Thursday, June 24, 2010


Failure seems like such an ugly word. We all try to avoid it, but eventually failures come our way. Genesis 2:6 says, "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.", thus sin, death, and destruction entered the perfect world that God created. Adam and Eve lived in the perfect Garden of Eden. They were able to physically talk to God and walk with Him, yet they weren't able to keep all of God's commands. It's impossible to live up to the standards laid out in the Bible. Christians are called to be holy, meaning set apart. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, "But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy'." So what's a messed up sinner like me supposed to do? I'm trying to live the way God would have me live, but I keep coming up short. Do I listen to that voice in my head that keeps telling me, "You'll never be able to get this right! You might as well give up." As I continue my journey with the Lord I'm realizing what the real failure is. The failure isn't just about sinning, but about continuing in that sin because it's too hard to keep trying. I'm learning that it isn't about falling down, but about refusing to get back up. There's a lot of growth that comes in failures. There are things that this stubborn woman has been able to learn only through failures. When I admit to the Lord that I can't walk through this life on my own and I surrender everything to Him, it's then that I'm finally free from the burden of my failures. One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 5:17. It says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Some days I feel like that new creation all day. Then I have those days where I'm constantly going back to the Lord to be made new again. I know that to attain true holiness here on earth is impossible, but I don't want it to be because I refused to try.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Out of the water...

I was reading in a book the other day about mercenaries being hired to help fight in the crusades. Because this was a holy war, the mercenaries had to be baptized. As they were being baptized, they held their swords out of the water to symbolize the part of their life that God couldn't control. They were saying that God could have every other part of their life except that one. It got me thinking, what part of my life am I "holding out of the water". What part of my life am I saying that I can handle better than God. So now I am asking God to reveal to me the parts of my life that I've only said with my words He can have, but not with my actions. I know that this can be a painful process, but I also know that in the end it will be worth it. There's a saying that God meets us where we are. He doesn't wait for us to change to reach our hearts. We tend to overlook the second part of that truth. Yes, He meets us where we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way. Anyone who has taken care of plants knows that you have to prune it to make it a healthy, thriving plant. The same is true for Christians, sometimes God needs to prune things out of our lives that keep us from being the thriving Christian He intends us to be. If you read in the Bible about the encounters that Jesus had with people, you'll see a Savior who lovingly met people where they were. You'll also see how He asked them to change and live for Him. So, since I'm challenging myself, I'm also challenging anyone who reads this to do the same. I don't want to be one of those Christians that does all the right things on Sunday to play the part of a strong Christian and then goes home and lives differently Monday-Saturday. I want to be the same person on Tuesday that I am on Sunday. That only comes from complete surrender of EVERY part of my life. I want every part of my life to be "in the water". There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "Dive" I thought I would include the lyrics to his song.

The long-awaited rain has just fallen hard upon the thirsty ground
Have carved their way to where the wild and rushing river can be found
And like the rain I have been carried here to where the river flows
My heart is racin' and my knees are weak as I walk to the edge
I know there is no turning back once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush I hear a voice telling me it's time to
Take a leap of faith
So here I go

I'm diving in
I'm going deep
In over my head I wanna be
Caught in the rushLost in the flow
In over my head I wanna go
The river's deep
The river's wide
The river's water is alive
So sink or swimI'm diving in
I'm diving in

There is a supernatural power in this mighty river's flow
We can bring the dead to life, we can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing worth living and dying for
But we will never know the awesome power of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves be swept away into this holy flood
So if you'll take my hand and close your eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let's go

Join me, won't you?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One man's treasure is another man's trash

We've all heard the saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure. I think the opposite can also be true. Let me explain. One Easter I made a cake for my church. It wasn't an elaborate cake, but it still took some time to decorate. When I got to church, I placed it on the table beside the doughnuts. Later on that morning I walked by the table just in time to see a woman place her purse ON TOP of my cake so that her hands were free to get her doughnuts. I'd like to say that I walk so closely with the Lord that I immediately saw in the grand scheme of things, this wasn't a huge deal. A couple of the ladies saw the look on my face and walked quickly to me to reassure me that it was going to be ok. For some reason I was thinking about this yesterday. I was thinking about how something was very important to me, but not someone else. It got me thinking about how many times I've blown off one of my children's "treasures" because it wasn't important to me. I'd like to become the kind of person that sees the importance in the things that are important to those I love. My children and my husband are a treasure to me and I want them to feel that way. Jesus set the example of how we are to love others. He valued people and listened to them, especially the children. The disciples tried to get rid of the children as they came to Jesus but He stopped them and said in Matthew 19:14, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."