Different like Jesus

#fmf

Go….

Being a round, trying to fit in a square.  It’s hard to do!

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I have always felt different, never quiet fit in.  I’m not sure why that is.  When I was a child there was a bucket full of differences.  I was the tallest never petite. I was shy never life of the party. I was average never over achiever.   As an adult things didn’t change much.  I would find myself doing things and acting in ways that, in my mind, made me not so different.  I was living a life as a christian woman, wife and mother by this time but I didn’t fully get that those little acts of striving to be the same, were called sin.

Proverbs 1:15

My son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,

Through yet another “different” period of my life, I found myself divorced. The only one in my circle of relationships of course.  That truly magnified my difference.  I found myself walking off that path.   Making decisions that were not aligned with the path that He had laid out for me.  Making myself a different path.  That child was yearning inside, wanting to be the same as everyone else.

John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

I was living a life of hidden sin that the world told me was okay.  It wanted me, it wanted to own my soul.  I felt as if I was a rope being pulled by each end, one being Satan and the other Jesus.  Then I was convicted.  Convicted of the sin I hid so well.  The part of me that fought to be the same now was seeing how being different was more like Jesus.  Jesus was not like the world.  He lived in it. He loved people in it. But He didn’t conform to it.

And this child wanted to be different like Jesus.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

I entered my path of studying and craving Him.  I realized through a hands on project that the clay that He molded me from is meant to be different.  If you go to a potters work shop, you will see that no two pieces of work are ever the same.  Even if the potter intentionally made the same piece with the same colors and the same shape, there are always slight differences.  That is what makes hand made pieces unique.  And that is what makes me unique.

Even though I still struggle with the desire to be the same, which means fitting in, I’m grasping the desire more to be different.  To be different is to be how He made me.

Stop…

Lord, I am grateful for all that you have taught me and all that you will continue to teach.  I pray that I will fully understand how precious being different is.  I pray that I will be able to accept others for their differences.  I love and thank you!  Amen

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That Hill

11889706_716612705109961_2514489217798177589_nKristy Horine:  I meet Kristy by happenstance.  Kristy is the facilitator of a writing group that meets monthly in Lexington, Ky.  I found out about this group by way of a friend who sent me information on a training that was scheduled at the church where the meetings take place.  After looking into the training, I found out about the group and decided to join in.  As I sit in group listening to Kristy interact with the other group members and watch her reactions to words and feelings of others, I am awe struck by the empathy that she so genuinely shows.  She is a true gentle spirit filled with Jesus.  Since that encounter we have communicated some through email and she has encouraged me in my writings.  Through following her on Facebook, I was pushed to introduce you to her.  You will find a link to Kristy’s blog at the bottom of this post.  I hope you enjoy getting to know her a bit and will continue to engage with her gentleness.

It was that hill. Always that hill.

The entire team dreaded it, so at least I wasn’t alone. That’s one thing about suffering, or rejoicing, or living — if you do it with others, the burden isn’t so great.

I didn’t know about that hill when I first started running in junior high – circa mid-80s. All I knew back then was that I sort of liked to run in the fields on the farm. I also knew my Daddy seemed happy that I sort of liked to run. Looking back, it was the Daddy part that probably made me join the team, and it was the Daddy part that probably kept me there.

The longer I stayed on the team, the more complex the workouts became, the greater the race distance, the harder the courses. In cross-country, each runner competes for an individual score, and a team score. Each runner must do the work for the greater good of the team, as the team scores get everyone to state.

State rewarded us with that hill.

Each year, in the time of the Fall that pretended it was winter, we’d pack into vans and cars and trucks and head to Frankfort. Our scores earned our way there during the season and we joined hundreds of other runners bundled in warmups and toboggans and gloves in the low Kentucky River country cradled in a crisp fog. Our breath made personal clouds and our shoes crunched on grass. Good running weather.

Early out, and together, we walked the entire 3.1 mile course. We were thankful for the wisdom of the walk. We learned the narrow and the wide of the course, the hidden ankle-twisting holes, the tree roots that snaked above the ground, the mud and the grass, the places to conserve, the places to run wide open.

And the inclines. That hill.

By my senior year, we had run the state course five times. Even though we knew the course and dreaded it, still we walked it.

My dad walked it, too.IMG_0308

He had no part of the coaching staff. He wasn’t one of those fathers who pushed and demanded sports excellence at every single event. He’s my dad. He was just there.

He was there in the pre-dawn darkness, running with me on my childhood’s country lane. He was there at community 5k events – always beating my time, then turning back to make sure I didn’t lack encouragement. He was there at our team meets in rain, shine, snow. He was there to encourage and train with me in the off-season. And he was there at that hill.

You see, when my dad walked the course, he sought out the span that he knew would test my weakness, my endurance, my will. He knew because he knew me. Without fail, Daddy stood at the top of that hill, hands cupped around his mouth, ball cap pulled low over his eyes.

“Let’s go!” he cheered.

And I went.

“Dig deep!” he hollered.

And I did.

Race after race, I finished. Never first, mind you, but rarely last.

Somehow, he managed to make it to the finish line to join my mom who was already cheering me toward the end.

Because he was there at that hill, I couldn’t not get up it. Because he was there at the finish line, urging me to find that something I thought I had already run out, I couldn’t not cross it.

This is what I think of when I think of my God Journey because here is what I know:

Jesus was on another hill once, and He didn’t just hard-scrabble up it, He triumphed over it. Because He ran that race so well, He already knows every narrow, every wide, every hidden hole, every tripping tree root, every place to run wide open, and the agony of every hill.  As we journey together, He stands there at the top and He knows the difficulty, the pain, my weakness, my struggle, and He is my strength.

He cups his hands around his mouth, the crown of glory resting on His brow.

“Let’s go!” He says.

And I go.

“Dig deep!” He says.

And I do.

That’s it. Sometimes, I slow from a run to a walk. Sometimes, other runners cut me off. Sometimes, I sprint and catch my second wind. Sometimes I just want to walk off the course.

But I can’t not run.

And I can’t not finish.

Because He’s there.

The victor of all those hills.

Kristy’s Blog – “Write One Real Life”

Lord, I praise you and your ever present leading in my life.  I thank you for bringing others into my life that draw me closer to you.  I pray that you will continue to bless this budding friendship.  I ask you to be with Kristy, wrap your arms around her and bring others into her life where she can share her love for you.  I thank you for loving me enough.  Amen!

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Braving

Matthew 4:1-25

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple …

Braving the Wilderness……………… I don’t know about the wilderness geographically but I’ve definitely wondered through my own personal wildernesses.  Never like Jesus was in Matthew, never have I been led to a wilderness, alone and hungry for 40 days and 40 nights.   My own have been varied, varied in length and varied in circumstance but all were filled with temptation brought to me by the tempter himself.  Some of those temptations did not win over my soul but others did.  And the Spirit continues to help me with braving the wilderness.

I was reading/audio the book by Brene’ Brown called “Braving”.  I found the acronym she uses for Braving has a very applicable process.

B – Boundaries – Have respect, expect respect, say no, be willing to ask

R – Reliability – Do what you say you will do

A – Accountability – Accept responsibility for self and make yourself open to others

V – Vault – Confidentiality, be a safe place, don’t share things that are not yours to share

I – Integrity –  Practice values, stand for courage over comfort

N – Non-judgmental – I can ask. You can ask. Talk it through.

G – Generosity – extend understanding

These words will help us weather any wilderness that we find ourselves in.  Make it personal.  We can not expect this behavior from others if we don’t practice ourselves. To have Trust we must be Braving.

Does the acronym Braving encourage application that is clearly spelled out in the bible?

Yes!

Galatians 6:5

For each will have to bear his own load.

Luke 16:10-12

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

Galatians 6:1-5

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Romans 14:12

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Proverbs 11:13

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 20:7

The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Matthew 7:1-5

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

2 Corinthians 9:6

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

 

Braving the Wilderness can be hard.  I pray that this will help you walk braver.  Listen to the Spirit and follow the words of the Lord.

Help me Lord was each day braver.  Amen!

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ONLY

#FMF post
Go….
Only can give the feeling of alone-ness.     Such as, “I was the only one in the room that feels this way”, “I was only one that showed up to the party” or “I am the only one that has been sick”.   Alone-ness, being by myself even if there are others involved.
Being the “only” can feel bad but if we consider that the Lord made “me” , the only one like “me”, then those feelings can turn into amazement.  There are many times in the bible that being the “only” ……. turned out to be a blessing.
He showed mercy on Abraham , who was willing to sacrifice his only son for God.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
When we feel alone and unable to protect ourselves, we “only” need to be still and God will fight for us.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Even in our ugliness of sin, God will save us just as he did Rahab.  But only if we are devoted to the Lord.
The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LordOnly Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.
Even if we only have a few copper pennies, God will do great things with it, if we’re willing to give.
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
The Lord my God is the only one that is my Savior.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
So don’t fret being the only one because we are only alone if we don’t invite Jesus into our lives.
Stop….
Lord I’m thankful! Amen
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When Fall Comes

When Fall comes and everything is dying, withering away to nothing, turning many shades of brown and the days get shorter, I feel like I’m doing the same.

Why is it? I’ve heard people talk about being more irritable, sadder, less energy during the fall and winter months but I never really understood.  But now, now that I’m becoming more aware of me, my being, my feelings, I’m realizing that I fit into that category too.  This change has a name, I didn’t know that, it’s called appropriately “SAD”, Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Click the link if you are interested in knowing more Seasonal Affective Disorder – Web MD .

I’ve always been able to push through the moods.  Which for me meant “doing more”.  But as I age, I’ve not got the energy to do more.

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

And if the changes in the seasons weren’t enough, let’s throw in some life struggles to add to the sadness.  We all have them, you know, life struggles.  They don’t go away just because the seasons change.  I’m learning though.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to acknowledge my feelings.  If I’m filled with sorrow I don’t hold it in.  I allow myself to feel them.  If I bottle it up and don’t acknowledge them, then I can never move past.

John 11:35

Jesus wept.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Just as the seasons change and darkened days become brighter, my sadness also changes to rejoicing.  Instead of relying on myself, my own will, to push through those seasons, I go to my sweet Jesus to fill my heart.

Proverbs 15:13

A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.

He is always there with me through the Holy Spirit.  To comfort me, to guide down the path of each season.  To lead me when I’m too weary.  To help me!

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

I trust in Him.  The one and only that has each and every season planned out for me.  I don’t have to push through it alone.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Thank you Lord for loving me.  Thank you for sending your son to save me from my sin.  Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to walk this path with.  I ask  you that you will continue to fill me with strength and courage to get up! Lord please be with my family.  Be with my children as they are walking their own paths.  I pray that their hearts will be softened to you and allow you to guide their steps.  Amen!

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Near

#fmf post

Welcome, so glad you have opened this post.  I hope that it draws you Near to our Lord as it has drawn me to him in thought.

Go:

When I think of “near”, I immediately think of good.  People who I love and the desire for them to be near me.  Drawing near to my home and near to my heart being filled with joy.  Obviously, none of us want people near us that suck every ounce of joy from our souls.

I know for me, in my current season,  my children are newly married and starting their families.  They are side tracked by life and responsibilities.  They’re doing exactly what they should be doing, by taking care of their families.  But if I’m honest, I mourn for them at times, wishing for that time back when they were near to me all the time.  I didn’t realize the emptiness that I would feel without them constantly needing me.

I know that this must be how God feels.

James 4:8

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

He created me to be near to Him.  He desires for me to need Him.  I’m sure he mourns when I get side tracked by life.  And I ask myself, does he also feel that emptiness when I don’t seek Him?  When I set my own path and don’t invite Him to be near me.

Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

My children are now living their own lives, raising their own families, doing as they should.  For me, my constant Joy will only come when I draw near to the Lord.

I pray I will be reminded each time that I’m feeling empty, that those are the times that I need to draw nearer to Him.

Stop:

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