Monday, April 11, 2011

Undivided Attention

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" - Ps. 46:10

Yesterday, I had the unusual opportunity of being without responsibility as a lead worshipper... at least from being on the platform, that is. On any given Sunday, my leadership role at our church largely consists of sitting as the concertmaster of our church worship orchestra.

Anyway... We play nearly every Sunday throughout the year, and with few exceptions. Yesterday, the worship orchestra was enjoying a rare morning "off " (meaning that our presence was not required and we were allowed to sit with our families.) For me this meant that I had the opportunity to participate in the entire hour of our small group discussion and could sit through worship with my husband for the entire service. This was a real treat because I usually have to leave my small group time early to tune my instrument (I have a very small window of time before the brass begin to warm up) and prepare for worship. And, sometimes, when the orchestra is not playing, I have been known to sub on a praise team. That also wasn't the case yesterday and that was a very good thing.

I need to have moments when I don't do anything... except listen to God. I need to rest occassionally. That's hard to do when your life's tempo is most often measured in "warp speed." (I actually had a friend tell me recently that she never knew me to not be in a hurry!)

God took advantage of the time when He actually had my undivided attention yesterday and taught me something....

I learned something new from the scriptures when paying attention to the Holy Spirit yesterday and not to the clock or what's next... While sitting in the small group session yesterday, I actually had a light bulb click on about a particular passage that I hadn't ever really thought about until then. (More on that in another post.)

Afterwards, it dawned on me that God probably likes to have my undivided attention occassionally so that He can get stuff through that thick skull of mine. That's when He can take my head that is seemingly filled with silly putty, empty it of the junk inside... and try to teach me something that if I don't manage to get it twisted up will actually have a chance to remotely look like His wisdom.  :)

There comes a time when busyness has to be set aside, and we have to just sit at the Lord's feet and rest for a little bit... and drink in whatever it is that He wants to teach us. And those of us who have large ministry (lay or professional) commitments need to take the time to rest as well. There comes a time when we have to choose carefully how we will spend our time so that we best utilize our time for the Kingdom's sake. Remember -- even Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part... (Luke 10:38-42)  We need to learn to choose wisely so that we choose the better part as well.

Sometimes God calls us to do that for a season, but sometimes it just means taking a short break -- one that just lasts for a moment. I enjoyed my moment yesterday.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Redeemed Forever...

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. - Psalm 107:1-3

I recently returned from a mission trip to Lima Peru, and had the privilege while there to share the gospel with some of the students at the International Christian School there. One of my students, a third grader responded to the gospel and asked Jesus to be her Savior during one of the teaching hours! When I was sharing that with one of my dear friends and mentors from days gone by, I said that it was "totally cool." (Or something to that effect. But his response was "No - it's bigger than that. Eternal."

When Jesus saves us, His blood covers us forever!

Our past is forgiven. (I John 1:9)
Our life is made new. (I Cor. 5:17)
Our home is in Heaven. (John 14:1-6)
Our future is secure. (Romans 8:35-39)
Our inheritance is the same as His. (Romans 8:17)

All because He redeemed us forever.

Our hope is in Him.

What an awesome privilege we have then to share that with others! We have the unbelievable opportunity to share that with the world... Our world... So, why don't we??? Why do we not share the truth that we've been given with the folks around us???

Can I challenge you (if you are a Christ-follower) to tell others about the Jesus in you??? Simply tell them your own story. How Jesus changed your life forever... Don't worry about whether they will respond to what you've said. The Holy Spirit will take care of that. That's His job. So the pressure's off...

And if you don't know Jesus, well, I would sure love to introduce Him to you... Talk to me. I'll be happy to tell you about how He has changed my life forever!