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He makes me new, He is making me new

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

If He doesn't give me something...

I was reading an "article" by Wayne Jacobsen about tithing and giving, and I came across a statement that woke me up(I'm speaking metaphorically,it's not like I was sleeping, because if I had been,I couldn't have been reading, unless I was reading in a dream which would be pretty weird).
Jacobsen writes "If He doesn't give me something, it's because I really don't need it"
WOW! What a concept! Sometimes learning about God feels like someone saying "DUH!!!" It is SO simple. So easy to see that the God who loves me will give me what I need, and...well...NOT give me what I don't need!

It's a simple concept, yet quite hard to grasp in everyday life.If I want something, if I really think I need it, and God doesn't give it to me, I get angry, sad, disappointed...but WAIT! Being disappointed implies an expectation.
If I expect God to give me what I think I need,then...I can be guaranteed disapointment.
If,instead, I learn to live WITH Him,let Him be enough for me, I will know what I truly need, and not create unrealistic expectations for what I "should" get.
Wouldn't THAT be nice! :-)

He loves me

He really does...It's not that I didn't know this before, I just never truly realized (and I don't think I fully do yet)that, above all else, Jesus loves me.

He wants me to grow, to learn, to change, to love others, to give, to follow Him,but above everything else, He loves me, no strings attached.
He wants relationship with me.He wants the opportunity to show me the height,width and depth of His love for me.He wants the opportunity to be a Father to me unlike any other that ever lived on this earth.

I don't know about you, but that's enough to make want to get up in the morning and rush to talk to Him, be with Him, let Him love on me. :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Don't do that Part II

As I reflected more on what I wrote yesterday, about not making myself the god in my life and yielding to the things I want and not giving Jesus His place, I realized, that for me,and I suspect also for many others, it's sometimes a matter of control.

I haven't quite learned that my Father in Heaven knows not only what I need but I also what I desire. He is wise in giving me those things, and He is generous. It is a wonder that I have not yet learned that because He has shown me time and time again, He has given me more than I had ever needed or asked for.

And yet, over and over, I shove Him out of my life and take over the wheel. I try do things myself, and I must say, it has NEVER ONCE worked. Not only has it not gotten me what I wanted, it has left me hurt,and sometimes someone around me hurt, discouraged and angry.
Afterwards when I have crawled back to Him asking Him to forgive me for being so stubborn He has blessed me, in His own time in bigger ways than I had even hoped for.
Why don't I LEARN?!!!

I don't know....maybe I am more stubborn than I had realized...maybe control is too important to me, maybe...the hunger for control is my god and I need to dethrone it.
Or maybe it goes deeper than that. Maybe I haven't fully grasped how much my Father loves Me and I have not yet learned to trust. Maybe trusting has hurt me so deeply in the past that trusting an unseen Father to care for me seems foolish and dangerous.
But He does love me, and I CAN trust Him; or can I?

Monday, March 28, 2005

I am blessed

I don't think I have ever written anything substantial about my husband, Paul.
We have been married almost 6 years, and I must say, he is the one single person God has used the most in my life to grow me, change me, better me for the most part :-)

I am blessed to have him. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for poor or for poorer :-) He has been a rock in my life, and Jesus has been OUR rock through our hard times, and for the most part I believe, we are better people because of each other, each other's good qualities, each other's flaws, each other's strenghts and weaknesses, each other's love.

I am blessed to have him. Did I already say that? That's because it is so true. God gave me a huge blessing when he put him in my life and viceversa, that hot summer day in 1998, when I barely spoke enough english to understand that he was flirting with me :-) I had no idea what was to come...
And I have a feeling there's so much more to come that we are both clueless about! That's the beauty of living with Jesus. We sell Him short sometimes,I think,of the awesome things He can accomplish in us through the loved ones in our lives, but He is generous with His children. I am His child, and I have Paul to prove that.

Don't do that!

You shall have no other god beside Me.

That is a pretty straight-forward, clear commandment, I think. It leaves little room for confusion, and yet, I think so many of us, misunderstand.

A god is anything that takes over in our lives, a job we spend way too much time on, a "thing" that we just have to have, a person that matters more to us than God himself...at the core of it is, self-worship. If I care more about what I want, need, like, love, than I do about God, that means I am putting myself first.

Don't do that! That's what I told myself this morning. "Don't do that Laura!!!!" I heard Jesus say that to me, with a sorrowful loving voice. Ok, I didn't audibly hear it, but it was a clear message, from Him to me. Don't. Just don't.
There is NO subsitute for Me, my Love, My living water. Don't waste time, effort, tears, don't do that.

He's right, how could He not be? He's God! He knows me, He knows what gets a hold of me tighter than it needs to, and He is asking me not to let that happen. He's number one.

In sickness and in health

"In sickness and in health". Anyone out there who is married is familiar with those words. I said that to my husband on our wedding day, and he to me, and ever since we have tried our best to live up to the promise.

It is very much the same kind of vow I long to live out with God. In sickness and in health, when the sun shines and when the rain comes down, when I have and when I lack...I will worship YOU. When what I want doesn't come fast enough, when I lose what I did have, when I am in the desert, when I can't see the sun, You are still God over all, when the pain is so harsh I can barely breathe, You are still God over my life, You are still my Father, Your love never changes.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
(Jer 31:3)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Like a little child

I like children. I don't always enjoy their company especially if they're being noisy or cranky :-) but I almost always enjoy observing them. I love to watch them take life in, unpretentious, open, free. Many times as a kid I wished I was my cat, or my dog. Same principle, I loved how free they seemed, to just be themselves. A cat doesn't care of the other cat is skinnier, or has prettier hair or a better food dish. A dog will enjoy pretty much anything as long as it's not abusive or painful. Even as a kid I wasn't as open and free as I wished.
And yet I get this feeling sometimes that if I were able to be more like I used to be as a child, I would have so much more joy in my life and I would be much more content.

With the heart and the mind of a child I would be able to truly see God's gift to me in Jesus and fully appreciate it. With the heart and the mind of a child I would be able to live without questioning His power and provision. I wouldn't strive so much to have control, to "make things happen", to be in charge, or to pretend I even know what I'm doing half the time. I would be free to be myself within His love for me, no matter what I look like, drive, eat, do for a living...

Unless I am like a little child, I will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and that's what I long for; to be like a child, free to be loved and received, in His arms.

Friday, March 25, 2005

No more performing?

It's interesting, when you look inside and you realize, that the one thing you did NOT think you had a "problem" with, the one thing you didn't struggle with, turns out....is what's been pretty much motivating everything else you that think you're doing "right".Allow me to elaborate.

In reading some other friend's blogs, such as Greg's and also this Wayne guy (don't remember his last name) I've realized that I have been caught in the "performing" trap. I didn't think I was. I thought my priorities were ok in that department, I truly thought what I was seeking was a personal relationship with my Father, my Savior. So how come I don't quite "feel" it? I was still caught in the "performance wheel" I had gotten off of it, but I was still affected by it, still am actually. I quit a lot of my "church activities" partly because of lack of time but also because I was looking to see where my heart truly was, my service as of late was empty, halfhearted and I didn't like it. And now that I'm not out there, I realize....I have allowed myself to feel guilty, I have allowed this to distance me from God, because, as it turns out, I was caught in the performance trap, hoping to feel close to God by "serving" and giving of my time to others. I didn't think I was, but I was and it wasn't working.

I don't want to perform. I want to be with by my Father. I don't want to plan and organize how I will get close to God's heart, I just want to call Him to join me. I don't want to try to earn respect, love, admiration from anyone, I just want to bask in the love of My Father. No more performing...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Lonely

It's times like these that make me feel lonely. Sad times, times when things don't go the way I had hoped and prayed.

I mostly miss my sister at times like these.She's the one person that has known me since I was born and who has been with me through the difficult years of childhood and puberty. The ONLY one at my wedding that knew me since I was in diapers, the only one who has seen me little and afraid, grown up and strong, and now when I need her, she's not here. It's not her fault mind you, I am the one who left. I left to come here, start a new life, and God has deeply blessed me,there's not doubt about that. Yet I miss her, a LOT. I am not sure what this power is that she has to make me feel better by just being there, being herself, being with me. Maybe it's the power of familiarity, in the very sense of the word. What's more familiar than someone you have known your WHOLE life? Maybe it's just the notion of her love for me, in spite of everything she knows about me.

So then I realized, where my comfort comes from. It comes from the love of someone who knows me like nobody else does and who still loves me in spite of much she knows. There is someone who has known me longer and better than my sister, my Father in heaven.
And he loves me, just as I am, in spite of everything He knows, and He knows EVERYTHING!
He tells me this in His word :" Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jer 1:5).
He does know me, and He does love me, and I don't need to feel lonely,because He is here:"And surely, I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).

I still miss my sister, but I know He makes me stronger everytime He asks me to lean on Him and trust Him. I know my faith is renewed when I experience His presence and provision and love. He's here with me, and that's all I need to know to not feel lonely anymore.

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