Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Lord Multiplies

Many years ago there were 8 college students who the Lord allowed to cross paths. We didn't all start out together but within a few years the 8 students became 4 couples. Over a 30 year period the Lord has multiplied our families. He has taken us down some smooth roads and some pretty tough roads. He has separated us by great distances and across oceans, but throughout that time the common bond of love for the Lord and for each other has held us steady. Every New Year's for the past 12 years we have gathered together in my home to bring in the New Year. Our children have grown and we have invited more and more "adopted" children and young adults into our fold. This year we were able to get a group picture that is such an amazing testimony to how our Lord has multiplied us in both persons and blessings.
Praying everyone has an amazing 2012 and never forgets to see the blessings the Lord pours down on you. Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 New Year, New Beginnings and a Word from God

I must confess that this year (2011) has been a particularly bad year for me spiritually. As much as I hate to admit this, I have closed my heart. I still do the right things and say the right things but my heart is sheilded, guarded, encased in stone.
I grew weary of doing good and pretty much stopped doing anything well. I became apathetic. I keep wanting to say I became self-focused, but the truth of the matter is that I didn't become self-focused, I just stopped focusing on anything. I had quit but did just enough "stuff" to look like I didn't.
As I have reflected on this over the past year I realized that God allowed me to fall inot my slump. He needed to because I had finally come to the end of "my" strength. He has been waiting a long time for me to get here. Unfortunately, I have struggled with the sin of self-sufficiency for sometime. It was hard to recognize because I was accomplishing things andI kept getting "pats on the back" from those around me. But my mistake came because I kept thinking I was on the right track. I looked "Godly" enough. No one was particularly worried about me but my heart knew. I couldn't put my finger on it at first but the Lord was working on me.
As I tried to figure out what was wrong the Lord gently spoke to me over and over again.

Here is a summation of how He has spoken to me through this journey.

1) Look at how Jesus did it.
2) He needed my instruction and so do you.
3) He needed my Holy Spirit and so do you.
4) His strength came from me.
5) When you do it My way, "The Joy of the Lord" becomes your strength.
6) So, let's start over.

So, my "Word" for this year is "CLAY".

The Lord has very gently put me back on the potter's wheel and pounded me down into a lump of clay. He has already started working on me and I have had hints of joy again.

It looks to be an exciting year.

I am the clay
You are the Potter

I am your child
You are my Father

Completely, Consume me Lord. 
Happy New Year from the Martins!