Archive for the ‘Bible stuff’ Category

What Do You See?

sock

Yes, sometimes I wear those little tiny no show socks with my Sperry’s and they come off my heel and get balled up inside my shoe. and sometimes I just leave it. because no matter how many times I fix it, it always slides back off. and then sometimes I just rip it off and throw it in the trash and go without-which I hate, but you gotta make a choice. I know….life is ROUGH.

But, really, life is ROUGH right now. It has been for the last several months. Really rough. All aspects of it. It’s coming at me from all sides. and it really doesn’t feel right to complain because I know some people have it much rougher.

For a while, I carried it around like a heavy weight on my shoulders. Anyone could see from my body language and facial expressions that I was having a hard time with something. Frankly, I didn’t care enough or have the energy to care what people thought. and maybe it’s ok, I thought, that people know I’m hurting…that way I’ll get a little extra grace or sympathy. This wasn’t a conscious thought, of course…I’m not a narcissist.or an egotist. Just someone needing help.

But now, I am in such a better place in my mind. I can walk around “overflowing with hope”, actually smiling. Circumstances haven’t changed much. In fact, in some areas things are a little darker, if that’s possible. But I have learned where my hope comes from. It does NOT come from a change in external circumstances.  It does NOT come from other people’s “help”.  It comes from The Lord.

“May the God of HOPE fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in him, SO THAT you may overflow with confident HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom 15:13

and that “My faith does rest on human wisdom (mine or anyone else’s!) but on God’s power.” 1 Cor 2:5

and that “The Lord will fight for me, I need only to be still (rest in Him, trust Him).” Ex 14:14

I still feel myself floating down Negative Road occasionally…lamenting, feeling despair…but I recognize it MUCH quicker these days and “capture” those thoughts and use God’s mighty weapons (His word) to knock down those strongholds and make those thoughts line up with who God is. 2 Cor 10:4-5 (paraphrased)

So yes, I might walk around like everything is fine, but that silly sock is still wadded up inside my shoe. 🙂

badass

Through the Lens…

2014 was a ROUGH year. Maybe I blame this prayer. But, it will go down in history as one of the most challenging years of my life. I never believed (at least for any length of time) that I wouldn’t make it through, but, dang…it took a LOT out of me. But, truthfully, there was a LOT that needed to come out of me…selfishness, judgment, jealousy, pride, arrogance, anger, selfishness (I know I already said that one , but there was a LOT of selfishness). I have new life in and through Christ. With eyes fixed on the cross. What the enemy meant to destroy, gave me a new appreciation for the resurrection of Jesus…he defeated death and hell…for me.

But, oh, death where is your sting? Oh, death, where is your victory?

What could have destroyed me, changed me. Now, as I look at people, life, and the future, I view it all through the lens of where I’ve been and what I’ve learned. I view it all through the amazing, complex work of God in and around me.

I noticed one day that the sky actually looks prettier with these sunglasses on, than without them. At first, I was a little disappointed, honestly, because I LOVE the sky…I think it’s beautiful already. But, through these lens’, this altered view, it was even prettier. Then, I realized that’s what Jesus does for us–He takes our lives, and makes them even better through His love and sacrifice.

See?!  Doesn’t the sky look even more amazing through these sunglasses?!

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“Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”Phil 2:1

It is because of the encouragement and comfort I have received from being united with Christ, that I want to LOVE people in a whole new way. I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but I have experienced the incredible power of God at work and I KNOW that he has done greater things than this.

Here’s to 2015…the year of Love.

Fasting 2015

You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it. J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Every year for the past 5 years or so, I have, with my church, committed to a 21 day fast at the beginning of January as a way of seeking God for direction and intimacy and being intentional with where we want to go and what we want to do for the year.

As it draws to a close, I can’t help but think about sacrifice in a broader sense.  Giving up certain foods for any amount of time is a sacrifice and I’m embracing that feeling of emptiness and need–the longing for more.  I want to feel that way about Jesus–longing for more of His presence and more of His word.

Even more than that, fasting is practicing “dying to self” as per the bible.  If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up this cross daily. Luke 9:23 and if my verse of the year says to “lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13 that more than implies sacrifice, it demands it.

What does that mean for the rest of the year?  I don’t know. Choosing to put God and others before my self, my desires, means daily sacrifice. To what extreme? Is there an extreme? Is extreme what is asked for in John 15?

 

Love one another

 ♥ LOVE  

It’s my word of the year for 2015.  Love. All things love.  Actions that show love.  Words that speak love.  Thoughts that lead to words and actions that love. Love when I don’t feel like it. Love when its not “deserved”. LOVE. Overflowing, unselfish, sacrificial LOVE.

love

 

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15: 12-13

#getoutside

#getoutside, my hashtag of the summer. I don’t ever remember a time when I NEEDED to be outside more. I’ve thought long and hard about this and tried to figure out why. Outside feels like Hope.  Freedom. Is it a need to escape current circumstances? A place to search for answers? Do I feel like I’m suffocating and need to breathe? I’m not sure.

All I know is that I am outside a LOT. Using the dog as a reason to walk around the block 2-3 times a day, laying in the hammock, sitting on the back patio, walking/running at my favorite city park (Fink Park, the best kept secret in Edmond).

“The gift of solitude is solace and peace.” Craig Groeschel in Week 5 of #struggles

What I’ve realized is that taking walks alone and just being outside has helped me connect with God in a whole new way.  Breathe fresh air, breathe in Jesus. Walking = Resting in Him.  Coming to know God better.

Another thing I’ve realized is that sunrises are AMAZING.  We all love a good sunset, and I’m intentional about getting outside to catch those, but the SUNRISE?!  Just amazing, plus the air is fresh, the day is new, full of hope and promise.

Sometimes, unless I #getup and #getoutside, “the hope of a new day is sometimes hard to see”.  (Relient K, Up and Up)

sunrises

Motion Sensor God

This is probably not completely legitimate theology, but I had a thought one night while running in my neighborhood after dark. As I approached a house that was dark, the light over the garage snapped on. I ran past that now well lit house, easily seeing the ground in front of me. As soon as I got a few steps past, the light snapped off.

It made me think of the promise in James 4:8, “If you come near to God, He will come near to you”. If you are walking close to God, your path will be illuminated. If, on the other hand, you try to do life on your own and don’t include him in your day to day, it will be harder to see where you are going.

I know that God pursues us and uses a multitude of ways to speak to you throughout the darkness, so this isn’t absolute truth–it’s just a observation of how God sometimes works.

Word of the Year 2014

pray

Every year, my pastor challenges our church to pick a focus for development for the year.   A word.   Last year, 2013, my word was GRACE.  I practiced it, meditated on it, prayed about it, even tattooed it on my wrist.  I feel like I understand so much better what it looks like to default to grace–to believe the best in others first.

So, this year, 2014, my word is PRAY.  I have, for the past year or so, stewed over the dissatisfaction I feel regarding the lack of depth in my prayer life.  I know that there is POWER in prayer and I know that I am not tapping into it to the extent I could be.

With 2 teenagers, a new promotion at work, and moving soon into an empty nest season with my husband of almost 25 years, I am weak on my own.  Impotent.  Insufficient.  I NEED the power of God.  I pray in silent whispers. I pray in battle cries.