The next phase....
two cents
mandolin
I have never been able to successfully execute effective changes in my life, ever. A few weeks ago, I was torturing myself with an internal audit of my life. You know, one of those "whoa is me" nights. After suffering through it for a few hours, the voice of the Lord called to me. I finally sat in front of His presence and prayed one of those Genie wish list type prayers. "God, I want to go back to school, I want to find a new job. I want to get out of this rut." I started to create a plan in my mind, a design for my life when His voice called to me again. He started to tell me that none of my plans would ever work. He is the Creator. I can do what He called me to do. Submit to His will, trust in His love and follow His voice. See, I was kinda waiting for this word from Him. He had been speaking to me in the smallest ways to show me that He is in everything. When I can trust Him in the smallest things, the Holy Spirit will fill me and He will bless me beyond measure. So, I started trying to listen. To try to faithfully obey.
I think have previously mentioned Pastor Michael Yousef. One night, I sat down to listen to his new series, Know your best friend, and just the first section of that 7 or 8 section series, was like hearing God repeat those words which I had heard a few weeks before. It was an amazing affirmation.

I wish I could say I've moved flawlessly into submissive living but I have not. There have been many moments of resistance and some moments of pure obedience for His glory. In those moments, I hear Him say, "See, baby-girl (yes, that's what God, the Creator of the universe and Redeemer of the world, calls me) this is what I have waiting for you all day, everyday. Perfect unison with My perfect love.

The Great commandment
two cents
mandolin
While at work today, I slipped away to my car during lunch. We have a wonderful Christian radio ministry in this area and I needed encouragement. As today is Sunday, I was certain I would be able to listen to a church service, if possibly not my own pastor. I did. I heard a wonderful sermon of which I could not tell you the subject. I can tell you of a commercial they broadcast. A woman, close to my age, called in and shared her faith. She has 5 children. She learned she was pregnant with the 5th while her lower-back was broken. I instantly judged her (God forgive me). 30 years old with 5 children! Things like that just don't happen on their own! She said the day she found out she was pregnant, her Bible was laid out and worship music filled her room as tears flowed down her cheeks. She was pleading for God for faith. A plea I knew well.

My mind is a battlefield. Let me obsess about any one thing and I can create WWIII. I know this. There were two catalyst this weekend for the events. A jealous fit being the first and the second: a boastful comment made in a moment when encouragement was necessary.

Valentine's Day was this week. Hervey, who is struggling to find a job in our struggling economy, went to play a one night show with his brother in Arizona. Everything in me screams: lies. This entry, however, is not to defend his integrity or to profess his guilt. It is to record what I have been taught about love through grace.

Before I continue, I must elaborate on the second catalyst. One of my closest friend's and a very strong women of the Lord was telling me recently how she'd felt tempted sexually. She is not married and has committed to celibacy. Rather than listen to her, I stopped her and told her how I'd recently felt free from the temptation to smoke and drink and have sex. I remarked how it felt odd to somehow be free of something that burdened me for so long. Like I'd somehow conquered it. Needless to say, she quickly finished telling me about her struggles and changed the topic.

As the hours changed into days after the boastful comment and the eventful Valentine's day, I began to have a very strong sexual urge and wanted to smoke cigarettes. These two things are my default actions for coping with stress and anxiety. In the past, I would quickly succumb to these desires because doing so made it far easier to deal with the thoughts such as these stemming from this insecure jealousy. I wanted to continue to lay these things down in worship for God. I cried in my kitchen. Desperate for relief, I kept praying, the desires continued and got stronger.

Friday was a long day. During the day, the Holy Spirit brought 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to my heart. My heart was convicted with the thought, "Was I really loving him the way I was called to while being consumed with this jealousy?" My flesh then answer, "But what if he is cheating, then I have a right to know and the jealousy is justified." To which the Holy Spirit responded, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." (James 3:17 which I had read the other day while reading about my fierce tongue.) If the knowledge of him cheating was something God wanted me to know why wasn't it any of these things? That verse brought my first moment of peace in two days. The lessons I needed to learn weren't over. I bought a six pack that night and got drunk. I had the strongest desires and the weakest will that I'd known in months.

The next afternoon, I found myself in front of Him. Asking for forgiveness like so many times before. He called to my heart Corinthians again. This time 2 Cor 12:9 where He says to Paul, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. I go to my Bible because I know that verse well. Paul talks in detail about boasting. He talks about a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him (me)-to keep me from exalting himself (myself) 2 Cor 12:7. He called to my heart my boasting to my friend.

You'll see in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that not only is love not jealous but it is also not boastful.

I asked for my friends forgiveness.

I do not know what God has planned for Hervey and I. I did make a commitment to him that I would not break up with him nor ever talk about divorce. Just like I judged the 30 year old mother of 5, I'm judging myself. After all, have I not been here before? Loving a man who doesn't seem to be able to demonstrate his love the way I expect.

Thou wilt pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me; For thou are my strength. Psalm 31:4

But until that time, He has given me the Great Commandment.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (35) By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

His abundant mercies
two cents
mandolin
I'm exhausted tonight. I've worked the past 8 days straight each day working 12 hours. I've been highly emotional today, I even cried. I'm certain exhaustion is to blame. I started to take it out on Hervey but the Holy Spirit has shown me in recent weeks what my breaking point looks like and what to do before I reach it. The only thing I need is His presence and His word. I have been studying Psalm 45 which is to lead me (I think) into Song of Solomon which may be preparing me for ministry (of which I'm not quite ready to reveal.) I am just so overwhelmed with praise that I am bowing at His glory and dancing in His joy! I am so grateful He reveals His word to me!

reiginme

Love list
two cents
mandolin
1. God is the center of my life. I need to be able to honestly say that my prayer life, Bible study and ministries are glorifying God and I am completely firm in them.
2. I will remain celibate until marriage. The potential partner will have had already made this commitment to God prior to us meeting.
3. His heart and life must reflect his love for God. He and I need to have hearts of servants.
4. We are able to discuss Biblical principles together. He is able to discuss what God is doing in his life and what He is teaching him in his studies.
5. No smoking, no drinking, no drugs. For both of us.
6. We are able to minister/serve God together.
7. He must have his own apartment/house (not required to own.)
8. He must have his own car.
9. He is comfortable praying with me.
10. Wants children and is comfortable around them.
11. If we are not able to have children, will be prayerfully open to adoption.
12. Musical appreciation (bonus if he plays an instrument)
13. Accepts and appreciates my love for my adopted family. Open to participating in family events and likewise in sharing his family.
14. Is a provider and takes pride in that role. Never asks for money. Is transparent about financial issues.
15. Makes me laugh.
16. Likes to travel
17. Appreciates cultural differences and sees the beauty in them.

Merry Christmas
two cents
mandolin
My Christ was born today. Technically tomorrow. I celebrated His birth and His purpose. God has allowed me to recognize how precious His life was. During prayer a few days ago, I was considering God as a father of Jesus. Watching His baby boy grow. Considering the anxieties of an earthly father and all that plagues, especially in those times, a baby. Illnesses that ran rampant during those days and without the medical care of today. God made me realize, He, as Jesus's father, is the same Father He is to me. He is in control. Jesus's life ended on the cross and was resurrected to be again with God. He knew Jesus's purpose from the beginning. He knows my purpose. Of course, Jesus is the our earthly example of perseverance. Of remaining constantly in God's will. I am putting this very simply, I recognize that. Obviously Jesus and I are very different but Jesus as the man on earth and I as a woman on earth share the same purpose. To glorify God. To remain in Him. To lead others to salvation.

I've been asking God about my boyfriend. Asking Him to reveal if this man, who I love so much, is the man who He wants to be my husband. I have endured much anxiety over this question but I knew God would fulfill His purpose. I knew, even in these moments of pleading, it would be done without such emotions. Tonight, He showed me. Tonight, this relationship made me feel worthless and made me realize me worth all at the same time. I will remain in love with this man for a long time. As God told me the other day, I need to let Him work in His heart.

I am currently not honoring this love with has so captivated my soul. I am drinking and smoking. I am taking earthly measures to numb this disappointment.

I have so much hope for Hervey but I cannot make him love me and due to the pain I have inflicted upon him, I have allowed him to hold that over me. In doing so, I sacrificed myself.

Yet again.

Fear and waiting...
two cents
mandolin
Trust in God. Trust in His perfect will.

I want to learn how to responsibly trust in God. I want God to know that I'm willing to take ownership for my mistakes and decisions. I want to be an active part in following Him because I am terrified to make mistakes. I'm great at suffering for mistakes I've made. Once the guilt or even the blame disappears then ownership seems to disappear. At least, this is the case with Hervey.

I'm terrified that I'm stuck in a pattern. A pattern where I inflict pain upon a loved one, I pine for their forgiveness and once there is a glimmer of it, I demand for everything to return to normal. Maybe, it is the healing process I am not compassionate of. Quite possibly due to my never giving myself any time to heal from past wounds. I am able to pick up and move on. I am able to see the lesson learned and value the lesson. Does being an eternal optimist prevent me from taking responsibility?

I have been so stupidly consumed by the thoughts of our relationship that I can barely focus on my Bible study. I thought today, during prayer maybe God needs me to learn true contentment and trust in Him before I will be blessed with a husband and children.

Part of me just wants to break up with Hervey until his personal issues are resolved. The other part of me recognizes how self centered that is. I just keep thinking hasn't this gone on long enough? Am I too in love with him to see the big picture?

(no subject)
two cents
mandolin
For the first time, in a long time, I am finding contentment in solitude. This peace is a fruit of my faith in God and His unconditional love for me. It did not come instantly at the moment of salvation, it was a quiet desire in my heart. I love studying the Bible and while at times I can still procrastinate, it is a daily need. Just a few minutes. Just a psalm. Other days, I'm lost in deep study. I thank God because He, in the Holy Spirit is revealing these things to me. This is a very sweet time of my life.
Before I started this entry tonight, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to be the spirit of truth I know it to be and reveal the purpose of this time to me. See, while my soul praises God just as David did in his florid Psalms, its also calling out in need. Calling out with questions.
There are many examples in the Bible of God answering prayers and in most of these examples, it happens in God's perfect time. We, as believers in Jesus, need to trust in His will. Be patient.

Psalm 46:9-10A He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot with fire. Be still and know that I am God.

The words of my wonderful missionary friend are ruminating in my heart. God isn't just going to let you move on. He's gonna pick you up where you left Him and you will walk with Him.

I wanted Ariel's forgiveness for so many years and never received it. I prayed for him to give his heart to Jesus and, to my knowledge, has yet to do so. I sought God during that time but it was selfish. I remember always taking the verses and applying them to my situation. I even remember my mother-in-law saying the Bible is meant to reveal Jesus to us and through that revelation, He tells us who we are. So, now here I am. Savoring the precious word of God. Being shown His love and mercies and purpose which was accomplished in the life, death and resurrection of the Savior Jesus and wanting forgiveness on earth again.

Please God, don't let me take away the mighty work you are doing in Hervey's heart. He is unlike any man I've ever known and I am grateful to You.

Fear creeps in. I look at my world through my eyes and the absurdities of self help articles in Cosmopolitan magazine and doubt creeps in. What if this is just my relationship pattern? Or is this God making me pick back up where I left Him?

Hervey is dealing with forgiveness and, I'd imagine, trust while I am dealing with compassion and also, trust. I heard a radio program the other day. The speaker was talking about this same topic: healing a broken marriage. No, we are not married. It may sound delusional, but my commitment to him is nearly that deep. Nearly. The speaker said the key to allowing God to heal your marriage is the same key to allowing God to do anything in your life. It starts with you. It starts with honesty before God and a contrite heart. A friend of mine echoed this the other day saying, "I kept asking God to change my wife's ways until one day He told me, it was I who needed to change."

This is my prayer, Lord. Remove the log in my eye.

Earthly consequences of sin
two cents
mandolin
My heart's desire is to be found in the loving gaze of Hervey again. I miss his love so much. We are taking a break. I need this as much as he does. I need this time to be wholly focused on the Lord. He has been so faithful. He has been filling my days with wonderful knowledge of My Savior still my heart aches for Hervey. I miss the affection of his presence. I long for our passionate moments. Yesterday, this want of him pushed me away from the Lord. Rather than seeking Him and His presence, I sought my own means of coping. I self medicated. I drank and ate. Watched sappy movies. I wasted nearly all of the money I had. I praise God because through my sister, who preached at church this morning, and the intercession of the Holy Spirit I was able to recognize why I had made these decisions.

Today, while in the presence of the Lord He made me aware of something else as well. See, I had been contemplating the earthly consequences of sin. Why is it that Hervey cannot forgive me? I understand why not, in a human sense but if he is seeking the presence of God, which I pray he is, then will or can God allow him to truly forgive me and be in love with me again. I thought about yesterday. I nearly emptied my bank account satisfying my wants. I will have to be extra careful until payday comes...and even after I receive this upcoming check because I've impacted that budget as well. Hervey's love may be like my bank account. I have simply depleted the funds of his love with my sins.

It is not my place to question whether or not God will choose to restore us. It is ok that my heart wants him and wants his love. What I have to recognize is that my heart needs the love of God. He is my beginning and end. I do not exists outside of Him. He is all that I need. He knows that I want. He knows our nature. I pray and I must seek Him in all things. Even bitter weeping desires of my heart.

Bible study conference call
two cents
mandolin
John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. (18) He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Why did God need to send His Son Jesus to save the world?

Rom 3:10 "as it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one;'" Righteous means right before God. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people were made righteous by Laws of sacrifice. They sacrificed animals with a priest with specific detail to receive forgiveness for their sins. These laws of sacrifice were a template of what God intended His Son Jesus to do.

Rom 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love for us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The term death doesn't mean physical death. It means that when we set our hearts and minds on things of our flesh, we are dead to the Lord because we are only seeking to serve ourselves. Speak about fat and Leviticus. Going back to John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Rom 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." This confession is not you recounting all of your bad deeds. This confession is a recognition in the presence of God that without the death of Jesus, we have no means of being saved and no hope of entering heaven. If in your heart you know that there is a void or a nagging sense of something missing, thats the Lord calling to your heart. He wants to fill that place and complete you.

(no subject)
two cents
mandolin
2 Cor 12:7-10 "And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep ,e from exalting myself! (8) Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. (9) And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (10) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

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