Monthly Archives: March 2009

Heart Clutter

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I’ve been cleaning stuff out lately. Purging things out of my life that are just taking up unnecessary space. If we have too much clutter in our life it actually takes away from our life instead of adding to it. And it’s not the big items- Like I have 14 couches or 8 beds.No. It’s the little things. The more I get rid of, the more free I become. Papers, clothes I don’t wear anymore, extra toys, games, etc.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Laying aside the weights that easily entangle me….
How many of us can say I’ve got the real big sins like, “I just can’t stop robbing banks or I keep stealing cars, or..well, you get the picture. God showed me that we all have ‘some’ clutter in our hearts. And that we need to go through and start asking Gods help to ‘purge’ some things.
If we want to do great things for God, if we are desiring to hear His voice, if we want Him to use us, then we’ve got to get real honest. What is the heart clutter that is holding you back from being all that God has called you to be?
Have you ever watched a show from TLC’s Clean Sweep or a special on hoarders? These are people who keep everything. It just started with a little clutter. Really, at first, no one even saw a problem. These people just continued to function (or somewhat function). But then, they collected more and more clutter without doing an evaluation on what they were taking in. And pretty soon they couldn’t function anymore.
Today I’m asking that God does an evaluation of the clutter in your heart. It’s time to take inventory.
Let me just tell you how good it feels to go through my house room by room and get rid of things that I really don’t need. It feels like my burden is lifted, my load is lighter. I only want to try and keep things around that contribute to the life that I want to live.
Does that mean everything is perfect now? No. I’ll be cleaning out the clutter for as long as I live! Why? Because my life is always changing. And so it goes with our hearts. There might be some clutter that Gods dealing with that we just need to get rid of. But it does not stop there. We need to daily ask God to take inventory.
Psalm 19:12-14
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
14 May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Let this be the beginning of your Spring Cleaning! :}

I Don’t Want To Go Through The Motions

This song has inspired me and challenged me. If you’ve never heard it, you really should look it up on ITunes. This is my hearts cry. I’m tired of going through the motions of life, I want God to come in and rock my world, I want change and I want to see change happen in the lives of others. It’s not me anymore- But it’s Christ who lives in me. My favorite line in the song: ‘What If I had Given Everything?” Instead of going through the motions…

Song by Matthew West ‘The Motions’

This might hurt
It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care
If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

No regrets
Not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love
Make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

We Are In A Spiritual Recession

Definition the recession: A general slowdown/decline in economic activity over a long period of time. Measured by employment, investment, spending, household income and business profits. All of these fall during a recession.

My personal definition of a spiritual recession: A general slowdown/decline in our time with God. Our weekly/daily spiritual routines slipping. Its gradual, over a long period of time. We go days and then weeks without ‘spending’ time with Jesus.

How does a person loose their passion for Jesus and the things of Him? How does this decline begin? Is it overnight or gradual? How does a person loose their compassion for the lost, the widows and the homeless? You see I believe satan is a good planner. He has a plan for you and me. He’s sneaky, and he tries to get us to loose our focus gradually, over a long period of time. It’s bigger than the fear of our finances or loosing our homes. While those are big things, those are not the things that should be our firm foundation. You see, my fear is that we are in a spiritual recession. We have lost our sight on those things that hold our faith together. Satan is watching and loves it when we loose sight of that which Jesus has called us to. We are loosing our grip on the things that matter. Some of us are so plagued by fear, we have turned our eyes from the things that matter most.

How do we get out of this spiritual recession? What should we be ‘investing’ in right now? While the stock markets may fall, I have an investment that will only bring a return in double and triple proportions. When we are in a economic recession we tend to ‘spend’ less. When we are in a ‘spiritual’ recession, we need to spend more. More time in His Word, more time in prayer. More time asking Him what our next step should be. Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Here’s some quotes from Barna that I found to be quite disturbing:

  • Although large majorities of the public claim to be “deeply spiritual” and say that their religious faith is “very important” in their life, only 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. As alarming as that finding was, its significance was magnified by research showing that on average pastors believe that 70% of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.
  • Three out of every four teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity. Among the most common of those endeavors are using a Ouija board, reading books about witchcraft or Wicca, playing games involving sorcery or witchcraft, having a “professional” do a palm reading or having their fortune told. Conversely, during the past year fewer than three out of every ten churched teenagers had received any teaching from their church about elements of the supernatural.
  • Most Americans have a period of time during their teen years when they are actively engaged in a church youth group. However, Barna’s tracking of young people showed that most of them had disengaged from organized religion during their twenties.

Four themes Barna found:

  1. Americans are very comfortable with religious faith.
  2. People do not have an accurate view of themselves when it comes to spirituality. American Christians are not as devoted to their faith as they like to believe.
  3. Barna’s third theme was that if people’s faith is objectively measured against a biblical standard of how faith is to be practiced, Americans are spiritually lukewarm. “Very limited effort is devoted to spiritual growth.
  4. Finally, the bestselling author of nearly 40 books contended that the most intriguing blip on the radar screen is the growth of various converging movements of deeply spiritual people who are departing from the conventional forms and communities of faith.

What does all this mean to us? For some of us, we have been asleep, and need to pray and ask the Lord to wake us up to the things of Him. To give us compassion, to get us out of out ‘comfort’ zone. We need to get out of cruise control in our parenting and our marriages. This can only happen as we, as a generation will start by ‘spending’ our time with God. Not out of fear, or from a to-do list, but so that He can open our eyes to the things of Him. So that we can pass the ‘spiritual’ torch to our children and stand up for what is right and stand up for truth. It’s not just our pastors job to feed us. We need to stop blaming him when we are not getting fed and begin by opening Gods Word. He has SO much for us to hear.

Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

During this spiritual recession, I pray our eyes would be open to the enemy’s schemes. I pray we would awaken and begin spending like never before. Spending on that which truly matters. Moments with Him that will alter the course of our future and the next generation to come.

What’s Your Mailbox?

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I was walking my dog Latte’ the other day. It’s funny, he had already peed on our mailbox- But he continued to lift his leg at every mailbox we walked by! Sometimes he would lift his leg (with no pee coming out) and other times its as if he was just needing to sniff it out! He had trouble just walking by the mailbox so we could get a good walk in.
The Lord spoke to me during this time and said, “What’s your mailbox?” Huh?! “What are the things that distract your ‘walk’ in life?” Oh, I get it Lord. What are the things that pull me away from walking the ‘straight and narrow’?
For some, I suppose it could be television- that could be a distraction for sure. For me, it could be things like shopping, time wasters (on the computer too much). Even the other day I was in Nordstrom Rack and I hit the shoe section ‘just to look’ and I said to myself, this is my mailbox!!
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
Am I saying shoes are evil?!! Absolutely not! (Quite the opposite) But for me, it was a temptation because I knew it would be an impulse buy, and I knew I didn’t need them.
With Latte’ (my dog), If we are going to get anywhere I have to say “Ahh Ahh Ahh” firmly and tug on his leash a bit, and then keep walking. Ever since I’ve had this analogy in my head I catch myself saying, “Ahh Ahh Ahh”and then walking away.
So I have to ask you today…What is your mailbox? What is it that pulls you, tempts you, but you know it’s not the best for you right now? Listen, when you find yourself in that situation, you just might hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Ahh Ahh Ahh”and tugging on you to keep walking.

Proverbs 4:25-27
25- Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you
26- Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm
27- Do not swerve to the right or left; Keep your foot from evil

Thought for the day: Sometimes it’s going to take us a lot longer to get where God’s trying to take us if we keep stopping!