Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Water to Wine

…and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. John 2:9-11

Sip the cup.
What an amazing gift! $12 seats to opening night of the opera Carmen! Such a wonderful night for such little cost! Naturally, the first question is “Where are the seats?” For such a great deal, I imagined that the seats were on the edge of the universe. But, who cares, it’s opening night and I’m going to the opera!

Cheaper wine is served later when it is less appreciated. Cheaper seats are located further from the stage. We don’t think twice about it. It’s just how life “rolls.” Imagine the surprise when the first the cup reaches the lips….

Saved the best.
Upon arrival, we got the tickets from will call. The seats were in the Orchestra section, 11 rows from the stage! $120 seats for $12! Wow! I immediately knew that this was one of those “water to wine” moments. Out of nowhere, He takes an already amazing event with natural expectations and elevates it to the very best possible! All because He can! He got my praise and thanks for His glorious display of favor, and I received the blessing of His Presence throughout the night. Fleeting is the moment, but forever is His Presence.

Serve and see.
Many may not know where such favor comes from, but as His servant, I know. I also know why He brings such moments of miracle: that our Father be glorified and that we may put our faith in Him. Mark 2:12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

He also showers us with gifts simply because He loves to delight His children…and in such creative ways! Splitting seas and orchestra seats! We expect so little and receive so much! Oh, and the greatest upgrade in the universe: Heaven. Throne room seats. Whispers are as rushing waters and colors are indescribable! All as a gift from a Friend. He paid, I praise. He gives, I receive. My water to His wine.

Take the ticket, receive the joy, rest in His grace. If even for a moment, of Eternity, foretaste.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Via Distraction

Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:27

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23

In Jerusalem, Israel the Via Dolorosa is the “Way of Suffering.” It is a crowded, uphill pathway that Jesus is said to have walked from His place of trial to His place of crucifixion. In 2,000 years, some things have not changed. Crowds still line the noisy path. But today, instead of angry mockers, they are vying vendors.

I kept looking around thinking, "This is my life. Everyday I walk the sacred steps of Jesus and everyday my steps are pulled with constant distraction."

Deny the Distractions.
If you walk this sacred road, you are a target. Distractions are everywhere from beginning to end, left and right. So much temptation surrounds us to "scan, shop, socialize," etc. The issue was not to deny shopping, it was to deny distraction. Denial of self is not suffering, it is salvation.

As with my life's journey: the place is the venue, the purpose is the value. The first focus is Jesus, the following focus is people. The first focus is my freedom, the following focus is their freedom. Often all in the same moment.

Take up my Cross.
"Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 2 Corinthians 4:10 Every day I am called to take up my cross – in confession and conviction, never condemnation. Sin's suffering is a cross that I already carry in me through the sacrifice of Jesus. His cross drags through my daily moments and encounters.

Whatever our day may bring, whether or not there's suffering, we all carry the cross inside and we all face the pulls of life.

Follow Me.
As we walked, we had to keep our heads down and our ears in tune to our guide’s voice. Exactly like following in His steps today: keep humbled, hear His voice, walk as He guides.

Every day is a Path. Every turn is a distraction. Every step is a choice: Daily desire, denial, and deliverance. Until stone turns to gold, Blood flows as I follow.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beauty of Bubbles

It is not service that matters, but intense spiritual reality, expecting Jesus Christ at every turn. This will give our life the attitude of child-wonder which He wants it to have. -Oswald Chambers

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

My nephew Mason worked so hard at getting the bubbles just right, that he never looked up to enjoy them! “Mason, look up,” we’d say, but to no avail. He was busy. That is me as God’s child; I am so busy “producing beauty” for others to enjoy, but miss the entire reason God brought me to that moment: to enjoy Him.

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” Luke 10:39-40a

Just as Mason needed to bring the bubbles and as Martha needed to bring the bread, I am needed to "bring the beauty." But, just as Mason needed to soak in the joy and Mary chose to soak in her Savior, I am needed to "be still and know that He is God." Otherwise, what a moment lost on my heart's distraction!

We are either preparing for or practicing in His Presence! What loss is mine when I never look up to receive my Redeemer; what joy is mine when my lamp’s oil blazes with His brilliant Light! (Matthew 25:4,6,13)

Is this moment in preparation or in celebration? Still and soak in the wonder, dear child.

Enjoy Him, Michelle