Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This is a Test...Part 2

Part 2 of this post
Test: People

I posted this before.  I have come a long way and allowed God to prune me in this. 

Isaiah 2:22 Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils.  Why hold them in esteem?

People disappoint because we look to a person to fulfill a need only God can meet.

I posted before on seeking the approval of people.  Only God can validate me and He approves of His creation!

Test: Persistence 

How many times did I promise I would give up sweets, not eat that thing, then immediately go do that.  This test is about that.

When you make a promise to God, don't delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools.  Keep all the promises you make to Him.  It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.  Ecclesiates 5:4-5 (NLT)

This is to keep at it.  To do what is right. Would you make a big business venture with someone who will quit in three weeks?  How about quit the next morning?  In fifteen minutes?  I have to draw from the Holy Spirit's power.  I can not do it on my own, yet the Holy Spirit can't do it on His own either.  I have to be willing.  This has enabled me to give up sweets.  This has enabled me to stop other habitual sins in my life.

Test: Priority

People who don't know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works.  Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don't worry about missing out.  You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Matthew 6:33 (Mes.)

What is my priority?  Who is first in my life?  What do I think about most?  It was ‘fix me Lord’.  God showed me how I wasn't trusting Him.  Now I'm moving towards ‘help others’ because I expect Him to do that as well as to fix me.  

Where does the first part of my money go?  Am I giving enough to God?  

What about my time?  Do I spend it on me or being a blessing to others?  I posted before on wasting time.  God has worked and is continually working on this area.  I don't always make the best choices for my time.  I try to start my day focusing my mind on God.  Just as sleep is leaving my head, I turn to Him.  I give my day to Him.  Ask Him to be with me.  To weigh on my heart what He wants me to do, to direct my tasks.  Each day is different to what is added, yet this gets me focused on my day and I know He's with me.

When I first started praying for Him to prioritize my day, it went beautifully.  I dropped things that I thought were important and did the things He said were important.  And then it happened, that dreaded moment when conviction strikes, I'm doing something I want to do and it's not what God wants.  This combines the priority test with persistence test.  Will I follow His plan or do this little thing I want to do?  

If you never felt the Holy Spirit's conviction, ask God to help you change something in your life that you know needs changed yet you see it as impossible.  That nudging inside your heart when you're doing that thing...that's the Holy Spirit.

All in all, if you are going to experience a trial, go through a test, don't you want it to be fruitful?  I do.  I've gone through the same test over and over.  I'm ready to start learning so I can move on.  I want good to come from the bad.  I want to learn what good things God has for me.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

This is a Test...Part 1

Matthew 9:29 b “According to your faith let it be done to you” (NIV)

I heard a sermon earlier this year.  It gave me God’s perspective on circumstances in my life.  Tests and trials grow my faith.  Reaffirms what He’s telling me, “it didn’t turn out how you expected, but it did turn out as I expected.”

John 15:2 b while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (NIV)

God prunes every branch so it will be even more fruitful.  Since I am part of the branch, I must endure the pruning.  With the plants in my garden, I prune, I cut away dead leaves, cut off flowers that are past their prime, or parts that are going a way I don’t want it to go.  This hurts the plant.  Yet the plant bounces back.  Because the dead is removed, it sends nutrients to make another bloom or stem.  It grows beautifully because of my care.  The same happens when God prunes us. 

And what if a plant does not move on to grow new, but keeps sending nutrients to the dead parts?  It is fighting against what is best for it and it slows the growth.  Again, the same when I stubbornly refuse to die to self and go the way God wants.

Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:  "See I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?"  Jeremiah 9:7 (NIV)

God will refine me, test me to rid me of my sin.

because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.  Hebrew 10:14

See, by Jesus' sacrifice, He made me perfect.  I need not do anything else but profess and live out my faith.  It's the ‘live out my faith’ in which God works on, so I’m being made holy.  God sees me as perfect - let that sink in.  Yet, I am being made holy.  Test and refinement, moving me towards that full perfection.  Each step removing the sin in my life.

Test: Pressure

How do I handle stress?  Usually not good.  Remember, anxiety?  Yes, I used resort to rude, angry, demanding behavior when I’m stressed. 

Psalm 50:15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” (NLT)

God is teaching me to turn to Him.  To glance at my circumstances and focus on Him.  Also, if I’m feeling stressed, I step back.  I look to what all I think I need to do.  I seek God’s help to prioritize what I’m doing. 

In the sermon, it pointed out that we lose patience with God and often take the matter in our own hands, think Sarah and Hagar.  Sarah brought Ishmael to God.  She wanted God to bless ‘her’ son.  Yet that wasn’t God’s plan. 

Jeremiah 2:13“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (NLT)

I love cistern example as well.  I remember the first time I heard this passage and thought on its meaning.  It was during my weight loss journey.  I could easily see many places in my life where I dug my own cistern and then asked God to bless my plan.  Particularly, when I start doing what God calls me to do and then add to it my own action plan.  I’m showing I don’t trust God and His ways when I do that.  I must have patience to follow God’s plan for me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Random Comments

Today a cashier made a random comment about the bags they switch over to using.  Saying the new ones weren't any better than the old ones.  As I took my purchases, I noticed that she over filled the bags, no wonder they did not hold what she thought they should.  Over filled is over filled.

This line of thought wouldn't leave me.  Holy Spirit lead application of course jumped in.  What do I over stuff, then complain how it just doesn't hold up?  My schedule?  My attitude? 

As I shared, I will start a training program later this year.  In following God's call to do that, I have slowly cut back or did not recommit my time for some ministries.  God has shown me what He wants me to do.  

With this, I also feel a loss over not doing the same thing and adding the training to what I do.  My head knows that I won't be effective in any of it going that way.  That way is my way, not God's.  

Looking back on the past year, God allowed me to fill my schedule to bursting.  And yes, I complained.  

So, I will stand firm in saying No to some things so I can say Yes to the right things. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

MTC Session 5 and 6

This post wraps up my review of the Made to Crave Study.  

Session 5:
Failure to Victorious.  I was a failure, no longer.  I am Victorious!  I live within the God boundaries.  He created me, has plans for me and knows what I need.  Within His boundaries I can life life to the fullest.
Doing God's work is food for my soul.  I can not go through the day without it! 

Session 6:
Going forward, I must boldly allow God to change me.  To not resist His plans, will, way.  To allow Him to choose what's best for me in all areas of my life.  

Leading a group:
This is the first group I lead.  I'm sadden to report that after session 5, there was a sharp drop off of attendance.  It got to the point to really change.  Those who had higher expectation of change out of this study vanished and even avoided me at church, phone calls and email (I didn't stalk, but did try to make contact and encourage).  I have done this in the past at the beginning of allowing God to remove the sin of gluttony from my life.  

My advice to anyone who starts a study like this: Keep going.  You are not failing, even if there is no substantial changes during the study.  As a whole, there is so much God wants to speak to you.  He wants you to get everything out of this study.  He called you to it.  Listen, do and have patience with God.  He will change you.  Trust Him.  

All that said, I would lead another group.

Friday, May 18, 2012

MV 5-18-2012 2 Peter 1:3

I wrote about this verse a few weeks ago.  I thought I would add to my memory verse list.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

There it is.  His diving power has given us everything we need for a godly life.  I can rest in that verse.  He has given me everything I need to be who He wants me to be in Jesus.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Let me climb on my soap box for a moment.  Stop telling kids everything that will happen before it happens.  This week I worked hard to have special time with kids and my helper told her daughter, who then told her class and the surprise was ruined.  

I mean is it so bad that children have to wait to find out what will happen?  I remember the few surprises in my childhood a loved it, all because the adult had enough control not to tell me.  I came from a low income family, so surprises were few and far between, but incredibly special.

This week I have an opportunity to help at field day at K's school.  She began her twenty questions, but I didn't tell her.  If they tell her at school, that is fine, but I won't.  She AND her class needs to find out when it happens in my opinion.  K is privy to a lot of what's going to happen since I or D leads a lot of her functions (someone has to).  So I strive not to let her know everything, so she can enjoy it, not waiting and expecting what will happen.

Of course, now I'm humbled as the Holy Spirit breezes in to me "this is how your Father deals with you, wait and enjoy His surprises."  Yes, yes, I get and thank you.  I don't often get to know more than the next step, I will be content in that!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


2 Thessalonians 3:11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.

This verse stuck out to me.  Is this something in my life that I need to be aware of?  Am I idle?  Not busy?  Busybody?

Not busy?  Well at times I can look busy, but am I really?

I looked up the meaning of busybodies in Strongs:

4020   //  periergazomai  //  periergazomai   //  per-ee-er-gad'-zom-ahee  // 

from   4012  and   2038  ; v

AV - be a busybody 1; 1

1) to bustle about uselessly, to busy one's self about trifling,
needless, useless matters
1a) used apparently of a person officiously inquisitive about
other's affairs

I loved this reference.  It is someone who goes here and there, moving things around perhaps, yet is not busy.  Could this be someone who plays on their phone to look important?  Check Facebook status and replies?  Run to get texted messages?  Flips through the channels to find the next show to watch?  Eager to see the next “Real” TV?  Shopping for the next great thing? 

I posted before about wasting time.  Now this is the label to go with it.  Yes, I have been a busybody in my life.  I know I wasted my time.  I know I didn’t get accomplished the tasks I needed done because I peddled my time away with worthless activities that wasn’t more than trash.

It is a warning to me.  It is a reminder of yet another thing to be on guard for.  To allow God to fill my time, not Facebook.  This is why I don’t have texting on my phone (never have.)  This is why I limit my time on meaningless surfing and Facebook. 

What do I do when I find busybody activities invading my life?  Be aware!  Listen to the Holy Spirit nudging of how I’m spending my time.  And if that doesn’t work, I do what I do to K (my daughter) when she gets obsessive about something, I discipline myself to do without. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's day!

I'm spending my day outside planting all the annual flowers I bought last weekend and never got to, thanks to my cold.  Despite the cough that has settled on me, I wasn't going to stay indoors today.  

I also have a privilege of listening to K play with her bestie.  Sweet girl's daddy had minor surgery on Friday and needed additional rest time today.  Removing the youngest from the mix means a quieter house for them and an occupied daughter for me.

We three weeks into a good sermon series at church.  It's moving and changing me, praise God.  I'm taking notes to write the revelations when it's complete. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

MV 5-11-2012 Ecclesiastes 5:19

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

When I found the previous memory verse Malachi 4:2, I wondered what exactly does revere mean.  For if I want healing, I need to revere God.  In researching that, I found that the whole theme of Ecclesiastes (that is hard to spell) is about how we are to revere God.  The funny thing is, I was lead to start reading the book a few days prior - totally not a coincidence.  And of course this verse stuck out to me.  And it sums up what it means to revere God.  He brought the complete thought together in a wild random way.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MTC Session 3 and 4

During session 3, God was speaking to me and many levels.  Some of the following is not from the Made to Crave book. 

I can't, God can - no matter what I set my mind to do.  I will always fail.  God will not!

I want my life to be defined by my obedience to God, nothing else (weight, size, possessions, etc.)  This change in thinking was tremendous for me.  I didn't get the first time around in this study.  Now when the junk starts entering my head, I can compare to how I am obedient and know whether I'm truly failing or succeeding.  If I am failing, I know what I need to do to get back into fellowship with my God, back into obedience.  That is the only thing that matters, really.  From my obedience, I can fulfill all those things I love (spending time with my family, service) and those things I don't (cleaning the litter box or middle of the night sickness.)

That even though I'm having a lot of muscle pain, I can move (which WILL help) in that pain to glorify God.

That I need to consider my motives.  This clicked for some reason.  It's like a duh? moment.  It's so reasonable, but I didn't do it.  This made to really look at why I stopped eating sweets.  Why I'm using the computer, TV, books I read, in all that I do in obedience.  Is it for me or something else?  For if I don't know why I'm doing something, shouldn't I give it more thought?

Lastly for session 3, I need to bring my mind, body and spirit into communion.  The verse says Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  Matthew 22:37.  I found that I would two of these things in communion, working together for my good.  However, I need to have all three working together.  I need to work my body so that it improves and maintains health, but does not zap all my energy for my mind.  That I don't devote so much time to my health and entertaining my mind that I do not feed my spirit food (scripture, prayer).  

For session 4, I also read excerpt from the new Made to Crave for Young Women book.  I think a statement in this this summed up session 4.  "Seeking legitimate things illegitimate ways."  This session is on replacing lies with truth.  It again encouraged me to keep memorizing scripture.  What I want is legitimate, but am I seeking the right way to get there or am I seeking the easy route.  What would happen if Jesus did this?  Satan tempted Him to be the king over all the nations, if only He bow down to satan.  It is legitimate  outcome, but Jesus did not take the easy - wrong way.  He went through the cross to get there and brought me with Him.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fulfilled Needs

I was challenged by Devo to examine how content I am with my life.  It pointed out if I ever thought I have a want and didn't get it fulfilled, it is because I didn't need it.  

I thought - what about this?  There were times when I needed help and there wasn't any.  Of course He put the brakes on that thought.  I did have help.  I could have utilized this help more.  In fact, my refusal to utilized this help probably hindered the growth of my helper as a leader.  I know God will complete the work in His own way, but I could have stepped aside so this person could have stepped up.

So OK, I get the point.  And it's amazing how my joy level returned resting in God does give me all I need.  

But back to the challenge, I started a list of my needs: God, love, strength, healing, food, shelter, companionship, contentment, protection, forgiveness, wisdom, knowledge....etc.  The list could go on and on.

I was going to match each need with a verse.  Such as:
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. John 3:16

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9

But then I started to say, what if there's a better verse (LOL on the contentment!).  And there is a better verse.  Two verses (at least what God lead me to) in fact.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

There it is.  His diving power has given us everything we need for a godly life.  I can rest in that verse.  He has given me everything I need to be who He wants me to be in Jesus.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.  1 John 5:14-15

That last part.  We know that we HAVE what we asked of him.  If I ask anything according to His will - and the closer I am to Him the more I ask for things in His will - I not only receive it, but I HAVE it, as I already possess it.  

These two verses fill me to overflowing.  God is good!

Friday, May 4, 2012

MV 5-4-2012 Malachi 4:2

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.  Malachi 4:2

This verse was part of my study when my back was in incredible pain and I had issues with low blood pressure (which means I didn't do much for a couple weeks, did you notice?)

I clung to the healing part of this verse.  And although I don't like being compared to a cow in general, I would love to leap like a calf that is happy and in no pain.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A heart prepared...part 3

Not long after this, terrible tornadoes swept across the nation.  As I watched on the news, I felt the desire growing to be part of a first response team that goes into the crisis epicenter.  Not to be the one handing out water, but the one giving emotional support, pointing people to God.

This culminated when during another sermon about service.  My thought was I can be part of the counseling ministry they want to start, then God whispered bigger.  I tried to put Him in a box, but He pushed my thoughts bigger.  Bigger to be part of a first response.  Bigger to be on the front line on the missionary field.  Bigger!

So, the direction He gave was to enroll in a local Christian counseling program.  This is part of the life group I wanted to take above, but couldn’t.  This fall I will start with level one, then proceed through all 5 levels over the next few years.  This is the first step to equip me for the work He has laid out.

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:21 

It is an answered prayer.  I wanted so long to find the direction He wanted me to go.  I would ask, but put all my stipulations on childcare for K, salary, no summer hours...oh the silly things I thought!  I love how God is leading me to freedom in Him.  It is great that He’s calling me to this important work for Him.  The gal who often says the wrong thing and has difficulty remember Bible passages or form coherent sentences sometimes.  God is good!
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