Thursday, May 15, 2014

Embrace who God created YOU to be!!!

   I have never done a post that the whole purpose was to send you to a blog post of another blogger. I am very excited to tell you that is exactly what this post is meant to do. My mother died with the music in her, literally. Graveyards are so full of potential that could have been a blessing to others, and beautiful life for the one now gone. I determined years ago I would not let that be the case with me. However, though I have gone back to school and done well, I essentially am doing just that. The woman that penned this article also recommended people read Crash the Chatterbox, written by Steven Furtick. I have that book and am reading it. So far it is a great read, and I suspect will prove to be life changing for me personally.

   This article I am sharing with you here is the most practical and encouraging reading I have done in, well,  I can not remember how long. The points this author shares from her heart need to be applied to our lives. God created each of us with specific gifts, talents and purpose. We are each unique and need to follow the Holy Spirit in how we live of lives. We need to know what our gifts, talents and purpose are, and operate in them, and do so unapologetically. I can not preach that sermon because I am on a journey to discover those things. That journey is causing me to break those rigid molds that have constrained me. Crash the Chatterbox is helping me with that! The blog post I share with you here is not about that book, but it dovetails so I shared it with you.

   Thank you, Jennifer! Your article is amazing and I am going to share it here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

   I enjoy poetry very much. One of my favorite all around poetry books is Best Loved Poems of the American People, published in 1936. As a very young mother I discovered this poem in that book. It pierced my heart and in those very early days of motherhood myself, it changed how I viewed being a mother, and honestly life in general. Happy Mother's Day!

by Agnes Lee

Mary, the Christ long slain, passed silently.
Following the children joyously astir
Under the cedrus and the olive tree,
Pausing to let their laughter float to her.
Each voice an echo of a voice more dear,
She saw a little Christ in every face;
When lo, another woman, gliding near,
Yearned o’er the tender life that filled the place.
And Mary sought the woman’s hand, and spoke:
“I know thee not, yet know thy memory tossed

With all a thousand dreams their eyes evoke
Who bring to thee a child beloved and lost.
  “I, too, have rocked my little one,
  O, He was fair!
  Yea, fairer than the fairest sun,
  And like its rays through amber spun
  His sun-bright hair.
  Still I can see it shine and shine.”
  “Even so,” the woman said, “was mine.”
  “His ways were ever darling ways,”—
  And Mary smiled,—
  “So soft, so clinging! Glad relays
  Of love were all His precious days.
  My little child!
  My infinite star! My music fled!”
  “Even so was mine,” the woman said.
  Then whispered Mary: “Tell me, thou,
  Of thine.” And she:
  “O, mine was rosy as a bough
  Blooming with roses, sent, somehow,
  To bloom for me!
  His balmy fingers left a thrill
  Within my breast that warms me still.”
  Then gazed she down some wilder, darker hour,
  And said, when Mary questioned, knowing not,
  “Who art thou, mother of so sweet a flower?”

  “I am the mother of Iscariot.”

Photo "My Garden Roses" provided by Georgianna Lane.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Lord directs my steps, my heart plans the way.

  When people start talking about topics like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or doctrinal beliefs that are not in line with what the Bible teaches, or anything that they just want to argue about, I do not participate, and if possible I remove myself from the area. "Religious" practices that are not laid out in God's Word are conversations I usually bolt from quickly. What a waste of time and breath. Not to mention they have no life in them whatsoever. I realize the entire issue of predestination pops up as controversial, but if you research God's Word I think it is very clear that Jesus died for all. As individuals we choose Jesus or not, period. In a recent class on predestination the following was asked in a forum we had to respond to.

God knows the future, therefore what is the purpose of our prayers, efforts to evangelize, even our choices? Has our future already been decided? (If you can think of a scripture to support your remarks, please share it)

My response.
 Why pray? Honestly though we have not because we ask not, and faith calls things into existence and prayer is part of that, even if prayer was not a way to receive things from God, even if prayer was not our time to set our requests before God to make them known to Him, prayer is the crux of our relationship with God. For that reason alone we should be praying without ceasing. Praying without ceasing simply means to be aware of God with us and having conversation with Him throughout the day. It is our fellowship with Him. I sing when I pray and I for me that is worship. I believe God gladly receives it as such, and is pleased. Why evangelize? Please allow me to share what my brother Mark wrote that Jesus Himself said. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. Mark 13:10 Here is what my brother Matthew wrote that Jesus also said. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 

   Why consider our choices? Paul spends from Romans 12 through the end of his letter setting out how we should live. He starts out with an outstanding precept. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2  When we “prove”, live out and display the benefits and beauty of God’s will for our lives we are an encouragement to other believers, a testimony to those unsaved and lost, and we live miraculous, victorious lives that fulfill our purpose. More simply put in Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;... Our choices can and do bring reward, or consequence.

   Has my future already been decided? No, I have a huge hand and responsibility in that. If I choose to make decisions according to my spirit, those choices will be the doors that open wide for me to use the gifts and talents God has given me. I will be fulfilled, my purpose will be fulfilled and my Father will be pleased. I will then be able to rightly have on my tombstone: I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

   Jeremiah 29:11-14 says  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

   Does God have a plan for my life? Yes, God does have a plan for our lives. He endows us with supernatural power through the Holy Spirit, and among other things the Holy Spirit leads, guides, and teaches us. If we will follow Him and interact with Him, the plan God has for our lives will miraculously unfold. If we do not, as born again people we will go to Heaven but most of our potential and purpose will go to the grave with us, and stay there.

   The class facilitator's comment on my response was that the answer was fabulous, thorough, backed by scripture and air tight. She went on to say I made a strong case and that the response reminded her of the Apostle Paul, that this blessed her but she imagined I was even more blessed in studying this out for myself. She was right, absolutely right. I was almost hesitant to submit my response as I felt it a little curt. Those were my thoughts on the matter and anything else would have been a more "politically correct" response, of which I am never accused of submitting.

   I will confess this, after doing some further research on this issue I am a little more apt to teach on it and in fact plan to someday. I will not back out of conversations surrounding this topic as quickly as I would have in the past.

  Are there things in the Bible that when you come across them you skim over and go on to topics you like better, or just understand better? Granted, there are some things we can not know for certain, but if you have the thought that it would be "nice" to have a better understanding about something in God's Word, ask Him to reveal to you what that is as you dive in and look for those pearls. It is exciting to find them and discovering God for ourself is such huge confidence builder.