Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas With No Santa?

     My kids were watching a show on t.v. the other night and everybody was freaking out because Santa had disappeared.

     Can you please tell me when did Santa replace Jesus?????????????????????????

Many of you are thinking "There is nothing wrong with Santa." "My children believed in Santa and they are just fine." Your right, in general there is nothing wrong with Santa, and my oldest two believed in Santa also till they were in about 3rd grade (the youngest is only 3 she doesn't count!). My dilemma is Why? Why do we want to add anyone or anything to this time of year when as a Christian the entire reason I celebrate this season to begin with is giving thanks for God's blessings (Thanksgiving) and to give thanks for His ultimate blessing, the birth of His Son Jesus Christ. We complain about the "commercialism" of Christmas but aren't I just as guilty by letting anything into my heart and home besides Jesus?

     I get that Santa has roots in Christmas, good roots, giving roots but he is not the ultimate gift giver. God is. So why would we want to let him share God's glory? Isn't that what we're doing? If we celebrate Santa along side the baby Jesus aren't we letting the jolly ole fat man share in the glory of our Lord and Father, our Jehovah-Jireh, God our provider? He is the root of Christmas. He is the giver of Christ. He is the giver of our salvation. He is the giver of our lives, our breath, the blood that flows in our veins. He is the giver of His Son. He is the giver of His Son's death and the soul cleansing blood that flowed from His veins.

     Instead of "Christmas without Santa?" shouldn't we be asking "Is there a Christmas without God and His Son Jesus?"
 
    Don't worry I've not fallen off the deep end. My children will be getting Christmas presents but not from Santa. Partly because they no longer believe in him and partly because we fully believe in Him. .


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DisneyWorld

I feel like a five year old.

     Let me just say that taking a "Spiritual Journey" is like taking a trip to Disney World. At first your all like "Woo Hoo lets go!! This is going to be great!" and then your all "Are we there yet? How much longer till we get there?"!!!  (squirrel) When our preacher went to Israel his kids said it was like his Disney World!
     But seriously I'm striving for that relationship with God, ya know the kind that you see people like Ann Voskamp or Lisa Terkeurst have. These are women that you know suffer the same problems as the rest of us but handle them in a way that only comes from having more than a personal relationship with Christ. From having that no questions asked, I'd do anything for you, till death do us part, BF F's forever and ever kind of relationship. I want to say "Man this is hard work." but the truth is I know it's the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. It's simple really.
 Pray.

 Read my bible.

Study His word.

 Not hard at all. Not like oh I don't know trying to lose way too much weight after having my 3rd child and letting myself go just a little (lot).
    
     Like everything these days I want instant gratification. There's no instant gratification with relationships. They take work, effort, time, time, time. Here's that whole "Are we there yet!! How much longer!!" part.
     So I feel like a five year old, bouncing in my seat, asking if we're there yet, waiting excitedly for the grand adventure to begin.

The best part about being an adult during this is that, I know that getting there is just as great as being there.

It's called a journey.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The First Leg of the Journey

     Well last Monday we were packing our bags and setting out on the road to Calvary. In the spirit of being transparent with you, honest to a fault and really holding myself accountable to God, before you I have to say my car stalled in the driveway.
I know, I know, sad isn't it.
I hear this happens to people.
I don't know but I can say I let it happen to me.
I started out with the best intentions (squirrel, that's like chasing a rabbit but different!)( does anyone ever start out with the worst intentions? ) and derailed. I was in my bible, praying and everything. Talked to my hubs about serving in different ways, made some plans, read a little, had some thoughts, bought some really good books to you know increase my spirituality, and . . .  then.
Not.    Much.   Of.    Anything.
I stalled.
That was pretty much it.
Went to church on Sunday and listened to a great a.m. message. I can't remember much of it but I do remember it was GOOD! But the Sunday night message, yeah well it was a little more then good, it was mine. These words were the jump start I needed to get me going. They were my private words from God, written just for me. I busted out my notepad and went to jotting down some notes. Two pages later, . . . Two pages later God had told me what he wanted me to do and how to do it.
It was painfully simple.
Yet so very hard, . . .  on my own.
These were the 8 points. I've adlibed here and there, and taken a creative liberty with it but it was my message from God so it's ok!

 1) God uses people who are already doing
     the right thing. 
     That's not just the obvious.
     It's studing, praying, reading,
     memorizing scriptures,
     pursing Him completely,
     being in church, being the salt and the light.
     ( I have some work to do here.)

2) God uses those who can be interupted.
    Are you willing to be flexible?
    Are you willing to drive a different direction?
    Be late?
    Miss something?
    (I'm good here! With B around I'm awesome
     at flexible! Well I am until #3)

3) God uses those who pay attention
     to the needs of others.
    (I'd like to think I'm good here,
     but the truth is somedays
     I have a hard time seeing past me and
    my little circle of mine.
    Sometimes I see a need and
    won't let myself be interupted to meet it.)

4) God uses people who inspire hope in others.
    ( I strive to one day be this person.
     Sometimes it's hard and I don't always want
     to remember who I once was and
     the path I once walked.
     But to deny this is to rob God of His glory.)

5) God uses those who use what they have.
     ( I am what I am and thats all I am!
      I admire many different people
       and at times have strived
       to immulate them, but I'm not.
       I'm not like them. I'm not them.
       I don't have their sweet spirit,
      soft voice, poetic words, or great hair!
       I'm loud, sarcastic, sometimes a little brash,
       I like to think I'm humerous,
      (atleast I find myself funny!)
       caring, not a push over,
       sometimes a little hard
       when I need to be, and
       I use great hair products
       so I atleast look like I have pretty good hair!
      That's me.
      That's what God created and
      what God wants to use.
      I need to remember this.

6) God uses people who know
    the source of their power. God
     ( I can do all things not through me
     but through GOD who strengthens me.
     I remember this in the big stuff,
     need to remember His power
     for the little stuff too.)

7) God uses those who will try their best
     and leave the rest up to God.
     (A little like 6. Guess I really needed
     to remember this one!)

8) God uses those who want Him
     to get all the glory.
    (I have never done one single thing
     worth mentioning.
     Now God, . . . well that's
     a whole nother  ball game.
     He has used me a time or
     two to do His work.
     I always feel blessed, overwhelmed,
     completely inept, and scared
     I'll screw it all up. But then I remember
     God doesn't make mistakes
     If I step back, let Him have control
     He can do miraculous things.)

I wish I could take credit for these awesome points but alas it's all God via a guest pastor visiting our church. Thanks Kevin for passing me a love note from God. Tell Him yes I'll pick up my cross and follow Him.






Monday, November 19, 2012

Taking a trip.

     I've decided to take a trip. 
It started out as a solo trip but I'm dragging the family along as well praying they'll enjoy it, and bring home so wonderful souvenirs too.
      Lately I've been feeling frustrated, antsy, on edge. Its been like I'm grasping something just out of  reach. Do you know that feeling? Your right there, stretching, reaching, you can almost touch it, fingertips are grazing the edge of it and, and, and, . . . nothing. Then last week I saw a pin on the all consuming, ever addicting Pinterest that showed a very sad picture, had a sadder description and at the bottom of it said something like, "God please break my heart for what breaks Yours". The pin was heartbreaking, it left me with feelings of guilt about my wastefulness, heartache for those who have less then nothing and exactly what you would expect one to feel.


       "God break my heart for what breaks Yours". This stuck with me. At first I thought about the typical things that anyone would think about after seeing that especially at this time of year. I felt a little glutinous, materialistic, selfish. I was ready to sell it all, set out and serve however God said to! Then real life intruded and I thought OK I cant sell out and do whatever but ,
what can I do?
What am I suppose to be doing?
What am I missing?
Stretching, reaching, still not grasping anything.
So very frustrated!!!
I just wanted to scream!
In my head I'm yelling at God, crying out to Him in frustration
"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!! JUST TELL ME!!"
 Let me suggest something to you, do not yell to or at God unless your ready for him to be blunt with you. If you have kids or deal with kids or deal with adults that act like kids then you know that moment when you move from holding on to nice and just tell them what's what with no sugar coating. It's not painful but it's not really pleasant either, but then the truth rarely is!

God broke my heart for what was breaking His.

Me.

I was breaking His heart.
My lack of everything was breaking His heart. God showed me that my feelings of frustration were His. I'm right there in my walk, so close but just, . . .  He's reaching, stretching, frustrated, so close, just grazing the edge of me with the tips of His fingers then, . . . nothing.
I have been leaving God with nothing.
So I'm taking a journey, a spiritual journey. I'm making an effort to lay on my face daily before God, to seek Him in each moment, to look for ALL opportunities to be His hands and feet, to teach my children to do the same. I'll seek His word, will, and heart daily. No longer lip service. We're going to experience true service and less serv"us".  I know I'm going to mess up. I know I'll miss step. I know more then once on this trip He will look at me and say "Angela!! Really???" and that's OK. I'm not Jesus so He knows I'm not perfect. I'm not suppose to be.
I've decided to take you on this trip with me. God showed me that when I share my mistakes and His victories that He is glorified. So pack a bag and enjoy the ride!