The Intimate Posture of a Child

The whole lap thing has gotten me pretty worked up a bit. I mean here I am a 22 year old Pastor walking through life and thinking I know things, when in reality I know very little of my Heavenly Father.

My first thing with the illustration is why the lap? I mean I guess I can understand a small child sitting in someone’s lap, that’s “normal” and happens often.

Santa Claus is KNOWN for being at the mall during November – December as parent’s, kids, teenager’s, etc. go to take the photo of Santa’s lap…Maybe that image is “creepy” to you, and well it definitely would be “creepy” for me at 22 to DESIRE to sit in Santa’s lap. Well I’m sure you get my point…sorry for the tangent.

Good thing is God is NOT Santa nor will he EVER be. (Phew)

We’re talking about a God that surpasses our very knowledge. We’re talking about a Father who know’s our intricate details in our life, but CHOOSES to act as if he doesn’t to share a conversation and be WITH us. This means as I speak with the Father he doesn’t say, “Matt I know what you’re about to say,” and cut me off, instead he is eternally patient to hear my story, hurt’s, pain, joys, discouragement’s, and successes. Not only does he want to hear this from me, He wants me to be as close to him as possible so he could hold me, laugh with me, hug me, and WHISPER (not yell) how proud he is of me. Are you close enough to the Father, that if he whispered you could hear Him?

Job 4:12

“This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear.

Heavenly Father wants us to be in the most intimate position you can be in as a child, sitting in Daddy’s lap explaining how your first day of kindergarten went. Telling him about your promotion or lay-off, mission’s trip or foreclosure, new family member or a loss of one, new experience or a past hurt. He, the God of the universe is telling YOU to come sit in his lap so he could embrace you fully. Surround you in his presence, and whisper that HE has everything all taken care of and he will walk you through ANYTHING this world throws at you.

God is just beginning to unravel a journey of fatherhood & sonship to me that I may have lacked growing up, but am now starting to understand. Funny how when there’s a hole and void in someones heart nothing but the love of a FATHER could help.

So to all the earthly Father’s….call your kid’s and let them know you love them RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE…and we’ll get to that VERY point in my next post…

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Sit in my lap…(Part 2)

In continuation of my previous post I would like to discuss the past…You know the thing that so many of us either love to talk about (Accomplishment’s) or totally avoid, (Hurt’s, pains, etc.) 

My past although is a pleasant one has some unwanted hurt, pain, divorced parent’s, as well as excitement, love, learned opportunities, success,  etc. All of which has helped shape me today.

Maybe the lap sitting thing was hard to understand because well I never sat in daddy’s lap past the age of 7. He wasn’t there. Due to some circumstances beyond my control Daddy was gone and now my sister and I lived with Mommy. I mean Daddy was still around we saw him often, and he drove us to school, but he wasn’t home anymore. 

Disclaimer: My father and I now have a fantastic relationship, and I have seen God TOTALLY transform his heart, as he did Saul on his way to Damascus. I love my Father with all my heart, as he does me. 

Ok well although daddy loved me, let’s be real parent’s make mistakes. I don’t know many parent’s who would claim to be a perfect parent? So my parent’s were just like any other. Trying to understand life, parenting, marriage, etc. 

There was one time where I am coming to read one of my book’s to Daddy. I crawled onto his lap maybe 6 or 7 year’s old to read to him. I began to read as he was watching t.v. Well, as I began to read I was shrugged away because the Orlando Magic was playing. 

It didn’t phase me than, but that was the last time in my memory EVER being in my father’s lap. Funny how a simple thing as trying to watch the game can distract us from things. 

Anyway’s flash forward (Cue dream music) to the prayer meeting I’m having with our lead Pastor from my previous post. You know the one where God wants us to spend time sitting on his lap, and for some reason I was getting frustrated and confused. 

God showed me that image of being shrugged off by my father, that I unknowingly have been caring for 15 years. I began to weep as I felt a heavenly Father begin to tell me that he not only WANTS me on his lap, he DESIRES me to be with him on his lap. 

Why on his lap you may ask, seems kind of weird? Well I thought so to, but God has shown me even more…

Sit in my lap…

Image

Maybe it’s the reading that I have been doing, the prayer time, or just the hidden emotion’s that have been stuffed away. Whatever it is, it is something that has brought me back to this blog. As I walk this journey of what I feel God doing in my life my goal and vision is to pursue His purpose in all that I do.

With that being said God has been showing me thing’s about HIS nature, and His love for me. Could it be Crazy Love from Francis Chan, The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, or just personal revelation’s….but something (The HOLY SPIRIT) is showing me a different side of Fatherhood in God than I have ever seen before.

It all started with a prayer meeting I was attending at my church. Our lead pastor was sharing a revelation that God had shown him. That God loves when we sit in His lap and just enjoy time with well….GOD. The same way father’s enjoy spending time with their kids. Although I am not a Father, I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. Something inside of me was just upset, mad, and a little frustrated as he shared his story. Why was I against something so sweet, and desirable? What was it in the revelation that God is a Father, he loves His children, and wants to be with them that I couldn’t understand. I mean I know God loves me, He’s a father, and he’s ALWAYS there for me, but sitting in His lap? Could that be possible? Attainable? Something just told me it was WAY TO INTIMATE. That’s not what God is like, or is it? As I took the meeting to explore, battle, and share this I will hopefully in the next couple of days unpack my thought how God, want’s me to be a child enjoying time with Him sitting in HIS lap…

I just want to play…

I am a Karate instructor for kids in the Tampa Bay area for Extreme Youth Sports and I truly love this job. I get to work with kids, and get paid for it. This job is fun, but still has it’s challenges. Recently I was at one of my day cares where I teach and witnessed an “episode” happening as I was teaching class. One of the students at the school was having a temper tantrum with his teacher, because he wanted to go outside and play. He was crying, screaming, jumping, and  his teacher had simply told him to sit down. She continued with her work as the child kept saying “….I wanna go play….I wanna go play….. I wanna go play.” She had again said in a calm manner for him to sit and he would be able to. For some reason he insisted on crying, jumping, and not listening. All the while the teacher was going on about her business just waiting for him to listen. Finally he sat down for a good 5 minutes, and the teacher looked over and said, “Now you may go play thank you for listening.”

All he had to do was sit, listen, and be quiet. I feel as though we all, (especially me) go through this stage where we just want/ need/ or are scared of something. So we throw a temper tantrum with God, pleading for what were asking. I believe he is that still small voice just waiting patiently saying, ” Just sit, and wait and you will get it…” See he knows what’s best for us even when we think he’s wrong. He’s teaching us as his children how to wait, and listen for him. As I saw this unfolding before me I smiled and asked God to continually show me when I’m crying for my own desires, and simply reply ” Wait, listen, and you will receive….”  God is forever lasting, and knows the desires of your heart because he put them there, so just wait on him and follow his direction, and everything will be ok.

“Lord, thank you so much for allowing me to learn, grow, and hear your direction. Keep showing me when I am to sit and listen and for rewarding me even when i don’t deserve it.”

Thanksgiving

Count
Your
Blessings
Every
Single
Day

One of my good friends email states, cybesd@(Dont you wish you knew).com. After seeing this and realizing what it meant thanks to my girlfriend’s mother, it really got me thinking.

What is a blessing?

Blessing
n.

1. The act of one that blesses.
2. A short prayer said before or after a meal; grace.
3. Something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity; a boon.
4. Approbation; approval: This plan has my blessing.
Blessings are from the one who can bless, and are contributed to happiness.
What is happiness?
Happiness
adj. hap·pi·erhap·pi·est

1. Characterized by good luck; fortunate.
2. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.
3. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase.
4. Cheerful; willing: happy to help.
Happiness brings Joy, laughter, strength, and pleasure.
Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The Joy of the Lord is a blessing, and can be attained at any moment. Paul tells us in his writings to be joyful and patient in affliction. Christ says trial’s will come but to have hope and remain in him. He reminds us that ONLY in him can we find blessings, joy, and peace.
So the blessing’s I can count on everyday is like my good friend Javie always says, “I thank the Lord for just giving me life this morning.” Oh how right you are my friend, about counting our blessings as simple as waking up. There are countless blessings that we miss everyday. Why not thank God for the blessings you never even saw, and the trials he protected from ever getting to you? What if that sickness, car accident, death, or tragedy was supposed to hit you, but by the mighty hand of ALMIGHTY God YOU were protected, and never even saw a glimpse of what it was. God loves you, least we can do is chin up, and count our blessings when we’re down.
Like Nehemiah says, “The JOY of the LORD is my strength.” Let’s give him thanks for all our blessings this thursday!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

The School Challenge

So as I sat waiting for my next class which starts at 11 a.m. at Harvard Community College a.k.a. (Hillsborough Community College), I began to think of the challenge that was placed before me in my Psychology class. This teacher is one who has many experiences in life including being a 36 year psychiatrist. She began the class by stating she will test us, and challenge us on EVERYTHING we believe. Including parenting, past experiences, and YOUR RELIGION. Wow, challenge my religion? When I heard her say it I thought of how long i have been without my daily devotionals, and began to think am I even ready for this challenge? Satan is roaming, and he NEVER quits but we as Christians can get comfortable, and can begin to stop our fight in the spiritual realm. This was a Spiritual Awakening for me, and I pray that we could all recognize that we are in a constant battle. As I begin to search my creator for what I may be in store for this semester, I pray and know that according to my faith, he is ready to take me to a whole new level with him. I started my first real time session today, and although she is funny, her beliefs from what i have gathered are Catholic/Scientist. She believes in both, so I can learn, but I trust in God to filter, and show me all I will learn in this hour class. I am now going out to see the beautiful weather here at clearwater beach, and am going to just search God for my devotional. Remember WE are more than CONQUERERS in his name. His word promises this, and I hold to that for the rest of my life.