Lord I forgot about You! (A Poem and Prayer)

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Life is marred by many things

and busy schedules 

with phones that ring 

and Lord I confess I forget You. 

 

When worries increase

and time flies by

my space all leased

I am left wondering why…

why have I forgotten You?  

 

These fears flood in 

and hope leaks out

under-sieged by sin 

and I’m without 

why have I forgotten You?  

 

Until on my knees I must bend

In prayer and solitude again 

to reconnect with the Eternal friend

this is how is begins and ends.  

 

 

 

Honest Questions…

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What if I actually did as Jesus instructed?  What would that look like?  Would the world be better off because of it?  If I actually loved my enemy.  If I actually extended grace that extra mile.  If I actually opened my heart to the whosoever?  What would that look like?

What if I actually got serious about disciplining my thought processes?  The way that I think.  After all didn’t Jesus say that even if we think about adultery we’ve already committed it in our hearts?  What would it look like if I applied the Paul principles in my life?  If I pondered on all things true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy…(Philippians 4:8)?  What would come of thinking this way?  If I got rid of all the junk, filth, malice, hate and envy?  If I, like David, asked God instead to create in me a clean heart and to renew that right spirit within me (Ps 51)…how would I be different than I am now?

What if I got serious about holiness?  If I actually started listening to those promptings of the Holy Spirit to truly surrender all?  If I stopped holding onto to those darker portions of my heart.  If I stopped messing around thinking that there’s always time later to mature in this thing called ‘faith’.  How would this surrender take over my life?  Would I be truly transformed?  Would I be more confident?  Would I have more assurance of His grace in me?  What if His holiness became a priority instead of a temporary, on again off again passing phase?  What if I got serious and got disciplined in this faith?

What if I stopped talking all the time in my prayers and actually began to listen?  What would I hear Him say?  What is He saying right now?  Am I afraid of His words?  Am I dreading wrath or condemnation?  Have I been putting off these listening ears because I would rather ask Him for things instead of do what He wants of me?  And why don’t I spend more time studying His Word?  Why is it laborious for me to read a single chapter but I can spend hours in front of the TV, with my fiction books and surfing the web?  Am I afraid of what He might say to me regarding my other idle activities?  Would I be convicted too much?  I can justify it all away, I can say ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ but never really mean the words that I say.

What if I was honest with myself…with Him?  What if…what if…what if.  Perhaps it’s time to stop asking ‘what ifs’ and starting asking why not now?  What am I waiting for?  Why am I stalling?  What are the reasons?  WHY NOT NOW?

-Just a few honest questions.

Apathy and the Wilderness

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Luke 5:16 (ASV)
But he withdrew himself in the deserts, and prayed.

Apathy is the death of man’s spiritual relationship with God.  It happens when we stop caring, or find ourselves at a point in our lives where we are unfeeling.  Have you been there before?  It can be both terrifying and silent because we are often very good at faking it.  We are often quite good at acting the part even when the heart isn’t in it.

I don’t mean to cast any doubts your way today or cause you to feel down…because there is hope in all of this!  Sometimes this pathway of apathy leads directly to the wilderness.  What do I mean by the wilderness?  I don’t mean an empty lonely place full of strife and pain.  When I say wilderness I am implying that there are times in which God is longing for us to draw closer to Him.  If we are aware of this apathetic pathway we can take steps in the right direction.

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Why did God lead His people into the wilderness in the first place?   Through this dry and thirsty place God showed His chosen ones how they could fully rely on Him.  He was present for them.  He was (and still is) in love with His people.  When they were in this barren wilderness the total acknowledgement that they needed help became completely apparent.  Stepping onto this pathway of apathy is dangerous, but it can also lead us back to the wilderness and back to a right relationship with God.

Are you unfeeling today?  Are you simply  going through the motions in life right now?  Sure the routine is somewhat rewarding but somehow you’ve lost that passion you once had.  Perhaps it’s time to take a step into the wilderness once again and get reconnected with the Almighty.  Apathy might be the death of man’s spiritual relationship with God…but it doesn’t have to be!

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Taking time to stand before God without distractions of all kinds is absolutely necessary!  If Jesus had to get away and commune with the Father what makes us think that we can simply ‘go it alone’?  The truth of the matter is we cannot!  The wilderness is calling…will you go?  Will you take the time that your spirit and heart crave?  Will you sacrifice some of your schedule in this day and give it completely to God so that He has your undivided attention?  It’s not so much for His benefit but rather completely for our benefit and His renewal that we do this.

Go into your wilderness and meet with The Father, and over time you will find that every motion your body makes, every schedule that you keep matters to Him as well.  He wants to be included in it all, He wants you to bring glory to Him in all things.  But it begins with our time in the wilderness before Him.

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Home Sweet Home

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It’s interesting when you see these hanging in homes.  For most it’s a sentiment that evokes  love, acceptance, peace, somewhere to not only hang your hat but to rest.  These signs are a dime a dozen in tourist shops and craft stores…trust me I’ve been to many of both.  But the real sentiment which is relayed in these wall hangings can be found within our searching can’t it?  We automatically identify places that are not home to us.  Perhaps its in the decor of a place, or in the beds we sleep in, or in the company we find ourselves in.  But in our searching we can identify where home is and where home isn’t.

Similarly this should be the case in our spiritual relationships.  If we are familiar with our Eternal Father in heaven we can quickly identify where He does not reside.  And if we are tempted and go to these places we will continue to feel ‘away from home’ in them.  Isn’t it interesting that the places we call home don’t just make up things or tangible surrounds?  The reasons we call certain places ‘home’ is because of a heart-attachment.  By that I mean we are emotionally, historically, and internally attached to a certain place because ‘this is where I’m from!’.   Do you see the context here?  It’s not four walls of some building that makes a place home, it’s an attachment to us that goes beyond the physical realms.

Similarly in our searching we find ourselves asking ‘big questions’.  Questions like ‘who made me?‘ or ‘Are we alone in the universe?’, ‘is there a God?‘, ‘Can I really believe what the Bible says?‘.  You see we are all searching in some way, shape, or form for home.  Ever since Adam and Eve initially were expelled from the garden of Eden we have been in search of home.  Something within us is missing.  A crucial life component that makes us whole again.

It’s like working so hard on a thousand piece puzzle and coming to the end of it and discovering you are missing one vital piece of the puzzle.  Without that one piece, the puzzle is incomplete.

Intrinsically we are created in God’s image, yet because of this fall into sin, our image of God in us is severely marred…we are missing a piece from within us.  This is what A.W. Tozer said on this subject:

“Before the Lord God made man upon the earth He first prepared for him a world of useful and pleasant things for his sustenance and delight.  In the Genesis account of the creation these are called simply “things.”  They were made for man’s use, but they were meant always to be external to the man and subservient to him.  In the deep heart of man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come.  Within him was God; without, a thousand gifts which God had showered upon him.  But sin has introduced complications and has made those very gifts of God a potential source of ruin to the soul.  

Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and the things were allowed to enter.  Within the human heart things have taken over.  Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne.  

This is not a mere metaphor, but an accurate analysis of our real spiritual trouble.”

Do you see now why we are still in search for home?  As Tozer puts it, the sacred shrine within us that housed God has been replaced with the external things of this world.  We have settled for the creation instead of the Creator.  But sin is an utterly poor replacement for God.  It’s like calling a mildewed and molded shack with no roof ‘Home’…and settling for something far below what God could provide us.

Our search for home is probably the most ancient sentiment and emotional attachment to this now vacant shrine within us.  Everyone in all of creation has now been born with this longing to find home once again.  There is a spiritual ache within us.  And in order to be whole again we, like the prodigal son in Christ’s parable, have to come to our senses and return to Him.  He longs for us to choose Him.  When we consider the ‘slop’ we have put into our lives and within our ‘sacred shrines’ we cannot help but feel ashamed.

Yet Christ provides us this missing piece.  Our image, our relationship can be restored…we can find that peace, perfect peace of Home once more?  It can only be found at the foot of the cross.  May we stop seeking and starting looking to the One who desires to make us whole once again!

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  1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
  2. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see—
    O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
  3. I need Thy presence every passing hour;
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
  4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
  5. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Book Review: “Falling in Love with God” by Bob Hostetler

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Hey all, a little over a month ago I was asked to give a book review on a book that just released yesterday, April 9th, 2013.  The book is called, “Falling in love with God” by Bob Hostetler.  If you get a chance to, pick up a copy and read it for yourself!  

For your convenience I have posted two links where you can purchase this great book: 

http://www.christianbook.com/falling-in-love-with-god/bob-hostetler/9780891123743/pd/123743?item_code=WW&netp_id=1055981&event=ESRCG&view=details

http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Love-God-Bob-Hostetler/dp/0891123741/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1365606837&sr=8-7&keywords=Bob+Hostetler

As I read this epic story of God’s love for his people anew through the eyes of Hosea, Hostetler illustrates for us to the lengths in which our Father in Heaven will go to buy back His Bride from the deepest darkest depths of total depravity.  Hostetler weaves this journey of God’s Redemptive love in a very practical and personal way for us today!  Not only does he accurately expound on the scriptures of the book of Hosea, but brings our lives into focus for the here and now!  How God desires to love us more deeply, and He wants us to love Him back!   If you have ever pondered the extent in which God will go to win back His Bride, read the book of Hosea in the Bible, then pick up a copy Bob Hostetler’s new book:  “Falling in Love with God“.  I know you won’t regret it, check it out and I know you will be blessed as I was when you read its pages.

 

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