Micah 1 and some Psalms

Well Micah is next. So I’m reading that, and I decided to read some Psalms in preparation for leading worship.

Micah 1 focused on the people’s reaction to God’s wrath. When God comes to discipline you, you should be penitent and sorry, ’cause if you’re not–you will be.

I really liked the way it was laid out. First he makes his case, and then in verse 6, he says “Therefore” and goes on to explain the punishment. But I like how there’s a reason first.

Psalms 3 is very comforting..

4 I cried to the LORD with my voice,
         And He heard me from His holy hill.  Selah
  

 5 I lay down and slept;
         I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.


 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
         Who have set themselves against me all around.

Amen

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April 15, 2008. Lessons from God. Leave a comment.

Nehemiah 4 and 5- we will have opposition

Nehemiah 5 talked mostly about how the government was over-taxing the workers and so Nehemiah made them give back the lands, food, and taxes.

Nehemiah 4 posed an interesting thought. So far, I’ve established that God wants us to trust and pray in our tasks, and that God wants us to take action. We can’t just sit around and expect God to do all the work.

So Nehemiah 4 shows us that there will be opposition to us. It could come in many different ways. It could just be people making fun…

“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”  Nehemiah 4:1-2

Or it could go so far as having your life threatened like those building the wall. It says that they carried a sword in one hand and carried supplies in the other.

So my study of Nehemiah has shown me that God wants us to build a wall. We should pray and have faith, but we also need to actively be involved as building, and not be afraid if we face opposition.

Thanks Nehemiah.

Not sure what’s next, but I’ll figure that out tonight and be blogging about it tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

April 14, 2008. Lessons from God. Leave a comment.

Nehemiah 3–our part of the wall

Nehemiah 3 is all about who built which parts of the wall. At first it seems like it doesn’t matter, but as I was reading I noticed a few things…

First is the obvious. Everyone pitched in. Yes, God was working, but He used His people to build the wall. He could have said, “Nehemiah, you trusted me, so I’m going to build the wall for you.” But no, the people did the hard work of building the wall manually.

And lest we think this doing hard things stuff doesn’t apply to us, girls:

“Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.Nehemiah 3:12

 Yes, the Bible specifically states that Shallum’s daughters helped him. So that’s our ticket go getting to do our part.

My last post focused on God requiring faith and prayer from us, but as seen throughout the whole of Scripture, God is a God of action. And he doesn’t want us to be just content with praying and trusting. He wants to build this wall, using us.

So maybe you should be building worship. Maybe your part is leading. God might be calling you to serve. But whatever your part is, do it faithfully.

 

 

Word.

April 13, 2008. Lessons from God. Leave a comment.

Nehemiah 2–God will build this wall

                                                                                                        

All along life’s path, we see things that require trust and prayer. For instance, when my family went to the lake this afternoon, my little brother had to trust that he wouldn’t drown in the water. However, some things are a little bigger obstacles. Like for me, I bring all my devotions back to Camp Casey. Here are some things that seem hard or impossible:

  • all the students get along
  • those who like to draw attention to themselves NOT doing it
  • egos disappearing during worship
  • people maintaining thoughtful additutdes during teaching, devotions, and small groups
  • weather staying nice
  • capture the flag at the fort going well and people staying safe

The whole Camp Casey trip is a big unknown, and the more I hear about who is going, and who is leading different parts, the more I get nervous that it’s going to be a bomb this year. God reminded me that He will build our wall so to speak.

Nehemiah was bearing the king’s cup one day and it says he looked sad. The king asked him why he was so sad, and it says,

“So I prayed to the God of heaven.  And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Nehemiah 2:4-5

The first thing he did was pray. He didn’t go talk to ten other people and then ask the king. He didn’t text his best buddy and tell him what the king asked, and then tell the king. No, he prayed. And as a result, the king agreed and let him go, even sending a group of soldiers for protection.

When he got there, he rode around, did his research, and then announced to the people that they were going to re-build the wall.

But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding.” Nehemiah 2:19-20

Nehemiah had God on his side. He had faith that his succes would come from the Lord. But even with his tremendous amount of faith, he took action. He didn’t wait for God to lift the first stone, he got busy.

So now, the application. God is powerful and all-knowing. It’s ridiculous of me to think that this retreat can go any way other than His way. I need to follow Nehemiah’s example of praying, having faith, and moving forward–and God will build this wall.

April 12, 2008. Tags: , . Church, Lessons from God. Leave a comment.

And Here I thought I was perfect….

 

Funny how just when you think that God’s taught you all that you can learn–you learn some more. And it’s usually a lesson on how little you know. (who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor!?!?!)

As I mentioned earlier, I’m co-leading worship for our youth retreat in…8 days. A few facts about me:

  • I’m a born performer
  • I love to sing
  • I love to worship
  • I love to be the center of attention
  • I get bristled when someone steals “my” spotlight

So this Tuesday, some of us youth leaders called an impromptu youth group (since we were supposed to have the week off for spring break, and our youth pastor and a bunch of youth were in Montana on the spring service trip). I was just recovering from being horrendously sick, and so I wasn’t quite all “with it”. But I went and kinda just sat in my spot most of the evening.

Well our youth pastor usually leads worship. He has an amazing heart for worship, and it’s one of the best times ever. But since he was in Montana with the team, one of our youth leaders led with a friend. I’ll give away the ending before I finish the story. I learned that night that I still need to work on realizing that worship isn’t about who is “most amazing” but about giving God ALL the “amazing”.

One of my pet peeves is when this particular youth leader invites this particular friend, because the friend turns the time of worship into a show. She turns her mike up really loud and sings showily (if that’s a word) and harmonizes loudly the entire time. It happened on this Tuesday more than normal, and I caught myself focusing on how upset I was with the guest who was showing off, and noticed that I was trying to outshine her, out sing her, and out harmonize. Yeesh. Silly me.

So fortunately, I was able to focus the last 2 songs, and put my focus back on God. Now, whenever I pick up my music binder to practice songs for retreat, I always make sure to pray and keep my focus in the right place.

Oh, and I’d really love it if you’d keep me, the rest of the worship team, and the whole retreat in your prayers…I just found out that the showy guest will be coming on the retreat.

As I prepare spiritually to lead our youth group before the Lord, I’m planning on blogging here more often. So I’ll be back.

April 10, 2008. Tags: , , . Church, Lessons from God. Leave a comment.

Stories from a GDB puppy raiser

Stories from a GDB puppy raiser

If you’re curious where I’ve gone…I’ve been posting on my Guide Dog blog. I’ll update on here in the near future…

April 10, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.