Wednesday, September 12, 2018

God's Position In Your Life

Today I want to share a post from a dear friend. With his love for Jesus, love for people, and godly wisdom, he is a great blessing to me and many others. I hope you'll be encouraged by what he has to share. =)

What is God’s position in your life? by Dave Lundquist

Several years ago, I attended a retreat called, "Faith Matters." Here’s a question: is this title an adjective and a noun – meaning "matters of faith"? Or is it a noun and a verb – meaning "faith is important"? It turns out that both are true.

The facilitator of the retreat asked us to find a quiet place and describe our spiritual journey using a method that was unfamiliar to us. If we were "word" people (as I obviously am), then we should use art materials, which she generously provided.

My pastel drawing of my journey showed the peaks and valleys – the ups and downs of my spiritual life. I then drew the hand of God over the entire path, knowing that God was always present with me in good times and bad.

I discovered this drawing again months later. I thought to myself that if I did it again, I would probably draw God’s hand under my path – for two reasons. First, He is beneath me to support me and catch me if I fall. Second, on deep reflection, I realized that I was closer to God at the low points of my journey.

One day I was having a conversation with a friend about where God is. The natural response seems to be, "God is above us." Or, "God is up there" (pointing heavenward). After a bit of conversation about that, we began thinking of other “locations” for God, like beneath, or around, or within.

Do you remember the game Mad Libs? It provided a story with blanks to be filled in by the players, and the blanks had to be a specific part of speech, like  NOUN ,  VERB , etc. Our God-conversation soon evolved into a Mad Libs exercise following this format:

"God is  PREPOSITION  us to  VERB  us."

For example, "God is above us to watch over us." We began to go back and forth using this approach. Here are some more examples:

·      God is beneath us to support us.
·      God is between us to keep us together.
·      God is before us to lead us.
·      God is around us to protect us.
·      God is within us to fill us.
·      God is beside us to attend us.

Try it yourself.

As I reflect on all of this, I’ve come to realize that these approaches are flawed. Though there is value and wisdom in them, they limit a limitless God!

I am reminded of a book I read many years ago called, "Your God is Too small" by J. B. Phillips, and another book, which I read more recently called, "The Knowledge of the Holy" by A. W. Tozer. Both books admonish us not to make God in our image, but rather to realize that God is everywhere, everything, and majestic beyond words – yet He still loves each of us immeasurably.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

God's Story (La Historia de Dios)

I've been doing some research on stories in history lately, which has been fun for me. I've enjoyed learning about history since the 4th grade when I was captivated by the stories in my American History book.

I think it can easy for us to forget about history...especially today when the world is moving so fast and it seems like things change weekly or daily. Companies are always "upgrading" or "improving" their products. And there's more news for each new day than we can take in, let alone think about something that happened 50 or 100 years ago.

At the same time, wise people in every generation have understood the value of remembering and learning from history. In the Bible God told His people many times to remember or not to forget what He had done for them.

"Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me" (Isaiah 46:9).

The Israelites had specific holidays throughout the year to commemorate historical events, such as the Passover when they left Egypt. They took time each year to remember.

This week God gave me a different perspective about history. I realized that in my life, it's not my history I'm looking at - it's God's history with me. Yes, God has a history with me - and He has a history with you too.

Pause for a moment, and remember a time when God did something significant in your life.

Can you see how God was writing "His story" in your life through that? He was establishing history in your relationship with Him.

When I took just a few minutes to remember, I was amazed all over again at God's work in my life - in so many specific ways, and different things at different times.... What a rich history He has given me with Him!

When I'm feeling "stuck" or down or confused in the moment, it helps to look back and see God's history in my life. He has always been at work in my life. He has been continuously developing my relationship with Him. He has been faithfully writing His story - a story of His love, His grace, His faithfulness, His beauty, His me personally.

And He has been doing the same for you.

I encourage you to take some time this week to remember God's history with you. What has He done? How has He shown Himself in your life? And how does that encourage you where you are today?

Perhaps in heaven we'll get to share our stories with each other of God's specific history with each of us. That sounds like a great way to spend eternity. =)

For now, let's take time to remember. Then hopefully we'll be ready when God gives us opportunities to share His history with us to those who need to hear.

Awesome God, we thank you that you are the God who is, who was, and who is to come. Hallelujah!

P.S. I wanted to say a big "Thank you!" to all of you who prayed for my friend Martha earlier this year. She is doing much better and continues to recover. All glory to God! We are so thankful for His healing in her life and for giving her more time to be a blessing on this earth. =)

Praise God that Martha is able to translate these blog posts once again, so we will start including the Spanish translations from here forward.

Thanks again for your prayers!

La Historia de Dios

Últimamente he estado investigando algunas crónicas en historia, lo que me ha agradado mucho. He disfrutado aprender sobre historia desde el cuarto grado cuando fui cautivada por las crónicas en mi libro de Historia Americana.

Creo que puede ser fácil para nosotros olvidar sobre la historia…especialmente ahora que el mundo se está moviendo tan rápido y parece que las cosas cambian semanal o diariamente. Las compañías están siempre "actualizando" o "mejorando" sus productos. Y hay más noticias para cada nuevo día de las que podemos tomar, ni hablar de pensar en algo que sucedió hace 50 o 100 años.

Al mismo tiempo, las personas sabias en cada generación han entendido el valor de recordar y aprender de la historia. En la Biblia Dios dijo a Su pueblo muchas veces que recordara o no olvidara lo que Él había hecho por ellos.

"Acordaos de las cosas pasadas desde los tiempos antiguos; porque yo soy Dios, y no hay otro Dios, y nada hay semejante a mí" (Is. 46:9).

Los israelitas tenían festivos específicos a lo largo del año para conmemorar eventos históricos, como la Pascua cuando dejaron Egipto. Tomaban tiempo para recordarlo cada año.

Esta semana Dios me dio una perspectiva diferente acerca de la historia. Me di cuenta que, en mi vida, no es a mi historia a la que estoy mirando - es a la historia de Dios conmigo. Sí, Dios tiene una historia conmigo - y Él tiene una historia contigo también.

Toma un momento y recuerda una ocasión en la que Dios hizo algo significativo en tu vida.

¿Puedes ver como Dios estaba escribiendo "Su historia" en tu vida a través de eso? Estaba estableciendo una historia en tu relación con Él.

Cuando tomé sólo unos minutos para recordar, me maravillé grandemente otra vez ante la obra de Dios en mi vida – en tantas maneras específicas y cosas diferentes en diferentes momentos…. ¡Que rica historia me ha dado con Él!

Cuando me siento "atascada," deprimida o confundida en el momento, me ayuda mirar atrás y ver la historia de Dios en mi vida. Siempre ha estado obrando en ella. Continuamente ha estado desarrollando mi relación con Él. Fielmente ha estado escribiendo Su historia – una historia de Su amor, Su gracia, Su fidelidad, Su belleza, Su bondad…hacia mí personalmente.

Y Él ha estado haciendo lo mismo por ti.

Te animo a tomar un tiempo esta semana para recordar la historia de Dios contigo. ¿Qué ha hecho Él? ¿Cómo se ha mostrado a Sí mismo en tu vida? Y ¿cómo te anima eso donde estás hoy?

Tal vez en el cielo podremos compartir unos con otros cada historia específica de Dios con cada uno de nosotros. Eso parece una gran manera de pasar la eternidad. =)

Por ahora tomemos tiempo para recordar. Así tendremos la esperanza de estar listos cuando Dios nos dé oportunidades de compartir Su historia con nosotros a aquellos que necesiten escuchar.

Maravilloso Dios, te damos gracias porque tú eres el Dios que eres, que eras y que vendrás. ¡Aleluya!

P.D. Quiero expresar un gran "¡Gracias!" A todos los que oraron por mi amiga Martha a comienzos de este año. Está mucho mejor y continúa recuperándose. ¡Toda la gloria para Dios! Estamos muy agradecidos por Su curación en su vida y por darle más tiempo para ser de bendición en esta tierra.=)

Gracias a Dios que Martha puede traducir mis entradas en el blog una vez más, así que estaremos incluyendo las traducciones en español de ahora en adelante. 

¡Gracias otra vez por sus oraciones!