VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

WORSHIP IS TO PLEASE GOD

7/18/2016

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-2-32-11-pmI’m certainly proving that I can do nothing without the LORD. I survived the last three weeks of daily socializing by looking forward to these next two weeks of setting at my desk researching, organizing and writing in the LORD’s presence.

Today I start. I will spend it alone—totally with Him but I am quickly realizing I’m not prepared. I’m lonely; I’m out of practice using my mind. I’m remembering that desk work is work, and the work is overwhelming with papers from the last three weeks piled high.

And then there is music. I’m pursuing songwriting yet have no desire to play and sing anything. My body is in pain, my mind so very sluggish, and I have no desire to pursue what GOD is calling me to. Looking forward to this day for the last three weeks has kept me going but it has arrived and I’m disappointed. How much this situation screams that I can do nothing without GOD.

Thus I chuck my plans and go to the prayer closet to sit. Though I feel it not, I know there is unending joy for me embedded in the privilege of His attention. And I have proof in my memory that His covenant promises to me will never be broken. Just the promise of eternal life with Him—someday being free of these earthly struggles… These things are enough to find the needed strength to face this day with energy.

Suddenly I’m on the mountaintop. I don’t necessarily feel it but these thoughts have given me enough gumption to begin. I can walk out of this prayer closet—put one foot in front of the other with anticipation. Here I go, and the first step is toward the piano.

As I approach I am thinking two thoughts about the piano: (1) all I see behind and ahead of me is failure: no progression in talent, no opportunity to preform. I feel I should give it up and concentrate my expression of worship with just words and not song.

The other thought is just the opposite: (2) I should continue with songwriting and piano, remembering how GOD, periodically over 30 years, has encouraged me at the piano. Yet…

30 years He has strung me along. My flesh wants to quit. I, with pleasure, will admit defeat instead of taking more embarrassment, but my heart cries with just the thought of ending. I’m in the valley with my mind’s logic to quit yet my heart refuses to listen to common sense.

Before I arrived at the piano I picked up the guitar and sang with a three-week, out-of-practice voice. My ears heard something unpleasant but the LORD heard not my voice but my heart. I had forgotten this songwriting desire was for the pleasure of GOD not that I might get good and please others or myself.

All my writing has been to help me draw close to GOD even though it is available to the public. And so my music should also be to help me draw close to GOD. Is there anything better than to be close enough to sing Him praise?

I do love to express my love for GOD in music. I love to please Him in song—magnifying Him. Song is certainly a higher way to magnify Him than words.

Seeing that my spiritual gift is encouragement, it makes sense that it should spill over into my interaction with the LORD through song.

“…the great object of…worship is to please God…” William S. Plumer (ref#183). From GOD’s perspective: He waits for me to bring Him joy. He created me that I might bring Him pleasure (Rev 4:11).  Now I’m really on a mountaintop!

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VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

TAKING A TIMEOUT

3/29/2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.46.35 PMThe absolute last-resort activity when I’m about to lose it is reading. If I rushed past reading I’d run out the door and keep running until I moved myself right out of society. I would make a total fool of myself and have to apologize to many many people if I cared to reenter the civilized world. People would never look at me the same but they would forgive me. I know. I did the above once and I had to apologize to eleven people. It was a long long ago and I have moved on in the world convinced that people have forgotten my actions and me.

Through my long life GOD has been quite merciful to me by giving me the desires of my heart that mainly has included creating objects to glorify Him. I have been always busy and have had only fleeting moments of boredom.

But I have been in this situation perhaps a month now where I am nearing the end of one project and have a specific project in mind for the next. Even though GOD is stringing me along with ideas here and there, the ideas are not creating a whole. I feel fragmented—even tossed and turned. As each day goes by I feel more desperate for a conclusion and a starting place for this next project.

Writers block is when one faces a blank page. I feel a blank page in front of me but it is not a white blank page but a black page. The enemy craftily puts in front of me the image of complete darkness where I am commissioned to do nothing.

That fear was with me when I woke up this morning. However I finally got out of bed by deciding I needed to practice to perfection my upcoming piano lesson piece. I figured I could at least do that. NOT.

I couldn’t count the intro right. That’s when I turned off the keyboard and went to the back of the house to find something to read. The book that won out was my devotional. It starts out with “Notes” which don’t pertain anymore to the devotional, but my eyes fell on that page:

Through experience, when the SPIRIT is present everything is spiritual; I find joy in everything I read in this devotional. But some days I find, and you the reader will find, these prayers just lie flat on the page and are no help or worse they seem hypocritical, self-righteous, and pious. If this is the case know that you have stepped away from the SPIRIT.

Don’t go any further in reading. You need a “timeout”—time to get yourself again willing to submit to GOD. When that time comes (for me that could be hours) go before GOD and honestly discuss your feelings. You need to repent—ask forgiveness for your attitude—attest to Him that you approve of what He is doing in your life—beg Him to bring joy into your heart again. In other words, be right with GOD, and these prayers will always be a pleasure to pray.

It’s easy to forget the LORD shall do whatever pleases Him and we are responsible to act in support of Him.

I took a timeout. After crying a bit before my GOD, He suggested I scrap the written intro to the song and compose a new one for my piano lesson piece. I’m about to go back to practicing again but, GOD needs credit for He has opened my eyes once again in the valley and given me a path to take to the mountaintop.

I know I will learn the piano song. And also I know GOD will lighten my darkness. He is teaching me to wait for Him. Something I have done very little of in my life and know I don’t handle waiting well.

How I praise Him for encouraging me when I am about to crash myself. He knows just how much I can take from the enemy and from my weak flesh. I am going to make it to the end because He wills it. And, I may even someday be a happy clam satisfying the desires of my heart once again with a new project.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

BEING-PLACED-ON-THE-SHELF LEARNING

11/4/12

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.02.15 AMI have been put on the shelf with an upper respiratory infection for almost two weeks now, so what have I learned?

I have been mistaken to think I need to surround myself with GOD facts. (It only strengthens the temptation to pride—boasting in the knowledge gathered.)   I only need GOD to surround me. I go back to the J.I. Packer quote hanging on my wall, “Trustful acceptance of life as it comes, and keeping on doing what I should, are the two keys to happiness.” I need to get back to basics.

I have discovered my naivety is much greater than I imagined. In college I put in time sitting at my desk and thought that was all it took to study. Too, I thought that reading was all I had to do—pronouncing each word in my head—and not thinking at all about understanding what I read. So now, I find I’m doing the same thing: writing and reading prayers with no thought of internalizing them.

I suppose all this faulty thinking comes from being steeped in Pharisee-ism—being an actor on the stage of life—outward activity with no inward conviction.

I’ve been reading and writing too fast—like gathering and stuffing food in my mouth but not digesting it. I’ve been rattling on to GOD so much that I’ve not allowed GOD to make any comments back to me. I have a couple acquaintances that talk so much they forget to stop to let me answer. This is exactly what I have been doing with GOD!!

In the wake of being laid up not able to research and write, I have gone to memorizing Scripture. But, I have been doing the same thing with memorization!—I’ve been memorizing but not using the thoughts of Scripture productively in my life.

I have left the SPIRIT in the dust—using my brain to guide me instead of the SPIRIT. Again it’s my flesh, my natural mind that thinks it can move faster than the SPIRIT can move me and I fall into the trap of, “I want to be a spiritual giant, now.”

But, my head knowledge is doing nothing for me. The SPIRIT knows how to strengthen my spirit. I have been graced with the revelation—I need to wait for the SPIRIT to animate my spirit.

I perceive now that a season of praise can remedy leaning on my flesh. Waiting for the SPIRIT to awaken my spirit can do that work. Come SPIRIT, come and direct my heart to my FATHER. Come, lead my heart to rejoicing. Come, teach me how to wait. Come.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

MY DEEPEST LONGING

9/30/13

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.26.48 PMSomething written in day 31 of a devotional attached itself to my heart making me want to put my feelings into words. Writing the feelings will allow me to come back to them in the future.

As I read, my feelings morphed into a desire. I wanted something more than I had.

I’m not good at give-and-take relationships. An island describes me. But, the following statement made me not want to be an island: “The deepest longing of the human heart is to be known completely and accepted unconditionally” James P Gills (ref#149, p385).

I can recall situations where my “island” label is put away.   When I compare picture-taking alone to picture-taking with my husband going along, my choice is fellowship over being alone. My heart wants a similar fellowship with GOD.

“’Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters…And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him’ (Gen 5:22,24). Someone commented that one day as Enoch walked with God, they ended the day closer to heaven than to Enoch’s home. And God just said, ‘Come on, Enoch, and go home with Me’” James P. Gills (ref#149, p387).

Oh, to talk to GOD when I think, not to talk to myself when I think. I want to work enough each day to meet my needs and not be sidetracked by worldly activities. I want to be “engulfed in His presence” James P. Gills (ref#149, p388). “The Hebrew word translated intimate means ‘to share secrets, deep, inward counsel, in audience with a person’” James P. Gills (ref#149, p385).

So, FATHER, my deepest secret presently is to confess all my known sins to You and watch You not flinch one bit. My deepest desire is to let go of my hold on my life when You press me to Your bosom. It truly will be my greatest joy to lose myself and choose some great attribute of Yours to dwell on.

I’ve identified my longing in this writing. Now I strive to walk hand in hand as Enoch. And is not discovering a new attribute of GOD better than reviewing the ones I know? To discover I must be with Him.