Psalm 42:1
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Experiencing Simple Joys, experience a simplified life.

Do you ever stop and “smell the roses” literally? I just love going to the Fresh Market or someplace where there are lots of fresh flowers and absorbing all their splendor of color, shape, and smell. They are complex yet simple. Complex in the making perhaps, but simple to stop and enjoy them. You could say the same for sunsets; leaves as they change color and fall away in the wind. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night-to-night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun.

Excerpt taken from John Calvin’s Heart Aflame on Ps 19:1-4.When a man, from beholding and contemplating the heavens, has been brought to acknowledge God, he will learn also to reflect upon and to admire his wisdom and power as displayed on the face of the earth, not only in general, but even in the minutest of plants.

As we enjoy the earth and the vast beauty it contains, we need to acknowledge God even more so in our hearts. It’s a form of worship that took on a whole new element for me when I began to find contentment from things that money can’t always buy.What artwork is free these days? As you drive around, notice the leaves, the breezes, how trees stand, how they grow. Have you ever noticed the flowers on the interstate or at rest areas? Everything that God created is “good”. Gen 1:25b.It’s not that I never enjoyed God’s handiwork before, but that’s as far as it went. Take it deeper, reflect on God’s glory and acknowledge Him as the Architect.

Once we acknowledge Him, our minds must necessarily be ravished with wonder at His infinite goodness, wisdom, and power. After this latest epiphany, I noticed a change in my heart, a yearning to get my mind uncluttered so I could reflect more on God. This is what I call simplifying my life so I can enjoy God’s Simple Joys of His handiwork. We have too much stuff that gets in the way of worship, then we have to maintain it and whatever energy we have left, then we may go outside and look at the moon and stars. By the way, it’s awesome to watch a moon get fuller each night until it becomes full. I just don’t understand evolutionists. So getting back to my thought, I started getting rid of extra things in the house, in my life to make way for time and energy to spend enjoying God mentally and physically. Walking and hiking are wonderful ways of exercise for stewardship of the body, but what about it being worshipful as well? Oh my, the countless ways just walking and hiking outside has affected me spiritually. Next time you’re out breathing in fresh wonderful air, take your Bible and read Psalms 104. It’s exhilarating to read Scripture outside in the quiet creation.

Our family went camping for Justus’ birthday and in the morning we all sat around the fire to keep warm and trying to make coffee in the middle of the woods. It was early and crisp and cool, and the men all took turns reading a passage of Scripture. The fire was cracking and it was still and peaceful. It made sense, Jesus went up in the mountain to pray and have quiet solitude, so why shouldn’t we? It is worship for the soul totally uncluttered, totally energetic towards the things of God.

Psalms 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Have I stirred up some thoughts in your mind? I sure hope so, mine are always stirred up when I stop and smell the roses literally.This idea of simplifying my life is a process; there are always things to change as the Lord sees fit to show me. It’s a mindset, a heartset to unclutter my life and mind and take notice of things I generally took for granted.
It’s not just “knowing” God made the earth, but “living” it out and teaching our children to observe and take joy in God’s handiwork. At this time of year, look at the pumpkins, the mums, all the fall décor that grows in nature. It’s beautiful, how sharp the colors contrast with the leaves changing and falling. God had a plan and an order to His creation. We are to enjoy it by glorifying Him in it. I haven’t mentioned everything wonderful in the world to observe like the animals, mountain lofty views, waterfalls, landscapes, snow, rain, storms, cornstalks, the list could on forever, but I wanted to give you a glimpse, a taste, for you to discover your own joys in living out a simplified life. A wonderful date is to watch a sunset together and read Scripture. There are simple low cost ways of enjoying time together with our Lord. Only by His Grace, Jen

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