"When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified." (John 6:19)
Have you thought about your favorite thing to do? I think so because I have heard from a number of you about how you share said favorite thing - from garden produce: flowers to vegetables, to cooking to beautiful gardens as a resting place. I've heard about needlework gifts also and how all of us enjoy the pleasure we see when we can share our gifts with others. What about another way to use our favorite thing to do? What ever your favorite thing to do is -- can you use it as a way to be in prayer?
Prayer is what we are reading in the Scripture today. Paul is pointing out, to us and the Ephesians, how we can be "strengthened in our inner being with power through his Spirit." (Ephesians 3:16) And, yes, we are reading about Jesus walking on the water but do you remember why Jesus isn't in the boat with them? In Matthew 14:23 we are told Jesus "dismissed them, wenst up on a mountain by himself to pray." Prayer -- time to stop (Psalm 46:10) and know, be with , talk with and listen to God. Time, like in Paul's prayer, to "be strengthened."
The question is....CAN we, especially as Caregivers, stop to be with God in prayer? Can we use our very favorite thing to do to be with God? The book I am encouraging this week is "Draw the Circle" by Mark Batterson. It is a follow up to "Circle Maker," from last week, and is a 40 day prayer guide. 40 days from now is Labor Day Weekend.... What if we were to spend the next 40 days in prayer - talking to AND listening for what God is saying to each and all of us?
"The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. (31) He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile." For they were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat."" (Mark 6:30--31)
What is your favorite thing to do? The thing you do everyday if at all possible? I know for some people it is garden and/or yard work. I, personally, am very thankful for their skills and their sharing. Ya'll know I do needlework. I was recently talking with my grandson, though, about if I should quilt or curl up with a good book. The advantage of the quilt is I am making the quilt as a prayer quilt to be shared with a friend very much in need of prayers.
Sharing is what is happening with the readings today. Nathan is pointing out to David how God does not want David to build the temple. (2 Samuel 7:4-9) Paul is reminding the Ephesians (and us) how we all are a part of Christ Jesus and have "access in one Spirit to the Father." (Ephesians 2:18) And in the Gospel reading the disciples are back from the "Go" Jesus sent them on (Mark 6:7) a couple of weeks ago. They are excited, tired, sharing and hungry. Jesus is listening but also having the "come away" to "rest awhile." (Mark 6:31) They have come together to share, to celebrate, and to grow in their relationship(s). Jesus is encouraging this but also encouraging the "come away" to "rest."
So....... what is your favorite thing? How do you share it? Can you use it to spend time with God - to grow and strengthen your relationship with God? Caregivers are often "coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat" but do we take time to s-t-o-p, share and "come away." This week's reading is "Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson. It is a wonderful guide to/for prayer - time away with God. Taking time to be with God, strengthen our relationship with God AND to share with others.......something to think about.
"In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit." (Ephesians 1:13)
What does it take for you to believe something? Do you need to reach out and touch? Do you need to see it? Does it have to be on TV, the radio, the internet -- or even "Mr. Google"? Do you have to have the historical facts, the scientific research? Do you follow what others are saying or where others are leading? What does it take for you to really believe something?
In the Scripture today we have David "dancing" (2 Samuel 6:5) as they bring the ark into Jerusalem. They were excited, joyful and sharing. In the Gospel reading Herod is "hearing" (Mark 6:14) about Jesus from various other sources - non of which were right - and Herod goes with "John, whom I beheaded." (Mark 6:16) AND we have Paul speaking to us, and the Ephesians, about our belief in the Gospel (v. 13) The questions are: DO we believe and if we believe are we going (doing) what God is calling us to.
We, as Caregivers, are pretty busy but we can still be listening for what God is asking us to do - treat someone to coffee, pay for someone (maybe even a strangers) lunch or even "just" listen when someone needs to talk. This week's recommended reading is "IF - Trading your if only regrets for God's What if Possibilities" by Mark Batterson. What if we did what God asked? What if.......
Go..... Fully alive??!
"So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent." (Mark 6:12)
What do you get excited about -- either planning for, doing or remembering? A family outing? A long awaited trip? Achieving the goal we talked about last week? I got super excited, this week, twice - when I was able to get exactly what I was seeing, thinking, dreaming of for two quilts I'm working on. One I have no idea who will get but the other one is a prayer quilt for a special friend.
The Scripture readings, today, are about goals reached but moving forward, and sharing the excitement. We see, in 2 Samuel, that David is now the King. And, moving forward, becomes the King of all Israel. Then the Gospel reading..... these Disciples have now been with Jesus for a while. They have seen what Jesus does, how he teaches and are excited about it. Jesus is telling them, and us, to go. Go share how, where, when and what God is doing. Go share the excitement. Casting Crowns has a praise song I love all about being filled and sharing God's love. The title is "Thrive." The last part of the chorus is "we know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives. It's time to more than just survive..... we were made to thrive! (emphasis mine)
Another resource is a fun book to read, or a DVD to watch, or a Bible study to do. Ken Davis has a book, study, DVD, called "Fully Alive." It is a fun read/study mixed with Ken's wonderful humor. It also gives some excellent suggestions for how to "thrive" and live "Fully Alive."
As Caregivers we can get into "survive" mode - especially when it is very busy. We need to remember Emmanuel -- God IS with us. We CAN "Thrive" and live "Fully Alive." Something to think about.....
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.