Day 792: What We MUST Do

Sometimes we just need a simple reminder. The world pulls our attention in a gazillion different directions. Everything wants our attention.

Like, have you ever been to one of those markets aimed at tourists? Every single vendor is clamoring out at you, wanting your attention. Some of them will go to crazy means to get you to look at them: jump in front of you, flirt, get mad, etc.

The things in your life are a lot like that. It’s all calling for your attention. Holding you back. Slowing you down. So, there is one thing that we MUST do.

We Must Fix Our Eyes On Jesus

Day 638: Sometimes It’s Simple

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Sometimes what I have to say and what I learn on here is complicated and intricate. It takes time and lots of words to explain, but today… I want to just focus in on this one thing.

Just this one verse for today.

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

I know that you have read it and seen it a million times, but I just want you to say it to yourself over and over and over and over again today. Sometimes… sometimes we just need a reminder that it’s true.

We need to remember that we are not weak.
We are not terrible.
We are not incapable.

In Him, YOU are strong.
In Him, YOU are good.
In Him, YOU are completely and totally capable.

In Him, YOU can do ev.er.y.thing. Because HE gives you strength.

Day 434: Transparent Testimony

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

I want to be asleep in my bed. Snoozing and skinny.
I want to be free from this struggle with food.
I want to forget chocolate. forget sugar. forget bread. forget food.
I want to do just what I hear God calling me to do.

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

Because it means that I have GOT to start facing up to some things.

I’ve been eating chocolate. sugar. meat. bread.

Lots of it over the past few days. Not just a bite here and there. Not a taster. Not a respectful tiny bite to appease someone else who is feeding me. No. LOTS AND LOTS of chocolate. Anywhere and everywhere I could find it. Sometimes I’d put it off for a few hours, but then I’d give in. The leftover Christmas candy in the gift closet. The remaining chocolate chips in the pantry. The kid’s candy stash. The cake at Nanny’s. The Cool Whip in the fridge drizzled in Hershey’s syrup. The homemade granola bars I made for my son’s lunches.

Me. Eating. Eating. Eating. Eating.

And I have this hole in my soul. And every bite stretches it wider and wider. Until now I feel like I’m about to burst. And so, as I laid in bed tonight… I couldn’t sleep. I mean, who CAN sleep with a huge black hole of sin growing in your chest?

God. What am I doing?!?!? Why can’t I stop?!?!? I’m choking with sin. The sin of gluttony. The sin of dishonoring You. The sin of harming this beautiful temple that you have given me. The sin of wanting to sin instead of wanting to obey and follow you. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, who will save me from this?

And at that, I knew those words were a verse, so I got up and came in here to my couch, revved up my laptop, and found it. My dear comrade through the ages, Paul, so very long ago found the words of my struggling heart…

The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:14-25

And God, I lean on this promise:

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! Jeremiah 17:14

God, I cannot save myself… I cannot heal myself. It must be YOU that does this work in my life. Just as you raised Lazarus out of the grave… out of the pit… raise me out of this pit of sin. out of this grave of deathly living. out of the sludge of denying you.

I’m not even sure what to do from here. where to go. what to think. how to act. what to read. So God, I just lay my sinful soul at your feet. An offering. An incomplete, sinful filthy offering… but one that is covered in righteousness because of your Son. It is a sacrificial offering. And I am the sacrifice. Do what you want with me God. Change me. Ruin me. Build me up. Recreate me. 

Heal me. Save me. My praises are for you alone!

Day 175: Christ Convo

Every time I think that I have got it down… got it figured out… got it good… got it all learned…

then I realize how much I still have to learn. This is why we need to be around our elders. We’ll live better lives if we listen to their wisdom. It’s like they give us the fast track to happiness. If we listen to them, more often than not, we get to skip over the mistakes and the hardship.

And this particular lesson is: prayer.

And how many times have I learned this lesson? I dunno… lots.

My husband’s grandmother gave me a book when he and I got married called The Power of a Praying Wife. I ignored it for a year or two. I prayed… sometimes. When I prayed… I asked for what I wanted. what I thought was best. what I had figured out would be good for me.

Yeah… I got a lot of what I prayed for… and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

Then, I read through that book… not even sure why, but it totally changed my perspective on a bunch of things. Like, I stopped praying specifics about what I wanted God to change about my husband, and I started praying only that God would give my husband wisdom and that He would continue to make my husband more and more like Him.

Yeah… that worked a lot better than the self-centered blech I was praying before.

And yeah… I’m having myself a little bit of a revival about prayer right now. Only this time it’s not about my husband, but just about me.

I have always been the type to pray continually… just when something pops into my head I pray about it. I also used to journal my prayers a lot (at least I did before I had kids… since I had my first son five years ago, I fall asleep three or four lines in)!

But lately, there has been almost no prayer… no conversation… going from me to God. And honestly, I think I have been blocking out what He’s been trying to say to me. Yesterday’s post was really the first time that I had really talked to Him.

And I find myself almost having to retrain myself with how to pray. or with being comfortable with praying. or with “making” myself take the time to stop and pray. or all of those.

You see, I think that what I did for a while is that I was replacing prayer with the reciting of scripture.

Now, reciting scripture to myself has gotten me through a bazillion temptations… but I think what happened is that slowly I started to lose my connection with the One that said the scriptures in the first place! It was almost as if instead of relying upon God and God’s power to save me, I was relying upon the Bible… almost in a worship-the-wrong-thing kind of way.

Oops.

But part of this whole thing is a learning process. And it takes times of “failure” and a following of introspection.

And it’s kind of nice that an “oops” is sufficient. Because after the “oops” comes action (like I talked about here). The action is prayer… reconnecting with the Spirit of God. reconnecting with His Power. reconnecting with His Love. His Grace. His Hope.

Oooooo, and I just found this:

I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2

Day 167: Not All That

Lately as I have been meeting and talking with people that are doing the Covenant several people have mentioned that they are amazed at my vast knowledge of bible verses. Well, I bumped a post that I had planned for today back a few days in order to reveal my big secret.

A friend recently asked me the question, “How did you learn all those verses? Did you memorize verses as a kid or something?” I huffed a little laugh and replied, “I don’t have all of those verses memorized!” She said, “Ha- what do you do then, google them?”

Yep.

I literally get on google and search this way:

  • What does the bible say about gluttony
  • What does the bible say about sacrifice
  • What does the bible say about contentment
  • What does the bible say about excess

See, here’s proof…

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But the cool thing is with technology now a days, you almost don’t have to have the entire bible memorized to access a random verse. All you need is google. Seriously. (And I really like the website openbible.info to find verses… I go to it and find a verse that speaks to my issue at the time and then look it up on youversion.com so that I can see it in the New Living Translation or The Message or one of the other more reader-friendly versions.)

It could take me thirty minutes to find “the” verse I’m looking for. And if I can’t find one then often I find that means I need to look back into my post to make sure what I am saying is biblical!

Now, it does help to memorize a particularly helpful verse once you have found it… like, I say that one “make me willing to obey” all the time, but I came across it on accident while looking for a verse with a specific topic and THEN I memorized it.

So, although I might appear to have a vast knowledge of the bible, I don’t. But I do have something that is better… I hunger and thirst for righteousness. And that is a verse that I used to pray a lot starting when I was in college… I wanted to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and now… at 33… I have finally found that desire. And I have found that my hunger and thirst for righteousness is filled when I read my bible and when I reference my bible in my thoughts.

But, as far as me being some kind of spiritual paragon and master of all things biblical. Ha… no, I’m definitely not all that.