Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Christ in us

My ladies (Sunday School class)and I have begun a new journey together with Christ. We can't go anywhere without Him for He is, "Christ in us, the hope of glory." The word glory can be a very hard word to translate into our English language with the same depth of meaning. It does have the idea of "weight" or "substance." I learned, from where I cannot remember, to replace the word glory with the word presence. Thinking about the weight and substance of all God is, is His glory it is His presence. Let's try it. "Christ in us, the hope of presence." His presence revealed in us.

That is our goal as we travel together through the book of Galatians with most of our attention on the fruit of the Spirit. I want to be different than the natural woman that I am. Instead of living and reacting to life with my natural tendencies I want to live with supernatural power. Although the Disciples walked physically with Christ they didn't know the power of supernatural living until the Holy Spirit came upon them as promised by the Father. That same power was given to each of us at the moment of our salvation. I have the same power but am I living with the same unleashing and bold power?

Think about it, do you naturally express love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? I am not asking if you at times exercise these characteristics. I am asking when your ordinarily natural response to something would be_____________ and through the power of Christ in you, you _____________ instead. Fill in the latter blank with any of the above fruit of the Spirit and it's opposite in the first blank.

Can't be done? Oh, yes I cry out to you with ears to hear, "It can because I am living proof." I have grown up! I live in victory over my natural self. Not that I have arrived completely, oh no that would certainly be fodder for the enemy. Yet I have experienced victory in certain areas that were pitfalls for me every time they arose. Now my goal is to yield every time my natural tendency is to do the opposite. Now that is great power coming through.

Join us as we seek "Christ in us the hope of presence."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lessons from Gardening

What I know about gardening I have taught myself mainly through trial and error or my friend Google. I do enjoy getting outside and getting my hands dirty.
Yesterday I was out dividing some monkey grass to line the front beds. I wanted to be sure and get monkey grass that would not be missed. As I was walking around I noticed some that was on the edge of the grass. I know that God was the one pointing it out to me because it was so mixed in with the grass that it was hard to differentiate from the grass. I guess it never had a chance to develop and become what it was created to be because it kept being mowed over; cut down. The grass had been planted so close to the edge of the grass without any barrier it had become assimilated with the grass and no one could tell the difference. They were small but I dug them up and replanted them along our front sidewalk where next year they will be visibly different from the grass and outline our front beds. They will thrive and grow tall; planted in the right place.
I have been a Christian now for over 30 years and have noticed differences within the church. Those that “plant” themselves too close to the world do not thrive nor do they become what they were created to be. They look, talk and act just like the world. Because they were never meant to live like the world they are continuously being cut down and not able to grow. Those that plant themselves apart from the influences of the world will stand out; they will clearly be seen as different from the standard grass. They will add to the world at large the beauty it desires and needs. They will define the borders by pursuing righteousness and holiness and not self-pleasure or personal rights. Where are you planting yourself? Are you satisfied with your Christian life? Do you stand out or are you assimilated into your surroundings?
I recently was challenged by this thought: How does one become spiritually relevant without becoming culturally irrelevant in the society we live in today? The Word and prayer have made the biggest differences in my life. The Word plants my thoughts, words and actions in Him and not in the world around me. Prayer keeps me growing or should I say going? What about you? Our Creator has given us all we need to live the vibrant and abundant life for Him but it cannot be done without Him. Just like my physical garden does not just happen without pain, planning and planting neither does the Christian life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Chad!

While I was gone to Dallas, without internet, my oldest had his birthday on the 11th of April. I wanted to wish him a belated blog birthday.

Chad is unique in so many ways. He serves our homeland security by working in the Coast Guard. He has decided to make a career of it. I am so very proud of him in so many different ways and making a career of the Coast Guard is only one. Chad is an
"I.T." guy. He and his wonderful family have been transferred to Cheboygen, MI. My heart aches because he will be even further away from us. Please pray for them as they relocate that they will be able to find Christian friends and a good church to attend.

Chad is somewhat quiet. He is content being alone as long as he has a book. He is always in the midst of reading something...he especially loves fantasy. He was loving J.R. Tolkien before his recent popularity with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
He is a wonderful husband who truly serves Amanda with a sacrificial love. He always puts her interest and good ahead of his own. He learned well from his own dad. He is a faithful husband who takes it seriously to flee temptations and pursue purity in his marriage.

He is a great dad who loves his children (Clay and Ava) with patience and attention. In a world where so many dad's seek to please themselves and to seek out as much "me" time; he stands out as a dad who seeks out "we" time with his children. He also has taken his role as teacher in their lives as a priority. That is why you can see Clay and Ava's intelligence soar above the average. He reads to them and so patiently explains everything to them as the questions arise and believe me Clay has many questions.

Amanda is a young lady who also seeks to put her children first. She is beautiful inside and out and devoted to her family. It is hard being married to someone in the military. She has to move often having to set down new roots and routes. She has done so with a great attitude...she is devoted to her marriage and her man, my son, and I lover her so deeply for that.

Chad I am so very proud of you in so many different areas of your life as a man. Know that I love you deeply, you are my first born. I sang over you many times but those special days just after your arrival I prayed and sang into the long night over you. You were literally an answer to the prayers of your dad and I. You brought hope and life to our marriage.

It has been so hard to let you and Grant go. God did not bless me with a daughter who would stay close to her mom but I wouldn't trade you and Grant for a million daughters. My heart does ache in my loneliness; so much time was spent with you. How does one stop being a mommy? A teacher? You were my life; my daily life. I have been so richly blessed for our time together and for watching you grow as a man. You have pursued righteousness now continue your journey and pursue the "abundant life."

Glad to be Home!

Wow; how long has it been? I was given a special birthday gift from my two sons, a trip "home" to Dallas to be with my mom as she recovered from major surgery. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of my boys....men now.

My mom is doing really great. She has one of those new scooters to put her knee on and scoot around the house. She is just as fast on that as she is behind the wheel of her car. I love my mom she is truly a treasure to me. She is a true servant giving continuously to her church. She prepares meals once a month on Wednesday's for the congregation. She picks up several of the elderly ladies and takes them to church on Sunday's and Wednesday's. She will often take them out to lunch on Sunday afternoons. There was a younger woman who came to Dallas and God brought her to my mom's church. She struggled to find a job. The church hired her as custodian and Mom quickly went to work in providing furnishings for her apartment and making curtains. I love my mom's heart to serve and do good....especially to the ones others would tend to see as a burden. My mom also has a wonderful sense of humor with a saying for everything. I enjoyed being with her but glad to be home.

While at my mom and dad's I had no internet....hard to live life without it once you have lived with it for so long. I have had so many thoughts pondered that I have a lot to make up for. Stay tuned, I'm home!