Life’s Interruptions

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Anything that happens unexpectedly is an interruption. Someone becomes ill, it’s an interruption. Your child is getting married, is an interruption. You are being blessed with a new grandchild, that is an interruption. A death in the family is an interruption. A change in your job is an interruption. Life is full of interruptions, some good, some bad, all controlled by God.

Whether you choose to admit or accept it, God is in control of everything that happens, even the things that we look at as bad interruptions. These interruptions, in some cases, I believe can be a test from God of our faithfulness, or our trust in Him.  God is not going to tempt us and try to make us do something that goes AGAINST what His word tells us. No, that is what satan does.  God gives us periodic tests to see where we stand.  God wants us to succeed.

I personally believe that God tests us to see if we are prepared to take the next step that He has planned for us.  If He sees that we are not ready, then He will give us obstacles that we must climb, learning lessons along the way, until we are prepared for the next step along the path God is sending us on.  Sometimes these paths and obstacles, or interruptions, are simple things and we never even realize that it has happened. Then there are the times when the obstacles in front of us seem so large and impenetrable that we begin to lose hope, lose our faith. These are the times that we must stop and thank God for what He has given us, and thank Him for the obstacles He has placed in our paths so that we may learn our lessons He wants us to learn and become better Christians. God wants us to be happy, healthy, and full of love. He wants us to share that love, with anyone and everyone that we come into contact with, even the ones that we don’t see eye to eye with, especially them, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

So many times these obstacles or interruptions in our lives can totally consume us and cause us to forget about what is really important! Is that job really that important? Well, yes, it is important in today’s society to have a job and be able to meet your financial obligations. But, if God decides that is not the job for you, He is going to make sure that you are not put in that position. However, if God wants you in that position, but feels that maybe we need to learn a few lessons first, then we start on the obstacle course that will lead to that position or job that God wants us in.  When we set out on that path, it often seems like the hurdles are just too difficult, but that is when God is teaching us the best lessons and showing us the most love. Once we clear each hurdle, we are a little closer to the goal that God has set for us. If we maintain the course, listen to God, read and study His word, we will make it through that course. However, if we become arrogant or selfish, God is going to continue to put obstacles in our path until we finally realize the error of our ways. That is a concept that I’m afraid some people are just not able to grasp. These people end up living lives of misery and discontent.

Currently my family is on one of these obstacle courses that God has set out for us. My husband was bypassed for a job that we both felt he greatly deserved. He had worked long and hard to be properly prepared for that position, but God said no at that time. Now we have come upon our second hurdle. My husband has been “reassigned” (demoted) from the position he was serving in as Captain of the police department, to the position of Detective, a position he held 10 years ago.  We know God is allowing this to happen to give us a lesson, show us the right path to take. It is up to us to pray, read, and study, as well as listen to God, for guidance.  As we do that, we learn new lessons, things about our lives that maybe did not represent God or Jesus Christ like we should have. So God is taking this time to help us become more like Jesus every day.  We will never be like Jesus, but we can live our lives in a Christ-like manner, and in the way that God has instructed us to do.

I would like to ask for prayers for our family as we travel this obstacle course God has given us. Pray that we hear God’s loving words quickly and understand them easily. Pray that we become the representatives for Jesus that God wants us to be, that we see the path He is leading us on clearly. We intend to lead our lives for Jesus,  and if that means we stay put and dig in for the long haul, then so be it. We will stand strong and tall with our heads held high because we have Jesus in our corner.

I thank everyone for their support, prayers, messages, hugs. We have discovered what the difference is between extended family and friends over the past few days. Your extended family you can count on at any time for any thing. Your friends may decide they are your friend to your face today, but to your back tomorrow they are holding a knife, only because they believe it is going to give them something they want. Well, I’m sorry, but I believe if you have to take it sneakily, and by knife point, then you probably shouldn’t be in that position. Maybe you need to drop to your knees and pray to God for mercy and forgiveness.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”  Joshua 24:15

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Am I Ready to Sacrifice ANYTHING for God?

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I have to get my silliness out of the way first. When this subject came up last during last weeks’ church service, I was pretty willing to sacrifice one of my sons, and I was about to the point that I was ready to say, sure God, you can have them, ALL of them!! But I realize that was just aggravation mixed with sarcasm and just plain silliness, and what a combination that made!! NOT REAL GOOD!!!

So, sometime after the sermon, my right brain was conversing with my left brain and they decided that sacrificing my own child in todays time, was probably not a good idea. Besides, God hasn’t asked me too!! But we were asked last week by Bro. Jared to list somethings that we would NOT part with under no circumstances.  Once we finished our lists, he told us, then we were to pray over this list until we would gladly give God whatever He asked of us. After all, it is all His anyway! Everything we have on this earth belongs to God. He just decided to loan it to us to see what we did with it.  We are told to be good stewards of the gifts God gives us. Have we been?

I wonder how many people actually filled out their list? I started several times throughout the week, but each time I would sit and just stare at the words on that paper. I couldn’t write anything down on there! I thought about my material stuff, which if you have ever been in my scrap room you know is a BUNCH of stuff!! No, God can have all that if He tells me to get rid of it tomorrow, I will donate it to the church, or wherever God tells me.

Next thought was of my car. I love my car even if I am uncomfortable when I drive it, but that’s because of my back problems. I have always wanted a sporty car and I finally got one!! Now I wish I had been more patient when  I decided to buy that car. As much as I love my car, I don’t want it any more, so YES, God can have my car if He wants it. But that attitude or way of looking at it is not what God wants to see in me! He wants to see me willing to give to Him until it HURTS! So I knew I needed to think a bit more about this list!! Seriously now! (But I do love my car 🙂 )

OK, so seriously, I thought. Don’t be silly but be realistic. What are some of my gifts from God that I would willingly give to Him if asked. That’s a tough question!!! It is still haunting me! Because, if I think of it in the way that I am supposed to, there is not one thing that I have that I would choose before God! Honestly, I do think that, no; I KNOW THAT!! Now there are lots of things that it would be really hard to give to God if He told me too. I might want to try to get Him to discuss it with me a bit first, but eventually He is going to get His way, so I might as well just do it from the start, right?

Right. UMHUM……. So some things that I could put on my list would be, my family, my pets, my house, my car, my husband and his various “toys”. Virtually everything my husband owns is considered a toy. His personal vehicle is not driven much because he drives a work vehicle daily. I have to admit, the thought of giving up my children, or grandchildren hurts me to the core, especially those grandbabies. The mere thought of loosing them just tears my heart into pieces!! But, they are a gift from God and at some point, He is going to want to call them home again. Who am I to think that I should be considered special by Him so that He would not ask me to give up my kids or grandkids? I’m no different from anyone else, I’m not special in any way, except maybe for the fact that I do love God!! I KNOW that everything I have, from my family, house, vehicles, clothes, pets, down to the smallest little jewel or piece of decorative paper in my scrap room, are all gifts loaned to me by God! If He so chooses, He can take any and all of it away from me, whenever He wants. I pray that doesn’t happen, but I have no choice except to say, they are yours God! If you want them back, I can only hope that I have been the kind of steward you had hoped I would be.

I know in my past I have NOT been a good steward of anything. I have wasted more money on clothes, scrap stuff, and various other stuff that I just felt I had to have at the time. But, that’s part of the reason we go to church, to give us an idea of things we are doing wrong and/or letting us know what we are doing right!! But just going to church doesn’t give you the whole picture, it is just one of the steps you have to take. You have to read your Bible, every day. You have to follow up on what you were told from the pulpit on Sunday, help yourself understand it better.  But the most important thing we MUST do, each and every day, as often as possible, and if there are times we think nothing is possible, you surely need it then, and that would be PRAYER! We all need more prayer in our lives. We need to be praying more, as well as being prayed for!

When you grew up in a household that you rarely even heard the word pray, much less did so; a household that never went to church as a family, (I don’t recall ever seeing my parents in a church, except when I was married, or my brother was married). That is so very sad, because I look back now and I see so many things I missed out on because my parents didn’t take me to church. I could be so much more advanced in my understanding of God, the Bible, and all these prophecies I hear about, the various Bible stories I hear either being told, or referred to. It is almost like a prick in my heart when I hear the phrase “we all know the story of….” because chances are that, no, I don’t know that story. I might have heard mention of it once or twice before, but I never studied it!

All of this I say to remind myself, and anyone who reads this blog, that you need to be in church. You need to be in your Bible. Take your family to church. If you don’t have a family, then find one to go with, or even better-invite them to go to church with you!  My husband and I did take our family to church, but it was so sporadic, as well as we didn’t practice what we had heard in our household, so my kids know who Jesus is, and they know about the plan of salvation (they have all been saved and baptized, PRAISE GOD!), but again, so much time has been wasted. If we had kept them in church regularly maybe some things would be different now.

This leads me to say just how proud I am of my daughter. She is my oldest child and is a wonderful mother to 4 of the most adorable kids in the whole world, and an amazing wife to her husband of 9 years, and an inspiration to me on a regular basis!! She will do anything for you up to the point of feeling used. But what makes me most proud is that she and her husband (when he doesn’t have to work) are taking their kids to church. It is tough on her on days her husband is working, because that leaves all the responsibility of getting all the kids ready and loaded up, without forgetting any diapers for Abby, or even worse, THE BINKY!!! But she still tries! Lots of times she doesn’t make it to Sunday School when she is doing it all on her own and I blame myself for that. I could easily get myself up a little earlier, get myself dressed and ready and then go over to her house (next door to mine) and help her get the kids ready, but I haven’t done that yet. I am going to make a conscious effort to do this from here on out! Lord, I pray that you remind me on Saturday nights to go to bed a little earlier so I can get up Sunday morning a little earlier, and be able to help Crystal get the kids ready.

I am praying for my boys, that they will all three decide or realize that they can’t do things on their own and expect the results they hope for. I pray they realize that they need to get back to what they were doing as kids, only be more committed to it, and that would be going to church and hearing the word of God. That will be the first step for them. I ask and invite, but I can’t tie them up and make them go. I know they believe in God, they have just been going down this path they are on for so long, it is going to take some major work on my part, and their father’s part as w Tell, to get them to take a detour from this path they are on, and get on the right one for a change.  I pray they do this soon, for their sakes as well as for the sake of their children. All children should be going to church every chance they get. They need to learn about God, Jesus, salvation, redemption, sin, forgiveness, etc. They need to learn that Christmas is not about Santa and presents, but that it is about when we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. And they need to know that Easter is not about a bunny and eggs, but that it is when we commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection on the third day! They need to be taught about salvation, heaven and hell. They need to hear all those stories that I didn’t get to when I was growing up!
I do remember a Bible that we had, or it might have been a story book, but it was stories about Jesus. I can remember being small and looking through that book for the beautiful pictures of Jesus and some of the various things that He did while He was on earth. My favorite was the painting of Jesus with the children around him, “Let the children come unto me”. I will never forget that!

God’s patient lessons

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Even though we had a very small group at church last night, we had a good study of a portion of the book of Mark.  Chapter 8,verses 22-26, Jesus heals a blind man.  For me, the interesting part is the fact that Jesus heals the blind man, but He doesn’t do it all at once.  He does it in steps. First he places his hands on the mans eyes and partially heals him, the mans vision is blurry. When Jesus places His hands over the mans eyes a second time, the man is able to see!  He sees everything very clearly!  Jesus tells the man to go home and tell no one.

We all know that Jesus was in the business of performing miracles and this was one of them.  But this is one time when Jesus did not perform the entire miracle in one single touch. His first touch gave the man blurry vision. It was Jesus’ second touch that cleared the mans vision totally.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can relate this to my own life very well. For several months now I have felt God asking me to do something for Him. I know this because I can feel God calling me, but I have not been able to figure out what it is He wants me to do. I ask someone how I can figure it out and they usually tell me to read my Bible, “Look in His word and you will find your answer”. OK, but….where do I look? The Bible is a pretty long book, and while I do plan to read all of it eventually, I surely hope that I don’t have to read the entire book to figure out what it is that God wants me to do!

Well, after reading and discussing this short passage last night at church, actually it was a few days ago, but I finally realized something about what God was telling me. He is leading me to what I am to do, one step at a time, not in one single touch! Just like with the restoration of the blind mans vision, my calling was not going to come to me in one simple step. But God was going to be in control all the way, and He is in control.,

Over the past several weeks, I have heard some sermons that really stomped on my toes. I mean, the sermons have been just for me it seems!! Each has taught me a lesson about myself and my relationship with God that I probably would not have learned, or figured out for myself, for a pretty good while! So, God has been using the sermons I am hearing, and bless my pastor’s heart for teaching these lessons so well! I thank God for Brother Jared all the time. He is an absolutely wonderful pastor!

And then there are the Sunday school lessons that also seem like they have been written just for me. In each lesson, God reveals a little more of what I need to know. God is teaching me how to be more like Jesus, one step at a time.  God knows what books I need to be lead to read and He leads me to them. He knows what lessons I need and what setting I need to receive these lessons in.

God is preparing me for something. I don’t know what God’s plans for me are, but I do know that at this time He is teaching me and showing me things that I need to do or change about myself. He is showing me where I need to make improvements in my life in order to be more Christ-like.  God is showing me how a simple improvement or change, such as stopping and thinking something through before just diving off into it, can bring me closer to Him and to Jesus.

When I finally realized that God was not going to pull me into some big project right off the bat, but is preparing me very patiently for whatever task it is He has for me, I was very relieved. I know God is not going to ask me to do something unless He knows I am capable of doing it. Being capable and being willing are two different things though, and I have to be both.  I have been willing for a while now, but I wasn’t stopping long enough to hear what God was trying to tell me. So, He took charge and made sure that I am hearing the right things from the pulpit of my church, and in my Sunday school class. God is helping me to improve my character, to be a better person, more Christ-like. I am so thankful that God is patient with me, because He knows how easily I can get frustrated and typically that leads to my deciding to take a different path. So God has been teaching me in just the right way for me, slowly and with great patience.

Isn’t that just the most amazing thing in the world? That God knows exactly what I need to hear, when and how. It is very amazing, but not surprising. He is GOD!! He knows all! He already knows how my story is going to end. He is just working with me right now, preparing me for something much more than my everyday life. It may be something as simple as teaching someone something, or who knows. With God, there is no limit to what kind of gifts and opportunities He can give me, if He chooses.

Well, I am going to read my Sunday school lesson for next Sunday and see how it applies to me, and I am 110% positive that it will definitely apply to me! Thank you God, for being so patient with me.

Witnessing to a child

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Last night I had the privilege of having two more of my grandsons at my house for dinner. Their parents had to take their other son to Houston for a neurology appt, FINALLY!! Thank God!

Anyway, I wasn’t feeling really well, so I went to lay down after Pawpaw got home. These boys are really good boys. They listen, play well, and the don’t argue with me unless they know I am playing with them. It’s been a while since I’ve had either of them over for very long at a time and I have to tell you, it was such a blessing!

Tyler is my 7 year old grandson. He is our first grandchild and we have spoiled him ROTTEN!! But, once the others started coming along, we had to stop spoiling him and start SPOILING THEM ALL!!! LOL Actually, Tyler is an exceptional child. His mom started with him as an infant, reading to him, teaching him colors, letters, how to write his name, all things that most kids don’t get until they get into school. Well Tyler is an exception to that and I am so thankful to his mother for that!

He is such a super smart kid that I have to remind myself sometimes that he is still only 7! Like last night, for example. His homework consisted of having to read a small book from school. So I told him since I didn’t feel well and was going to lay down, he could bring his homework into my room and work on it and I would help him. I didn’t realize yet that all he had to do was some reading, but that wouldn’t have changed anything. So Tyler crawls up onto my big bed and starts reading this book to me. He only had to ask for help twice with a word, and then all I had to do was remind him to sound it out.

Once he finished his assigned reading, he wanted to read some more. Well, I had my Bible nearby so I started to show him something about my Bible, and came across the page that I had written the date I was baptized and rededicated my life on. When I was telling him about that page, Tyler told me he wanted to be baptized but he was scared. He said he was afraid the water would be too deep. I assured him that there was something in the baptistry for him to stand on so his head would be above water until it was meant to go under! He was relieve of this. Well, my daughter, his mom, had told me that he has been asking questions about baptism, Jesus, and lots of other things so  I asked him why he wanted to be baptized. His reply was “I don’t know, I just do”. Immediately I thought of what a wonderful witnessing opportunity this was going to be with my own grandson!!

Well, I started asking him questions to find out just how much he knew and understood about salvation. As he would try to tell me his understanding, or just indicated that he didn’t know what something meant, I would explain it to him. Thank you Lord for being with us and helping me to use the right words to help him understand some things a little better. We talked about sin, repentance, and how Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin so that we could live eternally with God and wouldn’t have to go live in hell with satan. I also explained to him that hell was an actual place and not just a word that some people use to curse. He told me he knew that. Thankfully, I had a book mark that basically explains the way to salvation, but it was a bit long and it was worded for adults. There are a lot of words that a 7 year old may be familiar with, and thinks he understands, but usually his understanding was not quite right.

I explained to him how God loved us so much and wanted to provide a way for us to be forgiven of our sins, so He sent His only son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins. I showed him Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. We talked about the fact that EVERYONE is a sinner, at which time Tyler told me, “Except God”.  Then I showed him Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. This gave me the chance to explain to him that this meant wages=punishment and the punishment for sin (doing bad things that God tells us not to do) was death, which lead to the explanation of being saved. We talked about confession of sin and repentance. I explained to him that no one is perfect and we all sin, even after we have been saved.  We talked about faith and then I had him read a sample prayer. I could tell he didn’t really fully understand what all I was telling him about, so I told him to read his Bible at home and when he was ready, we would talk about it some more, and if he had any questions, he could either ask me, or his mom and dad, or his Sunday School teacher.

We also talked about prayer just a little bit. Once the spaghetti was done it was kind of hard to keep his attention, LOL!  I did get the chance to ask him if he knew what prayer was which he told me was when you talk to God.

If you are reading this, please “talk to God” for Tyler. He is right at the edge of understanding salvation and I am so ready to see him saved! I want his mom and dad to see what a wonderful feeling it is when you see your child accept Jesus and then the baptism. There is no better feeling to me than to know that your children have been saved and would be spending eternity with you in Heaven!!

Words I needed to hear TODAY!!

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Below is a post from the Sisters In Christ group that I am a part of from Facebook.  I felt I had to copy and paste this message here because this is a subject that I need to hear more of!  For the past several months, I have felt that God was speaking to me and calling me to do something. I was getting frustrated because I could not figure out what it was that He was trying to get me to do! I want to serve my Lord, and I want to do it in the manner that He wants me to. But now, after reading this, and several other devotionals and messages and such that I am subscribed to, I believe I may have a little clarification, at least for now.

I have no doubt in my mind that God is asking me to do something, but I believe now that I was looking at the big things He eventually wants me to do.  I believe now that God is preparing me for something he wants me to do. He knows I need a lot of help, education and understanding of His word, and now I believe that is what He is taking me through. I believe God is telling me that I need to make these improvements on myself before I can expect to be capable of helping anyone else! And when I thought about it for just a few minutes, it was like a slap in the face! DUH!!! I’m not the example of Jesus that I need to be, not yet. I don’t know what to say to someone to witness to them, not yet. I mean, I know the basics, but I don’t know the scriptures to lead them to, but I’m learning them.

I believe God is telling me that I have to get myself together and behaving in a manner that is glorifying to Him, before He can lead me to bigger tasks, in fact, I know He is telling me this. How am I so sure? I have been asking people all day, how do you know WHAT it is that God is calling you to do. How do you figure that out? Well, I’m seeing now, all I had to do is read a little more and I would know the answer to my question. I will know when God wants me to know, when God feels that I am ready for that step! Right now, that strong feeling that God is calling me to do something is God telling me to get ready. He is telling me to read and study His word so I can get ready. He is telling me to fix my own life and get much, MUCH, closer to a Christ-like example than I am now.

Right now I am starting to realize my faults more clearly. Don’t get me wrong, I have ALWAYS known I had faults. I am not the kind of person to believe that I am above or better than any person in any way! I have a LOT of room for improvements, and a long way to go to be the kind of Christ-like example that I believe God wants me to be.

I have a tendency to anger easily and when I get angry or upset, I speak, or usually write, before I think something out well. I act on my feelings rather than stopping to think of how God would want me to handle this situation. I also don’t let go of things easily. I mean, once I get angry or feel like I have been wronged, I hold on to the negative feelings I have for the person or persons involved. I know I have to stop that. I think it is time for me to back up and start asking myself in every aspect of my life, what would Jesus do? I know that may sound like a silly way of looking at it, but I don’t think so. If it makes me stop and think and PRAY, GO TO GOD’S WORD BEFORE I RESPOND, then it is what I need to do.

A big part of my problem in learning what God has in  mind for me is that I was not raised in church. Sure, I went with friends from time to time and I was baptized at 16 at a moment of strong peer pressure. I knew what I was doing, but I was doing it all for the wrong reason. I walked the aisle and was baptized simply because that’s what my friend wanted me to do, and I wanted to be accepted, so I did it! She didn’t know I wasn’t really understanding what was going on like I should. She was trying to make sure her best friend was going to get into heaven and I still love her dearly to this day for that. Doing it for the wrong reason was all on me. I was afraid if I didn’t that I would end up loosing my friend for some silly reason and I didn’t want that.

I am now 46 years old and last year I walked the aisle again. This time, it was for the RIGHT reason. I had prayed many times over the past 10 years or so and asked Jesus to come into my heart and take over my life. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I wasn’t just praying at bad times or when something was wrong, I was praying this prayer repeatedly, at any particular time. I would pray and tell God that I know I am a sinner and that He had sent Jesus to die on the cross for me, so that I could be saved from an eternity in hell, and I was scared to death of ending up in hell. But last year, in July, I finally heard the voice that told me I wasn’t finished, I had something else I needed to do. I was praying and asking God if I needed to be rebaptized or was I ok since I had been praying to Him? Finally, it was the light finally turned on in my brain that told me I did indeed need to go through it again, because I was not sincere 30 years ago. I needed to profess my faith and acknowledge that I understood Jesus had died for ME, and for MY sins (and there were many), but that if I just trusted in Him, asked God to forgive me, He would! But I also understood that I needed to follow that profession of faith with baptism. I needed to start from square one basically.

I mean, I know I had been saved many years ago, but I was not following the teachings of Jesus. I wasn’t behaving very Christ-like. Someone could look at me and have no idea whether I was saved or not, because of the way I was living, treating other people, behaving. I was a MEAN person. I remember one evening when my husband and I were arguing about something and he told me that I was acting just like my dad, I got so angry and hurt by that simple statement! I could not believe that this man who claimed to love me, would tell me that! Especially since he knew the history of me and my father. That story is a whole other book itself! But, as I thought about it over several days and weeks, and started listening to myself, and driving my kids away from me, I realized he was right! I was a MEAN person, acting just like my father had, and I was pushing my family away from me. I already had very limited friends and they only saw the parts of my personality that I wanted them to see! But now I was driving my family away!

My daughter, who I had always felt close to, started pushing away from me. She was married and had children of her own, lives next door to us so we were VERY close to the grandbabies. But at some point I said just the right thing that made her decide that she needed to separate from me for some time. That was so painful, and I only made it worse because the Mrs. Fix-it in me wanted to know what was wrong and how could I fix it, and she would tell me, when I could get her to at least answer a text or forced her to talk to me by going to her house and sitting in her living room, that I was horrible and she just didn’t want to be around me! Imagine being told by your own child, whom you love dearly and would never dream of intentionally hurting, that you had been doing just that for several years. I had been doing the same thing to her that my parents had done to me. I was a hateful, mean person and she was tired of it! That was a rude awakening for me, even though it took several months and many, many tears before I would admit that it was indeed my fault an I needed to change or I was going to lose all the people that I loved for good! That scared me enough to seek help. I will go into all that later, but for now just understand that I FINALLY realized that I could not control  everything around me. In fact, I was having to face the fact that I had NO control! It was all in God’s hands and I was battling against His wishes every day! My life was miserable!!

That makes me so thankful that I had enough sense to actually start praying again. I had stopped for several years, didn’t really see the point! What was in it for me? But now I realized that I couldn’t look at it like that. I mean I still prayed some pretty selfish prayers, don’t get me wrong! I was asking God to fix these problems between my daughter and me and then my son and me, rather than asking for guidance on how I was supposed to handle the situation, I was basically telling God how I wanted Him to handle it! That wasn’t working!

When my daughter had finally started talking to me again a little, she told me about this church that she had gone to a few times and how much she really liked it, so I thought I would give it a try. I asked my husband  to go with me, but he wasn’t ready to do that just yet because I was going to a church other than the one his family had always attended, and when you live in a fairly small town, that is a big deal to a country boy! So, I decided I was going to ask him to go, but I wouldn’t push. I mean, I didn’t even know if I was going to go back after the first day or not yet. But I went.

I arrived at the same time as my daughter and her family and walked in with them. It is hard for some to believe, but I am actually a shy person!! Well, what happened when I walked into the foyer of that church shook me to the core!! As I walked in, and had made maybe 2-3 steps inside the door, I felt this warm feeling all over me, like a hugging feeling, and I heard the “still, small voice”. I heard “welcome home my child”. I will admit it kind of spooked me because I had never heard God speak to me so clearly before as He did at that very moment! Welcome home! WOW!!

We went in and sat down, sang some wonderful songs, some I had never heard but I liked them. They were more contemporary than I was used to. And then Bro. Jared stepped up and started preaching. He spoke straight to me, every single word! Again, I was kind of spooked because now I was seeing that I was here for a reason!! And to top it off, everyone tried to make it a point of coming to where I sat and welcome me. No one looked down their nose at me, or acted as if I was not worth their time. Every single person that I managed to speak to that day made me feel welcome.

On the drive home, I remember thinking “I like this feeling!” I felt good, even if Bro. Jared had stomped all over my toes! I needed it. And the next week, same thing; and the next and the next. Finally after attending for several weeks and my toes finally getting feeling back into them, I worked up the nerve to go and talk with Bro. Jared.

That was a difficult talk, but then again, it was so natural feeling. I told him about my history and the fact that I wanted to be baptized again, and after we spoke for a while, he said it sounded like a good idea to him. He had asked me about my salvation and I told him that I had NO DOUBT that I was saved. I wanted to be baptized so that I would feel like it was finally official and real! I wanted to do it for the RIGHT reason this time!

On July 18, 2010, I was baptized! Halleluiah! I felt renewed, like a totally different person! I mean I knew I still had a lot of work to do, but at least I was on the right track, FINALLY! All I can say is THANK YOU LORD FOR BEING SO PATIENT WITH ME!!!

So, as for now, I am not trying to figure out what it is that God wants me to do. I am finding out the areas of my life that need to be fixed and working on them. I want to follow Jesus and do what my Heavenly Father wants me to do, and I will, when He is ready for me to take that step. Until then, He will continue to show me where I need work, and I will continue to work on myself.

If you have read all of this, Bless your heart! I hope that maybe someone can read my story and relate to it, and maybe I can help someone that way. I want to help people come to Jesus! I’m not much of a fisherman, but I want to be a fisher of men for Jesus!

My prayer for today is this: Father, I thank you so much for your patience  with me and for sending me to these various devotional sites and the sermons that I have been hearing lately that are directed at me. I thank you for pointing out my areas that need work and for loving me enough to show me how to fix me. I know I have a long way to go Lord, but I know that you will be there with me every step of the way, and I thank you for that! Lord, I ask you to forgive me for being so hardheaded and not listening to you for so long. I ask for your guidance as I carry on  through the day today and the rest of this week with things I need and want to do. Help me to do these things in such a way that you, Lord, will be glorified by what I do or say. I love you Lord, and I thank you so very much for waiting for me. In Jesus’ precious name I pray these things, Amen

How Will You Be Remembered by Sisters In Christ (Women’s Fellowship) on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 10:52am  Do you ever wonder how you will be remembered?  What people will say about you after you have left this world for your heavenly home?  Do you think they will say something like, “Oh, yes. I remember her. She was always doing something nice for someone else. Even when she was tired or needed help herself, she always tried to do something for someone else.” or  “Well, she was a sharp dresser, but…..” or will they say something like, “Who are you talking about? I don’t remember her at all.”  Oh, not to be remembered; not a very comforting thought.  Or only to be remembered because of your vanity…not a desirable choice either. Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” (NKJV)  We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (paraphrased) 2 Corinthians 5:21. Therefore we must live and walk righteously.   All this means is to do what is right and that can be summed up in this next verse: Micah 6:8 he has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NKJV)     First we are to always strive to do good and not evil. To love and not hate. To help and not hurt. To bless and not curse. To give and not take. To honor and not defile.      Secondly, to do justly, the definition of justly is:  fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made.  We are sanctioned to be fair in our dealings as if in a court of law. If the actions of a person require that they be rewarded then treat them justly and reward them. If their actions bring down a punishment upon them then again, they must be treated justly. The punishment must fit the crime.     Thirdly, love mercy Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. (NKJV) To turn your back on someone who is in need is not being merciful.  If you desire mercy in your life, and we all need it…we first have to show mercy.     And lastly, walk humbly with your God. God does not like ‘Proud’.” Romans 12:3  Do not think more of yourselves than you ought.”  Acknowledge that you are able to do the things that you do because God gave you the gifting and the ability to do so.   We can do nothing in and of ourselves.  Do not boast in your success except you boast on God who enabled you to be successful. Reference 2 Corinthians 10:17     Choose to be among the righteousness and the memory of you will be blessed. For the memory of the wicked WILL rot.                                                                                             Prayer:  Lord, I pray that you order my steps. Cause me to walk righteously. Give me a heart of mercy. To help where I can, to pray for those in need and to deal justly with all whom I come into contact with. Never allow me to be prideful but to give glory to you in all things. For without You Lord, I am nothing.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.     Written by Felicia Ann Green  Gillian

Learning to follow Jesus and listen to God

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Why is it that when you are trying to do something good for yourself, you always run into obstacle after obstacle. Seems like things come out of the woodwork to prevent you from doing whatever it is you are wanting to do.  Why is forgiveness so hard to obtain from the people you love the most? Why is it so hard for people to realize that sometimes a person really has issues they need to deal with and they may need help from their loved ones to do so? What makes it so hard to give that support? Why is it that when you are working to change your life it seems everyone closest to you, those who should be supporting you, are the first to distrust you?

Lots of whys there I know, but it’s just some things that came to mind as I started writing this note. Seems like all of a sudden I have a lot of that kind of things on my mind. Such as if only I had went to school earlier, I could have been home more with my kids at crucial times in their growing years. I wish I had stuck to my plan of going to college right out of high school, and hopefully gotten the kind of degree that I now wish I had. I wish my husband had done what he really wanted to do right out of high school. Who knows where we would be now or what we would be doing?

I wish I had begun my sincere walk with Jesus much sooner. I was baptized when I was about 16 and I believed in God, but I didn’t really care to know anything about Him. I figured since I believed in Him and was baptized, I would be fine.

There were several times over the years that I would start thinking that maybe I needed to look into this “God thing” a little more, but I never followed up on it. Then I got married.

When my husband and I got married, we were living here in Jasper, and going to church sporadically at the little church where we were married and where his grandmother had been one of the founders. Then we came to a point that for some reason, we started going regularly. Between these times, we spent some time living in Athens and we didn’t go to church while living there.

My parents never stressed to me how important a relationship with God is. My parents never took me to church, though they did let me go with a friend many times. There were other times, when I was probably 8 or 9 years old, that I would walk a couple blocks to a little church not far from our house. This is where I met my very first boyfriend. I believe his father was the pastor, but I don’t remember for sure. That is where I remember my first “potluck supper”. I don’t remember ever going to a Vacation Bible School.

Then when I was about 16, I started going to church a few times with a friend. It wasn’t long before there was a revival or youth night or something of that sort, and we told her parents that was where we were going. Well, there were a couple of nights that her parents were there so we had to go! It was the final night of this revival when my friend was telling me that I should go up front and get saved. All I knew was that I had to go up to the front of the church, talk to either the pastor or assistant pastor, it was a large church. Once I got up there and they asked me if I believed in Jesus and that He died on the cross for my sins. I said yes. What else was I going to say? Well, then this person told me to have a seat on the front pew. Once the service was over, those who had made the walk up the aisle to the front, and there were a couple of us that night, were told to bring extra clothes on Sunday and we would be baptized. I think it was during an evening service. All of us, and there were several, put on our baptism clothes and then put the white robe on over them, and we took turns walking down the steps into the baptistry, boys were on one side and girls on the other. The preacher asked my name when it was my turn, and he went through the motions and dipped me in the water and told me I was baptized. I had asked my mother to come for my baptism, but I had no family present, just my friend and her parents along with the rest of the hundreds in the sanctuary.

Funny thing is, nothing about me changed after that day, and I know now that it should have. I should have made lots of drastic changes in my life, but I didn’t. I had no idea what I was supposed to do! I think the main reason I wanted to get baptized and join that church was that they had a H-U-G-E Family Life Center where we could go play volleyball, handball, racquetball, as well as many other activities. It was a huge building. You had to be a member of the church to be able to go the FLC anytime you wanted to. And they checked ID’s!!

As the years passed and Gerald and I finally settled in Jasper, we started attending church a little regularly, but that, and going on the trips with the “youth” was about all we did. We had a period of time when we were there every time the doors were open, I was involved in the ladies auxiliary, we played volleyball in the church league, we played softball in the church league, we were having fun! But we weren’t serving the Lord like we should have been.

Then we stopped going. I don’t remember why but we did. We stayed out for a while and then we would go back for a while. We did this on again, off again thing for a long time, until we finally got to the point of not going at all. No particular reason, we just stopped going.

Many years later, one of my sons was dating a young lady from school who attended Peachtree Baptist Church. They ended up breaking up, but she continued to invite us to come to church. I watched as she matured into the kind of christian most people hope to be, myself included. Years passed and my daughter started receiving invitations to go to PBC. She finally went and told me how great it was and how she thought I and her father would really like it as well. Honestly, I had been thinking of returning to church, but I knew I didn’t want to return to the little church we had gone to because they just didn’t have the appeal they had before. I didn’t feel like I was really learning anything when I went.

I finally accepted my daughter’s invitation to go to Peachtree with she and her family. I have told many people this and I will never forget the feeling I got when this happened, but when I walked through the front doors of Peachtree Baptist Church into the foyer, I had the most incredible feeling!. It was like I had someone whispering in my ears “welcome home my child, welcome home”. At that moment, I decided this was where I was supposed to be, so I started attending regularly. I tried to talk Gerald into going with me, and he told me he would go with me “sometimes” but for me not push him into moving his letter or anything like that. He specifically said for me not to be pushy. So I wasn’t.

I kept going to PBC and growing to love it more and more each time I entered the building! I talked to Jared about it and explained to him about my feeling like I had been pushed into baptism the first time and that I wanted to be rebaptized so that I would know I had done it for the right reason! Bro. Jared talked with  me for a while, asking if I understood the plan of salvation and I assured him that I was saved. I had no doubt because there had been several times that I had prayed to God to please come into my life and live in my heart and take control of my life. Notice I said I had done this several times. That told me that I had not really had faith in Jesus, I just knew the words I needed to say, especially if I was going through a bad time.

Finally one day, while sitting at home, I felt a strong urge to pray that prayer again. I prayed and asked God to please forgive me of all my sins and I hoped I didn’t have to call them all of because that would have been a VERY long prayer!! But, I finally asked Jesus to move into my heart and dwell there and help me to grow stronger in my faith and to understand the Bible when I read it. I asked God to please help me, lead me to the right church, which He did! So, when Jared asked me about salvation, I was able to answer him with total honesty and tell him that I had no doubt in my mind that I was saved and I felt that I needed to be baptized again, to “seal the deal” I guess. I just knew that prayer and giving my life to the Lord was not enough.

Finally, on July 18, 2010, I was baptized and became a member of Peachtree Baptist Church. I had not had any family present the first time, but this time I did. My husband was there for me. I had asked all the kids to come, but for various reasons, none of them felt they needed to. That really saddened me because I was partially depending on support from my familu to help keep me doing the things God would have me to do, not the worly things. But none of them were there.

So, technically, I was a new, born-again christian!! I felt so good about it! I knew this was part of what God had told me to do. Now, I just needed to figure out what else He was telling me He wanted me to do. It has been almost a year now and I still am not sure about what God is calling me specifiallly to do I know there is something, I can feel it. I just haven’t figured out what. But as I pray and read my Bible along with some study guides, I will figure it out soon! I need to just let my mind be quiet and listen.

Let me introduce us!

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Most importantly, I am a God-fearing christian woman married to a God-fearing christian man. We have been married almost 30 years now and through those years, we have learned just a little about relationships! We have had our ups and downs but through it all, we have held on to each other.
We have had our problems with backsliding away from God, but by His Grace, we found our way back to Him. It is our desire now to serve God in the way that He would have us to. Sometimes, as I am finding out now, it is difficult to determine exactly what it is God is asking you to do.
You see, I know in my heart that God is calling me. He is calling me to do something great for His Kingdom. He has been calling me for at least several months now, but I have not yet been able to comprehend exactly what it is He wants me to do. So, I will continue to pray, read my Bible, read study guides, and pray some more. And through all of that, I know that God will show me what He is asking me to do.
Gerald and I are the parents of 4 children and we have learned a lot about life in general just through the years of raising them. We have had our ups and downs as well, some are still down, but with God’s help and guidance, soon they will all become ups!
We have also been blessed with 8 grandchildren. The stories here could get very complicated, but now is not the time for that. Each and every one of our grandchildren are the most beautiful in the world!! We are very fortunate to have them all living close to us as well, so we can see them pretty much anytime we want to. You know, the saying “If I had known how much fun grandchildren were, I would have had them first” has a lot of merit!!
Gerald’s primary hobby is hunting. He lives for hunting season!! He enjoys fishing too and when deer season is not open, he is either preparing for next deer season, or fishing. If he can’t do either of those, he is tinkering in his shop. This man is a very talented woodworker and has built me several pieces of very nice furniture! Something he hopes to do more of whenever he retires. He is a police officer and has spent the last 18 years serving his community. He loves his job, just not the politics involved.
I, however, am not as much of an outdoors person as he is. As I have told Gerald on numerous occasions, “I don’t do hot”. Honestly, I can’t physically handle getting too hot. I pass out too easy. I prefer to stay inside where you will find me either working on scrapbooks, cards, reading, studying, or on the computer. Many times, it may be a combination of any number of those. I love them all. Lately, one of my favorite things to do, and I would NEVER have said this 30 years ago, is to learn! I especially want to learn all I can about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have a lot to learn, but I love every minute of it!
I also love to write, or could you tell? That is only a small part of the reason I wanted to start this blog though. I already have another blog for my scrapbooking (www.msjsscrappin-stampin-stampinup.blogspot.com) and I wanted a blog that could be totally separate from that, where I could write. Presently, my favorite subject to write about is, you probably guessed it, my pursuit of God’s desire for me.