Thursday, July 31, 2008

Newsletter Spoiler :)

Encouragement From a Dry Spell

Do you ever feel like you are outwardly wasting away? I have been feeling that way lately. Not just with my body but with my whole life. Like the outward part of my life, the stuff people can see, is a mess. A wasteful mess. I feel like I should be able to “get it together”. After all, isn’t the Spirit of God dwelling inside of me, giving me His power? I am not doing as well as some unbelievers I know. I feel like a tree in the late Autumn when just the ugly brown leaves are left dangling from the limbs. Will I get to spring back to life outwardly soon, or do I have to wait for Heaven? This is a continual frustration for me. It is partly because I am horrible at doing the boring, mundane stuff that a pretty life requires, and it is partly because God won’t allow me to put anything before Him. If He would let me obsess about the things I want to change, I think I would do it. But then I neglect my relationship with Him or my husband or my kids. And then I have to repent from that and get my priorities back in order. Then the mess returns. Maybe this is a maturity thing, and someday I can do all the things in my life I would like to do. Maybe not. Maybe my life will become so much about God that I really don’t care what it looks like on the outside. I don’t know the answer to that yet. All of these thoughts tumbling around in my head have made me think of the verses in 2 Corinthians 4:15-16: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. These verses encouraged me, because I do feel that inwardly I am being renewed day by day. I see myself being more loving to my kids when I want to scream at them. I see my husband’s perspective more when we disagree, and my heart is lighter and freer than ever before. So, I guess my life is like that tree and I will trust God for the Spring. Won’t Heaven be glorious when we get to see everything as it truly is?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quote for the Day

Just letting you know, if I get any inspiration I have to use it on our Women's Ministry Newsletter so you might not hear from me for a few more days. Thank you for all your comments, it makes blogging so much more fun. :) Here's a quote from my friend Anni:

"When I was in my 20's I was very concerned what others were thinking of me. When I was in my 40's I no longer cared what others were thinking of me. When I turned 60 I realized no one had been thinking about me all along." --Steve Farrar

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I totally judged someone by their appearance yesterday. I thought I was beyond that. I realized I am just faking being beyond that. I gave this lady a fake smile instead of a real smile because I didn't like the way she looked. The ironic thing is, it was about 5 minutes after I apologized to one of my friends about how I looked. (I had a very busy morning and didn't have any makeup on and had barely run a brush through my hair.) So after I asked God to forgive me and change me, I started thinking, how often do I do that? And also, how honest with myself am I really? How many things do I do in my flesh and not even recognize? I can't just know what is right and wrong, I have to actually live it. I do not want to value people or judge people because of how well they do or do not take care of their bodies. Why I do is completely beyond me because I am not very good at that myself. But you know what? I think less of myself too. And it is all a bunch of nonsense. God loves us for our spirits and souls, He does not despise the weak and brokenhearted. Yes, our bodies are His temples and we can serve Him better if we are strong and healthy but if we just fake it and make our bodies strong and healthy, while our spirits are weak, we will regret it someday. That is all for God to determine, I need to love. Just love. Not judge. Not try and determine strangers emotional and spiritual states in one glance. Not despise, not be jealous, just love. I am glad there is no end to God's power and love or I might be in trouble.

Do you have any appearance "pet peeves"?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Seeing God in Pain?

I was at the beach this weekend with one of my friends. It was beautiful. Very windy, but I love the wind. I was praying that God would be with us in an unexpected way. There were so many shades of blue, in the water and in the sky. I love blue. I was praising Him in my heart and Anni was walking a little ahead of me (I REALLY need to get in shape) and a gust of wind picked up some sand and it stung my legs, harder than I liked. My reaction was "Hey, Lord! That wasn't nice, I was asking you to delight me, not pelt me with sand." (I did not say that to Him, that would be disrespectful, but He knows my heart and that is what my heart said). And the thought came to my mind, "Sometimes, I am in the pain."

I was shocked. I have known pain can be good for me, and that it expedites growth but I had never thought about looking for God in my pain. In pleasure and in beauty, always, but in pain?

Still pondering.....

Heb 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

(And I don't mean "in" in a new-agey, God-is-in-the-trees way, but in a He-did-it-on-purpose way.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Love CS Lewis!!

I finally finished The Weight of Glory by CS Lewis. It is actually a collection of different speeches and writings. Some of them, I didn't understand AT ALL. (My fault, not his, of course) But 'The Inner Ring' and 'A Slip of the Tongue' were perspective altering for me. I love getting my world tilted. :)

Listen to this....This is my endlessly recurrent temptation: to go down to that Sea (I think St. John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal.

How cool is that?! It was also impacting because I read it while I was at my kid's swimming lessons, watching some of them dive into the water carefree and happy, while other kids screamed and clenched and resisted.

It also reminded me of the Red, White and Black trilogy by Ted Dekker. The swimming part was my favorite of those books.

The thought of swimming in God is beautiful to me. Especially considering that He is also what quenches our thirst. He is big enough for us to drink Him in, until we are full and satisfied, then dive into Him and be completely surrounded by His glory and never swim to the end of who He is..........

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Ecstasy of Community

My sister read me a part of Paul Brand's book, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, yesterday because she knew I would like it. It says, "Just as the complete identity code of my body inheres in each individual cell, so also the reality of God permeates every cell in Christ's Body, linking us members with a true, organic bond. I sense that bond when I meet strangers in India or Africa or California who share my loyalty to the Head; instantly we become brothers and sisters, fellow cells in Christ's Body. I share the ecstasy of community in a universal Body that includes every man and woman in whom God resides." We were laughing that the word ecstasy is a very strong word. But outside of being in God's presence, I have never felt anything stronger or sweeter than truly connecting with another person, in Christ. Is there anything better on this earth than loving and being loved, in a pure and godly way, sharing each other's joy or pain? Are we all fully aware and partaking in that delight? How often do we miss out on that joy because we are too afraid to trust our connection? For a million different reasons. Oh, to be free enough of ourselves to love well and strong and true.......

Saturday, July 12, 2008


So, I told you guys I was asking God to reveal any idols to me. I think He is showing me is that I am not WORSHIPPING anything but Him, but I still have LOTS of dying to self I need to do. Way too much of my life is still about me instead of Him and others. My thoughts are still so much about me. It is amazing how much time we have to think! I remember when I first quit being depressed all the time, I was shocked at how much thought life that freed up. And time. So, if I quit thinking about myself all the time, I will have so much more time! Hmm...for prayer, maybe?

Anybody got anything they would like me to pray about? :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lamentations is Brutal

So these are some of the verses I read last night. At first, I was thinking they were very appropriate for my middle of the night quiet time. Then I kept reading......

19 Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger. (The small part that was cool in the middle of the night.)
20 “O Lord, think about this! Should you treat your own people this way? Should mothers eat their own children, those they once bounced on their knees? Should priests and prophets be killed within the Lord’s Temple?
21 “See them lying in the streets— young and old, boys and girls, killed by the swords of the enemy. You have killed them in your anger, slaughtering them without mercy.
22 “You have invited terrors from all around, as though you were calling them to a day of feasting. In the day of the Lord’s anger, no one has escaped or survived. The enemy has killed all the children whom I carried and raised.”

I haven't researched this yet, but I am assuming all of this is when Babylon conquered the Jews because God was disciplining them for worshiping other Gods. For generations. After they promised to follow Him.

It does get better and start talking about God's mercy later on. That was a relief. But I went back to bed, thinking "Wow, Lord, women eating their own children?" And then I realized, there is NOTHING worse than not believing in our God, who created us, loves us, died for us, rose again for us. There really truly is nothing worse than rejecting Him. That is the important choice in life. Not, do I go to college or not? Do I become a pastor or not? Do I get married? Do I have children? Do I move to a different town? The important question is do I believe God? Do I seek God? Do I love God? Do I reject God? Do I think I am wiser than Him? If we choose Him, He will direct our life. And it will be GOOD. Hard probably, but better than we could ever dream.

I used to read about people worshiping idols and thought God was overreacting. They didn't hurt anyone, just lit up a little incense to the wrong person, what is the big deal? They were tearing God's heart up. That is the big deal. I just was reading a book and it told us to ask Him if we had any idols. I did. Waiting for the answer......little bit wondering if that is why I can't sleep at night.......

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Growing Pains

Trusting through disapointment

Trusting through pain

You are good Lord, even in the rain

Make me like You

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Living Sacrifice?

I read Romans 12 again this morning and realized how much we NEED to be together. I am praying God will show me how to be more closely connected to His people. I feel like there is a ten foot pole between all of the different parts of the body. I assume that inhibits our effectiveness.

Romans 12 starts out with the verses about being a living sacrifice, pleasing and acceptable to God, which always launches me into thinking about diets and clear skin, I am sad to say. This morning, I realized the chapter starts out talking about us as individuals, and leads into us not thinking too highly of ourselves and then how we belong to each other and we should use our gifts and be devoted to one another. Hmm.... not self-focused! Is God showing us we need to give up our individual focus on our own bodies for the sake of His body? To offer up our bodies, not just to Him but also to His people? For Him to use for His people?

It seems to me like God's people are still so alone. Are we really sharing ourselves with one another? Are we really "doing life together", putting each other before ourselves? Do we really consider other believers as true family? Or are we all really out for ourselves and our physical families? Are we really any different from the world? Do we love any differently? Do I? I used to think I did, but I am starting to see, I haven't even started yet.