I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It Feels Comfortable

Each morning, the kids and I go for a walk/bike ride before we start school. Erin has two bikes. One is her "Dora" bike. It is too small for her, but she can still ride it. The other is her "Hello Kitty" bike. She got it for her birthday in April. It is the right size, but she still is a little unsure when riding it. This is because we raised the training wheels in hopes of her learning to balance better, and therefore being able to remove the training wheels altogether.

This morning, she asked if she could ride her "Dora" bike. She hasn't rode it in a long time, so I agreed. As we were going through the neighborhood, Ethan asked her why she was riding her old bike. She said, "It just feels comfortable."

As soon as she said those words, I thought of how often we say the same thing to God. He tells us to do something that requires faith. Instead of trusting Him to provide what we need, we would rather stay where it "feels comfortable." We are willing to stay somewhere we have outgrown, just because of how we feel. When we do this, we miss the blessings and opportunities God has for us.

Is God telling you to do something? Have you been in His word? Have you spent time in prayer? Take that step. It won't feel comfortable. Have faith to know that God will provide all that you need to accomplish this task.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Speak the Truth in Love but Don't Apologize

I have been preparing for a Bible study that I teach on Wednesday nights. As I was thinking through what I am sharing, God laid something on my heart. After praying about this information, I began thinking about how to present it. Each time I would start with something like, "I don't want to offend, but..." Before I would get much further, I would feel something was wrong. So I prayed and studied scripture. I thought maybe I had misunderstood what God wanted me to share. However, the more I studied, the more I knew God wanted this truth spoke. So again I tried to think through how to present this, and again I started with an apology before sharing the truth. God finally got clear with me (As He has to do quite often)... He told me to "Speak the Truth in love, but DON'T apologize."

In today's society, we are so concerned about offending people, hurting their feelings, or making them mad, that we tip-toe around the truth. We apologize and back track. Or worse yet, we don't say anything at all. That is not what God wants. When we see someone doing something they shouldn't, it is our job to restore them.

That does not mean we are to be harsh and hateful. Just the opposite, we are to speak the truth in love. After we share the truth, the other person may still get mad, hurt or offended. If that is the case, all you can do then is walk away and pray for them. It is better to offend them, then to allow them to keep going down the wrong path because you are afraid of the consequences.

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Ephesians 4:15 (Amplified Bible)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rat Phobia

Before I begin this blog, let me clarify what I mean by the word rat...I mean any rodent type critter. (How is that for a good south Arkansas term?) It does not matter if they are tiny with big round ears and people call them Mickey, or if they are in a cage running endlessly on a wheel going nowhere, or if they are 3 feet long and live on a wharf... they are all rats!!! OK, now on to my blog.

I am scared of rats. I am the typical female in the chair when it comes to them. I blame this on my sister Cindy. When I was about 5 years old, a rat died under the coffee table at our home. I honestly don't know the true size, but in my memory it had to have been at least 18 inches in length. Cindy sent me under the table with a paper towel to get it out. How is that for warping your little sister???

It seems that I have a history with rats. When I was a teenager, I had to open the hot water heater closet. When I opened the door, there were two beady eyes staring at me. It was the biggest rat I had ever seen. I went running and screaming through the house. My uncle assured me that it was probably a baby opossum that had gotten in seeking warmth, but I think it was a rat.

When I first moved out on my own, I rented a trailer that was in the middle of a field. Every time it rained, field mice would get in. I was told to put out glue traps. Let me tell you right now, there is no worse sound than waking up in the middle of the night to a plastic glue trap scraping across a linoleum floor. After trying to kill the first one I caught, I quickly realized I hated them, but couldn't kill them. So I would open the back door and sweep the rat, trap and all out into the night.

I was convinced that rats would run across my bed while I was sleeping at night. I would not dare place any part of my body out from under the covers. Shortly after getting married, Jason brushed his foot against mine while sleeping, and I sat straight up in the bed screaming. Jason didn't even ask what was wrong, he just quickly assured me that it was only him and not a mouse.

As a teacher, I would allow students to bring their small pets to class to share. I have had birds, fish, spiders, and even snakes sitting on my desk. (In a cage of course) I had one student who begged me to let her bring her hamster. I finally gave in. Not only did she bring the cage, she brought the ball that allowed it to run around the room. At the end of the day during study hall, I allowed her to put it in the ball. I was sitting at my desk grading papers. I knew it was running around. However, when that ball went under my desk and bumped my foot, I was standing in my chair with a room full of laughing students.

I could go on and on with stories, but I think I have made my point ... I am scared of rats! I know that this fear makes no sense. I know that I am much bigger than a rat, and that it can't hurt me. (Although I might hurt myself trying to get away.) I also know that fear is not of the Lord, yet I still keep my self in bondage with this phobia.

Unfortunately, this is true of many areas of our lives. We know the truth, and yet we allow other things to keep us in fear, in guilt, in anger, or in hate. We allow these things to skew the way we view something. It has nothing to do with truth, but only what we perceive to be truth.

God's word tells us that we shall know the truth, and the truth will set us free. Will you receive the truth in your situation, or will you continue to stand on the chair hanging onto your phobia?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stop Whimpering and Complaining

It has become a morning routine around our house that after Erin eats breakfast, our dog Prissy eats whatever is left over. This morning, Erin finished eating, and placed the rest of her biscuit in Prissy's food dish. Somehow Prissy missed that part of it. She saw that Erin had finished and began whimpering and whining wanting her portion. I had to walk over to her dish and show her that it was already there. Of course, the whimpering stopped immediately.

As I thought about this, I realized that is exactly what we Christians do so often. We spend so much time whimpering, whining, and complaining about what we don't have, that we miss the fact that God has already given us all that we need.

Two verses came to mind as I thought of this...

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

The next time you find yourself wanting to moan and groan over your circumstances, STOP! Instead turn that complaining into praising. Look around and thank God for all that you have. Delight yourself in Him. Get close to Him. Follow His directions. You might find that what you have been whimpering about has already been given to you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Prayer for Jason

I have always been one to have a quick temper. In my younger years, my anger would lead to me lashing out at whatever or whoever was around. God has worked with me and on me in this area. I still struggle, but am better at how I handle it.

The times I have the most trouble controlling my temper is when someone hurts my husband or my children. My first instinct is to confront the offending party, and tell them exactly what I think. I have learned however, that prayer is the better answer. It took me a while to learn not to pray against the person, but rather to pray for the person. Even more, I have learned to pray specifically for Jason, Ethan or Erin... whoever it was that was hurt.

Today, someone has questioned my husband's integrity. I could give many reasons why this is ludicrous, and wanted to call up this person and do just that. Instead, I have prayed, and continue to pray. I want to share that prayer with you.

Dear Lord,
I ask that the blinders be removed from this person. Help them to see the truth of the situation. I ask that Satan be bound, and no evil forces will be allowed to intervene in this area. I pray that Jason have the discernment and wisdom of Solomon, the heart and courage of David, the favor of Daniel, and the boldness of Paul. I ask this not only for this situation, but for all areas of his life daily. In Jesus name, Amen.