Friday, November 8, 2013

Who do I think I am?

Who do I think I am? I've been going through a bit of an identity crisis. A loss of confidence in myself. And while I recognize the stench of the enemy...I also recognize that there is something in here that God wants to accomplish with this unpleasant place I am in. When I was younger, I had more confidence than I knew what to do with. When I was younger--and before cancer--I had a swagger. There is something that I miss about that place in time. It is great to feel confident. It is fun to have a swagger. And while I do not appreciate the enemy's attempt to make me feel worthless and washed up, neither do I just want to go back to the confidence I had in myself, or the swagger with which I once entered every room. I think God is giving me the opportunity to replace my self confidence--which, btw, the enemy is happy for me to come back into, because he will have just as much fun stripping it from me the second time around--with a much deeper confidence. An unshakeable confidence. A confidence that is rooted and grounded in Who He is--not who I am. And as for the swagger?--presumably based on how good I feel about myself on any given day...or how good I look--I sense He wants to replace it with something much more useful. Fearlessness. Instead of walking into a room and feeling "socially on top of things", I can enter that same room--or back street alley--with the boldness of a woman surrounded by an entourage of love and power. The enemy is always trying to steal, kill and destroy. And if he can't have my soul--which he can't--then he'll take what he can get. He'll minimize me. He'll back me in a corner and accuse me: "Who do you think you are?" . That question that can make a grown man shake in his boots. It's a winning tactic the enemy has: kick 'em where it counts. He comes at us with partial truths: "you're nothing", "you're nobody", "there are tons of people who do that better than you", and if we have entered the arena based on our own self confidence, well, it's about to get ugly up in here. Your house of cards will soon become an unwanted game of 52-pick up. The fact is, we are dust, we are as frail as grass--God's word even says so! The devil loves to rifle through the truth of God's word and handpick what he then twists to use against us. The fact is: apart from Jesus I am nothing. But the Truth is: I am never apart from Christ. Why would I ever want to return to the empty promise of self confidence and human "swagger", when I can have the confidence of the King of the Universe? When I can walk into a room flanked with the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Who do I think I am? I'm the luckiest girl in the world;)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Instructions for when the sky is falling

"Be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet." Today the enemy is scheming panic. But I will be wise in what is good: Who my God is. What He alone can do. How His love never fails. I will be simple concerning evil. I will not fill my mind with what the enemy is possibly up to. I will not make it my business to scheme against the plans of the enemy. I will keep my eyes on the King of Heaven. "Now I...will praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37) The enemy himself is the originl "pride walker". And the God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath my humble feet. My hope is in the Lord, I will not be put to shame! The very One Who made the sky, is able to keep it from falling...or to rescue me when it does.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving "make-over"

"Believe ye that I am able to do this?" Matthew 9:28 Talk about being caught up in the cares of this world...today is Thanksgiving, and I am stressed out of my mind. Instead of resting in the fact that we are here-at home-for a purpose, I am beyond stressed. Stressed over this turkey. Stressed over the money we spent for the meal. Stressed over the desire to create "holiday magic". I am tired, though I slept 8 hours. My joints ache. I feel like I'm 80 years old. I'm grouchy. I'm worried about money, about making time to pray today, about how much victory I have already given the enemy. These are small things in the scheme of this life. But God wants my small stuff too. Nothing is too hard for God. Not even the little impossible things. Like my mood. I have done my best to spread my stress and tension around. Can God take my mess and bring about an attitude change in me? "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.". That is a lot of power us mama's have. I want to use my power for good. Lord, I pray You would take this day and redeem it for your purposes. Take my worry, my stress, my regret (over not brining the turkey?!), my bossiness, etc., and transform it all. Save me from myself. Quiet me with Your love. (Zephaniah 3:17). Accomplish Your purposes in this home today. Help me keep my eyes on You. The author and perfecter of my faith. Lord, work Your beauty from ashes. May Your Spirit fill this place. Start the conversations that need to be started. Remove judgement and replace it with Love. Savior, like a shepherd lead us. "Roll on Jehovah, Thy way". Only You can bring the beauty You have planned. I surrender all. (now, if You'll just show me how;)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

P.U.S.H.

P.U.S.H- Pray Until Something Happens

This morning, as I lay in bed, I felt a small sense that I should get up and pray for Tim (who had left early for a flight out of BWI, to do a gig in Cleveland). I didn't give it weight. I thought, I will pray for him when I get up...I have all day to pray for him. Again, I thought, maybe this would be a good day to fast and pray for Tim...but I already had a bite of banana bread...so maybe not.

Then, while studying the Bible, I got a call from Tim that his flight had been delayed-mechanical difficulties. That all the other flights to Cleveland had gone, and his had still not been re-scheduled. Immediately I remembered that "still small feeling" I'd had this morning. I felt so ashamed that I had not followed through with it. I told Tim, and he said he didn't think it would have made a difference. Right or wrong, I asked him what he thought prayer did do. He said he was just trying to make me feel better. Again-right or wrong-I told him I did not need to be made to feel better, but to grow and to learn. (why must I always assume the role of "teacher" with my husband, when God has convicted me that I should not? When will I learn to let the Spirit do that?)

I then went up to my prayer place, and proceeded to worship and to pray. I asked forgiveness for missing my earlier opportunity, and I truly prayed with the peace of forgiveness, and the peace that God was going to do something. I determined to be persistent in my prayer-until something happened. And I determined I would give thanks for whatever that something was.

About 45 min. Into my prayer time, the phone rang. It was Tim. The event was cancelled, due to his plane being delayed. I accepted this with a joyful heart. I know my God could do anything. I know His thoughts and ways are higher than mine. I know that I had not been obedient, and there are consequences to disobedience.

It reminded me of the persistent and humble prayer of King David as he begged for the life of his son, conceived in sin, with Bathsheba. Once he was brought the news that his child had died, he accepted it, washed his face and ate something. Our part is to pray. We do not have the wisdom or the responsibility for the outcome. This is one more facet of prayer. Pray until something happens-and when it does-trust that God is in it, even if you can't see Him. Your prayers were heard, the scripture prayed will bring a return, faith and trust are the required elements of the believer. "What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Trust Him for what you cannot see. And learn to listen and obey what you (ever so faintly) hear him say.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Persevering...through the Dog Days

I don't know what "the dog days" represents for you, but with my cancer, I always knew the dog days would come, and that they would be some of the hardest days for me.

I have 2 dogs, and when I look at what their day consists of, it goes a lot like this: bathroom break, couch. Food break, couch. Dreaming of food while on the couch. Bathroom break, couch. Being subject to whatever some human left on TV, as they lay on the couch.

I knew that the hardest days would be the days where I felt weak and worthless. Where I couldn't get up and do the many things I wanted to do-needed to do-because the energy and the brain power just weren't there.

Exactly one week after every chemo, comes three or four days where my activities mirror that of my dogs-thus the dog days. There's a lot of laying on couches, a lot of resisting to even get up to take that bathroom break; a lot of eating; a lot of dreaming of chocolate peanut butter Haagen-Dazs; and a lot of watching mindless TV.

The results are a draining of passion, a question of purpose, and a feeling (however unrealistic) that I will never be useful again. These, of course, are all lies of the enemy- lies that I am ineffective-which are-in fact-designed to make me ineffective. Never mind that just one day before the debilitating fatigue set in, I was having amazing opportunities to talk about Jesus, had begun writing a book, and was re-organizing my house. But everything comes into question after 2 or 3 dog days.

The Bible says: "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." (Hebrews 6:12 NIV84) I'm not calling you or me "lazy"-for whatever reason, the dog days come. But I do want us to have the antidote to the discouragement of the dog days. You'll find them tucked away in that verse, they are: faith and patience.

If you're like me, I don't find my weakened faith in the heat of the fire, but in the quietness of the cooling down stage. When nothing seems to be happening, and I'm not sure I am becoming like Jesus at all. I know I was-in the fire-but now that I can't see the heat and smoke, the enemy accuses that I haven't learned a thing and that there is no purpose for me-and there never was.

Step one in defeating the dog days: turn off the TV.
Step 2: turn off the incessant voice of the enemy, and counter it with God's word-the truth that produces faith. And be inspired by the timing of God, which requires patience.

This is exactly what Jeremiah did in Lamentations 3:20-21. He said:

"...my soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind

and therefore I have hope
:

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:20-24 NIV84)

Jeremiah knew who God was, but it wasn't until he intentionally called to mind the character of God, that he overcame the debilitation of the dog days, and the lies of the enemy. When he fed his faith and patience, he was revived.

When the dog days come-and they will come-be ready to call to mind the word of God that will revive you. Too weak? Have a friend at the ready to remind you of the truth of Who God is, how in your weakness He is made strong...how His grace is sufficient for you. How He is the one that sustains you, the one who made you and will rescue you. If you do that, you will come out on the other side strengthened! And your enemy? Denied.