Tag Archives: Jesus

Seeking the Best

Sitting here in my usual spot. Saturday mornings…Friday nights…Saturday nights..Monday nights…it really doesn’t matter. As long as there is an assignment due I am here at this table in this fast food joint…working on that assignment. I can no longer work from home. Not right now. Maybe after I create a “cubicle” I can focus…but right now I am surrounded by the work that needs accomplished there. It just occupies my mind so much I find it impossible to work on assignments which have deadlines. I have to leave home. In order to accomplish an important task I have to leave other important tasks. I have to make choices about what must be first on my list. This means I have to prioritize.

So, here I am…surrounded by this massive mess of papers…all of them making some sort of sense to me…each one containing information I need…some of it in just a few days when the midterm is taken.

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   But….once again…I have to sort through the pile…determine what I need to focus on first. I have to sort it into piles that I can then organize and use in an effective manner. If I don’t I will find myself at a loss as to which information goes in what order and I will be unable to use what I have in front of me wisely. I will fail because I didn’t choose to prioritize.

   So…I start out with the toughest subject for me…the Spanish. That’s the one I really struggle through…though I will be thrilled when I gain mastery…right now I am a toddler on the playing field. Still…that’s where I have to start…sort out all the Spanish material.

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   But wait…was that really where I needed to start today? I mean…was it truthfully the most important place for me to begin my day? If I start with Spanish as my first thought will it inspire me to do the most important things in my day?

   The answer to that is what I have been pondering…………..

        You see….I am surrounded by important things to focus on. I am surrounded by other people’s thoughts, actions, motivations. I am surrounded by philosophy, religion, politics, emotion, need, opportunity. What I am not surrounded by is people willing to remind me of the first thing…the best thing…the most honorable and praise worthy thing. No. That I have to bring to the table myself. That I have to fight for. That has to be an intentional thing each and every day of my life. It has to be the first thing I think of. It has to be intentionally the first thing I run to. If it isn’t I am lost. If it isn’t I have no idea how to function in my day. I may think I do, but at the end of the day I will find that I made many bad choices that day. I chose the lesser of goods and did not hit the mark of excellence. Not that all the things I strive for are bad. Just that there are good and then there are the best. I want the best. How will I get there?

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    Right here…in the written word of God. I will find His voice…speaking so sweetly to me…speaking in such a corrective tone to me…I will find Him guiding and chastening. I will find the answers to the the questions that plague me each morning. This is the best. This is choosing between the good and the best. The rest of my day will be guided correctly if I first seek HIM in these pages.

   One of my worst issues of late is how I view people. I sit here working on these lessons…and people watch. I am so judgmental. It is so easy to feel arrogant when I sit here in my little “fast food office” looking out at others. It is easy to think I would choose better for them or that they are too arrogant themselves. It is so easy to think I KNOW what they are doing or are about. It is so easy. Yet, I have no idea. I am not in their lives. I know only this small moment in their own story. I can’t even tell you I understand and KNOW my husband and kids. How could I know these people who I spend no real time with? I can’t. That’s just it. I can’t. It is terribly arrogant of me to think I can…to be deceived by the heart which God said in His word always would trick me into believing something other than truth.

   And even if I could….would it be right for me to choose to? I mean….think about it….who should I judge? My own self. That is the only person I should judge. My own person. I should compete against my own self and judge my own actions against my own actions and in light of the Word of the ever living God. That is the only way to properly operate. And…this should be the first thing in my day and the last thing in my day. This should be the way I operate all through my day. This should be the way I live…and as I breathe…so should I pray….about this and every other matter that comes to me. And I should people watch less. Until I can master my own thoughts….I should people watch less. You see….if your hand offends you….right? If you are unable to do something without sinning…you must let it go…at least until you have mastery over your own self. This is the only way to operate. This is the right way.

   Good. Better. Best. Many times we choose the good. It isn’t wrong to choose the good. I mean…the homework needs doing. So does the laundry. The dishes. The meals need cooked.

   Often we manage to prioritize up to the better. We sit down with the family for a family night. We have conversations with our kids. We have a coffee with our spouse and catch up. We let go of the good long enough to embrace what we see is the better. It makes our life better. It blesses those around us…especially if we then go ahead and do the good after we have seen to the better.

   Excellence is seen in the best. Excellence is seen in waking to the very best that we could have. It is seen in seeking the face of our God first …..as the light dawns so does our heart cry out to Him. As the coffee brews our fingers are turning the pages of His word and seeking the light of His voice for ourselves on that day. As our families wake from the night’s rest we are prepared with His corrective word and loving guidance to know how to love and care for them that day. We are ready to face our work. We are sure of our priorities. This is the best. This is how excellence is achieved…and it is also how we abide in Him. The only place real fruit can be found is when we abide in Him.

   It is easy to get off track. It is easy to lose site of what is good, better and best. It is easy to think that we need to do something before we seek the Lord and that we need to wash the dishes before we talk to that child. It is easy to think these “best” and “better” things will wait. But our Lord asks we abide with Him in the present tense, and our children grow up each and every day, whether we are watching or not. Our relationships grow cold unless we stir the embers of love and friendship. These are things which must be dealt with first…and in the proper order.

   During this lenten season let us seek to prioritize what is good, better and best so that we are the most fruitful for the One who loves us best.

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Hungry for Love

Walking down the lane I see so many things. The geese as they journey both north and south, depending on the season we are in….the cattails as they grow so tall during the wet season. I see the cardinals converse in the hedge along the ditch, and I see the traffic. All those cars come and go while I try to have my quiet time on that road. It seems each and every one of them is determined to stop the quiet. With their racing wheels and loud engines at speeds not safe for this pedestrian…they travel to work. They travel to shop. They travel to school. They travel to the doctor. They travel to see a friend. Each one of them has a story to tell. Each one of them has a need. Maybe they need comfort. Maybe they need to get to work on time and they are late. Maybe they need to get that hug from a friend. What all of them need is love. They are hungry for it. Maybe they don’t recognize it…like I don’t always see my own need…but they need it. They are hungry for it. That’s why they rush to buy things and seek out people instead of being comfortable alone. They need to fill that place so deep inside. That place is where love fits. The only love able to fit there is the love Jesus offers.
Sometimes we are afraid to go to Jesus for that love. We feel, with all our sins, we are too unworthy. What we fail to realize is….that place where our sin is the worst….that is the very place Jesus wants to be. That is the place where He will walk with us over and over and over…day after day after day. It will never end. He will take that trait in us…that one that makes us the very worst…and create in us the very best. We all do truly have a God shaped hole…and find no rest until we allow Him to be our every waking breath. As we breathe so should we pray, and as we go about our day so should the Holy Spirit be the one to determine where those steps will come from and where they shall go. Not because we are special above others…but because we are being guided by the only one who can guide us correctly.
May we each and every one trust His guiding hand.

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Dark Night of the Soul

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 Darkness seeks to destroy….to come at me with all the pain and fear darkness is so famous for. A place where I feel nothing. God is not present in my senses….He is not there to be held within my heart as real. Senses so human must be removed. Impure loves, lusts, selfishness and hatred…all must go. My dreams, desires and personal plans. My hopes. My social circles. My daily pleasures and comforts. All must go. Deep into the grave of pain and crucifixion must I remain….bathed in burial linens until the time that I am set free…new….clean…His. And so…though it is painful…though it seems hopeless…I hold on. I hold on to Him. To what I cannot see. I cannot feel. To what I cannot know. Each day….another thing must go. Each day…a new loss. Yet this is His way. To see that which has been my dearest treasure taken from me. For only He can be my treasure. He is a selfish God who seeks to give me only Himself…and is jealous to give me nothing more….for in that place alone will I have rest. It is for my good He injures me. Spare me not…Lover of my soul….though I weep…I will find rest in You when the work is done.

Kris Fasse     January 24, 2015

Nothing So Precious

Could anything be more precious than the morning mist rising from rich , green grass?

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Than geese flying happily across the majestic blue sky?

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Each and every part of creation obeying His command…

   All except man….

May we watch the birds as Jesus said and follow the example of bird and flower…living our lives as worship for our great and mighty King….

Fruit Grows …..

   Fruit…it grows in crazy places…like in a briar filled cove. That is where I find some of my favorite fruits. Blackberries and dewberries. Wild ones. I didn’t plant them. God did. People have said many times I should cut them down..but I love them. Wild cherries…they are tiny…very difficult to gather enough of to do any real thing with..but so sweet and wonderful is the taste of that tiny drop of goodness. These are gifts from God. Wonderful gifts from God. But…they take effort to reach. Gifts that require effort. The bounty received after I make the effort is just glorious…but I labor and sweat for that bounty….and so is the journey to spiritual fruit.
   I deal with the briars…my emotions…my sins…my doubts..my wounds. I fight through them…and let me tell you…I get scraped up. I get hurt. I get cut. I am left bleeding sometimes. Alot of the time. And still I am in the midst of the thicket…tied up in vines…and still no fruit.
   Sometimes…as I fight through the tangled bramble I find I am stuck..trapped…unable to continue down that path and must, instead, change directions. It isn’t always easy. Those turns and twists are painful. I just fought halfway down a path before I saw I couldn’t continue. I got cut up. I was covered in sweat. Maybe a serpent or two met me along the way. And now…halfway through…I find it was the wrong way. I feel tired. I feel frustrated. But I turn, and begin the new journey…if a little less enthusiastically.
   And then it happens. I see the first piece of fruit. The first jewel glistening in the sun…ripe and just waiting for the pickin. What is it? I managed to forgive someone I fought with. I managed not to tell my friend when my husband was unkind. I spoke softly to the rude teller at the bank. I was kind to my husband. I was kind to my kids. I was nice to the neighbor kids. I made it! Savoring the fruit of the moment is sweet. And yes..I am bleeding. It took a great effort…but the sweetness of the moment..the juicy goodness of the fruit….it is just amazing.
   I do not find that fruit as much as I want. I recognize my weakness. How much grace I truly need!
   Father..in your goodness you forgive me. I need that help. I need that more than anyone else I know. Thank you for mercy….

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But for Grace….

But for grace I would be lost. But for mercy I would have no opportunity to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. But for grace I would be hopeless. But for mercy I would be shamed by the very God I seek to serve. But for grace I would have no opportunity to know the love of a Savior, magnificent in all His holiness. But for love…but for mercy….but for grace….not of my own…only in Him. 

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Is there someone who needs that mercy…that love…that grace…passed forward today? Is there someone who needs to hear that He is big enough to heal the deepest wounds of the most broken heart? Is there someone who needs to know that shame does not have to last forever? Is there someone who needs to hear that what they see in the hardened hearts of those around them in church does not reflect the heart of the Father who is gently calling them home? Can I be an instrument of that message? Only if He does it through me today. I am …first and foremost…a sinner. I am in deepest need of the cleansing power of the God who desires me as His own. I must see…through the veil darkly…but through the eyes He has given me…each and every person as being just like me. The challenge is not to look the shiniest or to be the loudest or the most successful. The challenge…whether we have admitted it in the modern church or not…is to be the one who beats people up the least. The one who is able to overcome the hurt and pain and hate and to find the place where only His love shines through our eyes…no matter who we see or what they do. It is a place higher than I reside…yet one I seek to attain to. Please help me Jesus. 

Let’s pray for one another in this… 

Amen….