Monday, January 14, 2008

516 - Living a Life that Requires Faith

Dear Lord - thank you for a great weekend. Clay and his dad did a ton of work on the house and so we really could be 2 or 3 weeks away depending on how this week goes!! Yeah! I "distributed" the kids all over town on Saturday afternoon and Clay and I went to dinner and a Mark Schultz concert with his parents. It was just a very small thank you for all the free work Papaw has given us in the last 8 months. We had a good time. Then of course Sunday was wonderful. We had 201 in service and I didn't have 2 of my own with me - ha ha! We have started have a little drums and ensemble play for all our music - it rocks! We are still doing some hymns which I have learned to enjoy after really taking in the words instead of just singing, but now we have "tempo-ed" (can I use that word Val?) them up just a bit. I love it - the harmony, the pace, the Spirit filling the room - just awesome!

Luke's sermon yesterday was great. The title was "But because you say so" found in Luke 5:1-11. This is the time when the guys were out finishing - had done everything right to get a big crop - what do you call it when you get a ton of fish? But anyway, they did all the right stuff to be successful and yet were not! So as they are cleaning up and calling it a night, Jesus stops by and changes thing and them. This is also known as the calling of the first disciples!

My preacher went from the direction that what God calls us to do may not make sense. The guys were cleaning everything off and Jesus stops by gets into on of the their boats and does some teaching. I think it would be kind of funny scene. I can picture them cleaning everything off, disgusted that it was a bad night (they fished in the evenings), and are might be thinking "Hey Jesus why don't you help us clean up here instead of sitting in the boat and teaching. Can you give the boys a hand?" As Jesus wraps up His lesson for the evening and I can see the guys folding up the nets and just about done, Jesus asks them to come in and bring your nets.

That has so been me Lord - just when I think things are done in a situation, when I think we can pretty much call it a day or I feel like the "deal" is never going to change, You ask me to do one more thing that not only is a bit unnerving or frustrating, it doesn't make sense. But because you say so. Wow - I really love that statement. I am not sure I have ever noticed it before. I will definitely feel much more liberty to say that to my kids - Because "I" say so. There have been so many time sin my life I have seen this lived out............but at 5:30am I am having just a tad bit of trouble thinking of one. Maybe my move to Illinois. We had pretty much resigned ourselves to being in Charlotte forever. Clay business could not have been doing better with more opportunity on the horizon. My ministry had really picked up and things were happening. Kids were getting a fine Christian education. We were in a great Sunday school class. Life was great for the most part. But because you say so - we moved.

I think the thing that is interesting is that God allowed them to be extremely successful for just a moment before calling them to drop everything and follow. That is the part that really draws my attention. He took them out on a personal tour of the lake and allowed to catch so many fish that another boat had to come over and help out and then even at that the boats were beginning to sink because they had so much. It turned out to be a great day and then God says drop everything and follow me. Lord, I have to honest here - you know my thoughts anyway - I would have a hard time dropping everything and following after such a great evening. You just showed us how to really get 'r done with fishing and all and now you want me to just leave everything. At the pinnacle of my success you want me to leave everything? What???

I think God is telling me this morning that following Him will not always make sense as Luke preached yesterday. Following You will be a sacrifice. Following You will be different than worldly success. Following You may be a turning from what I think I am made to do. Following You may be not be without ridicule. Following You demands immediate attention and obedience. Following You requires faith and trust.

At my retreat with the Plainview Church we had our last session and paid out on the floor seeking you in our lives. My new friend for that weekend, Christina, prayed outloud and I will never forget her tearful words. "Lord increase my faith. DO things in my life. I want to live a life that requires faith." I remember popping up my head and in a moment of faithlessness and gut reaction thought - holy cow, does she know what she is asking? Does she know what she could be in store for? Doe she have any idea the things that could come her way that she does not want let alone want to invite? But Christina knew! She was well aware of what He was asking of her and she responded immediately! It was incredible. I wonder what He has brought in her life as of late?

Lord, that is what I want! To live a life that requires faith. I want to live an immediate life - when you say jump, i say how high and begin to jump! I want to do everything and go! I want to not ask questions, have an argument with you trying to reason things out, I want to jump!! I guess you leading the ministry into a year of speaker fee free is an example of this. Thank you for giving me the faith to do this, but thank you for feeling like You could ask this of me. Oh Lord and Savior - let there be more in my life - more reasons and example to require faith and then to jump off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Lord!!! I love you!


Nicki said...

Leigh, this really spoke to me today as so much of what I've been doing just hasn't "made sense" on paper!! When I think about this house God brought us to....I still can't figure out why.....everything keeps breaking and it has been quite a headache.....but we "know" that God did it for a reason. It's so hard for me NOT to question wonder if he really knows what's up? =) More faith...less doubts.....that's what I want today!! Thanks girly.

Lisa said...

Hearing you talk about your church (and knowing where you came from)reminds me that worship is not about where you are...but all about who He is. We try to make it complicated, but we have to remember that if everything else gets stripped away, we can still worship. God is what/who makes it fantastic, whether in a big church or a small church...on a deserted island...or in a bathroom stall, snatching a few moments of mommy solitude!

Yay, God. Thanks, Leigh, for the reminder.

Lisa :)

Valarie said...

Awesome post this morning girl! And yes you can tempo-ize anything you want to!! hahaha

Funny, cause did you see the LPM blog? Beth was also reveling in the old hymns. I think since most of us grew up with nothing else, we tend to not "lean" towards those old songs, but I thank God He's given me the "eyes and ears" to really hear them and now appreciate some of their fantastic lyrics. (They all could use a little "tempo-ing" at times though!!) haha

Love ya girl.

Fran said...

That was awesome Leigh! Yes. Give me eyes to follow, ears to hear You, and a heart that will seek you with all that I have!

Increase our faith Lord. Hope you had a fantastic day!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Oh Leigh!!! God really used you to speak to me in this post.

I'm sending some friends over that need to hear this!

Love you girl!

ange said...

Thank you for this Leigh! As usual it spoke to my heart. I love reading here, it just jazzes me up!!!
Thank you again

Lindsay said...

Thank you for your encouraging words. Steph (at Notes from the soul)linked me to you knowing that your words would lift me up. Our family is facing incredibly challenging times and I can only pray that my faith will increase and that I can point others to Him, though these times.

Leigh Gray said...

Lindsay - thanks for stopping by. If anything I say or am going through can point even just one to Him or give one some kind of clarity or encouragement of what they are going through then it is so worth it! Thanks for leaving the comment and I will be praying for you tonight!! Have a wonderful week - Reqiring faith!

Love, Leigh

Leigh Gray said...

ange!! great to hear from you!! thanks for stopping by and saying hey - you are always so kind!!!

Living the life of Faith! Leigh

Leigh Gray said...

Stephanie - you are the type of person I had next door to me. I could always count on your for eggs or butter, but most certainly love, acceptance, and encouragement!! Wow - youare so special!! Thanks for sending a few my way!! Hope your day is wonderful - you feeling better?
love, Leigh

Leigh Gray said...

hey sweet Fran!!! great to hear from you again! been missing you! the house and everything going well wiht you? I think we are a little less than 1 month out!! yeah!!!, but i am not holding my breath either!

Teresa told me you all know some of the same people! Go figure!

Still waiting to hear on the Tn. event. THanks