Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Reminder From Rick Warren

I recieve a daily email devotion from Rick Warren. I don't think he knows how much I love reading them. I'm sure he has no idea who I am or that I exist. God knows. He's been teaching me through these daily devotionals for a few years already. Sometimes He uses them to encourage me, to show me His love or to remind me and teach me something about Him and His Truth. I thought I'd share today's here. It's a Truth I need daily reminders of. How about you?

Surrender: Let Go and Let God Work
by Rick Warren

Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (GWT)
Surrendering your life means:

•Following God's lead without knowing where he's sending you;
•Waiting for God's timing without knowing when it will come;
•Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;
•Trusting God's purpose without understanding the circumstances.
You know you're surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don't have to always be in charge. Instead of trying harder, you trust more.

You also know you're surrendered when you don't react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.

Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You are not self-serving, you don't edge others out, and you don't demand your rights.
The most difficult thing for many people to surrender is their money. Many have thought, "I want to live for God but I also want to earn enough money to live comfortably and retire someday."

Retirement is not the goal of a surrender life, because it competes with God for the primary attention of our lives. Jesus said, "You cannot serve both God and money," (Matthew 6:24 NIV) and "Wherever your treasure is, your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21 NIV).

The supreme example of self-surrender is Jesus. The night before his crucifixion Jesus surrendered himself to God's plan. He prayed, "Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine" (Mark 14:36 NLT).

Jesus surrendered himself to God's will. He prayed, "God, if it is in your best interest to remove this suffering, please do so. But if it fulfills your purpose, that's what I want, too."

Genuine surrender says, "Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another's life, please don't take it away!"

This level of maturity doesn't come easy. In Jesus' case, he agonized so much over God's plan that he sweated drops of blood. Surrender is hard work. In our case, it requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jonas Brothers

Yesterday at church we had an awesome group come to sing. They're called 12th Street Harmony. They are a group of guys, like 8-9, from Hope College and they sing with sweet harmony and no instruments. They do a lot of beat-box type sounds. The kids loved it!

I was sitting next to Lukas who was really loving it. He was sitting on the end of the pew and had most of his body leaning in to the aisle to get the best view he could from where we were. After a couple of songs, he leaned over to me and said, "You see those three boys up there with long hair?", "Yeah!", I said, "They're brothers.", he tells me. I was thinking it was the darkish long hair that made him say this but it gets better! He leans back over and says, "I think they call them the Jonas Brothers or something like that." My favorite part of this story is that all of this information was passed to me in complete sincerity and with all seriousness. I had to laugh on the inside because I didn't want him to know that the Jonas Brothers did not come to our church to sing.

Oh, how I love innocence. I'd like a pause button on life, so that when you're really enjoying an age, you can just hang out there for a while. That'd be sweet!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Gardens

The kids and I met Grandpa and Grandma S. out at the F.M. Gardens this morning. It was a perfect day for it! The little two grew weary after a while but it was so nice to spend time with Grandpa and Grandma and enjoy a beautiful morning together!

Here are some pictures from our day:

...more garden pictures