Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Cup Overflows

Psalm 23:1-6
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Matthew 11:29-30
Take my yoke upon you, and learn fro me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke in easy, and my burden is light.

I was given an article a couple of months ago that has really challenged the foundations of my faith and how I view Christianity and what I think Christianity should look like.  I was raised in church, accepted Christ as my Savior at a very early age, and really didn't even have a rebellious phase in my teen years.  Perfect?  Absolutely not.  But by the rules and by the book?  Well as closely as I could follow.  It has always been about doing what is right for me and feeling convicted if I don't.  Although there is a value to this and a certain necessity, I have had my eyes opened to a different attitude.

The Pharisees and other religious leaders of Jesus' time had made being a Jew a chore, a burden, and a following of a lengthy list of rules that was impossible to keep.  Christ came and said my yoke is easy, my burden is light meaning that following a set of rules is not what is required of us.  We will always fall short.  The rules have a purpose, but the point is to receive from God and then overflow to others.  We cannot serve in the church, give money to the needy, help others, etc. unless it comes from an overflow of what we have received from God.  I mean, we can, but it will feel like a burden, it will drain us of energy because we will be relying on our own strength, and it will be with an incorrect motive every time...we are sinful by nature you know.  We must go to God and be filled.  And God always gives exactly what we need plus so much more and it is from this overflow that we can serve and give of ourselves, our time, our money, our resources, to others.

So I say all of that, but I am finding it is harder than I thought to make this change of attitude and lifestyle.  And that is what it should be, a lifestyle.  So my focus right now is on how to apply this to my life.  It should make a change in how I think, how I react, how I spend time with God, how I serve.  Here are some suggestions on how to get filled throughout the day even with all the business of life:  Read the Bible! (of course), Pray and don't forget to listen!, read Christian books and articles that reveal how great God's love is for you and allow that awesome love to sink in and overflow, listen to music and radio talk shows that point your thoughts to God.  I think what I need the most right now is to learn how to keep the amazing love of God at the forefront of my mind all day every day.  How easy is it to get wrapped up in me, myself, and I, and to not think about the amazing love and grace I have received from God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, who created this earth and the billions of galaxies in the universe.  He loves me!  He wants to give rest, peace, love, patience, and so much more to me!  My mind should be continually blown at all times!

Okay, I'm done.  I'm just excited!  So, rest in the presence of God today and allow Him to fill you and then watch how this changes your heart toward others!

Christmas 2010

Another Christmas season survived!  We had a wonderful Christmas amidst all the hustle and bustle.  Jacob was super exciting to buy for this year and to watch open his gifts.  He has a very complete and full understanding of what a wrapped package means and a very complete and full understanding of how to open a wrapped package.  Lots of fun!! 

We were able to avoid the whole Santa Claus thing for the most part, but we will have to be prepared next year with a plan!  Here is an interesting article that my sister and brother-in-law sent me that I think provides a really creative solution.  Check it out at:

Here is a brief pictoral look at our Christmas morning.

I think this face says it all.

Ryan, in his second pair of pajamas for the morning, enjoying his new tools that rattle.