Category Archives: My faith

Church

As I approach the 1 yr mark of moving, I’m reflecting on lots of things & the way my perspective on them changes…

Today it’s on church.

I’ve “church shopped” several times in my life – upon moving home from college, after getting married, etc, always evaluating the preaching, the worship music style, the kids stuff, friend potential, etc.

But moving to Maine was different. We moved here to be a part of a church I spent one Sunday at & 6 days among the members. And I moved here to join them regardless of the music (not my style) & kids stuff (no kids stuff, but tons of nice kids).

What I’ve found is the lack of the option to CHOOSE a church had forced me to choose to make my church better over and over.

  • Choosing to connect with people of different ages, interests, & styles than me.
  • Choosing to be a leader when I was to be a consumer.
  • I often remember that these people are why I was not lonely when I arrived 2000 miles from home.

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Lent

Any other Protestants curious about the church calendar? Every year, I hear about Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, & Lent, & wonder if observation of some sort could enhance my interaction with God & remembrance of Easter….

Saw this book from Chris Seay & trying to decide…

I guess the question is: will it be a chore or a blessed reminder?

Joseph, all things working together for good

Today as I continue my Precepts on Romans, I was led to Genesis 37, 39-45, 50:15-21… All about Joseph.

Joseph seems to know how to follow God in situations that seem oppressive to me.

The beginning of Joseph’s story in Genesis 37 has always been a little strange to me: after being singled out by his father with a unique/special coat, Joseph has 2 dream that foretell that his brothers will bow to him. My initial reaction was that Joseph was naive to share these dreams… didn’t he realize that they would cause more jealousy in his family?

But as I looked at the whole of this story, naive and ignorant are NOT words that characterize Joseph. In fact, chaotic reactions seem to be missing from the story. Why don’t we hear about Joseph yelling & fighting when he is sold to the Ishmaelites? Why don’t we read about escape attempts from the slave market, from Potiphar’s house, and especially from the prison when he is falsely accused?

I think Joseph must have been so in tune with God that he could see these dreams as a vehicle of God, see the actions of his brothers as a tool for God, and even a false accusation as a thing of purpose in the hands of a sovereign God.

My sense of American entitled justice make this really hard for me to grasp. How can I let a false accusation go undefended? How can I not hold the station in life I am entitled to?

But both Joseph and I know the answer: by faith in the justice of the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Dare to be a Daniel

Daniel said,
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.
To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power; even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
Daniel 2:20-23

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Today, my Precepts bible study on Romans led to me Daniel 2.

Daniel’s life is a pretty good challenge for a strong independent American living in a democracy. I think it challenges our beliefs.

Many times, because we have a say in electing leadership, we continue with this say by not respecting or acknowledging leadership we did not vote for. At this time, I commonly see Christians mocking Barack Obama’s position as president.

Daniel’s way of dealing with a government he disagreed with was much different. He was obedient and respectful, right up to the line where he had to break the law of the land in favor of the law of God. But he did it in such a way that God gained respect by his actions.

I wonder if his core beliefs, in God’s sovereignty in establishing and removing kings, and giving wisdom and knowledge, gave him a discernment that is missing in our culture today.

Do we believe God’s plan will stand?

Starting with the foundation

Formerly, my life kinda put itself together…
First, there would be my work duties & appointments.
Then the kids’ school carpooling & commitments.
Then church activities.
Then running a household.

Basically, the only way personal bible study got included in there was because Precepts had a specific time.

As part of my life redesign, I’m trying to build from the foundation up.
My foundation is my identity in Christ, so I’m trying very hard to make bible study a habit.

I stink at habits! I’m not disciplined, and sometimes I’m rebellious against something I “have to” do.

But in order to ground myself during the identity crisis moving brought on, I started doing the Precepts bible study workbook I had only skimmed over the last year in Texas. In the book of Romans, I found life and peace. I also found that a day or two away from the Bible leaves me searching for a source of identity again.

So I’ve concluded that a new life for me needs to be built on daily bible study.

I’m daily challenged by this already. Dirty dishes, limited time for homeschooling Arabella, errands to run, and just plan distractions constantly make me want to skip this.

But for the sake of a wonderful life, I desire to fight for this foundation!

Hope

“….even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

Hope… It’s hard to grasp sometimes. That we are saved, but still living in bodies of death.
Bodies that keep decaying. Bodies that do the very thing I do not want to do.

Instant gratification is my flesh desire. I think that’s part of the war. My body is repeating the lie of sin that if I can’t see it now, it isn’t going to happen.

I must listen to the Spirit of God, speaking to my spirit, reminding me of the big plan – redemption of creation, of my body, and a future as heirs with Christ!

Two ways to live

Before Jesus rescued me, I only knew one way to get through life: planning/controlling by my sight.

It. was. exhausting!

I tried to control & calculate how to get through life without hurt or betrayal. But I was in bondage to ANXIETY!
Because people can’t be controlled & life is chaotic.

When I met Jesus, everything was stripped away. I lost the boyfriend I thought I would marry & most of my plans.

That’s when Jesus shower me a new way to live: By faith in His sight.

He began to give me dreams, hopes, & priorities.
And since He put them in my heart, I didn’t need to control them. The anxiety & fear was replaced by amazement.

He showed me joy & life in places I didn’t know existed… like a little special needs camp in Missouri & Jodhpur, west India.

But life is long & repetitious.

And living by my sight is so natural, I really don’t notice when I switch back to it.

Until the old ‘signs’ return… (anxiety & fear)
Or He presents another amazing adventure…

(Btw, I prefer #2)

Then I remember I can close my eyes I walk by faith in His sight!

We are currently on an amazing ride, & I’m fighting to keep my eyes squeezing closed everyday.
I am constantly tempted to take control over our family’s journey to Maine with the old drive, WORRY.
What if this falls through? What about that? Can I actually blah-blah-blah?

But that would be to IGNORE all the AMAZING driving He has already done. My Jesus has not required me to have blind faith.

He has graciously filled my life, & specifically this journey with experiences where I CAN SEE He is carrying me.

Today, I choose His sight over mine.
Tomorrow, I’ll have to choose to remember again & close my eyes!