“Ali are you listening to me?” God, Abba Father
So many different things were going on yesterday
~ Ron came home from Oregon
~ Unexpected guests arriving
~ Schedules needing tweaking
~ Feeling like I was forgetting something really important
~ Frustration with self
~ Choices – am I choosing the right thing
And so I went to bed at 8:30 p.m.
And slept hard till about 5 a.m.
tossing and turning
and jumping when the alarm went off at 6 a.m.
Putting one foot in front of the other
Riding the bike for 45 minutes
(10.21 miles, 520 calories burned)
And hearing this little tap on my shoulder
Turning to God’s Word
And He had a lot to say to me this morning
Am reminded again of last week Tuesday,
my response to someone
Yes, I was judging their behavior
Whoa…”but Lord, she was wrong…”
“Maybe she was buy you don’t have the right to judge.”
Matthew 7 (from The Message) A Simple Guide for Behavior
7 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
6 “Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
7-11 “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.
Being and Doing
13-14 “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
15-20 “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
21-23 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
28-29 When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.
And I sit in the rocker
Lord forgive me for judging so and so,
forgive me for throwing a temper tantrum,
forgive me for being a jerk and a fool.
Ouch, Ouch, Ouch
God is Faithful
and tells me to
So I turn everything back over to God.
My fears and worries,
hurts and concerns.
Turning my husband, my son’s,
my daughters-in-love, my grandchildren
over to God.
He is in control and
He knows better than I what they need.
Instead Lord help me to
Remember that I am responsible
for me, my actions and words.
Thank you Lord for your steadfast
love for me.
Thank you Lord for being the best Abba Father
any child could ask for.
And thank you Lord for the work here in Branson
for this season.
Help me not to worry about tomorrow,
it may not come
but instead to live today,
in Your presence,
sharing Your love with others,
living peacefully and fully in You. Amen.