I have to face the reality that my body is perishing and not meant to last forever. Sure I can do things to improve my health and well being, and I am a strong advocate of doing so. However the experiences over the last week forced me reflect on a few sobering truths. I got hit hard with a nasty sickness. I had so much to accomplish on my to do list and while my mind was telling me to forge ahead, my body was screaming the opposite. I would love to tell you that I exercised wisdom and sat and rested but I can’t even begin to tell that lie. I fought like crazy to defy my reality. I was soooo frustrated. It so hard having an agenda and not being able to accomplish it. Ever been there?
I began to really think about the end. Not in a depressing way, but a lets really evaluate things here kind of way. We are each given an allotted amount of time here on earth and it’s so easy to have misguided focus. We act as if we are immortal and always assume we will have more time. We assume we will always be as strong as we were yesterday. We pursue our agenda without noticing that the clock is ticking and one day it is certain to stop. They say that there are two things that are certain, death and taxes. Hebrews 9:27 tells us of something else that’s certain after death…the judgement. When I stand before God, what will he think of how I used the time he gave me? What will he have to say concerning my priorities, did they line up with his? And my life, my heart, did it belong to him?
I am feeling better today but I have more of a resolve to build up my spirit, focus on God’s agenda because my end is one day closer. As I put him first, I don’t have to dread that day but I can look forward to it with great joy!
You are taking me to a place I’ve never been before
But I dont have to fear, I don’t have to fear
I. DONT. HAVE. TO. FEAR.
I must remind myself because the temptation is there
I can be confident because you have proven that you are on my side
As you lead Jesus, teach me to follow with a surrendered heart
Even when I don’t understand
Even when it means giving of myself beyond what I think is possible
Even when what you are telling me is contrary to what I want or what I think is best
Help me to have a joyful yes
There is absolutely no turning back for me
As I have put my hand to the plow, by your grace I refuse to look back
Look back to death
Look back to shame
Look back to pride
Look back to my agenda
Look back to people pleasing
You are taking me somewhere
I don’t know how the pieces of the puzzle are going to come together
But I give you the pieces and trust you know how
I don’t know how you will word my mouth
But I will speak at your command
I hear what you are saying and if I think too hard, I become overwhelmed
Teach me not to reason but to rest
I keep my eyes on you as you take me FORWARD!
“I’m glad it’s going to warm up in the next few days,” said the librarian. Are you kidding me? Did she just say warm up? It’s amazing how after dealing with temperatures below zero, the mid 20s can be referred to as warming up. Her experience with the bitter cold caused her definition of warm to be redefined. As I was sweeping my kitchen floor later on that day I began to reflect on the comment made by the librarian. That’s exactly what has happened to a lot of “Christians” today. We live in a culture where sin is rampant and we have become desensitized to truth. We give in to the temptation to redefine Gods standards, something we have no business or authority to do. Contrary to popular belief, truth is not relative. God has not called us to be versatile Christians, willing to redefine his truth to be more “accommodating.” He has called us to be holy , standing for truth even if it’s not embraced (1 Peter 1:16 ). His truth doesn’t change like the weather. It’s constant.
Greed, lying, homosexuality, fornicating, stealing, cheating is NEVER ok (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). As my pastor previously mentioned, God created marriage so try as we might, we can’t redefine it. it’s so easy for us to give a nod of approval to the very nice gay couple or the well educated boyfriend and girlfriend who are living together and fornicating. Or say it’s ok for the poor person to tell a “white lie,” because they are struggling and the system has robbed them anyway. I mean after all we are seeing worse sins happen around us so that ain’t too bad. WRONG! It is that bad, not because that’s my opinion but because God said it. Believe me, I am not trying to act as if I have never sinned or that I am perfect. I have displeased God many times and have not always lived out or loved HIS truth. But hear me when I say, I thank God for mercy and grace and Him giving me a chance to repent and get it right. Cause Lord knows I haven’t always done right and was a very nice sinner. The good news is, that opportunity for repentance was not only extended to me, but to all (John 3:16). How awesome!
Truth is God will never change his mind about his truth(Hebrews 13:8) no matter how extreme sin gets, and it will continue to get worse. The manual for holiness will not be rewritten, sorry no updated copies of the bible where that extreme holiness is edited out. He wants us hot or cold (Revelation 3:16), not lukewarm, not straddling the fence, not somewhere in the middle, not a versatile Christian. By his grace I want to remain hot and live out and speak His truth…and you?
I want to do marriage the good old fashioned outdated bible way. I want to be my husbands biggest cheerleader. I want him to be happy to come home because he knows a warm home cooked meal is waiting for him(well most days at least). I want him to know that I respect and love him. I choose to magnify his strengths and pray like crazy concerning his weaknesses. I want him to share his heart with me without hesitation or fear that I may judge him. I want my actions to make him fall in love with me over and over again. I want him to still be happy that he chose me to be his bride even after 13 years of marriage. Now while the feminist may scoff at this and render me as a weak and needy woman, the bible says the opposite! And oh, for the record I am so weak and needy, and admitting this has been so liberating and brought a greater level of intimacy between me and God and my husband (2 Corinthians 12:9). Nevertheless I digress, back to the topic at hand. Have you ever read the bible and the words just leap off the page and you can hardly contain yourself because you finally get it? I recently read Proverbs 31. Yeah that same passage that challenges us women in so many ways. It’s amazing because often times when this passage is discussed, the focus is on all this woman DOES as opposed to who SHE IS! I find it interesting that the passage doesn’t open up with all her deeds, instead, it first highlights how her husband feels about her. “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. HER HUSBAND CAN TRUST HER, AND SHE WILL GREATLY ENRICH HIS LIFE. “Proverbs 31:10-12.
I must admit that I have not always proven myself to be trustworthy to my husband. No I have
never ran off with another man but I I have done a lot of running with my mouth. I have never had issues with telling him what I thought he was doing wrong, what was wrong with him and what he needed to do better. When I was done I would expect him to trust me with his thoughts. In short I was a being a nag! I felt very justified in my nagging. I must praise God for his grace because He has brought me from a very loooooooooooong way. Let all the “expressive” ladies say amen! I have already confessed in a previous post that I love to talk but I am learning the delicate art of knowing when to speak and when to be silent. I don’t have to stop talking, I just take my chatting party to God in prayer. I must confess that sometimes as he is speaking, everything in me is screaming, “I CANT BELIEVE YOU SEE IT THIS WAY or HOW CAN YOU THINK LIKE THAT!” However, as I am learning to hold my peace and not always play therapist in our discussions, my husband is sharing more of his unedited thoughts with me. And you know what, I find that when I listen, REALLY LISTEN he is more willing to solicit my advice and comments and a greater level of trust is developed. And it sure is easy to love somebody you trust, dont you think?
My church is doing a 40 day prayer challenge and I have been keeping a prayer journal. In it, I record prayer requests, answers to prayers, and any insights the Lord gives me during my prayer and bible study time. When writing in my journal, I don’t focus on proper grammar and format. As I put ink to paper my unedited thoughts flow. I am writing for an audience of two, me and God. This approach allows me to write without any inhibitions…very liberating experience. Its amazing because as I write, thoughts and feelings come to the surface that I didn’t realize was there. There is something about being deliberate with recording prayer request and the answers that come. It makes me more aware of how God is responding. So often I pray, God answers, and for various reasons, I miss it. Sometimes it’s because I was not praying in faith and I didn’t expect God to move. Or I pray and God answers but not in the way I wanted and expected him to. My prayer journal helps me to be more sensitive, more alert to the ways God is moving. Everyday I have something praiseworthy to record. EVERYDAY! It’s amazing. And as I go back and read the answers to prayers, it builds my faith and encourages me to keep on praying. He is listening. To me. I have an audience with the creator of heaven and earth. Now, how awesome is that?!
I am a very expressive person. I love people. I love to talk. I love to share the new things I am learning and when I share I love to share with a childlike enthusiasm that may annoy some. I love to get to the “feelings” part of every story. I share my feelings and when I am done, I want to hear your feelings as well… and when we are done sharing, I love to have a , ” so what does this all mean and how does this all connect party.” No kidding its true, ask my non-talkative husband. Along the way, I tried being someone else. I tried to contain what God had given me to share. I tried being more ” mature” in the way I expressed myself. Who God had made me to be was getting lost along with the gifts that came with my personality. I got discouraged and even doubted God using me on a grander scale, I was slowly shutting down. The noise in my ear sounded something like this, ” yes you blog but you dont write as well as the other bloggers out there. Yes you have ideas that you think are creative but others will see them as being juvenile, and whatever it is you are saying has been said by others but even better. ” Insecurities, doubts, and past hurts can be big bullies if you entertain them.
I just got off the phone with a really good friend (we all need one)and she encouraged me from such a sincere heart. I hung up the phone feeling refreshed and ready to unleash what I know the Lord has put in me without reservations. Help me Lord to not be hung up on feedback from others, help me to be faithful to dispense what you have put it me. Help me to use every gift you have put in me for your glory, and not for the approval of man! And let the church say AMEN!!!!