Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Round Table

Furniture in the house is very functional and serves so many useful purposes. It is the difference between sleeping in bed or on the floor, for example. One of my best friends used to always crash at my place and sleep on the couch. At that time I had my old couch and the wood and springs were making themselves known to her, although she is not one of those people to complain. Since then I had long replaced the couch with a much better lounging type couch that can seat at least 5 people comfortable. It is soft and cushiony, sometimes even more comfortable to sleep on than my own bed. Recently my friend came for a visit and was in amazement and a bit of disappointment because all she could remember was all those springs poking her and oh, how much she wished this was the couch she was crashing on! "Now you decide to get a good couch", she said to me halfway jokingly, "when I had to endure all that pain!"

What about a table? I have a great glass top table that I did not use much in the past. I would rather eat in my room using a nice tray. Not very often have I seen the dinner table used unless it's a family setting, or perhaps you have visitors over to share a meal. Even then, many families now a  days do not sit at the dinner table, everyone goes about their business...

However, as of recent, the round dinner table has been getting a lot of action: it's a place of study, work, morning devotions, shared meals, but most importantly - it has become a centre where many conversations and prayers would happen. There is something very intimate and special about sitting at a round table facing one another. If only that round table could speak it would tell a story of many stories. Oh how wonderful it is to have that round table, but most importantly, to make use of it in this way...where friends and family come together to share and partake...share meals, partake in conversations, share lives, fellowship and commune with one another and God. A round table, so simple and mundane, yet so endless in what it is able to offer when used in this many life stories and prayers shared at that table...

...and for that I am thankful...

The Fellowship of the Believers

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."

~Acts 2:42

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Prayer

Lord, You are my God and i am so glad that no matter what I feel, Your love for me never changes. Help me grow and honour You in all I do. Help me to love others the way You love me and help me to see Your Creation through Your eyes.

This world has so much confusion, so much information and so many theories about every aspect of our existence, and yet You are constant for You are not a God of confusion but of order, and Your promises are True. Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit that dwells in me, thank You for all those small beautiful things that reveal You to me and make my heart melt at the thought of Your careful design of them, like the depth of my ability to sense your presence when I stop to spend time with You - You are always there and Your presence is so tangible. Nothing compares to that!
Thank You that You chose to wire us in such a way that we are all susceptible to see and recognise beauty and desire goodness, love and purity. No matter who we are and where we come from, no matter our path, our past, our hurts, our pain, our miserable experiences, our wickedness and perversion of heart and flesh - we are all capable of compassion, love and to conscientiously choose justice.

Thank You that we are so connected to You and one another, that we carry Your image within us as Your fingerprint on our human souls. Yes, the enemy took all that is truly innocent, pure, beautiful and good and corrupted it within our hearts and minds by putting a perverted spin on it. But no matter how much he tries and how much we stray, Your image is so programmed into us that we desire the restoration with the Source - You, the only True God. We spend our lives trying to figure out who we are, searching for Your image, but we miss it because we look for it in all the wrong places - outside of ourselves. You placed Yourself within us, the last place we would look because sin tainted us and made us feel SHAME (Self Hatred Aimed at Me), causing us to believe the lie. That is how Satan ensnares us when we fall so he can point the finger and say that we are not good enough, aiming the self hatred at us, tainting Your image in us, blinding us to the truth so we would not recognise Your Spirit in us Who makes us more than conquerors! He would rather keep us enslaved to sin... Thank You that You never give up on us and You want to renew our minds and hearts and bring it to the original design.

You live in me and because of that one-time-payment on the Cross for all sin - I am free! The power of the Cross, the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb whose Blood paid the highest price and washed me clean, releasing Your Spirit in me, setting me firmly as Your daughter - forever victorious!

...and for that I am thankful...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Truth in LOVE

Such a powerful statement, such a powerful truth, such a powerful practice!

So many times we choose one over the other, or simply forget to speak truth IN LOVE. It is amazing what you can do to help someone grow when you bring these two together: TRUTH and LOVE. In any relationship: friendship, working relationship, romantic relationship, parent-child relationship...any relationship, it is important to let the people know the truth. So many of us do not like confrontation and would not let the persons know how we are really feeling, so we sweep the issue under the rug . Other times, we cannot handle the truth about ourselves and react in a way that it's impossible for others to tell us how they really feel. Then there are instances when the truth is being spoken in a harsh manner and instead of building up and helping us to see how we can correct mistakes it does the opposite - it shrinks us into the ground. And yet, there are even those times when truth is spoke in love but no matter how much you speak truth and how much love comes with that - there is no change in behaviour.

One cannot operate effectively without the other. Truth spoken without love and without solution is plain criticism and condemnation and is not helpful. Love given without truth and accountability is a crutch that enables inadequacy and holds back growth process and the experience of authenticity in relationships that are real. It's like having a parent who loves their child but does not let them know when that child has done wrong...or a friend who would not point out a flaw in you that essentially continues to hurt you, such as a habit that sabotages other relationships and life in general. Or a loved one who does not speak truth in love to push you to get to another level of greatness, because they are afraid of confrontation and would rather not tell you the you can't grow.

Nevertheless, how would it change our immediate environment if we intentionally committed ourselves to speaking truth in love and, by doing that, helped people to grow? How much would we also grow if we were to commit to both - speaking the truth in love and being humble enough to receive truth when it is spoken to us. It is definitely a commitment worthwhile making - the growth that would follow will change your life! Do not be afraid to tell people the truth, especially those you love, at the expense of your fear of confrontation. You might be that person who can be their mirror from whom they can learn and grow. They may not thank you now, but they will thank you later ;)

Having close people in my life who are not afraid to come out and tell me the truth and speak that truth in love - is a blessing! Those are the friends and team players in life that would not just throw in a towel at the first sign of hardship and disagreement. They will stay even if you do not see eye to eye and will let you know when you are either out of line or are not following through on some things in such a way, that shows they are genuinely there for you. I believe that God puts those people in our lives to help us develop Christ-like character! These are the people that are hard to find...I discovered that I have those people...

...and for that I am thankful...