Tag Archive | Obedience

My Renovation Project

I am facilitating a study of “Taste for Truth” by Barb Ravling with about 50 ladies online.  This week we are focusing on appearance and renewing the mind.

My earthly father called me Fatty Patty.  I wasn’t fat.   He also called me dummy.  I’m not dumb.  I’ve carried those lies with me far too long in this life.

ephesians-4-22

I renew my mind by reading God’s Truth.  I can not do this on my own; I’m being extremely prideful when I try to make any renovations in my life on my own.

My earthly father passed away 13 years ago today.

I thought I would become free that day.  Free from having an abusive earthly father.  Free from worrying about the possibility of him hurting my children or grandchildren.  Free from his anger and hatred.  Free from the bad memories of my childhood.

My life did not change on that day because I was already free when I was accepted into the family of God. ❤  I have had a loving Father for almost 23 years now.  A Father Who has accepted me, Who doesn’t call me names and Who doesn’t hurt me.  A Father Who wants the best for me and Who doesn’t put me down.  A forgiving Father Who guides me in His Truth, Who lovingly corrects me, and Who shows me how to do better in this life.  A Father I willingly obey because He loves me, He cares for me, and He protects me.

I am who I am because of Christ, NOT my earthly father.  I am who I am because I’ve been forgiven.  I am who I am because I renew my mind with God’s Truth and do not pollute my mind with what the world says I should feel.

psalm-68

If you had an abusive father or didn’t have a father present in your life at all, you DO have a heavenly Father Who loves you and desires the best for you:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20 (ESV)

 

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Being a Good Mother-in-Law


I married my husband at 21 and became a Christian at age 33.  I
never had a Christian mentor and could have used the help of an older Christian sister when my mother passed away when I was 42.   As I revisited the story of Ruth, I realized I want to be a better Christian mentor to my own daughter, daughter-in-law and to other Christian young women.

  If you’re unfamiliar with Ruth and Naomi’s story in the book of Ruth, Naomi had been a widow for 10 years when both of her married sons passed away.  Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem and since both of Naomi’s daughter-in-laws were Moabites,  Ruth instructs the childless younger women to return to the homes of their own people.  Orpah does, but Ruth insists on staying with Naomi:

 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”  But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”  And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
Ruth 1:15-18 (ESV)

Each time I read Ruth, I wonder what made Ruth decide to stay with her mother-in-law.   Was it her kindness?  Was she just feeling sorry for her?   Had Naomi been such a good mother-in-law that Ruth desired to go with her instead of going back to her Moabite people?

  I would only want to go with a woman who was kind and upright. As a child/teenager there was so much turmoil in my own family, so I didn’t have good examples.  I married into a Christian family, but I’ve only seen favoritism and badmouthing of ex-daughter-laws which made me bitter.  Rereading Ruth has shown me the kind of mother-in-law I would like to be and how God has directed me to be.

Titus 2:3-5 shows the responsibilities of females in the church body:

Titus 2

Here’s my list of rules for mother-in-laws.  Please feel free to share any advice/rules that have helped you in your mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

1. Pray for your daughter-in-law.
2. Always call ahead before visiting.
3. Do not be intrusive.
Don’t call too much, visit too much or do things without asking.
4. Don’t be critical of your daughter-in-law.
How she raises her children, keeps her house, her cooking, etc. is her business.
5. NEVER criticize your daughter-in-law to your son or other family members.
6. Do not gossip about your daughter-in-law.
7. Don’t show favoritism – this includes your own children, grandchildren, and other daughter-in-laws.
8. NEVER tell your grandchildren that their mom or dad is wrong.
9. Love and praise your daughter-in-law.
10. Do kind things for your daughter-in-law.
11. Always include your daughter-in-law.  Schedule special times with her, other daughter-in-law(s) and your daughter(s). Going out to eat or getting coffee together, a simple day of baking, getting manicures, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
12. If your son divorces, be kind to your daughter-in-law, especially if there are children. She will ALWAYS be the mother of your son’s children. NEVER talk badly about an ex-daughter-in-law, especially in front of your grandchildren.

 

Teaching each other through fellowship and NOT programs


I became a Christian at age 33 and
never had a Christian mentor.  When my mother passed away, I really could have used the help of an older Christian sister to help me then and to also hold me accountable in my spiritual growth. Titus 2 shows the responsibilities of church members, with verses 3-5 directed to females:

Titus 2
I believe many Christians have become too busy for real relationships.

Most churches are not hurting for programs.  With so many activities during the week, there are great needs in the church for workers and leaders.  I have witnessed how many churches put people in teaching positions and even leadership roles way too early in their Christian walk.  I have also noticed that there are many people within the church body who do not believe that we each have responsibilities within the church — their actions, of course, contradicting Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.  I have also seen many give up serving in the church when their families are grown or even stop attending when life gets difficult.

 I am so VERY thankful for my current church home, Grace Family Fellowship. We are a reformed, family-integrated church that desires to walk in obedience to the Scriptures alone, and we align our families and our church in this same manner.  We believe that the leadership of the father in the home is paramount to the instruction of the family (and NOT the youth pastor or children’s minister), and that fellowship of the church is needed in order to have true accountability. We believe accountability begins with proper delivery of God’s Word through expository preaching. 

I now have more time for relationships with both older and younger women. I enjoy visiting with the younger women in my church, and I sometimes bring meals to give them a break from cooking.  These younger gals in my church are teaching me so much as I observe their obedience to the LORD in their actions, the way they allow their husbands to be the head of their households, and especially in the ways they work with their children — these young women do not expect the church to teach their children.  They also do not have their children in every extra-curricular activity like so many families do today.

So how are things done in your church?  Do you have so many programs available that you have little time for authentic fellowship with other believers?  Do you find yourself totally exhausted from all the volunteer work that you do?  Have you ever been mentored, or are you currently mentoring a young believer?  Do you have time for real relationships — not just reaching out to friends on the Internet?

May the TRUE Force be with you!!

May 4th is considered the unofficial holiday by most Star Wars fans to celebrate
the franchise’s film series, books and culture. The date ‘May the 4th’ sounds similar
to the series’ popular phrase – “May the Force be with you”, which is why many
fans will post on their Facebook pages, “May the fourth be with you.”

 

star-wars


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The Bible is very clear about evil (darkness) and good (light):

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20 (NIV)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NIV)

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We all have a choice: to either follow evil in our own selfish desires or to follow Jesus.
No matter how hard I want to “be good”, I always mess up because I will never measure up to Jesus. I must choose DAILY to follow Him, asking for His guidance in my struggles with the sin of this world (such as anger, unforgiveness to those who hurt me, overeating, etc.) and His forgiveness when I fail.  1 John 1:5-10 confirms that we can NOT claim to be His and then continue to walk in the darkness:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness,
we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.

  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned,
we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

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Celebrating 53 Years of Life

aaok

A generous man will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

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A couple of months ago I shared a post about doing anonymous acts of kindness.  When we do nice things for others, our bodies produce endorphins, the very same “feel good” chemical that is released when we exercise. That is how helping others helps us — it boosts our mood because that’s how God made our wonderfully complex and amazing bodies!

I turn 53 on Friday and I have 53 cards made up.  I have no idea what acts I will do or who I will give gifts to because I’m just going to do what the Holy Spirit leads me to do.

To celebrate God’s gift of allowing me to live 53 years here on Earth, please feel free to help me do Anonymous Acts Of Kindness ~ ~ ~ anonymously because we will be elevating Christ instead of me.  In Matthew 6:1-6, Jesus talked about how we should not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing when we give to others. I really like how The Message words this:

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that
you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater,
but the God who made you won’t be applauding.

When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself.
You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘play actors’ I call them—
treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage,
acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds.
They get applause, true, but that’s all they get.
When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks.
Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God,
who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.”


Follow this link to my Pinterest board where you can get free printables and lists of kindness acts — many kind acts do NOT require $$.

 

keep-calm-and-enjoy-my-birthday-27

Get moving


photo

 

I am using technology to help keep me accountable.  I use a fitbit to log how
many step I take each day.  I find that I’m looking for ways to take extra steps during
my day to get to 10,000 steps.  Yesterday I walked 8,113 steps, so I’m getting close:

https://www.fitbit.com//2014/03/19

“Pursue excellence in mind, body and spirit for God’s glory.”
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 b


 

Intentional Sacrifice

In chapter 17 of Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst writes about lasting, sustainable
discipline and the importance of making one wise choice after another.

excellence

This is my third time reading Made to Crave. I am down another 10 pounds because
I’m exercising more and I am also eating healthier than I have in the last 20 years.

Losing 10 pounds is great, but the habits that are more important are the
spiritual disciplines I’ve picked up this time. I am reading and staying in His Word,
getting rid of the negative thoughts by “parking my mind in a better spot”,
and making this journey about worshiping God:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,
in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies
as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—
this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

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The Holy Spirit is inspiring me to make one wise choice after another
and I do believe that these are sustainable disciplines. To God be the glory!!

This is one of the personal reflection questions from page 145:

“A mosaic is a work of art made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny broken
pieces of  glass or ceramic tile.  Lysa describes how God is making a mosaic
of restoration and healing in her heart, gathering up her broken pieces and
making them into something beautiful.   Can you imagine God doing
something like this in your heart?   If God used the broken pieces of your
life to make a beautiful image, what do you hope it would look like?”

 To celebrate the wonderful restoration God has been doing on my own heart,
I am making a mosaic heart using broken shell pieces that I picked up at
Jones Beach the last time I was on Long Island.  If you’d like to do something similar
(you can use broken shells, broken china, broken pieces of glass, beads, etc.),
here is a link on “how to make a mosaic heart”
and other ideas on Pinterest.

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mosaic heart

Heavenly Father, thank You for this journey and the things You are teaching me. Thank You for reminding me that this is not a diet and that this is a spiritual journey. Please continue to show me ways I must remove myself from temptation so that I may be obedient to Your voice — I desire to lead a life that is physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy so I can be used for Your glory. Please accept what I am doing to improve myself as my sacrificial offering to You —may they be a pleasing aroma to You. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.