Who are you glorifying?

                              photo credit-womenwalkinginthespiritofchrist.com                     

      Yesterday morning while doing my time with God, my mom called. I had been praying over a list I had made earlier that morning. It mainly was about all the responsibilities I have here on earth. Ministry, health, marriage, adult children, grand children, parents, extended family, etc. Just asking God to help me to make the best of my time in all these areas etc. I admit I became a little down thinking about my inability to be all I would like to be. 
     During the phone call with my mom, I was trying to explain something to her and she was just talking over it and moving on to a different subject. I felt myself get angry and I couldn't shake it off. So I asked God why am I so angry? Oh boy did I not anticipate what happened next. He said so clearly, control, you want to control her and others, but the root of that control is pride. It broke my heart but i knew He was right. I was ashamed and quickly asked Him for forgiveness. Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. I went on to journal about my feelings. 
     I told you, He was calling me to get real. I wasn't sure I wanted to share this on here, but then I thought what better way to kick out the power it has over me then to put it out here for everyone to see. I asked God to break the bondage it had on me. 
     Pride is a nasty thing it can hide in ways you don't even recognize yourself. The Bible says God hates pride. That doesn't mean he hates me, he just hates my pride. It's like a parent loves their child dearly, but hates their rebellion, mouth, etc. Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 
     Have you ever noticed how God kinda pokes you ever so slightly with what He wants us to work on. He loves us so much He does it with gentleness. He has been poking me for sometime now on this, but I just didn't really get it. Then all of a sudden it's like He pulls back the blinders and WHAM, it's so clear and I can't miss it. Yet because of His gentle pokes, I realize He is so right. Where if He just whacked me over the head with it, I probably would rebel, fight, etc. (There probably is a good parental lesson there, for another day). 
     I asked God to reveal to me why I had so much pride in me and where did it begin. He showed me it started way back when I was a child and I wanted others to like me. So I tried to be what I thought I needed to be for them to do that. What He showed me next was a eye opener. Ready for this...I wanted them to see me better then I saw myself. Now I could set here and write out a whole list of reasons why I thought so little of myself, but the fact is satan had convinced me, as a little child I wasn't good enough. My house wasn't good enough, my looks weren't good enough, my......wasn't good enough. So the pride began. I needed to take this in my own hands and make others believe differently.     
     I look back and think how my life could have been so different if I wouldn't have believed that one lie. 
     I'm better then I was. There was a day when I heard that certain people were coming to our house I wanted to repaint, paper, maybe even move, borrow someone else's house, you get the point. Praise the Lord, I haven't been that way for at least five-ten years. Not saying little tendencies of that don't pop up here and there, and I have to tell myself to cool it. Proverbs 16:18-19 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
     That all being said, I still have strong pride issues that need to be addressed.
     The most important thing God showed me was, (if you don't get anything else from this post, get this)why does it matter what others think. I was put here to glorify Him not others. When I stand before Him it isn't going to matter if I had a nice house, if I was liked by so and so, and they surely aren't going to be there to tell Him how wonderful I was and that I deserve special consideration or whatever. 
     This is HUGE for me. Today is a new day and I have a whole new look on life. A freedom to stop controlling,(as if I really was anyway) and stop the pride. I know that list won't look as daunting and life will be so much more simpler, when God and I really get this where He knows it needs to be. 
     Another thought....control is a blinder or lie of fear. We are so afraid if we don't control our surroundings and those in it, something horrible might happen. Reality....something horrible might happen anyway. Fear is not of God and when we are controlling, God can't. I don't know about you but I would much rather Him be in charge then me. 
     How about you? Are you trying to control those around you? Do you get angry when they don't act the way you think they should? Do you feel embarrassed when your children act out in front of certain people. Do you see that it is your pride, fear that they will see you as a bad parent, etc.? Take it to God, my friend, it is a heavy load to carry. Who are you glorifying? 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

In Him

Does your thought life need a makeover?(Day 5)

                                                             photo credit -the more you think lovely thoughts
     Wow it has been too long since I have posted. Today we finish up this passage we have been studying. Were going to start with verse 8,  8Finally 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. Wow that sounds like a tall order, and yet isn't that what we really want? Don't we really want to believe the best of others and have them believe the best of us. Yet that doesn't always happen does it, on either part?
     We are only accountable for our own actions. When we stand before God it won't matter that they never forgave us or whatever. It only matters that we forgave them. They will be accountable for their own. 
     So verse 8 is truly directions on how to live our lives, and we must desire to do so if we want to be obedient to God. When our thoughts are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, they are from the evil one, satan. So we have to think through the love of Christ. 
     When I start on my soap box I try and stop immediately and ask God to help me with my thoughts. Sometimes my immediately isn't as soon as it should be, and I have to ask God for forgiveness. When I really live by verse 8 my peace is inevitable, and that is what I am striving for.
     Sometimes my hardest person to have this kind of thinking towards is myself. Are you with me here? I was getting my hair cut the other day by my dear friend and she was telling me how she was sharing with a friend how upset she was with herself, and the friend said "wait, wait, give yourself the same grace you would give someone else here. If someone else was telling you this same story, you would be saying oh that is so not true and you are a wonderful person and so on." Amazing advice from a wonderful Godly woman that gets verse 8. Grace is what it is all about. We can't possibly think this way if we don't give others grace. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she is hurting real bad and I need to pray for her, maybe......we don't know what is going on in peoples lives, what they are struggling with. 
     Several years ago I went through a time where I yelled at my kids, I  wanted to throw in the towel on my marriage, withdrew from many things, and cried at the tip of a hat. Yet deep inside me I knew this wasn't me and I didn't want to be this way. I prayed and prayed, then God led me to a unexpected meeting with a women I knew from church and we got to talking and I shared with her about this, I was desperate. She said have you had your hormones checked? Hormones? I had no idea what she was talking about, I knew what hormones was, but I didn't know you could have them checked, say nothing about that I should. She told me about a doctor who did this, and wow what a difference.
     So we have to give ourselves and others grace, even our husbands, they also have hormone issues as well. It's not always hormones, it can be many things as we all know. God gives us grace through so much and we are called to do the same. 
     I'm going to put verse 8 throughout my house, and work on it even more then I already have. Verse 9 gives me that promise. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. I want the God of peace to be with me always.
     I just want to share a little story with you that was told to us, about this passage at a ladies convention. She said her little boy, I think age 8 or somewhere around there was reading this passage in Sunday school, devotional time or something and she asked him what it meant to him. He thought on it for a while and then came back with "I have rocks in my head and I need to replace them." What, rocks in your head? "Ya mom the bad thoughts are like rocks in my head and I need to replace them with true thoughts, noble thoughts, and so on." Cute way to think of it, but he got it. We all have rocks in our head, we have to make the decision to remove them and replace them with lovely thinking. Who can you change your thinking on today, and show them grace?

In Him  

How are you praying?(Day 4)

 On day 2 Here we read a verse Philippians 4:4-9 and in verse 5 it says let your gentleness be evident to all. If you notice in my description of the man in Colorado, Here I mentioned that he had such a gentleness about him. So he truly lived this verse in a way that a total stranger(me) could see it. 
     Do you think people see this gentleness in you? Do they see you as full of peace and gentleness? 
     I'm sorry to say, but I can't answer that with a yes. They don't see it, nor do I. I want to, yet that seems to be my problem. I want to be a lot of things. I want to be thinner, but do I do the work to make that happen. I want to be full of peace and gentleness. Do I really? Getting Real here it tells me right there in the next verse how to make that happen. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  So lets camp here for a little bit and dig in. 
     Do I get anxious about things? Oh my sometimes even to the point I think I'm having a anxiety attack. Do I want to confess this right here before everyone? No, but God has called me to it and I said we are getting REAL, and I say I want this, then I have to do what it takes to have it. Amen? 
     Anything, that is a strong word. We all know God didn't mean a bit less even. He wants us to trust him with EVERYTHING!! When we truly trust, then we lay it at his feet and walk away. End of subject. 
     He continues to say in verse 6 but in everything, by prayer and petition. So when something, no matter what it is, comes to us in our daily life. We need to pray, and petition the Lord, about whatever it is. Instead of getting anxious and loosing our peace and gentleness. These words, are used here, as action verbs. So we are to do them. Dictionary.com list this as the verb definition of petition: to beg for or request (something). I don't know about you, but sometimes I beg and sometimes I request. 
     In the first sentence of the above paragraph I put a period after petition, so we could dissect each part yet God didn't, he continues with, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. So does that mean that we are suppose to say "oh ya Lord and thank you for the sun, my family etc". In the sense of buttering him up, like our kids did when they wanted something. I don't think so. 
     I believe it means we pray with confidence. We thank him for what he is going to do. Remember we are trusting him with it and we have to know he loves us so much that he is going to do whatever is best for us. Not necessarily what we want or asked for, but what is best for us and his will. Maybe I should write, best for us, in his will. 
     If we are praying stuff out of his will or totally against his character, that's a whole different story.
     Tucked away, back up in verse 5, is a little four word sentence, and yet says so much. The Lord is near. Right behind, Let your gentleness be evident to all. We have nothing to fear, the Lord is near us, taking care of us. 
     So I'm learning here today that everything that concerns me, I need to take before the Lord in prayer, petition, and thanksgiving. If I really do that and make it a daily part of my life from here on out. I will have peace and a evident gentleness. God follows up with his promise of that in his next verse.  7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Transcends (via dictionary.com- Theology (of the Deity) to be above and independent of (the universe, time, etc.).) all understanding. So when something major goes down in our life and yet we have a gentle peace about us, we remember this verse. God told us we wouldn't understand it, but it is real. As if that isn't enough, he loves us so much, he goes on to promise us he will guard our hearts and minds. SIGN ME UP!!! Where else in life do you get that kind of promises and KNOW that they are for REAL. God can not lie, it is fully against his character. So with that it is a guarantee. Isn't that what we all want?  
     I'm going to be making some changes in my life, how about you? I'm going to try and memorize this whole passage as if it is my only sheet of the Bible.here Will you join me? Don't you love to take verses apart like this and really see what they say? I would love to hear your thoughts.

In Him

Peace or Peaceful are they the same?(Day 3)

      Do you think having a life of peace and having a peaceful life are the same thing? When I mentioned in day 2 that I wanted to live a life of genuine peace. I think I did, yet I believe God has recently showed me in his word, that they are not.
     Several years ago we were on a mission trip in Colorado with our children's youth group. We attended the church where we were helping out, it just happened to be a log cabin church. If there is one thing you need to know about me it is I am a log cabin girl.(sorry just a side note) Anyways, there was a gentleman that attended the Sunday school class that day, that intrigued me very much. He had such a peace about him that it actually showed. A gentleness of sort. I imagined him living up in the mountains in a small, yet quaint log cabin, with a large rock fireplace, that heated the whole house. Placed directly in front was a old handcrafted rocking chair, just a bit to the right. This is where he retired every evening and read the word of God and prayed, after a long day of working. He didn't own a tv, barely even listened to the radio. As he read, next to him, laying on the floor, was his best friend and companion. A big, old, red, golden retriever. Whom we also saw at church. Honest, several people brought their pets to church. Yes, most of them did stay outside, except the church cat. 
     I have thought of this man many times since then. To be honest I'm not sure I could pick him out of a line up. I never talked to him, yet I have wished many times that I had. 
     He radiated peace, gentleness, strength, etc. Yet as you can see, my imagination saw it at that time, as a peaceful life.
     I don't know, that man may have had many things on his plate, deep concerns, troubled waters, yet he had peace in Christ. I see that now. 
     In our one page(day 2) the passage Philippians 4:4-9 verse 9 says, And the God of peace will be with you. It doesn't say, God will give you a peaceful life. For the matter of fact, today in my time with him, I read this. Luke 12:51 these are Jesus's words "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division." He's talking about division between believers and non-believers.
     So a life of peace and a peaceful life are not the same. I may never have a peaceful life, yet I can have a life of peace. Only through our savior Jesus Christ, He is the God of Peace. 
     I believe that peace becomes stronger in our life, the closer we grow to Christ. So when we go through all the things a life here on earth deals us, we can have the strong peace in our hearts that God is in control and we can rest in his peace. I don't know about you, but I would much rather have that peace then a peaceful life.

In Him          

Lets get REAL day 2

     Do you ever feel like your stumbling through life? Some days are better then others, but all in all it's just not what you expected of yourself and of life in general? Do you run the race everyday only to find yourself exhausted at the end? Do you feel like you are leaving a trail behind you of people whom you let down, usually the ones you love most?          
     Are we trying to do it all on are own? Do we honestly lay our day before the Lord and listen for his direction in it all? 
     We all talk about our busy schedules and crazy lives. We all live by our calenders and have that cell phone with us at all times. Our pastor said the other day, "God is calling, are you going to answer or send him to voice mail?" 
     This is what I mean when I say lets get REAL. The Bible really does give us everything we need to know about living life real. Not wearing the super women masks, not being everything to everybody, etc. God never intended that for us. 
     I want to be REAL as God intended. I want a genuine peace to my everyday life. How many people do you know, that you would say live a life of peace? Yet God in his word talks so much about peace. Philippians 4:4-9 says 
         Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally 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. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
     Why aren't we living this way? What is stopping us? We say we are Christians, yet do we live our life this way? 
     As a missionary, our son had the privilege of being in a foreign country that was translating the Bible into their language. He told us stories of people who would walk many, many miles just to get a few pages. They would take it back home and study every word in detail and memorize it. Only to return in time, excited for a few more pages to exchange for the ones they had. 
     God help us. We sit with many Bibles in our home, and yet take it all for granted. We do devotionals because it's quicker and makes us feel better about ourselves. We set our dvr's so we don't miss our favorite shows. We memorize the words to that favorite song. How about that favorite Bible verse? 
     If this Bible passage above, was our only page we had, would we memorize it? Would we cherish it as Gods word?  Why don't we? 
     We are getting REAL, and I mean we which includes me. As I wrote the part about the stories our son told, my heart truly ached. I want to be so passionate about God that I live my life this way. Where I would walk many, many miles just to have a sheet of Gods word. Where I would read it over and over with desire to know, understand, and memorize so that I would always have it, no matter what.
     What's keeping you from this kind of life? Ask God to show you. I know I will be. When he tells us the answer, will we answer his call or will we put him to voice mail. Are we willing to give up what ever is standing in our way? I would love to hear your thoughts. 

In Him     

Lets get REAL!!!

   Does it matter what others think of you? So many times in my life I have been told it shouldn't and part of me agrees. Yet there is another part that doesn't. Maybe your not like me. Maybe your one of those people that gets up in the morning, every morning, seven days a week, and showers, does your hair, make-up, etc. before anything. Not that that's bad, I'm just not that way. I get up, make my breakfast and COFFEE, and sit with the Lord for about a hour or so. If I'm going to be cleaning and so, I don't get a shower till I'm done. If you stopped by my house during that time would I answer the door? Honestly it probably depends on how bad I look and who you are. How's that for honesty. Yet it is so true. Right now you may be laughing because it is so you or gasping that I put that out there for everyone to read. I guess as I'm getting older I feel a strong need to be REAL. I think God wants that from me. So I'm going to camp here for a while. We are going to get REAL!!
How about you, is God calling you to realness? I honestly don't know what God has in store for me on this path, but I'm willing to take you along if you want to come. 
Source : Google Images
    As I look at this path, I kinda see a metaphor of life. The grass looks green, yet spotted with snow. The path looks like it might be slippery. Just past that first set of trees there is a path that goes to the left. It appears much darker up front and yet further down there seems to be a brightness and maybe a clearing of sorts. It definitely is not a perfectly straight path.
     Isn't that true with life it may appear to others and maybe even ourselves that it is green grass and yet sprinkled in is the cold hard facts of bills, loss of jobs, death, loneliness, heartaches, smashed dreams, etc. Our paths can be slippery and we turn our eyes away from God and we fall. Try as we may to get up and carry on, we struggle. Some cry out to the Lord and he lifts us up out of there and puts us on a better path. Some decide to stay down and wallow in their pity. Some curse God and ask how could you. Others say "I can do this" and they count only on themselves. Yet even others cry out to God and he lets us know he has allowed this in our lives for our own good. As a good parent would for a unruly child.
     Why do we all handle things differently? Why do we "handle" them at all? Do some of us believe God is not capable? Do we think we can do a better job, or we just don't want to bother God with this one? Do we not even believe there is a God? Maybe some of us think that "God just doesn't work that way for me, you don't know my past." " I'm just not really that nice of person and you have to be a nice person for God." "My path is very busy I don't have time for God." " Ya, I tried God, but he let me down." We hear many excuses everyday, even out of our own mouths or at least in our heads. Yet isn't the real truth we don't want to get REAL. We don't want to make that time in our schedule. Were afraid of what we may have to deal with. Were afraid of what God might ask of us. Are you ready to get REAL?
    Remember, we are walking this path together, if you choose to do so. This gives me lots of food for thought. How about you? I don't know what I/we are in store for tomorrow. I have agreed with God that its time to get really REAL and I can't imagine any better way to do it, then with your accountability. Please pray about this.
    I pray you will choose to become a follower so I know I'm not just talking to myself. Looking forward to tomorrow.    
 In Him   

Loving them to the Lord

     This morning I was picking up around the house and I have a place where i display any cards that we receive, invitations, etc. and I picked up a card we had gotten from our daughter and son-in-love, who live about four hours away, thanking us for taking care of our six grandchildren while they went away for the weekend. Then a post card from our son and daughter-in-love, that has their picture on it. They are missionaries in Germany working with the military youth. Usually I accept that God has a plan for our Children and they are so following it, and we are very proud of them, and wouldn't have it any other way. Yet today was different. I broke in to tears, I miss them all so much. Maybe it is this time of year, I don't know. You see we homeschooled, and so every Fall we would take a day off for "school pictures" and go to a near by lake and a park etc. and just take pictures of them. It was a great time, lots of laughs, etc., such good memories. I'm so glad I have those pictures. 

     They are 28(Daughter) and 26(Son) but you see they are still my babies. They brought so much fun, laughter, joy, blessings, the list is way to long. Oh ya they also brought us some tough times, but a momma's heart seems to kinda forget that stuff. I marvel at how God has worked in their lives and how they have grown into such wonderful people. We weren't the greatest parents, no one is. We made many mistakes, lost our temper, said and did things we wish we could take back, etc. So very grateful that God's grace covers that. We are not alone when we parent. Cry out to the Perfect parent when you are going through the tough times. Ask for forgiveness from God and your child when you know you have messed up. 

     Enjoy your little ones, teenagers, adult children, they grow up so fast and leave a huge hole in your heart and life when they are not close by physically. Yet the most important job you will ever have is to make sure they know our Lord as their personal savior. As long as they are close spiritually they will be fine in this old world. When our children left to be missionaries, we all had to come to a understanding that we may never see each other again on this earth. God has been so gracious to allow us many times since then, but it is always a reality in the back of our minds. Yet it is a reality for anyone anywhere, they don't have to live in another country. When you all know the Lord as your savior, you have the wonderful promise of seeing each other again in eternity. What a wonderful blessing!!!!! Yet if you don't know the Lord....wow what a devastating thought. 

     Just heard this morning about a young man 18, who was in a car accident and is paralyzed from the neck down. He doesn't know the Lord nor does his family. My heart just cries out for them. I haven't enough space in the world to write my feelings about this situation. They have been given another chance. I pray with everything in me they take it. I pray they find God through this and focus on what could have been and not what they have been dealt. Please pray for this family.

     Don't take this day for granted, it is a gift from God and he has a plan for it. Surrender it to Him, so that He may use it as He pleases. I had no plans in writing this today. I was cleaning, so I pray it blesses someone, and God uses it. 

In Him