Rachel Shane

Month: March, 2011

Kindness

I am going to try blogging regularly. We will see how long this actually lasts.  I figure if I blog more often, my blogs will be shorter. Win – win for all I think.

Tonight was our first worship night at our church (it was so great).  Our pastor came up every few songs and just did different things.  The last time he came up, he just read scripture, and he told us that if we felt any word or phrase stick out to us and God wanted us to hear that, then ignore the rest of the verses and just meditate on that one verse.

First David (my pastor) read Psalm 145. I didn’t really want to do his exercise, because I like hearing the whole section of scripture, but after I heard “He is filled with kindness” (NLT version). I couldn’t really focus on anything else he was saying.

I assumed God wanted me to dwell upon that, and I didn’t really know why, so of course I started asking Him why.  And He spoke, how wonderful is He.

I have lately been feeling like a tree continually getting pruned by God.  Much like John 15:2, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful”. I just kept feeling that God had these huge sharp tree trimmers and he kept jabbing them at me.  I knew it was for my best, but it has been painful, this pruning process.  My view of God had been the past couple weeks of Him just wanting to work on me.

So to sit and dwell upon “He is filled with kindness” was like seeing more of His face revealed when I have been only focusing on one part.  I forgot that God is kind. And I needed for some reason to hear the adjective/verb kind.  I have been hearing from God a lot that He is loving, but in my mind I kept saying “Ya you love me, so You are hurting me cause that’s what is best now, like a dad disciplining his child”.  But that wasn’t what God was trying to tell me. He was trying to tell me that His love is kind. He isn’t continually jabbing my side.  He is affectionate and caring towards me.

I am really happy about that.

James Vincent McMorrow

I believe that music is like the gospel, it should be shared at all costs. Therefore, I am going to start posting songs that I think are terrific.

I just saw this man at First Ave Friday night. He completely rocked my soul.  He made the other bands sound like noise instead of music.

He is a cute little man from Ireland and if you ever get to see him live, do so. I promise you won’t regret it.

Worthy

Philippians 1:27 says “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel”.

I have been praying and asking God what a life worthy of the gospel of Christ actually looks like.

I think a basic answer is quite simple.  The gospel is basically the life of Jesus, and Him laying down His life for us; so a life worthy, that is, equal, would be for us to do the same.

This theory in practice? SO difficult.

Lately I have been praying over everything I am doing in my life, asking God if it is something I am selfishly doing for myself, or if each thing I am devoting time to is something that He really wants me to do.  This is also a challenge because I have been trying to not let other people’s ideologies come into my mind.  Usually when I tell people about my work situation, they tell me I work too much and I need to quit something. But is this what God wants me to do? I pray and eventually He wants me to quit some of them, but now is not the time.

Another image that helps me is this: every job I am at, every activity I have been doing, I have been asking myself, “If Jesus came back right now, would I want Him to come back to me doing this?”  There have been some selfish things in my life where I know I would probably feel ashamed of if He came back while I was doing them.  Feeling this way, I have been working towards quitting those things.

This verse is so great. The second part that Paul says is, “Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel”.  How good of a picture is this.

I do have friends who live far away, and if they were to hear from one of my colleagues at the hospital or one of my friends in the cities, what would they say about my life and what I am doing? Would they say I am stressed out or selfishly seeking happiness for myself? I hope not! I hope they would say that in every situation I am in, whether working or hanging with friends, I am diligently seeking ways to make the gospel of Christ known.

Also I have been asking myself, “Am I daily trying to make the gospel known on my own, or am I using the body of Christ fully?” When Jesus sent the disciples off, he sent them in groups of two often.  Jesus knew that we could do more if we worked together!  I have been trying to remember that I am only one part of the body, and I will be much more productive in anything I do for His name if I do with with the other gifted brothers and sisters of Christ around me!

I don’t think my life is worthy of the gospel of Christ yet, nor may it ever be, but daily I will seek to live a life worthy of the sacrifice that was made for me.

In simplicity, if He gave everything, then we should give everything in return.