Making Time Count, [Five Minutes]

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“There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.”

Genesis 12:8, NIV

“Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service.”

–Charles Spurgeon

Many believers desire to have a daily time with God, praying and reading His Word. It so happens that many Christians are distracted by the cares of this world. They can never seem to be able to carve out a devotional life out of a busy day.

Oswald Chambers once wrote of the transforming nature of just five minutes in the presence of the Lord. This small effort for just a brief moment can change the course of a busy day.

Five minutes with the Lord can alter ones walk and certainly one’s perspective. Powerful results can come from just a brief connection. These moments can be the most significant of your entire day. It can stabilize your walk and daily lead you straight toward Him.

Sometimes our life is filled with busy demands– we hit the ground running just to keep up.

Remember there is no condemnation in this, but there is lost opportunity. It is wasted time that we will miss; it’s something we can grow to regret.

Abraham found time to build an altar to the Lord. Perhaps that act was a turning point for him. A heavy door just needs a little hinge on which to turn. Maybe constructing an “altar” can make a difference for us.

If you’re having a struggle in your daily walk, just start with five minute with Him.

You will be pleasantly surprised with what happens. Just five minutes can stabilize your soul. Our God longs to meet with us and to show His power in our lives.

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Simple Discipleship, [Understanding]

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Each of us who are broken believers will take the following steps. This is simple discipleship. These four will be at the root of everything we do. Our mental illness may influence this walk, but it can’t derail the process. Because it is a supernatural one, everyone starts at the same spot— whether we’ve an illness or not. Each of us must take these four steps and engage them:

  1. Come to Me

  2. Learn of Me

  3. Follow Me

  4. Remain in Me

Disciples will build their lives on these. They are solidly basic but extrapolated out into different unique variations. Each one will be uniquely yours.


COME TO ME:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28, ESV

The source is Jesus, and his presence is sought. Our heavy issues are relieved by his nearness.

 

LEARN OF ME:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

Jesus shares his yoke with every disciple. We are to learn at his feet, and it’s there we learn of his humility. Rest is your evidence of his proximity.

 

FOLLOW ME:

 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

A cross awaits every disciple. Self-denial is critical for every believing disciple. Jesus will show us how it’s to be done.

 

REMAIN IN ME:

“Remain [abide] in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4

This involves drawing and extracting life from him. We are a branch that pulls its life essence from its core, he is our vitality and our strength.

“Whatsoever one would understand what he hears must hasten to put into practice what he has heard.” –Gregory the Great

 

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Becoming a Part of What is Really Real

 

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“Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light.”

Matthew 17:1-2, The Message

These three disciples belonged to the inner circle of our Lord’s friends. There must have been something in them that peculiarly endeared them to Him. We know that Peter was a leader among the apostles, and also a bold confessor; that John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved;” and that James was the first of the band to die as a martyr.

It is very encouraging to look at Peter who was admitted to such high privileges; a man with so many faults, who made so many mistakes, who even at the last shamefully denied Christ, and yet we remember that he was one of our Lord’s closest friends. It gives encouragement to us that, with all our faults, we may yet be very dear to Christ.

It does not seem so strange that John was allowed to enter the inner circle. His disposition was gentle and amiable, very much like the Master’s. Yet it is probable that John owed his sweetness and gentleness of character to his being with Jesus. It could be he was not always a man of love.

rose-little1There is a Persian fable of a piece of clay made fragrant by lying on a rose; the perfume of the rose passed into the clay. So it probably was with John. He crept into his Master’s bosom, and lay close to His heart; and his Master’s spirit of love and gentleness passed into his life and transformed it. Thus we have a lesson, too, from John: constant and loving communion with Christ will change us into His likeness.

The lesson from this choosing of three out of the whole band for peculiar privileges is that while Jesus loves all His friends, there are certain ones whom He takes into closer confidence than the others. There are degrees of nearness to Him, even in this world. Should we not strive to be among those who, by disposition and by service, win their way to the closest places? We must remember that those who serve most are chiefest. –JRM

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kyrie elesion, Bryan

(Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner)
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Broken Heart of Love – A Poem

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This poem was written for someone I love who struggles with bipolar disorder. Though I have suffered through depression, anxiety, and panic attacks myself, I can never truly understand her pain. I want to help, but am at a loss as to what to do. I wanted to share this here so those who suffer from mental illness might know how your suffering breaks the hearts of those who love you but don’t know what to do.

Broken Heart of Love

This searing pain in my heart
I wish it would go away
I pray for it to leave me
But it is love
I would be hollow without it

I watch you drowning
in a sea of turmoil and fear
I reach out my hand,
the one connected to my broken heart
“It’s okay, the sailing’s fine,” you say

I walk away, thinking perhaps
my eyes deceive me and you are not
drowning, or else why
would you say otherwise?
I know you would not lie

But still this pain
deep down inside my aching heart
reminds me
that you are not fine,
the sea is not calm

The storm rages
but I cannot rescue you
You cannot see my hand
reaching through the darkness
beckoning you to dry land

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ysic, Linda K.

http://lindakruschke.wordpress.com/

Posted in affliction, anxiety, believer, bipolar disorder, brokenness, darkness, depression, fear, hope, life, Linda Kruschke, love, mental illness, panic attacks, personal comments, poetry, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, storms, truth, understanding, Very helpful | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Under the Table, [Boldness]

But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Matthew 15:27, NASB

This woman has a quick and nimble faith in Jesus.  She will not let go, and the attitude of Jesus only enhances her faith.  She was more then willing to be a dog, if that is what it took.  The children would be served first, and then she could go and get the crumbs.

What is it that you want?  What do you need?  The humility of this woman was impressive.  It was not easily offended or misdirected.  In her desperate need she has no where else to go, and so she lingers, and refuses to be patronized.  She wants the crumbs; the crumbs from His table are far better than the extravagant banquets and feasts of the richest nobleman.

“Not worthy, Lord, to gather up the crumbs
  With trembling hand that from thy table fall,
A weary, heavy laden sinner comes
  To plead thy promise and obey thy call.

“I am not worthy to be thought thy child,
  Nor sit the last and lowest at thy board;
Too long a wanderer, and too oft beguiled,
  I only ask one reconciling word.”

 We are not fed with crumbs, but directly from the table of our heavenly Father.  The Prodigal discovered that his Father was outrageous in His love.  An incredible feast was just a manifestation of that grace.  The feast declares the depth and width of His love.

You and I have become the honored guests.  We do not get crumbs, but we feast at the table with the finest food and wine.  Do we belong?  Only you can answer that.  But access is open to all who by faith receive Jesus as their Savior.  When we do that we get the invitation to the feast.

“Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” 

Matthew 15:28

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Why This Waste? [Extravagance]

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J’Adore L’Or: Version Haute Joaillerie Exception – $ 30,000

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”’ 

Matthew 26:6-9, ESV

Chapter 26 is the beginning of the end. This chapter sets up the last week of Jesus which without question his prime purpose of death and resurrection. Matthew sets up this “Anointing at Bethany” as the front door of this final week. The immediate verses prior to this concern themselves with an organized plot by the Jewish leadership to murder Jesus.

There are things to consider:

  • Simon (the leper), Jesus stayed here sometime during his last days. Had Simon been healed by Jesus? He might even be a carrier of this fearsome disease. And even if he didn’t, the stigma was so ingrained his first name was attached to the appellation “the leper.”
  • the value of the perfume was essentially unheard of. (You might have given a tin of the most expensive caviar to a homeless man– it was that shocking.) The calculations have been done and the perfume would have been worth $30,000. And this was no ordinary perfume– it was an ointment, a concentrate from which lesser perfumes would be made. This was the real stuff.
  • the disciples, are quite disturbed. They quickly deduced the value of this anointing, and balked. Scripture says, “they were indignant.” Deeply offended, they could not process what was really going on in front of them. They were quietly livid.
  • the wasted potential of the perfume. A years wages could of been given away to the needy. Passover was the special time when everyone saw to the needs of the poor, and scripture says a lot about helping the poor. It didn’t sit too well with the disciples to empty this flask over Jesus head and feet.
  • the effect on Jesus would’ve been profound. It was God’s signal of an impending death. Because this was more an ointment than a liquid, its effect would have lingered for weeks. It is quite possible that Jesus would’ve smelled that smell while he was being beaten and crucified. I have to believe it encouraged him, as he suffered.

The disciples really missed it with this one. The practical thing would take Mary’s expensive jar and sell it, and then to give the money to a needy family. Disciples throughout history have confused discipleship with serving and doing, but it really is concerned with a person of Jesus Christ. This really is a crucial point.

We serve a person, not a “discipleship.” We pour out ourselves for Jesus, serving him as out “first love.” Without this love we just become a good religion, among many good religions. But our sacrifice for Jesus does indeed set us apart.

Be extravagant in your love to him. Jesus should always be the center. As your love pours out over him, I have to believe it perfumes heaven with your gift.

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Gethsemane Unappreciated

” Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?” 

Mark 14:37

I honestly think what broke Jesus up the most was being disappointed by His trusty disciples.  This was devastating.  I believe that He was counting on the disciples to be there for Him.  They simply fell asleep while sitting with Jesus. Now it’s no secret that we need sleep.  Sleeping is a part of life, it is something that we require.  But we can forego it, without too many issues.  Truck drivers and med interns do it all the time–it’s no big deal.

But precious Peter sleeps through the most critical time of His best friends life–even after an explanation.  Jesus craves their closeness.  The humanness of Jesus yearns for His friends–His companions. He was lonely, and alone.

robin1aThere is a legend of the Brittany peasants that explains how the robin got its red breast. As Jesus was being led out to Calvary, a bird, pitying Him, flew down and plucked one thorn from the crown of thorns He wore. The blood spurted from the wound and splashed the bird’s breast.  It would be from that moment on the bird with the red breast– the valiant robin.

The robin did what it could.  The disciples didn’t. After sleeping for a bit, they would scatter.  They gave Jesus no solace, no comfort. All they did was to make Gethsemane harder.  Death was something Jesus knew was imminent.  The torture would brutalize Him even before the cross.  But, He would go it alone, without His friends.  Jesus would take all the sin on His shoulders and carry it away from us.

Today, we can make up for the disciples gross negligence. In some way, we can sit with Jesus, and spend time with Him, alert to the intercessory burden He carries for the Church. It is an active ministry of simple availability to being used in this way.

“Christ bears the wounds of the church, his body,  just as he bore the wounds of crucifixion. I sometimes wonder which have hurt worse.”

Philip Yancey

“So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore.  14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”

Hebrews 13:13-14

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