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Quiet time

Who said that quiet time with God has to always be quiet? We do not have to wait until all is quiet around us to spend time with the Lord. It’s the quiet heart after God that God sees and meets. We do not need to wait for the environment to be just right and quiet to meet with God. If that’s the case we are limiting time to commune with God only to that set apart time when everything is just right. God is right with us 24/7.

For the child of God, Christ indwells IN YOU through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior you are baptized by the Holy Spirit and are sealed in him. You receive the spirit of Sonship. You are adopted into God’s family through the blood of  Jesus. No one is ever born a child of God. We are only adopted in through the life saving blood of Jesus. God tells us in his Word no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again(John 3). Just as young children learn to obey their parents and how their family dynamic works the child of God is always learning to walk as a child of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in them. We are always learning.

It would be absurd to think that you are only to hear from your Heavenly Father in a set apart time where you make sure things are quiet. The child of God lives in a moment by moment obedient walk and growing in Christ.

It is very important to have set apart quiet time with God. You see Jesus continually retreating to spend time alone with the Father during his time here on earth. We learn from Jesus the importance of the self discipline of making sure to have set apart time but we are not limited to this time alone with God.

Being a stay at home mom with a 4 year old and one year old I’ve learned to get creative with set apart quiet heart time with God all through out my day. Here are some simple things that have helped me that I wanted to share with you that may help you too:

1.First it is important for your children to see that time in the Word of God and prayer is part of who you are. Let them see you reading the Bible throughout the day and invite them in to that time when appropriate. For example if I’m reading a scripture I often will invite my 4 year old into that time with me by telling him about what I’m reading. This helps me learn and gives a natural moment of pouring truth into him at the same time.

2. The Throne before the phone rule– Don’t touch any social media until you’ve had time to commune with God. This is so helpful y’all. And take days of rest from social media.

3.Keep a Bible with you so you can read during those unexpected moments of quiet you get throughout the day and pray God’s Word as you read.

4. Saturate your mind: Listen to the Bible on audio in the car, worship God in song in the car or in the kitchen, Listen to podcasts of solid food Bible teachers, fill your social media with discipleship pages that point you to God so your mind is being saturated with things of Christ when you are scrolling through your newsfeed(I have some of my favorites listed at the bottom of the page).

5. Pray without ceasing. Pray in the car with your kids, while you get ready, while you do laundry, while you are walking to meet a friend. I set globes and maps throughout the house where I will see to remind me to pray daily for the unreached and persecuted and use the Joshua Project App.  We have access to the heavenly realms at all times in Christ Jesus. Go there without ceasing.

6. Make disciples. This is Jesus command to his followers to “Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them all that I have commanded and surely I’m with you to the end of age.” Jesus says it right there he is with us as we make disciples. I have such deep communion with God all glory to him alone when I’m being obedient to  his command to his church. He is with me the whole time leading.

7. Sacrifice. That might mean you set your alarm clock really early. That might mean you stay up later. That might mean you skip out on a workout so you can be still before God. That might mean you do a hobby that takes up so much time a little less.

8. Worship corporately with your church family. I so look forward to Sundays not as a time to go and be filled but as a time to worship God alone. Sunday worship is never about us. It’s about exalting God and it is so sweet to do this with other believers.

I hope this helps some that might be struggling to have time with God throughout the day. Know he is with you wherever you go and the environment doesn’t have to be right just the humble heart coming to him. He is so faithful to his Word to meet the one seeking Him with all their heart and soul(Deuteronmy 4).

All for Christ.

Lane

Some of my favorites:

Podcasts I love: RisenMotherhood, Revive our Hearts, Tim Keller sermons

Social media pages to follow: Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Radical(David Platt), Life Lived Beautifully, Risen Motherhood

 

 

 

 

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Self Pity

Elisabeth Elliot said it perfectly. “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing that has the power to destroy you.”

I have found this to be so true.  The root of self pity is pride and thinking we deserve something better. We can never be content when our eyes are fixed purely on a circumstance. Happiness is dependent on a circumstance but joy is dependent in a person. The world will tell you do what makes you happy but God tells us the secret really isn’t in the circumstance at all. “I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13). It all goes back to Jesus himself.

Don’t fix your eyes on the circumstance. The secret is never in the circumstances its in knowing the giver of joy in those circumstances good and hard. And joy has a name….Jesus. Happiness is the worlds substitute for joy and always depends on a circumstance. “You can’t depend on happiness but you can always depend on joy.”(Juanita K.) Joy comes in knowing Jesus and keeping your eyes fixed on him. I have experienced the trauma of self pity, the trauma of  taking my eyes off of Jesus and fixing my eyes on fleshly desires. His grace is always greater than our failures. When our hearts fail, He does not. When we are faithless he is still faithful. The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and knows just how to care for us when things are easy and hard.

Jesus says “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30..emphasis mine)

Here we see Jesus saying come, learn, and rest. It’s a daily learning from Christ once we come to him. The believer has already taken Jesus’ yolk upon them and taken off their own.  You don’t earn his yolk you receive it. Its all grace. Your own striving stops. Then we learn and its the walking in Christ where rest is found. Once you’ve received his yolk you don’t try to go and do your own work with your own yolk, you learn from Jesus and carrying his. A.W. Tozer says its a 1000 deaths to self this learning to walk in Christ. You see all through the New Testament the Apostle Paul will speak and live out this dying to self daily. If we are wearing his yolk but trying to still wear our own we miss the joy in the obedient walk with Jesus. This is why pride, why self pity, is so devastating. When we try to do things our own way we miss fully the joy and the purpose we’ve been made for.

Hear Jesus’ words, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 What is a disciple? “A learner that is learning how to live in the power of and express outwardly the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ”(Al Henson). Even our humbling ourselves, our learning,  is a gift from the Lord that he helps us with. We can’t do anything apart from him. We are always learning daily when we humble ourselves and learn from him.

“And in this knowledge-in knowing Him-we can finally rest.”

“The rest that Jesus offers only comes when we humble ourselves and submit to Him. This is why Jesus uses the image of a yoke, Jesus is calling us to submit to Him as our true master. But this can only happen when we ‘learn of Him’-when we are humbled as he is humble.” (Taken from Humble Roots  by Hannah Anderson.)

I go back to the beginning of this post.  “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing that has the power to destroy you”(Elisabeth Elliot). The joy is in the surrendering self and learning and resting in Jesus.

Thankful Gods heart is always greater when I fail,

Lane

For more reading:

Camp in Phillipians and Galations in the Bible

A.W. Tozer  The Crucified Life

Hannah Anderson  Humble Roots

Elisabeth Elliot(anything she writes:))

I’m not a huge fan of devotional readers but this is a great one Keep a Quiet Heart

 

 

 

 

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The Court

Most of my weekends as a teen were spent in a gym somewhere in the southeast half the year. Back then, half my age ago, I would have told you it was a good weekend based off if we won and how many three pointers I scored in a game. Looking back there are so many things I would want to tell 16 year old Lane about not being focused on self and to  pass the ball a little more. But one thing I had instilled in me at 16 that I’m forever grateful for today is the gift of the differences I shared on the court with my teammates were only a beautiful thing. Growing up in the suburbs of Birmingham most people looked like me but on the court we had all shades of color…including the season I went orange from too much tanning. I had girls on my team from all over Birmingham…Pleasant Grove, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Pinson, Vincent, Leeds, Vestavia, Alabaster. We all came together for the love of the game and each brought something a little different to the court. Natasha brought a quiet leadership. Martha brought a laughter to all. Tina made sure we all looked good on the court with makeup before the game and always kept me laughing. Ebonie and Laura Leigh brought a work ethic and love for the game that was contagious to us all. Jana just always showed up always ready to play leading us all to give it all on the court. Lindsay and Ashley encouraged us all with the way they loved us. Megan and Mindy brought a humility to us all by their example. I could go on and on here.

We each were different but we all came together for love of the game and it was actually our differences that made us one of the better teams in the Southeast. Color of skin was one difference that we shared on this team but I can tell you this difference in color was only a sweet joy. We learned from each other on those long weekends away. Parents from   the suburbs and city fried chicken together in hotel rooms on overnight weekend trips staying up in conversation. Ebonie if you read this I can still hear your mama yelling “Make your free throws baby.” Conley and Megan I can still taste those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that you brought to every tournament.

This might be a long stretch but I think I got a little taste of eternity on the AAU basketball court….being in unity with people not like me from all different parts but we all came together for one love. Our differences only made us exalt the love we shared more. Can you see the picture here? Each of us unique in our differences(Im not just talking about skin color but all the differences we all had) but we were the same. Jesus has purchased a people from every nation, tribe and tongue with his blood and for all eternity we will be worshipping God and have a part in the eternal Kingdom of God. We are all the same in Christ(Galations 3:28).

So why does global missions matter? There are about 3 BILLION PEOPLE that have yet to hear the the gospel in the world. That’s Billion with a B and people with a P. Not a statistic. Not just a number but a person created by Almighty God. There are over a thousand people groups that have yet to have any scripture translated into their native tongue. There are people from persecuted nations being scattered all over who have yet to hear the good news of the one they were created to worship some of whom are seeking refuge in our country. Approximately 70,000 people die daily without hearing the saving name of Jesus. “But how can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” Romans 10:14-15.  Global missions matters because God is worthy of worship from a people from every tribe, nation and tongue that have been purchased by the precious Blood of the Lamb and Jesus has commanded the church to go and tell all peoples.

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate.” —John Piper

I have had the privilege of worshipping with believers on the other side of the world and though we come from totally different places and look different on the outside there was an instant unity in Christ. There was an instant sweetness in worship with them as we worshiped our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We knew we were immediate family.  Just to think those in Christ will be with thousands upon thousands of people groups all the same in Christ for all eternity worshipping God. The Christ follower has so much to look forward too as we will worship our eternal God who is worthy of all praise with a people from every, tribe, nation and tongue. What a beautiful picture and so much to look forward too!

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Gospel

“What Comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer

Does God exist to enjoy you? OR Do you exist to enjoy God?

Does God exist to worship you? OR Do you exist to worship God?

Does God exist to make you satisfied? Or Do you exist to find satisfaction in God alone?

Does God exist to make your eternity desirable? OR Do you exist to delight in God for all eternity?

Is the Bible a book about you? OR Is the Bible a book God has given us so we can learn about him and his eternal plan of redemption for his glory?

Is corporate worship with the church about satisfying your feelings and preference? OR  Is corporate worship with the church about exalting and magnifying God?

I see a trend in our world that most people would answer the first questions on the left with a yes. God is seen as irrelevant. God somewhere someway has some kind of measurement to most and therefore is not interesting. He is wrongly seen by some as some kind of grandfather figure. He is wrongly seen as some kind of anything goes kind of god. He is seen to have some kind of limits. But God can not be measured. We however are measurable. God does not have limits. We have too many limitations to count.

The gospel starts with God. God is all sufficient in all things.  He was not made for us nor does he need us.  But God in his endless glorious grace invites us in through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. John Piper states this beautifully in The Pleasures of God in a very clear way:

“Unless we begin with God in this way, when the gospel comes to us, we will inevitably put ourselves at the center or it. We will feel that our value rather than God’s value is the driving force in the gospel. We will trace the gospel back to God’s need for us instead of tracing it back to the sovereign grace that rescues sinners who need God.

But the gospel is the good news that God is the all-satisfying end of all our longings, and that even though he does not need us, and is in fact estranged from us because of our God-belittling sins, he has, in the great love with which he loved us, made a way for sinners to drink at the river of  his delights through Jesus Christ. And we will not be enthralled by this good news unless we feel that he was not obliged to do this . He was not coerced or constrained by our value. He is the center of the gospel. The exaltation of his glory is the driving force of the gospel. The gospel is a gospel of grace! And grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God.”

We have future endless waters of living grace poured out on us in  the blood of Jesus to receive in faith to  know God for all eternity. For we were made to know him, serve him, delight in him, fellowship with him and worship him for all eternity with a people he has purchased from every tribe, nation, and tongue all because of his great endless love lavished on us in Jesus Christ our Lord so that we can become adopted sons of God.

Have you opened the gift in repentance and faith that God has lavished on us?

I’m just mind blown by God’s endless grace,

Lane

Scripture references that come to mind: Revelation 5:9, Revelation 4:8, Revelation 21, Colossians chapter 1

Recommended reading: The Knowledge of the Holy by AW Tozer, The Pleasures of God by John Piper

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shells

My husband loves me in so many little ways. I don’t really praise him on social media very much…it’s not his style.  One of the ways I’m so grateful for how he loved me this past week was he kept the kids along with my parents so I could have times ALONE to do one of my favorite things to be still and read while we were away at the beach on family vacation. With two littles that keep me busy my time to read in long stretches other than staying up until 1:00am comes few and far between. I was truly so thankful for sweet time with the Lord as I was shepherded by two sisters writings pointing me to the Good Shepherd of my soul.

One day at 5:00 the young man who picks up beach chairs came by to collect the chair and umbrella I was under. He asked me this question about some seashells that were sitting in the chair “Would you like to keep these shells?”

I simply told him no thank you but in my mind all I could think was I would be such a fool to not give up my shells.

“With what misgivings we turn over our lives to God, imagining somehow that we are about to lose everything that matters. Our hesitancy is like that of a tiny shell on the seashore, afraid to give up the teaspoonful of water it holds lest there not be enough in the ocean to fill it again. Lose your life, said Jesus, and you will find it. Give it up, and I will give you all. Can the shell imagine the depth and plentitude of the ocean? Can you and I fathom the riches, the fullness, of God’s love?”  ~Taken from The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliott.

 For the one that gives up their shell who receives Christ as Lord and Savior hear and know the truth that you are secure in Christ. But why do we struggle to go looking for our little bit of water we had in our shell once we’ve given it up? Why do we try to hang on to the little bit of control and comfort we think we have? When we are looking for yesterdays water or tomorrows water we are blind to the new mercies God has poured out for today and the purpose for how he wants us to use what he has given each day for his glory.  One of my favorite quotes so simple and so profound I heard from Janet Howard, Elisabeth Elliot’s sister in law.

“Let your yes be a continual yes.”

That may have been so simple you read right past that quote. Let’s go back and read that little one again. “Let your yes be a continual yes.” Do not try to go looking for your old water to fill your shell once you’ve surrendered to Christ. The joy comes in the surrendered daily death to self to walk in sweet fellowship with God. God’s compassions never cease for they are new every morning whether the waters look calm or rough. He will fill you with everything you need in Christ. Trust he will give you your daily bread as you abide in Christ. Don’t look for yesterdays water when you are in an ocean of grace today. Don’t go looking for tomorrows water either. Enjoy the surrendered daily moment by moment joy of taking up your cross and following Jesus where all joy is found as he fills you with living water through the Holy Spirit.

Just as I was alone on the beach answering the man about keeping seashells we all have to individually give an answer to God. No one else can give an answer for you.

With a continual yes in Christ,

Lane

 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves  and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:23-25) 

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