Inner Life Song

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into but I know that it will be well worth it in the end. Last month I took the plunge and signed up for a 2 year Christian writing course. It was something I had been looking into for a long time, but with all our moving around the globe it was just never possible. Now that I have more freedom from household chores (okay, I don't do them at all!), I thought this was the right time. I'm very excited and very nervous at the same time. I know that this is going to stretch me more than ever, but I know that is exactly what I need.

One of our lesson assignments was to describe in 150 words or less our desire for our inner spiritual life. It could be written in prose or poetry. I wasn't sure what I was going to do at first, then after one of my quiet times readings I felt God leading me towards a song of sorts. Please know that this is not comfortable for me, but I prayed that God would just give me the words to write (see, I'm already being stretched and it's only lesson 2!). Faithful as always, He gave them to me and I thought I might share them here with you today. Enjoy!

Inner Life Song

A life overflowing from a heart of gratitude
Guided by the Spirit in everything I do.
Not living for myself, but for the One who died for me
Walking with Him daily in blissful harmony.
In awe of who He is and all His wonderful deeds
Thankful for his grace and unending mercy.
Continually feasting on His Word, the lamp unto my feet
Gaining truth, wisdom, knowledge and spiritual maturity.
Trusting in Him with an undivided heart,
Knowing from His hands I will never part.
Willing and obedient when He calls to me
Gladly serving Him with Christ-like humility.
Always praising Him, no matter the situation
For He is my hope and the joy of my salvation.
More of Him, less of me - that's all I want my life to be.

His praise is on my lips!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you - the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night, the LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." - Psalm 121

This is the word God gave to me before we left on our trip to Thailand. I had been a little nervous about traveling without my husband and then when there was a plane crash at the same place we were headed, I became increasingly fearful. That is when I sought God and He comforted me with His Word. At first I thought that God was giving me this scripture concerning our physical well-being during the trip, but for one incident during our trip I realized that it encompassed so much more.

We had just arrived in Phuket after a overnight delay and were looking forward to a nice dinner and some souvenir shopping. I needed cash so I went to an ATM to make a withdrawal. After putting my card in the machine nothing happened. I began to push buttons and tried to cancel the transaction but still nothing. This machine was not working and it was not giving me back my card either. I started to panic. I went to the money exchange counter next to the ATM and asked them to help me. Like me, they tried pushing buttons but nothing was working. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. Of all the credit cards I had brought with me on the trip this was the only card I had that could access cash! And unlike the States, it can be very hard in Asia to use credit card to purchase small things -- mainly it is a cash only society. I had no clue what to do, so I just started crying! The young girls from the money exchange counter tried to tell me they could have someone come out the next day to fix the machine and get my card back, but I was NOT about to leave my card in that machine overnight! What if it suddenly started working and ejected my card, leaving it available for anyone to take? And it just so happened that on that particular day our company had just deposited our paycheck plus another check for some money they owed us to pay part of our income for that one day, which is quite unusual for us, we had over $10,000 in our bank account that was accessible on that card!! I'm sure you can imagine the thoughts that were racing through my mind. I was still very emotional and they must have taken pity on me because they got on the phone and tried to get an operator to come that evening. They told me to come back in a few hours and they would try to have the problem fixed. Since there was nothing else I could do I found a restaurant that would accept my other cards and we tried to eat dinner. At that point I just had to stop and pray. The first thing I prayed was Psalm 121. God had told me that He would watch over me and would keep me from all harm (which I expected to include financial harm) and I had to trust in Him and His Word during this crisis. I also had to be obedient to Philippians 4:6 and not be anxious about anything including my stuck ATM card! So I choose to enjoy my dinner, our beautiful surroundings, and the delightful company of my daughters and let God handle everything else. Afterwards we decided to go and see how things were progressing. When I got up to the money exchange counter, the girl saw me and held up my little red card! I started jumping up and down right there in the middle of the street. The sweet Thai girl with her limited English could not explain how they got the card out, but I didn't need to know all those details. I knew God's Word never returns void and He took care of it anyway! We spent the rest of our evening praising God and excited about the rest of the week ahead of us!!

By the way, it was a glorious week and one that we will never forget....especially the beautiful elephants at the Elephant Nature Park!! I have a rule about not visiting the same place twice, but I can promise you I will definitely be returning there!! Thanks for all your prayers, they were answered! Talk to you again soon.....