Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Afternoon Bliss

I just want to say.....I absolutely adore the hour I force my children to be quiet and read. If they talk, I add five minutes. I am getting ready to do that now. Hope I don't get carried away and add ten. I wonder how long it will take them to start counting the beeping noises the timer makes? Just kidding, I would NEVER take advantage of my children's ignorance! ;)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Spirit Stuff

I was driving to work yesterday and I was thinking about something weird. I prayed about it, "Why have I been thinking about this so much lately Lord? It doesn't make any sense." I was remembering when I was in training in the Army. It was right after basic training when males and females had been separated from each other for weeks and it was just like this big "attraction fest". I realized that God was showing me very clearly a time in my life when I was "controlled by sin." (I thought I was a believer, but I wasn't really.) I still was capable of performing righteous acts but my heart was controlled by sin. Versus now, when I am still capable of sinning but my heart is controlled by the Spirit. As in, now, when I realize I did something that would hurt God or someone else I am truly sorry and don't want to do it again. Before, I was afraid to sin because I didn't want the consequences but all of my desires were for that sin. Hopefully that makes sense. Yay! I love it when God explains stuff to me. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sharing His Spirit

I am going to try and think about having God's Spirit from a different angle. On Earth, if we said two people "shared the same spirit" what would we mean? That they were similar. In thoughts and expressions and passions and interests, right? Of course, they could not be united in actuality like we are with Christ. When I think of His Spirit and mine in that light, I see somethings I have never realized before. He is free; from fear, from cowardice, from selfishness, from pride. He is full of hope and joy and light. If I am in the Spirit, I should be more like Him and less like me.

Oh Lord, purify me so I live in Your Spirit and not my own. Teach me to worship You in Spirit and in Truth. To know what is Truth and what is a lie from the enemy to rob us of some of our sweet relationship on Earth. I want to share Your Life Lord, You work, Your hope, Your joy. I want to truly know You, on earth. Paul did, Peter did, David did. All those Marys did. I want all that You have for me. I get lost sometimes in my own flesh, in other people's ideas of what a relationship with You should look like. I want to know You. Purify my heart Lord, make me completely Yours. I ask in Your Name........

Friday, June 20, 2008

Too funny not to share.....

The Scene: Me, driving my two kids to the doctor for a follow up on Gabe's asthma. Realizing I forgot my check book.

Me: Bad word that no Christian mom should say in front of her kids.

Laney: Big shocked eyes looking at me from the passenger seat.

Me: Sorry Kids, Sorry Lord, for my potty mouth, thank you for dying for our sins.

Laney: Looks a little less horrified, did I mention she is my prudey child?

(I realize I am ok because I still have my planner with everything I need in it. But realizing we have another problem because we are already late and I turned down the wrong road.)

Me: Oh shoot, I went the wrong way, what am I retarded or something?

Laney: (in a very serious, deadpanned voice) Yes Mom, sometimes I honestly think you are....

Me: Laughing hysterically

Laney: Why is that so funny?

Me: You really believe that don't you?

Laney: Yeah, but don't tell Dad, he will get mad at me.

Me: Why don't you think I will be mad at you?

Laney: Because you know you are retarded sometimes.
Dad is more serious.

I am still laughing.........

Struggling with Sin....

I have been reading different parts of the first eight chapters of Romans over and over this week. Still working on all of this Spirit stuff. I hadn't put together that the context of a lot of the "living in the Spirit" verses were in the part of the Scripture talking about sin. How we should deal with sin in our lives and how we overcome it. (By "living in the Spirit") So I am going to share my conclusion with you: We were born sinners. If we are really Christ's, His Spirit lives in us, giving us new life. We should consider ourselves dead to sin and let the Spirit control our minds. We will always struggle with the sin that still lives in our bodies and eventually, it will kill us. (And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. Rom 8:10 NLT) But we need to hold fast to the FACT that that is not the end, only the beginning. That even though we are still struggling with sin, He will have the final victory. So, the key is to not lose hope in our struggles and to trust the work God is doing in our lives and in our hearts. The key for me anyway, because I am still struggling with thinking I should be doing a better job with life than I am. But oh yeah, life is not about me, it is about Him. I think I need to chant that to myself like a hundred times today......

No, actually, today I need to rejoice that I am His. That His love for me is unending. That He has saved me from sin. That He has wonderful plans for my life. That He wants to be with me for eternity. That He died to be with me. I want to live this day close to His heart. With my heart singing praises to His. I want to put aside myself and live in Him today. He is beautiful and He is real, and He is mine. And yours. He is big enough for all of us. He is good.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wanting More.....Again.

I have been feeling very restless the last couple of days. I have been reading that book "Same Kind of Different as Me". It is very inspiring. It makes me want to do more for God. Talking to Jason about God stuff has been very exciting. But I am longing for more. What, I am not completely sure.

When I was in the Army and used to love to run, sometimes I would start complaining in my head and want to quit. After a while, I realized that if I picked up my pace a little, I would be fine. I would be going fast enough that I could just focus on my breathing.

That is how I am feeling right now. I am not running fast enough. I am not doing enough that really matters.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Can We Hurt God?

James 4:1-5
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? (James is referring to the Holy Spirit, I checked to be sure)

I came across these verses again, when I was doing my Spirit search and I have been thinking about them off and on. I am not a theologian, so I may be wrong but here is what I came up with.

I wonder if God hates being ignored as much as we do??? Especially by people we love. Have you ever been in that situation? Where you really love someone and you can't tell if they care if you live or die? Well, they would probably go to your funeral, but by the next day, you suspect they would have forgotten all about you? And you want to rant and rave to get their attention, but you are too self-controlled and mature for that. :) (OK, I am being silly now...back to serious.)

This is what these verses say to me: As Christians we have all these ideas of right and wrong and some of us are willing to fight about them, saying we are doing it for God, when really, we are just wanting something. Something we could have, if we learn how to put God first and ask with pure motives. So we are distracted by our wants and the world. And then we can't figure out why we aren't happy. And God isn't happy with the situation either. Seems to me, anyway.

I like the thought of God being jealous because He wants my time and attention, so He can give me what I need and want instead of me scrounging for it and hurting others in the process.

Do you think God hates being ignored or do you think He is above that?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Keeping Perspective

I just reread Prince Caspian after we saw the movie.

I keep thinking about this part: "Oh dear, oh dear", said Lucy. "And I was so pleased at finding you again. And I thought you'd come roaring in and frighten all the enemies away-like last time. And now everything is going to be horrid."
"It is hard for you, little one," said Aslan. "But things never happen the same way twice. It has been hard for us all in Narnia before now." Lucy buried her head in his mane to hide from his face. But there must have been magic in his mane. She could feel lion-strength going into her. Quite suddenly she sat up. "I'm sorry , Aslan," she said . "I'm ready now."
"Now you are a lioness." said Aslan.

I need that to happen "in the Spirit" between my King and I. I need His strength because I have none of my own. Don't worry about me though, I do this every now and then. And I am actually thankful for it. It puts things back into perspective for me. I am nothing, He is everything. And He who is Everything is loving me who is nothing.

I so want to see His face......

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In the Spirit......

In case you can't tell, I am seriously pondering all this "Spirit" stuff. So, I did a search, including; of the Spirit, through the Spirit, with the Spirit, and some others I can't remember right now and guess where I hit the jackpot? In the Spirit. A lot of cool stuff seemed to happen when someone was "in the Spirit". In the beginning of his Revelation John said, "On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet... " John was whisked all around his Revelation "in the Spirit".

That makes me think of a different translation of Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. It almost makes me wonder ~ if the Spirit inside of us, is lined up with whatever God is doing through His Spirit on earth, do we get to experience real God stuff? Does that make any sense? Kind of like the whole "Experiencing God" thing. If we are focused on Jesus and are seeking Him and trying to keep in step with what He is doing, we will be running strong, in the Spirit.

If we are living a little bit for God and mostly for ourselves, is that what keeps us from experiencing His power? Because we are not "keeping in step with Him". I think He will still save us, if we ask Him to, but will we miss out on doing His work here on this earth?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Following the Spirit

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Gal 5:25

Spirit Filled Living......

What is it???? I have spent the last ten years asking God that question. He has taught me so much but I still feel like I am 40% spirit-controlled and 60% flesh-controlled in my daily life. I have been full of the Spirit and I have been controlled by the Spirit, sometimes I didn't even realize it until later, but I still don't know how to describe it. I don't know how I got there. By prayer, a lot of times, but not always. The one thing I know for sure is it always requires doing things His way and not mine.

I know some of the things living by the Spirit is not: It is not willpower, it is not beating ourselves until we bleed, it is not acting the martyr, or having a pretty, put-together life. I wasted too much time chasing after those things, thinking that is what God wanted me to do.

Another question I have asked God for years is,"Where is our power Lord?" Why are Christians so much like the world? Why don't we see the the things we see in the Book of Acts? Why are we so defeated by ourselves, whether we recognize it or not?"

He has shown me that His power only comes through His Spirit, and it is usually "faith expressing itself through love". It is not to wow us and make us to believe. It is to do His will. To further His kingdom. To show someone the love and power that He makes available to them. His power is ALWAYS about Him. Never about us.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!