Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Traditions

I am so pleased to be able to guest blog over at Terri Groethe's site Take a walk in my Shoes
To see the rest of my blog today, please visit her site!

......my most favorite of all is the giving. Sometimes we visit the Salvation Army bell ringers and bring them a hot cocoa on a windy snowy day. We adopt families for Christmas and provide much needed items. We make cookie mixes in jars for the mailman and school bus drivers. 

Scripture says in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Also, in 1 Peter 3:8- “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

During this season of hustle and bustle and focusing on what we personally love about traditions, we need to be..... 

See the rest Here 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Confessions from a former list maker

Finding freedom from achievement-based love 

I used to pride myself on the lists I could make and accomplish. Did you see that “pride myself” part? Yea… how many times have we all said that phrase? I’ll give you little insight into my prideful list making, consider if this hits a nerve with you.

In the morning, I’d get my handy little note pad, with lines of course, and make my list of duties for the day. These were things I wanted to accomplish and would feel good if everything was crossed off, especially if I could do it by 3pm because then I could enter into the super-mom realm.  I would list them, sometimes alphabetically, in order of importance and by category… control-freak anyone?

Here’s the kicker though, when I crossed things off the list, my “worthy meter” would go up a little. My worthy meter determined my worthiness of love, acceptance and ability to contribute to life. Achievement based, conditional love. So the major issue and fear I faced at the end of the day was if there were things I could not accomplish, I felt like the day was a failure….actually that I was a failure. If my list was completed I’d wave it around like an Olympic gold medal, shaking my little imaginary empty cup for others to fill it. If I didn’t finish the whole list, no one saw the list, even the things I’d done. I’d sulk and be surly to my family, which was an expression of how I felt worthless inside.
My worthy-meter determined my worthiness of love, acceptance, and ability to           contribute to life.

I am so excited to report that Christ didn’t let me sink in that pit of feeling unworthy!! He came to my rescue and I learned about my true worth in Christ. I have known for years in my head, it just hadn’t translated to my perfectionist, overachieving heart.

God’s Word says the following about me, oh and by the way…I can do nothing to earn it! I am the apple of His eye, I am a Saint, I am redeemed and forgiven (Hallelujah!), I am free from condemnation, I am established, anointed and sealed by God, and most of all I am complete in Christ!

 Before you head into a place where you feel sorry for my feelings of worthlessness or identify and maybe think it’s not that bad…it was sin, plain and simple.
My pride of thinking I was something and could earn God’s love, my clear unbelief of who God says I am through Christ, the fact that I called myself worthless when Christ called me worthy of dying for, not believing that I am complete in Him and cannot earn a better standing, and another big one- idolizing the list! Placing the list above God.
   God is God and the list is not!

What broke me free from worthlessness, list making, and achievement-based love was confession and then choosing to believe God. Once I chose to believe what God says in His Word, He then did the work of sanctifying me through and through.

I have made a reference of scriptures identifying who I am as a new creation in Christ. I try to read them every day to ingrain into my heart so I have a new go-to thought for when Satan tries to tempt me to think the old thoughts. When it creeps up on me I have a little statement I say- God is God and the list is not!

I still love an organized spreadsheet or an organized list, that’s how God created me. However, it no longer has power over me. Christ broke the power of sin and shame and gave me the Holy Spirit to empower me to resist the devil!

Romans 6:14~  For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

Are you idolizing something over God? Are you struggling to believe what God says about you? Seek God’s face, search Him out in His Word, it was written for you. It has every answer you need for your life today!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You.... complete me...

Total completeness in Christ means we are incomplete on our own, we have a hole where God belongs.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 says “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” We are striving to find a way, thinking the next best thing will fill the cavernous need. You can’t escape yourself and your insufficiency no matter how much you try. We come to the end of what we can do to try and be enough.

Examples of things we work at or try to acquire and achieve in life are hope, peace, power, love, joy, needs, comfort, wisdom, purpose, security, approval, even creating our identity.

Christ is all sufficient, an all powerful provider of every need you could possibly have! God almighty is our creator and He alone is sovereign, He formed you in your mother’s womb according to Psalm 139:13-17, He knows your needs more intimately than you do. As a matter of fact, Luke 12:7 says He knows the number of hairs on your head…do you?

If we believe God to be the all-powerful, all knowing sovereign God that He is and we believe what the bible says in Colossians 2:10 when it says “And you are complete in Him who is the head of all authority and power”, why do we have such a hard time believing Him when He says that we, personally, in our little world, in our own lives, in our own heads are truly complete in Christ?

We can achieve temporary feelings of fullness or of being complete. It’s typically after something big happens that you’ve thought for a long time would be your answer to feeling incomplete. Getting married, having children, that perfect job etc. We can go on and on with life circumstances that we try to give the power to fulfill us. We give authority and the power to fulfill to circumstances and people. No wonder we keep having this insecure feeling of not quite being complete!

Some of us have a cavernous need and we’ve been filling it with things, substances, people, or unhealthy relationships. These things leave us feeling disappointed and always needing more. We aren’t satisfied or feeling complete, or fulfilled.

We aren’t meant to fill ourselves to completeness with anything the world offers,
its Christ’s job!

Christ is our hope, our peace, our love, our joy, our comfort, our security, our identity is found in Him, He fills our every need, and gives us wisdom when we ask! Now that’s the kind of Savior I want to have! He is wholly complete and “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”  (Ephesians 3:20)

All of those needs and more originate with our Creator and are fulfilled in our Savior Jesus Christ! Don’t settle for the incomplete, insufficient things the world offers you. Instead choose and cling to the best there is!