19 April 2010

Multitude Monday ~ 1000 Gifts

I've been meaning to do this for an embarrassingly long time, now... I've been Holy Spirit prompted and so it is an act of obedience. Even more importantly, it will be a regular opportunity to remind myself of all for which I have reason to be thankful and how every good and perfect gift comes from above, even when I don't always recognize it as a gift, much less "see" the Giver. Most important of all, if the heavens declare the glories of God and even the stones cry out at His majesty, I need and want to take a few moments in which I regularly and consciously seek to direct eyes off of us and our family and onto Him.

Thus, I must confess that my delay has been disobedience. I could give excuses: busy kids galore, traveling, illness, choosing other priorities... but excuses don't change the fact that I've not done something I've known I needed to do. We teach our children that obedience is not just doing what they've been told to do - it is that & doing it right away, without any complaining or questioning, exactly as told and with a sweet attitude. I definitely failed on the not questioning and immediate side of obedience this time... I claimed the excuse that I was "too busy" and that I had "other priorities." But really, when I know the Lord is prompting me to do something, something that will direct my eyes towards Him in more conscious, continual worship and that will hopefully encourage a few others along the way, well... should there be ANY other priority?

Thankfully, He's patient, gentle, and forgives with grace beyond measure and infinite mercy, if only we humble ourselves and ask. I have. And now, rather than presume on His grace and mercy, I figured I'd better get this started.

I started reading Holy Experience a few years ago and every week (if not several times each week) I am challenged by what I read. Ann Voskamp encourages her readers to join her in regularly and continually thanking God for the multitudes of mercies and the gentle grace He gifts to us each week... each day... each hour. "Earth is crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God," if we commit ourselves to seeing Him in every circumstance - the mundane commonplace and the exciting unusual. Grateful awareness and acknowledgement is learned and best practiced, asking God to open eyes each moment to the evidence of His hand and His love. What better way to truly live in His presence day in and day out, keeping record of each heaven encounter throughout the day...? of answered prayer...? of blessings...? of sustenance in suffering...? It is kind of like the "God spy" games I've often played with our children. Someday, I want to say with Job, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you..."

So this week, I'm finally plunging in~

I read something the other day that highlights the number one thing on my list of "1000 Gifts": "...gods... aren't alive, just immortal; and with immortality most of the qualities we cherish become pointless. With nothing to risk, the gods need no courage." (Susan Neiman in Moral Clarity)

1. Jesus lives! None of what Ms. Neiman wrote is true about my God. My God is unlike any other worshipped ever, anywhere. He risked all, became mortal and walked this earth just like any man; He learned (just as I am) and chose obedience to the Father over and over in every circumstance; then He suffered and died to satisfy the penalty for my sin. His Father raised Him from the tomb so that someday I will join Him for eternity in Heaven.

And if that were forever my only reason for thanks, it is more than I could have ever hoped, a debt I could never imagine repaying... Instead, it is only the beginning of His extravagant, lavish love...

holy experience

Read today's Multitude Monday post at Holy Experience:

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