Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Blue Sky Taco

 Today I was sun (Son) kissed! I spent my quiet time this afternoon at Maumee Bay State Park on Lake Erie. It was a BEAUTIFUL day...one I wish all of summer could be like. I don't often spend my quiet time outside because it's distracting to me. I want to look at everything and explore rather than stay focused on what God wants to say to me. Today was not this way. The moment I began my time alone with Him, it was like all of creation was joining in to honor Him and bring me His voice.

My time with Him began with thanksgiving and praise for the good things He is doing currently. Immediately I felt my heart fill with joy over His goodness...this in of itself is a miracle. I often waste so much time living in disappointment over things that haven't happened yet. It's a sin-weakness of mine that I've been asking God to change. Today I was taken off guard by how much joy I felt over His goodness, so much so, that it revealed to me that He is transforming my heart from misery to joy. The God who created all that I was looking at today is working in my little heart!

With that, I turned to the sky and yelled (I'm not a yeller so this was fun, too!), "Thank You for transforming me, Jesus!" Right then, I became fixated on the sky. I was noticing the different layers and shades of blue. I could see across Maumee Bay to where Monroe's beaches would be. The sky is so vast and big. Today it was so perfect and clear. Is this the kind of day it will be when the sky splits open and Jesus appears?

My mind stayed on Jesus' return. I don't think about this as often as I should. But now I am. I am so acquainted with having a relationship with Him that is veiled by this earth that I live on. I've seen glimpses of His eyes and His arms. I've heard whispers of His voice. A few weeks ago, Pastor John said he saw Jesus come up behind me during worship and put His hand on my head. I believe him, but I didn't physically feel Jesus' hand...only the effects of it. How will my life change when I can really see the fullness of His beauty? Today I became more hungry. Today I became a little bit more excited and little bit less afraid that I might still be living on earth when He returns. Can you imagine being His child, His Bride and living to see the day when the sky rolls back like a big blue taco to reveal heaven? Then, out of heaven here HE comes???! HE! The ONE that I'm devoting my life to. The ONE who greets me with a mercy kiss every morning my eyes are awakened! The ONE who is so beautiful that even the heavenly hosts in all their splendor can do nothing but fall down to worship Him! What if it's on a day like today...a cloudless, vast perfect sky? How will the sky be rolled back? Will Jesus just command it to? Or will the hand of the Father do it? Or those weird creepy creatures with the eyes all over their bodies...will they do it?

I often feel jealousy towards the disciples for getting to live with Jesus and walk with Him here on this earth. What it must have been to hear His voice expound on His own Scriptures! But today my jealousy waned. What if I get to be on the earth when Jesus returns for the Bride He's been groaning and interceding for? Wow...take that Peter! :)

Nothing will be right until He returns! Maranatha, Jesus!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Clear and Concise...

Worship is agreement with who God is. Intercession is agreement with what God promised to do. When we tell God who He is, our faith expands to believe what He will do.  ~IHOP


This is one of the most simplest definitions of worship and intercession...I like it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Craig Keener on Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb...

Today, in preparation for what God wants to do at Redeemer this Sunday, I've been studying John 20:1-10. It's the story where Mary Magdalene, upon finding the empty tomb, runs to tell the disciples that someone has stolen Jesus' body.

I love what Craig Keener has written about Mary in volume 2 of his John commentary and thought I'd share it:

The faithfulness of Mary Magdalene frames, hence unites, the first two paragraphs of the resurrection narrative (20:1-2, 11-18), emphasizing the important roles played by women in the narrative - whose behavior again shames the supposedly bolder men. Eastern Christianity later called Mary "isapostolos," "equal to the apostles." Some early medieval commentators found in women's initial resurrection announcement a reversal of Eve's role at the fall. As in the earliest tradition, Mary is the first to find the tomb empty and the first to see Jesus risen from the dead.

Mary comes to the tomb first (20:1), and because she remains at the tomb after the male disciples leave (20:10-11), she also receives the first resurrection appearance in 20:15-16.

That it was yet dark (20:1) could symbolize Mary coming from darkness to the light; but in contrast to Nicodemus, Mary appears so positively here that other explanations are more likely. Because the Synoptics mention on that it was early but John that it was "dark", John may play on his light-and-darkness symbolism in a different way; the light of the world was about to be revealed in its darkness. The darkness may indicate Mary's fear or may emphasize her devotion in coming as soon as possible after the Sabbath and the night that followed it. Other accounts show mourners coming at the moment of dawn to show their affection for someone they loved dearly. Thus, perhaps as the priests were eager to dispense with Jesus as "early" as possible (18:28), she is unable to sleep and eager to demonstrate her devotion as early as possible. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gratitude...

TODAY I'M THANKFUL TO GOD BECAUSE...

*His promises to me are YES and AMEN.
*of the resurrection and that Jesus invites me to know Him in it.
*of the words, "IT IS FINISHED!"
*of the ministry that God has called me to.
*He's given me a heart of worship that is only increasing...not decreasing.
*the Holy Spirit who lives in me and leads me to all truth.
*my dishes are clean!
*He is my ever-present help in time of need.
*He never tires of my questions and curiosity.
*of my church family.
*all of my family are followers of Jesus.
*of the invention of cherry popsicles.
*my car is working and His provision of new brakes, tires and a gas cap!
*tomorrow I will wake up to new mercies.


What are you thankful for today?