Sunday, November 30, 2008

I long to see Jesus again

I long to see Jesus again. I long to see Him afresh, moving in my life. I long to feel the joy of the Lord, to sense the contentment of being able to settle into whatever His will is for my life at this moment. I long to sense His presence, feel His touch, know that all is working together for good. I long for the gentle breeze of the Spirit of God to blow freshness into my life and calm my anxious heart. I need His strength to compensate for my weakness. I long to know His wisdom for the questions not yet answered. I long to see Jesus again. I don't want any day to feel too ordinary. While most days are full of ordinary routine, they are made by God and filled with purpose. I don't want to be stuck, but rather to be watching for what God is doing around me, ready to jump in and be part of the story. I don't want Jesus in my head, I long for Him in my heart. I want to be part of mercy and justice. I want to give until there is nothing more left. I want to past the point where I am hurt by others. I want to be so heavenly minded that I can be of earthly use. Today I am fighting the flesh, feeling a little angry, a little hurt, and upset that I am feeling those things. I want to leave all my darkness behind and walk in His light. I long to see Jesus again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Joy of the Lord is our Strength

It is the joy of the Lord that gives us our strength. That joy is around us whether we choose to look at it or not. There was joy sitting around my kitchen table this weekend with my precious girls. We weren't doing anything but we were together and my sweet Melody gave us plenty to laugh about. We are all a bit crazy, but she had an extra dose this past week. There was joy today helping a mom know what to do in a struggle. I sensed God's spirit and felt confidence in what I shared. There was joy as I helped with one of the many assignments of college as I had just happened to be studying the passage she had to write a sermon on in my devotions the last several weeks. Isn't that just like God. There is joy in a friend and her precious family moving back home. It makes me think of a hymn, Oh the deep, deep, love of Jesus. I sense Jesus watching over me most of the time, and when I don't I just go to Him and ask His reassurance. He is so good to me and always finds a way to show me His love. If you are discouraged, either by circumstances or people, He longs to encourage you for the journey. The trial may be there for awhile. Suffering may be part of your life at present, but joy also is if you choose to take it. Don't be afraid to ask God for the reassurance you need. Stand on the promise that God works all things together for good as we love Him. Take the smiles He will put in your path each day and take strength from His promises and word. He loves you so dearly. It is too easy to get mired in the negative and miss the joy of answered prayer, beauty, and the hope we have for eternity. We are the most blessed of all people, we who know our precious Lord, let us be the most joyful also.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today it struck me just how frail and fragile we all are. Talking to a dear friend I realized how much we care about what others might think about us and how often our self worth does not come from God but comes from those around us. Now I could tell you the usual trifle, that our self worth comes from God and He made us and so we are good and worthwhile but you all know that. For whatever reason that knowledge does not automatically make us walk in confidence. We watch ourselves so closely, to see how others react to us. Some try another approach. They are more apt to be outrageous as a test to see if people will love them no matter how they act. Even if people do, they still wonder. Sometimes we even judge ourselve by how our children are behaving. If my children are doing well then I must be doing well, if they are not I am a failure. It is like we make ourselves the object lessons of our own self sabatouge and we rarely come out ahead. Today I am again struggling with the hurt of a broken relationship and I realize that it makes me feel very defensive about myself, wondering how others see me and reliving the hard moments of my life. I think that is another reason Paul urged us to "forget that which is behind" and press forward. That scripture is perhaps not just for the long past but also for the recent past. It is to help us when we feel like failures and want to give up and crawl in a hole. It is to urge us to look heavenward and not back at the earth with all of its troubles. I like that every day is fresh "with no mistakes in it." I need that to happen on a daily basis. We are God's creation and made in His likeness, but we are also clothed with skin and flesh and are well aware of our inadequacies and flaws. Every day I am grateful that there is one true God and that He chose me. That is what keeps me going. I still feel this flesh and skin that makes me human. I still wrestle with it and become entangled in those emotions. I still feel often battered and weary, but I am His. I have lots of sunny days but so many days I just feel beat up and I am tired of it. I want to challenge the way I see both life in general and the life God game me. I do this by living my life for God, knowing Him and that being it. All of it. I feel challenged to pray that God gives me 5 souls for the Kingdom this next year. Anyone have a similar dream or vision to share? I want to start thinking in a forward direction and see what God does. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Thoughts

Part of walking in the Spirit is letting God into every part of our lives. That is hard work. But God uses people in our lives each day to prod us into that direction whether they know they are or not. I mentioned that my hubby and I have some money problems. I have a hard time talking about that but part of what God is showing me is that I need to be transparent about who I am and what I am struggling with in order to be used by Him. It also helps me to grow in my relationship with Him. I want to encourage you to be who you are all the time so that you can become who God means you to be. My friend Amber has mentioned on her blog several times about her love/hate relationship with Dave Ramsey. He and I have that same sort of relationship. Last year I bought the book, read it, made hubby read it, thought it was great, talked about using it, etc. did everything except do it. This past month, thanks to Amber sharing on her blog I corrected that. I have been convicted about this area of my life for several years and have tried handling it on my own with absolutely no success. It seemed so much easier to put it off. I am grateful for how God uses the body of Christ to encourage me in the direction I need to go. I am thankful for God's word that brings conviction and help. I am thankful for the patience of God and the patience of the body. It is hard to admit my faults. Pride tells me I should be farther along than I am. For those of you who want an on-line Bible Study I am considerine starting one after Christmas and am pondering how to do it. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them. I considered calling in BS but figured that would be inappropriate. lol This has been a bit rambly which is my randomness and tiredness setting in. I love you all and pray for you! Pray for me. As Red Greed would say, "We're all in this together."

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It ain't easy. Walking in the Spirit that is. The two things in my life that God is showing me more than any others are that I spend too much money and I eat too much food. When I look at those two items I see one root cause and it makes me shudder. Greed. I am greedy for more. I never looked at myself as a materialistic person. In fact, it is not material things that cause me problems in spending money. Most of it is going out to eat. Food is a huge stumbling block for me. But I know that Jesus came to set me free. When I look at the list in 2 Timothy 3 I see some parallels. Food is a picture of how I love my own self more than I love God. It also points to having a form of Godliness but denying its power. I do this when I continue even though I know Jesus can set me free. I am also a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God. Even though I know my overeating displeases Him, I still do it because it is my pleasure. As I have meditated this past week on these verses and tied them into Romans 8 where we are told to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh I have become even more aware of the problem I have than ever. It is not that I didn't know the problem or didn't think it was displeasing to God, but there is something about meditating on verses for time that makes them real and changes one. I have felt warfare this week, as though two opposite forces are competing for me. I guess they always were but I feel like I am jumping into the battle. Will I win? I certainly can. Jesus paid for my victory on the cross. He came to set captives free and I certainly feel captive. Pray for me. I feel unable. I feel unworthy. I must be ready to "be sober in all things, endure hardship,do the work of an evangelist, fullfil my ministry." This battle is mine for the taking and I will battle it with joy and much difficulty but with the knowledge that the Lord is with me. He is good, He who has begun a good work in me will perform it. I believe it, now I need to walk in it. Pray for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Radical Walk

I am enjoying so much reading one chapter of the Bible at a time for days on end, and sometimes 3 times each day. God is showing me so much. I have been meditating for the last couple weeks on Romans chapter 8 and what it means to walk in the Spirit. I added 2 Timothy 3 this week and they seem to go together perfectly. If I walk in the Spirit, I will not walk in the flesh. In 2 Timothy 3 we have a list of what walking in the flesh is. How often do I seek to please my self or love my self instead of seeking the Spirit. Every time I choose to grab the chocolate and every time I grab a novel or watch TV when I have not met with Him. I love money when I spend what I do not have. Even more so, I love money when I know the needs of this world and decide to not "look" at them or at least to barely glance and then spend what I have on myself. Ouch, that one is hard. There are so many things I spend on that I don't need when children go to bed hungry. I am often ungrateful. I know this by how often I fail to see that it is God who has blessed me. More and more I am feeling called to radical Christianity. It actually isn't all that radical. It is the Christianity of the first believers. We are so used to "saving" our lives for ourselves that it seems radical. What would it look like if every day was dedicated to seeking and serving Jesus. If Jesus could turn the world upside down with 12 and no internet, what could happen if we all got radical about our walk with God. While the phrase may be overused I have been thinking about "What would Jesus do" if he were here and he were me. Too often I fail at being that powerful daily witness. Too often I take the easy road. I will be spending time in the near future of this blog sharing my journey in Walking in the Spirit, what God is showing me and how I'm working it out. I pray that some of you will join me and we can bring a more "radical" expression of faith to the world that God has placed us in.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come." It's not going to get better. Each day draws us closer to the final day. Whether we or our children will still be alive when that final day is of no consequence. We are still in the last days, and these words from 2 Timothy written by Paul are still true. I also know it is true that we are to rejoice and radiate the joy that is in the Lord. How do we do this? How do I radiate the joy of the Lord when I live in difficult times, am in the midst of difficult circumstances, and live in an increasingly evil world? It is in relationship with Christ that we find joy. Sometimes we Americans forget that. We look to our hobbies, our children, our vacations, our spouses, almost anything in this world to find that joy. What we find is momentary smiles but not the true joy that radiates from the one who is growing increasingly close in intimate relationship with God. There will be little in this world to bring us joy as time goes on. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost, draw near to Christ. Whatever He asks of you, and He will ask, be ready to do. That is what will give you joy. We do ourselves and our families a disservice when we seek joy in anything other than Him. I am not saying that we can't have activities in our lives that bring us happiness. God gave us the passions we have for His pleasure . They are good when consecrated for Him. If you are a singer sing, in you are creative, create, if you are talented or passionate in any area explore it, but do it all for Christ and keep your focus on Him. The days are becoming increasingly difficult but we serve the Almighty and our hope is in Him. Seek Him, with everything you have and the joy of the Lord will be your reward and your strength in the days to come.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Walking in the Spirit

What a day! Have you ever felt like you had just been kicked in the gut but you could not take time to react or even think about it ? Thats the kind of day I had today and believe it or not it had nothing to do with the election. I can't talk about it but suffice it to say that I got hurt by a good friend, hurt deeply. I can hardly write this but need to get it out, to speak it in words and this is my outlet. What is hard for me is the struggle I feel inside me. I wonder if Christ struggles with the pain we cause him? I wonder if my disobedience and coldness that happens so often leaves Him feeling bruised? I know somehow that it does not for he is perfectly significant and whole without any neediness but I know it is worth pondering. I know that it causes me, when I feel this much hurt to reexamine how I treat God's creation. I have been examining what it means to walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh. The obvious interpretation for me at the beginning of the week as I pondered it was my struggle with over-eating and how I feel so utterly defeated. But another interpretation occurred to me as I thought about how often I am cynical and unkind in my treatment of others. This came to mind today when I was the one hurt by another. I so desire to walk in God's Spirit and not in my flesh, to be useful to the one I love. I want to be all His and not fail. I long for the day when the struggle is over but there is much work to be done. My Laura needs to come home to God, so many I love are not saved. It is inconceivable that I waste so much time when there is so much need, so crazy to waste time feeling hurt when so many others are so badly wounded and without hope. I am totally disappointed in myself but still feel the anxious anticipation of what Christ is doing, both in me and through me. I feel much like Paul said of creation in Romans 8, that "we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." Groaning as we struggle in the flesh, knowing our redemption is near and that victory is ours.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Difficult Night

No matter how difficult it seems at this moment I must remember that my hope is is the God of creation and not the government of this land. I got together with a friend to pray tonight and we both had heavy hearts but lightened as we remembered our God. May these times we live in draw us closer to Christ. May we commit our lives to serving the God who loves us. May we be shaken from our complacency and snatch our neighbors, friends, and relatives from the fire before it is too late. If I sound a little dramatic I guess I feel that way. When I live in a state that passes an assisted suicide bill, and live in a land where each day children are aborted by their own mothers, where people drive by and shoot others, and where immorality is not only accepted but celebrated, I can only pray that we wake up and shake off the dust of our laziness and commit to giving Jesus our all. May God have mercy on us.

Something I read

I found this little poem on a website. I wish I knew who wrote it so I could give them credit but it is all too true about many today. It struck me that the sin of religion will put many in hell. Let's remember it is all for Christ and the world is watching.

The Modern Christian
God, I sit in a pew every Sunday without fail
For I'm afraid if I don't I will end up in hell.
I give my tithes and offerings. I never miss
Because I'm waiting for you to make me rich.
I read my Bible for at least an hour each day
So I can be arrogant with others in all that I say
I pray every day for around thirty minutes or so.'
Cause there's lots I need and I want you to know.
I do things for my church even when tired and sore.
Because one day I want to be voted onto the board.
I also do them so everyone will think I'm a beacon.
If I neglect my family, I just wanna be a deacon.
I'm just a simple usher and that is OK I guess.
But I'm a good person, and I deserve your best
If there is anything you need tell one of the pastors
I'm too busy. It's their calling.
They can get to it faster
I'm so happy to have found the religion of Christianity.
Because I can make following you all about me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

On election's eve

God is in control. Of course I know He is. But of course I would rather be. I've been thinking about how what I think is best isn't always best. Sometimes a nation needs to go through the worst to see God's best and come to Him. Sometimes He is merciful and gives us what is not only what we see is best but right and God blessed as well. And of course, sometimes I am just plain wrong in how I look at things. I have been perusing Christian blogs this evening trying to get a pulse on what the body is thinking and I was pleasantly surprised. Most people are not talking about the election at all. They are too busy being focused on Christ. Thank you Lord for people who keep their eyes on you. Help me to to remember that whatever happens tomorrow, it will all be for my good, because I love you and that is what you have promised. Thank you Lord for the body of Christ that I am all too often cynical about but that is very much alive. Thank you for the love of Christ, His precious blood, for the redemption of my sins. Thank you that you are in control even when I want to take the reigns. You are the I am, the Alpha and Omega, all powerful, ever present, Almighty God. Amen