The Kings’ Command–Word Up Wednesday

wayne

Soooo, if you haven’t heard, (it’s all over my fb and twitter feeds) I’m at the North American Christian Convention this week. It’s a gathering of the folks from the brotherhood of churches that I am a part of. The main sessions are from the book of Revelation and they have been excellent–full of hope, promise and encouragement to stay the course until the very end.

Today was a great day–a day full of privilege. I was privileged to get to attend a session with my boss, eat lunch with a couple of my favorite 20-something girls, listen to a young woman who had shared in our church at a children’s revival over 10 years ago bless our socks off in song, meet my friend Sara’s newly adopted son for the first time, have breakfast with some fellow kidminners, have supper with some fellow kidminners, and attend a marriage session with Drs Les and Leslie Parrot.

I also was fortunate enough to sit through a leadership session with Wayne Cordeiro, pastor and author. He has written several books. The one I’m most interested in right now is The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior. He had some powerful things to say about guarding our hearts and ministries and protecting ourselves from burnout.

One of the things that I absolutely loved about his session was that he shared a simple little scripture with us–a command to the kings–from Deuteronomy that I had never seen before. I just love when that happens. I firmly believe that it’s those little obscure verses that God uses to change our lives in powerful ways.

So to get to the point here (sorry, it’s been a long day), here’s the kings’ command.

“When the king takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.” Deuteronomy 17:18-20a

I know we aren’t kings. But we are leaders, whether it is in our jobs, or in our churches or in our homes, and the premise still holds true: we need to know the Word of God and we need to follow it–carefully and humbly.

And even though I know it, and I am pretty careful to do it, for some reason today it just meant a lot to me to be reminded of how important it is to God. And I think for some of you reading this, it’s going to be important to you.

It will be an encouragement to stay in the Word, or to get into the Word or to get back into the Word. At least I hope so, because I know that of the kings who should have read this, very few did it, and the people they were leading suffered because of it.

Maybe it’s time you decided to live like a king, feasting on God’s Word.

Brother Cordeiro recommended to us to check out the site http://www.lifejournal.cc as a way to get started if you didn’t already have a plan in place. You may want to check it out.

Word up!

Don’t Forget the Text

This post is not about texting. At all. But I figured it I wrote a catchy title and put in a picture of texting, you would be just curious enough to give it a look-see. As I continue to think back over the things that I value in ministry–for me, specifically children’s ministry–the text is one of the biggest.

It’s so easy in the world of ministry to forget about the text. Often, without even realizing it, our lives and our ministries become about inspirational stories, memorable quotes and leadership training. We’re all about reading the latest new book, without reading the latest from THE BOOK.

It’s probably a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Did we stop “texting” in our teaching, because we stopped “texting” in our every day life, or did we stop “texting” in our everyday life and as a result began to remove the “text” from our teaching?

Either way, we simply cannot allow ourselves to be cut off from the Word of God, and one of the first things that we often squeeze out is exactly that. We become too busy or too distracted or too tired or too whatever to take time to let the Word of God speak to us. As a result we are cheating ourselves, cheating those we are called to minister to and cheating God.

This morning in my devotional time I was convicted from the text I was reading about an area of my life that I have been cheating lately, and because of that time, and that text, I could come clean before God and we could deal with my laziness and divided heart in this area. But when we fail to spend time in the text, it’s like we put up a barrier between us and God, which can hinder our walk with Him and with then with others.

So lesson learned, truth to teach and encouragement to share is this:
Don’t forget the Text

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Hebrews 4: 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

I’ve Got a Date With God

Yup! It’s true. I’ve got a date with God, and I’m sooo looking forward to it. Although we spend a quite a bit of time together already, I can’t tell you the last time He and I spent a whole day alone together. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever spent an actual whole, entire, complete day alone with God.

In the same way I have been challenged and stretched to start this blog, I have been challenged and stretched to re-evaluate my schedule and begin to set time apart to for the things that are most important to me. And God is at the top of that list.

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a workaholic. (It’s not that I can’t stop. It’s just that I love what I do!!) However, just like I can’t expect to have a great marriage without some prime time together, I can’t expect to have a great God relationship without the same thing.

I know I need this time, and I know I want this time. I know there are some areas of my life He and I need to walk through and talk through. There are some joys to share, and there needs to be time to just sit together in silence enjoying each other’s company. I don’t know whether my date with the Almighty will be a bit awkward or if it will be the most natural thing in the world, but what I do know is that when I set apart time to meet with the God of the universe, He won’t stand me up. He wants this as much as I do.

Today I got my wedding rings back from the jeweler. It seems that, without me realizing it, over the years my rings have undergone a great deal of wear and tear. I had to have several prongs replaced and some soldering done along with a little restoration work. When I picked up my ring, I hardly recognized it. The repair and cleaning had completely restored my rings to their original brilliance and shine. Under the care of a master craftsman, my rings again reflect their beauty, sparkling in such a way as to leave me in awe and wonder. (And making me think I perhaps could use a manicure!)

Our lives are a bit like that, I think. I mean, we do some basic maintenance, but we often don’t realize what the day to day wear and tear of life has done to us–how fragile we have become, or how near we are to wearing completely through. Whether it’s because of busyness, the challenges of life, misaligned priorities or a lack of realization as to the importance of occasional inspection, we are often completely unaware that we are nearing a danger point.

My ring repair has enabled me to see clearly why it is vital that we take time to schedule some date times with our own Master Craftsman, allowing Him to repair, restore, and realign us. This time, so well spent, allows us the opportunity to lay our lives in His hands and let Him work, restoring us to brilliance, reflecting His light and His love which are in each of us who are His. This time, depending on how we approach it, has the potential to allow those who come upon us to respond with awe and wonder at the glory of who we have become through the skill and care of the One who has restored us.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I look forward with great anticipation to my date with God because I know that I can trust His skillful eye to find and strengthen my weaknesses, restore my areas of dullness to brilliance, and allow me to again reflect the glory of His light through my life.