A Letter on my Doorstep

blog collage 

A Letter from God on my Doorstep

I opened the door, and there on my doorstep was a personal, handwritten note from the Lord just for me!   I quickly opened the note and read the message inside.  As I read, it took my breathe away to see how personally and consistantly the Lord leans into our lives!  

The letter was actually from a friend living in Central Asia,  she was writing to thank me for an encouragement and prayer I had written her a few weeks ago. She and a fellow worker, had recently witnessed some extremely tragic events, and our community rallied together to pray for them.  In response to the news I prayerfully scribbled a quick note on a piece of construction paper  “Balm of Gilead” because i had just published a blog post about Jesus being the Balm of Gilead.

In the thank you note I found on my doorstep, my friend expressed how much she appreciated taking the time to write and pray for them in her time of grief. She saidshe was actaully moved her to tears.  

In her note she said that about a year ago, she and her co-worker had been in Scotland raising awareness about this Central Asian nation, and in that prayer meeting The Balm of Gilead was a prominent theme, and word of the Lord.

The Balm of Gliead

I really struggled with that post about Jesus being the Balm of Gilead, because it felt like a name of the Lord that I hadn’t fully encountered, and that I haven’t intimately known.

 Another part of my struggle was that I felt that it was a revelation relevant for another era, and not my own.

When I heard the news of what was happening that day, and how it had impacted my friends, I took the opportunity to reach out because I KNEW it was a word for them.

I share this story to introduce today’s name of the Lord, and to follow up on my last post #8 Name of The Lord  The Beginning.

#9 The Name of the Lord for TodayThe Beginning and the End.  

I have been chewing on this for a few days, and I haven’t been sure how to share this revelation today’s name of the lord. When i read the Letter on my front door I knew exactly what to say.  

I ended post #8 asking the question:

If you are anything like me, the exictmenthope and exlariation of new beginnings invebality hit the resisiatnce of self-doubt and fear.  I want to invite you to check out my next post, and discover how encountering Jesus as the Beginning and the End will give you as you press through that opposition and stay the course with confidence.

Today I draw strength from knowing Jesus as the Beginning and the End (Revelation 21:6) because my daily experience is that He is also the God of the middle.  

He is not just there at the Starting line cheering me on or waiting for me at the finish line.  He is with me in the race.  

As we look at the Psalms we the beautiful inheritance we have of this reality of meeting Jesus in the NOW.  As we see expressed in Ps 90:1-2

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

In my walk with the Lord, He has consistently spoken to me in personal and subtly ways through notes like I recently received on my doorstep.  

Granted this kind of experience could easily be perceived as subjective, but for me it is the goodness of God that is my dwelling place in all generations.  

Today I have confidence because I know He is in my beginnings and will be my God in the End, because He is with me now! He will always be my Dwelling Plave in every generation! 

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#7 The Name of the Lord for Today: The Balm of Gilead

gilead heart

The Spirit of peace and compassion will bind up all our wounds.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?
                                     Jeremiah 8:22

Welcome to the lament of Jeremiah the ‘Weeping Prophet’

Jeremiah was a man confronted with the challenge of looking at his nation in light of what God had called them to be.  He was broken by the drift that had taken place. This was a people whose story was so unique! 

This nation Israel was a people scooped up out of the hands of oppressive slavery in Egypt and brought a land of promise to walk intimately with the living God.

As Jeremiah walked with God, and as he observed His ways, he was shattered by how far Israel had fallen. They had settled for lesser pleasures and lesser god’s.  

It is in the tears and agony of Jeremiah that this question comes exploding out of the text!  

IS THERE NO BALM IN GILEAD?

Gilead was a region famous for a healing balm that flourished there.  It was said that this healing salve from Gilead was so sought after it was worth twice it’s weight in silver.    

What was created to be sought after had become despised.  The healing that had once been given through this nation was now barren and void.  Surveying the brokenness of his people Jeremiah was devastated.  

Today’s name of the Lord: “A Balm in Gilead” met the longing of Jeremiah’s heart.  Jesus is the Balm of Gliead.  Like the balm that made Gilead infamous,Jesus was crushed for our healing.  

This fulfillment of this old testament prophet’s heart cry, gives me a deeper insight into the heart God. He is a merciful and compassionate God who is moved by the laments of His people.  He could have washed his hands cleans of this people on many occasions, but rather and He constantly chooses to engage our brokenness and pain.  

Jesus is a perfect example of that truth.  He came as ‘Emanuel’ and lived in our mess  so that he could lead us out of it!  The death of Jesus open our eyes to God’s relentless pursuit of us. Despite our rebelliousness He comes to lavish us with mercy and compassion.

The Art of Inquiry by Matt Rawlins

block question

 

Welcome back to Ken & Meg’s Blog!!  We are currently Brainstorming a name that has a little more Zest, and Captures our crazy personalities!

Just so you know we had a great time away, and will share more about our trip down to the Great Sand Dunes National Forest.  (Blog to follow)

Today I am excited to share with a great article by Matt Rawlins a guy that I am a huge fan of and someone that I personally have learned alot from! I love the journey that Matt has been on and the doors that have been opened to Him. We  always had come him come and teach in Wollongong, Australia on the Character and Nature of God, and it was never was a disappointment.   Matt is a consultant in Sinagpore and works with companies and organizations to help them navigate change, and build effective healthy teams.

I am sharring this today simply because it is a skill that I want to further develop in my own life, as well as in the culture of the teams I am a part of working with.  Honestly it is a skill that needs to fully developed in my life, and I feel like I am at ground zero.  BUT I AM HUNGRY TO LEARN AND BE PUSHED OUT INTO NEW ARENA’S!  That is why this it is here!  I want to learn more!  Please see the Amazon link to Matt’s Book on leadership at the end of the blog.

The Art of Inquiry by Matt Rawlins

A recent study estimated that the world generated 161 billion gigabytes of digital information last year. That is like 12 separate stacks of books that reach from the Earth to the sun or three million times the information in all the books ever written.

The report sought to account for all the photos, videos, e-mails, web pages, instant messages and other digital content cascading through our world today.

How much memory would be required to contain the above information? You would need two billion 80GB iPods to hold it all!

This leads to a growing realisation that memory is not automatically the best use of our minds in modern education and computers are much better at data management.

How do we focus on the right data, create space when there is too much data and learn to think more effectively?

The real work for each of us is to relearn the art of enquiry. As children, we learned by asking questions.

There is a Chinese proverb that goes: “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

Victorian writer, historian and Bishop of London, Mandell Creighton, once said: “The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.”

So what does an effective question do?

1. Questions can change our thinking

A consultant was asked to help a group of programmers who were way behind on a $100 million dollar project. He came in and interviewed them all. After much consideration he simply asked one key question.

The question took hold and changed the way the programmers were thinking. The end result was that the project finished on time and was $15 million dollars under budget. The right question changed the thinking of all those involved in the project.

2. Questions create space

A young married woman went to the doctor for help. She asked to be sterilised, as her upbringing had been so painful that she didn’t want to have her children experience the same thing.

The doctor asked her: “What would happen if you could make your children’s life better and could protect them?”

She thought about it and was stumped. She changed her mind about the operation and now has two beautiful girls that are the joy of her life. The right question created space in her thinking to look at life in a new way.

3. Questions validate people

A college student was stuck. He had tried solving a math problem over and over and he just couldn’t get it right. With no small effort, he asked a friend for help.

Although it seems like such a simple example, when someone asks someone else a question, it recognises the need for the other’s gifts and expertise and provides an opportunity for people to work together and ultimately succeed.

4. Questions help communication

A couple sat and angrily stared at each other. The counsellor looked at them and hoped to change the focus of their communication towards each other.

After some dialogue, the man realised that he was asking the question, “How do I change my wife?” when what he needed to be asking was: “How can I encourage my wife?”

When he changed this question, he changed the way he communicated, and when the communication changed, the relationship changed.

The wisest use of your mind is not just holding data, but learning how to work with the data, which requires the art of enquiry.

Simply put, we must relearn how to ask questions. As with all arts, it is not an easy task to learn, and requires discipline and practice with a dose of humility.

Yet, it is a worthwhile discipline that seems guaranteed to produce new levels of success for all who dare to ask.