In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interesting Event

Picture from http://www.123rf.com/photo
I've mentioned in prior posts the challenges at my job and complained about my new boss.  But something interesting happened recently.  I was in her office, standing; she was standing too because we were both about to go out onto the floor.  She reached over and grabbed my arm, above the wrist.  I almost pulled back because it seemed so odd.

But then she said to me that she would hug me but she was afraid she'd start crying.  She said that she wanted to touch me to emphasize the point of how very much she appreciates me.

I think God's definitely working here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Reflections

Picture from http://www.vocado.se/en/autumn-leaves/
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I want to take some time to reflect on all the blessings in my life.

At the foundation is the fact that God loves me and gave me the gift of faith to come into a relationship with Him.  That He, by His pure grace, forgave all my sins through Jesus' work in the cross and gave me His holy spirit to live inside me.  That the Holy Spirit encourages me, teaches me, and convicts me when I go astray.  That God's word is so good and relevant and gives me a compass for my life.

I'm grateful that I'm healthy. 

I'm grateful for John.  He knows me and still loves me.  I appreciate so much that he and I can sit up in our room and make stupid jokes about annoying life circumstances or people and laugh together.  I like that we are both readers and can share stuff with each other that we both find interesting but that I've noticed most other people seem to find boring.  I'm grateful that, although when I look in the mirror I'm not the person I once was, he still finds me appealing and wants to be close with me.  I enoy hiking with him.

I'm grateful for three healthy sons all of whom are living productively.  Grateful that they are each indpendent and want to make their own way in life.  Grateful for the times I get to spend with them and grateful that they want to spend time with me.

I'm grateful for my local church.  I'm blessed with friendships with women who range from age 16 to 70.  Just thinking about any of them brings a smile to my lips.  These creative, interesting, fun women who love God and are trying to make thieir faith real in ways that matter, never cease to inspire me.

And I'm grateful for my job.  Although I've spent a lot of time here complaining about events at work, when I step back and gain perspective, I'm grateful.  Grateful in this bad economy that I have a job with decent pay and good benefits.  Grateful that I know each day that I contribute in ways that makes life better for specific detainees, staff, or the medical system at this location.  Grateful that I like many of the people with whom I work.  Grateful that, although I have a 40 minute drive to work, it's on uncrowed country highways and is not a stressful drive.  Grateful that God uses this job to address my character defects.

I'm grateful that I live in Wrightwood and am surrounded by pine trees, mountains, and clean air.  Grateful for our home and all the positive changes God's allowed us to make to this home so that it's becoming better and better as the years pass.  Grateful that we get to experience all the seasons in their beauty.
Picture from http://www.the7thelement.com

May I never cease to appreciate all the many blessings God has given me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Changes

I've been whining and complaining about my job and my new boss.  I've prayed that God would change my want-to with regard to both my boss and job.  Due to my boss' sarcasm, lack of planning, and dumping on me at the last minute, I'm challenged to pray for her and to want to minister to her; but I've been praying that God would change my heart.

Friday when my boss and I were talking we were laughing about how early we fall asleep 'cuz this job kicks our tails. I'd said that I feel like such a loser 'cuz I'm tired at 9:30PM on a Friday night. She made a joke about how she's such a loser that, on a Friday night even if she stayed awake, she's without anybody to do anything with any way. I encouraged her that it's because she just moved here for this job and to give it some time and she'll make friends. She said that no she didn't have any friends where she moved from before this either; that her husband is her only friend (he works out of state and they don't get to see each other all the time).

She grabbed my heart with that one!

A woman without friends - that hurts.  I've been there; I know all too well the hollow ache that creates.  I'm so grateful that today I have a few very close, inner circle friends, as well as a few next ring out friends with whom I could call up and go do something fun.  To be without friends just plain sucks!

I'm beginning to gain a vision that somehow God can use me in this woman's life.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Choosing Truth

One of things God's been challenging me with in my life lately is Choosing Truth.  So I figured that I'd share about that at the upcoming women's event where I'll be sharing a devotional.

So, I'm working on my first rough draft here:

In your day to day life, where do some of the prevalent messages that you receive come from?

I'm constantly bombarded with messages from the radio, TV, my family, people at  my work, and those thoughts that come into my head.  The ones in my head are a product of how I was raised, the most prevalent messages around me, my natural inclinations, what I choose to put into my head, and sometimes even the voice of the enemy.

I've noticed a huge correlation in my  life with which messages I allow myself to focus on, and how I experience life. (I'm thinking to hand out the following scriptures to 3 women who I know are comfortable reading out loud and say these few things about the scripture and then have them read it.  Since it's a Craft night I don't think women will bring a Bible so I'll give them the verse and a Bible to read it from.  For for the Proverbs passage I'm going to give a copy of a King James Version for the woman to read from, the Philippians passage a New Living Translation, and the Romans passage The Message paraphrase.)

Proverbs 23:6-8 talks about a type of person to avoid.  The passage also brings up the principle that as we think in our hearts, that's who we are and who we are becoming.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on and fill up our minds with those things which are true, honorable,  right,  pure, lovely, and admirable. To think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Romans 12:1-3 talks about avoiding becoming like the culture around us.  These verses challenge us to sacrifice our lives and our ways of doing things to God.  These verses say that the key to doing this is to choose where we put our focus and to let God change the way we think.

I can choose to spend time in God's Word, to listen to those things that reaffirm His truth, and then to think on those things instead of the other thoughts and messages coming my way. When thoughts and messages that are contrary to what God says come into my mind, I can choose to replace them with the truth or can give into them and get carried away in a direction that takes me away from God. 

Do you have any current stressors in your life?  Maybe in a relationship with a spouse, child, co-worker, neighbor, or boss?  Or do you have a current situation in your life that really is not what you want it to be?

I have a couple; some very difficult situations in my job and some decisions one of my sons has made that I wish he were to have done differently.  These stressors in my life are such that they could make me miserable; even bitter and unhappy if I'd let them.  The stressors at work, since I'm there 5 days a week, could consume me if I'd let them.  Only by God's Word, only by choosing by  His grace and power available through the Holy Spirit in me, can I not let my stressful situations and relationships make me miserable.

When negative thoughts or messages come into my mind about my job or the choices my son has made and the situations those choices have created, I can choose to either go with the negative thoughts or to stop them right there. I've taken the time to sit down and pray and look in the Word and create some truth statements about my two situations.  Sometimes, when negative thoughts or messages come my way, I  choose to say those truth statements in my head, or if I'm alone, to even say them aloud.

But it's God's Spirit that empowers me to do this.

(I'm thinking due to time, since this is just a devotional, and area of focus, to just reference these scriptures verses and not read them aloud)


2 Corinthians 3:15-20 talks about how God is working in the lives of His followers, by the power of His spirit, changing us.

Ephesians 3:16-19 tells me that the Holy Spirit gives me the power to receive God's love and strength.

Galatians 5:22-23 describes how God's Spirit in us produces a different person; that He produces His attributes in us.

It's all about God.  It's all about His work in us.  It's only by His grace and power that we can deal with life's stressors.  He does it all.  But I can yield myself to Him and His work, or I can resist.  I've seen repeatedly in my life that what I allow myself to think on, where I put my attention during my day, either allows God to work in my life or puts me in the center and makes it so I have to go through hard stuff and then repent before I can experience His power.

I want His supernatural power in my life; I need that supernatural power to deal with those 2 stressors, that I've shared about my son and job.  I can't change these situations, I don't get to make them the way that I want them to be.  But what I do want, is God to be big and powerful in me even in these situations.  For God to do things that only He could do.  

Do you want that too?

I want to challenge you to pick 1 or 2 relationships or situations in your life right now that you want to see God work supernaturally in.  Let's spend a few brief moments in individual, silent, prayer regarding those situations and then I'll close us out with a brief prayer.  I want you to pray that God would reveal some ways that choosing His truth will enable Him to work more in your heart and in these situations.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Truth Statements

Picture taken from danceswithfat.wordpress.com
 I've got a couple of challenging situations in my life; stuff at my job, and some choices one of my son's has made and the situations those choices have created in his life.

Both of these situations hit me hard in the heart.  Both of these are situations that I could choose to perseverate on the negatives aspects of and become depressed and even bitter regarding.

Lately the Holy Spirit has been teaching how where I put my focus, what I think on, impacts my response to these challenges.  I can, and have at times chose to, listen to the messages I receive from a myriad of places or the thoughts that come into my head with regard to these challenging situations.  Or I can choose to think on what God says.

I've felt impressed to spend some time in the Word and come up with some Truth statements about my work and about my son.  These are statements that I can choose to think on when the negative thoughts come into my mind.

Here are those Truth Statements (and the scriptures they come from):



Opportunity

Recently I was asked to pray about if I'd give a devotional at an upcoming women's craft event at our church.

I'm not a public speaker.  Don't particularly like being in front of people.  Yet as I prayed about it, I felt like I should say yes.  But I waited a while thinking that maybe the impression to say yes would go away.  It didn't so I agreed to give the devotional.

Figured I'd share about what God's been teaching me lately.  Have to say I'm glad that this is a small event where there probably won't be more than 20 ladies in attendance.  But I  pray that God, in His goodness & mercy, would use what I say to minister what He wants to those women that come out.




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