Thursday, January 2, 2020

Be Transformed By The Word, Not Moved By The Culture - January 1, 2020

This morning as I was washing dishes I received a short message: "Be transformed by the Word, not moved by the culture." Then I go to my table to look at my daily devotional calendar for January 1 and the first line of the devotional was: "Come to me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed," which was supported by the provided scripture, Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

The other scripture given for the day is one of my favorites: Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

Then the verse of the day on Bible Gateway was Isaiah 43:19 "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." 

So maybe the devotional and given scriptures were strategically timed to bring in the new year just as everyone else is setting resolutions for change, but I wasn't thinking about anything but the dishes when that personal message popped into my head.

Pastor Bruce Goodwin spoke briefly yet powerfully last night about changing the way we live our lives so that we do so unto GOD, not unto ourselves. There is no way in the world that we can stay focused on living unto God when nearly everything and everyone we hear, read and watch around us celebrates and promotes living unto self. "Do what makes you happy," "Find your passion," "Follow your heart."

No, there's no way in the world we can live unto God, but in the WORD, we absolutely can get to a place where we learn and delight in God's happiness and pleasure, His passions, His work and His heart, and make them our very own.

God's desire for us to be transformed by the Word and not conformed to this world not only benefits His Kingdom but also benefits and blesses us as individuals. He desires to do NEW things, GREAT things in, through, for and around us. There is no amount of willpower or work within us (alone) that could ever equal the level of NEWNESS and GREATNESS that God can and WILL manifest in our Christian walk/lifestyle, our Godly influence and our Kingdom power when we are united with/to Him/His Word.

It's perfectly acceptable to gripe and moan in the workplace about the people we work with, the commute, the pay, etc., because, "Everybody does it!" It's so acceptable for Christian ladies to dress provocatively now because it's actually not even considered provocative anymore; "It's fashion." I watched a video the other day of a married Christian woman married to a Christian man wearing a top that revealed front cleavage and side boob. This isn't about judgement - these are mere examples of just how easy it is to lose sight and reach of true holiness and transformation in this world because of the culture.

Dressing provocatively, complaining at work, and many other useless, non-beneficial things we do every day are not going to send us to hell or make us lose our salvation. They are not going to make God love us any less. But how do they affect our Christian experience? Are we fully living in the power and knowledge of God as our Father intended? What about our influence - do we even have any over those who are watching and listening to us speak about Jesus being The Way to salvation and holiness when our lifestyles look no different from the unsaved? How are we representing God to the world? What is making us truly stand out and draw people in to learn about Jesus?

I'm speaking to myself today because I know that I'm not living my, or God's intended best life right now. My Father wants so much more for and from me than this...and so do I.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 KJV

Friday, October 4, 2019

Grateful...October 4, 2019

Something interesting, unusual, but oh so beautiful happened to me this morning as I was driving toward the commuter lot on my way into work...

I was overcome with gratefulness and appreciation for what God has done for my children...and for me...

If I'm honest, it started with a thought about one of my children in particular...but as I continued to think on all God has done for that child, my realization, joy and intense appreciation grew as I thought about how He's worked in my other two children's lives, and in my own life, as well...

Thinking about all that He's done and continues to do, I found myself on the verge of way-too-many-tears for someone who was about to board a commuter train very full of strangers. Thankfully, I was only a third of the way to my destination, so I had a little time to compose myself...

What overwhelmed me is the very real fact that He didn't have to do ANY of it...yet He did and continues to do really great things for us - the very thought that He created my children, my husband, and me, with so much love, and purpose...God, it's too much for my small brain to comprehend.

I've spent the greatest majority of my life thinking and feeling absolutely mediocre, not-special, ordinary and unworthy of anyone's time or space and most certainly not worth anyone's attention. Yet the Greatest Being Who Ever Was or Ever Will Be has had His eye on me all along - before I was even formed - and saw fit to bless me with a beautiful, loving, caring, helpful, patient, kind, and hilarious husband who treats me like I'm the most amazing creature that ever lived, and children who are healthy, beautiful, talented and truly awe-inspiring...


I was not going to write today. I haven't written in forever, actually, but, about an hour ago I started listening to the song, "Great Things," by Pjay Edmund on repeat and was inspired to share my experience with all of you. I've been off and on listening to that song on repeat for a couple of weeks now. At first, I thought it was just because I absolutely adore the way my son's guitar sounds on that song (which I do - he sounds amazing on all five of the songs he's on in dis joint). This morning, however, it hit me that it's actually much more than that. These lyrics...they perfectly represent my heart towards God...

A lot of the lyrics repeat, so this is condensed:

Great Things by Pjay Edmund

He keeps...doing great things for me

If I had 10,000 hands, I would use them to lift His name

If I had 10,000 tongues, I would praise Him with every one

He keeps...doing great things for me

I don't know why He loves me
I don't know why He cares
And I don't know why He sacrificed His life
Oh but I'm glad, I'm so glad He did

Where would I be if He didn't love me?
Where would I be if He didn't care?
Where would I be if He didn't sacrifice His life?
But I'm glad, so glad He did!

He keeps...doing great things for me

I can't be without You Lord

I need You

More power

More love

More grace

I need You

I mean, seriously, it just couldn't be more perfect!!!

That is all I have to share with you today. Thank you for reading.



Friday, February 22, 2019

Less is More...2/22/19

I was looking at floor plans and picture galleries of places I could see myself living in some day, and a thought came to my mind: "I can't see eight Helmers in this place." After looking at a few more places, that thought was replaced by another one: "I don't WANT to see eight Helmers in this place!" 

What's worse is that my polish madness is not confined to those eight Helmers. I  have junk stacked on top of them, too. Junk I'll probably never use, but that I keep anyway - just in case, of course...

Last week, I was so fed up with my borderline hoarding tendencies, that I started cleaning out purses from my closet, too. I want less of everything - but on my own terms. God forbid that something tragic should happen in my life where I'd actually have to sell or get rid of everything. That would be awful. 

What I'd love to do is truly declutter and simplify my life and my home, period. I'd love to only have five of everything (eventually): dishes, cups, sets of silverware, etc. Five purses (laughable, but still). Five pairs of shoes. Why five? I have no idea. 

What I don't want is five Helmers of polish. I once thought it would be amazing to only have one - but, let me tell you, I just don't see that happening! Two, though...I think two is possible - ambitious indeed, but possible.

The OPI destash project was tough. Too often I'd think I found a candidate for the destash pile only to realize that the color was discontinued and/or not easy (or cheap) to find anymore. So, of course, I had to keep it...even if I wasn't 100 percent convinced that the color actually looked good on me. Sigh. I've worn Parlez-Vous OPI? (not ever a candidate for destash btw) once, years ago, and I didn't like the way it looked on me. But it's still sitting in that drawer, isn't it? Ugh. 

Anyway, I managed to get the OPI collection down to one slightly overfilled drawer - but I'm working on whittling it down even further as I try on some more widely available shades. I was almost relieved last night when I put on Funny Bunny - a shade that I LOVE the still-see-through-after-three-coats quality of - and realized that it was a bit too much of a pain to work with and not worth the end result (still uneven/streaky). I say that, but in the back of my mind, I wonder if maybe I could try again to make it work. I mean...I was in a little bit of a hurry putting it on...and I only had one coat of base coat maybe the base wasn't smooth enough...or something! Sigh. Whatever the case may be, it still looks beautiful when topped with Over The Toptober by Moon Shine Mani: JessikaTPQ Instagram.

So that's where my mind is these days. Figuring out how to minimize the amount of stuff in my life. Pray for me. I need it.

Until next time, stay blessed!