Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Spiritual Man/Woman

I wanted share with you a section in my "Living Beyond Yourself" Bible study by Beth Moore. It touched my heart in more ways then one and I was challenged to truly "live beyond myself".
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First Corinthians 2:15 tells us that "the spiritual man makes judgements about all things." The Greek word is anakrino, and it means "to discern, judge, to examine accurately or carefully."...The spiritual man does not judge people. He or she judges "things." Very specifically, those "things that comes from the Spirit."

No wonder Galatians 6:1 says only those "who are spiritual" should restore one who has fallen. Only a spiritual person could judge the situation without judging the sinner. God even warns that the spiritual individual must restore very carefully and soberly, or you also may be tempted"! The spiritual man is constantly aware of the fine line which separates him from the carnal man-a split seconds hesitation. (This is huge for me!)

The spiritual man is the person in which the mind of Christ is activated! He or she is a person who delights in the meat of God and not just the milk. She lives and thinks in a capacity far beyond that of "mere man." Why? Because she "lives in the Spirit"!

The woman who "lives in the Spirit, " is "led by the Spirit." The one who keeps "in step with the Spirit" and is "filled with the Spirit" is the person we want to be!

If you are a young Christian, would you like to hear some really good news? These terms do not refer to the time you've spent, but to the today you've surrendered. You may be a new Christian who has just surrendered your heart, but if you're surrendered, you are just as "spiritual" as one who has known Him for 30 years.

Spirituality rests upon "yieldedness" to the Holy Spirit's control. Yieldedness is always the result of a deliberate choice to yield...to consciously surrender. The spiritual life will never come "naturally."

The carnal man does what comes naturally from his old nature. If we are going to live as a spiritual man, it will result from a deliberate, conscious surrender to the Holy Spirit of God.

Surrender must be a daily choice. We can be spiritual one day and not the next. We can be spiritual one morning and not that night (Have you noticed, oddly enough, that spirituality seems to be taxed by husbands and children?) We are spiritual when we are out of control and the Holy Spirit is in control.

"Let us not become wearing in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:9-10)

Sometimes we keep working and trusting and still don't see any change in our husbands, teens, an ill loved one, or other trials and circumstances. The striving is exhausting. Please hang in there and remember two things:

1. God brings results from your obedience; you do not. Let Him do His job in His "proper" time. He'll do it, all right. His name depends on it and He cannot lie. Keep waiting because:

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and, not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31

2. You have everything you need by virtue of the Holy Spirit within you to bear your load. If He has energy enough to speak the worlds into being according to the Father's will and the Son's Word, He has the energy to carry you through your burden. When we power walk in the Spirit, it is He who carries the weights.

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Whew! I know that was long. But it made me think about so many issues that I am dealing with right now. Can I confront in love? If I can't, I should not make a stand. I should choose to keep silent. Until the Lord, works on my heart enough to be loving, my rebuke is futile. This is true with my husband and my children.

I am judging the sinner or the sin? Before I rebuke someone for their tone of voice, I must examine my heart heart and ask myself, "I am using the same tone of voice with them?"

After reading this, I had to ask God to help me control my tongue. My tendency when I am frustrated is to be sarcastic. I use it so often to defend myself when I feel I am wronged.

I am also too impatient. I want results NOW!!!

I need to be more mature in Christ. I need to stand, listen and not lash back. I need to remain calm and not raise my voice. I need to yield myself to Him daily with these things.

Oh, I hope I am not alone! I would love to hear your stories of what you are dealing with and how you could apply these truths to your life. And if you already are practicing yieldedness, tell us how it has changed your life.

No matter what, let's continue to grow and mature together in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lily's First Haircut


Lily's hair was getting a little long, so I thought we would have it trimmed up a bit.
 You never know how children are going to react to a haircut. She did great! I was so happy that she had a smile on her face almost the whole time.
 It looks thicker now and is easier to manage.
She kept saying, "I so pretty!" and "Pretty Hair". It was so cute! I ended up taking five of the six children with me. It was a little hectic because we had to wait a bit. We got through it though. I just wish I didn't stress out so much in those types of situations. God still needs to work with me on that one.

My Musings

 Last week was kind of crazy. I ended up in the ER with Lily. She shoved a popcorn kernel up her nose and I couldn't get it out. It swelled up from the moisture in her nose (AKA snot) which made it even more difficult for the doctor to extract.
 After they sucked it out, I couldn't believe how big it was. No wonder why her little nose was misshaped! God gave me a devotion based on this experience, so stay tuned.
 I took this picture of Lily napping on the couch. I don't think I have ever seen this angle before! So cute... Oh to be able to pass out like that. Wouldn't it be wonderful?
Lily loves to try on Marcus' glasses. She looks super-smart in them!
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I'm feeling a little "blah" about my blog lately.  I just haven't had much desire since my surgery. I am thankful that I'm not feeling the "pull" to the computer. I do visit many of you, but don't take the time to leave a comment. If I do have time, I usually try to visit those that have left comments. I feel bad that I'm not visiting all my bloggy friends as much, but I have really enjoying focusing on my children and homeschooling. I've missed cooking, so now I go on these huge cooking sprees. At night I have enjoyed watching the Roku with my family. Now that we can stream Netflix instantly to our TV, we have had more family time. Also, the older boys and I have had a blast playing card games in the evening when Dad is at work.

I have also been making more time for my hubby. We are "dating" on a regular basis now and it has been wonderful. I think he needs it even more than I do. When you have a large family, sometimes it feels like you are in a war zone when it comes to disciplining and the whole logistics of it. It leaves you feeling a little shell-shocked when things get intense. I like taking that time with Steve to decompress a little and get my bearings on where we are at with each other and with the children.

I guess there is just so much to do, so little time. I don't want to miss any of it. Life is good.

 I am out of a boot and in real shoes again. I have quite a bit of pain still in my foot and big toe, so I will be starting physical therapy soon. I am confident that through hard work and time, God will heal my foot completely.

"God, no matter what I am doing. Please, please, be the center of it all."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Easy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

1-2 cups of cooked chicken (I used left over chicken from our whole Chicken from the previous night)
2-3 cups of Jasmine rice (We love sticky rice) cooked

1-2 cups of cooked broccoli

Mix 3/4 cup mayo with 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup

Add 2 tsps of lemon juice, Mix well

Directions: Spread cooked rice on bottom of greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle left over diced chicken over the rice. Then put a layer of cooked broccoli on top of that. Last spread your mayo mixture over the top.

Cook at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes. Yummy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Jacob!



Dear Jacob,

I know you have looked forward to this day for a long time! You are aware of birthdays and have been very excited about this one.

You are my little Jaker's Man. You aren't that little though. You never really have been. I remember when I put your first onesie on you, I thought to myself, "So that is why they make them so big!". The other kids swam in theirs while you completely filled your out.

You are a funny little guy. You like to come up, give me a great big hug and say, "Your my best friend, Mom. I love you." Oh how precious! I don't even care that you got that off of Toy Story. I will always treasure it.

You are such a good brother to your little sister. Lily loves you! You both look so much alike. Your hair, your cheeks, your smile, your nose. I'm glad you have someone who looks like you.

I love your husky voice! I imagine that someday you will have a very manly voice.

My prayer for you is that you would grow closer to God. That you would love Jesus and want to please Him. I pray that as you go to the bigger Sunday School class that you would engage even more in the lessons and find some new friends. Fall in love with Jesus, my Child. He will never let you down.

Be blessed, Big Birthday Boy!

Love Your Mama
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Biblical Worldview


 
Dear Mothers,

The other day our family sat down to watch the new “Ten Commandments”. It was very good, but had some parts that were not in the Bible (caution: content was very bloody toward the end). My older children kept asking me, “Mom, is that true?” and “Did that really happen?”. Instead of just going off memory (not great sometimes!) I decided to get out the Bible. I explained to them that the Bible is ABSOLUTE TRUTH. It is the ultimate guide that we line things up with and see how it compares. We had a great discussion on what was accurate and what was made up in the movie.

This made me realize how important it is to show your children your Biblical world view. If they have a question about doctrine, false teachers, false prophets, drunkenness, Evolution vs. Creation, ect., where should you go to find those answers? Go to the Bible, they are all in there. The important thing is that you are taking time to sit down with your children and look up Scripture. They are seeing you go to the Bible for answers; so hopefully, when they are older they will in turn do the same thing.

When I am disciplining, especially, I always try to bring it back to the Bible. We always talk about why God doesn’t like such and such behavior. Does it bless Him? Does it please His heart? Does it hurt His heart? I always remind the children that Jesus died on the cross so that that sin would be forgiven.

So the next time you and your children watch a movie or read a book (even if it’s a Christian one) have that Bible ready! It has the answers you need! Be an example! Be a Seeker of Truth and they will become one as well!

From One Mom to Another,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plain Silly and Thoughts on Being a Fun Mom

It has been pretty serious lately on my blog, so I thought I would lighten things up a bit.

I went into the living room the other day and was surprised to see Snickers dressed like a girl! Of course, Jessica did it.
Lily couldn't get over it! So funny! Poor Snickers, she just looked beat. LOL!
A couple days before that, Jessica ran into the house and said, "A bird just pooped on me!". HUH? I couldn't believe it, she held out her hand and showed me a perfectly formed piece of poop that had landed on her as she was playing outside. I can honestly say that I have never had that happen to me! We laughed and laughed.
This isn't silly, instead it is just too sweet. Lily fell asleep on the couch. She doesn't take naps that often anymore, so sometimes we find her in the cutest places. They just look so innocent and peaceful as they recharge their batteries. I can't believe she is almost two years old.

Sometimes you just have to laugh at life. I am entirely too serious. It is hard for me to find that balance of being a stern disciplinarian and an easy, go-lucky mom. I take my job very seriously. I know my time is limited with my kids, but I need to make room for more fun. I need to do this daily. Help me, Lord!
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our Valentine's Day Craft

Jessica thrives on doing crafts and is constantly begging me to do them. I have to admit, I would rather not even bother. I do not like messes and the little ones really make some big ones.

I thought of something easy:

  • A bunch of pink and red patterned paper scraps
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • embroidery string
  • a hole punch

Cut out a basic heart on cardstock and let them trace it on the backs of the pretty scrap paper.
Cut out the heart and then punch a hole through it. Cut a piece of string and then tie it like you would a Christmas ornament.
Even the three year old was helpful and was so excited to be a part of it.  We hung it on the twigs in my favorite glass vase.
I love all the different patterns!

Miss Lily liked hanging them on the twigs. I think I might do the same thing for St. Patrick's Day, only with shamrocks. I could use a bunch of different green patterns. Fun!!!!

P.S. Is anyone having trouble commenting on my blog? My friend says she is getting some pretty nasty error messages. Just wondering if anyone else is. Please comment and let me know (if you can) LOL!
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Deal With Ungodly Husbands

"Because marriage, more than any other relationship, reflects God's involvement with us and bears more potential to draw our hearts to heaven, it can more readily give us a taste of hell." -Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III

Strong words, but for many women this rings true. It isn't a taste of heaven. It is a process in which they find themselves in the need of being "undone" by God. They have to look at a difficult marriage as a long-term course in developing their own good character.

I was super-impressed with this article by Andrea, a writer for "At the Well". Here is the link to it http://www.titus2atthewell.com/when-your-husband-isnt-godly/ . It is a testimony and an encouragement for those wives who do not have the perfect, godly husband who "washes her daily in the Word".

I think sometimes women can get very discouraged by reading all the perfect blogs with the perfect husbands and children. It can be deflating when they get off the computer and face the messiness in their lives and their relationships. The enemy can actually use it to beat us up.

Be blessed! There is something you can do to escape this spirit of defeat. Check it out ladies! It will be worth it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Divine Love

I have really been struggling lately to forgive someone who continues to hurt me. Instead of wallering in it and making myself totally miserable, I have decided to go to God about it. I have essentially been a "tattletale". I am so thankful that I can tattle to God and know that He doesn't condemn me for it.

As usual, God has me open my Bible study and what should the subject be about? Agape love. I've learned a lot about Agape love (I thought), but this time it spoke so profoundly to me. I think the more mature you are in Christ, the more your realize you just don't know everything there is to know on a particular subject. I'm glad God keeps me humble!

Beth Moore says, "Beloved, WE are incapable of agape! No matter how hard we try, we cannot exercise this kind of love. WE cannot love the unlovely. WE cannot love those who do not love us. WE cannot love those who have hurt us.

Agape is divine love. It's only origin is the heart of God. Agape is the love of God expressed through us to others. Actually it is a response more than a feeling. This is the way it works:

1. We confront a situation in which God requires us to agape another person.

2.We admit to Him that we lack agape for this person.

3. We consider how God would personally respond to this person according to the Scriptures.

4. We act in obedience and respond as He would.

When we do this, He tenders our hearts toward the person. The relationship perseveres. Ultimately we are blessed to have been the vessel through which a holy God expressed His great love to one of His children. Nothing else is like God pouring agape through you."

I guess I sort of feel like I'm off the hook. I really can't love this person on my own. I can't conjure up feelings of love. It's not about that. It is about setting my own heart free to love this person. I simply can't do this without God. I am incapable. My flesh is in the way. My want for revenge or vindication always rises up within. It is an ugly thing.

God is teaching me to pray good things for this person, things that will add value to their life. I am also praying that the strongholds that are strangling their walk with Christ, would be broken. I am not praying timid prayers for them, but bold and powerful ones. I am believing God for the first time that this person can  really change. When I am faithful to do this, I can feel God transforming my heart. God is setting me free from being embittered toward them.  Now it is actually changing the way I feel as I continue to let God transform my heart towards this person.

Agape is a beautiful thing. I'm so thankful to have a greater understanding of it. It is not something to be "practiced". It is a gift from God. It is something to be praying for. He will do the rest.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Need to Rejoice

"Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring them to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the alter of God, to God my joy and my delight" (Psalm 43:3-4)


I came across these thoughts in my Bible study "Living Beyond Yourself" and was struck anew at how much I have to rejoice about.

Beth Moore says, "Whether we ever have one external thing over which to rejoice, it is enough that we are born again! I believe the main reason we lack an awareness of joy in our salvation is because we are unaware or seldom reminded to what and from what we have been saved...We need to consistently focus on our great salvation so that our joy might be full....

Recognizing that salvation belongs to Christ helps to get us out of ourselves. It's not about us! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we become the center of  our own universe. Salvation is His. It's about Him. Following Christ breaks the stranglehold of self in our lives as He becomes the center of our universe. We decrease; He increases. Joy results!"

I LOVE THIS! Oh, I needed to hear that today! I needed to be reminded why I need to be rejoicing everyday.

Joy comes from God's Grace. I have been saved from hell and eternal punishment. My sins have been forgiven. I am going to heaven. I will not be judged, I have been redeemed by Christ's blood. I have been adopted by God into His family. I have been grafted into His chosen people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. I am loved and I am saved!!! What greater joy can there be? Can't that truth alone be enough? Why do I always think my circumstances have to be perfect to find joy?

Why am I not more aware of this? Because I am thinking about ME!

 My needs.
 My wants.
 My hopes.
 My dreams.

Lord, thank you that I have much to rejoice over. Help me to stay focused on what is important. Help me CELEBRATE these truths daily.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lessons From a Mother on Her Sick Bed

Dear Mothers,


After having to be stuck in bed for a month after having foot surgery, I have come to realize several things:

1. I have learned to be dependent on others. Having never been in this situation (except for an occasional short illness or the end of a pregnancy), I had no idea what it was like to depend on my family and friends from everything to a cup of water, to cooking meals for a family of eight, to cleaning my house.

2. I've realized God is a God of provision in a fresh, new way. I was amazed that in my darkest hours as I was fighting depression from being isolated and laying in bed for so long, that He truly cared about the big and little things that I needed. If I was lonely, I would ask Him to bring me a friend. The next thing I knew He would send a friend to my bedside to encourage me. If I needed to someone to clean the house because I just couldn't stand it anymore, someone would come and do it without me even asking. Oh, what a blessing!

3. I learned that when I was in constant pain, I could get grumpy and demanding. The worst of my “flesh” was brought out to the surface. The good news was that I decided to allow God to do something about it. Through daily Bible study, prayer time and journalling, I worked through some major things in my past that were hindering my future. I recognized some strongholds that I had allowed to creep into my life. Mostly attitudes of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness towards people who had hurt me. I even found myself calling one of these people and confessing the wrongs that I had committed in the relationship. Oh, it was painful heart surgery, but I could feel Him mending me back together. Each wound was stitched by God's loving, healing hand. II felt like He took His spiritual scouring pad and gave me a thorough scrubbing that at times left me bloody and raw. But I realized without it, I would never be able to fully heal the way God wanted me to. I would also never be able to forgive and love the way God forgives and loves me. Oh, His abundant Grace!

4. I learned that God CAN heal. About five weeks after my surgery the doctor told me I had to wear my walking boot (I had avoided it because of the nerve pain and swelling that I was experiencing and I couldn't sleep with it on.) This particular night I prayed that God would heal those painful nerve endings and decrease the swelling so that I could stand to be in the boot all night long. As I was praying, I felt a warm, tingling sensation move from my knee and all the way down to my toes. I went to sleep and didn't wake up till 6:30 a.m. Ever since that night I have been able to endure the boot. He is “Jehovah Rapha”, the God Who Heals!

5. He prepares us in ways we can't fathom. Even though I thought I understood why I had lost my voice for most of last year due to nodules on my vocal cords, I really had no idea what He was preparing me for. Had He not helped me to get the volume of my voice under control, I would have been yelling at my kids way more. In this situation, all I had was my voice! I'm so thankful that God prepared me ahead of time for what was yet to come.

Dear ones, God can be trusted! He has our best interest in mind. He wants us to press into Him with all that we have when we are going through our trials and tribulations.

Have faith when you are hurting and in pain. God does not waste pain. He uses it for His eternal purposes and for His ultimate glory.

From Mom to Another,
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