Monday, October 26, 2009
"Whether a tree falls to the South or to the North, in the place where it falls, there will it lie." Ecclesiastes 11:3b
Why would a tree fall in any particular direction when it falls? I believe this depends on the way that tree was growing or leaning when it met it's ill fate. I read this scripture and it reminds me of my own life's trials. In recent years I have learned to trust God more and to lean into Him and I have found great comfort and strength in doing so. I can also remember times in my past when I tried to run away from God which only increased my loneliness, my suffering, and my pain. The second part of the verse above says that the tree will lie in the way it falls. Sometimes we will lie for a while when we fall too and I would much rather fall into God than fall into the world and all of it's uncertainties. Which way are you leaning today? Are you growing closer to God by leaning into Him or are you leaning away from Him when life's struggles and challenges come your way? My husband has a new book which is being released on November 12, 2009. The title is: "Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away" I am currently reading this book and I enjoying it very much. I believe that this book can change your relationship with God and with others as it will help you learn how lean on Him. You will discover how to integrate past disappointments and failures into a productive, healthy, guilt and shame-free present and future. If you want to pre-order Robert's book you can go to amazon.com and in the search box under "books" just type in, "Leaning Into God..."
I am convinced that God wants us to lean into Him, especially when we are blown around and sometimes crushed by the storms of life! He will keep us stabilized when our world is full of chaos.
I have also included the Publisher's Weekly review below. Until next week, always remember that no matter what you are going through, God is blessing you. Donna
Publisher's Weekly Review
Leaning into God When Life Is Pushing You Away Robert A. Schuller with William Kruidenier. FaithWords, $22.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-446-58098-4
Inspirational author Schuller offers readers who want to respond to adversity with, and through, faith a fine primer on pressing toward God despite pain and problems. Schuller, whose newest ministry is the television and Internet outlet ComStar Media, shares with readers the circumstances of his painful departure from leadership at the Crystal Cathedral founded by his father, Robert H. Schuller, and explains how this life-altering detour caused him to re-examine the foundations of his faith. Stronger from the experience, the author encourages fellow Christians to seek out God especially when life is darkest and confusion greatest. Readers will find solid resources: practical suggestions as well as numerous inspirational stories of real men and women who successfully faced down the giants in their lives. Schuller specifically addresses such issues as guilt, shame, regret, anxiety, disappointment and fear. In each chapter he offers fresh perspective, renewed hope and fresh faith tools for those going through hardship, as well as strong reminders that God is always present and never fails. (Nov.)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Yesterday I spent several hours at a women's event put on by "Imagine" of Newport Church Women. The day was power-packed with honest, straight-forward preaching from two amazing women. The first was the co-pastor of the Newport Church, Diana Wilson. She is awesome! The guest speaker was a world-reknown speaker, Christine Caine. She is from Newport Church's parent church, Hillsong, of Sydney, Australia. I love these Aussies for many reasons but I think the main reason their preaching resonates so strongly in my heart and soul is that it is no-nonsense preaching. No shallow platitudes, no worrying about political correctness or whether or not someone might be offended by the strength of their messages! I love it, they are so refreshing and honest! In one of Christine's messages yesterday she challenged everyone by asking the question, "how big is your God?" She went on to strongly deliver the truth that God is who He is; all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, all-loving, never-ending....
The problem lies in who we believe that He is. So I ask you...what is the size of your God? We either honor, respect and revere him for who He is and what He is or we minimize and doubt Him. It reminds me of the quote from Tozer: "Whatever comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you." Yesterday's message gave a whole new layer to my understanding of this quote. God is everything to me so why do I sometimes doubt or lack in complete trust? One of my favorite Bible verses is found in Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." I read again "assurance" and "conviction". It doesn't say "maybe" or "could be" does it?!
One of the best books on prayer that I have ever read is a very small book called, "How To Get Your Prayers Answered" by a Jewish Rabbi, Irwin Katsof. This small book completely changed my prayer life during a time when I had to be reminded just how big my God really is! One of the most important things I learned from Rabbi Katsof's writings was to first see the answered prayer and then approach God with thanksgiving as if He had already answered it. I will give you an example here: Instead of, "Dear God, please be with Anthony in Papua New Guinea, surround Him with your arms of protection so that he may reach many people with your good news....."
My prayers have changed to: "Dear God, I thank you so much that you are always with Anthony wherever he goes. I have the assurance that you are protecting him and shielding him right now as he shares your good news with many people". Can you see the difference here? I went from asking (which is sometimes begging!) to believing that God is already doing what I am asking...and He is!! He is a gigantic God and He can handle everything all the time. I am going to close now as I am running off to hear another great sermon this Sunday morning. Robert, Christina and I are going to hear Bobby at "The Gathering". I hope this gave you some food for thought and remember that God is blessing you!