Thursday, January 31, 2013

Soldier Up

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. 2 Timothy 2:3-4
I never been a soldier in the armed forces.  I know several who have and pray for those who are serving now.  When this verse came up in my daily devo, I had to pause and do further study.  I also needed to write.

Endure hardship like a good soldier.  A soldier is focused on their job.  They know their life and the lives of their fellow soldiers depend on it.  Their thoughts are consumed with what they need to do for their commanding officer.  Being a soldier isn’t always their first choice of service in life.  They usually have dreams and desires they gave up to be the soldier.  Or have plans when the service is done.

Being called into service for my commanding officer, Jesus, is a never ending post.  Towards the beginning of December last year, I struggled a lot with the things I needed to do to fulfill the duties of a soldier and the things I wanted to do as a civilian.  Fortunately, the soldier duties won out most of the time. 

As I struggled and prayed.  I knew full well my civilian desires were very selfish.  I had asked to be submerged in God’s word, yet bulked the idea when it interfered in my planned down time.  I did what I needed to do, however my attitude wasn’t the best at times.  I was a soldier getting involved in civilian affairs.  In another version it says ‘gets entangled’.  This gave me a vision of stepping in thick mud, heavy snow or a spider’s web.  It makes the going rough. 

It helped me to grasp and cling to God’s view.  I wanted my way, not God’s way.  I humbled myself to give up what I wanted/planned.  I had developed an ideal of how I thought things should go – a healthy body to go on missions trips.  A ease in counseling training so that I could counsel women.  An opportunity to read the books I wanted to read.  A time to watch movies and work on projects I deemed important.  A clean and organized home. 

Ok, that last one does fall into what God has planned, yet not in a way that it becomes a idol or a time in which I make it a higher priority to the people God has called me to love.

I need to free my feet of entanglements to fully step into being the soldier He has called me to be; to bring Him glory and to please Him.  Fortunately, He doesn’t treat me roughly, but will help me give up me and fight in Him.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why? Back on a Shelf

Waking up with a headache, sore muscles and already feeling behind is not a good way to start the day.  The headache and sore muscles are from the workout that I kicked it up a notch.  And a glass of water did wonders for the headache.

I also woke up with the big why weighing on my heart.  Why did he do it?  Why is he gone?  He was loved.  All of his brothers and sisters (including me) thought of him as our best friend - how can one person be best friends with all his sibling?  How could he just leave this big void in our lives.

It's been 14 years since he left this world and sometimes, it feels like it happened today.  I haven't had these thoughts in a while.  A gal in my Bible group lost her brother right after Christmas and my path yesterday took me by his current earthly home. 

Most times my thoughts are good when I think of my brother.  Then sometimes I get a flood of sorrows.  What he has missed - my daughter.  He loved children and I know she would have amazed him.  She sometimes reminds me of him with her thinking.

I changed that day 14 years ago.  I changed deep within.  I started taking steps back to God, for that I'm grateful.  Now a smile for my face, joy in my heart.  I'll put that why back on a shelf.  I don't like looking at it to often.  It can wait until I leave this earth or never - to be answered. 

And to leave you with a joke he often told me to make me laugh -
A guy walks into Burger King and orders a Big Mac.  (Did I mention I worked at Mickey Ds in high school?)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another Note on Feelings

My previous post could have sounded a bit like I was above my feelings.  I am on some points, however, I am still female, full of hormones, still human, subject to physical conditions (like lack of sleep or pain).   

Feelings can sneak in.  They can grow so gradually that you don’t know they’re are there until one day you bark a innocent bystander into a corner to give you your way.

I’m learning that to walk closer with God, I need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit – which takes practice and Bible study (pray for this if you don’t have it and then be willing to start).  The Holy Spirit is there to convict me when my feelings get out of hand and cause me to sin.  Remember, it isn’t the feelings that are wrong – it is the sin that often accompanies the sin.

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah  Psalm 4:4

When a feeling is overwhelming and just not going away or it pops into my head and I know it’s wrong (such as feeling slighted), I take it to God.  I search His word for the correct thoughts and what He says about how I feel.  The sermon on the mount usually humbles me into right thinking.  I keep at it until joy returns to me.  Feelings are just another thing to humble me, keeps me on my knees to seek my God.  For that, I am thankful.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Do Not Live By Feelings

 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I’ve been aware of my feelings of late.  There are times when I am anxious, but peaceful.  Depressed, but full of hope.  Sad, but joyful.  Fearful, but bold.  I recognized these are feelings, yet they are not the state in which I am resting. 

Feelings are temporary.  They are often in response to circumstance of right now.  A big event about to take place.  A disappointment over something not going my way.  All temporary.  I am learning that feelings do not dictate who I am or how I respond.  God calls me to respond with other’s well-being in mind, not my selfish agenda that my feelings would like me to execute. 

I praise God for showing me that I do ‘feel’ something, yet my inner being is at peace.  I continue to have a thankful heart.  I continue to look at Him and trust Him for whatever the emotion is about.

Life Principle:  I live by God’s Word.  My feelings do not dictate who I am and what I am to do.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Opposition: Experience

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Trials proves faith.  In my suffering I am able to experience spiritual fruit to a new level.  Had I not known depression, could I experience a overflowing joy as I do?  Had I not felt despair in which there appeared no hope, could I have the peace from the hope I now cling to?

So then, because I knew the depths of horrors of this world, I can know the immeasurable greatness of God. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Opposition: Weak Flesh

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

When the opposition Life Principle was revealed to me, I didn’t know what was going on with my knee.  I had made some progress with my right hip and was ready to work on building up muscle again.  Yet, with the increasing pain in the knee and the Dr. declaration that surgery may be the only option, I was felt defeated. 

I resisted it, yet it hung over me like a dark cloud.  Perhaps this is why it was so darn easy to stick my hand into the cookie jar.  Fortunately I am being trained not to keep looking at the problem, but to see God in the problem.  He reminded me of two friends that deal with extreme pain on a daily basis, yet they keep on, keepin’ on.  Although at times they ‘feel’ discouraged, they never allow that to paralyze them into inaction.  They reach out for God, for encouragement. 

Part of the dark cloud was my desire to go out and serve God – this included mission’s work.  I already agreed to postpone going on a trip because I knew I could not take climbing a mountain to the village. 

If God called me to this mission field, He will enable me. 

20 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, 21 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 13:20-21

God knows my hurt knee, hurt hip, back, ect.  He knows.  And if He knows, He will not call me to do anything that He will not enable me to do beforehand.  Perhaps it is just my own desire to go on this mission trip.  Perhaps not.  What I do know is that God will equip me for the work He has for me.  And if my flesh is full of pain, then the work will take that pain as part of the plan.  In this I can trust.

Life Principle:  My body may fail and hurt, yet it is perfect for all the work in which God calls me to.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bring on Opposition

Do I really mean that? 

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  1 Peter 1:6-9

All kinds of trials come so that my faith is proved genuine.  The goal of my faith is my salvation – my sanctification.

When opposition comes, do I shrink in fear?  Do I speak God’s truth?  Only in opposition does my faith get stretched, my spiritual muscles grow stronger, that I mature in Christ.  I learn to further rely on God for my life. 

When opposition comes I can focus on the positive or the negative.  I can be paralyzed or mobilized.  Faith is keep on, keepin’ on, no matter the circumstances.  For I trust God and His plans for me.  This led to two more revelation that I will post soon.

Life Principle:  I need opposition to be strong in Christ.  Only through opposition is my faith proved genuine.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Doc the blessings

God has so many ways to say "I am here.  I love you.  I care for you. I am always with you."

My class started again.  I wondered what it would hold, resisting worry as it tried to creep into my mind.  I wouldn't allow any might be's to mess with me.

Anyway, back to the blessings.  The class was great, uplifting.  I found out that I have some of the homework already done.  Yea!  This part was weighing on me, wondering when/how I would devote the time to doing it. 

This and a few other events of the night left my heart open, looking forward to the road God placed me on.  I wanted to bottle up the joy and sip on it the rest of the year. 

God is so good!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Peace from Obedience

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.  John 14:15

In obedience I have the peace of Jesus.  From Thanksgiving until Christmas, I slowly gave into more and more sweets.  As you know I was called to give up the sweets.  Yet that part of me that was rebelling screamed for me. 

Fortunately, I could not bear to eat a lot of really sweet things.  Also, I did not indulge nearly as much as I had in the past.  However, it became a disobedience act [SIN], not a special occasion. 

Needless to say my waistline showed the results.  I had already fluffed up do to limitation on exercise my hip caused, now the extra cookie here and there were adding up. 

During the week leading up to Christmas, I decided that I was indulging to much, only to find my hand in the cookie jar!  When I prayed for God to help me come back in line with what He asked me to do, was I enabled to keep my hand out of the jar.

It was also in this prayer that many of these Life Principles came.  He spurred a desire to write down and organize these principles so that I could review, remind and hold on to the great things He has personally reveal to me and how He wants me to live.

Life Principle:  I enjoy the peace that comes from God enabled obedience.

Monday, January 14, 2013


“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”  John 13:9.

And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” Joshua 3:13.

Peter wants more of Jesus.  The priest must exercise faith by putting their feet into the water before it stopped flowing. 

A friend spoke at a women’s event last year.  She spoke of her awakening back to God.  When He called her to give Him as much time as she gave her work – and that was a lot of time.  She, with her husband’s blessing, gave up her job and spent the next several months submerged in God’s word.  She went on to describe her daily walk with God, spending time in His word and in prayer.

Although my life isn’t like hers, I gave this thought.  I prayed that I would have an opportunity to be submerged into God’s word.  In a way, I got there, but my ‘self’ started to complain.  I desired my own way, to do my own thing.  It wasn’t until I finally lightened up (after several things weighing on me were over), that God spoke to me. 

I complained (oh, surprise!) that I wanted to study God’s word what I wanted, not what I was told to study, like Bible Study group or counseling class.  God reminded me of my prayer.  That I desired and asked to be submerged into Him.  Why was I demanding it be on my terms (my pride of control)?  That isn’t how it works. 

Life Principle:
Submerged:  I enjoy all opportunities to soak up God’s word. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

3 Things

I recently started following Time Warp Wife.  I began reading the six steps for a beautiful marriage.  Step 1:  3 areas I want to be made beautiful.  3 areas to begin to pray and work with God over the next week to see what I can do to improve my relationship with Dale.

Our marriage is good.  Relationships take dedication and attention or they'll fall apart.  I am led to pay more attention to my part in our relationship and I have found several blogs that will help me.

1.  Domestic support.  I've made this part of my goals for this year.  I will work towards putting out all the hotspots, let go a clutter the is chocking us.  I know Dale doesn't mind a certain level of clutter, but he also likes to come home to an order home.

2.  Attitude.  I've developed a I must control everything and have my way (you'll see in post over the next month.  I need to lighten up and go with the flow - which is the attitude Dale has most of the time.  The day that I let go and went with it turned out to be a very enjoyable day.  I pushed my agenda aside and had a great time.  Now I need to keep it up, fortunately I have a Holy Spirit directing and convicting me.

3.  Be available.  This is somewhat tied to the above attitude.  Be available to listen and hear what's going on in his life - his work, his study, his activities.  Be available with my time, not be wore out from all my activities that I have nothing left to give him.

Vision Drift

I developed a series of post that will focus on life principles I want to remember.  Things that God has taught me, yet I often get distracted by the world that I forget.  Then I get reminded again, refocus, reset and do well until the cycle happens again.

God delivers the name for what happens - Vision Drift.  I love my pastor and love how God prepares my heart to hear the message.  Vision Drift happens when the world, my wants, sin takes my focus off God his plans.  It's when I start choosing the priorities then seek God to fulfill them.  He's not a drive thru.  I can't just pull up in prayer, give my order and expect delivery in just a few short minutes.

Yes, God wants to give me blessings.  He wants to be my blessing.  He is a gentleman and waits for me to seek.

So Life Principles are the truths I want to cling to.  Truths that help me keep God's perspective.  Truths that counter all the lies that are distracting me from my purpose.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This is a Test

I put in a prayer request:  God's wisdom as I work with doctors concerning my knee and discipline to do what I need to do to rest the knee over the next month.

No sooner than it became public did I receive a test.  I get a call from Kat's principal.  They need a short term position filled and he thought of me first.

Flip back a few years ago.  My daughters in school full time.  I felt a huge pressure to find a full time job.  This pressure was from outside my immediate family - like my dad, the world in general.  I still couldn't handle the thought of Kat being in childcare.  If she was available to be with me, I wanted to be available to be with her. 

Logical choice was to work for the school in some way.  I'm not a teacher, so that was out.  I pleaded with the principal for a job so that I could have something to do with my time.  Good thing he didn't allow that crazy woman to work for him besides subbing a few time (a part time career that took a nose dive quick). 

This job offer, although temporary, would lead to a permanent position, at least year to year, if I took it.  It meant I would need to give up the volunteer work I do.  The Bible study class I'm in.  Quiet study time for counseling training (CT).  Oh, and that rest my knee needs. 

I talked with Dale before saying no, but I knew I had to say no.  I would have grasp my own dream, desire, not what God had for me.  I would do more damage to my knee in hopes of getting a job to please the world. 

For that obedience, my Wednesday schedule was cleared off so I could finish the work I have for CT that starts back up next week.

And before we have a cheer over my obedience, I wavered throughout the afternoon.  Not in terms of calling him back to take the positions.  In terms of envisioning a job at the school and being on Kat's schedule, ect.  The ease (or so I think) of such a job.  That's worldly ease at that.  I simply had a stern talk and reminded myself of God's plan for me and the trust I have in those plans.  If I am to work at the school, God will open the door for me to do so and that is the end of that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year Goals

I planned to make this post before the new year started.  Life has a way of changing that.  My girl returned to school today and Dale and I are full swing in regular routine (Ok, his started yesterday).

Things have changed since I made the below list.  I thought of deleting them, however they are all valid and part of the my plan for this year.  Yet, if they don't happen, I'm OK with that.

We'll start with the knee pain that started just before Thanksgiving.  I went to the doctor, the pain only increased, so I agreed to a MRI.  I basically have no cartilage on my knee cap.  They gave me the diagnoses that has 15 letters in just the first word.

Well, nothing says Happy New year than to find out your knees permanently shot.  Of course this all sent me to my knees (figuratively because it hurts!)  What was God's plan in this?  Didn't He give me the desire to go on a missions trip?  How could I do these things with a hip that hurt (right side) and a bad knee (left side).  It was touch and go for me emotionally.  I resisted giving into feelings of despair. 

Really, I have so much to be thankful for, I just couldn't allow myself to go there.  God knew this was happening in my knee (some bizarre issue that mainly plagues women and basically been happening since I was a child).  He knows and I can trust Him.

It brought me to the point of submission.  I was holding on to the plans God revealed to me, yet I was holding on to how I thought they should be carried out.  He revealed that I was placing to much value in many "things" that have no lasting value and not enough in Him.  I came to a point to yet again to say 'I want your way!'  I'm looking forward to the journey to draw closer to God, to maximize my health (and figuring out what that means), to come closer to completing the counseling training. 

  1. Organize my home!  I started the process a while ago.  It's been an ongoing thing.  I made great strides last year tackling the garage, so I would love to continue.  Craft projects on hold, I want organized!
  2. Regain my health.  I'll share over the next few weeks other health issues I'm having as I learn more.  My goal is to be healthier, stronger than I am today.
  3. Complete the Level 2-5 of counseling training.  It will take all year.  Looking forward to learning more.
  4. Grow a garden with Kat.  I have hopes that we'll get rain next summer and can grow fresh vegetables.  Nothing like cucumbers from the garden.  We've devoted a good section of the yard for a garden by removing some plant.  If not, I will go to the farmer's market more to get those veggies others were successful in growing.

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