Saturday, October 24, 2015

An audience of One

Writing to an audience of One

It is with missing you but great joy that I am telling you...I am getting out of public ministry for now.

With wise counsel and time spent with the Lord for over a week now.   I have decided not to write publicly.

I love writing.

My writing began with a prayer letter email I wrote to a small group of friends some 15 years ago.  It was confidential and the list grew.  Over time and with the encouragement of friends I began Whispers of God.

I am not a good writer.  I write on about the level of a 7th grade student.

 I learned to express myself in honesty.  I learned to present my problems in life and as Jesus, the Gospel, as my answer.

My motives were mixed.

My first motive was to write of Gods faithfulness to the faithless, ME!

My second motive was to encourage the mentally ill.

My third motive was to glorify God.

My fourth motive was because I enjoyed writing.

My fifth motive was to be fully known and to be loved by you and by God.

This is not a punishment.

It has been hard for me to let go of the writing because I have seen it as a punishment.  Each time I get sick I have been told...I have to stop writing.  I have to get off the computer, phone, can't drive, can't watch tv or read or even go to Church.  It is a brain stimulant for me.  My mind needed to heal.

This time it is different.  I am not forced to stop writing.  I am choosing to follow Jesus in Him leading me what I am to be about right now, today.

I love being with my family.  There were times I wrote so honestly about myself.  It was painful to my family.  Somethings are for families and intimacy with others.  It is wise to know what to share and what to keep within the realms of confidentiality.  They love me and wanted to protect me against myself.

To write is hard for me mentally.  It puts a drain on my mind.  There were many times I wrote, I would struggle with a break down of mental strength.  I would experience great warfare in my mind.  I have to ask myself how healthy is it for me mentally.  Taking care of ourselves is something I have never known how to do.  I am learning.

I look to this time with expectancy of great joy and surprises.

I now know that I am to be with others that struggle with mental disorders, one on one.  Yes my friends and family but my calling is discipling and being discipled.  I do best and enjoy the most one on one.  This is a gift I see now, not a limitation.

I will be writing to an audience of One, God.  I will be journaling and doing more reading on Gods love for me.  I have been a person who has struggled with thinking I have to perform for God and others to gain approval.  This is new to my awareness about me.

I am thankful to God that is taking me to new places with Him and others.  I am anticipating surprises and peace over this new phase in my life and ministry.

I do want to serve God and others and glorify Him.  I want to be proactive in being intentional in my life and others lives.  It will take energy, repentance and faith.  Which I am totally dependent on Him for it all.

This is a fruit of my suffering these last 20 years.

I have been learning these last 20 years how self sufficient I have been.  I also have been learning a new way of depending on God.  Of entering community.  Of asking for help from my friends.

Walking in faith can be scary and uncertain.  It can be new and exciting.  It can be fearful and hopeful.  I have been learning how to face my fears and not be controlled by them.

Each morning I wake, I spend on my porch at the Farm.  I greet my God and ask for a fresh filling of His Spirit.  I ask Him to take control of my thoughts.  I surrender my heart, mind and my will to Him for the day that is to come.  I expect Him to show up in new ways and in new people daily and He does.

So Bye for Now

So it is with great sadness and tears and great joy I say bye for now.   I will miss you and my co writer Martha on Whispers and the DD Blog.  I will pray for you.  The gospel is out there.  There are many much better writers than I.  Seek them out.

Seek and you shall find.

The word I leave you with is to seek the Lord with your whole mind, heart and strength.  Seek, knock 

ask and He will be found.  He is the most rewarding, the most wonderful, glorious, most mysterious 

of all. 

Pray for peace, life, joy, thankfulness and sufficiency in Him alone.   Pray to see the magic in life all 

around you.

He is a jealous God we serve.  He will ask you over and over to surrender and give to Him the 

very thing that is dearest to your heart.  He wants all of you.  Only then can you understand His love 

for you and you give it to others.

Remember His ways are not our ways.  Never stop asking, believing and trusting His will, will be 

done in you.

Be well my friend and tell everyone you know about Jesus and Gods faithfulness in sending His Son 

and His Spirit.  He is an amazing God.  Adore and praise Him all of your days and I will also!  But no

matter what my friend, know HE is GOOD!  He is about good things for and with you always.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Quest for Glory



We all are on a quest for Glory!

To live is to seek glory.  We as christians are to live our lives as to 

glorify God.  Whether you eat or drink or whatever you it 

all to the glory of God.

For many years I have asked, "what is the glory of God?"  

John Piper defines it this way...
 God's glory is the radiance of his holiness, the radiance of his manifold, infinitely worthy and valuable perfections..

Since I was but a little girl I sought beauty.  Beauty in me and around me.  I sought "bigger and better."  I wanted to have and be the best I could be.  

Whether it was serving others mud pies in my play house.  Running my sister around in my surrey with a motor and fringe on top.  I wanted the fastest, cutest, most fun, out of it all.

It didn't end there but continued through my years...As a teenager I wanted to be liked.  I wanted the funkiest clothes and be the most popular.  This spoke glory, my glory, to me.

I remember my friend, whom I loved, she smoked.  She said I am sure you don't smoke. People say you are good and don't do things like that.  I wanted her approval and for her to like me.  I wanted to be a part of her group.  So I said, "yes, I smoke."  My friend died of smoking and it has been one of the worst decisions of my life.  All because I sought my glory.

But God used that and many other seemly  failures to show me my utter frailty.  My desperate need for Him.  My need for those who love me to enter in.  Wanting to say no to my sin and walk away.  To know my need to be honest about my hopelessness in finding my own way, my own glory.

When I became a young woman...I wanted the most successful husband.  The most talented and happy children.  Yes, to even be the best christians.  All to sit one day, in my bedroom nursing my newborn child saying, is this all there is to life?

I was at the pinnacle of life with all the success and wealth a woman could have.  I was miserable.  Seeking my glory had not satisfied.  It had been a BIG LIE.

 The tables began to turn

I saw that happiness was not in a book.  It was not seeking someone else's way of life.  But it was in Jesus.  I began a life of repentance and trusting God.  It has continued to grow until this day...

There are days I still struggle with wanting to trust in my knowledge.  Still trusting I know what is best.  What will make me enjoy glory.  Still thinking I know what will bring life to my family and me.

I search for significance, peace and joy in the world, creation.  Instead of knowing my identity and acceptance is in Christ.  His glory is Him breaking down my confidence and giving me faith.  Faith of a child to jump in my Fathers arms.  It is being thankful right where I am.  In the moment of the here and now.  Even in the hard.

I have found a new way to glory

I have great friends and a great God whose Spirit reminds me.  When I forget.   
Glory is found in giving God His glory.  
God will not share His glory with another.
But we share in "HIS" glory.

To me God's glory is everything beautiful.  He makes all things right.  

God's glory is how He uses even my sin for good.  It is the coming of His Sons life, death and resurrection for me.  Less I ever forget!

It is Who He is.  It is His greatness and holiness.  It is His love, compassion and grace to a broken mankind.  It is His passion for His glory to be reflected in me.

Tim Keller says...We are trophies of His grace.

We are and will be in heaven a display of His glory.  

Gods greatness and glory is already complete.

We cannot add to it but we can declare it and parade it.  We are to reflect it in is brightness and beauty.  Let your light so shine.

We find happiness, joy and contentment when we are worshiping Him, glorifying Him.  When He is the first and the last and in-between   When we give God the credit in our living life to the fullest we enjoy Him.  We enjoy others and see the best in them.  We seek to encourage and built up, not reject and tare down. 

There is no greater life than living to the glory of God.

When we realize His ways are not ours.  That He is committed to His glory.  That He gives life and breath to dry bones.  That He is passionate about our hearts for Him.  We learn to trust Him in and with our lives and others.  

We learn to love ourselves.  

Embrace our weakness.  

Our hearts long for Him and His will to be given to us.  We begin to rest in Him.  

Our anxious thoughts, fears and controls begin to subside.

We forget self promotion, being right, self protection, self dependence and self glory, even self pity.   Beginning to be free to glorify God in all that we do.  By loving God and loving others.  Speaking truth and acceptance.

He becomes more than enough for us.  We begin to be satisfied in ways we looked everywhere for.  We realize the only thing that sustains us is Him.  Life is found in sharing in Gods glory.  Sharing His love.  Sharing Jesus.  Always giving thanks to God, our Father, in everything in Christ Jesus.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of       His glory, in Christ Jesus. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

One Victory, One Joy at a Time

I don't know when it happened!

I just know that it did.  Somewhere along the way my heart had stopped panting for Gods 

heart and for life.  All of a sudden...I noticed all I could see were problems and my struggles, 

big and small.

My life was full of miracles and blessings but it was like a fine covering was over my eyes.  I couldn't see the everyday blessing and presence of God in them.  I couldn't see the best in others or myself.  All I could do was dread and despair.  I was consumed by fear.  My hope was in the things that had control over me and me trying to have control over them.  I was a control addict just waiting to get another fix of happy!

About 10 days ago a text came that 90% of our internet was all used up.  So my husband and I agreed not to go over our limit.  I would be on the computer a little in the morning or evening, but would go to a nearby business and use their WiFi.  I would stay around 20 minutes and then to home I would go.  This would be it for the day.

Taking this out of my life, I saw how my joy was gone.  I could feel the sadness and the void.

What is the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing at night? Media can be used for a lot of good but like most things can be twisted because our hearts long to find only what Jesus can give us.  I would be on the internet even when my family was around.  Did you know the person you are with feels they are not worthy of your full attention.  When their time with you is divided by a phone or an iPad.  Whether you are a professional, a parent or a teenager with media.  If you attention is interrupted from those you are with they just may feel rejected.  It can be anything that takes you away.  A friend cuts off all electronics on Fridays as she and her husband spend that time together.

I can tell when my joy is gone...when I say if only...I had this or did this, I would be content or full or happy.

If they would only do this their life would turn out ok.  I know just what they need to do.

I was more consumed with the over all responsibility of the world and everyone in it.  It all seemed to depend on me and I would draw up in a knot when things or people weren't going according to the way I thought they should.  A friend and my daughter confronted me about my intensity.  I offered advice to a young lady and I saw it all.  Why hadn't I taken my own advice.  When had I stopped enjoying people and enjoying God? Then the veil was lifted and I began to see my control.  I didn't know how to change at first and was grieved when I didn't change.  So I ask others and God to forgive me.

The next day was different.  I had lunch with friends I hadn't seen in a long time and just enjoyed their company so very much.  We laughed, ate fresh, good food and caught up on the last years that had gone by so fast.  I watched a ballgame on television with my husband , even two shows of Jeopardy and it was so relaxing. I don't know if I have ever done that. I don't even like TV.  I got in my car and chased a sunrise with my camera. Prayed with women in the warm home of a good friend. I encouraged my children while holding back what they should do.   It was living life in the moment and giving the cares to my Father, who loves me so.

I had forgotten what it felt like to hold my worn bible, flip the designs in a magazine, even feel the pages of a good book.  Things would be different now and I liked it that way.

My dear friend...the gospel is Christ plus nothing.  If I have to do more, be more, learn or understand more, to convience others what they should do or change them for my  peace or their successful life, even as a christian, then I am saying Jesus isn't enough for my contentment nor for me.  When I have done this I am adding to the gospel.  As Paul told the Gelatins when they were taking up rules, to be a christian, "what happened to all your joy"?  Christ has come!

Becoming more like Christ is not trying harder to do better... but it is resting in, what Christ has already done and said that it is finished.  Living out of that truth.  It is gazing into His face and saying, I love you.  I want more of you in my life.  I surrender into the Fathers love.  It was a decision I made by grace and the faith I needed for today, was there to trust Him and glorify Him more.  Then and only then could I love another person as I had been loved.  One victory, one joy at a time, but a decision for eternity, to happen over and over again.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

From Master to Husband

We all are born into slavery of sin and death.  A slave of Satan.  But Jesus came to set the captives free.  The bondage of our previous life is one of all man kind.  But to the Christian, Jesus paid the price for our sin and is our ransom.  We are a gift from God to His Son.  We are Christ's possession but we have the freedom to choose daily who we will serve.

In Roman times the slave was one who was abused and used.  Ownership by the Romans meant drudgery and pain and suffering in labor to no end.  The slave had no freedom.  They were beaten and abused and used with no benefit of their own.  Then lived a hopeless, lifeless life.  Day after day the same thing ended the same way.  They spent their days only in labor for an evil master only to end in death. It was a place of humility and inhuman, of dread and complaint, crying out to their God to be set free.

Jesus came to set the captives free.  Just as Hosea did Gomer, he bought her and made her his own.  Hosea, also was a husband not a slave driver.  Jesus said you no longer call me master but Husband.  Gomer returned many times to her previous lovers only to be persistently loved and kept and taken care of and received again and again by her husband.  Gomer became who she was loved to be.  She was not who she was, but who she was beloved to be.  She was free to leave but chose to stay with her husband and become his, her husbands.  To be the beautiful wife Hosea believe her to be.  With him there was no fear.  She was safe and loved and cherished.  She was continually pursued by her passionate husband.

We were bought to be set free to serve.

We are bondservants.  It is a place of honor and respect.  It is a choice we have to serve and adore our God.  It is one of love and respect and a position of dignity, honor and value.  We are set free from sin and death and have a life of joy and peace and life worth living.  We are given treasures of heaven and are in ownership with our Lord.  We share in His inheritance.  We chose to dedicate our lives and our hearts to Him.  He is our hearts desire above all else of this world.

At the cross Jesus paid the price for us and our sin in full.  We were declared righteous and free.  The death of the perfect God, man in exchange for sinful man.  He defeated Satan and evil and made us His own.  We are His prize, His joy.

We are His, Christ, most treasured creation.  We are His wife.  His delight, the apple of His eye who sings and dances over and with us.  He has given us the gift of abundant life.  We still suffer the effects of this fallen world as we still struggle with sin and suffering but we are free from its hold and control of our lives.  No matter what our circumstances we can chose to give mercy, kindness and love even to those who treat us poorly and hurt us.  We are not insignificant or inferior but are His humble servant spreading the love of the gospel to all.  We speak the truth in love. We consider others more valuable than ourselves because we are valuable to Him.  His life gives us our worth.  We have a humble courage we have never had.

Anger is not the opposite of love but hate is and it is indifference. 

Our minds are free, free to think on what is good and pure and lovely and praiseworthy.  We can now think on Him.  We have the mind of Christ and a new heart devoted to Him.

He died a horrible death to rescue us.  As we surrender to our Husband, He leads us into the way of a joy filled life of trusting Him above ourselves.  His care and protection of us unto His Kingdom, as we rely and depend on Him, for all our needs.  He is a gracious and loving husband who cherishes His bride.  We are the church, the bride of Christ.  He is our means to a life of serving others and laying our lives down for others as our Husband did for us.  We are empowered to do and to receive His gifts to us only by His life lived through us.  We have His surrender, His perseverance, His love and grace, His life and peace that cannot be explained but displayed and enjoyed and shared.  We are in Him and He is in us by His Spirit.  He is our power to the weak and the needy heart who cries out for help, for freedom.  We chose daily who we will be a slave death, our selfish ambition or to life, life in Christ.

He is a jealous God

He is not a harsh, angry, unreasonable slave master but a compassionate, understanding, serving Husband.  Our God fights and prays for us continually.  He fights evil and our flesh and the world to continually make real what He has already done for us.  His heart for ours fully devoted to Him.  We daily die to our pride and selfishness to live and serve Him and others, as a bondservant to Him.  His glory is revealed in us as we look to Him and not ourselves.  He guides us and directs our ways.  It is His kingdom come, His will be done is our passion and our hope.  One day we will rejoice and celebrate in a grand wedding feast where we are joined with Him in complete freedom forevermore.  The victory and our joy will be made complete in Him.  He is our continued hope in this fallen world.  May we keep our eyes on Him.  May we enjoy this abundant life we have in Him through intimacy in true relationship with our Husband.  We are His adorned bride, with glory all over our face and love overflowing in our hearts, when we remember by His Spirit and others, we are His free bondservant, not a harsh master but Husband.  A daily free choice which is ours.