Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Persistence in Christ

Persistence means the act of persisting.

To be persistent means to continue steadfastly or firmly, to last or endure tenaciously, or to be insistent in a statement, request, or question.

This word has been on my mind all morning which I’m assuming has to do with my reading last night ; “No matter how ‘good’ you may be, the only way you can ever be made right with God is through faith in Christ. And no matter how ‘great’ a sinner you may have been, His grace is sufficient for you.”(Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss). Now, you may be scratching your head thinking, ‘and, why does this remind you of the word persistence?’ Re-read it; ‘no matter how good you are (no matter how long you last or endure, no matter how firm you stand, no matter what you do), you can’t ever be good enough without Jesus Christ. No matter how persistent you are, you alone aren’t going to cut it. For a girl who’s dwelling on her insecurities right now, that stings! But wait… there is another part to this… in the same respect, no matter how unfaithful or weak I am, no matter how quickly I crumble, no matter how I falter, ‘His grace is sufficient.’

It doesn’t matter what I do, good or bad, God loves me. He died for me. And, (best part) he is persistent in his pursuit of me!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My two favorite guys

This morning, George and I are curled up on the couch because NW Ohio got hit with snow and ice... again! Instead of a negative reaction, like most others Ohioans, I am actually dancing with my red shoes on because Matt and I had a bet. With the warmer weather we had last week, he believed that the yard would be snow free by 11:59 pm on Sunday; I bet it would still be around. Needless to say, with lots of ice and snow the last two days... I WON! We were at a level one again this morning. More snuggling with my pup!

Lately I have been feeling insecure and last night, I had a meltdown. This time, instead of arguing and pushing away, Matt had me sit down to write out what I was feeling insecure about. The list was long and felt like it would go on for-ev-er. Finally, overwhelmed with a few tears welling, I got a tight I LOVE YOU squeeze and Matt read every single one of them, out loud. After every item, he stopped to reassure me, "I love you; God made you that way for a reason; You're beautiful." It was difficult and there were things on that list I didn't want him to know, but after it was over I felt better. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband, a snuggling puppy, an amazing God, and a restoration in my faith.

Check out the give-a-way at Three Man and a Lady!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… just typing his name makes me feel better. Oh, if only I always remembered in those ‘pit’ moments that saying his name would make me feel this good… Lately, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. Not just in the “woe is me, I need a hug” kind of way but in the destructive “I don’t deserve this” type of way that only leads to nasty, gross feelings unless I allow God to intervene.

Yesterday, I didn’t feel like reading God’s word. I wanted to stay in my pit, angry with my husband and my situation, chained to my sins of money troubles, lustful thoughts, and complaints of E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G and not read the two verses set forth in my reading plan. Oh, why did I think that I could run?? I put it off and put it off. Nope, I’m not going to pick it up when I have a free moment at work. Okay, home from work… I’ll do the dishes, laundry, pack lunches for tomorrow, clean the coffee pot, prep for dinner… any other chore that I can find because I just don’t want to feel better. It was getting late and Matt was still not home… now what?!?! As I waited for the argument I was sure would happen when he got home (let’s be honest, I just wanted to fight yesterday), I gave in, sort of. I’ll read the next chapter in our bible study book Lies Women Believe. I’ll read man’s word instead of God’s word; it won’t make me feel too much better. Immediately I became immersed by God’s truth… sigh… Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… nice warm hug and the feelings of depression are leaving. Okay, this is right where I should have been dwelling all day instead of simmering in my sin. Why did I run?? My God ALWAYS loves me and puts me first. Why do I not love Him back?

Today I read all four verses (the 2 from yesterday and 2 of today) and have felt overwhelmed by God's love. Reading the words and dwelling in his truth has warmed this cold, hardened heart. Today, deep down, I know that my faith is alive by my actions. If I’m going to live for God, I’ve got to act like it. What is wrong with me? I love other people and want them to be in heaven with me. I want them to feel the love, grace and compassion that I do. By saving others for Christ, witnessing and being a 'doer' for God there will be more souls in the kingdom of heaven and the devil will never be able to touch them. Did you hear that… the devil will not have a leg to stand on! His lies will be useless, no longer trapping me in my sin, no longer giving me days like yesterday, no more hurting. How do I know this? Those who knew Abraham probably gave God a second thought when they heard he almost sacrificed his son. By living out his faith and showing others what he believed, Abraham stirred up questions in the hearts around him. Another soul won! Even Rahab a prostitute, who by the world's standards is filthy and worthless, had faith that made her deeds righteous. She became blameless and honorable because she had faith and acted on God’s word. God used her to stir up hearts. God made her deeds righteous.

Know this, the devil believes in God, just like I do, but my actions make my faith alive! That is something the devil can’t touch and certainly never have. So today, as I am reminded of my freedom in Christ vs. my sinful nature I realize that I have two choices. Do I sit in my pit and let the devil win? Do I really want to show others those unholy and filthy actions? Or, do I choose to believe and have a kind of faith that is being worked out around me, showing others that I am alive in Christ. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” James 2:26.

If he can use Abraham and Rahab, why can He not use me?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Reading Scripture

Awful nights sleep = sitting on the couch with heating pad (in pain) trying desperately NOT to look to my right. And it-is-difficult. I favor my right just like I favor even numbers; weird I know but I'm a "righty" so that all makes perfect sense to me.

The past four weeks I have been reading James along side many other women at Good Morning Girls and it's brining about change in my life. It's one thing to sit and pray, be in God's presence and spill your guts, but reading his word is a whole new level for me. Don't get me wrong, I love sitting at his feet praying for strength and asking for healing. It's refreshing and rewarding. But reading scripture is... well... different. It's almost the exact opposite mind set for me. Instead of coming to him with my problems or a new need that I have, I'm quite and still. It's not about me in those moments. It's about God; His word and His teachings for my life. He's the one talking. He's the one saying "listen, because THIS IS GOOD!"

It is changing my life. It is drawing me into a closer, deeper relationship with the Lord and I am loving it! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creativity needed

This valentine's day I want to do something extra special for my husband... I'm just not so sure WHAT that will be. I have never been 'creative' in the way of persuing my husband but I know, from previous comments and from reading other wives comments, that is WHAT HE WANTS. So what else would be a better gift for him, right? 

All week long I've been praying for strength to be sexy and have confidence. I've asked God to give me an idea and play it out. Fingers crossed that a) I don't back out or b) nothing else comes up.

I didn't ever think that I would be afriad to be creative or to share my thoughts with my husband, but oh how the devil has kept me in bondage over this issue. Thankfully, I know that I can over come this and learn how to satisfy and persue Matt. Like Courtney says, "loosen up and have fun... Remember, you are married (so) have FUN!"

Fingers crossed that I can let me creativity come out and not be afraid to persue my man.