Saturday, November 20, 2010


I was  reading one of my favorite blogs and it asked the question, "Are you prepared to fail miserably? I started thinking back over my life and how many times I have played it safe instead of being willing to fail. When I was a sophmore in High School I had the opportunity to spend a year in Japan but plagued by fear I backed out. I have wondered often how my life might have been different if I had taken that risk. Another risk I backed away from was going  away to college. You see, I have always been afraid of people and situations that were in the least unfamiliar. As a young wife I made my husband call for any appointment or business problem we might have. I never made a dctor appointment on my own until I got pregnant. I would either have Bill or someother family member do it. Once I even had a co-worker make me a doctor appointment. Thankfully God takes us the way we are and, if we allow Him, He takes us on a journey, stretches us, and makes us new creatures. I barely remember that girl that I was, who did not speak her first year at community college, who refused to have guests into her home, who would not finish her education because it would have required going away. That girl was so afraid of failing and so afraid of rejection and so afraid of people. Being saved is about more than heaven and more than about forgiveness. It is about life. It is about becoming a whole new person. It is about overcoming what holds us back and using the gifts God gives us. Am I still afraid of failure and rejection and people? Of course; I will always be challenged by what held me back so many years ago. But those things that paralyzed me have lost their grip. Thank you God. That fear did not go away. I had to choose to push past it. Am I afraid of failure? Yes, but I am more afraid of missing life; I am more afraid of wasting what God has given me; I am more afraid of not reaching towards the goal God has set for me. Living without fear does not feel so safe anymore. I would rather feel  the fear and go forward and see what God does.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Psalm 143

Psalm 143
The Highly Unauthorized Cyndi Version

O LORD, in your patience hear me out.
Please help me understand
while I think out loud
in your presence.
Please don't take my thoughts
too seriously,
but help me
as I process some things.

I just don't understand some people, Lord.
I don't.
They mystify me.
I don't understand those
who hold onto and are utterly sure
of their own righteousness;
as their actions and attitudes
stand in direct opposition to your Word,
to the precepts you have taught.

I don't get those
who go their own way; when they have tasted your goodness
and then stray from the road you lead us on.
I wonder why they don't enjoy your blessing.
I can't fathom
how people who call themselves by your name
can be so willful
and stubborn
and critical
and ugly toward others.

It dismays me.
I am getting weary
I long for those days when my faith was fresh
my heart unjaded.

I will turn to you;
my soul longs for your living water

Hear my cry, Lord,
and renew my spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Rain on me.
Flow through me,
renew my dry and barren places
Wash away all weariness;
my dullness
my cynicism.

Draw me near to you;
and let tomorrow dawn
with fresh hope
and renew my spirit.
Walk with me.
Rescue me from my enemy,
 who wants to render me useless,
and from myself,
for I am near a precipice and need you .

Teach me to trust in your will,
for you are my God;
lead me on level ground,
for you are Almighty God.

Silence all doubt,
that I may walk fearlessly;
I am yours; your servant forever

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Today was one of those sermon's that made me squirm. Literally. I wanted to run out, use any excuse to not have to listen anymore. I knew what the topic was going to be and I had a choice. I could have stayed out at the mop's bake sale but I was worried a friend didn't have anyone to sit with and the sale didn't really need two of us during the service so I ducked out. Humility is hard because it is not just about your actions but is also about your motives and even about what you think about. I felt like I was under some sort of test all week. I was sick early on, fought some envy, had to make a difficult decision, alone, wondering if I was making the right one, and then had migraines nearly every day the rest of the week. It was a week I felt very alone which is a trick the enemy often uses with me. In otherwords, I was caught up with me. Humility is difficult to fake. At least it is hard to fake to yourself. I know just how often my thoughts are preoccupied with myself, how easily I am critical of others in order to feel better about my own inadequacies, how easily I can get sucked into feeling sorry for myself, forgetting how much worse it is for many and just how good God is to me. I can't seem to make myself humble or to forcibly throw off pride but I can do those things that can make it possible for God to work His character and attitude in me. I start off every day with the word but I think I need to do better than that. I pray every day, many times a day, but I know I can be more focused and listen much better. I know I can be more careful before I speak and in my actions. The answer is more of Him, less of me. The words of John the Baptist hit home this morning, He must increase in my life. As I empty myself of what is useless and selfish the Spirit of God can fill the empty places.