Sunday, February 14, 2016

To "perform" or to "minister" that is the question.

I heard someone say today that they "perform" to an audience of One. Something just didn't sound right to my ears nor rang well with my spirit.  So being the studious student that I am, I of course Googled both definitions and set to pondering.

To "perform" is to "adhere to the terms of (as in a contract); to do in a formal manner according to a prescribed ritual; to give a rendition of; to carry out an action or pattern of behavior; to give a performance; to play".  To "minister" is to "to give service, care or aid; to attend, as to wants or necessities; to contribute, as to comfort or happiness".

Knowing the difference is crucial in these times & days ahead.  To perform is to go through the motions without opening one's heart & life.  It is to just do with no feeling or thought.  To minister is to open one's heart & life to be poured out like a drink offering.  Jesus didn't peform the act of sacrifice; He ministered as the act of sacrifice.  Jesus gave up everything He was & had so that we could be reconciled back to God the performing there.

This leads me back to the question God asked me in church last week...."Why are you here?"  Why do we go to church week after week?  Do we go to "perform" or to "minister" to that audience of One or are we there to be seen among men?  Are we there to give service, care & aid to those in the body of Christ?  Or are we there to give a rendition of being Christians?  Are we there to minister as in to attends to the wants & needs of the Father or our own stinking flesh?

Cutting questions that each of us has to examine & look at with a sincere heart & spirit.  I know I have been examining my own motives, heart & spirit lately.  I encourage you to do the same.  Why are you going to church?  If you are not going....why aren't you?  Are you performing or ministering?  Who is the one you are ministering to....your flesh or God when you do or don't go?  

I learned how to worship God when I first started this journey.  I learned to hear His still small voice & to move accordingly.   I was so head over heels in love with God & couldn't wait to get into His presence.   But then I allowed man to talk me into thinking I wasn't having a true & honest relationship with God.  I allowed circumstances & the actions of others to make me question everything I knew was true & right.  I have been calling out to God that I want what was lost between He & I by allowing man in & pushing Him away out of doubt & fear.

While walking on my treadmill the other night I cried out once again to God.  I realized I can't have the relationship of the past because that is where it belongs in my past.  I can have a fresh new & mature relationship with Him now.  A relationship of honesty of heart; a relationship that has weathered the storms of trial & the days of triumph.  I have come to realize I am still hungry for His amazing presence, to read His wonderful Word, I am still desiring to sit before His feet to learn His heart & needs, I am still desiring to minister to Him & Him alone; ministering not performing to an audience of One....the Only True One.

Ask yourself the cutting questions, answer them honestly, get before God & pour out your heart & life to Him.  If you want to save your life, give it totally away to God & He shall preserve it.  Matter of fact your life will be all the richer for it.  Oh yes, there will be trials & tribulations....hard times & heart ache, but the investment of yourself in to Christ is totally worth it.  Especially on the days when you can honestly see where your life has been & how it has grown in Him.  As for me, I have a walk to do not only on my treadmill today, but with my Savior helping others.  Have a blessed day.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hernia, Ice Cream & Sin

Odd title, I know.   You may be thinking exactly what is the common theme?  How do these three tie together.  Well with God there is always a connection.......

About a year ago I was diagnosed with gastritis & a hiatal or stomach hernia.  VERY painful if I don't eat the right foods.  Some foods trigger my gastritis to act up which causes the hernia to hurt.  Some of the foods that trigger it are some of my favorites.  Yep you guessed it ICE CREAM or any ok with some cheeses, but not all.

I was at the grocery store & they had a sale on those gallon buckets of ice cream.  To beat it all, it was my favorite brand too; Prairie Farms.  Oh, I not a snob, I like all flavors of ice cream & chocolate being my ultimate favorite.  But there is something SO compelling about Prairie Farms plain ole, I feel myself drooling, Vanilla.  It is so creamy & deliciously vanilla.  Yes I found one of those buckets following me home like a lost puppy found.

I thought a scoop or two wouldn't hurt me; I hadn't had any ice cream or very much dairy in my diet in a very long time.  I could control myself & ration that bucket out for at least a month or two if I was careful.  My husband wasn't much help.  A couple scoops one night turned into a couple scoops every night for about 5 days in a row.  As you can imagine, my gastritis started my stomach a churning.  This caused pain in my stomach to increase & cause irritation to my hernia which started hurting.  Very uncomfortable sitting, sleeping, just being alive; pain FULL.

I was in church praying the pain would go away when the Lord reminded me that I caused my own pain.  Ice cream like sin doesn't seem too harmful in small doses or little things.  But if one doesn't see ice cream (or sin for that matter) as harmful & continues to partake of it oh the pain it will cause later on.  We can find ourselves in a bitter & painful season.  How God uses the ordinary to explain the heavenly purposes of life.

I repented for the gluttony & for thinking I knew what was better for my life than the Great Physician does.  I have avoided ice cream & asked the Lord to remove all temptation for it from me.  I am pleased to report that although I am not totally healed of my gastritis it is getting better every day I CHOOSE not to partake of any dairy & other foods that irritate it.

If you find yourself in a vicious cycle as I did, but with sin, be of good cheer.  Jesus is right there waiting for you to recognize the error of your ways.  Waiting for you to recognize what is amiss & wrong with your life.  Waiting for you to repent for partaking in whatever sin you find yourself caught up in.  Waiting for you to realize & repent for thinking you can do this thing called life without Him.  Watching & waiting for you to return to the lifestyle He desires for you to have a happy, healthy & abundant life.  Invite Jesus into your heart & life today......He is well worth the effort just like & MORE so than my putting the effort into watching my diet is worth it for me.