Sunday, February 15, 2009

...more on Joseph and Moses...

Tonight as I was having some alone time with Jesus He showed me some more things about Joseph and Moses. 

Joseph had this dream and it was confirmed to him several times... but things didn't happen immediately. He spent some time in prison... more than once. We aren't told how he felt. Was he frustrated? Did he question God? Was he angry? The Bible doesn't say but his story reveals a man of integrity.  A man who worked hard in spite of where he was. A man who found favor in the eyes of his superiors. A man that God blessed and worked through in the midst of the waiting period. Even though he was wrongly accused by Potiphar's wife... God honored his diligence and blessed him in spite of how things may have looked. 

Even Moses, God blessed him in the training grounds of being a shepherd. When God called him, he was afraid. Afraid of making the same mistakes, afraid of not being believed, afraid of being laughed at or questioned... even in his fear, God called him and he obeyed. When Pharaoh ignored his requests to let the Isrealites go, Moses would talk to God about it and listen for the next step instructions.

What I saw tonight in both cases was that neither man forced his way or his ideas. Neither man kicked and screamed to get his way. Both were patient and waited on God. Both men allowed God to have HIS way and allowed God to work in their lives according to His plans and purposes. Both men were honored by God and both men found favor in the eyes of those who were in authority over them.

I want to be that way. I want to be patient and follow God's lead. When the time comes where I do get to leave my current job, I want to leave on good terms, in good standing with my superiors. I want to continue to do my job and to do it well in a manner that honors God. I don't necessarily care to be lifted up or promoted or cast in the lime-light but I do want to please God in all that I do... where ever He has me. 

Help me Lord to think on good things... the things that are good, right and true... things that are honorable. Help me to have a good attitude. Help me not to be sucked in by negativity but help me to focus instead on Your word and the truth of Your Word. When negativity is spoken around me... help me to zero in on the truth of Your Word and what You are saying to me in that moment, in that situation. 

Then a song began to run through my head and heart:

Create in me a clean heart, oh God.
And renew a right spirit within me. 
Cast me not away from Your presence oh Lord.
Take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me, the joy of Your salvation...
and renew a right spirit within me.
Taken from Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart Lord... one that honors You and has a right attitude. Restore my joy and help me dwell on the good, right and true things.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"First things first"

Last Sunday I was invited to a Bible study by a friend I haven't seen in a while. As we were standing and talking to one another she felt impressed to invite me to this study... on Hannah. The study is called, "Hannah - Entrusting Your Dreams to God"... Yes, I went because obviously God is wanting me to trust HIM with this dream that He has dropped in my heart.

So I went today and met a new group of women... women I know will become my friends. As we read through the discussion questions we came to a part that caused me to pause.... I have been rather frustrated lately with the whole idea of staying where I'm at for a year and taking classes part-time. I have been frustrated with the work situations and stresses that have been going on.... too many transitions at once. I have just wanted to leave and start over with something new... and frustrated with the possibility that God truly does want me to stay where I am for a while yet. When I read the following portion of the study... it was like God was speaking directly to me.

"When we finally recognize or articulate the dream within us, it's common to push the fast-forward button and rush headlong into pursuing it. And our intentions can be good: the need is great; time seems to be passing quickly; people are urging us onward; we see other "dreamers" galloping ahead of us and we want to catch up.
But God may have other plans. Before we jump headlong into the dream (or even as we start to pursue it) He wants to take care of "first things first." He may guide us through a change process, transforming us before He alters our circumstances. Like Hannah, He might want us to mold our desires to reflect His purpose in the world. Or He may want to free us from a destructive habit or attitude. Or he could deepen us spiritually before we wade into new challenges. Whatever the case, we're stepping closer to our dreams when we cooperate with rather than fight this process."

I realized.... it's my attitude He's after. To smile in the midst of taking baby steps toward the dream. To be a light in the midst of what I may see as chaos... to have a good and Godly attitude in spite of how things appear. This is not easy and I have been trying to fight it... but in the process... all I'm doing is frustrating myself more. 

Lord, soften my heart and help me with my attitude at work and at home. Help me to yield to Your leading and not try to run ahead before I'm ready. I want to move forward in Your timing... not mine. I want to follow in Your footsteps and not try to take the steps on my own. Help me to wait for You. Help me not to FORCE my way.... Not my will but Yours be done in my life, in my work and in this dream You have placed on my heart.

I love You Lord and I long to trust You more...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Details and baby steps...

The last couple of days my Bible readings have had me in the section of the Old Testament that discusses the Tabernacle. Now... I have to admit that a lot of times when I have read this... it's seemed slightly boring to me. These last two days though I have noticed something different... God is really into details. As I was pondering on that thought this morning He brought back a moment in time where someone spoke to me and said, "God cares about all the little details of your life". How cool it is to know that He cares about all the little details... each one... and He doesn't miss a single thing. This is important to me because I have been described as a detail-oriented person and I tend to spot things others miss. If I can see things others miss... How much more God sees! It's amazing! I am so thankful that I can leave the little details of my life to Him to take care of. He will spot when things don't look right and He will take care of them before they cause too many problems. He also knows the best way to take care of all the little details... the ones that are important to me along with the ones that I'm not even aware of. He's amazing!

The other thing He spoke to my heart about today was in regard to the baby steps I am taking. As I was walking tonight He showed me a picture of a little girl learning how to walk. You know the scene.... she's so little and her arms are stretched high above her head holding onto the BIG fingers that are leading her along. With each tentative step she holds on... and is held on to. 

He's leading me... step by step... and He's holding on to my hands each step of the way. He will show me the way to go and He won't let go of my hands. When I stumble... He'll be there to pick me up again. 

At times... I feel like I'm taking those baby steps. Other times I feel like I've slipped and I'm sitting on my behind side. Other times I feel like I'm crawling along... crawling towards Him... to where He reaches down and lifts me back up again and we take another step together. 

On the face of this little girl I see a big smile... a smile knowing she's doing it! I feel that smile when I take another little step. Yesterday I registered for the Math class I will be taking this quarter - I start March 5th. Tonight I went and looked at the book I will need to get - it's expensive! I smile though because it's one more step in the right direction... moving forward step by baby step.

The final thing He showed me was... when you are walking with a toddler who is learning to walk... you are standing over her.... hovering... watching her face, her feet and each step she takes. My Father is like that... He hovers over me with His love. He's watching my face, my feet and each step I take and He is rejoicing with me! ... each step of the way. I can almost hear Him cheering me on! "You can do it! One more step! Hang on! You're doing it!" 

He truly is amazing... isn't He?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A God reminder...

This morning I received a God reminder of who I used to be... of who I am... of what He has placed on the inside of me. There is a little older lady named Helen who works here with me and 7 years ago she had a sister who was dying of cancer. She had shared this with me and I told her I would pray for her and her sister and her sister's family. I couldn't get her out of my mind so I asked for her address and I went and visited her one day. Out of the blue, the Lord dropped in my heart to take her some flowers and spend some time with her... so I did.

Helen reminded me of this incident this morning and it blessed me and caused me to pause.... I realized once again that somewhere along the line I lost a piece of that person while being here. These people are human and they have lives and family outside of work. They have people they care about who are hurting. One gal I talked to last night in Texas has a Grandma that's dying of cancer and I talked to her for almost 30 minutes... just listening to her heart and the love she has for her Grandma.

This is who I am... I have compassion and empathy placed in me by my Father. This is the Jesus on the inside of me and I believe... I am tapping into that once again. I believe... God is causing it to resurface and that it's time... to be that again. I want to see the people around me as people who have needs and hurts and wounds... that need the touch of the Master.

I am excited when I think about the Physical Therapy program. I'm excited about this goal to pursue and achieve and yet at times... it seems overwhelming and I get a little nervous. When I turn my eyes toward Jesus though I feel His peace wash over me as He reminds me once again that through HIM I CAN do ALL things! If I just hold His hand and follow His lead, I will succeed and will pass these classes. As I seek HIM... He will lead me each step of the way and His wisdom and Grace will guide me and give me clarity. I look forward towards the goal that He has placed on the inside of me.... and I close with this wonderful quote from my devotional today:

"Do not be disturbed by your ignorance. Seek diligently after My wisdom. It will greatly enrich your life. It will bring more tranquility than any other spiritual pursuit. It will bring you greater poise and sense of values than you would ever be able to gain otherwise... Seek My wisdom, and make it the guide of your life. Let the winds blow and storms beat. Your house shall stand."

And finally...
"One event at a time. One hour at a time. One step at a time." ~~ Ruth Bell Graham.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

lessons learned from Joseph & Moses...

Over the last few days or so I have been reading in my one year Bible the old stories of Joseph and Moses. As I have pondered on the journey of their lives the Lord has spoken to my heart many things...

~ Joseph had a dream that one day his family would bow down to him. He didn't understand it and was made fun of for thinking such a "foolish" thing and yet... after many years... the dream was fulfilled. He wasn't prideful when that day came but instead he was humble and stated, "What you meant for evil, God has used for good"...
~ Moses wanted justice for the wrong that was being done to his fellow Hebrews and took matters into his own hands by killing an Egyptian. He meant well and yet it didn't turn out so well for him. Instead he ran and spent a long time herding sheep getting prepared for the day when God would call him to lead the Isrealites out of Egypt.

God has shown me this:
In both cases, a Godly desire and dream was planted in their hearts but it took years before it became a reality.
In both cases, God provided a time period of learning and instruction and even humbling situations.
In both cases, God provided a shelter.
In both cases, God's favor remained in spite of their outward circumstances.

Sometimes God plants a dream and that dream comes to life in a short period of time. For example, when we agreed to move here and said Yes to God... we were here in 30 days (that still amazes me!). In other cases, God plants a dream and it takes a long time before we begin to see that dream becoming a reality. Sometimes, we need to grow and learn a lot before we are ready for the responsibility of the dream.

What I believe God is bringing me to is... a point of peace either way. If He chooses this dream to be able to leave my job and go to school full-time to be right now... I have a peace about it. However, if He chooses that I remain where I work for a season and start out part-time... I have a peace about it. Either way... I am at peace. I know that God has planted this dream (know that without doubt) and because it is a God-given dream, I know He will bring it to reality in HIS timing and HIS way. I also know that because God has planted this dream in my heart He will provide... every step of the way... everything that I need.

I have a dream to be a Physical Therapist. To one day be His Hands ministering to the hurting and broken. I have a dream to one day be speaking in to the lives of people I come in contact with... without fear and having my words be His words. I have a dream to one day have His words to me fulfilled:

"You talk with your hands and expresses your heart through your hands. And in the things that are ahead of you, you will comfort, soothe, touch, teach, train, and strengthen many through your hands (wow). Your hands will be an extension of My Hands to others, and just as your hands express your heart -- they will express My heart as well."

This is my dream... this is my desire. I believe it has been planted in my heart by You Lord. I give it to You and I will trust You to fulfill it and bring it to a reality in Your time and in Your way. I believe Lord that You will provide all that I need every step of the way... including the wisdom to GET all that I have to learn! =) I trust You Lord in whatever amount of time this may take. Help me to truly be Your Hands extended..... Oh to be His Hands extended... reaching out to the opressed... let me touch Him... let me touch Jesus... so that others may know and be blessed.