Thursday, August 30, 2012

In the Shadow

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings Psalm 17:8

Watering over the summer, with the drought in our area, it was often.  The Spirit breezed in.

In this photo, the plant grew tall.  Look where it grew, in the shadow of the wall.  This wall blocked it from the harshness of the sun, helped retain the water.  Overall it had protection.

This photo is a plant that grew a few feet away in the harsh sun.  It grew, but at a fraction of the growth.  It was watered the same amount, but without protection.  The sun dried the water to fast, the weeds thrived in this area too.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  John 7:37b

When I live in the shadow of the cross, Jesus satisfies my thirst.  He fills me up.  He enables me to grow and flourish.  Despite harsh circumstances and high heat of the environment, I am protected.

Out on my own, I have faith, but I am doing things my own way.  I grow, but slow, fighting weeds and the harshness of the world on my own.

In the shadow of the cross is the only place to live.  It is the only place I can be all He plans for me to be, all He sees when He looks at me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Whatever is pure

I'm still discussing having control over my thoughts with God.  You may remember several post about where my mind takes me such as this one last week.  It is a point that God is working on and will give me the grace to change.

I was doing something mundane around the house, I believe doing the dishes.  Something sparked a memory of my past that I didn't want to spend my time thinking about.  I said 'Lord, why does this keep happening?'  

(It's not a every minute problem, but enough that I want it gone.  It's not just thoughts of me personally, but of what others went through, movies, books, stories I've read, just random things that add nothing to the here and now.)

Then I became aware of my situation.  My husband had just turned on the radio and Jesus Calling was playing.  Then I said, 'Why can't these things spur thoughts of You?'

His reply, 'They can'.  I just rolled that over in my mind.  I know it is so simple.  It felt like a big slap to my head, duh, moment.  Jesus can be my trigger thoughts.  To think of what He's done for me.  The blessings He gives me each day.

Paul says it best:
Philippians 4:8  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.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jesus Calling

I had to write about this wonderful book.  We do a lot of Bible study with my daughter.  So when we were at the Tree of Life book store and she asked for a devo, I wasn't sure to get her yet another thing to study.  Silly right?  

I was pleased to realized this is something she wanted, not something I told her she needed to do.  It makes my heart sing with praise to God each time I see her with her book on her own.  D has even taken to discussing it with her and looking up the extra passages.  

She is growing with this book.  It helped her trust God in her fears.  It has spurned real life application discussions that my family has grown from. 

*This is an unsolicited review.  I received no payment for this review.  No money or products was exchanged for my personal opinion and experience of this book. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ahhh Avocado

Ode to Avocado.  Such a sweet, nutty fruit.  I love to eat it sprinkled with salt and red wine vinegar.  The green mushy flesh may turn others away from this treasure.  I am thankful I was brave to try it.  I'm now enjoying the full reward of this blessings.

In switching over to a less meat diet, I gave thought to protein combos to even out my blood sugar levels.  I suffer with low blood sugar, so diet management is my only choice.

A friend shared her vegetarian diet that her daughter ate.  Pureed rice and beans, half avocado, yogurt (yes her daughter is a toddler).  It clicked with me that since I didn't eat meat, the fat in avocados isn't makes up for the loss and since it's plant based, it is healthier.

Since adding half an avocado to my lunch, my blood sugar is level.  No more trembling late afternoon.  I'm having other symptoms of hunger, which I learning - but that's for another post.  I'm happy I added this since it has taken away that empty hollow feeling I had when I eliminated most meat (thus the protein from the meat).  It's a learning process.  One day soon I'll need to add up how many calories I'm eating. 

On the down side, when I do eat something that isn't all that healthy (Frito corn chips), I can feel it the next day.  My eyes swell up.  It's like my body is saying it only wants the good stuff and doesn't want to go back to processing all the other junk. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TLT answer

I'm sharing a answer to The Lord's Table Bible study I'm doing.  Sorry for the randomness of it, but I think it says a lot.

When I am controlled by my sin, when it dictates my actions.  It wants fed.  It wants plugged into this world.  Currently, my flesh wants something - secular music, yuck stories, chocolate, alcohol.  Something, just something.  I keep turning my head and thoughts to God.  I recognize it as distraction.  I'm on the verge of growth, break through.  Even the temptation to be impatient.  If I did this, then this would happen sooner.  Yet is faster better?  Will it get me to where God is calling?  Yes, but is it how God called me?  No.  There's so much value in the journey.  In having the patience to prove my faithfulness.  I have to be in God's presence to make the desires of the flesh die.  Only time with Him will make it happen. Only time in His word, allowing it to change me, will I be prosperous and successful.  Not by the world's standards, but by God's standard.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Joshua 1:8

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday update

Well, I'm still going strong in the garage.  I'm getting 2-4 hours in each day....and yes, it is taking that much time.  Although I skipped a few days week one waiting for the trash man, there wasn't any room until it was gone.

I'm making shelves out of scrap wood I saved.  Yea, it's no longer taking up space, but creating new space.  I've gone a little crazy with new containers, but hopefully things will stay where they are suppose to.

I have a clear, distinct memory of watching Winnie the Pooh as a child.  I was slightly older, knowing full well Pooh was for littler kids.  But I was under ten and had little siblings, so I could get away with it, LOL.  In the episode, Pooh decides his house is too messy.  He gets shoe boxes and a crayon.  He organizes and labels everything.  Oh, in that moment an organizational seed was planted.  It just took me many years to realize I can't organize clutter - that I need to get rid of.  Then organize what is left - the useful things.  Well, enough down memory lane for now.

I'm making slow steady progress on my weight.  After the initial one pound loss, I think I've lost another half pound in the past two weeks.  I had planned to reevaluate my exercise, but that is on hold right now.  I just finished two weeks in physical therapy only to have more pain than when I started.  I'm giving it a few weeks to see if I can go my own way (with wisdom), to get rid of the pain before resorting to getting a shot.  We have hiking plans for fall break, so I need to be prepared for that.

I'll share soon about my food changes and how they are working out.  I'll post pictures of completed projects once they are done.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Accountability Partner

It is advised that everyone has an accountability partner.  Someone who you report your progress to – be it for weight loss, exercise, daily Bible study….and aught.  I want to tell you about my accountability partner.

He is my  best friend.  I am so blessed to have him in my life.  Always by my side, he gently calls me out when I’m tempted to go my way instead of God’s way.  He also quietly waits when I do choose to go my own way, and reminds me to turn back. 

He keeps high standards and urges me on to those standards as well.  He is willing to help me do all it takes to live up to God’s standards.  When I’m lost on which way to go, he speaks truth to me and directs me.  He always upholds God word.

Yes, he’s the best accountability partner.  Guess what, He can be yours too.  Jesus is willing to be your partner in life, your best friend.  He wants what is best for you and wants you to choose the ways of His Father.  He is always there, showing His love, love demonstrated on the cross, love that has the power to transform you, make you holy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Distraction is a tool the enemy uses to make Christians ineffective.  I know I’m often distracted.  I posted on mind control, my need to know and now the rest of my distractions.

With the start of the school year, I have more time on my own.  God has set aside the next school year for me to focus my life on Him and go through the training to be a counselor.  It starts the fourth of September for the first level.  I’m excited to spend time studying God’s word and how to help people with it. 

~ Over schedule myself again.  I did this last year and was ineffective.  I’ve stood firm in my withdrawal of some of the serving that I do. 

~ I wasn’t going to look for a job, but a few clicks lead me to a part time job I would be perfect doing, however, it is not what God called me to do until I fully understand what I will need to do in my training. 

~ Diving into other Bible studies to where I’m so many that I won’t remember what I studied and it will turn into 'get it done.'  I don’t want to just do it, but want to allow God to speak to me in His way and to allow Him to change me. 

~ Books I want to read.  At one point I was reading three books at once and not remember what was in it.  So I put them all aside, focused on one to completion. 

It’s basically the ‘do it all’ mentality.  Wanting something to happen that I take it upon myself to make it happen.  I will trust God, His timing and provision.  I have said this to myself over and over as I said no to each distraction.  No to getting a job, no to joining additional Bible study, no to leading Bible Club, no to computer time, no to books or TV. 

I will do things one at a time, not set my extras on a self-imposed timeline.  I have things that will be on schedule, it silly to over schedule the extras.  The extras are to fill in the margin, not overflow to the important stuff.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Need to Know

With the Olympics going on, I wondered about some of the happenings.  The story behind the story.  With it being the last week my girl is home, I didn’t want to devote myself to these stories and miss my time with her.  It is something I don’t really need to know.

This had me thinking on my internet usage.  I love to search for information.  To look up anything that comes to conversation or mind that is not known.  Like what is the rules to handball?  This was my hubby’s request, not mine. 

How much time do I waste going over senseless bunny trails of the information highway?  It made me realize that I often forgo time with my girl for time gaining information that has very little usefulness.  Usefulness of what is in my life is something God is working in me right now (see August preview post).

I’m convicted on this point.  I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking adults sit hours on end on the computer. 

So the change to the situation is to spend the less time on the computer right.  My actions will be:

  • No more than fifteen minutes in the morning – to check email, news and anything else.
  • While I’m with Kat in the afternoons – no computer time.  If I think of something I want to look up, I will write it down and look up during my next computer time.
  • Ask myself if I’m looking up useful information?  Do I really need this information or is it something that distracts me from the eternal.  This point God is weighing on me, I’ll write more later.

So, Do I need to know or let go?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mind Control

Philippians 4:8  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.

To be real, I have trouble with my thoughts.  Although God has enabled me to have some victory, I still find I’m thinking what ifs, rehashing past mistakes, or picking up anger over a long ago infliction that I have forgiven others for.

To begin, I redirected my thoughts on good things, God, when these thought overcame me.  I also changed a few things in my life that triggered thoughts (avoid temptation).  God enabled me to have this victory, this tool to combat negative thoughts.  I also took time to forgive others once again when needed.

With this success, I found my mind wondering when I needed to listen.  I asked how can I be more attentive.  I try, however no matter how much I try, I often find myself not listening again.

This is a selfish behavior, in that I’m thinking of what I want to think on instead of listening to what others.  Especially when something important is being said.  This is a distraction from the enemy for me to miss what is said.

God led me to mind control.  It’s not just redirecting my thoughts, but to spend time each day not thinking and being in His presence.  It is hard to shut off my mind.  I know only good fruit will come from it.  I hope that as the days pass, it will become easier and I can go longer without thoughts.  I look forward to how this chances my relationship with God.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why the guilt?

I had to write about my crazy day yesterday.  I did well with eating.  I'm still 95% meat free.  It's hard to go completely vegetarian when your family meal has meat in it.  I usually pick out the big chunks.  I'm just not that devoted to the idea to be all loopy about it.  

So back to yesterday and the undo guilt I felt.  I wanted some dark chocolate.  Now, I used to not like dark chocolate and since giving up sweets I love it.  Its not that I need chocolate, however it is something delicious God gave and I want to enjoy.  I usually eat less than 1/3 of a serving which is an under 100 calorie treat.  I don't eat it everyday either.  Yesterday I did.  There wasn't any guilt at this point.

Then for dinner, I wanted a glass of wine.  There's something about Italian and wine that go together.  When I have wine I fill half my glass with ice and water and top with wine, so I really only drink about 2 oz. per glass. 

That's when guilt started to creep in and I hadn't even poured the drink.  Then I thought about the chocolate and the few Sun Chips I had as a snack.  I said to myself, this is crazy.  Why should I feel guilty over the foods I've eaten?  What's wrong with a glass of wine?

I didn't drink the wine and still wondered why the guilt?  Why was my conscience against it?  

As we prepared for bed God breezed the answer.  It isn't wrong.  None of it was wrong.  However, I asked Him to help me stay on track.  I asked Him to help me reach my goals.  Then I questioned what was going on when He answers that prayer, when He sends me that grace I requested.  Crazy right?  

How often have I done that?  Have I asked God to do something then stubbornly refuse the help and then blame Him for how I feel?  I'm successfully humbled and thank God for giving grace on this as well.  God is Good!

I don't eat sweets

This used to be my response to anyone who offered me sweets.  Then they usually say "What?"  I add, "God has called me to give up sweets."  Response: "you are so strong, I don't think I could ever do that" or "you are stronger than I am."

Unfortunately, the conversation dies off after that since others don't want the guilt of someone else exercising self-control successfully.  Although I tried to give God the glory, I felt it was laid on my feet because of the way I presented the conversation.  I do not deserve any glory, so things had to change. 

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.  This is not of my spirit, but the Holy Spirit.  And believe me, it is something I tried for years to do concerning food.  I could not do it on my own efforts and definitely was not motivated for my health.  I could not do it for me.

God called me to do it for Him, so that sweets no longer come before Him.  It is only through His enabling do I do anything good.  I have no self-control when it comes to food on my own.  Only through Him who strengthens me.

So my response is to start with "No thank you," and leave it at that.  If pressed, then I can present it to the person, hopefully in a way to bring God glory.  In doing that, I must remove myself from the equation and point to Jesus.  I can't have a canned response, but respond to each person with the words the Spirit gives me. 

Giving up sweets is from God to me and not to be imposed by me on someone else.  I do hope to encourage anyone is in bondage over food, that with God's enabling, you can do it to.  I was a mess and God cleaned me up.  He's still cleaning me.  He's turning my mess into my message.  Self-control doesn't just happen, it is developed by choosing God's way at each choice.  I didn't do it perfectly, but I made progress and that's what matters.

To God be the Glory.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Satisfied at the Lord's Table

My summer Bible study with my girl ended and there was five weeks before my training and BSF study began.  I dug out my Lord's Table book and began to do the study again. 

After I had so much new growth in doing Made to Crave again, I thought I would see additional growth through the Lord's Table a second time.

History:  When I first did The Lord's Table (TLT), I had only fully submitted my life to God less than a year.  I had heard many times to get into God's word, yet couldn't figure out how to do that.  In walked TLT.  It is a sixty day internet based course.  I tried to start it online twice before giving up and ordering the book.  You're suppose to do it with a mentor, however, I wasn't to the point in which I wanted to share me with anyone.  So the book worked great.  It took me about four months to get through the sixty days.  God helped me get through the parts I didn't understand.  Although the focus was on gluttony, it really spoke to me on all my sin.  As someone who didn't know a lot of God's word, it definitely spoke deep into my soul. 

I'm a couple weeks in and what a blessing.  It's been long enough that I don't remember much, although I reminded of where some of my foundational understanding came from.  God is teaching me so much.  He is enabling me to trust His plans, to walk in His will. 

Since reading a book for counselor training I'm about to begin, I love how TLT focuses on the sufficiency of Christ.  For Christians are base their lives on that truth. 

I'm not sure I'll do a summation of this study that I did with MTC.  It's is longer and more stuff going on.  I am speaking to God and enjoying the refresher from this course.

* This is an unsolicited review.  I received no payment for this review.  No money or products was exchanged for my personal opinion and experience of this book.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm back..August preview

School officially started this week.  I miss my girl like crazy.  The quietness I love is back around the house and now it bugs me.  It will happen again next summer.
For August, I have about 2000 projects to start and finish.  That may be an exaggeration, but it isn't to off.

 This is the fun I had this morning.  Don't be alarmed.  I'm just reaching the age where these things will be a regular thing (well I still have a few years).  My doctor wanted a base line for when I'm older.  It wasn't as bad as I thought.  Although there are certain times when I could not have done this, but that is TMI.  I have a few other doctor appointments and physical therapy thrown in there, too.

Some home projects include clearing out my garage.  It's basically been a holding pit, only cleared rearranged each winter to fit my car.  This year I want to clear out.  And seeing this picture makes it all look so much worse than my mind told me.  It is taking some boldness on God's part to make me share these photos.  It's all about sharing. 

I also plan to finish a project I started last spring that took the summer off.  I'm not finished yet, but hope to be by the end of the month.  My entry closet will be transformed into a more useful storage.  And since I plan to keep the doors off, it needs to be on the pretty side. 

Others items to add to the ever growing list:

  • recaulk my kitchen counter
  • find a contractor to put new siding on my house
  • reorganize our extra room - make a new shelf
  • repaint a free cedar chest I found
  • make a few art projects for my home

And the list goes on.  It does include to get back into writing for this blog.  I have many little notes to go through and see if I can remember.

I'm not going to allow this list to get me down.  I want to go through it one at a time and do it well.  I know when I'm finished I will have just what we need in these areas.  It will be joy to look at.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's harmless...

Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk.  Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.  Jeremiah 10:5

I stopped in my tracts reading this passage.  That last line: "they can do no harm nor can they do any good. harm, no good?  How much does this world say "that's harmless."  That's one of the mantras of this world.  Convince everyone that everything is harmless, nothing to think over.  Harmless, it won't hurt.  

Yet bring that with "nor can they do any good."  If it's so harmless, why keep it if it's not good.  God is good.  We should strive to have good in our lives.  I don't have room for harmless.  It is an opening for Satan to get to me.  

It's harmless, I hear, to eat a sweet treat from time to time.  Oh, for me, no good will come from it, for it may trigger an eating binge like no other.

It's harmless to watch that tv program.  But what message is it sending my daughter or me on what is right and good in the world?  Does it spark judgment of others in me?  Enter impure thoughts?  What good comes from that harmless show?  

And internet pages?  Is is harmless or is there good coming from it?  Pinterest is all the craze right now?  Is is harmless?  Is it good for people to spend hours on end pinning and coveting what other have?  It's the attitude to be wary of.

Speaking of attitudes.  It's harmless that I may get upset while driving?  Harmless that I lose my temper?  Oh, no good comes from that, no matter how temperate I am in the rest of my life.  

Satan will take any foothold you give him.  Don't allow harmless to be the entry point.  No good will come from it.

editing to add:
Life Principle: Idols are not harmless, they need to be gone.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We interupt our programming...

Thing may get quiet for the next week.  I don't have many posts in the queue, so until school gets into full swing and I can take a deep breath, things won't be back to normal.  I will be back.

I'm enjoying the last few days with my girl.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...