Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Monday, May 21, 2012
A coworker really, really upset me. I'd rushed and handled his project, and then (rather than give me a little notice) he cancelled our meeting when I showed up.
He was frequently inconsiderate, and that felt like the last straw!!!
I was so mad, I griped to my boss.
After my boss let me fume for a few minutes, he quietly told me, "Jenna, he is having to let a person go (fired) today, and I think he's pretty caught up in that. I believe that's why he can't meet and didn't take time to tell you the meeting was cancelled."
I paused, because that was actually a good reason. But I was still resentful. So I begrudgingly sighed, and said, "OK, I guess he deserves grace."
The Holy Spirit checked me. "IF HE *DESERVES* IT, IS IT REALLY GRACE?"
Uh oh. I'd forgotten the definition of Grace is that it's favor we DO NOT DESERVE. We can't earn it, and we certainly don't deserve it.
Only those who sin need grace. Only those who don't deserve grace are qualified to receive it.
ONLY THOSE WHO DON'T DESERVE GRACE ARE QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE IT.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Jesus said, “My peace I give to you—not the kind of peace the world gives, but the kind only I can give.” The Hebrew word for “peace” is “shalom.” Shalom actually means “nothing missing, nothing broken, whole, complete.”
I'd love to speak to your women's group! Click here to learn more.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I will trust my Father God at all times.
It’s safe for me to pour out my heart to Him,
because He protects me!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
But there's also another way to get strength, to become strong.
They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength... (Isa 40:31)
Now, waiting isn't something I "love" to do.
But looking back over the past 6 months, while WAITING has been one of the key themes, I can tell you some things that happened during the wait... some things that changed about me. Now, more than ever before:
- I know God, His Love, His Faithfulness, His Attentiveness, His Goodness and His thoughts toward me THE WAY I NEVER HAVE BEFORE. Sure, I believed He was good and faithful and loving... but I didn't know the EXTENT to which He is all those things. And I have been astonished!!
- I know that in His strength, I can be forgiving in a way that I never knew possible.
- I recognize that, in years gone by, I dismissed things the Lord was saying to me, because I didn't SEE that I needed to know them.
- I know that "head knowledge" of scripture, and even believing it, understanding it and applying it to life IS NOT THE SAME EXPERIENCE AS LIVING ITS TRUTHS DAY BY DAY when it seems impossible to do so.
- I know that I was truly one of the most self-centered people I know. But I also know that He has forgiven me. And I know that He is giving me grace to now live being others-centered, and that He is teaching me how to do it.
- I know that there's more to giving love and forgiveness out than simply doing it because we've matured and now we're loving and forgiving. Truly, we have to go regularly to Him, and get those things to give out to others.
- I know that He loves me beyond reason.
- I know that He answers me generously and takes time to heal me and minister to me.
- I know He will speak to me as often as I ask Him to. Umm, He may not say exactly what I WANT Him to, but He WILL speak to me!
- I know that He doesn't dole out His presence like a miser-- but that He rejoices to spend time with me!!!!
11. I know that He keeps His promises.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Here's what is crazy: I sincerely thought God was my source-- for strength, for guidance, for wisdom.
And don't get me wrong: I would hear from Him, and even operated in the spiritual gifts He gave me.
But after all these years, I've discovered (much to my shock and dismay) that I was letting a human guide me-- I pursued God (and sometimes obeyed Him) according to how this human behaved and set the example.
But here's what is worse... I actually expected that human to get everything right-- comments, situational analysis, instruction, behavior: everything. And who can live up to that kind of pressure?
Because-- you know me!-- if I think something, I generally share it. So, if I look to *you* to explain something to someone, and you don't do it "right," then I'll give you... uh... "feedback" on that lack.
Wow. I had no idea-- that was idolatry. (As well as incredibly unfair of me.)
If anyone had asked me if I practiced Idoloatry, I'd DEFINITELY have said NO! (I even objected to the contest name "American Idol!!" ;) But it looks like I was full-out practicing idolatry--expecting a human to be my source and to get everything right.
Of course, if you'd asked me whether I truly expected someone to be right all the time, I'd have said no-- and had all the examples of when this person got it wrong to prove it!
Now, I've helped to create a mess. (Terrific quote I heard today: God will use your "mess" to deliver the "message" and will use your "test" to create a "testimony.")
But my God-- the real one, Jesus/YahWeh/Holy Spirit/Jehovah Nissi-- has come on the scene.
He has said He will clean this mess up. He will right the wrongs. He will DEFEND & SAVE.
In the meantime, He is walking me through this. And helping me re-focus on Who my Source is.
And I gotta tell you, I have never EVER seen such minute attention and concern from ANYONE as I have from my loving, heavenly Father. It has been astonishing-- even though I've seen miracles, deliverances and experienced powerful moves of God in the past, I have NEVER seen such minute concern and ministry as I have these last 6 weeks or so.
Now-- I gotta go. He's working on changing me!
OH!!! I must must must recommend the book, Two Fleas & No Dog by Craig Hill. It's in paperback or on audio CD. Get it asap!!! Really!!!!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Today, I read this on a blog:
"Some of you see this pain as a friend – it gets you the attention you need from others, and the thought of losing that attention can be frightening. To you, losing the attention of others means being alone and that seems unbearable. Still this is another lesson you must learn – to the degree you feel alone is the degree you depend on others for your satisfaction, value, and self worth."
I know that we sometimes hold on to pain-- or anger, or hurt-- and I guess I never really thought about why, but now it seems clear.
It's an Identity issue. (Hey-- we've just been talking about those!!!)
Pain, Anger... these things help establish to us or to others WHO we are. "I am the one who was wounded-- wrongly." "I am the one who was done wrong." "I am the innocent-- and righteous-- victim." "I am the one whose gift is never recognized because of un-spiritual people are in charge at work or at my congregation." "I am the one allowed to be suspicious, bitter, angry, selfish... because someone hurt me." "I am a Christian, but I'm the body part that doesn't have to be present when the body gets together-- because the other body parts hurt me!"
How can you know when you're holding on to pain or anger and letting it become-- or at least shape-- your identity?
I know that when I hold on to anger or hurt, it comes up frequently in my conversations... if you're not as verbal as I am, then maybe you're experiencing it as the conversations or situations you rehearse mentally, over and over again. Is that happening in your life right now? Has it happened in the past?
Letting go of those hurts and that anger allows us to begin to really believe what GOD says about us, rather than what we or others say about us.
And believing what God says about us opens doors to joy, as we begin to experience Life as He intended us to!
Not to ignore what has happened to us... we must gain the tools that help us to cope and determine to forgive (sometimes daily) so that God's healing can come to us.
Even after we decide to forgive, the enemy often reminds us of the offense... and if we begin mentally rehearsing it, we're right back where we started! So... remind yourself (and the enemy) outloud that you've decided to forgive, and cast down that vain imagination.
This is one of the toughest disciplines there is. In fact, fasting food seems easy compared to disciplining our thoughts! (Another truth from the previously mentioned blog!)
But the rewards are amazing!
Imagine truly believing that you are an HEIR-- inheriting what Jesus does!!!
Imagine truly believing that you are EXPERTLY CRAFTED, of many things that PLEASE GOD!!
Imagine truly believing that you absolutely have every ounce of love He has to give-- that no matter how much good you do, no matter how badly you fail or fall, He won't love you any more than He does right now, and He won't love you any less!!!!
If you TRULY believed-- and behaved-- as if all that God says about you is REAL IN YOUR LIFE, how would your life be different?
One thing is for sure: there's more joy and more peace (wholeness-- nothing missing and nothing broken) when I let go of hurt and anger, and make room for what is TRULY my identity.
And to experience it, we only have to trade in our pain and anger... that's better than the $3k the govt is offering for trade in on cars older than 10 years!!!!!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Have you ever considered what you would do if faced with the choice to deny Jesus as Lord or die?
I think most Christians have, and that they reach the conclusion “yes,” they COULD die for Jesus. I think, if faced with the choice, “Acknowledge Him as Lord and die, but admit He is not Lord and you will live” then most Christians know they could chose Christ as Lord.
But upon further thought, I think the most important question is not whether I could die for Jesus, but whether I could give up my life for Him.
What I mean is, am I willing to give up what I want to do, and spend the time doing what He wants me to do?
Jesus said, He who would gain his life, must lose it! (Matt )
Let me frame it in a real life situation. Should I watch another rerun of That 70s Show, or should I turn the TV off and work on the Bible Study lesson I have? (2 Tim 2:15)
Should I luxuriate in bed Sunday morning, or obey His command to “forsake not the gathering together of Christians, as is the habit of some…”? (Heb 10:25)
Should I complain away about a brother or sister when they have hurt me, or should I clamp my mouth shut and take that concern to the Lord, them and my spiritual advisor if necessary? (Mt 11:25, Mt 18)
Giving up my life is NOT an easy decision. And it’s not a one-time decision. It’s a daily question. In my life, sometimes it’s a moment-by-moment question. Will I walk with Him, giving up my wants and obeying His direction? Or will I do what pleases my flesh?
Sometimes I sound like a whiny adolescent “It’s MY life!!! I should get to do what I want!”
And God lets me. Every day He lets me choose what I want most. Do I want MOST to please myself, or do I want MOST to please Him? Sometimes, I choose to do what my flesh wants; sometimes I choose to give up my life for Him. And that is when I gain everything, and truly lose nothing of value.
When I choose to do what HE wants me to, I usually end up with an almost immediate delight in the outcome! For example, when I go ahead and turn the TV of that rerun, and study to prepare the lesson, then I usually find out that something that study time revealed actually helped a friend! When I roll out of bed and attend worship services, I usually experience His presence during worship or hearing something that truly helps me in a struggle I have.
Give it some thought. After you’ve made the decision you could DIE for Him… consider whether you could give up your life for Him.
Friday, November 7, 2008
One spring, my husband noticed a gorgeous, leafy vine growing near our front door. It would make a beautiful surrounding to our entryway, so he placed a few wires and nails to help the vine wrap around the column and up over the door. Once those nails and wires were in place, the vine flourished, and soon the entire area was covered in brilliant leaves. Wow-- gorgeous landscaping with very little cost!!!
That same summer, my husband developed an odd rash near his eye. He treated it and treated it, but it never went away. Our son developed a rash, too, and couldn't seem to rid himself of it despite several applications of very potent medication.
You guessed it—the vine was an unusual and attractive species of poison ivy! My son had apparently brought a little of it to the house on his clothes from a trip to the woods, and it dropped near our front door. Naturally, it took root and grew. Then my husband—noticing only the pleasing aspects of it-- had shaped and nurtured it so it would flourish, unknowingly causing pain and discomfort.
And neither ever suspected that the painful symptoms were caused by something that seemed so attractive. After, my mother-in-law took a close look at the vine, and found reference to it in a book, she let them know the source of their continuing discomfort.
Thank goodness, because no matter what we used to treat their rashes, every time they walked through the door and brushed up against the vine, this re-exposure would cause the rash to reappear-- although they had no clue WHY the painful rash was returning!
After discovering this vine he’d encouraged was the cause of his and our son's rash, he toiled to remove every last trace of the vine and its root.