Saturday, February 20, 2016

Plans

Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. God made everything with a place and purpose... Proverbs 16:3-4 MSG

I needed this passage today. As I type this, I'm sitting in the Mexico City airport waiting to fly home. Flying is always a little stressful, making sure you're on time, right gate, right terminal. But we're also flying with our 2 1/2 year old daughter. She doesn't listen, lol. She won't sit still; she gets fussy. Definitely a little frustrating!

But I've found that if I ask God for some help, things go a little smoother. They might not go as I had planned, but maybe as God has planned. The saying is, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." Things happen, but God is in control.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

2.9.16

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it-no matter what. Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG

I must be honest. I've been so distracted the last several days, getting ready for a little trip that I haven't focused on God and His Word very much. Hence the late post. I'm currently struggling to even find words to say. I've been worried and stressed about so much that I forget who is in charge of my life. I forget that I need to tell myself daily to let go and let God. I get distracted. I get overwhelmed. I remember that I'm human.

Thankfully, I also have God's Word to keep me in line. And if not for that, I'd be worse off. I'd take wrong turns. I'd make wrong decisions. I wouldn't have God's Word to measure things up against.

Hebrews 4:12 has always been among my favorite verses. Knowing that God's Word can be as sharp as a sword, to be use as a tool against the evil things of this world, is comforting.

Unlike the saying, "Do as I say, and not as I do." God commands us to do what He says, and He does it as well. So thankful for such a perfect Example...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Love Squeezes

Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world--wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important--has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. the world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out--but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 1 John 2:15-17 MSG

When I first read these verses this morning, I didn't think about them a lot. I've been told that I should act as if I am in the world, not of it. So these seemed unimportant... But then I took a second look at the passage.  And realized several things.

I've said before that I'm starting to enjoy the Message version of the Bible more, simply because it is different, explained in simpler terms. I've read these verses before, and never thought of them in this light.

Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. There is not room for 2 masters in your heart. It's either the world or God. It's either you or God. You can't have both. Jesus said so in Matthew 6:24. "You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other..." But I never really thought of this. If I love things in this world, such as money, food, cell phones (technology) etc., there is not room for God. I want there to be room for Him. I want God to have full control of my heart, to be the only One I love. And I want the love I have for Him to pour out on others that He's blessed me with in my life. My husband. My daughter. My brothers and sisters. My parents. My friends.

Practically everything that goes on in this world has nothing to do with the Father. Self-explanatory. There's a lot that goes on in the world. And some of it is God, and some of it isn't. There are miracles and there are tragedies. And you can't blame all the bad things on God. "If God exists, why does He let bad things happen?"

The world and all its wanting isolates you from God, but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. I want to be set for eternity. I want to be doing God's work, whatever that might be. In whatever capacity.

As I was watching a TV show this last week, I heard something that struck me as good advice. It made me think. In the show, the character questions how a stale cracker could be the body of Christ, and voices her doubts to her grandmother. And her grandmother, instead of saying "Just believe it." or shrugging off those doubts, says, "Faith is the banishment of doubt."

I want to have the faith that banishes doubt. I want to have love that crowds out the things of the world. I want love that pours out on others. I want to have God's love in my heart, controlling the way I think, the way I act, the way I am.   

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Approaching Confidently

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. James 1:5-8 MSG

As often as I run to God for help, I don't think I've ever really considered that He loves to help. I think my only thought is that He is the only one who can help me all the time. And I don't ever have the fear that He's going to take one look at me and tell me "That's a stupid thing to ask for help from Me."

I repeatedly have the fear that I'll ask a stupid question. I've had it drilled it into me that there aren't really any stupid questions, but how often do you feel like you're being laughed at when you ask a question? I think we all have the subconscious thought that we might get laughed at, outright or inside the responder's mind. Without questions, how do we learn? But with God, I know I won't get scoffed at, I'll get a straight answer.


I might not get the help I was thinking I needed. I might not get the whole picture right now, but God's got my best interests in mind. I might not see His help right away, but sometimes it's a gradual process.

I need to remember to ask boldly for things. I think I tend to approach His throne with timidness. He is, after all, the God of the whole universe. And that intimidates me. The God of the universe wants to help little old me. I also need to remember, once I've asked Him for help in a situation, that I need to let go and let Him do His work. I know, as soon as I've asked Him for help, that I take things back and constantly worry about it. Worry chokes you, and chokes that faith that is as small as a mustard seed.

My goal is to learn to approach God's throne with confidence. He's asked us to come to Him. The least I can do is not to be shy about talking with my Father.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Intimacy

I had a late night, and an early morning. I was woken up at a little after 5 by my husband's hurried footsteps and worried voice. He'd fallen asleep in our daughter's room, and she woke up with a bloody nose. I'm sure it is weather related, not to mention the heat being on in our house. But its a scary thing to see blood pouring out of a little child's nose. Especially after all we went through back in July.

When Adriana fell out of our second floor apartment window, I am 100% convinced that God caught her and laid her on the ground. I was told by someone who knew of the accident that that belief is stupid, and that children Adriana's age don't break because "they're pretty much plastic." One of the doctors that saw Adriana told us the same thing. "Toddlers don't break bones, since their bones aren't fully formed yet." I would think that would make it easier to break, and I know of toddlers that have broken bones just falling off of a slide.

So I guess this post is to say that I believe in miracles. I've been told that they don't exist anymore. that God won't perform any miracles simply because people don't believe. But I will put myself in a place to observe and even be a part of a miracle. I've been a part of a miracle ever since Adriana was born. With all the things that went wrong with her delivery, my labor. My life is a miracle. Adriana's life is a miracle. YOUR life is a miracle.

I haven't quite figured out my place in this world. I'm sure everything that has happened in my life, God will use it for something good. He's given me a passion for writing, a passion for encouraging. I lost sight of both of those when I strayed. Sadly, it's too easy to get distracted by everything around us. The hustle and bustle of our daily lives distracts us from focusing on God's truths. It's certainly the case in my life. I can promise to be in the Word daily. Then I fall back because it just gets too busy. Or another reason, for me, is that I think that I have to find something that catches my attention in the Bible. Which is why I love the Message version. I have the Bible on my phone that has a verse of the day. I open it up, read that verse. Sometimes, I'll read the whole chapter. Sometimes, it will only be the first few verses before the verse of the day, or the verses after. But I realized that this is the way I am in the Word daily. I think about that verse throughout the day, and then move on to the next day.

Today's verses were 1 John 2:4-6 (MSG) If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words. But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. I want to be in God. I want to be known for being intimate with God, to be so in love with God that there is no doubt. That is the kind of person I long to be, and the person I want my daughter saying I am. Slowly, with God's help, I want to attain that every day  till the day I die.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Seeking...

"Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; he's aware of every step you take. The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you'll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end." Proverbs 5:21-23 (MSG)

Sounds kind of scary doesn't it? And well it should. A life full of sin leads to a dead end. No one wants to hear that. No one wants to even read that. I think that's why it caught my eye the other day when it popped up on my phone, as the verse of the day.

God knows every move you make. I've been taught that ever since I was younger. God watches every move. He's all-knowing, all-powerful, all-seeing. To be truthful, that used to scare me. Sometimes, it still scares me. To know that the Creator of the whole universe is watching me. That He knows my name. Knows my cries, knows how many strands of hair is on my head.

As small as I feel sometimes, I know God sees me, knows me better than I know myself. Every move I make, He knows. And yet He still wants me to be His child. As much as I feel like I've screwed up, He still pleads for my soul. He still wants my love. And as much as I feel like I've screwed up, I'm going to grasp for His Hand time and time again. I'm going to claim His love. I'm going to seek His presence day in and day out. That's the only way I know how to survive this crazy thing called life.

Not only am I seeking His presence, but I seek God's guidance. For raising my daughter, for my marriage, for how to show His love at work. I don't want to be stumbling over myself in my attempts to cover up sin or anything that I feel ashamed of; Jesus' blood has covered those.

One thing I need to remind myself constantly is to stop taking the sins back that I've confessed. I have the tendency to think "what if I had done this differently? I wish I had done this, or that. what if this had never happened?" But I've come to realize that those what if's and I wish's are just sucking energy and joy from my life. I took the path I took, and God is still crying my name. Even if there are days that I don't feel deserving of His love and mercy, I know He will extend it. Until my very last day on this earth, I will seek Him and desire Him above all else.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Hello, Its Me"

It's now 2016. Life has gone on. Life has been happening day after day. New year resolutions have been made by people. Bets have been placed. But I will never make new year resolutions. Only goals I'd like to accomplish.

Years ago, I was told that I would go places in life with my fire for God. These days, I'm not so sure. That fire has dimmed due to my not keeping it stoked. It has gone out because I became distracted by the fires of the world, and not the fires of God. Now there is a flicker, a spark. I know that can grow into a fire again, one that can attract others fro God once again. And instead of letting it go out again, I want to keep feeding it.

My goal for this year is to get myself into shape spiritually, and physically. Both will take work. Both will take persistence. Both will take accountability.

I want to be counted among those that Jesus recognizes, not those that are unrecognizable. I want church to become something to me besides just a place to socialize and find peace one day a week. I want to God's grace to be evident in me. I want people to ask what's different about me, only for me to answer that God is changing me slowly. I want to know where I stand in God's eyes.

So this year, on this day, I pledge to start getting myself into shape. Spiritually. Physically. I need accountability. Someone who will check in on me every now and then. Changing my way of thinking. My way of doing. And becoming more like God, in my thoughts and my ways, in what I say, in how I say it.  And maybe this blog will once again become a place to communicate my thoughts. Perhaps it will be what keeps me accountable. If I pledge to one a week, carve out time to write what I've learned in that week. And maybe no one will read it. Maybe only one person will read it. But if only one person reads it, may it lead them to God....

I need to carve out time daily to be in God's word. To be in prayer, to have quiet time. To spend one on one time with my Father. And starting today, I will do that. Starting my day with God is what used to give me peace. And I desperately need that peace again. I'm clinging to that today and every day.