I confess…

Last night I did something I have never done before. Actually I never wanted to or even thought that I would but…I went to the 12:01 premiere of Hunger Games with my 15 yr old. If you know me this is even more strange because you know that I need my sleep and I don’t really even like movies..

Here’s the deal. There are times that I need to step out of my comfort zone and do things I don’t normally do. That was me last night. Why did I stay up till the wee hours and miss out on sleep I obviously need?? it’s like this. My son is 15. He is growing up and rarely asks me to do special things with him. He wanted me to go. Not to just take him with some friends but to go with him. That just doesn’t happen that much and I felt like I had to take advantage of the opportunity that came my way. It was about the experience.

The movie itself was good. I haven’t read the book so I was on pins and needles the whole time. I also couldn’t help but notice how hunger was such a powerful motivator. In that world, people struggled to find enough food and although most of us in this culture have no idea what real physical hunger is like on a daily basis, I can see parallels in my life. Think about it. What we hunger for can dictate the decision we make.

In the movie, hunger and fear of extreme hunger were used as motivation for behavior that was outside the norm. Not to stretch it too much, but I can’t help be challenged with this thought: Do I hunger enough for things of the Lord that I am willing to act outside the norm or outside my comfort zone?? or…have I stuffed myself with things of the world to the point that I actually don’t even have a hunger for spiritual things anymore?

Although nothing can satisfy the spiritual needs we have except Jesus, we can have our appetite for Him dulled when we feed ourselves on everything else.

I can’t seem to get some lines from the movie out of my head so I may revisit it soon. But as I leave this thought, let me share a verse I read today that seems fitting. Moses at the end of his life wrote the words of Psalm 90 and in verse 14 he said “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing fro joy and be glad all our days”. That was a timely read and it makes me convinced even more that we must hunger for the Lord and seek to be satisfied with Him–daily.

Don’t settle. Everything else is a poor substitute. Now it’s off to bed early for me tonight:)
Rachel

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Choices…

How many choices/decisions do you make in a day??? probably even more than you think because there are all those ones we make without even thinking about them. You know, like the routine you go through to get ready in the morning. You don’t debate with yourself whether or not you should brush your teeth (unless your a middle school boy) you just make that choice and keep going.

I was reading in Deuteronomy this morning and I keep noticing in this book that God through Moses continues to point out the choices the people have. Life or death, blessing or curses, obedience or disobedience—your choice. I think I am loving Deuteronomy more than ever before because I keep seeing such cool things that challenge or encourage me in it. I love the recaps that Moses does with the people–he reminds them of all the Lord has done for them. (good reminder for us to regularly revisit the activity of God in our lives) and it strengthens their faith.

He also goes over with them, again, the words of the Law (good reminder for us to stay in the Word and know it–daily) Although they had heard it before, they could still choose to ignore it. AND then Moses has this section of the book where he points out the consequences for not choosing obedience. WOW. Those listed consequences are meant to put a little fear of the Lord into the people and this is where I am most intrigued right now. How much do you and I ‘fear the Lord’? Do we really recognize the power of the God we serve? and do we take into consideration the great responsibility we have as His representatives on this earth to lead people to Him (think of it like being good advertisement for Christianity)?

or…have we in our twisted complacency and odd sense of entitlements that we slip into, become a bit blase about our Lord? I know that I have times where I am guilty of taking for granted all that He has done for me, or for missing out on how awesome and fearful He really is. Do we avoid some choices because they are too hard for us? or do we make wrong choices because we know we can get forgiveness later???

I wonder if we need a little wake up call today. A little word from Moses to remind us as we make the choices before us today that He has given us options–life or death, blessings or curses, obedience or disobedience—and the choices we make will have an impact on our effectiveness as Christ followers.

Remember there are consequences to wrong choices. Don’t take grace for granted and know that He is holy therefore we are called to be holy…..and I love the words God gave Moses them to Joshua “Be string and courageous for I am with you”

That my friends is what can give us the strength to make right choices even when they are tough–because we are not alone:)

Today may we honor Him and glorify Him in ALL that we do…
JOYfully,
Rachel

When you’re stuck in a rut….

I recently had the opportunity to share a short video lesson on the issue of being stuck in a rut spiritually (getting me to teach on anything in that short of time was a miracle in itself–i usually can’t even get my name said that quickly) anyway–the wonderful ladies over at Jennifer Rothschild’s site at womensministry.net included my video as their tip of the week this week—here is the link if you’re interested:) Tip of the Week: Video – How to Get Out of a Spiritual Rut http://conta.cc/x3J5fy

There is also a written piece that expands on the subject–help yourself and please let me know if you have any suggestions to add–after all its a subject we all can relate to.

Many blessings to you each this week and sometime soon I will share my garbage can story with you as evidence of the dangers of going through life on autopilot!
JOYfully,
Rachel

Numbers and Celebrity Apprentice

I am reading in Numbers right now and it is just so rich and applicable (yes I’m talking about the 4th book of the OT:) I love everything to do with the Tabernacle-if you’ve heard me speak or teach any time, then you probably heard me say that… lots… but today I’m dwelling on another topic that although is tied to the tabernacle, is really about a subject we as women struggle with greatly—the green eyed monster. Nope, not talking about the Incredible Hulk but about jealousy that comes from comparing ourselves to others.

Why do we do that so much???? I watched Celebrity Apprentice last night with my kids and was reminded about this very subject because the women’s team drives me crazy. We talked about why they are so catty and obnoxious and I had a revelation (or at least a thought)–it’s because they are all ‘celebrities’ or ‘divas’ of some sort. they are used to everything being all about them all the time. Stay with me because this applies to those of us with non celebrity status also—there is a huge sense of entitlement for those women because they consider themselves to be ”all that’. So teamwork is almost a non-existent concept and their attempts to work together cause much criticism and lots of hurt feelings. “I felt under-appreciated” or “No one cared what I thought”.

Now back to Numbers. In Chap 16, Korah and some of his cronies got together and whined about their jobs. They were jealous of Moses and Aaron’s positions of leadership and the rights that God had given them to approach Him for the people. You really should read it because there are some great lessons there but what I’m dwelling on today is how seriously the Lord took this situation. Understand these men were from the tribe of Levi so they had access to and responsibility for the holy things of the Tabernacle, but they didn’t have the same position as Aaron and they wanted more for themselves.

hmmm, when was the last time you were jealous of another person’s role in the church? Have you ever thought “Why should she be teaching that class when I would be just as good? or “Who does she think she is to be out front while I’m doing all the work behind the scenes?”
Girls, we should be so careful of any thoughts like these (apply 2 Cor 10:5 immediately). Look at how God handled their rebellious, sinful attitudes–vv 28-35. Moses said “Look, here’s how you will know who the Lord put in charge and it wasn’t my idea, but if something new happens and the ground opens up and swallows the men who are grumbling then you will know they have treated the Lord with contempt” ….and oh my–can you picture it? the ground opened up and swallowed these men and their families alive then closed back up–then God sent fire and burned up the 250 others who had agreed and been part of the uprising!!!

Our take away?? Their jealousy was contempt for God. They weren’t happy with what they had been assigned to do and wanted someone’s else position. When you and I are jealous, when we whine about our jobs, or spiritual gifts or positions in the church because we like someone’s else’s better–we are showing contempt for God. Ouch!

There is no room in the work of the Kingdom for women who constantly bicker, whine, complain and argue because they are comparing their gifts, lives, and positions to others. We are all gifted to serve differently and uniquely. May we remember that with thanksgiving today and be grateful that He continues to use us with all our issues (another lesson for another day). God really does know what He is doing and we need to trust Him and surrender to His Holy Spirit today so that we can be part of the work He is doing.

And if you are comparing and wishing you had what someone else has….don’t stand by me–just in case:)

His plan for you is perfect–trust that today.
JOYfully,
Rachel