Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunday Morning Follies

            Picture it, it’s Sunday Morning and you have got to get to church on time because there are people depending on you.  Your spouse is half asleep lollygagging around. Your children have this crazy obsession with finding the one shirt in their closet that doesn’t fit and has holes to wear.  You have to get your make up on and will have to do so in the car.  You are running around trying to finish your hair routine but you realize you’ve been walking around with the mousse sprayed with a perfect peak on the top of your head.  The dog gets out and takes off, and then you and your spouse end up in a stupid fight over a topic you won’t remember in two days.  Your kids are now crying, and you enter the church doors in near tears; all the while knowing that you are about to slap on a fake smile, and pretend that your morning was fabulous. 
         I love what Tim Hawkins says here, “Whoever wrote the song ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’ never had to get kids ready to go to Church.” 
         I had one of those Sunday Mornings this week.  It wasn’t that it was bad, just everyone was in a rush and perhaps I was a tad bit stressed out about getting to church on time.  I had learned a long time ago that the more I stress the more my family gets stressed and irritable.  If I can control my panic then the rest of them tend to be okay.
        As I was internally reprimanding myself for forgetting to pray and be in peace to thoroughly enjoy my Sunday Morning a thought occurred to me.  Jesus did not die on the cross just so my family and I could be irritable with each other on Sunday morning.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  We need to go to church, God wants us not to forsake the assembly of believers (Hebrews 10:25).  However God doesn’t want us to live our lives as stress balls.  Sure on Sunday morning the heat and anxiety does get turned up on high, but I can control my actions.  I can stay in peace no matter what the circumstance.  The choice is in fact mine to make.
       Philippians 4:6 instructs us not to be anxious about anything.  This means even if you get out of the car in the church parking lot and you realize your youngest didn’t brush her hair, there is no need to flip out about it.  Just take a deep breath.  Pray for a moment, and learn to carry a hair tie in your purse.  Life is just too short to get so bent out of shape over small things.  If you’re stressed out you won’t really hear from God at church like you need too.  You’ll just be rehearsing the drama.  Take a deep breath, and enjoy coming together as a church family.  You’ll be glad you did.
       As it is Holy Week, churches all over the world will be experiencing more people in their churches than usual.  No matter where you go to church this Sunday, remember this weekend isn’t about chocolate bunnies and Peeps. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice.  May we hold that so dear to our hearts.  He loves the earth so much, that He willingly laid down his life.  Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’re His foes.  (Grin)  Remember what this weekend is really about… and if your morning isn’t picture perfect, then its okay.  Laugh about it and breathe.

      God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!   

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

He Is the I Am!

            It was an early morning this morning.  Dan typically works 2nd shift, but for a list of reasons, he’s working 1st for the next several weeks.  While Dan had the choice as to when to start his time on 1st he opted to work 2nd yesterday, and 1st today which gave him roughly 4 hours of sleep.  I always do my best to stay up with him.  So this morning I went to bed at 1 am and was up with him at 5am. 
            It was in this ‘I am half asleep’ moment that something popped into my mind.  I think God loves to speak to people in that half asleep stage because they know they are too tired to conjure anything or block themselves from hearing from God.  What I felt I heard God say is in reference to this exchange in the Bible.
Exodus 3:13-15 (ESV)
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you.’” 
            In the passage above God had appeared to Moses in a burning bush and is calling Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Personally God calling himself the ‘I am who I am’ always has seemed a tad odd to me.  It seemed vague.
            This morning in my half sleepy stage, something seemed to just connect about this.  Notice here God doesn’t say, “I was who I was.”  Or He doesn’t say, “I am going to be who I am going to be.”  The tense of God saying “I am who I am” implies that everything He is, is in the NOW moment.  He wasn’t just in the past, or in the future.  He is the ‘I am’ in the here and now.
            The definition of the word ‘now’ is a present time or moment. God uses the word now in another key scripture that seemed to jump in my mind.
Hebrews 11:1
[ By Faith ] Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
            When God declares that he is the ‘I Am’ He’s saying ‘He is everything now’.  He is always being sufficient for us in the Now.  He will never be too late or too early.  He already has and has done everything we need.  Now faith believes it’s already done.  He is the “I am who I am.” He is that in your life now!

            I hope you grab a hold of that and get just as excited as I did in that moment.  Of course I had to take a nap after Dan left for work before I wrote it down for all of you.  (grin.)  I believe that God is doing some super cool things in all of your lives.  Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!