Friday, October 30, 2009

No Comments

I've been restless in my walk with God in the last few months. My prayers have felt like they were going nowhere and my time in His Word was just "going through the motions."  I couldn't seem to put my finger on it or maybe I was just refusing to listen. Either way, He got my attention today. You see, I've been seeking the praises of men (women) when it comes to my blogging. I can't even begin to tell you how many times in one day I check to see if a new comment has been left. Comments on ones' blog may not be an issue for you, but for me, it is. I've put my self worth in how many comments I've been receiving. I've been more eager to run to the computer then grabbing my bible and spend quality time with the Lord.

God made it very clear to me that this new found ministry is for His Glory and not mine. He asked if I would be willing to continue writing but receive no comments. I liked to say that I eagerly said "Yes, Lord whatever you want" but that would be lying. I sat there for awhile trying to think of another way to reason with Him but I knew in my heart your comments have become my god.

I never want anything to come before my precious Lord...its the little foxes that spoil the vine.

I hope that you all understand and will continue to visit. Your comments have encouraged me and I have felt loved by them. You have become my friends.
I'm not sure how long the "no comments" will be posted... I'm leaving that up to Him.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lies Women Believe...

Chapter Three from the book Lies Women Believe And The Truth that Sets Them Free spoke volume to me, especially the last three.
All quotes are in blue from the author Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

1. I’m not worth anything.
2. I need to learn to love myself.
3. I can’t help the way I am.
4. I have rights.
5. Physical beauty matters more than inner beauty.
6. I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings.

4. I have rights.
Nancy makes this statement “Women have been told that demanding their rights was the ticket to happiness and freedom. After all, “If you don’t stand up for your rights, no one else will!” However, I am convinced that the claiming of rights has produced much, if not most, of the unhappiness women experience today.”

Claiming my rights put me in bondage. I was told that if my husband wasn’t making my life a bed of roses, will then, I had the “right” to find someone who would. The world shouts “it’s your body and if you don’t want to have the baby, you have a right to have an abortion.” I exercised my right…I had an abortion. The lie was I had the right to do whatever made me happy, but the truth...I was miserable!

Then I read this “The fact is, successful relationships and healthy cultures are not built on the claiming of rights but on the yielding of rights” I thought, Nancy, you've hit the nail on the head.

Philippians 2:5-8  Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Our attitude needs to be a servant’s attitude. Jesus displayed a servant’s heart. He laid aside His deity and surrendered His will “rights” to a horrid death for our sins. We often excuse our selfness, pride and evildoings as “our rights.” When we act on our rights we can be sure that death will follow…death to our marriage, death to a child, and death to ourselves.

5. Physical beauty matters more then inner beauty.

This message is one our culture preaches in earnest to girls and women, beginning in earliest childhood. It comes at us from virtually every angle: television, movies, music, magazines, books and advertisements.

Yep, this one was talking to me!
Up until a few years ago, my outward appearance was way too important. I worked so hard on the outside that I ignored the inside and it showed. Life was about me. My hair had to be just right, makeup needed to look prefect, and my clothes screamed..."Look at me!" There were times; I would have 5 or 6 outfits lying in front of me because I couldn’t decide which one looked the best. My god was to be physically beautiful, and it became the lie, but the older I've become the more I’m aware of this truth.

I Peter 3: 3-4  Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

So, last week as I was preparing for Wednesday night bible class, God told me to present these three lies with no make up. At first I thought I didn't hear right and I told myself it was a prideful thought, no one is going to care one way or another, if I have makeup on. But the closer it got to our bible study, I knew God was calling me to obedience. I tried to negotiate about wearing a touch of mascara and lip gloss but He wasn't going for it.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
      but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Now some of you might think “no big deal” but for me it made my stomach turn. I felt naked, like every flaw was showing, as I stood in front of the class. My heart was pounding, because my church family had ever seen me without my "face" on. At one point, I looked down hoping to find my makeup bag lying at my feet, like when Abraham saw the ram in the bushes, but no makeup bag was to be found.Yes, I did survive the night. You may be wondering if I've given up working on the, but I've learned that makeup is just the icing on the cake not the foundation to who we really are.

6. I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings.

We are encouraged to identify our longings and do whatever is necessary to get those “needs” met. Therefore…if you’re hungry, eat. If you want something you can’t afford, charge it. If you crave romance, dress or act in a way that will get men to notice you. I you’re lonely, share your heart with that married man at work.

Colossians 3:2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

We will always have unfulfilled longings this side of heaven. Let me just say, no one person or earthly thing will ever bring us to completion. We must learn to surrender our longings to God and allow Him to fill us.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ben Stein's Confession

Remarks from CBS Sunday Morning - Ben Stein

I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late ! !

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against.. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lies Women Believe...

In Chapter 2 of Lies Women Believe... Nancy listed six lies the enemy uses about God, I will be discussing the a last three.
All quotes are in blue from this book.

Here's the list of all six lies:
1. God is not really good
2. God doesn't love me
                                 3. God is just like my father
                                 4. God is not really enough
                                 5. God's ways are too restrictive
                                 6. God should fix my problems

Lie #4 God is not really enough
Just before our bible classes on Wednesday nights, many of us go to the sanctuary for prayer, and worship.  As the words left my mouth, my heart became overwhelmed knowing that my God was enough. But when
we walk out the door, and enter into the world, if we're not careful things can change. In our heart we want God to be enough, but somehow Satan draws our attention, just like he did with Eve, to the one thing that we can't or don't have.

In my early Christian walk, I  use to sit in the balcony at church, but I found that all my attention went to the lady walking down the aisle with the great looking shoes (I love shoes) or my eyes would search for the latest haircut. Do you see where I'm going with this? Satan will use the smallest things to take your eyes off from Jesus, he wants you to believe that Christ isn't enough to satisfy your needs, even the smallest ones.

Now, it's not wrong to have nice things or meaningful relationships in our lives. God has given us the desire for those things, but it's when WE place them in the emptiness of our heart, which is only meant for Him, that the lie begins... God is not really enough.

Lie #5 God's ways are too restrictive
Over and over again, the Scripture teaches that God's laws are for our good and our protection. Obedience is the pathway to freedom. but Satan places in our minds the idea that God's laws are burdensome, unreasonable, and unfair, and the if we obey Him we will be miserable.

Deuteronomy 6:24-25  And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day.  For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us. 
God has given us boundaries because He knows what is best for us. He created us. Okay, so you've heard that before, but it's true. I can think of at least a million times, well maybe not a million, that I have disobey God. Okay, I'm sure it's been a least it a million, and the outcome, lets just say I have many regrets. The key to freedom in our flesh... is living out God's Word.

James 1:22-25  But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Every time that I look into a mirror and something isn't right, I fix it! Which means I have to DO an action. I can stand in front of the mirror ( listening to the Word) all day but if I don't correct it, my problem will still be there. So, instead of saying " We're only human and we're going to make mistakes." Let us say
"I'm a child of God and my Father will give me the strength to do what is right."

Lie # 6 God Should Fix My Problems
First, it reduces God to a cosmic genie who exists to please and serve us, a hired servant who comes running to wait on us every time we ring the bell. Second, it suggests that the goal in life is to be free from all problems, to get rid of everything that is difficult or unpleasant.

When troubles or trials come it's an opportunity to live out God's Word. My marriage was a mess, it was in trouble and if God didn't do something about this marriage, this too was going to fail. My first marriage fell apart after ten years. Growing up, I had seen a life lived out of just what a wife should be to her husband ( my mom was a great role model) but being a liberated woman, it was a role I wasn't going to fill. I lived a life of misery for twelve years scheming, complaining, plotting and digging my heels into the ground waiting for my husband to change. But what I discover was that God only needs a willing heart that wants to be obedient to His Word.

So, one night after several meetings with a pastor and many tears, I heard God speak to my heart. After a big fight with my husband, I screamed at God telling Him to do something because I was sick and tried of my husband's attitude. And God's  responds was  " I'm going through you to get to him." I pretended I didn't hear it, but I knew what He meant, and from that day forward I started being a doer of the Word.

Dan and I have been married for 22 years, and content because we've learned to do it God's way.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Worth the Visit

My dear friend, Lisa Shaw has a new blog His Love Covers Our Sins that is worth the visit. She has a heart for hurting women, women who have been affected by abortion(s).
During your visit, you will find no condemnation, just alot of love and a voice that says "I've been there." 


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's All About Him

This place wasn't unfamiliar to me, but this time it was different. The stage was simple, there was no elaborate backdrop. The music that was playing was filled with words of praise and the hands of the audience were lifted high in full surrender to the All Mighty God.

I too, had my palms facing toward Heaven with expectancy, and thanksgiving, for the new life that He had given me. A life with no more shame. The more I praised Him, the more I knew I was right where I belonged, in the audience and not on the stage.

Every year as I was growing up, I would perform  my dance routines on this very stage. Twirling and moving around in a beautiful costume, just waiting to hear the applause from my parents and friends that had been invited. And when the final curtain call came, I would take my bow, and listen for the sound of praise that some how exalted me. But it didn't stop there, I wanted more, I want to be my dance teacher.

So there I was, years later behind that same curtain, waiting to make my grand entrance not as a dance student, but as Miss Tammy, the dance teacher. I longed to hear the crowd's approval and for a moment, I would be in MY glory.

But as I stood in the theater two weeks ago with over 500 women from around the state of New York, who had traveled to our yearly Assemblies of God Conference, God spoke these words to me:

You are now exalting Me and no longer exalting yourself. And I believe He said that with a smile.