Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Favorite

Welcome Fall! You are my very favorite. I am partial to your rich lovely colors. Your air full of luxurious scents brings me back home and calms my spirit. I enjoy the coolness and relief you bring from the blistering heat. I am thankful for the special holidays you play host to. I even enjoy the rain showers that come along with you. I am excited to see what you bring this year. Welcome back friend.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 30 (9-15-10)

He is: The Alpha and Omega    Revelations 1:8

 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

He is the beginning and the end. When God called himself the Alpha and Omega, it meant that he will  finish what he started. That also applies to the plans he has for us.

He started the work in us (past) he is still at work in us (present) and will finish what he started (future).

I know that I need to follow his example and finish things that I start. (such as this 30 day discovery)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Time is a Thief

I have completed my 30 day devotion and I am so proud of myself! Granted I haven't shared that last devo with you, I know. I will blog it today, I promise. Since finishing the 30 days of discovering who God is, I started reading the book of Daniel. Very amazing man. One thing that stood out to me was when the angel said to Daniel, when you started seeking Him (God), he has heard you. I am so thankful that I as well can cling to that promise that when I am seeking God, he hears me.

I can't tell you what day I am on (because I've stopped counting) but I can say I am officially into my second month and I am loving Him more each day. As I said, I will have that last day of Who God is posted by the end of the day. I can't wait for you to see what it was. =)

I'll give you a hint, it's out of Revelation...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 29

I can't believe I'm so close to finishing this month. (Although for you guys it's only been a few days) I cannot tell you the joy this brings me. It might seem like a little thing, on the contrary... IT IS HUGE! Because I am not a finisher. I can not finish most things I start. I'm working on this character flaw and pushing through. I don't have a structured plan for what I'm going to study after tomorrow. I am leaning towards the book of Daniel... We'll see where God leads.

He is: Death's Destroyer  2 Timothy 1:8-10

I first have to back up to verse 7. After writing the intro I went back and reread to make sure I touched on all the points that moved me. And then I read verse 7 to make sure I didn't miss anything...(this is how cool God is) "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." HA I wish you could feel my excitement!

Anyways, ahem, moving on... 
8"So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done by because of his own purpose and grace."  12" that is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day." 

This passage was written to Timothy by Paul. Paul was in prison at the time and nearing the end of his life here on earth. Paul reminded the church that our physical death is not the end, but only the beginning of our eternal life with Christ. Jesus defeated death on the cross. You can put your confidence in him whom you've trusted your eternity.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Days 26, 27 & 28

In other words, my whirlwind of a weekend! This weekend has been so busy. But I was still able to at least tune into my verses each day. Every subject for every day this weekend (for most of the 30 days as well) has been right on target... exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it. I hope you can gain something from it as well...

Day 26
He is: Testing your work      1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Here Paul was stressing the importance of laying a solid foundation. The only sure foundation is Jesus Christ. Anything not built on him will burn away. He also mentions building materials. Whatever you choose to build with will be put to the test of fire. The quality will be tested and the builder will either receive his reward, or suffer loss.

This really makes me think about what I'm investing my time into. With all the busyness of my days and weeks, am I wasting my time, or am I using it wisely?

When Jesus tests your work with fire, what will be left?

1 Corinthians 3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight."

Day 27
He is: In me    Galatians 2:20

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lived in me. This life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Wow, this one really cut me to the quick. I mentioned that each day the meaning of these verses came a just the right time. Well, today I was really dealing with some self worth issues. I still carry around a lot of baggage. And although I do know in my head that God has already removed that from my claim, I still find myself coming back to it. I think of it as ghost pains. We've heard that when someone loses a limb, they still sometimes feel pain as if the limb was still there. Just like those ghost pains, I still carry that invisible baggage on my shoulders and it causes a lot of undue stress.

Paul looked upon his past life as dead. With confidence he could say that Christ lived in him.

Let me ask you this question, "Have you crucified your old life so that Christ can have full freedom to live and reign in you?"

I know that I hadn't. But now that I've read this passage, I can honestly claim that my past is dead. Whenever thoughts come up I have the scripture to shoo them away. "I am crucified with Christ and yet I live, not I but Christ who lives within me. His cross will never ask for more than I can bear." (Yes, that's a Phillips, Craig, and Dean song. And yes, I did sing that over and over while reading this verse.)

BTW, Galatians chapter 3 was really cool. You should go read it!

Day 28
He is: In control (Can I get an Amen? Thank you God for being in control, I was getting kind of tired of it anyway)
Philippians 3:19-21

Today (Monday) was my first day back at boot camp. I have been thoroughly enjoying the exercise, but eating is my major downfall. I am a recovering binge eater and so it's a huge hurdle for me to write down every food that enters my mouth. God is so awesome though. I've never experienced him this up close and personal. When I take that time to seek him out, he's always been right there to talk with.

OK, so I'm having trouble with food... AND here was today's message for me...

verse 19"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

Isn't God cool. I don't believe in coincidence. Therefore the fact that you are reading this right now is no coincidence.

My Devo says "Many professing Christians pursue earthly things, allowing their 'appetites' ( haha, God made a funny) to hold sway over their lives."

I'm so thankful that God is in control.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 25

He is: Not Exclusive

In Acts 11:1-18 Peter is being criticized by his fellow believers for associating with those who were considered unclean. Peter then tells them the whole story. God had told him to go with the men who had been sent for him. When they arrived at the man's house who had called for him, the man told him an angel had appeared to him and told him to send for Peter. After the Holy Spirit came upon them Peter said "If God gave them the same gift (the Holy Spirit) he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?" When the believers heard this they didn't question him any longer and began to praise God.

We tend to have expectations as to what a Christian should look like. But God is not exclusive. Honestly, I have no grounds to judge other people. In God's eyes, all sins are equal and separate us from him. (James 2:10 says "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it") The only way to our heavenly father is not by way of action or appearance, but only by accepting what Jesus did for us on the cross. There was only one person on this earth who was pure and blameless and worthy of judging others.

It reminds me of a story in John 8 where the people had been anxious to judge a women caught in the act of sin. I'm sure you've heard of this one. Jesus said "let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

What a huge burden lifted off my shoulders! If I could cut out the judging (and comparing) that I do in my day, it would clear up so much needed space in my brain for other things, like love, joy, peace.... Is this making sense to anyone besides myself?

Who am I to stand in God's way?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 24

This month I'm studying 30 days of who God is. Today He is: The Resurrection and the Life. Based in John 11:17-27

The story picks up 4 days after Lazarus had passed. Jesus had purposely taken his time in getting there. He was greeted by Martha. She offered a stinging statement that Lazarus would not have died had Jesus been there sooner. Jesus told her that he brother would rise again. He said "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die." And then he asked her if she believed that. And she did.

Martha had faith that Jesus could have saved her brother. Jesus brought her into a deeper faith by revealing that He is the resurrection and the life.

God really spoke to me this morning through this story. I tend to say "I know God has brought me out of the depths, but I wish he would have done it sooner."

The plans he has for our lives often involve greater things than we can ever imagine. Like bringing the dead to life.

From today on I will no longer say "If only" but I will choose to say "I believe".

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

(unless I mention otherwise I am reading from the TNIV. I am also currently following the 30 days of "he is" reading plan from that version)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rebirth! (back from hiatus)

I never know where to start, so I typically just jump in with both feet.

   24 Days ago I began a journey like which I have never fully experienced before.

Let me take you back a little ways....
     Over the years I have been making many, many bad choices. I did not care enough about myself nor love myself enough to make good character decisions. Everything looked alright on the outside, at least I'd like to think that I was pretty good at putting on my happy face, my game face. But inside I was dying. I was suffocating my spirit, unintentionally, but that's the truth. It was way later that I realized just how far I had fallen.These things don't just happen over night you know. But it sure seems that way. One day you wake up and you realize the person you have become. It's so true that it is a slippery slope. You let your guard down in one area and before you know it your whole house is over run with thorns and weeds.

I couldn't possibly fall any further down the rabbit hole. I had hit rock bottom. All of my relationships were suffering because I was in a downward tail spin. The saying is true "If momma ain't happen, nobody's happy". I had gotten to a point where I wasn't afraid to take those closest to me down with me. And that scared the hell out of me. I couldn't believe what I was willing to do...

This is where it gets exciting....

My new Day One started in the am on a Monday morning. I was sitting in a counselors office at my church speaking with a pastor who happened to be on call. I flat out told him everything that had happened to bring me into that office on that day. I was done with running, because I had no where else to run. I had hit a forked road and needed to decide then and there which road I was going to take. This should have been an easy decision. But considering the dark, snarled path I had been walking on, I didn't know which direction was up. I don't remember the whole conversation. My mind was so tormented at the time, torn. There is one thing in that conversation that stands out above all the rest. He told me that I HAVE to choose to walk in the other direction. All I could ask at the time was "why?" Why do I have to do that? And his answer was "just because". I know that if I would have been relying on only him to help me I wouldn't have caught on to it. In that moment I wanted God to come rushing in to save me. This whole time I wanted God to rescue me. Only I wasn't ready to accept that rescue.
I had been raised in church. I knew the principles of the Bible. I had caught a small glimpse of who God was in my teenage rebellious years. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior many, many years ago. That I am certain of. But I was never ready to accept His perfect plan for my life.  I could not let go of the things I wanted for myself. Even though the things he had planned for me are so much better than I could ever dream. My heart was hard as stone. I did not trust anyone enough to let them in. Not even my Abba Father, my daddy God. I can look back now and see just how much suffering I could have avoided by trusting him with my pain years ago, but then again, I would not be the person I am today. God uses those who are weak and small.

It was that Monday, in that hour, in that moment that I gave up. I did not give up on living. But I gave up on trying to live. I had been swimming against the current of a mighty God for too long. In that second I decided I could not do it on my own anymore. Did you catch that? Let me say it again.. .  I could not live in a dying world without trusting the living God.

         And this is where my story begins. I have dived head first into my Holy Father's hands, and into his word. It is very hard not to hit the delete button right now and keep this all to myself and the few who already know. But one thing I am absolutely sure of is that I am a vessel. How pointless would it be for God to fill me up only to have me put on a lid and keep all of Him for myself?

So here is the plan. Everyday I will write and share my devotion for the day. I pray that God uses it to touch your heart as much as he has touched mine.

        I am so excited for you to take this journey with me!