Reflections on the week after our trip:
Not sure if my tiredness this week was from the trip recovery, expending energy every morning for VBS, staying up late to work on a photo project or all of the above combined. Whatever the reason, it was good to be off work and decide how I wanted to manage my time.
Bible School is lots of fun and our church puts a huge amount of creativity, expense and people power into making it a spectacular event. I was a ranch hand at the the Sonwest Rodeo, (Bible school theme) which meant I followed 3 fifth grade girls around to four different stations every morning. We had Bible story time, and games, crafts and snacks all focused around the Bible theme for the day. It was also exciting to experience the week with my two of my grand kids. Shawn and Aubrey came home with me after the last day so we could process our learnings and enjoy some time together.
The last scene of the skit we listened to during the week was performed the following Sunday during our worship service. All VBS attendees were invited to come up and we sang our theme songs from the week for the church. What a great way to end it all! I pray the message from God's word enforced in so many ways this week will be stored in little hearts forever.
I enjoyed reading from the book of Luke this week in my quiet time. The Message paraphrase put some thoughts into new wording for me.
look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire,
easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your
spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.
The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
...a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time... does this describe my practice of the Christian life sometimes? It's easy to bounce from blog to blog, take words and phrases of respected Christian leaders and make them my mantra for the week. It seems life giving to link into a Facebook article and nod my head in ascent, then file the interesting perspective into the Now I'm Smarter and Better Armed folder of all things that make me successful. It takes less time and effort than waking up an hour earlier than usual to read and take notes on Scripture passages and give vigorous and total attention to being still and listening for the voice of the Spirit.
Maybe I've bought into what crowds of people believe that God is most glorified when I'm happy and my life is going smoothly. That my prayers are all for me and the people I love. That if I follow the right righteous steps I can get my husband to love me like Christ loves the church and my children to grow up to honor me by sending us on some kind of exotic 50th anniversary trip (your likely off the hook on that one, kids, being I'm 59 and celebrating 17 years of marriage :)
I recently finished reading the book, Cat and Dog Theology: Rethinking Our Relationship with Our Master by Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison. If cat and dog's natures could be summed up into a theology stance it might be something along the lines of , Cats believing, 'You exist to serve me', while dog's attitude is more, 'I exist to serve You'. The book promotes the dog theology as the better way for us to approach our lives before our heavenly Master. There are many good points in the book, although the analogy becomes a bit overworked. Near the end the author gives tribute to some thinking borrowed from John Piper. In particular, Piper's quote, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him". Am I thoroughly convinced that the best life I can live is in desiring God and His glory more than ANYTHING?
An illustration included in the last chapter of the book, tells the story about a time Floyd McClung visited with the elderly Corrie ten Boom. He noticed that she had bought some new luggage and learned that an angel had appeared to her to say that she would have 10 more years to live. The luggage was her way of celebrating. After five of those years, Corrie's health deteriorated and she was in pain and agony. She told Floyd that the angel said she was going to die. She protested because she had not be given the full 10 years that had been promised earlier. The angel said he was sent because God was willing to take her home early. Corrie then asked the angel which would bring the most glory to God, for her to go to heaven or for her to continue here, even if it meant living in her present painful condition. Whatever God desired would be her answer. Now there is a heart completely submitted to glorifying God! I'm not sure that would have been my response.
Unless I'm reading His Word regularly and putting it into practice, how can I even get to know Him better or know what brings him glory? May my desires be infected with the joy of His presence and learning to know His will for me.
“These words I
speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner
improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words,
words to build a life on."
Matt. 7:24 Msg