January 15, 2012

One foot forward

I can read a verse a thousand times, but it seems everything comes together best on Sunday morning. My pastor is incredible --- honestly, every week the sermons just get better and better! ;)

He spoke mostly about the church and the way God intended it to be, according to clear verses in His Word. 

It was positively wonderful! 

There was one thing he said concerning fellowship which hit me like a boomerang gone wonky: "Talk to one another; speak to one another... you shy ones!" Everyone laughed, but it is so true --- week after week for some time, I've stood by in the corners, just watching all of the happy faces pleasantly when I should have gone out on a limb, risked the possibility of a few mumbles from my clumsy mouth, and tried to get to know those beautiful people. As soon as pastor said to do it, to pray to God for strength and get out there with the rest of my church family, I resolved not to let this Sunday go by without opening my mouth.

It was exhilarating, standing there with people I had never met, finally saying hello and offering all the small talk I had too long been holding back. My church is filled with such wonderful people! I wonder how I couldn't stand up and speak to them before....

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"Delighting in worldly things--effectually prevents our delighting in God. Therefore it is often the case, that the Lord strips us of these things, or incapacitates us to enjoy them--in order to bring us back to delight in Himself." -James Smith, The Believer's Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble

How precious a reminder!

One hour ago, I was just about done practicing the piano and wanted to sit down to play a little Spyro the Dragon on the PS2 for awhile. Well, I'm sure there's nothing wrong with playing games on occasion, but I kept thinking about what my pastor said this morning about prayer; to start small, if you must, but to be able to say one day in the future "I am devoted to prayer".
    So I took a deep breath, turned away from the TV set and sat down with my prayer journal and pen. I wrote down all of the little things I had heard that morning --- oh, she has laryngitis, I'll pray for her voice to return; oh, they just got back from their trip, I'll thank God for keeping them safe... and so on.

The point is, it's so easy for worldly things to get in the way; even simple, harmless little things like playing PlayStation. But when those suchlike things are so prevalent in our lives that a huge struggle has to take place, it would be a good time to at least take a break (if not remove that distraction entirely) and rediscover what is most important.

And believe me, it is so refreshing, so freeing... and so worth it!

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