Friday, April 22, 2016

Not an option: Trusting GOD

Photo Credit: from the Web 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.*- Prov. 3:5-6
*will direct your paths

Now we look at this verse and there is something worth taking note of here.
Does it say, " You can trust in the Lord..."? or maybe 
"You could  trust in the Lord..." ? or how about we read it like
"You should trust in the Lord..."? 
Yeah that sounds kinda right doesn't it?

Here's a hint: it starts with an "n" and rhymes with oh. 

As believers I find that many of us tend to read certain scripture and regard it as optional tidbits of advice. We view the Word of God as maxims and idioms and great quotes that inspire. But the Holy Bible is more than that. 

It is first of all HOLY. It is set apart from any other written or spoken word in the entire world, no even the universe. It is God's voice captured in tangible form. God breathed out these words, and Holy submitted human beings simply wrote what God authored.

The verse above is not a suggestion, but many times we treat it like it is. Here's another example.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.- Phil. 4:6

What do you notice here? 
Again, no, "you shouldn't be", or "I encourage you to not be..." . 
It's not a suggestion- it's a command. Why? Because our loving Father knows the downward spiral we jump onto, like a roller-coaster ride, when we give in to anxiety and worry.

Our Father lovingly commands us to instead of trying to figure things out on our own, submit to him in all of our ways.  ALL our ways. Why? He wrote our life story, and has the map. Ask him what to do and where to go? I mean wouldn't we do that with any, like say , tour guide? I'd be the one constantly tapping the guide on the shoulder:
 Me:Tap,tap,tap-"Hey there buddy, uh, what's next from here? " 
Guide: The Falls.
Me: Tap,tap- "How much farther to the falls?"
Guide: .4 miles
Me: Tap -" Oh look! The map shows a clearing up ahead- is this a good spot to rest?"
Guide: No.  It's popular for roaming raccoon and an occasional moose, and no you can't pet them.
Me: Ok,Yeah. I wanna know that. (Yes I just imagined an entire conversation here- don't judge me..)

The point is, God did not eenie-meenie-mynie-mo his way around the Bible. Each Word, syllable, comma,  and colon was strategically placed to convey his heart of love to us. It's like a 66 versed love letter. He loves us too much to leave out anything that would bring us closer to him. This is the plan. Trust God. Obey his word. And live it out to the fullest. He will empower you.

-Blessings, Chantel

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Just perfect

I decided I need more magnets for the refrigerator.
Not Z's- but close
Either that or less masterpieces-but that won't happen.
So to the handy dandy dollar store for more magnets- and tape.

See, there I was standing in front of the stand-up freezer deciding on whose art was going to be rotated from the center, to the top, or off altogether. I was holding a beautiful painting, done by hand- a one-of-a- kind  Z original. It had to go up somewhere.

Just minutes before, I was handed this exquisite piece of expressionism with pure excitement. It was a sheet of paper. It was painted blue- and it was perfect. The finger strokes created a gradient that made it look like ocean waves with the white seeping through.

It warmed my heart to see the joy in his face as he showed me his work. It was his heart on paper. He expressed himself and I had a tangible piece of him in my hands. Priceless.

I worked at getting it just right.
The day came and I was filled with heightened anticipation and excitement. 
It was time to worship, and I was to sing. 
I sang with passion, and heart.
 I sang high, low, soft and loud.
Oh no! I missed some words, and laughed. 
 I tried to maintain pitch and... it was OK.
My team mate in praise went high when we were supposed to go low. I went low when we should have gone high. 
Still we worshiped, and led our family in Christ in exuberant worship unto the Lord.
Suddenly the place was lit. There was a spiritual takeover- the kind when, like ocean waves, you just let go into it and get taken in-- the overwhelming sense of lift that would take more effort and energy to resist. so you don't.
The Holy Ghost was in full sweep in the house. By the time we left, hearts were full, and bodies were fully exercised. 
That evening before falling asleep I sat up in bed and thanked God for his presence, strong and powerful in the worship service. I acknowledged that it was all him. I thanked him.

Early the next morning I was awakened to pray and the Lord spoke to me :
" Your definition of perfect is not my definition of perfect when it comes to the orchestration of moments of time. In spite of what you view as imperfections, I can and will do my work. What you view as imperfect I view as heartfelt, sweet, genuine and endearing. The motive of the heart is what speaks, not the precision of  talent. The love quality of the gift from a child is what a parent values."

He then reminded me of the "picture perfect" rendering of the sky by Z.  I understood. God is my father and is moved to smiles and joy when we, from our hearts, give him our unbound worship. When we just let the love flow from us in adoration of Abba, it is received as inviting , genuine, and sweet to him. 
We do not have to worry about precision so much as passion. May our worship be in spirit. May our worship be in truth. And may it be unto God, wholly.
Be encouraged.