Tuesday, November 27, 2012

‎"Dance His talk" - 11/27/12 - Romans 11:1-14:23

"If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong."(14:23)

If asked, I will say,  "Yes, I believe in The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit, and His Word".  I believe in these with all that I am, but do I 100% of the time "walk His talk"?

Unfortunately, "No". 

I do try. 

I am so thankful for His grace, mercy, and forgivness in the times that I slip.  When I am focusing on self, rather than Him. 

When I get in the way of Him. 

Each and every day I pray that He will use me.  And each and every day He does.  Even when I slip - He uses that for His glory.  It isn't that I want to be lifted up for all to see, I find that He is changing me from the inside out.  I want my life to be for His glory - not mine.

I pray each and every day that He will convict me when I am not "walking His talk".  When I feel that I need to seek revenge, stand up in defensiveness when wronged, to feel sorry for myself and attend the "mepityparty".  The times that I act on the feelings of doing it my way, regardless of who or whose feet I trample upon. 

Even when they are God's feet.

When I picture myself walking "my" talk, I see much slipping, falling, stumbling, sliding around.  It is totally uncontrolled - no matter what I hang onto, how hard I try.  There is not a graceful rhythm about my steps.  There is only destruction.  Much like a new snowfall that has the mark of an animal fight - their steps and blood have destroyed its' purity, its' beauty.



I pray that when I "walk His talk" the new snowfall of life holds the pattern of a graceful dance.

That the untouched snow surrounding our steps reflect His light - sparkling as diamonds in the sun. 

His Son.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Let. it. go. - ‎11/23/12 - I Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.(1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

"Go slow. Be God-struck. Grant grace. Live Truth. Give Thanks. Become the gift. May the grace and truth of our Father surprise you all over again this weekend, friends!" ~Ann Voskamp

Today in my devotional reading, I kept coming across "giving up self".  No coincidence - again.  God has everything occur for a reason - particularly His Word.  When He speaks to me certain Words - He knows they are exactly what I need to read, consume, and chew on at that time. 

"Keep my eyes open"

"Hold tight to my convictions"

"Give it ALL that I've got"

 " Be resolute" - to be firm in purpose or belief; steadfast

"Grant grace". 

"Love without stopping".

I am so convinced that there needs to be a support/how to group for the blending of people.  God is enabling me more and more to not take personal the actions of how a person is raised.  I am struggling though in what words to express how we feel regarding rudeness and still relay that we love unconditionally.  How to have accountability without causing defensiveness or division.   At what point does reaching out become enabling?  How far do we "back off" and yet not have others feel like we are making them choose between sides.  What actions and words do we continually give because we desire unity rather than two sides.  

How obvious the differences are in a Godly family blend versus a worldly family blend.  How they don't see anything wrong in using their measuring standards rather than His. 

And when another episode occurs, His Word is there to reassure and guide me. 


 


             Let God.







Continue to heap mounds of love and grace upon them.  In His grand scheme of life - does "it" really matter"?  Is "it" really worth consuming my whole being and ruining every other aspect of my life?  Is "it" really worth stealing joy out of the innumerable blessings He is continually giving me?  He enables me to see that He is using us to be His warriors to spread His light on a lost people.  People who He wants to be part of "His family blend".   They are bllind to His truth, beliveing they are living for Him, but their fruits prove otherwise.  When I look beyond myself, stop taking personal, I am blown away at how He is using us.  That before the world began, He knew that the fruits of "Curt and Deby" would be used as part of His warfare.  That our family unit,  in His eyes is worthy of being a tool for Him - how much grace and love He has given us - given me - when I have been rude and living life by my measuring standards.  That it is only because of His grace our family belongs to "His blended family" and not the "world's blended family".  A sin is a sin.  Sin separates us from Him - unless you are "In" Christ.  Only then do we experience forgiveness, grace and mercy.

And then I hear Him say, "Do only what truly matters - Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping...............








Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All situations - ‎11/22/12 - I Corinthians 11:2-13:13

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.(13:13)

Today, we are attending lunch at Washington school.  There is a little boy that God has laid upon our hearts, and we will be surprising him for his Thanksgiving meal.   

I am thankful that God has given me the ability to love, to love deeply.  The problem I encounter though is that sometimes I become self-righteous in my loving.  I begin to measure other people against my measuring standards on how they are living, how they are loving or not.  He is so helping me with this.  To use Christ' measuring stick - not my own.  For when I utilize mine - I shut out people.  I tend to focus more on what they do, say, act - rather than that they are His child too. 

And more often than not - a lost child - no matter their age.  

It has always been a struggle being around bullies when little children are present.  There are some that enjoy being  mean towards them until they cry or even physically shake from fear.  Some of them stand on the sidelines and laugh at the reactions.  And some just stand and pray. 

That would be me.  I am coming to a place where I know I am to speak up, stand up for these little ones.  Just haven't figured out what words He wants me to use that are healing rather than cause defensiveness.  I know that anger and self-righteousness on my part needs to be gone from my heart.  Only love for them needs to be present. 

That is where I struggle.  "Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly in all situations."  Towards all people.  He is bigger than any bully.  He is in control.  And I have asked, am asking, that He will use me in whatever way possible for His glory. 

He is also showing me that I am just as much as sinner as they are.  That when I don't love as Christ does, I am nothing.  I get in the way. 

His measuring stick is the only one that works in all situations - all situations:

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.


Love never dies." (5-8)

Monday, November 19, 2012

"1000 gifts" - 11/19/12 - I Corinthians 4:1-7:40

 "It’s important to look at things from God’s point of view."(4:6)

"I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out."(7:29-31)

I have recently finished the book,  "One Thousand Gifts",  by Ann Voskamp.  Aside from His Word, this is probably the most heart/soul/mind/life changing book I have ever absorbed.  I love how His timing is. 

Over a year ago I received this book as a thank you and started to read it.  After only the first two  chapters, I put it down and didn't pick it back up.  For my birthday this year, I was given another copy as a gift from a dear, dear sister.  His timing - this time as I dove into it...........I had to make myself read it slowly - I have had such a hard time putting it down.

This task of writing out my "1000 gifts" has so helped in looking at things from God's point of view.  It is so helping me to live my life through Him.  It has really made the verses He spoke to me today ring truth. 

"Time is of the essence."

How essential it is to live my life as I am living for Him.  To not wallow in self-pity, to not focus on me, but on Him.  To look into His eyes with every breath that I take.

Every breath.

I am thankful for so very much.  Right now, I am looking back over the past few months and realizing medicines He created have been such necessity in my life as well.  In 1985, shortly after Adam was born, I was diagnosed with borderline manic depression.  There were numerous medicines I was on, which seemed to help me out.  Then, thinking I was "okay", I decided to try life with only the medication of His Word.  It is amazing how depression sneaks up on you - affects your vision/focus without you totally realizing it.  How what is really not "normal" is soon seen as "normal".   Looking back - I see that I never should have went off the meds.

Looking back - I have many regrets as a wife, mom, total person.  So many highs and lows could have been prevented if only...........

God let me know in His way that I needed to go back on meds.  I have.  It was the best thing I could have done for me.  For my family.  For my life.  For my focus. 

A dear sister asked me the other day, "why did you stop".  I replied, "I thought I was okay without them." 

I so wasn't.

I also know that is why I couldn't read through this book the first time.  My mind wasn't able to focus on Him.  I wasn't able to absorb the message He needed for me to have. I needed to be stable. 

I love that I truly do feel/know the Fruits of the Spirit.  That I am living life as I go - for Him.  In all things.  Perhaps that is why I am finding myself so excited about this Thanksgiving.  That He is filling me up, even though Nichalas and Amber aren't here with us, with my the rest of my "family".  Filling this home to celebrate Him!

I am able to see His "1000 gifts"............

Start counting yours

and never stop.





Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Blended or not" - ‎11/18/12 - Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

"Curiosity about Paul developed into reverence for the Master Jesus."(Acts 19:18)

I wonder if my life, my choices make people curious.  When I am looked at, is there something different about me?  Do I stand out in the world because I am different? 

Or do I blend in?

And then if I am looked at - do they see Christ and not me?  It states that, "curiosity about Paul DEVELOPED into REVERENCE for the MASTER JESUS". 

DEVELOPED REVERENCE MASTER JESUS. 

Am I a vessel for His light that He is using to draw others to Him - to see Him?  Are my words, actions, thoughts, a reflection of Him for all to see. 

I keep going back in my head to the verse, "the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few".  How am I working?  Do I set my own hours, working only when I feel like it?  Am I on vacation? Am I retired?  Have I been promoted from where I started out? 

Am I at the point where when others see me - they don't.

They see Master Jesus.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"God willing" - ‎11/17/12 - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

“I’ll be back, God willing.”(Acts 18:21)

Am I being selfish?  Yes, most times. 

So often I will state about doing something, or an event happening, and not add, "God willing". 

God brought to mind Adam's trip - I prayed with others that God would deliver him home - here on earth.  I often pray for a hedge of protection to be about those I love - so no harm may come to them.  Asking that God will keep them safe.

I have been struggling with this way of praying - I am recognizing how selfish I am.  I am wanting them to remain here with me.  It is such a blessing knowing that Curt and our kids are His - so I do know - without a doubt - where they will be eternally.

Selfishly, I am not wanting their eternity to begin quite yet.  What I am really praying for is that God's will is based on my time schedule in taking them to their real home - with Him.  I do confess - I have a great fear of Curt and the kids dying before me.

Why? Because it's more about my heart's will - of not letting go - holding on tightly.

So, is that really loving them more than myself?  Am I really praying for what is best for them?  Sure - I can/do try to justify my selfish prayers by even throwing up, "so they can do more work for you".  In my heart I do desire that all they do will glorify Him, but an even greater part is that I want that while they are here with me. 

The struggle between His will/my will continues.  Even Christ struggled with this in the garden.  Thankfully, He submitted to God's will.  I am so thankful He is convicting my heart to follow His will more often - drawing me closer to Him - holding me accountable.  Showing me that His will is the way that works.  That there is no greater role model to pattern myself after than my Lord and Savior.  For the gift of the Holy Spirit and His Word to listen and be guided by. 

God vs self.

Interesting note:  Selfishness has the base word "self"................


Friday, November 02, 2012

‎Grow on.... - 11/02/12 - Matthew 26:57-27:10, Mark 14:53-15:1, Luke 22:54-71, John 18:25-27

Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed.

Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter.

Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.(Luke 22:60-62)



Today's Scriptures states that, "Peter followed, but at a safe distance"(54). 

He never lost his focus on Christ  - until it was spoken that he also was with Christ. 

At that point his focus changed.  It settled on himself and he went into a defensive, self protection mode not letting God take care of him.  He stood away from Christ - as did Judas.  The difference in these two is that Peter's focus went back to Christ.  "At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter."(61).  It doesn't say their eyes met across the crowd, but I feel they did - for Peter then remembered.  "He went out and cried and cried and cried".

Guilt.  Grief.  Brokenness. 

And after his brokenness came rebuilding. 

At times we don't think He is aware or even involved with what is going on, being so caught up in our lives we forget He is all knowing, all seeing, everywhere at one time.  We begin to live life focused on self. 

And then we see Him looking at us. 

We need accountability - it causes repentance, turning away from sin, following closer to Him. The guilt can either convict us to change or consume us to such a point of being stuck. Our choice. You can either be overwhelmed and broken down by the burden of guilt

or accept what Christ did on The Cross and grow on.  Casting  the  burden into His waiting Shoulders - learning from it - gleaning from it for your journey ahead. 

 It all goes back to our focus.

In New Testament times, capital punishment was sometimes carried out by tying a murder victim's body directly onto the perpetrator's back. Wherever he went he was literally weighed down by his crime, with no way to escape the stench of decomposing flesh. Eventually the bacteria-filled corpse infected him too, and he died an agonizing death - as we will also die when taking on guilt.  

Peter broke down.

But he didn't turn away as Judas did - he sought out forgiveness and left the burden of guilt at Christ feet. Christ is designed to handle our burdens - we are not. It will consume us - it will break us - it will slowly rob life from us - as it did Judas. He never refocused on Christ, "Then he went out and hung himself". (Matt 27:5)  

You can slowly die from the burden of guilt or grow on in Him. 

Grow on so He may use you and all that has happened in your life.  Your mistakes, your sins, your everything - for His glory. 

It's your free choice.

no guilt intended...........

 


‎"Friend" - 11/01/12 - Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-53, John 18:1-24


Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  And Jesus said to him, Friend, do what you have come for.”(Matthew 26:49)







I have always been amazed at this verse.  Jesus knew, He knew that Judas was full of satin, yet called him, "friend".  He allowed him to kiss Him. 

All the while - He knew. 

As I read this verse throughout the years, I put Judas into a box all by himself.  Until realizing that a sin is a sin and any sin separates us from God, I never felt I was the same as Judas.  Yes, in my life I have sinned.  Many a time - and will continue - I am human.  The battle to serve God or self will not end until my last breath.  But - I never felt I sinned as much as Judas. 

And I have. 

And I will.

Again, I stand amazed at my Christ.  Knowing what He did - and still - He loved Judas.  He always reached out to Judas in love, grace, and mercy.  Judas rejected - not Christ.  And Judas was the one who sinned.  Not Christ. 

Then He puts into my heart and mind, "Deby, who are you not to extend love, grace, and mercy - to everyone.  Who has betrayed you in such a way that Judas betrayed me?  When did you go to the Cross?" 

And I fall to His feet - humbled.  I pray for those when looking at me to see Him - not me.  I pray for Him to remove any sin from my heart.  I pray that I may be Christlike to all - and yet........

There are times when I hang on to the bitterness and anger.  Knowing that it hurts my Daddy and delights satin.  I am listening and heeding the urging of The Spirit more than not.  I am releasing that which is sin and focusing on Him.  I am having faith that He will take care of those who cause me harm.  I am seeing things through His eyes - the spiritual battle and not taking things so personal - making it all about me. 

I am learning to let go and let God. 

I am learning to call all, "Friend", praying that they may know Him.