How My Monday Became Sunday

Oh the eternal glow of Sunday, until Monday comes and slaps me square in the face.  Chaos ensues before I can grab my coffee and say, “Thank you, Jesus, for a new day.”  My head split in two from an incredible headache, Dog mistook my feet for grass, and the skies are stormy.  Can’t I just rewind to the peace of Sunday where the day is sunshine and roses, everyone speaks sweetly, and the tops of my feet are not urine soaked?

How on earth do I swim in Sunday’s peace every other day of the week?

It’s here I remember that I am still on this planet trapped in a fallen world trying to live with a Heavenly mindset.  There is a wee bit of chaos in trying to go against the grain but go against the grain I must.  My happily-ever-after of eternity is riding on me consistently swimming up the stream until the day I die.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

Am I alone in this?  Church is all powerful, and the Holy Spirit breaks open the heavenlies on Sunday.  Fast forward twenty-four hours, and hell has waged an all out war in my home.  Monday I fall flat on my face.  The coop doors were left open Tuesday and gentleness, kindness, humility, and self-control flew far far away.  Patience bailed stealing joy and love on the way out the door Wednesday.  On Thursday, I’m left holding the bag of “what just happened here?  Where did my Sunday go?”

Turning Monday into Sunday

First and foremost, this is not my home!  I don’t belong here.

Romans 12-2The scene plays out via the movie projector in my mind.  The shipwrecks, the plane crashes, and I’m stuck on a foreign planet.  Dying to get back home, I set up camp for survival, but it is temporary.  While stranded on the desert island of an alien world, I fight to keep my identity.  I definitely must not change who I am to become like the natives even though their ways are easy.  I am still me and refuse to conform by fighting their soothing ways on a daily basis.  It is critical to my survival that I keep my “home” mindset.  If I adapt to this alien planet, I’ll lose my chance ever to return home; forever doomed.

I am called to be set apart. Click To Tweet

I must keep my mindset of Heaven while living in my makeshift camp on earth to make everyday Sunday special.

Secondly, swimming upstream is imperative.

He found me while I was still a sinner, He saved me from hell, literally, and gave me a fresh start when I truly wasn’t worth the finding.

I call that grace.

It’s the remembrance of that grace that stirs the desire to be a follower of He who saved me, every day of the week.  Grace calls me to adopt His mindset, adapt to His ways, and just be like Jesus.

Out of gratitude for my soul’s salvation, I want to be like Sunday, not Monday. Click To Tweet

I hear my Father’s reminder, “Just obey already!  Do not conform to the evil desires you had before salvation (you remember them don’t you?)  You’ve been raised with Me kiddo, set your heart on things above where I am, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.  Remember?  You died, and your life is now hidden in Me.  Run away from the evil desires of youth and chase after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on Me out of a pure heart.  Don’t love this world.  Don’t love anything in this world.  Just be like Me!”  (1 Peter 1:14, Colossians 3:1-3, 2 Timothy 2:22, 1 John 2:15, and Ephesians 5:1 in my words)

And that is how my Monday became Sunday.

I must guard my heart, set my mind on things above, and try to be like Jesus even when1 Peter 1-14 the dog pees on my feet.

The stuff of life will happen, guaranteed.  Where your mind is focused determines if the sunshine and roses of Sunday take over your week or if you get the urine soaked headaches of Monday.

Set your mind on things above this week just to see what happens!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:22-25

May I swim against the grain all my days.  Until I breathe my last breath, let me fight to be set apart.  Keep my passion for different in this day and age alive as you draw me deeper and deeper into the center of you.  Be at the center of my mind with every reaction to every event within my day.  May the fruits of your Spirit be my desire.

There are some parties happening and you’re invited!

#MomentsofHope Link-Up with Lori Schumaker

Testimony Tuesday with Holly Barrett

#SittingAmongFriends with Jamie Wiebel

Grace and Truth Link up with Starla Jimenez

#FreshMarketFriday with Crystal Twaddell

 

Worship in Silence

When I can’t find the words

Some days, the words don’t come.  They refuse to travel the path from my mind to my fingertips spilling onto the keyboard and into the page.  

No words bubble over like the release of a shaken soda.  Instead, they are the sludge of unstirred sugar crusted to the bottom of the sweet tea pitcher; they just sit there refusing to blend in or pour out.  

I would be willing to bet you a rock that I am not the only writer who feels this from time to time.  I know how to keep time with the cursor on the page as it blinks steadily laughing in my face and taunting me with its monotonous rhythm.

Tempted to throw it away and push past the silence, I yield to His presence as He takes over. Click To Tweet

Silence lulls me as the music sings.  The words of the songs float through the air, into my ears, and take residence in my heart.

“And I will sing of all you’ve done, and I will remember how far you have carried me.  You are faithful to the end.  I will worship you.  Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me.  There won’t be a day that you’re not by my side, and there won’t be a day that you let me fall.  In all of my life, Your love has been true.  With all of my life, I will worship you.  I worship you, Jesus.”  Faithful To The End, Bethel Music

The reality of still dawns

In this moment, I realize I am still in the presence of the Lord.  The praise to Him engulfs me as I watch the cursor on my blank page pulse.  The words of His Majesty echo through the hollow halls of my empty mind that cannot form a thought to save my life.  Tempted to throw it away and push past the silence, I yield to His presence as He takes over.

Habakkuk 2-20

“Just be still and know that I am God.”  He beckons.  “Let your words fall quiet and rest in me.”  And so I do.  I let the peace fall where it may in my solitary act of worship.

In the quiet stillness with which He has so graciously gifted me, I beg His presence to fall all around me.  This is my act of worship.  With my silent stillness, I offer Him my undivided attention.  No words spoken, no words needed.

With my silent stillness, I offer Him my undivided attention. No words spoken, no words needed. Click To Tweet

Tonight is the season of still

I realize these moments are far and few between in this overpacked world.  Even living alone in the woods, the silence is not as frequent as it need be.

Something could and does demand our attention nearly every second our eyes are open.

psalm 46-10

Just stop!

“Be still” He begs us, “Be still and know I am God.”  Let the white space of a blank page draw you into His presence.

Sit!

Let His peace fall as your praise of quiet ascends towards Heaven.  Enter into His presence with a silent heart void of stuff and things.  Allow Him to form the words of your heart and renew your mind.

Worship Him with your undivided attention!

 

“Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before him all the earth.” Psalm 96:9

You’re officially invited to find this post and other great blogs here:

Worth Beyond Rubies — Diane Ferreira

#MomentsofHope Link-Up with Lori Schumaker

Kelly Balarie and Friends – Cheerleaders of Faith

#SittingAmongFriends with Jamie Wiebel

Grace and Truth Link up with Starla Jimenez

#FreshMarketFriday with Crystal Twaddell

Grace That Leads Us-Don’t Quit

Grace--don't quit

Defeating the Monster–Charting the Course 

There is a monster lurking; it’s dying to consume me.  Closing the closet doors will not keep it at bay nor send it back to the monster factory.  Not a chance with this one.

No one can force me to be a good Christian.  Consequently, no one can force me to be a bad Christian either.  It is my choice.  My actions are my choice.  The only person who makes a difference in my life is me.  Does that sound selfish?  Maybe a little, I suppose.  I find truth here, though.  Yes, people other than me can influence me one way or another, but ultimately, I am the one who makes the decision to live by the Spirit or be devoured by the monster.

So why do I (as a Christian) do things I know are wrong?  Why do the words out of my mouth cause damage?  Why do I gossip?  Why do I cuss?  Why do I become sad because she has a bigger blog following and prettier pictures than me?  Why do I worship stuff and things?  And why on earth do I claim those items on my taxes that I know I can’t, but do it anyway?

It’s a fight, a daily fight, a constant battle.  This monster wants my soul, not just my scream.

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”  Genesis 4:7

I, as a human, am not inherently good.  When I was a child (I promise you) there were no instructions needed on how to disobey.  My mother did not sit me down and explain to me how to sin; it came naturally.  This monster called flesh likes to rule my world if I let it.  Not only does this monster want to rule my world, if I don’t fight, but it will also drag my soul to hell.

Sadly, no amount of sin can satisfy this monster.  The more I feed it, the hungrier it becomes.  There is no satisfying sin.  Period.  The monster’s nature is devour, eat, and devour until the soul is gone and achieves eternal separation from God.

If I was born doomed, how do I win?

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.  They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.”  Galatians 5:16-17

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:24-25

It comes down to battling this monster in my mind, by taking on the mindset of Christ and worshiping Christ to become more like Him.

Oh, the grace by which salvation comes, the grace that saved my soul from eternal damnation, the grace so freely given has been misused and abused.  I see it often.  I see it everywhere.  Grace used as a license to go and sin some more; not to worry, God forgives.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”  Titus 2:11-14

Because of grace, I say “no” to the monster, because of grace I stand and fight the monster, and because of grace, I live by the Spirit.  Grace is not a get out of jail free card in my game of life.  It is not a license to ignore the “Do Not Feed The Monster” sign and ask for forgiveness later.  Feeding the monster only makes it bigger.

Grace is not a get out of jail free card in my game of life Click To Tweet

titus 2-11-12

Grace happens first.

I was saved, rescued, given a place in my majesty’s kingdom and it is by His grace I am given the power, through the Holy Spirit, to defeat the monster of sin; a battle that already won as long as I keep fighting!  GRACE first, “NO” second and not the other way around.

by His grace I am given the power, through the Holy Spirit, to defeat the monster of sin Click To Tweet

Keep Fighting

Because of grace, just don’t quit.  Keep fighting.  This monstrous war is of epic proportions; it is a battle for your soul.  We are sowing something all the time, why not sow into the Spirit instead of the sinful nature?  Surrender to Christ, not the monster this week.  Allow His Spirit to work within you and slay the beast!  Do not stop fighting!

“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:8-9  

A special invitation to join the fun!  This post shared here:

#MomentsofHope with Lori Schumaker

Testimony Tuesday with Holly Barrett

#SittingAmongFriends with Jamie Wiebel

Fresh Market Friday with Crystal Twaddell

Who Do You Worship

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”  Revelation 4:11

I tried to write about worship and failed.  Not once, not twice, but countless times this week.

This week was a long, hard-fought week; it topped the ugly of uglies list.  I searched for the tiniest spaces of silent time to seek the majesty of Christ and cling to His feet only to have the silence just out of reach.  In the relentless pursuit to hold my words, an abundance burst forth spewing from my lips.  They were not words of praise or adoration for anyone or anything.  Long story short, I blew at least three gaskets, and all the worship within me leaked out without being offered as praise.

When it came time to write about worship, desperate for a refill, I sat listening to my music, (the same song playing on repeat), staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page.  Eventually, the words formed in the depths of my core and bubbled out my lips, “BE GLORIFIED!”

If I am not full, this little teapot short and stout cannot and will not pour out.

“Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.”  Psalm 96:9

**Hear my worship as a sacrifice of praise to you my King.  You alone are worthy of my praise.  Fill me with you as I lift my voice in adoration.  Pour into me so I may pour you out through my life.  

As I began to write and dwell on the passages of scripture, I began to worship.  The light bulb of revelation illuminated through the dark shadows in the space I call my brain–just like reading my bible or praying for the sins of the world, worship tops the list of something to do not just on Sunday.  Remain in constant prayer and constant worship.

psalm 96-9

Why do I forget to direct my adoration to the only one worthy of my devotion?  Shouldn’t it be easy to cry out “Holy holy holy is the one who died in my place!  All glory and honor to the one who gave me breath!  I live forever because of you.”

I’m so not worthy of this thing called grace, but oh my heck, He did it anyways. Click To Tweet

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God not gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Romans 1:21

May I timidly confess, more than once Romans 1:21 had my name written boldly across it in blood red ink.

“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them.  They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.  But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.  Therefore you did not desert them.”  Nehemiah 9:17  

Nor will He desert me because I failed, for a long season, to bow my life before my King.

The simple act of worship causes me to reflect on the majesty and graciousness of my Creator and His sacrificial son contrasted to my unworthiness.

“Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.”  Psalm 99:9

Worship is my reverent act of submission; humbleness as I bow my will to the one who set the earth in motion.  I have been saved from unthinkable damnation, not because I didn’t deserve it (I truly do), but because the Creator of space and time decided He loved me.  He doesn’t need my worship; He is God and can make the rocks cry out to Him.  He already knows He is worthy.  I need to worship Him.  I need to pay homage, deep, sincere, awesome respect, love and fear to the Holy one who filled my lungs with oxygen and loved me beyond words to save me.  He holds my eternal destiny in His hands.  I owe Him my worship; I am forever indebted for my salvation.  It’s all He asks in return is for me to acknowledge that He is Lord.

 “…Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.  Blessed by your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.  You alone are the Lord.  You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.  You give life to everything and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”

Nehemiah 9:5b-6

I must worship God, for God is who God is. Click To Tweet

When I worship, I begin to align myself with the person (or thing) I worship.  It’s a scary thought because I am the guilty one of placing people on the throne of my praise.  Frighteningly, I become like what I worship, organically, without even trying.  My overactive mind races back in history to all the rulers or leaders that demanded praise.  (ok, so I thought of Hitler)  Why did the people worship?  Because they wanted to become like the one they worshiped.  They wanted to have the same mindset, same characteristics, same attributes, and the same power as the one they adored.  There’s nothing nor no one here on this beautiful earth that I want to emulate.

“Your ways, God are holy.  What god is as great as our God?”  Psalm 77:13

**May my mind only be set on you, the only one deserving of my worship.  Forgive me for making another Lord of my life.  I pour out my awe, pure unadulterated, honest in spirit and truth, worship as commanded by the one who formed me, for you are the Lord God Almighty.   In humble submission, I offer my worship as an offering for you are the only one worthy of such praise.  From the depths of my heart, I fall on my face in worship.  

psalm 99-9

This week as you go, offer your worship to the only one who can rightfully demand your praise.  Let your words pour forth adoration in a holy sacrifice of to the one who made you, saved you, and will call you home.

 

 

 

 

I shared this post!  Please come and visit!!

#MomentsofHope with Lori Schumaker

Grace and Truth Link-up with hostess Starla Jimenez

Get out of My Way — Learning to Forgive Myself

Mean people suck and I don’t like them.  Period.

I met up with Mrs. Meanie the other day and found I still can’t stand that lady.  I walk right into an awkward situation with her frequently; she needs to just go away permanently.  Trapped in a never-ending conversation, I squirm and wiggle trying to weasel my way out.  Feeling cornered, I give in.  I surrender to my fate and roll with the punches.  I tell myself that I deserve what she has to say and that my situation is my own doing and I need to accept this as a part of my life; this is my punishment.  Walking away with my tail between my legs, I slink into that dark place in my cave and plan to resurface someday, maybe.

I am mean, I am ugly, and I am certainly my own worst enemy.  Yes, I am Mrs. Meanie.

Like many, (anyone else cares to raise your hand here?) my past is filled with shameful events.  I convince myself that I am the worst of all evils, that no person on the face of the planet would ever stoop as low as me.  I cower in shame, beating myself up with a barrage of insults.  I remind myself to look down, “don’t let anyone see you.  Don’t let anyone see who you are.  You are a vile evil creature.  Speak to no one.  If you talk, they will realize you are a fake.  You are about as worthless as they come for what you have done and you will live with this shame for the rest of your life.  Don’t tell your story.  Don’t talk about your past.  Bury it deep within yourself and cover it with shame.  Live in this guilt, because it is what you deserve.  You deserve to live in hell.”

I would love to tell you that Mrs. Meanie’s words are exaggerated to make a point, but that would be a lie.  Those words and much, much more (too viscous to speak in polite company), run on a continual loop between my ears.

2 timothy 2-1

On the journey up the mountain of forgiveness, I have found it is me who needs forgiveness from myself.  This doesn’t mean I am condoning what I did.  This does in no way make my actions correct or remove any and all fault.  Simply put, it means that it is time to say “His grace is sufficient for me.”  Bigger than saying it, is believing it.

His grace–the grace I do not deserve.

I confess I look to others for forgiveness–begging and pleading and come up empty time and time again.  But God, He offers it freely with no strings attached.  He writes in the sand for me.  He writes words that speak directly to my heart and says “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.  You’re my little girl, I created you.  My truth is all that matters in your life.  Who does my Word say that you are?  What does my truth say about you?”

What does His Truth say about me?

“But He said to me, “MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  Be strong, little girl, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, remember you are not saved or forgiven through anything you can do or earn.  This is a gift, from me to you because I love you so much.  Get up out off the ground and stand here beside me.  Don’t be afraid to tell your story because it has a happy ending, MY ending!  Set the suitcases of your shame and guilt here for me to carry, lighten your load by accepting my grace and taking my hand.  Let’s walk your Journey of a Million Miles together.  My yoke is easy, and my burden is light! (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Timothy 2:1, Ephesians 2:4-10, Matthew 11:30 in my own words.)

It’s easier to climb the mountain of forgiveness without a heavy pack. Click To Tweet

my grace is sufficient

The beauty of Christ–every word written is Truth.  He will never change His mind.  He is the only one who can forgive and forget, as far as the east is from the west.  If you’ve ever run east to get to the west, you know that the distance between the two is impossible to span.  Basically, He places what we offer to Him for forgiveness in an unretrievable space that doesn’t exist.

And His grace?  Well, His Grace is just enough for me; forgiven and forgotten.  Go and sin no more!

 

Come join the fun!  This post shared at these wonderful places:

Sincerely Paula’s no rules weekend blog party!

Grace and Truth Link-up with Starla Jimenez

Fresh Market Friday with Crystal J Twaddell

 

I Forgot! What was I thinking?

Grander earth has quaked before moved by the sound of His voice.  Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard.”  — “It Is Well”  Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music

The depth of that statement finds me at a loss.  I must confess, I get caught up in the rat race of life.  I get caught up in writing about His majesty and wonder.  I become busy doing and forget.  I forget just how big God is.  “The waves and wind still know His name.”  

I forget His magnitude.

I forget He is all knowing.

I forget that He is all powerful.

What God boasts that the earth quakes at the sound of His voice?  What God speaks storms into calm?  Tell me, anyone, what God spoke any world into existence or breathed life into dirt?

I forget to stop and marvel at His majesty.

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”  Psalm 8:9

If I do not intentionally quiet my raging mind with the flood of everything that consumes it, I will make God small.  I’m guilty of trying to make Him human like me, guilty of pulling Him down to my level so we can see eye to eye.

“Far be it for me not to believe even when my eyes can’t see.  And this mountain that’s in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea.”  —  “It Is Well”  Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music

“Where can I go from your spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there; if I rise on the wings of the dawn, you are there, if I settle on the far side of the sea, you are there, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”  Psalm 139:7-10

Who is this God I call father?  His magnitude is incomprehensible to me.  I try to make my limited mind understand and fall short.  I want to know Him; I want to call upon Him and have Him explain mighty things to me.

**Draw me again, Lord, into your presence.  Open the eyes of my heart that I may see you. Never let my restless mind forget the majesty of your glory.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3

Before time, He was.  Even now, He is.  Furthermore, He always will be.

Before time, He was. Even now, He is. Furthermore, He always will be. Click To Tweet

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”  Isaiah 6:1

I want to see God.  I don’t want to miss out by focusing on everything except Him.

This week as I go forth, as you go forth, look for His bigness.  Intentionally seek Him out.  When we seek, we find.  God does not hide from us.  He wants to be found.  He wants us to marvel first hand at His grandeur.  We don’t serve a little God; we serve a mighty God.  Angels bow before Him; He made the entire solar system and everything beyond.  He knows how many grains of sand cover Earth and knows how many drops of water are in the ocean.  The waves and the wind know His name, and He knows yours.

He knows my name, and He calls me daughter. Click To Tweet

Isaiah 6-1

 

You’re officially invited to check out these link-ups!  I shared here:

Holly Barrett — Testimony Tuesday

Jamie Wiebel — Sitting Among Friends

Fresh Market Friday Link Up with Crystal J Twaddell

 

The Definition of Praise

It’s time!  Get up from your chair, do a little warm up exercise, raise your hands in the air like you just don’t care; it’s time to praise the Lord!  I take what King David said in 1 Chronicles 15:16 about making a joyful sound seriously.  I am not ashamed to admit; I am a dancer (awful, mostly embarrassing style of dancing but I cannot contain my feet) as well.  Join in, let’s experience Praise and Worship Weekend together!

Here we go, all Majesty, Glory, and Honor to God!

Praise!

By definition, “praise” is the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation; laudation.

Big words intrigue me to no end, so naturally “commendation” peaked my interest.

Commendation:  the act of commending; recommendation; praise.  For example, commendation for a job well done.  When I dissected this a little further, I found “commendation” under feudal law.   Interesting (maybe just to me).  “The placing of oneself or one’s land under the protection of a lord so as to become his vassal (a person granted the use of land, in return for rendering homage, fealty, and service).”

Surrendering what is mine (or surrendering me) to place it under the protection of the Lord so I may sing His praise and faithfully (obediently) serve Him.  I assure you, I pondered this statement for a million moments.

Surrender, obedience, homage, and servant are several keywords that raced laps through the corridors of my inner brain, the white space where deep thoughts live.

Surrender–to yield, to give up, relinquish.

Obedience–dutiful or submissive compliance

Homage–respect or reverence paid

Servant–a person in the service of another

We give what is ours (but we all know it’s not ours, theoretically, yes.  Actually, no!) back to the Lord, we surrender and turn what we have over to Him for Him to use, and He, in return, protects.

There are days when I don’t want to turn anything over to Him.  I try to keep a little to satisfy my selfish nature.  As my Lord, He asks that I obediently give it over.  I have to hand it over daily because I’m the sneaky five-year-old who takes it all back when nobody’s watching.  Mine, all mine!

**I give up, Lord!  My white flag is raised.  To you, for you to use, take all I have!  Find me obedient in service to you.  Yours, all yours.

As a result of His protection, we honor and praise Him, we speak of His never-ending love, we worship Him, we bow before Him pledging our allegiance.

**King of kings and Lord of lords, you and you alone are worthy to be praised.  I bow my life before your throne.  I pledge allegiance to the Holy of Holies, find me faithful to serve you.

Unlike earthly Lords in the feudal system, the Lord our God never dies; His protection will continue endlessly.  He will never abuse His power or exploit us.  He only wants the best for us.

He allows us to chose on a daily basis.  He never forces our hand or makes demands.  We are free to choose how we serve, what we give, and the level of which we sing His praise.

Psalm 91  The beautiful part, His protection over our lives is not dependent on our actions.  His protection is based off His love for us–pure, true love that gives Himself completely regardless.

The beautiful part, His protection over our lives is not dependant on our actions.  His protection is based off His love for us–pure, true love that gives Himself completely regardless.

**Freely, I give to you.  Before I knew you and gave you all, you loved me first.  When I am a brat, you give to me still.  When I am selfish, you hold nothing back.  When I take it all back and try to claim ownership, you patiently wait for me to let go.  I will sing all my days to offer you praise that you are not like me.  Make me like you!  I want to withhold nothing from you, my Lord.

Even if we do not surrender all, He withholds nothing. Click To Tweet

If we renege on our promise to give up all, He will not take back His love and protection.  This is why we praise and worship the one true Lord.  The longer we walk in obedience to surrender all, the louder our praise to Him becomes.

**I want to yell your matchless praise from the rooftops.  I want to tell the whole world what you have done for me.  When I rise, place your praise on my lips.  When I sleep, cause your praise to pulse through my veins.  May my mouth never go silent as I sing of you!

Why on God’s beautiful green earth would we not surrender all for His protection and sing the praises to a Lord who gives entirely to His limitless extent?

I think that is cause for celebration!  His infinite protection is a source in and of itself to lift my voice and sing to Him.

**To you my Lord, I call out in adoration!  You are matchless in your giving!  Your love surpasses my limited ways.  Forever I give you laud, my hymn of praise!  Dwell in my song, take delight in my praise, for you alone are worthy.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”  Surely He will save you…” Psalm 91:1-3a

Creating Panic by Over-Complicating Life

Worry, fear, doubt, dread, and panic exploded this week like an atomic bomb in my mind.  “Woe is me, why does this happen on my watch, and whatever will I ever do?”  (I imagine myself a little Scarlet O’Hara-esque here.) I promise you; I freaked out in the calmest way possible but freaked out nonetheless.  

On Monday, my bathtub began to drain at an impossibly slow rate.  The house is old, the pipes are ancient, and the septic?–only God knows.  The storm clouds of worry unleashed a downpour in my mind when I thought of the possible issues.

Dog baths, furry dog baths after she rolled in sewage mud while working in the yard, was the first “why on earth, all of a sudden” to cross my mind.  I was certain I just had a host of muddy dog fur clogging the drain.  I assumed I could fix it, no problem.

The storm of worry magnified into paralyzing fear when I realized I had been working around the overflow drain in the yard.  What if I smashed the plastic pipe with my many rocks and the entire septic was backed up?  A poopy situation to say the least.  Fear splintered into doubt as I wondered what on earth I would do in that situation?

I’m not equipped for this; I move rocks, not clogs.

I can’t call a plumber out here.  If I called a dozen, six wouldn’t answer the phone or return a call, three take out large ads but don’t want to work, and the other three say they will be right out and never show.

“Why do I always make a mess of life?”

Dread, the tidal wave of pure dread overflowed, as reality took hold.  “I am going to have to do this, this yucky mess.  I have to fix this.  There is no one, just me.”

Full blown panic drowned me along with my fear, doubt, and dread in the final explosive thought within my mind.  There are no words from a drowning girl, only gurgles as she sinks to the bottom of despair.

Tuesday found me busy all day as worry and dread grew.  Wednesday, I had to make an emergency trip to Omaha, Nebraska.  A day on the road allowed me time to formulate a plan of attack set for execution on Thursday morning while my non-draining tub sat idle.  (Please, insert the word “disgusting” here with me.  Go ahead; it’s ok.)

I played out the task at hand repeatedly, knew what tools I would need, and set out to conquer mid-morning Thursday.  Starting with the clog theory, I dismantled the drain and began to fish for fur to no avail.  My tool hit a hard mass and would not go through the pipe.  Can I tell you (again) the worry that overcame me?  Grabbing a more robust tool to fish down the drain, I hit the very same wall.

By this point, I found it necessary to ‘fess up and involved Himself via tele.  Upon Himself’s instructions, I checked out the pipes in the basement, prepared to dismantle the plumbing.  Overwhelmed to nearly the point of tears, I realized digging up the septic was my only way out (the downhill progression of my mental state snowballed).  Then Himself, offering a secondary suggestion, casually asked, “does the tub have a drain toggle to stop it?”

Pause, long pause, really long pause.

Do I really need to continue the rest of the story?  Every emotion, worry, panic, fear, dread and doubt was all for not because captain obvious here forgot to see the simplistic.

Matthew 11 thirty

I feel like the whole situation is me.  I wrap myself in everything other than the simplicity of Christ.  When, in an instant, He reaches into my overwhelmed life and pushes the drain toggle down.

Can’t you just picture me drowning?  Arms are flailing, fighting to stay afloat, choking on water as I sink while God reaches down and pulls the drain plug to reveal I’m in two inches of water.

In Him, the tub of my life is poured out, emptied in a hurry, so He can clean the slime off my surface and fill me with His presence.

His yoke is an empty tub, mine is full of the stagnant dirty water of a clogged mind. Click To Tweet

Seriously.

This week taught me that I prefer and empty tub, literally and spiritually.  A vessel full of yuck leaves no room.  No room means that I am all me with no Christ.  No Christ leads to panic, fear, worry, doubt, dread, and the list that never ends until I toggle the lever and drain the tub.  Only letting go to let Him drain my yuck, my worry, fear, doubt, panic, dread, and the like, leaves me open to Him.  When I am open to Him, He works wonders.

Simplicity.

I over complicate.  My human mind reacts.  I over process and forget the simplicity of the cross.  I try to complicate forgiveness.  I try to make love harder than it truly is.  More than those, I forget that His word is Truth, the only Truth, and all I am called to do is simply believe.

I forget that His word is Truth, the only Truth, and all I am called to do is simply believe Click To Tweet

Flip the switch, drain the tub, and turn on the filling faucet of Christ to overflowing!

 

Join the fun! — other places you can find this post!  Feel free to click over and join in!

Lori Schumaker–Moments of Hope Link-up

Holly Barrett — Testimony Tuesday

Jamie Wiebel — Sitting Among Friends

I Give Up

Charting the Course–Devotion Monday Psalm 139

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:13-18

Thoughts swirl; a never-ending whirlpool as the river of my mind rages through the canyon.  Words so carefully crafted by King David, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” circle endlessly, round and round.  All my days; from the moment I took shape inside my mother’s womb until the day my body is laid to rest–and beyond–are ordained (ordered, appointed, commanded, determined, or established) for me.

Like a master builder sketching out plans before one stone forms the foundation, before the ground breaks, He who builds perfectly designed me, my plan, in His book.  I was not some random act or a last minute thought; He purposely crafted me, my life from beginning to end, with precision and care.  No detail omitted, every cell perfectly formed, every day laid out.

Why on earth, then, do I try to change the blueprints He made of me? Why do I walk a different path when He who does not create imperfection perfectly charted my course?  The swirl of thoughts tighten and form a tornado raging in my mind.  Why do I continually seek my agenda, my way, and not His?

The master builder gave me free will– the free will to walk the road of my design or to seek and find His perfect way.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I give!  I’m throwing in the towel, waving the white flag, and taking the easy path that is already forged for me well in advance of my life. What an idiot, fool, self-aggrandizing human I am, who will rescue me from this body of death?  What gives me cause to think I know better that He who tells the universe when to contract or expand?

How can I know better that He who tells the universe when to contract or expand? Click To Tweet

I must constantly watch and pray so that I will not fall into temptation (the temptation to live life according to my plan, walk my path, and know better than The Almighty). The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

Jesus, cause your Spirit to burn deep within me.

My mind is governed by the flesh (the earthly shell in which I live, the part of me that thinks I’m bigger than God by choosing to forge a new way) is death (pain, misery, eternal separation from God), but the mind governed by the Spirit (all things God, who breathed His breath into my lungs when I drew my first) is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

Jesus, kill my flesh. Let only your Spirit exist within me.

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:17

Align my thoughts with yours, Lord. Align my way with yours.

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” John 3:6 

Birth fresh within me your Spirit. You and only you.

He makes the “how on earth do I manage this?” pretty plain and straightforward.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world (be set apart, different), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing, and perfect will (His path, His plans that He mapped out for me in His architect’s book of classic design).” Romans 12:2 

You created me perfectly, fearfully and wonderfully, to seek and desire you and your way, the way you carefully crafted just for me, the path of which you were proud enough to write me into your book.  Stir within me Holy Spirit, fan the flames of your fire causing me to burn brightly as you renew my mind to match my spirit.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 

In the name of Jesus, I claim the power you have given me to take captive every thought and bend it to your will, your perfect will.  By the renewing of my mind, I chose to walk your path today!

Psalm 139 sixteen

The Journey from here (where I am now) to there (the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God) is paved with good intentions.  Still, my good intentions are no match for His perfection that He carefully crafted when He sketched my design into His book long before my form was a thought.

Surrender your way with me this week, walk the road He has designed. Share with me how he moved you.  What challenges did you face?  Renew your mind, and let’s walk in Him!

All Scripture NIV (emphasis mine)

This post shared on:

Sitting Among Friends Link-up Party,

Fresh Market Fridays at crystaltwaddell.com,

Grace and Truth with Arabahjoy.com

This post was featured:

Grace and Truth Link Up Party with Hostess Starla Jimenez

Forgiveness: 3 Things I’ve Learned Through Life’s Hurts

Forgiveness

We are told to forgive, not necessarily for the offender but for those of us who have been offended.  Forgiveness helps us in our mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Matthew 26:28 says, “This is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

matthew 26

Colossians 3:13-14 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

The Bible contains many scriptures on forgiveness.  In the NIV translation, the topic of forgiveness is mentioned one hundred fifty times.

What I’ve learned about forgiveness is this:

  • Are we to forgive when the offense is so serious as to cause physical, mental or emotional disabilities? I think we are commanded to forgive no matter what the offense. Jesus went to the Cross and shed His Blood FOR EVERY SINNER!
  • Does this mean we are to confront and “work” through this forgiveness with a serious offender? I don’t believe that is necessary for effective forgiveness to take

Many times a conversation with a person who has hurt you can be an unsafe place to be; it can be unsafe physically, mentally and emotionally.

  • I don’t believe God expects us to take control of how this plays out in the flesh. He’s a bigger God than that, and can indeed work the situation out for both parties.

Sometimes the offender will come into a relationship with Jesus because of our forgiveness.  Sometimes that change in the offender comes at the very end of his or her life. That’s ok, at least the change occurs.

I think the point I’m getting at, and something I’ve had to learn over my adulthood is that we can’t control the other person.  We can only control how we react to an offense.  Many times I’ve had to intentionally hand over the offense and the person who needs forgiveness to Jesus.

My prayer is this, “Lord, I don’t know how to fix this.  I need for you to take care of it for me.  I trust that you will do that for my peace of mind.  Somehow, convey to the person who hurt me that you loved him or her and died for him or her just as surely as you did that for me.”

And this, I believe, is forgiveness. Sometimes we verbalize it and sometimes it is necessary to let our Father handle it.

 

me

Gloria is a wife of 43 years, mother to 2 grown sons, grandmother to 6, Biblical Counselor, blogger, and experienced leader of women’s organizations.

Gloria Boone has a rich personal history that uniquely qualifies her expertise as a healer of hearts.  Overcoming the life challenge of growing up in an alcoholic home, Gloria has utilized overcoming her own struggles as a catalyst for ministry to others.  As a Certified Life Coach at Destiny Coaching, Gloria’s passion is to invest all of who the Lord has made her to be into the personal growth of those the Lord brings into her path. The Mission of Destiny Coaching and Gloria’s heart is to impart HOPE to all who wonder about their purpose and calling, offering a clear path to individual destiny. Please visit Gloria’s site  Destiny Coaching

 

Being a guest:

I value my guests as such time and care goes into writing a post for another.  Please help me thank my guest today by visiting her site listed above, leaving a comment, or sharing this post with others.  Thank you so very much fellow pilgrims!