Monday, August 30, 2010
"Sure," I replied. But as I reached out to do so, she took off running away, yelling, "Thanks, Mommy!" over her shoulder. Before I had a chance to do what she'd asked me to do.
"Um, Aila--I kind of need you to be here for this part!" I called out to her.
But I had to smile and laugh, because I've done the same thing.
There are times when I ask Him to do something in me--something noble to request, perhaps--but something that requires me to be with Him for the transformation to take place.
Aaaand then I take off.
It's like I don't always recognize that what I need Him to do in and through me requires that I remain in His presence in order for it to happen.
"Lord, make me humble and sand away my rough edges. Mold me into the woman that you want me to be. Now I'm going to go away and do my own thing and will be nowhere near You for awhile--but can you do it all from afar? Thanks!"
I couldn't hitch up my daughter's skirt from across the room. And I can't be formed into who He wants me to be from afar, either.
What's that change you've been requesting from Him lately? Does it require that you abide in His presence?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
But Trevor just rolled his eyes and said, "That is not a cross, Aila. It's a power line."
But when we consider the cross of Christ, we realize it was much more than a couple of wooden beams fashioned together to form a place on which punishment occurred...
The cross of Christ is a power line.
Through His death and resurrection on the cross we have divine power that demolishes strongholds, power to stand up under temptation, power to live and love beyond ourselves. And mostly, in the cross is power to save us from sin and death.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I'm a wife and mom hoping for influence in my greatest sphere of influence:
I pray for my husband to be spurred on to the things of God because he sees the evidence of those very things in my life.
I am hungry for my children to love God and His word.
And I couldn't want more for the three of them than to fall on their knees before our God and King.
But what if I'm the first domino in line?
And what if maybe--just maybe--as I fall down in worship of our Savior, others begin to fall down, too?
The domino effect of
my husband falling on his knees before the Lord.
and my children falling on their knees before the Lord.
And then maybe as they fall, they will tip other dominos
and more will fall on their knees in worship.
What a beautiful domino effect.
But what if you are the first domino in your sphere of influence?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I wish I could say it never happened, or maybe that it only happened once and I learned my lesson.
But I've done it several times.
People don't even know that what they thought they were giving to the Lord, I have taken for myself.
And maybe I'm not the only one. Maybe your hand has been in the offering plate, too.
Oh, I'm not talking about offerings of dollars and cents, but offerings of praise.
You know the drill--Someone pays you a compliment, and instead of acknowledging the Lord and passing it along quickly to Him, you wear it around for awhile. Maybe a little too long.
Now, I want to be clear--I haven't taken these things because I want to be up on some pedestal. I'm not some diva who needs to be celebrated. I've stolen His praise because it's made me feel like I'm simply okay.
I've dressed myself in His praise not for my own elevation--but for my validation.
I've worn the accolades meant for Him because I've thought they would give me worth--and that perhaps I'm not worth much without them. But the garments of His glory don't fit me, and were never meant to. I'm like a child parading around in her mother's clothes, only I'll never grow into them.
And I shouldn't even struggle with this. I was raised in a home full of love. But the world outside that safe home has been cold outside, and I've been wounded. I've believed those who have said I'm not worth much. And so I've dipped my hands into His praises and taken them for my own.
Isaiah 42:8 says "I am the LORD, that is My name! I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols."
And so I'm learning. He's been reminding me that His love for me compelled Him to the cross. That's what defines me. I have worth because He said so. He doesn't want me pursuing the praises of man as my source of validation--He is my validation.
But it's more than that. He wants me to get my hands off His glory for my own good. It's like He's been saying, "Thea, My praise in your hands is like a hot potato. If you pass it along quickly to Me, you'll be kept safe. But if you hold My praise too long, it will burn you."
I would never dream of reaching into the offering plate and church and taking money out. But I've had to learn that grabbing at His glory will undo me.
Psalm 29:1 says "Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name." It's not just what I'm commanded to do, it's what I really want to do.
I'm learning to get my hands out of the offering plate and let His praise be His praise.
When I got my new phone a few months ago, I was excited to download a few apps. One of them was the People Magazine app, which keeps me in the loop of what's going on in the (unreal celebrity) world.
Because who doesn't need to know what Gwen Stefani's kids wore to the park today, right?
The thing is, very little of what's streamed onto that site is of any value to me. And I wish I could tell you that I'm so spiritually mature that I don't care about what people wear on the red carpet, or what new couple has been seen together, but I can very easily get sucked into all of that.
But once I want out of it, it's not so easy.
I can't figure out how to get rid of that People Magazine app. It's on there, and I've tried a few times to delete it. But I can't figure out how!
The best I can do is to put it in the HIDE folder. Sure, it's still there. I may have removed it from my sight, but it is still there and I can choose to access it when I want.
I think it's that way with ANYTHING we allow into our hearts and minds...
Once it's in there, it is in there.
Sure, we can regret allowing it in, and can resolve to tuck it away into some HIDE folder in our minds. But should we still choose to access it, we can find a way to do it. And once we've downloaded certain things into our hearts and minds, we can try to make it more difficult to retrieve....but it's still there.
Seems that God SO knew what kind of battle we'd be up against with our minds, and really desires that we keep ourselves far from those destructive downloads in the first place:
Friday, August 20, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I was driving down Main Street near Swift-Cantrell Park when a man stepped right into the road--in a 40 mile an hour zone! It was really odd because there's this random crosswalk right in the middle of a really busy street--no intersection anywhere around. Quite strange that it's even there. And even though I am supposed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, I still thought it was pretty bold of him to step out in front of my car, fully trusting the power of the crosswalk to keep him safe.
Would I step out into 40-mile an hour traffic simply because of a few lines painted on the street? Um, no. I wouldn't assume the driver would stop for me enough to put my confidence in a crosswalk.
But have I put my trust in my own desires, and assumed that the Lord would spare me of any repercussions?
Hm. That's a different story.
"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely is kept safe."
Friday, August 6, 2010
(Take a moment and laugh out loud. I know I almost did.)
Turns out our boys go to the same school, but I could not help being amused that she thought I might frequent the gym. After all, I wish I could say I'm rockin' the evidence of being a gym-going-girl in the form of 36-24-36 measurements, but I am SO not. I've got jiggle in my jello. And (most days) I'm okay with that.
But it made me wonder if I wear the evidence of where I've been. I don't have a tush you could bounce quarters off of, but then again, I haven't been in a gym in a few years. But do I hope there's evidence of sitting at the feet of Jesus? Absolutely.
I hope I wear grace and mercy. I hope there's evidence of love and self-control. And I wouldn't mind rockin' some patience and assurance in Him.
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works
I make a big batch, then I scoop a big spoonful into a bowl for Trevor, and then for Aila. I find that the oatmeal begins to cool off much more quickly when it's removed from the pot, and then it's ready to eat a lot sooner.
In my life I've found that when I've been in fellowship with other followers of Christ, I've been more on fire for him. It's almost contagious. But in seasons when I've withdrawn, or removed myself from the pot, so to speak, it's amazing how quickly the cooling off happens.
"Let us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds. And let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the day approaching."
Are you staying connected? Or have you been isolating yourself...and cooling off?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I'd think things were exactly as they should be. :)
I was reading in Jonah (which is so much more than "big-fish-swallows-disobedient-man-and-then-spews-him-onto-a-beach-three-days-later," by the way) and found this very scenario.
So in chapter 3 when Jonah finally went to Nineveh (where he should have gone in the first place), he proclaimed the impending doom of their city. So JONAH SPOKE (and oh, I love the next words!!)--
and THE NINEVITES BELIEVED GOD.
I read that over and over. The Ninevites believed GOD! Not Jonah, even though he was the mouthpiece. They believed God.
And they responded. The king got up off his throne and removed his royal robes--in essence, stripping himself of anything regal to humble himself before a God he and his people had offended. And then he declared that everyone should "call urgently on God" (v. 8) and break from their evil ways.
A messenger spoke the word. And they believed God.
Then they responded.
Lord, this gave me so much joy to read this morning. Thank You! I'm praying this for the upcoming Kickoffs. You've put these words on my heart not so that I will be heard BUT THAT YOU WILL BE BELIEVED on the matter. I don't need anyone to be convinced of what I have to say but of what You desire for them. Please, use the message to compel women to life change because they have believed You have spoken to them. I pray women will respond to YOU and begin consistently meeting with You, simply because they are fully persuaded that it's what YOU long for them. Let life change flow out of what they know You have spoken.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"I trust He can redeem this, and I can't wait to see how"?
A few weeks ago I found myself praying the words "Redeem this. Redeem this. Redeem this, Lord."
And I realized that being in this pre-redemption phase is a little like having a winning lottery ticket on your kitchen table that just hasn't been redeemed yet. You know it will be worth something of great worth one day. But in the meantime, you don't have much to show for the treasure that awaits.
And so maybe it's about choosing to look at our pre-redeemed situation as that unredeemed lottery ticket--something that will really be worth something day.
And when it is, we'll give glory and thanks...to the Redeemer.