Thursday, May 31, 2007

You Are Not Your Own

Today I was inspired to dig deeper in the word concerning our view of ourselves and the discovery and acceptance of our gifts. In Romans, Paul writes about discovering spiritual gifts.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

What he is reminding us here is that we are not our own. That we have to be willing to be a living sacrifice - it amazes when I hear people talking about giving it to God - it was His anyway! It is taking off our hands what already belongs to Him.

If you continue to read the next two verses, "and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, though the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

When you make this sacrifice - your mind is transformed. You will have a new mind to think with - and you will be better able to recognize your gift. Don't insult your creator by saying that you don't have a gift - that is unbelief and rebellion.

Gift are best discovered in the fellowship of the church as referenced in verses 4 and 5. I love what the late Adriane Rogers wrote: "When you learn to accept yourself, be yourself, and give of yourself to the fellowship, you're going to discover your gift. You are naturally supernatural."

I am so tired of women wearing "busyness" as a badge of honor in our society- we need to just focus on what we were called to do. God gave us a natural bent towards what we were created to do - it should feel natural. And you know, when we do what feels natural - there is always a sense of fulfillment in our hearts and minds.

You are a gifted child of God - May He bless you with a great day in Him!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

God Will Provide

I have always had a "laid back" attitude about money. When my hubby complains about an extra bill, I always respond with "at least God provided the money for us to pay it." and for those time when we don't have the extra money to pay it - I stand on the promise that He will provide.

My hubby used to suffer from what I referred to as MMS - Mortgage Monthly Syndrome. He became so irritable when he paid the mortgage - but a mission trip to Nicaragua cured that - he realized how blessed we are to have a roof over our head - compared to the lean to's and primitive housing that those in third world countries reside in.

This morning God lead me to a passage in John 19:25-27. "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

You know the phrase "God will provide" can seem almost an overused promise at times - especially when spoken by someone who is anxious to dismiss our fear and anxiety. However, as I read this passage today, I realize just how profound this phrase can be.

Jesus suffering was intense. He had been weakened by a night of trials, tortured during a horrific beating by Roman soldiers - He had fallen on the way to the cross under the load He was forced to carry. Yet as He hung on the cross - each breath he took in agony because his lungs were filling with fluid - he was essentially drowning - He had to summon the energy to somehow lift himself up a little to breathe.

Yet the Bible tells us that in all of this suffering, when He saw Mary standing there, His thoughts were for her. He asked John to take care of her for the rest of her life - wow - If Jesus fought through excruciating pain when He was on the cross to provide for Mary, surely the glorified Christ who is now in heaven will provide for you and me.

Standing on His promises,


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

No You Can't Do It All

You know, one of my downfalls is that I try to do too much - to be everything to everybody. As I read Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life, I am reminded that I am not God's solution to society, but A solution IN society. Boy, that put things in perspective kind of quickly.

I am not a good listener because I am too busy trying to "Fix It" when I sould be quiet and listen. You know I want to help my friends solve all of their problems, I want to be a Daughter In Law that shows great compassion to my MIL, I want to be the best wife and mother in the history of the world, I want to be a great teacher, a loving neighbor, a loving daughter, a doer of HIS word.....but I fall so short in trying to do it all well.

God didn't call me to be everything to everybody. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Life in the "sweet spot" is all about putting your gifts/strengths to work for HIS kingdom.

In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul writes: "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands." or I love the way it is written in the NASB: "Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you." It all comes from Him - We exist for Him so that He receives the glory and honor for all that we do.

We are to use our uniqueness to make a big deal about God....and not promote self by being everything to everybody. God gives us gifts so that we can make Him known. He expects us to manage them well. What are you doing with the gifts He gave you?

You know, I once heard Cyndi Wood of the Frazzled Female say, "If you are busy doing something that God did not ask you to do - you are standing in the way of the one that He did call to do that task." She followed that up by saying, "and He will not bless you for it.

Wow - that stuck with me....and shortly after that I gave up a ministry in the church that I only did out of guilt because "no one else" would volunteer. And God blessed me in return by opening up a door to something He had really called me to do!

So what do you need to give up, reevaluate or commit to today? I encourage you to pray about it - I know that I am!


Monday, May 28, 2007

Lord, Help Me to Use My Time Wisely

Lord, summer is here now and I do not want to throw away the opportunity to spend quality time with you. Help me to grow closer to you - to refill my spiritual bucket as only time with you can.

Thank you for another great year in the classroom. It humbles me so to see one of your little ones come to you in need of salvation - thank you for allowing me to have a small role in that! Now as I prepare for another year in a classroom filled with new students - equip me to serve you in a manner that only you can. Prepare their little hearts to learn more about you - to fall in love with you through the stories that we will share each day at your feet.

Thank you for a wonderful spouse and son. Protect our family time this summer from outside worldly influences - tv, video games, and anything else that draws us away from you. Please keep our family safe - and enable us to grow even closer to each other and ultimately you.

Lord, help me to love my neighbors even when we witness them make poor choices in life. Give us words of wisdom when they ask for advice - they are searching for something....they just haven't discovered that it's you that they are in need of -bring them to that realization.

Thank you for those soldiers who gave their lives fighting for our freedom - be with their families as they remember their loved ones today. Be with those who continue to fight for our freedom. Protect them today.

Thank you for impressing upon my heart the need to choose joy in all circumstances. I love you, Lord!


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Okay, Nikki! I did it - I created a blog. We have a family web-site and I do enjoy posting on there but it will be great to post more about my spiritual journey. Thanks for encouraging me and for sharing your journey as well. I am excited about getting started. Have a great day in Jesus!