Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Passing on some words of wisdom...

I don't have anything in particular to say today, but I wanted to share some wisdom from a book that has taught me a lot. It's called A Woman And Her God. The insight of the authors has given me wisdom in several areas of my life, so I thought maybe someone else could benefit from it as well.

"If we don't find satisfaction with God, we will look for it somewhere else...Consider the word subsistence. One definition of the helpless is that they are poor and needy, 'subsisting on the alms of others.' The picture painted here is a beggar. If we subsist on the alms of others, our heart is just a vaccuum; we're needy people because we were created that way. We need to be loved. We need to be affirmed. Those are not weaknesses. We were created with those needs, and we are like beggars when our soul is not satisfied by God. It's like we walk around all day with an empty cup, asking people to fill it up. We may [ask people], "Can you fill my cup?" The problem is that we go to them seeking what only Christ was meant to provide. We can affirm one another, even fulfill one another, but it was God's design right from the beginning that He alone would satisfy our soul's desire. We were meant to thrive on the riches of His love. We were never meant for subsistence living." -Beth Moore, p.9-10
"Long before my family wakes up in my house and before I expect them to meet a need I might have, God has taught me to go to Him...One thing that is so incredible about allowing our Father to meet our needs first thing in the day is that if [anyone] showers us with love later on, our cup overflows. But it's not their job to initially meet the needs of our soul. Therefore, they enjoy the delight (and so do we) of causing this wonderful overflow. And what a difference that makes!" -Beth Moore, p.12,15

I've made the mistake many days of looking for others to fill my cup. It leaves me miserable and feeling unloved, neither of which is productive or necessary! I love the picture here of a cup full to the brim with Jesus, and later on, anything else causes overflow. :)

After Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, his disciples told him to eat something. "How frustrated He must have been with the disciples! For that matter, how frustrated He must be with us when we can't take our focus off lunch. Our vision is so limited. The problem is, if we become comfortable in our faith, we tend to become self-satisfied and then we don't even care if the world's gone to hell in a handbasket. We have no vision and certainly no passion... If you have a vision for the lost, you tend to lose your appetite, because your vision leads to passion. Suddenly your stomach becomes tied in knots. Let me ask you something: When was the last time your stomach ached over a lost soul? Take a good look at the people around you. Just as it was in biblical times, the fields are ripe. It's harvest time!" -Jill Briscoe, p.34-35

The fullness of His love that He gives is meant to be spread, not kept within us! He draws us in to Him by His love in order that we might delight in Him... and that delight cannot be hidden! The lost world around us NEEDS to know. May we never have more of an appetite for the things of the world than we do for seeing God's kingdom here on earth.

"Experiencing the reality that God loves you personally will have a profound healing effect on every area of your personality. [It will] involve a secure sense of being unworthy but not worthless, with a consistent focus on God's adequacy rather than our own inadequacy. Notice the balance. Yes, we are unworthy of this eternal love relationship, but we are not worthless. The worth of something is determined by the price someone is willing to pay for it. Look at the price that was paid to allow us to enter into this eternally secure love relationship with God. How awesome!" -Sandra D. Wilson, p.60

"Once we become convinced of His love, we must be willing to receive it. Our mind may acknowledge, Yes, God loves me, but we don't receive it; we don't truly allow God to love us. Romans 5:5 says, 'God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.' Our response should be, 'I receive Your love, Lord.'" -Kathleen Hart, p.69

"Second Corinthians 5:9 says, 'We make it our goal to please the Lord.' Our goal should be to please the Lord. Clear your grandstand of all other people. The only one who should be there is Jesus. He's the one who loves you unconditionally. He's the one you should love with all your heart. He's the one giving you direction in your life." -Kathleen Hart, p.86

"Take responsibility for who you are, for your behavior, and for your actions and attitudes. We have to do that at every stage of our life. Otherwise, we'll continue to react to life, to circumstances, and to people, and our life will become miserable." -Kathleen Hart, p.88
I think this goes right back to where we get our satisfaction... Any other source but Jesus will not fulfill and we will be miserable.

"As we consider how Jesus cared for women, we know that one ofthe primary ways was by listening, talking to, and interacting with them. His actions and words always revealed this statement: 'You matter to Me; you're important to Me.'" -David Hager, M.D., p.106-107

"Listening requires a great deal of humility, because by saying less when you could have said more allows God to do everything." -David Hager
This jumped out at me. It's a perspective I've never considered on something I really need to work on!

"Jesus' example sets the course for all men with respect to caring for women. This is how men are to treat women... No human relationship can satisfy the deep soul-need you have. A relationship with a man cannot match it, no matter how hard you try. No husband can meet that kind of need for his wife; only Jesus can do that. And that's the way He wants it." -David Hager, p.114-115

Thank You Jesus!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Then and Now

It's interesting that I named this blog "Time." Time has always been a big deal in my life. With divorced parents, thinking about time has consumed many holidays and summer breaks and whose time is it and how am I going to split it and so on...
Now that I'm older I have come to value time probably more than anything else. When I have an hour to spend on the phone with a friend, I hang up feeling energized and refreshed because someone cared enough to give me a little piece of their life. It's also one of the things I need to work on the most because I constantly procrastinate. =/ I also stretch myself too thin, not knowing when to say no when someone needs some of my time. I'm working on it.
Needless to say, I think a lot about time. When I first started I posted about Ecclesiastes 3, which talks about God's timing for all things...
What brought that about was looking at relationships around me (some I was involved in and some that I was just a bystander to) and how there is a time to make it work and a time to wish them the best and move on. We are free in Christ, and yet sometimes we let other people become chains that hold us down. It can either be by their own doing or our own choice to be chained (or both). A chain for me growing up was trying to please people. I constantly felt torn or guilty about where I was or who I was spending time with because I couldn't be in two places at once. When I started driving, I could make my own choices, do my own thing. I eventually started spending less and less time at either home just so I could avoid the whole thing. I let myself become so wrapped up in one person that I put chains on myself by letting my life be consumed around them...
That brings me to what I wanted to do in this post. I just want to show what God has done in the past 6 or 7 months of my life. It's just a beginning, but my God is SO big and I'm beyond grateful that He picked me up from where I was and let me be free and completely satisfied in Him. I'm so excited to see what more He has in store for me.

Then: Stingy and scared to give when I had so many "needs" of my own.
Now: Learning that giving TRULY is better than receiving. It is all His anyway, and He can do much more with it than I can!

Then: Always feeling guilty about where I was and who I was spending my time with.
Now: Trusting that no matter where I am, I am carrying Jesus with me and opportunities surround me to share Him with others.

Then: Timid and rarely sharing my faith.
Now: Praying for the chance to daily show Jesus to whoever He puts in my path, even my own family.

Then: Terrified to leave the comforts of home.
Now: Loving being at college, meeting new people, experiencing new things, and embracing the opportunity to leave the country to share Jesus with another part of the world!

Then: Stressed all the time about things that don't matter in the end.
Now: Life happens, but my Jesus sustains and satisfies me through any circumstance. Circumstances can't hold me down.

Then: Settling for something that was far from God's best for me.
Now: Trusting that even when I don't understand, I can trust God to bring the best things along in His time. Knowing that I deserve more than I settled for.

Then: Missing out on so many great things because I thought something else was worth it.
Now: Traded it in for having a ton of fun, meeting a lot of wonderful people, and most of all, opening my hands up to whatever God may have for me!

Then: Conforming into someone that wasn't me, afraid to be honest because of what I might "lose".
Now: Free to be myself, knowing that my Jesus is the only One I really need to please, and also knowing that He fulfills my heart's desires! He knows me better even than I do.

Then: Doing things my way, always wanting control. 
Now: Learning to trust Him and not wanting things in my control (because my way will always fail!) 

Then: Watered down Christianity.
Now: Living for Jesus. Still learning (a LOT) but giving all that I am and all that I have for Him to do what He will with it...

To GOD be the glory, great things He has done! Praise Him for choosing to save us, when we can't even see that we need saving! Praise Him for never giving up on us. Praise Him for choosing to use us. Praise Him for He is SO good.