Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glorifying God

What is my purpose in life?

From My Utmost for His Highest. "The entire human race was created to glorify God and to enjoy Him"

The scripture reference is from Isaiah 49:5
And now the Lord says - he who formed me in the womb to be his servant .... 

Not too long ago I found myself on my face before God. My life was in utter turmoil. My oldest child had become hopelessly entangled in drug addiction. In turn, my life was entangled right along with him.

It is one thing to seek to glorify God when all in your life is good and calm. It is entirely different when life turns on you. When a cherished child is overtaken by pure evil.

 I had been praying for Brett for five long years. My prayers never wavered. "Oh God please break the hold that drugs have on Brett's life" Lord please draw Brett close to you" and Lord please bring strong christian fellowship into his life, friends who will pray for him and encourage him"

After five years of praying for those three things I saw Brett's drug addiction turn from marijuana to heroin. I saw him  turn away from the word of God as I tried to share it with him. His only friends were drug dealers and fellow addicts. After a brief stay here I watched helplessly one cold cold winter day with no shoes or coat as he walked out of this loving home back to a life of drugs.

I was on my face. Literally, on my face on the floor of my bedroom. The house was silent, Paul was at work, the boys  at school. Life was continuing. I could not.

 Romans 8:26
"In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

The Holy Spirit reminded me of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

Mark 14:34 -36  My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, he said to them. Stay here and keep watch. 35 going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 Abba Father, he said "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.

It was then that I knew "Not my will but yours" .... But Lord! I don't want to lose him! Please Lord save him! "Not my will but yours"

Many things have happened since I prayed those prayers. There have been times of uncertainty, times of intense sorrow. Those prayers I prayed for Brett for five years have been answered. He is no longer doing drugs, a godly young pastor visits with him regularly, he is seeking God daily in prayer and bible study. I pray now for mercy in sentencing. I pray for safety in jail. I pray that God will give him a vision for his future, a future with Jesus.

How do I glorify God? I continue to pray .... I step aside ...... Whatever may come I praise His Holy name.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where God has brought me

Before I begin I would like to share a bit of where I am today. This blog was originally going to be an outlet for creativity that I have pushed aside for many years. As it is, my plans were drastically altered by events I had no control over. I have used this forum to process my grief, sorrow, pain and also my joy, hope and most importantly my faith. Along the way I have met some pretty wonderful christians who have stopped in from time to time to offer love, prayers and encouragement.

The events I speak of are all connected to my oldest son's five year battle with drug addiction. It started with occasional marijuana use and eventually led him to a heroin habit that propelled him to commit several crimes that have resulted in his incarceration.

God has often used their blogs to speak to me. Sometimes it has been by seeing a passage of scripture through the lens of their life experience and in doing so gleaning wisdom I otherwise would not have seen. At other times it has been a much needed laugh but most often it has been to see pictures of His unending love, mercy and grace as they work out their salvation in Him.

God has brought me a long way since the first post. He has been with me every step of the way. Guiding me, prodding me, and sometimes when I was too weary to take another step He has carried me.

So for now I want to use this blog to share what he has shown me, what He continues to show me each time I stop and listen to Him. Today it is through my daily devotions. I use a wonderful devotional book entitled My Utmost for His Highest  I also use a book entitled Jesus Calling. I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have answered the call of the Lord to share the wisdom and grace He has given to them. In sharing the love of God we fulfill His word.

John 13:34-35 
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Today as I read through the daily offering in My Utmost I highlighted two passages. The first "In other words, simply show the person what God has shown you". What has God shown me? Mercy, grace, and endless love. I recall a teaching that mercy, is not getting what you deserve and grace is getting that which you do not deserve. Yes! I am so thankful that I serve a God rich in mercy and grace for surely I do not want to get what I deserve!

the second passage is "being a disciple means deliberately identifying yourself with God's interest in other people".  Recently I learned that the word disciple means "student". So, to be a student of Jesus Christ I need to deliberately identify myself with God's interest in other people.

Basically when I interact with others what I need to do is to look at them through His eyes and show them what He has shown me. The scripture reference for today's devotional is Matthew 5:48 
.... be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". Not always an easy task but always the right one.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Do it already

Have you ever had that feeling? You know the one. When you feel the urge to do something in the name of Jesus.

Maybe to let your pastor know you appreciate him and that you are praying for him and his family. Perhaps  dropping in on an elderly church member just to chat. You're not really sure if it is a prompting of the Holy Spirit or not. Regardless, it is a good deed. Something you would like if done to you.

Yet ..... time goes by and for whatever of a million reasons. Kids ball game after work, deadlines, laundry, bible study group preparation. You just don't do it.

What am I  afraid of? Why is it that I sometimes don't "just do it"? Is it busyness? Rejection?  Rather than just going to it, I worry too much about how my action will be perceived. How I will be perceived.

God has been dealing with me on this very subject for some time now. So I finally decided to "just do it" the next time that feeling came upon me. God, ever patient. Has given me several opportunities over the last few weeks.

I have to laugh at myself because even as I write this I think "this sounds somewhat self serving ... as if I am giving myself a pat on the back." I am not but yet the thought is there, that second thought trying to push me to abandon this post. Yet I know this is a valid subject to be tossed out for pondering.

and guess what? It is all good. It is not about me or how I will be perceived. It is all Him. To God be the glory!!


John 3:30
He must become greater, I must become less.