Monday, October 14, 2013

"Radical Blessings"

I am a true believer that nothing in this world happens by chance.  I believe with all my heart, that things happen with HIS truth, and HIS purpose for our lives.  I know this to be true, because of how my life has played out.  Even in my darkest hours, HE was there, and HE has now taken me back and shown me just exactly where HE was.  

Yesterday I attended my second service since moving at Willow Creek.  It had been heavy on my heart from the moment we entered the church just how much our family has been blessed.  It was heavy on my heart of the radical change that our family has gone through in just two short years.  Honestly, the radical change in just six months.  Which in reality is like a moment of time.

The story that Pastor Bill Hybels shared yesterday was amazing.  It was the story of Mylene Paquette a 30 year old Canadian woman who was wanting to be the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  On day 83 of her journey she radioed for help, and told her team back home, barring a HUGE miracle, this is NOT going to end well.  Pastor Bill goes on to tell about how he was on the Queen Mary at that time, on a solo trip to be in solitude with GOD.  To get his heart, and his mind right with GOD.  He goes on to say how one afternoon the captain came over the intercom of the ship to let all the crew and passengers know that they were going to be making a detour.  In fact not only would they be making a detour but they would be stopping dead in the water.  Pastor Bill went on to say people began to ask why, and it was then they found out about Mylene.  Four hours, after she radioed for help, the "Queen Mary" arrived to assist her in her troubles.  He said that all the people aboard the ship went out onto the deck, and cheered and clapped for her as they gave her supplies, and made it so that her dream of being the 1st woman to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean could be her reality.  

As he was telling of this "radical blessing,"  I began to think about what has been a "radical blessing" in my life.  Well honestly I have too many to count.  Ones that I didn't even realize I had until I began to seek HIM to reveal to me what they were.  

10 years ago I began a journey with GOD, and in the beginning of knew of HIM.  However it has been through the storms of my life that I have really come to know HIM.  It has been through a series of "radical teachings" starting with "radical forgiveness." I have shared the story of my journey of forgiveness in the way that I have been forgiven, and how HE has taught me to forgive others.  Then came "radical obedience."  It was all about my trusting HIM that HE would take care of me, and that I would surrender all of me "no matter what."  

Today HIS Daily Teachings is letting me know that is has only been through my radical forgiveness, and obedience that I am now am to receive HIS "radical blessings."  One "radical blessing" that HE revealed to me yesterday was this, during the closing of the message at church, Pastor Bill began to speak about the "big dreams" that the church has for the next 24 months.  As it is in 24 months that Willow will be celebrating its 40th year.  D and I were just baby Christian's when they built the addition to Willow Creek.  We were a part of that and didn't even realize it.  

"Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess." Deuteronomy 5:33

Yesterday D and I sat down to figure out a new budget for our newest chapter of life, and we were both blown away by HIS goodness, and the "radical blessings" that we have been receiving.   My first thought was before everything we needed to first give it back to GOD.  We needed to bring the tithe.  As I wrote the check out, I prayed, that GOD would reveal HIMSELF in a big way that would give us much joy in knowing that our obedience would be blessed.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." Malachi 3:10

I am happy to say that our obedience was blessed just by being able to be a part of something so HUGE at Willow Creek.  I can honestly say that when I prayed for D to find a new job, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that it would bring us back right to where our lives truly began 10 years ago.  As Pastor Bill spoke yesterday of his amazing story of GOD'S "radical blessings" in his life, and those around him, he said, the Queen Mary was one of those moments where I threw my hands up in the air, and said, "the Queen Mary GOD, are you freaking kidding me?"  When I heard those words, I too myself thought the same thing, when it comes to the home are living in, to the life we are settling into, to the chapter our lives that have been closed.  It all makes me throw my hands in the air, in praise and say, "Are you freaking kidding me GOD?!?"  

The answer that I have received from HIM is a resounding "YES!"  I know that it is because HE loves me, and wants to pour HIS favor and blessings over my life when I say "Yes" to HIM, and "NO" to my fleshly wants and desires.  I now know that it has been through my daily surrender, and constant seeking of HIM to teach, lead, and guide me throughout every single moment of my life that I am able to receive HIS "radical blessings."

"If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth." Deuteronomy 28:1

I pray today that you are able to say "YES" to GOD, and allow HIM to transform and renew you.  I pray that you will be on the receiving end of HIS "radical blessings" as a result of your "radical obedience."  I pray today that you will seek HIM and allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide you through every single moment of your life.  I pray today that you will be able to say with confidence that you know HIM and not just know of HIM.



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