Our New Home

Our New Home
Fall is in the air!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Staying Amazed

When I stepped outside this morning it was actually a little cool!  Although the air was somewhat muggy, it was still refreshing at 60 degrees after the summer heat.  I am excited this year and am looking forward – probably since the first time we’ve been here – to experience the adventures that the fall and winter seasons will behold for us now that we are settled in our new home on the East Coast.

I admit that I did have some anxieties about the differences in the weather patterns between the west and east coasts!  I think I got spoiled living in northern California where we really only have two distinct seasons between the summer/spring months and fall/winter.  I actually found myself getting bored with the drought conditions that we faced for the last few years when we were there.  Don’t get me wrong, it is hard to complain when the weather is in the 70’s and 80’s all year round, but I found myself missing the rain and some of the colder weather that we used to get.

Out here we get four distinct seasons!  Right now we’ve just begun the transition from the hot, muggy days of summer with the regular treat of a thunder showers, to the colder and occasionally snowy days of winter.  I’ve never been much of a snow person, but now that we’re out here… I think that I am going to change that!

I used to consider the students I met at Bible College from states like Minnesota as being strange when they would talk with great glee about the winter snows and all the fun they had with it.  But now I can see why it was special to them.  Let’s face it… we are here for a while, maybe even to stay, so we might as well enjoy it to the fullest… right?

Like I mentioned yesterday, that is the way that my wife and I have always tried to live our lives… to the fullest!  As a son of the living God, I cannot fathom what life would be like without staying in the place of AMAZEMENT before the Lord.  I read a verse yesterday that went off like a firecracker in me.  It is Paul’s final word to the Philippian church and he leaves them with the fantastic challenge to: “Receive and experience the AMAZING grace of the Master Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.”

I admit that I got really excited as I considered what Paul was saying!  I immediately grabbed a pen and began to write down my thoughts and spoke them aloud to my wife declaring: 

“O Lord, never let Piper and I drift away from an ever-growing, intimate, experiential knowing of Jesus and of His love, His power, His wisdom and of our praises unto Him.  For I don’t want us to ever NOT be at AWE and AMAZED at anything that You do – NO MATTER how small or insignificant it may seem to be.”

After Jesus read from the scriptures in the synagogue in His hometown at the beginning of His ministry, He handed the scroll back to the attendant and addressed the congregation saying: “You’ve just heard scripture make history.  It came true just now in this place.” (Luke 4:21 The Message)  I desire to hear that spoken to me and my wife every day of our lives as we continue to make history by seeking out, obeying and following His Word!

I’ve seen Christians who have lost the joyful anticipation of the AMAZING of God in, for and through their lives and they are unhappy people with no expectation for the supernatural power of God.  It becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly that something is missing in them!  They are no pleasure to be around and many times tend to suck the joy out of us when we are in their presence!

I definitely don’t want to have THAT kind of influence with people.  Piper and I may be going through some very difficult times in our lives right now, but I still want to be a joy and encouragement to those we come in contact with!  I’ve learned over the last few years that my job is not just to care for and continually encourage my wife, but that I also have a responsibility to let my expectations of God’s best… of His AMAZING, flow freely from me into those that I come into contact with on a daily basis!

If I ever lose my sense of His AMAZING in the midst of this battle… then I lose everything… and I am NOT about to let that happen!  What about you… in your life… with the trials and tribulations as well as the joys you encounter in your walk?

How do you build up your sense of His AMAZING?  By staying connected and in daily communication with Him through His Word.  Psalms 15:30 tells us that the good reports of His Word is good news that can’t help but make us feel better!  (See: Easy to Read Version)  Other translations tell us that His Good News nourishes the body and makes us feel strong. (ISV/CEV)  Back in Philippians 4:8, Paul informs us that Papa God’s good reports are one of the things that we should continually think on.  We can’t help but be and stay joyful and therefore strong when we regularly come into His presence through His Word! (See: Nehemiah 8:10)

So I would encourage you this day, to make my confession to stay in the AMAZING of God to be your confession as well!  Winter is coming and I am looking forward to be amazed with the joys of this new season… just as I am looking forward – on a regular basis – to be AMAZED by God throughout each and every day of my life!

Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Who am I expecting to be AMAZING in (and through) my life today?”

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