Sunday, January 30, 2011

THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just want to take a few and share with you how awesome and awe inspiring my Lord is. I am not a celebrity follower kinda person. I have met authors that I admire, musicians that I listen to, a football star and our very own local boxer, but I'm not the kind that gets star struck. At EWomen last year I found that I envied the speakers for their lives. Not their celebrity, money, or travel but their relationship with Jesus. They seemed to have this completely holy, uplifting righteous relationship with Him that I was in awe of. I remember thinking wow I want that. I mean I had a relationship with God but we weren't best friends. We were more like really really good acquaintances, maybe just friends but He wasn't really part of my inner circle. He was not my go to Guy. I didn't go to him when I was mad, when little things were falling apart, or for EVERY decision I made. I just went for the biggies, you know when I was desperate. I didn't praise his name with all my heart or cry out with my whole burden. I just gave him the surface.
Since then God has made a few changes in my life. Through his conviction I've given up things that were keeping me from Him, and put him TRULY first. I now can say I feel like Beth Moore and Angela Thomas!! Okay maybe not just like them but woo hoo its close!!! God has blessed me with so many things in my life right now! Working with so many of you on Women's Ministry has just blessed me so much that I almost feel guilty for this overwhelming fullness of the Holy Spirit that its crazy! I now get it, the go tell it on the mountain high so many talk about! I want all of my friends to have this! To know My God in such a personal and profound way. I was trying to explain it to my husband the other day and could only say that I have found a level of "Jesusness!!!" that I didn't know before! You like that didn't you! I know some of you are thinking "What is she talking about "Jesusness" that makes no sense." Well those of you who speak "Angela" you get it don't you! There's just a deeper level to my relationship with God that didn't exist before. Now I'm overwhelmed with the blessings He has bestowed upon me, with the trust He is placing in me to do His will and His work. Its humbling. With this new responsibility though has come new freedoms. Tonight I raised my hands, praised my God with what is only in His ears a joyful noise and didn't care one bit who was around. I simply let the Holy Spirit free to praise my God. Tonight I no longer cared, considered or even thought about others as I worshiped. I must say if freeing! I also watch others do the same and thought that if we all let go of us and simply gave God His reign what an awe inspiring, awesome experience that would be.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You are what you eat?

Well I just need to go ahead and let you all know my preacher is a thief! He stole my message and used it for part of his sermon on Sunday. I don't know how he cracked my computer and found it but there ya go! I figure since he stole my message than I can use part of his to add to mine! Okay he's really not a thief but it seems to be a message The Lord wants out there. I would say he was talking to just me but He and I already had this discussion a little while back! (FYI I did listen so if your reading this and I haven't called...)

Remember that song from Saturday morning cartoons with the singing egg, "You are what you eat from your head down to your feet..." I always loved those cartoon snippets. This message makes me think of that. Its the same idea and we often tell our children this yet we forget to practice what we preach. Its guilt by association. You are a reflection of your friends. If you surround yourself with Godly, church going, Lord loving, bible reading Christians you either are or will be one yourself. If you eat healthy veggies and fruits then your body will be healthy. If you eat junk your body will reflect it. If you surround yourself with hateful ugly people your attitude will reflect that. I think we all got that. It pretty common sense and its basic. BUT the kicker the ones we never see coming are the things like chocolate covered strawberries. Its fruit right so its should be good for you. It lost some of its goodness when you added the chocolate. We have many friends like that. Their church going Christians so we can hang out with them right? They're good right? Do they have a sweet layer of sin coating them? Maybe they're not so good after all. Are they in the word? Are you in it? We all say we love the Lord but are yours and their actions showing that. What parts of your life have a thin layer of chocolate sin covering them?

Those friends aren't bad they just might not be good for you everyday. Your attitude is often caught not taught. (Thanks Brian!) We tend to reflect those around us. Like surrounds itself with like. We tend to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. If you look at your friends they probably have similar attitudes, lifestyles, families. Kids are usually within the same age ranges, things like that. Now look closer at them. Is their worship the same? Is that a good thing or not? Do they go to the same church? Do you go at the same times? Are you studying the same things? Or at least similar churches, times, study groups, and books. If your answer was no to the last few than maybe you need to change a few habits. Go on a spiritual life style change. Not a diet that implies your losing something but a lifestyle change implies your making changes for the better, your gaining health, your gaining a better relationship with God. See we know who is "bad", but what about the ones who think you don't have to read the bible to know God? You just have to show up to church on Sunday and you've done your part. The "Sure I pray"ones who don't hit their knees daily much less two or three times a day. What about Sunday school? Sunday night service? Wednesday nights? (I'm often guilty there. Just thought I should point out my on beam.) VBS? Special fellowship gatherings? Daily devotionals? Music? Books? Movies? These things matter. I'm just saying.

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise , think on these things.

Sometimes you have to step back from friends, change YOURSELF. Its hard, people like to keep you in the mold YOU created. When you change and create a new mold it can make others uncomfortable. They now no longer "know" you. You've changed the dynamics of the friendship. Some friendships can't stand up under that kind of weight. If that's the case it was poorly built to begin with. Try building your new friendships on "Christ solid rock" as your foundation. Don't surround yourself with what you are but with what you want to become.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Building Honor

Been mulling over my earlier post about honoring my parents. I think God has granted me a little bit of insight on this today. To recap I don't or haven't always honored in thought one of my parents and God is working with me on this issue so heres todays glimpse of understanding. I have to blog this cause tomorrow I might lose it!

Its kinda like the president, we don't have to like everything about them but we have to honor the posistion. I honor the fact that my parent gave me life, raised me, did the best that they knew how to do by me. I don't have to like their choices or even respect and honor those choices. I do have to respect and honor the position. I have to give this parent the same consideration I give my past abusers. They have a past. That said past has shaped who they are and the choices they have made. For the good or bad its there. I don't have to submit myself to them. I'm now an adult and a parent myself but without them I simply wouldn't be who I am today.

I told my brother the other day that we have to look at our parents and the mistakes they made with us so we don't make them with our children ( we get to make new ones!!). How else do we learn. We try so very hard to keep our children from making our mistakes yet we sometimes repeat our parents. The writer of yesterdays devotional made it a point to open her self, kids, and home to her parents. Well truth be told more power to her! Thats not always fesible for all of us BUT we can open our hearts to them. I dont have to let my parent have free range with my children, I don't have to go to their house, invite them to every occasion. I do need to pray for them. Open my heart and mind to them. Know that God is in control and if He can remove this acorn VERY far from the tree than he can strip the tree down and renew its growth. I don't have to be there physically for that to happen but I do need to be there spiritually.

How can I know that Gods grace saved me and not believe that it can save them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A lack of honor

First off I must say I have a love hate relationship with my Journey daily devotional. Most days I love it but then God goes and uses it to bring the smack down on me and I just have to say "Really?".

Today was about honoring our parents. Sounds normal. As a parent I try to instill in my children that they honor me and their father but do I honor mine. They answer to that is no. I love the both immensely. But honor them both not so much. I think its because I tie honor into respect. I feel they go hand and hand but they don't. Today's story truly hit home for me. The author had bad parents who were not believers. She pulled her life away from theirs and avoided them. Let me just say that sounds VERY familiar to me.

God said EXODUS 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother;that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Often times we feel that only applies to "good" parents. Well we're wrong. God wants us to honor our parents period. There is no scripture that says "Honor your father and mother BUT only if they are good, holy, christian parents." It just says "Honor thy father and thy mother.

What is honor. Honor is (verb) * to hold in high respect or revere * to confer honor or distinction upon * to show a courteous regard to * to accept as valid and conform to the request or demands of.

By not honoring our parents period we are not honoring God. He commanded us to honor our parents. So what does this mean to us who have had less the "Godly" parents? I don't know. Yes I'm sure your now thinking, "What? You don't know? Whats the point if you don't know?". Well I don't know that either! I'm still working this one out! If you know me personally than you know my story. If not call and I'll tell you. But at this point in my life I don't honor one of my parents. I don't respect them. They have given me nothing to respect. Yet I'm muddling through Gods command for me to honor them. Where is the line for this. At what point do we get to say I'm done or do we? Is God the Father ever done with us? What if he just says "I'm done".

Hmmm Questions, questions, questions. Lets toss this one around and pray on it some more. Did it give you something to think about. It did me. I'll have my nose in my bible a whole lot for this one and I might have to bust out some knee pads!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

LEGO'S like words?

EPHESIANS 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Todays daily devotional was about the tongue. Yes the almighty tongue. For such a small body part it is amazingly strong. I read somewhere that is was the strongest muscle in your body.(this may or may not be true) I do know it can be the greatest detriment to the body of Christ or our most powerful tool to further His kingdom. JAMES3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. We can use our tongues to praise Gods holy name and blasphemy it as well. Often times from the same tongue. We can do good and evil with that small little muscle. It has the power to save, kill, build you up to your highest and knock you down to your lowest. Animals show their love with licking. Humans show their hatred with the vileness that spews from it. We can hurt someone with the smallest comment or make their day. That is one powerful muscle.

A few months ago a good friend made a comment about what I was wearing that day. I thought I looked nice but her innocent remark made me question my choice of outfits. She meant nothing by it ( I hope!), but was simply saying she tried something simlar and didn't look good in it. I then had to seek affirmation from others. Hers was a simple remark that did damage, caused doubt.

Jenna was singing at church one Sunday when she started getting a little extra joyful in her song. I told her to bring in down just a notch. Well I broke her heart, crushed her spirit at that time. My comment no matter how well intended did damage.

Most think our tongues don't come with warning labels. Ah you would be wrong! We sometimes forget we have an entire owners manual. The Bible. It directs us in how to operate EVERY part of our body and our lives. Oh but so many people just toss out the manual and wing it. They think they're smarter than the Author and Creator only to figure out later they do need the directions. I am often one of those people. (Not the smarter part just the winging it part!)

JAMES3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

I am not perfect and in many things I offend others. Its a daily battle to wield my tongue with careful precision and not reckless destruction. Words are like legos it only takes one to finish a masterpiece, but remove the wrong one and you will destroy an entire creation.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Were you BOLD today?

HEBREWS 3:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy , and find grace to help in time of need.

Where you bold today? Now that's a loaded question! Some days my clothes might be bold, some days its my actions and more times that not its my mouth but what about your worship?

For those of you who read my previous blog the answer is YES I openly praised and worship my Lord today! I felt self conscious and thought "Is anybody watching?" and raised my arms in adoration anyway. I watched one of my favorite people today worship in song and praise and as I watched her boldly share her love for our Lord and Savior I remembered that there will always be those who will think your making it about you. That's only because they don't know Jesus love so fully to understand its only about Him. Being brave isn't about not being scared its about acting in spite of that fear. Well worshiping boldly isn't about being a outgoing person its about worshiping God no matter what others might think. I learned that if your brave and give yourself over to the Lord someone somewhere is watching and just maybe your boldness will give them the strength they need to be bold too.

To my very special friend who was bold today. Thank you. You have blessed me more than words can say. I'm happy and blessed to say there are probably a few of you who are asking yourselves " Is she talking about me?" The answer is YES!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sometimes its good to be childish

Psalm 148:12 & 13 ~ Both young men, and maidens; old men and children: (13) Let them praise the name of the Lord: for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.

Open worship has always been a difficult thing for me. Lifting my arms and worshiping the Lord with others around I feel self conscious. I have this fear of someone looking at me and thinking " What is she doing, or Look at her," or all sorts of silly things. I didn't want anyone to think I was bringing attention to myself and I didn't want to draw attention to myself even though I've had the urge to left my arms in worship on occasion! Now that being said I have a few friends who openly worship with all they have. So I thought to myself do I think they look silly? Well yes but not because of their worship!! Just Kidding!! No, when I even noticed them (because I was focused on Jesus or should have been) I thought they looked beautiful and free. I admire their boldness in fully worshiping our Lord the way the Spirit called them too. I told myself I would left my arms in praise the next time the spirit urged me too. Well I chickened out! My hands were halfway there when I again got an attack of the "Oh is anyone watching?" and grabbed some wood. (That would be the pew in front of me.) I later realized that I didn't lift my arms because I wanted my worship to be all about my Lord and not about me. That makes sense except by me NOT worshiping the way the spirit urged me to I then made my worship all about me and NOT my Lord. It was an AHA moment! Then as if that epiphany wasn't enough I open my daily devotional and read a commentary about Wholehearted Worship! I mean come on God is good and He likes to make sure He gets his point to you! It was about a young girl worshiping with abandon, not worrying about what others might think. The author jokingly referred to her own worship as sedate, refined, upscale and mature. The mature part binged for me. My earlier post was about I might be growing older but I'm newer in Christ each day. Well Christ urged us to have a childlike faith in him. I'm also seeing that we should have a childlike abandon in our worship to him as well. See its okay to be a little childish! Sometimes we get a little to "refined" in our worship and forget to worship fully. That being said I promise to be bold, make my worship about God, not me and raise my arms in praise when the spirit tells me! What about you?

PSALM 95:1-4 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.(2) Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (3) For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Newer not Older

Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, O Lord.

(left to rigt) My cousin MaryJo, Deana and myself.

While reading my daily devotional yesterday I came across this bible verse and it just spoke to me. I started thinking back to all the sins of my youth (let me just say there were MANY) and I just thanked God that He has showed me His mercy. When I run into people from my past I'm ashamed of my actions and embarrassed when they want to reminisce. All I can do is pray they see the changes in me and for the opportunity to show them how Jesus has changed my life, my decisions and my thoughts. I'm not the same girl I was 20 years ago, (thank you Lord Jesus for that!) nor the same woman I was 2 years ago, or even 2 days ago. Every day that I grow older and I steep myself in His word, I grow newer! I'm newer today than I was yesterday because today I grew more in Jesus word and love. I don't know about you but I like being newer instead of older! The more I read His word and learn His ways the fresher my faith is. You can only accomplish this through a daily walk with the Lord. This I think is the hardest part and sadly enough its the easiest. Just a little bit of your morning, 30 minutes that's it and *BAM* your newer, fresher, better! I can spend 30 minutes in the shower getting cleaner, 30 minutes on hair, makeup and clothes getting "prettier", 30 minutes eating breakfast, drinking coffee getting slimmer (or fatter depending on what I'm eating!) 30 minutes or more doing Zumba trying to get slimmer, 30 minutes planning my grocery list and dinner menus getting better organized and financially sound. Yet its so very hard to spend 30 minutes with the Lord getting into his word and becoming a better servant to him. My preacher preached a message on New Year, New You...your attitude. Well he got it almost right. New DAY, New you,...Renew your attitude. I don't want to wait and make a New years resolution each year. I'm making a New Days reVolution each day. Today I was in Gods word. Tomorrow I might fall BUT that's okay because I'll get up dust my old self off and on the next day make me a little bit newer.