I like to have a plan. I like rules, I like deadlines, I like knowing exactly what is expected of me. Yep, I am a rule follower (in most instances).
I think my sway to that side came because I spent so much of my life breaking the rules, that now, I see the benefit in simply doing what I am told. Don't get me wrong, I can be stubborn and walk my own way when it suits me, but over all, rules and guidelines make me feel safe and productive.
The other thing that I like is the Word of God, the freedom in brings, it's power over the law and it's pathway to freedom... totally opposite of the rule keeper that I am. It's Grace.
As I sit and take time reading and praying the Word of God over my life, I enjoy the regiment of daily reading as given to me through one of the many apps that I use. Sometimes, as it did today, it gave me 5 passages to read and I fully planed on reading them all, but I couldn't. I simply could not adhere to the plan. Not because of rebellion, but because of freedom.
I had planned to read the first 5 chapters of Job, but after the first chapter, I simply could not go on. I was frozen. Yes, frozen in a chapter that I have read before....many times. Yet, still, there I was frozen in the reality of what I just read and I could process no more.
I found myself asking the question.."Is this guy for real?"..."did this really happen?" and already knowing the answer, hearing my spirit confirm what I already knew to be true. Yes, this is real, Yes, this happened and Yes, I want you to learn from it.
You see, in the first chapter of Job, Satan is allowed, by God, to stretch out his hand against the Lord's faithful servant, Job. And stretch it out, he does. Job in a moments time looses his oxen, donkeys, servants, sheep, camels and his children. Three different survivors from the three different incidents all arrived one after the other to break the news to Job.
I have to imagine if that was me receiving this news, I would be in a state of shock and disbelief. But, what does Job do? He tore his robe, shaved his head and fell down and worshipped God!
WHAT? Where is the fist shaking, where is the "This is not fair, God!" Where is the yelling at God that He got it wrong? No, Job fell down and worshipped God and said "Naked, I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
And there I was frozen. Frozen as I tried to imagine what my response would be. I hear so many times people saying, "It's ok to be angry with God, He can handle it. You can yell at Him, He's God, He's tough." Yet, this example of a man who lost all of his possessions and his own children...Yes, his children, was to fall down and worship God and bless His name acknowledging that it was all given and ultimately all allowed to be taken away by the hand of God. And to that, Job then blesses His Holy name.
May I, as I walk through life, through trial and heart wrenching loss, through times when things do not go according to my plan or expectations, be prepared to fall down and worship. And as I fall, may I bless the name of the Lord, His holy name.
I have always loved singing this song, but as I grow closer to the Lord, with each and every breath, the more powerful this song becomes to me. Will you sing along with me as we prepare for that time when we too may have to fall down and worship Him as His outstretched arm returns what He has so graciously given to us on loan unto Himself.
You can listen below or you can buy the whole album on my site.
Blessed Be The Name of The Lord!
My husband writes a weekly Blog post for his school. I love reading them and sometimes sharing them, but today, his message had me in tears. Maybe because it stirred up so much of the loss that I have felt in my life, maybe because I'm coming off a day of a lot of "Why's?", maybe because it's just what the Lord wanted me to hear.
So maybe God wants to share this with you to. Be blessed.
Guest blogger, my husband and best friend, Bob Koehne - Executive Principal at Valley Lutheran High School, Phoenix, AZ
Why God? Seriously, why? I sometimes don’t understand. This past week I heard about the death of a young Lutheran school teacher. He left behind a wife and four young children and it just made me think, Why God? As I thought about it I reflected back on other times in my life I have asked this question. A former student of mine was a soldier and was serving in Afghanistan when he was killed by a bomb. A former basketball player I coached was shot and killed by a gang member. A boy I coached in basketball camps, and who was a friend of my son Aaron, went on a mission trip just before his junior year of high school. While on the trip he was on a boat on Lake Superior when a storm came up and he was thrown overboard and drowned.
Then this past Sunday was All Saints Day. A day where we get a chance to reflect back on all the saints who have gone on to heaven before us. As I walked into church I had this question of “Why God” on my mind. When I left I had the same question but for a different reason.
Why God? Why do you love us so much that you were willing to sacrifice your Son so we can be with you? Why God, when I am so unworthy to be called your child, do you call me just that, a redeemed Child of God? Why God, when I ask “why” are you so patient with me and love me just the same? You are our Father and we don’t always understand your ways, just as on earth children often don’t understand the ways of their parents. Unlike on earth, however, you are a perfect Father.
Maybe I am the only one who thinks this way. But if you are like me and at times say, “Why God,” I encourage you to pray and remember he answers the question. He answers the question with a simple “I am God, I love you, and no matter the circumstances I always will.” ~ Bob Koehne
Sometimes we (and by we, I mean, I) are on a journey and in the middle of our journey it intersects with someone else's journey. My journey is not about me, it's about what God is going to do with and through me to shape me so that I may be a part of another's journey so that that they, in turn, can be a part of someone else's.
Love God, Love others. The mission and the call is clear.
Today as I was traveling, I entered California at a different point than I normally do. So the drive was new...pretty much a two lane highway through the desert, but at one point in the middle of nowhere, I came across what I thought was an interesting structure. It seemed so out of place, like it was in the middle of nowhere. I decided to pull over and check it out. What I quickly discovered was that the structures were the remnants of a fire. The shoes dangling over the rafters were tributes to lives lost and the graffiti messages were memorials to loved ones gone.
As I stood there, I thought of those who passed and I prayed for those left behind to pick up the pieces, those whose lives are forever changed, those who mourn.
I don't know what happened, but what I do know is that for a moment my journey collided into the reality of another's and all I could do was pray.
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.