Well, my goodness! May is now over.
Since the month has been designated as Foster Care Awareness Month, as an advocate for orphan care, I really intended to blog more about being a part of foster care. (If you’re interested in our journey, check out these posts.
http://www.sodakotagal.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html and http://www.sodakotagal.blogspot.com/2015/05/once-you-know-their-names-everything.html
Darn those good intentions.[Sigh].
We began fostering because we believed we were called to do so. God commands us to care about kids without families, and He equipped Brent and me to minister together to children from broken homes. As I often do on Sunday afternoons, again today I’m rehearsing the morning. Today in our Sunday morning Life Group we were asked the question: Regarding the spiritual gifts/ministry God has given each of you, what would your life look like today if you really loved God with all your heart? Then, as God often does, He used Brent’s message out of Hosea to take that thought a little further and to challenge my heart to think about the idols in my life. My mind has now wandered to what Jesus said in Luke 12: Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
On this last day of May, I’m thinking a little about the upcoming summer months. Summer shouldn’t be used as a vacation from spiritual growth! So, what do I want this summer to look like in terms of my sanctification? Because God loves me and has chased me with His great mercy, and because I desire to love Him more, what will I change? How will I use what God has given me to serve Him this summer in a way that brings Him the most glory? How can I worship Him, and Him alone?
In the past few weeks I’ve been skimming my book shelf. My electronic one via my Kindle. We are blessed in this nation to have access to so many good teachers through books. So, I have confirmed with myself that one of my goals this summer is to read more of these great books all the way through! As I do so, I’ve decided to let you my reader (yes, all three of you), be the recipient of my reviews. It will be a sort of accountability for me. God has given me the capability of learning. When I learn and when I do, it brings Him glory.
As a teaser, I will share with you from one of my favorite books passed on to me a couple of years ago from my daughter Natalie. It goes with what I’ve been thinking …
“God wants us to love Him more . . . more than our possessions, food, and ministry. More than our families. More than our own lives. That doesn’t mean we can’t love anything else. Or that we shouldn’t love anything else. But we can’t love anything in the right way unless we love God more. Our desires will be out of whack. We’ll look to temporary pleasures like concerts, video games, and sports to fulfill eternal desires. We’ll love things that aren’t as worthy as God to be loved.
How do I know what I love the most? By looking at my life outside of Sunday morning. What do I enjoy the most? What do I spend the most time doing? Where does my mind drift to when I don’t have anything to do? What am I passionate about? What do I spend my money on? What makes me angry when I don’t get it? What do I feel depressed without? What do I fear losing the most? These are things I ultimately worship.
Isaac Watts: The Great God values not the service of men, if the heart be not in it. The Lord sees and judges the heart; He has no regard to outward forms of worship, if there be no inward adoration, if no devout affection be employed therein. It is therefore a matter of infinite importance, to have the whole heart engaged steadfastly for God.”
(Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin)
Singing hymns and psalms with others. Serving in foster care. Teaching Sunday school. Reading good books and studying theology.
None of these matter if real worship doesn’t take place in my heart!
So, it’s time for the mind to kick it in full gear because ready or not, here comes Summer!