Friday, November 21, 2014

Bloom Where You Are

I love the saying "Bloom right where you are planted."

I think this hardy fall mum screams the truth in this.  God has given us all we need to face any and all trials this world has.  Trust in that He has equipped you to bloom, thrive, right where you are.  It may not look like it on the outside, but faith, trust, love can grow within for the Lord.

We can live out what James wrote, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,"  If you read on, it is because we know through trials we gain godly wisdom and that is our faith in action to mature us.  We can love Christ all the more for what He endured on our behalf.


So yes we can and will bloom where we're planted for our God will do it as we pursue Him.


Friday, November 7, 2014

My Schedule is Ruined!!

I set guards around calculating when I would be done with the last phase of counseling certification.  Knowing myself, I knew I would become focused on the end, not the journey and knew the disappointment, frustration and all that other stuff that would come when it didn't just happen.

Guess what?  It happened anyway.  I am down to the last part of my hours and calculated when I would possible be finished...and it wasn't the date in which I hoped for.  It wasn't the timing I wanted.  And all those emotions/distraction moved into my heart and sat there.

I prayed over it.  I asked for God's will, hoping that somehow my schedule would be His schedule.  The reasons I wanted to finish were clear - so I could move on to other things.  My attitude began to sour when a session was cancelled. 

I immediately moved to thanking God for the occasion rather than entertaining the pity party that wanted to avail itself.

Whenever the sour thoughts come, I praise God, declaring I trust Him, His timing purpose.

Then it hit me:  God is giving me the time now!  I don't have to wait until the end to do some things.  I can do them now - if I stop allowing empty activities to take away my time.

God is good to me (Psalm 13.)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Asking Forgiveness

Today I had to ask forgiveness.  I knew it was the right thing to do as I approached the gal I had offended, my heart nearly thumped out of my chest. 

My words were not gentle - the Bible clearly says to speak gently, especially when trying to restore a brother (in this case sister) to the Lord.  I hadn't organized my thoughts (meaning write them down) and they all came rushing out.  Rushed speech from me usually sounds harsh.

Seeking forgiveness is a quick way to change, at least for me.  I don't enjoy the process, the convictions, the waiting to go to the person. I am thankful for it - as it indicates God is working within me.

I used to ignore the need to ask forgiveness.  I would be extra kind to the person to "make up" for how I treated them in the past.  I might apologize - which only points to how sorry I am for knowing I was trespassing on the other, but did it anyway.  It isn't repenting, in hopes to not sin in that way again. 

Points of forgiveness:
  • Ask forgiveness - from the other person and from God.
  • Admit guilt of sin and state sin.
  • Put yourself at the mercy of the other person - a humble position.
  • Seek to restore the relationship - with others and God.

Once forgiveness is granted, don't allow guilt to hang on - there is no condemnation in Christ.  Lingering guilt dishonors God.  If the other person evokes guilt to try to manipulate you - they are in the wrong - both that their forgiveness wasn't genuine and they are attempting to make you to use works for their self serving desires. 

Seeking forgiveness doesn't mean there's no acts to do.  It doesn't mean the consequences of my sin is absolved.  Some sins have lifelong consequences that just don't go away.  But in all - God will redeem.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Totally Off Day

It turned into one of those days.  It began with the dentist, giving into a craving for fast food.  Then exhaustion kicked in between the two. 

Then the thoughts began to creep in.  You haven't wrote your report.  You haven't prepared for you next session.  You haven't read your notes.  You haven't finished the living room.  Your husband is off working and what are you doing? 

You aren't going to finish when you wanted at the rate you are going.  Reliability is when you do what you say you will and to completion.  Have you really changed?  Aren't you just the same person you've always been and never wanted to be?

I had to call these thoughts what they were - stinkin' thinkin'.  I am wasting time allowing these thoughts to claim me.  I'm missing the time to praise God and have a grateful attitude for the changes that have happened. 

Do old habit show up (like poor eating) - yes.  Do I have to allow it dominate again?  No.  Instead of condemning myself as hopeless, I can turn my thoughts to the hope I have, call out the sufficient grace that is available to me.  Take hold and refuse to let go until I receive a blessing.

"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."  Philippians 4:8 (wrote by memory - take that stinkin' thinkin'!)


Monday, November 3, 2014

Which Way Is Right?

I missed my turn.  I was driving to Bible Study and after a month of driving to this location I missed my turn.  I suppose I was lost in thought.  Ok, I would just turn at the next street.  Then I arrived at the street in which I normally turn, but now I would do so much back tracking, surely it would be better to continue down this street - it is bound to arrive in the same place.  Yet, I was in a subdivision from the 70/80.  You know the ones without a straight road to be found.  I was curving and turning, but I got to the other side.  Sitting at the stop sign on County Line Rd. I had a choice to go left or right.  I couldn't see any landmarks to help my decision.  My internal sense said to turn left.  So I took a deep breath and turned right.  In a quarter mile I was on the road I needed (and had to back track the same amount if I had taken the turn earlier.)

It made me think that so many times in my life I think I'm making the right decision.  My sinful nature that died when I accepted Christ still has lingering habits of sin.  That "natural" tendency is opposite of the supernatural Christ in me. 

My choices can often be self serving and for my kingdom.  Sometimes when my heart resists something - I purposely do it for I know it is the right thing to do. 

Times I've been aware of this:

Desire to not do the dishes - allowing the lazy person in me to put it off.
Desire to hang onto our money and not give the offering - trusting money rather than God's provision.
Desire to stay home - allowing self focused time trump fellowship with others.
Desire to eat that sugar laden treat, which will cause headaches, sugar surge and further cravings in addition to bloating.
Desire to take the easy way - when God has a lot to teach in the journey.

So to purposely choose what I know is right, but is against my flesh is hard.  I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

May I allow God's grace to help me.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Trade is Off

Eve traded God's desire to teach her for instant knowledge. Genesis 3
Esau traded his birthright for soup. Genesis 25
Israelites wanted to trade their freedom for slavery.  Exodus 17
David traded his responsibility to lead the fight for home - leading to further sin. 2 Samuel 11
The Pharisees traded a chance to love Jesus for pride and self worship. John 11
Felix gave up salvation, although his conscience directed otherwise.  Acts 24
The Church of Ephesus trades duty for love. Revelation 2

I want to declare that the trade is off in my life.  Of course, only with God's grace can it happen.  I don't want to settle for anything less than what God desire for my life - His plan.  It isn't about making Him part of my plan, but in making me part of His plan.

It's giving up thoughts of what I'll do if.... (this is worry in case you didn't know.)

It's giving up my schedule of when things should happen or be finished.

It's giving up wanting my glory and focus on bringing God glory.

Where can I be in a year if I'm faithful everyday?  How much have I learned from faithful Scripture study?  Through a series of injuries, my body became very weak.  I've regained strength, but think what one year of really focusing on exercise would look like?  Normally I go steady for a couple months, then either life in general or more usually I injure myself and get sidelined.  But with three months behind me, I don't want to allow the busyness of November and December to get me off track with the progress I've made. 

Lord, help me not trade in Your good for imitation of life here.  Help me to look past the circumstances in my life to focus on Jesus.  Help me see the bigger picture - Your purpose.  Slow and steady will determine my faithfulness.  Amen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breath of Life

I want to write.  I desire to write.  God has granted me the ability to write (somewhat at times.)  This past year has been super crazy and many things I love have fallen off my to do list.  But now, I'm adding back in, Yea!

I wanted to breath life back into this blog (however was willing to cut it if it was God's will - see I'm learning to seek His plan above my own.)  So in prayer, what should I write about?  After a year of God pouring into me heavily, the old post weren't coming to me and when I read them they are less personal, less me, just less.  The blogs I love to read are the ones about the people, what they are up to.  I like reading successes and failures - because we're not Holy yet.

So what to write about?  God answered:

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Write about Him, Jesus.  What is He doing in my life?  What am I learning?  How am I being conformed to His image (Rom 8) - meaning where am I not!

It may take me a couple weeks to get back into writing regularly again.  I hope you stick with me or join in.  

God is Good!
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