Monday, June 2, 2014

Oh No.....It is Sunday, AGAIN?!?!?

     It happens every Sunday.... My attempts at making breakfast are thwarted by two big dogs demanding their morning walk, a baby needing her bottle and a diaper change (ten minutes ago), picking out clothes, and hopes of actually getting a quick shower before throwing on whatever outfit doesn't look like it was spray painted on my post-pregnancy body.... then heading to the car.   At this point we, my husband -baby-and me, make our thirty five minute drive to church. We do our best to find a parking space within sight of the main entrance and trek inside.  We always opt to sit in the back and on the end of whatever aisle is available as our tiny one is not the quietest in church. Also, I usually end up taking her out halfway through the service to calm her a bit and prefer not to have to step on other churchgoers (They prefer that too it seems).  Every Sunday, once we find our seats and sit down, I ask myself the same questions: Why do we put ourselves through this? Is it worth it every Sunday? Why are we here when we could just watch it on the live broadcast from the comfort of our living room?
    Then as worship begins, something happens.... We come together. All of us under one roof (usually a couple thousand in attendance each Sunday)... and my heart melts. I watch as my husband worships and my one year old baby bounces up and down attempting to dance to the music; laughing, smiling, and waving her toys in the air.  God speaks to my heart and I become increasingly aware that it is more than us just coming to God's living room to see a show.
    First of all, it is about strengthening each other.  The Bible states in 1 Corinthians 14:26, "Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you (NLT)."  We come together not just to worship our God, but as a corporate body to strengthen, learn from, and love one another.  
  Second, we are commanded to come together. As Christians, we are told not to forsake assembling together:
Hebrews 10:24-25 "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." 
    Finally, they ARE paying attention.  I know some of you may be thinking, "Why doesn't she just put her little one in the church provided daycare? That would relieve some of the Sunday morning stress" Well, there are many reasons... but mainly because my tiny one was born more than three months early. Her immune system's defense is not the best. She has been sick on two occasions since she departed the NICU. BOTH times were when she was allowed around other children. So maybe I worry a little... But a truly big reason is what she is learning with us.         She watches us raise our hands and sing praises to our God on high! She places her tithe (from her Christmas and birthday monies) into the bucket as it comes by. She sits in amazement listening to her pastor, Brady Boyd, as he teaches from the Living Word of God. She gets excited when she hears familiar praise and worship songs (she listens to  A LOT of Hillsong and Jesus Culture at home).  The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." I have never been a mother.  This is all new to me.  But I believe when we place value on Sunday mornings as a time of praise, worship, and fellowship.... she will to.  Nothing touches my heart quite like seeing her happy at church. My prayer is that she learns to love God, and Sunday mornings...If you see us there, give us a little waive and we will give a smile. God bless you all! Thank you for being there with us each and every Sunday to strengthen us, learn with us, and help us set the example of worship to our tiny one. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday to my Precious One!

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him" 1 Samuel 1:27

Happy 1st birthday to our little Caoilainn Elizabeth! We love you ! ! ! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

It is a Calling, NOT a Command

   Many will tell you Christ commanded us to forgive. They even cite Matthew 18:21-22 as their scriptural reference:

"21Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.…"

    But to speak of forgiveness as a command truly does not give it the merit it is due. In first Peter 1:16 we are reminded  "for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy (see Leviticus 11:44)." As the Lord is holy and incapable of offense, His forgiveness is the only form of pure and perfect mercy.  
   If we are a people called to be holy, we must understand that calling. A calling is defined as a strong urge to a particular way of life.  The Christian way of life desires the holiness of a righteous God.  We are made righteous through Christ (Romans 8:1), and therefore called to a life of forgiveness.  

  I was recently wounded by a very dear and close friend.  The pain seared through my heart.  It is an experience I will never forget.  I cried out to God.  I understood just how David felt in Psalm 13 when he pleaded with the Lord to take away the pain.  But the pain was very real.  Through my muffled sobs and prayer I heard the voice of God.  "Bekah, I love you. I understand the pain you feel all too well.  I ask you to take this opportunity to display the forgiveness that you were called to.  It is not an act of will, it is an act of the heart. It is an extension of My grace. YOU were called to forgive; and only you can make that choice."

    I choose to pursue the calling of God. IT is not the easy choice; but there is freedom in accepting the call. 

My Father, you know the pain of my heart. You hear the cries of my Spirit.  You alone are God. You alone are good. I want to be holy as You are holy. I want to forgive as you forgive. I PRAISE you for giving me the opportunity to forgive this offense.  I consider it an honor to show Your grace. I love you God. Thank you for allowing me to do this. Holy Spirit give me the strength to forgive in Jesus sweet name. ~ Amen 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Who Built That?

    For several years, I worked in new home sales.  It was so much fun to watch as the foundation was laid and the frame went up!  Every day I would look at the progress of my buyer's homes. I was unfamiliar with carpentry and was quickly amazed at how things came together.  What was even more interesting was how exact things needed to be.  The foundation had to be firm and correctly laid. Each stage of the home had to be completed in an appropriate fashion and in order.  The materials used needed to be quality. If poor materials were chosen,  the homes would not pass inspection when the  inspectors come to see if it will pass code; and, the house may not stand the test of time. 

   The apostle Paul spoke of how important it was to build in the precise manner.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 ~ “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames."

Without the proper foundation, your efforts are in vain.  Your work will never stand the test of time. When it is inspected, it will be shown for what it is.  Every trial the structure faces will provide a testament as to the quality of your work.

Shakespeare said it so wisely; we all "play a different part in the grand stage of life."  Some of us lay foundations and some of us build.  At any given point in time, we all could be doing both the laying and the building.  When the foundation is laid, if it is not solid, then the efforts of those coming after will be in vain... 
"Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 2 Timothy 2:19

     When we lay our foundation with Christ as our cornerstone, we know it is solid.  Christ is our rock! When the storms of life come, they will never shake our foundation. It is firm.

    But I believe the building process is so important.  I have never witnessed a builder use second rate materials on a well-built foundation…  Be careful when you are building to use worthy material. Paul tells us that “each one should build with care.”  Your work will one day be shown for what it is.  When the storms come, if you have built into others using worthy product, then each trial they face will show the quality of your craftsmanship. 
So build in love, and build with CARE

…. like Christ,  be Affirming, Receptive, and Encouraging

“…Therefore encourage one another and build up each
other,” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

(See also Romans 14:19, 1 Corinthians 14:26, and Jude 1:20).