Lack of Vision

The Bible says that a people will perish for lack of vision; I see this happening in my local body of believers. Our attendance is down, visitors come but don't stay and there is just a general sense of apathy all around. We have a great teacher; his messages are annointed and inspiring but he freely admits that his strengths do not lie in the area of shepherding and this is what I believe people need. It's good to be inspired by a Sunday morning message but unless you have someone to come along side of you during the rest of the week and check your progress, the best you can hope for is increased knowledge on how you should be progressing. A great teacher presents the vision for a particular group of people but they need a shepherd to help them grasp that vision and run with it. A great teacher can give you knowledge but a shepherd shows you how to walk in it. A great teacher can inspire you to become a better person but a shepherd shows you what that looks like. We have tried to encourage people to join small groups but only a few of those groups remain. They are the ones whose leaders have great shepherding ability. Right or wrong I find myself feeling very responsible for shepherding our people; it is exhausting. I fear the health of our small congregation as it struggles along without a shepherd and without a vision. A people will perish without a vision and I am seeing that played out week by week. Father God, have mercy on us. Give us a vision, how do You want to use us? Show me how I can best support our leader and encourage our people to walk justly, to love mercy and to pray without ceasing.


He will return

We who follow the teachings of Christ Jesus have been waiting for His return for a very long time. So long in fact that I think many of His followers have gotten tired of waiting. The distractions of the enemy camp have lulled them into apathy and weariness. When the One you love is gone for so long it becomes very difficult to remain faithful to the love that you shared. The memories of the times you spent together begin to fade and become difficult to remember. The warmth of His touch begins to cool and one must search the depths of memory to feel it again. The secret is realizing that He is also spirit and can return to you whenever you ask Him to do so. You can spend time with Him, feel His presence and His touch. You can read His Word and hear His voice.
I feel His sorrow when His beloved choose the easy road of forgetting. It weighs heavy on my heart and makes breathing difficult sometimes. If His beloved only realized how valuable they are, what price He paid so that they could be with Him and experience all the love and gifts that He has for them. There is such a great inheritance of riches for those who faithfully follow the teachings of Christ. We follow a mighty King who is wise and just and merciful, who is holy and fierce and powerful. Great is His name!


Early AM sleeplessness

What is it about 2am that causes one to wake up? Hot flashes, bad dreams, the soft and not so soft snorings of a beloved husband, something you ate the day before, God calling you to spend some time with Him, any and all of the above! This morning it was waking up too hot for the blankets, I'm tired and yet cannot return to sleep. My love, who never used to be very snuggly want to sleep right next to me with his arm over my side. He's very warm and although I love the closeness of him my skin objects to the heat of his presence. I carefully slip out of bed and go to the living room where I lay for awhile on the sofa. It's cooler here, but our two cats decide that I need company and even though I doze for awhile it is still not a very restful place. I notice that the blinds have been closed by my duaghter who came to the apartment while we were out of town. I adjust them to their normal tilt and fill one of my pitchers with water for my tomato plant on the fire escape. It's very still and muggy outside, I return to the coolness of the apartment and our bedroom. I put my pillows at the foot of the bed so that I can look out the windows at the one star that is within my sight. It looks like a pin prick in the dark fabric of the night and I wonder if that is what all stars are. Pin pricks allowing the glory of heaven to peak at us. I like that idea. I have now been awake for over an hour and I begin to think the time would be best spent in prayer. When I have a chance to spend time with my Father King in His throne room at night I have found that if I record my time with Him I can more easily fall back to sleep and so I am sharing that moment with you my reader friends:
My Father, My King, I present myself to you and bring to you the requests of my heart this morning. I love you so much, You have been merciful to me and have given me more than my heart could imagine. Be with my children, how I long for them to know the joy of Your presence like I do. I want them to trust in Your faithfulness, in Your wisdom and Your kindness. You have been my strength and my joy through so many situations. You are my life and the air that I breathe. Please protect and heal my daughter of the anger that so often surrounds her. Restore her faith and soften her heart. Show her the sweet fragrance that can come from a bitter situation; strengthen the cords that keep her bound to You and Your Spirit. I will stand against the anger, the resentment and the bitterness in her life, I say to you the enemies of her heart Let go! Be gone from her in the name of Jesus! You will loosen your grip and you will lose this battle! I declare it in the name of the King, Jesus Christ! I release the Holy Spirit to heal and restore any damage done by the enemy to her heart, to her marriage, to her family. I give you glory and praise my King, because of you there is hope; because of You there is strength in them, because of You there is restoration. Continue to protect my son in law from the enemy's fiery darts, clothe him in Your glorious armour, increase his wisdom, mold him into a warrior and show him how to fight for his family. Help him to become the son of Your right arm.
I lay before you my other child, Your reborn princess. Show her the beauty that she is in You. Heal her of the chaos that runs through her mind. Bless her with Your peace. Teach her to be still and know that You are God. I place before You the concerns I have for her relationship; I give it to You and trust You to form it into a relationship that glorifies Your name. I claim her beloved for Your Kingdom and trust You to heal him, break him, change him into one of Your noble warriors. You are the almighty King, You are the Creator of all things, the earth is Your footstool and Your creation delights in Your presence. You are the beginning and the end; You hold time in Your hands and determine the outcome of all situations. I am in awe of Your majesty and Your power. You are the One that I trust above all others.
I bring before You, my King, my beautiful grandchildren, these most precious gifts of love that you have given me. May they become an army for You; give me the wisdom and the opportunity to teach them Your ways my Lord. May they welcome Your presence and bask in the glow of being with You. Fill them with Your love, Your power, Your joy. Protect them from our mortal enemy Lord while they are young and learning of You. Guard their hearts, place your seal upon them, set them apart for Your pleasure. These are the gifts that I ask You to give them; may the first be blessed with great compassion for others, the second a voice and a heart that longs to worship You, the third a boldness to walk in Your ways before others, the fourth an encouraging word for those in need of comfort, the fifth a great love for Your word and a thirst for Your knowledge, the sixth wisdom beyond his years and the seventh a discerning heart. Let them all learn to walk in the boldness of Your love and power. Make them fearless for You Lord. To You my King be the glory, honor and power for ever Amen. August 2012 To the eighth I ask that You give beauty of soul and a peaceful spirit.