Blessed Be The Name
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!
I love starting my day off early. You know, at the trailhead around 5:30 am, head-lamp strapped on and dog in tow (or dog towing me.)
My Charlie-girl loves hiking, jumping up rocks and watching the sunrise with me. This past Monday was no exception. After our trek up the mountain and down, back around the base, and then up and down again, we returned to our car to find the passenger window smashed in, glass all over the seat and the glove compartment open with the contents throw on the floor of the car.
I stood at my car, staring in disbelief and said to Charlie-girl "Well, this sucks!" I then noticed that the car next to me had also been broken into and the thought of this other vehicle being violated caused my heart to ache more than the reality of my own loss.
As I called the police two women walked up. As they approached, the owner saw the reality of what had happened. At this realization, her eyes welled up with tears, her heart dropped and I could see the sadness overwhelm her.
My reflection of this incident leads me to these thoughts. I saw my smashed window, stated a fact, called the police and went on with my day. Was it a hassle? yes, but as I told my friend "It is what it is."
Yet, the very same incident to another women caused tears and heart break. You see, the reality for her was that they had her home address, her car registration, they knew where she lived and were they to show up at her house (which we later discovered that they probably had while we were still hiking...but for the grace of God) they would find her teenage daughter home alone sleeping. That is cause for distress.
The exact same incident caused two completely different reactions, because even in the similarities, the extenuating circumstances that surrounded our individual lives caused their own unique reactions.
How many times does life happen to someone we know and we wonder why they are not handling it as well as we did when the exact same thing happened to us? Why is it that one person can lose a job and bounce back and another person loses a job and their world falls apart? How does one person loose a family member and seem to be resilient enough to wake up and go back to work while another person loses a loved one and they become immobile, bitter and angry with the world?
My car break in reminded me that we all handle things differently. There isn't a cookie cutter way to grieve or process. We may not always know the internal struggles and circumstances surrounding a tragedy or struggle in someone else's life. Today, I am reminded to be patient with others in their distress and allow them to deal with tragedy in their own way, the same way that I hope others will give me grace if I am not dealing to well in mine.
So today, whatever you are going through, may you receive the grace and the space to go through it at your own pace and in your own way, knowing that you do not walk alone, but that you have the outstretched arm of God before you and beside you to comfort you and to guide you. Friends, you are not alone.
Now, as for Charlie-girl... her take way from the whole incident was the great joy of getting to ride with the window wide open. Yep, even Charlie and I process things differently.
I love you in the Lord, Mia
Why God? Seriously, Why?
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
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.