Monday, January 27, 2014

What Is God Up To?

Let me tell you about my day, so far. It started out as a pretty normal day. I was a little slow starting, but nothing that the coffee couldn't take care of. I finally got off the computer, even though my computer work for the morning wasn't done. Thankfully, my "boss" is VERY understanding. lol. So...last night, we discovered that our washer had pooped out. Well, of course it did, right when i NEED clean clothes. But all was ok. All i had to do was do the dishes, so that i could wash some things out in the sink & throw them in the dryer. I could work on my blog post while things were drying.
As always, i knew that God was in control & i asked Him to bless my writing & give me His words. But THEN, i got a phone call, the mail came, hubby came home, the clothes in the dryer were done, so i had to wash more out in the kitchen sink to put in the dryer. SOOOOOOOOO, 4 1/2 hours after i got off the computer, i am finally getting back to writing. Knowing that God is in control, i wondered what He was thinking. This is not fun OR funny! WHAT IS HE UP TO?!?!?! TA-DA...a message for today. 
Think about David. He was told that he was going to be the King of Israel. But he spent most of the next 10 years on the run & hiding out. And look at Joseph! He dreamed that he would rule over his brothers. But he spent the next 13 years as a slave & a prisoner. Sounds kind of like a cruel joke on a couple of faithful teenagers. Thankfully, we do know the outcome in both of these cases. David became King of Israel. Joseph forgave his brothers & provided for them & their families.
"But Joseph said to them, 'Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid, I will provide for you & your children.'  And he reassured them & spoke kindly to them"
Genesis 50:19-21 (NIV)
Yes, we know how these stories turned out, but we can't foresee our own futures, whether we're looking at an hour from now, or 5 years from now. But you can trust that God IS in control. We all have those periods of time when we feel like our lives are in a tailspin, controlled by circumstances. But God IS ruling over everything. He is NEVER surprised at anything that happens.
Being in control, God is working for our good & His glory! He never promotes evil & is always looking out for us & our best interests. Look at my crazy day & how it brought this message! God used my frustrations of today, to answer my own prayers. And yes, sometimes what God sees as working for our good is not what we want happening. Yes, God will use adversity, temptation, well as interruptions & a broken washing machine....for our welfare & His glory.
God will bless you & also others through your conflicts. And i do pray that this message will bless someone today. He is working not for you only, but for the benefit of ALL His people.

P.S. I also know that if i ever have a washing machine break down during warm weather, i will be VERY THANKFUL, when i'm washing clothes in the sink, that they are shorts & tank tops instead of sweats! LOL!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Gift Of New Life

I've said before that i am so thankful that God never took me for granted, during the period of my life that i was taking Him for granted. When i finally realized that i needed to turn my life around, i certainly didn't expect how much He would work in me, in my day to day living. That's because the Holy Spirit brings to every Christian, an entirely new quality of life. Those who are born again in the Holy Spirit can enjoy a new way of living.

I look at my life, mostly my attitude, way back when. Even though i always believed, i never thought that i would have a craft business, dedicated to the glory of God! I never thought that i would be writing a blog & sharing God's love & grace for anyone in cyberspace to read!! I never thought that i would be introduced as the Pastor's wife!!!

"What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death. But now you have been set free from sin & have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness & the result is eternal life."
Romans 6:21-22 (NIV)
My response to this passage? HALLELUJAH!!! The Holy Spirit does reprogram your mind, which transforms your attitude, with His wisdom. And believe me!...That is THE BEST attitude adjustment that you could EVER get! As for me, my habits were changed, priorities were rearranged, & new standards were put into place. And with all these changes, the Spirit gave me a new power & strength to live the new lifestyle.

This can all happen for you too, if it hasn't all ready. All it takes is an invitation. Just open your heart & ask God to allow His Holy Spirit give you an attitude adjustment. You will no longer have to fight your problems by yourself. Instead, you will have God & His Holy Spirit in your corner. You can't ask for any better help than that!

Monday, January 13, 2014


I've noticed a trend lately. I've come across many blogs that have been written about one word of the New Year. Instead of making New Year's resolutions, you're to choose one word to focus on this year. I've seen many different words chosen, but the most popular seem to be love, joy, believe, & faith. Again, a few days ago, i came across one of those blogs & i suddenly heard "SURRENDER". 
Some of you may know that i have been coping with some physical challenges. Due to arthritis in my knees & hips, my mobility has dwindled greatly & i am losing a little bit of my independence. (On the bright side, i don't have to do, because i can't do, the marathon grocery shopping trip every two weeks. tee hee!) It's not only been a physical adjustment, but a BIG emotional adjustment. I've been frustrated, depressed & in tears WAY too often. And yes, i have prayed about all of this. I've given my pain to God. I've asked Him to take the pain, or at least make it tolerable. And in those tearful times, i've begged & pleaded for His help. My issues seemed even worse, because i wasn't sleeping well due to the pain, so therefore i was sleep deprived, which made things seem worse than they were.
But when i read this blog the other day & heard SURRENDER, i did just that! I surrendered my pain, my frustrations, my depression. And God is SO GOOD!!! That night i got 9 HOURS of sleep without waking up in pain. I feel like i am a new person! Yes, i still have pain, but NO frustration. I'm not depressed. And tears are now happy tears. I just want to shout it from the roof tops! (If i could climb up there, that is.)

"Surrender yourself to the Lord, & wait patiently for Him."
Psalm 37:7 (GWT)

So what does it mean to surrender? 
 - Following God's lead - no matter where.
 - Waiting for God's perfect timing - no matter when.
 - Expecting a miracle - no matter how.
 - Trusting God's purpose - no matter what.
When you surrender to God, you always rely on Him to work things out. You don't try to force your own agenda, manipulate others, or control any situation. Remember, YOU are NOT in charge! God is! So quit trying harder & instead, trust Him more.

The prime example of SURRENDER is when Jesus surrendered Himself to God's plan. He payed,
"Father, everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will, not Mine."
"Mark 14:36 (NLT)

All i know is that by keeping my focus on the word SURRENDER, i feel like a HUGE weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I am SO relieved that God is in charge! With that being said, i leave you with the lyrics to the chorus of a song that has been going through my head, since i heard my one word......

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Put Off Procrastination - Part 2

Today is a positive step for me to "Put Off Procrastination". (See previous post.) I am actually writing a blog post for my regularly scheduled Monday! Yea!!! I didn't know there would be a part 2 until i started writing. Some of you may remember from past posts that i always ask God to bless my posts & to give me His message to write. So, now, there's a part 2.
One of the biggest mistakes that the majority of us make, is to wait until the time is "right". If we do that, somethings may never get done! Sometimes we're just selfish & "want what we want, when we want it". That's another way of whining, "I don't wanna" when you know you could get an unpleasant task done in just a few minutes. And it's not really about making a plan & sticking with it. Instead, take a deep breath & do it now. There isn't a perfect time, except God's perfect timing.
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done."
Ecclesiastics 11:4 (LB)
I have struggled with feeling that perfection is unreachable, so i would push things out of my mind. And that's how things got our of hand for me. But even a baby step towards a goal is a positive step. It's much better than not doing anything. And believe me, those first steps, no matter how big, or how small, will fill you with the joy of accomplishment.They certainly have for me the last 6 days!
God is teaching me each day, that i can make progress in all circumstances. Daily, it feels wonderful to get something small accomplished, rather than dreading the attempt a larger job done perfectly. So, let's remind ourselves that an imperfect accomplishment is better than perfect procrastination. There may never be a perfect time to do what you need to do, but we have to begin somewhere. After all, how did we start baby step at a time.

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Matthew 21:22 (NIV)
With all this being said, the absolute most important first step, is to ask God to bless your plan for the day & that it be in accordance with His plan. I also ask Him for His wisdom to prioritize & His strength & energy to get done what He feels needs to be done. I know this is important because if i do forget to ask this, i don't get things done in a timely manner. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Putting Off Procrastination

Happy New Year! This is the time for many to make their New Year's resolutions. Have you broke any of yours yet? Yes, that's usually what happens. A few days into the the New Year & most resolutions have been broken already. Been there, done that.
How many of you made a resolution to quit procrastinating? Unfortunately procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses. I've been thinking about that quite a bit lately, trying to figure out why this is such a problem for me. How did i get here? Well, i think that i first allowed procrastination to get a hold of me after i quit working a "real" job. It was the first time since i was 16 years old that i didn't have to punch a time clock anymore. My life didn't revolve around a schedule, that was set by someone else, that i had to answer to.
But a change in my life has opened my eyes, that i have to quit procrastinating....or...put off procrastination. Osteoarthritis is putting up hurdles for me at this point in time. So, no, i'm not jumping in to get everything done ASAP. But will be doing how you eat an bite at a time.
What about you other procrastinators out there? Have you figured out why this is an issue for you? Some people say that they are "born procrastinators". But according to scripture, that's impossible.We were all made in God's image. Does He procrastinate. I don't think so. Procrastination is a form of bondage & our Lord wants the best for His followers. He didn't design us to be enslaved. So let's look at some causes of procrastination.....
"A double minded man is unstable in all he does." 
James 1:8 (LB)
INDECISION causes you to post pone things, like beginning a Bible study, continuing education, writing a blog  =), contacting a friend or family member. And i'm sure you've heard "you snooze, you lose". Indecision causes missed opportunities.
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!"
Ecclesiastics 11:4 (LB)
PERFECTIONISM. This one is pretty much self explanatory. No human being is perfect! There was only one perfect man & they hung Him on a cross.
"The fear of man is a trap."
Proverbs 29:25 (LB)
FEAR. What are you afraid of? Failure? So what!! I believe that the only way that you truly fail, is if you do not try!
"A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive."
Proverbs 18:19 (GNT)
ANGER. Procrastination is passive resistance. We don't really like someone telling us what to do. And yes, it causes us to put things off.
"Lazy people want much, but get little, while the diligent are prospering"
Proverbs 13:4 (LB)
LAZINESS. This reminds me of the "Easy Button". If something seems to difficult, we don't like it. And things we don't like, go to the bottom of the To Do List. Or, we do only what we have to to get by, the extras get pushed aside. According to this scripture, we are only robbing ourselves of prospering.
Do any of these procrastination causes ring true to you? Next step? Ask God to help you overcome so that you can move forward & prosper. This is exactly what i'm going to do. I'll be asking for God's wisdom to help me prioritize & His strength & energy to get things done. I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

I wish you all a prosperous & happy New Year!!!