Tag Archive | Word

All the Runners Run

Boy that is profound, isn’t it? All the runners run. Duh. That’s why they’re runners.

DSC_0130

I’ve long been a runner. Not always physically, but I’m a runner nonetheless. All of my life I kept running. Running from the boogey man, from pain, from fears, from people, from love, from Jesus.

Almost ten years ago I also started running physically. What great bringing together of the inside and outside of my life. Run away on the inside, run away on the outside.

20170521_135317

DSC_0018 (2)

I recently spent a glorious week in beautiful Blue Springs, Missouri. We used to always joke that Missouri was really spelling M-I-S-E-R-Y. This week was anything but misery.  I was attending a rather intensive retreat and Jesus exploded all over this woman.

By all over, I really mean All. Over. Completely.

My prayer going into the retreat was that Jesus would ruin me for life as normal. That I would  have zero desire to ever back to what my life had been like. He completely undid me!

I will never, ever forget my time there. I will never forget what He told me there. I will never forget the pictures He gave me.

I am ruined. Forever ruined by Him and for Him.

Screenshot_20170619-113437
If you were to zoom in on my necklace in the picture above you would find the pendant is a stick figure of a runner. Very much indicative of my life to date. I wore it with happiness.

Happiness but not joy.

I had been home for a just a couple of days at the most when I was putting the necklace back on one morning when I heard Jesus speak to my soul.

That isn’t who you are any longer. Throw it away. 

DSC_0105

I held it in my hands, looking at it. And again I heard Him speak,

That isn’t who you are any longer. Throw it away. 

My soul reacted with joyful abandonment. And I threw the necklace in the trash. I have been completely set free from my running from everything.

20170620_194058

Everything.

I still run. It just looks different now. Instead of running from, I run to. I run to Him. I run to life. I run to love. I run to joy. I run to friendships. I run and when I run I feel His pleasure.

20170619_131825

 

Advertisements

The Truth about Me.

But God demonstrates His own love toward Virginia, in that while she was yet a sinner, Christ died for Virginia. Much more than having now been justified by His blood, Virginia shall be save from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:8-9)

choose-joy

Therefore, having been justified by faith, Virginia has peace with God through her Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom also she has obtained her introduction by faith into this grace in which Virginia stands, and she exults in hope of the glory of God and not only this, but Virginia also exults in her tribulations. Knowing that tribulations brings about perseverance and perseverance proven character, and proven character hope. And hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within Virginia’s heart through the Holy Spirit who was given to her. For while Virginia was still helpless – at the right time Christ died for ungodly Virginia. (Romans 5:1-6)

img_20161205_1733451

When I fully realize that all of everything I do is because of His grace toward me – I fully realize I have nothing to prove and therefore I have nothing to defend. (Romans 6:1-3)

dsc_0037

Therefore Virginia has been buried with Jesus through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father so she too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

20161118_060409

Jesus died in the flesh, so I could live in the Spirit. (Romans 6:8-9)

20161205_1246001

Lord, here I am –  a weak, frail, fleshly girl – I present to You my body as one alive from the dead. I present my members to You as instruments of Your righteousness. I place myself under Your grace –  because sin shall not be my master. (Romans 6:12-14)

20161030_080225_optimized

But THANKS be to God that though Virginia was a slave of sin, she became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which she was committed, and having been freed from sin, Virginia became a slave of righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18)

20161112_124004

Slave of Sin = Dead to Righteousness.
Slave of Righteousness = Dead to sin.
Alive to sin and the law = Dead to Righteousness and God
Alive to Righteousness and God = Dead to sin and the law.

I was made to die to the law through the body of Christ that I might marry (be joined to) Christ – every time I serve sin I am committing adultery. (Romans 7)

20161123_071909

There is therefore now no condemnation for Virginia who is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

20161203_1658091

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in Virginia, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to her mortal body through His Spirit who indwells her. (Romans 8:11)

20161112_123951

For Virginia has not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again…
BUT Virginia has received a spirit of adoption as a daughter by which she can cry out, Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15)

i praise you lord

Suffer – then Glory.
Suffering brings glorification. (Romans 8:17)

dsc_0061

Predestined.
Called.
Justified.
Glorified. (Romans 8:30)

thankfulmug

What then shall I say to these things? If God is for Virginia, who is against her? (Romans 8:31)

20161207_2000401

When I am in tribulation, distress, being persecuted, in a famine, and naked, peril or seeing a sword (instrument of death), I think I have been separated from the love of Christ but that isn’t the TRUTH! I overwhelmingly conquer through Jesus who loves me through them. (Romans 8:37-39)

(all verse from the New American Standard Bible)

Love Suffers

Love. It’s what we all want. What we all need. It is what we crave.

img_20161205_1733451

But what does Love mean? What does it mean to live loved? Is that even possible? Is it possible to live loved all the time, even when we feel loved less than?

20161207_0636331

I’ve mentioned a teary time or two that I’m reading Ann Voskamp‘s book, The Broken Way. I’m currently in a love-hate relationship with it. And with Ann. I mean nothing bad about Ann at all. Don’t misunderstand. But it’s like she lives in my town, or at least in my head and is pointing out all the places I need to change to grow.

20161119_124535

It was through her book I started putting a red cross on my wrist. As a reminder to me every day to live cruciform. To live in the shape of a cross every day. To remember the best gift is to love others. To remind myself to Be The Gift…to Give It Fully Today.

When I choose to focus on someone else who is just as needy as I am, to focus on them and meeting their needs, trusting the Meeter of my needs to meet my very great needs. When I do this then the healing of my broken and shattered places begins.

20161108_093552_optimized

When my healing begins, my cup is no longer empty.

20161112_123951

It’s a little oxymoronic I think to have a blog about my FULL cup when it seems my cup lives empty.

But that is how I am to live. I am to live empty, poured out, given out in love to the One who loves me.

“‘Love will always make you suffer. Love only asks, ‘who am I willing to suffer for?'”

Those words leaped of the page of Ann’s book last night.  I underline it in green, and read it over a few times. Trying to grasp the meaning. Rejecting the statement as impossibly untrue. Love doesn’t make you suffer. Love erases suffering.

Then I read further.

“Love, before it is anything, to be love at all, it is first patient. …patience is nothing but a willingness to suffer. Patience and the word passion, they both come from the exact same root word, patior, to suffer. …Passion embraces suffering because there’s no other way to embrace love. Love isn’t about feeling good about others; love is ultimately being willing to suffer FOR others.” (from Ann’s book, The Broken Way, page 137. emphasis mine.

And I was stopped dead in my reading tracks.

Love is being willing to suffer for others…because Jesus (LOVE) was willing to suffer for me.

20161207_2000401

When the words you read make you jot down your thoughts on the other side of the page and then you take a moment to read them. The realization of my own black-hearted self-centeredness washed over me like a waterfall.

I can not say I love anyone if I am not willing to suffer for them. I can not.

I’m rather reserved with my “I love Yous” I am. They don’t come easy for me.

This doesn’t come easy for me either. Every time I have said it thus far in my life has more than likely been a lie. A complete fabrication. A lie I’ve said to make myself feel good and to make you feel good.

20161106_182337_optimized

The man I promised myself to in marriage. If I am not willing to suffer for him, I am not willing to love him.

20161206_2116351

Those children that I gave birth to, if I’m not willing to suffer for them. I do not love them.

Those precious souls I’ve been blessed to have befriend this broken pile of flesh, if I’m not willing to suffer for them, I’m not willing to love them.

As painful as all of that was to realize, I knew in the very deepest part of my soul, if I am not willing to suffer for Jesus, I am not willing to love Him.

20161205_1246001

If I am not willing to take up my cross and follow Him in the path of His suffering, joining in His suffering for me, then I am not willing to love Him.

And if I am not willing to love Him, I am not willing or able to love anyone else.

So my prayer for myself and you this Christmas season is simply to be willing to be willing to love Him as He loves us. To be willing to suffer for Him because that is the path to wholeness, life and love.

choose-joy

#Lessons From Gideon

I have been involved in a women’s Bible study on Wednesday’s for many years, almost 2 decades now. I have come to love love love the ladies I study the Word with. Some have come and gone, others have come and stayed.

I started attending as a new bride, and I attended through two pregnancies, and now my girls are the Bible study babysitters. I’ve learned to feed myself the Word and not depend on someone else to feed me the Word of God.

That is a GOOD thing! A really, really good thing. It does make going through a study book written by someone else a bit difficult for me. I am also rather sensitive to learning what the Word says, and not what someone else says it says. I am sorry, or maybe I’m not, but I don’t really care what someone else says the Word says, or means.

Some authors/pastors/teachers  can give their opinion as if it was fact.  This causes me no real end of frustration. So many times I’ve read something, and my first thought was, “Where did they get their information?” followed closely with, “But the WORD doesn’t say that.”

Our Bible study group just finished up a study on the life of Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. In week one she encouraged us to find little hashtag statements, called Lessons From Gideon. We could share them on twitter, and everyone who followed those hashtags would know what we were learning from the study. I got more hashtag statements in just reading the story on my own.

So here are some of my Gideon Hashtags.

Judges 6:1-5

  • The enemy comes in when we are the most fruitful. The Midianites would sweep in like locusts at harvest time. The time the Israelites were the more fruitful, they would come in and wipe them out.
  • The enemy comes in and seems to us to be innumerable. The odds are always stacked against us. We can’t see any possible way to skirt the issues, problems, and the enemy is always right there in our face.
  • The enemy comes in to devastate us and produce.
  • The enemy comes in to bring us low.
  • This often happens when we choose, willfully choose to do evil in the sight of the Lord. We know what He says, we know what His word says, but so often we decide to go our own way. Then we wonder why on earth we are in the situation we are in.
  • The Lord ALWAYS responds. He still gives to us when we do evil, but it’s not always a good thing that He gives. It is always FOR our good, but sometimes it’s just painful.
  • He gave them into the hands of Midian for seven years. The number of completion, a complete time.

Verses 11-27

  • Our sin causes us to say to God–or His messenger–that God has abandoned us, and to believe it ourself. God has  not abandoned us–we have willfully chosen to abandon Him through our own wickedness and idolatry.
  • God, at times, gives us a smaller job to do before the BIG one to boost our faith and to show HImself to be true and strong enough.
  • God understands our fear.

Verses 36-7:??

  • We often camp next to fear and then seem surprised when fear over takes us.
  • When we gather an army to help us, camped by fear, God wants to get rid of them, so we will rely only on Him. Too often we want to be too self-sufficient and plan God right out of our issues. Even when it is something He has told us to do that has us scared to death.
  • We can not be delivered by our own power, but we often want to boast about it as if we did it alone.
  • We want to hang onto something , even when God says “let go”.
  • We should always be prepared for battle.

 

Thoughtful Thursday

Yesterday morning I awoke pondering John 6:44,

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him…”(nasb)

I tried to wrap my mind around that verse and

“The Lord is…not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 nasb)

And then this verse jumped into the fray,

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20 nasb)

I know, and have known all of these verses for years. I’ve believed them to be true for years. But it wasn’t until I began to experience some mockery, some antagonism because of my belief that I’ve had to take a hard look at them.

I had never really realized how on first glance they could appear to say the opposite. In the John 6:44 verse it quite plainly says that we can’t come to Jesus unless the Father draws us.  But in the 2 Peter passage it quite plainly says God doesn’t wish anyone to die apart from Him. And Romans tells us that man is without excuse.

I realized that (and please know, this is not a new realization, it is more an old realization I’ve fleshed out with God and it is now cemented into my soul) from the creation of the world God has been drawing men to Himself.

And it’s not an exclusive club. He doesn’t pick and choose those He wants. If you’re a living, breathing human walking on planet earth, He is drawing you to Himself.

In the same vein, ignorance is no excuse. No one can stand before Him and declare their innocence because of ignorance. Creation speaks loudly about the existence of God and about His character.  Rationalizing and trying to explain our existence any other way does not change the fact that men are without excuse. Creation plainly reveals God.

Man’s vain attempt to explain our existence any other way does not make their way true.

Today I read a verse that is probably very familiar to everyone who names the name of Jesus. Today though He gave me fresh eyes to read it with a prayer on my lips,

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16 nasb)

My prayer for today is that I would allow the Word of God, the Word that was and is the very breath of God to teach me, reprove me, correct me and train me in righteousness so I will be adequate for every good work.

FaithGirlz

I am a huge fan of anything that will get my girls into the Word and the Word into them. I love seeing them spend time reading the Bible. It thrills me to the very core of my being.

I was given the opportunity to review the new FaithGirlz Bible. And I love that I had Elizabeth write the review for me.

This Bible is AWESOME! Inside it has Book Introductions. Those tell you a little bit about each book.  It also has Dream Girls, Bring it On and ‘Is there a little _____________ in you?’, Treasure This, What Happens Next?, Oh I get it!

I love the Dream Girls because they give you a glimpse of what life was like back then. I also like the Table of Weights and Measures because you can go and find Weights and measures of things. The note pages are cool because you can write what you think.

The Bring It On! feature will point to Bible verses that will encourage you.

“Oh I get it!” feature shows you the Bible is more than just stories. It also has tons of information. How did God create the world? Who is the direct descendant of Ruth? etc. You can find the answers to these questions and more!

Treasure This! Based on Psalm 119:11, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Treasure This! offers verses to help you keep God’s Word in your heart.

“Is there a little____________ in you?” This feature lets you see for yourself what Bible characteristics you have.

In Your Own Words lets you create a list of events to tell a Bible story in your own words.

 

This Bible is geared toward 9-12 year old girls (and yes, they do have one for boys too!) and I can’t recommend it high enough. If your child, grandchild, neighbor child, etc, are in need of a Bible, you will want to grab this one!

Rantin’ an’ Raven.

This has nothing to do with ravens at all. Either the bird or the football team.  More about raving like a freaking lunatic.

I comment often on my advanced age. All the while telling my dear sweet friend who is approaching 70 that she isn’t old. I know that is somewhat of an oxymoron, I tell her she isn’t old while calling my age “advanced”. But look at it this way, I’ve never been this old before in my life.  With my advancing age I am noticing different things happening.

My memory is going. My joints creak. I’m ready for bed by 8 most nights. I’m getting up earlier. I’m also noticing they make print very small, practically miniscule anymore. I’ve noticed this particularly with my Bibles.

I don’t know what the publishers are thinking. Maybe “If I make the print small enough, satan can’t read it?” If that is the case, they should realize he doesn’t read it. He knows it.

It isn’t limited to one version either. My NASB, my NIV and my HCSB all have print you need a magnifying glass to see.  So I have been on the hunt for a new Bible with print big enough to be read while my Bible rests on the table.

Yes, it has come to that. I can’t set my Bible on the table (or my lap) and read it. I have to pick it up and hold it inches from my nose.  It’s not a eyeglass problem, lest you think I just need a stronger prescription. I just had my eyes checked last October and received a stronger prescription. Yes indeedy. And the lovely eye doctor (is it considered rude to call a man “lovely”? Just checkin’. If it is insert any other adjective you feel would be better) told me chances are good, with my advanced age, (at that time…and just think I’ve aged more since then) next year I will need bifocals.

Lovely. Maybe Mr. FullCup will also get me a hearing aid and a walker so my ensemble will be complete.

I thought a test for those needing bifocals was if they could see something’s better without their glasses then they would need them. I’m not there at all. With my glasses I see just fine and dandy (as long as I’m not reading the Bible that is) without my glasses, well, without them I can’t even see the Bible on the table.

Yes. I am that blind.

Anyway, enough about my eyes. Yesterday we received a catalog in the mail from a prominent Christian book company and I immediately flipped to the section for Bibles. I was shocked and astounded that there are Bibles with a price tag of over one hundred dollars!

Really.  Now this place discounts them considerably but spending $80-95 on a Bible is outrageous. I think this is horrible. I honestly wonder how much the publishing company pockets of that price.  Making a buck on God‘s word. I think it is despicable that the publishing houses “own” the copyright to God’s Word and make some people fight tooth and nail to use it. But to turn around and charge exorbitant prices is maddening.

I keep thinking of Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple. Different scenario, I know, but still. How does God feel about the price we put on a Bible? He gave it freely, shouldn’t we do the same?