Wednesday, August 27, 2014

C is for Communicate

            My hubby and I are great communicators. And by great, I mean great in volume of communication. Not loud,  . . .  although we can be that too. :)  I mean we communicate a great amount. In other words,  ---  we like to talk. A lot.
            Before the time of cell phones, when we were dating and engaged long distance, he in one state and me in another, we wrote letters to each other  . . . every day, for a year.  I know it is hard to believe. WHO has that much to say to another person, that they could write a multi-page letter every day?  Two people who were young and in love and couldn’t wait to be together, that’s who.

Who could you write a letter to every day? For a year?
            Even since the advent of cell phones, and after 28 years of marriage, not a day goes by without us talking to each other. I am embarrassed to say we still call or text each other at least 5 times a day!   5 times! WHO has that much to talk about, to call another person 5 times a day?         We do. ;)                      
                         (We even work in the same building now, and still, call each other all day.)
That is how we grow close to someone.
                        Sharing experiences.
                                                Asking questions.
                                                                        Getting their opinion.
                                                                                    Bouncing ideas off of each other.
                                    Sharing the details of our thoughts and lives.

            That is how close God wants us to be with Him. He wants us to talk to Him every day  . . . even more than 5 times a day. He wants us to ask questions, get His opinion, take our ideas to Him, and share the details of our thoughts and lives.
            We grow closer to God by communicating with Him daily through prayer. We don’t need to write Him a letter or use our cell phone to talk to Him. He is always available to listen to us 24 hours a day.
                                    Have you communicated with Him today?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Are You a Mighty Warrior?

       (If you missed A in Blogging through the Alphabet, first we must Admit We are Not God.)
            I love the story of Gideon in the Bible. God does several amazing things through him, but I like the beginning of his story best. An angel of the Lord comes to Gideon, an Israelite, who is hiding from his enemies, under a tree, down in a wine press. The angel of the Lord calls Gideon a ‘mighty warrior’.  The thing is, Gideon was not a mighty warrior. He was a scared farmer. We don’t know if he had ever fought in a battle up to that point.
                     What does Gideon say when he is called a mighty warrior by the Lord? 
                                                                 He ignores it. 
He argues with the angel about something else the angel says, but he ignores the words God says about him. Weird, isn’t it?
            What do we do with the words God says about us? You probably haven’t been visited by an angel of the Lord lately. (If you have, please message me. I would love to hear about it!) But the Lord has plenty to say about who He thinks we are. Do we believe it? Or like Gideon, do we ignore it?
God, in His Word, calls us His dear children.   Do we believe it?  (1John 4:4)
God says He loves us so much He gave His Son for us.   Do we know it? (Gal. 2:20)
God calls us His sons (and daughters).   Do we act like it? (Gal. 3:26)
God says He has forgiven us for everything we have done.   Do we accept it? (Col. 1:13-14)
God says He has called us to a unique purpose.   Do we live it? (1 Cor. 7:17)
God says He has cleaned us, set us apart as holy, and made us right with Him.   Do we love Him for it? (1 Cor. 6:11)
God says we are not who we used to be. He has made us new. Do we celebrate this? (2 Cor. 5:17)
            The B in growing closer to God is we need to believe what God says about us. If we continue to believe we are worthless, mess-ups, we won’t be able to grow close to a Holy God.
Are you afraid? God says He is with you. (Heb. 13:5)
Do you feel worthless? His Word says you are valuable. (1 Peter 2:9)
Do you feel insignificant? To God you are special. (Eph.1:4-5)
Do you feel rejected? God always accepts us. (John 15:16)
Be strong and courageous.
Let’s believe what God says about us and not what think about ourselves.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Staying in My Own Lane

***Other bloggers are blogging through the alphabet this summer, and I thought I would join the fun. (I am starting a little late because I was blogging about  our trip to Israel  for the past month.) We start with A and go through Z, posting about the same topic using a different letter. The topic I am going to attempt is the ABC’s of Growing Closer to God. So, here goes . . . .with the letter A.***
          Bible teacher, Beth Moore, tells the story of watching her friend’s son run in the Special Olympics. He had cerebral palsy and by most standards he would not be a natural to win a running race. Still, the race began and the crowd cheered for all the runners. One by one they all crossed the finish line. Beth’s friend’s son finished last. A few moments after the race, the family was surprised to hear their son’s name being called to the podium to receive a gold medal. They did not understand. They asked the official why their son was receiving the gold medal when he finished the race last. The official said, “Your son is the winner because he was the only one who followed the rules. Your son was the only one to stay in his own lane the entire race.
          I love this story because it teaches us the importance of staying in our own lane, meaning don’t try to control everyone else around us.
          To start to grow closer to God, we need to stop trying to control everything and
                                    Admit that we are not God.
This is a big one. No, I don’t think we actually go around saying we are God, but by our actions, we are showing we think we are God. Even if we are not admitted control freaks, we want to control things, situations, people, at the very least our kids. We want to control our finances and our futures, and our kid’s futures. We want to plan for every possible future scenario that could bring negative consequences.
          The truth is, in order to grow closer to God, we need to stop obsessing about controlling everything and everyone around us. The Bible is clear, that only God knows the future, only God controls the future, and the future of the world has already been planned and written about in the Bible, by God. God is in control, not us, no matter how much we try to control things.
           We need to stay in our own lanes in the race of life. We need to let God be God, since He has done a pretty good job of it from the dawn of time. We need to do the things He has called us to do, and outlined for us in His Word. And, we need to let other people, including our kids, our spouse, our boss, our church leaders, those driving around us, the annoying person who causes us to wait longer than we want, to run in their own lane.
          God has called each of us to our own race, in our own unique lane. Once we can Admit that we are not God, we can be on our way to growing as a true lover, follower and disciple that He wants us to be.
                  “Let us keep running the race set before us with endurance.” Hebrews 12:1

Is there any area of your life where you are not staying in your own lane? Can we all agree that we are not God, and let go of the things we should be letting Him control?
 I am going to try to stay in my own lane today.