Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Wow, three posts in one day has got to be a record.  I am avoiding laundry in my dryer and carpet that needs to be shampooed.  And evidently I am not doing as well as I would have hoped on #7

Here is an update on my goals.  I am not doing so hot.  Hopefully, a little reminder for myself as I go through them will help kick start some of them again.

1. Spend more time in prayer. I am a 'hail mary' type of prayer most of the time. I get in a sticky situation and send up a "Please help me, Lord" prayer, or have something great happen and shout out a quick, "Thanks, God, you're awesome." I start each of my quiet times with prayer, but I want more purposeful prayer time in my day. I want to spend time praying for specific people, things and guidance from the Lord. My goal is to have 3 good prayer times per day. One in the morning, one at my quiet time and one at night. (Not setting specific times, as you can see, because this would be too binding for me :) I am not doing as well as hoped on this one.  I am a bit closer to 2 times per day regularly, not counting the quick one-liners as I go through my day.  I started off pretty well, using teeth-brushing time as prayer time, but I got distracted and forgot.  Hopefully, I'll pick it up again.

2. Have at least 4 quiet times per week. Yes, I know this goal should really be 7, but I have young children, run a part-time, in-home daycare and sometimes it just doesn't happen. I don't want to set myself up for failure here, people. Four significant, sit-down, have-time-with-just-me-and-God times per week is what I know I can purpose to accomplish. I am actually doing very well in this because of necessity. I am doing 2 book studies that have me in the Word as well as trying to keep up with reading 1 Corinthians on my own. I have actually averaged closer to 5 per week and have even been convicted by the Holy Spirit to be better about doing my quiet times on the weekends as well. Score 1!

3. Do at least 5 devotions with my kids per week. We pray with them every night, we talk about God and Jesus every day in our house, but we haven't done too much to further their relationships and learning other than talking about what they learned in Sunday School and doing their AWANAs lessons. This isn't enough in my mind, so I have ordered a book I hope will help us spur more conversations with them about loving Jesus.  Epic fail on this one.  We probably only average one per week.  Again, hoping this reminder will kick start me again.

4. Memorize one Scripture passage per month. Yes, again a small goal, but doable and if I manage to do more than this I will just be more pleased with myself!  I am a couple weeks behind on this one, but not too bad.  I memorized Romans 12:12 for my 1st one : Be joyful in hope, faithful in affliction and steadfast in prayer.  (yippee did that from memory!) and am now working on Psalm 119:12, 18 - Blessed are you, O Lord...teach me your statutes.  Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things of your law.  I almost have this one down pat and then will be ready to move on to #3.

5. Purpose to ask my husband what I can do for him that day at least twice a week. His two main love languages are physical touch and acts of service. Just a way I can make sure I am keeping him feeling loved and honored. Doing fairly well in this one.  Might have backed off in the last few weeks, so another goof reminder.

6. Keep my closets organized. I have spent some time organizing my main closets the last few weeks and I want to make sure they stay that way.  Well, I organized my hanging clothes by category and color so that is one more closet on the clean list.  My others could use a bit of attention though.

7. Spend less time on the computer. I use it as my connection to the outside world and a source of communication with grown-ups when I am alone in a house with toddlers and preschoolers all day, but I have taken this too far and spend more time on it than with those toddlers some days and I really need to fix that.   I think I need an intervention on this one.  I have been purposing to do at least 1 fun thing with my kids each day, so it is improving.  Yesterday we had races down the hallway and did finger painting with colored sweetened condensed milk.  That was some sticky fun!  Still need to watch the total # of minutes I am staring at this screen though.

8. Run the Lincoln Half Marathon in less time than I did last year. My ultimate goal would be 2 hours, but that is setting the bar pretty high. I am hoping for 2:05.  Well, can't give an update on this until May, but my training times are improving and I am totally psyched to try out my new GPS running watch I just got in the  mail today!

9. Read this list at least once a month to remind myself of what I need to be doing to stay on track to accomplish my goals. Also, post a blog update on how I am doing. Accountability helps! As you can see it is the end of Feb. and this is my 1st update, so again, I have some work to do. 

And now I am sure you are bored - but you chose to keep reading.  ;)  Anyway, just trying to keep myself on track.  We'll see if I can improve in March?

Dealing with the "Fakers"

I am actually caught up enough on my other book Bible studies that I got to get back to just reading 1 Corinthians today.  My other two studies have been great and are showing me a lot of great stuff, but it is nice just to read the Bible on my own and think and pray without having to wonder if I will come up with the same 'answer' as the author or other people doing my studies.

Today I read 1 Cor 5:9-13.  Here Paul talks to the Corinthians about separating themselves from immoral people.  Not immoral non-believers, but immoral people who claim to be Christians.  "With such a man do not even eat." v. 11

Pretty powerful stuff.  It confuses me a bit.  Paul says it is OK to be around non-Christians who are doing immoral things, because God will be their judgement.  He also says if we cast ourselves away from these people there wouldn't be anyone left in the world to be around.  I can only assume that separating ourselves from worldly people would be quite detrimental in the ways of Evangelism as well.  Otherwise we would only be "preaching to the choir."

My question comes on how to define an "immoral Christian".  I guess it is my understanding or belief that if you truly accept Christ as your Lord and Savior your life cannot help but to be changed.  So, if you keep on living life as you did before Christ, are you really a believer at all?  How are we to separate the two?

My assumption would be that Paul is not actually calling these men believers, but telling the true Corinthian believers not to associate with worldly believers who are falsifying their Christianity.  My questioning comes in when I start wondering how we are to truly convert the 'fakers' to believers if we detach ourselves from them?

The things that make me go, "Hmmm?" 

The last two verses I read give a little clarity to my question, but also leave me with even more questions.  (Oh, the complexity that is me, sorry to involve you in it.)  They state that God is in charge of judgement of those outside of the church, but "Are you not to judge those inside?  ...Expel the wicked man from among you." v. 12b & 13b 

Going on what I assume the Holy Spirit to be leading me to understand is that our "judging" is more like discipline and direction of those claiming to be part of the body of Christ because God makes it clear in His Word that He is indeed in charge of true judgement that really counts. 

I did a search on the words "judge not" on and, through a quick scan, did not find a verse that says we are not to judge our fellow believers, but that we are to do so in the correct way.  Again, leading me to believe that this judgement is discipline and direction that we are all subject to as part of Christ's church or even if we just claim to be a part of it.

Man, how I love how things evolve as I keep typing.  Thank you, Holy Spirit!

Still Here & Hospitallity vs. Entertaining

So, I have been on a little blogging hiatus lately.  Not on purpose or because God hasn't given me anything good to journal about, but I haven't had much of a chance to sit and really journal lately.
Thank you, Lord, for a sleeping child this morning and half an hour to sit and think with You!

The Life Application Study Bible states this in its footnotes (I might be hungry, I just typed food notes there the first time... anyway,) for Romans 12:13 (Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality):   Christian Hospitality differs from social entertaining.  Entertaining focuses on the host - the home must be spotless; the food must be well-prepared and abundant; the host must appear relaxed and good-natured.  Hospitality, by contrast, focuses on the guests.  Their needs - whether for a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or acceptance - are the primary concern.  Hospitality can happen in a messy home.  It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup.  It can even happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together.  Don't hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy or not wealthy enough to entertain.

This is so true and I am so guilty.  I love to entertain!  But I have to say I am pretty guilty of entertaining and not just giving hospitality.  I get embarrassed if people come to my house and it is a mess (which it often is because I am a Type B person who is OK with messes, but evidently not other people seeing my messes).  I always want to have great food to serve, mostly because I love to cook and bake, but also because it is part of the entertaining repertoire.  It is hard to admit out loud, but I want to look good.  I want to impress.  I, it seems, want to be the focus of my guests while I focus on my guests.  Ouch. 

Well, I guess time to confess and move on to improvement.  I guess God never said it is a sin to entertain (that I know of - please correct me if I am wrong), but hospitality should come first because that is how we demonstrate and share God's love.  Like the story of Mary and Martha, our guests should be the focus and the work can come later.  Christ's love should abound, not praises of my spotless home and delicious food.

I had a friend over a few weeks ago and I had picked up my house before she came and our girls played in the basement.  All we did was sit on the couch and talk about how we came to know the Lord, her recent convictions on serving the less fortunate and our new Bible Study for two whole hours.  I hardly got out of my seat, we didn't have anything to eat and I never even offered her a drink.  Our conversation was so great that I didn't even think about those things until after she left!  I felt guilty about it (still do a little bit), but my guess is that she didn't even notice, and if she did it probably didn't bother her too much.   I am guessing this is more God's idea of hospitality.

I have another friend coming over tomorrow.  I plan to make sure my home is picked up enough to be comfortable, which is the norm around here, warm up some left over coffee cake and sit and enjoy her company because she is one of my best friends and I haven't gotten time with her in over 3 months!

Thank you, Lord for the opportunity to extend your love through hospitality.  Help me remember this every time I have the chance to have friends or even strangers into my home.  Shine your love through me and my actions to them so that they would recognize something different in me.  Entertaining is fun, but you tell us in your Word to practice hospitality.  Let that come first.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arguing with God

Our 'assignment' for the day was Isaiah 45:8-12.

"You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down.  Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it.  Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.  Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands?'  Woe to him who says to his father, 'What have you begotten?' or to his mother 'What have you brought to birth?'   This is what the Lord says- the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?"

Thick stuff.  So, big picture today, details tomorrow (or later today because I didn't realize I was behind!).

Main Truth of this passage:

God creates it all.  He creates us in His image and fills us with His righteousness.  Who are we to argue with what He has done?  Why do we complain about this personality trait that we posses or that physical aspect that we don't really appreciate?  God created each aspect of us for a certain reason and we are to use this creation to bring Him glory.  Complaining and grumbling about it only brings question to God and the plan that He made.

Oh, but it is so hard to be content, isn't it?  We want things to be perfect.  We want to be like our girlfriend who seems to have it all.  We want her bubbly personality that everyone adores.  We want our other girlfriends, beautiful hair and yet our other girlfriend's ability to control her temper with whatever is thrown at her. 

So many things here.  Envy.  Discontent.  Lack of Trust.  We have a hard time seeing ourselves as the jewel God created us to be. We were not meant to be like our girlfriends or worst enemies.  We were meant to be who God created us.  Complaining and questioning His creation depletes our trust in Him and His plan for our lives. 

Father, help me see all that you have made me as perfectly as you do.  I may not be perfect in the world's view, but as long as I seek your will and follow your Word, I can be the perfect person you created me to be. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Service or Busyness?

Learning from Hannah this past week in my "Make Over" book study. 

I remember identifying with her pain in longing for a child during the year that we tried to conceive our first born as well.  It is not an easy thing to go through.  Then, I remember being amazed at even trying to grasp her ability to give Samuel up after God finally answered her prayers. What an act of service that was, brought out through a heart of worship and gratitude in Hannah.  Hannah gave up the thing she longed for most in life because she was so thankful for it.

The author urged us throughout the week to think about our services.  What do we do that we perceive as a service or sacrifice of our own to God.  Are we truly doing these things to serve God, have fellowship with Him and to bring Him glory?  Or are we doing them because we think we have to?  Or we want others to be impressed by our service or not be ridiculed for our lack of service?  Or because we think God wants us to do things for Him in order to gain his approval?

I know I have fallen into each one of these false types of service.  "Playing church" is one way the author put it.  Busyness is how I think of it.  And one look at my calendar and you would know that I have plenty of that going on.

Honestly, I can't explain why I do some of it.  Possibly just because I enjoy it and want to be involved? 

Just to list my busyness to give you an idea :I serve on our MOPS steering team, sing in choir, act in our drama productions, 'lead' a Bible Study, volunteer in the nursery at church, serve as a greeter with my husband and too many other things outside the church as well. 

I can tell you the nursery thing is not out of a heart of service to God, but a "I think I need to help out because I use it for my kids" type of thing.  I need to work on my heart for that one for sure.

The other ones have me stumped though. ( Is it not a good sign if I don't know exactly why I do them?)  I absolutely love to sing and do the drama stuff and getting worship God while doing so makes it even more amazing.  But do I do it solely to give back to God because He gave me a talent?  I don't know.  I struggle with knowing on that one because I enjoy it so much.  But at the same time, God means for us to enjoy it.  Help me out here.  I don't know the answer.

MOPS is one that could fall into two categories for me.  I want to share God with other moms and fellowship with them at our meetings, but I also love to be involved with the planning end of things.  Sometimes I can feel so frazzled and busy with what needs to be done that I forget to enjoy it.  Granted, I try to stop myself and remember why I am doing what I am doing, and it doesn't get that busy too often.  But does this qualify as busyness and not service when I feel this way? 

Ack!  I think I need some time to really evaluate my heart in my service areas.  I don't think I am doing any of them for the wrong reasons, but I think my heart could be in a better place for some of them.  How do we know if our heart is in the right place?  How can we make sure that what we are doing is simply an act of worship to God and not a selfish ambition?  Any ideas?  I'm stumped.

Father, she got me good on this one.  I don't know the answer.  Help me find it.  Open my eyes.  Help me evaluate each of the things I perceive as a service to you and make sure that it is an act of worship and not just busyness.  I want to give back to you out of the overflow you have so graciously given me.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Little Goes a Long Way

It only takes a little bad yeast to ruin the whole batch.  One bad thought, one ugly mood can set the stage for an entire day.

I wake up in the morning to get things ready for my family for the day, then go to wake up my kids to get them ready for school only to have them completely crabby at me for dragging them out of their comfortable beds (I try to remind them about how they do this to me every Saturday and Sunday morning when they could sleep in but choose to get up at 6:45....yet I have to drag them out of bed at 6:50 on school days.  Go figure) Anyway, I digress.

I let their crabbing at me turn back at them and before we know it everyone is in a bad mood and I send two grumpy kids out my door and on to school.  Yeah.

OK, so it isn't like this every morning, just a few here and there, but why is it so hard to remember that getting crabby back at them does not help anything?  But it is so easy to see what Paul is talking about here in 1 Cor. 5:6-8.  A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.  In our house, a little crabbiness works through the whole batch of VW's. 

What a great reminder to clothe myself in the love of Christ and get rid of the 'old yeast' as soon as it shows it's ugly face.  I need to become the new batch with no crabbiness to change the mood for the day and send them off to school with a happy face.

Now, I apply this to a very specific situation, but it certainly applies to most any mood/trend setters throughout our lives.  Ever been at a party with a host who is upset about how something didn't turn out the right way?  Ever been to a family gathering where the Sister-In-Law (just and example) is in a rotten mood?  Ever been in a classroom with a grumpy teacher?  It applies to any situation where more than one gathers.  I even works on more than just moods.  Gossiping?  Bragging?  Complaining?  When one starts it is so easy for everyone else to just jump right on in.

So, be the new trendsetter.  Sweep out the old yeast and bring in some unleavened bread. 

Father, help me sweep out the yeast.  Remind me daily that I help set the mood of my family and I need that mood to be loving and fun.  Also, help me to not fall trap to so many things that try to 'work their way through a group'.  When the situation arises give me the strength the resist wanting to fit in and be the one to stand up for what is right.  Thank you for this reminder and making me aware of this weakness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Complete Failure

Our 'assignment' for today in Modern Girl's Guide was to dig deeper into 1 Cor 13.  It is a little tough to think of something to 'dig deep' on when the whole chapter is love, love, love.  Which, of course, is the greatest of all, but when she tells you to dig deep, you feel like you have to ignore the word love because it is the obvious answer.

Now, the many facets of love are free game.  I don't know what it is about the very first statement in verse 8 that caught my eye.  Probably the finality of it.  Love. Never. Fails.  That's it.  Plain and simple.  No questions.  No hiccups.  No failures.

So, to dig a bit deeper I checked out the word fail.  Here are the definitions gives:  1) to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved: The experiment failed because of poor planning. 2) to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination, class, or course of study.  3) to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short.  4) to dwindle, pass, or die away 5) to lose strength or vigor; become weak. 

There isn't much in this life that doesn't fail.  I can't really think of anything that I know without a shadow of a doubt will never happen.  It is a bit depressing to think about, true, but can't be argued.  Things fall short they become insufficient they pass away.  It is the way life is.  Failure is all around us.  The only thing we know will never, ever leave us is love.  And truthfully, only the love of God guarantees complete success.  I can't even say any other type of love is this dependant. 

It would be my opinion that love given away in the same manner of God's love for us would also be unfailing, but as human beings we are incapable of always loving like Christ.  That is why human love also fails.  People give up.  Love gets hard.  It is a lot of work to love like Jesus.  To give up all of ourselves for the sake of another.  To love without any thoughts of one's self.  What a task.

God does it for us every second.  I need to at least try to do a better job at it for others.

Holy Spirit, thank you for bringing this word to my attention today.  Failure is a part of life.  Usually a hard part.  It is so great to know that there is one thing we can always count on no matter what life may bring.  God's love is unfathomable.  It is unfailing.  It is so hard to even wrap my head around something so secure.  I am more used to the presence of failure, the let downs, the sadness and all that it entails.  Thank you for this rock and help me to share this kind of love with others.  Help me to take myself out of my love; to get out of my opinions, my comfort zone and my needs/desires and love others because you love them and sharing your love brings glory to you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love Rocks

Our assignment for today in "Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study" was to read 1 Corinthians 13.  Easy enough.  And even in the book I am working through on my own right now.  Double score.  It is even just a few days before Valentine's Day and this is the "Love Passage".  Triple score.

The truth of this passage:  Love Rocks.

This is the passage that is read at so many weddings nowadays that it would be hard to find someone who hasn't at least heard it before.  These are the types of passages that I struggle with the most.  The ones you think you know.  It is so easy just to skim over them, recite the pieces  you know in your head along with your reading.  But that isn't what God wants us to do.  He wants us to experience His Word fresh and new every time we get to dive into it.

So here we go.  She asked us to look for the big picture for today.

Love rocks.  There are so many things in this world that are temporary, fake and just plain pointless, but the one you can always count on?  Love. This passage states that love is always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.  I wonder how many other things you can count on to always do these things?  In my experiences?  Nothing.  Only love. 

Only when things are done through love do they truly count.  Otherwise it is just meaningless noise, half-truths, pointless knowledge and a waste of time. 

One thing love is not?  Selfish. I think that is something big I am getting out of this.  Love always puts the other first, above all else.  It never stops to wonder how it will effect 'him' or what 'he' may lose.  It never even has to stop and think about things like this because it always makes the right choice.

How much easier life would be if we always acted out of love?  Always.  Never stopping to ask, "But what about me?" 

So, Love takes the cake.  Why?  Because God is love and the whole point is to become as much like him as possible, right? 

Love, people.  Sorry for the bad song quote, but, "its all we need."

Father, I have heard and read this passage so many times and I know that you value loving one another so very much.  I know that 'the greatest of these is love'.  Thank you for taking me beyond just the word 'love ' this time and showing me how I struggle with this concept.  I fail to love in the way you do because I am selfish.  I fail to love like you because I want what works for me first.  I want what is comfortable.  I want what I want. Help me, Lord.  Help me move past this.  Help me put love first so that I can become more like you.  Help me love others more.  Help me love you more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trying Too Hard

So my last post was on trying to impress people with my insightful quiet times and God kept hitting me with my 'people pleasing' issues as I keep going.  I have been continuing in my book "Make Over" by Jen Hatmaker (who I get to meet at a conference in March!  I am thrilled!) and got smacked again with my issues to impress.

She talked about trying to impress God and trying to earn your way into his graces by doing good deeds and being a good Christian, a good mother, a good wife, a good "whatever fits your roles".  It is a tough thing to conquer as a Christian who lives in a worldly world but has to remember we are not members of this world. 

The world teaches us that we have to earn everything.  Our money.  Our respect.  Our place in life.  We naturally go on with this thinking in behaving like we have to earn our place with God.  Thinking that He would be disappointed in us if we don't live up to His standards.

God does line up standards of good morals and good decisions in His Word, but the only decision that truly counts is the one to accept His Son as your Savior. 

I found that in all my living to act like I am earning a good place with God, I am really only trying to impress the people around me, making them think I am in a good place with God.  He knows where I truly am with Him, and thankfully, He sees me 'white as snow' because all my faults, shortcomings and screw-ups have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb.  Sure, the good things I do, if done in the right manner, will bring glory to God, so they are not wasted, but God only cares that I place my faith and trust in Him.  Most of the other stuff I do, I do to impress people, not Him. 

Bear with me a moment while I quote Jen on a few things she said that truly socked me right in the gut:

"He doesn't need to change you but needs only to mature you into who you already are."

"How can you become the wife God intended if its only to impress your church friends? How quickly will the well run dry for you as a mother when you can't accomplish everything the books say?"

"Hear this:  You are treasured.  Not because you build self-esteem into your kids or you give your husband sex every time he wants it.  Not because you are on four church committees.  Not because you have an excellent work ethic.  Not because you bring coffee to your friends and watch their kids.  You are treasured because God loves you."

"Your success and failures as a woman don't dictate His feelings toward you.  Get that straight.  Quite living to please others.  Quit living to appease God.    
Just live in freedom.
The rest will come after that, not before."

Do you see why I love her writing?  No roses or meadows here.  Straightforward.  Honest.  In your face.  Just what I need. 

All I have to say is "THANK YOU, GOD!"  I can't do enough to please people.  It is a never ending cycle.  And if I had to do enough to please You, Lord, I would never get there.  Thank You, God, that  I do not have to earn Your grace, only simply accept the gift that it is.  Thank You, God, you don't care if I screw up as long as my heart is with You and I get back to the right place.  Thank You, God for Your Son and the fact that I don't have to doo enough good deeds for a reward of a blissful eternity with You.  Thank You, God for it all.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Talk theTalk

I sat praying before I opened up my Bible today and got yet another smack on the side of the head (One of these days all these smacks are going to lead to some headaches).  I prayed for my beautiful sister who had a terrible night of labor only to end in a c-section, but thankfully produced an adorable, healthy baby boy (both are doing great and hopefully getting some rest).  I prayed for my kids, my husband and my day.  Then I prayed for my time in His Word. 

I prayed that I would glean some sort of wisdom out of what I read today.  Then the smack came, ever so gently.  "Do you want to glean wisdom for yourself or for material to write on you blog and impress your readersv(all 4 of you) ?"  Ouch.  Good one.

Is it OK if it is a little bit of both?  Having this blog and keeping myself accountable through readers is a good motivator for me.  Getting in the Word each day in hopes of having an ounce of wisdom seep through for something to journal on helps feed my hunger for what I gain.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I desire time in God's Word even on days where I have no nuggets to share and just walk away knowing I spent some quality time with Him. 

Is that so bad?  The results are great:  Time in the Bible and growing my relationship with God.  But if part of my motives are in the wrong place does it negate the good that comes out of it? 

1 Cor 4:20 says "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."  I think this little nugget for my reading today helped me feel a little bit better about my 'talk ' on my blogging journal of quiet times.  I may try and talk the talk of a savvy blogger (sorry for the lame attempt you lovingly keep reading for me), but if the power of God and the Holy Spirit aren't sought with my heart as well, I don't think I'd really gain any little wisdoms to share with you. 

So, God caught me with some motives a little out of place. But recognizing the issue is the first step toward cleaning it up, right?  On the flip side of that, however, through this blog and typing out my journaling for my quiet times has really improved the quality of quiet times that I do have.  I have learned and gained so much and I can't wait to see how far I can still get.

What are your thoughts?  Is having an alterior motive aside from pure time with God a "no-no", or is it simply a tool God is using to connect with me on a different level?

Lord, help me keep my motives pure.  Let me desire to spend time in your Word so that I may benefit from it.  I pray that the things I share on this blog would help others that read it as well, but help me keep that as only an added benefit and not a reason.  I thank you for 'teaching me your statutes and opening my eyes that i may behold wonderful things from your law' and letting me share what I have gained with others.  Let my eyes fully be set on your power and not on impressing people with my 'talk'.  Forgive me for my impure motives before and thank you for revealing this to me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stop the Whining

I can whine with the best of them. In fact, in the midst of reading my passage and praying about it just 3 minutes ago, the thought, "Seriously.  Why?  Why can't I just have a few minutes of peace?" rolled through my head as I heard a baby (who is supposed to be sleeping) cry.

Then I re-read the passage I was on for today and God ever-so-gently smacked me on the side of the head. 

I think it is hilarious that God has a sense of humor.  Heck, He has to have a great one in order to put up with our shenanigans every day.  I find it funny as well to see Paul's sense of 'humor' in my passage today in 1 Cor. 4:8-13.  He is basically mocking the Corinthians, who seem to be boasting about what they have and how they live.

Paul kind of shoves it back in their face as he calls them kings, even though they are, by the standards of their time, poor.  Then Paul explains to them how he lives and what his life as an apostle is like.

He is hungry, thirsty, dishonored, in rags, homeless and brutally threatened, yet proclaims the message of Christ with all his heart.  And these people think they have it all.

The Corinthians my be bragging about what they had and Paul is setting them straight, but how much more do I have than any of them and still whine?

Where does whining get us?  Does our displeasure with life's circumstances please the heart of God?  Why do I deserve a few minutes of peace?  Does God not use me in the midst of chaos in my home and teach me how to be the peacemaker through Him?  If I give in to the whines, and thinking I am better that what I am currently being served, I throw off the entire balance and mood of my home and those around me.

Bragging about our circumstances when we are better off than those around us doesn't gain us any friends, and whining about what we lack or think we deserve does not gain us glory.  Stopping to trust God in plenty and in want, knowing that even though we might not agree with our current plight, doesn't mean that God doesn't have our best interest in His heart.  It just means we haven't yet been lead to the knowledge of what that best interest will turn out to be.

Where do you find yourself boasting and/or whining the most?  Is there possibly something God is trying to teach you through these things?

Father, help me stop living in a sense of entitlement.  I deserve none of what I have been given and never stop to thank you enough for any of it.  You are the One True God and you know the ways of my heart even before I do.  Help me put my trust in you through it all.  Help me be 'joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer'.  It is only in these things, rested in you that I can truly find peace.