"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

Posts tagged ‘Communion’

When God Swoops In

post127graphicWhen was the last time that God overwhelmed you with his majesty? How have you experienced God at work in your life? Can you recall a time that God moved a mountain for you, or opened a door, or protected you from danger?

Is there a critically important day in your life when God showed up and divided time; a day, or an event, when from that moment on, you referred to things as “before” and “after”?

Perhaps your calendar marks the days of sobriety. Perhaps you’re continue here.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

pody106graphicShe couldn’t have been much older than my own children and we exchanged smiles as Brian and I moved into the row next to her. She didn’t sing during worship, but not everyone does. She shook my hand when we exchanged “Merry Christmas” greetings with our neighbors.

The pastor started his sermon, “Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year… except when it isn’t” and she started to cry. Things weren’t wonderful continue here

A Recap of Israel!

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My heart is overflowing with joy. My mind is joyfully overflowing!

When asked “What was the highlight of your trip to Israel?” I am at a loss for words. It’s like asking which color frosting tastes the best: it’s all frosting! Every moment, every location, every lecture was just more frosting on the cake of getting to walk in Israel.

As a student, I learned so much and (More here!)

Walking Back Home

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Walking is my exercise of choice. I can walk alone, but I prefer to walk with a friend. I walk at the mall in winter, and I walk outside in summer.

Fortunately, there is a great subdivision across the street from my house with miles of walking paths that meander around a lake, pond, community garden, horse stable, school, park and beautiful homes. But, because I don’t have a map of the paths, and because there are so many of them, by the time my heart is in a good place (both physically and spiritually), I’m usually lost.

But, that’s OK; I know I won’t be lost for long, because wherever I am on those paths, I can see this water tower which is right across from my house. I know that if I can find my way to the tower, I can find my way home. As soon as I spot the tower, I know which way to walk to get home and find rest.

The other day I was chatting with a friend who had lost her way home spiritually. She started out walking with God, but then made a few turns here and there without paying much attention and then before she knew it, she had wandered away. It had been over a year since she’d gone to church, and she was homesick, alone, lonely, afraid of what the future might hold, and even more, of what it might not hold.

She needed a water tower! No, she needed a friend to point her to God because God is always there pointing the way home!

“This is what the Lord says, ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.’”– Jeremiah 6:16 NLT

Sometimes the old, godly way is simply returning to church. But, it’s hard to walk in alone, so my friend phoned a friend who lived near her and they went to church together last Sunday. Afterward, she told me, “I feel a lot more at ease today… like I have more direction… like comfort with the unknown.” She had returned home and found rest.

Going to church won’t make anyone a Christian, but Christians need to go to church. We need to worship with other believers. We need the spiritual communion and encouragement that comes from singing praises alongside others, and hearing God’s Word preached in community with others. This is not new.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  – Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

Is there an area of your life where you’ve taking baby steps away from the Lord? Away from rest? Look up! The Lord is waiting to show you the way back home.

Is there a friend whom you might lovingly invite to go to church with you?

Doors, Drawers and Disrespect

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There are 37 cabinet doors, and 24 drawers in my kitchen. You need to know this.

You see, a while back as I was taking my vitamins Brian walked into the kitchen, closed the cabinet door where we keep the vitamins and said, “You always leave the cabinet doors open.” Then he walked out.

What?!?! Are you kidding me?! I never leave the cabinet doors open! And I was going to close this one as soon as I swallowed that vitamin!! How could he say that?

Well, on that Sunday morning things changed! I opened every door and drawer as far as possible, then I walked out of the house, got in the car with Brian and left to go to church. Angry.

On the way to church, I realized it was the first Sunday of the month. We would be celebrating communion. And I was angry. Almost immediately, the Lord brought to mind 1 Corinthians 11:27-28 “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.”

Drat. My heart was not clean. It was full of anger. I prayed, silently, “Lord, I’m sorry I got angry.”

There, now my heart was right. I confessed my anger. I was ‘good to go’. I could participate in the Lord’s Supper with a clean heart. Wrong. In my heart I knew I needed to apologize to Brian.

Instead, I argued with God, “Lord, he said something that made me mad. I shouldn’t have to apologize to him for getting angry. Besides, he doesn’t even know I’m angry!”

The Lord didn’t buy my defense. Maybe my initial ‘prayer of confession’ wasn’t quite genuine. Or maybe if I didn’t ‘come clean’ with Brian, I would secretly nurse the anger, and let a root of bitterness get started.

So, I apologized to Brian, who had no idea what I was talking about, and he said everything was OK.

Whew! Now, all was good, I could take communion with a clean conscience.

We walked into church, we sang, I was worshiping my Precious God, and then he brought to mind Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

What??? Did I have to tell Brian about the doors and drawers? Nope. No way. Not gonna happen. Besides, I thought, he was wrong! I don’t leave the doors open. I always close them. And, it’s not a sin to leave them open, even if I did… which I did that morning.

The pastor prayed and passed the elements. My heart was not clean. I had deliberately opened those drawers and doors just so that Brian would be angry when he got home and saw them.

I jotted on the bulletin, “I opened every cabinet door and drawer in the kitchen and left them open. I’m sorry,” and handed it to Brian. Did he just stifle a laugh????

When the bread and cup were handed to me I received both, and thanked my precious Savior for shedding his blood on the cross so that my sins were forgiven. All of them. Anger. Self-righteousness. Disrespecting Brian. Disrespecting the Lord. Bitterness. You name it.

As soon as we got home, I closed every drawer and door in the kitchen before Brian saw them… because, after all, I never leave them open!

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