28 March 2010

Go Goose Moose

It all started when my pastor said one of his favorite words in Greek sounded like "Go Goose Moose." That seemed like a lighthearted start for a sermon, but.... My pastor is preaching through Hebrews. My friend, James White, is also preaching through Hebrews. Coincidence? I think not. I am being double dipped in the truths of God found in Hebrews. Any time you get immersed in double portions of truth you are bound to be convicted. My guilt glands are definitely swollen, and for good reason.

My notes from this morning's sermon have a couple of things that weigh heavily on my mind.

1) Complaining is unbelief.
2) Unbelief is evil.

Complaining and grumbling are my specialties. The term gongusmoo means to grumble. The kind of grumbling that is under the surface and incessant, like a dripping faucet. Grousing. In Australia we called it whinging. Whinging is not a clear objection that addresses the source of the unhappiness, it's annoying and persistent; more like the cowardly complaint. That's me. For all my bravado, I am mostly a coward.

Like the Israelites (who had suffered slavery, seen the plagues and been delivered from pharaoh's attempts to reclaim them by the miraculous means of God) no matter how faithful God has been to me, I still kvetch and snivel. I lose sight of the fact that my soul is free and worry about every little inconvenience in my life as if it were a matter of biblical significance. As if the God who has promised good to me and not evil and has promised to see the work begun in me through to completion only half meant it. Oh sure, He could work everything together for good if He wanted to, but He's tired and going to let me work things out the best way I know how. I am the exception.... right? Wrong. But it's hard to have a pity party and be faithful. In fact, it's impossible. If someone could be full of self-pity and fully dependent on God at the same time, I'd be the one to do it, or so I would like to think.

Unbelief is evil. Complaining is unbelief. Therefore complaining is evil. There isn't much you can do with that but repent about complaining and beg for mercy. This is especially powerful and discouraging for me during this period of my life because quite frankly, I don't like anything or anybody right now. I don't want to be held captive by these circumstances. I don't want to have to make adjustments in my lifestyle to accommodate physical limitations. I don't want to have to lose my freedom and depend on people to help me do my gardening, my house cleaning and my shopping. I don't want a short blog article like this one to take me 4 days to type. I don't want to be injured so I sure as heck don't want surgery. I don't want take drugs to get through a day. I don't want a body that can't derive B12 from food. I could go on and on about what ails me, but it won't fix anything. The important thing is I also don't want to be the faithless, lost, miserable woman I once was. As bad as things are for me now, that was worse. As much as I dislike most of the inhabitants of the world today, including myself, I know a good night's sleep, some time in prayer and an attitude adjustment from God is going to change that, so no allowing myself to grumble and whinge. No more go goose mooses for me.

Hebrews 3:12-4:3
12 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.
13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is {still} called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end;
15 while it is said, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked me."
16 For who provoked {Him} when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt {led} by Moses?
17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
19 And {so} we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.


1 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

26 March 2010

Speaking of Hell

I remember telling my friend, Keith, that I didn't think God really liked me. In fact, I didn't think He cared for me at all. He had no respect for my personality or talents. He didn't want to see me at all what he wanted to see himself in me. I was raging against such a thought. Keith, a pastor and advocate of truly biblical counseling, thought I was finally talking some sense.

A rebellious heart and malcontent thrive in a symbiotic relationship. Loathing God is fertilizer for bitterness which grows entwined with immorality and strife in your soul. Keith knew I was no match for the truth and what I was really saying. He knew my heart was screaming; "Help me! I am a Christian and I don't like God!"

Have you ever felt that way? Or, are you one of those people I don't understand? You know, the ones who seem to immediately love Him and are pliable and teachable and are happy with being changed. I really don't get people like that. I know they exist because God seems to surround me with them but being that way baffles me. I wonder sometimes if they are really like that or just pretending. Is anyone really that good? Will I ever get to that place?

I was reading some Jonathan Edwards today. I find his work great for adjusting my attitude and working repentance back into my daily repertoire because he writes about hell. Hell isn't talked about enough. If we really understood the discomforts found in hell, we wouldn't complain about much here. Hell is more than a bad place. It is something from which I have, through no effort or cost of my own, been saved, An unimaginably hideous and horrible place of eternal punishment. The worst day here is nothing compared to your first moment in hell. Each successive moment gets worse still. Hell is an endless string of increasingly agonizing moments with no place to shelter or hide from God's wrath.

It's way too easy to think you can hide from God here and now the way Adam and Eve tried to hide from him in the garden. But then hiding never worked out for them either. I don't recommend you take your last breath and see how hiding worked for you. Edwards wrote:

"Wicked men not only hate God, but they slight Him They are not afraid of Him. But he will subdue their contempt. When He shall come to take them in hand, they will hate Him still; but they will not slight him....They will find by sufficient experience that His wrath is not to be slighted. They will learn to their cost, and they will never forget."

Lord, teach me not to be a fool and despise your discipline. Teach me to appreciate Christ's atonement for my sin, and to embrace sanctification. Have mercy on me, refine me, make me more like You.

Provebs 1:23-33
23 "Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
24 "Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention;
25 And you neglected all my counsel, and did not want my reproof;
26 I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm, and your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, when distress {and} anguish come on you.
28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me,
29 Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD.
30 "They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof.
31 "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own devices.
32 "For the waywardness of the naive shall kill them, and the complacency of fools shall destroy them.
33 "But he who listens to me shall live securely, and shall be at ease from the dread of evil."

Romans 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

25 March 2010

Drivers, Words, Armor and Hope

There are a lot of really bad drivers in Kentucky and I seem to be in front of and/or behind one each and every time I go somewhere. This is the only place I have ever been where you can literally watch while the wheels come off a car as it motors down the highway and the driver is sober but oblivious.

I am very thankful that my father, a truck driver for 50+ years taught me to drive defensively. He taught me that cars don't go out of control, people lose control. He impressed upon me the responsibility assumed by propelling a multi-ton motorized vehicle. You take your life and the lives of everyone else into your hands. If you learn good driving skills you also learn what your vehicle can and cannot do. Mostly you learn to watch out for the other guy- the other driver is the unknown variable.

I have wished on multiple occasions that I had a vehicle that was fully armored. One that I could stop on a dime when someone was in such a hurry to get where they are going that driving on my bumper might, in their minds, compel me to hurry with them. Or folks who cut me off. No need to hurl epithets at them, all they need hear is me yelling, "Ramming Speed!" What good are words when armor is involved?

Speaking of armor, I never realized until recently that Paul's admonition for us to put on the full armor of God came in the context of relationships. Not that the passage in Ephesians 6 doesn't stand well on it's own, but throughout the epistle Paul talks about relationships. He warns us about our words, deeds and attitudes with regard to one another and the solution for the hurts and troubles we will cause one another? Putting on his armor and remembering who the enemy of our souls really is.

Words... now they are something that can find a way through rusty armor. They can slice cheap armor like it's tin foil. Paul warns us to put on the full armor of God and lays out every piece we need starting with truth. Truth coupled with righteousness. Righteousness is truth employed. It's what makes the difference between just knowing the truth and being owned by The Truth. Each piece of protection is described for us so we will be equipped to adequately defend ourselves from our enemy and able to keep our relationships healthy. It is the piece de resistance - the 'secret weapon' we are given. All of the admonitions coming before are accomplished by acquiring and using each of the tools Paul describes here; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, salvation, faith and the sword of the Spirit. Using only one or two leave us vulnerable. We need the whole ensemble.

In his book War of Words, Paul David Tripp says this:

"The war of words introduced in Genesis 1 and 3 is depicted throughout the rest of Scripture. We fight it daily in our own lives. Our words now divide, deceive and destroy. They are a world of evil, causing a world of trouble. Talk is not cheap. Its cost is great."

A little further on he says this: "Nowhere is our weakness more dramatically revealed than in our struggle with words. But we need not despair. Christ has come. He has lived, died and risen for us! In him we find not only forgiveness, but deliverance from sins of the heart that lead to sins of the tongue. In utter weakness, our hearts can be filled with joy as we reflect on the grandeur of Christ's provision. In him our words find their hope."

I use words more often and more recklessly than I drive my car. I have been hurt more by words than driving. I wish I had learned to use them more responsibly. Lord, I beg you to teach me to care more about the state of my armor and the words I use.

Matthew 12:36-37
36 "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.
37 "For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."

Ephesians 6:13-17
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil {one.}
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

23 March 2010

Things I Wish I Could Write-

Today I had the opportunity to attend a community bible study for women in which my pastor was offered as the sacrificial speaker. The study is on egalitarian vs complementarian positions. Imagine being the only man in room full of women and discussing with them the following bible passages: 1 Corinthians 11:1-12; and 1Timothy 5:9-15. Seriously, the man is fearless and he cuts the Word straight. I was going to more write about my pastor and his nerves of steel after listening to The Dividing Line, but I started surfing the net first and I followed a link posted by a friend on Face Book.

Every now and again someone writes what I wish I could write. They just sit down and relate the facts, their experience and they make sense. The article is written by Star Parker, someone I was not familiar with at all. I am so glad I followed the link. If you read the comments some folks are trying to make Ms. Parker's article seem to be a lament one more way Black Americans are discriminated against. I may be off the mark but I think what she was warning us about transcends racial barriers and she has used Black America as an example. Too bad they weren't listening to her on the Hill.

I've not read anything else she's written but it seems Ms. Parker was sounding the warning to us all on the dangers of socialism and what we all can expect if we continue to be led by a president with a socialist agenda. I hate that this can and will be reduced by some to a racial issue. Black Americans are not the only slaves trying to stay on Uncle Sam's Plantation. Poverty is an equal opportunity hobbler. Even with the best of intentions, these programs run by the government fail and the people who use them know it better than anyone. It's just easier to take the hand out while complaining about how it was provided than to work your way out of the system.

17 March 2010

Too Many Words

I have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, the one I get when I have disappointed someone and wasn't aware that what I said or did could have any significance at all to them. Why is it that we sometimes only learn the significance of our words after they cause us grief? I cannot be the only one on the planet that has been taken by surprise by how a few random words said without import to the speaker have caused irreparable damage to a relationship.

Fear of man? Remorse? Guilt? Shame? Condemnation? Perhaps a combination of all those things. And is the damage really irreparable? How can relationships exist without forgiveness?

Is it a communication problem I have? A struggle with pride? Is it because I am opinionated? Overbearing? Speaking aloud what shouldn't be thought let alone said. Does it make a difference?

Proverbs 29:20
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Ecclesiastes 5:2
2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

Proverbs 10:19-21
19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is {as} choice silver, the heart of the wicked is {worth} little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

11 March 2010

Longing for Spring

I wonder who put their nose prints on the storm door window?

Who? Me?

09 March 2010

On the Road to Restoration

I am not one of those people who will take their bible, open it randomly and read a verse being convinced the verse I pick is a direct message from God to me at that moment. The first and last time I tried that my bible opened to Leviticus and my finger landed on Leviticus 21:20. However, I do think that our God sometimes uses a series of seemingly random things or coincidences to get our attention.

I dragged myself to our Tuesday morning community bible study this morning. I almost talked myself out of it. After my last post I knew that I was grumpy, not feeling well and in no way going to be blessed by showing up with my attitude. Yeah, it's always good for me when God dumps me on my butt and shows me that I don't get to decide what He is and is not going to do. I was blessed. I was blessed by the women who were there in our small group. Their backgrounds are so diverse, their experiences so unlike mine and yet the common struggles of life our ours. I am blessed to be surrounded by kind, open, vulnerable women who tolerate my opinions, moods and opinionated soapbox monologues.

One of the things I am struggling with is the feeling of uselessness I have from not being able to work. A month or more ago while standing in line at the pharmacy, I got to talk to a women from my church who told me about classes that were offered to seniors in the community. (Seniors? Ouch!) One of the women involved in the bible study on Tuesday's had a list of the classes offered by the University of Kentucky. The cost for the classes is minimal and there are several history classes that are offered. Registration was today. Had I given in to my flesh and not come to bible study, I would have missed the chance to go to the classes.

Registration for these classes took place at the library. I have been here 5 years, the new library has been open for 2 years and I had not gone to get a library card. It was on my list of things to do to feel better about myself. It was a small sort of accomplishment but something I could do and I enjoy reading. How fortuitous that I could register for classes and get a library card all at once.

As much as I enjoy reading, I seem to enjoy buying books more. I have way too many books that I haven't read at all. Which is partly why I wanted to go to the library. My guilt glands are swelling because it's much cheaper to go there to look for books that I wont read than to go to Amazon and buy them. When I got home I decided to pick up one of the books in the unread pile and at least give it a glance over. The first book I picked up I bought probably three years ago. It's titled "Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God" by Paul David Tripp. Thumbing through the pages, my eyes landed here:

Standing in a Pile of Your Own Leaves

You're now in the autumn of your life, and you're quite aware that the leaves are off the trees. You're standing in a pile of the leaves of your marriage, your parenting, your extended family, your work, and your ministry. These leaves of the past have grown wrinkled and dry, and you know you cannot put them back on the tree. It's tempting to sit down in the pile and examine leaf after leaf and wish you were holding a new bud from anew sapling, but you aren't. the harvest has come in, and it is what it is. Yet in all this there is hope because your Lord is the Lord of new seasons. With the new season comes the freedom to pant new and better seeds. With the new season comes the expectation of a new harvest of new fruit.

Stand up and walk away from your pile of yesterday's leaves. Take the seeds of a new way into your hands, press them into the soil of your life and thank God that you ill live to see a better harvest. (p. 113)

Coincidental random acts or divine providence? The latter. That was certainly not a Leviticus 21:20 moment. My hope is restored.

Psalm 121:1-8
1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?
2 My help {comes} from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth

Romans 8:24-31
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
26 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for {us} with groanings too deep for words;
27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to {the will of} God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God {is} for us, who {is} against us?

08 March 2010

When Hope is a Four Letter Word.

It's always the little things that send me over the edge or down the deep dark hole. I work so hard to make sense out of my world and keep my little silver ball in play that when a little anomaly blips on my radar my response is to flip wildly through my emotions and tilt out. Game Over.

Today I had a doctor's evaluation for a disability claim. I have degenerative disc disease in my cervical spine, bulging discs and osteophytes or bone spurs. I am in pain 24/7. So, why did the doctor evaluating me ask me to do squats? I feel a denial letter and an appeal in my future. I don't have the strength for either. Don't worry about tomorrow, right? It will take care of itself? Right? So why are so many tomorrows dog piling on my today and making me miserable?

I am working up to a full blown crying fit. Is it the pain? Is it the medication for the pain? Is it the pernicious anemia? Is it my faithless heart? Is it a wicked cocktail of all that and more? Probably. Is there anything I can do about any of it? Probably not. Oh sure, tell me "Just have faith!" so I can feel like there is one more thing I am doing wrong.

How about we top off the day with a little reading about the value of being a wife and a mother so I can have a little salt thrown into some fresh wounds? Maybe a good cry will get the poison out, maybe. Who knows? I am afraid to hope.

Proverbs 13:12
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

05 March 2010

God's Adoption Trumps Murphy's DNA

I wish I was a Douglas Adams child.... that way everything could be tidily summed up to 42. Instead I am a Murphy's child, you know, of Murphy's Law fame. Actually I am a child of God but we'll get back to that. For now I am thinking there's huge strands of Murphy in my DNA.

I am expecting a few dollars back on my taxes and have spent the money about ten times over in my pointy little head. I need a comfortable chair to sit in, one that will not aggravate my neck and back injuries. I want a new kitchen table. Something smaller and easier to deal with would be good. I have medical bills, I have lots of practical things I could use the money for but finding comfortable seating is what I have decided to do. It's not easy when you're short and wide to find a chair that is comfy. Add a significant neck injury into the mix and it's almost impossible. It was a lovely day to day and I had to do some shopping and there just happens to be a furniture store next to the market and well, you know what I did this afternoon.

Unfortunately while I out looking for the right chair, the legacy of my Murphy's DNA was kicking in at home. My dishwasher stopped working. Tell me, Mr. Adams, how 42 answers this question; Why is it when you're not home and somebody else uses a major appliance of yours it breaks? Mind you, I don't think my roomie broke my dishwasher. It's 10 years old and it was bound to happen soon but is there an unwritten rule that says if someone else uses your appliance while you are not at home that appliance must stop functioning properly? I am fairly certain there is.

So, blissfully ignorant and thinking that a two for one recliner event would be a great way to buy a comfy chair to sit in, I got down to business and plopped myself into every chair imaginable. Nothing worked. As I was getting myself out of one chair, I saw a table that caught my eye. A round table with a leaf that made it stretch out into an oval shape. I want a table. I don't need a table. This one was perfect in dimensions and also had a sign on it that said 25% off. Oh I wanted the table... but I want to be practical too and while I can justify a chair that will help me relieve the pain I am in, I couldn't extend that to include a table and chairs. Ugh! I have been looking for a table for years and of course I would find it when I couldn't afford it! Starting to feel twinges in my neck, I stopped the search for a chair and went home. That's when I saw the note on the counter about how my roomie had thought about starting the dishwasher....until it made that unidentifiable noise. It sounds like a roulette wheel with a dentists drill and the clicking of a starter when the solenoid is going out. It's not a noise you can feel good about listening to, it screams "I AM BROKEN, TURN ME OFF!!"

I got that tight feeling in my brain when I heard the noise. The one that lets you know the chair and table are pipe dreams, you will be using your tax refund for a dishwasher or washing dishes by hand. Oh joy. Those are the minutes when the Murphy's child screams. Murphy's children are very selfish creatures. I had a 40% disability in my hands before I messed up my neck. Dishwasher now trumps chair. Somewhere in the pit of my stomach a growl is making its way to the surface. I know I am looking squarely at an invitation for a pity party and I want to RSVP with an affirmative. Before I can give in, God reminds me of my last post and how temporal these inconveniences of life are and how small compared to an eternity in heaven with Jesus.

Years ago, my friend Vicki told me once that here on Earth is the only time we get to suffer. I have been thinking about that for weeks. Just last night I told another friend, Carla, that we get to do four things here that we will never be able to do again. 1) sin 2)repent 3) suffer and 4) marry. Once we are with Jesus we can never again do any of those. That fact ought to really make a difference to us in how we approach them. Only marriage is optional. How we go about marriage, sin, repenting and how we choose to suffer are totally in our control. I am a child of God. I need to choose to act like it.

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

1 Cor 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it

Heb 4:16
16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

03 March 2010

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

There is a particular pain that comes with growing old that nobody warned me about. I remember as a child doing a one and a half somersault out of the city park swing. I planted my face and shoulder in the tan bark and had road rash and bruises on the left side of my body. Three days later when my grandmother saw me and listened to me tell her of my clandestine attempt at making the swing go 360 degrees around the bar, she pointed to my left arm which was bandaged and in a sling and said..."You'll feel that again when you're 50." She was right, I do. But she never warned me about the feeling I am experiencing now.

I knew I was going to get old. I knew I would start complaining about the parts of my body that didn't function as well as they used to and marvel at the new characteristics that would become mine. Babies and old people have different social rules. Ever notice that? They get to chew with their mouths open and pass gass whenever they have the need and they don't seem to mind it. Sure, sometimes it surprises them but they don't turn themselves green trying to hold back. though the rest of us wish they would. Anyway, I knew eventually the day would come that I would give up the Italian heels and wear comfortable shoes. I expected crows feet and to gross out my grandkids by eating weird food. I didn't think it would be sushi. It was headcheese, blood sausage and pickled pigs feet that grossed me out when I was a kid. But nobody warned me that the realization of becoming old and infirm could happen so quickly.

One day you're sitting at a stop sign, minding your own business and you suddenly feel your head is snapping backward as you're being launched forward by the car that's rear ended you. In that instant the countdown to old age fast forwarded a decade or more. You begin to notice that the last sore throat and fever you had took you twice as long to recover from. Your top shelf in your kitchen is unreachable without the step stool. The pans in the back of the cupboard are impossible to reach.

And so the dance of keeping active and independent but not doing anything to exacerbate your injuries or upset your liver begins. The music started playing before you realized and you don't know when the band will play the final set. You know you're eventually going to be too tired to dance so you dance to every song you can, much to the embarrassment of the young folks in your life. You drive them crazy by shedding yourself of all the things that are familiar to them. They want to remember you with all the stuff you had when they were kids and you want them to either take it off your hands or let you get rid of it without guilt.

Nobody warned me how soon the time would come that I would regret the massive accumulation of moments I had not spent in prayer or the things I should have done in service to my church. I knew I would have regrets, I just didn't know how soon those regrets would make themselves known. A woman's biological clock is nothing compared to watching eternity baring down on you.

Lord, please don't let me waste the time remaining. Don't let me spend my energy on fruitless endeavors. Let me be a blessing to others and let me bring glory to You. And you, if you're reading this.....don't say I didn't warn you. It happens way sooner than you can imagine.

1Thessalonians 5:11-24
11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,
13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit;
20 do not despise prophetic utterances.
21 But examine everything {carefully} hold fast to that which is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

02 March 2010

Uncharacteristically Yours

I want to depart from what is normal for me to blog or talk about. I want to talk about feelings. My feelings. Normally I would rather eat dead frogs than talk about feelings, especially my feelings. If you know me, I don't trust you. The random folks who happen upon my blog by google or providence I don't give a rip about. They can't hurt me. It's you who know me that scare the life out of me. Your words, spoken or un, have the ability to hurt me in a way too personal to avoid. I don't want you to have that power over me.

I have always thought that there was something special about me. Something that nobody cared to find out. I like going on treasure hunts in the souls of others. I see gems and I see the dross but the gems are what I am looking for... they are the reason to go deep with someone. I have longed for someone to want to go deep with me and help me find those tiny gems I am fairly certain are in there. That's the special thing I am talking about, I don't mean that I am extraordinary. I just think there is something worth finding out about me. That's all. Ever see Girl Interrupted? I relate to Angelina Jolie's character when she admits to knowing how to push people's buttons and demands to know why no one has ever tried to push hers. In her sociopathic mind she was frustrated because no one cared enough about her to find out where her buttons were. She wanted to be known. To know and be known.... me too.

Created in God's image I am like Him in that I desire to know and be known. Unlike Him, I am trapped in my sinful flesh and the very things I do to reach out are the very things that open me to the most criticism, fear or pain. I fail miserably at trying to live a life of being both invisible and seen. Of being needy and being independent, of running both hot and cold. That's the thing with sin and the whole sanctification process. My sin keeps me from being able to give you a map to where the gems lie in my soul, I need the very people who frighten the life out of me to help me dig them out. Go away! I need you! I say both those things in the same breath then close my eyes and hope you only heard the latter or will ignore the former.

I have said before that feelings lie and they do. Jonah slept peacefully in a boat going in the opposite direction from what God had just instructed him. His peaceful feeling let him sleep when his life was in danger. My feelings tell me to run away from anyone who might get close enough to hurt me, and then they make miserable for running. They push me to do things I wouldn't recommend you do. Outrageous things. Lie, cheat, steal, murder by gossip, expose too much, give too little... fear the things that would heal me and embrace the world tightly; allowing my enemy to trick me while I pretend to be on guard for him. I would hate my feelings but they are as much a part of my soul as my logic. No man really hates his own flesh.... I am no exception. I do hate that they get the best of me.... or keep the best of me hidden... or both.

For today these feelings of mine are raw. I want to be ticked off about it because I want to live in logic and continue to ignore them. God doesn't play fair though. He knows what lies in the dark and hidden places and He brings them to light. Why I am writing this? I don't want sympathy or pity. I am really very good at throwing my own pity parties. Confession? Maybe. I hear it's good for the soul.

Uncharacteristically yours,

Hebrews 4:12-16
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as {we are, yet} without sin.
16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.