Monday, April 26, 2010

the fence

While on a drive yesterday, I was noticing the clouds. I took many pictures because they just so intrigued me. The sky was all fluffy and each little (or big) ball of fluff was unique, and layered over the next. Here and there was a beautiful patch of blue, just enough to remind me that there was something beyond the clouds. Just enough to remind me that even though the clouds appeared to be dominant, they were really just a small part of this beautiful, beautiful sky that is our surrounding.
The next thing that caught my eye was a field. There wasn't really anything extraordinary about it. It was a typical field, but what I noticed were the shades of green, brown and even yellow that were all so beautifully woven together.
As I focused on this patchwork of God's art, a small farmhouse caught my attention. It was just a small house in the middle of a great field. It had next to it a barn. Just on the other side was a field of cows. It dawned on me that I couldn't see any fencing. It wasn't until we were almost directly in front of the house that I could see the wood posts and barbed wire that surrounded the pasture. I said to my husband, "You know I have never really thought of this before, but just one of those cows could simply step on that wire and out it could come. But they just stay inside. It is like they just know they shouldn't go beyond that point instinctively." Now, I realize that the wire hurts if rubbed upon. But truly, a cow's skin is so thick it really wouldn't feel that unless it got caught up in it.
This big creature is held in with a small fence. Wow! The security of the enclosure and the ample food keeps it right where the farmer wants it.
Then my mind came to myself. Am I like that cow? Am I content to just stay within the boundaries set before me? For much of my life, the answer to that question would be no. I truly didn't see boundaries as a good thing. For most of my life, I pressed every boundary there was just to see what would happen, just to see if I passed that spot what would happen next. Then I became a Christian. Do you know that God has changed my view on my boundaries! The boundaries my Father has set for me are to keep me safe, to keep me righteous, to keep me in His closeness, to help bring others to Him. I find I don't want to test these limits like I tested those of old. I, like that cow, feel quite secure within the area my Father has placed me. Like that cow, as long as I stay within the area cordoned off for me, I am safe.
I guess I should tell you what my boundary, what my fencing, looks like. It is love. Yes, it is just that If I operate within the boundaries of love, I am in my pasture (the field my Father has placed me in for now). If something harmful tries to come in, the Father will protect me. If I press too hard on the restraint of the wire, I too will be able to wander off, but when I do that, my Dad is waiting to bring me back into grazing while He patches the hole in that fence of love to secure me once again. Do you get that? Our Father, our Shepherd, will keep us secure when we operate in love and when we obey.
So, I guess I am seeing the pasture as the field that God has laid before me to farm, so to speak. My job in the field is to plant and water, to tend to the seedlings, to nurture this place and these people that God has entrusted to me.
Acts 20:28 "So guard yourselves and God's people. Feed and shepherd God's flock--his church, purchased with his own blood--over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Preach the Good news

Mark 16:15-18 (NIV) "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

Today I received an email telling me that there is a time and place for God, and the forum that this email was received on was not that time or place. Let me tell you, that ruffled my feathers. It wasn't that someone condemned me. It wasn't that someone told me what I should or shouldn't be doing. The thing that got me was that it was said there is a time and place for God! A time and place for God....the God that created the universe and all things on it...this God? The God that loves like no other? The God that was tortured for me and you? The God that has already won the victory over satan and will one day come and take all His children home with Him? This God? A time and place? The same God that loves me even when I turn my back to Him and welcomes me with loving arms when I have to humbly admit that I was wrong and ask "Please, Daddy forgive me." This God that has already forgiven even before I ask?
God is God all the time in every place. Maybe some see Christianity as a thing that one does on a Sunday, and maybe a Wednesday, while the rest of the week doing whatever we feel we would like to do. After all, our Sunday pew warming covers the sin from the time in between, right? I am here to say that I do not see it this way.
God is not a something, He is someone. Someone so Holy, so Powerful, so Loving, so Beautiful, so Forgiving, so...........the list is endless. He is a gentleman. He doesn't force Himself upon us, He waits patiently until we approach Him wanting to enter into a relationship. A relationship! Not a business deal, not something impersonal...a relationship. Now I don't know about you, but when I am in a relationship it is an all day every day submission. I can't just take the other person out of the equation at whim. I can't just pretend that I am alone. With God, I am never alone!
God said to go out and tell all the nations, all the people, about Him. He didn't say to do so if it was at the right time or if it was in the right place. He didn't say to tell people about Jesus if the opportunity arose. No, He said "go into all the world and preach the good news."
So, that being said...I have only one more thing to add. My God, my Daddy, has NEVER denied me. On my worst days...during my worst Father never once turned His back and said He didn't know me. I will never, never deny my Father. I will never feel shame for the love that I have for Him. I will never not proclaim to the world what He does for me each and every day. Without life would mean absolutely nothing.
I am so proud to call Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. I am blessed beyond belief that my Father God calls me His own.