Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2-9

Monday - Genesis 13
Tuesday - Judges 9
Wednesday- Psalm 38
Thursday- Isaiah 42
Friday- Habakkuk 1
Saturday- Acts 6
Sunday- 1 Timothy 1


Prairie Chick said...

"there he built an altar to God." v18

this is one of the most common and resounding themes I see when I read through the Old Testament. Not the only one, but an important one. I make altars, monuments to what God has spoken, promised or is doing in my life, with words. As Abraham selected rocks and formed them into a pile, I select words, and form them into a paragraph, to testify to what has taken place in my interactions with the one who has called me by name and speaks into my life. It started out as a discipline, it has become a cherished, sacred, anticipated start to my day.

Prairie Chick said...

judges 9. pride, the lust for power, the overpowering urge to "do anything it takes to not lose face", really? how empty. how lonely. how pathetic. a stark contrast to the life of Christ.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 38

"What I do, God, is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God- you *will* answer!" ....

"my God, don't stand me up. Hurry and help me; I want some wide open space in my life."

Claiming these verses for a friend who shared their disillusionment with God recently.

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 42. So amazing to read the first half of this chapter today, on the day that we will commemorate passover.

"...he'll steadily and firmly set things right. He won't tire out and quit. He won't be stopped until he's finished his work- to set things right on earth."

the second half of the chapter made me so sad. The picture of the bondage that man chooses to live in, even chosen, redeemed man "God intended, out of the goodness of his heart, to be lavish in his revelation. But this is a people battered and sowed, shut up in attics and closets, victims licking their wounds, feeling ignored, abandoned."

The drinking from broken cistern visual keeps coming back to me. How many of God's people don't know how to drink deep of his goodness and grace. How many go through life licking their wounds feeling cowed and abandoned? I know I have. What a loss. To not conceive those wide open pastures of grace and freedom, to stay holed up in dank, dark caverns of bondage and insecurity.

What goose flesh to hear the words of the Messiah in Luke 16:18 "God's Spirit is on me;
he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to
the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, "This is God's year to act!"

Prairie Chick said...

intro to Habbakuk

"It it in his waiting and listening- which then turns into his praying- that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God's sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life. The only real life. Habakkuk started out exactly where we start out with our puzzled complaints and God-accusation, but he didn't stay there. He ended up in a world, along with us, where every detail of our lives of love for God is worked into something good."

"Most prophets are in-your-face assertive, not given to tact, not diplomatic, as they insist that we pay attention to God. But Habbakuk speaks our word *to* God."

When you do those spiritual gift questionaires, I come off very top heavy on the prophecy/teaching end. Two very assertive types, I have spent my adult years working hard to hone and soften the edges of both those strengths. I can see the great beauty in being one that learns to balance the message with a heart of intercession. Not just urging people to always grow, grow all ways.... but standing in the gap and interceding for that to become a reality for them, by the grace of God and the moving of His spirit, beckoning them into deeper fellowship with Himself.

Prairie Chick said...

I think that our churches could really improve a lot if we heeded the principles of spiritual giftings and focus that are applied and exemplified by the apostles and the early church. The preachers were not saddled with other administrative and "pastoral" duties. They devoted themselves to teaching and prayer. The elders cared for the spiritual needs of the flock, the deacons took care of the administrative and practical side of matters. I don't understand why churches want to muck around with this and change this model. It is a great model, each man free to exercise his gift and not saddled down or distracted by other aspects. We just hold ourselves back and overburden people when we resort to multi-tasking and piling so many things on elder boards, pastors or leadership councils. Let the leaders lead and focus on spiritual nurture, let the deacons meet the other needs. The deacons were crucial to the spiritual health of the early church. They are crucial to our spiritual health because they free the elders to focus on teaching and praying and raising mature believers who understand what they believe and learn to live it out and are able to model healthy spiritual growth for those that follow in their footsteps.