How a Blue Jay Convicted Me

They come. The Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Finches.

tit-874031_640

In a drought-ridden land where the color brown defines much of the landscape, birds flock to my man-made waterfall and birdbaths.

Desperate for water but wary of me, they keep their distance. They don’t know my intentions are good.

IMG_4543

Meanwhile, I recline in my patio chair, praying to the God who weaved me in my mother’s womb.

I know His intentions are good. However, without a healthy “fear of the Lord,” I’m prone to act cavalier. Other times demanding.

Lord, could you, would you? And while you’re at it, why don’t you….help, fix, cure, resolve….this and that!

I assume God is listening; that He wants to meet my needs and more.

The same way I enjoy providing Premium Sunflower Seeds for my feathered friends. To my delight, they keep returning even if it’s not for me. No ruffled feathers here.

But I wonder how the Lord feels when my prayer life resembles a Toby Keith song, “I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number one.”

woman-825154__180Would anyone watching me from a bird’s eye view find me…..

  • Returning to God because I need something.
  • My prayers filled with petitions instead of praise.
  • My intentions purely self-seeking rather than pure.

I cringe to think audacity trumps humility when it comes to my attitude towards……

~A holy God whose grace prevents me from receving what I really deserve.

~A faithful God who loves me even when I keep my distance.

~A patient God who longs for me to return and spend time with Him.

Even in this moment, a Blue Jay perches on the edge of my waterfall. He bends down and fills his beak with the cool water rushing over the moss-covered stones. His head tilts backward as he swallows.

bird-763685_640

Satisfied, he flies away.

I reach for my water bottle to quench my own thirst because I love the Lord, but I see myself….

Swooping in and out of prayer when I see fit.

And I’m convicted.

Would I pray as often if I could only praise God instead of dictating what I think He needs to do?

How would you answer that question?

Photos: Pixabay

Are You Resting?

This Mother's Day weekend, give yourself a gift...permission to relax and enjoy life.

Gotta love the weekends. a sweet reprieve.

Saturday allows me to rest from the busyness of life. Sunday Sabbath reminds me I’ve entered God’s Rest. 

take communion and remember Christ’s finished work on the Cross. And I leave church forever grateful I don’t have to work this coming week … for my eternal salvation.  

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10)

For years, instead of trusting Jesus for salvation,

  • I tried to be a good person.
  • Earn my way into heaven through good works.
  • Put my faith in me.

After I entered God’s Rest, I learned to stop doing things for God and rest in His presence. 

Now whenever I’m tempted to strive or play the High Priest 

  • Applaud my ‘good’ works
  • Absolve my bad behavior.
  • Justify wrong thinking.
  • Pursue my own agenda

I enter God’s Word which is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword…able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

What a thought! Everything within me laid bare, open for God’s scrutiny. Like Eve, I want to hide from God’s searching eyes and cover up my intentions. But, then I remember and rejoice.     

“We have a great and high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God...Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:12-16)

Have you entered God’s Rest?

What do you intend to do differently this week to draw near the throne of grace?

What Happens to Good Intentions?

248Easter weekend arrived, along with our extended family.

We gathered to celebrate the Risen Christ. Celebrate our family–four generations.

Great grandpa said grace and sliced the ham that Great Grandma baked. Aunts and uncles squeezed next to grown children around the dinner table.

Passed hot platters of meat and steaming bowls of vegetables. Piled potato salad on our plates. Poured tea. Passed the rolls.

As the one-year-old great grandchild munched on deviled eggs, the grown “kids” listened to reminisces: “Remember when?” “Back in my day….”

That weekend, old hearts reconnected, new spouses welcomed. Torches passed to the next generation. “Raise up your children in the way they should go.”

When we hugged goodbye, we left with good intentions.

“Let’s get together this summer.”

“I promise to email more often.”

“Call me!”

But I know as life returns to normal, busyness erases our good intentions.

Same thing happens after a spiritual retreat.

Fellowship with other believers. Allow God to speak through His Word. Worship Him through songs. Remember His faithfulness and love.

I can’t get enough of God. I return home with good intentions.

“I promise to pray more.”

“I’ll seek the Lord before I start each day.”

“I’m going to  ____Fill in the blank___”Read my Bible, join a Bible study, witness, Love God more….”

But as life returns to normal, busyness erases my good intentions.

Consequently, I become a slave to worry, fear, anger, malice. Find it difficult to trust God in my circumstances. Struggle to love. Wrestle with God’s will.

Need I say more?

But what a blessing to know when I fail to live up to my good intentions,

I can pray for the good things that God intends for us.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:16-20