Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Muckity Muck


Every-other Tuesday night I get to be a part of a Bible study with a group of ladies.  I've been able to do it since moving here...and the group dynamics are always changing, which makes it new and unique with each study.  God has used those studies to mold and shape who I am.  It's been a process.  A long, on-going process.

We are currently doing one called Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.


The study itself is really fantastic.  Truly.  What makes it even more significant for me personally, is the place that God has brought me to before starting this study.  All the details and circumstances that fell into place, in life and ministry, so that He could use this study to so speak to my heart.  Making His voice clear.  Resounding.  Confirming.

The past 12 months have been ones that I will go back to over and over and over in my head and in my heart.  Always remembering how He worked out good.  We walked through some murky waters, knowing that things would settle and clear.  Knowing that sometimes things need to be stirred up and mucky so that they can eventually be clearer.  Better.  And even though you know that...walking through the muck:  Is never very enjoyable.  It's still muck, even if there's purpose in it.  And just when you think it will never settle and clear.  It does.

In the midst of the murky waters, God gave me a verse.  Isaiah 43:19 NLT  "For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

Through His Word, He confirmed for us what He had spoken to our hearts.  He gave us a tiny glimpse into His plan, and it was enough to settle our hearts, and strengthen our spirit to continue in the stirred-up mire until the time He saw fit to make it clear.  

He cleared it.  And day after day, week after week, I stand in awe as I watch Him move and work in the hearts of people around me...including myself.  I will never know why He saw fit for us to be a part of His plan here, but I am so thankful for His grace and strength that makes it possible.  




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Never Too Late to Easter

So technically Easter Sunday is long over.  But it was so early this year (I like it later better) let's just pretend it wasn't that long ago.

Plus, I'm a Jesus Lover so every day is pretty much Easter.

Let's just do pictures. 




I ordered Lucy's dress from Target online.  I'm having her wear it to a wedding in June too.  Double duty baby.

This is Nelson, laying in the sun with a fleece sweater on...wishing his family would move farther south and out of the cold.



Real life.






Exhausted.  And yes, if you look at the chair in the background, that is indeed Lucy's artwork.  In permanent marker.  



Side note:  I FINALLY made it through the entire The Passion of the Christ movie this year.  I bawled a lot, and watched most of it from the other side of the house (because it just seemed more tolerable from farther away) but I did it.  We also had the boys watch it too, because "Jesus died on the cross for our sins" was becoming a kitchy phrase they hear us say all the time and now...not so much.

So thankful for Jesus.

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.