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Archive for the ‘life in God’ Category

Today, March 8, 2013, is International Women’s Day, and Sarah Bessey has suggested that we share about those women who have been patron saints, or spiritual midwives to us. So here goes.

Patron Saints – Corrie ten Boom springs to mind immediately. Her writings have had a huge impact on my life. Hannah Hurnard, who wrote ‘Hind’s Feet on High Places’; Madeleine L’Engle, whose works, both fiction and non-, are such a blessing; Madame Guyon, who proved that a woman could have an amazing prayer life, even in the Middle Ages; Grace Livingston Hill, for showing us what a good ‘Christian romance’ can be; and Hannah Whitall Smith, whose books should be required reading for everyone who wants to know and follow God.

Spiritual Midwives – this one’s a bit harder, as there have been many women who sowed into my life, and I don’t remember them all – the Sunday School teachers, who, year after year, taught us the stories of the Bible, how to sing the books of the Bible, gave us prizes for memorizing scriptures.

My mother, of course, who was one of those teachers, but also did her best to teach us at home.

The three women (Lyn, Gayle, and Rose) who got together with me once a week for over a year, just to pray for whatever we were concerned about. I learned so much about prayer from them.

I learned a lot about prayer from my Mom, too. She introduced the concept of praying with someone right there on the phone. No waiting to pray later by yourself. Thanks to her example, I do that often, and have taken it to the next level – I type in prayers on Facebook!

Gayla, who I sometimes thought was the only thing keeping me from drowning as I went through divorce and subsequent healing. She was the only one who understood how it felt to have been verbally abused; the only one who understood all the things I needed to grieve; the only one who didn’t give me those irritating ‘spiritual pats on the head’ saying it would all be better soon.  I have been especially blessed by the relationship with her, as it gradually changed from mentoring to friendship.

This is one of those beautiful ‘perks’ of the Kingdom. While we are getting help or helping others, they can become friends, sisters, fellow-laborers in ministry. I even feel kinship with those authors I been blessed by reading – sisters all.

One of these eternities, we are gonna have the most amazing family reunion!

Here’s Sarah’s blog: http://sarahbessey.com/in-which-i-announce-the-international-womens-day-synchroblog/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EmergingMummy+%28Sarah+Bessey%29

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Self – ishness

If you have been around Christian circles for any length of time, you have run into the concept of ‘dying to self’. I’m not really gonna get into that right now, but self is a huge issue in the church. We all struggle with it, in one way or another. Well, here’s another aspect of self  for you to ponder.

* * *

The other day, I ran into a person whom I’ve known for a couple of years. And the longer I know her, the more she sets my teeth on edge. Well, I finally realized why — she’s self-satisfied! Many of you are saying “whaaaa?” or “So what?!”

Well, I’ll tell you ‘so what’.

First, my definition – being self-satisfied means that you think your life is so good, you don’t see anyone else’s need.  This is what’s been irritating me about this person. She rolls through life as if it’s perfect, as if there are no problems. Here I am, struggling to stay afloat, striving to be free to flourish, and she just floats along, smugly sure that all is well with the world for everyone.

Okay, that sounds like I’m just jealous. I’m not.  I have another friend, who also has a comfortable life, but still seeks God with all her heart, spends time interceding for nations, and helping others. The smoothness of her life has not blinded her to the needs of others. She isn’t self-satisfied, she’s Christ-satisfied (for lack of a better term). Her, I’m jealous of.

* * *

I guess some would say that what I’m really talking about is complacency. But to me, complacency isn’t as blind to others as self-satisfaction. Complacency hasn’t necessarily forgotten the hard times. Complacency may just be so complacent because it does remember, and is thrilled to be out of those times.

The sad thing is, this woman is in a position of leadership in her church; she’s responsible for a ministry designed to help others. But if she can’t see anyone’s need, how effective will that ministry be?

* * *

May Holy Spirit show us if we have any areas of self-satisfaction or complacency, and help us to root out this nasty weed.

May His compassion for the hurting and lost be our compassion as well. May we never get so comfortable that we forget that others may be hanging on by their fingernails.

And if you are in a place of  pain or doubt or fear, may Holy Spirit bring one or two of His true children to surround you with His love and care, and help you to know that you are His beloved child.

Matt. 18:12

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I’ve been thinking about healing a lot lately, as a couple of my friends have been dealing with some major health problems, and I have some health issues, too.

The Bible clearly states, in at least two places, that we were healed by the beating Jesus took right before He was crucified.

So it’s a done deal!

Finished, as He said (John 19:30).

Why then are some of us still sick? And don’t give me that stuff about Paul’s thorn in the flesh – God treats each of us differently, because we are each unique. So what’s needed with one of His children isn’t necessarily what works with others. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ here.

* * *

This last weekend, Holy Spirit showed me something I had believed since childhood, that had kept me unhealed most of my life.

I started wearing glasses when I was 8. The first week or so, I had horrible headaches. My clearest memory from that time is of my Mom rocking me, with a cold compress on my eyes.

What He showed me was that I agreed to have bad vision because it meant that I could receive this kind of love and attention from my Mom. (After all, how many mothers are still rocking their children when they’re eight years old?)

So I have worn glasses ever since, and my vision has gotten progressively worse, as I was told it would.

And yet, Holy Spirit also showed me that good vision is my birthright in Christ!

* * *

So even though my eyesight was healed two thousand years ago, because I made an agreement with bad vision as a child, in an attempt to have my needs met, I still don’t walk in perfect eyesight!

How stupid is that! Furthermore, He began to show me how this basic belief had shaped my whole life – other health issues, my relationships with parents, children, husband, and even God!

No wonder I expected to ‘pay’ for God’s love somehow – to have to suffer, or go through hard times, or .. something!

This was not the belief that I had to earn my salvation, or His love. I know better than that! He loves freely, and gives freely. It was more a sense of having to ‘pay the piper’. That we get happiness by living through pain first.

UGH!!!! This is really masochism!

And it’s demon dung!

Straight from the lies of satan!

And I refuse to believe it any more!

* * *

As you go through the next few days, may Holy Spirit show you if there are any places where you have made an agreement with sickness or pain, in an attempt to get your needs met.

And may He show you that all your needs are met in Jesus Christ, so that you can stop striving to get them met on your own.

May He also set you free of every lie, every vow, and every belief that keeps you from walking in the total healing (body, soul and spirit) that Jesus paid a horrific price to give you!

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Whose Faith?

Hebrews 12:2 has been a favorite verse of mine since Holy Spirit showed me that ‘the joy set before Him’ was me! (and you!)

Recently, He has been showing me even more in this verse.

Being an author, I appreciate the use of that term to describe His work in us. No one can write a book the way the original author intended. There have been a few who tried, when an author died before completing the work. Not always a success.

But the thing I sort of missed, while seeing that He is the only one who can write our faith, is  . . . that includes ME.

What He has been showing me this past week is that my faith is ALL His work.  Not mine!

Yup, you heard me – NOT MINE!!

Or YOURS!

* * *

In all the years, and all the churches I’ve been in, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this preached/taught the way He’s showing me now.  Oh, sure, I heard that faith comes from God, but there was always this expectation that “now that He’s given you this faith, it’s your job to make it grow, to ‘use it or lose it'”.

But that’s not what Heb. 12:2 says. He is not just the author of our faith, but the finisher – the one who completes it.

‘Finisher’ is the noun form of the verb ‘Teleioo’. Here’s the definition of that, from Strong’s:

  1. to make perfect, complete
    1. to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end
  2. to complete (perfect)
    1. add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full
    2. to be found perfect
  3. to bring to the end (goal) proposed
  4. to accomplish
    1. bring to a close or fulfilment by event
      1. of the prophecies of the scriptures
 King James Word Usage – Total: 24
make perfect 12, perfect 4, finish 4, fulfil 2, be perfect 1, consecrate 1

* * *

Wow! Amazing stuff, huh?

So where does that leave all my work, all my striving to ‘build my faith’?

On the dung heap! With all my other ‘works’. Thank God!

This is yet another thing that ” … is finished.” (John 19:30)

Hallelujah!

* * *

As we get ready this week to celebrate His death and resurrection, may Holy Spirit show you, in more complete detail, just what Christ finished on the cross.

And may that set you free from empty works, from all striving and all bondage.

And may you go forth from this most wonderful of seasons secure in the knowledge that HE will finish your faith, will perfect it (and you). And all you have to do is say ‘yes’.

Shalom

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I’m Back!

Yes, I’m back. My computer died several months ago. This week, I got my grandson’s old computer, and after fiddling with it and parts from my dead one, I now have a working computer. YAY!!!

So now I can write again! Funny how dependent I had become on the machine – even my journal is typed these days, rather than hand-written.

I will be posting again real soon.  “Y’all come back now, y’hear?”

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God IS good!

In my last post, I was whining about Christmas, and how hard it is to be alone for the holidays. And Father God, in His infinite love, gave me the best Christmas I’ve had in over a dozen years!

I received handmade presents from three of my grandchildren, and a couple other gifts I wasn’t expecting.

I spent Christmas Day with family, there were no disagreements, and I didn’t have to cook!

It was a great Christmas!

* * *

So what did I learn?

That when I trust Him, He gives me more than I expect.

That He cares about me enough to have planned blessings for me even while I was whining.

That as long as you have a relationship with God, you are never really alone.

And I learned to have more compassion for single parents, and those who are alone over the holidays.

* * *

So, yes, God is good! and He cares!

And He delights in showing us His love and care whenever we allow Him to.

* * *

As we head into a new year, may you be blessed with an ever-increasing knowing that He is good, and that He loves you.

May you have more compassion for those around you who may be hurting in ways you cannot see.

And may Holy Spirit show you how to share God’s love with those around you in ways they can ‘get’.

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Bah Humbug!

Sometimes I feel like Scrooge – old, alone, and unloved – only without the money! (Heck, if I had the money, I wouldn’t be feeling like this, because I could be doing whatever I wanted for Christmas, including going to see my children and grandchildren!)

But maybe I’d still feel this way. After all, I still don’t have anyone to buy me a Christmas present.



It’s really hard to be alone in the winter. The nights get so long, and there’s no point going to bed, because then you’ll wake up in the dark and the COLD!!! TV is such a waste of time that mine isn’t even set up. The light isn’t good enough to sew or crochet (leastways that’s what my old eyes tell me), and I don’t buy better bulbs because of the increased electric bill they’d cause. So I read. But even reading can get boring when dark starts at 5 PM.

With no one to talk to, or play Scrabble with, or even fight and make up with, I can understand how Scrooge gradually began to turn away from everyone. Oh, sure, Mr. Dickens makes it clear that old Ebenezer made his choices because he loved money. And I can’t claim that motive (like I said, I’d be visiting family right now, if I had money). But alone is alone. And after a while, it begins to do things to you.

After a while, you begin to feel that no one loves you, has ever loved you.

After a while, you feel that there is something wrong with you, that makes you unlovable.

After a while, you realize you better find a reason to live, or you’ll die of the loneliness.

Scrooge found his reason in the clink of gold coins.

Others find it in drugs or alcohol. Or in something more innocuous, like a TV show, or a computer game, or a pet (or sixteen. There’s a reason why that old lady has so many cats), or food, or …

But you know, no matter what we try to use to fill the loneliness, to give us a reason for living, nothing works as well as being loved. We need to be loved by God, but we also need to be loved by at least one other human. He didn’t create us to be alone, even to be alone with Him. We need other humans. Of course, being loved by another human is not enough by itself, either. We need to be loved by God, too. We need both.

Knowing that I am loved by God keeps me from sliding into depression, when winter closes in on me. But around the holidays, it’s a bit harder. And for those who don’t know Him … well, they say that Christmas time has one of the highest suicide rates of the year.



So the next time you see that person who lives alone, or that single mom or dad, invite them over for an evening, give them a Christmas card, or maybe even a gift!

After all, everyone deserves a Christmas present – God thought so, He gave us the very first one.

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