Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Beat Goes On

My 13-year-old son is quite the musician. He’s a guitarist, a trombonist and a drummer. A drummer…who doesn’t necessarily need a drum. He has a drum set, but his drumming certainly isn’t contained to it. The table is his drum. The sofa is his drum. The wall? Drum. The desk, the chair, his sister? Drum, drum, drum. He was baking cookies with me last week and even the cookie sheet was a drum. Okay, actually that was more of a cymbal—but there was still definite drummage.

Daniel drums without even knowing he’s drumming. It’s the percussion that never ends. The other day I couldn’t stand it any more. My left eye was twitching—on the beat. I said, “Daniel! Could you PLEASE stop percussing for five minutes?”

“Sure,” he said without missing a beat (as it were). Then he looked at his watch.

I wonder how many things I do without thinking. No doubt there are a gajillion annoying habits I’m not aware of that are causing eyes to twitch left and right.

Oh, that the Lord would grow me to the place where there are more things I do without thinking that bless than things I do without thinking that annoy. In 1 Corinthians 12:31, Paul says, “But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.” Then he begins what we call the “love chapter.” Love should be a way of life for those of us who follow Christ. Loving others selflessly should happen as naturally and rhythmically as those tap, tap, taps on the desk—loving almost without having to think about it.

Verses 4-7 in 1 Corinthians 13 tell us what that kind of love looks like: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (NLT).

How important is our sacrificial love for others to our Heavenly Father? We’re told in 1 Corinthians 13:1 that we could speak every language on earth—we could even speak the language of angels. But if we don’t love others, even Angel-eese sounds like a bunch of annoying noise. As a matter of fact, it says that without love, even if I’m speaking the sweetest language there is, “I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” The last thing I want to do is cause a twitch in the eye of the God I love.

I want to love others because I do love him. And I want to love consistently, steadily—without missing a beat.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stand Up for Jesus

We’ve had revival services going on at our church this week with Ken Freeman (www.kenfreemanministries.com). What a powerful movement of God—awesome!

You gotta love this guy. All the women made sure their husbands were listening when he told us in no uncertain terms that he chips in with the housework. I’m telling you, elbows were flying. Yes, he even vacuums. And lest you think for a second he’s some kind of girly-guy, don’t even—because he told us he had his heart set on a RIDING VACUUM CLEANER.

I didn’t want to mention it to Ken, but I’ve noticed that guys very often have a different idea of house-cleaning than we women do. At my place, when company is coming and we’re in a total lather trying to get our house in order (admit it—most of you only clean when company is coming, too), my hubby and I tend to have a completely different cleaning strategy. I start with the family room. He starts with the GARAGE. Our dinner guests will go nowhere near our garage, mind you, but Richie will make sure it’s clean. After all, how could we possibly have a nice evening with friends if his screwdrivers are out of order?

One thing that’s especially encouraging about revival services is that the Lord uses them to rally us and to remind us that we, the church, should always have the same strategy. Loving Jesus passionately, serving him wholeheartedly, sharing him faithfully—those are the strategies that help us make sure we’re standing up for all the right things. We reminded to be suited up and ready to do whatever it takes to stand against evil and to stand up for Christ. Ephesians 6:11 offers a charge: “Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil” (AMP).

That's where victory is: standing against every evil strategy, standing up for Christ!

Even if we’re eventually sitting down to vacuum.