The “One Thing”

My Iphone. My laptop computer. My love affair with Home Sense, TJ Maxx. Coffee with friends at Starbucks. My fully equipped fun to cook in kitchen. My obsession of chocolate. These are all just things. But any of them that overly occupy my life can be the “one thing” that keeps me from living out Psalm 27:4.

I’m asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet.

There is a greater threat than the many “one thing” that threatens to suck my time away from getting to know God. A temptation greater said Charles Spurgeon in a sermon he delivered on a cold December in 1859:

There are many temptations, there are many suggestions and insinuations—and all these are arrows from the bow of the Evil One. But there is one temptation which exceeds all oth- ers, there is one suggestion which is more Satanic, more skillfully used in effecting the purposes of Satan than any other. That suggestion is the one referred to in these words of the Psalmist (Psalm 9:10)—the suggestion to believe that God has forsaken us. If all the other arrows of Hell could be put into one quiver, there would not be so much deadly poison in the whole as in this one.

I am coming to grips with this new thought. I will become a captive if I succumb to this great lie when I am distressed, discouraged or about to venture out in a great work for God. All the other “one thing” distractions will then smoothly fill the gaps of my life. Why? If I believe that God has forgotten me then I won’t or will become incapable of trusting Him. When you don’t trust someone, you don’t listen or spend time with that person. The relationship becomes anything but superficial. God help me to not go to that place when I am tempted.

I have spent an awful lot of time this past year mulling over “trust.” I have examined with careful eyes all that I believe about trusting in God. I have come to this conclusion. He is trustworthy. Even when I don’t understand, it is His truth that prevails and trumps my feelings. Truth seeks to realign my twisted thinking when I have hit the wall and lose perspective. It is my plumb line. Truth centers my choices and gives voice to demolish and conquer my fears of uncertainty.

Knowing God is knowing who He is, His character. So Women2Nite Study girls, let’s continue to prepare ourselves for the journey of uncovering the vast meanings of God’s names. May He reveal Himself to you this week as you invite him to be the “one thing” you desire. HIs invitation to dwell in His presence!

Have fun at your Small Group out night this coming Monday. See you on October 4th!

Because of His Grace

Cynthia

Camping Out With God

WOW! Did we have a great night yesterday or what? I was so incredibly blessed to see all you beautiful women ready to launch into an adventure in studying God’s word. I hope that you will discover new truths or be reminded of ones you are familiar with as you begin Week One.

We asked the question last night, “What do we struggle with most in trusting God?” I wrestle with the fear of not knowing the immediate future. I struggle with God not giving me the information sooner than later. Why is that? I like to KNOW things…so I can PLAN things….so I can feel like at least I am in CONTROL of some of my life. Whoa…is God pulling the rug out on me on that one! How silly of me to think that God is going let me in on more than I need to know when I need to know it! When will I learn this? So you see, like you I am on a journey of learning to trust God deeper. We can do it!

I am praying for you this week Psalm 27:4. I am asking God to give you a hunger for that “one thing”, to seek to be in his presence. To hangout with Him in His tent, as we talked about last night. Remember the promise of God in verse 5. He is “covering you” and “sheltering you” in His glory because He is crazy about who He made you to be!!

Learning to trust more!

Cynthia

Women2Nite Study-WELCOME!

I can hardly stand it! Summer is over, Fall is here and that means our bible study is beginning. Yippee!! We are going to have a rip-roaring God-time in His word, I just know it. I have already immersed myself preparing this summer in the book and study by Catherine Martin, Trusting in the Names of God. If you are joining us on Monday nights at the Grove or by cyberworld you are in for a real treat. I promise, promise, promise!

I have created space on my blog for us to dialogue about what we are learning. I have found that I learn best with others along the journey. Post your thoughts, questions and/or comments as we study each week and let’s have a blast growing together. You can find all the posts once we get rolling under the category “Trusting in the Names of God.” on the right side of the web page.

To get a dialogue started, What do you struggle with in trusting God?

Learning to trust Him more

Cynthia

A Tribute to Maggie 1997-2010

Funny how life-altering decisions can ease their way into your day and you find yourself having to let go. Today was an ordinary Saturday, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house and enjoying the simple pleasures of the last weekend of summer. Later in the afternoon, Kevin and I found ourselves in the vets office having to make a decision neither one of us had the courage to make. Our little spit-fire girl Maggie was sick. She has been dramatically sick at times and we have found her to be resilient in bouncing back. She has bounced back from  bumping into screen doors and scratching her eye, seizures and oh yes need I forget, her near death chocolate eating escapades. But today was different. Her injured eye of a few years ago revealed something more serious. She became listless, lethargic and her usual spunk was gone.

It was surreal as we listened to the vet read off our options like a newspaper report. Plain and simple it was a series of issues all connected that at her age of nearly 14 years really only could mean one thing. One thing we weren’t prepared for, one thing we had no idea when we woke up this morning we would have to make a hard choice, to let go. Let go of our little companion. As we both sat in the office  our faces wet with tears we said goodbye. We cried, we told her all the things we loved about her. Yes, even me. For all the times she drove me crazy, she still was a very lovable companion and I will miss her.

Maggie, I will miss your determination to find every scrap of food on the floor, butter on the table, chocolate in hidden places and surveying the room before you jumped up on the table to help yourself to leftovers. I will miss the memories of your cuddles with the boys, laying in Kevin’s lap as he read each morning with his cup of coffee, our walks and yes even yelling at you to get out of my kitchen!

Maggie wiggled her way into the hearts of those she stayed  with as well. She left her mark that is certain. She chewed through little boy’s lunch boxes to eat the corner of a forgotten sandwich. She playfully bit her caretaker’s dog. She became an unexpected visitor to neighbors who left their front doors open. She ran away several times looking for an adventure.  And yes, the most unexpected, her dachshund hunting instincts captured  my nieces bird in the house proudly thinking, “This is what I was born to do.” Unfortunately, my niece didn’t feel the same way. Oh Maggie, you were mischievous, fun-loving and yes sometimes very, very naughty. But we loved you and we will miss you.

Maggie came into our life in a time of transition back in 1997. Jeremy was just finishing highschool and soon would be leaving for college, I had to let go. She left our life today at a season of transition of becoming empty nesters this past year, another time of letting go. Maggie was just  a dog, a really cute dog, but she had a purpose. She was a life companion through moments of letting go.

Life is hard sometimes….

Life is hard sometimes-crazy, mixed up, messed up. And there you are, in the middle of it all, just doing your thing….being strong and brave and beautiful like it’s no big deal. But let me tell you, girl, IT IS! Not everyone can do what you can do. Not everyone can handle things the way you can. While you wonder sometimes if you’re doing ok…the rest of us are just watching in wonder.

I found the above quote in a card (Dayspring) the other day at the bookstore. I bought it. I am saving it for just the right moment. I might even frame it. It triggers something in my heart. I want to be that kind of woman. She is a princess warrior woman. She believes her God. She holds onto her faith and doesn’t let go. She knows God’s promises inside and out, so she can trust Him. When life gets hard she doesn’t collapse. She might cry, have a meltdown, but it is temporary. She brushes the tears away grabs her sword (her bible) and returns to what she knows is true. God never, ever, ever lets us down. He is faithful. He is the center to cling to in the eye of the storm.

That’s what I have been learning lately, Psalm 9:10. In case you aren’t familiar with this small little verse. Here it is, and I warn you it is packed with a punch!

And they who know Your name (who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy) will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You (on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity). Amplified Bible (don’t you love it?)

I realized after musing over this tiny little verse the power of the truth contained in those words. If I know God’s name, I can trust Him. Can you trust someone you don’t really know? I recognized once again that my problem with trust lies in my own ignorance. You see, I don’t trust deeply or willfully at times for one simple reason. I don’t know God like I could. And whose fault is that? MINE!!

How do we know God anyway? What does it look like? How can you and I get to know a God who is bigger than the universe, who was for a fact our creator. We can’t exactly make a date over coffee, or can we? I am discovering that I can’t know God on my own. I need help. I need spiritual eyes to see what I can’t see on my own. I have also realized that God wants me to know Him just as much or more than I could even conceive. Where do I start? Simply here, simply now with a cry for help to the one who made me and knows my every thought. (Psalm 139)

You know what? God hears me. He sees the secret desires in my heart to know Him more. He is revealing himself to me beyond just a sit-down coffee date with my bible. He is whispering His great love in the picture of the sunset. He is unveiling His truths as I watch the delight of my year old grandson. I see Him as I watch my friends share together. I hear His voice in a song that promises hope when life is unraveling.

Yes, Life is hard sometimes. The latter part of the verse in Psalms promises, God will never turn away if we come to Him with our messy, mixed up and crazy lives!   Are you ready to join me in knowing God’s name and His character more? Let’s do it! So that when we know Him, trust Him with our messiness, others will like the quote on the card said, watch with wonder!

T