In the spirit of LISTENING for God’s voice to speak, when I am in the car by myself I am trying to listen to sermons so that God can fill my brain with His Word and Truth rather than allowing the stillness and quiet to let Satan fill my mind with questions and concerns.

Today I had to get a CT scan of my head and I felt like it was the perfect time for my head to be filled with TRUTH!  So I decided to listen to part 3 of “The Power of the Same” by Steven Furtick.  This particular week’s message title was “This May Take A While.”  I highly recommend listening to the whole set of messages, but I wanted to share this thought:

I am not going to be inconsistent in the friendships that matter, so that I can be consistent with the relationships that really don’t count.  And it isn’t because I don’t want to be friends with everybody, but I realize that I am not The Vine.  And to stay connected in a meaningful way to some people, I can’t be connected to all people.

These thought has been hitting me over and over these last few weeks as I have been leading some women through the book The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst.  I have to be consistent in what really matters.  I have to protect the relationships that really count.  I can’t people-please.  I can’t go through life in a rush.

I MUST slow down and be consistent with the friendships that REALLY matter.  So today I will focus on blessing my husband and my kids.  I will call my mom, just so she knows I love her.  And I will check on a friend who I know is hurting.

How can you be consistent with the relationships that count??

If you want to listen to this sermon series, go to http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-power-of-same

Jesus showing love

This morning I was reading John 4 about the woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus.  This story is rather familiar to me however today, Jesus’ absolute, unconditional and extravagant love struck me like a 2×4.

When Jesus approached the woman, He was asking for water.  Then Jesus changed the conversation to the gift that He could give her.  Then Jesus changed the conversation yet again to her personal life and worship.  He was drilling down in her heart to the real issue at hand.  Yes, she would love to have some water so that she did not have to keep coming back to that well just for a drink.  But what she really NEEDED was the well in her heart to be filled.  Could this come from the men she had in her past or the man she currently had?  NO.  She had to go to Jesus to get her heart filled.

The woman’s words to the town also struck me, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29)

Because Jesus knew her intimately, she believed what He said.  And not only did she believe, but she called others to meet this precious Jesus who “told me everything I ever did” yet did not bring condemnation but only love.

I want to be like this woman- getting my heart’s fill from Jesus alone and telling others about His love and striving to love others like He loves me.  True and authentic.  Love that does not bring bitterness or condemnation.  Just absolute, unconditional and extravagant LOVE.

May I encourage you to read John 4 today and see what the Savior is saying to your heart.

Love is (part 3)

It has been my goal to look at the Bible’s definition of what LOVE IS and hold that up to my definition of love.  Yes, God’s definition will win out in my life every time.  However without an intentional look at what God says love is, I will continue to love my way and not God’s.  In August I looked at love is patient and love is kind.

Today I want to explore:

envy

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what Merriam-Webster says that envy is– “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage”.  So to be envious I have to have painful and/or resentful thoughts/attitude toward someone that enjoys something that I want to enjoy myself.

Now, I typically don’t see myself as an “envious” person.  I try very hard to be thankful for all the things that God has given to me because God has blessed me and my family a TON.  But I don’t believe that envy applies only to material possessions.  I believe it goes along with relationships and time and a host of other things.

I have noticed that sadly I do find myself thinking “Oh, I wish my husband would express his love to me like that…” Or “Oh, I wish I still had that close friendship with…”  Or “Oh, I wish my children and I could…”  And those are envious thoughts.

Thoughts of comparison usually lead to envy and envy is not love.  So how can I stop the envy??  I believe it comes down to a few things:

  • being thankful for the things God gives me, whether that is a relationship or a material blessing
  • being thankful for the season I am in with relationships that God has given me
  • trying to be the person that God has made ME to be
  • not allowing myself to mindless scroll through Facebook and Instagram because this can lead to envy.  Pastor Stephen Furtick says “We struggle with insecurity (and I would add envy) because we compare our behind-the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”  You don’t often see statuses or pics of people’s bad days and this is where social media gets me in trouble.  Seeing the “highlight reel” and wishing for THAT rather than knowing that “real life” is happening but not being shared!  Actually Pastor Furtick preached a great message about this very thing.  You can find it at:  http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-hope-of-glory  The message you want to listen to is Part Four- The Problem with Pinterst.

I hope you will continue to join me as I learn to love God’s way.

 

 

A Scripture for this School Year

So I just read a great blog by the wonderful Lysa T.  If you have kids headed off to school this year, you should read it too. Here is the link: http://lysaterkeurst.com/2014/08/before-they-go-to-school-have-this-conversation/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=303165

Anyway… I wanted to share with you the scripture that I will be praying for my kids this school year. And yes, my “kids” include my firstborn, Andrew, as well as all the other “kids” that have come in my life, our foster kids past and present, youth group kids, etc.

Galatians 1:10 says “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Dear God, I pray that You will dwell in the hearts of my kids this year. And that Your presence would be so evident that You are the only person they are trying to please. Help my kids to not fall into the people-pleasing trap. Because when that happens, they are no longer striving to be Your servant. Also, God, please help me, their mom, to strive for Your approval only. In Jesus Name, Amen.

What verse are you praying for your kiddos this year??

Romans Project- Week 12

So I am still truckin’ along with memorizing Romans chapter 1. No I have not been perfect with each week’s verse, and I have had to review some weeks because I didn’t quite get it… but I am still committed to obsessing about God’s Word and not all the other things that threaten to take up space in my brain.

After reciting Romans 1:1-20 to my accountability partner tonight, I come home and flipped the card to this week’s verse and it is already messing with my heart. This week’s verses are Romans 1:21-22

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools,

I do know God. But I have been realizing that there are some gods in my life that I may have been glorifying rather than the one true God. And then it hits me… How often do I forget to give thanks… How does it slip away so often? My heart falls back into panic and worry and fret mode. And I forget that to be dependent on Jesus, I must continue to give thanks to Him for all the good gifts He gives. I must do this the in midst of health issues and family stress and learning to parent foster children and all of this on top of normal every day life stress like laundry, bills, groceries, packing lunches, etc.

So again, I pick my list…
490- the prayers of a friend
491- good company at Missional Community
492- celebrating small victories

I don’t want my heart to be darkened. I do not want my to be a fool.

I want to be sold out for Jesus and give Him my everything.

The Woman at the Well

well-w-bucket

This week I have been focusing on the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. It can be found in John 4. I am sure you have read it before but it does a heart good to reread the story and see what God wants to show you.

This morning when I read it again, God really opened my heart that I am not too far off from this woman He had to go see. This is a mess of woman who is going about her normally daily duties when she encounters the Lord. What stood out to me the most this morning is that she desperately wants this living water. She wants a quick fix to cover up her sin problem. And she wants a quick fix so that her sin will no longer affect her daily life. In John 4:15 she says “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

I have been there. Actually I think this is where I have been living my life with Jesus for far too long. I want Jesus to give me a quick fix to get over my sin so that I don’t have to keep coming back to this same place time and time again. Also I am weary of my sin affecting my family. But I believe all quick fixes do is bring temporary relief to a deeper issues.

So, of course, Jesus doesn’t offer her a quick fix, He goes deeper with her. Jesus offers her his perfect love in the midst of her mess. She had been with five men and was living with guy number six. None of  these men could fill this deep need of love in her life. She was speaking to the man who could offer her perfect love. Not in a sexual kind of way, but the perfect love that comes out of 1 Corinthians 13- patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud or dishonoring, not self-seeking or easily angered. A love that keeps no record of wrongs, that rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, always preserves and NEVER fails. This is a love that no man could show her. Only the one, true God could allow her to feel this kind of love.

God offers this same perfect love to me. In the midst of my mess. In the midst of my sin. There are no quick fixes in Jesus, only His perfect love that was shown on the cross. And the great thing is there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I can do to earn it and nothing I can do for it to be taken from me. God’s offer of His perfect love has no strings attached.

Today, I would like to end by sharing one thought taken from the book, “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope:

Sweet friend, wherever you are, Jesus meets you there. You and I are not worthy of His love and we can never do anything to deserve it– but we are worth His love because He chose to give it to us. We are His! Hold on to this promise and live in the power of its truth: because God’s love is perfect, you don’t have to be!

Today I am choosing to walk in His #perfectlove.  How about you?