Psalm One Ministries
January 2018 Rhythms of Jesus
It’s January 2. How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?
Dallas Willard says the key to the spiritual life is to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. What a challenge! Certainly easier said than done, but I believe he is correct. To eliminate hurry doesn’t mean sit around, be lazy, and contemplate your navel. We can work with all our energy and accomplish tremendous things without toxic hurry. Maxine Hancock says it so well: “Serenity is the ability to live with tranquility in the midst of purpose and productivity.”
It requires a constant choice to live in God instead of letting the tidal wave of 21st century life overwhelm me. Far too often, I feel like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark being chased by an oncoming boulder that just gets bigger and faster. Life seems intent on speeding up. I feel pressure from all sides, but often the greatest source of stress is me! I get tired of living on the ragged edge. I need to continually choose rest, Sabbath, and all aspects of margin.
I may sound like a broken record, but I need to hear this over and over. I am still learning to rest, pray, work, and play fully and completely. I must continually seek the rhythms of Jesus. One resolution on January 1 won’t fix it. I need to continually choose the patterns of ministry, work, rest, prayer, play, worship, time with friends, time with family, and time alone with the Lord. Time to serve, care, encourage, read, write, create, enjoy, celebrate, and most importantly, listen to the voice of the Lord. It will mean saying a discerning no so I can say an enthusiastic yes!
I am still learning to understand, practice, and integrate Jesus’ rhythms of solitude, community, and ministry.
· to keep me from ministering out of my own limited power, energy, strength, and wisdom
· to remind me that there is one Savior, and I am not Him
· to keep step with the Spirit
· To experience and extend love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
· to glorify God
· to keep my sanity
People will find the energy, time, and money for what we truly value. I have two sets of priorities:
1. The ones in my journal, mission statement, or head
2. The ones I actually live out
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and see all the opportunities, marching orders, and divine appointments I missed because I was too busy with tasks and busy work God never assigned to me. I don’t want to miss the connections and blessings because I was exhausted by chasing my tail.
In 2018 and beyond, I so want to be able to say, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4)
Show me how to do it, Lord!
Grace and peace,
I was on my way to swim at the Y this morning, bopping along with Springsteen (of course) blasting on the stereo. Suddenly, I had to pull the car over and sit in silence. To my right was a sunrise exploding in thousands of shades of red, pink, and orange. To my left was a huge rainbow reaching down from the sky.
I had to stop and marvel. I had to stop and reflect. I had to stop and worship. I had to stop and give thanks.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1)
I felt like I was being tangibly held by the sovereignty and love of God. Through my tears of diverse thoughts and emotions, I heard, “I am still on my throne. I am the Lord of Eternity. I can do all things and no purpose of Mine can be thwarted. I got this.”
I have friends and family who are in a good season, celebrating, humming along, and enjoying life with no current major drama. I have friends and family who are facing daunting uphill climbs and the anxiety of uncertainty. I know people who are struggling with so many types of losses, anger, fear, confusion, and hurt. My heart is broken by the venom and cruelty poured out by human beings on one another. I am so saddened with the judgment, criticism, division, and splintering in life and in the Church on a level I’ve never experienced. Been doing a lot of grieving and praying.
For me personally, this has been a challenging year of multiple calamities, turmoil, pain, frustration, disappointment, red tape, lies, injustice, financial blows, and legal woes. It's been a rough year. Stress has been the key theme for 2016.
However, I’ve also seen impossibly beautiful sights that took my breath away. I’ve experienced kindness, generosity, love, listening, empathy, and support from amazing faithful friends. I’ve had a wonderful year of ministry. I’ve laughed until my face hurt. I’ve been surprised by joy in so many packages. I’ve been given lots and lots of grace. Tremendous, patient, amazing grace flowing from life-giving people and God Himself.
I’ve been teaching from AW Tozer’s classic Knowledge of the Holy again this year. I am always introduced anew to a bigger, clearer, more accurate experience of the God Who Sees. Immanuel. God Only Wise. The Almighty. The Lord of Hosts. Our Peace. The Redeemer. Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday and today and forever.
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Instead of wearing me down, may the wrecking balls, holy sandpaper, and daily obnoxious pebble in my shoe serve to wear off the parts of me that don’t look like Jesus. I need renovation of my heart and mind, and Christ to live His life out in me. That’s not an easy task. Thank God He doesn’t give up on me.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So glad it’s not “Thanksfeeling”. In my self-centered perspective, I don’t always feel thanks. But I can always give thanks. Circumstances, situations, experiences, and feelings change. Thanks be to the immoveable God of all Creation.
Surely my soul remembers
So thankful for you for all the friendship, prayers, support, and encouragement along the way. Blessed Thanksgiving!