Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So Long Insecurity, Week 8, Power to Choose

Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  Hebrews 10:35-36

"Don't throw away your confidence."  This past summer I attended a conference in which one of the speakers spoke on this very topic.  It was life changing.  She had miniature garbage cans placed on each table.  She emphatically encouraged each of us to write down on pieces of paper provided whatever was hindering us from fulfilling God's call on our lives.  

Self doubt.  Insecurity.  Sinful past.  Fear.  Unbelief.  Etc.  

This week in the So Long Insecurity Bible study, we discussed choosing security.  Have you ever thought that you could choose to keep your security and throw away whatever was causing you to lose it? 

We also talked about the legacy we want to leave to our children and the girls that are coming up behind us.  What kind of legacy do you want to leave?  Do you want the daughters behind you to be secure and confident in Christ?  Sometimes looking beyond ourselves can give us extra motivation to deal with our stuff, and we all have stuff. 

Most everyone has insecurity triggers, even the most confident among us.  The difference is how we choose to respond to those triggers.  

In the past, you may have been faced with a situation that intimidates you or brings out insecurity in you.  That situation may have caused you to spiral downward leaving you feeling inferior and insecure.  As a result, you feel bad for reacting that way and feel even worse about yourself.  It is a downward vicious cycle.  

We can choose to react differently even while feeling insecure. The way we respond leads to a new feeling and the new feeling leads to a more secure reaction.  The result is a new positive cycle.  We spiral up instead of tail spinning down in the dizzying destructive path of insecurity.  
We can choose whether or not those habitual triggers of insecurity go off or fizzle out.  

Beth Moore pointed out that we do not have to attach insecurity to our emotions.  It was a great revelation.  Why do we tend to pair insecurity with negative emotions? 

We can feel disappointed, rejected, hurt, uncertain, humiliated without also attaching insecurity to it.  

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live, that you may love the Lord you God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of you r days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.  Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Choose life.  We have the power to choose.  We don't have to just take every negative emotion and hold onto it as our own.  

Don't feel rejected, reject rejection.  

Don't feel inferior, reject and cast down that feeling.  Make inferiority feel inferior. 

Don't feel incapable, you are able with the Lord.  

We need to "talk" to ourselves.  We are given a choice.  We can hold on to thoughts that lead to death of our self worth and our security, which also keeps us from becoming all God intends.  Or we can choose life giving reactions to those negative feelings.  We don't have to act on how we feel.

Choosing life means choosing to react Christ-like, turning away from sin (selfishness and self absorption that go along with insecurity are also sins), putting others first before ourselves, serving others, choosing a positive mental attitude and holding onto our confidence instead of throwing it away.  

The Lord has a abundant life planned for all of us.  For you.  We can choose to walk in it or choose to wallow in our insecurity.  Let's not throw away all the good God has planned for us, do not throw away your confidence.  Let's toss out that old insecurity and choose life.  Let's leave a legacy of security and confidence in Christ for the generations behind us to follow.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Magical to Mundane

Last week was wonderful. Chris' father treated us and Chris' brother's family to a trip to Disney World.  It was a much needed and welcomed vacation.   Warm, fun, adventuresome, and even restful in the midst of Disney madness.

I have to say coming back to the routine of reality was not necessarily appealing.  The thought of driving kids to school, working, work emails, laundry, homework, driving kids to activities, etc, just made me want to turn right back around and run away to Never Land in Fantasy Land. 

Now, also mix in there the added thought of it being the holiday season and it is a recipe for being overwhelmed if a spoonful of the right attitude or sugar isn't added to help it all go down.  Sorry, I just love Disney analogies and couldn't help myself.  : )

Life is busy with three kids and I do not want to live my life dreading the inevitable everyday essentials.  Life can seem like a mundane merry-go-round at times.  However, I have to remind myself there are those that long for the mundane. 

Cancer, death of a loved one, poverty, care of elderly or the disabled, job loss, foreclosures are just some examples of what some people in the world deal with day in and out.  Probably someone you know, a close friend, or possibly you yourself are dealing with the above and would love a taste of tedious.

We just ended the weekend of Thanksgiving and officially entered into the Christmas season.  Will we carry  the heart of Thanksgiving into the end of the year and beyond?  Thankful in the midst of hustle and bustle (while trying to not have it so hustly and bustly), thankful for the mundane, thankful for the countless blessings that surround us daily...we have so many. 

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalms 118:24
(I know you know this verse, but let us daily make in our confession and aim.)

O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.  Psalms 108:1  
(A heart fixed.  Fixed here is the Hebrew word "kuwn" meaning securely determined, firmly established, fastened, enduring.   Our hearts need to be fastened securely to praise. )

Stop.  Breath in the sweet smell of Christmas.  Take in the glorious lights.  Ponder on the birth of our Savior.  Find magic and beauty surrounding you.  Find things to be thankful for daily......

I am thankful I have three beautiful kids to drive to school and a car to drive them in. 

I am thankful for my job and for the work I do and for good health that enables me to do it.

I am thankful for emails and computers and technology.  (It has made our lives easier in many ways.)

I am thankful we have clothes to wash and for washing machines/dryers.  (Along with that, I am thankful I don't have to go to creek and carry water a mile, make my own soap, build a fire to heat the water, then get my wash board out and scrub all the clothes by hand.  2011 is a nice time to live.)

I am thankful for the school my kids go to and that I am able to help them with homework.  

I am thankful for the activities our kids can be a part of and for the opportunity and means to be able to take them to those activities.   

I am thankful for Immanuel, God with us, Who enables and equips me to do all things unto and for His glory.  I am thankful He gave up His glorious Heavenly realm to live with us.  Talk about returning to the world from Fantasy Land!  From heaven to earth was quite a change for the King of Glory. 

Jesus never complained that his birthplace accommodations were less than desirable, that He had to walk everywhere, or constantly keep an eye on those disciples of His.  He did it all graciously and willingly.  He went from being born in a manger to death on the cross all with an attitude of servanthood and grace.  And yet at times I have difficulty going from my comfortable home to a well known superstore with a graceful and Christ-like attitude!  Oh, Lord, change my heart to be like Yours.

This is the beginning of the Christmas season.  We get to choose our attitude.  We can choose to have our hearts fixed on praise or be bah humbug about the season.  It is Christmas!  The most wonderful time of the year.  Let's unwrap each day as a gift and live thankful for every moment whether magical or mundane.   

With Thankfulness and Praise,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Upon doing a word search, I discovered that the word "Thanksgiving" occurs 28 times in the bible. 

It is not surprising that Thanksgiving means "Thankfulness" or "The giving of thanks". 

I love Thanksgiving.  It is one of my favorite holidays, just below Christmas and Easter. I love the food, the fellowship, the family-time, the food.  Oh, and did I mention the food.  : )

It is also a special time for me because 14 years ago on Thanksgiving day in 1997, my dear husband proposed to me right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner.  It is a very funny story.

I got in my head that we should all go around the table and tell one thing for which we are thankful.  (Now, my family never did this before that year, but it has been repeated often since that year.)  Chris may have planted that seed in my head, I cannot fully remember.  Anywho, there were about 30 family members present.  Finally, it was his turn (I had NO idea it was coming and neither did anyone else!) 

Picture this:  

He is being very sweet telling how thankful he is for me and I am leaking out of every hole in my head. Then he gets down on one knee!  The leaking goes to a whole new level, turning into a full fledge flood.  Now this is the really funny part. --

My Uncle Wayne also figures out what he is about to do and yells, "Stop!  I have to go get the video camera!"  Seriously, I am not making that up!  : )  So, we all wait.  Chris on one knee and me leaking everywhere.   He returned after running upstairs to get the camera and Chris then continued.   I love my Uncle Wayne and I have to say in hindsight I am glad to have it recorded on video.  Thank you Uncle Wayne! 

So, as we go around the table this Thanksgiving--- I am thankful for my Uncle Wayne, thankful for my wonderful husband and that he went through with the proposal 14 years ago, the beautiful children the Lord has given us, our health, our jobs, our home, our church family, our precious friends, Sammy (our dog), my extended family, and for the opportunity to write this blog and for all of you who read it.

Most of all, I am thankful for the Lord's love and grace.  I am thankful for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for me, that all my sins are washed away and that He has made all things new. 

Let's  look at some of those 28 verses and give Him praise and Thanksgiving......

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wonderous works.  Ps. 26:7

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. Ps. 69:30

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 
Ps. 95:2

Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever, Amen.  Rev. 7:12

As we continue around the table, would you share with us one thing you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.....

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Psalms 103:1

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Post Revisited

How God Spoke to Me Thru Disney

God speaks in many different ways.  He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. He spoke to the king of Babylon through writing on a wall. He spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. He spoke to King David through a prophet. And sometimes He speaks to me through....... Disney movies.   Yes,  that is right....Disney movies.
: )

God knows exactly how to speak to us!

About 8 years ago, I knew I was called.  I knew what God wanted me to do and I was not doing it.  I had gotten complacent...lazy.  Television became my favorite escape from the overwhelming realities of a new baby.  God did not want me to escape.  He wanted me to be involved, engaged in life, and in what He had called me to do. 

God decided He had to get my attention.  So, one day while I was watching Disney's The Lion King, God spoke to me.  He spoke very plainly to me.  I hope you have seen it.  It was just re-released by Disney in the theaters in 3D.  It is really good!   : ) 

In case you haven't seen it......  Mufasa is the King of the Jungle (lion) and he has a son, Simba, who is heir to his throne.  Mufusa is killed tragically and Simba thinks it is his fault even though it isn't.  Simba runs away instead of taking his rightful and responsible place as King of the Jungle.  He thinks he is unfit to be king.

I think that is enough information to get my point.

There is a part in the movie where Simba has a dream where Mufasa comes to him and says to him, "You have forgotten me."  Simba shocked says back, "No, how could I?"  Mufasa then says,

"You have forgotten who you are and so you have forgotten me."
"You are more than what you have become."
"Remember who you are... you are my son."

That is when God spoke to me.  He said the same things to me.  It was a wake up call I will never forget.  I had forgotten Him. I had forgotten who I was in Christ and who He created me to be.  I had forgotten my calling, and my responsibilities in the kingdom of God.

We are all heirs in the Kingdom.  We all have responsibilities, gifts, talents, and callings God has given us.  We may feel unfit at times (like Simba did), and we may feel like running away.  However, God has said that He has made us fit and worthy to do whatever He has called us to do through the blood of Jesus. 

When you neglect your calling, you neglect your God. (1 Tim 4:14) God has a great plan for you in His Kingdom, He has something He needs you to do for Him.  

God never gives up on us.  He sees the end result. He knows you are more than you are right now.  (Phil 1:6, Hebrews 13:31) That is not to discourage you, but to encourage you to press on. Be patient as He works on you and in your life.  

Remember Whose You are.  ( 2 Cor 5: 20-21, Rom 8:16-17). You are the child of a King, remember who you are and Who lives in you.
God is speaking to you today.....Remember who you are My son (or daughter)

 I would love to hear some different ways God speaks to you.    : ) 

Friday, November 18, 2011

So Long Insecurity, Week 7, Playing God

I know this Bible Study summary is a little tardy.  I usually post it on Wednesday, but it just wasn't going to happen this past Wednesday.  This girl was happy to get some much needed catch up rest and study up on the back of her eyelids.

On Monday, though, we did have Bible study.  If you are just now joining us, I have been hosting a Bible study at my home on Monday nights for the past several weeks.  We are now on week 7.  We are studying So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.  AWESOME BOOK!

This past week, we read about our tendencies to want to play God.  You may be thinking, "Not me, I don't ever try to play God."  Well, girlfriend, maybe you haven't.  However, I discovered that I have been guilty.

God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing).  Both of these words come straight out of the Latin.  Glad my four years of Latin in high school were good for something! 

Only God is all powerful.  Chronically insecure people have a need for power and control over others. Does anyone you know come to your mind?  Pray for them, they most likely are chronically insecure. 

It is essential that we remember that we are not God, we are not all powerful and we cannot control anyone but our own reactions.  Even that is a stretch, we also need the in-filling of the Holy Spirit to help us react rightly and Christ-like.  We cannot even control our own actions correctly without the Lord, so how do we expect to be able to control others. 

The only person we can change is us.  If there are problems in a relationship, the place to start in making positive changes is in ourselves.  We may want to try to change the other person, but we cannot.  Only God can work on a person's heart and pull it in a direction for change.  However, God cannot even force a person to change.  It is ultimately up to the person to decide to work with the Lord to change.  If God cannot even force a person to change, why do we think we can?  We need to work on ourselves, and submit the situation to the Lord in prayer. 

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.   1Thessalonians 5:23-24

When you became born again, praise the Lord, you were made a new creature.  Your spirit was made new. Holy. Blameless. Righteous.  However, our soul (mind) and body are still in the process of sanctification.  You have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  His ability is in you.  Work with the Lord to fulfill what He wants to accomplish in you.  He who called you is faithful to do it.

Thankfully we do not have to play God, He is alive and working in us and will complete what He began in us and others. 

God is also omniscient or all knowing.  Sometimes people try to play God by digging in and trying to find out more information than they need to know. 

Here is an example from the book: A girl broke into her old boyfriend's email account after they broke up to find out if he had been talking to other girls while they were dating.  The Lord had clearly told this girl that this man was wrong for her, but she couldn't just leave it there.  She wanted details.  She discovered not only details but detriment.  What she learned devastated her. 

As Beth revealed, she had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.  Genesis 2:17
It can be tempting to go beyond what God reveals.  We can be deceived that it will bring wisdom as Eve was deceived.  Her eyes were opened and destruction followed. Only God can know everything and handle it perfectly.

Anything we search for beyond what He reveals can lead us down a path towards death.  It may not be a physical death, but of self-worth, emotional or spiritual.  I am not saying that God won't reveal secrets to us because He will.  However, we know when we have crossed over the line of His divine revelation into our own curiosity.  We are not omniscient and we shouldn't try to play God by digging for every fact in every situation. 

We need to let God be God and let ourselves be human.   We are going to make mistakes, but praise the Lord that He is perfecting us day by day to make us more like Christ.

We don't have to be in control, He is.  We don't have to be omniscient, He is.  Phew, what a load off!  A facet of our security comes from knowing the Great I AM is also the Great HE IS.   HE IS everything we need Him to be.  HE IS more than enough.  HE IS GOD and we are not.

Monday, November 14, 2011

His Will or Your Crayola?

Overflowing with excitement, his body was unable to contain his enthusiasm. His anticipation burst through his limbs with skips, leaps, and bounds.  His destination....the water gun game at Dollywood.

For months, our lovable 9 year old son named Joe, begged to play this carnival game at Dollywood.  We attempted to discourage it knowing he could end up wasting his money and leaving with 5 dollars less and teary-eyed. 

This time, though, he was determined.  He asked for his allowance convinced he would win the over-sized stuffed crayon the size of a small child.  This was the day he had been waiting for all summer. Seriously, or so he insistently told us.  

When we arrived at the long awaited game, only two others plus himself were lined up to play.  He was more convinced than ever that he would finally get his giant crayola trophy.  Then... 2, 3, 4 more entered until the game was nearly full.  The odds were tougher now, but he was still confident. 

My heart was torn.

Part of me wanted my son to lose so he could learn a valuable lesson about being a good steward of money and how paying money to play a game to win something was similar to gambling.  Only do it if you don't mind throwing away money.

The other part of me was hopeful for my son to achieve his heart's desire.  He had waited so long with bubbled over enthusiasm for this crayon he desperately hoped to win.  I so wanted him to have his heart's desire.

So, I prayed....Lord, I pray for your will to be done, whatever is best for Joe.  

The starting bell rang and the guns shot forth streams of water. Joe was ahead.  Oh, he might win!  It looks like he will win....wait, that other one is also close.  RINGGGGG!  Game over.  Joe had lost by less than a centimeter.  It had been so close.  To the naked eye, it looked like a tie.  Tears.  Five dollars gone. Nothing to show for it.

There is always a reason when we do not get what we desperately want.

When God does not give us what we want, it is because He has something better in mind.  God is the only one who knows what is best for us.  He knows whether a job is right for us, whether a house we want to buy will be a blessing or a disaster.  He knows what the future holds and can see into situations unknown to us.

When God says wait or no, we need to trust He has our best interests at heart.  He always wants what is best for His children, just like I want what is best for my son.  Joe's idea of what was best in this case was not necessarily what was best for him.  He couldn't see the big picture.  God sees the big picture. 

We need to be careful about insisting on our own way with the Lord.  The children of Israel insisted on having a king even though the Lord warned them against it.  In 1 Samuel chapter 8 it explains how Samuel warned the Israelites about all the negative consequences of having a king rule over them.  However, they did not listen to the voice of the Lord and insisted on their own way.

God will give you your own way even if it is not best for you if you insist on going against His voice. 
Our prayer in areas of uncertainty of the Lord's will needs to be for His will to be accomplished.  Then, trust in His provision.  We need to have a healthy fear of the Lord that restrains us from asking Him repeatedly for something that may not be His perfect will for us.  

Seek the Lord while He may be found, 
Call upon Him while He is near....
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:6-9

He always will give us what is best for us when we trust in Him.  It may not be in our timing or in the way we think is best. It will always be in His divine timing and in the way that is His best for us.  The Lord is never late and He is never less than best.

So, if you don't get that giant crayon you've been wanting, remember the Lord has something better in mind for you.  Christ-like character is developed in us in the waiting.  God is more interested in the condition of our hearts than the condition of our pocket books.  Our character development and heart conditions are more valuable than any monetary treasure we may desire.

It says in God's Word, those who have faith and patience will inherit the promise (Hebrews 6:12).   Patience is only developed by waiting.  Wait with faith, expecting God's best and He will always deliver.  It may not be in the exact color you were expecting, but it will be what you need to help color in the picture of God's perfect will for your life. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Ugly Cry

Have you ever experienced the "Ugly Cry"?  You know, when you cry and your face gets all red while snot and tears run everywhere.  The type of crying where you really know you should stop but your emotions are at odds with your mind.  The only thing worse is when that happens in a public place. 

Maybe I'm the only one this has ever happened to, it is quite embarrassing.  Thankfully, it hasn't happened often, only a few times that I can recall. One of those times was this past Wednesday night. 

I arrived at church with my emotions already raw from something I won't go into at this time and then my husband and I had a disagreement.  (Doesn't the enemy like to do that right before church?!)  There was one other thing that happened that really sent me into an emotional tail spin.  Both of us were serving in ministry areas that night, so we didn't have time to talk about the disagreement.  We just had to go inside and try to put on our "church face". 

I don't like pretense.  Sometimes just fessing up that we are going through something and admitting that we could use some prayer is best. Life can overwhelm us.  Nothing is too hard for God.  We don't necessarily have to wear our emotions on our sleeves and we should try to control our emotions.  However, I have seen people drown in their pretense because they wouldn't reach up for help for fear of what people would think. Many times people put on a "church face" when they should be seeking the "Face" of the Church-- Jesus.

This night, however, I wish I could have put on a church mask.  I was a mess and everyone who was around me knew it.  I couldn't hide it.  The tears started rolling and wouldn't stop.  If I could have stopped them, I would have gladly done it.  It was quite embarrassing.  Thankfully, I found a closet in the ministry area I was serving in and I went inside the closet to hide. Yes, that is right, to hide.

God is so good.  It was a supply closet and one my dear friends was also in the closet. (No, she wasn't crying, she was getting supplies.)     : )   One of the supplies she was getting was chocolate to pass out in the children's department.   She prayed with me and gave me a piece of chocolate.  What a great friend?!  God provided a friend and chocolate!  I tell you, God is so good! 

Let's fast forward now to Thursday.  My emotions were better now as I had time to process and pray about the situation. However, it was still there....lingering.  Plus now I was embarrassed about my ugly crying at church the night before.

But God.....  God did something amazing on Thursday.  He provided everything needed to calm my unsettled emotions-- 

He had a doctor call me with good news that I desperately needed to hear.  The doctor's timing couldn't have been any better.  He had a friend call me and encourage me without her knowing the timeliness of the phone call.  He had another friend provide confirmation and assurance that I was doing the right thing in stepping down from an overcommitment.  He had my wonderful husband provide me with a much needed night off. 

God graced me with everything I needed.  By the end of Thursday night, His love and grace covered me and I was overwhelmed with His goodness and love. 

He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.  Ephesians 3:20

Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:19

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song I praise Him.  Psalms 28:7

I know my God will meet my every need.  I know He will make a way where I cannot see the way.  I know He is my strength and my ever present help.  My heart is glad and I rejoice in Him.

I don't know why God calls me to tell on myself and announce to you when I make a fool out of myself.  My prayer is that it helps you in some way and glorifies Him.  If you cannot relate to this post, don't tell me and just pretend you didn't read it. ; )  Wednesday I was not ok, but thank the Lord that sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning!  He is good, His mercies are new every morning.  I will rejoice in Him today! 

Love to you all,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So Long Insecurity, Remember Who You Are

This week was a different kind of week in the bible study.  We didn't go over many of the discussion questions, we watched a Simulcast from Beth Moore.  Today I am going to share some truths from the Simulcast plus some personal revelation as the Lord leads.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1

If you are a parent, you probably realize that your children imitate you, good or bad.  We are God's children and as God's child we should imitate God. 

The reason I do this blog is because God told me to "tell people who they are" and "tell them I love them."  So, if you wonder why I talk about our identity in Christ in abundance, that is the reason.  Our security level is directly related to how much we believe God loves us. 

When we KNOW we are beloved children of God, we act differently.

I know someone who every time their teenage son left the house, she would remind them...."Remember who you are, you are a {their last name} and a child of God."   How we think about ourselves is vitally influential in how we act.

Eph 5:1 starts with the word "Therefore", so you know the verses before that one were related to this one. Looking at those verses helps reveal more insight into what imitating God looks like.

Put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:24

This verse is power packed with punch.   We are NOT our old selves.  Do you see that?!!! We were created in true righteousness and holiness!  We are a new creation in Christ, but we have to be convinced of it by the renewing of our mind in God's Word (2 Cor 5:17). If you believe you are your old self, you will act like your old self.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:29-32.

Yikes!  I don't know about you, maybe you always do well with this and only speak everything positive and always forgive perfectly and immediately.  I am becoming more like Jesus, but I am still working on it!  These verses speak to me and penetrate my heart.  It says these things grieve the Holy Spirit. I don't want to grieve Him. 

If we ever want to be secure, we have to forgive.  Many times when we are offended, it is out of insecurity.  Maybe someone looks at you wrong or says something that rubs you the wrong way.  They may not have even meant anything by it, but it is our insecurity that causes us to be offended by it.  When we are secure, we let things go and we do not let ourselves get offended.

Everything comes back to love.

When we know we are loved, we love. When we know we are loved, we forgive.  When we know we have been graced by God, we give grace to others.

You can look at it as you have the power to forgive.  It is in your hands, it is in your control.  The other person may not even know they need forgiveness.  If we ever want to be secure, WE HAVE TO FORGIVE.

I want to leave you with this one question posed by Beth the other night....

How different would we be if we went into every situation knowing we are the one loved by God?  Would we act differently?  Would we stand up a little taller?  Would we let offenses role off our backs?

So, today I tell you as you walk out your door, "Remember who you are, you are the one He loves.  You are His child."


Friday, November 4, 2011

By His Spirit and Grace

I am excited to announce that today I am guest poster on my dear friend, Becky Crenshaw's blog.  Please go to this link The Word of God and a Cup of Joe to see today's post, By His Spirit and Grace.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So Long Insecurity, Week 5, Clothed in Strength and Dignity

I have to say I am loving this Bible study.  I love the ladies coming, the material, everything.  I am so glad you decided to join us here today.  This week we are talking about our clothing, but not your average clothing.

Clothes are fun!  As women, we love to go shopping and get new clothes. The way we are dressed can definitely impact our outlook.  It can also affect our inlook, meaning how we view ourselves. 

(I know inlook is not a real word...but maybe it should be one.) ; ) 

What we wear can determine how we act, how we walk, or talk.  We just feel a little better about ourselves when we have the right clothing on and our countenance reflects it. 

There is nothing worse for triggering insecurity than when we go somewhere and realize we are under dressed.   Likewise, the same is true if we go to a party and everyone is in jeans while we are wearing an evening gown.  The right clothing helps us feel secure. 

The Bible talks a lot about our clothing, but not our material clothing.  God says we are clothed in salvation, we are clothed with a robe of righteousness (Is 61: 10).  He says to "put on" (as clothes) kindness, humility, patience (Col 3:12).  We learned this week that He also says we are clothed in dignity and strength.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.  Proverbs 31:25

When you think of the term "dignified", who comes to your mind?  I think about our Pastor's wife, Nora King.  I also think about Presidents and first ladies.  Do you think of yourself?

God says we are clothed in dignity.  Doesn't that make you stand up a little taller, throw your shoulders back a little more, and make you feel better than when you have a new outfit to show off?  (I know none of you show off, but just saying.)

When we KNOW we are clothed with strength and dignity, it will cause us to act and react differently to situations. 

Psalms 8:5 says:  God has "crowned (humans) with glory and honor."

A crown is a type of clothing.  We are crowned with glory, honor, strength, dignity."  When someone is "crowned", doesn't that immediately say to you that person is worthy of respect and honor?  That is us! 

God has covered us with His strength and His dignity.  It increases our confidence when we know who we are in Christ, and who God has created us to be.  It not only increases our earthly confidence, it increases our confidence with the Lord. 

Hebrews 4:16 says "come boldy [with free and fearless confidence] to the throne of Grace".  In 1 John 5:14-15 says:

This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

If we ask ANYTHING according to His will, He will do it.  There are certain things we KNOW are God's will and that is where we can be confident it will be done.  However, we have to "know that He hears us" and believe He will do it. 

You can take this one to the bank--It is God's will for us to be secure.   It is God's will for us to know we are worthy.  It is God's will for us to understand that we are clothed with strength and dignity and to walk in that strength.  If you have been struggling with insecurity, you can begin to pray to ask Him for help.  Ask Him to lead you into security in Him.  He will answer.

He has a brand new outfit waiting for you.  So, stand up a little taller, throw those shoulders back a little more and show off your new outfit from the Lord, the clothing of strength and dignity.