Simple (Having An Expectant Heart) (Guess Blogger)

I would like to take a moment and introduce to you my guess blogger Bethany:

Welcome! I’m Bethany E. Donham and I love my life! I’m also in love with a man who is not my husband. But it’s ok, my husband knows all about it and encourages the affair. In fact we often talk about Him casually over the dinner table and His name comes up in our pillow talk on a regular basis. His name is Jesus. Have you met Him?

It’s because of this love affair that I started this blog. A lot of times I find myself  lost in thought over something Jesus is trying to teach me. Or I just can’t seem to understand something without writing it down. So this is more for me than anyone else. If you like what I have to say, great! If not, that’s ok too. These are true stories inspired by my daily struggles as a wife, mother of two girls, and Preschool Minister.

I treasure life, laughter, and above all else, love!  So, check it out. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts too.

Twitter

I’ve always believed that less is more. Fewer activities. Smaller houses. Closer friends.

So, why is it a surprise then, when God shows up in the most humble ways?

Lately I have been amazed at how God has been responding to me. And if you are in a place where you feel like God has forgotten your hurt, maybe it’s time to get back to basics.

My heart hurts a lot. I know a lot of people who are hurting and God has wired me to practically feel physical pain when those that I love share their hurt with me. I’ll be honest and say that can become quite burdensome if I don’t keep it in check. I retreat a lot. I go off by myself a lot. I am not at all uncomfortable spending an entire day in solitude.

It’s during those times when I am still that I can hear God the loudest. Notice I did not say that He speaks the loudest when I am still. I believe He is always there waiting to say something, I can just hear him better when I am still. I draw up on Psalm 46:10 a lot. I have to.

Because when I am still I notice. I notice when He answers me.

I have two teenage daughters. (Prayers are always welcome on my behalf). They are loud, busy and always moving girls. They are always playing music too loud, running off somewhere or engrossed in the latest YouTube craze. Each one has a flair for the dramatic and have their own theater and dance outlets. They are priceless beauties and I am losing my grip on them more and more each day. As it should be.

Imagine a typical evening at my house when each one in their separate rooms have on their own favorite song. I don’t know about you, but if my favorite song is on, it ain’t at a low volume.

So it is with my girls.

What happens if I call to them? Do you think they would hear me? Do you think they would notice my voice?

Of course not. They continue dancing in their bedrooms or (and I have no idea how she does this with her music on let alone in the quiet) continue to work her Pre-Calculus homework.
I have to go directly to each one of my children, tell her to turn the music down so I they can hear me.

Do you need to turn your music down?

God’s not going to yell to get your attention. He’s just not. He’s a still small voice that speaks whispers into the hearts of those who are listening for it. He’s working every single moment of every single day and He delights in giving you your hearts desire.

But, can you hear Him? Do you see Him working?

What is so cool about God is that He’s God, but He doesn’t boast about it. He’s so complex but so very simple. He could move mountains. He can heal the sick. He can mend broken hearts. But He’s not going to be obvious about it. He’s a bit of a seek and find kinda guy. You gotta be looking for His handiwork in the every day.

I needed God to show up today. I needed a reminder that He’s still here even after a long week. I headed to my quiet space and told Him that.

And this is how He responded. This is the whisper into my heart.
Why do you need me to show up if I am always there?

It was so simple. And I was reminded of the beauty of that truth. He is always there. In everything He created.

So, then I just wanted a simple reminder and confirmation. And you know what the Creator of the Universe did? He sent me a tiny bird to dance and dazzle me in the treetops.

Simple right?

But I was looking for it. My heart was expectant.

I think sometimes we don’t get what we ask for because we don’t expect God to follow through.

Why wouldn’t He?

Why would your Father give you a snake instead of what your heart desires? (Luke 11:11)

We aren’t looking for it. We are too busy on our devices or we’ve got our music too loud. Or our calendar is too full to just be still.

How many blessings have I missed because I wasn’t expecting the simple but looking for the extravagent?

Follow on Twitter @BEDONHAM

 

Advertisements

Worthy Ambition

Mark 9.png

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”      Mark 9:33-35

This part is proof that the disciples didn’t understand the concept of Jesus as the Messiah. They still thought of Him in terms of an earthly King and of themselves as important officials in that Kingdom. When Jesus asked them what they were arguing about, they were ashamed and fell silent. Jesus treated this matter seriously. He told them that if they were in search of true greatness in His kingdom, they had to look for it in being last, not by being masters, but servants. Instead of getting others to do things for them, they should do things for others.

This is the point of view of common sense. The really great people who are remembered and who made the greatest contribution to life, are not people who asked, “How can I use the state and community to reach my own goals?” but. “How can I use my personal talents and gifts in the service of others?”

Since unselfishness is scarce and when it manifests, it is remembered. Every economic problem would be solved if people would live for what they could do for others instead of what they could take for themselves. Every political problem would be solved if people’s ambition was to serve the state and not themselves. The division and disputes that cause the rift in the church would not happen if the church would see itself as a servant to others. Position doesn’t count as long as service is rendered. In this respect, Jesus revealed one of the greatest practical truths to the world. 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Life To The Full

Psalm 36.pngThey feast on the abundance f your house; you give them drink from your river delights. For with you is the fountain of life, in your light we see light.    Psalm 36:8-9

Never allow life to become an unbearable burden to you, because it is God’s greatest gift to you. He only gives to you what is good and you should be exceedingly grateful for that. Unfortunately it is possible to make your life an unbearable burden through degenerating and negative thoughts, and by the total neglect of your spiritual life and principles.

If you want to lead a full and blessed life, there are certain principles that must be accepted. One of the most important principles is that you must be grateful for your life, because it is the best thing God has given you. Of course this doesn’t mean that everything must always be plain sailing, but when you accept the goodness of life with gratitude towards God, you will stop fighting it. When you start co-operating with life, you become a collaborator with the almighty God. When you accept that life is good, you become aware that it has a clean goal and plan. This acceptance removes all impatience and frustration, and life becomes an exciting and satisfying experience. But, in order for you to understand the great plan of life, you need to know the Planner. You need to accept the fact that God exists and allow your life to be controlled by godly principles, until eventually you become an expression of those plans.

When you have this experience and make it your own, you posses a unity with the Creator and your life is filled with the fullness of God. How can you possibly thank and praise Him enough for this lifetime?, and I am not sure we can.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Jesus At The Temple

Matthew 21.pngJesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, “but you are making it a den of robbers.” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them, But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.                         Matthew 21:12-15

It was Passover week. The Passover was the highlight of the Jewish calendar. People came from all regions and many countries to be present for the celebration. Upon arriving, they were obligated to meet two requirements. First, an animal sacrifice, usually a dove. The dove had to be perfect, without blemish. If you brought a sacrifice from your won source, it would be considered insufficient by the authorities in the temple. So under the guise of keeping the sacrifice pure, the sellers sold doves at their price. Second, the people had to pay a yearly temple tax. During Passover, the tax had to be rendered in local currency. Knowing many foreigners would be in Jerusalem to pay the tax, money changers conveniently set up tables and offered to exchanged the foreign money for local for a modest fee, of course. It is not difficult to see what angered Jesus. Pilgrims journeyed days to see God, to witness the holy, to worship his majesty. But before they were taken into the presence of God, they were taken to the cleaners.

So I often wonder if Christians today take the time on a Sunday morning to just worship God,  one of the ten commandments is this Remember the Sabbath to Keep It Holy, or are we too busy conducting other business instead of doing what we are called to do. To be able to spend sometime on a Sunday morning worshipping God should be an honor for all, to give thanks for all He has done this past week. In order for all of us to have a walk with our Risen Lord we need to take the time in getting to know the “Great I Am”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

God’s Garden

John15.png   I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.                                                    John 15:1-2

There are people who say that gardening brings you into close contact with nature, I do agree since I have enjoy doing it. It also enhances your property, provides flowers for the house and food for the table. In spite of being hard work, it gives great joy to those who do it. 

People in Israel were familiar with the gardener who looked after the vineyard and harvested the grapes. The role of the gardener and of the shepherd, the farmer and the judge was a reference to God. The gardener was in control of the vineyard and the vines were his pride and joy. Christ was God’s vine and thus theFather”  was the owner of the vineyard and the primary agent in taking care of the vineyard and yielding a crop. The small and insignificant Christian community who follow Jesus’ teaching, soon realized that God, the owner of the vineyard had planted a new vine and that these branches were now given preference over the old vine, Israel. In reaching his goal, God was in control of his “garden”, like any hardworking gardener or farmer, he did everything possible to ensure a good and abundant harvest.

Take note that, above the buzz and din of the world’s business God is still there and at work, looking for ways to motivate His missionaries so that He may be sure of a good and fertile crop. Sometimes He plants more vines and patiently carries on working until the first fruit is seen and He can gather the harvest that he has been waiting for. Always look around and see his wonderful handy work he has already done.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

My Lord, How I Praise You Day and Night!

Psalm 36Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life, in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.                                                              Psalm 36:5-10

Even through I am a work in progress, I desire you more with each passing day, to go deeper in understanding the “Great I Am” Your sacrifice for my sins made me eternally perfect the instant I trusted You.  The best way to enhance you my Lord is to love you with all of my heart and mind-with my entire being and all my might. King David expressed such ardor when he leapt and dance before You with all his might. In spite of the serious sins committed, he was a man after your heart. Instead of me focusing on all the brokenness that is all around me, I will fan the flames of my love for you. Through my love may be like the flickering flame of a candle, your love for me is like a blazing forest fire. I come closer to you more and more with each passing moment into your passionate presence, and your holy fire will ignite ardor in me.

David, wearing a lines ephod, dance before the Lord with all of his might.

2 Samuel 6:14

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your mind and heart, and with your entire being and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:5

I will sing song of Praise to you O Lord, because of your unfailing love for me and because you are the “Great I Am” I will Worship You Only Forever more.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

House of My God

Psalm 84.jpgHow lovely is your dwelling place Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs, the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty, listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God look with favor on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere, I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor, no good thing does he withhold, from those, whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed I the one who trust in you.                  (Psalm 84 NIV)

How I wake up in the morning Lord and praise you for your wonderful love that you have given me. You have given more blessings than I ever really deserve and I thank you Lord. I too would rather be a doorkeeper or anything as long as I am in the House of my God, where I can continue singing Praises to my God and Worship Your Holy Name. When things get difficult for me Lord and thru my tears, I remember to just Praise You. At times my journey is very difficult and I feel as thro I just cannot take another step your, I remember your words from scriptures telling me that You will never leave me, or forsake me, and I praise you. I praise your name through out my day, and when I close my eyes to rest I continue to Praise You and thank you. I  will Praise you in the sanctuary, praise you in your mighty heavens, I will say as King David has written in the book of Psalm, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, Praise the Lord.