Monday, December 7, 2009

Choose to Forgive


I just want to take a moment to speak to all you anonymous thirty somethings. I want to tell you that this may be "just a stage you are in", and it won't last forever. You've been through stages before, you know. Like when all your friends were in the dating stage; then all of you went through the getting married stage; next was the having babies stage, and then (unfortunately), some of you went through the getting divorced stage.
It seems that the women around me are going through a hurt, disjointed, and disillusioned stage. It doesn't have to be that way, of course, but it seems that by the time we reach this "thirty something", we have collected a lot of hurts. We've hurt others (often unintentionally), and we've lost a lot of relationships. We feel hurt sometimes, and we feel alone! Some of us don't have an extended family to fall back on, and some of us are under stress in our marriages to boot. Many of us have teenagers, or are under financial pressures.
Wow. We are going through some stuff.
But I think what's most important at this phase in life, is to be ruthlessly forgiving. Remember, that those women who have hurt you, or betrayed your friendship- they are hurting too! Your parents are fallible, your church is only full of normal men and women. You will have others fail you, and maybe they already have- terribly.
But this reminds me of my sweet daughter Victoria, and her recent encounter with her slightly older brother Joshua.
Joshua took Victoria's mittens, and was out in the snow drifts having a great time. Victoria was in the house, dejectedly searching for any sort of mitten. To no avail. Assessing the situation, I suggested to Victoria that she put some of Jed's turbo thick woolen socks over her hands, and just go have a good time. But Victoria was intensely focused on the terrible injustice of the situation- "Joshua took my mittens, and he wouldn't give them back!" An injustice, to be sure, but I wanted to point something out to Victoria.
"Are you enjoying yourself by being bitter about it?"
"no..."
"What if you just forgave him, and moved on with your life? You could spend the whole day being angry, and it would ruin all your fun... or you could let it go, and it would have no power to affect the rest of your day! Just put on the socks, and leave it behind."
(Sage advice for myself these days. "Just put on the socks, and move on with your day.")
She cried. And put on the socks. I don't know the end of the story yet, but I think it's time for me as a thirty something to forgive. To recognize that I can't change what's going on around me, but I could do something about the future. I can get through this stage a lot faster, if I will ruthlessly forgive.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Don't Quit, and Don't Give Up


This is something I repeat to myself frequently. "I'm not quitting, and I'm not giving up!" Some days I feel I have to say it over and over, in order to remind myself. Other days I say it in relief. "I didn't give up, and I didn't quit!" (Phew!)

The basis for this unwillingness to quit is this:

Jesus came into my messed up life, and He accepted me- He changed me. He took my sins upon Himself, and He went to the cross in my place. He went to hell for me, and then He gave me His Life, His Resurrection, when I had earned nothing, and deserved death.

He rose from the grave by faith in the Father's word, and He gave me His Spirit to live in me forever, so I would always have a friend- always have hope! He conquered sickness, temptation, sin, and the grave for me, and He gave me His written word so that I would have all access to Him; all comfort-- so I would know that I have a covenant. I have His promise!

When He overcame for me, when He purchased all victory with His own blood, and then turned around and called me victorious... How could I give up?

How can I look into the scriptures and read the accounts of those in worse circumstances than mine, and disregard the intense faith that they kept in Him- and that He delivered them!

How can I read what He has promised me in Isaiah, and ever be discouraged... How can I believe He is against me when the entire bible outlines His unfailing goodness! He is God, and He is good!

How could I quit, when His Spirit lives inside of me- has become Part of who I am? How could I ever fail, when He Who lives in me is unfailing?

When He has won it all, and He won't give up on me? When He won't quit on me?

I can't I don't. You won't either. Some days seem tough, but we call those blessed who persevere (who didn't quit- who didn't give up). And there are good days too! And there is heaven ahead. He won't give up on me- I will not dishonor Him by giving up. All we need is His word, and He has given it to us in written form, to have it with us forever. Promise, after promise. And the more I read it, the more addicted I am- this book is filled with hope! This book is filled with life itself! This book is Alive, and This Book is a Person! This book is true, and it is The Truth. Oh, how I love His Word, and I can't live without it- and neither can you. You cannot live without the One who will not fail you or forsake you! He can't live without you either- He loved you enough to die for you, to win you to His side, to woo you, and to have you. He is the Great Bridegroom, the Irresistible, the Undeniable. He is the Awesome Almighty- He is Jesus. Oh the Blessing, oh the Joy, oh the Power. He is Worthy.

No. I can't give up. Neither can you- there is hope ahead for your life- the kingdom of God is within you, and you have the mind of Christ now. When you ask Him in to the dim and dismal places of your heart, He will enter, and He will cause you to be reborn- born from death into life; from depression into hope. When we know His word, we know that there is always Hope, and that we must not give up, and we do not quit. He is with you now- He will not fail you or forsake you. He is Love, and Love never quits or gives up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Released


What Jesus has done for us:


Isaiah 61
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed meto bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You Can Have What You Say


A quote from Charles Capp's minibook "God's Creative Power for your Finances", where he quotes instructions that the Lord gave him during a time of prayer:


"Study and search My word for promises that pertain to you as a believer. Make a list of these, and confess them aloud daily. They will build up your spirit over a period of time. Then, when these truths are established in your spirit, they will become true in you."


That's the way it works! It applies to health, finances, mental and emotional wellbeing: every area of life. The word of God will work in our lives, if we will give it place.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reminding Myself


It's time to remind myself of what I've learned the last couple years of my journey.

Namely, that God is not my enemy. He is not doing bad things to me, but wants to deliver me- to help and to heal me. God is good. This seems simple enough to understand, but you must know that when thoughts enter a person's mind like: "God won't help you, He doesn't care." and, "God isn't answering your prayers- He isn't going to either." then a greater answer is needed than just "oh yes, He does." Truth is needed! I've learned that I must store up the word in my heart, until it overflows out of my mouth in faith, and then it will come to pass in my life. I've learned that I can have whatever I believe, not just what I know mentally. When it's in me in abundance, and I can speak it out of my mouth, totally believing that it will come to pass, then I am using my faith. But if I don't believe it in my heart (if I only believe it mentally), then the only answer is to go back to the word, and keep feeding it in: to keep putting it into my eyes, into my ears, and into my heart.

When I focus on the physical problem, I magnify it; I am sensitized to it, and become more aware of it. However, when I focus in on God, I become aware of His greatness, and His goodness- then I give Him place to move in My life. My attention is less on the problem, and more on the love that God has for me. When I focus in on what is hurting me, and what's going wrong, I perpetuate it! I create at least a mental habit that keeps going over its wounds again and again! But when I focus on the love of God (in worship), and focus on others (in serving them in thinking about how they feel), I find I do have just a bit more strength that I can offer Him. I find that I do have enough love to love someone other than myself.

When something has come against our physical bodies, or our minds, it is tempting to despair, or to be selfish- to think only on what's wrong in our lives, and how to fix it. It can even seem like the right thing to do: like a person who discovers that they have celiac disease, who begins to focus on how to bake gluten free. This can seem like the right thing to do, right? Because it is best for that person's health; and they are doing it to heal, so they can be there for their family, right? But I think what can happen is that the focus is also on all those words like: "celiac, gluten free, disease, diahrea, sick," etc. etc. So if the focus is not on Christ, and His healing word, then we don't make progress! We just stay in a habit of researching: always trying to find a cure; always seeking an answer! The search for natural treatments is inexaustible- seemingly. But the word of God is inexaustible, truly!

And I know now that I can change my expectations. I don't have to let my mind go down every little bunny trail of what can go wrong, or what it is afraid of. I can speak God's word; I can pray; I can on purpose decide to expect something good. I can hope! This may seem out of reach to someone who is deeply depressed, but we are never beyond the reach of God's word, and we are never too sick to be affected by it! Even if a person can't read the bible, they can still play it on cd. Their spirit can hear it- it is the Seed, and it will Produce! The word of God itself contains the power to bring itself to pass, just like a cucumber seed has the power to bring forth a cucumber. But someone has to plant it! We must expose ourselves continually to God's word, in order to renew our mind! When we reach the place where God's word is changing what we think, then it will transform our lives! I've learned that when I focus on the little lying thoughts that come against my mind, and try to answer them with reasoning, then I exaust myself, and feel defeated. But when I answer them with God's word, I don't need to fight the battle- the word itself is doing the work.

Again, and again, I've learned that I can't sleep in and hope that some extra rest will do me good- I have to get out of bed and seek God through His word; I need Him. Even more than sleep.

I've learned that I am happier, more peaceful, and more content when I yield to Him (obey Him, submit to His Holy Spirit), even when it doesn't seem right, or fair, or as if anyone appreciates my sacrifice. He sees, He alone truly appreciates. He made a Sacrifice too.

I've learned that I can comfort myself with the psalms. I've learned that when this world seems overwhelming, that there is a Place I can go to be reassured, to be strengthened. I've learned that He is the ultimate Teacher; Lover; Provider; Healer; Forgiver; Strengthener; Standby; and Grace. I can't do without Him, and He doesn't expect me to. He will meet me. He will answer when I call.

Psalm 56: 8-11

You have kept count of my tossings, and put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise (in the Lord, whose word I praise), in God I trust, I shall not be afraid.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Run as to Win


I went for a jog this morning. It's not a long circuit, and I don't jog fast; but at the beginning of autumn, I could barely walk it.

So I talked to myself as I jogged/walked about how much easier today was than yesterday, and how much easier yesterday was than Wednesday. "Self, I want you to remember that exercise is easier and more fun, the more often you do it!"

That made me think suddenly of prayer. Could prayer be easier, and more fun, the more often I do it?

I know this to be true about my bible reading. If I take a break from it, it can be hard slugging to get back on track. Just like exercise: if I take several days to rest, eat up, and relax; then it can be hard slugging the next time I set out for a walk.

Yesterday was intensely windy here. I'd had a difficult night, and I knew that if I was going to have strength for the day, I would have to do two things:

1. read my bible

2. get some exercise

So I set out for a run in the wind. I ran mostly to get it over with faster.

You know, I found it really difficult. My head throbbed, my eyes watered, my feet were sore, and I was making slow going in the wind. But I kept self talking: "I'm not giving up; I'm not quitting". I was half talking it, half praying. I needed to apply it to every area of my life at that moment. But that run didn't last forever, and I was happy and refreshed when it was done. Also, I was stronger.

Shall I admit that occasionally my "quiet time" with the Lord can be that way? Sometimes I have to make myself focus on the words I'm reading again and again. Sometimes I have to start over, and read it aloud to myself to make sure I'm listening! Sometimes I have to cry. Sometimes I have to repent of the same things, over and over. Sometimes...... Sometimes I feel alone, and as if all this self discipline in my bible reading is making no difference.

BUT. When I was feeling that way yesterday, the scripture came into my mind:

The Word of the Lord is living, and active: sharper than any two-edged sword: penetrating to the dividing assunder of the soul and spirit; the joints and marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Living and active... Yes, that's right. Even when I don't feel it, the word is working on my behalf! It is a seed, that I planted in my heart, my mind, my life.

Sometimes when I plant my garden in the spring, it is cold outside; windy; drizzly; discouraging. But this makes no difference to the seed. It is buried dead, beneath the unassuming earth, BUT. The bible says the ground produces of itself! Soon the dead seed begins to swell with moisture, soon it begins to break. In its brokeness it sends out a root, and a tender, pale shoot. For awhile, you can see nothing, even though the seed is alive. You could go out to my garden two weeks after I've planted my carrots and say: "There's nothing there. It's not working."

But I can testify to you here, that it has always worked. I have always gotten carrots. This year, I had more carrots than I knew what to do with! They are still in buckets in my cold room, and we will eat off of that harvest for many months!

Can the bible be like that? Yes. Jesus said that the sower sows the word. That means that the one who desires a harvest in any area of his (her) life must plant the word of God. Sometimes when we do, it is raining in our lives. Other times, it is sunny and warm. Either way, we recoginize our need to seed. And we get up early one more time, reading His word.

Just the same, we recognize our need for energy, health, and strength, so we go out and jog, wether it is sunny or windy.

We just don't quit, and we expect a harvest. Living, and Active.

Yes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A re-post from "journey on to healing"

I wanted to jot down a couple of other things I'd been thinking about in relation to healing and the Word of God.
First,
I was thinking about juicers.
I have a centrifugal juicer which sort of grates the carrots, and flings the pieces around so that they are thrown against a screen. The pressure of this "flinging" makes the juice pass through the screen and drain into the cup, while the pulp works its way to the top of the screen and then is ejected out the back of the juicer.
I also have a "masticating" juicer (masticating means chewing). It sends the carrots down an auger which grinds and presses them, squeezing the juice out of the pulp.
A centrifugal juicer is faster- it is louder (and thus more impressive). It just whips those carrots around, and soon you have a tall frothy glass of carrot juice! But, in all that whipping, the carrot juice can be oxidized more- the antioxidants would be degraded, and there often isn't as much juice produced as in a masticating juicer.
A masticating juicer works slower, quieter. It takes more effort on my part to force them down the feeding tube, and more effort in my cutting them up first (no big opening on the top, like the centrifugal juicer). The carrots are exposed to less air, and there is generally more juice extracted. It may seem to take more work, but the product is more nutritious, and will keep longer in the fridge.
And this got me thinking!
Is that how I sometimes approach the bible? Like it is something to be done every morning just out of neccessity? Do I just go downstairs and shove some bible verses in there, whip them around in order to get a quick drink, and then carry on to "more important things"? Have I been trying to go through the "bible drive through"?
Will I choose instead to "masticate" the word of God- to chew on it- to turn it over and over, and to crush it- to put pressure on it- to make sure that I squeeze everything out of it that I can?
Will I be willing to slow down, and encorporate a high quality product, savoring it, swishing it around in my mouth? Yes, carrot juice will cost me more than a stop at the McDonald's drive through for a coffee. It will cost me more in time, and in price. But it will give me something to live on. Something to build my life out of.
When I want to cook a roast, I like it to be flavorful, and tender. I often put it in the cast iron pot with some onions and garlic, and then cook it very slowly: all day long. BUT, if I want it to be done faster, I need to put pressure on it- I would need to put it in the pressure cooker. Just so, if I want to really benefit from God's word, I need to both slow down, and put pressure on it. We put pressure on it by doing what it says- by believing it enough to act on what it says.
For me, on Monday, that meant eating turkey. I eat 90% raw vegan (for health reasons, not ethical reasons) and I have eaten meat perhaps only two times in the last year. Monday was our church banquet. I ate a bit of quinoa before I went in case there was nothing I could eat there, but as I sat at the banquet not wanting to explain to everyone why I was eating NOTHING, I felt the Holy Spirit challenging me to trust Him, to trust what He said. If I really am healed in Christ, then I can eat turkey.
So, I tentatively ate my salad WITH the dressing (I don't eat any fat), and then slowly chewed on my carrots and green beans. I skipped the bun, but then I was down to the turkey and mashed potatoes! I ate a corner of turkey with gravy. I thought about it. Then I ate another corner. I thought about it. I reviewed in my mind my commitment to trust God, and my unwillingness to fear because He is with me. I chose not to fear- no matter what. I ate about half of the turkey (I offered Jed my potatoes).
For me this was an act of faith. I chose to step out, and I chose not to fear. It wasn't easy, but it was right.
I went home that evening, and felt fine, I continued to feel fine the entire evening. But I want to remember here, that it was as I ate my meal IN FAITH, that it was incorporated into my body and used as a blessing. It's the same in doing my bible reading- when I read it IN FAITH, mixing belief with what I've heard (the kind of belief that acts- that steps out and does it), then it will be real in my life- it will happen. It will be alive to me.

Healing Habits

I know that since my healing there are several habits I've kept up- probably most of them without thinking of it. But I thought it would be good to jot something down about how to maintain a life free of depression.
1. I read my bible every day. It is what led to my having a sound mind- I've found that I simply cannot live without it. It's like the bible's story of the "mad man of Gederra". I am clothed and in my right mind, and I want to keep it that way. God's word is what makes a sound mind.
2. Prayer. I know I can ask God for help now. When things seem overwhelming, and I feel like I am sinking, I ask Him to help me, and He always does. But I do believe that I need to stay in relationship with Jesus in order to see His work in my life. You can have this too, at any time! We stay in relationship with Him through daily bible reading, and prayer. He always hears us!
3. I talk (periodically) about how I feel to Jed. There have been times when I started to feel attacked by thoughts of death, or other things that aren't my true demeanor now. But now when I tell Jed about it, it seems to disperse those thoughts, and cause them to lose their power. (He will pray for me too, at those times.) Part of the power of those lies is when you keep it inside and mull over it again and again. I don't do that now- I expose them. Find a strong (bible believing) Christian you can confide in, or a good church (that believes in healing) where you can ask for prayer.
4. I speak scriptures. What has better power over a lie than the truth?
5. I make an effort to focus on those around me- not just what is good for myself. A life focused only on self often ends up to be discouraging. A life focused on loving another has less time for self defeating introspection!
6. I refuse to think despairing thoughts. If I really don't know what else to think, I'll prop up my bible in front of my eyes and read it aloud to myself, until I can think of something good to fix my mind on!
7. I fill my mind with right teaching. I listen to preaching cds (and messages online) that have a positive message: a FAITH message. No one battling depression would be helped by any preaching that says "God made you sick for a reason." or, "God is Sovereign, so this must just be part of His plan for you." Now, God is Sovereign alright, but He is also LOVE, and Love always protects. It is not God's plan for any of His children to be depressed! (Would you plan that for your own children?) I feed myself on messages of hope, not on reasons to stay in bondage.
8. I eat better than I did before. This is not the only key, but it helps. Bare minimum: No More Sugar!
9. I get more exercise than before. Not the only solution, but it does help. On the days I go for a walk, I notice more energy, etc. I feel refreshed mentally too. In winter I will walk on the treadmill.
10. I know that how I feel isn't neccessarily "truth", and that it will pass. I know that I have a choice of what I will yield to. If it's late at night, and my blood sugar feels low, and I know where I am in my cycle, and I find I feel hopeless... Now I know that I can sink into a pool of self pity, or I can just get up and go to bed (often with an mp3 player of scriptures going in my ears), and that I will be better able to battle those emotions in the morning. Now I am free, I am not dominated.
Remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came for you- so that you could live a life free of depression. He is with you today- talk to Him. Call on His name, and He will answer. He is so faithful.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One More Day


Sleeping in without feeling guilty, anxious, or stressed.

Waking up beside Jed.

A hot shower, running water, clean feeling, smooth hair.

Breakfast for littles, mediums, and bigs.

Laundry to fold, clean and fresh.

Worship music, dance, song.

Reading Proverbs with Jed, finishing Esther in the KJV.

Zucchini pancakes!

Driving, reading, all sitting close and attentive.

Small gifts.

Kittens. Many kittens!

Soft, fur, purr, little tails, big ears.

Drive home.

To have a home.

Oatmeal for supper, and children who think that's cool!

Carrots, orange, vitamins- small things worthy of appreciation.

A friend for Jed to spend the evening with.

A new game to play with the children.

Evening, close and snug- the reassuring sameness of the dusk.

A new day swelling before us- Sabbath.

Rest.

His Rest.

So be it Father, one more day lived before you, one more day of Your great grace. Intimate and close, Your reality of grace played out in laundry done, dishes washed, children bathed, and minds read to.

One more day that will never come again- never will we be just here, or see these sights, and Oh, the gentleness of a God who never changes, but is willing to help us to adjust to change gradually.

Fasting.

Hunger.

Emptiness that shows that He is neccessary, that we must depend on Him.

Prayer.

Knees, chair, silence. Breath. His Breath.

He's hearing me.

He's speaking to me.

It is enough to know that He is so real, and He is so willing.

Amen. So be it Lord.

Worship.

His Face so near, even though we don't see.

Praise, fleeting thoughts, good memories, glimpses of future.

Gratefulness that overflows, and washes away what seemed to matter so much before.

Now there is no One else. Only You.

The great Enough.


Thank You.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breaking the Mind Habit

I've been reading from "The Cross and the Switchblade" by David Wilkerson (founder of Teen Challenge).
Toward the end of the book, he talks about how the boys (addicted to heroine, etc.) managed to get free of their addictions.
He credits the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
If you are new to this term, it is simply what Jesus mentioned to His disciples when He said "But you will recieve power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be My witnesses..."
It is also what happened on the day of Pentecost to the new, young church. They were already believers in Jesus, but now the Holy Spirit came to dwell within them, and He also "came upon" them- they were immersed in Him, and spoke in other tongues- a new heavenly language- the Holy Spirit speaking and praying through them.
David Wilkerson says in The Cross and the Switchblade that the boys who had been addicted, and then recieved the baptism of the Holy Spirit, would spend time in the chapel of the centre praying in tongues when they started to get a craving for heroine.
I think we need to realize how miraculous this is- somebody with a serious addiction can't just quit cold turkey, and then have a peaceful time praying without ever considering getting the next fix, and yet these boys did just that. Many of them avoided the absolute hellishness of withdrawal, and also the extremely high risk of going back to the drugs.
They mentioned the "mind habit". That the drugs will be out of a person's system in a few days, and that's it, but the mind habit will follow the person relentlessly harrassing them until they cave in and use again. BUT. The boys who'd been baptised in the Holy Spirit overcame the mind habit too- they had a new voice on the inside of them.
It's like that with depression- it's a demon which constantly harrasses the individual until they just can't take it anymore, and they begin to consider suicide. BUT. The baptism of HOLY SPIRIT displaces that demon, just like light displaces darkness. Now the voice of depression is on the outside, not on the inside, and we don't have to listen to it, because we are filled with the Spirit of Christ, and immersed in His power!
If you haven't recieved that power, you can look to God's word- it says "How much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." If you ask Him too come dwell inside of you, to rebirth you, to immerse you in His power, He will. It is why He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place for our sins- to take our punishment- so that we could be made clean, and recieve the indwelling and baptism of His Holy Spirit and live a new life- a life free of depression.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Changing Focus




Thankyou Lord for:

Bright sunshine in my room this morning- it makes it so much easier to get up early when the room is full of light. Thankyou that I woke up feeling good. Thankyou for a great sleep last night!

Thankyou for helping me to get my bible reading done this morning. You know how desperately I need to renew my mind, and that's where it starts. Lord, that's number one with you and me- I need to be in Your word, and thankyou for helping me!

Thankyou for beautiful weather, and that my garden is growing! Each day without wind has been such a gift, and this beautiful spring has brought such life to my soul!

Thankyou for Your grace and mercy, that nothing I can do is irreperable! Thankyou that I am changing, even if in small stages. I can't always see the changes, but the word says we see Jesus- Holy Spirit, help me to keep my focus on Him!!

Thankyou for giving me people to practice on- You said that God is Love. I wouldn't really know You if I wouldn't love. Thankyou for this pressure tank of parenting, that forces me to face my own inadequacies daily, hourly, minutely. Thank you that I can't escape, and that I don't want to!! I want to be here with You, and to walk this out. Lord, thankyou also for Your mercy for my children, being mothered by a woman in progress.

Thankyou for the pool that I had to go to Walmart to buy filters for, and the husband who I had to pick up a meal for at Burger Baron, thankyou for all the little Reasons that I had to be in town and running errands. You are a God of great blessing! Thankyou that I have my children with me, and even though I was not a stellar example today, thankyou for the things that I was able to offer them- a new Christian cd, 10 minutes of Creflo Dollar on the way to town, a prayer for guidance before we left. God, I don't want to fool myself into thinking that my sins don't matter, but I don't want to give them all the glory around here either! God you are Good, you are Real, you are Ever Patient and Forgiving. Let me see today that Your forgiveness is greater than my capacity to fail!

-Liberty

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You've been made free!


The book of Romans is often considered a difficult text for the average reader. But reading it in the Message has really made it come alive for me. It was exciting to read Romans this morning!! Take a look:

Romans 6:12-14 (The Message)
12-14That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God
.

Photo: My children waiting for the amusement park to open. : )


Monday, March 23, 2009

A Tough Day


I was showering this morning, listening to myself, and the Holy Spirit, and whining a little bit. I heard Him speak to my heart:
"Just because you are having a tough day today, are you going to believe that every day is going to be a tough day?"
So I thought about that, and focused in on the word "tough". It reminded me of how you sometimes get a steak that is just to hard to chew- there's not much joy in eating it, and it's harder to digest.
I asked myself: what do you do when you have one of those days- one that is just too tough to chew?
Then I thought about our lunch yesterday with friends. They had served a delicious dinner, but when the father served up his smallest girls, he took their plate aside, and cut the meat into tiny, bite-sized pieces. Then he returned their plates, and they thoroughly enjoyed the meal, along with everyone else.
"That," I told myself while showering, "is the way to deal with a tough day." Hand it back to your Heavenly Father, and let Him cut it up into bite sized segments.
There may be more on my plate than I know how to deal with, but He can carve it into something which I can not only process, but enjoy!
Today we each have a choice. We may not be able to choose every one of our circumstances (we are not in control the same way that He is) but we can choose how we will react to our circumstances. We can choose what we will say, how we will treat the people around us, and what we will believe.
We can yield to our emotions, and have a screaming fit, we can yield to depression, and storm off to our bedrooms, we can manipulate, reject, and think selfish, fuming thoughts. But we could also forgive, and then move on.
I have heard the word Grace defined as "empowerment to prosper", but the way I was thinking on it today, I defined it:
"You have been forgiven- now you have the power to forgive."
Yes, Lord. Let it be so for us today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

prayer


From the Message, Chapter 6 (on prayer)

6"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,

Reveal who you are.

Set the world right;

Do what's best— as above, so below.

Keep us alive with three square meals.

Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.

Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.

You're in charge!

You can do anything you want!

You're ablaze in beauty!

Yes. Yes. Yes.

14-15"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.

22-23"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Living Free


At first reading, these scriptures may not seem to belong here, but when we read all the way down the "life in the Spirit".... isn't that what a life free of depression would be?! A life of Joy? A life of Love?! A life of freedom?

Depression is shortsighted, shallow at best. It can only see what is right in front of it, and it recoils in horror. Depression doesn't love- it only wants to escape- to hide- to cry. Depression falters and fears, but a life in God's Spirit is inexplicably bold. It throws caution to the wind and lives with eyes wide open! Freely. Free.

This is the kind of life I want. Not a life that sits at the back of the bus, staring mournfully out the back window and bewailing the places I've been, as well as the places I'll never be. I want to be up front by the Driver, looking through the windshield expectantly! Where to next? What adventure will we find?

And we can do that when we trust that God loves us through it all. When we trust that NO MATTER WHAT HAS HAPPENED, NO MATTER WHAT WE'VE DONE, He hasn't left us! He will never forsake us.



From Galatians 5

19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
22-23But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don Colbert on Diet and Depression


I've been enjoying watching Kenneth Copeland, and Don and Mary Colbert over the internet this week. I don't always make it to the TV on time each morning to watch the show (Believer's Voice of Victory), but you can watch it on their website, by clicking MEDIA, then scroll down to where it says which dates can be watched, and who was on the program that week. You can always look through the archives to find other programs too.

Recently, there were two weeks of Don and Mary Colbert: The week of Monday February 2- God's Design for Your Wellness, and the week of Monday February 9- Choosing God's Way and Living Whole.

I always enjoy listening to what Dr. Colbert has to say- it feeds my hope that I can live in total health on earth, all the days of my life, as I believe, and act on God's word. The episode I watched this week was "Monday, February 2nd, 2009", and Dr. Colbert mentioned how diet can help in healing depression, and how a poor diet can be linked to the emotional spiral that a depressed person can get sucked into. Good Stuff.

Maybe someone more high tech than myself can leave a comment to show me how I could put it up on the blog here. Anyone?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Note to Self


Dear Conscience,

I just wanted to tell you that you've been rather hard on me lately.
Yes, I have been rather grouchy, but I didn't get much sleep this week, and the sleep I did get was rather low quality. You know I need sleep.
It's true, I haven't gotten much done around the house, but you know my energy levels have been low- it's just that time of the month. On top of that, it's February. And I did babysit my nephew yesterday.
I know, I know, I haven't gotten around to doing the bills, but I did do four loads of laundry yesterday. It's true I haven't been preparing healthy food the way I'd like to, but I did take the kids for a bike ride.
I just wanted to ask you, to please stop beating me up. I'm doing the best I can here. It's hard to stay on top of all these things!
I've been worried about my sister- it's no excuse for neglecting my family, but I have to say it's weighed on me. I see all the things I haven't gotten done, but there are things that are going well too. I'm just not sure that you are noticing those things. Please, try to have a good attitude, for my sake.

Sincerely, Self.


Dear Self,

I hear your point, but I have some concerns. Namely, that as long as you have an excuse, you will never change. Your excuse is the reason that you stay the same! I'm really proud of you for getting all that laundry done, but did you remember that you will have to do it again today? I'm glad that the children have been keeping up on their math, but do you have a vision any higher than that?
You always start off well, but then you slow in your pace, and often just quit! Laziness is not a reason to give up!
I know that you've been going through some tough times, but let me tell you from experience, that crying won't make the difference! Remember what Julie Wandling said: How big is your Wanna? She was talking about diet, but I'd say that it applies to your life and desires right now, don't you? These desires do not originate merely in you. The frustration you are experiencing to a large part is because you are not living up to your full potential, and you know it. It used to be satisfying to do certain things that now are a source of discomfort, because you are being challenged to leave a low level of life behind, and move on up to something greater.
But I warn you, you cannot do it with the attitude you've had up until now. This great new life cannot be accomplished by agendas, schedules, and resolutions and efforts. It is accomplished by faith, and obedience. It happens through self sacrifice. You are launched out into the deep of this new freedom when you stop focusing on your self, and begin to focus on Jesus. You cannot do it all for Him, but He has done it all for you. Can you just lay down your perspectives, and let Him take control?

Yours Truly, Conscience.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We Can Choose to be Thankful


Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Not every circumstance is His will, but it is always His will that we GIVE THANKS.

-Father, today I thank You for Joshua's new balance board (to help him with equilibrium and posture). Thankyou for children who are interested in exercising (Victoria is on my treadmill, Isaac is on the rebounder, and Joshua just finished 5 minutes on his new "toy".

-Thank You that we always reproduce ourselves. This is an awesome responsibility, but it also guarantees that I am raising children who will love God and His word. As parents, we reproduce ourselves.

-Father, thank You that I can be at home today. Thank You for my new books on healing- thank You for feeding my hope! You are able to do so much more than all I ask or imagine!

-Thank You for haircuts! Free ones too, since I can give all the boys a buzz cut. Victoria just needs a trim.

-Thank You for SUN this morning! Thank You that there are only 3 weeks left in February! Not that I don't appreciate February Lord, but I can already see myself preparing the soil in my garden and planting early crops! I so long to be outside in the fresh air, and to hear the meadowlark calling.

-What a gift- to be able to see. To imagine. To dream. To hope, and to visualize! Oh Father, give me a vision of myself Whole, as You see me!

-Father, today I thank You for Jed. A man faithful! A man who is patient. A man who is kind, and gentle. Slow to anger, and abounding in loving faithfulness. (I used to tease Jed, and say: I am Jed, I change not!) But praise God for a man who is trustworthy, a man who endeavors to live like God. : )

-Thank You Lord for Your Word, and for helping me to get up early these last days. You are truly faithful. Thank You Father, that You sent Your Word and healed me, and delivered me from my destructions.

-Thank You for NO WIND! (Anyone from Southern Alberta will know what I mean!)

-Thank You that each new day brings hope and promise, for Your mercies are new every morning- great is Your faithfulness! Sorrow and weeping may endure for a night, but JOY COMES in the morning!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Frugal Juicing


I am certain that this is something which few people have thought of doing, but I mention it in the interest of being frugal, and eating healthy!

I had a shelf of pie pumpkins in the garage here, which we'd grown organically in our own garden, and were very proud of. But I didn't know what to do with them, since we don't eat pie, and the sugar free pumpkin butter I made just wasn't a hit! (tee hee) I even tried baking them like squash, but no one liked that either. I could hide a few slices in soup, but we had a lot of pumpkins left, and they were going to go bad if I didn't use them up!

So the week before grocery day (when we were virtually out of produce) I ran a couple of slices through the juicer along with a couple of apples. I fed it to the children at lunch, expecting them to react badly, but they actually really liked it! The pumpkin had such a mild sweet flavor, that you really couldn't taste it over the apples, and even better- you get all those raw, organge vitamins and minerals!

It's a frugal way to serve raw, fresh juices, because the pumpkins were free. 50% pumpkin reduces the cost of the juice by half!

(For those of us interested in organic gardening: pumpkins and squash are very easy to grow, harvest, and store. You get a lot of food for the amount of work you invest.)

From Death to Life: Forever


John 5:24 (The Message)
It's urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Maintaining Our Priorities, and Lowering Our Expectations


January is always a good time for reevaluating. I did a lot of that this month, and thought a lot about what is really important to me: what do I really believe.

I discovered that to some degree, I have not been living the things that are truly important to me. Surely, I have been changed, and affected by what I really believe, but I come back again to this question: Do you really believe it if you won't do it?

I have come to the conclusion that if I am ever to carry out my true priorities: what I really desire and believe is important in life: I will have to lower my expectations.

How can I lower my expectations to achieve more?

Well last night Jed and I attended segment three of the Reinhard Bonkke video study "Full Flame". One thing Reinhard said that greatly impressed me was that: we are all zeros, and Jesus is truly One. This means that if we will stand with Him, our zero becomes a ten. If we add another zero, we become 100.

I know we are all faced with our own zero every day, so I've decided to stop thinking about mine, and think about my One. I must make His Word my great and only priority, or the other things I accomplish won't matter. Besides that, I know that I can accomplish nothing without Him!

When He called me I was at the end of my rope: spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. My marriage was at the end, my motherhood was in shams. I was at the end of my willingness to live one more day.

Jesus came into my life like a bright light into a dark room, and surprised me with His love and forgiveness. Knowing that I was forgiven changed everything for me.

It still does.

I know that I am nothing without Him, but thank God, I am not without Him! His word changed my life then, how could I go on without it now?

I need to put aside my priorities for my One Priority, and let Him change me to be more like Him. Then the other priorities will fall into place.
("Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is needful.")

A scripture from the Message:

Luke 4:36-37

That set everyone back on their heels, whispering and wondering, "What's going on here? Someone whose words make things happen? Someone who orders demonic spirits to get out and they go?" Jesus was the talk of the town.

That's what impressed me this morning. His words make things happen. Not me, not my effort, not my crying or begging. His word. This is what I need.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hearing From God


Is it possible to really hear from God?

If you did hear Him, what would it sound like?

When I was a little girl in Sunday School, I had the understanding that God had talked to Moses (and Noah, and all the other bible story heroes) in an audible voice, just like I would talk to you if you were here. I used to think: "Wow! If only God would talk to me like that!"

But in that church (which was a good church, and I liked it there) I had never really heard a message on how to be born again. I had never heard that there was a Holy Spirit, and certainly not how to hear His voice.

When I started attending Lydia's church, I heard things I'd NEVER imagined. Lydia and the other ladies at church talked about HEARING FROM GOD, like they actually heard His voice.

This was intriguing. They were not talking about hearing Him, like I had been led to believe that Moses heard Him. This was different.

How would I hear Him, I asked. How would I know it was His voice?

Practice, was the answer.

One of those first nights of hearing Him, was at a prayer meeting. I was willing to hear, I was willing to practice, and as I closed my eyes and "listened", I saw a picture of a girl, and I could see her rib cage. Inside of her rib cage, was a dove. A beautiful white bird, and it was trying to get out! I didn't know what it meant, but I knew that I had "heard" something. This confirmed to me that God wanted to speak to all of His people, and that if we listened, we would surely hear Him.
I began to practice "listening" in my everyday life. I would ask God if He wanted me to go shopping that day or not (or some other daily decision). Then I would hold very still, and strain my ears. Sometimes I would feel a kind of pressure in my ear, as if I was trying to hear something and it was outside of my range (?) and I would think: maybe that is God. He is speaking to me.

I think now (that I've grown a bit, and heard from Him more) that perhaps He was giving me a "sign", or a confirmation like that, because He really did want to speak to me, even though I didn't know how to hear. I was listening to Him as though I would audibly hear Him in my ear, but I didn't understand that God is Spirit- if I heard Him speak, it would be in my spirit.

What does that sound like?

Well, I used to think it sounded a lot like my thoughts. At first, I didn't hear much except for that pressure in my ear, but then as I kept practicing, I would hear more. After awhile, when I would pray or inquire about something, I would sometimes hear the chorus to a song- words that seemed to apply to my situation. Eventually it got to the level where I heard Him speak to me in words. I think this was because I was reading my bible so much. His word had come into my heart, and He was using it to speak to me. (That is not weird or wacky- after all, if He gave us His word, the bible, isn't it what He would say to us, if we gave Him a chance to speak?)

But I did struggle for awhile, confusing the voice of my mind with the voice of His spirit in my spirit. After all, they both took place inside me- they both sounded like me! But one day as I was struggling in confusion over something, and asking God to help me, I heard Him reprimand me: "I am not the voice in your head."

Wow! That really helped me: to examine where the thought was coming from, and what was the motive behind it? After all, there are several voices that a person can hear throughout the course of a day.

There's the voice of the flesh. Generally it says stuff like: "I want more, I hate that, I'm so tired," etc.

There is the voice of the mind. It reasons, and argues and ponders. It's always thinking about something!

There is the voice of the emotions (closely tied to the flesh) and it always tells you how you FEEL.

There is the voice of our enemy, satan. He is deceptive. He hides. He tells you He is God, and that what he has to say is nice, and it would be good for you. Occasionally, he will be overt, and threaten you, if the sneaky stuff didn't work. But the bible tells us he will masqerade as an angel of light. He even used the word of God to try to decieve Jesus. But Jesus (who knew the Word) answered him back with scripture, and did not fall prey to the temptation.

As we get to know God through His word, and also our sincere desire and effort to hear from His Holy Spirit, we will find it easier to hear his voice. It will become "second nature".


Post Script. One of the practices that helped me to blossom in hearing God's voice (and yes, I still NEED to practice: to hear more and better) was a piece of advice from Kenneth Copeland's teachings where he suggested that when you read your bible you should substitute the word LOVE everywhere that it says 'God'. Does that make sense? For example, if you took a verse like John 3:16, you would read it like this: "For LOVE so loved the world that He (Love) gave His one and only Son- that whoever would believe in Him, would not die, but have everlasting life."
1 John tells us that God IS love. If we remember that God loves us; that Love wrote the bible; that Love wants to speak to us; then it will clarify the motive of any voice we hear.
Always compare what you hear with scripture. God's word and His Spirit are one, they will never contradict eachother! God will never say anything to you that contradicts His word, or that isn't based in love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

He is Always Worthy


We can thank Him even when we don't feel like it, because He is good. We can thank Him even when things look bad, because He is a God of the Unseen, the Eternal. It takes faith to please Him, and faith calls things that be not as though they were. He is still worthy of praise, no matter how dark our surroundings, because He is Light. Light dispels darkness.

Today Father, I don't want to hide from Your light, I want to enter into it, that Your Son Jesus may be manifested in me, in mortal flesh.

Jesus, Emanuel, Word Made Flesh.


Thankyou for my heated matress pad (a Christmas gift from Jed) which helped my back to loosen enough for me to sleep.

Thankyou that Sam (our Lab/Doberman cross) wasn't hurt when the neighbour hit him on the road.

Thankyou that my children care enough about me to pray for me, and that they believe You enough to know that You will answer.

Thankyou for my old Kenneth Copeland videos, and that faith comes by hearing; and hearing by the Word. Thankyou that faith never gets old.

Thankyou for each child doing their school in their own special spot this morning, thankyou for good books, and a commitment made in fall that we will do this. We will school our own children.

Thankyou that even though I don't feel You now, you are here, I can see what you are doing. So is it with anyone born of the Spirit- just like we don't see wind/ breath/ spirit, we still see what it is doing, and I see you here.

I see You in the program (Extreme Prophetic) we watched on the Miracle Channel last night.

I see You in that Jed (who used to be suspicious) watched the entire program with genuine interest and faith.

I see You in him. My husband- a man whom You are truly changing, maturing, making more like You.

I see You in this blog: a place to thank You on purpose, to write down threads of hope, to catch glimpses of what You are weaving.

Thankyou for the story of Vada Hagee (mother of John Hagee- read in Momma Made the Difference, by T. D. Jakes). Thankyou that I can believe in the same God that she did, and see You do the same things that she saw.

Thankyou for friends, Lord. Images of Who You Are.

Thankyou for a story that is bigger than me. All of this, it is really not about me.




Saturday, January 17, 2009

easy breakfast cereal


Easy, Frugal, Healthy, and QUICK!
I like recipes like that!

Breakfast Cereal (Muesli)

Mix in a large bowl:
Approximately 8 or 12 cups organic rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup organic raisins
This is the base, and then you can add anything else you like, for example:
wheat germ,
dried blueberries,
flax,
dried apples,
sliced almonds,
sunflower seeds,

You can use all of these, or only some. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like.
You can make it different every time, if you want!

All you will do is stir it around in the bowl till combined, and then store in an airtight container. This makes quite a bit of cereal (we have four children), and even if cheerios were cheaper (which I haven't penciled out), this is definately healthier, and even my nine year old can make it with no help. Now breakfast will be ready made for the next several days, all you need is some soy milk or something to pour over top. My kids like it cold, just the way it is, with no sweetener. Occasionally we use kefir, or yogurt instead of soymilk.

Choosing Peace


Matthew 12:20-21 (New Living Translation)


20 He will not crush the weakest reed

or put out a flickering candle.

Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.

21 And his name will be the hope

of all the world.



And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”


Luke 1:78-79 (New Living Translation)
78 Because of God’s tender mercy,

the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,

79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

and to guide us to the path of peace.”



“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.


John 16:33I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”


John 20:21Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

Monday, January 5, 2009

thoughts on motherhood


From Luke 9:48

Whoever recieves this child in my name recieves Me.

He who is least among you all is the one who is great.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Revisiting these thoughts tonight....


I guess it's time for another post on attitude. : )
That's one of the reasons I started this blog, I guess. I needed a place to vent- to pour out all my feelings like puzzle pieces on a table. I needed to examine them, to turn them over a few times, and figure out where they belong.
We just got back from a one week holiday. It was an awesome experience, and of course, it taught me a few things.
One being, that our life is what we make it. I recently listened to a teaching series by Kenneth Copeland called: You Are The Prophet of Your Own Life. That's sort of the idea I've been working over in my mind: if my life is anything, it has to have had something to do with me. After all, wherever I go, there I am. The parts of my life that I cherish, I birthed them- slaved over them, to bring them into being in my life. The parts of my life I detest, I commit them, like a terrible revolving door I cannot stop. My life is what I make it, good or bad. Let the tree be good, and the fruit good.
Does that make sense? When we were on the holiday, I felt like a tightly wound cord that was slowly letting go. Slowly beginning to see that I could trust God with my life, that I could breath again. It was so refreshing to have the daily pressures off of me, even if for a short period of time. And that is what I mean about attitude- I "see" what I've been given by God to do each day as a pressure. Not a gift.
What are the "menial" things that I do in a day- things that society may look down on, but God is asking me to enjoy? Just looking at the last two days since we got back:
Overseeing toilet issues (cleaning toilets, fishing for things flushed down toilets)
Laundry, Laundry, oh how many laundries.
Listening, and more listening: listening to a six year old (without enough teeth) tell me in rapid fashion about things I am having a hard time understanding. Listening to tween music played loudly from a laptop, which can be transported from room to room. (Why aren't these things precious to me? Moments to be treasure in my bottle, gifts that will never pass my way again? It is attitude. My life is the way I see it.)
Dishes, wipe it up again, pop it in the oven, do the dishes again, ad nauseum (I don't know what ad nauseum means, but it seemed to fit here).
Numerous unremarkable chores for my husband who is hunting...
Getting out of bed (need I say more).
Cooking, and yet not finding something to eat (this I find the hardest, because of a list of reasons too long to mention). What I mean is, that having to alter my diet has not been easy, or fun. It has been rewarding, but this is what I mean about attitude. Sometimes it's hard to work all day serving others, and realize that I didn't plan something for my own meal. I'm just being honest here.
And a dozen other insignificant activities... but!
When I serve the least of these, it is Him I am serving.When I do unto others, it is to be as I would have done unto me.
I must be careful how I measure, because the way I mete is the way it is meted to me.
If I give even a cup of cold water, I will certainly not lose my reward.
I know I've said before that if we are to do something, we tend to believe it first. So, if I want to live something, I need to believe it first. What will my attitude be? I need to go to the Word of God and gain a vision for my life. A road map for the turbulent days ahead. Proverbs says that the ways of Wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Lead me in paths of righteousness Lord, for Your own Name's sake.
Jesus said that the eye is the lamp of the body, and that if our eye is good, our whole body will be full of light. I think this means attitude. If I have a positive perspective, my life will be full of joy. But he also said that if the light in us is darkness, how great that darkness. If I store up a negative outlook, it will be oppressive. Attitude. And I choose it. My life is what I make it, I am the prophet of my own life.
And it does apply to health- will I live with an offended, bitter, selfish outlook (and have that manifest in my body), or will I freely give up my life, like Jesus did (and have His resurrection life manifest in my mortal body). He said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds. He said that if I really love my life, I will lose it for Him, and be glad.
Attitude is important in healing, and it makes life much more pleasant on the way. After all, a cheerful heart has a continual feast, and a merry heart doeth good like a medecine.
Tomorrow is another opportunity.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Overcoming Allergies By Faith (previously posted at "journey on to healing")


Overcoming Allergies By Faith
Inspired by a post done by Lady of Virtue, on Large Family Mothering, I have been asking myself: could we also EAT in the simplicity of wisdom.
Her post is on grocery shopping in the simplicity of wisdom (a good read, you should stop by) and how what God has given us is blessed: it is sufficient. And what I am meditating on is: shouldn't that be enough for my health too?
If God has given me wheat, shouldn't I be able to eat it? That's not saying that if rice is the same price, that perhaps it wouldn't be wise to buy some brown rice instead, but if the earth is the Lord's and everything in it, isn't wheat also something that He has freely given me to enjoy? Won't he satisfy me with the finest of wheat?
The things we do, the things we believe, the things we act on, begin somewhere deep down on the inside of us in our faith. If we are going to do something, we tend to believe it first. But what if I am believing the wrong way? What if I am believing in wheat's power to harm me? What if I am believing in it's ability to cause pain, inflammation, or digestive upset?
Well, that's fear. Fear is faith in reverse.
The trouble is, most of us have operated in fear most of our lives without realizing it! Our mothers told us not to eat without washing our hands, or we would get sick. They were well intentioned, but we learned to expect "sick". A seed of 'sick' was sown in our lives. They taught us not to eat too many oreos, or we would get sick. Common sense, for sure, but we came to expect that the food that we ate could bring curse, under certain circumstances.
I'm not saying that there is no consequence for an indulgent, gluttonous diet, there is to be certain, but we were never taught to eat our food in faith by thanking the Lord for it, and blessing it by the speaking of His word. We were never taught to eat our food in love by giving of what we had to someone who had less than we. We were never taught to eat our food in moderation or self control (or even self sacrifice): we were taught to clean our plates because there were starving children in China.
We were "taught" that we should live for food. A most important part of a family get together was the chocolate cake, or what you would find in the bottom of your stocking. Food sometimes became a substitute for love.
But what if it didn't have to be that way?
There is a lot on the internet these days about how we should eat organic, unprocessed, naturally fermented, sprouted and soaked, and sourdough, fresh, raw, green something or other. And these ideas are true, and very good. But do these ideas feed the fearful heart? Can I honestly eat my inorganic romaine lettuce (in the knowledge that its irrigation water has been contaminated by rocket fuel) in faith? What if I can't afford the lettuce that is three times as much, or if my conscience won't allow me to? Will I take my 79 cent lettuce home and eat it in discouragement, and hold at the back of my mind the expectation of developing cancer at a later date because of what I am eating?
NO!!! My spirit is so fed up with this bondage! It is time for the children of God to be free, to eat anything sold in the market without question for conscience sake! To go into all the world and lay hands on the sick and see them recover! They could never do that if they had developed cancer from contaminated lettuce; and if you read Matthew 15:18, you'll see that if the believer was to even drink poison, it cannot harm him!
God is not just asking for our common sense here, but more than that. He is asking us to believe and act on His Word. How could the Christian go into all the world and preach the gospel if he was dependant on uncontaminated food? There was a time many years ago when Africa was called the white man's grave, because so many missionaries died the first year they arrived. They would contract malaria, or some other terrible fever and nearly always succumb. God's intention was for them to go and bring the gospel: the word of salvation and healing! Not just to die upon arrival! Is there ANYTHING that by merely going into our mouths should be able to bring death, curse, or disease?
He made his church to be healers, not to be the sick, the dying. We are CHRISTians, little saviors.
How do I live this out? How do I eat if I believe that I can eat anything without getting sick, I can go anywhere without getting sick, and yet my life doesn't look like it? My body doesn't feel like it?
I guess I practice, and I build my faith in what God has said. Remember, if we are want to do it, we can start by believing it first. After all, it worked in reverse-- when I realized that milk products were causing me pain, swelling, diarrhea and sleeplessness, I believed that and acted on it. I stopped drinking milk. If I want to reverse that, I will need to believe in God's powerful blessing on me, more than I believe in milk's power to harm me. After all, all food on earth is imperfect, and contaminated, and yet Jesus called it clean. All food on earth is contaminated by acid rain, by windfall herbicides, by genetic modification and loss of heirloom seeds and varieties. Even if it were not so in some cases, this would mean that only the very rich on earth could expect to receive health from God. If my entire healing were dependent on what I ate, I would have to have money for supplements, special internet orders, and foods that must be shipped to my country by airplane. This in not what is available for most of the planet. BUT, why couldn't I look at what I do have, I mean what is in my pantry right now, and acknowledge that this is food. If it is food, then God Almighty has provided it, and I can eat it.
As I said- practice, practice. Stretch my faith out there, and make sure that the food I do eat, I eat in faith. I bless it, believe it is from God, and believe that it is good. Then wait for the symptoms to line up with what I believe.
If this strikes a chord with you, please feel free to leave a comment. : )