September 25, 2011

Sleepless in Wisconsin

I should be asleep!
I really should.
My child is asleep.
His friend is asleep.
I should be asleep!

I close my eyes and hear the sounds around me...

Tom & Jerry on TV.
The breathing of my son.
The clock ticking.
A cricket outside my door.
The faucet dripping.
Tiny footsteps next door.
My heartbeat.

I wait a few more minutes
to see if I can hear any other sound...

I do.

it's a whisper

of my Papa

saying,

"dream..."

"It's time to dream again..."

"dream big..."

"dream and expect..."

d.r.e.a.m.b.i.g.a.g.a.i.n.

...it's time!

September 23, 2011

Where's the "line"?

Where do we draw the line in the sand?
In a place where it's comfortable for us?
Or in a place where God says to draw the line?

And then with so many versions of the Bible, do we look for the version that gives us permission to do what it is that we want? The version that justifies it's o-kay. It's not like we'll lose our salvation. At least, not with that one decision. Maybe down the road, we could, but, you know, we'll stop before it gets that far.

Where's our hearts?
Where's our integrity?
Where's the character in all of that?
Where is our fear of the Lord?

If Christians are supposed to be light in this world, then why do we make excuses for our reason of molding to the ways of this world? When does it end? Are we willing to stand up, and sweat blood, to declare I WILL NOT COMPROMISE!

Most of us aren't. Honestly.

We'll stand until it gets too hard and then we cave into it. Why? What keeps us from truly turning our backs upon something and never going back? What is the key? What is the issue we need to "get" in order to do that?

I'm totally talking to myself as well.

I'm just overwhelmed this morning with so many questions and scenarios of situations people have shared with me in the past month.

I don't "get" it. I want to. I really do.

I want to "get" it for me! I want to "get" it for you!

I want the "key"!!!

I want the "thing", whatever that "thing" is, that helps us to get out of our complacency of a luke-warm life of simply surviving in a mound compromised decisions.

What is it going to take????

Just my huge mound of thoughts this morning!


September 21, 2011

Rules, God, & Boundaries

Romans 7:18-25

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.


21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!


---------------------------------------------------
"I know the right thing to do, but yet I'm not doing it. I want to stop, but how? How can I get free? Why don't I just stop? Why can't I just turn away? What a horrible person I am! If people only knew just how wretched I really was! If they knew MY sin, they would hate me!!!"
----------------------------------------------------

I have said the preceding words before. I have sobbed and pleaded with God to take away my horrible habits and sins. I have begged for Him to just remove the temptation before me. At times, He did.

The other times, I had to CHOOSE to walk away. 
I had to CHOOSE to turn off different TV programs. 
I had to CHOOSE to turn against my own desires. 
I had to CHOOSE to say "NO" to whatever fleshly desire was knocking at my door.

I have had Christian friends tell me, "Just DON'T do it!"

Really??? I would love to "just not do it". I would love to be able to have the power and ability to "just not do it".

With Jesus Christ, we DO have the power. 

I used to think God had all sorts of rules for me to follow because He just wanted to take the fun out of my life. NO drinking, NO swearing, NO smoking, NO sex before marriage, KEEP a pure heart, KEEP a pure mind, KEEP good thoughts, etc.

The more I live life, and the more I seek God, I'm realizing He has set those boundaries to protect us. To keep our heart from pain. To keep us from causing other people heartaches. God doesn't long to punish us. He longs to keep us out of the pits we dig and then jump into.

I know He grieves when we get ourselves into one of those situations. I used to think that He grieved because we couldn't live up to the standard He placed before us, you know, that He was thinking, "Boo hoo, I don't know why I trusted that Heaven with that rule. I knew she would break it. She's never going to 'get it'."

But of course, that's not who God is!

I think God grieves FOR us. See, when we jump into a great big slimy pit without realizing it (or caring), He KNOWS what we will have to endure and go through. He knows the pain we are going to experience. He knows the beginning, middle, and end, and therefore, He knows our choices will cause us gut-wrenching pain at times.

Most of us do not just totally defy the rules. We don't always intend to get into the messes we get into to. Our hearts long to please God...

Yet...

We want "that other thing" as well...
 whatever that may be. 

"That thing" that God has said "No" to. 
"That thing" that is contrary to what God defines as Holy. 
We don't want to totally rebel...
We just want a little...
then a little more...
and a little more.

Next thing we know, we've buried ourselves in our "junk", the "thing" that we knew we would NEvER do!!!

"How did we get here!!!"

We compromised.

Just a little.

Then a little more.

Maybe a tad bit more than we wanted to.

Well, a little bit more should be fine.

A compromise is a compromise!

I really try to lead a pure life. I have chosen to remove many of the things that trigger my struggles. I'm a "Rated G" and "Rated PG" kind of girl. I KNOW where my mind can go and how I could fantasize if I allowed myself to, therefore, I'm very careful of what TV programs I watch, the music I listen to, the books I read, the situations I could get myself into.

Over the years, I have really sought God on this, and for me, that means I don't go with my friends to watch "chick flicks". I don't really watch alot of things that I wouldn't allow my children to watch. Sexual images flash across even the simplest commercial, so I'm cautious how much time I spend watching TV.

Songs- Because of my history with guys and the bars, I don't listen to much secular music. I'm a "Christian music" kind of girl. Almost every old song that comes on the radio seems to remind me of some guy, party, or lifestyle choice I used to live.

People boundaries- I don't hang out with guys. I don't spend any time alone with guys. I don't talk late nights or for long periods of time with guys. I KNOW myself! I KNOW my weaknesses. I KNOW I have a seductive personality and I used to love flirting.

I sound very "prudish", but I've made too many mistakes to worry about how I sound. I got tired of my heart breaking. I got tired of seeking for acceptance and love in the wrong places. I got tired of the shame and guilt and the self-destructive behaviors that I sought out because of my need for love.

Human nature is to seek something to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts, whether it be people, work, sex, drugs, alcohol, food, or whatever else.

I've seen too many people with broken hearts. It's not worth it for me.

Are you compromising? 

Does it feel like you've crossed the "point of no return?" I promise you, you're NEVER too far gone for God!!! NEVER, EVER, EVER!!!

Satan wants you to believe that you can "handle it", you can turn back whenever you want, you can change it, noooooooooooooooooo problem!

It's a lie.

God doesn't set rules to frustrate you.

Really, He doesn't.

He does it to protect you.

Sometimes from yourself.

September 16, 2011

God knew what He was getting into!

When we compromise,
we always tend to feel "less than".

This morning, as I was spending some time worshiping, I came across this song by Misty Edwards. It says what I so often have felt when I feel like I have let God down.

We're human.
We make mistakes.
We sin.
We repent.
We feel worthless.
We sin.
We repent.

Eventually, we feel like we are close to "running out of grace". We wonder if we are ever going to "get it right".

Today, I want you to know that God is NOT disgusted with you. He's NOT disappointed with you. He's NOT sorry He's called you. He knew what He was getting into when He asked you to be His. This song speaks of the very same thing.

Close your eyes.
Listen to the words.
And let God speak to your heart.



September 13, 2011

Compromise

Com-pro-mise (kam'pre miz)- v. 1. to settle by a compromise. 2. to put in danger of being criticized or disgraced. 3. to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal, etc. 4. To make a dishonorable or shameful concession.

Compromise...

There are certain things in life that would die or lose its flavor without compromise: friendships, marriages, parenting, work, and chores...

To compromise with the enemy, however, only leads to a toxic and sometimes, fatal outcome. Satan advances in as a wolf in sheep's clothing, finding in us our weakness. He digs out his conniving book of lies and begins the journey of deceiving us.

He shows us a copy of his rules, making us think, "Why did I ever think he was out to devour me? He's giving me more choices than God."

"You can go a little farther."
"Just one more time, and that's it."
"But if feels so good."
"This won't affect anyone but you."
"You can repent afterward."
"What's the big deal?"
"Everyone does it."
"It's just a little sin."
"God will forgive you."

We sign on the dotted line, but as the enemy turns to leave, the camouflaged ink begins to fade, only to reveal the fine print,

and
you
LOSE!

We give a little and he takes it all. That is not much of a compromise in my eyes.

Does he play fair? NO.

Does he try to deceive us with his wheeling and dealing, getting us to believe that he will keep his end of the bargain? Absolutely!

Sexual sin involves compromise... all of the time.

We compromise our purity.
We compromise our morals.
We compromise the Word of God.
We compromise our heart.
We compromise our peace.
We compromise our destiny.
We compromise our mind.
We compromise our victory.

In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted three times by satan. On the third time, when satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only bow down and worship him.

Jesus did not passively say, "Oh, maybe you should go now."

Jesus, with authority and (most-likely) volume, declared, "AWAY FROM ME SATAN!"

Jesus declared His position and said, "Enough is enough! You have no place here! I worship my God and I serve My God only! I refuse to listen to you any longer!"

Jesus knew His authority and position. Jesus new His Father in heaven was greater than he that was standing before Him. He knew not to test the Lord God. He knew that man did not live by bread alone, but by every Word that came from the mouth of God. He knew that satan was an obstacle and did not have the mind of Christ. Jesus knew His purpose and reason for His beating heart.

Jesus knew NOT to bargain or compromise with satan.

What have you compromised in your life?
Is it an impure relationship?
Sex outside of marriage?
A "little" bit of pornography?
An adulterous relationship?
A "tiny" bit of flirting with someone who's married?
Honesty? Integrity? Character?
------------------------------------


Jesus, I pray that you would expose the lies of the enemy for what they are: lies. I pray that you would open up the hearts of all those reading these words, and I pray that you would begin to shine Truth into their minds. I pray for the Holy Spirit to war for the people who have become enslaved to sexual addiction. I pray that you begin breaking chains right now, in Jesus' name. Show us where the line needs to be drawn in our lives. Show us the way. Show us where we are being deceived. Bring us back to a heart of purity once again. In Jesus' name, Amen


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