Finding inspiration for everyday life in everyday life

Tag Archives: Presence

baradene

Because sometimes you just find yourself singing your old school song and wondering why after all theses years it has surfaced from the recesses of your mind. And then you start to ponder on the words and the meaning within of the song so earnestly sung for so long.

Heart of our God, most deep adoring love, Thy name we praise, we bless we magnify….”

It says in Psalm 100:4 that we enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise in our hearts – “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” That’s easy when our hearts are full of things to be grateful for – celebrations, success, life just humming along well! But what about the days when you’re wrestling with even getting through the day and can find little to be thankful for, or the day is just plain hard, or what you’re battling feels so insurmountable you have little energy to ponder on the good?

My old school song and indeed the second part of Psalm 100:4 gives us our breakthrough point – to magnify God in our lives, our circumstances. To put the name of Jesus above all. To focus on Him first, over everything else. Then the thanksgiving in our heart begins to stir. We come to the realisation that it is God who is the source of our joy, the sustainer of a heart of thanksgiving. Circumstances change – we have good days, we have bad days, but God and His love for us never changes.

And that is something to be thankful for.

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:3)


chasing

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you” (Psalm 63:1)

The police car, lights flashing, siren blaring, shot past me in pursuit of someone. A police car in pursuit means that they were focussed on the chase and who they were chasing. Determined, relentless. This was no car on a sedate Sunday afternoon drive, meandering down roads, easily distracted with no real destination in mind. This was a drive with a purpose and intent.

I am challenged. It made me wonder am I living merely meandering down roads for chance encounters with God, or am I actively in pursuit of Jesus, chasing after His presence with purpose. Like the Bible Heroes of old, it’s an invitation open to all of us, a call for intimacy. Job pursued God. He said, “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling!” (Job 23:3). We know that King David was also one chasing after God – “My soul followeth hard after thee” (Psalm 63:8 KJV).

Bethel Music have a recent release “Chasing you” that conveys this sentiment of pursuing God. Lyrics such as “I’ll spend my days running after your heart, your heart, your heart” and “I’m chasing you with all my life” echo the cry of Job, of David, Abraham, Paul and so many, many others of Biblical times and after.

The invitation is there for us all, to pursue, to chase after Jesus.

From the moment I rise To the moment I sleep My affection is for you And even as I dream I wanna know you I’m after your heart” (Chasing you)


sunlight1

Social media has helped people across the planet to keep in touch, to share their lives – their news, thoughts, opinions and photos in a way like never before. Applications like Instagram take it to the next level and enable us to show carefully curated photos – chosen, cropped, edited and filtered at our discretion. At best these are just aspects of our lives. Glimpses really. More often than not they’re the best parts of the best days and provide us with only a fragmented picture of what our life is like. Just like glimpsing the sun through trees – partial, incomplete and suggesting there is more.

I have often wondered about the woman who touched Jesus cloak and received healing. Had she heard stories of how Jesus healed? Did hope arise in her spirit and encourage her to find Him? This woman would have been an outcast, spent years in isolation. No one would have gone near her for fear of becoming unclean themselves. I imagine her standing apart from everyone else, nervous, scared, watching the crowd. I see her catching glimpses of Jesus as He moved through the people clamouring for His attention. I see her eyes following Jesus trying to see more of Him. And those glimpses that she caught of Jesus gave her courage to walk toward the crowd and to press through, past people, risking derision and rejection. Bravely she pushes through until she lays hold of Jesus coat. She knows with Him lies her healing.

Her glimpses of Jesus then become an encounter with Jesus. He turned, saw her, spoke to her and she received her healing. In our daily lives we can too catch glimpses of Jesus. Glimpses as we read our Bible, through worship, through prayer. These glimpses all carry with them the potential for an encounter with God. As we read our Bible we hear His voice speaking to us, to our situation. In worship we encounter His presence and feel His love. Through prayer we hear His heartbeat and love for us. We just have to push through, to know that the glimpses holds the promise of more of Him.

Let our glimpses of Jesus take us into an encounter with Him.

 

 

 


samartan woman

I think a mother’s life, certainly in the early years, would always include “interruptions” as part of a description of life. Conversations, reading a book, sitting down inevitably get interrupted by the baby waking, the child needing help, the child out of bed. Ironically as I sit to type this I’ve been interrupted – by children and text messages!

Don’t mistake me though, an interruption is not necessarily a bad thing – except maybe when it is a child saying “I’ve vomited, it’s everywhere”….An interruption is just that, a stopping, putting on hold whatever you were doing to address what it is that has interrupted you. Interruptions can be the door bell going, the phone ringing, at work the colleague stopping by your desk. The text message just now was an exciting one!

Interrupt means “break the continuity of”, “Stop the continuous progress of.” Interruptions can be big or small. It was a small interruption to answer the phone to a marketing company. The migraine I’ve been fighting this week has been a much larger one. In the early hours of this morning I lost the battle as it pounded my head. The interruption then meant missing church and succumbing to bed for the good part of the day.

Life is full of interruptions – big or small, unplanned and unforeseen.

There is another dimension though. That when God interrupts our lives – our plans, with a greater plan. A greater purpose.

It is when God prompts us to go out of our way to talk and share with a person. To stop what we are doing to help someone. We’re God’s hands on earth – He uses us to answer prayers and needs of others. To interrupt our lives and break into others lives with His power and presence.

When I’ve let God interrupt my plans, I’ve been amazed as to how powerfully He moves.  How the conversation with a stranger engages the presence of God. How I feel like I’m touching Heaven.

There’s bigger interruptions too. God interrupted my lovely life at one fantastic Church and sent me to another. Unplanned for – yes. Inconvenient – yes! Glad that I did – Yes! It was at this church that I met my husband!

Jesus was interrupted too. He was tired and sat down to rest by a well. A Samaritan Woman approached the well and a conversation ensued. Jesus plans then changed as she encountered the Messiah, and her whole town believed as well and went on to encourage Jesus to stay in Samaria. This interruption meant a whole town came to know the Lord and be saved! For the woman – her retrieving water was interrupted and she encountered God!

I have a different perspective on interruptions in my life now. I’m looking for that Samaritan Woman experience! When one interruption changes a person, changes a town!



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