Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be Still

Be Still and know that I AM GOD. Psalms 46:10

In the hustle and bustle of every day life being still is just not on our priority list here in America. We are always on the go, always wanting more, always in a hurry and we must have instant gratification. This is not good.

I wonder how many times God whispers these words into my ear. When God said this in Psalms, he was saying Stop! Realize, completely understand, acknowledge that I AM exalted above this world. I AM in control. I Am holding this world in the palm of my hands. "I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13

I am not good at being still...just the past 2 days I have been bustling over the possible grade level moves I have been hearing about. Letting myself get consumed in the fire of these thoughts...Is it me? What grade level will she put me in? Why? Do I even have a job? This doesn't leave me much room for listening to the whispers of God's voice into my heart. I have to find quiet times in my day to actively listen for God to speak to me. I really struggle with this. I have to be doing something all the time. I even have a hard time watching a movie without working on something. It drives me bonkers!
God...You sure our making more aware of all my imperfections....but bring it on! Keep refining me!
Father, help me to BE STILL, to listen...actively listen to You. Help me to know that You are in total control and to remember that there is no one I would rather have in control than You. You are my help in trouble...You are always there.

Psalms 46: 1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fear of the Lord!

The wedding was beautiful and perfect. The words that were said during the ceremony were so beautiful. I was able to see many old friends and that was wonderful, as well.

Being at this wedding has made me reflect on my own marriage. I think all weddings do that to many people. My marriage has not always been a fairytale...I am much of the reason why. My stubborn and opinionated self often get in the way of me being the helpmeet that I was created to be for my husband.

A few years ago, I bought a book called Created to be his Help Meet by Debi Pearl. I read like 4 or 5 chapters of it and if my memory serves me correctly threw the book on the shelf instead of carefully placing it on the shelf. My students would be appalled at the action I took with a book since I am constantly telling them.."We are book readers...NOT book beaters!" Anyway...I couldn't spend one more second reading that book. Only recently, after doing a study on how to be a woman of godly character have I even thought about reading it again and after going to the wedding, I have decided it is important that I read it again. So, this morning, I picked it up and started it.

What I read today was about..."The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 9:10
Now Ms. Pearl went on a whole different route with that verse. One I can't really relate to and one I am going to work my hardest at not relating to EVER! But, nonetheless, I thought the verse was fitting with my recent "fears" I am having. When you truly fear the Lord, you are brought to an overwhelming desire to know God more and more. When you read His word and spend time with Him, knowledge and peace are developed in you. I think when many people think about the fear of the Lord, it makes them think negatively about God. It makes them think of this overpowering giant who doesn't really care. But when I think about the fear of the Lord, to me it means a reverence, respect for God. It means that when you truly fear the Lord, you are intentional about your relationship with Him. You are not worried about your relationship with Him, but take an obligation to build a more comprehensive relationship with Him every day.

Father, create in me a true, respectful fear of You. Help cultivate peace, fear, and knowledge in me so that I can be a better help meet for Curtis as You have created me to be.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fall in step with God

Yesterday I read a verse...one of my favs! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm to you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29: 11

When I read this it fell in perfectly with what I have been struggling with lately..well, really, all my life. I have a hard time trusting in God's faithfulness even though I have never been given a reason to. This verse is so beautiful and such a reminder of God's love for me...for you! God already knows what is going to happen to us...He planned it. His plans are for us to prosper. Being prosperous is having wealth in a plethora of areas of our life. In fact, God wants us to prosper in everything we do. He wants to protect us and keep us safe! He has predestined each of us with a hope we can't even fathom and a future far better than we could pick out for ourselves.

I hear a lot from people, why does God hate me? He doesn't hate you. He loves you. You may be waiting on prosperity. But, one thing you have to understand is yes God has this plan for you, but there is also satan out there. Well, then why doesn't God intervene? God wants you to choose Him. Life is full of choices and some of our choices can interfere with us stepping in line with God's plan. If you want to prosper and have a hope and a future, start making choices that fall in step with God's. I am working on it myself and so far I am feeling so much more peace. You can feel that, too!

On another note...I love you Curtis Alford!

Today I am attending a wedding of an old friend I grew up with. I love weddings! They are filled with such blessings and wonderful memories.

It has been almost 8 years since I married Curtis and God could not have picked a better partner for my life. He is SO patient, loving, kind and forgiving. I hope I am the helpmeet he needs like he is for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Proverbs 24:10
"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!"

Yesterday I mentioned needing to learn to have faith, trust, and patience in the Lord and His plan. When I read this verse this morning, I was reminded of the start of yesterdays journey. I am like a baby Christian. I am at my weakest when there is trouble which shows how small I am in my faith.
I realize that many people of faith struggle with this. Abraham, David, the gospel writer John Mark and Peter are just some men of faith that when tough times came they hit the ground hard. These men, though, never gave up their desire for the Lord. They were persistent in knowing Him and learning more about Him and being with Him.

I remember a few times when I kept making the same mistakes...one after the other...each time asking for God to forgive me and help me stop. Then 2 days later, there I was asking for the same thing again. I remember thinking God has to get so tired of this! When is He going to give up on me? Maybe I should just give up. But I remember these men mentioned above, I remember my parents never letting go of Him and I was reminded of how I am nothing without Him. John 5: 19- "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself." John 15:4-5 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

I have realized something and I am not proud of it at all...in Luke 8 producing a crop is discussed. Verses 11-15- " This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then devil comes and takes the word away from their hearts, so they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." I read this and found myself between a rock and a hard place (metaphorically speaking of course). I am that seed that fell on the rock and, often times, the seed that fell on the thorns. I long to be the seed that fell on good soil. I want to have a good and noble heart and produce a crop.

I find it sad that after all these years of reading the word, I have never retained it. I think it sounds good for the moment and then its forgotten.

So today I have decided that if I long to be that good seed...the one with the noble and good heart, the one that hears the word, retains it and produces a crop then I have to change the way I do things. That is why I like blogging...I read something that means something to me and I can apply it to my life and look at what needs to be refined. Hopefully, when you read it you can apply something meaningful to your life to...just remember this God loves you no matter what. He longs for you to love Him back. He never tires of your mistakes and your imperfections. He welcomes all us sinners into His loving and merciful arms. Don't think twice, like I did, about ever giving up on Him, because He will never give up on you. If the God who calmed the storm, who parted the Red sea, who has the power to move mountains, and who raised His son from the dead can love you and protect you...then He can move you through any obstacle in life, any struggle you are having or mistake you are making. When you falter, your strength may be weak and small, but His is not!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

happiness and joy

Psalms 126:4-6
"Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap withs songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."

These are the verses I read today. This has been a trying time for me. For those who know me, this will come as no shock to you. But for those who don't...I am a huge worrier. I worry about everything. If you have ever read the book Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes...a children's book of course...you would find out I am so much like her. I worry about every single thing. Not only do I worry, but I am also a worst case scenario kind of person. I figure if something is not going to go my way it is going to be the worst thing that could ever happen.

This just goes to show my immaturity in Christ. I have known God all of my life...like really...all my life. I have known him, believed in Him, and loved Him. However I have not truly believed in His power even though I have never been given a reason not to.

I need to trust in God, not just the fact that I believe there is one. If I believe there is a God, which I truly do, then I need to believe in everything about him. Believing in God means having faith and patience and trust...both of which I am a struggler. Faith is knowing that He will see you through no matter what, knowing He is bigger and stronger and more powerful than anything that comes my way. Patience is knowing that trusting in Him means that my life is according to His proper timing and not mine at all. Trust is believing in His mighty work and it produces joy!

These are things I need to work on!

Father, all of my life I have known You, believed in You, and loved You. But after 29 years I have not matured. I am still a child. A new Christian. My mind is always filled with worries and MY plan for MY life. When times, things, plans, etc., are uncertain or don't go according to my plan, I don't believe faithfully in You. I don't trust in You. In fact, I believe that the worst is going to happen to me and my life. Father, You have not ever harmed me or given me something I could not handle. On the contrary, You have given me everything I've wanted. Things often go my way. You have never let go. Never.
Father, refine me. Help me to learn to trust in you and to cast my anxiety and worries to You. Because you have always been and will always be there for me. Thank you for Your unfailing love even though I fail to show you how much I truly do believe in You.
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