Saturday, May 31, 2008

“True Liberty is found in Transparency” and “Sanctification is a Process”

I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t known what to write mostly because I've found myself in a place where I have to take the next step into honestly looking at myself and my role in this life. A place where I must honestly confess my sins becoming transparent which in turn is revealing that I lack trust in God because I am afraid to be transparent. That’s hard to swallow.

I keep asking God for help, expecting he will deliver me with a snap of his giant fingers. But giving little to no action on my part due to a fear of being let down. I say I know God loves me, but what keeps me from fully trusting, letting go, giving myself to him shortcomings and all openly so he can use them for my good and his glory? It’s a spiritual battle where my mind is attacked. Eph 6:12 says it clearly - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

I’ve been reading two books, both of which are pointing me to saturating myself in scripture. That is the way to renewal, renewal of the mind, body and spirit. I want so badly to be a bright light reflecting God’s glory.

Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols. O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
Psalm 40:4-5

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Soon I will have the whole suit of armor on!

I am being renewed regarding what I believed were truths and what I am being shown are lies. I see that nearly every thought pattern I've had for a really long time has been based on a lie. Like what I believed made me valuable or believing that no one would ever really understand me or believing that few people if anyone was trustworthy, and that people would eventually hurt me so it was just expected and acceptable. These are some pretty BIG lies to face and some thick walls to break through. As I seek and find the biblical truths to combat the lies, everything will become clearer and I will be dead to sin.

Truths I have found:

Romans 6:6-7 says - knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Christ death freed me - I am free! When negative thoughts or feelings come over me they are lies trying to distract me from the truth that I am free! Free to be peaceful, loving, joyful and helpful in all circumstances.

Luke 15:21-24 says - And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.

This is the parable of the prodigal son. The truth is God is delights that I am found. He is excited, thrilled and throws parties for the lost who return. Feeling unworthy is expected but holding tight to it is a lie to keep me from coming closer, being intimate. I am a prodigal daughter ;) I am valuable because He values me!

Psalm 139:1-4 says - O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

This passage is usually used for the verses that follow, to show how intricately God has created us and how amazing it is. It truly is amazing but recently it was shown to me in a different way. Within the first 4 verses there are 7 words that describe how much God knows David. God knows us! Liken it to the person that know you best, that you trust, that you feel safest and most comfortable with - He knows us even MORE! Whenever I feel despair, afraid, tired, bored, joyful, successful or blessed, from one end of emotions to the other and everywhere in between God knows. He knows me, He is familiar with ALL my ways - I am known and understood!

1 John 5:18-20 say - And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Jesus is truth! The more I seek the more I will be given understanding. I am working hard to put on my Belt of Truth. Soon I will have the whole suit of armor on :)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Romans 8:15

Saturday, April 5, 2008

For what I do is not the good I want to do

In a chapter titled “Sharing our Hearts” in a book I'm reading, it references another book - “Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God”. This is an excerpt from that book….
“Is there anyone I can level with? Anyone I dare tell that I am benevolent and Malevolent, chaste and randy, compassionate and vindictive, selfless and selfish, that beneath my brave words lives a frightened child, that I dabble in religion and pornography, that I have blackened a friends character, betrayed trust, violated confidence, that I am tolerant and thoughtful, a bigot and a blowhard….?
Most of the time, that’s how I feel. And when I don’t feel like that, I fear I am being too proud.

I know accountability and community are vital, but those two words make me uncomfortable. Sharing is frightening. Will they judge too much, to the point of discouragement? Or maybe not enough and participate in my sin? Or do I respect them enough to accept correction from them?

The struggle between my spirit and flesh has been tiring lately! I’ve slipped and I don’t know why I am holding so tightly to not getting back up. I want to move forward.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Roman 7:15-20

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yielding and Obeying

I started a blog on Friday that was going to go something like this……… I have been feeling increasingly heavy hearted lately.

I decided against it because I didn’t want all my entries to reflect a time of despair. I had taken a week off from church thinking it was no big deal and my small group has been on hiatus for two weeks. I realized over the weekend that my habits were becoming self centered and spirit smothering. I listened to a sermon on Friday about yielding and obeying. The pastor talked about times in our lives when we feel like we are struggling more with temptation and life just seems harder. Those are periods we aren’t spending time with God daily. I made the decision to get up and read my bible every morning. Today I did it and my day was amazing and joyful!

Some people though, may have seen it as a really bad day. My car died at Starbucks on my way to work. I forgot my cell phone and had to walk 4 blocks home to get it. I had to work late to make up for getting there late. Then I had unexpected errands to run when I got off work.

But this is my take on it……..

While reading my bible in the morning I “randomly” read through 2 passages one in James and one in Romans that both said the same thing - be a doer and not a hearer only - God was speaking to me. Nice!

I left my house, started my car and was on my way to get my morning coffee. Ready to head to work with my Iced Venti Soy Vanilla Brewed in hand I found my car wouldn’t start. Ugh. I began to pray. I began to feel really silly. God’s not going start my car for me. That’s a stupid request. If anything I’m probably supposed to learn something, like patience or a controlled spirit. So I stopped praying. At that point I realized I had forgotten my cell phone at home. Starbucks only has 5 parking spots with signs all over that say - customers only - so I went back in to let them know I was walking home, would be right back and request that they PLEASE don’t have my car towed. A benevolent girl serving coffee offered to come out and give me a jump. I was thankful and thought for sure this would be my saving grace as a jump has been successful in the past. Much to my dismay the jump didn’t work! What was wrong? I figured there was still something for me learn so I decided not to get upset and started walking home. Once there I got my cell phone and made the necessary calls. One to Kevin…Please come and help me! And one to my boss...I'm going to be late.

As I was walking back to Starbucks I remembered a time recently when a friend was talking to me about praying saying he didn’t feel like his requests were worthy of Gods time and energy. I told him God loves him and no request is to small. I said God wants us to seek him in everything. Then it dawned on me - What a hypocrite I was!

Then I heard him. God. Not audibly, but he did speak to me…..You don’t believe I will do it? He asked.

Ugh I felt like a jerk! I didn’t believe he would do it. I thought it was a silly little request that wasn’t something he would even be concerned with. That is was to small a request.

When I got back to Starbucks, I prayed again. This time believing he would do it but asking it in his will. What happened……IT STARTED! And to make it more of a miracle playing on the radio was a song…..

"Still you hear me when I'm calling, Lord, you catch me when I'm falling, And you've told me who I am.I am yours."

I was filled with joy, I was delighted and GRATEFUL! All I could do was SMILE. I called Kevin to tell him he didn’t have to come because God started my car ;)

On my drive to work I started to second guess it all. I told my self maybe it was just circumstantial, there had to be away to explain it. My joy was beginning to permeate with doubt.

When I got to work I searched the bible and the dictionary :)

Miracle, definition: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples
Psalm 77:14

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Matt 13:58

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul
Acts 19:11

Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Gal 3:5

how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Heb 2:3-4

This was the reinforcement I needed. Our God is a god of miracles. There is a part of me that feels embarrassed to relay this to my little car starting because it seems so unimportant. I know that God performs miracles. He just saved my aunt Collette’s life and restored her health. That's what I thought a miracle was. Most of us only believe a miracle to be something great due to what we deem "dire circumstances". But God will and I think wants to perform miracles in our lives, he wants us to seek, believe, yield and be obedient.

When I left work I was reserved to the fact my car may not start and I was ok with it. I felt and overwhelming sense that I was fully taken care of and loved. It didn’t matter if I had to walk 6 miles to get home I was just grateful. I got in my car, and it started right up and again there was another song playing for me on the radio…..

"thank you for everything, thank you for loving me, it don't even matter what tomorrow brings, well i will sing my, thank you for sun and rain, for what you give and take away for all your goodness i will always say, thank you"

It's a cheesy song but it was exactly what my heart was singing. I had an awesome day and knew God was with me. I am blessed!

The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19:11-13

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good Earth Tea

All good Earth Tea Bags Have quotes on them. It's pretty fun ;) This is the quote I got the other day.

"Unless you believe, you will not understand"
- Saint Augustine 354 AD -

Isn't that the truth!

I’m not a vegetarian anymore

I’ve spent A LOT of time thinking about this lately and God is showing me through many different things that I am released from the “vegetarian” label that I put on myself.

Things I’ve thought about…….What does the identity of being a vegetarian do for my witness? Is this something that brings me closer to God? Am I putting up a barrier between myself and others because of foods restrictions?

The reasons I originally decided to be vegetarian
• To change my life
• To be healthy
• To be compassionate
• To be more “Christian”

It has been almost a year and I have learned a lot! I know it was the right thing for me to do because of all the things I learned.

I learned increased self discipline. I learned to be grateful for what God has given me and appreciate many foods that I didn’t like or wouldn’t even try. I learned that I was wrong in calling it a “permanent fast” because a fast is an allotted special time to seek God on another level. I learned to live a healthier lifestyle. And I learned to be more open and thoughtful about eating.

Romans 14:6 is a verse that I read when I started this that I felt biblically supported my decision to be vegetarian…..

6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

The study notes for this verse in my NKJV Bible say “The strong believer eats whatever he pleases and thanks the Lord. The weak believer eats according to his ceremonial diet and thanks the Lord that he made a sacrifice on his behalf. In either case the believer thanks the Lord so the motive is the same to the Lord. Whether weak or strong the motive behind the believer’s decision about issues of conscious must be to please the Lord.

When I read this it really struck a chord with me because I was a "weak believer" when I made this decision and through Christ I have received unlimited strength and freedom.

What matters to God is where my heart is. As long as I seek him in everything I do - I’m good!.

God has been speaking this to me for awhile and I keep telling myself I have to complete 1 year. Not for any good reason, just because I always put rules on myself. I wasn’t listening to God and I was telling myself something else. In that I realized it has become bondage. I am currently learning to release my self-imposed rules.

So I’m not saying I’m going hog wild on meat diet ;) get it......Hog…Meat…hahaha. I actually like a mostly vegetarian diet but I will not restrict myself anymore. I will seek God and live in the gift of freedom he has given me.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Cor. 6:12).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today has been a great day!. Not because the day was great but because I had my art class last night and it was so much fun! It was a stress reliever, I was happy with what I painted and someone actually said they might want to buy it. Yikes! That was a weird feeling. But the best thing is I had a break through, I found excitement. I’ve been trying to paint for so long and in my opinion not really getting the hang of it. I always thought I had to paint a picture of an actual “thing” and I had to use a "brush". Now I'm learning it's about color, shapes, texture and glazing. I can paint with anything, even my fingers ;) and it doesn't have to be a picture of anything. I have all kinds of ideas swirling in my head.

I am THANKFUL to have found something that gives me joy.

I want this to be something that is an apparent change in me that draws others closer to God and or at least makes them think about God.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7

Monday, January 14, 2008

an answer to prayer

I have been feeling unrest, disconnected, bored and it has worried me.

I worry that in moments where I don’t have anything going on that “in my point of view” is motion or action for change that I am slipping and that SCARES me because that’s what I have always done in the past. I’ve never been able to make it through the lull of life. I’ve always ended up altering my state of mind so the stillness was acceptable but in doing that, my life has become a life of mediocrity and I don’t want that anymore!

Ever since New Years Eve 2 Cor 12:9 has come up four times. One of the times I randomly pulled it out of the middle of my prayer cards, that’s when I really felt God was telling me something. But what, I didn’t understand, how does this apply to me? Sometimes I think I try to make things more then they are. Maybe God is just telling me exactly what it says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve been listening to Spirit, the Christian station on my satellite radio. There's this song by Casting Crowns called “East to West”, it came on last Friday while I was driving home from work and I started crying. The beginning lyrics are:

“Here I am Lord and I'm drowning, in Your sea of forgetfulness, The chains of yesterday surround me, I yearn for peace and rest, I don't want to end up where You found me, And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight”
I was listening to talk radio today and some lady said "It’s easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling, than to feel yourself into a better way of action”. Right after that I turned it back to Spirit and "East to West" was on again and it was at the part where it says “In the arms of your mercy I’ll find rest”.

If I truly believe in God’s providence and I do, then I know that all these things are him speaking to me. I can’t set parameters on how God should talk to me I just need to pay attention so I can hear when he does and I need to learn not place importance on my feelings because they are not truth. I just need to rest in him and trust his timeline.

I think I am on the journey to learn patience and thankfully the Holy Spirit is working in me. It’s funny as I write this it just occurred to me that I prayed for God to shine a light on things that I need to change so I guess this is an answer to prayer. That's pretty cool ;)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Gal 5:22-23

How can I be impatient for anything keeping in mind how patient God is and has been with me?

Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
2 Pet 3:15