Build My Life

I’m flying back from Dallas, Texas this morning, after enjoying a 2 day bible conference called Proclaim Truth. We woke up at 5:00am Texas time (3:00am Oregon time) and I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep much last night. I heard people running up and down the hallway, slamming doors and yelling around 3 am Texas time. I remember a time in my life when my whole person would fall apart with little-to-no sleep. My husband might say that is still true today but he didn’t know me when sleep was LIFE.

We sang this song over the weekend and it continues to play in my mind and heart

Video here

I will build my life upon Your love, it is a firm foundation.

I will put my trust in You alone and I will not be shaken.

Holy, there is no one like You, there is none beside you, open up my eyes in wonder. Show me, who you are, and fill me with your heart, and lead me, in your love of those around me.

What do you build your life on?

I think we often build our life on things that are temporary and then when things like finding your husband suffering heart failure or your child moving off to college or your rent being increased or stock market crashes or near fatal car accidents or loosing a loved one or difficult relationships or great trauma or even not getting enough sleep, come knocking on the door, suddenly your world falls apart and you start asking questions like: Why me? Will I be ok? How can God really be good? And you start saying things like, I’ll never make it or this is the last straw or I didn’t prepared enough or I’ll die without ________ or this is the end of me or I’m simply not happy.

As I listened to the purposeful words in this song about choosing to build my life on Gods Love. Putting my life on this firm foundation. Giving my trust to God alone. I am confident that if we simply turn entirely to HIM, asking Him to show us who He is, asking Him to fill our hearts with His love, depending on Him solely and living for Him only…we will not be shaken when life hits us head on.

He is worthy of every song we could ever sing, worthy of every praise we could every bring, worthy of every breath we could ever breath.

Worthy of building our lives on. There is not one thing in this world that you will look back on and think…maybe that would have been worthy of more of my time and allegiance or I bet I would have been happier in eternity if I just slept more in my life on earth. I don’t think I’ll say that I wish I had more money in the bank or a better car or even that my children lived with me a few years longer.

I’m fairly certain that my heart could look back and say that I wish I spent a little more time getting to know the God of all Creation. I think I might wish I had spent more time in worship. I bet I would regret not recognizing His holiness MORE on Earth and not being led to LOVE those around me the way HE loves me. I am sure I’d feel silly for being so weighed down with the circumstances of my world and not lifted up enough by The One who created me and set me on this Earth for this one moment in time to be a reflection of His Son.

This is now the deep cry of my heart:

Holy there is no one like you, there is none beside you. Open up my eyes in wonder. Show me who You are and fill me with your heart and lead me in your love to those around me.

Let not my heart be captured by this world but let it be held and led by the One who is Holy, the One who is worthy, the One who is all I need, no matter if I loose a loved one, no matter if my children become independent, no matter if I file bankruptcy or have to take public transportation. No matter the matter, may HE alone have my allegiance.

I will build my life upon HIS Love.

What will you build your life upon?

Stupid Failure

Last year, my husband and I went on a date with some dear friends.  Truth is we were just getting to know each other but I just knew they would turn into dear friends.  I think we went to dinner and then walked about downtown….perhaps on our way to McMenamins fire pits…and we stopped at the arcade to try our skills at pinball! pinball As we were playing The Simpsons pinball machine, every time you missed the ball the machine would say “stupid failure”, and we died laughing!  Now its a running joke to say “stupid failure” at the right opportune moment to get a good natured dig in!

Last week our pastor taught on 2 Timothy 3:16-17, you can listen to it HERE.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

I don’t know about you but I’ve started and stopped a lot of good bible reading plans.  Often times my good intentions at the beginning of the year lead to defeat and disappointment as my fervor for the plan slowly dies.  I’ve often felt like a “stupid failure”, perhaps even that God is disappointed in me or that I don’t measure up to the “super spiritual” that read through the bible every year!

Over the years I’ve gained an understanding of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that has transformed my attraction to the bible.  One of the things Pastor Phil said in the sermon is that you have to buy in!  You have to be resolved in your heart that there is VALUE in reading the bible.  It’s clear from this one small scripture in the bible that GODS WORD is profitable for teaching, good to bring correction, great for building righteousness and in it you will be made complete for EVERY good work.  I’ve learned that the VALUE of God’s word to transform my sick heart is above and beyond the value of sleeping in, or reading a good novel, or watching that stupid TV show.  IT changes me!

It may seem silly, in a way, to think that simply reading words in the bible would have any affect on a a persons life but it does!

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart ~Hebrews 4:12

God’s word is indeed active.  It does something in you that is unexplainable. If you don’t believe me, open your bible and read 1 John every day for 30 days and be convinced yourself that there IS value!

So, You wanna know the best way to be a “stupid failure” at reading the bible?

Not reading it!

This is the one fool proof way to hear the words “stupid failure” being thrown around in your mind.  It is, however, helpful to have a plan. Proverbs 21:5 says The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. 

Planning leads to abundance.

So, what is your plan?  Sure you can go get a new bible that takes you through the writings of scripture in chronological order, or you could start a bible plan using the YouVersion app and check mark your way through the bible OR you could do the Brek Paul reading plan!  Its the plan I’m following this year and so far there are no “stupid failure” sounds swirling around in my head.

For years, I’ve watched my dear husband open his bible to the place where his bible ribbon rested and read.  Sometimes he’d read a long time and other times I would watch him read one or two verses and then just stare into the distance.  When he was done with his time (5 minutes to 1 hour, no rules, no regulations,  no check marks) he would replace the ribbon where he left off and close his bible.  I never see him stress out over the fact that he didn’t open his bible one day.  He doesn’t keep a journal or have a bag full of highlighters.  He simply opens the bible and reads!  I know its earth shattering!  So much so, that I decided to try it his way and see how “my expectations” slip to the side and God’s word just comes alive.

You are not a “stupid failure”.  I am not a stupid failure.  The only way we can fail at this is to not open our bibles.  If you miss a day, so be it, just open the bible the next day!  Set your heart and your intention to read, then just read!

ALL IN ALL part 2

Remember that song, ALL IN ALL

This song is cute and nice and has a catchy toon. I actually like it but I want you to go a little bit higher into the heavenly’s with me today. It’s VERY easy to get focused on the here and now because well, we live here and now, but my friends, I challenge you to move ahead in your thoughts and heart to a place where the rest of your existence will be. We were created to be eternal souls. God created us in HIS image and He is eternal. Your life here on earth is just a blip on the map and after you finish here, you will move on. I know that my eternity will be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. What will yours be? If you don’t know, start by reading yesterdays post and trust Jesus for your end.

This concept of ALL IN ALL hit me upside the head this fall when I was reading and re-reading Ephesians and 1 Corinthians. I kept seeing ALL IN ALL and IN HIM. As I drew back in contemplation I realized my focus was to narrow in this life and that my whole HERE AND NOW could be radically different with just this one thought: God is to be All in All, yes at the end of this world, but also NOW!

One Lord, One faith, One baptism, One God and Father of ALL. Who is OVER ALL and IN ALL and LIVING through ALL! Eph 4:6

Ever since that day of Christs glorious humiliation, when for HIS people, Christ took upon Himself the role of a servant and subjected his life to pay for the sin of the world, so that all sin could be forgiven and His people would be seen by God, as clothed in HIS righteousness alone, ever since that day, ALL evil has been put under His feet, all the saints (believers, followers, saved) have Christ dwelling in them, Christ is the head of all and God, still God, is most surely and securely supreme over all things! For the head of Christ is God and God is ALL IN ALL.

Charles Spurgeon said it best in 1885 and this truth is so solidly true that it has not changed and will forever be: “That God shall be all in all–that there shall come a time when we shall stand before the throne of God, God in us all, and everything in us of God, when all His elect, all His redeemed, all to whom Christ is all, and all in whole Christ is, shall only know God as their all in all! God all in their very existence, God their all in every hymn. god their all in every pulsing of their joy. God their all in every hope, God their all in every memory. God all to them and God in all of them to the very fullest — all redeemed, all delivered from the power of sin, all quickened into the divine andGod-like life, all summed up in Christ, Christ comprehending them all — and then Christ Himself head over all things to his church, standing and giving unto God the glory forever and ever, that the Father may be all in all!”

So, my friends how does this change your NOW? Do you not sense more power? Do you not have more courage? Is there not hope that drowns you? Be established IN HIM so that your life is defined by the GOD that is ALL IN ALL, both now and forevermore.

AMEN!