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. 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 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 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