Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goody, goody, two shoes!

Goody, goody, two shoes.. That's a phrase I heard a lot when I was a kid... Not so much anymore, thankfully most people grow up past that stage shortly after middle school, ha! What does it even mean anyway?... Okay, sorry back from google, but for those of you who, like me, want to know the meaning I've posted the link at the bottom of this post. Ha!

Sometimes I get asked why I live th way I do... Why I don't go to bars, why I don't swear, why I dress modestly, etc. there are plenty of answers I could give, one I like to use often is "if I had a boyfriend who liked me in blue you would see me in blue a lot more often, my personal style might not change but I would want to wear what appeals to my man... And if I would do that for a guy, your better believe I would do that for God!" Another is just out of a thankful heart, if he even hints in his Word toward something that displeases him I'm going to stay away, if he hints toward something he likes I'll do more of it. Lastly, guardrails... I don't go some places, not necessarily because it's sin to attend but because I'm protecting myself from temptation.

A few people think we do things to get saved... But that's not it.. We do these things because we are saved and want to please the saviour. Just like parents have rules we have to follow when we are living under their roof, we do the things we know God would be proud of when we are living with him.  And it not only stretches to our lifestyle but should completely change our giving style, our friendship style, our thoughtfulness style and more. We should notice the needs of others like never before and we should do whatever we can to help them!

As I was reading the Bible last night I came across something I've never noticed in this way before... "Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which god hath before ordained that we should walk in them."  Ephesians 2:9-10 (KJV) in other words, we are not saved through what we do but once we are saved we are to do more good works than before. We are saved "unto" good works! We should persist to walk in good works until it's so natural it becomes a part of who we are. So that's all it is, if you're saved, do good, love people, love yourself... You know what, just notice people, be aware of them, their feelings, their needs and do what you can to help... It may not be much in your eyes but you know as well as I do that when you're in need even someone acknowledging they notice the need is enough to touch your heart. And isn't touching the hearts of others exactly what we are supposed to be doing in the first place?

Love God. Be good. Do good.

Goody Two Shoes
Cinderella, who knew! And I'm always compared to Cinderella, ha!

Oh, and happy halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Not Enough?

Hi bunnies!  (Okay, maybe I should have said foxes for fall?..) Ahyhoo... As you know I've taken a couple of weeks off... Not intentionally, I forgot two weeks ago because I was busy packing for a trip to Louisiana and last week I was in Louisiana and got too busy, I had planned to sit on the porch drinking coffee, enjoying the sun and write my little heart out for you! Sorry! But, I have to say, the break did me good and now I have 3 topics in the waiting to be written.
This post however was inspired last night while I was reading just before drifting off to la-la land (hoping my family isn't the only one who called sleeping by that phrase, otherwise I've already lost half of you! ha) I read a passage and the thought just jumped out at me... I've heard it before but I've not really given it much consideration... I'm not sure I thought it to actually be true or if I just thought it was some speaker's personal opinion going a little overboard... Not that either way there would be a problem, it's not a bad thought, just... I don't know... Small?
I am the type of person who likes to be involved, I like to have a lot of things on my plate.  Don't get me wrong here, I like to have personal time and am not lacking in that area but I find even when I am volunteering in more than one capacity I feel like I'm just not doing enough, like I'm not fulfilling my potential, there's more to be done and I need to find a way to get involved in it.. I never feel like I'm doing enough, and if I'm not doing what I deem to be enough I often feel as if I'm not doing anything for God... But I realized last night, it's not about how many aspects I am involved in - although that should not become an excuse for lack of involvement - it doesn't matter how many titles or positions I hold, there's really only one thing of need, only one calling...
While on my break, my mother and I were reminiscing over my grandparents and some others in our family... How blessed our family is to have such a heritage and to be given the privilege to be so closely knit together.  While thinking about my grandparents I realized they weren't what some would call "great" they were humble, and although at one time my grandfather was a prominent businessman he somehow fell off track and drank most of his influence away for years. Luckily, or I should say graciously my grandfather turned his life over to Jesus and was miraculously delivered from alcoholism and changed in a moment... Grampie witnessed to those around him about the saving grace of The Lord but being from a small community and before the time of a telephone being in every home let alone the internet his audience wasn't impressive by any stretch of the imagination..  My grammie was loving, strong and caring but her husband died when the youngest of her nineteen children was only seven years of age, she worked hard and provided all the necessities but she didn't have her own "19 Kids and Counting" reality show and wasn't known by anyone much outside of her hometown.  In the eyes of anyone by today's standards, my grandparents were not rich, they did not have a huge realm of influence and no regal status proceeding their entrance or exit. The thing is, my grandparents were both known by God... No they didn't have their names in lights, they never walked onto a big stage to be the "main event," you wouldn't recognize them as being any different than anyone else walking past you, but my grandparents fulfilled exactly what they were called to do. Five of those children because preachers and thousands of lives have been changed because of their ministries, there have been healings and miracles and lives changed by the power of Jesus!  Now there are grandchildren following those footsteps and who knows where or if the reach of my grandparents will stop! 
Like my grandparents, you may not see much of a stage for your break-out performance.. People may not know your name.. Your talents may never get the chance to shine in the way you think they should.  Life is not about the stage anyway, it's not about being known or seen, it's not about what you have to offer, it's only about one thing: who you can lead into closer relationship with Christ!  The last words from Jesus before ascending into heaven were "go into the world, preach, reach, change, I'll be with you!" (Suzie paraphrase ;)) You may not be a preacher and that's okay, be a friend! You may not be able to travel throughout the world but you can change the world of your children.  You may not have the money to reach every homeless soul you see but you can share a sandwich or even a kind word.  Listen, Jesus said he came to "seek" and to "save" that which is lost... So that's all we are here for... We need to make ourselves aware of the people around us, seek out their needs and save them from an eternity without God by allowing them to know Him through us!  Be the bridge, create a connection!
"As thou hast sent me into the world even so have I sent them into the world" John 17:18 (KJV)
All that Jesus did on earth, the teachings, the healings, miracles, friendships, they were all "about the father's business," all for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, all for one calling to save.  So there it is, no matter what we are involved in, whether we feel it is enough or not we need to remember it's all for the calling.  Everything we are is for one purpose, salvation, and everything we do can be made to effect salvation so even if you're not able to accomplish all the ministries you wish, accomplish your life with the purpose of the salvation calling, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Be quiet!

Hi guys! Sorry I'm late tonight, I was busy at lunch today (went out with me daddy) and just got home from errands a little while ago. I'M SOOOO TIRED. 

I had a conversation with a friend this week and I thought just maybe we could all stand to hear it.  Basically a friend asked me to pray for him, he didn't tell me what exactly the request was but God knows... Anyway, one night this week I was praying and thinking about how impatient I can be when I'm waiting on God.  How sometimes I just want to hear him speak but he stays silent in the business of my life... It's frustrating but it's all part of the process we call life and there's nothing wrong with waiting.  Yes, yes, work on what you can do in the meantime but it's okay to wait.

I've always heard it said that God is a perfect gentleman and He will never force a person to do anything they don't want to do... He will never force His plan into your life even if He knows it's what is best for you, you have to reach for it, you have to work for it and you have to want it... But it's more than wanting, it's in the asking, the trying the seeking. Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

Then there's the whole listening part... You know, that being still God asks us for...  Psalm 46:10-11 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. I'm not so good at that part. And in prayer it never feels quite okay to just be quiet but I don't have any friends who talk non-stop without pausing to hear my thoughts in return,and I don't think God is that different.. If He is a perfect gentleman -and He is - then He's most likely not going to interrupt us mid-sentence to get His point across... We have to show Him we want to hear what He has to say to us, we must listen for what He has to speak over us. There are no "prayer police" trolling the floor ready to strap our knuckles the moment we pause for a breath, it's not about how many words per minute we can get out; rather, it's about connection with Him and you can't build a connection if the hearing is all one sided, it's okay to be quiet! It's always the friends we can just do anything (or nothing with) that become our best friends, people who get when we just don't feel like chatting or talking about our day and who are satisfied just to be with us... Well, it's the same with Him.

So, there it is, just a little encouragement that it's okay if you're in the waiting, it's okay to listen, it's even okay to just not feel like talking, still seek Him... Still work on what you can do... Spend time with Him in the quiet, push away the business of life to do nothing with Him. It will surprise you how much can be said by your heart and how much you hear when your lips are still.