Tag Archives: Martha

What’s Up, God?

What’s Up, God?

by Janis Cox

What's Up God?

Sometimes this is my question to God.

“What’s Up, God?”

I try live in the moment, be aware what God is doing around me and follow Him. That’s my Mary heart.

Then there is, “I need to do” personality. My list gets longer. Time gets shorter. My head is full.

STOP – ask the question:

“What’s Up, God? Where are You in this?”

My conversation continues as I listen to His answers.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4, NIV).

Then I remember –

I am a work in progress with God’s Hand on me. (tweet this)

Hurrah! I don’t have to fret about whether I am Mary or Martha as long as I am connected to Jesus.

So I continue on my Mary/Martha journey, excited with each insight God gives me.

I grow. I learn. I question. I get answers. I continue. I repeat.

That is prayer – talking to God.

Prayer:

Thanks, Lord, for the way you have made us able to connect to You, at any time, or place. Thanks for listening. Thanks for Your advice in the Bible. Thanks for speaking thoughts into my mind. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

OPPORTUNITY – Five Minute Friday

Opportunity – Five Minute Friday

Taking My First Steps in 2013 – Walking with Jesus

I know – it is Saturday but yesterday I was not well at all. So I listened to my body and went to bed early. I feel much better today.

Linking in again to Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Fridays. With the word “opportunity” I take 5 minutes to write – no editing. GO

This is 2013 – and a year filled with opportunities. My main focus has always been “live for Jesus”. But how? I don’t need to “do” anything to “earn” His love. I know that. But I still want to LIVE for Him.

Every opportunity I have to bless someone – to help someone – to encourage someone – I want to be able to stop my Martha – and live with Mary. Can they both work together this year? In order to do something I need my Martha but in order to be with Jesus I need my Mary.

Does anyone else feel that way?

Mary – I love the opportunity to just sit with God in the mornings – read His Word, study and pray. Then I make myself sit still and listen to Him. This is always the hardest part as my “mental racket” (taken from Ron Hughes, Refresh) is so loud that I can’t hear God’s voice. OUCH.

Martha – I love to be task-oriented. I love jobs to do. Sometimes I do them too quickly; make errors; but I do produce a lot. Is that good? I don’t know.

I want to take this year to delve into things that will bring me closer and closer to Jesus. I want to walk boldly into situations and not fear anything. I need Him. I am learning I can’t go in my own strength. But I can move mountains when I am with Him.

TIME IS UP.

Do you have something to say about the word OPPORTUNITY? Please write to me in the comments or if you bog about this put your link in the comments too. I hope to make a LINKY myself one day when Martha has time.

Blessings,

Jan

Five-Minute Fridays

FOCUS – Five-Minute Fridays

Linking again to Lisa-Jo and Five-Minute Fridays.

Word today is FOCUS.    Go

Focus

Focus – Do you see a forest or a tree?

The following Scriptures spoke to me this morning:

“…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).

“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:3 NIV).

So I need to bring every thought captive in obedience to Christ. That takes focus – choice. And lots of prayer. Do I do that? – NO. Am I trying? – YES.

Where is my focus?

When I lived as a Martha – my focus was ME and what I could accomplish. As I lean toward becoming a Mary – I focus on GOD.

Does that make a difference? I looked at what I think I looked like to others before:

        • scattered
        • worried about everything being perfect
        • tense

Hopefully what they see now:

        • More focused when I do something – one thing at a time
        • a relaxed nature
        • more God time
        • adding a new pursuit – piano

Relearning to play the piano.

I figure I can add another pursuit because if God wants me to do it – He will make the time.

What have I learned in my Mary pursuit:

        • relax in all endeavours
        • break away to refresh when needed
        • balance my time
        • don’t look at the forest – focus on each tree
        • remember people – FOCUS on them, they are more important than “things”
        • most important – my morning time with God – listening to Him
        • God is enough

STOP


 

STRETCH – Five-Minute Fridays

Stretch – Five-Minute Fridays

One way of stretching myself

Linking to Five-Minute Fridays and the word today is STRETCH. I have five minutes to write. GO

I learned to stretch my body when I knew that my back and my knees didn’t work very well. A physiotherapist told me to stretch. And I did – I stretched and I stretched and eventually along with other helps my body returned to “normal”.

During this time I also stretched my soul. I came to know Christ and His saving love. I yearned for that. My spirit stretched and I found out more about me – who I am and who God wants me to be.

Also my personality took a big stretch – from being a Martha to learning to be a Mary (at least some of the time). Jesus said “let Mary do this, it is the better way” – so I listened and learned to stop, breathe, feel the quiet and the stillness.

The next stretch along my path will be to market my new little children’s book, Tadeo Turtle. Lots of stretching here. During the past ten years I have learned to write, to paint; I attended writers’ conferences; I listened and stretched. With God leading me the next stage will be fun and full of new experiences.

What are you stretching? Your body, your mind or your spirit? Or all three. I would love to know – please comment and let’s get a discussion going.

My time is UP. Your turn.

Blessings,

Jan

 

SIMPLY SATURDAY – Discipline

Simply Saturday – Discipline

Once again I am giving myself five minutes – five minutes only to write something on a topic.

Today I have decided to write about discipline.

I guess there are two ways to live – with free spirit or disciplined. Or somewhere in the middle.

I tend to the disciplined manner. I like order; knowing what my plans are; planning meals; getting things done. Sometimes, though, I need time to just not to anything. Maybe lie in the sun; sit in a chair and just think or pray.

I know I have a “Martha” tendency. But I still want a “Mary” spirit. I have to find the right amount of each so that my life is full but not overburdened.

Discipline has helped me with my diet. I have found new foods that don’t agree with me. Potatoes and soy. To be able to watch what has these ingredients is not easy. Thankfully God made me have the gift of discipline so I can read labels and make wise decisions.

Time is up – I think my thoughts were scattered today. Probably because this post is for July 30th and it is only July 16th. I head out on Tuesday, July 19th for a two-week mission trip to Poland. Lots still to do.

Hopefully this has made some sense to you.

Are you a free spirit or disciplined? Do you book hotel rooms in advance of a trip? Do you eat at regular times? Go to bed at the same time? Get up at the same time?

WELCOMING JESUS

Mark Roberts writes a daily devotional at High Calling blogs. I am reprinting two of these as they deal with Mary and Martha. The first one deals specifically with Martha. On Thursday we see Mary.

Welcoming Jesus

by Mark D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)

Read: Luke 10:38-42 NLT

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home” [Luke 10:38].

As Jesus and his disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came upon a small village. There, “a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home” (10:38). In fact, the Greek original of this verse is even more specific. It says that Martha “welcomed him,” which is to say, Jesus, into her home. From the Gospel of John, we know that Jesus was a friend of Martha and her family (see John 11), but Luke does not mention this. He begins his short account of Jesus’ visit by focusing on Martha’s act of receiving Jesus graciously into her home.

The main point of this short story in Luke comes later in the passage, when Jesus gently rebukes Martha for worrying too much about “all these details” after Martha complains that her sister, Mary, isn’t helping out. I’ll reflect on the end of the story tomorrow. Today, however, I want to dwell on Martha’s welcoming of Jesus. Luke puts it simply at the end of verse 38: “Martha welcomed him.”

The verb translated here as “welcome” means “to receive warmly and graciously.” By using this verb, Luke indicates that Martha did more than simply letting Jesus and his entourage stay in her home. Rather, she opened, not just the front door, but also her heart. No doubt, she offered Jesus an opportunity to rest and be refreshed. In fact, her effort to prepare a “big dinner” was part of her hospitality. Martha wanted Jesus to feel truly at home with her and her family.

Martha’s example makes me wonder if I welcome Jesus into the home of my life. Forty-eight years ago, at a Billy Graham crusade, I prayed to “accept Jesus as my Savior.” At that time, I “asked him to come into my heart.” To the extent that a six-year-old boy was able to do so, I welcomed Jesus. But what about today? I still believe in Jesus, but do I really welcome him into my life. Do I really want him to be at home in me? Do I make myself available to him each day? Are there parts of myself that I withhold from Jesus?
… Now, I’d encourage you to consider the same questions I’ve been asking myself.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When did you first welcome Jesus into your life? Do you welcome him each day? Why or why not? Are there parts of your life that are “off limits” to Jesus? How might you welcome him more consistently and generously?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, even as Martha once welcomed you into her home, I want to receive you in my life. I want to throw open the door and embrace you. I want to give you the best place in my life. I want you to be fully at home with me.

I do want all of these things, Lord. But, I must confess, there are times when I keep you knocking at the door. There are other times when I let you in, but don’t pay attention to you. And then there are times when I allow you to come into my life, but do not give you run of the house. Forgive me, Lord, when I am an ungracious host to you.

O Lord, may I welcome you fully, eagerly, and without restraint. May I welcome you, not only into the tidy living room, but also into the messy places of my life. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus! Amen.

WEIRD?

Weird, because my Normal wasn’t working

Is your “normal” working for you? I am searching for a better way – God’s way.

Before I turned to Jesus whole-heartedly I was very much a Martha, a control-driven, have-to-keep-busy person. I am still a Martha, but I have found my Mary, too.

When I was given an assignment to “sit still for five minutes and listen to God” – I failed, miserably. My mind could not slow down. I kept thinking, “I have to do… such and such.” and my mind kept going.

Then the dog barked. That was the end of my first attempt.

What did I do? I tried again the next morning, and the morning after that. Finally I decided that I needed absolute stillness – not a sound, not a chance of interruption. I needed to wake up earlier.

My mentor in Christ suggested that I ask God to wake me up. And I did – and He did. I will tell you that story in another post. I did as Jesus did.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed” (Mark 1:35 NIVUK).

Now I didn’t leave my house as Jesus did, but I did find a solitary spot and in my quiet place I sat and waited. I tried that day after day – making myself sit for five minutes.

One day it happened – as I sat still I felt a peace, God’s hands on my shoulders. My shoulders relaxed – this was heaven. He was there!

When did you last “shut down” to the world and experience God?

Come on this journey as we try to find Him in the stillness. You will like it and God will like it too.

The idea for the title of this post came from a new book by Craig Groeschel called Weird, when your Normal isn’t Working. I found out yesterday I won one of 100 books that were given away on Michael Hyatt’s blog. I can’t wait to read his book and will tell you everything I find out.

Here is another site with a post on the same theme, called Vacate.

A New Start

Do you ever wonder where you are going and what you are doing? I do.

I have so many wonderful ideas, thoughts and longings. Someone told me once that she could see that I was someone who was always looking at coloured balloons and wanting to catch as many as I could. I didn’t understand her analogy at that time but I do now.

I am definitely a ‘Martha’ in temperament and character. I love to do things. I am a woman of action. But I learned that I need to also know the ‘Mary’ side of me.

When I made my decision to follow Christ in 2001 He revealed to me that I needed to take that time – the Mary part of me – and rest in Him. He led me to read a wonderful book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. That book really hit home. I knew when I finished reading that I needed help for God to change me in the way He wanted.

Two years ago I started to write a story about Mary and Martha. Last week I published my first “dummy” copy. It is a book for children but speaks to all of us. I used my talent as a watercolour artist to illustrate the book.

I hope to speak to you in this blog about the ways we can learn together to be both Mary and Martha.

One way I learned to listen to my ‘Mary’ side was learning to pray. Last June I started a blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. I hope you join me there too. Together we can learn to sit at His feet, learn about Him and learn to rest in Him.