Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I need more things...a larger house...a newer car...nicer clothes...all the latest electronics. I have to be in style and I have to be envied in order to maintain my self worth. I started out with one charge card, one mortgage. But my need to have more demanded that I spend with reckless abandon. It is so easy to do...I am inundated with offers to buy without paying...like that roomful of new furniture. I don't have to start payments on that until two years from now. So why not have a new look? Every day it seems I get credit companies wanting me to get their charge card with new introductory rates that I can't pass up. My kids need stuff to compete with their classmates.
Spending is so easy...until it's time to pay. I can't even afford the minimum due, so I get a home equity loan and catch everything up...and then I can't afford to make my payments to the lending institution. But don't blame me!! After all, isn't that what my government does...keeps spending money it doesn't have, and going further and further into debt....trillions of dollars into debt? If Uncle Sam can do it, then so can I!
I'm not happy at home. My friends all live a much more exciting life than I do. I'm too important to waste my time with the children every day. They have stuff to play with...they don't need me too. I need to find someone who sees me for who I really am...someone very smart, very beautiful, and very engaging to be with. I'm going to leave my husband. He's made me absolutely miserable. I'll get even with him. I will find a lover and I will move out of the home, or kick him out, and I will use my children to make him pay my way. Courts always favor the mothers...I can sue for alimony and child support, and if I work it right, I won't have to get a job. My "ex" may have to work two or three jobs to support me and the kids, but I deserve to be happy with a significant other in my life. The kids don't matter. They'll know it was important for me to be happy. They won't miss Dad so much after a while. After all, they're just kids.
My working friends...they all bring home "goodies" from work. They can build their own home office from the stuff they've managed to sneak out of the company office. And you should hear them talk about their co-workers. It seems that the work place is an absolute Peyton Place no matter where you work these days...including the post office!! Nobody has morals any more....it's good to get what you can before someone beats you to it. Nobody tells the truth in this era...that's for religious wimps. The clever ones know how to lie and cheat and steal. Everything is just a big cover up anyway...so why does it matter? Integrity? What's that??
Pay my taxes? What Uncle Sam doesn't know won't hurt him. Pay my tithe? You've got to be kidding!! God knows I can't hardly squeak by on what I make. I can't even afford to eat out every day or take nice vacations more than twice a year. And besides, what's God got to do with it? He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the old song says, so what does he need my measly little offering for? So what if the churches can't pay their bills, maybe they need to just shut down anyway. What good are they doing? It's just a little group of people who are out of touch with the real world. In the real world you have to scheme, push, shove, and manipulate to prove you are somebody worth taking note of. And believe me...it IS all about me! I can make it on my own, thank you! Now, just give me everything you have and shut up and get out of my way and if you don't...I'll see you in court! I know how to work the system.
...And we wonder why the world is a mess, our nation is in crisis, and our homes are falling apart? The "me" generation of the 70's has come into full bloom...the big "I" is all that matters. So we sit in our homes and watch the news and see the big black hole we are all swirling toward, yet we think somehow we'll get past this...this too will pass.
Somehow, I don't think so.
Meet Peter, the rock. Now there was one big tough he-man that always did things impulsively and impetuously. He was the one who was in the middle of everything, and didn't know when to be quiet and take his seat. Life was all about him. Why in heaven's name would Jesus choose such a person as Peter to follow Him?
You see, here's the secret. When God looks at us, He sees us as we are, but He sees so much more. He sees what we can become through His grace. In Peter He saw a man who had the personality to set the world on fire. Why would God want satan to possess that potential? So, even when Peter failed Jesus and denied Him three times, He knew that Peter would come to the end of himself and realize that he needed something more in his life to overcome defeat. Peter knew he needed a Power to pulsate through him to proclaim the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Jesus told Peter, along with others, to wait in the Upper Room until he received that Power. For once Peter listened, he obeyed, he waited...for ten days he waited. And then the day of Pentecost came, and everyone in that upper room received the promise of the Holy Spirit. His very Presence filled the whole room, and every person in that room was baptized with a Power so bold that they took to the streets and started proclaiming who Jesus really was. Peter finally realized life wasn't about his own self, and his own desires. Life was about Jesus, his own personal Savior. Only through the Power of Jesus could lives be changed...not by force, but by love.
The only way we are going to make it in this world today is through the Power of the Holy Spirit...Jesus in us...expressing His love to a world dying to know something, Someone is real and there is HOPE. There IS a better way to live. Life isn't all about me. Life is allowing Christ to live in us and through us, and allowing Him to reach others with a genuine love that the world is starved for, and doesn't even know it.
So, what am I going to do with this Power, this Person, this responsibility?
My destiny depends on how I answer that question, how I live my life.
Lord Jesus, I need you...now, more than ever. Amen!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I have been trying to get to my blog and make a post today, covering the highlights of my past week, but it's been an absolutely beautiful day out, with a temperature of about 70....perfect. So we were out and about on the golf cart today, with the doggies. They like to play "sheriff"...feeling like they are in control...telling the squirrels off when they run in front of us, letting other dogs know who's the boss, chasing after rabbits and prairie dogs, showing no mercy on any cats we might see...all of this from the safety of the golf cart seat and my lap, of course. The dogs, like me, think that riding the golf cart is what "camping" is all about. This is the life!!
Well, we are finally budding out here in lower Michigan. The lilacs are coming out in full bloom and scent, and Bradford Pear trees are blooming. The leaves are coming on, as well as the rose bushes. Grass is getting hard to keep up with in all the rain. We've had nice days, cooler nights, but spring is definitely in the air. Our snowbirds are almost all back home for the summer, and this past weekend was opening day in our RV park. We had a pot luck dinner with the RVers and the 45 volunteer youth workers, grilling hamburgs and hot dogs to supplement all the side dishes. Lots of work done on the grounds yesterday and in our tabernacle, thanks to all the volunteers. This is an exciting place to be as we see life returning in all shapes and forms.
I'm proud of a couple of guys in my life...one traveling for his company to represent them at an annual conference, the other passing his GRE with a perfect math score. I'm excited to know that summer is only a month or so away, and our granddaughters will be visiting us for two weeks. And, in the midst of all the disturbing news in the media, God is still on the throne and still at work in our world. In Him I have peace, I have a future, and I have hope. What more do I need?
Now to my journal notes from this past week. I'm going to list them this time by putting the title of the Book first and then the highlights of what God has brought to my attention this past week.
Unto The Hills, Billy Graham (see reference at right):
1. Wealth is not measured by an abundance of possessions, rather, how few the wants.
2. "Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern." (Matthew 6:33 NLT)
Putting the Pieces Together, Louie Bustle (see reference at right):
1. Christian Perfection is characterized by:
- living without sin, for sin is a choice to deliberately disobey God. No one can force us to sin...we choose to sin. We must make the right choices and live without sinning.
- loving God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- having the purest of intentions/motives, even if our actions do not always turn out well.
- if God has set a standard for us to obtain, he will also make it possible for us to live it.
- "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48 NLT)
2. Holiness can be described simply as loving God with our whole heart. The more we love him, the more we want to please him, obey him, do his will, consecrate/submit our entire life/self to him. God wants our love more than anything else.
3. The best gift God has chosen to give us is the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. We have within us Someone on call 24/7 who will guide us, comfort us, strengthen us...whatever our need is. However, in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we must first ask God to cleanse our hearts, as he cannot dwell where sin resides.
"The Word For You Today" (see reference at right):
1. When life knocks you down, the winners are the ones who get back up.
2. When we look hard enough, we will see good in every situation. No matter what we go through, God will get the glory, and will work it out for our good.
3. What happens in you is more important than what happens to you. Jesus living in us will help us to be overcomers in this life.
4. It's not what others do to us that determines the outcome or future...it's what we choose to do. We must accept responsibility for our own actions and reactions.
5. "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)
A neat thing happened in my life this week to let me know that my Heavenly Father knows and cares about me. This is a tight month financially. I pay my bills at the first of the month, then I know what I have left for daily living for the rest of the month, and somehow I have to make it work. I knew as soon as I paid the bills, for there were extra ones this month (insurance, quarterly sewer bills, misc.) that it would be a difficult month if not for God's intervention. So, the day after I wrote all the checks, including the tithe checks for the month, in the mail comes an insurance reimbursement check for a situation that occurred with our van back in 2007. Two years have gone by, and I had pretty much forgotten about it, certainly never expected a reimbursement...and along it comes just when we needed it most. That's the faithfulness of God. That's why I know I should never worry, as long as I put Him first in my life. I can trust Him. Therefore, I can love Him!! And I do, make no mistake about it. He is Supreme in my life!