Archive | January 2011

Hurry And Pick One!!!!

One of the coolest things I’ve seen this  year is the one word vs  resolution concept for the new year.  Tomorrow being the last day of January, I wanted to revisit it quickly and encourage others to participate.

 I heard about it on the way to work right after New Years and decided it was great.  It was not hard for me to find my word, as I was getting back to my faith, back to church, seeking God and His will for my life.  SEEK is my word, it hit me and I knew that it was the word for me.  I am seeking to please God, seeking His will for my life, seeking to be in His word more, seeking to learn His word better, seeking to spend more time in prayer each day….I am SEEKING.  So, seek is my word for 2011.

The My One Word site has a blog to subscribe too and home work to do through the year that will help you make the most of the word you chose.  Before you pick one, go there and read up, then chose a word for 2011.  You have nothing to lose, no resolutions  to be broken yet again, just a word that will help guide you throughout the rest of this year.

I decided I would do a search through the Bible on the word, seek, and see what I found:

Matthew 6:33 (New King James Version)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:33 (Amplified Bible)

33But seek ([a]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([b]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [c]taken together will be given you besides.

Matthew 7:8 (New King James Version)

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:8 (Amplified Bible)

8For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

Those are great verses, and from great passages.  I have much to seek and much will be gained this year from that seeking.

What is your  word?

Advertisements

I Am Wonderfully Made

There are times when I really can beat myself up like no one else could.  I am without a doubt my own worst critic and when I get on a roll it is so easy to rip myself apart  from one end  to the other, finding fault in everything I think,  say or do.  I’ve made  enough mistakes in my life that I have plenty of ammunition for the assault on myself, so I need no assistance from others.  Though often it is others that trigger it, and there is nothing that can get under my skin like someone finding fault with me.  I  spent a lot of years with self esteem that  was almost non-existent so it pains me a lot when someone dislikes me, especially when I don’t really understand why.

But then I remember that my worth is not in the minds of others around me.   My worth is not really even my own.  Any value is in Christ.  God sees me through the blood of His beloved Son, making me priceless, and whole, and perfect.  In Christ I am everything I should be, though that perfection won’t be seen this side of eternity, it is there.  And it is now how I try to steer my thinking about myself.  As my favorite Jason Gray song says, “I am not defined by mistakes that I’ve made”.  And I’m not. I’m defined by who I am now with renewed faith. 

Psalm 139 says that I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.  WONDERFULLY made, and that God  knew everything about me down to how many days I will be on this earth, long before I ever was conceived.  I would say that makes me pretty darn spectacular, mistakes and all.  Jason’s song goes nicely with this Psalm, which is one of my very favorites!

Psalm 139 (New King James Version)

 

Psalm 139

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

 1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.
 4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
         But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
 5 You have hedged me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is high, I cannot attain it.
         
 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
 9 If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
         And Your right hand shall hold me.
 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
         Even the night shall be light about me;
 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
         But the night shines as the day;
         The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
         
 13 For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
         And in Your book they all were written,
         The days fashioned for me,
         When as yet there were none of them.
         
 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
         How great is the sum of them!
 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
         When I awake, I am still with You.
         
 19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
         Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
 20 For they speak against You wickedly;
         Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
 21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
         And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
 22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
         I count them my enemies.
         
 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
         Try me, and know my anxieties;
 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
         And lead me in the way everlasting. 

Diamond In The Making

James 1:2-4 (New King James Version)

 Profiting from Trials

   2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 (Amplified Bible)

2Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

    3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

    4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

~*~*~*~

I could just let those verses be my post!  Patience…I  have next to none.  I want what I want,  when I want it, which would be now.  But good things take time.  Certainly the Lord could just touch me and make me patient, a quiet and gentle spirit, etc.  But what would I really gain from that?  I’d not see the blessings unfold one at a time as my dependence is more and more on Him and less and less on myself. I’d not need to cry out in my heart for strength to get through the hard times, or need to be in His Word to find encouragement and guidance.  Without the hardships, I’d not have anything to compare the good things too, which cause me to praise Him.  Every single thing we go through helps to strip away the bad and purify the good.  The dross floats to the surface and can be removed so we are refined like silver.  Trust me there is plenty of dross in this vessel, but I’m a work in progress.

 Diamonds are formed within the earth under extreme pressure and temperature.  Silver and gold are purified under extreme heat to cause impurities and dross to float to the surface, and faith is made strong through trials….the heat and pressure in our lives.  Not that we want to  pray for difficulties, but when pain and adversity do come along, it can be for our good, as it causes us to lean on the Lord, pray, and draw closer to Him.  More of Him, less of me = “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

 

Why So Down Cast?

Psalm 43:5 (New King James Version)

 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
         And why are you disquieted within me?
         Hope in God;
         For I shall yet praise Him,
         The help of my countenance and my God.

Well okay, I was having a really rough way to go for about 24-36 hours.  The blues had set in and I’ve been struggling hard against bitterness and depression.  But thankfully the Lord answered the prayers through various sources.  Encouragement from several people, reminders of the blessings in my life, and then that verse from Psalm 43 is on my calendar for today.  It is a cute, verse a day calendar my mom gave me.  I really need to start reading it in the morning rather than when I get home, this one would have been good for me today.

And I heard this song, and it made a huge difference.  It always does, it is a GREAT, worshipful song.  And it is very hard to be anything but filled with joy when praising God.  I just need to keep my focus on Him, remembering that there are no mistakes, everything that comes my way is because God has allowed it for a reason.  My life is blessed beyond measure and I need to stay in the Word and in a state of mental worship and prayer. The video will give you the link to actually watch it on youtube, it is worth it for the beautiful song.

Hanging On Tightly

With the honeymoon over now, in my renewed faith,  I know that my friends are correct, I need to be in the word and prayer daily.  I’ve been at a real loss has  to how to pray about my hurt over not being with my kids like I used too, and the bitterness I feel trying to creep in on me.  I’m thankful that when I have no expressible words, God knows my heart and  what is there and will hold me up.  I pray for strength to not let go of His hand, not stop turning to His word, and just hold on tightly.

I opened my bible to seek comfort there in the word and found it immediately:

Romans 5:1-5 (New King James Version)

Romans 5

Faith Triumphs in Trouble

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:1-5 (Amplified Bible)

Romans 5

1THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified ([a]acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [b]enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

2Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

3Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

4And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of [c]character (approved faith and [d]tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] [e]joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

5Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

Praise the Lord!!!

The Honeymoon Is Over

That is how it was put to me this morning, that the honeymoon of my renewal of my faith is over.  Yes it is true, that euphoria associated with coming back ‘home’ is now over and the battle that is all around us in a realm we do not see, is on. 

Ephesians 6:12-17 (New King James Version)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

The battle is against things I cannot see, but trust me when I say I can feel them. 

Last night I had dinner with my daughter, son and his girlfriend and her daughter.  It was a good time though I feel strange around my kids, like an outsider.  This was driven home when they were talking about New Year’s Eve, when they were at a party with their dad, my ex.  It was very hard, it hurt that my kids were off having fun and dad was included but not me. 

I struggle with feelings of envy that I am no longer a part of my daughter’s day-to-day life as I was when we lived under one roof.  I miss my son who is going to be moving back home with dad and my daughter soon.  They will be a family unit and I’m no longer a part of that unit, a part of the family.  My family, in what was my home, that I was forced to leave behind when someone else determined for me that my marriage and place there was over, I  was no longer needed or wanted.  I struggle hard against a seed of bitterness that desperately is trying to root itself in my heart.  I struggled with  the knowledge that I’ve been equated with common household appliance this past week by the very man I stood beside and loved, supported and never walked away from in some of his worst and darkest hours. And yet despite giving all of myself I’m just an old dishwasher that has been tossed out. 

This morning I was so thankful for my dear friends Jane and Ellen, and their taking it all back to scripture and encouraging me.  Jane has been the mentor and encourager since days before I returned, checking in on me and keeping me accountable. Yesterday Stan was a gentle, loving, yet firm encourager to keep focused and turn away from the negative things that are causing the seeds of bitterness to fall around me. I’ve been so blessed to have the Divas around me loving and supportive throughout it all.

I am blessed that I am not a new or baby believer.   I have a firm foundation of knowledge and faith under me, that while I let it become over grown with worldly weeds and let it be buried beneath sinful debris, it is there. Clearing away everything I have the armor and tools  of my faith still there at my disposal.  I have strong believers as friends willing to pray for me every day as I struggle to remain firmly planted. 

This much I know, I  am still the daughter of the King of all, I am loved by the One with my name written on His  hands, and He has surrounded me with brothers and sisters in Him that love me and keep me in prayer and encouragement.  I have all the strength I need in the Lord, and need to rest there in Him.

I’m Seeking…

As I posted on one of my blog pages, my word for 2011 is SEEK.  I  have no idea where the whole idea of a word for the year, as opposed to resolutions, came from.  I was listening to KLOVE and they were talking about it.  So, I prayed about it  and that word kept being put on my heart, SEEK.

Last year was one of a broken heart in January  when the hubby decided he wanted a divorce, to the rest of the year spent  mourning the loss of what I believed was a good marriage.  I started finding out who I was, and more importantly who I was not.  Shedding a  sinful  lifestyle and heading back down the road to my Father’s house as a prodigal  child that grew weary of living in the pig sty, I have gone back to my church family, back to solid teaching of God’s Word. 

My mourning stage is past me now, and I even wrote my ex-husband a letter on my other page as part of the 30 Day Letter Writing Challenge.   I’m  certain he’ll see it if not at least hear about it, as some nosey and questionable friend well meaning soul will tell him that his ex-wife wrote about him again.  It took a lot to sit down and look at things objectively and hopefully he will know it is sincere.  Either way it is water under the bridge. 

Now my life is one of focusing  on a deeper relationship with my Savior.  SEEK in this case is indeed the perfect word.  There is no doubt in my heart that the Lord wants me to seek HIM,  first and foremost, above and before all else.  Coming out of the sinful, dark places I was in means I need to be focused on the Lord right now.  It is why for 2011, while I seek HIM, I am not going to even consider dating.  My life has plenty going on, and I need to be focused on me and my relationship with God.  Not to worry, Mr. Wonderful and  I are still friends, and only God knows what is in store of us.  Right now we have  a very special friendship where we can talk about the Bible, our faith, and our walks.  We care about each other, and pray for each other, and down the road we’ll know if we belong together or not.  But right now we’re both a big mess that needs the Master’s hands to fix and that is where we both are focusing. 

In the journey this year of seeking I have goals of being at church a much as possible. Sunday mornings for Sunday School and worship service, Sunday evenings, and when the week isn’t too hectic I’ll be there Wednesday evenings as well.  My desire is to get back into Women’s Outreach at some point too.  But I have to be careful, I tend to over commit and that won’t do any good.

In order to SEEK the Lord I know I need to be in His Word and in prayer.  And I need to be doing this daily.  That is where I can count on finding Him.  I looked up the passage that is one of my favorites, that immediately came to mind with the word seek when it was put on my heart:

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Luke 11:5-13 (New King James Version)

 

A Friend Comes at Midnight

   
5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

   
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread[a] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:5-13 (Amplified Bible)

5And He said to them, Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and will say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves [of bread],

    6For a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come, and I have nothing to put before him;

    7And he from within will answer, Do not disturb me; the door is now closed, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and supply you [with anything]?

    8I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

    9So I say to you, Ask and [a]keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and [b]keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and [c]keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.

    10For everyone who asks and [d]keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and [e]keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and [f]keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.

    11What father among you, if his son asks for [g]a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?

    12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

    13If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts [h]that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and [i]continue to ask Him!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

So seek I will….pounding at the door, digging through God’s Word, praying and praying again, knowing that my Father in heaven will hear and answer me.  “Keep on seeking and you shall find”….It is HIM that I seek, Him,  His forgiveness, His mercy, His love, His guidance, His wisdom for my life, His direction for my life, I seek to follow Him, please Him.