Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lately, I am hearing a phrase in various Christian environments and it seems to bother me. I even had someone pray it over me recently. "The Lord has no expectation upon you." What does this mean? How can we say this? As I reflect upon the Word of God, I observe countless commands. Does not a command connate an expectation? How is it that we can tell others that the Lord has no expectation upon them when we are expected to read our Bible, pray, seek fellowship, and serve? No expectations... such a subtle and enticing thought. The implication is rest and less stress. Who does not want these? Yet, James tells us clearly that faith without out works is dead. What good is knowledge if it is not acted upon? Knowledge blesses and equips for action. I am reminded of Jesus saying on a regular basis, "He who has ears let him hear..." Quite simply Jesus says, "Listen!" But this is not a listening to just hear. This type of listening responds. It is a call to action. To say the Lord has no expectation upon us challenges my theology. Does it challenge yours too? Stretch my mind and dialogue with me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gardening 101
Chapter One of Heart Garden
By: Tara Rye

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.” Matthew 5:3

With anticipation I waited for the missionaries to show up at our breakfast meeting. I could not believe that I was on my first international mission trip in Foz de Iguazu, Brazil. My mind raced with all kinds of random questions: What are they like? Will they like us? What will they ask us to do this week? How did they become missionaries? What compelled them to leave all to serve Christ so far from home? The elevator opened and the family filled the room with their greetings. Hugs were given as if we were life long family friends returning home. As Donya came to greet me, I giggled inside because she sported a tiny diamond stud on her nostril. Since, I did not feel it appropriate to mention the cute stud I mentioned the next fun thing about her. “I like your necklace. It is cool the way you have it hooked.” Her hands rose to her neck and reminded her of what she wore. “Thanks! I made it!” She then took it off her neck and wrapped it around mine. “I want you to have it! Just promise me you will wear it!” I wonder what she would have done if I said, “I like your diamond stud!”

How little did I know that this first encounter with international missionaries will greatly change my spiritual walk and prayer life forever! It is through their lives that God revealed to me that He intended for me to be a gardener. Not just a local gardener, but international gardener as well. Let me explain, by gardener I mean a person who plants seeds, but not the type of seed that goes into the soil of the earth, but the type of seed that must be planted in a human heart. Hence, a heart gardener! In fact, God calls each of us to be a heart gardener. Scripture is filled with numerous references to sowing, planting, reaping and harvesting. This is proof positive that the Creator wants hearts to be tended just as a gardener tends a physical garden.