Friday, March 27, 2009

03/27/09 - What was my purpose?

When I first wrote (back in 1999) Emotional Purity I remember my dad asking me, "What is your purpose in writing this book? What do you hope people gain from reading it?"

I didn't take me too long to answer.

My goal wasn't to change the world or make everyone believe I thought that I had all the dating answers. My goal was simple: I wanted to make people pause and examine how they treat the opposite sex.

That's it!

We live in a culture that we can't escape. It's like the air we breath, we can't help but be effected by it. As Christians we are foolish to the world, we make no sense...and that's okay! But often we are so effected by the culture that we start sifting our actions through the world standard and not God's.

As God convicted me of emotional purity in my own life, I saw how easy it was to choose the world way of doing "dating". I saw how self satisfying it was to have your ego stroked in casual friendship relationships. It became evident to me how easily I could use a guy to try (without success) to satisfy what only a deep, meaningful relationship with God could do.

I didn't set out to change the world, but to hope and pray people would pause and made sure their filter was lined up with God's filter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

03/24/09 - Accountability vs. Being Judgemental

In a recent conversation with a close friend we were processing through an issue. She was trying to figure out the best way to confront another friend on a issue.

At one point my friend said something along the lines of, "We live in a culture that when you try to hold someone accountable, you are taken as being judgemental." We stayed on this topic for awhile and we both agreed that since we live in a culture where everything is morally relevant, anytime you confront sin, you risk the chance of being taken as judgemental and/or hypocritical.

What is the line between accountability and being judgemental?

As I've thought about this conversation, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of it comes to our own heart when wanting to "confront" someone with a sin issue. Are we looking to be heard? Or are we sincerely looking out for the spiritual well being of the person we are confronting?

We are not the Holy Spirit for people, yet we are to be "iron sharpening iron" with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. This takes a willingness to know when to act, when to speak, and when to be silent. We must have our own hearts pure before we start "confronting" others with sin issues.

I also firmly believe you have to have a relationship built with someone before you being to show them the error of their ways. Those who are closest to me, have the greatest impact when they confront me. Yes, I've had others who I hardly know confront me on issues and my human nature is to respond in...well it's not pretty the thoughts I've had. It felt more like them judging me without knowing the full story, than them trying to guide me in my walk with God.

All of this takes our own walk with God to be real and authentic. If we don't have that, then we can come across as judgemental and hypocritical.

What are your thoughts on this?

Monday, March 23, 2009

03/23/09 - Quiet Life

For the past few weeks my husband and I have had many conversations about our future, our goals, and what the Lord is leading us to do. We both feel like we're in a time of life where there is constant change and a lot of demands.

When you face change and demands it's easy to become overwhelmed and scared, but God has covered us with His peace in this "new" season of our life.

One day last week we were lead to the verse in 1 Thessalonians 4:11:
...aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands....

It brought instant peace. We're not called to change the world or the government, but we are called to live our lives quietly. (Not that we can't take a stand or be involved, but it's not our responsibility to change big government.) We're not called to change other people, but mind our own business (raising our family, ministering to our local church body, grow in our walk with God) We're not called to be lazy in this world, but to work.

This verse is so simple! It takes all the "drama" out of life.

We printed this verse and hung it up in our kitchen as a constant reminder of what God has called us to do in the short time we have here on this earth. Praise God this is not our final home!

Friday, March 20, 2009

03/20/09 - Parents Rights

I've blogged about the right of parents before, but I came across this video and wanted to share. If you have children or if you have older children...please watch. Maybe your a single who desires to have a godly family some day...please watch. Maybe you have grandchildren who are being homeschooled or raised going to church....please watch. Parents rights are in jeopardy and it has become more of a threat with the new congress and president!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

03/19/09 - Drama

I have always disliked dramas...movies, TV shows, drama in real life! It's annoying to me!

When I was younger my mom was "addicted" to soap operas. (Sorry if that is embarrassing mom!) I remember watching some with her and becoming so frustrated with the people and their drama. My mom stopped watching when I was 8 or 9, so I couldn't have been too old when I had these feelings.

I remember thinking, "If so and so would just tell so and so what is really going on their be no tension!" Isn't this what creates drama in our lives?!? When there is a lack of communication between two people they are each left up to decided what the other person is thinking, feeling, or why they are doing something they are doing.

Whenever I find myself trying to figure out someones motives, I realize this just creates drama! Thus I am a "communication junkie". With those I am close enough too, I can talk about almost anything and work through most issues without any drama.

I know teenagers feel like life is one big drama. But it doesn't have to be that way...communication is the key to working through issues without drama. When you know, and I mean really know, what someone is thinking, it can help create no drama.

Does drama annoy you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

03/18/09 - What are your intentions?

I receive e-mails all the time from young women confused about the way a young man is treating her. One question I almost always receive is: When should I ask him what his intentions are?

There are a couple of factors that I believe should be involved in knowing when to ask what a guys intentions are.

First, is he treating you different than other single women. You may be friends with a guy who is just super friendly with all women and you could be reading his signals wrong.

I think of my friend Joe. Joe is just a nice guy. If he would call one girl to invite her to a gathering, he'd call 15 girls and guys. If he gave one girl a hug, he'd give all the girls and guys hugs. He is just a nice guy. A girl could easily mistake his friendliness as "liking" her, when in reality he was just being Joe.

So make sure he is really treating you different. When I asked my husband what his intentions were with me it was after 6 months of face to face friendship and he began to treat me very different than the other single women in our group of friends.

Second, I feel that having a green light from God is the most important thing. Let the Holy Spirit guide a conversation like this.

A conversation about intentions can come purely from manipulation or a need to "have" this guy and not from a real need to clarify the situation. Make sure your motives are pure.

I will say that there are other authors (who write about this subject) who feel that a girl should never say anything to a guy and should wait on him. If God has convicted you of this, then this is your answer. If God has given you the freedom to ask, then follow the Holy Spirits leading.

Maybe I just opened up a can of worms of other questions. Please send them my way and I'll try my best to give my thoughts.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

03/14/09 - Joshua

In my read through the bible I am in the book of Joshua. As anyone who has read the bible knows, each time you read you see something new, something fresh, and something with a new application.

I feel like I am reading Joshua with a new set of glasses this time around and I am seeing how much of what is in the book I can relate to in a new way!

I read this verse yesterday: "But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day." Joshua 15:63

Wasn't God more powerful then the Jebusities and their gods? Then why were the people not wiped out?

When I read that I just stopped. Often God calls us to a hard task and it may seem impossible. So we hit a road block and what is our response? It seems that the people of Judah gave up, caved in, and forgot the task God had given them.

Many times Moses warned the people to not allow any remnants of Canaanites and to not let them live among you...then why were the Jebusities allowed to remain.

Just a reminder to me that when God lays a battle plan before me, not to get discouraged when the battle gets tough and to remember who is on my side!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

03/03/09 - Issues

Do you have an "issue" that you feel you just can't shake? You feel like it pops it ugly head in your life when you least expect it? It's a constant reminder of your desperate need for God's grace?

I have an issue. It's been my thorn for years. When, in my flesh, I think of this issue I become agitated and annoyed. But I know in my heart how this issue drives me to the heart of God and in that I find peace.

Let me say I don't think we are called to live in sin and try to not grow and purge sin out of our lives. But I do believe that God gives us each issues that remind us of our need for Him. We must, however remember that sin has no grip on us! Jesus died to bring that freedom!

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On a side note, sorry I've not been around as much as I would have hoped. I am feeling good, my brain feels a bit mushy still ;-) I feel like I am trying to get my feet under me still after 10 weeks of being sick. I am 16 weeks pregnant and starting to feel baby move around in there!

However, when I am pregnant I struggle deeply with fear (I think miscarrying my first baby opened that door). When I am struggling I feel that it is a time for me to ask the Lord to fill me, keep me peaceful, calm, and trusting Him. During these times I use my extra energy to feed on His word and know that, although His ways are not always comfortable, they are good!