Friday, August 22, 2014

"Do as I say, not as I do..."

So it has been a long while since I have posted.. But remember, I only want to post here when God speaks something to me. I think I have missed posting a couple things in the year for sure, but I wasn't going to miss this one. 

"Do as I say, not as I do...."

Have you heard this before? Of course you have. How do you stack up?

As a Christian, (definition I live by: is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings) in other words a 
Follower… this little phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” can really be damaging to us.

When we are a “Follower” (definition again, a person who moves or travels behind someone or something) of Jesus that means that we put into practice what he says. We are making a choice to follow after the things of God and what his word says. Each and every day there is a battle to fight the temptation in our life – but we can do it!

OK, so why am I bring up this little phrase: “Do as I say, not as I do?” 

In our house, we have two small children, aged 4 and 2.  A priority to us in our home, is to raise them up FULLY knowing about Jesus, and Gods word. In hopes, that they too, one day, will make the decision to follow Jesus. One of the things I like to use as a parenting tactic, is “would that make Jesus smile?” When one of our children does something, like bite or slap the other; I will use the line about making Jesus smile. What I love about this one little line is it actually makes the child think! Even at age 2, my daughter will tell me, “No, it doesn’t” – and then I can ask her, “why not?” and she can answer! If I can use this little line on my kids, and for the most part, find that it works pretty well, and see that it tends to open my children’s eyes to what they should and shouldn’t be doing, then why can’t I use it on myself? Or I guess what I should be asking is, “why don’t I chose to use this on myself?”

If I would just stop and think before I acted, If I asked myself the same exact question and just thought before I acted, about putting a smile on Jesus’ face, maybe instead, I may be a MUCH better role model for my kids. But instead, what I see is, I find myself trying to teach them one thing, and without even noticing it, I find myself doing another. Wow.

This hit me pretty hard today, as I was driving. I just kept playing the phrase over and over in my head and thought, “that’s why the kids don’t always get it, I am not doing as I say, and my actions are NOT making Jesus smile, like they should.”

So shouldn’t it just be, “Do as I do.” Period. This way, if we want our kids to behave a certain way, speak a certain way, it SHOULD just come easy for them, right? After all, it’s what they are seeing that they model after.

We teach our kids to be a light to others, treat others as Jesus would treat them, love unconditionally, give with a loving heart, be thankful for all that you have, be thankful in all things good and bad, speak love, I could go on… but when it comes down to it, how am I doing on living out what I am trying to teach? Well, I have to say, there has been new light shed on this topic for me. I am going to pray and try daily, try hourly, to live like Jesus. I want to live for making him smile. Maybe someday, when I get to heaven, I will have the privilege of hearing him say “well done.” That’s my hope anyway. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

So this is Christmas...

I love Christmas time. It's a time to celebrate the birth of my Christ. As a Christian, this is the focus for us during the season. In our home we try to do all we can to center all that Christmas is, around Christ and the thankfulness we have in our hearts for the GIFT God so graciously gave to us.

It's fun to buy and receive presents at Christmas. And in our house, our kids 3 and 2, know that the reason we receive presents is to represent the gifts that Jesus was brought on the night of his birth. Santa loves to be a part of celebrating Jesus' birthday too, so in our house, he brings one gift to help celebrate and then the other 3 gifts represent the 3 wise men gifts to Jesus and those are from Mom and Dad.

The season is about so much more than just gimme, gimme, and "what can I get." If we are being honest with ourselves, most of us, we need nothing at all! I bet if each of us, took something from around the house, wrapped it up for someone else in our house, and gave it as a gift, we have so much stuff, that we may or may not even remember we already had that! There is nothing wrong with giving and receiving, but when the focus comes off what it's truly all about, that's when there's a problem.

How many people have you heard COMPLAIN about their families in the last 3 weeks. COMPLAIN that they have to drive here, go there, and do this, and do that? Well, that was me too, in fact, up until recently, like REAL recently, like in the last HOUR recently, I hit a wall. I heard these words, "well, at least you have a family to spend this special time with!" Wow. How many of us are going through grieving the loss of a loved one this Christmas? How many of us have a mom or dad we don't even know, because they were NEVER a part of our lives? How many have a family member over seas fighting for our country, and it's another Christmas that they aren't home for? I mean, we could really go on and on, couldn't we. I am sure there is a "fill-in the blank" here for you too...

If you have family to COMPLAIN about, consider yourself VERY blessed, and then SHUT UP! If you don't want to drive here and there, then DON'T go, if you don't want to do this and that, then DON'T DO IT! I mean, no one is twisting your arm, and if you are doing it out of pure guilt, then your heart isn't in it anyway. I know this might sound harsh, but my heart at this time of year ALWAYS goes out to those who are hurting and if we think TRUE hurt is when we can't figure out how to get to Grandmas and then to Aunt Jane's all on Christmas, well then we need to look again. So this year for me and my family, we are going to embrace every given minute with each and every member of our family and treat it as tho it may be the last, because in all actuality, we never do know.

And my last point I need to address... Money! Really?! Why, is it all about QUANTITY instead of QUALITY?! What happened to buying something for someone because you KNEW they would love it. Who cares what the cost is (meaning, it doesn't need to be $100 gift to put a smile on someones face). Sometimes the SIMPLEST gifts, in fact most the time the simplest gifts, ones from the heart are what mean the very most!! I think we need to stop stressing out on what we spend each year and get REAL creative with how we spend our resources on the ones we love. I hate to think that people go into debt, and stress out about having to buy me and my family anything, honestly, the time with our family is so important, we'd rather just that! Do you think at my funeral ANYONE will talk about the gifts they bought for me? No. But my hope is, they will talk about the memories we made! That's important - make memories your priority #1 and then the gift will come...

Done with my rant. I was getting really fed up with ME and others around me, TV, and radio... why does it have to be a "STRESSFUL" time of year? It doesn't, not if we can see it in another light! I am filled with JOY, that I have a warm home to spend this very COLD season in, I have a vehicle to help get us to see all our family, we have food in our fridge that we would GLADLY share with anyone in need, and we all have clothes on our back. I know it's real basic, and maybe even a little clique, but if we started counting our blessings, instead of all we DON'T have, it might just show us that we already are VERY rich and have all that we already need.

Merry Christmas! I hope that you will go out and spread the JOY of the season!!
Remember the greatest gift of all the birth of our Savior, who came to this earth, and then died, so that you, and I could have eternal life in heaven for evermore, if we so choose to be believe, and follow.
Jesus is the REAL reason for the SEASON. If we can get that right this Christmas and the rest will fall into place.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Clear Conscience

Sorry, it's been a LONG while since I have posted. I honestly wanted to only post when God prompted, and maybe I missed a prompting of his before now, but, I wasn't going to miss this. This is a very personal post, but I keep feeling God tugging away on my heart to share what is happening in my life. I think that when we share what God is doing in our lives, we never know how he will use that to reach others. So here goes... It's long, so hang in there...

Clear Conscience - 1st Tim 1:19 "Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked."
For a long time now, maybe even a year or two, I have struggled with depression. I never felt it was a chemical imbalance in my brain, but that it was more physical. I went on a very low dose of meds for depression, because I was reaching a point of feeling like "SOMETHING has to take away what I am feeling!!" Of course, it didn't help, and I think that's because there are two forms of depression and the chemical imbalance that people have, is usually what the meds will help with.
I had visited a family doctor earlier in the year, and discussed the weight gain I have had in the last two years. After having my daughter in December 2011, I lost very minimal weight and struggled with heavy depression and ZERO motivation to take the weight off. My doctor looked worried and scared for me, literally, and told me I needed to see someone immediately. She first suggested a therapist, but then mentioned, you may even need to see a psychiatrist. I remember thinking, what? really? Well, I called the number she had given to me, and instead of going that route, I had decided that if I was going to see someone, I needed to see a Christian therapist who could really funnel in all that God was trying to speak to me.
Thankfully, through a friend who had trusted and confided in me, I knew just who to call. I contacted her immediately and scheduled my first appointment. I was thrilled to find out that she had an opening!! I remember being nervous. I had done this before a couple years back, for different reasons, and it didn't go so well. After 6 months, I didn't feel like any progress was being made at all, and pulled away. So would this time be the same? Nope, not a chance. I was meant to make that call, I was meant to find this particular therapist, and this time WOULD be different. I met a women who was completely anointed by God himself, the presence of him, was THINK, he filled every nook of that room. Even in the first visit, I knew that through God, she would be able to help me.
(Laughing), sometimes, we really need to be careful what we wish for, (laughing again)... I seriously thought that we would be discussing my eating habits, what I like about food, why do I think I eat, my activity and so on... which would help lead to what is causing me so much pain, right? Wrong. Instead, by our second meeting, she was already telling me that deep seeded sin was the cause of all my problems. Huh? WHAT? Sin???
If I am being HONEST, I can say truthfully, that my "conscience" had not been clear for a very long time!! That had taken a hold of me in different ways, for me, I could see it in my weight gain, my depression... Let's be real, we are the ones who know ourselves best (outside of God), we know what it is that needs to be cleaned up and what really is holding us back from having the most awesome amazing relationship we possibly can have with him. The constant reminder from the enemy that we are a mess, a wreck held in deep bondage!!! We sing about being "set free" but are we really "FREE" when sin is so clearly taking over our life and day to day? The enemy wants me to feel like my load is TOO HEAVY, TOO BIG to unload - But I have GREAT NEWS FOR ALL WHO ARE READING... My God is BIGGER than ALL of that. In fact he even says in Romans 8:28 that he will work ALL things to the good of those who love him. So even my deep dark sin, that separates me from him, he is working that to good! Isn't that just amazing, only our God would take something that he despises and work it to the good in our life and to bring HIM glory!!! He promises that he CAN free me from it all!!!
I know that living a completely sin free life is nearly impossible, we are sinful beings. But I love that I am learning how to identify and be completely aware of the sin in my life and praying to God that he shows me and holds my hand through how to overcome it. Thank GOD that he knows my heart, so even if I catch myself 10x in a day and repent with a sorrowful heart, I know I am forgiven. And I am only going to get better at NOT sinning!!! As long as I ask and go to my father in heaven, I AM FORGIVEN.
I am working on trying to live a life with a CLEAR CONSCIENCE. I don't want the weight of my sin to hold me down anymore; God will and can free me 100% as long as I am willing to put forth the effort to be healed and freed from my bondage.
Thank GOD that my God is bigger than any obstacle I will ever face. Thank GOD that his love is UNconditional - to love someone regardless of the loved one's qualities or actions!!! Grateful and thankful that I am made in the image of the One-True God!!
The Question isn't "Can I get away with it?" it's "Can I live with it afterwards? Will it prevent or promote HIS blessings in my life? How will it affect my confidence before God? How does he feel about it?"