Saturday, April 27, 2013

I Did it My Way.

"People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord." Proverbs 19:3

...and his heart frets against the Lord; laying all the blame on him; and ascribing his failure, not to his own sin and folly, but to divine Providence, which works against him; and therefore he frets and murmurs at God; and, instead of blaming himself with folly, blames the ways of God,

I read recently about a woman who for twenty years ate only candy, smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day and drank nothing but coffee. When she became ill in her 60s she asked, "Why am I sick?"

When I was young, I married an atheist. I was not converted at the time but I did believe in God and I knew he didn't. I married him anyway and our marriage had a lot of sadness in it because I would not do the things he did or live the way he wanted. We were "unequally yoked" and we both suffered for it.

After we were divorced, I was dating a man who was not a converted Christian but he did go to church with me. I had been alone for years and was terribly lonely. This time I asked God if I could marry him. God said, "What concord has Christ with Belial?" The answer was no.

I'm so glad I didn't marry that guy - he turned out to be quite evil. I love being married to a Christian man who never asks me to do wrong and understands spiritual things.

We can certainly ruin our lives by our own foolishness as the Bible says. And then we could blame God for our unhappiness. But the way to true happiness is obeying God because He knows what is best for us.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Women Praying Together.

I've been reading, "What Happens When Women Pray," by Evelyn Christenson. It is a wonderful book I recommend to everyone. She is a lady who brought 'prayer chains' into churches. At the end of the book she encourages everyone to have a prayer partner. I don't have that right now, although I have prayed with my family and husband from time to time. After reading this book I've decided to ask my Mom and sister to be my prayer partners.

Evelyn writes about a time when a Christian school was in desperate financial trouble. The church was having a prayer meeting about it and a woman walked in that Evelyn didn't care for. Here is an excerpt from the book:

The Lord  began to rebuke me, "Evelyn, that is sin." Do you remember our first prerequisite to answered prayer? "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." I suddenly realized that I was about to spend my morning in prayer with sin in my heart! I prayed, "Lord, please give me the attitude you want me to have toward that woman, whoever she is."

That day God gave me a surprise. Guess who prayed first at that prayer meeting? She did. And as she started to pray, I suddenly realized that this woman had a dimension to her prayer life that I knew nothing about. She said, "Thank you Lord that the money didn't come through yesterday." She went on, "Now, Lord you have given us the privilege of being on our faces before you this morning with a desperate need. Lord, what a privilege this is. Thank you, Lord. And thank you that today the school's president has the privilege of being on his face before you with his need. Thank you that the whole staff has this tremendous need, and thank you that they have the privilege of being on their faces before you."

I love how this woman knew what a privilege it is to pray to our Father in heaven. I love how she saw that troubles are a holy opportunity to let God do His work.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

God's Honor.

Hello Everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been visiting blogs lately. We have been selling our house and people were coming almost every day. It has been exhausting keeping the house perfect and leaving when people come to see it.

But, it has sold! We are very happy about it and my hubby and I have already found a good apartment that we are going to view on Sunday. My sister Liz will be moving in with us and I'm so happy about that since we have so much in common and enjoy each other's company.

To continue on from my last post; Christine has been tentatively offered another job which she accepted. She will be Medical Office Assistant to her own doctor for the summer while everyone goes on holidays. She is very happy about that.

One job she was offered last week was from a doctor who wanted to train a nurse to do sutures, pap smears and botox injections. It was for high pay, but the doctor said he needed someone who would stay with him for years because it was intensive training. Christine wanted to accept the job very much but knew her husband would be transferred in a year or so. Some people told Christine to lie and take the job but she didn't feel right about it. I told her we should never lie and that God has said, "Those who honor me, I will honor." She did tell the doctor the truth for which he was glad. He thanked her. The next day she was offered this new job and her husband was given a bonus from work.

I do believe it; "Those who honor me; I will honor."  1 Samuel 2:30

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Getting to the Point of, "Thy will be done."

My younger daughter, Christine, has had a turbulent relationship with God. She left our church at 14, the age I told my daughters it was up to them if they wanted to go or not. Both of them chose "not". I don't believe in forcing religion on anyone, even my own children.

After having her third child, who has OCD, she started praying for and with her child. God did not heal her little girl so Christine became very angry at him. I remember one Thanksgiving, when we usually went around the table to say what we were thankful for, Christine said, "We aren't doing that this year." She felt she had nothing to be thankful for with her daughter in such mental pain and herself depressed and sleep-deprived.

When my grandson, her nephew, died she couldn't accept what God had allowed. She was even more angry. But her daughter has gotten better as she aged, not cured, but much better and I think she can now understand why God took our precious boy.

Anyway, she had a huge breakthrough this last week. She told my sister and I that she had finally given up on her own will about life and said, "Your will be done," to God. She said it was a real struggle, but she did it. She had been begging God to sell her house and find her a new job and nothing was happening. After she told him she would accept his will for her no matter what, we got an offer on the house and two people phoned her for job interviews. She decided against the jobs, but it showed her that God will work for her. We will know if the house sale is final on Friday, but it looks like she will be okay if it doesn't.

I am so happy for her. Leaving everything up to God is something all Christians must learn and as my mom said, "It isn't always easy." She says she regrets the two times she told God she wanted her own way and demanded the answer she wanted. There were sad consequences both times.

I just want to praise and thank God for working on my daughter's heart all these years. I've prayed for my family since they were all born and I see His Spirit working on everyone. Thank you God!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spiritual Poverty.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

Poor in spirit - One who is deeply sensible of his spiritual poverty and wretchedness. 

The poor in spirit. The humble, in contrast with the haughty; those sensible of spiritual destitution. The same state of mind is referred to when he speaks elsewhere of a contrite and broken spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22,23

It's not a great feeling to realize we are poor in spirit. We look at ourselves and compare ourselves to Jesus or other people and see we fall far short. We read this list of the fruits of the Spirit and know we need improvement in all of them.

But Jesus says we are blessed when we realize how worldly and sinful we are. We are fortunate to see we need His help. It is those who think they are good enough who are in darkness. 

We will never believe ourselves to have reached perfection because the only perfect human has been Christ. He covers us with his perfection. Perfection in spirit is a goal to aspire to, and it is a worthy one. Who wouldn't want to have all the fruits of the spirit continually pouring through our life?

The wonderful thing is that as we ask God each day to live his life within us the fruits of the Spirit grow and grow. He has promised us this and I believe Him. But don't put him on a timetable and don't expect to one day feel you've "made it". Look away from yourself and look to Jesus "The Author and Finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2

Friday, April 12, 2013

Life is a Bit Like a Football Game.

I read an article called, "Going the Distance," by Stephen J. Cole. He compared the Christian life to a football player and I liked that analogy.

"Obviously, Christians sin (1 John 1:8, 10). But the pursuit of the Christian is not toward sin, but toward righteousness. During a Monday night football game, an announcer observed that the Chicago Bears’ running back, Walter Payton, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage. The other announcer remarked, “Yeah, and that’s with somebody knocking him down every 4.6 yards!” A Christian may get knocked down by sin every few yards, but he gets up and keeps moving toward righteousness. It’s his pursuit."

"Again, you need to pursue faith. You don’t wake up some morning with vigorous faith any more than a guy with bulging muscles went to bed one night as a 98-pound weakling and woke up looking like Mr. America! How do you pursue faith? By trusting God in the frustrations, irritations, and trials that He sends your way. You deliberately humble yourself under God’s sovereign hand and cast all your anxieties on Him through prayer, knowing that in spite of how it may seem, He does care for you."

Sometimes I do feel knocked over by sin and life in general. I used to despair about that but I don't any longer. I've learned that God will always be there for me. He will lift me up if I am pushed down or if I fall down all by myself. I know life will get better and I will feel better - I just have to wait and trust in Him.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Answer is Jesus.

Today, my husband irritated me and I thought, "You are such an Idiot!" I prayed and asked God to help me accept my hubby as he is and love him from my heart.

Sometimes I think, "Belle, your life is useless and you have made terrible mistakes all your life." So, I pray and ask God to help me not to think I am useless and I try to think of all the things I do for the family.

I haven't been on a vacation for three years and start feeling sooo sorry for myself. So, I pray and ask God to make me be content with my life and all I have. I ask him to help me not to want too much out of this life.

Because I can't do the things I used to do, such as walk for miles in the mountains, I feel angry and sad at the same time. I have to ask God to help me accept my limitations and rejoice in what I can do.

I hate shopping and feel upset about going. So, I pray and ask God to give me the physical and emotional strength I need to do it.

I realized this morning how many negative and bad thoughts I have each and every day! How I need God. Where would I be without Him? I guess I would be a divorced, bitter and discontented old woman. I thought about what Paul said when he wrote about how he wanted to do good but couldn't..."Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?" 

I'm glad he didn't finish with that sentence, instead he said..."Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin."