Sunday, January 01, 2006

January 1, 2006

I was thinking about changing my Bible reading program, from through the Bible in three years to through the Bible in one year, but I was chaffing at it. I Just Did Not Want To Do It. Today at church two of our pastors recommended reading the entire Bible in 90 days. Strangely enough, that sounded really good to me. Actually four members of our family are planning on doing it.

Even with taking notes (I am a perennial note taker), it took only 41 minutes. I timed it so that I could be sure to allow enough time in my day to accomodate this. The pastors said it would take about an hour.

My notes reflected what I noticed, which was about God's appointed times, seasons, and people. This has been a recurring theme for me for about a year. It started with Hebrews. Aaron did not choose his calling; he was appointed by God. Seth was an appointed replacement for Abel. Noah was promised that there would always be seasons. God promised Abraham that his people would suffer for a period of 400 years.

I am in love with the idea of God calling and appointing me, before the foundation of the world, to have a relationship with Him. His plans for me include spending time with me, listening to me, speaking to me, steering me to the right at the dangerous places in the path, swooping in and rescuing me from the big bad guys (Psalm 18) and genuinely caring for me as no one else could ever do. That speaks to the deepest part of my heart. When I hear about other people having God meet their needs, I am usually quite disappointed when I find out what they say that their needs are. I often tell the Lord that I am the neediest person in the world. I need the kind of loving acceptance that only He can give.

Maybe my problem in being Irish. I read once that we value having a voice more than anything else in the world. There is a great deal of truth in that. If we are made in God's image, then God loves to talk to me as much as I love to talk to Him. This is a consuming thing with me, and with Him. I love that. Is God Irish?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

Instead of being centered in on Christmas activities, I seem to be much more attracted this year to what the new year holds. My anticipation of new beginnings, and the renewal of purpose and direction seem to light the fire within once more. 2005 was a sad and difficult year of loss, anger and disillusionment for me. Yet, in the midst of it all, I found great satisfaction in coming to understand eternal truths. What was shakeable was shaken. Now, I can find my security in the unshakeable. Before the new year begins, I want a more narrowly defined course. I want to shake off what is not central, what is not enriching, and what is not complementary so that I can focus on the eternal and let my activities relect that priority. I am not angry anymore; I am glad that those things were taken away. Less baggage. Pretty heady stuff for a woman who spent her entire day in the kitchen yesterday making Christmas cookies and fat lefse. This is not a problem. The smallest of tasks can have eternal rewards. Sometimes the immortal takes on flesh, hides Himself in the manger of life, refuses to be king, defeats the enemy of all that is right, redeems man, loses everything, wins everything, and turns the entire world upside down. It would be my greatest privilege to serve Him those cookies, hear Him laugh, and wipe the counter afterwards.