I thought I'd share a few good excerpts from my reading on the Holy Spirit...
D.L. Moody, when asked if he was filled with the Spirit said, "Yes, but I leak."
"Well, what of that? what if you are a poor, cracked
vessel, letting out the blessing which you receive ? ... and
supposing that I turn the tap, don't you think that if
there is a bountiful supply behind, it will keep the vessel
full ? But the glass may leak. Yes, but the fountain will keep it full. Be not discouraged; these wonderful blessings are ours, not because we are worthy but because Christ loves us. Christ loves us! We love also...O Jesus! Partakers of thy endless life, let us know what it is to reproduce that beautiful life over again for Thy glory. Spirit of God, strengthen us with might in the inner man. AMEN." ~Henry Varley
"Anything that comes across our path and puts us in difficulty, at once shows whether we believe in Him and trust in Him, by our response and reaction to it. We must never allow ourselves to be agitated and disturbed whatever the circumstances because to do so implies a lack of faith, a lack of trust, a lack of confidence in our blessed Lord and God." ~D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I've come a long way in the area of letting these agitations show. I was thinking, as I re-read this quote, wouldn't it be so great if I could control those stomach knotting, hands freezing, shaking knees responses...the subtle and often unobservable. Cuz, that's the stuff that God still sees. Even when I'm able to pull off looking confident...He knows that I'm not wholly trusting Him. I don't want to just appear...I want to really BE.
This is such a tall order...I think sometimes I respond in agitation and disquiet simply as an expected response. For example, when Loverbrains is gone people expect me to be upset, tired and flakey...so, I gladly oblige. Ugh...no more. True, I miss him and I'm not going to pretend I don't...but I'm a strong woman when he's by my side and equally when he's not. He lovingly provides for me while he's gone...and faithfully corresponds and communicates with us too. Besides the BIG POINT...that God hasn't changed position one teensy bit. He's my rock solid foundation. How dare I behave as if it's anything less.
On Sunday we learned about Jehovah Shammah...The Lord is there. At first, I thought it was going to be all fluffy and lovey..."Aw, God's there...don't be afraid little sheepies." I was surprised to find that it connected to a much larger part of God's character. He is ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-KNOWING, and EVERYWHERE PRESENT...and because he's with every believer there is no reason for discontent. GOD IS THERE...he will never leave me or forsake me...
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is
the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
When people ask me how I'm doing...I don't want to give the conditioned or expected response...I want to give the response that shows that I am placing my faith, trust and confidence in my Jehovah Shammah...my Lord who is there...guiding me through every trial and storm, as well as the sunny, Fall days.
I want to be a brightly shining light...a spot of brightness that makes those in darkness come close and inquire...Why are you shining??
"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that
you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in
the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as
lights in the world, holding
fast to the word of life." Philippians 2:14-16
BSF, my favorite bible study of all time, has started up again for this year. We are studying the Acts of the Apostles. And let's just say that week two, as we delve into Acts 2...I'm not super comfortable with the study of the Holy Spirit. Turns out...I think I'm an ESQ...Extroverted Spirit Quencher.
Considering that to most people I am bubbly, energetic and VERY outgoing...I'm not so comfortable with showing the Holy Spirit's outpouring in me...at least in times of worship, public displays of, etc. I was raised in pretty, proper uptight New England...in a very conservative church. I just don't communicate with God that way, ya'll.
I'll never forget one time in college, when Jim Cymbala came to Cedarville University. My Dad happened to be there for a pastor's conference. At one point, Cymbala encouraged commanded people to literally raise holy hands. I was like, "Nuh, uh...nope"...then my Dad lifted his hands...and I yanked on his sleeve and hissed, "Put your hands down!" He said, "Why?" We've had many interesting discussions about it since.
And I guess this study is bringing that all back up for me. Although I'm becoming pretty outspoken in my evangelistic quests--trying to encourage others that it can be indeed be done and we live to share another day...I don't get the expected response. Instead of encouragement and joy, I feel like many fellow believers look at me like I'm crazy. Maybe it embarrasses them...or they wish I'd shut up...who knows...but I do know that it's not comfortable being different...and yet I've never been more okay with it.
God sent His Spirit so that believers could sustain a right relationship with Him. He's not satisfied with mechanical obedience. I should know, cuz I'm really really good at mechanical obedience. But that's just it...I don't ever want to be afraid to share or express what God is doing in me. God's Word is meant to set our hearts on fire in a way that we can't possibly hide...so why do I spend so much time worrying about what other people think...and what He thinks last?
"What the disciples wanted was not numbers but an
essential quality that would keep them BEING the church God intended.
Boldness can only be imparted by the Holy Spirit." ~Jim Cymbala
1. Do you like chili? Red or white? Beans or no beans? Spice or no
Yes, yes....YES!!! Well...no spice is often a bit rough to choke down but I'd try!
2. Red~Orange~Gold...your favorite
I love red trees...and I always think if the temperatures are just right I might get a red one in my yard...but alas it never happens. There is one on the street over that is blindingly spectacularly red...I LOVE IT!
3. Who did you idolize when you
were growing up?
That sort of thing was really encouraged in my home...no posters, etc. I guess if I had to pick a person...probably my Dad...I'm still a Daddy's girl.
4. When was the last time you
did something 'arts and craftsy'? Share please.
I have small children...so we are often playing playdoh, painting pictures or some such thing. I recently moved and reorganized my craft cabinets...and sewing stuffs. Now that I know where everything is...I've sparked some creative thoughts and plans.
What's a place that makes you really nervous?
I'm not naturally a nervous person...so this took some thought. I think I'm most uptight and nervous in downtown, inner city traffic...all those one ways, etc. YIKES!
Horse back riding...yay or nay (neigh?)
I think most girls go through a horse loving phase. I sure did...I took riding lessons and rode whenever I could. I still enjoy having the skill.
What is your favorite cliche?
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
I think I use these a lot. Yesterday I used "apples to apples" and "a thing of beauty is a joy forever"...and that was only one blog's worth.
8. Insert your
own random thought here.
I think I'm doomed to never sleep a full night through again. And please don't say I have to wait until they go to college...cuz that's just not nice. My kid's are taking turns not sleeping...(I think Lubby has an ear infection or something...He's going to the Dr.)...The dog got sick and was up hurling and whining in the night. Of course, that same night....neither kid got up. Argh! And then...I just don't sleep well with my Loverbrains. *Sigh* I'm weird without sleep. I admit it.
"the person who would do great things well must practice daily on little ones; and she who would have the assistance of the Almighty in important acts, must be daily and hourly accustomed to consult His will in the minor affairs of life."
~Emily Judson (wife of American's first foreign missionary Adoniram Judson)
I read this quote in one of Elisabeth Elliot's devotionals on "interruptions, delays and inconveniences." It was something I needed to read. Raising little children is full of such things.
I'll be honest...I often find the cyclical duties of wife and mother tedious and frustrating. They become more so when I lose eternal focus and allow myself to be controlled by my own selfish desires. I want to get x, y and z done so I can read my book, sew on my quilt, etc etc. But, this is not the way...or the journey to sanctification that I am on.
So, I'm going to post this quote on my fridge for a bit...to remind myself that because I want to do great things for God and have Him act mightily in my life...I need to keep the eternal perspective that ALL things are to be done for HIS glory... alone.
And as a good, godly friend reminded me recently...
"Finally, [sister], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is
just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if
there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think
about these things." Phil. 4:8
1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year?
Use the Neti pot...tea time for the nose. It's AMAZING!!! I did get my flu shot this year...and my arm was it's usual sore...but now I'm fine and ready for anything!!
2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear?
When my children are afraid we sing a little song with words from Psalm 56:3, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." It really helps when we remember GOD is in control...sometimes I hear Emma singing it to herself at night.
Jer. 1:8, ""Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares
3. Share two good things about your life right now.
*Positive reinforcement is a working option in shaping the behavior of my children.
*I have a church family that loves and cares for me when my Loverbrains travels (before and after). They are my family away from family.
4. A hot fall fashion trend in 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?
I like the pencil skirts. The tunics with pants remind me too much of maternity...'nough said. I do have a few bohemian tops but not many.
5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult?
Nope. I think I might have been a brownie once...for a short time. Not sure though. I eat them now...er, and thin mints!
6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor?
7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher?
That they love learning and can teach their students to love learning too!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm in one of those cleaning binds....ya know, where you've cleaned out one area...and now you have to clean out two others in order to make room for the stuff you cleaned out of the first area. Yikes...will it ever end??
Amid the "you don't send me flowers, you don't sing me love songs" emotional moments of my marriage there are little bits of loving communication that I overlook. Sometimes, I'm just selfish and want all the love and fresh ardor of early courtship...and I need to learn that married love matures and changes.
I started to grump about "you don't write me love notes" to my Loverbrains the other day...when I stopped abruptly...because it occurred to me that in his very GEEKy sort of way he WAS sending me love notes. He's a texting poet.
I held out on the text thang for a long time. Too expensive...too many ways for people to contact me ALL the time...but since I've given in...I find that I love it. It's a good way for me to send love and encouragement to my friends and family....and my Loverbrains has noticed this too, as he sends me LONG texts and *tiny* texts of love to me throughout the day.
Ahh...the source of my discontent...it has nothing to do with lack of blessings...and everything to do with lack of gratitude. Sometimes being married to a quiet man means that I need to LOOK and listen for his attempts at speaking LOVE to me.
COVERT WAYS MY LOVERBRAINS HAS COMMUNICATED LOVE TO ME THIS WEEKEND:
Remade beds and helped in wee hours with a sick Lubby (Don't worry he's fine now...dinner just didn't agree with him)
Sent an extremely sleep deprived MomE to bed early the next night.
Emptied the dishwasher (and cleaned off kitchen counters)
Was kind and sweet to me after I backed into garage door and broke it.
Sent me a text of reassurance of his love after I felt bad about same said garage door.
Asked me out for this Saturday night...a romantic dinner.
These little bits of communication really pave the way for the longer and deeper conversations.
1. What is one piece of advice you would give a 'just turning' 21- year old adult?
Don't dream too far ahead...I remember always pushing towards what was next. I think I missed really enjoying early parts of my twenties. Enjoy the life of a student...enjoy the life of being SINGLE...enjoy the early beginnings of responsibility. Don't be afraid...God will give you the grace to handle more when it comes. Sorry...that was more than one piece of advice but...well, sue me.
2. Besides cooler weather (or warmer weather, depending on your hemisphere) what is one thing you are looking forward to this fall?
I enjoy the snuggly-ness...Warm drinks, weiner roasts, beautiful colors and brisk breezes.
3. What sound lulls you to sleep?
I MUST have white noise...usually a fan blowing or humidifier (depending on the season.
4. September is National Preparedness Month...does your family have an emergency 'kit' and/or disaster plan in place?
We have a HUGE first aid kit...has everything in it but the EMT. We have smoke alarms, etc. but the kids are old enough that we should set up a meeting place scenerio, etc. I was just thinking about this the other day...
5. How has your blog changed since you started blogging? Or has it?
I think my blog has become more spiritually focused...and hopefully balanced with funny, quirky things. I think it better represents me...as I grow in Christ but still remain my funny lil self.
6. What's something you've recently learned to do on the computer?
I'm learning how to create a website...the learning curve is steep...I paid for the technical support. They are worth their weight in GOLD.
7. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
8. Insert your own random here. I'm really enjoying this new phase of life...Emmer-bean is in AM Kindergarten...which she LOVES! Calubby is my homeboy and we snuggle and go to the park and have lots of time each morning. I still get a "naptime" and they play pretty well most afternoons. Life is good. I am SO blessed. My Loverbrains is SUPER busy...but PTL he has such a good job that allows me to stay home and enjoy these Sweet Boobahs.
I heard one of the strangest sayings the other day.
Instant coffee, instant tea, instant love for you and me.
I think the person who was using it was trying to say that the world is full of bratty children who only understand instant gratification. True enough.
But wait a minute...I don't think it's just the "kids today." Where am I seeking my happiness? Satisfaction? Joy?
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory." Col. 3:1-4
Sometimes living with this eternal perspective is elusive. I just lose focus. I start trying to solve problems the world's way. I become the crazy checklist queen. I get so busy I don't pray or study...I don't look on little things with an eternal perspective...and then so quickly I'm unhappy, discontent, and frazzled.
I talk a lot but don't act a lot. Today...although there are LOTS of legitimate things on this queen's checklist...I'm going to s l o w d o w n....read the Scripture planted about my home. Meditate on it while I scrub the potties. I'm going to focus on my children...my precious gifts from God...and lovingly teach them to live for God's glory at the grocery store.
This isn't instant gratification...the sanctification process takes discipline and hard work...but there is instant LOVE for you and me. John 3:16...
"For God so lovedthe world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS AND STOP TRYING TO BE A NICE PERSON. JUST DRIVE!!!!!
I am now taking a new route through various subdivisions to pick up my darling daughter from half day Kindergarten. This involves several left hand turns onto busy-ish roads. I have no problems with making left hand turns. I'm a very decisive driver...just as my parents taught me.
My problems come with drivers who are headed straight across the busy road. They are going straight...so, they have the right of way. BUT instead of taking the right of way when a gap finally appears in the traffic...they wave their hand to indicate that I should go first.
Isn't that nice??
I would like to scream (and if they could lip read they would hear)...
JUST GO!!!..YOU have the right of way. I don't trust YOU too see vehicles that you are blocking...that will hit ME...And just about the time I decide to go in front of you...you will decide to go and probably hit me yourself. I just want you to follow the traffic law...Please...puh-leaze...just Drive...so we could all just get there some day!!! AHHHH!
Thank you...I feel better now! Anyone else have things like this that just drive them mad!?
Hehehe...didja see that nifty little pun there....I feel so witty!