I want to be alive...

Monday, June 25, 2012

I sat in a great weekend service on Sunday and The pastor read briefly from Mark 5:35-43.  He spoke about Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from the dead.  The story is one I have heard and read a lot in my life but I was really struck by how clearly God spoke to my heart and wanted to share.

Jesus is a busy guy.  He is going here and there, over the lake in a boat. Where ever he goes crowds of desperate people follow Him.  Wanting Him to heal them or fix them.  In this particular story a man who is a pretty important guy, a leader at the synagogue comes to Jesus and falls at his feet, begging Him to come to his house and heal his sick daughter who is close to death.   I love the simplicity of the verse that follows this man's pleading.. it just simply says, So Jesus went with Him.  A "prayer" and "answer".  
The crowd follows them as they start off towards Jairus' house.  No doubt slowing down the journey.  I can imagine Jairus pushing people telling them to back away, my daughter is dying, Jesus needs to go with me!  Then a woman steps out of the crowd and touches Jesus.  Jesus, after asking "who touched me?" has a short conversation with the woman telling her that her "faith has made you well, go and be freed from your suffering."  Right after this amazing miracle and show of faith a servant runs up to the crowd from Jairus' house and says , don't bother Jesus anymore, your daughter died..it is too late.  But Jesus says, "Don't be afraid, just believe."  Can you even put yourself into that moment as Jarius"  I can imagine he was feeling anguish, anger, frustration and despair.  Probably crying, asking Jesus, why did you not hurry?  I told you she was DYING!  Did you not understand me?  Were all those people in the crown more important that my daughter?  
Jesus enters the house, everyone is wailing and mourning.  He tells them the girl is not dead, she is sleeping.  They laugh at him.  They go from wailing loudly to laughing at Jesus.  Can you imagine?  Jesus puts them all outside and takes the parents and disciples into the room where the little girl lie.   then verse  41-42 tells us   He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around . At this they were completely astonished.  

I could not help but be moved by this story.  I don't know any parent who can read this and not be.  For me going through the death of a child I have my heart strings pulled a lot.  Then the thought came to me.  What is lying in the "other room" that is "dead" that I may be wailing and mourning over that Jesus can bring back to life?  What can He speak to and have rise up again?  It shook me to my core, I have to tell you.  So many things in our life we think are dead and over.  We think that there is no way anything or anyone can help or heal these situations.  For some it is relationships, marriages, addictions, anger, frustration...fill in the blank.  I read this story and realized that I may be wailing and mourning loudly something that Jesus can simply speak life to and be awakened.  I have been searching and praying a lot over the last 24 hours.  God has spoken so sweetly to me and I have begun to make a list of these things.  I am going to lay them at the feet of Jesus and ask him to speak life to them.  I trust Him.  I believe that He can and will bring them back to life again.

Take a moment, maybe more to write down things in your own life that may need Jesus to speak life to.  Pray for God to reveal them to you.  Then, lay them at the feet of Jesus and let's watch Him bring them back to life. 


Harsh but True...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I have already decided that this post is probably not going to be too popular but.. oh well.  Seems to me that too much emphasis is put on being "popular".  We all remember Jr. High and High School.  Some of us maybe had popularity and most of us remember being the ones chasing it like the Holy Grail.  Why?  Because it feels good to be accepted and liked and ..well.. chased like the Holy Grail.
I remember feeling like I had to make everyone like me.  I remember trying to be funny with the class clowns, Intellectual with the straight A's, Chain smoking bad girl with the burnouts, Hip Hop loving white girl...well, you get the picture.  It was exhausting.  I remember trying to figure out "who I was".  It is too cliche'.  Why do we continue this behavior into adulthood?  Well, because the need to be "liked", "accepted", chased like the Holy Grail it a tough habit to break.  We have these needs deep down that we attempted to medicate with people pleasing.  It rears it's ugly head in the most odd places.  For us moms, we try to make sure we are "super mom" and look good, play hard and let everyone know about it.  For others it can be things like, be the best student, be the worst student, be the best "local band", be the funniest person on campus, be the best local jewelry sales person, be the best dressed person at church, have the best car, have the most children, have a girl, have a boy, have a husband, be single and love it thank you very much, have a pool, have a big house, have a boat, be the king fisher, hey I play a guitar and can rock you like a hurricane.  I am tired just trying to type this all out.
Why, Heather, are you saying all of this... wait for it.  (here comes the "I am going to tick off some people and I really don't care" part)
When we give our lives to Christ we should PUT DOWN all these foolish things and strive to make HIM known, not us.  But what do we do?  We still chase after the dumbest, self chill bump giving things.  If we truly put our trust in God then why the need to be so "popular"?  Facebook is a funny little heroine needle no?  We post all this crap about our lives ... for what?  To self promote"  To make people think we have a great life?  To get sympathy when we are having a bad day?  To post really good pictures of ourselves so others can tell us how good we look?  To make sure everyone is aware of our awesome workout routine?  To make sure everyone "likes" our band page?  To make sure everyone knows our awesome ability to be smarter and write cool poetry than other people?  ....seriously?  (btw.. I am guilty on a lot of these)  
It is time that we STOP chasing the things that leave us empty.  

Let's look at John 4:1-30 (the message)

The Woman at the Well
 Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed (although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing). They had posted the score that Jesus was ahead, turning him and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee.
 To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob's well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.
A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, "Would you give me a drink of water?" (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)
The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, "How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (Jews in those days wouldn't be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)
Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water."
The woman said, "Sir, you don't even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this 'living water'? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?"
Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life."
The woman said, "Sir, give me this water so I won't ever get thirsty, won't ever have to come back to this well again!"
He said, "Go call your husband and then come back."
 "I have no husband," she said.
   "That's nicely put: 'I have no husband.' You've had five husbands, and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough."
"Oh, so you're a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?"
 "Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God's way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.
 "It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."
The woman said, "I don't know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we'll get the whole story."
 "I am he," said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further."
Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn't believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.
 The woman took the hint and left. In her confusion she left her water pot. Back in the village she told the people, "Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?" And they went out to see for themselves.

---What water are you trying to drink to quench your thirst?  If it is not Jesus than get ready to be thirsty a LOT.  Let's drink from the Living Water and then let's actually walk away from the other junk.  How can we expect God to move in our lives if we are not even willing to drink from Him.  
All these things we are chasing, they are going to leave us empty.  I know, Trust me.  I am not speaking from some lofty position of judgement here.. I am speaking truth because I have been that woman at the well.  I have felt the absolute dry mouth thirst and do not want that for anyone.  

My prayer this morning is for us; as believers drink deeply from the Living Water and then share that water with others who are dying of thirst.  Don't offer them a bucket of sand.  Don't settle for that.


I'll trade for some stew....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It is amazing the deep thoughts that you can have while doing your kid Bible reading at bedtime. For me it is the story of Jacob and Esau. It is a good one to read with my two, who at times can fight like they are re-enacting said Biblical characters. As I am in the middle of Rebekah's hair applying and stew making it hits me. Esau, the older (even if just by minutes) was given a "birthright" which means he was entitled to certain privileges and blessings. He is at the time where he is about to be ready to receive this "birthright" from his father. The stage is set and Jacob (the younger brother) with his mother's help has animal hair applied to his body to fool his blind father to think he was Esau. But in order to seal the tricky deal His mom makes a Delicious stew and when Esau comes home from a long day of hunting and working he smells this stew and in a moment of weakness "sells" his "birthright" for a bowl of stew. Now, you may be saying "umm, yeah Heather I know the story... " I have a point and this is what I felt spoken to my heart.
What is your bowl of stew Heather? What is the one thing you are allowing to rob you of your "birthright?" You are offered blessings and privileges by your daddy God, but what keeps you from receiving them? Truth is we all have this "bowl of stew". We all have weak moments where we chose the stew. We smell how good it is and we are worn down and hungry and give up and eat it instead.
I am sure going to search my heart tonight and ask God to be my strength. I don't want to lose what God has for me and settle for something that seems to satisfy for the moment but will always leave me hungry later.

short but sweet tonight.