Saturday, October 5, 2013

Grace enough?

I teach Geometry at high school.  We spend A LOT of time on conditional statements.  "If this, then that."  If you do the dishes, then you can go to the game.  If you are a parent, you understand how this works.  Even you have ever been a kid, you have probably tried to manipulate it a bit.  But the premise is, the dishes have to be done BEFORE you go to the game.  If you do this, then that will happen.

So often in our faith walk we think of God's grace as a conditional statement.  "If I am faithful enough, then God will answer my prayers."  " If I had enough faith, then I would be healed."  Have you ever said these things?  I know that I have.  And I have cried many tears, begging God to make me whole. It was an easy mistake to make.  

Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

John 4:12-14    Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The woman who only touched Jesus' cloak in Mark 5: 25-34 had enough faith that just touching Jesus would heal her.  Do you see the conditional statement?  because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” (Mark 5:28)

And these are just a few of a plethora found in the New Testament.  I haven't even looked at the Old Testament!  Not to mention the numerous times I have sat in church hearing the same message.  And I began to doubt my own faith.  I must not have been faithful enough, I must not be completely trusting God because I have not been made whole.  So I started to read my Bible, scouring it for answers.

Ephesians 2:8-9  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The healing that Jesus gave others was grace.  Not because any of the Bible characters deserved it, but because, well, I am still sturggling with the why.  He wants show all of us grace- " unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification ". ("Grace." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2013. <>.) He wants to shower his grace upon us.  And it isn't my lack of faith that keeps me from receiving His grace.  I don't know what it is.  I haven't found the answer yet either.  But I am still searching for why I haven't been made whole yet.  I cling to Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I am waiting for His timing.  BUT one thing has come from all of this.

I have learned the lesson of grace.  To give, even when someone doesn't deserve the gift.  The gift of love, the gift of forgiveness, the gift of kindness.  If nothing else, God has lead me to understand His grace and has given me an example.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My failure!

So, keeping up here hasn't gone so well.  Not that it hasn't been on my mind.  I have even written things, I just haven't felt like they were "good enough".  Hmm... seems that I have failed once again to let this over to God.  The ironic part?  I am publishing the church newsletter, with my own things in it.  You know, where people actually KNOW me, and I know them.  But for some reason, I can't get enough guts (or sadly faith) to post here. Sigh, what's a girl to do!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Sparrow on the Limb

Well, I thought that while I was on summer vacation I would be blogging away, doing my best to find myself a little closer to God.  Instead, I have had one of the busiest summers since I was a teenager!  With my own kiddos getting older, a two week road-trip with the family, a new kitten, eating better, working out, I am ashamed to say, my attempt at blogging has suffered.  Every time I went to write, all I could think was that no one was really reading this and I could just write in my journal.

And that is where God steps in!  "Fine, you need more accountability.  I understand your needs and will supply them for you!"  The Sunday before leaving on our road road-trip, our newsletter editor announced she had a great opportunity for herself, but needed someone to take over the newsletter.  It sounded interesting to me, and I thought about it for a second, but I didn't say yes at that exact moment.  I couldn't, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep it up once school (my full-time job) started up. But two weeks is a really long time to think.  A really long time.  It is also a really long time to sit quietly (some what, with two chatty tween girls in the car) and truly talk with God.  And every.single.time. God kept wanting to talk about that newsletter.  And I kept telling Him that he was insane.  Doesn't he already know how I am crying to Him during the school year that I don't have enough time to get my job done, be a good wife, and a great mother, and that I am completely exhausted during the school year??  I promptly ignored Him.  Yep, that's me.  I ask for His presence, then I ignore it when I don't think that I can do what He wants.  When I don't like what He has to say.

But then I was reading my poor falling apart Bible (I even bought a replacement that sits in my night stand, unused, but that is another story).  I was reading one of my favorite passages when my life is becoming a little overwhelmed,"that verse about the sparrow",  Matthew 6:25-34.  Then I think about birds perched on those little tiny limbs.  And how I am so afraid to go out on the limb that God is supporting for me. Scared to death that He will let go and it is going to snap beneath my feet.   But it is always the last verse that screams for me to follow God's bidding.  Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (NIV).  Then to top it off, the Sunday's sermon was about having enough faith in God to take on new challenges.  Well, there it was.  I've been pleading with God for direction.  And He lovingly provided it.  Perhaps if I would just listen the first time I wouldn't have to do so much work to grow this little mustard seed of faith.

So, with complete anxiety, I am going to be editing (and writing many articles) for our small little church!  Hopefully, that will keep me writing here too.  I have so many stories I want to share, how God is always working in my life, at least I'll know that I have to write one a month.

Have you ever had a time that you heard God the first time, but refused to listen because of fear?  I know that there are so many other passages that talk about faith.  I could really use some of them now, and why they speak to you.  I'm going to need all the help I can get!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sometimes it's just hard to sit down and BE.

I have a list a mile long of need-to-do, and should-do, and want-to-do.... and down at the bottom, I am ashamed to say, is my walk with God.

What's a girl to do?

It's really hard to hear what God is saying when I am running in too many directions.  Just like I have forced myself to make time for me by eating right and exercising, I need to force myself to make time for God.  While these are all noble things, I need to look deep in my heart and have a stern talking with my teenage self.  I can try and convince myself that by taking better care of myself I am praising God, but let's be real, I am doing it for very selfish reasons.  I want to live longer and look better.  Neither of these reasons are rooted in God and what God wants for me.  For all I know, God wants me to be the weight I am and look the way I do.  How would I know? I don't take the time to ask Him.  And the times that I have, I would have to be honest and say that I probably didn't take the time to listen for His answer.  And if He gave me an answer I didn't like, I can assure you, my pride got in the way and I did exactly what I wanted to do.

Before I can go any further on this journey I need to be honest with myself and put God first.  I need to stop doing things for God and start being with God.  I can't be the only one with this problem?  Do you struggle with it as well?  What do you find yourself doing rather than being?

So, ready or not, here I go.  Now for me to narrow down to just one book to help me guide my way!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Can I Nurture my Mustard Seed?

I find myself asking this question more and more.  Right now I am in a quiet period in my walk with God.  It's eerie and disturbing because during the darkest periods of my life I have heard God's voice and felt His comfort, but for the longest time (strangely, when things are mostly sunshine and roses) He has been oddly silent.  With ONE exception, to get out and be a voice for Him.  Very odd.  How can I be a voice if I don't hear Him?  So, with my little mustard seed, I am stepping out in faith to listen to the only thing that I have heard Him say in a long time.  And this blog is going to be it.

Will you join me as I struggle to hold onto my little mustard seed?