Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Photos and Thoughts


We go to an outreach with our church to a neighboring town on Saturdays.  It’s actually a church plant and the church meets on Sundays.  On Saturdays, we knock on doors and tell people how much God loves them and invite them to church if they don’t already have one.  This past Saturday there were major threatening downpours.  So, we decided to a have prayer meeting in the food court at the local mall.  Prayer meetings and two year olds don’t mix.  Well, they do but maybe just a tad distracting for the rest of the folks.  I spared everyone and let Henry play on the moving kids vehicles.  He never knew they moved until another kid came along and his mom actually paid the money!  Come on, lady, you ruined my plan to never let him know.  She was really nice because her son was soon terrified of the pink moving motorcycle and she invited Henry to hop.  Which he did.  And then he wanted more.  But we didn’t.


Here is his absolute cuteness in the hotdog truck.  So stinkin’ cute!


Really, really loved The Help.  Ladies’ night out doesn’t happen often enough.  We all had a blast and were so thankful for mother Teresa who managed all of us moms!  She held our parking ticket from the garage, held our movie tickets for us and left dinner early to save us seats!  Yea, Teresa! 

We ate at the Lebanese Tavern which I was super excited when Beth noticed a gluten free menu.  It was good.  The movie was great and the side walk table chat with a Hagan Daz Raspberry sorbet was fantastic!  I didn’t get home until after midnight and my husband asked me if we all thought we were super cool or something.  Trying to be funny.  No, just enjoying five minutes with other mothers and no kids!  Fun.


I am reading The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob compiled from Watchman Nee’s messages.  I really, really like this book.  It’s so good.  Not in a novel way.  In a growing closer to God and growing in your Christian walk type of way. I highly encourage you to read this excerpt that is from Chapter 10 (towards the end of the book).  It really helps to read the first part, so you understand the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, but I think you would benefit from this anyway.

So without further adieu, read on folks.  The following words are not mine they are from the book aforementioned:

The Necessary Experience of a Christian

In order for a Christian to take God's way, he must receive everything from Christ. However, it is not enough for us to just be Isaacs. We are Isaacs, but at the same time we are also Jacobs. We need God to touch the hollow of our thigh, to weaken us, and to put us out of joint. The day will come when God will touch the hollow of our thigh. Our advance cannot always be slow. If we advance as slowly as we are now, it is questionable that we will reach Bethel in twenty years. God has been disciplining us for twenty years, but now we need to have the hollow of our thigh put out of joint so that we can no longer stand tall before the Lord. This is a specific experience, one that is as specific as our salvation. Just as we needed to be saved in a definite way, and just as our eyes needed to be opened to see the riches of Christ in a definite way, the seat of our strength also needs to be touched in a definite way so that our natural life will be dislodged.

Every Christian has his own thigh hollow. With some, their natural strength is lodged within their conniving. With others, their natural strength is lodged within their talent. Some Christians have their natural strength lodged in their emotions, while others have their natural strength lodged within their self-love. Every Christian has his own particular strong spot. His natural strength is lodged in that spot. Once that spot is touched, his natural strength is touched by God. I cannot tell you where your natural strength is lodged, but I can say that every Christian has his own particular spot. Every aspect of his life is under the influence of this spot, and this spot can be considered as the hollow of his thigh.

The natural life of some Christians is manifested in their love for exhibition. They love to exhibit what little spirituality they have. Their so-called "testimonies" are actually not testimonies for the Lord, but a kind of self-boasting and self-manifestation. All of their actions, life, and work issue from their desire to exhibit themselves. Eventually, God will touch their love for exhibition.

Some Christians have their natural strength lodged in their self-love. Everything that they do originates from their self-love. Those who are experienced can tell immediately that they are doing this and that and are saying this and that only because they love themselves. From all of their behavior, one can find a thigh hollow, which is their self-love. There is always a nerve center for our natural life within which strong power is hidden. Eventually, the Lord will have to destroy this before we can bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, everything will still come from our self.

Some Christians have their natural life hidden behind their strong mentality. They always think and reason when others speak to them; they always judge whether or not something is rational or justifiable. They analyze everything that comes their way. Their minds are too active, and their heads are too big. They live in their mentality. If they do not think and analyze, they cannot live. Their mind becomes their life. They may be capable in doing many things, but they are useless in God's hand. Eventually, God will have to touch their mind before His purpose in them can be fulfilled.

Other things can also be the lodging place of our natural life. When God touches this spot, it means that He is working in us. This does not mean that we have become perfect, but it does signify a turning point in our life.

Many Christians seem to have committed unrelated mistakes. They make small mistakes here and there. The outward expressions of these mistakes may be different, but the root is the same. This root is the hollow of the thigh we mentioned earlier; it is the lodging ground of their natural life. God will not let this go; He will always come back to deal with it. God's attention is not on the many outward, minor expressions. His intention is to touch the nerve center of the natural life and to bring about a basic change in them.

Thank the Lord that He touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh. After this touch, Jacob became crippled. He became weak, was defeated, and could no longer wrestle.


The Meaning of Peniel

Some may ask, "What is the meaning of Peniel? How can Jacob's Peniel be applied to us?" We can answer this way: You may have a stubborn disposition which has been dominating your life. This disposition has become the principle of your life and the lodging ground of your natural life. At ordinary times, you do not notice it. But God provides many opportunities in which this natural strength is exposed once, twice, ten times, or even a hundred times. Yet you are still unaware of it. One day, at the crossing at Jabbok, you will have exhausted your ability and the very seat of your natural life will be exposed. At that time, God's hand will touch you and show you where your natural strength lies. You will realize your most ugly, evil, and filthy disposition. What you have been boasting about, what you have gloried in and taken satisfaction in, and what you have considered excellent and superior are now under the shining of God's light and found to be nothing but the fleshly life, which is filthy, corrupted, and despicable. The light has killed you. This is the meaning of Peniel. God shows you that the very things that you once boasted in, considered admirable, were proud of, and that distinguished you from others are the very expressions of the fleshly life. When God touches your life in this way, you become weakened. This is the meaning of Peniel.

Your natural strength needs to be dealt with by the Lord. But before you see the light, you consider this strength as something precious and worthy of boasting. Brothers and sisters, you have to be careful with your boasting. The strength of the natural life is hidden within the boasts of many Christians. It is hard to find one Christian who does not have his natural life lurking behind his boasts. Therefore, you have to be particularly careful about your boasts. The things that you boast in are often the very things that God will deal with. Perhaps these very things are the hollow of your thigh. God will shine on you and touch the hollow of your thigh. When He touches this spot, you will become very ashamed and say, "How could I have made my greatest shame my glory?" All those who know a little about the experience of Peniel can testify that when God touches the hollow of their thigh, they are not only weakened but ashamed. They exclaim, "How could I have been so foolish? I thought that this and that were good. Actually they were all shameful things!" They feel that they are the most ugly person before the Lord. Brothers and sisters, once God touches you, you will see that everything you did before was ugly. You will wonder how you could have considered them your glory and your virtues, and how you could have considered others inferior to yourself! When this happens, God has touched you.

The name Peniel means "the face of God" in the original language. God's face is God's light. In the past, God touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh with His hand. Today He is touching our natural life with His light. Once we are enlightened by God's light, we will realize that the things we once considered to be good, glorious, and outstanding are but shameful and foolish things. This light will give us a mortal blow and deplete us of all strength.

Brothers and sisters, one day we will have to pass through Peniel. God must touch our natural life before we can become useful persons in His hand. The day will come when we will pass through such an experience. Of course, we cannot hasten its coming by being anxious. However, we can commit ourselves to the faithful Creator and pray that He will work things out in the environment and lead us to the realization that our boasts are just our shame and foolishness. May the Lord be merciful to us, and may He give us light so that His work may be fulfilled in us through the enlightening of Peniel—the face of God.

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