Tuesday, September 27, 2011
“I am praying...your body is as healthy as...your soul." 3 John 2 TLB
We all know how important physical health is; here's a plan for keeping your soul in shape:
(1) Don't question your faith, question your doubts. We spend too much time dwelling on our misgivings, experiencing faith as an occasional flash-in-the-pan. God's promises are for 'believers.'
(2) Don't be a 'lone ranger.' It's no accident that the Old Testament contains the story of God's people, and that the Epistles were written to congregations. We grow as we relate - not isolate!
(3) Guard your thought life. If your "thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if [it's] controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace" (Ro 8:6 NCV). Practice mind management!
(4) Fall asleep and wake up immersed in gratitude. It'll transform your day. "In every thing give thanks!" (1Th 5:18).
(5) Ditch anything that distracts you from God. Toss the junk reading material, and if you've got the guts, throw in the TV!
(6) Always err on the side of mercy. Philip Yancey writes: "I marvel at the humility of a God who descends to live inside...his 'flawed' creatures...Do I show that same attitude towards people of whom I disapprove?"
(7) Be specific and don't revert to generalities when discussing your faith. Paul wasn't "ashamed of the Gospel" (Ro 1:16); neither should you be.
(8) Be gracious to the people who irk you. God chose them too! Sometimes it's easier to be gracious to non-believers than to uptight, moralistic Christians. But that just makes you a different kind of judgmental.
(9 ) Forgive those who've hurt you. Harboring hatred hinders healing, so bring your hurts to God.
(10) Submit to the Lord. Wait on the Lord. Watch for the Lord. Join the Lord.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
What if I’m Goo and never make it to Good?
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-21
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but atest everything; hold fast what is good.
CRAZY Love – Francis Chan Chapter 5
Conditional love. We practice it all the time. I love you if…
I have a new kitten. She is a wild thing. She attacks us. Everyone who enters the house is malled on a daily basis. We look like we have been thrown in a briar patch and barely got out. After we survive her attacks we hug her and try to teach her love. The kitten squirms, growls, hisses and swats at us with claws extended until she gets them inserted deep enough to cause us to screech in pain and release her. Usually we toss her away, just to equally shock her. Do we stop loving her? No, we think she is cute. (vicious, but cute)
I told my daughter I loved her the same way when she was a child. When she was bad, that’s when I held her the closest to me. She would scream at the top of her lungs, kicking and screaming, grabbing hold of anything she thought would anchor her to the inside of the grocery store, while I was trying franticly to escape the eyes of fellow shoppers, while I dealt with my child’s temper tantrum. I couldn’t just walk away. I held her. I would hold her as tight as I could until she settled down. I always told her I loved her as much as she hated to hear it and she didn’t believe it because I had told her she couldn’t have candy in the store. I had a strong willed child. Did I stop loving her? No, I didn’t.
Love isn’t always easy. Love does have conditions. We always want to measure love. Even God gave us a measure of love:
New International Version (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
As Christians we are to-
[ Fear the LORD ] And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
New International Version (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
God does first love us unconditionally. As I read this Crazy Love chapter, I realized I don’t know that much about love or how to love God. I have read a lot of work by Thomas Merton, who was a twentieth-century Catholic monk, writer, and scholar of comparative religion. Through his writing I understood how deeply someone could love God with their whole being.
I realize that when I love God, I look a lot like goo, instead of good.
I want to be good in God’s eyes. Thank You, God for still working in me.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
God Loves YOU!
Today I’ m not going to post about Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Maybe next week .
I have a mother’s heart. God blessed me with one child, of which I have looked at with wonder, since the day she was born. My daughter is going to be 18 yrs old in a few months. She is counting down to the day and reminds me of it all the time. She looks very similar to me and it is hard to mistake her for anyone else’s child, but no matter how much she looks like me, or has the exact same voice, she is not me. I spend every day getting to know her. Even though I’m a mom and still shaping the person she is going to be, she is very much independent. I’m very proud of her. I feel love every time I look at her.
I have on my heart some amazing mothers who are faced with challenges. I have a lot of on-line friends that I only correspond with because we are fellow bloggers. We cannot help but write about our personal lives and in that way it is easy to feel a bond to someone you have never met.
One of my blogging buddies has had ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.) for over 19 yrs. She was a single mother a lot of those years. In her blog, The Daily Warrior, she wrote to promote ALS awareness and shared her highs and lows. I think she is one amazing person for being so honest about her life and still able to touch my life as well as others, even after her hands were too crippled to type anymore. She stopped blogging over a year ago. I thought of her today, and if I could, I would visit with her and give her some love and thank her for liking me too.
Three of my friends have Autistic children. This makes mothering an enormous challenge, and also at times makes friendships hard. I admire these women for their patience, their love, and forgiveness in others, as their daily life is a relentless pursuit of normalcy.
As I share with my friends, I know we all love our children with our whole hearts, and at times we are not prepared for the people they become. – Or more importantly the people they are and we are still getting to know them. One day it could be a tattoo, another day they might become smokers, or diagnosed with cancer or another life altering health issue, or decide to move far from home and have a different lifestyle, or some other issue that makes us not feel so accomplished as parents, when the person we love, has us look at them with new eyes.
I too, am someone’s child. I can remember one of my ambitions as a child was to not let my parents down. I’m sure they had higher aspirations for me that I have not achieved in my 40 yrs of life. I’m thankful for my parent’s love. I have my own set of challenges my parents wish I would overcome, but being a parent myself, I know the most we want for our children is for them to know we love them, and always want the best for them, even when they do not or are not able to meet a parent’s expectations.
I want to uplift all mothers today in prayer. Some days mothering can almost break us. Lord, let mother's be vulnerable when we admit we can’t do it all. And Lord, please put people in our lives that can hold out a hand that is attached to an arm to give a hug, and love us as they draw us close to their own hearts, and hold us near, until we know everything is going to be alright and we have the strength to not give up on our children. Lord, please meet our needs, strengthen us, and give us hope.
I hope the Heavenly Father has the same love for all of us, to not give up on us and still love us as we do our best, physically and spiritually, becoming the people we are to become to be part of the Kingdom of God.
If you feel like you have landed on your ceiling, don’t worry; hitting the ground hurts more.
(that is supposed to be funny)
To Love and be Loved is to feel the sun on both sides of ourselves – The good and the bad .
“Have faith in the Lord your God, and you will be upheld.” – 2 Chronicles 20:20
My favorite quote of the day is from my blogging friend Kathryn @ From the inside... Out, talking with her son.
Taylor: “Mom. How weird were you last night?”
Me: “Um. I don’t know how to answer that. Was I ‘Mom weird’ or the usual ‘generally weird’?”
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Introductions are often the first impression.
Get to know someone, then decide.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan week four warned us about being lukewarm Christians.
I admit I could be viewed as one of these lukewarm christians. I'm living in the world and I have a habit of cursing, and I admit to being a social drinker. The image I project makes me seem much like a lukewarm Christian.
Jesus asked a lot of people to drop everything and follow him. He asks the same of all christians.
There are times in my life when I know that God sent someone to speak to me about my life. At times even when we hear a sermon that speaks directly about our lives, we can become defensive. We find ways to justify our actions. God will use only what is good to him. I think sometimes this is why I dont recieve God's favor.
I write this blog, exposing I am human. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I hope to grow in my relationship as a Christian.
Hebrews 10: 22-25
22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
I hope if you are reading this, I encourage your walk with God, instead of hindering it.
Love and mercy to you, in the name of Jesus our Lord.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Clay before firing.
Clay not made by a master is fragile when it is fired.
Flaws will not allow the piece to come out of the fire whole.
May God be the master of His creation in you.
This Crazy Love week was about GOD the Father and His love for us.
Our group shared our ahhh hhhaa moments of when we first felt the love of God
I always talked to God because when my parents divorced when I was six, she was removed from my life because she couldn’t be a mother and she would always ask me to pray for her. I felt God was like a phone and whenever I wanted to talk to my mom, I would talk to God.
The person I was most removed from was the person who also brought me to have a relationship with God.
My ahh hhha moment was when was at church camp at Ridgecrest, NC, at 15 yrs old and when i was singing i knew i was singing to God. I gave and felt the love of God. Since then, I always consider singing praise and worship a verbal prayer directed to God.
I view my relationship with God the same as any personal relationship I would need to nurture, but right now with my situation I feel like God is someone I have a hard time communicating with because if He wants to use me, He's told me and I can’t agree to it right now, my heart is still very broken. I'm not ready.
I feel like I am in flux of chasing God and running from Him.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
God is ever present, even when we think he is not.