Saturday, July 14, 2012

"So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom." -Psalm 90:12

Early this morning,  I sat quietly with God before my work day started,  I was struck by eternity. When I really take a few minutes just to THINK about where I'll be in 50 years or so, I am awed by my mortality and by the truth that this world is just a breath, my body is just a vapor, and my soul will never end. I am filled with a holy fear but also a mighty anticipation! 

Today, I am bound to earth.
Separated from my God by a wall of flesh.
Today, I can serve Him by faith.
Today, I can fight the battle and overcome.
Today, I can love Him who I can't see.
Today, I can offer my body as a living sacrifice.
Today, I can hope for Home.
Today, I can delight His heart by choosing Him over the myriad of distractions that will clamor for my attention.

This is the privilege I have today; but when the line of worlds is crossed and I enter eternity, I will never, ever have these privileges again. Earth is a unique opportunity to live for Him who died for me in a way I never will be able to in eternity. I can offer Him
My body,
My time,
My will,
My sins...
Only on earth.

Oh God, I have such a short time! Give me to walk worthily, thankfully, holily!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"Take me to You, imprison me.

For I, except You enthrall me,

Never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, 

Except You ravish me."

-J. Donne

Friday, July 06, 2012

Tears on the 4th

The Founding Fathers Pray for Guidance
I kinda' had a hard time celebrating this July 4th.

Because of a quote I heard.

I'm positive I had heard the quote before, but it had not had the same effect on me in the past. A few days ago while watching a documentary I heard this, one of the opening lines from the Mayflower Compact:
"Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country..."
 It shocked me. Yes, I know that America was founded by followers of Christ who were seeking freedom to worship Him, etc. I am very well acquainted with our history because I love our history. It's what I'm thinking of when I say "I'm proud to be an American." I'm proud of what we were founded on. The part we've played in God's plan for the world. The men who shaped us in our infancy. The vestiges of our Christian heritage that still cling to us.

When I heard that quote though, I was filled with such searing, hot indignation. Anger, even. I'm angry that children in our schools don't even know the truth about who the pilgrims were or why they came. I'm indignant that our history books are being selectively chopped up like pieces of meat in a butcher shop at best....and re-written at worst. I'm furious that because our founders-- the men who deserve our respect and thanks and honor-- don't fit neatly into the postmodern package we'd like them to, we either ignore their legacy or misrepresent it. I am grieved beyond words that the entire reason our ancestors founded this nation--FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND ADVANCEMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH-- is now offensive to those who run many of our schools and walk our streets and rule in our politics.

On Wednesday morning, the morning of Independence Day,  I sat down on Dad's big red leather chair to have my time with Jesus. I got out my journal and Bible and began to pray like normal, and all of the sudden I just couldn't keep my mind on "my devotions" anymore. The phrase kept going through my mind:  
For the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith...
           For the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith...
                    For the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith...

...And then my heart seemed to break all of the sudden. I saw so clearly that God had birthed our nation for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom; had led us with such tender care and beautiful precision and done so many miracles for us; and yet like the fools we are, in just a few hundred years--nothing in the lifespan of a nation!-- we have turned our back on Him to the extent that His very name is controversial or banned in our public prayers.
Oh, how we have sinned!
Oh, how we have invoked the wrath of the Almighty to fall on us!

I began to weep. And then I literally fell to the floor on my face before God as sobs shook my body and my cries to the Father grew louder and more desperate.

Okay; you need to know this before I go on: I am not that kind of person, usually.
I wish I could say I was, because it's certainly the kind of pray-er I want to be.
But, I'm not trying to make myself out to be some super Christian who pours my heart out to God in tears and fervency on a regular basis. In fact even as my tears flowed and the burden of my heart impassioned me I was amazed and I knew that this was not "Dani" doing this. This was God's Spirit giving me a tiny taste of the ache I should have for my people, my country. These tears, this burden, these scales falling from my eyes were a gift from God originating from far outside of myself and I couldn't take the credit for them anymore than if I'd suddenly been given the divine skill to play the cello like YoYo Ma. The power to pray true effective and fervent prayers can't be conjured up by emotions or willpower or good behavior. (Believe me; I've tried all three and it doesn't work.) We must be GIFTED with the mercy and grace to come before God in the spirit we should. We must be me gifted with His presence.

The time ended to soon. I wish I could say I spent hours--even ONE hour--there on my face before God but I had a schedule to keep and unfortunately I kept it. I regret that. It was a precious time, praying for my country.

The prayers also turned inward. When one is begging God to send a revival--which is what I was praying for--the prayers have to turn to the prayer him/herself.
It starts inside of individuals.
It starts inside of me.
God is awakening us.
That's what happened to me on July 4th. And I want it to continue in my heart. But I know it's not just me. I talk to my friends and I read reports and I see even just in my own church what He's up to, and I literally get goosebumps. I don't think God wants to be finished with us yet. Here's why: His glory hasn't yet spread to the ends of the earth and America can still have a part in that!

 I am longing to see revival. What does that mean? Today I listened to this little gem of a sermon:  ...And it made me long even MORE for what God can do! He could do this again!!! I believe it can  happen. I am determined to spend the rest of my life, if need be, waiting for it and praying for it and doing my part to see that it takes place at least--at very least--within me!

Oh, God: bless America, land that I love.
Not with more wealth.
Not with good politics.
Not with peace.
Not with a good economy.
But with an outpouring of the power of Your Spirit that will make the hearts of those who hear of it burn!!!

"God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.
That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.
Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”