and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thought for the Day

       It seems to be winter again, with snow falling and covering the ground when I thought it would be long gone (for this area).  I like the look of snow; I just wish it would land only on the grass/ earth areas so we wouldn’t have to shovel, and it would still be warm outside.  Hmmm.  I don’t think that’s gonna work!  But snow in and of itself is very beautiful, especially when the flakes are big and floating to the ground at night.

       Snow that doesn’t stay snow isn’t so beautiful.  It’s hard as in ice or it looks dirty, mushy, messy, and causes more problems for drivers than actual snow, or it becomes heavy and burdensome for those who have to shovel it off the sidewalks.  While snow, which has no soul, doesn’t really have a choice in what it becomes when the environment changes it, we do have a soul and so can determine how we will respond in the environment in which we are in.

       Simple example: someone is yelling at you in a belittling way making you feel like you are good for nothing.  You can choose to hit them.  You can choose to yell back, even tearing them down too.  You can choose to listen until they’re done and walk away.  You can listen and then calmly, without judgment, tell them you are sorry they feel that way but you know you are (positive words here) person.  So we see, people will have varied responses in similar environments.  Basically, we can choose to respond in a God-like way (WWJD) or we can allow the environment- and the enemy- to have control over us and change us negatively.

       When I was going through extreme troubles, I learned that we cannot control other people’s emotions/ feelings, but we can control our own.  We can have self control, and it is actually healthier for the other person anyway and shouldn’t we want their best?  Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others.(Php. 2:4)  Besides changing how we deal with others, we need to decide if we will allow our environment/ circumstances to change our love for God.  Will we become hard, mushy, or continue to be passionate about Him like when we were first saved?

And Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  Lk. 9:59
but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,  Php. 3:13
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Rv. 3:15,16

       We need to decide if the world will continue to affect our love for God because we can’t move forward if we’re always looking back to the world (like Lot's wife Gen. 19:26).  And while we live in the uncertainty of our fence sitting, we become cold as ice or dirty, mushy, messy, and become dangerous and burdensome instead of the light and salt we should be.  That’s not where God wants us to be.  And it’s not where we will ever feel true peace and joy.


But it is OUR choice!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drive

       Aimee Mullins (athlete, actress, and fashion model) is a 37yr old woman who at the age of one had her legs amputated below the knees.  She learned to walk with prosthetic legs and pushed herself both physically and mentally to succeed despite limitations.  In high school she was involved in sports and eventually participated in ‘disabled’ competitions.  In University she competed in ‘able-bodied’ competitions and later the Paralympic Games doing well in both.  Though there is obvious talent/ skill, what has made Aimee most successful imo is her drive.

      -A strong, organized effort to accomplish a purpose. (online)
      -energy, ambition (achieving goals), or initiative  (online)
      -Drive, in all its senses, implies forcible or violent action.
       (Webster’s 1828)

       On Sunday I was speaking to a lady who asked about my kids and what they want to do as they are in the later years of high school.  When I mentioned my son wanted to be a ‘rap star’ she asked about his talent and his drive.  I was impressed that she realized how important drive is in the music industry.  Many have talent, but few succeed enough to live off their earnings.  Well, that is his biggest issue to overcome as he isn’t particularly driven in anything.  Without energetic initiative and organized effort it is unlikely he will succeed.

       At first I thought, ‘perhaps he missed having an example of drive’.  Then, when I considered it more in depth, I realized my own drive is quite strong- just in areas I didn’t think about before.  Goal achievement is one.  When I set a goal ahead of myself, I charge full on to accomplish it no matter what tries to get in the way.  Also, I am driven to help people: be encouraged on their journeys, get closer to God, know who they are in Christ, etc.  But probably the biggest drive I have is for God.  I want to be all His, fully surrendered, AND be used by Him ‘warts and all’.  These things my son has seen.

       We all need drive if we are to achieve our goals in life.  If we want to lose weight, we must DO something about it: change diet, exercise, etc.   (Sorry, prayer won’t take pounds off! L )  If we want a new trade we must DO something about it: go to school, apprentice, etc.  If we want to have a better marriage, we have to DO something about it: pray, seek help, read books, take courses, etc.  And if we want a better life in the Lord, we’ve got to DO something about it: pray, be in His presence, read the Word, listen, study, etc. 
(It’s not going to magically happen!)

       The more we really want it, the more effort we will put toward it, and the more likely we will accomplish our goal.  Drive is not a bad thing.  If we had no drive at all we would starve to death, but we have a drive to meet basic needs, to improve financial standing, to get married, have families, have good jobs…  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The Lord is explicit in how we are to do the things we do:


Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might  Ec. 9:10
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men;  Col. 3:23
Do you not know that those running in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.  1Cor. 9:24

I wonder what would happen if all God’s children decided to put energetic effort, organized initiative, and mighty, hearty action into their relationship with God? 


Perhaps we would manage to change the world

Monday, February 25, 2013

Failure

       No one wants to start their day thinking “Woohoo, today I’m gonna fail at this or that”.  We plan for success at our tasks, but at the end of the day, sometimes we have failed to achieve what we planned for.  Sometimes we have failed someone we love, or failed to live up to our own standards, and where do we go from there?

       Certainly the enemy of our soul would love to use any device against us to stop us from moving forward in God’s plan for our lives.  “…because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;(1Pt. 5:8) and his ultimate desire is to destroy our soul: “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy…” (Jh. 10:10)   And so if we allow him, the enemy will use our failures against us. 

Satan will use our own thoughts against us to pull us away from God.  “God doesn’t want to hear from me because I’ve failed Him once again! L

Satan will use others to make us feel powerless to continue on.  “You’re such a screw-up.  You never do anything right”

Satan will use situations to make us feel like failures.  No money in the bank, unmarried daughter gets pregnant, another child taking drugs, and spouse is cold.

       The problem with us is our humanity.  We are human (not God) and therefore we make mistakes.  If we allow those mistakes to keep us from doing what we need to in life, then that is true failure.  I have made many wrong decisions as a wife and have had to deal with the consequences and figure out how to right the wrongs.  I’ve also made mistakes in parenting, some which I deeply regret, but I don’t let them hold me back from continuing to parent and trying to do better.  Failure is not the ‘bad’ thing- failing to learn, continue on and try to improve is!  How do we deal with failure?

Pray for forgiveness over our own failures.
Be humbled before the Lord, and He will lift you up.  Jm. 4:10
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1Jh. 1:9

Know God will help.
In the day when I cried You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul.  Ps. 138:3
Do not fear; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will make you strong; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.  Is. 41:10
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Ps. 46:1

Look to Jesus.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where shall my help come from? My help comes from Jehovah, who made Heaven and earth.  Ps. 121:1,2
Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith,  Heb. 12:1,2

Find comfort, hope and wisdom in Scriptures.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, so that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  Rom. 15:4
For Jehovah gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  Pr. 2:6 

Remember
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Php. 4:13 
My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.  2Cor. 12:9
But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.  Rom. 8:37
(We gain a surpassing victory through the one who loved us.)
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,  Php. 1:6

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Such a Cool God !!!

       The best way to say something is awesome. Superior, desirable, worthy of approval.
       Refers to something that is very good, stylish, or otherwise positive.
       When someone is "cool" they are popular, suave, and you like them.

       Okay, no giving me grief over using a slang (no disrespect intended) term to describe our God, but really, He is just so cool.  This morning I had the opportunity to talk to an amazing woman for over two hours- and we talked a lot about God, life, and God in our lives.  I love that kind of conversation and I so rarely get to enjoy it because a lot of people are more interested in other things.  It is especially encouraging to hear how much someone else loves and is enthusiastic about the Lord.

       Back to the start- I pedaled my bike to church for 8:30am because I wasn’t sure what time my library shift was only to find out it started at 10 am.  I decided to get a hot chocolate and sit in the cafĂ© for a while to read when I saw this lady was there as well.  We sat together and had great conversation.  It is wonderful to feel that connection in Christ with another person and be able to spend some time with them.  The Lord knew I needed that kind of fellowship today and He provided for it.  He’s awesome!

 And they were continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship  Ac. 2:42
And let us continue to consider how to motivate one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day of the Lord coming nearer. (G3870- invite, invoke, exhort, comfort, intreat, pray)  Heb. 10:24,25 (ISV)
Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do.  1Th. 5:11 (G3619- build up, embolden- encourage, vitalize)


      So, did you notice that we shouldn’t have been able to speak so long?  I did, right after my hubby showed up for second service and asked why I wasn’t in the library.  Oops, I forgot!  The conversation was so good, that I completely failed to remember why I was there early.  Not so good. L  (I am still pretty tough on myself for memory issues, but, well, God could always choose to heal me J hint, hint!)  Anyway, the Lord provided someone to cover my shift, so it’s all good.  And the fellowship was priceless!


       Lord, You are so awesome, and I really appreciate all You do for us.  You are so much more than I ever imagined You would be.  Thank You, thank You, thank You!