Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Need for Graceful Change and Valiance!

Thursday night mid-week service was so good. It's got me thinking,
and I needed it on many levels.
Two things which I will share are these:
1) He mentioned that sometimes people say they
"just want everything to stay just like it is, don't change",
as pertains to say; a church family, a person, a business environment.
Unfortunately, if taken literally, it's a death sentence. In this fallen earth, things must continually grow, or they decay. This pertains to people in every sense, not just physical, but in relationships, intellect, organizations (business, educational, churches, etc).

When he spoke about this, I knew God was talking to me, He has been recently about changes, being willing to let go, and moving on. I'm just having a hard time knowing how, what and when. You know, basically EVERYTHING! ;) I just keep telling Him, "I'm willing, show me, teach me, make it clear to me.

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I came home that night, and in case I had ANY doubt about my need to shed some things in order to continue on into the next stages of life, my poor dial-up system was having the dickens of a time getting this one e-mail. Well, it was so completely worth the wait. It was a beautiful PowerPoint slide show about eagles. Eagles are a favorite of mine. Immediately it had my attention. It was about how eagles successfully make it past their 40s (HELLO!). My hubby watched it with me, and we really enjoyed it. I will be thinking about that for a while! I know it went hand in hand with whatever changes God is drawing me, drawing us to.

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2)The second thing that I wanted to share, I just hope I can properly convey. Some background first - Our church family considers itself to be similar to David's Mighty Men. We even have a song we wrote by that name. The deal with David's Mighty Men is the fact that they are messed up people with problems, yet, in spite of that, there is something valiant in them and they are drawn to righteousness. Doesn't that cry out to everyone? We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yet, we are drawn to Him, and He puts the hunger for righteousness inside of us. Because of this theme in our fellowship our Pastor occasionally will read over the scriptures about David's Mighty Men, in his personal studies. Recently he saw one of the men listed in a new light.
"These are the names of the mighty men whom David had...And Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many notable acts, slew two lionlike men of Moab. He went down also and slew a lion in a pit on a snowy day."
2 Samuel 23:8, 20

He actually talked about this for a little while, before I actually could comprehend the point that lions usually chase their prey, prey doesn't chase them! Benaiah went to the lion, he went into a pit, on a snowy day and killed a lion!

God saves us, and then lets us continue on in our life here. To learn, to grow, and to finish our "to-do list". He puts greatness in our hearts. Our great thing can be founding a family business, raising a family of responsible citizens who love Christ, discovering a cure for cancer or how to harness cold fusion energy. It might be to be a great Broadway producer, who writes and produces witty, thought provoking plays, which change the way people think in a GOOD way. It might be to be the spouse of a Pastor, and love and support that person as they together serve the Lord in ministering to many, many people, over many years.

The question we need to ask ourselves is - what is my pit to go into?? What is your pit? Where is your lion and my lion to tame?

Benaiah went where he didn't have to go, and did what he didn't have to do. I believe he was drawn, compelled. As I thought about this, I asked "Lord, why would anyone do that? Why go into that pit, on a snowy day, and kill a lion that is not bothering you?" The only thing I came up with is to rescue someone, or save the people nearby who were in danger. Think about it. Valiant man. Travels a lot. Comes across a village, the people feed him, they tell him of a lion which troubles them. He decides take out the lion before he moves on. Because he IS That kind of Man!


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As a touch of irony or I dunno, added frustration? At the whole 40something mish-mash of change, growth, transition, we are big golf fans. My husband doesn't get to play much these days. But, in the future I believe he will able able to play regularly. Its important that he be able to do that. For those of you who follow golf this weekend is the Master's. It's like the Superbowl of golf. Freddie Couples is someone we have watched as long as we have been married. We just think he is such a neat guy and a fun golfer to watch. This would have been his 24th Masters and he would have broken the record he is currently tied with Gary Player with for 23 consecutive Masters (without missing a cut). We watched him come within about 1 inch (literally) of making the cut. He didn't make it. Prior to playing he was interviewd, and he was very gracious and comfortable and said that if he didn't make it, well afterall he is "48 and he should miss some cuts!" I just have to say, Ya'll, I was BESIDE myself when he didn't make it. It is possible I was more upset than he was. Likely, as a matter of fact.

What does all this mean? I'm not gonna try to dress it up. I really don't know! Ha! I'm just trying to figure it out! I guess, transition, the changing of the guard, and making sure we take out whatever lion is troubling the people near us, is VERY important! Being flexible in the Hand of God, yielded,willing, gracious and valiant is very important.
Thanks for hanging out with me while I babble!
Hope you have a fabulous Sunday! Start praying now for a life changing encounter with God TOMORROW!

7 comments:

Regina said...

Awesome post Maria! With out growth and change we stagnate and die.

Denise said...

We must all be willing to let God help us to grow in various areas of our lifes. Thanks for sharing your wisdom sweet one.

luvmy4sons said...

Loved the pics. Change can be hard. I think it is about the unknown. I loved listening to your "ambling thoughts". I love it that you guys love golf! My husband has ALWAYS been a golf nut and we have always loved Freddy too! BUT we do grow old, we have to let go of things, we have to be weaned from our world...Got me thinking girlfriend. Thank you!

Knit-Wit said...

Great post! Change is an important part of life. Your post reminds me of a story...

A light bulb went out in church and the trustee board was considering changing it when a lady from the congregation exclaimed, "Change? What do you mean change? My mother donated that lightbulb to this church!"

freetofly said...

Regina - Thank you. Yes, change is vital. Nature is our witness to this fact.

Denise - you are so right, being yielded to His work in us, so so important. Thanks!

Leslie - Thank you! Right now, I guess I am at the place to be made willing to go through change, not at the point of knowing WHAT the change is...I'm good with that for now! I will continue to work on that with God! Cheers for Golf! Cheers for an aging gracefully, and valiantly Fred Couples! :)

Knit-Wit! That made me howl with laughter! So true, so true!

Happy Monday you all! Hope you have a bountiful week!

xoxo,
Maria

StaceyStace said...

I love this. I know the pit of sin, rebellion and shame from where I was pulled out, and now I am seeking daily to know exactly how to operate in the new and good pit you are referring to.
I am glad to know there are churches who recognize our brokeness and need of grace - and who also know God is our only hope.

Joyful Days said...

Lovely thoughts!! We change with each breath, but we can choose to change His way or our way. I am really struggling right now with trying to change my heart from crunchy and prickly to soft and focused on others. OOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhh a long way to go.

This is an old funny I read (can't remember where) "Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth." But sadly...too true for me. Thankfully He's willing to be patient even when I fight the changes.

Blessings,

Julie

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!