Monday, October 12, 2009

Everything Required

II Peter 1:3
For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

God, in His love and goodness, has already given us ALL we need to live, to serve Him, and to fight the battles ahead. When we lean on our own or worldly "wisdom" and understanding, we will either feel falsely secure or completely unequipped. When we lean on Christ alone, we known our strength and provision comes from Him, and with God nothing is impossible!

Still, we tend to look around us and become unsatisfied with our lot in life- where we live, who we married, where we work, what we have, and what we don't have. We may find ourselves envying others instead of being appreciative of the blessings we already have.

Through God, we can be content with what we have and our place in the kingdom. We know we are doing our best and God is doing the rest. We can look at those things we have as "more than enough" and be content and thankful instead of having an attitude of selfishness, complaint, greed, and ungratefulness.

We can feel confident in God's plan and will for our lives because He has already given us "everything required for life and godliness". We already have the tools we need for the situations life presents. We know we can have victory over any circumstance because God is on our side. We are fully equipped through Christ.

I believe it is important to remember our strength, power, and provision come from the LORD, and when we are not living under His direction and authority, will we not be prepared or equipped.

When we look throughout the bible, especially the Old Testament, we can see how God used people who may not have seemed great or mighty and even used methods that seemed ridiculous. (Just look at the telling of Jericho, and the methods God used to bring the city down!) School: Joshua Commanding the Walls of Jericho to Fall Down

God is great! He knows what He's doing, and He has prepared those who abide in Him. He has given us the bible, which is our guidebook to life. All the answers to the questions that matter are inside. I don't know about you, but I feel very fortunate and blessed to have such a life-manual!

I hope you have a wonderful week, and, remember, God has prepared His people! Be confident and content in Him!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's not about me.

We live in a selfish world. Society encourages us to do things that make us happy, and if we aren't happy, we need to "drop it like it's hot" and move on.

This has left us with several generations of people who will not keep steady jobs because they don't like the hours, their boss, their co-workers, or the hard work. It's the reason why divorce rates are so high. If things aren't going well in your marriage, you seek the thrill and love elsewhere, instead of working hard to fix your relationship. Millions of advertisements entice us to purchase appliances, gadgets, toys, vehicles, and homes that promise us happiness and joy, yet we are never satisfied and never content with what we have.

I find myself often crossing this line and having to remind myself that God has given me everything I need and more. He has indeed fulfilled my desires and blessed me, yet I have moments where, instead of being appreciative, I complain or find myself "lusting" after things I don't need.

We've even turned the church into something that serves ourselves- complaining about the style of music, the building where we gather, or a dozen other things, instead of passionately lifting our praise and worship up as we fellowship together.

It's been a week since I miscarried, and I admit, my heart is broken. I also confess that, while we go to church every week, today I went because I needed comfort and something else I cannot quite describe, but as I sat down beside my husband and children, I realized that I needed an attitude adjustment. Even though my heart ached and my day was overshadowed by the loss of our baby, this was not a time for my pity party. In my head, I went over the words of one of my favorite Christian songs.

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship, 'cause it's all about you, it's all about you Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it, for it's all about you. It's all about you Jesus."

Interestingly enough, when the singing began, this was one of the songs picked for the morning, as well as two other songs with a similar message. It's not about us. It's about God.

It's not that we shouldn't or cannot go to God for comfort and love when we are feeling broken hearted and down- we definitely should, but I know, speaking for myself, sometimes I allow my own issues and hurts to overshadow my time or worship and praise. I'm suppose to be offering up praise and worship to God, but instead I'm thinking about my problems, my hurt, and how God should remedy my situation.

Thing is, once I stopped focusing on myself and began to focus on God, I felt a release inside of me. I felt comforted. I felt loved.

Our lives are to be a sacrifice of worship and praise to God. The reason the bible calls it a "sacrifice" is because sometimes we don't feel like praising God. Sometimes we don't feel like "doing all things as unto the LORD". Maybe we feel like serving ourselves, taking a break, being lazy, or being selfish.

There is certainly a time for us to take our grief, pain, worry, and despair before God, but let's be honest- sometimes we just want to wallow in it. I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way!

I do have to constantly remind myself that my life is not really mine. My time is not my own. And, life is not all about me. It's not about me even in the least. It's not about my husband or my children- it's about God. My life is about (productively) filling the place that God has given me as wife and mother with joy, thankfulness, and contentment. It is my ministry. It is my offering of praise to my LORD. And, God extends my ministry beyond my home to my church and friends...... but it all points back to God, not to me or anyone else.

My prayer is that God would help me to focus not on myself, even in this time. There will always be some issue in my life to cause stress and hurt, but when I focus on God, I find myself being more appreciative and content, rather than complaining and wallowing in my pain.

And, I would like to thank my wonderful friend Amanda as well as our pastor, Johnnie and his wife Sandra, who surprised us with food Monday. They were such a blessing to us... and to have them SHOW UP at our door with arms full was a picture of God's love to me. Amanda said she knew if she called to ask if she could bring us a meal, I might turn her down so as to not create work for her, so I am thankful she didn't call.. and just showed up.

Thank you to all those who have been there for us and gone the extra mile to send a card, call, or whatever! We thank you!

[Art: Seek My Face by Danny Hahlbohm]

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Miscarriage: It's hard to let go (video)

Early, early Sunday morning, we lost our little baby. This is our fourth loss this year. The second and third were very early on (appx 5 weeks, likely due to difficultly "sticking" or implanting), but I was about 10.5 weeks when I began losing this child. I wrote this song, and decided to record it on my camera and post it on youtube. I hope to, with the help of some dear friends, have it professional recorded. Since I first posted it (on FB and another site) late last night, it seems to have spread like wild fire- probably because it is something that so many women can relate to.

Our lost little one is named Nina. This is what we called her during my pregnancy. I don't know why, but we were sure it would have been a little girl, although it was too early to know. Our first miscarried baby we named Lillian. This song is dedicated to my babies, and all those who have lost blessings of their own.

(c) 2009