Tuesday, June 26, 2007
This season has been long from an earthly perspective. It has been full of one central question. God has been asking, "Will you trust me?"
While our testimony of what God has provided for our future is so generous and sweet and a hundred other words, what I want to say today is that God was generous, sweet, faithful, hopeful, good and a provider of peace and joy during the waiting. When I doubted, life was awful. When I believed in Him, the words on the pages of Scripture came alive in me. There is so much life available to us in submissive dependency on God. There is so much life available in a state of humility. There is angst and misery in pride and independence.
So why was it good and loving for God to force me into a state of waiting the last couple of years? I have discovered, at least in part, the answer to that recently. It turns out one of the hallmarks of my personality is a drive to acheive. This is a quality that God has place in me. It has been a strength. But as we all know strengths are also our greatest weaknesses. You see, I haven't been good at all in the past at waiting on God. I think God looked down on me and said okay now is the time. It's time to teach our dear Cheri the value of waiting. I think God knew that I believe just enough in His goodness and His love that forcing me to wait would not break my faith instead it would strenghen it.
I can honestly say that I am grateful for what I have come to know about the Lord and what I understand about myself as a result of the journey I have been on. I don't think an easier path would have provided me what I am so grateful for now.
Here's the crazy generous part! Five days before getting on the road to return to Dallas to continue a job search for my husband, he got a job offer in Dallas with a move package included for the company he most wanted to go to work for. Grace, Grace God's Amazing Grace!
Do you know that God loves you just as much when he is saying "no" and "maybe" and "I'll let you know eventually" and "yes"!
Yet this I will call to mind and therefore I have hope, because of the Lord's GREAT LOVE, we are not consumed. His COMPASSION never fails, they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I will say to myself, the LORD is my portion, I will wait for Him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3
Thank you for going out of your way to teach me to wait. Thank you for pouring your love out on us. Thank you for brothers and sisters in Christ that we could depend on as we waited. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do on our behalf.
Amen and Amen
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Days like today take me back to our son's preschool days. There were so many choices for educating him. Homeschool, public school and private school. All our friends wanted to make a good decision and one that matched our families and matched our kids. We asked God for guidance. We were given an answer. It went well. The cycle has continued every year since then. I marvel at what God has provided every single year. Great teachers. Great schools. Both great and small challenges. We have been blessed and we are grateful.
In addition to feeling reflective, I'm also very delighted. I have often pondered what my son would be like as he grew into a man. The little boy is fleeing and the young man is emerging. And, I like him. He is engergetic, fun loving, eternally optimistic, good to his friends and quick to wear shirts and sweatshirts that declare to the world his love of God.
Many of you who read this blog have contributed to his life in countless ways. I want to say Thank you!! From the bottom of this Momma's heart, Thank you!!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
A few ideas have come to mind. First of all, I believe it is important to remember that anytime mankind takes a look at scripture and makes decisions about what they understand the Word of God to say they risk being only partially correct. I think the Lord I worship is so complex that to determine that I can sum Him and His teachings up is at best persumptuous. So I allow myself to consider doctrines and listen to how they were arrived at. But when I camp, when I dwell, when I worship I do that based on my relationship with God. I have seen evidence that if I worship a doctrine I run the risk of becoming arrogant and self-righteous.
Thinking about a doctrine is usually an intellectual exercise. Consistently this exercise has a pattern. I read a doctrine. I read the defense of the doctrine. I read the verses used to defend the doctrine. Usuall, I come to the end of the arguement thinking I can see why someone could arrive at that belief. But then that next thing almost always happens. "But what about this passage or this verse?" Right now I am more afraid of what I will miss if I ignore that last question then what I will gain by being rigid in my interpretation of God's Word.
I hope this perspective invites a walk with God that is marked with humility, because this requires me to pay close attention to the Lord. It is my hearts desire to have a relationship with and to be a worshipper of God not doctrine.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
The thing about silence and our culture is they really don't go together very well. I personally have avoided silence like the plague and welcomed with open arms the noisiness. Silence only represented a lonely place for me.
Sitting, in silence with the Lord, is not for the faint of heart especially if your one who naturally loves noise. It is also not an invitation to mindlessness. Many Christians avoid this topic because they are afraid they are being invited to participate in mindlessness.
When I read different authors explain their way of sitting with God silently I found there are many variations of this practice. It was very helpful to read a handful of them. I'll leave that to you to explore on your own if your interested. The times when I sit quietly with the intention of focusing on the Lord is quite random. These times are very short in their duration. Usually five minutes maybe ten minutes tops.
My intention for writing this is to share what I have discovered so far from choosing silence:
I am more comfortable and even often prefer to have nothing going on in the background of my life.
Silence is not lonely anymore because overall I am more aware of the presence of God.
I more readily accept that God is God and I am not. My attitude can be more easily brought to a place of surrender in everyday circumstances. I yearn for God's words, "Be still and know that I am God" to be the attitude of my heart. In other words I don't feel as full of my own agenda. I am hopeful it is easier for God to get my attention.
Which brings me back to my very favorite verses these days:
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Friday, June 01, 2007
A friend suggested we change up our usual Friday walk at the beach and go on a hike instead. So we went 15 miles or so south to a place called El Moro Canyon. It was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. Amazing vistas. For a Colorado girl that's saying somethin'. :)
big birds and little birds
minding their own business birds and hunter birds
sandy canyons descending to the ocean
the beautiful blue pacific
a regatta race of sailboats
pink, purple, yellow and white wildflowers
30 plus miles of California Coastline
confusing trail signs
homes with views that have no end
California really is an amazing place. I still can't believe I've had the opportunity in my life time to live in a beach community and in a mountain community. I'm so very grateful .
What do you love about where you live now or where you come from?