Better Is 1 Day/Serve or B served?

Published September 3, 2010 by hetti-marie

Woke up singing “All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship.” These are lyrics from DESERT SONG. A wonderful reminder that no matter where we are, no matter if we are up or down or experiencing a season of abundance or famine, He is still God. He is still sovereign. And He loves us. You may be in a season that is completely different than the last one. As different as Summer is to Fall. You may be no where near where you thought you’d be right now, or you may be closer than you expected. Whatever the season is, don’t miss the lesson God is trying to teach you. Maybe you need to set aside some time in your day to spend with God. Or simply maximize of the pockets of “free/wasted time” you have to include God in your day. There doesn’t need to be any pomp & circumstance, just a willingness to say, “Hey God, spending time with you (here in the car on my way to work) means a lot to me. I see Your Hand at work all around me. Thank you for another day.”

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While reading Psalm 84:10, I was reminded of that song “Better is One Day”. The song says “Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere”. The message translation says, “10-12 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.” Another translation says, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, then dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Wow! Gotta sit here for a minute and think about it.
Scrubbing floors or holding doors don’t sound like the most appealing things alone in themselves. Greek island beaches or an ALL-ACCESS pass to someone’s pimped out crib sounds like fun, doesn’t it? But it can’t compare (not even for a second) to being where God is; to being present to experience His glorious presence. That’s unbeatable!

Now wait a minute. Here’s something else I just noticed about this passage and that is that is has us at a place of serving. “Doorkeeper” or “scrubbing floors” like a servant. Humble positions indeed. Serving is a remarkable thing that should never be underestimated or devalued. It teaches us about humility (and we all need to eat humble pie every now and then, especially when it is very easy to have pride and think that we are better than or more privileged than those who serve us or work in customer service). The truth is, Jesus came and served and showed the greatness of serving. He served the multitudes and he washed His disciples dirty, stinky feet. I believe that serving is an act of love and humility that teaches us how to be more like Christ. Did I just write that?? 🙂 The King didn’t come to be served, but to serve. So let me ask you something: Where is the position of your heart – to serve or be served?Let’s look for ways that we can serve others today. Maybe it is holding a door open for someone. Or maybe it is going out of your way to help someone in need – not looking for anything in return; for pleasing God, becoming like God and experiencing His presence while serving is worth more than anything this world can offer! Have a great week!

The Biggest Thing!

Published June 9, 2010 by hetti-marie

Was driving and talking to God…don’t worry, I wasn’t on my cell phone. 🙂 And I asked God “what’s up?” Well, I don’t think I was ready for what I heard. He said, “HM, I need to be the BIGGEST THING in your life. And right now, I’m just not!” (Ouch! That hurt! but it was the truth). God has not been as BIG as He needs to be in my life. He needs to be the BIGGEST THING! Bigger than TV. Bigger than movies. Bigger than clothes. Bigger than hanging with friends. Bigger than food. And the list goes on. So often we can get depressed or frustrated with life when we don’t see things happening fast enough or the way we expect it (or at least I find that to be the case in my life.) So what happens? Well often, we turn to other things or other people first instead of turning to God. Do you find that? Sometimes? Maybe we are afraid to turn to God because He would tell us something we have been ignoring or don’t want to here…like the truth! He can’t help it…He is Truth (john 14:6) Or maybe we are getting weary in well doing (Galations 6:9) and feel like we are entitled to giving up, even just a little…or that we have the license to “flesh out” which is what you do when you have been so “good” and don’t see the result when or how you thought and so you give up because after all, you’ve been good for so long, you deserve it, right? wrong. And that’s when, at least from my experience, it is easy to make other things BIGGER than God in our lives.

Let me encourage you today to hang in there, to re-prioritize, to make some changes, to commit to pursuing God (either for the first time or all over again). I want to learn how to seek first His Kindgom and His righteousness (Matt 6:33). I want to the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know Him better (Ephesians 1:17)..in fact…check this passage from Ephesians out:

17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Let’s get into a relentless pursuit of God and His Spirit operating and living in our lives. I want a fire in my soul for the Unseen. I want His word to be not just a suggestion but an essential part of my life. I know it’s gonna take some changes. But I am willing. I want more. I want Him to be the Biggest Thing in my life and His love to be BIG inside me, so that others can experience it and know that He is real. Wonder how the disciples must’ve felt, walking with Jesus…seeing the miracles day after day. I bet they couldn’t stop talking about Jesus. I’m sure they wanted to follow Him because there was something inexplicably awesome about being around Him. And I believe that it was their desire to make knowing Him and being like Him the BIGGEST THING in their lives.

So I dare you to take it up a notch. To get fervent, to get disciplined about your time with God. To make that time NUMBER ONE in your day, everyday! Let’s do it!

Second Chance

Published June 9, 2010 by hetti-marie

God gave us a second chance. He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we could be reconciled back to God. So glad He did! Here’s a question for you… Who do you need to give a second chance to? Don’t know what’s going on in your world. Maybe someone let you down, disappointed you, betrayed you. Maybe they treated you badly and don’t deserve to be forgiven. Truth is, none of us deserve to be forgiven for our sins, but Jesus came so that we would not have to carry the load of our sins. He came so that we would not be away from the Father any long, ’cause sin separated us from God. He gave us a second chance. God the Father initiated that second chance because of His overwhelming love for us. Isn’t that something? Isn’t that amazing? So think about it. Maybe even pray and ask God what you should do. Maybe there is someone who you need to forgive and give a second chance. Maybe you need to take what you know now and establish healthy boundaries so that you can continue the relationship without fear of getting hurt or disappointed again. Just talk to God about it! ‘Cause you know what…that second chance just might be what they need… It just might inspire change in their lives that could affect and inspire others. Who knows? Something to think about.

Non-Negotiables

Published June 1, 2010 by hetti-marie

What are your non-negotiables? Those things in your life that you are not willing to compromise? I was thinking about that the other day and it made me wonder.  What are those things in my life that I am not willing to budge on? What are those things that if someone said,  “hey, HM, can you….?” I would without hesitation say “Yes” or “No” …no in betweens. No shady “Maybes”.  We are in a day and age where compromise is very much the norm. Long time ago, people set standards and said things that they were willing to uphold even to the grave. Commitments were made and kept even if it hurt. And a person’s word was their bond.  They stuck to it like glue. Crazy glue. Today, that glue has been replaced with a cheap imitation. And as soon as even a little wind blows, whatever was said falls to the ground. Did something better come around? Or did you agree to something in haste? Or maybe you just don’t feel like it now? Whatever it is, it is time to assess what your non-negotiables are. In Psalm 15:4, the Bible talks about a person who “swears to his own hurt and does not change”. Wow! Guess that means that there will be times when it would be more convenient for me to change my mind on a commitment I made. Nevertheless, I need to stick to it like glue..the crazy stuff, not the cheap stuff. Just think, what if someone made a commitment to you. You were counting on them and then at the last minute they let you down.  How would you feel? Would certainly make you question whether they can be trusted in the future not that they scored an an F on the “reliability-o-meter”. Now think about it if someone made a commitment to you and fulfilled it. You then find out a week later that their car actually broke down the day before, but they arranged a ride to get to your house just so that they could be there like they said they would. Wow! I don’t know about you but that kind of commitment would blow me away…would mean so much. I aspire to have that kind of substance in my life; that kind of character. How about you?

Phoebe Prince, Stephanie Bell – Gone too soon.

Published March 31, 2010 by hetti-marie

Two girls. Two different stories. Two lives gone too soon. Today I sang at a home-going service for Stephanie Bell, a beautiful young lady who, I believe, is dancing in heaven before Her beloved Creator. I didn’t have many encounters with Stephanie, but it was evident by the attendance, that she left behind an amazing legacy at age 20. I remember seeing her dance at church and smiling, thinking of how wonderful it was to see such artistic expressions done to powerful music.  I also sat with her one afternoon after a Butterflies Workshop where people had pooled money and resources together to surprise a teenage girl with gift, a girl whose body was being broken down by cancer and treatments. And I remember that smile. A smile that amazed and touched you deeply, considering all that she had been through. I won’t forget Stephanie Bell. Gone too soon.

Two days ago, I saw the picture of Phoebe Prince on the news. Never met her. All that was conveyed on the brief news report was how bullying had led her to commit suicide one day in January. Another, gone too soon. The thought of 9 teen girls putting one girl through torment and humiliation every single day made anger rise up within me. I don’t know the whole story or the details that provoked these 9 girls to act the way they did to Phoebe but what I do know is that every life matters. And our words and our treatment towards others can make a lasting impact. They can affect their lives and the lives of the ones who love them. So let me encourage you today. If you’ve got a beef with someone, get it out in the open and then busy the hatchet. If someone has a beef with you, try your best to live at peace with all men. And if that is not possible, don’t worry. Jesus knows all about it and will give you grace to stand.

So make every moment count. Leave a legacy. Do good. Live out loud. Shine your light. Let you behavior speak louder than words. So that one day, your life will be remembered and celebrated. ‘Cause you never know how long any of us have on earth, this side of heaven.

The Chill Spot

Published March 15, 2010 by hetti-marie

Customer Service is important. We’ve all been places where it sucked. And similarly, we’ve probably been to places where it was exceptional. Went to an eatery in Brentwood, TN called, THE CHILL SPOT. Heard about it online as I was trying to satisfy my Bubble Tea craving. To those of you who are not familiar with this drink, it is, in a nutshell, a flavored drink with tapioca pearls at the bottom. As you drink this cold tea with a fat straw, the tapioca pearls (which have a gummy-bear-like texture) also get sucked into the straw and into your mouth for you to chew ’em up between sips. Well, from the moment we arrived, the warm hospitality was felt. The guy behind the register was friendly, made some helpful menu recommendations and gladly brought the food to where we were seated. That could’ve been it. But he checked up on us and when he discovered that the drink was not as sweet as I would’ve liked it, he brought me another drink that was better than the first with another flavor that was absolutely delicious. On the house. If that wasn’t all, he then brought a sample of their Chocolate Banana Ice Cream for my daughter (who could not have been happier!) So why am I writing about this? Because the way they served me at THE CHILL SPOT not only makes me want to return and bring my friends, but also makes me want to serve others with that same kind of excellence.

Had a similar experience at a hotel I stayed at the other day.  Turns out that a host of ants decided to co-habitat with me and had already made their way onto my bed unannounced. After talking to the lady at the front desk, they came right up and fumigated. Unfortunately, I still didn’t feel like sleeping in what was now an insect crime scene. So without hesitation, they gave me another room, a bigger room than the first.  What impressed me was how friendly they were, how willing to accommodate and how true to their Hotel Quality Assurance Oath they all were.

In conclusion, it’s not about a room and it’s not about how good a meal was. People will always remember how well they were treated and how hospitably they were served. If we can learn to serve others with excellence, everytime… if we can represent Christ in such a way that people would remember how our behavior stood out head & shoulders above the rest, then we will impact lives with the Gospel…because it won’t just be words…it’ll be verbs. Dude, I want to serve like that. I want my life to demonstrate that same generosity of spirit whenever I am serving others. How about you?

love is patient

Published February 25, 2010 by hetti-marie

isn’t that the truth? I am finding that it is easy to become impatient with the ones we love. And why? Because we often expect more from them. Because we often put high expectations on them. Expectations that can often be too high or unrealistic, based on what we desire, not necessarily what they are willing or able to give. So why do we need to be patient? Because patience is more than just waiting, it’s hanging in there through tough or difficult times. It’s hanging in heavy rain without an umbrella. It’s hanging in there when your buttons are pushed and the last straw has been drawn. It’s hanging in there when everything around you is saying, “are you crazy?  why are you even wasting your time?” That’s love. So let me encourage you to hang in there. Hang in there that extra mile. Hang in there for one more day. And believe that love never fails, ’cause it never has. And it won’t fail you now.