Friday, February 5, 2010

Man requires sustinance within

A man built his home high in an alpine clearing. He loved those mountains, their rugged beauty, the stars looming large in the night sky and the solitude of his surroundings. In ignorance of all that was going on in the world he busys himself with the routines that sustain his simple existence. He utilized the natural resources around him, hunted and foraged for food, retrieved water from a nearby spring and fell trees to build a dwelling place and use for fuel to burn. Day after day he worked to provide for himself but found no contentment in his rustic existence. Eventually he came to realize that within him a deep loneliness was taking root. An unrelenting loneliness was his companion accompanying him in all his endeavors. No amount of work, exertion or contemplation could repress this loneliness that continued to grow within him.

Month after month went by and the seasons changed. Fall gave way to winter and he prepared his dwelling place with the supplies he would need to wait out the long cold days and nights. Eventually the winds began to blow bringing with it torrential rains. It rained heavy for a few days until it gave way to hail and the hail in turn gradually gave way to snow. Watching this weather descend upon him and recognizing its increasing severity he felt compelled to retreat from its clutches. Quickly he got some basic supplies together and threw on his warmest clothes. He started down the mountain as the weather continued to deteriorate and bear down on him. This caused him to panic a little and so he began to jog but the inevitable happened the snow overtook him.Once again his pace was slowed. So much snow was falling that he could no longer walk due to how deep it was. At this point he began to fear for his life and in his desperation he yelled out, "please help me". At that very moment an avalanche roared down the mountain side. Unable to get out of its path it consumed him and carried him within its mass.

As he awoke he realized that he had survived this horrific ordeal. Looking around as he lay there trying to regain his bearings he realized that he was actually in a lush green field. Replaying the events that he had just been through in his mind he became quite perplexed. Slowly he stood up and began to try and make make some sense of his surroundings. A valley filled with gentle rolling hills and meadows spread out before him. Still puzzled about his ordeal he looked over his shoulder and began to piece together the extent of what had occurred. A wall of rock loomed high above him which slowly gave way to a rocky terrain spotted with clusters of trees. Beyond this the mountain remained shrouded with dark clouds.

While starring at ominous sight a man suddenly appeared and stood at his side. He spoke softly and said, "I heard you say you wanted help". It was I who sent the avalanche to carry you safely into this valley. It was I that created the spring from which you drew water to quench your thirst. It was I who planted the seedlings and gave them water that they might grow into the mighty trees you used for shelter, cooking and heat. Yes it was I that directed your attention to the loneliness that existed within you and it was I that compelled you to flee in the face of imminent danger. This mountain is in a season of change and upheaval just as you are. I am the architect and fulfillment of the peace you long for within.

Kelly Friesen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Conforming or being Transformed

Conforming or to be transformed are two lifestyle choices that lead us on distinctly different journeys in life.

It would seem that many Christians have confused these and thus have settled for something less fulfilling. One of these paths leads unto righteousness and maturity the other unto compromise and the following after that which is popularized by the majority.

To transform is to change the essence of the inner being. It is to contemplate past present and future while taking happiness dreams desires faith and relationship into consideration. To integrate new revelation understanding ideals into your belief system, to see the world in a new light.

Conforming is to bend to the pressures of an outside influence. It is to become a follower without knowing who is setting the standard. The inner being is considered irrelevant for conformity deals with the outward appearances, with uniformity, with trendiness and status.

Will you exhibit the same character actions and speech in the presence of those of the world as you do while interacting with your brothers and sisters in Christ? How about your demeanor in the presence of God, does conformity pervade your character and attitude or has your heart been saturated with a love that has inspired a transformation to take place? Live your life as unto the Lord your God. We are not here to merely fit in taking special care or precautions to gain acceptance. Live what you believe and not as a hypocrite for we are not of two minds, of two hearts, of two sets of beliefs. Conformity is a choice often associated with with fear, relational need or dysfunction, insecurity, loneliness, companionship and a longing to feeling connected. Conformity is a way to live an obscure life. It promotes a false sense of security in its attempt to ensure you are not singled out rejected or persecuted. To feel included and integrated into the norms of society gives the flesh resurgence to lead.

Transformation leaves room for discovery, for exploration, for reflection, correction, creativity and personal identity. Concepts and lifestyle choices are analyzed and contemplated leading unto a decision being made to incorporate or reject as something new is presented or discovered. Our transformation overcomes conformity for our consecration unto righteousness holiness and maturity in Christ Jesus has set us apart from those consumed by worldliness. A transformed life gives purpose direction and goal to those that have taken the time to nurture their inner beings. When leadership stems from a transformed heart righteousness love and freedom in Christ prevail. The transformation of our hearts and lives are our witness in the midst of a world that has embraced conformity.

1 Peter 1:13-17
Therefore prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance but just as he who called you is holy so be holy in all you do. For it is written be holy because I am holy. Since you call on a Father who judges each mans work impartially live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

1 Peter 2:9-10
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Becoming more than I am

I am more than the sum of my outward accomplishments

- I have a heart therefore I can feel, love, believe and make a difference
- I have a mind therefore I can think, contemplate, choose and remember
- I have a spirit that must intimately connect with Gods Spirit. It must be nurtured or all hope will be lost
- My soul relys on heart, mind and spirit for its well being and health
- Provision is important but will not supersceed my dependence upon God as my provider and sustainer
-The accumulation of wealth or money will not overshadow the sustaining or pursuing of relationship
- My character love service and faith define me to a greater degree than all that I may accomplish or do in the sight of man

I desire to grow in wisdom and stature
I desire to better myself relationally academically lovingly daily
I desire to see the truth within me and without
I desire to reach for goals that require me to be dependent upon God to direct my steps in order to see their fruition
I desire to achieve something in my lifetime that has a lasting affect upon future generations
I desire to rest in unconditional love
I desire to have an intimate relationship with my God
I desire to pursue relationships and build upon them
I desire to leave a legacy dedicated to God
I desire to lead my family down the path of righteousness
I desire to search out and know the mysteries of Gods love in my heart
I desire to embrace wisdom, maturity and humility until the end of my days
I desire to embrace Gods best for me

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A wise investment

Wealth, the desire to gain a measure of financial freedom and retirement are a few common goals that prompt many to invest for their future security. The thoughts and plans of one person will most certainly differ from those of another therefore they will also have differing ideas as to what kinds of investments they should make with the resources they poses. Many of us seem to take that which we should be investing in daily for granted but this is to the detriment of our well being. Greed neglect laziness mismanagement sin and self-centeredness diminish the fundamental resources within our care. So the question is, What kinds of investments should we consider as solid and wise and is there an investment that can guarantee a return.

A contemplation of long term happiness

One man put all his energy and strength into succeeding in his workplace. Fear drove this man to strive hard in an effort to show how valuable and indispensable he was.

One happily worked at a job that provided enough to pay the bills with a small sum left over at the end of each month. He chose to invest the little he had in regards to resources and time into his relationships.

Another man invested all his resources into the stock market. He agreed that this would be a smart investment for it was exactly what every one of his peers were doing.

Another chose to invest all his resources into the acquisition of property. This seemed like a secure investment with little risk.

Still another man horded all he had not trusting any but himself. All he had in surplus and resources he hid away.

Now which one of these men do you think invested wisely.

All of the scenarios listed above involve a level of risk in one way or another. No one knows what tomorrow will usher in but still we plan and prepare for the future as best we can. Investment is wise but we must remember money is not the only resource worthy of our consideration in regards to this matter. Happiness quality of life relationship the condition of the heart addiction attitude and the presence of love within and without are factors that will also play a role in determining short term and long term goals and how we choose to invest our assets or resources.

To invest in love serving relationship and the preferring of one another over self will guarantee a return. To invest in relationship with Jesus must result in dividends therefore the same will be true in the relationships of life though to a lesser degree. So what are the dividends that result in
making a relational commitment to Jesus. The essence of our being is transformed, healed, restored, nurtured, and refreshed. Character, attitude, faith, desire, dreams, priorities and emotions will change as love is revealed to the inner man, as maturity continues to build, as humility takes root. To wisely use the resources that have been entrusted to us adds purpose and joy to life

Care and concern for the inner being and the priority to which we put on relationship will always affect our outlook on life and the joy we experience as we travel the paths we chose to set out upon.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Descision will be made

Has God ever said to you "follow me through this door of opportunity this is the path for you"

Have you ever been talking with God and had him lay out a number of choices before you.

Towards relational maturity
-Involve Jesus when contemplating the decisions that impact direction and lifestyle.
-Learning to discern the voice of Jesus
-Learning to wait on God
-Hearing from God in regards to the daily living of life
-Embracing obedience to heighten relational depth
-As opportunities present themselves are we willing to go before God and ask him for his input direction wisdom
-Is this a door through which new adventures, new or more difficult challenges, new revelation will shape my character and encourage my maturation
-As we come to a crossroad of choice which one requires greater faith, greater reliance upon Jesus, instills humility within, builds stewardship and integrity
-Do the choices I make encourage intimacy with Jesus or distance me from it

Have you desired something more (more ambition, relational depth, greater freedom), a life more fulfilling, Have you had a need, a want, or a dream. Have you longed for greater responsibilities, adventure or change within or without

Have you attempted to bring these before God and heard him say "you could do that" and quickly started down that path of choice. The wise embrace integrity, faith, loving, trusting and righteousness as they walk through the doors of choice in their lives. Jesus desires to walk with us, teach us, nurture us and prepare us even when the path chosen is one filled with hardship, struggles, financial mismanagement or foolish decisions. But how indepth will we involve Jesus in the decisions of life. "You could do that"may look like like a green light or an affirmation but it is also a statement that should probably lead us to ask Jesus a few more questions before running off.

It is as we stay in the presence of Jesus, with open heart and a listening ear that clarity and wisdom are more likely to shape the choices of life. The statement "you could do that " may mean that this path of choice is not going to be an easy road to travel down, it may be a path littered with obstacles temptation or idols but still we have been given the freedom to choose. It may mean the hardships, challenges and tough choices along this road are greater, more time consuming or more likely to cause unnecessary relational conflict. To take that particular door of decision may mean we settled for second best or something less fulfilling. But none the less Jesus will continue to pursue us no matter what decision is made for his love is unconditional.

Why not ask God "Is this what is best for me at this time"or "what are your thoughts on this matter". To inquire of God is to set out upon the path of righteousness. To wait and listen to his reply, experience his love or be filled with his peace are the practice of the mature.

Monday, May 5, 2008

life in an elevator

There are not many roads that lead to heaven. Science has been unable to prove that creation did not occur. Atheists have been unable to explain miracles, evolution, love, right and wrong. Archaeologists continue to uncover proof that the Bible and it's accounts of events in history are true. The world around us continues to deny that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light. They refuse to believe that no man may enter into heaven unless they enter through Jesus.

Five people were standing in an elevator. This elevator had a door and three windows, one on each wall. The elevator was slowly ascending and would not stop until it reached its final destination. One of the five began to speak and said, " this is going to be a long ride for us but I know how to get out of this box we are in. There will come a time when the wall behind me will open and we will be able to walk safely out of here together. Trust me and believe that what I have said will come to pass." Eventually one person decided looked out the window closest to him. Stretching out before him were many great and wondrous things, curiosity excitement and desire overwhelmed him. He declared, "I am going to choose my own way out of here." He opened the window and stated, "This must be paradise!" then jumped out. The man whom had spoken first urged the remaining three to stay on the elevator and trust him. But another looked out and saw great beauty as far as the eye could see. He too opened a window and called out, "Surely, this is paradise, I can't imagine any place more beautiful than this!" so he to jumped out a window. The first man once again, said "Trust me and have faith for all that I have told you will come to pass. Wait with me just a little longer". But again another looked out the last remaining window and was awestruck by what he saw. A great city reflecting the sun's light shone brightly before him. From the height that they were at he thought the city to be a place for kings and royalty and so he too opened a window and jumped. The man standing in front of the elevator doors once again spoke, "muster up your courage, trust me and have faith for if you wait with me you will find contentment peace and a destiny beyond imagination. The walls behind me will open and we will be able to walk out safely. " So the last man standing there decided to put his trust in the hands of the first man. His wisdom and concern, his compassion and love compelled the remaining one to patiently wait. So the two of them waited and after a little more time had pasted the elevator stopped and low and behold the doors opened. The two men walked safely off the elevator into paradise. The wise man put his arm around the shoulder of the one whom had put his faith in him and said welcome home son. "My name is Jesus".