Not So Simple

not so simple filter“look for ways to serve the Lord” – actively pursue and search for AND act in ways that serve the Lord.

 

Small ways. Big ways. Simple ways. Complex ways. Self-sacrificing ways.

 

Anyway you can, say yes when God nudges. Anyway you point others towards His light, His love – that is serving the Lord.

 

Part of being a Christian is learning to be a mindful thinker, giving our fleshy impulses to the Holy Spirit and leaning on His power to act accordingly.

 

notsimple filterHarnessing my tongue, the strongest muscle in the human body, the smallest weapon I carry with me daily, connected directly to my thoughts; my heart.

 

My tongue is the number one way I do not serve the Lord.

 

I do not filter my words or my tone with one simple question, “will these words serve the Lord’s purpose or mine?”

 

All words serve a purpose. Very rarely are words purely superfluous. Are mine serving my own agenda, fueling my wants and desires to be heard and seen and understood?

 

Or do my words speak truth, and compassion and love, and point those I’m closest to, as well as passerbys, to God’s love and purpose?

 

Can I learn to filter my tongue with this one guiding principle? Will I spend my whole life trying?

Only with God’s grace every day…

– J

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David’s Directions for Us (too)

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.” – 1 Chronicles 28: 9-10

David gave these directions to Solomon, his son, before his death.  However, I feel like it applies to me directly, to all of us directly.  There is so much in these two verses that I should be doing consciously and incessantly.

4cf59b3c237848747a3b9a4be66318e1Worship and serve. I do both of these in moderation, but I think it’s fair to say that I am pretty comfortable in the ways that I do these.  So, how can I stretch myself to worship and serve more or in new ways?

With your whole heart and a willing mind. This is important because it requires both and I can often get caught up in one or the other.  My heart can be totally committed to worshipping God, and then my mind wanders.  My mind can be completely in the action of reading the Bible, but the words and meaning don’t penetrate my heart.  I have to take the time to stop, focus, and truly meditate my heart and mind on God, his many blessings, His nudges, and serving Him in all I do.

The amazing thing in this is that all we have to do is seek Him and we will find him every time.  When I truly stop and center my heart, mind, and soul on Him, that is when I most clearly feel his nudging.

While Solomon may have been chosen to build a literal temple for God, we are also called to build temples for Him.  Our bodies are temples of Him that we should take care of (which on stressful ones like I’ve been having, can be quite the challenge).   Beyond that, though, we are called to make temples of refuge and love all around us.  Places of sanctuary that beckon people to Him, people who will serve and worship Him.   This can be a challenging task, but David ends this part of his directions with an important reminder…

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. The various divisions of priests and Levites will serve in the Temple of God. Others with skills of every kind will volunteer, and the officials and the entire nation are at your command. – 1 Chronicles 28:20-2

We aren’t supposed to know all the details.9c6d0a42ae75a1222718c7d6dd23cd5f  We are supposed to respond and do the work that God has called us to do.  He will make sure we have everything we need in ourselves, in others, and in supplies.  He is in control, not us.  We just have to act to His nudges.

-S

From Kansas City to Pakistan

This is in many ways a reflection on Jessi’s blog yesterday (Learning to Hike).  I have this notion in my head that unless I am serving God to the point of pain than it is not enough.  I have to do something that is self-sacrificing.  This means giving financially to the point where I cut it close each month.  This means thinking I’m obviously not doing enough unless I am forced to sacrifice – maybe that’s living close to those I love, serving Him in a place that puts me potentially in danger, serving Him in a way that radically changes life as I know it.

As good intentioned as this may be, it takes away from the daily ways I serve him and more ways I could serve him right where I am.  God asks us to put down the things of this world and take up the cross.  However, there are millions of ways we can do this in our day to day lives without having to give up everything.  From volunteering a couple hours a week to sponsoring a child of poverty.  We can extend love and grace to our family AND all our coworkers.  We can be a living testimony to what God can do in us and through us in all of our interactions.  To think we have to do something grand and noble (as Jessi puts it) or self-1782_Baldwyn_Map_of_the_Worldsacrificing and painful, ignores the miracles that God works every day in the seemingly ordinary and routine.

He can work through me in Kansas City or in Pakistan.  He can work through me just as much if my income is 30,000 or 230,000.  God is not limited by our circumstances.  He is bigger than our choices and our surroundings.  If we allow it, He can become the context for all we do.  We can impact those around us in a multitude of ways.  Ultimately, that is what I believe God calls us to do.  Live love.  Give love. Spread mercy.  Everywhere and anywhere.

-S