Friday, October 1, 2010

The View from Here

Believe it or not, this beautiful picture is taken right outside my back door. One would think that with a view like this, I'd be outside enjoying it every minute. But over time I've come to take it for granted.

When my husband & I moved into this house 14 years ago, I had my coffee out on the back deck every morning it was over 60 degrees. We often ate dinner outside too. After the first year, life happened. We got busy. I got a promotion at work, his company took on a big project, next we had kids. And suddenly this view was forgotten.

Isn't our relationship with God like that sometimes? When our relationship is new we are so excited and want to spend so much time with God. Quiet time every morning, we enjoy our coffee with God. Then life happens. We get busy, and certainly our kids - especially babies keeping us up at night - interfere with our relationship with God. How can we get it back?

Friends can help. When a friend says to me "wow, the view here is amazing" I get reminded to enjoy it more. A friend can also be an accountability partner for your relationship with God, becoming a bible study or prayer partner.

Schedule it! This spring we've already had a deck party so that we could enjoy the view with some friends. The same is true with God. If you schedule your quiet time every morning, or your bible study every week you'll make it happen.

Get your kids involved. All it took was having dinner on the deck one night and now the kids want to eat out there every night. They too enjoy the view! And now that I do daily devotions with them, they can't wait for it to happen and ask if I forget. (I've also seen a positive behavioral change in my youngest since beginning the devotions!)

It doesn't take much work to renew my interest in enjoying my view. And it doesn't take much work to renew your relationship with God either! Why not get started today?

With God in your life, you'll enjoy a new point of VIEW!

"Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health." Proverbs 4:20, The Message Bible

"And how blessed all those in whom you {God} live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!" Psalm 84:5-7 The Message Bible

Chatty Kelly

Monday, September 27, 2010

Heaven, Bryan Adams style

And love is all that I need, And I found it there in your heart
It isn't too hard to see we're in heaven.

Heaven, Bryan Adams, 1985

Do you ever think about what Heaven will be? Different ideas abound. Some think we'll have angel wings and float on clouds. Others think it will be like a "boring" church service. Some make mention of the streets of gold. What will we do in Heaven?

I love the quote by A. W. Tozer: "If worship bores you, you're not ready for heaven." I love singing praise songs to God. The idea that heaven could be one big worship service where we all lift our praises to God is thrilling to me. From old standards like "How Great Thou Art" to modern praise music like "How Great is Our God" I love worship! Still, that doesn't mean I have the full idea of heaven.

I remember one Sunday as we launched into the 100th chorus of "I could sing of your love forever" I began to wonder if we were going to. And I was no longer sure that I could sing of his love forever. So even though I love music, I can also relate to folks who don't get into singing fearing a boring heaven.

Bryan Adams lyric is fitting here. "Love is all that I need, and I found it there in your heart. It isn't too hard to see, we're in heaven." That, to me, is the summation of what heaven will really be like. Pure love. We will feel the full presence of God's love for us, without sin as a barrier. We will experience pure love for God, and others, in our perfected bodies without the influence of sin, shame and hurt we experience now in our earthly lives.

Revelation 21 tells us that in heaven there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. Boring? I don't think so! So while I get a little excited about thinking that every day in heaven will be a "Musical Monday," and that my voice will be more than a "joyful noise" in heaven, the best part about heaven will be God's love and standing in the presence of God.

"You're all that I want! You're all that I need!"

Musical Musings:
1. What do you think heaven will be like?
2. Do you enjoy worship? If not, what changes can you make to find it a more enjoyable experience?
3. If you don't enjoy music, what are some other ways that you can praise God?

Dear Lord: I'm excited about heaven, but I know that the thought scares some people. Lord, offer them your peace and comfort. Give them a glimpse into your love so that they will be excited heaven. Help us to have focused and spirit filled worship on earth so that we can get a taste of heaven and desire more. Thank you God for offering us eternal life, a chance to be with you forever. Thank you that your love truly is all that we need. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rock On:
Read Revelation 21 to get an image of the end times. Or if you're feeling adventurous, read all of John's Revelation in the Bible.

Chatty Kelly