Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I have seen this movie so many times, heard the message so many times. However, I don't think I "REALLY" heard some of it until tonight. The main character comments to her mother that her husband was her everything. Her mom tells her, "God is your everything. He is a jealous God. Don't ever put any man before God." So true. What hit me tonight that I haven't ever noticed in this movie is, she placed her husband as her number 1 priority before God. She put her husband where God should be. Her life fell apart, her husband kicked her out, her husband beat her. Both thier lives were out of step with God and both their lives were full of anger, hatred, weakness and so on. Satan had full run of thier lives and they didn't even realize it!!!! Yes it is just a movie, but how often does this exact thing happen in the real world? It happens way too often and the solution is so simple and life changing.
The other revelation that I had was that I too have always ended up putting the guy in my life before God and I never realized it until now. I finally see it now. I see everything I put before God. I see exactly what I did and I pray for God's forgiveness. I pray for God to help me NEVER do that again. Now to begin to learn the things that I have to do to ensure that I never do that again. I learned Sunday from Byron's sermon that the couple that puts God first, reads their bible, spends time with God and spends time in prayer weekly/daily has a excellent chance in not ending in divorce.
I think my heart and soul needs some good TLC and time for healing.
Blessings to all, Feather
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Byron's sermon series is on "Family Fitness - 10 Exercises to Strengthen Your Family". The 10 excesses are based on the 10 Commandments. I don't think this sermon series could have come at a better time in my life. Last Sunday I talked about getting in step with God. God knows better than anyone that I have not, in the past, been in step with Him nor have I been faithfully following his commandments. Well on to the sermon.
Anyone that knows the 10 Commandments knows what "First Priority" means. The first commandment that we are given by God "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exo 20:2). God wants us to put him first in our lives. The first exercise that we were given by Byron is "Give God first priority every day in every way". Sure, it sounds easy, but really how easy is that? I have the hardest time waking up early enough just to get to work on time, much less early enough to do my quiet time and pray. I mean a hearty quality time and a good, meaningful prayer. I hit snooze so many times that I am usually late to work. That is in no way making God my first priority of every day. That is making sleep my first priority and wow, that sounds bad and looks bad seeing it in black and white. I worship sleep!!!! Oh my, I justified it to myself by saying rest/sleep is good for me. Surely God will understand that I need sleep and be okay with it. Yes, God does require us and wants us to be well rested. Our bodies and our minds depend on sleep. However, I doubt God is okay with us sleeping when we are making it a priority over him. God is NEVER okay with us making anything, and I mean anything, a priority over him. That includes work, family, spouse, children, food, tv, the newspaper, school and so on. We lead such busy lives today that most of the time God gets put on the back-burner for when we have "more time". No wonder this world is the way it is today. No wonder kids have no respect for adults and no respect for themselves or anyone else in this world. Most kids today haven't been taught to respect and obey God. Where did this world go so wrong? When did we stop turning to God and start turning to people?
It was hard this morning when I realized that while I said God was my first priority, my actions don't say that. It breaks my heart to know that I have put the one love in my life who will always be there for me no matter what and will always love me for me, aside for other things. The worst part is I didn't even realize I was doing it. I have become so numb to the ways of the world and it scares me. What kind of example am I setting for my nieces and nephews with my actions? What kind of example am I setting for believers and non-believers with my actions? Does it even show that I am a believer in Christ and that I do love Jesus in my actions? The answers are not a good example at all and no. I don't believe people can see the love of Jesus in me nor in my actions. Talk about swallowing a huge piece of humble pie. Byron gave us five areas that God wants to have first priority in.....Finances, Interests, Relationships, Schedule, Troubles. (it spells out first) Its amazing to see how God speaks through Byron.
While Byron was talking about making God the first priority in your life, I asked myself "how do we know that he is or isn't" and wouldn't you know, Byron gave us the greatest example ever. He talked about being in love with his sweet wife. He talked about how when he couldn't get her off his mind and he would do anything to make her happy he knew he was in love with her. God wants us to be in love with Him. He wants us to have Him on our minds all day every day. He wants us to be anxious to talk to Him, to spend time with Him. He wants us to be so excited about Him and so in love with Him that we talk about Him with everyone we see and know. Think about the person you were/are in love with. Think about how you felt/feel about that person. For me personally, when I fall head over heels for someone they are all I can talk about. In high school at our Senior dinner I was awarded the "Jay-bird" award because all I could do was talk about my boyfriend, Jay. To hear someone talk about that person they are head over heels for is normal, we expect it. However, when we hear people talk about God all the time, we are almost put off. It freaks us out and makes us shut down. People, believers, whom talk about God/Jesus/Christ like that are labeled as "religious" people, like they are the plague or something. However that is exactly how God has called us to be. We should be FANATIC about God and I pray that is the label I begin to get. I pray that people see me as FANATIC about God. What a testament to God. I would be honored to be considered a fanatically, religious person.
I also learned a great lesson over the weekend about me and relationships with men. The most important thing I finally figured out is the biggest red flag that says this is not the right person for me. A man that is sold out to God would respect my wishes and not say anything or do anything that was inappropriate. I will not have to explain what is inappropriate because a man sold out to God will already know what is inappropriate and will NEVER cross that boundary. Oh why couldn't I have figured this out when I was 18, how it would have saved me a world of heartache and hurt.
I have been blogging about my journey with Christ for only a week now and I have already learned so much. I look forward to what lies ahead!!!
Blessings to all, Feather
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I started this post out to talk about healing, but God led me on a revelation and discovery that I didn't see coming. I think I will just leave it at that for today.
Blessings to all, Feather
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So, I found a devotional today, well actually two. One I purchased and the other is on order. The one I purchased is called "Single to Single" by Doug Fagerstrom. It is a 52 week devotional broke into daily devotionals. It is written by a pastor and many singles, so you get a singles perspective on what it is like to be single and walk with God. I am excited about this one. I also purchased Crazy Love, which I am really excited about. I said I was going to focus on my relationship with God and that's what I am going to do. I am going to immerse myself so deep into his word, doing devotionals and praying. I need to change my walk...it HAS to be stronger and it HAS to start now. I will still be doing the Journey devotionals and when my other book comes in next Thursday I will be doing three different devotionals. It is going to be fun and hard all at the same time!!!!
Today's lesson was on Genesis 50:20 "You intended it to harm me, but God intended it for good" It talked about someone doing something to you to cause you harm, but instead God used that situation for good. I can think of a time when this exact thing happened to me. It was this past July. Someone told my sister that I said all these nasty things about her and her family. Of course I didn't say these things. My relationship with my sister has never been the strongest of relationships, but we are family so we hold it together. I just knew that this would ruin our relationship forever. I made this known, but what I learned that day I will remember for the rest of my life. My sister told me that nothing could ruin our relationship. There is nothing I could do that would make her love me more or make her love me less. She loves me unconditionally and nothing is unforgivable. I know this may sound strange, that I should have known this already. We are sisters and sisters fight, make up, fight, make up and so on. However, my relationship with my sister is not like that. We didn't grow up together. She was married when I four, she had her oldest child when I was 7. We don't have your typical sister relationship that most siblings have. Because of this I didn't grow up feeling like no matter what we were sisters and we were thick as thieves. God used that situation to strengthen our relationship. I took her off of the pedestal I have had her on my entire life. I stopped striving for her approval on everything and anything I do. I feel so much more at ease about our relationship and truly believe now that nothing can break our bond. It is here to stay and we trust each other. We love each other and we will always be here for each other.
Those lies were meant to harm me, but God used it for good in my life. While it was a painful time and it hurt, I am so very thankful that it happened. It forever changed my relationship with my sister for the better!!!
The journey devotionals lesson today was titled "On Their Own". It was about a woman who was divorced and raising her children alone. It talked about all the struggles she now faced of handling everything alone. I think this is the one thing I hate the most about being single. Having to handle EVERYTHING on your own. The bills, the cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping and so on. There is no one here to pick up the slack when I am sick. No one to take care of me when I am not well. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done. Being on my own becomes overwhelming often and sometimes I don't feel like I can go on. I feel like if I have to handle one more bill, one more medical expense I will break. However, God will not let me. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 it tells us that His grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness. It is so true, just when I think I can't take one more thing, God steps in and takes over. I somehow find the strength to handle that one more thing. My God is so GREAT!!!! He is always there and he steps in just in time to save you, to catch you, to hold you. No matter what the situation or circumstance is, He is there holding you safely, tightly and tenderly in his arms.
I am so blessed and thankful to be a child of God and know that I am loved by Him and to know that no one will ever love me as much as He does.
Blessings to all, Feather
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today's was titled "Surrendered and Single"....those of you who know me well, know I struggle daily living with the strong desire to be a wife and a mother. I feel there is no great gift God can give a woman than to be a mother. When you become a mother, God is entrusting you with a most precious job, to care for one of his children and raise them by his word. Well, I will be 31 in 2 1/2 weeks and no prospect in sight for a boyfriend, but I get up each day, put a smile on my face and move forward with the day. I always get the usual responses...."God maybe working on the guy so he will be ready for you"......"when you are least expecting it, he will show up"......"God works in his time, not yours"....and on and on and on. I know everyone means well, but it is exhausting living this life. The one thing that really separates me from my siblings and I feel is the reason I don't get to spend as much time with them, is the fact that I am single. I have always been in a different part of life from them, therefore always separated by something from them. I love my sister more than anything and today she sent me an e-mail about a song that she had heard. She said it would make a great wedding song. I thought out loud "does she know something I don't know" then I thought, no she just desires for me to be married about as much as I desire it.
Anyways, today's lesson was about being single, longing to be a wife and mom and all the time getting older while the possibility of marriage and motherhood seems to be slipping away. As I read today's lesson I just started crying. Sat here and cried so hard because finally I read something that made sense to me. I read something that I could relate to and I could feel in my heart. Now comes the part that I need prayer for. In the story Diane turns to her friend Teresa for comfort. Teresa tells her the following "I understand, I wrestled a long time with that too. Finally, I asked God to give me whatever life would best serve His purposes for me and to help me be content with His will." (Journey, August 2009). Now I know I have to find a way to ask God for this, but I also know that if I am not at peace with any decision, I won't stick to it or really mean it. I so long to be held, loved, adored and wanted. Then I think of the song by Tenth Avenue North called By Your Side. "Why are you looking for love, Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough...." Wow, how I know I have hurt God's feelings. Why am I looking for love, why am I longing for love? Isn't the love of Christ more than enough? No man will ever love me as much as my Lord and Savior and yet I still long for the love of a man.
Today's reading also says "Being single when marriage is desired can become a consuming disappointment, and it requires a huge step of faith to surrender that desire to God...." (Journey, August 2009). Not only is it going to be a huge step of faith, it is going to be a daily struggle, daily battle to surrender that to God. I have always been told God knows the desires of your heart and he will give you the desires of your heart. I have also been told "If being a wife and mom was not in God's plan for my life he wouldn't have placed those desires in my heart."
Today, again, proves to me that God's timing is all too perfect. This morning I didn't have the August Journey and didn't even think about stopping by the church until I was passing the church on my way home. I get it only to find out that the very lesson I was to read was this lesson and it was about the exact thing I am struggling with at this very moment. AMAZING!!!!
I am loving this journey so far and look forward to what God has in store for my life. Everyday is a blessing to just wake up and get the chance to serve my Lord and Savior and the chance to try once again to get better at my walk with Him.
Blessings to all, Feather
Monday, August 17, 2009
I didn't do a devotional today because I don't currently have one. I did do better at praying and I am also getting better at persistent praying. I did notice today that while I was in quite a bit of pain, I didn't loose my temper or get aggitated like I normally do. Generally when I am tired or am not feeling well I loose my cool really fast, I get irritated and I can be just plain ugly. Today, for some reason, I didn't do that. I just kept my cool and didn't let things get to me. I know it is the result of God's grace and mercy.
There is also something to be said about getting things off your chest and then letting them go. My heart is no longer saddened like it was this weekend. I am at complete peace with the place that I am at with this man. Being friends is definitely the best thing for both of us. It is an amazing feeling when you know what God is telling you to do and you actually do it. I should have acted on that "gut" feeling weeks ago, but since I couldn't this guy did and I thank him for that.
I wonder if when we are too stubborn to do what God is trying to tell us to do, he finds another way to get thru to us. Any thoughts on that? Also, any suggestions on daily devotional books?
Many Blessings, Feather
Sunday, August 16, 2009
During todays service something was made very clear to me. No matter how strong you feel your relationship is, no matter how many temptations you resist or how many sins you get out of your life, if you still have one thing in your life that is a sin you might as well have 50 sinful habbits in your life. I am guilty in this area. The past month I have been acting in a sinful way in one area of my life. I knew it was wrong and yet I couldn't bring myself to stop that until something hit me like a brick yesterday. God took that option away from me! I was acting in a way that did not honor God nor did it honor myself. Our pastor gave us four things to look at to help you know when you are out of step with God:
- Your decisions by-pass God
- Your thoughts reduce God. (that stinkin thinkin, impure thoughts, any thoughts that do not honor God)
- Your habbits embarrass God (any habbits you wouldn't want your Sunday school teacher knowing about, habbits you wouldn't want your pastor knowing about, habbits you wouldn't want anyone knowing about)
- Your living denies God (When you don't depend on God you are denying Him)
When our pastor was giving us these points I realized that I am completely out of step with God. I don't pray like I should, I don't have quiet times like I should, I don't depend on God in every second of every day of my life and I should. We all should depend on God for every need, every concern, every struggle and for every breath we take. "God is bigger than everything, trust in Him always".
I also realized, well I have always known this but it just hit me today, that when I am out of step with God, He will not bless any area of my life. Think about that. Is there something that you are praying for God to bless, but he isn't? Could it be that you are out of step with God?
Today I have rested and the pain is extremly low, but my heart is saddened. I recently had a man look at me with the most amazing look I have ever seen. The attraction was tremendous and he told me he felt like he had won the lottery with me. He told me often how beautiful I am, how hot I am. We got along great, we had amazing conversations and I felt so adored. There was just one problem, he isn't available emotionaly. Most people would say admitting this in a way that he could read would be showing he won. However, I don't see it that way. I am human and I always knew that kind of man was out there. I found him but I can't have him. I know the only way through this is to concentrate on my relationship with God first and foremost!!!! There it is, there is why I feel I have been out of step with God. I was slowly falling for a man that I can't have and I knew I needed to do anything possible to stop it, but I couldn't bring myself to do that. Yesterday he stopped it for me. I had been praying for God to take control of the situation and He did. I know it is the right thing to do, it is just hard when you have had a taste, a glimpse of what it is like to be truly adored for who you are and have it taken away.
Just needed to get that out, so I can move on. This man has forever changed my life and changed who I am. I found a confidence in me that I never thought I would find unless I was a size 4. I thank God and this wonderful Christian man for that. I pray that he finds the peace he needs and is able to move past the hurt and disappointment he is feeling so strongly right now. I pray that he knows I am here for him when ever he needs a friend, when he needs a shoulder or just a listening ear. I pray he knows that he has an unconditional friendship in me that will always be here!!!! I know I may be crazy for offering an unconditional FRIENDSHIP when I have already felt more than that or him. However, I believe God put us in each others lives for a reason and whatever it is, when I feel someone needs a christian friend they can count on I feel it is my calling from God to be that friend.
I pray that each of you have a blessed evening and a GREAT Monday. Our days are what we make them and what we allow them to be. Even though it will be Monday, be thankful that you have been given another day to become closer with Christ and another day to get your walk right!!!