Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Whiny McWhinerson



I'm in the process of making a list for blog ideas for the next 31 days.  I have four things on it, soooo I'll keep working on that.

If you have any bright ideas, I'd be happy to consider them.  

I've spent a good portion of the day in the book of Jonah.  We are teaching our Bible Clubber's on Jonah for the month of October.  This year we are skipping curriculum in favor of teaching whatever we feel God's leading in regarding the kids we have.  It's cool to see God working.  

I was perusing Pinterest to come up with some extra word search pages and activities.  What I found was just a bunch of crafts about a whale.  And several lessons titled "Jonah Obeyed God."  So I went back and read the story for the 50th time.

I have to say, the point of Jonah is certainly not the whale.  Not by a long shot.  And you have to use a pretty loose term of "obeyed" to describe dear Jonah.  What I DO see, is God's grace on magnificent display in that little book of Jonah.  His grace chased after Jonah.  His grace saved the sailors, physically and spiritually.  His grace in the big fish.  His grace to the Ninevites.  And even his grace to pouty Jonah at the end of the story.  

I'm always annoyed by whiny Jonah.  Probably because I am Jonah.  God gives me *pretty clear* instructions and first chance I get, I dart the opposite direction.  And when He comes after me (which He always does, because: Grace) I like to play the martyr like dear Jonah.  Yet He still saves me.  And yes, there's people I don't want to share the gospel with because I know God is merciful, and yes it's because there are people I don't want Him to be merciful with.  I want justice for them.  And again...He redirects my heart.  Back to the gospel.  Back to mercy and grace and forgiveness that I did not deserve, and certainly didn't earn.  But receive over and over and over again.

But my heart doesn't always automatically go there, to grace.  It very often is automatically a Jonah.  God's grace amazes me.  I can't comprehend it, because it's the exact opposite of my own heart and nature.  

So, long story short:  There will be no whale crafts tonight at our Bible Club ;)


Friday, February 21, 2014

Desperate


 We had a blizzard warning yesterday and lost electricity for awhile last night.  
My kids are home for their up-teenth snow and/or wicked cold day, this year.

And I spent the morning google-ing churches in Georgia that might need a pastor.  

I have no idea why I picked Georgia, annnnd it's not exactly the best way to find a church.  But my heart is desperate to escape the cold winter.  Desperate enough that uprooting my whole family and moving across the country seems legit.

My wiser self would tell you that making life-changing decisions during times of desperation is a really.bad.idea.  

My sick-of-winter self says...so.what.

And as I was google-ing...I couldn't escape a little tune, to a little verse that I learned not long after I was saved.  

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

Rejoice and be glad.

Meh.

It's the opposite of what my heart wants to do in winter.  It's always the opposite of what my heart wants to do in situations where the misery feels like it will never end.  

And so I choose.  And I have to choose constantly to rely on truth rather than my feelings. To be glad in the day before me.  No matter the weather, my circumstances, or my feelings.  Sometimes I fail miserably at that.  And I google and make plans to become a Southerner.  (My town will resemble Blue Belle like in Hart of Dixie.  Reality much?)

And God gently redirects my ever wandering heart...

I have to choose rejoicing and gladness because if I don't...I end up bringing further misery in the end.

Winter will end.  Winter will end. Say it with me, Winter will end.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Marriage Part Dos

I'm talking marriage again today.  If you missed part uno, you might wanna go back and read that first.  

So many areas of life are not hard in the knowing, but in the doing. There are genuinely times when I don't have a clue what I'm doing.  But most of the time, 99% of the time, I have trouble in doing what I know.   

Marriage is one of them.  Why would I, or any of us, stop doing what we know benefits our marriage and start doing something else?  

Because we're terribly, awfully: Selfish.  And if you say you're not...then you're also a liar.  Because you are.  And so am I.  

And that selfishness is the prime reason we stop doing what we know we should.  And if you're particularly good at selfishness (which I am, so I know this) you've got some super-logical-justified reasons behind doing what you're doing or not doing what you should.   

So I said I'd share my one-and-only-devotional.  Again, that makes me laugh.  I cut/pasted...mostly cutting out my awkward introduction.  

 It's super long by my blog standards.  But in real life Italkprettyfast so...just read really fast, ok?  Or, you could read half and then take a nap and finish later.  I'm super helpful with suggestions today.

The Four Musts of Marriage (I'm kidding, it didn't really have a title)

   We know how hard it is to actually live out some of those good things we know.   And we all know that there’s just some things you only learn by living them out.   But the truth is also that no matter how long we’ve been married, there is always something new to learn, or something we need to be reminded of, or an area where God desires to bring conviction, repentance, and ultimately restoration. 

I came across a question recently that asked  something to the effect of “Who are the married couples in your life that you desire to be like?”  In other words, who in your life are you able to see do –life together and genuinely love each other and enjoy each other in a way that makes you say, Hey!  I want to be like them?  We’re not talking perfection, because that’s not possible when you’re dealing with sinful humans...but we are talking about people that seem to have a love and a one-ness that is supernatural.  It’s a hard question.  It’s one of those lump-in-your-throat questions if we ask it of our own marriage.  What does our own marriage preach of Jesus?   Because our marriages preach.  They do.  First to our children, and then to our extended families, our church families, our communities.  They preach. 

So, in case I haven’t  already made it painfully obvious, what I want to share today is not just for the bride, but for all of us, that we may all examine our lives before God’s biblical standard and His desire for us and see where we are thriving, and where we may need God’s help in improving…which is ultimately for His glory.  And please hear me when I say this isn’t a call for you to try harder and do better, but  rather that we would humbly submit ourselves to what God desires and ask Him to be the one that enables us to accomplish it.

Ok, so I said before that I read.  A lot.  Which pretty much means I’m not sure I ever have an orginal thought anymore.  So the list I’m going to give you is a mish-mash of all the reading…smooshed down and abbreviated into 4 bullet points for your discernment.  It’s not stuff I came up with on my own.  It’s not fluffy or cute…because I’m all about the practical, and what works. 

 It’s common-sense basic stuff.  It’s also mixed in with life, from 15 years of my own marriage as well as the fact that  I’m a pastor’s wife…which means that people often allow me to see into their lives from behind-the-scenes and journey through the mess with them, so to speak.  And what I’ve learned, is that while each marriage is unique…it’s also not unique at the same time.  Same problems – different details. 

   Let’s break it down. 

1 – Know Jesus.  And I mean know Him.  As in Personally.  And make Him #1.  Above you, above your  husband, and above your children (future children).   Have a saving knowledge of Him (and if you’re not sure what I’m talking about ask me or someone later) Know Him with your head, (His Word) and know Him with your heart, and by that I mean have a desire worship Him, follow Him, obey Him.  In a Bible study that I’m doing, I recently heard the speaker say, “If you are comfortable with the amount of Jesus you already have…then you should be concerned.”  Why?  Because the question reveals to us the condition of our heart.  If we are content with having “enough Jesus” then maybe He  is not really our Lord, but rather a pleasing “addition” to our American Dream Life. 

How does this help a marriage?  Well, God created us.  And marriage.  So it only reasons that we would want to know the creator of it and then do what He says works in regards to it.  Marc Driscoll says in his book Real Marriage, “The goal, center, and purpose of marriage is not self, spouse or children.  The ultimate goal of marriage and family is the glory of God.  Only when marriage and family exist for God’s glory – and not serve as replacement idols – are we able to truly love and be loved.”

It really doesn’t have to be complicated.  Are we always going to like what God says to do…like be submissive?  Are we always going to feel like putting our husband above ourselves?  No.  Is it hard?  Yes.   Is it impossible?  Without God, yes.it.is. 

 I’m not sure that anything in life reveals to us how selfish we are like marriage does.  (And parenting reveals how impatient we are, but that’s for a different devotional)  Back to my point.   It is said that Our spouses do not change us, as much as they reveal  us.  

And here’s where the gospel comes in.  We need the Holy Spirits power to overcome ourselves.  In life, and especially in marriage, we cannot possibly hope to live it out the way God has designed by trying to do it on our own.  We cannot muster up enough will power to be a great wife…it has to come from God’s equipping and empowering…which calls for a reliance on Him.  Christ through us.

What does that look like?  How does that play out?  We each, husband and wife need to have our own spiritual life.  No one can increase our faith for us.  It needs to be growing individually and together simultaneously.  Be a student  of God’s word.  Study it and talk about it.   And when you learn from it, ask Him to enable you to act on it.  Do not simply absorb it.  Be a doer of it.  James 1:22 says  But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

Place God as priority one.  Don’t squeeze Him out.  Husband’s and wives love each other best when they do not make idols of one another.  Our husbands are created to meet some of our needs, but not all of our needs.   Only one can meet ALL our needs, and that is Christ alone.  Pray for your husband and with your husband.  Worship together.  Serve together.  Tithe together. 

And all of that can sound like a to-do list, and sometimes our inner pharisee wants to make it a to-do list, if I check off all these things then yay for me, I get a good marriage!  But it doesn’t work like that.  God doesn’t work like that…I know, I’ve tried.   All of those are really heart issues…they reveal our hearts and require God’s  power to overcome.

2 – Be friends.  Be best friends.  Like each other.  When we are best friends, we enjoy each other’s company.  We listen.  We speak lovingly and respectfully.  We laugh.  We disagree, but we know whose side we are on.  We take turns doing what the other person wants, even if we think it’s super boring (ie I need to take up golfing) We make light of things, we give grace.  We look at our own sin and weaknesses and plank-filled eyes before scrutinizing our husband.  We laugh at ourselves and gain some perspective.  Friendship makes marriage fun.  Be friends.

3- Build Hedges.  And by that, I mean boundaries.  One of our favorite books  that we use often when counseling is called Hedges, Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect it, by Jerry Jenkins.   And we love it so much because so many couples we come across have no hedges!  And you need them…we’ve seen the tragic results of what happens without them. 

Hedges  are not a sign of a weak marriage, but of a strong one.  Jerry says “I have planted hedges around myself to protect me, my wife, my family, my employer, my church, and supremely, the reputation of Christ.”  So much of life seeks to tear marriages apart, it happens all around us to believers and non-believers alike.  If we think we are in a position that it would never happen to us, then we are also in the position of deceiving ourselves. 

Our marriages are often most vulnerable when our guards are completely down.  Hedges do not mean paranoia, they are wise…they really are loving your marriage enough to protect it.    We need to examine ourselves and our spouses and then set the hedges  in place.  Hedges help us to live above reproach, which in todays society is almost unheard of.  

So what do hedges look like?  Every marriage is going have different hedges, some will be higher and deeper than others.  I’ll give you a personal example…for Ben and I, we have made it a point in our marriage that there are just certain things we do not do.  Neither of us has good friends of the opposite sex, someone we confide in or complain about life to, because that’s what we have each other for ;)   And at different stages our marriages need us  to evaluate to see if the hedges need adjusting.  For example, when Ben became a pastor, we added to our hedges because now ministry was involved.  So, when there is a woman that needs counseling, I do that, or we do it together but never him alone.  Why?  Because it enables him to live above reproach.  It isn’t a trust issue, but a safety issue.  And, your hedges will be tested, because our culture sees them as trivial.  But our culture has also shown us the results of having no hedges.  Protect your marriage against the enemy…because he is seeking to destroy them. 

4- Communication.  It’s a big one.  We all know communication is important.  In fact I heard recently that couples that have divorced site a lack of communication as the primary break down of the relationship.  That’s ironic to me, because communication is something we can do.  Poor communication or a lack of communication does not just “happen” to a couple, it is a deliberate act on the part of both spouses.  

Learn how to communicate with your husband.  There are some basic principles, like being clear on your thoughts and feelings.  Avoid stonewalling, silent treatment, yelling, blaming, etc.  But there are also unique ways that each married couple communicates with one another, take the time to figure those out.  Communication is one of those things (kind of like parenting) where you can read a book, get a bunch of insight on what to do and what not to do and it seems totally do-able and reasonable.  And then real life happens and our husband says something totally insensitive.  Or we disagree with his decision, or we are annoyed at his lack of *fill in the blank* and now our feelings are involved…and our feelings can very easily over-rule any logical thinking we have on communicating effectively and lovingly.   Here’s where the gospel comes in yet again.  In our own strength we will fail miserably at communicating in the heat of the moment, but with Christ’s discernment and strength we can, in fact, control our tongue and listen and get to the root or heart of the issue.

Here’s some verses…

Verse on the tongue (Proverbs in literally chuck full of them): Proverbs 21:23

English Standard Version (ESV)
23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
Proverbs 18:21
English Standard Version (ESV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
We can speak death or life into our marriages…


James 1:19 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  (read it again)

And I want to close today with a passage from Philippians…Paul is intending it for a body of believers, but I think we would be wise to also translate it into our marriages. 

Philippians 2: 1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Then end. :)

Tomorrow I'm gonna post a list of the books that Ben and I have used personally as well as  helped with counseling other couples.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Barfing Preaches

Hello again!

Christmas in general is craziness around here (just like everywhere else.) Add into that sickness among all of us and..BLEH.  

I didn't drink coffee for four days.  That's how bad.  

But as I sit here, I'm sporting my 20 oz coffee mug and life is good again.  

Being sick does something really important.  It gives me a big-fat-dose of perspective.  It's like God's reminder to me of how weak I really am.  And how little I really do on my own.  Take my health away and I have little to offer as far as accomplishments.  Nothing actually.  

And this bout of sickness taught me something new.  Barfing preaches.  I got sick very late on Christmas night.  I'll spare you the details, sorta, but it was not nice.  I felt gross all night, and then in the morning the barfing finally came.

*and this is a side-note, but DUDE how does that stuff stay in your stomach for so long?!  I hadn't eaten for a good 15 hours and when the barfing started I thought, "Oh good, I haven't eaten much so I don't have very much to throw up" but NO. I was wrong* 

I feel like we need to talk about barfing for a sec.  There's different kinds of barfing.  The kind where you barf fairly soon after you eat and it's super gross because it's mushed up food and you never wanna eat that food again for as long as you live.  But then two days go by and you find yourself eating pizza again.  And then there is the acid-barfing.  Where you haven't eaten for a long time but your stomach is full of acid and bile and other grossness and when you barf that.  Ouch.  It burns like none other and leaves your throat super sore.

So, I had the acid-barfing.  *shudder*  Aren't you glad you stopped by today?  A few hours afterwards, I was super thirsty, but dreaded the thought of drinking anything.  I grabbed a bottled water out of the fridge, twisted the cap off and took a tiny sip.

It was the worst tasting water ever.  

Of course it wasn't really the water that was the problem.  It was perfectly fine and the same water that I always drink and have no problem with.  If my family were to grab a bottle, and give it a swig, they would think it was great.

The water tasted bad because of my circumstances.  My experience.  It tasted bad because of a very real event:  Acid barfing.  

And then it hit me.  A very real truth that sometimes the Gospel, Jesus...tastes very bad to people.  Believers and unbelievers alike.  Sometimes life circumstances or beliefs or whatever distort what really is.  

The water I was tasting was the same water as usual, its taste hadn't changed literally, but my taste for it had.  Someone could have argued with me about the taste of the water, but would that have changed how it tasted to me?  

Absolutely not.

Sometimes, we have to figure out what's distorting our taste.  Sometimes, we need to love people and give them some time to heal from the acid-barfing of their life so they can taste again.


Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8


Because barfing preaches.



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Words

This is one of my favorite songs right now.

Words by Hawk Nelson


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anVweXDcxhA


(Nelson is also the name of our dog.  That's just bonus random info for you)





Words can build us up, words can tear us down.  Start a fire in our hearts or put it out. 

Let my words be life.  Let my words be truth. I don't wanna say a word unless it points the world back to you.

I wanna speak Your love not just another noise.

The song speaks some serious truth.  I'm not sure we truly realize the power we hold in our words.  I'm also not sure that Christians listen to themselves all that much.  I mean really listen to what we say in regular conversation on a daily basis.

It often reeks of selfishness, arrogance, pride, harshness and criticism.  

Let's stop doing that.  It makes us look like idiots.  

And if someone points that out to us, we are quick to defend our reasons why we are justified in it...aren't we?  Sometimes God whispers to me, do you hear yourself?  Stop it.

And sometimes I want to say to other people, do you hear yourself?  (but that generally does not go over well ;)

But in my head I'm asking it. 

The Bible is clear.  This is one of a ton of verses, the Bible is not silent on the tongue.



Proverbs 18:21

New International Version (NIV)
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.

We have the power to speak life to those around us, our husbands, children, friends, family, neighbors, community and strangers.  And internet land.  

Or...we speak death.  Which is another way of saying we crush people with our words, or tone, or our blabbering on and on about whatever.

Those around us, they hear us.  Whether we want to be honest with ourselves or not is up to us.  If you are brave find someone who will be honest with you and ask them the tough questions so that you can hear what you sound like. (and then when they tell you the truth, accept it.)   

What consumes my conversations?  

Am I quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry?

Who does most of the talking in conversations?

What does my attitude generally portray about me?

Am I an encourager or do I leave people feeling drained after being around me?

Where are my sights and perspectives?  Focused on temporal or eternal?

Well, you get the idea.  Go ahead, do it.  I dare you.  When I did it the first time...it wasn't pretty.  But through God's grace the answers to those questions are changing.  

The weird thing that I didn't expect, is that some people don't want to see you change!  They view it as criticism against themselves...and/or other stuff I don't quite understand.   So I go back to this truth:  God called me from the way I was speaking, and to a way to control my tongue in order to bring life to those around me.  I didn't make it up, and I can't do it on my own.  In Him and through Him, because ultimately:  I want to walk in obedience to Christ.  Who gave His life for me.

That's it.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Eleven Days

Eleven days since my last post, yet it feels like I've lived eleven months worth of stuff in that time.

(Actually, it's now 14 days since my last post.  I started this one three days ago and then something else *hit the fan* so to speak.)  So it's a little inaccurate now.  Whatever.

*Deep, deep sigh*

Today all the kids are finally back to school and the flu has hopefully left our house for good.  

We had an ice storm, and then last night we had a thunderstorm.  In January. Weird.  It's like the weather is matching all the other crazy stuff going on.

(No worries though, because we also had a snow storm and school was cancelled three days this week...that's just part of the update for you.  Confused yet?  I am.)

Our tiny little church was a part of two funerals in the past two weeks.  

And some things you think would never happen.  Happen.

And you pray.  And pray and pray and pray some more.

Because life sometimes...well, it's terribly messy.  And hard.  And sometimes walking with people through their hard stuff brings a unique kind of pain.  

And sometimes you just want to blame it on the terrible month of January, and let yourself believe that if you can just make it to February 1st, it will be better.

Because maybe it will.  

A few weeks ago, I came across this verse from our Bible Study and although I'd heard it before, I heard it that time in a new way.


John 16:33

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”



Jesus sets the bar at trouble.  "You will have trouble"  Period.  It's like He said to me, expect it.  Don't be shocked, and certainly stop trying to live life in ways to avoid the trouble.  Life is trouble.  But Jesus has told me the things I need to know and hear, so that I can have peace.  And then He gives a big, fat, fresh dose of perspective by reminding me that these current troubles, are just itty bitty in the scheme of things.  

Big picture:  He has overcome the world.

The world, and all the crap that it has to offer and throw at me...I can deal with because of Jesus.  

He has won already.  


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Keeping it Real

Let's be honest...

People are crazy.  All of us: Crazy.

There's this Pinterest quote I saw...


Love....or friendship, requires a mutual weirdness.  It's funny.  And true.  I'm pretty sure that I will spend my whole life still learning about people and relationships.  They're complicated, and wonderful and sometimes terribly frustrating.  

I'm convinced that God uses the frustrating relationships in my life to refine me, and change me.  I'm also convinced He uses them to help me value and appreciate those whose weirdness is compatible with mine.  

As I look at my inner-circle of people, I can't help but smile at their weirdness.  All unique.  All crazy.  And completely different.  

I read an article awhile back about relationships, and it said something to the affect that we become a lot like the combination of the five people we spend the most time with.  It went on to talk about Jesus, and His ministry to the masses as well as how he interacted with the few that were in His inner-circle.  And it got me thinking.  Who are my 5?  Who's 5 am I in?  And how are they affecting me and me affecting them?  

Do I leave those in the inner better than I found them?  Do I rub off on them positively or negatively?  How do my mannerisms, thoughts, words, beliefs, actions change them?  Are they better for having been in my presence?  

Or...

Do I leave them feeling discouraged?  Annoyed?  Frustrated?  Do I complain too much and listen too little?  Is our relationship about my agenda, my needs, my everything?  

Tough questions...but crucial.  Sometimes tough questions require tough answers, and tough answers mean even harder changes.  


Philippians 4:8

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I want my mouth and my life to match when it comes to this verse.  I want to think and speak on those things FAR more than I vent and complain about their opposites.  And that is hard.  

But I didn't make it up.  God did.  And it sounds lovely.












































Source: etsy.com via Olivia on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just Thinking...

This week I had to share some bad news with my brother.  It just so happened that earlier in the same day, he'd gotten some really great news.  He texted me back, saying "that's the story of my life, whenever something good happens then something bad happens."  


My response:  That's the story of everyones life.


That's life.  I tend to try to keep a check and balance thing going, finding some contentment if the "good things" side of the scale outweighs the "bad."  But that's not how life works.  And it's certainly not how my God intends me to view it.  Life is always good stuff and hard stuff going on simultaneously.  


My perception of the bad is often what He intends for good.  


I can't shake the words of Paul, in the book of Philippians where he says, 


for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (4:11-13)
Contentment is not easily attained.  Especially in today's society, even among believers.


We sing a song at church...Count Your Blessings.  Count your blessings, name them one by one...count your many blessings see what God has done.  Even in the hard stuff of life, there is blessing from Him to be found.  Sometimes we just need to look at it through His perspective.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Prodigal

Do you ever have days where you're just crabby for no good reason?

That's me today.

I started a bullet point list of all the things that are making me cranky (you know, in attempt to justify it)...turns out, the list just ended up annoying me so I deleted it :)

Turns out, there really is no reason...no really good one anyway. Dang it. It's so much nicer when I can blame my heart condition on some outside circumstance...like the ungodly weather right now...

Truth is...my heart has wandered from it's true source of joy, wisdom, hope...truth...which only comes from one person....my Jesus.

I know this doesn't make sense to some...but when I met him 16 years ago, He gave me a new life.

He replaced anger with joy, and rationality with faith, and selfishness with love. But my heart...it's forever wandering...trying to run back to what it was...because that's easier.

Sometimes I let it. And then become miserable. And then, like a child, I realize where I'm at...and turn back for home.

The prodigal in the story.

But Jesus...always the Father in the story...always.

*The story can be found in Luke chapter 15 verses 11-32*

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rebuked...

This week has been busy. I talked about how I feel about busy in this post.



In our little family, Ben and I have an order to life.



God - First

Family - Second

Ministry - Third



The rest of the list varies for each of us, but the first three are the same, and have to be in that order. Within that order, life works. It doesn't mean it's always smooth and easy, it just means that it works, because for us, that is the order God has given. We know that without a doubt.



This week, we (mostly me) have jumbled the order sometimes...and that does not work. At all.



In the wrong order, I begin to get irritated with all three. Seems silly, but it's true. It took me a few days to figure out what the problem was. At first, I was pretty sure the problem was just my kids being naughty and my husband not paying enough attention to me...so I informed them of this.



My husband, of course, listened and apologized while my children stared at me with blank expressions, wondering who this crazy lady was standing before them. I was sure it would be better now that I informed them of their wrong-doing.



But the next day...I still felt the same. Irritated with them.



Puzzling. And then God gave me that list...that order, and the vast knowledge that it was not my husband and children that were the problem...it was me. Ouch. I was the one shuffling the order of things. And once again, I am thankful that I can go before a gracious God, repent, and start fresh.



This morning I opened to Luke 6, and read this verse...(41&41)



"And why quibble about the speck in someone else's eye - his little fault - when a board is in your own? How can you think of saying to him 'Brother, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the board in yours? Hypocrite!"



Just His gentle, loving reminder for me as I begin a new day :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So Good to Me...

Just a couple quick thoughts before we leave for this. I woke up this morning with a few (lots) of things to pack yet. In the back of my head I heard that little whisper...the nudging to sit down with my Bible...first. I opened to Matthew and read these two short verses...



Matthew 7:33&34 " But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."


Here's what I heard as I read it: Seek Him and who He is first, and THEN I will feel that assurance that He will take care of the rest. Take one day at a time...with Him, seeking Him. He has only given me enough of His grace and mercy to handle today. I do not yet have His strength to deal with anything beyond that...when I start to head beyond, I'm doing it on my own, AND that's why it seems so overwhelming. *sigh*


It's amazing how sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing something, until I come across a verse that speaks truth to me and shows me where I'm really at.


OK...got to finish packing...and then first stop on little trip will be here :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Suddenly

It's been one of those mornings...again. Amidst the craziness, my mind is constantly trying to find something "bloggable" about it all. Nothing. Nothing very original anyways.

So I sat down with my Cheerios, Bible, Sansa, and ginormous mug of coffee, and handed it over to God. Finally. And He took me to two things simultaneously. Both are things I've read/heard countless times...but today, I heard them differently.

The first was in John 17. It's the passage where Jesus is praying and pouring out his heart to his heavenly father. There's something about it that is so intimate...and amazing. Today, I was plugging along and then got to verse 10. It so struck my heart that I sobbed. Immediately! Now...I'm a crier...I cry easily, but not usually like this. God hit me with this.

V10 (The Living Bible) " And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me with everything else of yours, and so they are my glory!"

...we are His glory...I am His GLORY!?!? What? I thought this version must have it wrong, so I pulled out my NIV, and it pretty much said the same idea. Wow. Today, He hit me with just what I needed...that awesome reminder of how HUGE His love is for me. He knows me inside and out...all the ugly stuff, and still...because I'm covered in Him....I bring Him glory. Something to think about...

The second thing that made my heart stop, was the song Suddenly by Toby Mac. I've heard it a million times...I love it, but today it's as if I heard it differently. It's a fun song...and then suddenly, in the middle, it changes a little and there's this huge block of amazing truth...and it hit me today!

Here it is...

"Sometimes it’s in an instant, Sometimes we wait for years

But it comes down to the moment when faith eclipses fear

Your wandering is over The other side is real

You’ve broken through Your mountain moved

And mercy is revealed His mercy is revealed, yeah "

This hits on so many areas in my life right now. Faith eclipsing fear. His mercy revealed.

In case you want to hear the song, here it is. Fair warning: video and sound quality are not the greatest, but you'll get the idea :) I wish I could have you all over, to my mini-van...then we could ride around my tiny town listening to Toby Mac, while my children cover their ears and beg me to turn it down. Good times.