Monday, February 28, 2011

By this we believe...

John 16:30-31 was my verse for the day...then I read a devotion that went along with it. "By this we believe, Jesus answered, Do ye now believe?"I responded quickly in my heart, YES, yet do I?

DO I? do things out of a sense of duty as a believer.
DO I? have my own agenda
DO I? feel I have grown enough spiritually to make the right
decision every time.
DO I? think of myself as superior
DO I? think with robot precision on godly things
DO I? quickly pray w/o a burden like items on a grocery list

Jesus knew that a time would come when his disciples would leave Him alone and He knew that we would as well. YES~ I have done all of the above at one time or another in my journey as a believer (I cannot lie)

I HAVE~ served b/c I am a pastor's wife and it is what is expected, my duty.
I HAVE!~had my own hidden agenda before. If I do something will there be some kind of recognition in it for me.
I HAVE~felt that in some areas the old quote "I arrived" so I didn't need to attend "that" Bible study, boy was I ever wrong.
I HAVE~never felt superior....really!~ But the word inferior has claimed my thoughts and actions many times. They are both wrong. Both make you believe that the job or service or ministry cannot be done by you. Maybe you are the very person God has in mind for the deed or idea to get accomplished.
I HAVE~been robotic in many decisions. I am speaking of the small ones here, b/c "I can handle these and leave God to other bigger issues." Yet I know God wants to be a part of my daily mundane life.
I HAVE~quickly prayed w/o compassion or urgency or burden before, only to find God convicting me later. ( I have to be honest here)

Jesus knew I would try this on my own. But he stands ready and willing and lovingly to forgive my unbelief and show me how to live this life in full belief. Every one of the 'I HAVES" I have done...learned my lesson ....moved on. But sometimes I fall back into old bad habits. Oswald Chambers has a quote "We have put our sense of duty on the throne instead of the resurrected life of Christ."

My words: when I do "believer things" w/the attitude of duty then it is always backed w/a clear defense. When I do "believer things" w/the attitude of obedience then there is no defense. It is all about faith in the cross, the power of the cross.
In this present week (2-28-2011) I need to claim the power of the cross. Not for just belief (b/c I do believe) but to trust God's perfect will in the decisions that must be made....w/my mom's health...Steve's book....our home in Tennessee....Billie's job....Jill and Warren and a baby.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Absolute certainty....

...been going through some hard weeks lately. The defination of tenacity: the quality or state of being. Well, my state of being has been tosseled alot these past few weeks. But today in my quiet time I see the "state of being" as described by Oswald Chambers.

"Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire."

So to drink this statement up I have got to be certain of life and all the variables it encompasses.

#1. My mother and her health. We found out that surgery was not going to help her kidneys because they are shrinking, dying. Her function level is 26% at this point in time. and with the knowledge that dialysis starts at 15% , decisions are being made with absolute certainty. With absolute certainty my mother decided to not have surgery on a 5cm anerisum. With tears in both our eyes we know with absolute certainty that a ticking time bomb is within her.
#2. Our daughter/son (youth minister) is without a job in this ecomonic season. With 4 children and a home that needs to sell they have absolute certainty of quiet a few things on their plate.
#3. Our youngest daughter/son (small group pastor) knows with absolute certainty that God will start their family through adoption, yet when the call came for a newborn baby girl, that certainty was dimished by the birth mother.

Please note that all 3 concerns in my life are composed of facts! Just facts! Stats from a talented surgeron....decisions of others that was beyond their control. Absolutes for sure and because of the information given, very certain. But Chambers went on to say that " then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted." We must have the spritual tenacity to know with absolute certainty that God will work thru the struggles to refine us and bring praise to His name.

"If our hopes are being dissappointed just now it means that they are being purified. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God. Because thou has kept the word of my patience."

With everything going on these weeks in my life, I found comfort in these words. I am happy to be dissappointed because that means God is purifing me. I welcome strains of life or what I call storms, because God knows what is happening and He delights to give me the desires of my heart. I now that doesn't make sense but through God's bet for my life and the lives of those I love, I know He will give us the desires of our hearts....because our hearts desire to learn, grow and love the Lord more.

So, Bill and Shana...hang on with spiritual tenacity because God thru this storm is protecting you and your family. He will provide at the moment it will bring Him glory. (not thy will but God's will be done) I am so proud of how you have handled this storm...your faith is sustaining your family.
Warren and Jill.....God has directed you to start this precious family through adoption and adoption will happen. And when the call comes and you see your child, you will know that "for this child" you waited on. God will receive the glory for the patiences you both have shared. Your child will hear this story every year on it's birthday and God will become a permanent friend in the childs heart for eternity.
My momma...her health is ebbing but her humor is strong. Her will is strong. I am focused on absorbing everyday with laughter and memories of the old days. I remind her daily of God's love for her and that each day is a gift from God. I appreciate more things about my mother every week I get to have her in my life. God is praised for the certainty that we have each other for one more day.

Absolute certainty/spiritual certainty, I think I choose spiritual certainty! "Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered."

My hero is God, who is yours?