Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tozer Book Club

As I read through chapter two this week, entitled The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing, I saw in myself a great need to let go of all that I have and give it all to God. Maybe not literally, maybe so. But to fully allow Christ to reign as King and Saviour of my life.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

There is within the human heart a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to posses, always to posses. it covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant...Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.
I am so thankful for all of God's gifts to me. My children, husband, brothers, friendships, creation, food and the list goes on but to focus on the gifts he has given me above God himself is really taking away from why we were created in the first place.

Tozer paints a picture to show us how this works out in everyday life. He relates the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Old Testament. How God asked Abraham to give him everything, even his first born son Isaac. Abraham was willing even to the point of sacrificing him on an alter to God. At that point God sees that Abraham is willing to give everything up for his sake and he spares Isaac. Abraham was willing to give everything up to God and in doing so gain everything.
"It's all right, Abraham. I never intended that you should actually slay the lad. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there."

We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety. This is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.
I pray daily to committ all that I have to God. My controlling nature fights to keep it all to myself. I find it a constant laying down.

At the end of each chapter Tozer writes a prayer.
Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a riveal. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there.
In Jesus' name.

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You're blessed when you're content with just who you are-no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."
Matthew 5:3-5 (The Message)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Move

We are moving this week so most likely no blogging. We are moving to Hillsboro to a beautiful, big house. It has a wonderful back yard with lots of room for a vegetable garden, a petite plum tree and blueberry bushes. We are so EXCITED!!! Can't wait for you all to come visit...Have a good week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tozer Book Club

I just started reading, in a book club through our church, The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer. I have attempted to read this book several time in my life and now I am determined to get through it. The language is older, which can make it a bit difficult to read, so I find myself reading each paragraph two or three + times just to understand what he is saying. The first chapter was really incredible.

"My soul followeth hard after Thee; Thy right hand
upholdeth me."
Psalm 63:8 KJV

The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him. All the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: "Thy right hand upholdeth me."

I want to follow hard after God. In some ways having been a Christian since yearly childhood I have lost that desire to follow hard after God. At times my faith has become just something I did instead of a burning passion to know my Saviour more.

Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him. In our sins we lack only the power.

We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him, we need no more seek Him.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity...We must simplify our approach to him...We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.
When I put Hadassah to bed at night we spend time praying and talking about God. I know what he is saying when he talks of the candor of childhood. Hadassah has that childlike faith that God wants to see in us 'adults'. What a blessing it is to have a child to show me the simplicity of seeking hard after our God.

...that in prayer we practice a further stripping down of everything, even of our theology.
To set aside theology that has been taught to me in church, at home and in Bible school and just seek after God at times can be difficult. I think we as humans cling to parameters that we set up because that is what we can control. I looked up the definition of theology "the study of God." That in itself is not bad but to seek theological beliefs before seeking to know God should be avoided.

...must see then go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.
The word legitimately strikes me. We can know God legitimately. Legitimate can also mean authentic or genuine. I want to experience God through authentic, genuine and legitimate worship.

"Because you've always stood up for me, I'm free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post." Psalm 63 The Message

Please join me each Wednesday as I share with you what God is teaching me as I read through The Puruit of God. Hopefully on Thursday or Friday, after our get together, I will share what God has taught me through other Chrisitan women.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Praying for Politics

I Received a letter from a friend last week. It is a challenge to all of us. I am taking it on and hope and pray you will do the same.

Hello! I am sending this letter to every Christian woman, mother and mother-in-waiting that I know. As everyone knows, John McCain has chosen Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, Governor Palin is a fantastic Christian woman who, according to the columnist Effie Caldarola, is "a politician who lives her truth." How refreshing!

There is no better way to test a person's values then to see how they react when tough times hit. This April, the Palin family gave birth to Trig Palin. Before he was born, the Palin's knew that he was going to have Down syndrome. The stark reality is that 90% of women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome chose to abort the child! Sarah had just become governor of Alsaska, she already has four children, her star is rising politically, and she has a 12 year old nephew who is a special needs child. She knew how hard raising this baby would be. She could have chosen to abort the baby, instead, she and her husband not only had the baby, they issued a statement that said they felt, "privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives."

If you are like me, you are horrified by the fact that abortion is legal in this country. I stand in awe of this woman who is willing to do the right thing in her own life, no matter the cost, and is standig up for unborn children in our country. I am also frightened for her. The past week has shown the kind of attacks the Palins' are going to be facing as they finish the last weeks of this presidential campaign. I believe that this is more than a political battle. This is a spiritual war. As Christians, as women, as mothers, we can't let her stand alone. If we expect her to survive and be victorious in this election, we must wrap her in the arms of our prayer.

Before Queen Ester of the Old Testament took her life in her hands to talk to the king about saving her people, she had all the people fast and pray for her for three days, We can't expect to do battle without preparation. I feel a great burden for Sarah Palin and I am committed to fasting and praying for her evey Monday until the election on November 4th. That is nine weeks away. The Bible says, "The fervent prayers of the righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). Please join me in praying for Sarah herself, for protection for her family, for wisdom and stamina for both her and her husband, for victory in this election and ultimately for the abolishment of abortion in this country.

As I said, I will be fasting and praying for Sarah Palin on Mondays until Election Day. If you will join me, please fill out the included card and send it back to me. I want us all to know how many will be lifting her up together each week. Please ask every person that you know (including your husband) to join us. I have included several commitment cards in each of these letters. I hope that you will give these to your friends and family so that they will join us also. If you can't fast with us, then I ask that you at least join us in a special time of specific prayer for Governor Palin and The United State's of America on Mondays. Remember, "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20). We may not be together geographically, but we can join our hearts together as we pray God's blessing and protection on Sarah Palin and her family.

Thank you for praying with me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Alicia Marks

If you are interested in praying and/or fasting together with us please shoot me an email or comment and I will pass it along to Alicia. This is such an incredible opportunity. I hope that you will consider taking the challenge. I obviously will not be fasting completely but have chose to do a partial fast. If you are in the same position (pregnant, nursing, special diet needs etc.) and are not familiar with a partial fast just let me know and I can help you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Maher Weekly Menu

Well, it is the beginning of another week and time to map out a plan for eating. We are moving in two weeks so I will be trying to make meals with food I have on hand so that we don't have to transport it on moving day.

Breakfast: Fresh blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup.
Lunch: Tuna sandwiches with cheese and fresh tomatoes
Dinner: Left over baked spaghetti, garlic bread and green salad

Breakfast: Apple muffins, yogurt
Lunch: Play date will bring apples and cheese
Dinner: Green salad, grill chicken and coos coos
*My cousin and his wife just had # two arrive last week. So I will be making Shephard's Pie, salad and boysenberry pie (Mitch's favorite) and taking it over to them on Wednesday)

Breakfast: Apples and oatmeal
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Family dinner night, Taco soup, tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole and cheese

Breakfast: Yogurt and blueberries
Lunch: Egg salad, cheese and fresh tomatoes
Dinner: Homemade pizza and green salad

Breakfast: Toast with homemade jam and hard boiled eggs
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Will be in Knappa

Will be in Knappa to move my stuff out of my dad's house (guess it's time to grow up and stop storing stuff at my dad's house :)

Breakfast: Oatmeal and apples
Lunch: Toasted tuna w/ cheese and tomatoes
Dinner: Steak, black bean, corn wraps...

I must say, I am very ready for cooking in cool weather. I am ready for roast on Sunday, baking bread and making cookies when ever I feel like it and not having to look at the weather report to anticipate a good day for baking. I am not complaining about the warm weather (OK, those who know me, know I do not like hot weather) I am just looking forward to getting back into the kitchen to cook and bake.

For meal plan ideas do to Organized Junkie

Monday, September 8, 2008

For Today...
Monday, September 8, 2008

Outside my Window...The sun is going down.

I am thinking...I should work on packing.

From the learning rooms...working on site reading with Hadassah by labeling items around the house.

I am thankful for...the warm fall days.

From the kitchen...tuna casserole for dinner with diced tomatoes. Will be making banana bread later tonight.

I am wearing...jeans and a mustard colored tank top (just received from Down East Basic).

I am reading...Mothering Magazine.

I am hoping... for a good night sleep.

I am creating...some Christmas presents.

I am hearing...Shane reading to Hadassah. I am so thankful for an engaged husband and father.

Around the house...packing boxes to be filled and laundry to be put away.

One of my favorite things...a good sauna.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...pick blueberries tomorrow. Wednesday play date. Thursday first book club meeting then out to our new home to plant some bulbs so we can enjoy beautiful tulips next spring. Friday, hopefully taking Grandma Dykstra out for lunch. Pack, pack, pack.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

The joy of a Child

For more Simple Day Books