Monday, March 31, 2003

Thought for the day

Read this post from a friend's blog. Sound familiar to anyone?

I must confess, there have been times when I thought about, talked about, or even made plans about sharing the Gospel with others - but never really did anything. Sometimes, though, I think we are hindered from sharing Christ with others because of all the "training" and "teaching" we have been through. Sharing Christ should come straight from the heart - straight from what He has done in one's life. There is not one set way to share the Good News with others. Thank God!

We can only talk about those things we know for ourselves. There is no way I can share Christ based on your experiences, because I haven't come to know Him through your trials and triumphs. I can only speak from my own experience. God has designed each of us to be unique and we each have our own testimony through which we can share Christ with others.

I'm glad I don't have to "perform". I can just be me and tell others what God has done in my life and that He loves them and wants to be a part of their lives, too. The rest is up to Him!

Thursday, March 27, 2003

It's been a long week.

I am pooped! AND tired of moving! I started the week out helping a friend move; then, my office expanded into the space next door, so I had to move my stuff from my old office to my new office, blah, blah, blah . . . anyway, as I said, it's been a long week!

In the midst of all of that, I've been wanting to take time to really be in the Word and LISTEN to what God is speaking to me. Unfortunately, true to form, I haven't even cracked open my Bible or spent much time in prayer (other than praying for some requests several friends of mine had.) And you know what - it is showing! My attitude has really been stinking! Does anyone else have this problem?

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but I am not perfect. I find myself struggling to do those things I know I should and to NOT do those things I shouldn't! Man, I tell you what - I totally understand Paul's words where he said "I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it." Romans 7:15 You may be familiar with this passage - Paul goes on to tell of his struggle: he wants to do the right thing, but instead he does the wrong thing, etc., etc. I'm so glad to know that the mightiest men (and women!) of the Bible were real people. Here we see a "Super-man" of the faith dealing with something we all experience.

The thing of it is, when we try to deal with sin in our own strength, we end up on a see-saw of emotion and guilt. It seems like all we can focus on is our failure and struggle. (At least I do!) As Christians our real struggle is with what has control of our minds. Romans 8:6 says "If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace." Notice that the scripture acknowledges our sinful nature. I know I've been burdened with guilt in the past because I thought I shouldn't even be struggling with sin. What a relief to know that nothing is wrong with me! This is what Paul meant when he said he "dies daily." I have to wrestle that sinful nature to the ground and put it to death on a daily basis so that the Holy Spirit will have control. That is my struggle. That is what I have failed to do this week. Lord help me!

Monday, March 24, 2003

Why am I here?

I am reading a really good book right now: "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I'm terrible about starting these kinds of books (it is a daily devotional) and not staying on track. I started it last Monday, and am only on Day 2. *grin*

Anyway, I finally made it to Chapter 2 today and read the title "You are not an accident." Wow. I wonder how many people feel that way about their lives. I know that I have wondered why on earth I am here. What was God thinking when He made me? Sometimes I feel like all I do is mess up, take His Grace and Mercy for granted and lose ground in my relationship with Him. Not to mention, the struggle I sometimes have with why I made the choices I did in school and career paths.

The Bible tells me that God "formed my inward parts. He wove me in my mother's womb....I am fearfully and wonderfully made...His eyes have seen my unformed substance; in His book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet, there were not one of them." Psalm 139:13-16 Can you believe it? The creator of all heaven and earth knit me together in my mother's womb. In Jeremiah, God says "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.." (1:5) When I was just a "twinkle in my parent's eyes", He knew me.

If that isn't humbling, I don't know what is. What strikes me most about that scripture in Psalms is the part that says "His eyes have seen my unformed substance." God knows all the areas that I need work on. All my faults and failures - He knew before I was created that I would make them. Now, He could have stopped "Me" from happening any time He wanted to, but He didn't. He has a purpose for me. Even with all my faults and failures. I'm so glad He is a God of love and mercy. I'm so glad to know that He knows me. I want to know Him like that, too.

In parting, I want to share a poem that was included in the chapter. It just was such a blessing to me. Should I ever get married and have children, I will want to be sure they know it. The poem is by Russell Kelfer and says this:

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

I just love that. I think if everyone knew that, this world would be a different place. Remember, "You are who you are for a reason . . ." I hope you will take time to learn what that reason is!
Catching up

Well, it's been a few days since I've posted, so I wanted to put something up! Unfortunately, I don't have much to say right now, so I'll post something later today.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Something to smile about

This will bring a smile to your face!

If that doesn't work, check this out!

Seriously, though, let's not forget to lift our President, his advisors and most importantly, our troops who are overseas, in prayer. God bless the USA!

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Countdown to war

I don't have anything profound to say today. I did get into a "discussion" with someone on this page. (I'm Singpraises.) It is amazing to me the things people are saying about the war. I'm glad my hope is in the Lord.

"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." Lamentations 3:24

On a brighter note - I spent the evening with friends from church. What a wonderful crowd! I'm a bit partial as the people in this "crowd" are in my cell group. I love them all and we had a fabulous time being together and getting to know one another better. Did you know there are many Bible references to "one-another"? Here is an excellent article on the "Ministry of One-Anothering".

God bless you all! I hope God is blessing your socks off this week!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Letting Go

Yesterday, several people shared in our worship service about their experience with depression. It seems like a lot of people are dealing with that right now. Most people aren't suffering from the clinical type, but from the life type. . .weather being gray too long; family members suffering from a serious illness; loss of a job, etc., etc. You know - life. Everyday stuff that gets to be too much. Of course, if other people are like me, they are trying to fix all the problems and bear the weight of everything by themselves. Instead of going to God....releasing it all into His hands.

One of the gentlemen who is dealing with depression, shared this: he realized he wasn't getting past the depression because he wouldn't let it go. Depression had become comfortable. It was what he knew. All the pain and hurt that brought the depression on was easier to hold on to than stepping out into the new things God is doing in his life. That really spoke to me. How many times have I held on to old things because the new thing that God was doing in my life was too scary?

A scene from one of my favorite movies, illustrates stepping out in faith. It is from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Last Crusade. Indiana Jones is facing some serious challenges to save his father's life. He makes it through two very gruelling tests and comes upon the last one: the leap of faith. He comes to the edge of this cliff, but the cave which holds his father's "salvation" is across this deep ravine. From all appearances, there is no way across. The clues in his book, however, tell Indiana a leap of faith is necessary, so he closes his eyes and takes a step . . . to find that there is a bridge right where there was nothing. It was hidden from view. All of a sudden, the way is clear for him to get across, grab hold of the Holy Grail and save his father. Wow.

That is so like how God works, isn't it? We can see no way, but He says "Just trust me. Take this step. I won't let you fall." But because we can't see a way, we cling to what we know - and miss what He has prepared for us.

Well, I just realized how similar this post is to Saturday's post. I guess God is trying to speak to me! He's good about that, too! Maybe I'll begin to let go of those things that are old, worn out and tired and take a "leap of faith" grabbing hold of God's hand as He leads me into the path He has for me.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

On a different note...

A conversation I had with a friend the other day got me to thinking about something. We were discussing a relationship situation this person is in, and after offering advice (like I'm such an expert) it got me to thinking about my relationship with God. I mean, if I can't get my relationship with God right, how will I ever get it right with another person?

Anyway, I began to ponder the following thought: how many times have I been so focused on getting something from God (i.e., having a situation turn out the way I want it to) and totally missed another blessing or gift He has waiting for me? I probably don't want to know.

I can just imagine this scenario: I'm working hard, giving all I have to make a situation happen in exactly the way I want it to - to get the result or "prize" I want - and God is just standing behind me, gently calling my name, trying to turn my attention to the "Grand Prize" He has waiting for me. I'm killing myself to get something that means nothing - when all along, He is standing there with the best way...the best answer...the best blessing. The thing (or person) He has handpicked for me. It's like striving to obtain a box that contains a measly $1,000 when I could have the box that contains $1,000,000,000. How arrogant of me to think I know what is best for me. Hah.

I know why this happens . . . I forget to keep my eyes on the One who knows my future and begin to focus on the here and now and what I can do for myself. In essence, I put too much faith in me. Sheesh. You'd think I'd know better by know. Well, at this minute, I do - tomorrow is a whole 'nother story!

I'm just glad that God is still there, gently calling me. He is such a gentleman. I'm working on tuning into His voice so I don't miss all the blessings He has for me.
The Boys Are Back In Town!!

I can now breathe a sigh of relief! Our Jackson Bandits are back home after a long, two-month road trip. Man, how I've missed them! We had games last night and tonight (both of which we won!) and I am almost back to my old self! The Bandit withdrawals are in remission! Woe is me when the end of the season arrives! Guess I'll have to go to the Senators' games (baseball).

Friday, March 14, 2003

What is the world coming to?

Can you believe this? Now there is such a thing as a Mystery Worshipper.

For those of you who go to church with me, I wonder what the Mystery Worshipper would think about our services. (This question will be even more interesting after this next Sunday, right?!??!!!!) For those of you who don't attend church with me and wonder what that means, drop me a line and I'll fill you in.
From a friend's blog: Stopping to smell the daffodils

Thursday, March 13, 2003


Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope"

I believe that God desires all His children to be successful, significant, fulfilled, satisfied, joyful, secure, and to live in peace. From birth you have been developing in your mind a means for experiencing these values and reaching other goals in life. Consciously or subconsciously you continue to formulate and adjust your plans for achieving these goals. more . . .

I read the following in a devotional book this morning, "The Words of Christ":

"We would not think of buying a size twelve anything when we know we wear a sixteen. Yet we cram God's Spirit into ten-minute intervals and insist He do something in the time we give him.

...But an hour is coming, and now is here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24

The key to worship is a willingness to be alone with Him, to approach Him only in the Spirit."

I realized that I don't do that. Most of the time, I come to God asking for something - hoping He does it in a short amount of time - and then run away back into my life when He doesn't respond when and how I want. I hardly ever just come to Him so I can be with Him. God, forgive me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

A simple look

"Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness." Luke 11:34

Have you noticed that people don't look at you anymore? I went through the drive-thru at McDonald's today, and like so many other times - places - people, the cashier at the window didn't even look at me as she handed me my food. You may think, "Big deal. Who cares if they don't look at you?" Well, look at what that scripture says "an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness." Hang with me here.

Could it be that the indifference and callousness that is so prevalent in our society has been brought about by the simple fact that we don't look at one another? I've heard stories from "old-timers" about how two men could broker a deal that involved lots of money and assets and their agreement would be binding based on a simple handshake - given while each man looked the other in the eye.

The eyes are the window to the soul. We can't really "see" each other when we don't look eye to eye. We can't be real. We can hide many things - pain, sorrow, anger . . . Think about what we can show with a look: love, compassion, hope . . .

Selfishly, I was offended that the cashier didn't look at me - the customer. But as I drove away I realized, what I really wanted was to at least tell the girl thank you for her service and offer her a smile. Who knows what darkness she is dwelling in. I just wanted to bring a little sunshine.

Yikes! Boy did I need to be reminded of this!
"Christ is looking for disciples-those whose body, soul, and spirit
are disciplined to forsake the world and follow Him."
Who am I and why am I here?

Well, that's an interesting question! My name is Christy - I'm just a good 'ole southern girl who loves Jesus! I was introduced to the world of blogs by a friend. Wow! What a cool thing, this "blogging" - one can post their thoughts, inspirations, musings . . . .whatever - so that anyone can read it. I figured this might be a good way for me to "journal" - since I'm not at all good at the written form (who's got time to sit down and write something longhand?)

Anyway, I'm hoping God will use my ramblings to inspire, encourage, motivate and maybe entertain people. I've always wondered if I would be any good as a writer. Well, I guess we'll all find out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I was standing in McAlister's (waiting for my lunch) and looking out their huge picture window just enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. I don't know about the rest of you, but last week, I was on the edge of going "postal" should the sun not show it's glorious self any time soon. I was a bit surprised at this, because I've never been affected by the weather like that. Fortunately for me, and whoever could have received the brunt of my frustration, the sun came out. Anyway, I was just thanking the Lord for the sunshine and asking Him to help me not take for granted the small things in life, when out of nowhere, the following scripture came to mind: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) Now, when this verse came to mind, I heard it in the classic King James (Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee) so I came back to the office and looked up other translations. I like the New Living Translation (which I quoted) and found the following commentary from Matthew Henry:

Thou wilt keep him in peace, peace, in perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events; this peace shall he be put into, and kept in the possession of, whose mind is stayed upon God, because it trusts in him. It is the character of every good man that he trusts in God, puts himself under his guidance and government, and depends upon him that it shall be greatly to his advantage to do so. Those that trust in God must have their minds stayed upon him, must trust him at all times, under all events, must firmly and faithfully adhere to him, with an entire satisfaction in him; and such as do so God will keep in perpetual peace, and that peace shall keep them. When evil tidings are abroad those shall calmly expect the event, and not be disturbed by frightful apprehensions arising from them, whose hearts are fixed, trusting in the Lord, Ps. 112:7. 2.

Now, if you are like me, trusting God is an ongoing struggle. I try to keep my mind focused on God and thoughts of His goodness and faithfulness, but I seem to always get distracted. Like last week. The gray clouds distracted me from rejoicing that no matter what, the SON was still shining! I let my circumstances (the never-ending gray clouds and rain) draw me away from remembering all the things God has done and is doing in me and in the lives of those around me. Look at what Matthew Henry says again: "When evil tidings are abroad those (whose minds and thoughts are fixed on God) shall calmly expect the event, and not be disturbed by frightful apprehensions arising from them..." Wow. That brings to mind another scripture - "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12) How many of us calmly expect evil tidings and fiery trials?!?!? I go crazy when people cut me off in traffic!

Whatever direction your week is taking - keep your mind and thoughts trained on God. Easy to say - hard to do. I know. I was there last week, and will probably be there again some day. But - I want to encourage you. Isn't that what the Bible tells us to do? Be strong, trust in God, think on those things that are good. When your mind is focused on God, you will have "perfect peace". Amazing.

Just so you know - I knew all of this in the midst of my gloom and doom last week. I knew that if I were to just put some praise music on, I would not (and could not) stay in that dark place. If I had surrounded myself with His things, (reading His words to me, listening for His voice, etc.) I would have had peace and calm...and hope. I didn't do it because I was too focused on "me". Well, maybe next time, I will actually do what I know to do and keep my mind focused on God - no matter what.