Friday, May 30, 2008

Dreams Turned Disappointments.......

For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

I have lots of dreams. Probably a bigger list than my list of fears. Many times they are good, noble, even God-honoring dreams. I dream of unsaved family members coming to know the Lord. I dream of obedient, God-fearing children. I dream of a wonderful marriage. These are a few of my dreams. They are all good things. I also have some silly dreams like teenagers with good table manners or four year olds that never through fits. Either way realistic or not we all dream. I think we were given the ability to dream so that we can strive towards certain things and not become complacent. Beside God is a BIG dreamer. He has so many plans and dreams for our life. But our dreams are not meant to control us in anyway. What happens when we dream something that we think God would agree with us on and it doesn’t turn out the way we envisioned? Where do we go with that? When the thing that was once our dream has become a huge disappointment. When after years of prayer that family member still doesn’t know God. When our kids make choices out of the free will they have been given that doesn’t line up with what we had in mind. When we go through hard times in our marriages. What are we to do? Where do you go with your disappointment? The way I see it we can pout and feel sorry for ourselves or we can submit to God’s will for our life. This verse in Isaiah tells us His ways are much higher than our ways. We don’t have to dwell in the disappointment but we need to rejoice that God has something better in mind. It is very easy to let a dream become a disappointment. Then out of that bitterness comes. It doesn’t have to be this way dear one. Give it over. Rethink your dream to begin with. Thank God for what He may have been protecting you from when He didn’t give you what you wanted. Once again a choice. A choice to live in victory or defeat. Please join me today in handing our dreams over to God. Let Him have them. Ask Him what he wants from you today and then go forward in the joy in knowing you are loved by the King. If we never have a trial or disappointment we will NEVER develop the habit of joy.

Prayer:
Thank you God that Your ways are so much higher than my ways. Thank you for loving me and for being the ultimate dreamer and biggest cheerleader I will ever have. Show me today Lord what you want from me. I lay all the dreams and disappointments in my life at your feet. I know that this is just temporary here on earth and I praise for the eternity I one day will spend with you. I love you Lord.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do you want to become bitter or better?

This is the question I have been asking myself lately. I can honestly say I would rather not become either (does that statement even make sense?). Well, anyway I personally would like to stay in the comfort of my own little world where I don’t have to face hard things that bring me to this question. How about you? Is there anything going on in your life that you could become bitter or better over? Just thought I’d ask. I am sure there isn’t a person reading this that isn’t dealing with something difficult. Life is like that. It comes down to choices AGAIN. We choose to allow the circumstances in our life strengthen our faith or we become bitter. Now we all say we would rather have a renewed faith but this is usually the harder of the two roads we can follow. You see it is real easy to become bitter and angry. To hold grudges. To have big old pity parties. We like what is easy and what is familiar. But God has another plan for us. He wants us to lay it all down and to have faith that He holds it all in His hands. He has our back. We don’t have to become bitter. He wants to see our faith in Him grow. He is our defender. We don’t have to defend ourselves. There is a lot of freedom in this. Bitterness is a prison. Christ came to set the captives free. Let’s walk in the light and the freedom we were given when the work on the cross was done. No more bitterness. Only “betterness”. Let’s become better together!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The rubber meeting the road- Does my walk match my talk?

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:19

Well this weekend was it. I have enjoyed writing about the many things I see God doing in my life. It is easy to share when things are going well. But knowing if your walk matches your talk is when something so devastating happens that you feel like your feet have been taken out from under you and you’ve lost your breathe. I had one of those moments this weekend. Now I can honestly tell you that for a split second I doubted everything I believe. I went through many emotions including anger, sadness, doubt, etc…But at the end of the day I had to decide will I overcome this? Will my walk match my talk or not? Do I really believe what I say I believe? This is tough stuff. I am sure many of you have been through things like this. I am sure that some of you have experienced worse things than I have. Well, I am here to tell you that it is ok. You will be ok. I will be ok. God has a desire to bring us out into a spacious place. We are not destined to stay trapped in our prison that we feel like circumstance has put us in. I was hurt very deeply by someone I love very much this weekend. I have been hurt by this same person over and over again all my life. But this time I decided it was ok to walk away for a while until there is some change in this person’s life. I am not bitter or angry. I just won’t buy anymore that this person is just the way he is and I have to be the better person and accept it even if it means being hurt. I am not buying this lie anymore. Though it seems being the ”better” person would be to accept things the way they are I don’t believe that is what God would want me to do in this situation. You see I can think of a ton of scripture that is contrary to me accepting that this is just how this person is. This person is “fearfully and wonderfully made”, “made with a purpose”, “made in Christ’s image”, and so much more. Maybe if I stop just being complacent and giving into demands this person will become uncomfortable and start doing some thinking. And just maybe Christ will invade his heart like a freight train going a hundred miles an hour. This is my prayer. In the mean time I step back. This is hard. This hurts. But I know the promises I have been given by the God who sees, El Roi. He sees my hurts. He sees those who have hurt me. I don’t need to defend myself. I just need to take it to Him. I need to step out into this spacious place He has for me and hope this person follows. That is all we can do. That is all God would ask us to do. To be obedient and trust Him with the rest.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you that you love us and you see all our hurts. You are “El Roi” the God who sees. You are our comforter. Our defender. Thank you that I can give it all over to you and go out into my spacious place you have prepared for me.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beautiful Mystery!

That is the name of the blog of a good friend of mine. It is so true. Life - a beautiful mystery. The life we are given when we choose Christ anyway. Just when I think I got things relatively figured out things change. Sometimes little by little and sometimes at the speed of light before I know what hit me. God is mysterious that way. I guess He knows us so well and knows that if we think we have it figured out we become comfortable and don't need Him so much anymore. He also knows the beauty that is in the mystery of it all. Our lives each like a beautiful painting being painted by a master artist and no one knows the outcome. It remains a mystery until we join Him in the heavenlies. I love that. That tells me that no matter what I did to screw things up here on earth He can be painting over by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Some people don't like the mystery of it all. I actually love it. Some days we wake up and think today will be like yesterday and BAM! Something happens we never expected. Today was like that for me. I have been wrestling with something and ended up somewhere not sure if I supposed to be there. And then without warning He brings someone into my path that I have the opportunity to minister to. I share with this person His words of hope and healing. He allows a sinner like me to be a part of this supernatural moment. He lets me share in this. He actually sent His son that I would have the opportunity to share in His glory. WOW! Now that is a beautiful mystery that testifies to the fact that our Father loves us more than we can ever imagine. Me - a loved, blessed, friend of a Holy God. It leaves me speechless.....Praise you God! We love you. Thank you for loving us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Living in Fear!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

I have lots of fears. I am afraid of getting older and the gray hair on my head. I fear sickness. I am afraid I didn’t spend my time wisely raising my children. I fear my teenagers! I am afraid of car accidents and bad choices. I am afraid of not having enough money and afraid we had too much. I am fearing the wrinkles on my forehead and the fact that I am sure somewhere between diapers and drivers licenses I have certainly lost my mind. I am afraid one day my husband will look at me and wonder what we are doing here. I am afraid mostly of the passing of time. This is just the short list I could go on about things like this and that, some trivial and some earth shattering. That is until I read this verse. I have not been given a spirit of fear. It doesn’t have to be this way. I was given a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. I think that is an interesting list of qualities. I think it is saying I don’t have to be fearful because I have the power of God residing in me. I don’t have to be fearful but I do need to love. Love like crazy everyone who crosses my path especially those crazy teenagers. But another important aspect is self-discipline. You see we so often lack self-discipline when we are living in fear. When I am afraid I am losing my kids to the world I become irrational. I say things I don’t mean and start arguments I don’t need to have. I am not self-disciplined in my speech or my actions when I am living in a gripping fear. The truth is I don’t need to live this way. No one does. All I have to do is look to my power source. Read the word. Give it over in prayer and wait for the peace that passes all understanding to come. No fear only power. No fear only love. No fear only self-discipline. No fear but peace. You see fear is clearly not from God. Fear is a tool that Satan uses to keep us from the life God has waiting for us. We need to commit to not let Satan have this one. We need to get up each day and claim this for ourselves. Repeat after me “We DO NOT have a spirit of fear!” I want to go forward and live in this today. How about you?

Prayer:

Lord I thank you that in you I don’t need to fear. I thank you that you hold me in your arms and that you love me. I pray that I would take your word seriously and stop living in fear. That is not of you. You are awesome God. I love you!

~Amen

Breathtaking - pause my playlist at the bottom and play this!

Broken Scale

Well my hopes of weight loss have been dashed by the fact that we figured out yesterday that there was something wrong with the scale. I should have known that just a little extra exercise was really not enough to lose 4 pounds. Anyway, last night I picked up the scale to see what kind of battery it takes and I found a smashed little box that DS games come in and a little booklet. This was throwing the scale off balance. It wasn't really broken. Just off balance. Isn't the Christian life so much like this? We go along using a faulty scale. We think we are doing ok maybe even doing great if we are doing "good" things. We might even become a little proud. It isn't until we take a good look at the scale(God's word) that we realize that we got it all wrong. It is not about us and what we do, but about Him. It isn't about church. It isn't about "good deeds". It is about a relationship. With Him and with others. Love God. Love Others. These are the greatest commandments. I hope today to be on the right "scale". Not the one that makes me feel good about myself but the one that allows me to see things as they really are through God's eyes. I will not feel sorry for myself or about things that are in the past. But today I will choose to see things differently. I will go to the throne of grace and leave it there and do my best to love God and to love other's He brings into my life today.

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. this is the first and greatest commandment. And second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Matthew 22:37-39

Prayer:

Lord I pray today that I will see life the way you want me to see it. I pray I will not be disillusioned by a broken scale. Help me to love you and to love whoever you bring my way. ~Amen

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Raining Again!

It's raining again here! I feel like I can barely stand it. At least Carla and I got our walk in before it started. It feels like it's been raining for days. I really have to fight depression when it is like this. I am so tempted to just spend the day doing nothing and having a bad attitude. So, to fight this I decided to look to His word and do a little reflecting today.

Psalm 103:8-12 says: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Is that amazing or what? It is really hard to sit around with a bad attitude when you read something like that. How amazing is our God. You see it is His desire to forgive us from our sins. He doesn't want us to be seperated from Him. I sometimes forget how awesome this is. If there is nothing else good to speak of in your life except for this one promise you still have everything. I struggle with so many things like discontentment, depression, dissatisfaction with things in my life, disappointment, etc.... But when I read these words from the compassionate , all loving God I can't believe I have the feelings I have. How wonderful to know all I have to do is confess this all to Him and He forgives me from all of my iniquities. Praise God today no matter what your circumstance. Let's all develop an attitude of praise and gratitude for a God who is slow to anger and abounds in love.

Prayer:
Lord, I thank you and praise you today for the fact that you love me and you forgive me. Thank you that you don't repay as my sin deserves. Create in me a heart of praise regardless of the circumstance in my life. I love you Lord. You are so worthy of my praise!!!!
~Amen

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bad Day!

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep doing.
~Romans 7:18-19

“Mom, I am a terrible person. I lost my temper again and said things I don’t mean. I keep trying, but it is just a cycle of messing up and asking for forgiveness and messing up again. I feel like I am no good.”

These were the words of my daughter one day after saying something to me and her brother that she regretted saying. I am sure we can all relate to her struggle. After talking to her about this I thought of these verses in Romans where Paul is talking about wanting to do good but the struggle to stay on that path even when it is our hearts desire.

You see so many times when we do wrong we are truly desiring to do what is right, but the flesh prevails. There are days it seems as if this happens more than it should and we feel defeated. That day my daughter was feeling just utterly defeated. She has a desire to do good but instead was finding herself doing wrong. Satan loves for us to feel this way. He loves to make us feel defeated and no good. No matter much we tell ourselves it is not about what we do but about what was done on the cross for us we still get caught up in our works.

It is times like these that we need to redirect our thinking. We need to go back to the truth of who we are in Christ. That day was a valuable teaching time for my daughter. Satan had her believing that she was a failure. I had the opportunity to speak truth into her life about who she is in Christ. I also was able to share with her that no one has the ability to be perfect this side of heaven but with the power of the Holy spirit(the same power that rose Christ from the dead by the way) we do have opportunity for change in our lives. No we will never be perfect but I am not the same person I was 10 years ago or even last month for that fact. We have hope. Someday we will be perfect, but in the meantime we need to keep pressing ahead rejoicing all along that we have a God who rejoices in forgiving us our sins and delights to show us mercy.

How about you? Do you desire to do what is right but find yourself in a constant struggle with the flesh? Take heart beloved our time here is short. Hang on to the truth. Don’t believe the lie and keep pressing on. We will join him in the heavens someday and there we will be perfect.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~Romans 15:13

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
~Ephesians 1:18

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you that in you we have hope. Help us to remember that you love us and even when we mess up you delight to show us mercy. Fill us Lord with joy and peace that our hope will overflow and out of that overflow we become better people for you and your glory alone.
~Amen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Welcome

Welcome to my blog. I am so glad you've stopped by. I will start by telling you a little about myself. I have been married to Greg for 17 years. If you did the math you can see that I have children that are older than that! The oldest two are adopted and the other 5 are biological. Now if your still doing the math you can see my oldest biological child is 17. I had him when I was 17 and a senior in highschool. I married Greg a few months after he was born and the rest is history. I wish I could say that it really was that simple but it hasn't always been so easy. I hope to be able to share in this blog how God has been at work in my life. Now and throughout my entire life. He has done so many awesome things and I think it is important to share that. I also hope that it will help to keep me accountable. I think if I am writing things down for others to see it will help me to reflect more on the things He is doing in my life and not just take it foranted or worse yet to fall back into old patterns. I named this blog "Choosing Today" because I have come to realize how important it is to get up each day and make wise choices. I think we think if we decide to live for Christ one day that we don't need to choose that again and even though we don't lose our salvation we do need to choose each day to live for Him and choose to take what He has to offer us. Sadly so many christians live such empty lives because they are not "choosing" each day. Really not choosing is a choice. There is so much this life has to offer if we would choose to believe. You know now that I think about it maybe you haven't even come to a point where you even have a relationship with Christ. It is very easy to come to know Him as your savior. We do this by acknowledging that He cares for us but we all have sinned so we have fallen short of God’s glory. Once you realize you are a sinner separated from God you need to know that it is not hopeless. Jesus came as a living sacrifice for our sins to reconcile us with a holy God. He died on the cross for us. Each one of us. Nothing we have done is too great for Him and no good work we do can reconcile us. We can be good people but being good is not enough. We need to choose to either accept or reject this gift. If you don’t know Him I encourage you to meet Him today. He will meet with you right here where you are. It is so simple but it is something you need to do. Like I said before you can’t just expect to get to heaven based on your actions. None of us are “good enough”. This will be the most imporatnt choice you will ever make. Well I will share more later about what is going on with my life. If you have any questions just let me a comment!