Saturday, February 28, 2009

I think I can, I think I can

I am working on answering questions for a new bible study by John and Stasi Eldredge called Captivating. I got to this question in the study guide "What were your dreams for your life when you were a little girl? What did you want to be or do?" I am not far into the study, only the first chapter. However, I can already tell it is going to really make me dig deep and examine myself. I was a child with a big imagination so I had big dreams.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

So what prevents us from turning our childhood dreams into reality? God tells us that he will give us the desires of our hearts. I think our fears can be one of our biggest challenges to turning our dreams into reality. I think our self-doubt drives those fears. I think back to when I was running track in high school. One of the statements that always came out of my mouth was "I can't". Finally one day a coach made me gloves to wear on my hands that said, "I can". He refused to let me fail just because I told myself I couldn't accomplish my goal. I didn't change overnight, but I did accomplish the goal I was striving for.

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

One of my childhood dreams was to write. I have a journal of poems that I wrote as a young child. I look through it and it makes me remember that back then, "I can't" was not part of my vocabulary. I thought about starting this blog for a long time before I made my first entry. Because I told myself things like, "No one is going to want to read what you have to say", and "You do not have the talent to write anything".

It is true that my entries are not deep biblical theology. And you may not agree with my interpretations of the Bible. But I am out here sharing my thoughts and I am writing what I am feeling in my heart. This morning my oldest daughter asked me, "Are doing this blog because some people don't know who God is." That led me to Psalm 37:4.

I delight myself in the Lord. I look at my life and I can see how God played an important role in every part of it. And when I was in my 20's and I woke up and realized how important God is in my life, he placed a new desire in my heart. That desire was to make sure everyone I know and love and even those people I don't know would also wake up and realize that God has a hand in everything. It has not been easy for me to verbalize this desire to my friends and family. But, it took me back to my childhood dream, I love to write.

I am not a famous author. I don't have the technical training in English that I wish I had. But I know that when I sit down and share my thoughts with you, God can take care of those details. And I guess that my childhood dream is turning into reality. I think some people think that God giving us the desires of our hearts directly relates to material success. I think those people are very wrong. Real success is leading people to a relationship with Christ.

So for all of you that are taking time out of your day to read this, think about the desires of your heart. Are they desires that advance the kingdom of God? If they are, what is holding you back? Is it fear or self doubt? Remember, ". . .with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Friday, February 27, 2009

Proverbs 31 Woman

This morning when I woke up I was thinking about the Proverbs 31 Wife of Noble Character. It must be because I was looking around my house at all of the things I need to get done today and thinking how much I would like to sit down with a cup of coffee and a good book. I haven't left the house since Wednesday night so I am a little stir crazy watching the snow continue to come down. And although it was snowing outside yesterday, the inside of my house looks like a tornado hit it. My girls don't like to clean up any more than I do apparently. . .

Proverbs 31 woman, I am not.
Although some days I do give it a shot.

I woke up this morning with dishes to do.
A mess in every corner and a pile of laundry, too.

My little one wants me to play.
And my thoughts are on what to cook today.

My husband went to work when I was barely awake.
My daughter wanted to start her day with a cupcake.

My day is filled with a list of to-dos.
What should I do first it is so hard to choose.

Before I know it the day will be done.
And I haven't stopped to spend time with the One.

The One that can help me get through this day.
I think it is time for me to stop and pray.

If I don't stop now and spend time with Him,
The rest of my day could be very dim.

All of my dishes will still be there.
My kids have a closet of clean clothes to wear.

And the very best lesson my toddler can see,
Is my bible in hand and the Lord teaching me.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Faith of a child

I just spent the last two hours making felt characters for the preschool class of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. After I was finished I told the story to my 6 and 3 year old. Of course when I was finished my 6 year old decided that she would tell it back to me.

She said, "Is this King Herrod?" I told her, "No, it is King Nebuchadnezzar." She just looked at me very puzzled. I told her just to call him King N. She said, "I think I will just call him King Herrod." When she started her story she said, "There were three men, Jonah, Jared and Jad." ???? I asked her later why did you give the men those names? She thought two of them looked like a Jonah and a Jared she knows. The third one had crazy hair so she didn't know what to call him so she called him Jad (rhymes with Chad). Other than confussing the names, a lot, she told the story very well. Except that she said the king heated up the furnace 10 times more instead of 7. . .yikes.

It is so much fun to listen to the faith of a child. She also told me she would never bow down to the statue, either. (But that was before we got to the furnace part) Tonight she asked to pray before bed. I love listening to her. She prays for everyone that has been sick, even those that were sick about 6 months ago. She remembers all of their names. One of my favorite lines she prays, "God you are so powerful." Tonight she said, "God you are wonderful, thank you for the wonderful things that happened today. Help us to have a wonderful day tomorrow."

I know that when she prays, she has no doubt that God will answer her prayers. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22. I know by listening to her prayers that she is listening to us when we pray, and she is listening to her teachers at church pray. She has taught me that you can be a prayer warrior at age 4. She has stopped me before to pray when I have told her about someone that needs it.

I remember being 21 years old and still going to bed at night and saying, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." I didn't really know how to pray any other way. It amazes me that my girls can and do pray for anything and everything that is on their hearts.

In fact the other night at the supper table, my 3 year old wanted to pray. This was her prayer, "Dear Jesus, thank you for this food. Blah, Blah, Blah, Amen." It was impossible not to burst out in laughter. I am sure God was laughing, too.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Monday, February 23, 2009


Pride is one of the most difficult things to overcome as a Christian. I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I was reminded again last week when I read Daniel 4 about why I need to let go of my pride. The last verse in Daniel 4 says, ". . .and those who walk in pride he is able to humble."

If you are familiar with some of the Bible stories when God teaches humility, it is not a pretty sight. King Nebuchadnezzar was sent to live in the wild to eat grass with the cattle. There are some lessons that I would like to figure out by learning from others mistakes.

Pride can ruin relationships, pride can destroy us. I came across a poem in Beth Moore's book, Further Still that is titled "My Name is Pride". It is a perfect example of what pride can do to us.
My name is Pride
I cheat you of your God-given destiny. . .
because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment. . .
because you "deserve better than this."
I cheat you of knowledge. . .
because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing. . .
because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness. . .
because you refuse to admit when you're wrong.
I cheat you of vision. . .
because you'd rather look in the mirror than out the window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship. . .
because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love. . .
because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in Heaven. . .
because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory. . .
because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you. Untrue.
I'm looking to make a fool of you. God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry
if you stick with me
you'll never know.
Did this poem strike a nerve with you. I know it did me. How often does pride prevent us from accomplishing God's purpose in our lives? When we are broken what prevents us from asking all those that surround us to cover us in prayer? More often than not, it is our pride.
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

Friday, February 20, 2009

Prayer vs Panic

Last night I read Daniel 2. As I was reading it I didn't think it would really reveal anything to me. I just thought it would be another story from the Old Testament. I think God probably giggles when we have such little expectation about what his words can do in our lives. When I am studying passages that I am reading I use my NIV Life Application Study Bible because the footnotes really take me deeper into what I am reading.

When you have time read through this passage, it has more than one point that really relates to our lives. However, one part really touched me and I want to share it with you today.

Daniel and his friends (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) were facing death, ordered by the king. Daniel went to the king to request more time to interpret a dream for the king. After he went to the king he did something that jumped out at me. He went to his trusted friends and they prayed.

He knew that his friends believed in God's power just as much as he did. He "urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery. . ." The footnotes in my Bible state the following, "when you find yourself in a tight spot, share your needs with trusted friends who also believe in God's power. Prayer is more effective than panic. Panic confirms hopelessness; prayer confirms your hope in God."

What is your response to crisis? Are you confident in God's power? I am blessed to have some very strong Christian women as friends. I know that they believe in God's power. And often in crisis I turn to them for comfort and wisdom. Sometimes we can talk for hours on different issues in our lives and work through them with different words of advice or guidance. But how often do we just stop talking and start praying together? Probably not enough.

As women most of us have an easy time sharing our problems and we want our friends to give us solutions. We believe that God will help us, but we want immediate answers so we go to our friends. This passage really convicted me when I read it. I have some friends right now that are really struggling with different curveballs that life has thrown their way. I feel like I am a good listener and I try to be encouraging and offer advice. I pray for them and their families, but I never pray with them. I never stop a conversation and say, "I think we should pray together right now and ask God to supply the answers that you need."

I love my friends. I need my friends and I want to be here for my friends. I believe in God's power over everything in my life and in their lives. I needed to read this scripture, and I felt I needed to share this scripture. And right now I need to call some of my friends and ask them if they can take some time out of their day so we can pray together.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spiritual Exhaustion

I took some time to pick up my copy of "My Utmost for His Highest" today. This is only the third time I have opened it in 2009. I would love to be disciplined enough to read from it everyday. It is one of my favorite devotional tools, but I have owned it for years and have never read it cover to cover. I think the reason I love it so much is that whenever I do happen to pick it up, the devotion I read on that day relates specifically to something I need to hear.

I settled into my chair with my journal, devotional and Bible. I turned first to the February 9, entry in Utmost. The top of the page read, "Are you exhausted spiritually?" I knew this one was for me as I had just made a list of all of the things I needed to get done at the church by Wednesday night. One of the first sentences read, "Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin, but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend on where you get your supplies."

I read on, "Has the way you have been serving God betrayed you into exhaustion? If so, then rally your affections. Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ?"

The entry ended as follows, "You have no right to say--'O Lord, I am so exhausted.' He saved and sanctified you in order to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember your supply comes from Him."

I will admit I am a little exhausted and overwhelmed right now. But I will also admit that I have not been very good about going to God to resupply my needs. I love the statement, "Be exhausted for God." I am not good as saying "no" to anything and I love to get involved in everything. It is really easy for me to get in over my head. I have learned that I need to really stop and think about how I get involved and why I want to get involved. This devotion really spoke to me because the next time I am considering service I need to think, about the statement "Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ?"

So today, I am taking my week to God and asking to be resupplied. By Friday, I know I will be exhausted. My prayer is that I am exhausted for God.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Girlfriends Get Real

Girlfriends Get Real has been a ministry in the making for years. "Get Real" is a title that was given to a ministry that I was involved in at a church I attended before my family moved. The purpose of the ministry was very clear, helping people (especially, women) get real in their faith.

As a younger generation of Christians, we desired something more than women's events that focused on what food would be served and the table decorations. We desired a women's ministry that focused on deep discussions on the reality of life as a Christian in the world today.

The vision of this ministry is something that I cannot ignore. I have prayed that God would lead me in writing this blog. It may be read by only my closest friends, it may only touch one person, but it is my opportunity to share my life as a Christian, a mom, a wife and a friend.