Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reoccurring Theme

In the matter of a very short afternoon I had a common theme to come to my attention. In reading my most recent book - Walking With God - this afternoon John Eldridge is sharing about a time when he was involved in an accident and broke both arms. The title of his chapter is 'Until God Becomes Our All'. He talks about all of the blessings and gifts that we have, from God, and that we often times focus our attention on what He has given us instead of ultimately on Him.

John says:
'We give our hearts over to so many things other than God. We look to so many other things for life. I know I do. Especially the very gifts that He Himself gives to us - they become more important to us than He is. That's not the way it is supposed to be. As long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable... But we end up worshiping the gift instead of the Giver. We seek for life and look to God as our assistant in the endeavor. We are far more upset when things go wrong than we ever are when we aren't close to God.

And so God must, from time to time, and sometimes very insistently, disrupt our lives so that we release our grasping of life here and now. Usually through pain. Gos is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given or heart to, so that we can give our hearts even more fully to Him.'

Back to my thoughts:
It certainly strikes an interesting thought with me. Where do I place my value. Do I seek Him first in every decision or do I do what I want to do without asking for His guidance. So in my study of Job this question came up: If all of your belongs were taken away, your family killed and your health was no longer would you turn to God - who you know is all providing, all protecting and sovereign - or would you turn away from God? The way of the world says that suffering is a punishment (as does Eliphaz, Job's friend). But the truth of the matter is that we are here to serve God. He wants us to walk with Him and to grow closer to Him. He desires that we seek Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and spirit. Without God we are suffering, suffering for lack of eternal life. So. After I was done reading this afternoon I opened my bible study and here was the first thing that I read:

From CBS Job Bible Study:
'Life is characterized by change, and change often time means loss. Though everything we have is a gift from God, we tend to expect Him to always bless us and never take back any of His gifts. Our comfortable lifestyles, our good health, our loving relationships, our satisfying careers and pursuits, are all vulnerable to change.'

Back to me:
Our entire lives are vulnerable to change all according to God's will and purpose. He does love us and He certainly does want us to enjoy our lives (and things) on this earth. 1Timothy 6:17 says 'Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment'. But he also wants us to draw closer to Him. We all go through times of suffering and pain and in these times we become more like Him - He is polishing us. I have to answer the question (would I turn to or away from God if put in Job's position) honestly and tell you that my human spirit would question why this is happening, but I know that I would turn to Him. He would be all that I could turn to for refuge. He is the light of the world and I am thankful that He has called me to be His. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bles us and make His face shine upon us, that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation amoung all nations.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beautiful Weekend Despite AU Football

Justin was out of town this weekend on his annual guys golf trip. Even though he was gone I had a wonderful, relaxing yet busy weekend. Friday night I took it easy - after taking care of a work obligation at 7pm - I sat and watched TV and caught up on my blog reading, which can take hours and it is so much fun! Thank all of you bloggers for entertaining me on Friday evening!

Saturday I woke up early and went for a quick run before I headed to babies R Us to purchase a baby gift for a baby shower I attended that afternoon. It was great and so funny to see how many pregnant ladies were at the baby shower. After the shower I came home and bathed my stinky children and then got dressed again to meet friends out to watch the Auburn game. It was so much to fun be with friends that I haven't seen in so long, and some that I see more often. We hoped to get more of the Auburn game, but since Alabama was only pay per view they had the Bama game on most of the TV. In the end it didn't matter because Auburn played horrible. Thank goodness for our defense because left up to our offense we are in trouble. I love Auburn and I love when Auburn wins...even if they loose I still love Auburn. But I hate to see them playing so bad. Hope that they will get it together this weekend before we play LSU this weekend.

Today I went to church with mom and dad and it was such an awesome service. The episcopal church is such a traditional service and really what I mean by this is in terms of the music. We have an evening contemporary service that I love, but I enjoy going in the mornings sometimes and from time to time the traditional hymns bore me a little. Sorry for my honesty....but today during communion they had some young kids who played the piano (instead of the organ) a little bongo drum and singing contemporary was awesome and so uplifting. I hope that they will do that more because it was amazing. They also did baptisms - 5 babies were baptised and they all did so good - non cried. Justin has made it home safely and I'm glad that he's home. I think that he is traveling this week, so its been nice to have the afternoon with him.

Off to cook dinner - Chicken Sausage and Pasta...Yummy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Love Fall

I love the cooler weather, and although it isn't quite cool yet it isn't blazing hot either. It was a beautiful weekend this weekend and a weekend full of football. Football always brings cooler weather, which I absolutely love. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Fall also brings schedules and routines - now that summer is almost behind us - and that means that CBS (Community Bible Study) starts and I am so excited. It starts tomorrow and we are studying Job and then Galatians and then Hebrews. It is going to be an amazing study and I am thrilled to be diving back into God's precious Word. God is so good and it is refreshing to gain knowledge in Him and to grow closer to Him.

I've been reading a great book by John Eldridge called Walking with God. It is truly a great book - very simple read - actually John's life stories of walking and growing with our Loving Father. It was been such an inspiration about the importance of talking and communicating with God about everything. God has all the answers so why not ask Him. Which brings me to the next great reminder that I've received through reading this book. Be still and listen. I have to be honest. It is just plain hard for me to stop and NOT be thinking about something..I think its a girl thing.. My mind is always running and running fast and when that is happening it doesn't leave much room for listening. But I have really been working on slowing down my thinking and really hearing God and it is amazing what all He has to say. I hope that you don't think I'm crazy, and if you do then I urge you today to say a pray and ask God to speak to you because you want to know Him better and then sit in total silence and just listen to see what He may have to say to you. It is truly amazing how The King of kings and The Lord of lords WANTS me to talk to Him, isn't that humbling? If you reach out to Him, He will be there for you to grab onto and then He will wrap His loving arms around you and fill you with comfort and joy. Wow, it really doesn't get better than that.

Today at church, my preacher spoke about confronting sin in others lives - not that we are judge them but we are to hold each other accountable. Sin is destructive and causes separation from Him. It got me thinking about times when I don't want to talk about God with others or when I just don't want to sit and have quiet time with Our Father or just when I am being selfish and lazy all of this is separation from Him. Which is not pleasing to Him. I am working on this to not allow separation (sin and evil) in my life. I want to be pleasing in His eyes and I know that I will always fall short but I strive to be one with Him and serve Him with joy!

I hope that all of you have an awesome and God filled week. Love you all!