Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lightbulb


Lightbulb
Originally uploaded by denesiachristine
"The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to mankind" John 1:4

Somehow, nowadays we've learned techniques for turning on and off the light whenever we want to.

I'm not sure, "in light of things today" if that is a wise habit for us to have.

I think I need more light... and I'm willing to take my chances on the "risk of fire".

and no.. I'm not talking about a lightbulb anymore here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

not much left to give





not much left to give
sometimes I feel a little bit like this dandelion...like I don't have much left to give...
blow on me one more time, and I'm done....but I find hope in knowing
that each piece that is sent out, will someday rise up to meet the sun again. "
Originally uploaded by denesiachristine


Proverbs 20:5 (The Message Translation)
"Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within"


Let's face it, as women today, we often feel like dandelions with no more seed pods left. Trying to balance family, career, beauty, housework, and everything else in between can wear a girl out!

I'm so glad I have "deep water in my heart" so I can go and draw from it to refresh me and make me whole again.

Thank-you Jesus for helping me see the beauty in every stage of who I am.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Freedom from my chains


Psalm 116:16
O Lord, truly I am your servant. I am your servant, the son of your maidservant, you have freed me from my chains.




What exactly does freedom mean? According to Webster:
1: the quality or state of being free: as a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous (troublesome)


We often hear in the church that we have been "set free", and that Jesus "broke the chains" that bind us to sin.

And it all sounds cliche.

I look around the church in America and I see people who don't look free. I see people who are constantly held in "coercion and constraint in choice or action". I see people who are slaves to the power of "what the person next to them thinks". I don't see anyone exempt or released from something troublesome.

But, I also see the truth that Jesus DID break the chains that keep us prisoner in this world. I believe in His Word, and wonder why so many of us are still struggling with impressing others with our appearance, or impressing others with our religious rules and ability to be perfect in front of everyone else.

Acts 16:26
...At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.
hmmm.... the chains are loose... but not gone.


Recently I had the opportunity to go and worship at the Orlando House of Prayer with Kim Walker. She leads worship in a way that begs us to walk in freedom.. the freedom of worship. The freedom I felt while singing MY HEART instead of just my words to my Father in Heaven was a very powerful, moving, and joyful experience.

The key word here isn't freedom.. it's experience.

Did you know that God created our brains to learn in 2 ways? Our brain is divided into 2 hemispheres... the left handles words and knowledge.... and the right handles experience. (learn more here) How many times do you approach "being a christian" with only left brained knowledge? I believe God created us with 2 hemispheres for a reason... so I embraced what was happening in my right hemisphere!


When I was able to experience the presence of God during that time of worship... it enabled my entire brain to finally "get it". One of the lines in one of the songs Kim leads is:
I asked you for freedom, you broke every chain and gave me the keys

In my time of worship I was able to finally see that God did give me freedom... he did break the chains just like it's promised in His Word... and he then handed me the keys to those chains. I, like many other Christians, have been holding onto my chains instead of letting them fall.
Isaiah 52:2
Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

I challenge each of my readers to consider letting go of the broken chains that bind you. Find freedom in Christ by opening up the right hemisphere of your brain and allowing yourself to experience Him instead of locking yourself up into religion and rules.

I can stand freely without my chains today because I KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that God is by my side. I didn't have to memorize it or force myself to read about him everyday. I KNOW it because I've experienced Him in my life.
That... is freedom.

I don't have to be coerced into following Him. I want to.
I don't have to be a slave to singing only what the person next to me sings on Sunday morning, or spouting off verses that have no meaning to me. I am free to sing as loud or as quiet as I want to, even if there's a break in the chorus! I am free to let the verses that I've experienced as alive flow out of me naturally. God likes it when I'm different from the crowd!
I don't have to fall into despair and frustration when trouble knocks on my door.. I can praise my God because I know he will either deliver me from it or teach me something from it.

I believe that worship is the key to discovering this freedom... so why not take the time to go after it for yourself. There's a playlist of Kim Walker's music in my side panel that might help. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting closer to Him...

With the new year, comes new "commitments" (I shy away from the word resolutions).
It is my hope to get closer to God this year by spending more and more time with Him. I also hope to become "contagious" in my family, if you know what I mean! But, sometimes my kids struggle with the concept of a "quiet time" because it's boring or because they think they never hear from God.
Well, I must admit that sometimes even I feel that way.
So, this morning, without even knowing what I wanted to learn from His Word today, I was led to 2 Kings 3. In this particular passage, Elisha has been approached by a King who wants to hear from God. It seems like Elisha really doesn't want to help this King, but then offhandedly says,
"now bring me a harpist."

And the verse continues on to say
"While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha"
Do you think Elisha was "in the mood" to hear from God when this King he disliked came to him? I don't think so. Do you think it would be easy to hear from God when your in a bad mood or not feeling "inspired"? I can tell you from experience.. it's almost impossible to hear from God when I'm grumpy or even when I'm just "bored" and not looking forward to my "quiet time".
So, what can we learn from Elisha in this passage?
We need a harpist! :)
Okay, well not exactly a harpist.. but what does a harpist do for Elisha? He plays music for him. The music seems to have a key part in Elisha's willingness to hear from God. He knew in advance that in order to hear from God he would need music!


Now, when I think about my own best times with the Lord.. I am quite certain that most of those times involved music in one way or another even though I never thought about it that way nor planned it.

So why do we call it a Quiet Time??? Shouldn't we be listening to music be played in hopes that the "hand of God will come upon us"?
My kids will probably jump at the idea of counting listening to music as time with God... but that's only the first step!

The next step in hearing from God is to be in His Word.
My pastor this week spent some time in Deuteronomy telling us that we are to "live like Kings" and that means that we should be in the Word. His sermon was very enlightening, but he skimmed over a very important part of the passage.
Deuteronomy 17:18-19
When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law taken from the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.
My pastor made it very clear that we are to be reading the Word... but did you notice what it says to do BEFORE that?
"he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law..."
I think this is a very clear instruction for us to "journal" the Word as we read it. Writing it down as we study it is just as important as reading it alone.



As we journal, what else should we write besides the actual scriptures? Well, one of my favorite verses in support of journaling is found in Habbakkuk 2. Here I get the impression that Habbakkuk is frustrated, but still turning to God for answers. And God answers him by saying,
"Write down the revelation, and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it"
Or, as The Message Translation says,
"Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run".
This makes it so clear to me, that God wants me to write down the insights I get as I'm praying or as I'm reading and writing down His Word. He doesn't want me to hide it or make it into a big giant production either.. he wants it to be portable so I can read it when I need it the most... in the middle of trouble!! He doesn't say to only write the "words he says"... because he knows we often don't "hear what he says to us". He says to "write what you see"(revelation). So that means if we are praying/worshiping/journaling.. and we see in our imagination an image... that we should write that down too.

So, our "quiet time" in my house is going to be different this year. I will encourage my family to worship God with music as part of their "God time" and then pray, read His Word, and write down any verses that seem to "pop out " when reading. And then pray some more and look and listen for any Words/Pictures from God and write them down too.

And I am confident that we will get closer to Him this way.... because this is the way he instructs us to do it!