Tag Archives: Christians

Daffy Duck Mouth

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Luke 14:11 states: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” I can’t help but think of all the “duck lips” and selfies and derrieres I’ve seen within the past couple weeks or maybe years. People are proud. Proud of what? Their face? Their booty? A certain amount of self-confidence and a healthy dose of self-esteem is appropriate, sure. But I have to wonder: What are we constantly seeking? Approval? Compliments? Someone to notice how worthy we are of attention? As a whole, I think we are placing priority not on the God Who made us, but us.

I don’t want to exalt those who shouldn’t be, namely me. Anything I do is only because God allows me to do it. I have no talents that He hasn’t given me and until I have prayed about a situation, my ideas are limited at best. It’s not easy to live in this world and be set apart from it simultaneously. We were called to be renewed and transformed by the Word of God and some (I dare not say “most” for fear of my stomach turning) don’t even know what it says because the only time they open their Bible is on Sunday mornings, if they didn’t forget it at home. Ouch. That one stung me just a little bit, too.

It’s for that reason that for the next 30 days, I will be carrying a Bible with me. Anywhere I go, the Word of God will be readily available and at my fingertips, much like the smartphone I’m tired of eyeballing. I’ve come to a place where I need more God. More peace. More wisdom. More of anything He’s offering. “God30” begins tomorrow and I look forward to the insights I expect to receive. My priorities must shift. Instead of studying the “art of myself” and how to take the perfect selfie with ideal lighting in the greatest of angles, I’ll study anything the Creator Himself wants to point out each day. I can practice my Daffy Duck mouth another day.

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His Will and Caffeine

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Leave me alone, I grumble under my breath. Get out of my way, I say in the most polite way possible. STOP talking to me, I think to myself, as I reach for my first cup of coffee. I just want some time, no, NEED some time to myself. To think, to wake up, to scratch. Instead, I have 2 toddlers, 1 much like me (cuddling in the lazy recliner grunting to any passersby) and the other, much like her father (awake, alert, ready to take on the day joyously). “Mom, do cheetahs lay eggs? What’s your favorite color? Can I have a cereal bar? One time, at school, my cookie was melted and I had to wash my hands. Can I have another cereal bar? Mom? Mom? MOM!?!”

I have always been one to enjoy my quiet time. I don’t feel the need to fill up every moment with words. I like to reflect, ponder, and pause. I have found that if I don’t, I am a grump. Unfortunately, I have not had the time. And yes, my facial expression resembles that of Oscar from Sesame Street. I am in no way ready for my day if I don’t make time to check in with myself and God.

This brings me to what I believe God asked me to do: Get out of bed AND get out of it EARLIER. (To which I said, “Whaaaaa? I don’t think I heard You correctly.” I then proceeded to give a list of excuses, including, I have 2 toddlers. (I’m pretty sure He already knew this, being Creator and all.) I go to bed late. (Simple fix, I heard.) I’m exhausted already. (Because you’re not doing what I asked.) Um…uh…Ok, OK. Begrudingly, which is far from cheerfully if you know what I mean, I agreed. So, tom morning, I will be waking at 5. I tried for 6 and even 5:30, but God isn’t the typical negotiator. Grr. Ok, 5 it is. The absolute hilarious side of this enthralling story is I’ve done this before. I woke at 5, every morning because God told me to. Know what happened? I got TONS accomplished. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I talked with God, laying all my fears and worries out in the open. Then I listened to Him reassuring me of Scripture like Phillipians 4:13 and that I could do anything as long as He was with me. I learned things I couldn’t possibly have learned from any other book than His Holy Word. Why, you may wonder, did you stop? Exactly. All I can figure is it involves what the Bible calls “flesh.” I had to kill it then, meaning I don’t always do what I want to, I do what HE wants me to. I would much rather lounge in bed, contemplating how I can procrastinate cleaning out the fridge yet again, but God wants us to give Him the firsts. First fruits, first of the day, first 10%. (That’s another day’s article.) So, tomorrow begins a new journey. One that God’s leading the way, with His dear disheveled daughter padding behind Him in holey house slippers, searching for His will and caffeine.

Salvation Secured

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I heard today that a lot of people, based on a certain statistic, think that Christians are just “hate-filled hypocrites”. And I’m sure that’s exactly what the enemy would have all who will listen to believe. But I have to say, and maybe it’s just because I’m one of them (one o’ them thar Christians, you know) that I don’t see any hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense” and some synonyms include empty talk, dishonesty, and insincerity.
I can understand how this would get annoying. After all, I get annoyed at the way some Christians act (red cup, anyone?) but in all honesty, I believe a lot of it is they aren’t secure in their salvation. I was a Christian for years and still did all kinds of things that would make a lot of church-goin’ folks blush. But here’s the deal: God didn’t lay out every part of His “moral standard” for me at that point of my journey. He knew I’d be completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t possibly live up to His idea or beliefs about who I was in Him when I was in that place. So maybe that’s what some individuals see as hypocritical. They’re living by a different code because maybe they don’t have difficulty in the same areas as you do. Their 2 X 4 is something different than yours. All that being said, the Christians I know and the ones that I hang around, know full-well of who they are. Both who they are with God and without Him. They don’t shade the truth or cover up their human tendencies and forget what Jesus did for them. They’ve accepted the fact that without God’s help, without the Creator lining up their days, that they would indeed be hypocritical. They would go back to their old ways, whether it is drugs or alcohol, or lust and sex, or finger-pointing and a judgy, critical spirit, whatever the case may be. The Christians I know are all learning to trust God in each of their personal trials. They don’t stand and say “No, I never do that and I don’t think you should either!” The Christians I know say “Oh yeah, left to my own devices, that’s exactly what I would do. Without God’s help I couldn’t make it through a day without a drink.” Or “There are times when I’m tempted to go back to the drugs, but thank God I don’t.” Because that’s not what they look to anymore. Those leave us feeling hollow, searching for more. It’s no surprise that addicts don’t keep doing the same drugs and the same amounts; it takes more. And more. Then more. Because that’s not a hole-filler. The Christians I know look to God for their help because He is our strength, the ultimate Hole-Filler, and He is their joy. They don’t feel like they’re better than everybody else. They feel very much like they are everybody else. The Christians I know have experienced the freedom that no man and no 12-step program could ever give. They are free. I am one of them.  He is my strength and He is my joy. I was addicted but now I’m not and that is because of God.  So, that being said, if people from “yesteryear” see me “nowadays” (where do these terms come from?)  then yeah, they may see a hypocrite. They may look back and remember what I used to do and what I used to be, but that’s not me now. And it’s not the Christians I know.

12″ Off the Ground

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So on the days that we don’t float 12” off the ground on our “Holy Spirit high,” how do we cope? How do we deal with the voice in our head that tells us He’s not Who He said He was and we’re not who He says we are? We’re not constantly and consciously reminded of our worth in our everyday lives unless we work at it. The grocery store cashier doesn’t tell us we are pure and lovely and good. The guy in the car next to us doesn’t have us roll down our window to say, “Hey! You’re a child of the Most High God!” Angels don’t wake us up with the fluttering of their wings. Our aches, bruises, and twinges are still there. So what do we do when we don’t feel like God is right there with us?

What if I said it’s not about feeling? Right here on this page you’re reading, I say: It’s not about feelings at all. It’s fact. He’s there. Always is, always will be.

You may have heard or read that He doesn’t move we do. I would venture to say more often than not, we don’t move at all. We sit stagnant, waiting for God to come to where we are. Now don’t misunderstand, God is always there and He’ll meet us where we’re at…all we have to do is ask. But 1.) we ain’t askin’! 2.) we ain’t goin’ anywhere! (Forgive the southern roots and “grammar” but sometimes it’s necessary to get a point across.) God says ask and we shall receive. We have not because we ask not. (See? Even God says we ain’t askin’!) I think many times we’re afraid we won’t get it. THEN where does that leave us? With an unresponsive God? I don’t think so. I think we get discouraged and do our own thing if it’s not in the allotted time frame. Secondly, we’re called to seek God. Does that mean He hides at times? Yup. At least that’s what I believe. If He was always right out there in the open, why would He ask us to look for Him? Seek and ye shall find. It’s not about us feeling Him, it’s about knowing Him…knowing Him well enough to know that we get closer to Him when we move in His direction. Seems silly, huh? That it takes so long to figure out in order to get closer, we have to move toward it?

Undeniably Shaky Confidence

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Romans 10:10 It is with the heart man believes. Unshakeable faith. Unshakeable confidence in the Most High God. Is my faith and my confidence in God unshakeable? I don’t feel like it is and lemme tell ya why…since you’re such a captive audience. (Are you still reading?) I believe God can heal me. I believe He spoke to a family member and told her to tell me that I was healed of this disease. (uh-oh…lost a reader or two. I once heard that you can talk to God, but if you hear God talk to you, you’re considered crazy. Guilty.) I believe He can. I can even go as far as to say, He has. He has healed me. By His stripes, we were healed. Of anything. Cancer, chronic anything, pain, acne, anything that has a name and some that don’t. He healed us of it. I believe that. Where my confidence gets a little shaky and my ugly, rebel side rears up is the “manifestation” of my healing. I had no idea what that meant a few years ago when someone said, “It’s the manifestation of your healing that you’re waiting on.” OH. It’s all so clear to me now. Because in my head, those two things are one and the same. If I am healed, there are no more symptoms. If healing has manifested itself (see? Once you learn a new word, you can add different suffixes), there isn’t pain, fatigue, dizziness, etc. So I sit here, after years of believing I’m healed of this, with my heart…it’s way harder to believe it with my head and the eyeballs He gave me, and seeing minimal difference. Given, I am no longer in a SBR (*if you don’t know what this is, see previous post) but quite honestly, if I began to work as much as I wanted to, I’d be right back there. Every day I work, I have migraines, dizziness, fatigue, muscle pain, yadda yadda yadda. So, I’m healed. Huh. I feel as though I’d have to go to a completely different ball field to catch this on

Facts & Feelings

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“Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength: we will sing and praise your might.” I don’t feel very strong today. Pastor has been doing a series called “I am because He is _________.” As believers, we get to be God’s kids. Just like you tell your children how great they are if/when they fail, God lovingly instills in our spirit how cool we are. He will explain to us us what and who we are if we let Him. Some may look at that as a negative, puffing up their chests and raising their chin a little higher, stating, “No one’s gonna tell me nothin’.I don’t need anything from anyone.” I know this due to the fact that the rebellious spirit exhibited here was mine a few years back. Iget to call people out because I’ve been there. See how that works? (Same with smokers, I can look someone in the eye and tell them all kinds of things because I’m an ex-smoker. It gives me some kind of pass…one that isn’t considered self-righteousness. I love free passes!)

I didn’t want anyone telling me anything, not even God Himself and He tends to know what He’s talking about. I had this ugly, “I’ll do it all by myself” -attitude and thought I didn’t need anyone’s help. I wound up in a place where I not only needed help, I needed the Almighty Himself’s help. No one else could get me out of the pit of addiction, depression, and apathy I found myself in. Not only did I feel weak, I didn’t feel like a child of the Most High God. There are facts and there are feelings. Many live in the feelings realm and never leave it. I’m not sure I would have if it weren’t for God and some folks who faithfully prayed.

FACT: We are made in His image (Genesis 1:27) and the image in the mirror is to be a reflection of Him. FEELING: This seems utterly overwhelming to me most days. In fact, I’ve never woke up, even on a good day, and thought, “God, aren’t you just so proud of me? I am exactly like You!” I’m not sure I’d want to hang out with anyone who thought that either.

It’s a process. We are His process. (“He’s still workin’ onnn me…”) How many processes don’t take time? Oodles and oodles of time. I want to be strong. I want to be meek. I want to be loving. I want to be compassionate to the man in the car driving 17 miles per hour in front of me on a day when I’m running late. (I’m always running late, so the odds of this happening on a day when I am are pretty good.) We don’t need to compare ourselves to God like we would instinctively to someone we admire or consider a role model. He is us. We are Him. Everything and more that Jesus did while He was here on earth, we can do. (John 14:12) When’s the last time you did something like Jesus did? I was happy I got the dishes done yesterday, but I don’t remember performing any other miracles. God is strong and able to do all things with power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Believe big and that more is possible today. Don’t go on feelings and the thoughts you’ve heard in your head all your life. That tired audio is probably far from the truth. Accept this as fact:  know that our Creator does not lie. He never has and He never will. His Word is true and we are ________ because He is.

Scars Are Cool

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Many individuals have told me not to get my hopes up over the years, whether it be finding a car for the price I want or catching a sale item or a friend seemingly dying of cancer. That ugly c-word. That word holds so much power over people. The instant it is spoken, hope fades. A piece of that person’s belief system is undeniably affected because of that particular diagnosis. It’s as if when we hear the report of the doctor, we turn into fair-weather Christians, thinking this is the one thing that God can’t do. (“Oh! We’ve found it! God can handle everything but this!”) James 4:8 calls us “double-minded” with that kind of thinking. Eek! We are to cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts as we draw near to Him because He will draw near to us, even in that instance when we don’t think we can. Even when we look at our situation and don’t see it for what it is. John 11:4 shows where Jesus said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is to promote the glory of God, in order that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Whaaaat? God knows what He’s doin’? Matthew 9:35 speaks of Jesus going into all the towns and villages healing every disease and sickness, meaning, He cured people of everything from acne, brokenness, and didn’t shudder and cower in a corner when the “c-word” came next.

I don’t know what our hope is; maybe that we’ll go through this life with no wounds and no scars. Scars are cool. They show that not only have we been through stuff, but also that God’s doin’ stuff and He brought us through. There is nothing we can’t handle. Get your hopes back up. Don’t let them lay around beneath your feet. No matter what the report says, believe the report of the Almighty God that crafted you with His own brilliant hands.