their own enjoyment.

That's exactly what God wants us to learn.
That's exactly what Mary knew, and taught to her Son.

When asked to bear the Son of God instead of going on with her scheduled plans of getting married first, then having children, she tossed her life plans out the window and went on the experiment that God asked her to go on - and it was Amazing!!!  Looking back, there's no way she could say she wished she listened to herself instead of God.

When He knew God wanted Him to die on the cross and experience God's wrath, but didn't really want to - maybe He remembered the lesson that His mom taught Him from her experience - not our own will, but God's (Ortberg)!  It's way better!

Today when you come to that crossroads; which will you decide?  Go with God and His will for you - His plans are greater than we can ever imagine!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent, Emmanuel, and Eternity!

Advent is defined as the arrival of something that has been awaited; the coming of something very important.  Yes, Christ has come!  The Messiah who has come to save the world of sin has come, and for that we are to reflect and celebrate, but there is more...

We are still waiting for something.

Emmanuel is seen again.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."  Rev. 21:1-3

The day is coming when God will satisfy our deepest longings and fulfill our highest dreams.  All ecstasies and intimacies will be met in God! (Luke 20:34-36)
I've been sitting on this verse for a week.  Yes, this day is coming, and we have hope in that because God is faithful and keeps His promises.  BUT, we can pursue this now!  The more we allow Him to satisfy our deepest desires, the more He will prove Himself faithful.  His Kingdom is within us - He came as a baby to live among us; then gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us - until He comes back to live with us again.

This is the other half of advent.  Anticipate His second coming, knowing He came once, born of a virgin, to save us, He will come again, to be with us forever in a new heaven and a new earth!