Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hi mom!

Happy Mother's day! This is a special day. Or should be anyway... The role of a mom is often minimized. People want to glorify women who have made something of themselves and who have a career and who are "doing something with their life". When a stay at home mom is asked what she does, she is often given the response..."You're just a housewife?" What people don't realize is that God has always had a plan for women. His plan, from the beginning has been for her to be a help to her husband and to take care of the children He may give them together. To take care of the home and be 100% female! This post is not meant to offend a working woman or career mom. If that is what GOD has planned for your life then you are doing exactly what He meant for you to do. I think it's important though, to think less about what we want to do with our lives as ladies and consider what God, who created us, means for us to do with our lives.
I am so thankful that I have a godly mom who prays and reads her Bible and tries her hardest to please God. She has mostly been a "stay at home mom" since I was a kid. She had to have a few jobs here and there to help with some bills but mostly she was home, taking care of us kids, taking care of our house, and helping my dad- running errands for him and doing whatever he needed done. This was a full time job in itself. She worked and still works hard! A stay at home mom actually has one of the hardest and most crucial jobs in America! She is training the future. She is laying foundations that lives are built on. So I say YAY FOR MOMS! Devoted moms who put everything they had into their family!
"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."- Abraham Lincoln
"I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from my mother."- George Washington
I LOVE YOU, MOM! And I'm so thankful that you always put your family first! You're the best!

Where is Jesus?

"On a journey from Jerusalem, returning to their home, Joseph and his family travelled all day long. They must have walked for many miles before they realized Jesus was not with them. Mary sadly cried 'Where is Jesus? Did we leave Him far behind? Did we take for granted He was here walking with us all the time? Where is Jesus? To find Him once again, we must return to the place where we left Him. Where is Jesus? Where is Jesus?'
I prayed for God to lead me way, and let His will for me be known. All He asked is that I wait for Him, still I stepped out on my own. Without Him here to guide my steps, I failed Him many times. I only had myself to blame. I bowed my head and cried 'Where is Jesus? Did I leave Him far behind? Did I take for granted He was here walking with me all the time? Where is Jesus? To find Him once again, I must return to the place where I left Him. Where is Jesus? Where is Jesus?'
You've made some bad decisions with a selfish thought in mind. You had the best intentions for the goals you set in life. Your relationship with God's secure but the fellowship is gone. You can choose to walk with Him again. You don't have to walk alone.........Where is Jesus? Did you leave Him far behind? Did you take for granted He was here walking with you all the time? Where is Jesus? To find Him once again, You must return to the place where you left Him. Where is Jesus? Where is Jesus?"- Pictures of Grace

Jesus told the church at Ephesus that they had left their first love. In order to fix it, He told them to "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works..." Examine your life.... If you realize that you have left Jesus out somewhere, Remember what He did for you, Turn back, and Get back to Him. You gotta go back to where you left Him!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I must decrease

I think I know what I'm going to do my dorm devo on in April. I am thinking about the subject of focusing. God showed me a verse the other day: Proverbs 14:14a- "The backslider in his heart shall be filled with his own ways..."
For some reason this verse popped out at me. Maybe because I know and have known in my heart that I'm backslidden. I have been for some time now. The things of God are not as exciting to me anymore. It's almost as if I've forgotten that God is even real. I know that seems impossible but really, if I honestly believed God was REALLY REAL I wouldn't do most of the things I do. Or if I believed that He really was SO holy and perfect, would I really decide that I don't care if what I'm doing is wrong? Really! I do that sometimes. I do something, KNOWING that it's wrong... I get that little twinge of conviction and I just shove it aside and say "Oh, it's ok this once and God probably won't even notice. It's not as bad as____________."
I KNOW! I'm awful right!
So knowing all this about myself, this verse popped out at me and I got to thinking, if I am backslidden, I'm filled with my own ways. If I'm filled with my own ways then how is God supposed to fill me with His spirit or His love for people or His Word? If I'm filled with my own ways, then how do I expect to have any ability to do anything for God, including get up out of bed and read my Bible?
So what's the solution? Get my focus off of myself and my own ways and my own wants and put them on the right place. Him!
A couple weeks ago I went to get my eyes checked for the first time. (They have been bothering me lately. They didn't really find anything wrong with them which is almost frustrating because that means I can't fix them. Anyways...) They had me read one of those charts: (I tried changing the size of font to make the top one the biggest and then gradually have them get smaller but I couldn't make it work... so pretend)
And this came back to mind when I was thinking about this. It's like this... When we get backslidden and become full of our own ways, we get our focus off of God and off of where it needs to be and we get it on ourselves. .... (again, pretend that the top one is biggest and then they get smaller)
We become so focused on ourselves that soon, God is hardly visible. The more we focus on us, the smaller God's place gets. The harder it is to "see" Him.
This is how it should be: (Top one is biggest and the rest get smaller)
The more I focus on God and keep him in my sights, the smaller I get. My wants and desires become less important. So then, it doesn't matter that I want to sleep. My focus is so on God and His purpose for my life and what he wants to show me in my devotions that I can't even see my wants. It doesn't matter that I want to listen to this certain kind of music cuz it makes me happy. If my focus is on God, then my desire for that music will be out of sight.
That's how it should be... Unfortunately, it hasn't been. Not for a long while. But God has really spoken to me the last couple of days and I'm hoping to get things right. I've already started. I want to focus on him. I think it's about time to grow up and get my eyes off of me and myself. It's time to give up my own ways and let Him lead my life.
I hope this made sense to someone....
"He must increase but I must decrease"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

God is able!

We just got done with our home missions conference at Heartland. Lots of good preaching! My favorite was preached Wednesday night. I feel bad because I can't even remember what the man's name was but he preached on the verse (I forget the reference but it's in Ephesians I believe) that says that God is "able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think." I have come to love that verse!
He talked about how the Israelites came out of Egypt after God did such amazing things and yet when they came to the edge of the red sea, with the Egyptian army closing in behind, and no where to go, suddenly they didn't think God was able to deliver them. He said that so often God comes through for us in such an amazing way and our faith in Him grows and we think, "WOW, God can do anything!" And then the very next time we get to a spot where we aren't too sure how God is going to come through, just because WE don't understand how, we start thinking God is not big enough to take care of this. He challenged us to remember that verse about how "GOD IS ABLE!" And just march ourselves down to the edge of the red sea in our lives and trust God to do whatever he knows is best even though we can't see how.
I can't see how God is going to use my life. I can't see how God is going to bring a husband into my's not looking too promising at the moment. ;) I can't see how he is going to provide a teaching job after graduation. But I decided, I am just going to trust and obey. I'm going to do my best to keep heading toward the edge of the red sea of uncertainty and trust that God will provide a job and husband and all that I NEED and that is part of HIS will, even if I can't see how. Because even when it looks impossible to me... God IS able! He is able to do even more than I can ever imagine.
What's the red sea in your life. Some situation that looks uncertain? Some instance where you don't know how God is going to provide or come through? Just stand still at the edge and have faith that God is going to part the waters in His time and remember that He is ABLE!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The "WOW" factor

I heard a preacher say recently that while history is a great subject to study and can teach us a lot, it often takes away the "wow" factor. See when we know how a story ends because it happened in the past, we don't take time to consider how those people might have felt not already knowing how things were going to turn out. Take, for instance, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That was a very dangerous move for the early Americans to make. They were technically committing treason. (I got that from National Treasure...:)) They would have suffered great consequences had they lost the Revolutionary war. Obviously, things turned out in our favor but they didn't know that it would back then. How brave they must have been! They knew what needed to be done and they did it. (Our country could use some more people like that instead of a bunch of pansies who are too comfortable and apathetic to do anything!....anyways...)
Knowing how a Bible "story" turns out, too often robs us of the "wow" as well. We know how the story of Noah turns out... they get on the boat, it rained, everyone died, Noah was saved. But can you imagine being Noah... God tells you to build this huge boat. It has never rained before but water is going to fall from the sky... so much water that the entire earth is going to be covered and everyone else on earth will die! WOW! That's just all there is to say. Can you imagine seeing the first rainbow?!
Put yourself in the shoes of Adam and Eve, being thrown out of the garden. Life changed forever that day. Imagine that you are Daniel, sitting in a pit filled with lions. I don't even like to go near a growling dog, I can't imagine being surrounded by hungry lions. He didn't know, like we do that God would shut up their mouths. Think of Mary as she heard the angel tell her that she was with child when she was a virgin, and that this child was God's son... the savior of the world! She was a real person. She had to tell her friends and family she was pregnant. She had to deal with what people may have thought of her. She had to wonder what Joseph would think. And yet, she said some amazing words..."Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to THY will". She didn't know all the details of what God's will would be for her and for her son, but she still surrendered. WOW!
Paul and Silas really existed too. They were beaten and bloody and sat in a cold dark dungeon and what would you hear coming from the prison cell? Was it complaining? No. Singing and praising God. Could I do that? I'm not sure I could, knowing myself. I grumble rather than glorify over less than being beaten and thrown in jail. But those men really did that! I think we forget sometimes that these things really happened.
Moses must have been awe struck at a voice coming out of a burning bush.
One story that is really amazing is of Elijah calling down the fire on Mt.Carmel. If you really think about what it would be like to be one of those standing around when that fire fell...WOW! It helped me to understand how amazing this was and how big of a God we have when I taught this lesson to kids. It is amazing to them and it should be to us too.
This concept has changed the way I read the Bible. It really brings things into perspective and helps me realize just how amazing God is. It also makes the examples in the Bible even greater because they didn't know all the details that I do but they still obeyed God. I know how God came through in all those amazing ways and I still have trouble trusting Him.
So keep the "wow" factor when you read about history or the Bible.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thankful for more in 2010

So much happened in 2009. It was sort of a hard year. I learned a lot about myself. There are many things I want to work on. One of them is being thankful. A preacher challenged us on Wednesday to be more thankful instead of always asking for more. He said that instead of his first prayer in the morning being "Lord, be with my wife." he changed it to "Lord, thank you for my wife." Then he proceeds to pray for her. One thing that he said that stuck out to me was when he said "If God took from you everything that you are not thankful for what would you have left." This has stuck in my head for the past few days. I've found myself making sure I thank God for more. Here are some of the things I have been thankful for:
My salvation
My family
My school
God is in control
God has a purpose for my life
God saved me from so many mistakes
The sunshine
The rain
Grace and Mercy
My car
My computer
My job
So much more!
So before we ask for too much this new year, first, we should try to be thankful for all the things (even the little things) that God has done for us.