Seek His Face Always

We are all busy, and we all have important things we need to get done each day. Make time for the Lord, even if it is just a few minutes.

Recently a dear friend of mine was in town from Hawaii, and we managed to find the time for a quick lunch before her flight back to the island. Before her move to Oahu, and my subsequent move from California to the PNW, we never went longer than a few months between visits. This visit marked the first time in over a year since we’d seen each other.

Our friendship has been entirely built on distance and technology. We met in an online writer’s group several years ago, and eventually bonded over the personalities and traits of our fictional characters. We have never lived in the same place at the same time, and in the course of our relationship we’ve spoken on the phone only a handful of times. Yet, we are truly friends. Even though our friendship is unconventional, and some might think, impractical, it works for us. We often like to joke that we were one of the few ‘blind dates’ that actually worked out.

Now, once she left, it hit me how much I’d missed her while we were apart. Our lives recently have been busy (she’s planning her upcoming wedding, and I’ve been busy preparing to homeschool my daughter), and we haven’t connected as often as we used to. It amazed me how easy it was to ignore the daily pangs of separation. To push those feelings down, and focus on the day to day tasks of living.

This happens all too often in our personal lives, not just with the people we care about, but with God as well. It might start out as a busy day when we don’t have ‘time’ to open the Bible. It might happen on a night when we’re too tired to pray before we fall asleep, or in too much of a hurry to check in with the outside world in the morning to whisper a prayer of gratitude for the beginning of another day. We might think one day won’t hurt, but what happens when the next day is also busy? Eventually, we’ve pushed those important moments of connection with the Lord so far down our list of priorities we no longer feel the pangs of separation.

Just like any friendship, the relationship we have with Him takes time and commitment. We can’t expect to go on about our daily lives, forgetting Him, and expecting that eventually all those lost moments aren’t going to crash on us. The loneliness we often feel has little to do with the people physically around us, and more to do with a loss of time spent with the Lord.

We are all busy, and we all have important things we need to get done each day. Make time for the Lord, even if it is just a few minutes. A quick prayer of thanks, or a moment of scripture reading can give you the energy and the focus to get through the ups and downs of everyday.

Yes, I am new to this, and I stumble more than I’d like, but each time I turn to Him for help, things right themselves, and I find my footing is steadier.

 

“Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

Blessings in Christ,

Sare

 

The Jesus Diet

I need the LORD. Not just on bad days when  I've ate a Kit Kat and have come down from the sugar high, but every day.

Years ago I never expected to be the person I am today. A person who thrives on working out daily, and who is aware of the foods I put into my body. I won’t lie, I love cake and cookies, and it is a struggle to stop eating them once I start. However, a healthy diet, one that doesn’t make me crabby and lethargic, requires me to ignore those cravings and desires on a regular basis.

Now, contrary to popular belief, a diet isn’t all about denying yourself the ‘yummy’ things. In fact, a real diet isn’t about taking away. It’s about filling yourself with things that are good for you, things that make your body function like a well oiled machine. A body needs a wide variety of foods to provide nutrition and fuel. Yes, I could eat a Kit Kat bar for a quick energy boost, but because it isn’t nutritious, that energy will be short lived and cause me to feel lethargic and unhappy. For me, that usually takes less than an hour.

The same applies to our spiritual life and well being. As a Christian, I’ve realized that I function better, for longer periods of time, if I have a spiritual diet filled with prayer and Bible study. On the days when I’ve let “life” get in the way, and I haven’t made the time to seek Jesus and spend time in His Word, I feel much like I do after that Kit Kat bar. I’m unhappy, I’m lethargic, and suddenly bad habits start to slip back into my life.

My family starts noticing the difference, but more importantly, I notice the difference.

I need the LORD. Not just on bad days when  I’ve ate a Kit Kat and have come down from the sugar high, but every day. My best days are the days when I start with the LORD, seek Him throughout the day, and end the day with Him as well. When I turn to Him in joy as well as in need, and I make sure He is the center of my day, those days are spiritually filling. I’ve given my soul what it needs to be healthy and happy.

So, a Jesus diet isn’t about cutting Him out of my life, but about making sure I’m filling my life with enough of Him to keep my life running smoothly. The LORD created us to be great in Him. He doesn’t leave us alone to figure it out on our own, but He is there, always waiting for us to turn to Him.

Fill your spiritual cup with the LORD, turn to him in Thanksgiving as well as in need. Even when you don’t think you need Him, when you can find something else to give you that boost of energy–you need Him. I need Him. Turn to Him. Things are always better and more clear with His presence in your life.

A healthy diet is one filled with the LORD, Jesus.

 

Blessings,

Sare

Walking in the Desert with Jesus

Reading about Jesus' time spent in the desert, and how without fail He stood up to Satan and his promises of glory and power, has made me even more grateful to be a daughter living in the New Testament Times.

Our LORD, Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting in the desert. Something some might think He didn’t need to do. For instance, if I were to walk a mile in His sandals, and I knew I only had a few years to get my work done, I’m not sure I would have taken the time to go out into the desert alone. I would most likely have been trying to find all the right people to make things happen. I’d be out there putting up “Help Wanted” fliers, and searching out my Disciples–possibly eating as many chocolate cookies and cakes dipped in chocolate, and served with a side of chocolate, as I possibly could.

This of course, is just one of an unimaginable number of reasons why Jesus is Jesus, and I’m just a daughter trying to live my life in a way that would be worthy of His grace.

He went out into that desert because he was “led by the Spirit” (Matthew 4:1). It didn’t matter that He was on a time crunch, or that He already knew what His future held. He followed the Spirit, straight into 40 days and nights of hunger, only to be met on the other side by the slick serpent, Satan (now you try saying that ten times fast).

Reading about Jesus’ time spent in the desert, and how without fail He stood up to Satan and his promises of glory and power, has made me even more grateful to be a daughter living in the New Testament Times.

I’ve been doing some thinking on this, especially after Pastor R asked if anyone had been led to the desert, and what happened from it. At the time, I didn’t really have an answer. Especially since, I have never gone a week without food, never mind five weeks (and yes, I’ve got a tendency to be a little too literal. Something God is helping me with). I’ve realized though, that I do have an answer. Several, actually.

Being new to this walk, I don’t always see the proverbial forest for the trees. I don’t always see what is right in front of me. Not until much later, when, while doing what must be my 4,000th weighted elevator squat, the answer smacks me between the eyes.

Before my little family moved back to the PNW, we lived in a tiny little town in the high desert of Southern California. This place was often referred to as Satan’s Arm Pit. Not to be confused with Satan’s Butthole, Death Valley. This town was desolate, dirty, and lonely. The buildings were run down and the locals were mostly consumed by their need for Meth or whatever other drug they could put into their already ravaged bodies.

The four years we spent in that particular desert, were what I credit as my saving grace. They were my time of fasting. We had been placed there for a reason. I hadn’t heard the actual command to go there. I hadn’t even realized we were being led there. We went because that is where the Marine Corps sent us.

It was while we were there I realized something was missing from my life. There was a huge gaping abyss inside me that nothing seemed to be filling. I was thirsty, but I didn’t know for what. The day we found out we were heading back to the place I’d run from nine years ago (hello, liquid sunshine and evergreen trees), was the day a light went on inside my heart. That thing I was missing. That thing that would fill the black void inside me. It wasn’t a thing. It was a greatness, a joy, a forgiveness. It was God.

Obviously, I hadn’t been listening. God had sent my husband and I into a real desert, because I’m incredibly good a denial and God must have realized a figurative desert wasn’t going to be enough. I’d been blocking all His little nudges, all His taps on my shoulder. He needed me in that desert so that the blinders would fall off. It was that desert that led me to this path.

So yes, I’ve been in a desert. I walked that desert and came out the other side. I’m stronger for it, just like Jesus was.

We’ve all got our personal deserts to go through, just remember while you’re walking along those scorching dunes of sand, you’re not alone. You’ve been led there, and God would never leave you alone to navigate alone.

Blessings and Love,

Sare

Listening to the LORD

I’m new to this whole prayer, Bible reading, and listening to what the LORD is saying to me. Often times (okay, pretty much all the time) I feel like I’m never going to get it. I feel His presence in my heart, like the sun warming my skin after the cold, but I don’t ever really ‘get’ what he’s saying.

I’ve prayed about this daily, and it’ll probably remain in my prayers for years to come, because I really do want to understand the words being spoken to my heart. I need to understand where I’m supposed to go, the lessons I’m supposed to learn, and the life I’m supposed to live.

Mostly, I feel like I need an interpreter.

Does anyone know of a “Voice of God” interpreter I could make use of?

Recently, while reading my daily selection for the Bible in a year reading plan I’m on, my Bible had a study guide for “Hearing the Lord”.

Excellent.

I was overjoyed and ecstatic the LORD had visibly shown me a sign. For the first time, I think I ‘heard’ Him. I’m of course, making use of the verses listed within that study, which leads to more praying, and more listening, so I have hope that one day all those warm rays of light hitting my heart will make sense to me.

Until then, I guess I’ll just enjoy the peace my time with God brings me each day, and keep looking for an interpreter.

Blessings,

Sare