Our Wonder Room

Adventures in Finding God

Gentle Whisper

“After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:12

My body is wired, at least up to this point in my life, to be one that is early-to-bed and early-to-rise. Sometimes though that gets thrown way off and I find myself unable to get back to sleep at some insane hour of the morning, like 2:15 this morning. What I have found, however, is that sometimes the very reason that I am unable to fall back to sleep is that I am not meant to be asleep. God is using a “gentle whisper” to encourage me to act upon the restlessness and perhaps spend time with Him. No earthquake or fire needed. Maybe only for a few minutes, or maybe a few hours.

So, this morning I found myself earnestly working on a devotional for Advent. The theme is going to be reflecting on the names of God. And, yes, one name definitely included will be “gentle whisper.”

May God bless you today by revealing His very nature. Maybe as Comforter. Maybe as King. Maybe simply as Wonderful.

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We Underestimate

This drafted email has been sitting in my box since Tuesday morning. Not sure exactly why. Then this morning, as I found myself reflecting on the events in the University District down in Seattle yesterday, I found myself thinking about how much more I can do to “turn a life around” as Buscaglia says below. Every interaction I have with someone is a chance to show the love of Christ. It would be arrogant to think that I could have said anything to the gunman yesterday in Seattle to have prevented what happened, but as a child of God our life is to be filled with hope. Hope that what we do and say will impact the lives of others and win souls for Christ. The devil has won if I fall to the deception that what am capable of doing makes no difference. May we find time to pray for the families and friends affected by the shootings yesterday.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
-Leo Buscaglia

How easy it is for me to underestimate what I am capable of doing in the lives of others. What I like about Buscaglia’s words as I read them this morning is that they leave room for each of us to share God’s love in our own way. No matter how we choose to relate to friends and strangers around us, the important thing is that we give ourselves over each day to be His instrument. If we are willing, He is able to turn the smallest gesture into a POWERFUL moment in the life of another.

“But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

– Hebrews 3:13

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Your Happy

“Their happy is too loud.”
– Spoke by Rosie in ‘We Bought a Zoo’

On Friday night Lori and I watched ‘We Bought a Zoo.’ One of the things that has stuck with me is that line above, uttered by Rosie early in the movie.

It is so easy for me to get bogged down in the “stuff” of the moment or of the day and loose sight of the many reasons I have to be happy. As a follower of Christ I have been given so much for which to be grateful, and I am looking forward to an INCREDIBLE eternity. My happy should be loud. Borrowing and altering those words, “they will know we are Christians by our happy.”

Listent to these words…

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
—John 8:12 (NIV)

You and I have been given THE most incredible gift. Let that Light shine through us, through our happy. Let the fruit of the Spirit be our loud happy – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ”
– Galatians 5:22-23

And if that’s the kind of happy that gets too loud, then it might just be because someone else isn’t accustomed to the joyful noise.

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What Qalifications

“God doesn’t call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them.”
–Richard Parker

When I look back on so many situations (both long-running and short-term) I can see the application of Parker’s words. I am not necessarily talking about job positions that I applied, for many are those for which I was willing but not the most qualified. More I am talking about opportunities to serve Him. Opportunities to walk alongside somebody and offer up encouragement, a smile, or a helping hand.

Take these emails, for example. When I sent the very first one I surely didn’t feel qualified, but I was willing. Even now I feel a little more qualified but rely more on my willingness and the faith that God will wrap His grace around my words. When I published my first book, and as I contemplate a third, I still don’t feel “qualified”. But I am willing.

I remember going to work on a Habitat for Humanity house in Sumas and having no idea what I was doing as I was asked to put siding on a house. I obviously was willing. And so God surrounded me with others to instruct me. My willingness qualified me for the job He then put before me.

As each of us strives to grow in our relationship with God, we need to stand with confidence in our willingness (to do His work, just so we’re clear) more than our qualifications. Boy, do I feel like an infant in this area. Yet I need to find my strength in knowing that God, in His infinite wisdom wraps His grace around my willingness. Your willingness. Christ was fully man and look what he was willing to do. Whoa!

Where am I, where are you, willing to step out in confidence today?

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