Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy New Year

It's the beginning of the new year according to liturgical calenders. The 1st Sunday of Advent has come and gone. The season has begun for us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Though, I don't observe all things liturgical, I observe Advent. (I could use prayers to locate the Advent Wreath Annette G gave me, I have to candles but not the wreath. I stored it separately from the Christmas decorations last year which apparently was not the smart thing to do.)

The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival" from the Latin Adventus. The focus of the season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.

During Advent, as Christmas music and retail ads swirl...I try to devote extra time to journaling and spending time in the Word. Many people fast during Advent. Many people spend more time in prayer. If you observe Advent, do you add time in prayer, the Word, fasting or all the above?

For those of us who observe Advent, I pray we find it a holy time.

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Speak for Your Servant is Listening

I wonder how many times in my life I have said I need a word from the Lord or I do not seem to being hearing the Lord? Usually when I make those type of statements, I have let the cares of life come between me and time in prayer and the Word.

I read I Samuel chapter 3 and thought about the Lord calling Samuel and Samuel running to Eli because he did not recognize God's voice. The 3rd time Eli realized it was God calling Samuel and told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if He calls you, say,'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

I am willing to bet I have whined I needed a word from the Lord many more times thanI've said Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening

We miss so much when we are too busy talking and not listening. We miss the Lord when we let the cares of life steal our time in time in the Word and prayer.

I want to be a servant who says, "Speak, Lord, I am listening."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Up a Tree

I was thinking about Zacchaeus and how desperate he was to see Jesus. He was short, not welcomed by the people of Jericho due to his job, and there was no way he could push his way to the front of the crowd, so he climbed a tree.

Can you imagine climbing a Sycamore tree? We had 1 in the front yard of my parents' first home. It was tall and a great tree to climb, but I cannot imagine climbing it as an adult for a host of reasons (especially gravity). However Zacchaeus scrambled right up the tree to see Jesus.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.

Zacchaeus' life was changed instantly when Jesus spoke to him. He offered 1/2 his possessions to the poor. He said he would make restitution 4 times what he collected; if he had cheated anyone. And he had a house guest - The Messiah Jesus Christ. Salvation had come to his house.

I pray Jesus continues to transform me and though I may balk, I'd be willing to climb a tree for Him.