Category Archives: Rest

Circle of Life

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  I Corinthians 1:9

Years ago I was introduced to the idea of spending time with God on a daily basis.  Intentional moments carved out of my already busy schedule to focus on the God who sustains me — talk with Him, pray with Him, laugh and cry with Him.  So I pursued these moments with fervor, but the well of time quickly ran dry as life happened.  Projects, deadlines and many other things crowded the once designated time with Him.  It wasn’t long before I was no longer mentioning a quiet time with my Lord, but instead making excuses why I couldn’t afford that time.

And then I heard a dear friend and colleague speak to a group of college students.  I was one of them.  It turned my scripted idea of carving out a time with God each morning on it’s end.  He went on to invite us to explore the meaning of fellowship with our King.  As we are called into fellowship with Christ Himself, what then would that fellowship look like?  We were then encouraged to draw a circle around ourselves and regardless of where we are, invite Him into our circle.  True fellowship with the Savior!

So, no matter the place, no matter the moment, no matter the victory or crisis, no matter the emotion or experience, my circle includes the God of the universe who not only lives within, but does so in full fellowship with me!  As I exercise, He’s there to fellowship.  As I shop, He’s there to fellowship.  As I eat the blessings of this earth, He’s there to dine.  As I pay my bills, He’s there.  As I commute, He’s along for the ride.  As I worship, He rejoices in my joy of Him.  As I stress, He’s there to comfort and relieve.  As I heal, He is there to touch.  As I study, He is there to instruct.  As I doubt, He’s there to remind me of His promises.  As I question, He shows me in His Word an answer.  As I sit and wonder, He sits and loves.

When I draw a circle around me and invite the God of the universe to join me there — wherever that may be — I invite and unlock the very gift of life, love and the power of God to reside and rest within me.  It’s not a circle that excludes the fellowship of others, but the circle of life creates a light that shines and causes others to see Jesus in my circle!

Lord Jesus, may I continue to invite you into my circle — fellowship with me not just in the morning, but noon, day and night.  Now that’s a “circle of LIFE.”

by:  Mark Cruver

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Blessings, Faith, Fellowship, Heal, Heart, Hurt, In Christ, Joy, Life, Love, Rest, Truth

Rest In Victory

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.   Psalm 19:8-9

For trials and crisis, it can often seem as though joy has somehow become caught in the drain hole of life.  And when the essence of joy has been removed from the soul, when purpose and hope have appeared to have run for the exit, that which remains feels deflated — defeated — discarded.  But this victory is skewed!  This victory gives the impression that the “other side” claimed for itself the ownership of the battle.  And while the evil one would have us think this is true and both in our hearts and minds establish this paradigm, it is the furthest from the actual state of affairs.

My mom loves to keep things.  More specifically, she likes little phrases, old books, articles and references to scripture jotted down on a napkin or notebook paper.  It is not uncommon for me to visit and for her to hand me this old program from an event with a “saying” on it that she feels would inspire or lift you up.  She doesn’t just share the words, she’ll give you the whole thing!  So, in true form, during my recent visit home she grabs her four-inch thick genealogy binder and pulls out this half-page piece of paper.  On it is typed — not from a computer — typed from an old typewriter.  I would sincerely suspect it was from her manual typewriter I remember from my childhood that I actually used to type my triplicate carbon copied papers on for high school.  On the paper was a six or seven line prose from, well, “unknown” was at the bottom.  I searched the internet to find it’s true author and found the same short document, but instead of “unknown” at the bottom it referenced “Alan Redpath (stroke victim).”

Below I’ve shared his words because it describes perfectly of this battle of which I’ve spoken above.  It is the truth in victory!  It is the rest of victory!  Amen!

There is nothing – no circumstance, no trouble, no testing — that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me.  If it has come that far, it has come with great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment, but as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disarm me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is.  That is the rest of victory!  (unknown)(Alan Redpath (stroke victim))

by:  Mark Cruver

Leave a comment

Filed under Belief, Blessings, Christian Living, Faith, Favorite Quotes, Heart, Hope, Joy, Life, Rest

More Time, More At Ease

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. Acts 10:1-2

Admittedly, remembering to spend time with someone whom you never, or rarely, see is at best … difficult. There is an old saying that may be familiar that says, “Out of sight, out of mind.” The truth of this phrase works great when you’re trying to keep something from your children or working diligently on a diet. To introduce whatever that is, regularly brings it to mind – and then your mind latches onto it like a tractor beam and your thoughts revolve around it.

But this phrase carries with it a danger when it comes to spending time with my Lord. If I don’t look for Him, have faith in His presence, call on Him casually as well as during defined moments, then recognizing Him becomes far more difficult and I become less at ease with my time with Him. In this instance, out of sight and out of mind equates to Jesus my acquaintance instead of Jesus my Lord, my Friend, my Confidant.

Nothing spells love better than time. For Christ in me, His time is everlasting and abundant. His measure of love through time is endless. And the more I spend time with Him, the more at ease I become in my awareness of Him in my daily events. There have been some unusual places (or at least seem unusual to me) where spending time has fueled my fellowship with Him. Speaking with Him at the grocery store, sipping coffee at Starbucks, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, learning at conferences, visiting with others, at the playground, fishing on the lake, wading at the beach. Precious moments where there are conversations – simple conversations.

Let’s here of some places in which you’ve had a conversation with your Lord Jesus because you’ve been at ease in His presence.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blessings, Christian Living, Faith, In Christ, Joy, Life, Peace, Prayer, Rest

Holding Tight To My Right Hand

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:23-24

Ever enjoy a walk with a dear one? No where to be, just enjoying the stroll, hand-in-hand. Sometimes these walks are for the protection of the other. Such as when you exit the grocery store with your little one and you quickly remark, “Hold my hand now!” While other moments, like the one mentioned earlier, are moments of endearing fellowship.

But what happens when you find these strolls no longer happen? It’s not a matter of no place to go, it’s a reality of no one with which to walk. Life suddenly becomes a series of lonely strolls in the garden, along the shoreline, down the street or through the neighborhood. No longer protecting, no longer engaging, no longer sharing, no longer enjoying – it’s quiet, still and thoughtful. Different.

As sad as that seems, lonely as it appears, it is not so. The evil one would like for me to think this way in order to reflect on my isolation and seek to meet my needs in other ways contrary to Christ. Even in the midst of rejection, isolation, abandonment and the absence of those with which to walk hand-in-hand, God says and does something that is extraordinaire. He walks with me, grabs my right hand and with every hand I shake, and every rare moment I have to stroll with someone He shares in the moment … participates in the fellowship.

Lord Jesus, when I’m left out, rejected and removed, thank you for extending yourself, clutching tightly to my right hand and walking and talking with me wherever I go – whomever I’m with. Not only do you know my name – by name – you know my heart, my sadness, my desire for intimate fellowship and there you are! Continue to clasp tightly to my hand – there will be times I’ll want to dart across the street without looking both ways and I’ll need your tight grip to protect me. There will be times when I’ll not want to speak to you or to your face, but continue to hold me tightly as I will draw near to your comforting interest into my deepest thoughts. There will be times I will want to run and not walk and holding hands while running is no easy task, but stick with me for running is my way to get away from my pain, but you are my Comforter!

2 Comments

Filed under Blessings, Christian Living, Glory, Heart, In Christ, Life, Rest, Thinking of Me

Comprehending God’s Intimate Knowledge Of Them

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence [20] whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20

Recently I’ve been fairly overwhelmed with the vast variety of individual people around me. Each committed to their cause and pursuing agendas of their own. Some are heartily scurrying about to get where they are headed while others seem to negate time. Faces that tell stories of pure happiness and others of sadness to the point of defeat. I find myself wondering of their own heart. Knowing the wringer in which my own is daily experiencing, are they listening to theirs?

I don’t believe I can truly comprehend the depth of knowledge God has of each of those faces. The rude, crude, confused and angry. The fringe, fatigued, fallen and grieving. The stubborn, steadfast, stressed and proud. The bright, cheerful, engaged and driven. The focused, faithful, generous and loving. God knows them all, knows all of them, knows all about them — and just the same, He knows me.

Clearly, I don’t think I can truly comprehend the depth of true intimate knowledge my God has of me! But when I try to grasp this, His Spirit overwhelms. It overwhelms because of the realization that nothing is hidden. I’m predictable – that’s how much He gets me. But even in my predictability, my future is but a memory to Him.

My old self is but history, hung on the cross. My future is but a memory, He’s already there. My present is real and nothing but Life!

Lord Jesus, today I’ve needed to rest in the assurance of your knowledge of me. When I experience the rejection of the world around me I need to rest in your presence! I know, through your word, that you celebrate me and rejoice in me. There is nothing more joyous in your heart than to spend time with me! Would you like a refill on your coffee Lord?

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Heart, Life, Rest, Truth