A quick thought to end the week <3

Just another thought on this daily meditation exercise on the Lord’s Prayer.

Usually when I pray, I pray singularly.

I pray for others, but from my perspective.

I do pray in groups but even then it is me praying as an individual for the needs of others.

So as I have been writing out each line and then pausing to pray and meditate on what they mean, it hit me.

How the Lord Jesus said…when asked how to pray…this is how you should pray, My followers.

Our Father…

Give us…our daily bread

Forgive us…

As we forgive…

Do not lead us…

But deliver us…

God really is big into unity and relationship and community, isn’t He?

The way Jesus taught us to pray is as if we are all together in this.

And we are.

Changes everything, doesn’t it?

To know we are not alone.

He has placed us in His family and we have each other’s backs.

You have mine, I have yours and He has ours.

It’s a good plan.

Be blessed to know today that you have been prayed for and I will see you on Monday <3

 

So what are you waiting for?

Yesterday here in central Illinois, we had what Winnie the Pooh would call a blustery day.

While we pretty much always have some kind of air movement going across the prairie, it was a whole other level of breezy around here for the entire day.

The shoppe I work in has a deeply recessed entry way, and the direction of the wind created a kind of vortex of air.

The door blew open consistently throughout the hours I worked causing the little shop bell to ring every few minutes.

Since I never knew if it was the wind or a person, I would look every time at the start of the day.

It kind of wore on the nerves a bit. Just saying.

Kept me on my toes as I prepared to greet a person and sometimes that happened and sometimes it was just some dried leaves and runaway evergreen sprigs from the garlands out on the street.

Eventually I was not as diligent to look up and sometimes was taken by surprise that a real person had entered the store.

That’s what Advent is really about you know.

For many long years running, Christians have remembered the birth and first coming of Christ and anticipated His return.

Each year we celebrate what our parents and grandparents and great grands…and on and on back….celebrated.

And it may have become one too many years where we looked with anticipation, but no sign of Him.

So we get lazy.

And we are all about the birthday party for Jesus and the tree and the traditions of our family and the gifts and the cookies and the ho-ho-holidays and we have forgotten that Advent is about coming…

the long awaited first coming of Messiah…

and the long awaited Second Coming when He returns.

What are you waiting for this Christmas?

Are you preparing your heart for His Return?

He will come and He will make all things right.

Let’s be rightly ready for Him <3

So what does Thy Kingdom come look like?

While I have missed a few days here and there really meditating on the Lord’s Prayer (from Pastor Brian Talty’s sermon in the Be Still Series that I mentioned here), I do try and use it at some point in my morning devotions each day.

I am finding it does have an effect on how the activities that follow pan out, as well as I am developing a deeper level of meditation as I go through the steps prayerfully before God.

This morning as I meditated on “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done…” I had this faint whisper of recollection regarding Jesus many references to what the Kingdom of God is like.

I pulled open the gospels and started searching for any heading that might give me insight.

A short search landed me in Luke 13 where Jesus is attempting to explain the Kingdom of God.

So here is my paraphrase this morning of verses 18-21….

The Kingdom of God…what is it like? What could I compare it to that would help you understand…hmmmmm….let’s see.

Well. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.

A tiny little seed. And a man took that seed home and he planted it in his garden.

Now you know, that seed didn’t grow overnight like some magic Jack-in-the-Beanstalk fairy tale. He watered it and eventually a little shoot came out of the ground.

Maybe there were other little blades of stuff around it and so he had to be careful to not pluck out what he thought was a weed and end up destroying this baby plant.

He had to know what he was looking for…the shaping of a mustard tree.

Days and weeks and years passed but finally that seed grew into a large tree. A tree that various birds saw and were drawn to. A place to build a nest and raise their own baby birds.

Or you know…it is like that teaspoon of yeast that a woman will take and add to three cups of flour.

She adds a little water and oil and she begins to work the dough. She pushes it and kneads it. Over and over she folds it and presses again.

Her hands may begin to ache a bit, but she works until the yeast is completely blended…until every particle is bonded and it is no longer flour and yeast but one complete dough.

That…that right there is what the Kingdom of God looks like.

Thy Kingdom Come

Through the small ways that we take the Kingdom with us….out into our every day, ordinary lives and we work it into the life around us.

Patiently and diligently and purposefully.

Into…

Our homes.

Our work.

Our children.

Our neighborhood.

Not some big project.

Not some dramatic show of power.

The Kingdom comes in a daily tending of normal things like sowing seeds and making bread and changing diapers and turning in reports and teaching art and leading a bible study for teens and counseling a newly pregnant mom and coaching junior high basketball players…all the little things…done in His name and for His glory….this is what the Kingdom of God is like <3

Some randoms because we are all just way too busy…or at least I am today <3

Random #1:

Best laid plans…

Yesterday I made a list, checked it twice.

Prayed over it.

Lifted it up.

And dove in.

And pretty much every errand ended in a dead end or a U-turn.

But along the way I saw soooooooo many people I know.

Caught up here and there and was impressed over and over again with how God is using ordinary people and ordinary lives to do extraordinary things.

Random #2:

A few weeks ago we had Graham and Emmett overnight. One of the activities was making seed and peanut butter feeders for the birds.

This is the only photo I have of that activity since…as I mentioned….Graham…Emmett…knives spreading peanut butter on pine cones…outside…with birdseed…everywhere.

After we got them hung, they stood at the window and watched for what seemed like F.O.R.E.V.E.R. in their time frame and no takers.

Possibly the birds were rather stuffed from the nearby remnants of the cornfield and soy bean harvest.

Well, undeterred, they concocted a plan to advertise.

I am sure the birds were relieved to find out we wouldn’t be charging.

We ended up with about a half dozen of these taped all over the sliding glass door.

I just took them down finally today, although I am saving them in case I get asked where they are next visit.

Random #3:

The cards are almost finished.

The house is trimmed to the extent it will be for 2017 and the boxes are all back in the storage closet.

I took an inventory of the gifts purchased so far and was delighted to find my list is just about finished.

Woot!

It’s only Tuesday.

So I will just carry on with my bad self and keep chipping away at the last of the list.

How about you?

Are you feeling like it’s coming together?

I hope so.

Have a good day and maybe I will run into you out there, somewhere <3

 

 

Happy Monday <3

Well I have lived long enough that I can say I have played in recitals…

attended the recitals of our children…

and now we are reaping the harvest of attending recitals of our daughter’s students…

Which is what we did on Saturday afternoon.

Our Sarah held two back to back recitals of her violin and piano students and Russ and I just sat in the back row and may have been the proudest parents in the room…although the family with seven…yes…seven iPhones recording their little soloist bedecked in layers of pink chiffon and glitter headband may have come in a close second.

I got to monitor the treat bags and had numerous teary eyed parents tell me how much they love our daughter.

I met their gazes with my own brimming eyes and assured them we feel the same way.

And then some.

All that to say …. I got to thinking of how much a parent loves to hear that her child is loved.

God reveals Himself to us as a Father and we can well imagine what a blessing it is to Him when we thank Him for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

When we make the effort to recognize them as beloved of Him, how that must bless His heart.

How wonderful, how beautiful when brothers and sisters get along, it’s like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, flowing down Aaron’s beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.

Psalm 133     The Message <3

I am so thankful for the fellowship of believers and that while we are exclusive to Christ, set apart to Him and for Him; this great belonging is inclusive to all who would receive Him.

While we are in the process of celebrating His coming and anticipating His coming again, let us be thankful for those who make the journey with us.

Tell God today about one of His children that you love so much.

Share His joy by loving those who are loved by Him <3