Hello 2014

Here is what Adonai says, who made a way in the sea, a path through the raging waves; “Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by; I am doing something new; it’s springing up — can’t you see it? I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19CJB

I only have one hope for 2014; OK, I have 2…I really hope this is the year the LORD returns for His bride. But, should He tarry for another year, I hope that I will take each day as it comes and remember it on its own merit. You see, I did not do that for 2013 and I remember very little of the year. I dwelt on past hurts and like a wounded animal I hid while I was trying to heal. But my healing time turned into brooding and then into a fear of being outside the safety, peace and comfort of my home. In fact, when I did venture out to do some things, my fears were confirmed.

But life cannot be lived from the confines of this house or the foreboding of my mind. And I cannot be who God created me to be if I am not willing to engage in the world around me–the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

Maybe in taking each day for what it is I will be able to keep the choleric side of my personality in check a little better and be able to focus more on others once again.

 

A Quick Trip to the Mountain

My husband and I are members of Christian Motorcyclists Association, or CMA’ers. The headquarters for this National and International Association is located in a tiny little niche in the wall just outside Mena, AR. The story I am about to tell you happened in the middle of Summer in 2011, but the message I heard on that day is just as relevant today as it was a couple of years ago.

Quick trip to the Mountain

June 6, 2011

Just before we were suppose to get on our bike and meet up with some friends to ride up to Iron Mountain together, we got a call that one of the couples, who were on separate bikes, was involved in an accident. The woman, who was hauling a trailer behind her bike, hit a deer in broad daylight in this horrific heat! Her husband, who was on his own bike with his 8-year-old grandson, had to lay his bike down to avoid hitting his wife and all ahead of him. A couple of surgeries and a lot of pain killers later, the woman is doing well and her husband and grandson are fine.

All that being said, this is not how one wants to start a motorcycle trip.  I was thinking on these things and praying while riding to Mena when I asked God this question:  “If we were hit right now, God, am I really ready to meet You?”

Honestly, I was a little shocked at the answer.

In my spirit I heard, “You are as ready as the day You accepted Me into your heart.” 

See, shocking isn’t it? My first thought was that couldn’t right. I know I’m much more ready than when I first accepted Jesus. I mean, I’ve grown and matured, not to mention all the work I’ve done and all the stuff I don’t do anymore (especially all that stuff)! But I heard,

“So? How did any of that add to your salvation?”

“Well, Lord, it didn’t add anything to my salvation.”

“The day that you truly accepted My Son, my perfect Gift to you, do you remember that day?, that day I sealed you and you became Mine. All the years you lived like a hellion, you were still Mine, even though with every rebellious action you tried to deny that you were My child. Still it was My Blood and My Breath that kept you alive. And now that you are showing your inherited character traits and are proud to be a member of My Family, it is still My Blood and My Breath that keep you alive. I knew you then and I know you now and I cannot love you anymore than I did the day I formed and fashioned you and set you in your mother’s womb. If I call, you are ready.”

I don’t know about you, but this made me feel very secure. I am His, He is mine. End of story.

CMA USA: Changing the world one heart at a time.

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What Is Our Motivation?

What Is Our Motivation?

July 7, 2011

I think I may have stumbled upon something this afternoon. When Jesus corrected someone or some group He did so out of love–He was able to see what their wrong-doing was opening them up for in the spiritual and physical realms and He corrected them very much like a mother yells and pulls her child out of the road and from in front of a speeding car. The child may get a spanking and he will know for sure that he did wrong by going into the street without looking, etc., but the mother’s motivation for her actions were out of love for the child, not wanting to loose him and his well-being.

When humans correct someone or some group we do so out of a myriad of emotions and motivations such as hurt, disrespect or pride . Jealousy, envy, what will others say if I don’t correct, saving face, these are all motives for us to correct someone, but none of them are out of love. Actually, love is the least of our motivations when we are correcting anyone.

My 2 biggest triggers are hurt and disrespect. Even my horrific anger, if traced out, draws a straight line back to being deeply hurt, and the quickest way to make me react in a negative manner is to show me disrespect whether by word or by deed. Looking back at how I disciplined my children, although I loved them, I did not correct them from a position of love, rather from a position of “how dare you do this after I have done everything I know how to do for you” or “you are dissing me in my own house?” Looking at my kids as adults, I realize that I did not lovingly correct/discipline my children. My motives were wrong then and have been wrong in this Christian walk as well.

God, change the motive of my heart and cause the same love that Jesus has to be the only motive which I act upon.

Here Are 7 Things God Hates…

September 13, 2013

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:

1. haughty eyes (Haughty eyes is defined as showing arrogant superiority to others, or in modern vernacular ” walking with a prideful swagger. It suggests one always has a higher opinion of himself than others. These words can also be found in many translations of the Bible in Psalm 131:1, which suggest someone is full of pride and conceit. By this definition it’s clear to say that the opposite of “haughty Eyes” is to be humble and thoughtful of others and their opinions)

2. a lying tongue (As the moral climate of our society has been deteriorating, lying has become a major problem. The business world is particularly plagued by this problem–men’s dishonesty with each other, meetings “forgotten”, company theft, promises not kept, contracts broken, etc. Lawyers have increased in numbers over the last decade, mainly because of irresponsibility and broken contracts among men due to lying. A news organization recently did a survey here in America and asked people several questions to determine the percentage of people who lied or were dishonest about things. Some of the questions were:

Do you cheat on your Income Tax Return?

Do you compliment people when you really don’t mean it?

Do you tell your spouse to tell callers you are not at home when you there?

Do you tell “little white lies” if it will keep you out of trouble?

Do you tell creditors that “the check is in the mail” when you have not yet mailed it?

Do you exaggerate in repeating things you have heard?

The results of this survey determined that 90% of Americans are not truthful under certain circumstances. This is understandable when we look at the morals of our society but what about Christians? Have they fallen into the habit of lying also? Also, what constitutes a lie according to the Bible? Anything that is not the truth is a lie and God’s Word the Bible tells us what is truth. The Bible is the standard or measuring rod we must use in determining truth. Sadly, Christians are also succumbing to this epidemic of lying. Lying to each other has now become so commonplace, Christians too, have become liars.

 Have you been lied to lately? Was it another Christian that lied to you? A minister perhaps? Each of us have had our trust in people undermined, or in some cases even destroyed because of lies. We would all agree that lying is an ugly evil. The Bible tells us that lying began with the devil and that he is the father of lies.

Before we point our finger at another for being a liar that we feel God needs to deal with, let us examine our own lives to see if we are infected with the same disease. What kind of witness are we to those around us? Are we deceived and have we become liars ourselves? Let us first give a definition as to what a lie is according to Webster’s dictionary:

1.) To make a statement that one knows is false, especially with the intent to deceive.

2.) To give a false impression or action or false statement, especially with the intent to deceive.

3.)To make a false statement in order to evade the truth.

4.)The invention of a false story or excuse in order to deceive.

Perhaps for a Christian, a Biblical definition of lying could be summed up in this statement:

Any time our word does not agree with God’s Word.)

3. hands that shed innocent blood (In the Israelite culture, murder was a big deal because,

according to the Bible, people are made in the image of God. This was true about everyone—even the vilest offender. The murder of innocent people was even worse. As you know, King David was prohibited from building the temple in Jerusalem. Why? Because he had killed so many innocent people (1 Chronicles 22:8).

The phrase “innocent blood” appears in the Bible 17 times, with only one of those occurrences in the New Testament (Matthew 27:4). It is a reference to murder. Let’s be honest, we don’t often get the opportunity to talk people out of murdering someone. So, what’s the point of this lesson? Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. | 1 John 3:15

There are some things people do that have the same effect as murder. Similarly, there are things people refuse to do that result in the spiritual death of innocent people. We all have opportunities to influence many people. When we fail to influence people toward God or when we influence people toward things other than God, we are guilty of the sin of hating them—we are guilty of murder.)

4. a heart that devises wicked schemes (Have you ever imagined what goes on inside the mind of a killer? Or a kidnapper? A burglar? A rapist? Do you ever wonder what makes them commit such evil? What wounded them to the point that they now wound others?Scripture already gives us the answer. We are all born into sin. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV) That’s true of your heart and mine, apart from the saving blood of Jesus Christ.

A heart that devises wicked schemes is a person who purposely plans to do evil. Like the school boy who decided to shoot his classmates, or the woman who drove her children into the lake so they would drown.

While these cases are extreme from the norms of society, Christians can fall into the trap of scheming to sin as well. Have you ever called a friend to complain about another person, knowing that you were going to shred that person with your words? Or what about planning that romantic date with a girlfriend that includes sleeping with her outside of marriage?

It isn’t just the serial killers and the kidnappers who devise wicked schemes. Any time our hearts make plans that break God’s laws, we risk displeasing Him. Better to set our hearts on obeying the Lord’s will and in the process, guard our hearts from all wickedness).

 

5. feet that are quick to rush into evil (What would you call evil in this day and age? Murder? Rape? Incest? Pornography? Extortion? Gambling? Homosexuality? Stealing? Drunkenness? Lying? Unbelief?Some of these things may not sound so bad to you, depending on your belief system. Society determines what is good and evil, right? So if a society says that pornography is okay but child pornography is not, then selling sex to adults must be acceptable. If the society legalizes gambling, then it can’t be all bad. Or if sodomy is stricken from the law books and no longer considered wrong, then society should accept that. Right?

We could debate the issue of right and wrong, and one society will deem something acceptable while another won’t. And who determines what is right for everyone? If missionaries to some secluded tribe discover that cannibalism is an accepted practice, are they somehow misguided to want to teach those people that cannibalism is wrong?

When the United States was founded, everything I listed above would have been considered evil by most people. Over two hundred years later and the feet of the people of this land are swift to run to do many of the things once considered wrong. Why is that? If society has changed, does that mean those things are no longer evil?

I Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

There is still a standard that supersedes all others, a final word on good and evil. Everyone has broken that standard at one point or another. And though each one of us has the propensity toward evil, God through Christ Jesus can wash us clean. Then we will go from committing the sins God hates, to being bathed in His love, with feet that are swift in running to good.)

 

6. a false witness who pours out lies (So, what are the different ways the Bible says that we can be guilty of lying? Perjury is one way. Exodus 23 says, “When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.” (Exodus 23:2-3) And so when God tells us not to bear false witness in a courtroom situation, he is concerned not only with truthfulness but also with justice.

The Old Testament law treated perjury very seriously. We read in Deuteronomy 19: “If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime … The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteronomy 19:18-19) It has been said that when you commit perjury, you are in effect calling upon God to witness to your lie. Perjury is an especially serious violation of the ninth commandment.

 Slander is speaking falsehood about another person which harms their reputation. Leviticus 19:16 says, “Do not go about spreading slander among your people.”

 Spreading gossip or rumor is another way. Exodus 23:1 says, “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.” We need to be careful not to spread gossip or rumors about people, whether in the office or workplace, or over the telephone or the internet. The internet and email are especially susceptible to spreading rumors and urban legends quickly and with little accountability. Check your facts before you forward that story to those one hundred people in your contact list, who will pass it on to one hundred others and so on. And if you find out that you passed on false information, at least make sure that you forward the corrected information to the same group of people.

Flattery David said in Psalm 12: “Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.” (Psalm 12:1-2) It is wrong to flatter someone to curry favor for your own benefit. Job said, “I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.” (Job 32:21-22)

 False teaching Paul warned about false teachers in 1 Timothy 4: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

 Careless lies  Proverbs 26 says, “Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking!’” (Proverbs 26:18-19) A casual disregard for the truth will eventually catch up with you and cause you trouble in life.

 Little white lies You know what we tell ourselves about little white lies. “It’s just a little untruth. It’s not going to hurt anybody.” Notice how we try to minimize or justify it even by the label we apply: “little … white … lie.” 1 Peter 2 says that you should “rid yourselves of … all deceit.” (1 Peter 2:1) In the same chapter Peter goes on to give us the example of Christ: “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22) Would Jesus tell little, white lies? The answer is, “No.” As followers of Christ we must not speak any falsehood. We are to be people of the truth.

You do not have to speak falsehood directly in order to be guilty of lying. One way we do this is by misrepresenting the truth. For example, in Matthew 26 we read about false witnesses who came forward at Jesus’ trial. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” (Matthew 26:59-61) Did Jesus speak those words? Well, yes, he said something similar to them. But these false witnesses misrepresented the truth by speaking his words out of context. And this was part of the evidence they used to convict Jesus at his trial.

We can also intentionally deceive other people by living a hypocritical life. Jesus said to the Pharisees of his day: “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’” (Matthew 15:7-8) Pretending to honor God on the outside when you really don’t honor him in your heart is another way you can bear false witness.

There is also a third way the Bible says we can lie. And that is by mixing lies with the truth. Have you ever heard the phrase a “half-truth?” Well, a half truth is nothing more than a whole lie. We mix lies with the truth any time we exaggerate or when we try to twist the truth for various reasons. The apostle Paul said, “We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2) As Christians we need to adopt the standard of the courtroom witness: “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Mixing lies in with the truth is just another way of telling a lie.

 

7. and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers (The dictionary defines dissension as angry or violent difference of opinion.

Dissension among people is detested by God because it destroys relationships. Jesus came to seek and save those who were lost. His purpose was to redeem the broken. To redeem is to set free from bondage. We need to be freed from ourselves. When we live by the adage, “my way or the highway,” we promote ourselves as a wrecking ball ready to smash relationships. It is all based in pride. Dissension affects everyone in the community. It makes everyone sick!

 

Dissension is especially despised by God when it is within the family of God. The verse specifically says dissension among brothers. The church is meant to be a place where people can find acceptance, comfort, encouragement and meaning. Dissension keeps God’s people from experiencing koinonia and worship. Dissension turns the community of the redeemed into a community of the bitter. Jesus died to bring us together, and active dissension shows that certain ones in the body of Christ are not listening to the Spirit of the Lord.

 

God specifically detests the one who stirs up the dissension among God’s people. It takes so few to cause dissension in a church. The seeds of dissension are always present because we are all sinful, but in order for those seeds to take root it takes a person to plant the seeds, cultivate the seeds and help them take root.

The word dissension is only used once in the New Testament. RO 13:11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Dissension is called a deed of darkness. The one who stirs up dissension is doing the work of darkness. Since light dispels the darkness, it must mean that where there is dissension there is no light! Jesus died on the cross to convert us, consecrate us and commission us. When a believer stirs up dissension he denies all three of these and chooses to dwell in the dark. God specifically detests this.

When a church’s energy is focused on dissension there is no strength left for outward mission. I believe that one of the devil’s primary strategies in fighting the expansion of the gospel is to encourage the saints to feud. When God’s people are arguing about personal preference and opinion there is no room left to carry out conviction! God wants a church to be on fire, but He is not interested in the type of fire that leaves Christians charred. We are to burn for God not burn up each other. The greatest deterrent to dissension is missions. When a church is reaching out to the lost and hurting, the focus shifts from self to Savior.

–Proverbs 6:16-19

 

The problem is that many people have religious backgrounds and have interest in spiritual things, but they don’t see the Righteous, Holy God that is revealed to us in the scriptures. People want to think of God as one of us, but only better and stronger. Somehow they believe that He will overlook sin because He is the ultimate buddy. As a result when sin is boldly preached against, and a person comes under conviction of the Holy Spirit, he or she becomes angry and offended. The person who communicates the truth is called narrow minded, void of compassion and out of touch with the times.

The most difficult task for a person is to see that he or she needs a Savior. The basic thrust of human nature is self effort. We want to prove that we belong. We want to earn our way. Our jobs contain quotas, goals, commissions, and production charts. Success is measured by how hard or how smart we work. Yet the gospel declares that our best efforts are woefully inadequate. When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord Most High upon his throne he declared,Isaiah 6:5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” A clear view of the Lord brings us face to face with our desperate need for a Savior.

There is not one of us who is not guilty of all 7 of these detestable sins! All of these things are ‘fixable’ by being a good, up-standing person, but only the mercy of God can wash the residual stains of these sins from your life. And only the grace of God can make you into the person who never has to struggle with these sins again. But the first step to that freedom is admitting that we have committed these sins and that they are detestable in His eyes.

 

(None of this is my original work. I spent the morning on this verse in study.)

Slave, Servant, Child, Friend

5.02.13

Sometimes I don’t understand myself. I cannot stand to be told what to do. It seriously causes the hair on the back of my neck to raise up, and I’ve been this way since I was a little child. Yet, if asked to do the exact same thing I will do it and more without once get upset about it. There are exceptions and I hate to admit that all of them seem to center around things I am asked to do for my husband or at home. I’m not saying all this to ‘air my dirty laundry’, but more as a ‘now that it’s out there I have no excuse not to correct it’ sort of thing.

I am not a “housewife” — I am not married to it; I am not a house slave — it does not own me. But in order for this place to properly handle our needs, I must attend to its needs (maintenance, cleaning, etc.). So we ‘serve’ this little house and in doing so, it provides our creature comforts.

I am Steve’s wife. He may not have bought me with a dowry like in the old days, but do not think for a second that I didn’t come with a high price! This man has paid for all sorts of things from my past that he never purchased. And that sidewalk walks both ways. Still, we are not slaves to each other, compelled by threat or harm to meet each others’ needs, wants, and desires. But we are servants to each other, and when we take care of each others’ needs, wants, and desires willingly we find that our lives are more fulfilled and happy. But as I sit here thinking about all this I realize that I am more quick to respond to a child’s want, a friend’s need, or work’s demands then I am to a simple request from the one closest to me in all the world. Today, my prayer is that God will show me where I serve and honor others over my husband and our marriage and how to resolve it in order to be a better Helpmate.

We are all Jonahs sometimes. We run from what God asks us to do. We can do that, for even though we WERE bought at an exorbitant price He doesn’t want slaves who must be forced to do what He’s asked. He wants children who choose to serve Him and others because of love — the love we are suppose to have towards Him and others because He first loved us. Jesus didn’t come to be served but TO serve — His Father and mankind. He even became a slave for the cause of Reconciliation With God to the point of death. But LIFE cannot be held captive and made a slave to death! Jesus is the Author and Essence of Life, so whom the Son sets free is free indeed! If anyone has a right to demand anything from anyone it would be Jesus. But guess what? He didn’t demand a thing! He simply said that if we call ourselves His disciples we will do ‘these things’. By the way, am I the only one who finds it strange that we will buy all sorts of ‘self-help’ books or take the advise of celebrity doctors, etc, but we refuse to even consider the possibility that the One Who breathed Life into us may actually have all the answers we need in HIS Book?

Well back to the point, in John 15:15 Jesus said that He doesn’t call us servants anymore, but FRIENDS. Then the One Who SHOULD have been served, wrapped a towel around His waist, sat down on a dusty floor with a bowl of water and began washing the filth from the feet of those with Him — EVEN Judas’ feet! How is it that we believe we should do any less? Oh God my Father! Teach me how to be a child who is willing to serve, who is willing to be a slave for the cause of Christ, which is Your Good News for all who will accept it.

TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE is not just the policeman’s mantra. It should be the motto for everyone, from the Office of the President of the United States on down to the child who helps her classmate on the monkey bars at recess. Oh how upside down is the world we live in! Father, I ask that You give us a servant’s heart and a desire to protect each other from harm. Let it begin in me, oh God, and shine like a beacon that others can follow. Instruct me in all these areas and teach how to be all that You’ve called me to be, for I ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

After reading this my sister wrote this back to me:
  •  “I think we can all relate as women, wives, daughters, and the redeemed. Most of us women grew up in worldly homes, not being taught our worth as women, our duty as wives, or our calling as the redeemed. The world was piped into our homes via television with an opposing view on our role as women. We heard things like, “we are woman, hear us roar”, “you can do anything you set your mind to”, “if it feels good do it”, “if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will”, and on and on it went. But God made woman in a unique way for a unique purpose. His word tells us all about us. But because we weren’t taught the beautiful plan and purpose for women, we believe the biblical view of us is unfufilling, demeaning, and less than men. The truth is, God’s plan puts Jesus as the head, the man as the leader and the woman as the helper. So if this is God’s plan (and it is), who are we to believe that one is greater than the other. Man has his role and woman has her role. One role is not greater than the other, it requires both roles to accomplish God’s plan. Of course we are speaking of the marriage roles. We thrive, we connect, we accomplish great things when we accept our roles and do our roles willingly with happy contented hearts. To try and confuse those roles or overthrow those roles causes confusion and discontentment. Women are strong, talented, intelligent, beautiful people of God when we recognize and understand and embrace our role. The world will always try to make us believe differently than God’s Word, but women of faith should always look to God’s Word for the truth about all things including ourselves.”

What’s Mine is Mine

What’s Mine is Mine

April 06, 2013
I saw a saying this morning that read, “I’m not jealous but what’s mine is mine. End of story.” That sounds great, huh…unless you know the rest of the story. The saying should have read, “What’s mine is mine, AND what’s yours is mine also (and you’re not allowed to get jealous).”
Guys, Girls — I’m talking to you from EXPERIENCE, and just because I’m ‘old’ does not mean the rules have changed, so listen up:
There is NOTHING perfect out there. You can search till doomsday and you will find that every relationship is only as good as what YOU put into it, only as strong as YOU choose to make it, and only as loving as YOU are towards it, because YOU can only control YOU. When you see a couple and “just love” the way he/she treats his/her spouse and wish you “had that”, especially since he/she doesn’t seem to be appreciated, just remember that every relationship has its own unique dynamics. So how he/she acts and reacts to his/her spouse is NOT how he/she will act and react with you, ESPECIALLY if you go in ripping up what’s not yours and destroying what was already in your hands. A relationship, especially a marriage, is NOT a public playground! It may be bigger than the one in your own backyard and it may be more colorful. But it also has fleas in the sandbox and dirt under foot rather than a soft carpet of grass that’s at home.

So be staunch about the “What’s mine is mine”! Be protective and attentive toward it! Remember you chose that, too. What makes you think your judgement’s any better now? And DO NOT interfere (not in word, innuendo, or deed) with someone else who is struggling to be protective and attentive towards their relationship.

One last thing: YOU are not the only one looking at and coveting someone else’s relationship. It doesn’t work that way! There is someone out there who is watching yours and wanting what you have, and they are seeing YOU as the one who doesn’t appreciate what YOU have so it is OK for them to coerce your spouse from you. Stop and let that soak in for a second. Remember, God is not mocked. You will read what you sow. 

More Lessons Learned…

The “Extra” Lesson I Learned from Attending My First Womens Conference

Sunday, April 3, 2011

     Although it was wonderful to spend time at the Women’s Conference with eight ladies from my church family, I was also very distracted. You see, for several years there has been a conflict between my husband and me and one of the ladies and her husband. You should all seriously note here that God does not care if you have conflict with someone! He will arrange it so that you will be spending time with him/her, AND He expects you (me, in this case) to conduct yourself according to the guidelines He has laid out in His Word. I resigned myself long ago to the fact that we will never again be in relationship with each other like we once were and that is OK. But that has never meant (as God so expressively showed me at the last conference I attended) that I could be bitter, resentful, or unfriendly. Nor did it mean that what was going on with us personally could stop or adversely affect the work of the Good News of Christ and our jobs in seeing that the entire world hears of His love for it. This has been easier said than done. What’s worse is that most people around you, whether understanding the situation or not, read much more into your actions and words (or the lack of them) than are actually there.  That can be of no consequence to you, however! You must maintain the right attitude or you’ll end up starting all over again–trust me on this!

     Well, enough background, let’s move forward to the lesson I learned. Just before we were released from the assembly five door prizes were handed out. This was done each day and two of our ladies had received gifts bags during the conference already. It took several tries to hand out these last five bags because you had to be present to receive a gift. Finally the woman’s name (whom I have difficulty with) was called and we all clapped. Several other names were called but none of them were still there. Eventually another name was called–mine. My very first thought was, “Good grief! We can’t even receive gifts on our own this weekend!” (We had had A LOT of together time!) Then I opened the bag. The gift bags that were given to the other two ladies on Thursday and Friday evenings did not contain the same things, so can you imagine my surprise when I took a journal out of my bag and heard the other lady say, “Ooh! yours is pretty too!” I looked over and she was holding the same book in her hand, only in a different color. Actually, our bags were identical except for the color of the books. As I was taking the journal out of the bag (before I heard the comment), I didn’t see a journal but rather a book to begin writing poetry again (it’s been years since I’ve written anything). But before I could form any thought in my head about the fact that we had the same gift bags, I heard in my spirit: “Of course they look the same. I’ve gifted you the same way to do the same job. You’ll have those you touch and she’ll have those she touches.” There was so much more to it, but I don’t want to try to add words that weren’t there in order to help you understand the entire conversation that went on in my spirit.

Looking back on it now this is what I see: an oak tree, its base huge. Several feet up the trunk the tree forks into two branches that are as large as trunks themselves. One branch grows to the right and provides shade, comfort, and delight to everything on that side of the meadow. The other branch grows to the left and provides the same things to the other side of the meadow. Cut one branch off from the trunk and it will die and will weaken the entire tree. The branch on the right cannot do its job on the left side of the meadow, nor can the left branch do its job on the right side of the meadow…yet unity, they provide shade, comfort, and delight for the entire meadow.

     And so it is with us. Our trunk is Christ Jesus; she and I (and maybe you and someone that you were once in relationship with but are now divided from) are the branches attached tightly to that Trunk. She has her job and I have mine. CAREFULLY read Acts 15:36-41. Paul and Barnabas were seriously at odds. Had they tried to continue to minister together at that time, all their work would have been lost. But they chose to go in different directions; there was probably a lot of hard and hurt feelings and they did not see each other for a very long time. But they had to work on themselves (for themselves) and continue in the work of the LORD for the sake of the Kingdom, and do it all without causing harm to God’s people or each other.