Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Want to Be a Child

I love it when there's a scripture I've read or heard hundreds of times, but all the sudden in one reading it says something new to me. Today is was Matthew 10:15-16

"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

When the world becomes too stressful, or actually, I've stressed myself out depending on the world for fulfillment rather than God, I would love to have Jesus take me in His glorious, protective, strong arms, bless me and lay His hands on me. Just the thought of it sends a wave of peace through me.

Like a child, I keep making the same mistakes. I keep wanting life to be all about me and filling my wants. Like a child, I keep coming to God with my eyes cast to the ground because I screwed up again. And as the Loving Father, God brushes the dirt of my skinned knees, wipes away my tears, admonishes me for my foolishness. The difference is that He doesn't send me away on my own; He always walks beside me.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. ... For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:2 & 11

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yes, I'm Unworthy. Now What?

Jesus left us with a gift: the Holy Spirit. And this gift helps us be the better person God wants us to be.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." John 14:26

So daily I ask the Holy Spirit to be with me, guide me throughout the day. Because I know that if left to my own strength and knowledge, I will fall into the same sins, the same idol worship.

No one can fight off the idol worship without the Lord's help. Transformation, deliverance, comes only from the Lord.

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

So after months of thinking myself a failure because I can't change my heart' I still can't give up that idol worship no matter how hard I try. I realize I've failed because I've been trying to do this on my own. I'm fighting a power, Satan, who is stronger than me. But I have an advocate who is stronger than any demon. He is the Creator of all. He can move the mountains. He can change my heart and remind me to turn from the idol, as long as I listen to Him. See, we still have that free will thing so WE still need to make the right decisions. But He'll be that voice that convicts you before you act. Will you listen to it?

And I pray...

"The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 30:6

Lord, please circumcise my heart and the hearts of my family. Remove the idol worship and habits to sin. Help us hear your voice and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. And give us the strength to make the right choices. Please keep Satan and his poisonous arrows from our hearts and minds. I long to love you with ALL of my heart and soul. Through your mighty Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Would God Want a Failure Like Me

I'm a big screw up. I've made a mess of my life because I let false idols get in my way. And now there's this one idol I just can't shake. It makes me selfish, doubtful, and depressed. I keep telling myself to let it go, lay it at Jesus's feet, but I keep carrying it around. So why would Jesus bestow mercy on me? Why does He even bother with me?

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead" Philipians 3:13

This line is so significant when you understand where Paul was coming from. What was behind Paul? Only the persecution of early Christians. As Saul, Paul was as evil as Hitler. He brutally murdered people because of their religious beliefs. Yet today, I quote Paul's writing out of the Bible. God developed Saul/Paul into a Bible hero and writer.

Nothing in my past is as bad as Paul's past. So if Paul is able to forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead, why can't I?

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14.

I press on, looking constantly forward and forgiving myself for the past. God's already forgiven me because I've admitted my sin, confessed it and am daily trying to turn from it, with the strength of the Lord on my side. Jesus paid for the sin. Now I have just got to move beyond and towards the goal that the Lord has set for me.

Thank you God, for forgiving my sins. Thank you for Your Word that reminds me I'm forgiven. Thank you for Paul and the example he is for me of the greatness us sinners can achieve when we have faith in You. Please bestow your mercies on me today and fill me with your grace as I move forward. Amen.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Humility in the Morning

Lord, please clothe me in humility. Give me the strength to put aside my pride and act with humility toward others. I want to help others so I may spread Your love not glorify myself.

Help me to identify and avoid the devices and distractions the devil puts in front of me. He places snares around me and in my sinful nature, I keep falling into them. I need your grace to overcome the obstacles and walk in Your light. It is only through my faith in You that I can resist him. I pray for my brothers and sisters that they too may avoid the evil that surrounds them.

I keep faith that it is through my suffering that You will strengthen, restore, confirm and establish me. I ask for the grace to joyfully accept my suffering as I know that it is only through the testing of my faith that I become steadfast in my faith.

Thank you for all the blessings You have bestowed on me. Each blessing teaches me of your love. No matter how much I sin, You are there to love me; constantly forgiving me, more than any human could ever forgive. Your glory is awesome!

I pray through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, My Rock and My Redeemer. Amen.

In words inspired by Him, 1 Peter 5:5-11:

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experience by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers , when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Morning Prayer to Get in Tune

Dear Lord,

Let me be your witness for others today. Through my words and actions, may they see You.

Let your Holy Spirit descend on me so my ears will be open and I will hear your voice and see the path You set before me. May the words of my lips and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you.

I depend on Your strength to be patient, productive and a good example for others today.

Thank you for your blessings which are more than I can count. I cherish them all.

Through Christ our Lord, I offer my prayer. Amen.

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 40:6
But ears opened to obedience you gave me.

Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, ...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Living in Psalm 23

It was just a few days ago
I was settled in the shade of a tree planted and nutured with my husband's hands,
Absorbing the sounds and perfume of the oasis You and he created together.
The retreat with its small, rolling green pasture begs me to relax in it.
I felt Your love eminating from the leaves, petal, creatures and cool dirt.
I laid my soul down and absorbed the calm.

Yesterday you answered a prayer in the unexpected way that is exclusively Yours.
I rejoiced, I praised, I was awestruck by Your brilliance.
You reminded me how Your Will will be done on Your timetable, not mine.
I felt Your strength and love stronger than ever.

Today the shadows of doubt and fear rise to meet me as I descend into a valley.
The realities of this world with its temptations and my sins surround me.
I feel the weight of fear and doubt pulling me farther into the bleak trench.
My mind entices me to forget your great deeds of yesterday.
Emotions taunt me for trusting someone who would allow me to fall down.

And then the Spiritual, Holy voice whispers,
"Read Psalm 23 and feel my rod and staff beside you as I take your right hand in mine.
I will lead you through this valley.
Follow my voice through the darkness.
Feel my light on your face as you turn toward the Son.
It may not be tomorrow, but I promise you,
some day soon I will bring you back to the welcoming pasture that your husband and I lovingly created.
And you can lie down and rest."

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Who's Controlling This Life?

Part of survival on this earth is knowing who you can trust because trusting someone gives them control over a part of your life. Being an indpendent person, I don't want anyone else having control of my life.

Then, on Air 1, a scripture moment laid a truth on me that has caused a revolution in my thought process. The only thing we really have control over is our hearts (meaning soul or thoughts).

Let that idea sink in for a moment. You don't control your money; this last year has brought this home. You don't control your family (although we try!). Our bodies can fall apart in a moment. Some one's loss of control of their car can change our lives in an instant. We control NONE of it. It's just an illusion we create to give ourselves security.

But we control our thoughts and believes. I told God I was afraid to hand over my life to Him. I told Him I couldn't trust Him because of the disease that caused my mom extreme pain on a daily basis. It's too scary.

Trusting Him seems to be giving up control. But if I don't have control anyway, why does it bother me? Wow! That's an "A-Ha" moment. It's not about me giving up anything. It's about me accepting the truth.

Anyway, lately He has been showing me amazing outcomes beyond what I could imagine. He's helping me evolve through scripture, daily prayer, Bible study, etc.

If you get nothing else out of my ramblings, may His words bring you closer to Him:

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift my soul.

Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good spirit lead me on level ground.

(Psalm 143: 8-10)