Sunday, April 28, 2013

Church was not boring

I went to church today at 11:30 am. We left after 2:00pm. There was resistance in going.  It wasn't boring. Even when it was expected that it would be boring, that it would be too long, that I don't want to talk to people, that it would not do anything, and that it's just in vain; even with those expectations that is not how it was at all.  For when The Presence is there, everything else in this life just dims. Believers need each other.   The Mystery was there today. Christ in the midst of us. Somehow it isn't just a "metaphor" that the church is the Body of Christ. That's the mystical part. We come together, and we become the body of Christ. I experienced that today. We need each other. Shalom.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Worrisome World to Kingdom Come

For several days and nights I felt unsatisfied in this life. Worrisome, restless and empty, I felt lonely for the past. I regretted decisions. Double-minded about my career and other choices I made. Disappointment. I set my thoughts on how to change my situation. I did some brainstorming for several hours each morning.  My eyes and thoughts seemed to focus on everything that isn't right in my home, my life, my career. What to do. What to do.

I was uncomfortable sharing my woes with anyone in our new church fellowship, so I pined for my old church of 20 years. I attributed my lost-at-sea feelings to my age of  50+ years. My new brothers and sisters at our new church are in their 20's early 30's with wee ones or single, or engaged. There is no one there to hear my sorrows who could understand being 51 with a torn knee meniscus and limited energy levels.  I wished for the friends of my past who are going through the same transitions in this life. At my old church, I had those women whom I could share my emotions and situations in strict confidence and get loving prayer and support. Should I go back there? What to do. What to do.

Daily I plodded onward. I went to real estate continuing ed classes, meetings, showed houses, argued pricing, concentrated on mailings and marketing. I ran the sweeper, emptied the dishwasher, and cleaned the toilets. I told the Lord,  I need to change. One foot in front of the other. Sleepless for days I concluded I'm depressed and had ideas to consult a counselor.

Then, last night after another worry-drenched sleepless night about my unsatisfactory life and my lack of finances to effect change, I got up at 2:00 am. I picked up Brennan Manning's book The Furious Longing of God  off the shelf and read a few pages by bedside light.  I read his famous words, "Abba, I Belong to You..."  and fell asleep.

At 4:00 am I awoke and sat with pen and paper and spilled out my guts to the Lord. Then, I waited for an answer.  Here is what He said:
"Do you want to live in the Kingdom? Kingdom life is not like the life of this world. He who puts his hand to the plow and looks backward is not Fit for the Kingdom. Being Fit for the Kingdom of God means not being double-visioned. It means not looking at the world's ways, not thinking like the world. It means the world will not understand you. The world will tell you that you have it all wrong. To preach the Kingdom is to be at a great risk in this world--the world will throw in your face other's alleged failures at Kingdom life. But the Kingdom is limitless. The Kingdom does not fail you. There is a gate, there is a door, to step through. The world doesn't see the gate. It can not see it. To see the Kingdom, requires Faith. John, [while in prison awaiting execution] asked Me, Are you the one or shall we wait for another? My answer to him, "The blind see, the lame walk, the poor have good news preached to them." I have good news. Have you heard the good news? Knock and it shall be opened. Seek and ye shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Walk in my way. Follow Me!"

Then I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to read the well-known gospel Matthew 6:24-34. "No one can serve two cannot serve God and money. THEREFORE, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or drink, nor body what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body clothing? Behold the birds of the air for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not better than they? Why take you thought for raiment. Consider the lilies of the field how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin. And, yet, I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these?

It's amazing what 20 minutes in the presence of the Lord can do. It's amazing what his Rhema word (spoken to my heart) will do. Kingdom life? Yes, please. Thank you.

The Kingdom gate opens easily.  Just look. Just knock. Just ask. Leave the world to it's self and it's toil. Come in and take from Me. For my burden is light and my way is easy.  Selah.