Saturday, January 28, 2012

Build Me UP, Lord!

The past 2 weeks have been pretty rough for my little family.  We have come to find out some new things that is going to be challenging in the months to come.  While, I am not here to talk about me or the issues that we are facing, I know that sometimes a little personal experience shared lets people know that they are not alone if they are facing the same issues or similar issues. 

We are going through some medical and financial trials right now. They seem to be never ending, but in the midst of all of this, I find God using this situation to help build me up.  God wants us to trust Him and He wants to guide us in every decision that we make.  God uses certain situations to help build our character in Him.  To us, as humans, it seems so "why me?" but in God's eyes He sees a chance to build up that person.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  God allows certain things to happen even when we do not know what is going on to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him.  God wants us to lean on Him, but he also knows that as His children, we are to witness to others and sometimes it means allowing us to go through certain "tough times" to be able to relate to others down the road or to be a witness at a moment when we least expect it!  Last night I was out to dinner with some friends, and we were talking about my family's situation and one of the ladies said, "how are you doing this?"  " You come to work with a smile on your face, you are not bitter and you seem like everything is wonderful, when we know it is not!"  I simply explain to her that I have God on my side and I have total faith that He is walking this road with me and that he has this!  Yes, there are times that I have broken down and times that I just want to scream, but knowing that God has my back is the best feeling ever!  In that moment I was able to show her God's light and my faith that I have in Him.  She didn't really say anything after that, I think she might have been shocked by my answer.  God continues to build you up even when you think you are being beat to the ground.  You have to keep your focus on God and you will get stronger and stronger with each trial that comes your way.  Putting your total faith in God is the ultimate build me up!

My prayer right now is that the Lord consume me from the inside out.  That I can rest in His arms and know that He loves me enough to take on the world for me all while building me up! 

Romans 15:1

The Message (MSG)
 1-2 Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?"
God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
Lamentations 3:22  (MSG)
Love in Christ,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ponder This!

I found this while researching for the previous post and thought I would share it with you all. Trisha Wilkerson wrote this:

Are You Imitating or Idolizing?

As a young woman and a fragile new believer, I longed for examples of godly women to learn from.

There was one wonderful woman that I admired too much. Instead of being encouraged by her maturity in Christ, I made being like her the goal for my growth. For me, imitation became idolatry.

Imitation keeps Jesus as the goal. Idolatry makes being like that person the goal. Being like this woman became more motivating than being like Jesus. Now, as an adult, I’m not immune from this temptation. From Martha Stewart to the Proverbs 31 woman, my heart is easily persuaded to idolize. Idolatry of a particular woman brings condemnation; instead of feeling inspired, it feels like I can never measure up. For some, it's an imaginary woman we long to be and this fictitious perfection is the unattainable goal.

When it comes to being a Christian woman, there's often a desire to become or look like what we think a Christian woman is. We read women’s role books, attend women’s groups, watch shows aimed at women, and compare ourselves all along the way. If there were a Christian Barbie, we would own her.

What Is Idolatry?
Our words, affections, thoughts, and deeds reflect what we worship. When we survey our lives, we often find replacements for God. We idolize people when when we put their opinion, love, and acceptance in place of God’s or when we move past respect and strive to look like, be like, or act like them.

Imitation keeps Jesus as the goal. Idolatry makes being like that person the goal.

We see this sometimes with women’s events and groups that often communicate the "formulas" on how to be a Christian woman while the subtle pressure sets in to be the five things she embodies. On the stage of our hearts is the Christian Barbie with her perfect worship, home, family, and heart. Before we realize it, we’ve built an altar to her. Is it wrong to give Godly examples of how women worship Jesus? No. But we must hear God reminding us not to idealize and idolize, and instead imitate godly women as they imitate Jesus. We must not buy the Christian Barbie.

What Is Imitation?
More than just copying, the purpose of imitation is to draw us closer to Jesus. Imitating someone is seeing their life lived in humble worship, and we respond with similar obedience enabled by the Holy Spirit. We can learn from, be sharpened by, and enjoy their Christ-exalting example.

Scripture gives us good examples of people who feared God and walked in faith. We are told to be encouraged by their lives and to fight for a faith in Jesus like their own. "We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised" (Hebrews 6:11-12).

We must hear God reminding us not to idealize and idolize, and instead imitate godly women as they imitate Jesus.

Imitation feels like a fresh breeze of grace as we are encouraged to live lives that glorify God. "Join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us" (Philippians 3:17).

We Are Called To Be Imitators of God
"Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children" (Ephesians 5:1). Our lives lived in response to God’s love is worship. We adore, praise, and imitate Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. As we grow closer to Jesus, we become more like him.

To close, I want to leave you with this quote from Charles Spurgeon,

To love is to adore! To obey is to praise! To act is to worship! If you are imitators of God as dear children, your adoration will be proved to be sincere. Worship unattended by imitation is fake—true adoration dwells not in words only—as it comes from the heart, so it affects the entire nature and shows itself in the daily behavior.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making Idols Out of Men

Ex 20:3-4 (NIV) "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

Tim Tebow has become a household name over the past few weeks. If you do not know who he is, I will tell you, he is a football player for the Denver Broncos. He is leading his team in the playoffs, but he is most known for his expression of faith during the games. Twitter and the Internet are blowing up with his picture pose(him kneeling down and praying in the end zone). The fans can not get enough of Tim Tebow. I think his showing of faith is great. I think he is being a witness to all by showing his love and faith for the Lord, but I think some of the fans are taking it too far. So, this leads me to the question, how far is to far? I am all for role models, Rather it be a football player or a teacher. I think it is great to have someone to look up to. When you start idolizing someone or something, that is when God gets upset. God wants your undivided attention, he does not want anyone or anything to over shadow Him. When you consume something or someone to where you put them on a "pedestal", that is idolizing. You are so infatuated by it or them that you can't go with out it and you see them as someone that can do anything. That is when the role model becomes an idol. Tim Tebow is doing what he is passionate about, his faith and football. He is not out there to be admired or idolized, but in the darkness of the world he is becoming an idol. God does not want us to idolize anyone or anything. He is the one that is almighty and powerful and allows us to have talents and skills. God is the one that we need to look up to and run to in a time of need. It is one thing to have a role model but it's another to turn that role model into an idol! Like I said before, I think role models are a great thing and in this case, I think Tim Tebow is a great Christian to look up to.

Love In Christ,


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