Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Changing your mindsets...

I have done it before. 
 I can do it again. 
 Then why am I having such a hard time?
 I feel like I can relate tothe passage in Romans 7. The Message version below.
  15 What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.
16 So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
    17 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help!
18 I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it.
. 19 I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
20 My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21 It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
22 I truly delight in God's commands,
    23 but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
    25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

My husband and I were talking about this just this morning.  As he posed the question, "What do you think you will say when you meet Jesus face to face for the first time?" I think I will be like Isaiah when God appeared in a vision.  I will fall on my face and just want to ask for forgiveness for all the times I blew it trusting Him for deliverance from issues.  He has shown up at other times and revealed something to me that allows me to get through it. Then in then life gets busy and I get distracted.  Temptation comes and I forget to turn around to remember what I already know to be true.

I have a few issues righ now I would love to have breakthrough that just instantly changes the struggle to victory.  I think that this time God wants me to fight for my freedom.  What might that look like? I think this morning he gave me an action plan.  This one is going to take some time, some mind power and maybe some elbow grease as well.

Proverbs 4:20-27 or Psalms 119:9-16  both talk about meditating on his us that is our Bible.  Proverbs talks about His Word  being in the middle of your life.  Both passages  talk about keeping the word before you and knowing it by memory. It comes with a few IF promises. The promise is IF we seek Him and lean in him and hide his word in our heart that  health will come to our bodies, find purity for our souls, and direction for our path.  Ultimately freedom will open before us.

My husband concluded our conversation by saying.  You need to pray that God will change your heart and your desire for those things.  Pray that he will step in and help.  That he will give you His strength to make the changes neccesary.  He is also going to have to help me with memorizing the verses he points out. Open up my mind and make my brain like a sponge that soaks in the information making the connections that will help me to recall his Words when I am in the moment of temptation.

It will be a process. It will require work and time.  I hope I am up for the challenge...wait...yes I am because...
With God all things are possible. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trying to Impress vs Pleases the Lord

Current topic: 
The Super Woman vs Abiding Woman
(for explination see previous post)

The world we live in today screams a message at us everyday: 
You have to be skinnier. 
You have to dress better. 
You have to own all the right "toys". 
You have to live in the right neighborhood. 
You have to make more money.

What happens if you can't do all these things?
You hear messages like...
I am not enough.
I failed.
Life isn't worth it.
It's not fair.

Super woman buys into these philosophies.  I don't think it is always intentional.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good or have nice things. 
It is when it consumes you that it becomes a problem. 
The Bible states that anything that holds more of your attention (consumes you) more than God is an idol. 

Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man brings a snare (as a lure or bait);
but he who trust in the Lord will be exalted (to be set securely on high). nasb

The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that. msg

What is the lure?
Oh if people like me I will feel better, my life will be more meaningful.
I matter to people.  People like me.
Where do we get caught??
It could be letting other people dictate you self worth.
"Do they really like me for me of just for what I can do for them?" might be a question you ask yourself.
Or  the flip side...
"I can't do that or I messed up so now they will not like me."
If you are this person sometimes you get your motivations mixed up for why you are doing something.  It is hard for you to say no because they need somebody. 
Then you get busy...which is piggybacks off yesterday can't be an IS if you are a DOES.
Any of these message distracts from the real purpose for your life.

Proverbs says  to trust in the Lord for safety from the snares.
Trust here means have confidence in.
Confidence, in Encarta  Dictionary, illudes to the idea
 that is based on a relationship of intamacy.
It implies that there is a belief that we will be well taken care of,
and that the person in charge (God in this case) knows the plan and
 He can do something about it.  
So the proper response should be pretty easy just trust and have confidence in God...

How many of us struggle with that? 
We have to know God and according to Ephesians 5:7-11 (below)

There fore, do not be partaker with them (deeds done before you were made new by Christ)
for you were formerly darkness
but now you are light in the Lord;
walk as children of the light
(for the fruit of light consits in all goodness and righteousness and truth)
trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

once we are IN CHRIST we are new creatures. There is a new reality.  Living in the light.  When my daughter wakes up in the morning her room is dark and she just stands there in her soggy diaper crying for relief, she is still stumbling around because she has not found the center of balance yet. 
I walk in turn on the light and instantly she squints and covers her face for just a moment.  It doesn't last long because she wants to see me.  She loves the idea that I am going to pick her up, snuggle with her and then get her out of her heavy diaper.  As she gets a custom to the light she walks around, exploring her surroundings and gaining that balance.
  It  is the same way with us.  Wether we realize it our night before we come to a saving knowledge of Christ and  His sacrafice and gift..before we accept that and make Him LORD of our life we have heavy stinky baggage and we are stumbling around in the darkness trying to figure out this life.
As soon as that truth becomes a reality heart felt belief the lights come on. 
Then little by little we try to learn what pleases Him and
We try to trust Him and obey the revealed truth
That requires a little work being intentional about
Getting to know Him
Seeking out truth
Making choices to Obey what he shows us.
We need people who are also walking in the light to be on the journey with us so we can learn from them and have support when those hard trials come.

If we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. Matthew 6:33
He changes us into a new creation that has a soft heart instead of a heart of stone. Ezekiel 36:26-27
Becoming more and more like Jesus beccause we will have greater knowledge of who he is and h much he loves us. Col. 1:21-23
He will keep us safe because He is our defender, deliverer, provider, and our refuge. Pr. 29:25
Honestly the biggest reward is in the after live forever with him in the perfection and beauty of heaven.

Now you have to choose...
Who will you listen to ...
Impress Me!!!
Please the Lord
Who will you choose?

Friday, October 28, 2011

IS vs DOES? Who will win the battle?

I ran across this post on facebook the other day, it compared a "Super woman" to an "Abiding woman". It was posted on Bethany Conner's page so I don't know if she personally wrote this comparison or if it was some one else. 
Super woman
makes me think of the intro to Superman; if he were a woman it would say she is able to leap buildings in a single bound, she can run to the rescue faster than you can blink, and stop bullets with her own hand.  She can do all the above things because of she is so strong but in all reality she is not human.
Abiding Woman
The word abiding according to websters dictionary has 4 definitions
1. to find something tolerable or bearable
2. to live and reside in a place
3. to live or to wait for something
4. to endure or withstand something
This makes me think of John 15 and the illustration of the vine and the branches
 vs 4-5 below
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
The whole chapter uses the picture of a vine that has branches that are grafted in.   I was watching videos of how this is done. The vine is cut from one plant and taken to a new vine. The new vine is cut just enough that there is contact of the inner flesh of the branch and the vine. They taped them together so they are secured/held in place until the two fuse and begin to produce new life. The vine apart from that branch will die it needs a source of strength that is not it's own.
These pictures really made think about who I am and what I am doing in this one time thing called My Life. I am going to take each point apart by disecting it, having a selah moment or two, then try to digest and live it. In other words this could end up being several blogs.
The first comparison was  the super woman DOES, while the abiding woman IS.
These two words seem very simple but yet there are complex attitudes, actions, and emotions attached to each one. 
Do you see the difference of DOES and IS? 
Does is busy working and striving for something.  She is busy busy busy.  I picture her as the one who is trying to please  and serve others.  Biblical example would be Martha.  She was working to make a good and comfortable place so all is perfect.  Mary sits at the feet  of Jesus.  He rebukes Martha and commends Mary. ... Hmmm that is me alot of the time. 
What does an  IS woman look like.  The post included a verse  Psalm 46:10.  For the sake of context I am going to give you the whole chapter below.

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to" alamoth. "A song."

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Looking at the first 2 words in the text ...Be still...
I looked up still in the Hebrew...meaning weakness, idleness, feeble ,staying, relax or withdraw.  Now isn't that a polar oppostie.  The note in my Bible to says to cease warlike activities  and consider God,  acknowledge his supremacy.  That takes us to Know. In the Hebrew there are many meeting but they all hing upon these terms: To recognize, admit acknowledge, confess, to reveal, to consider,to be instructed.   To me this means it is time to look at who God is which is what the psalmist did before he ever penned these words. Let him grow his picture of who he is. 
How does that apply to becoming  an IS woman?  If I am an IS woman, I am dead to my old self, (the person that has to do it all)  instead I am sitting before God realizing my strength comes from Him. That made me think of the the song Who am I by Casting Crowns..I was listening to an interview with 2 people from the band. The singer and  songwriter said that as He wrote was writing the song God began reminding him of what he wasn't so He could remind Him who he was in Him.  So in that we are weak  feeble and unable but as we are still, dwell on who God is, and  live a life of abiding (stay remain, wait for him) by faith He makes us strong to fulfill his purposes. I included a link below I hope you enjoy it and sit still and be an a serene state of IS instead of a  busy chaotic state of DOES today. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How big is my God?

I have just been in awe of God lately. It actually started  about a month ago.  I  was watching a Francis Chan clip from his book "Crazy Love."  In this clip he talks about prayer and worship.  He wondered if we just pray or do we really think about who we are praying too.  This got me to thinking:  I was having a heck of a time even wanting to take the time to pray.

I started reading the stories of when God describes himself or reveals his glory to people.  Common phrases I found were shining like the sun, white as snow, like flames of fire, voice like the sound of many waters, surrounded by angels, if you looked at his face you would  die.  So the people that encountered this what was thier response.  They fell on thier faces in fear of the Lord, repented of sin and took off their shoes due to His holiness. Faces had to be covered due to His radiance, they listened and obeyed because told them not to fear and because I am sure His voice demanded respect.

Then I started thinking about how I read the Bible.  Why???  The Bible this amazing God's Words and instructions to me.  I do not want to be like the people in John 5:36-39msg.  

     36 But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John's witness. It's the work the
          Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm
         that the Father, in fact, sent me. 37 The Father who sent me, confirmed me. And you
          missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. 38 There is
          nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger
          seriously. 39 "You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll
          find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! 

They had Jesus right there in front of them as well as the scripture and they missed Him because they were so busy trying to obey man made rules that the word written on the scrolls that they were memorizing for years were just that merely words.  They choked out the life.  They didn't let God change them because they were not focused on Him.  Instead they were focused on themselves   

Sometimes I think I get caught up in some of that.  I let other things capture my attention then I contemplate and worry and then I even fear it.  The other night my husband said to me you need to let that thought grow wings and fly away before it nests.   At first ,I was upset that he didn't care about like I did.  Then I  realized he is right.  I am not trusting the God of the Universe.  The God that I see in scripture that did miracle after miracle.  I am not trusting that he cares about me even though he paid the ultimate sacrafice for me.  God has given us the oppurtunity to believe Him for who He is and what He can do.  When I don't do that I am my own worst enemy.  I need to stop and focus on the truth of His Word to be reminded of who he is and what He has promised us.  He has given us a piece of Him through the Spirit so as I wrestle with my flesh to put it to death I must pray.  I must thank him for who he is  so I remember His power and glory and ask the omnipresent, omniscent, God  to help me  figure out what I need to do to fall in line with His plan since He created the Universe and me. Then I need to play my part if it is something I can change and if not hold it with open hands to God and let Him, the Almight God move  and do what only he can do.

The old Hymn does hold the Key
Trust and Obey for in no other way
  to be happy in Jesus but to Trust and Obey.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When the lights went out in Wamego

What a day!!! 
  • Charleigh woke up at 2:30, 4:30, 6:00 then only took a 1/2 an hour nap this morning.
  • New boy here today...actually he has been really good.  A little annoyed with Charleigh following him around wanting to do whatever he does.
  • They city warned us a week ago that the transformer that is in the yard behind mine was leaking and they need to replace it and they would change out electric lines at the same time.  Since there are no alleys on this side of town they wanted to know if they could drive a truck through our newly planted grasss to get the transformer into the other peoples yard.
  •   They started digging a DEEP hole in our yard on Wednesday.  I asked if we would loose power the day that they would be doing all the work.  I asked 3 times with the reply someone will have to call you back or it will only be for about 30 minutes.  Well this morning at 8:15 someone knocked on the door telling  me they will be taking down the fence at 10:45,  So I got the kids ready to go outside only to see them taking down the fence already so no going outside for us today....GRRR!!!!  
  •  They  also informed me that the electricity will be shut off for 2 hours or so starting at 1 PM.  Luckily the high today is only suppose  to be in the 90s.  So when I got Charleigh up from her nap I look out the window the  transformer is sitting there and there are no electric workers anywhere to be seen.
  • I have turned down the AC so the house will be extra cool when they start so hopefully we can endure through the two hours they will be working.
God please give me patience with the things that are going on that are beyond my control and just enjoy the good things like these 3 little children who are being so good today!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mosquitoes are keeping us on the move...

How do you feel about mosquitoes?  Are they a pest that you would like to get rid of? Our family has a little bit different take on them. They are our lively hood ... their existence pays our bills.  If you are scratching your head when I say this let me fill you in.  My husband  is an entomologist who raises  mosquitoes and biting midges. This month our whole family is traveling with him through 5 states  trying to capture these little pests so they can   involuntarily be a part of a research project.  They will become the star of the show. So far we have  traveled 2500 miles in a little less than 2 weeks.  The moon is approximately 250,000 miles away from earth so we have  traveled 1/100 of the way there and we still have 3 states to cover.

The trip before we left was stressing me out because I am a planner.  Usually before I leave on a trip I know exactly where we are going, how long we are going to be there and where we will stay.  This trip I didn't know any of that. I kept asking questions which was driving my husband crazy.   Now after traveling for almost two weeks I realize that the lack of planning has been a blessing in disguise.  It has allowed my husband and I to have to communicate and make decisions together more than our usual trips.  It has also allowed us to be flexible since we are traveling with our 7 month old.  Having a child a long at times has changed all the rules so due to the nature of the trip and our wee one there are some people who I would have loved to have seen on this trip that I probably will not get to connect with. 

The other blessing  has been getting to understand more of the complexity of what my husband does for his job. When Bill and I go to social gathering one of the common questions is "What do you do for your job?"  I listen to his answers thinking how sciency they sound not really understanding  anything he is saying fully.  I usually zone out trying to  look interested. On this trip my title is a volunteer.  I thought that meant I was pretty much a warm body doing the same thing I do at the parties, but I have actually been quite busy.  I have been calling mosquito abatement  centers everyday looking for contacts, explaining the project as much as I can.  I have been sending and answering emails, logging all the information, looking for  trapping sites and booking hotel room.  Bill has been driving,  setting up traps, sorting mosquitoes, making sure the contacts have what they need and understand all the protocols, and building re pore  for positive partnership to be established. We have been praying  for mosquitoes but  so far God has not answered as we expected.  Instead he has allowed us to make GREAT contacts with people who have been trapping in their areas who are  going to trap over a period of time.    They  have also given us contacts in other areas.  Some places got the email that Bill's boss sent ou  introducing the study and just did not take the time to respond because they have been busy.  They needed the information explained personally and then they are more than willing to help.

Charleigh's job on this trip was to be a good traveler who is adorable.  She has done a pretty good job with that. She has had many first experiences.  She probably will not  remember  any of them but at least she is having her life enriched. She has started standing but no walking yet but it wont be long.   

Friday, June 24, 2011

Obsessions out of control on four wheels

As I have been thinking about what I am thinking about, I have realized I am obsessed about things.  The things I obsess over  can be small or they can be large.These things capture my attention for a short time and then I find I get distracted from the task only to get swept up by the next.  Sometime I think that I have ADD.

I have found my husband can be just as obsessed with things sometimes but not nearly as often as me.  His latest obsession is the idea of me starting a roller hockey league.  This began on Friday at dinner.  He nonchalantly made the proposal. It shocked me and my answer was, "NO WAY!  That is not what I would ever want to do."  Saturday the mail came and  included in the pile of traditional junk mail was  a DVD from netflix.  What was it?  Whip It! : The new movie out the depicts the roller derby culture.  It is a cute movie and does a good job showing 2 characters both in the roller culture and the normalcy of their "real" life.  Then my argument  was I would not fit in to the culture of violence. This culture seems to envelope who they are on the track even down to the nickname they take. I have not been in a physical fight since 5th grade and even that one was lame. So I can't imagine throwing an elbow or tripiping someone just to make a point in a "game". After all the meaning of my name is "bringer of peace" and your personality  ALWAYS follows the meaning of your name, right? (sarcasm intended)  LOL

I thought that the discussion was over until he wrote a blog listing all the reasons I should do it.  Some of the reasons are valid others it was easy to find an argument so here is my thought about his thoughts.
  1. As I said before I do like to plan but even when I get a vision for something grand I need a person beside me who is the brains behind it all.  Why you might ask, because in my planning I need someone to ask my millions of  questions to think through all the details I forget about.  So a whole league seems like a huge daunting task.  So maybe if there was a league I could organize a team.
  2. To me the culture of roller derby seems so  violent.  As I stated before I am not one to throw an elbow just to get my way.  The toughening up my husband mentions is mainly emotional which I think is just because I am a woman so I am not sure how much you can cure.  My fear is that it might drive him even more crazy because in all that he might hear more whining about all my aches and pains due to being hit and the bills for possible injuries might be costly. 
  3. -5. As far as getting aggressive to get things out to be happier; I think I would rather go to for a run or  do kick boxing.  So why don't I...most of the reasons are another matter for another day...again one of those thinking issues that needs to be thought through a little more...the one reason that blatantly stares me in the face is having someone to do it with to keep me accountable.  When I was training for the race a ran a couple years ago I had 2 partners in crime so I knew I had to keep up with them. In that regard roller derby would have a team...but then again that would take time...another one of my arguments...with a baby in the house do I really have the time to invest in this.  On the other hand, it would be great exercise for the fact that you are trying to get around the  circular track  quickly in order to score the points.  I can roller skate and I do like it. I can remember learning to roller skate when I was a kid. The church I grew up in would have roller skating nights. The college and singles group would take us young kids out on the smooth surface. They would sandwich me in the middle holding my hands for balance.  A couple of the guys had the philosophy that the key was to go fast so they would start off gradually picking up speed and then whoosh me around  so that  I had to balance on my own. Once again I have an argument....I was never a speed skater.  I never won a race and so eventually I hated going out in the middle to be the skeptical for the crowd.  So even though it would probably help the body I am not one to show things off just because I can.
6.  Last but not least I do agree that I need to be more active to be a good role model to my daughter but  I think...I would rather be active with her...when I was being diligent with exercise I was taking her with me in the jogger stroller for a run and we still do walk every morning weather permitting. I intend to go to the pool to get her exposed to the water I can do water exercises at the same time.  I have seen baby and mama workouts where you do it with baby.  Eventually she will grow up and we can ride bikes and play tag or soccer together.  I can teach her good sportsmanship through her own experiences she has and not just her watching me throw the elbow.

So I think my biggest argument is what I was reading about this morning in the Bible.  Something I am trying to learn as a general life lesson.  I  can't just do it to please men.  It has to be desire God gives me.  Right now  it's not ...maybe it would grow on me.  Maybe I could be a light in this culture but until I hear " a word"  my answer is not right now.

I must admit I have had a fleeting thought that maybe I should go get a pair of skates just for exercise...but then I wonder if I would kill myself skating in our hilly neighborhood.  The moral and underlining theme is I need  to make a plan for activity and stick to it just for me!!!