Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Strength, Faith, Obedience & Gods "enoughness"

Today's post is going to be somewhat different from "the norm"

There are a half a dozens worth of people in my life going though the same thing. Weirdly enough they are not really or not at all involved with each other. They are experiencing the same issues for different reasons. (well same reason but different situations)

Issue #1 ~ Burn out, they are tired of being tired of waiting for God to fix it for them.
Issue #2 ~ God is not doing what is expected despite there "efforts"
Issue #3 ~ Obedience is stalling(not happening) due to their need to see God do "His part" before they are willing to "put out" more.

Which sums up issue #4 That they are looking at the wrong thing to give them joy. Instead of Gods words and direction and there obedience being enough, they feel as though they need more.

So here are some bible verses that God has used in my life lately to minister to my own desire to give in to the same issues.

James 4:2-3 Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

So are we really asking/praying specifically for what it is that we would like God to do. If so are we asking for the correct reasons. Correct reasons being God's glory and the changing of heart (yours, someones) to be better equip to glorify God in life.

1 Cor. 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

Nothing we can do in our own strength or wisdom is going to "fix" anything. Its only in Gods power to change things.

Ok at this point just read the book of James.. at least chapter one. But here are some highlights.

James 1:2-7 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

See what God is saying here. By doubting or thinking that God is doing it wrong(or slowly) you are SINNING. Ouch huh.. I know that one. But look at the promise. He will give us the wisdom if we ask for it.

James 1:12-18 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

In these verses there is so much.. but the few things that stand out the most...
1. God DOES NOT tempt anyone to sin. So Gods lack of action (or what you perceive it to be) is not an excuse for you to not obey. One step further on that same thought. Others lack of action, is not excuse for YOU to not obey.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

2. It talks about desire turning into sin. Alot of time the "issues" that are in our life are desires that have become sin. Our desires, no matter how good it may start off being becomes our main focus. (theres a great book on this called "the peacemaker - by ken sande" the progression of an idol starts on page 100) We know that its become our main focus(idol) when we start to question (or get mad at) God, for not doing it our way or at our speed. It should never be about what we want.

Psalm 115:1 ~ Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.

So practically how do we receive joy and strength from God? We OBEY the things that he tells us to do in life. We turn away from our desires and do what we are told. We apply that wisdom that he gives us, wisdom=biblical instruction. We have a perfect instruction manual, and there is joy from knowing that you are "doing it" right. With that, joy in knowing that you are obedient becomes that strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 ~Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

So what are the things that we can do in daily life that will help? What do you do when it doesn't feel like obeying God is enough?

2 Corinthians 13:11 ~ Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bond servant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

God is enough and doing what he says will give you peace and wholeness. He is a faithful God and WILL ALWAYS do what Hes says He will.

So obey God and you will have peace, strength and your faith will increase.

But to get there to that point. You must make an effort (deny self)

Pray to God to change you heart. Ask for forgiveness for the hard hearted attitude that is causing you to "doubt" God.
When you are tempted to dwell on your "issue" instead,
Pray for those that you are having issues with. Pray for their heart.. don't just pray that God will do what you want. Pray that He will work it out in His perfect way. (or yourself if its not about others)

Now be aware that you may feel like you don't mean it. But do it anyway and see that God will give you a change of heart and you will start desiring His will instead of your own.

~Read His word, the Bible. God will bless the efforts that you make to communicate with Him in this way. He will give you peace and guidance and wisdom from His words

Then put the words into practice and go from there. You will find that obeying God becomes enough and it stops being about the issues!

Praise you Lord for your faithful loving kindness! God please keep me accountable to you only and please speak to the hearts of those that I love as well as those that read this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Second Commandment

Posting Date: Oct.29 2007 8:30 pm

Exodus 20:4-6, Deuteronomy 5:8-10 ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

What can I say.. I have been studying this particular commandment for a little over a month now. As I have gotten into it, cross referenced it, found other verses in the bible to back it up.

I think the place to start is to look at the fact (again) that God set up a few(10) particular commandments... then he used the first half to tell us how to live our lives for Him.(glorify God)

1 Cor. 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

Our main purpose in life is to glorify God.

That's what we were made for. TO WORSHIP and clearly that's what everyone has a longing to do. Be it a christian or a workaholic ect... We all have the need, the drive to let something be the focal point in our lives. Be it greed, lust, drugs, a good time, it can be all kinds of things. And our desire for those things keep us from doing what it is that God calls us to. Which is to worship Him.

So back to the commandments, God uses the first 4 to tell us not only that we are to worship Him, but HOW he wants us to do that. Note that God mentions that He is a "jealous God". So why cant we just worship God the way we want? Because that's selfish, then it becomes about what we want it to be and not about giving glory to God. He commands us to stay away from anything that could take our attention away from Him. Exodus 20:23 You shall not make anything to be with Me,

Deut. 12:29-32 “When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

Clearly God does not want anything made that will cause people to turn away from him. Its not that God doesn't want us to be creative. He doesn't want any images/likeness/idols that are here on earth to be mistaken for Him. So Hes saying DONT MAKE THEM. He is also saying DONT BOW DOWN TO THEM. (what hes forbidding) HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM!

Note: in the other verses above, God is saying that He knows that they(idols) are being made anyway, but keep them as far away from you as possible, don't learn about them and in no way use them in your worship of Him. He is warning us to stay away from them, more than that he is commanding us to stay away from them.

1 John 5:18-21 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

So to wrap up, what is it that God is requiring?

Matt. 28:20 to observe all things that I have commanded you.

In the 2nd commandment we are required to not associate with idols as well as not worship/bow down to them and we are to obey Gods commandments.

OK this has taken me almost 2 weeks to write and more than a month to study, I feel I am truly not being able to be as clear as it had become to me. But I hope and pray that it will bless those of you that come and read it. As always I am glad for the comments/questions that are left and those that would rather email in private.. thats just fine too!

More to come on the 3rd commandment, I hope its sooner than 2 weeks. I am truly being blessed by getting in Gods word on a daily basis. I wish I had the time to be able to share daily what I am blessed with, but I have 5 kids a husband ( not to mention a daily pile of life to sort though) so I encourage everyone.. even if its one verse a day.. open your bible and read it. i have links to verse a day RSS feeds or emails that you can receive. Just ask!!

God will bless the time that you give to Him!

Praise you Lord for the blessings of love, faithfulness and forgiveness. God give me the grace to share you with others!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Romans 12:2 ~ Buying into "the lie"

Romans 12:2 - “Do not conform any longer 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.”

A follow up to what I said in my last blog (Heart intents vs. Gods will)

There are some things happening in the life of those that I have loved (still love just not as close as I once was with them) where they have taken what God has forbid and repackaged it in a "christian" way. By that, I mean that they take the world put a "God" twist on it and justify the use of it for a "witnessing" tool.

I have seen it taken as far as something that's blatantly anti-god and seen it acknowledged as that. Then ... promoted as the world being foolish and we can use there foolishness for Gods glory, and even as a worshiping tool. My heart is so grieved by this.

Proverbs 9:6 Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.

The Lord in his word is so very clear about what we are to do with the world and yet why are some so willing to "conform" to what God tells us to flee from?
Its because living for God requires us to do as the bible says instead of what we would desire. Of course sin looks fun and we want it....more than that, we desire it. If sin looked ugly and harmful to begin with, denying our flesh would not be a daily, moment by moment struggle.

If we repackage the world "aka sin" by sticking a "WWJD sticker" on it, then we can tell ourselves that makes us OK.

But its a lie. Satan.... (the father of all lies) can lure us best into believing its OK when there's "christian" bent to it. He hopes that we don't know Gods word well enough to say "wait a minute, I think the bible says otherwise". Its easy to be blinded by the "WWJD sticker" and ignore the sin its stuck too.

Lets remember that its better to error on the side of fleeing, than the side of accepting, whenever there is even a small chance there could be a lie involved. This doesn't mean we can't enjoy life. But give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and grace. Enjoy the things that God gave us as He means them to be used. But don't mistake the happiness that some things bring as a licence to sin when when they cease to glorify God.

Lord, thank you for the truth and your forgiveness when I stop looking to it. Please fill my heart and mind with Your word and show me and others the lies. Don't let me become lenient in my service to You, or my desire to follow after you. Lord please soften and convict the heart of those who are doing grievous things. God only you can. Praise you for that!

The 2nd commandment is based on a lot of what I have said today and I hope to do that tomorrow.

Oct 25: EDIT: Clearly tomorrow has come and gone, but I would like to get all the info and study that I have done on it on here but thats taking longer than expected :D

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heart intents vs. Gods will

Proverbs 19:20-21 - “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”

I recently had a "conversation" with someone who's "perspective" was that despite what Gods word said (like literally) that God would overlook the specific dismissal of His word/law and instead look at the purpose within their heart.

Their argument went something like this.....

"When you read the bible... you have to figure out what Gods purpose was in saying that...... I "think" He didn't mean that literally (AS IN ONE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS that we were discussing) But I think "Gods heart" in saying that was.... we are to use it as a kind of guideline... and since I know that my reason (for ignoring direct commandment) is that God knows I want to glorify Him, it doesn't apply."

Which is prime reason for me starting ten commandment study for myself.
#1 what the heck is "Gods heart" I don't remember reading that phrase in the bible...I have read about is HOLY WILL AND PERFECT PURPOSE
#2 when you completely discard the specific and "no beating around the bush" language of something as simple and straight forward as the ten commandments, just so that you can reinterpret them to justify your sin... whats next?
#3 Specific commandment being discussed is repeated many other times within the bible AND having the same context and guidelines... so are you going to reinterpret the entire bible?

I can understand that there are some things that God spoke in parables... such as plucking out eyes and cutting off limbs... but I am not sure there was any fogginess with the basics of what God requires of you.

The idea that you can twist Gods word into what you think He might mean by it and then use that version based on you trying to get to "gods heart" and then modeling your heart off it.... well its scary to me... in fact that's where today's verse comes in...

NOTE.... THE BIG FAT "but" in the middle of that 2nd verse. Yes, man has purpose in his heart..... BUT, as in "completely disregard mans purpose" and know that doesn't change Gods will or purpose.

So how do we know what Gods will and purpose is for our lives? We find it.... IN THE BIBLE ALONE... so when there is a direct commandment on how to do a specific thing... THATS GODS PURPOSE.

OK I know I have been venting a bit today... but this person knows better and yet they will not listen to the first part of the verse because they are wise in there own eyes and "knowledge of God's heart"

Let this story be a warning/example/encouragement-to-do-better to those that read it. Don't let your purposes be erased by a "BUT". Strive to obey God the way that He requires and not the way you want.

God thank you for the clear directions that you do give us and Lord let that be in my heart to do, Lord please speak to the heart of the one that I write about. Thank you for your loving forgiveness that abounds in my life.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fun flickr

Oh boy I found flickr and got an account... to much fun!!! I am going to add pics to the side of this soon! Feel free to explore and comment on any of them!

Ten commandments ~ #1

Exodus 20:3 -“You shall have no other gods before Me.

Deuteronomy 5:7 ~ ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

So with that what is the first commandment forbidding ?

OK clearly the first commandment is that you shall have no other Gods. But that seems like too simple of an answer.

The "before Me" was kind of intriguing to me...It seems to mean that we are to have no other "gods" in our life because everything we say/do is done before (in front of) Him. Which means anything that gets in the way of our main duty which is to glorify God according to His holy will and commandments then becomes a "god".

Now what is it requiring? That's the answer that I wanted to get into and why I have put this off about 2 weeks.

(OK I could retype this but I am liking the wording and way it is put in the larger catechism)

Q. 104. What are the duties required in the first commandment?

A. The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God tobe the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly,by thinking, meditating, remembering, highly esteeming, honoring, adoring, choosing, loving, desiring, fearing of him; believing him; trusting, hoping, delighting, rejoicing in him; being zealous for him; calling upon him, giving
all praise and thanks, and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the
whole man; being careful in all things to please him, and sorrowful when in
anything he is offended; and walking humbly with him.

Now I think that most people that have not experienced the grace of God would consider that list to be overwhelming and more than they are capable of. But its a wonderfully extensive list! I love knowing that with Gods help, strength, and grace, that I can do those things but receive the blessings that come with modeling my life that way.

(Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.)

Thank you God that you are so wonderfully graceful to me and that there is so much joy in obeying you!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Still Alive

~ Well I haven't blogged in about a week now I think. Being at my parents house without Marc and being a single parent of 5 kids for 12 days was tiring more than I expected.
We made it home (yesterday) safe after yet another 12 hour drive...
Going to bed now... post more tomorrow ( at least I plan to at this moment) :D

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Day 5 in CA

Day five... feels like we have been here along time and it feels like its flying by.

Today verse is:
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Today was just great and I am rejoicing in God for it!

Took the most pics today. But am way to worn out to put them all on here now.

Went to costco and oldnavy with Grandma and fiance Vince.... Then went back to there house to visit.

Confession... I ate my 3rd polish dog of the trip... and to make it worse... I had some pizza too...bye bye diet :) Note hot dog signage behind mom and my head :D LOVE POLISH DOGS FROM COSTCO!!!!!
God thank you for another wonderful day, Please bless Marc in this time of peace and be his company!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Trip day 4

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Today was a day of rest :) We stayed "home" at grandmas house. Lots of legos and tinker toys. Which was a really nice break from the go-go-go of the last few days.

Cana made a sweet little caterpillar out of hers.

Todays verse was especially helpful to me. I would like to get into doing my ten commandments study, but I want to give it more time that I have been able to get each day, while I am here. Trusting the Lord, is a wonderful blessing. But there is always that part of me that forgets to do that.. Everyday I have to give it all back to Him. Most days its more than once. Being here in CA reminds me just how much I long to be here. Yet I know that God will bring us back when its in His timing and not only do I have to remember this but I need to model it for the kids as well.

Aunt Lezley (my other little sister) came over to visit this evening, the older kids had already been put to bed, but Levi who has been rather stranger weary the last few weeks loved her within seconds. It was really cute!
Well that wraps up my day, I am thankful for the time that the kids and I get to spend with our family. But I miss my Marc and the kids do too.
God thank you for the nice day and for the protection of my family, please bless Marc in this time of free time that he has. And please give us peace about when you decide to sell our house and move us back here. Please help me be an example to the kids of You guiding my life. ~amen

Sunday Sept 30th

Philippians 1:9-10 -And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ

Sunday day 3 of our trip:

We went to my parents church Calvary SLO... Was fun to see a bunch of old friends. Eden was there with us... he leaned back when the picture was taken. The kids had a good time and afterward Grandma took them to play on the playground. So they can't wait to go back next week. (Mom would also want me to mention that she doesn like those glasses :) she just had her eye lens replaced)

Then afterward we went to Tom and Irma's (in-laws) So they got to see the other set of grandparents and aunts. They helped grandpa pick up acorns and got to see and play with Grandmas new kitty. It was a long and fun day... :) I even got to take a nap! They especially had a good time watching the rescuers down under with there aunt rainey. As well as playing with Aunt Jeanine and "her guy" JC. They were completely worn out.
~Thank you God for a great day and for the ability to spend all the wonderful time with our loved ones!