Friday, August 7, 2009

More Rest!

This is too good to not share! If you haven't had my previous post yet....than you should read it before you start this one. So...later on after I finished my post on Rest in Solitude, I went to church with my good friend, Amanda. Stephen was in Texas visiting family that weekend so I had lots of girl time to catch up on. The visiting preacher was talking about how trials will most definitely come our way but there is a purpose for them. As he was finishing up his sermon he said, "God invites us to lay our burdens down as it says in Matthew 11:28 Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." I was SO shocked! I felt like God was speaking directly to me through this visiting pastor. Even though I was sitting in a church full of people, my heart jumped because I knew that was for me. God was reminding me to rest and giving me confirmation of his talk with me earlier that day. To humble myself and sit at His feet.

It doesn't end there! Monday morning at work, a co-worker of mine sends out a "Verse of the Day" to all in our department. You will not believe what verse she sent. Yes! Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". She had no idea what my personal connection to this verse was, but I believe that God was reminding once again to...Rest, Julie, humble yourself and cast your burdens on me. My eyes got watery and my heart melted as I thought about the God of the entire universe taking interest in me! Seeing my needs and offering his strong and loving arms to carry my load.

Folks, I'm not kidding, there is one more story. :) Yesterday, while reading a book I started recently called, Deeper-Living in the Reality of God's Love, I came across a story that the author was sharing. She said that she had been wrapped up in the daily grind of Christian life...like a hampster running on his wheel and his eyes pointed straight ahead. She was saying that God gripped her heart one morning (much like my experience) and she was convicted that she was "Talking like everything depended on God but living like everything depended on her!" Ouch. That was convicting. I could totally relate. I think it's probably one of the hardest things in the world for women to just "be still". The author said that as she was laying in bed the verse came to her mind, "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." God knew exactly what she needed to hear to stop performing and start living in and rely on God's love for her. She said, "Perfection is the lie, performance is the lifestyle, and fear, depression, anxiety are the out come." Once again, I was met with the whisper in my ear to REST.

I talked to my counselor about this and she said that one of the ways women represent God's image is through rest and beauty. We bring a calm and peace to tense situations and we always look to beautify what we come in contact with.

I'm leaving for vacation today but thought I would share this before I go. We'll be visiting Stephen's family in D.C. and South Carolina. This is a much needed time of REST for us and I pray that we would also be a source of encouragement to our family we go to visit.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rest in Solitude

A few years ago, Stephen found this short message by SM Lockridge called, That's My King. It was so encouraging for me to revist the message this morning! The summer has flown by SO quickly. God is continuing to guide and direct us one step at a time into what He'd have us do and where He'd have us go within the next few months. Just last night at our Bible study, our group was talking about why each of us individually try to carry around our burdens and refuse to give them over to God. What makes us dread "solitude" and that alone time? Or why do we busy ourselves in order to avoid that one on one face time with the One who created us? I am so guilty of this. It's easy to do the "good works" but quieting my heart, getting alone, and being honest with God is a challenge at times. It's been great to minister along side my husband this summer, but over the past two weeks I've been playing this avoidance "game" with God. We have been so incredibly busy and I've been trying to do everything on my own...in my own strength. Taking time out of my already busy schedule to quiet my mind (that is running 100mph) as been really hard. Ironically, over the past two weeks our small group has been studying solitude and how even Jesus would go up into a mountain to be alone. God knew exactly what I needed to hear and has provided times for me to get in a quiet place to just have a "date" with Him. I still am amazed at how much lighter I feel without the load of worries and concerns that I thought I had to take care of on my own. God is so good! "Come unto me all who are heavy laden and I will give you REST..." What a loving Father I have in him. I don't have to stress about the upcoming plans because it's already been taken care of...all I have to do is, "Trust in the Lord with all my heart...not lean on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge him and He will direct my paths." Yes, "easier said than done", but is it really?



This brings me to the message by SM Lockridge, I listened to it again this morning and was so encouraged because Lockridge reminded me of who my God really is! You can read it (below) or listen to it...I reccomend listening at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX_7j32zgNw


THAT'S MY KING

The Bible says my King is a seven-way king
He's the King of the Jews; that's a racial king
He's the King of Israel; that's a national King
He's the King of Righteousness
He's the King of the Ages
He's the King of Heaven
He's the King of Glory
He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords.
That's my King. Well....I wonder, do you know Him?

David said, "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.
My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply.
No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.
He's enduringly strong...He's entirely sincere
He's eternally steadfast....He's immortally graceful
He's imperially powerful....He's impartially merciful
Do you know Him?

He's the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He's God's Son....He's a sinner's Saviour....
He's the centerpiece of civilization....He stands in the solitude of Himself...
He's august....He's unique....He's unparalleled....He's unprecedented....
He's the loftiest idea in literature
He's the highest personality in philosophy
He's the supreme problem in higher criticism
He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology
He's the cardinal necessity for spiritual religion
He's the miracle of the age
He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him
He's the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour
I wonder if you know Him today?

He supplies strength for the weak
He's available for the tempted and the tried
He sympathizes and He saves
He strengthens and sustains
He guards and He guides
He heals the sick....He cleanses lepers....
He forgives sinners....He discharges debtors....
He delivers captives....He defends the feeble....
He blesses the young....He serves the unfortunate....
He regards the aged....He rewards the diligent....and He beautifies the meek.......
I wonder if you know Him?

Well, my King....is the King....He's the key to knowledge....
He's the wellspring to wisdom....He's the doorway of deliverance....
He's the pathway of peace....He's the roadway of righteousness ....
He's the highway of holiness....He's the gateway of glory.......
Do you know Him?


Well....His office is manifold....His promise is sure....
His light is matchless....His goodness is limitless....
His mercy is everlasting....His love never changes....
His word is enough....His grace is sufficient....
His reign is righteous....and His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you,

but He's indescribable....He's incomprehensible....He's invincible....He's irresistible.
Well, you can't get Him out of your mind....You can't get Him off of your hand....
You can't out live Him, and you can't live without Him....
The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him....
Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him....
The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree....Herod couldn't kill Him....
Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him.
Yea!!!, that's my King, that's my King.
Father..."Thine is the Kingdom....and the Power....and the Glory....Forever"....and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever. How long is that? And ever...and ever...and when you get through with all the forevers, then.... AMEN!....AMEN!