Monday, August 10, 2009

In a cloud

I have been asking the Lord to enable me lately in giving me wisdom to deal with a hard situation. I was hoping for a word of encouragement as I opened my daily reading for the day. My heart fell at first as I saw the passage was about the Lord’s transfiguration and the heading in July 29’s reading in my Utmost for his Highest was titled “Do you see Jesus in your clouds?” What on earth has the transfiguration got to do with my difficult situation right now?

Then I read the first few sentences that go on like this…

“In the Bible clouds are always associated with God. Clouds of sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. But Nahum 1:3 says, “the clouds are the dust of His feet”…God cannot come near us without clouds-He does not come in clear-shining brightness.

On the mount of transfiguration Peter saw Jesus but also Elijah and Moses and he wanted to erect three shelters there on the mountains for these three. But then a cloud appeared (Mark 7, 8) and enveloped them and truth came in the cloud. The truth that it is only Jesus that they should be honoring and listening to. “And suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.”

I have been under a cloud lately. A dark, thick cloud that was heavy, scary and sometimes felt suffocating. My thoughts have been consumed with this difficulty. All I was seeing in this cloud was this problem and me trying to work through it, and I wasn’t seeing Jesus in the cloud at all. But ALL God wants me to see is Him. This cloud has been full of the issue and I could not hear God’s voice and see Jesus. But He has been there all along.

I am heading out now still somewhat in my cloud but aiming to only see Jesus and hear his voice!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Don't let anyone look down on you because...

Ever heard of Susan Boyle? If you haven't it means you haven't watched TV, not seem U Tube for some time and hadn't had time to check people's blogs and face book because everyone is talking about her. This middle aged English lady who lives with her cat and mother, looks like everyone's village neighbor. Her hair is thinning, her figure is round and no one would look at her twice at the grocery store check out line. Yet she had the courage to step onto the stage of "Britain's got talent" TV reality show. The crowd and judges smirked as they watch her step up to the mike and tell them she would sing for them. Some outright laughed as they waited to see her making a fool of herself.

As she sang the first few notes, all laughter stopped, jaws opened and eyes widened in disbelief. Within a few bars of the song, people were clapping and on their feet in admiration and shock. She became an instant world celebrity in that moment.

What was the difference between the Susan coming onto the stage and the one leaving? She was the same person but the world were seeing her very differently. I like the verse in the Bible that says I Tim :12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example..."

Do you ever feel people really don't know you? In fact, do you sometimes feel people are looking down on you because ________? You fill in the blank. maybe you are looking down on yourself because ________?

God has given all of us gifts and abilities- he is not surprised when we start using them! We might surprise others and even ourselves! Isn't is affirming that when we "walk onto the stage" of using our gifts, God is already on his feet applauding.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Limitations of Technology

If someone wanted to clone me (not sure why they would want to!) or find out anything about me all they have to do is investigate what is on my computer. They will see my family, musings, letters, business world, passwords, devotional notes and prayer diary, poems and songs, pictures and my recipes. When the electricity is cut and my battery runs out I have nothing to do it seems. Anything I think of to do, is all on my machine! How sad!

Much of my relationships now are cultivated through facebook, e mails, skype calls and the such, because of the travel demand from my work presently. How safe or good is that? I am wondering? I NEVER want to loose the face to face, the touch, the warmth of just being in a good friend’s presence, or finding a resolution to a misunderstanding without being there in person if possible. The smiley face characters cannot replace the real thing! So much of communication is unspoken and needs to be seen and felt, not just heard.

I am fighting the danger of just keeping relationships “the easy way”- chatting on the phone, skype calling etc. I am needing to convince myself again and again that the walk to someone’s office or a jeepney ride to a restaurant to meet a friend or even a flight to be with someone is so WORTH it!

May I never replace technology for human touch! How about you?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rhythms of Rest and Renewal

My Life seems to get fuller, faster, more demanding yet richer! But oh I long to remember and keep rhythms of Rest and Renewal. I will pray for you as you pray for me as we remind each other to rest and renew routinely!

"In order to grow towards wholeness,
accepting our brokenness
and gradually becoming more compassionate,
we need the power of the Spirit.
But we are humans
and must also know the ways of our own bodies and beings...
Each one of us must find our own secret rhythm
of how to rest, relax and find re-creation
for each one of our bodies is different.
We need personal space and time...
Each of us must discover our own
real nourishment...
We must learn
not just to free ourselves from tension and fatigue...
We must learn
As the mother must learn
in front of the never-ending needs of her children,
how to respect our energy
and relax in all the moments of our day
filled as they may be with arduous work
or often tiresome meetings,
and crises of all sorts,
and the hundred and one things that have to be done.
To do this we must discover how to harmonize
the active and the passive in us.
If we are just doers,
feeling terribly responsible and serious,
we will crack up one day.
We must nourish the passive part of us,
our hearts made for a personal love,
learning to listen to others,
to marvel at nature,
to rest a moment in the presence of Jesus,
to receive the love of those around us
and be nourished by their trust,
enjoying the little things of each day,
not taking ourselves too seriously,
accepting to become like little children."
Jean Vanier

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Canvas of Society

I dare you to take 20 minutes and watch this U tube video. It is a piece written by a Filipino painter who paints the Last Supper with Jesus at the table with street children and narrates on the Canvas of Society. A very moving piece.

The more I deal with adults that suffer from insecurity, low self image, anger issues and are negative and critical, the more I can trace back a difficulty from their childhood. Parents, we have so much influence on our young children. Give them a heritage that will last a lifetime. I am not talking about presents cheap or expensive, educational pursuits or a classic ballet lessons. I am talking about unconditional love no matter their IQ, personality, weight or prowess at sports or music; teaching them to consider others better than themselves, that life is not fair but we should try to be; that we can live within our means and be content with what we have- others will always have more and many more have less; be respectful of country, authority and laws, that we should live with life goals and seek to pursue those; that life without God is no life at all.

When we do this we can change what is on the Canvas of our Society