Book of Rememberance

Malachi 3:16

God Decides

 

Yesterdays sermon at church really had me thinking the past two days.  I love when I leave a teaching and  it stirs a lot of thoughts and questions and reflection in my life.  Its the best sign I have for myself to know that I am growing.. or at least that God is trying to grow me up and if I am willing to allow Him then I will be growing!

Allowing God to change me is a whole other topic that I can’t get into here, but needless to say this is the most difficult part of God’s work I am sure! It is a clear demonstration as to why God’s mercy would need to be new every morning. Ever wonder why that might be? Come and meet me and you will have all the answer you need 🙂 Lam. 3:22-23  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

God is great though! And as is usual for me, my thoughts tend to ruminate around His greatness, our lameness and how we can fit together with such a Holy Lord.

The sermon was short and sweet, but extremely effective!  It brought up some questions that I needed working out, and I am ever so thankful for my very understanding husband to work with me through my thoughts and questions.

Basically I left thinking about our circumstances and how no matter what situation or place in life you may be right now, God is fully in control and the long and the short of it is that He allows you to be where you are for His glory. If one is a born-again spirit filled follower of Christ Jesus, and are walking in a manner that pleases Him as best you can and your ever striving to live in obedience than basically you are where God wants you to be. That made me think about the most simple parts of our lives.

For example if I wanted to change my job….I am free to do so. It is wise to pray before hand but generally speaking we are free to choose our jobs and God has given us the liberty to do so. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and 10:23-33 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. ) But it occurred to me that even if I changed my job my overall living arrangements, situation and financial position at this current time in my life will not be improved hardly at all (if anything it would decline) if I changed my job. It kinda makes me laugh. If God wants me to make more money then I will! In the earth there are principles I need to adhere to and in the natural I need to meet these, but If God wants me to make more or less money, move further or closer to home, or be married or unmarried, have children or not…..whatever it is, God is fully in control and at the end of the day He gets to decide! (For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Ps. 75:6-7)

It makes me so in awe of Him. How much love He has for us, How strong he is to carry our burdens and give us His, ( Matt. 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.)and how well He can manage our lives even when we give him the mess we made out of them!

It really takes the pressure off! I know that I have to do what I can to meet the goals and requirements of the natural order here on Earth, but in addition to doing my part I have God! No one can do His part and His part will always take precedence over anything else.  This has also helped me to really understand the necessity of prayer and the importance that we must learn to give prayer in our life and relationship with God. (more on that another day.)

So that’s what I have been thinking about!

Talk to ya later!!

 

 

 

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Passion and Purity

This is a book by Elisabeth Elliot. If you are not familiar with her life and story I recommend looking her up….But it is not for the faint-hearted! Let me tell you, her life scared me and gave me new fears I had never even thought about fearing. But its an amazing example of Gods grace and mercy in life so I still recommend it!

I was reading this book, and though I thought it would help me to keep my focus on God while in the midst of a relationship and waiting for marriage, it really didn’t pertain to this type of life. I mean it was still really good and helpful, but I much more suggest this book for those who are still waiting for God to manifest their mate for them or confirm singleness. It would have been a huge help a couple of years ago for me! None the less there is always something to learn.

I just want to share some things I gleaned from the book in the hopes that it will strike a chord in someone else and be an encouragement for those who are growing weary of the fight.

Surrender:

When we are attempting too and striving towards surrendering to the Lord we must keep in mind: an utter yielding of our best. So as long as our idea of surrender is limited to the renouncing of unlawful things, we have never really grasped its true meaning: that is not worthy of the name for “no polluted thing” can be offered. This really made me think. How often I struggle to surrender and yield up the sins I have taken for my own, and the wrong thoughts, actions and emotions to the Lord, knowing they displease Him, I offer them to Him in the hopes of pleasing Him. But isn’t it true that offering Him sin and polluted things is similar to what Cain did when he offered fruits of the ground which God Himself had already cursed?

I used to often think about how broken I was. That I was useless and too big of a mess for even Jesus, how could I possibly be given in marriage to another? If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will only satisfy a little lad”.

Patience:

I am not naturally a patient person. Actually in Bible study this week we discovered that I am actually not impatient either. I know what your thinking…how can you not be either. But its true! I actually have no time to be impatient! haha

I act so quickly and immediately that truly I rarely have time to feel impatient. BUT this is not a good thing! Slow to speak quick to listen the Bible teaches… I am not very slow at anything at all and this oftentimes gets me into trouble or regret. But it also leads to me being so independent and I do not rely on others very well, because factually its faster if I just do things myself. Patient waiting is an important discipline for anyone who wants to learn to trust. Truthfully it is hard for me to trust anyone because I do most of all things myself. When I do find myself in the place that I need to trust someone else to take care of something, I am anxious (impatient!) fearing they will take too long, or wont do it in time. Now usually I am right. People do tend to do things much slower than me, but I need to be merciful and realize that a) its done just as well and the timing is rarely as important as I make it out to be. b) often its done better because others took the time to look at the fine details that I tend to overlook or miss completely and in the end I am very thankful that someone else took care of it instead of me.

Waiting will not be the same for all people. I hear stories that were meant to be encouraging but was actually terrifying, examples such as “I know someone who was 56 when they got married, never give up!” “My daughter was 49 when she met her husband and she’s never been happier” “I waited 16 years but God was faithful”. The list could go on and on! Me personally? I waited almost 8 years, though I only waited well about 1 year so I don’t know if the first seven years even counted! Each of us will have to take Christ’s yoke upon ourselves and learn of Him. I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.It is easier to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence – easier sometimes then to wait patiently.

This is so so true! When I said I waited well only one year though I was waiting 7 years I meant it. I got myself into situations and relationships that were not pleasing to the Lord, and caused both of us much pain and heartache that could have been avoided if  I had simply obeyed and waited well. Instead I greatly hurt others, and God as well as myself because of my selfishness to make things happen instead of resting in patience.

Reflect and meditate on Gods word, and HIS definition of patience and waiting well. We can all learn from Him. The True example of Surrender and Patience for us to follow

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What’s the Point?

I’ve been really thinking about a ton of things these days. In regards to my walk with the Lord and my Christianity in general, my focus has been shifted some what and I can honestly say that I have a completely different view about things than I have ever had before.

I am not really sure of everything that may have brought on my change of focus and perspective but I am sure it is likely a combination of factors and people in my life that have helped to lead me here, in addition to books I have been reading ect..

My first thought is about salvation. There are so many times in the past that I doubted my salvation and was not really sure that my motive was blameless and holy at all. In the past 2 years I had pretty much over come that, with faith and placing my security in the cross and blood of Jesus Christ. However, it seems to be cyclical and recently I have struggled again with condemnation and uncertainty about my spiritual health.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. For one, it causes me to really evaluate my life and actions, as well as thoughts and responses. It also helps me to have more fear of the Lord and we can always use more of that! But on the other hand, I think it causes my focus to be off of the Lord and onto myself, and my own life. This is not a pretty place to be!

Now, I have really come to a place where I feel for once that my love for the Lord is more genuine and sincere than it has ever been.  I made an absolute decision that no matter what I was feeling or thinking, I would serve the Lord and honour Him in my life and choices no matter the outcome.

As a Christian this is the basic thought most of us have, and think we have towards God in general, I would guess. If you ever asked me I would be confident to declare this absolutely. However, I came to realize that I did not quite understand the Lord or the motives behind my life.

God is God! He is Amazing, Glorious, Perfect, Wonderful, Loving, Forgiving, Righteous, Holy. I mean the list could go on and on. But how often I had an incorrect perspective about our relationship.

I often hear Christians talking about Heaven. It’s such a glorious place, no more pain or suffering. Heartaches are gone, illness does not exist, bodies are made whole ect.. All the very truthful and biblical descriptions of heaven are always all around us. Oh ya and God will be there too! Isn’t that great?! But I realized that so often we talk about heaven as a place where things are wonderful instead of talking about WHO is Wonderful. The benefits of heaven and the great things we look forward to when we get there are so excellent, but more than that GOD IS THERE!!! Those things are a result of God’s presence. How much more I wish we would emphasize God for HIM, who He is, rather than what He does and gives us.

Frequently,  I hear the fear of hell and wanting to run towards The Lord for Salvation. He does in deed save, but should I not rather fear God than hell and run into His Arms instead of into His Kingdom?

I have firmly decided that I Love God truly, and that I will love Him no matter what. Today, my motive for loving Him is not simply to get to heaven, or even to be with Him one day. I love Him because He is God! He is worthy and He deserves so much more than even the most I have to offer Him. I choose to love and serve Him. Heaven is no longer my goal. Salvation is also no longer my goal because I realized that in the midst of assuming I am actually unsaved I continue to serve the Lord anyhow. The only reward I seek for is to know that I have served the Living God, Worthy and Perfect One as best I can and with all the resources He has given me.

If God has mercy on me and chooses to extend His salvation to me in the end then I will gratefully rejoice. If not, than He is righteous and Just anyhow so I will still be grateful that in my little time here on earth I had the opportunity to converse and serve Him anyway.

I am striving towards God and no longer heaven, I am loving Him because He Is and not for what He can give me or promise me.

 I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (Exodus 33:19b)

May we all be found in His Grace and Mercy for another day.

 

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Concerning Discerning

There are some things in life and about my life that have often puzzled me when I take the time to think about them… or am faced dealing with them directly.  One of those things that has been keeping me up these days is the differences between feelings and emotions. In fact it took me until just the other day to realize there was in fact a difference between them. At least there is for my understanding and purposes.

The definitions are as follows:

emotion  e·mo·tion (ĭ-mō’shən)
n.  An intense mental state that arises subjectively rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.

feeling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    n.  An affective state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments, or desires.

According to these definitions, feelings and emotions are connected and are often in many dictionaries synonyms of the same expression.  For our everyday purposes this works and makes perfect sense. I am often using either word interchangeably when having conversations. However for expressing my spiritual self it doesn’t work the same way. Now maybe I just don’t know the word I should be using, or the one that is meant to express that which I am often trying to understand myself, but either way I need to clarify the differences.

I want to show a difference between them because I am a Christian and I trust in the Lord to lead and guide me in His Word and in His ways. This is still a great and amazing mystery to me!

I struggle sometimes with my emotions. Those unconscious reactions to what is going on around me. These are always for me situational and subjective. My emotions are fickle. They change very quickly depending on whats happening and what I’m doing. I can not choose an emotion nor prevent an emotion from rising up in me. But I can control the emotion and control my physical response to that. ( Well at least theoretically I can, the reality of me doing this is not always the case). I can shut up when I want to scream, I can run when I want to fight, I can clean when I want to cry.. you get the idea.  I also believe that our thoughts can add or take away from  the effects of emotions.

If I am angry thinking about the thing that made me so angry always makes me angrier. When I’m sad continuing to replay the sadness makes it nearly impossible to stop the tears but on the other hand of I  think of something else, even neutral, I can tuck those emotions away and go on with my day.

So where do feelings come in I guess you may be wondering…and whats the big deal of talking about why they may be different…

Well,  when I have been at a critical point and a very specific decision needs to be made, and I have prayed for Gods direction.. there is that moment when I know what God has told me to do. How do I know? I don’t know!!! It’s just  a very deep peaceful feeling that I know what the right action is to take.  I have a feeling of peace though the situation may not be peaceful. I have a feeling of confidence in the choice though I may not know the outcome. Sometimes its directly against the thing I want to do… in that case it’s bizarre to have a feeling toward something that I want and yet a different feeling toward that thing I feel God is directing me toward. I can not explain this. I hardly understand it at all. How does that work?

Now this is very important to be able to distinguish between a feeling and emotion. Especially for  me as I go to a rather charismatic church and though my pastors are not overly emotional the congregation can often respond that way. It’s important for me to differentiate when the people are flowing out of emotion and when the spirit is flowing freely.  I am blessed in that I have a rather critical heart..and in comparison to others I too am not overly emotional. I never enjoy experiences but always want the lesson that God is teaching. But I can not say with certainty that at times I don’t mistake my emotion with feeling that God is leading me. It happens! I wish it didn’t but I have no perfected discernment.. on the other hand I have gotten more deliberate and take time to act or speak to be as certain as I possibly can when I feel God is talking vs when I know its my emotions just on a rampage! I have gotten better at discerning and continue to grow as God provides me with lessons and situations.

I hope to have a more biblical understanding of this as I study about it. I know that God has provided the answers to my questions through His Word and when I take the time to search it He will teach me along the way. (Proverbs 25:2)

Maybe next time I will be more capable of discussing the differences between confidence and  confirmation.

Blessings 🙂

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Free will is not free.

Some things I have been thinking about these days:

Free Will (is expensive!).

Ephesians 2:10.

Good works.

Timing.

I know there is a ton there. One topic alone could take up multiple posts! But these are some things that weigh heavy on me recently.

Free will, and how we use it. Wow! what a massive responsibility God has given us. The best thing I can think to do with this is just give it right back to the Lord! I don’t want it and I can’t afford it!! It terrifies me to think about every choice I make and the results and consequences that come from each and every one..Pricey!

Most of the decisions we make in a day may not seem to have any huge impact on our lives as a whole, but it’s in those moments when it is that very decision that proves to be life changing or costly that we stop and think about “what if I did___ or didn’t___”.

My favourite line from one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums: 🙂 “Just an ordinary day, like when I met you. It’s funny how life can take new meaning, you came and changed what I believe in….”

I love it! But seriously. When I stop to think about how many of the little choices I make each day actually have huge effects on my life; it’s scary to think of the responsibility God has given us with free will.

Ephesians 2:10 talks about the good works that God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Yikes.

I think about this a lot. I think God has great and awesome plans for our lives, and I also think that when we pray and turn to Him for direction that He is very faithful and He will direct us..at least one step at a time (even if He wont show us the whole map, or destination before we start.)

But when I combine this verse with the reality of free will, the responsibility grows even more in my heart. I truly believe there are things in particular people’s’ lives that God has in mind for them and he puts things in our hearts and personality that enable us to live these plans out in a fulfilling manner.

I really don’t think God wants us to be miserable, and He knows that when we are satisfied we will be the most productive. For example, I think about Paul’s writing about marriage. He wishes all could be like him (single), but he knows that some do not have the gift to be satisfied in that.. so for those people he writes instructions.  Jesus also talks about this (Matt 19:10-12)So there are some who must due to their lives, and some who have chosen to live alone for God, but then those who would be much more satisfied and productive in a union: Free will!

I also believe there are people who God has a plan for in a specific way and He knows that they would be best with another particular child of His in carrying out this work. But as a general idea, I do not think that God has one specific person for me to marry that He has planned from the beginning. (I may or may not be right, it’s just my opinion) However, by using the wisdom, discernment and Word that He has given I can make a Godly choice and follow His leading to either be single and work and live for the furtherance of His Kingdom in that manner. Or, I can marry a mighty man of God, who is also seeking to further the Kingdom and we can together look to God for His direction and seek His blessing on the relationship. Both are scriptural, God centered, and will- in their own way bring Glory to His name. (Which no matter what is always the goal!)

The good works God has planned for us to walk in is kind of center to all of our choices and actions. This can be successfully carried out alone, or in unity. I think that overall this is the greatest responsibility. Look to God for the works He has planned for us and then Do them! Alone, with a spouse, with friends, as a church…Whatever!   God has given us free will, but also His Word for direction, and as a standard to hold each one of our decisions up against to be sure it fits. Wisdom also, is given to make the right free-will-choices to serve the Lord.

I may be wrong but I think half the things we worry about as far as whether it is in God’s plan or not are not really that much of a concern to God. Follow His Word, look to Him for direction and go forward. We have the free will to choose within the boundaries and  guardrails He has provided for us. If we do so in a way that is honouring to Him, He will bless it and be a part of it.

I think we should stop asking “is this Gods plan/time?” (that’s what praying is for!) and start really asking. “What good works did God plan for me? What am I suppose to be walking toward? Who am I meant to be helping?” “How should I spend/use my time and money?” “Where can/should I go?” These are the things I believe that God will be looking at when he looks at how we used our free will.

You and I are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.  So take a step and start walking, I’ll see you there!

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**Just in case: I want to clarify that I do not take marriage lightly. In fact I think it is the second most important decision one will make besides choosing to Follow Christ. But what I meant by having free will is just that if you meet a mate that is living their life for the Lord, you have prayed about it extensively and you have complete peace about the person; there are no signals or nagging uneasiness about him/her, you do not feel God saying “no”. Than there is no reason to fear that God will not be a part of the union if you invite Him to be. He will bless it if it lines up with His Word!

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“That’s such a Cliché!”

I’ve been learning a great deal about Gods timing in my life. For a long time for me it was more of an expression that was used or in some ways a cliché trying to explain life, or comfort someone when you don’t really know what to say about why things are the way that they are…or not.

But I have been absolutely in awe about the way God has worked things out in my life and the lives around me. In the past I have always been impressed with how God would put it on the heart of my pastor to teach on a particular topic, and then I might go home and listen to some of my favourite online sermons shockingly be teaching on the same topic, and then I may come across someone else talking about the same topic in a completely unrelated circle… It made me so excited about what God was doing and how He is SO like that! To confirm and be sure that His people are getting the message that He wants us to learn at this time. He is truly awesome that way.

However, when it came to  life situations, “Gods timing” always seemed like a cop out to a real answer, or an excuse to try to explain away feelings, longings and disappointments, death and unanswerable circumstances that we try to reason out.

This isn’t actually wrong. I mean, God is ultimately in control, and all things are contingent upon His Will…. thus His timing.

But the problem for me came when I wasn’t reverent to His timing.  I couldn’t appreciate the blessing of His timing in my life.  I was always questioning Him, and asking Him about when things were gonna happen.

I have been learning through His Word, by committing to apply the Bible to my daily life that there is nothing that can be compared with His timing in our lives. I often remind myself of Numbers 14:39-45 when it comes to appreciating God’s Timing. (for context you may want to start around verse 6)

When I had finally committed my life and my plans into God’s hands and given up the need to control my life and the path that I wanted it to take, I was completely free to embrace God’s Will and timing for my life. This is only through the gift of God’s Grace that I can reflect on this because by nature I am a planner. I have had lists and lists mapped out for my life/timeline since I was a very young girl. Of course that left me with nothing but disappointment and sadness, but none the less I hung onto those, re-adjusting as the years went by (and nothing was coming to pass as expected).  Then, finally I GOT IT! My life is not my own, it belongs to Another. It was bought at a great price. I’m not in control, and trying to be/pretending to be is only causing frustration, stress and anxiety.  I have only ever been able to find freedom from this in submission to the Lord.

Now, I don’t say this because it was easy, actually it was really hard and I have by no means perfected it, or come to the the place that I am able to successfully do this all the time. But through Grace I am getting better.

I actually do not have a list anymore! (Shock to those who really know me)
and though naturally I do have ideals, and things that would “seem to be the best time” but I am constantly bringing them back the Lord and asking Him to remind me that this keeps me from freedom or doing things His way – when He sees fit.

I am not trying to say that we don’t need to have some plans or make provision for the future, that’s not it at all.  (Proverbs 22:3, 27:12) I have hopes and dreams, and things that I have held up against scripture to be sure they are in alignment with His Ideals. But the danger comes when we place that above walking in the Spirit, and being lead by Him to accomplish that which He desires for us to do; instead of trying to accomplish that which I want me to do for me. The Bible says without vision the people perish (Proverbs 29:18) , and that vision is very important, make it plain and write it clearly (Habakkuk 2:2). But do not idolize that vision. Prayerfully consider it, then hand it over to God to bring it to pass and direct you. (Proverbs 16:9, 19:21) Part 2 to that would be also not to be so boxed in to how it is meant to look or be. Most of the things that have been God directed in my life are the heart of things I have prayed for but actually do not look anything life what I had pictured at all.

I had prayed for years to live in a peaceful home – He brought me to Japan. I had prayed for joy in being a housewife – He gave me a job that brings me incomparable joy, I cant wait for the weekend to be over and to get to go back! I prayed for children – He gave me the most precious students that I have ever had the privilege of being around. From toilet training to grade 1 I have never known a love like this before.  I prayed to marry a Japanese and live in Japan forever – He gave me …… (to be continued 🙂 )

God has always fulfilled everyone one of my hearts desires…. yet never the way I imagined it when I was asking!

How much I would have missed out on if He ever listened to me. I’m so thankful He doesn’t!

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Word Up!

My favourite verse of all time is Malachi 3:16-17  Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels. And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.

This verse is the very reason I wanted to write a blog. Because I know the power if the Lord of Hosts in my life and what it means to be counted a jewel in His eyes.

When I started writing this, it was for me. To remember my struggles, and the breakthroughs that God has given. How I wish I would have written during the times when I was first getting to know the Lord. The power of Jesus in my life to save me is still shocking! I am in awe that He would choose me of all the people that have the privilege to know Him. I am always asking “why me?!” It makes no sense at all! But I know that His grace makes absolutely no sense at all in any case so I am learning to accept that!  I used to think “how can there be this many things wrong with any one person!” Just thinking about the life that God saved me from is overwhelming. Back then, I came to the Lord brokenhearted in many ways, not just from a love, but I was struggling with years of eating disorders, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness and all the effects that that evil can do to a young heart and soul. Truly I say that His Word can overcome ANYTHING! (Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost)

When I first started posting, I was going through a real self discovery time. I was learning not just about the God I serve but also, about myself and the  “whys” behind the “whats”. The Lord brought me through that time, and showed me so much about myself, my personality and really had me question my thoughts, actions, motives and responses to how I related with people and life.

It was so hard!  I was questioning my purpose as a woman, my singleness at a time in my life when I really thought I would have been fulfilling my dreams as a wife and mother. I questioned my decision to live in Japan and to stay here until I knew God was directing otherwise. But then I was also questioning my salvation frequently and my relationship with the Lord. Everything was in confusion and uncertainty during most of 2010.

Now, nearly 2 years later, the changes I can physically see and reflect on are astounding! I am NOT the same person at all. God has completely made me whole, and is in the process of repairing the damaged parts of my personality and heart. I will never stop declaring the power of  His word to cleanse, and renew the mind. His promises to do this are sure! (John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you; Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind, Colossians 3:10 have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created it 2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day)

The Lord has recently opened a new chapter in my book of remembrance. Its been the reason I haven’t been able to write as I used to! I said God is in the repairing process…its still on going. I have fears and insecurities that have been holding me back from sharing the new things that God is doing… But I think it will be regretful for me if I am not reminding myself of how AWESOME God is in the center of this newness in my life. Especially because I am SO Very THANKFUL, and I want to say so! Psalm 100:4  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

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Overwhelmed

Wow, its been ages since Ive posted… it’s not even that I don’t have a million things to write about, and so many things that God has been doing in my life; But its just that I have a million things to write about and so many things that God has been doing in my life!

Its overwhelming and I have been having the hardest time putting it in to words even.  But at the same time I lost a part of  the journey from not taking the time to record it.

The purpose of writing this thing when I started was basically to just keep my own “book of remembrance” about everything that God has done for me and in me in order to remind myself in those times when I feel He has left me (even though I know He never has… sometimes that feeling can win over the knowledge) that actually I am His very own and He has everything under control.

A while back I was posting things about the journey that God had taken me on in order to meet… myself. It was horrible! But it was necessary. And since that time I have been so much more open to Him and His ways than I had ever been before.

Its an amazing place to get to when you can actually with ALL Honesty say “whatever Your will Lord, not mine”

I had said those words about various situations in my life countless times.. but never meant it with the degree of sincerity that I learned from last year of getting to know myself.
I’m thinking of Luke 22:62 in which Peter met himself after having denied the Lord. I can kind of understand what happened inside of Peter. He thought he was alright, he thought he was strong and ready… but then he met himself and weeping followed. I also met myself for the first time… and wept bitterly.

But this was an awesome year even though there were some very painful things as well. I learned a lot about my family -especially my dad after my mom died. It helped me to see myself and them from a different perspective.  I continued to learn a lot about myself. I learned that inside this broken heart and damaged soul there was still that same innocence and femininity that I had so bottled up and shoved deep down, away from the world to see.

I learned some weird things about myself, and memories I had long forgotten became so clear and vivid. God is amazing at that kind of stuff… at just the right moments. He reminded me of my girly-ness and how much I enjoy wearing dresses, ribbons and bows. He showed me my old personality, completely void of harshness, cynicism and negativity….this is taking time to get back but I have noticed great changes already. He is worthy of praise!!

Slowly but surely I’m coming back to being that girl once again. I’m starting to remember who I was and who He made me to be. The hurts and pain in my past were very real, but they are just that – PAST! and unless I allow them to, they no longer have any bearing on my current life and future path. I no longer want them to have a say about how I feel in situations, or how I react, how I communicate or how I view other people.

God is preparing each of us for this life and the Will He has for us to live with Joy and Peace and Love. For each of us this road is very different and not all lead to the same ends. But I’m now coming to understand that each place the Lord brings us to really will be for His Glory and therefore our fulfillment because nothing will fulfill us the way that bringing Praise and Glory to His name ever will.

I’m in a brand new place at this very moment, in all areas of of my life. But most importantly the place I am with the Lord right now is the most exhilarating. I am struggling in many aspects but victorious at the same time! I’m pressing in and calling out to Him desperate and hungry for more… but at the same time I’m ultimately satisfied and peaceful.  (Peace being the most unfamiliar experience in my life until now.)

I guess this is what pruning feels like. Its painful! -Shears and clippers are sharp and do damage to some of the things we may not be ready to cut off… but in the end I will produce a greater quality of fruit than I currently produce so I choose to be thankful and appreciative of this time.

The Lord is FULL of surprises! He loves to do that kind of thing I think. I often tell people when you pray very specifically to the Lord about what you want and think you need; He will give you none of it and all of it.  This is the truest thing I have discovered in recent days and every day it becomes much clearer and truer!

Take some time one of  these days to meet yourself. You may be surprised what you learn – but allowing God to reveal you to you will bring nothing short of Glory to His Holy Name in the end. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Selah.

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Trust in the Lord

Yay! I have been really wanting to get on here and write, and now that my Japanese class is finally over I have some time in my life again! I gotta pace myself as God has been working overtime! Not only do I not know where to begin… I can’t even try to share it all!

In the last post which was ages ago I mentioned about what I was learning from Proverbs 3:5-6. I promised to share on that cause it was really exciting stuff!

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I highlighted specific words in the passage that I want to focus directly on. The definitions and synonyms come from the Hebrew dictionary or Strong’s concordance

Trust: rely on, put confidence in

The definition of trust in the dictionary is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone/thing.  One in which confidence is placed”.

What am I trusting in?

The overwhelming truth is that God is trustworthy, and unchanging.  An unchanging God makes it possible for me to fully trust in Him and rely on Him without any hesitation or reservations. Because He is good all the time, and all His ways are perfect (no matter how they may appear to me in my ignorance.) The fact that God is in fact unchanging is a core foundation of our trust in Him. It makes it possible and practical!

The question of course is how do I do this with my whole heart? As I mentioned before I have no trouble doing this with parts of my heart and life.. but the whole thing… I struggle with that. However, I am learning bit by bit that over thinking, and planning is the biggest roadblock to succeeding in trusting with my whole heart. If I do it by faith and stop planning or thinking how and when God is going to accomplish such and such and I just take it as it is. God will do it some time and someway. Period. I find that if I resolve to just leave it at that and then fill up my mind with thanksgiving, praise and praying for others it truly does result in peace and it grows my faith also – therefore becomes even easier to really trust God in all of it.

Heart: inner self, conscience, thoughts

Own understanding: minimal, fleshy, deceived

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? This passage is pretty clear that this is the very reason we NEED to trust in God with all our heart because a) we can’t know it and b) its deceitful! I have to agree with Jeremiah, my experiences all these years have definitely proven that my heart easily deceives me and I fall for it more often than I wish to admit!

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart! Amen! This is the best way to prevent deceit! Guard is not only a command but it has a strong connotation. Like a soldier or body guard. nothing gets past! Fight the wrong things off – even to death! I’m so thankful that God has provided us with the things we need in order to guard our heart. Phil 4:7 The peace of God. No peace means its time for a fight! Until I have the peace of God I must fight the deception and continue to guard/protect my heart. That means filtering the thoughts that come in and the emotions that may be the most natural. Proverbs 3:27 tells us that our mind is also our heart and because of that the thoughts we allow to think on and take over will greatly affect both the deception and the peace.

all ways: conduct, manner, conversation, customs

Our ways have everything to do with how much we experience not only the peace of God but how much we are allowing our hearts to trust in Him. My actions and manners and customs should reflect my relationship with a Holy God. That means that I am living as holy as I possibly can knowing that God is worthy of all my devotion and He trusts me with His name (1 Peter 1:15-16)

When my conversations, manner, customs and conduct is in accordance with Gods Word then it will be much easier for me to have openness with the Lord and to trust Him with my heart. When I know I have disappointed Him (in times and ways in which I could have prevented or done better, of course I sin and mess up all the time naturally) then guilt and shame prevent me from coming to Him simply and full of faith or boldness.

I especially need to be careful of my manner and conversation. By nature I’m a rather quick person. It is a great gift as I’m efficient! However, this can also get me into trouble if I act too rashly or speak with out thinking. No doubt my greatest guilt always comes from saying or doing things too quickly and not taking time to think about how I affect others.

Acknowledge: Know, understand, certainly know, learned knowing, respect

Knowing God is the best way to combat deception or holding your heart in your own care/trust. If I truly Know God in the deepest way then it will be simple and natural for me to trust Him, no questions asked. But it is in ignorance and busyness that I fall a bit short of knowing Him in the way that will bring me to that place of peace and trusting absolutely.

I have learned a lot from that word actually. His Word is the substance to my life, and it facilitates every other aspect of my relationship with Him. As I read and study His word, then I am filled with wonder, awe, and respect for the God that I serve. My desire to please and serve Him grows with every word I read! It’s this “learned knowledge” of Him that allows me to trust in Him and put all confidence in Him. In Knowing His Word, we can know the character of our Father and there will be nothing to fear and no reason to hold back from Him.
Also, as I read I come to realize that He is the only One who can truly take care of me and my life! I have no idea what I’m doing on my own, but He knows and He is fully capable of handling it. Perfectly.

Shall: Will, Obligatory, Promise

Up to this point the verses put the emphasis on us, the reader to fulfill our part in this relationship and to learn to do just what the passage explicitly tell us to do (which in case you missed it, is to Trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge Him) this is our part.

However we hit a shift in this next verse. The emphasis is now taken off our responsibility and placed to God to complete it. Granted that we have done what God asked us to do, He will certainly do what He promises to do!

Shall denotes Gods Will. His plan and intention is to do what He says He is going to do (He lets us know what that is in the next verse) This word in Hebrew has a connotation of obligation attached to it. Meaning that it’s not just a promise made by one to another, but that it involves a partnership and a sort of ” if” along with it. “If you do this___, then I will do this” type of promise.

It’s a partnership between you and God, you do your part and by obligation and His own desire to show His trust and faithfulness He will accomplish the next part.

Gods promises stand forever. They are sure and God cannot lie,(Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2) so that means what He says He will do – He Will Do! And as I get to the place of trusting in God with all my heart I will begin to have the faith that surely Knows this is true about Gods character and I will easily be able to trust Him with all  my heart.

direct: to do good, right, make straight, pleased, well-fitted, pure

This is Gods direction for us. His direction is always good and leads to good, He will never direct us otherwise no matter how it may look or feel. When I can trust in Gods ways then even the most uncomfortable path can be considered good from the perspective of faith!

I love that one of the synonyms of direct in the Hebrew dictionary is “well fitted” I just love that! that Means we can trust God that He will never lead us down a path that wont ultimately be fitting for us and our personalities ect.. This is so important to get! I think (at least it is true for my own life!) that the greatest hindrance to trusting God in all things with our whole heart has to do with this. I am afraid that God may lead me somewhere I don’t want to go. I used to fear he would send me to a place with big spiders and nasty bugs. The fact is a)God would never send me somewhere that wasn’t fitting to me and b) if he wanted to send me there, I would change mighty fast, get used it and stop being so concerned with that petty stuff when there is a kingdom I’m fighting for!

Gods direction truly will be fitting to each one of us, and it is pure! Nothing will be corrupt, or wrong about it. It may not have been what we planned for our selves (before this study- because we have now learned to give all our ways into His hands right?!)
But it will be perfect and pure and well fitted to us in a way that we will Glorify the Lord and work for Him with passion and a great desire to please Him in all that we do.
paths: way of life, manner of conduct

This is like a full circle because we read above that our ways also involve our manner and conduct, but know: fully trusting and surrendered to God we can finally walk in His ways and His conduct! He promised to direct us in that.  Fulfilling the first half of the verse will result in  the fulfillment of this last part. And that’s what were are all running toward right? Conforming to His image and Glorifying His name in this life we have been given.

I will finish now with a few verses to meditate on in regards to Gods promise to fulfill the direction of our paths. They have helped to give me purpose and live this life with passion. I pray they inspire you in an even greater way!

Proverbs 16:9  A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Psalm 25:8-9 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (my fave!)

Isaiah 48:17  Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Blessings!

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Finally!

Finally! A chance to get on here and write some thoughts down! Japanese class is currently taking up all my “free time” (whatever that is?) but I’m thankful for this evening to share some thoughts and prayers.

I feel like I’m climbing a mountain these days and as I’m making my way up this mountain I periodically get stopped on various levels.  I am currently stopped at the level/plateau I will call “Proverbs 3:5-6”  At this time I feel at a complete stop. There is nowhere to go and I have no ability to climb anymore until I accomplish whatever it is that God is wanting me to learn at this current place on my journey.

Its been such an awesome blessing from God that I have a couple of friends I can meet with during the week to do the bible study with. It’s a great thing to get together and talk about what we think it means to live out verses in our daily lives.

That’s mainly what I am all about and what my own journey with Gods Word is focused on. I am desperate to learn and understand how to apply Gods Word to my every day life and how to live at the level and in the expectation that God has for my own life. I can not do this alone! And God has provided me with a great couple of friends who are helping me learn to how to apply the verses in a way that God is living through me… at least that’s the goal – I have yet to succeed 100% but Praise Him for His patience 🙂

I go through so many cycles and ups and downs. It’s frustrating to feel that I have finally broke through in an area and moved past struggles or hang ups ect.. only to find that a few months or even a year later I am back in the same thought process or slump again. Though I have seen much progress in the work that God is doing, I also see how much I need to rely on Him and trust in Him to complete the work in me that needs to be done.

I just wanted to get on here and share these thoughts, in order to prepare my mind and heart for my next post which is in progress – talking about what I am gleaning from studying Proverbs 3:5-6. I have been studying these verses for about 3.5 weeks now with at least one more week on this study if not longer depending on how it goes. God has been gracious to illuminate things for me and allow me to see my life through these verses.

Though I haven’t quite understood all that Gos has for me through these verses, I am thankful for the little bit He has helped me to grasp through the study and small group discussions. It has also been a great way for me to see exactly where I am…and not in my walk with Him.

I already know trust is a bit of a difficult thing for me , mostly when it reaches to the depths of my heart. A lot of it has to do with pride, its easy for me to trust God in things that I have more control over…. those other areas where I have little to no control, I struggle with trusting Him completely and its a constant fight for me to learn to surrender and give them up to Him.

One of my friends voiced very clearly the fears within my own heart when it comes to trusting God. Because of course I trust Him to a large degree, I trust in Who He Is, and His strength, wisdom, ability, goodness, and character. I also trust in His Promises…. so whats left you ask? Seems I got it all covered .

But the truth is in understanding which of the promises of God are for me specifically. Not all are and I need to accept that and appreciate the promises that God has made to me and spoken over my own life, and not compare and think about the promises of God that are not apart of His plan for the life He has in mind for me.

Its a terrifying thing for me to pray to God and be open to hear what He has planned for my life, its much easier for me to pray to God about what I would like to see happen in my life and leave it at that. I am striving to push through this stage in my walk with God, and mature to a higher level with Him.

Please pray for me as I have quite a lot of growing to do!

My prayer also is that the Lord will allow His Word to become active and living in my life so that I may use this life for His purpose and Glory and surrender all the parts in me I am still refusing Him access or even partnership in. I thank You so very much Lord for your patience and ask You to help me also to be patient with You and Your timing in my life God. I ask You in Your mercy to not allow me to get ahead of You or even myself Father, But that I can rest in You and wait for Your perfect Will in all things. In the power of Jesus Name I commit these words to You and seal them with a grateful heart and appreciation for your love and commitment to my life. Amen.

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