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Posts Tagged ‘Christian Faith’

In this political age and postmodern era of moral equivalency, right  has taken on a whole new meaning. Often it is interpreted as an ideology that is judgmental of others and unloving towards people.

But in scripture, right is principle we can’t afford to ignore.  If we want to have a full, satisfied life understanding right is important.

Imagine that life is like a scale of justice.  On either side of the center is a place to weigh things.  All things being equal, something has to tip the scale in one direction or the other.  What tips the scale in the direction of full satisfaction?

I believe with all my heart and have proven it over and over again in my life, it’s by going right. 

Let me define that as I see it.  Going right is an attitude.  It’s not about us being perfect but it is about us surrendering ourselves.  It’s like a child who is being willful or disobedient.  There are consequences for those actions and while facing them the child is never happy.  But when a child complies with the direction of the parent, things are better all the way around.

Psalm17:15 says it like this . (My paraphrase)  This is what I will do.  I’ll continue to look at your face in righteousness.  I will stand for rightness, justice and keep myself in a place of  openness and right standing withYou.  “

Rightness is a place of clearness.  It’s like stepping out of a shower, squeaky clean.  We’ve washed away the dirt of bad decisions, past wounds, and let go of the willful selfish ways that hide His face.  Even if we aren’t there yet, we have an open heart to do so.

This is the reward of going right.  “”I shall be fully satisfied when I awake to find myself beholding Your form and having sweet communion with You.” (Amplified)

We will see His form and part of the reason why is that His form will begin to take shape in us!   You can’t help but take on the character of someone if you live and communicate with them long enough.

If you feel dissatisfied, check and see if you are going right.  Chances are you’ll see something that needs to be adjusted.

 

 

 

 

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I laugh now when I think about my wedding bouquet being made up of daisies.  Not exactly the traditional flower!  But then again it is the He loves me, He loves me not flower.

Allow me to share my heart again.  This has been a vulnerable season as I watch some people I love go through a breakup of a long marriage.  It’s natural that my heart and mind would reflect on my own.  Maybe just one marriage could be saved if they looked a little differently at a daisy.

I married young, 19, to my high school sweetheart.  I probably wasn’t ready for it by all standards and by what I know today.  Then again, I would have missed out on the life I live now which is enhanced because of the growth over the years.

I walked in like every other girl, expecting to be whisked away to paradise island by my prince charming.  I knew the romance would last forever, and we would share every intimate detail of our lives.  We would do everything together and we would be one.

Here’s the problem.  One to me meant we would never disagree, we would love all the same things, we would somehow communicate perfectly, and we would through some fairy tale osmosis understand each other along the way.

Here’s the second problem.  The love word.  Surely that meant we would always be aware of each other, focused on each others needs, and my husband especially would treat me like a princess.

Here’s the third problem.  Junk!  I came in with junk.  I didn’t love myself, was insecure about his love for me, and had let all the junk in my life define what love looked like.  I wanted to live the fairytale and the more I longed for that, the more irrational my thinking became.

So there came a time when I felt nothing and wanted way more.  Here’s what I have learned through that struggle.  One does not mean you give up who you are.  It means you dance with the differences and work with the core values that you both share.  Junk…….You have to keep working on yourself and stop letting your past define love for you.  You have to find a love and identity for yourself that is not dependent on your mate while allowing them to do the same.  Then you use those identities as a two fold cord that is stronger then you by yourself.

And lastly, I took another look at the daisy.  I stopped asking Does He love me or not?  I began asking Am I loving him?  Was I acting like the princess that my prince deserved?  Was I unconditionally giving myself to him and my family?  Was I loving like God loved me?

I found out the answer was no.  When I stopped thinking selfishly and turned my thoughts toward how I acted, I found my prince.  It’s took 39 years and we are still working on it but I couldn’t imagine life without him.  Sometimes he’s crabby, sometimes he’s mad, sometimes he’s unromantic, sometimes he doesn’t get me.  And SOMETIMES I’m that way too!  But we both know, love and committment is not a tingly feeling.   It’s a choice.

Choose to look at the daisy in a new way and you just might find your prince too.

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I love the power of testimony.  If you don’t understand that, it’s the power of being inspired and learning from someone’s story or experience.  The scripture is full of story and they have some very profound lessons for life.

Nehemiah 9:15 is a great example.  Talking about the experience of the children of Israel and Moses in the wilderness it tells us:  “You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst: and you told them to go in and possess the land You had sworn to given them.”

When I read a scripture, I always ask, How does that apply to my life now?   

Here’s what I see in this verse.

1.  God is a provider.   He understood that the Israelites needed food and water if they were going to complete the journey.  He knew their needs.

2.  When He provides, He goes above and beyond.   He will bring what we need straight from heaven or out of a rock if need be.  He is not limited by the natural.  He has the power to create and release the right provision at the right time for our need at that moment.

3.  He has a reason for provision.  God is not a genie in a bottle that operates to grant us our ever wish or desire.  When He provides He has a purpose in it.  It is so we can go and possess the land He has given us.

Love that last one for a couple reasons.  First, it’s a promise!  God has given each of His children a land to possess.  This promised land is a land of wholeness.   It represents our access to all that God has for us and sharing that access with others.  It’s a land of being and serving the purposes of heaven.

God gives us all we need but then tells us to go possess it.

Maybe your marriage needs to enter the land of wholeness.   Maybe you need better parenting skills or have a child who has a need.  Maybe your job or business is lacking in provision or fulfillment.   Maybe you are hurting from the past or  need healing in body or soul.

Whatever your need, God has provided.  God doesn’t want us to live in broken lives.  Reach out and take His provision and then go possess the promised place of wholeness.

What has God provided to you so you can move toward wholeness in your life?

What step can you take today to use that provision and possess the thing you want to see changed?

 

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I had a good friend and walking partner who used to put rocks in a backpack because I walked so much slower than her and she wanted a better workout. Unfortunately, most of us walk around with our backpack of life burdened with rocks that slow us down on our journey.

Our disappointments, expectations, failures, and even our quest for some elusive success can drive us to a place of being overwhelmed and overworked. Eventually we can end up completely done and exhausted.  For some it’s a matter of thinking they have to do it all and be it all to everyone or fix everything.  For others, it’s a feeling of emotionally empty and dry because they have not taken time to fill up or because they don’t understand that others will never live up to their expectations.

Every time we fail to look at and let go of the past (which is anything behind this moment), we add a rock to our backpack.   A rock of bitterness or unforgiveness, a rock of selfishness, a rock of compulsive behavior, a rock of constant activity to avoid pain, etc.

God never intended for us to be bent over with the burdens of life.  He has given us an open invitation to let go and move in freedom.  Matthew 11:28, 29:  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. ( I will ease and relieve and refresh your soul). Take My yoke on you and learn of Me. I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief, refreshment, recreation, and blessed quest for your souls.”  The scripture goes on to say that His way is wholesome, useful and good, comfortable and pleasant.

Once again, doesn’t mean that life is always easy.   Only that as we come to Him and learn His ways, we will not be overcome by the circumstances.  He moves us from anxiousness, confusion, and exhaustion to sweet, refreshing, quiet rest.

All we have to do is come!

 

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Wasn’t much of a rock and roller back in the late 60’s but who wouldn’t recognize the Stones hit, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.

Dads and moms, women and men alike, want to be satisfied.  We all want a full, abundant life.  Yet even though America is full of opportunity, freedom,  and blessing, we often find ourselves longing for more than we currently have.

When we find ourselves in a place where we are unsatisfied with any part of our life, perhaps we should take Proverbs 11:25 to heart.  “The liberal person shall be enriched, and he who waters shall himself be watered.”

With every promise comes a responsibility.  This one is clear.  You won’t have the promise of an enriched,  abundant, thirst quenching life if you aren’t living a life of liberality.

All to often we live asking or expecting things from others. What would happen if we stopped that pattern and began to ask ourselves what we can give in any situation?

What if in our marriages we stopped expecting our spouse to meet our need, and asked ourselves what we could do to bless them?  What could happen if instead of being tight-fisted with our finances, we looked for places or people we could bless?  What would life look like if we lived looking for a way to meet others hunger and thirst for a better life instead of worrying about our own?

An open heart results in an open hand.  An open hand has given away what it holds dear and has room to receive more of what God offers.

What can you do to today to open up your heart?  What is in your hand that you can offer to someone else with a generous attitude?

Live Liberally!

 

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Repost:  Daddy’s Hand

Not every one can say they had a good relationship with their daddy.  Mine was a sweet one.

Oh he was a strong willed Croatian disciplinarian who expected his children to behave but he also loved his kids very much.

As a family, we struggled financially.   He worked as a blacksmith for the Anaconda company and just when things were getting stable they would go on strike again and set us back all over again.

What we didn’t have in money, daddy would make up for with gifts he’d make. He once made me steel knitting needles because we couldn’t afford to buy them and I wanted to learn to knit.  He made us the backyard swing set. It was on that swing set where I learned the art of worship.  Pumping my legs to the heavens, I would swing for hours as a little girl singing Jesus Loves Me at the top of my lungs.   My favorite gift was a ring he fashioned out of a nut.  He smoothed it into a round cylinder perfect for my finger and engraved a heart into it.  I still hear him singing an old tune….”Heart of my heart,” as he handed it to me.

Unfortunately I didn’t have dad in my life for long.  When I was 11 years old we found out daddy had a brain tumor.  As we came home from Halloween festivities, the ambulance was in front of our house and daddy went to the hospital for the final time.  Gradually slipping into a coma, we were allowed to go see him one last time.

I’ll never forget standing at his bedside watching him breath.  I believe it was my cousin’s wife Colleen who was a nurse in the room with us.  She told us to go ahead and talked to him.  I must have said something he heard because suddenly my dad squeezed my hand. It meant everything to me.

After he died, as I laid in the living room hide a-bed with my younger brother so we could be close to mom’s room, I called to her.  She came to the bedside and I said, “Do you know the last thing my daddy ever gave to me?”  She answered, “No what?”  My reply with tears streaming done my face was “His hand.”

I’ve thought about that many times through the years when I think about my dad.  The other morning I woke up thinking about that in relationship to God.

Life is rarely easy.  Every day brings new challenges.  There are times of unspeakable pain and joyous triumph.  Touch is important during those times. A hand is such a special gift.

A hand can hold you, make you feel safe, snatch you from danger, lead you to someplace unknown to you.   The touch of a hand can get your attention, even awaken you from sleep.   It can lift your chin up, massage your stress away, or slap your back in celebration of a job well done. These are all the things a daddy should do.  And this is exactly what the hand of God looks like.

He does all that any good earthly daddy would do plus more.   The Hand of God can do even the impossible!

We may not be able to feel his physical hand but it is always there.   As we sit in stillness meditating on Him it’s there.  As we cry out it’s there.  As we walk through the crowds in day to day life hoping that someone will touch us or that we can touch someone, it’s there.

There is no doubt.  The hand of a dad is important.  God’s hand even more important.  You may not have had a good father.  It may be difficult for you to imagine God as a father because of that.  Maybe you can put yourself in my story and imagine what it must have been like as a little girl to have been given that gift of her daddy’s hand.

That is what God is offering you.  Wherever you are in this moment, I pray you’ll reach out and put your hand in your heavenly father’s hand.  Let Him be your daddy.  And as you hold on tight to Him, would you reach out and be His hand to someone else?

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