Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Devotion

  Today my devotion really touched my heart...  and I wanted to share it with you...

   "Even though Jesus kept insisting He hadn't come to "abolish the Law or the Prophets...  but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17), the religious just wouldn't listen.  Like little children they plugged their ears and kept singing the same old tune, though a New Song had been sent from heaven.
   Which is so very sad.  Especially when you consider that the Law they were so zealous for had been intended to prepare them for the Messiah rather than keep them from acknowledging Him.
   After all, God established His original covenant with Abraham long before He gave Moses the Law- 430 years before, to be exact.  (Galatians 3:17).  The love the Father extended to Abraham and to all those who came after him had no strings attached.  It was based on the recipient's acceptance of grace from beginning to end.
  But somehow Israel fell in love with the Law rather than in love with their God.  And we are in danger of doing the same thing.  Worshiping our own willpower rather than allowing the power of God to work in us to transform our lives.
  Such self-induced holiness didn't work for the Jews, and it doesn't work for us.  Tha'ts why Jesus had to come. "

   I can't even tell you how much just having a devotional book changed my heart.  It was that which drew me to studying my bible each morning, and having some time with God.  No, I don't believe a devotion can stand in place of reading Gods word, but it can soften and incline your heart to desire to read Gods word.
   If you are- like I was...  struggling with a desire to read Gods word and wanting to rekindle the hope and joy in your salvation, I really encourage you to find a great devotion to read each morning.  It may take a while to change your heart, but that's okay..  God is all about transformation.  I encourage you to find something that speaks to you, that opens your heart to hear Gods word.  Soon, you will desire to get into his Word and find some devotion of your own that He gives you, and that is a wonderful feeling!
  If you're looking for a good devotion and don't know where to start, here is mine:
At the Feet of Jesus: Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart.. by Joanna Weaver  I got this on amazon, I've also seen it in Lifeway stores.  My husband has a daily devotion by Billy Graham on his phone.  Its as simple and short as a few words sometimes, but a devotion can encourage your heart to seek Him throughout the day.




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Choosing Mary

 It was a snowy Friday morning.  We home school Monday through Thursday, so Friday and Saturdays are our mornings off and the kiddos are allowed to watch television..  my childhood is filled with great memories of Saturday morning cartoons, and although they aren't want they used to be (Although Garfield and Friends is on Netflix now!) I still remember those lazy mornings wonderfully...  and with the snow outside it was perfect to keep on their PJs and hang out on the couch.
   As I typed our netflix sign on info into the wii, I noticed Hudson emerge from the kitchen with two of my kitchen sponges.  I just bought them a couple of days ago.  They weren't that great, because they were soft instead of scratchy.  They came in a package of 10 with all sorts of different colors.  I can totally understand why the kids would enjoy something so bright and colorful.  He was holding one in each hand and flapping delightfully.  He circled around me, and the Martha kicked in.
   For those who aren't familiar with the story, in the gospel of Luke, verses 38-42, Jesus comes to the homes of two sisters.  Their names are Mary and Martha.  The sisters opened their home to Jesus.  Martha immediately began setting up.  She was working hard to make sure all provisions were met to prepare their home for their guests.  In the meantime, Mary found herself sitting at the feet of Jesus, just listening to him.  Martha saw her sister and gets frustrated.  In her frustration, she asks, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me."  I'm certain Martha expected Jesus to repremand her sister for not helping.  To her surprise, Jesus answers, "Martha, Martha.  You are anxious and troubled about many things.  But one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
   When the Martha kicked in, I knew that I may need those sponges for dishes, and they could not be used to clean dishes if they were in the floor.  I snapped at Hudson, "Put those back in the kitchen."
  It's amazing how our words, if not used carefully, can sting.  Hudsons' demeanor went from being happy and cheerful to being hurt.  His lip pouted, and tears immediately streamed from his face.  As he handed me the two sponges, he turned to go in his room with the saddest thing I've heard in awhile...
  "But Mom!  You took my wings!"
   Ohhhh my.
  I'm SO guilty of being Martha.  I feel like it has to be done, and done now.  I feel that my home can't function in chaos, and it shouldn't...  but sometimes I go overboard with wanting perfection, and expecting perfection.
   I cut short devotions to do laundry.
   I yell when juice is spilled on the floor.
   I get angry when the bed is not made to my standards...
   But worst of all, today, I failed to see that two sponges, ten of which cost $1.00, were the perfect pair of wings.
   I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit that lives inside of me beckons me to be more than I am.  That I can be shaped by the amazing God who lives inside of me.  That he can speak to my heart, speak past my flesh, and tell me how to live a more calm, peaceful life.  One that realizes that the hearts of my children are more important than a spotless home, or two cheap sponges.  I'm not that person.  I'm not a Mary.  I am a Martha..  but thanks to the Holy spirit, sometimes I choose to be Mary.  I choose God.  I choose peace.  I choose the greater portion.
   With a heavy heart, I sank beside my little boy on the bed and held him.  His tears dried up, and he hugged me back.  I handed him two sponges, told him I loved his wings.  He smiled at me, and told me they were red and blue.  I ran my fingers across them and told him they were so soft, and that Mommy was sorry, that Mommies sometimes say things they don't mean to say, and that I should not have taken his wings away.  He forgave me, instantly..  and 'flew' away.
   Most of the time I'm a Martha..  but occasionally, I find a way to be a Mary in this Martha world.