Friday, November 30, 2012

The Wonder of Wondering



For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

That sentence has been called "the gospel in a nutshell."  If someone only knew one truth from the Bible this is the sum of the whole Bible:  God so loved the world that he gave his one and ONLY Son.  His ONLY Son to save the world.  To prevent us from perishing.  

 Loved - agapao - to love, esteem, cherish, favor, honor, respect, accept, prize, relish; to be devoted to.  Agapao is a love rooted in the mind and will of the subject and means to value, esteem, prize, treat as precious. 
            
Believes - pisteuo - to believe in, have faith in, trust
                English - to accept something as true, genuine (actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character, free from hypocrisy or pretense) or real; to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something. 

Perish - apollymi - to utterly destroy, decimate, ravage, demolish, obliterate.
            English - to become destroyed or ruined

Eternal - Aionios - eternal, perpetual, the life which is God's and hence not affected by the limitations of time.
              English - having infinite duration; everlasting, existing at all times, timeless.

Life - zoe - to live. Life, the element or principle of life in the spirit and soul.  Zoe is a somewhat metaphysical term which denotes the very life-force itself, the vital principle which animates living beings.  This life is the very life of God of which believers are made partakers.

Here's my favorite part though.  The sentence that follows:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  

Condemn - krino - to discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good.  In the New Testament it means to judge, form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case.
              English - to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation; to pronounce guilty

Save - sozo - safe, delivered.  To save, deliver, make whole, preserve from danger, loss, or destruction.  
            English - to deliver from sin, to rescue or deliver from danger or harm, to preserve or guard from injury, destruction, or loss

God so loved the world.  God agapao you.  He cherishes you.  He favors you.  He honors you.  He respects you.  He accepts you.  He is devoted to you.  His love for you is deeply rooted.  It's not just a feeling he has for you, like you say you "love" chocolate or you "love" to sleep in on a Saturday.  His love for you is out of pure devotion and He sees you as precious and worth saving.

He gave His only Son for the world.  He sent Jesus, who was true, genuine, free from hypocrisy or pretense.  He never had to or has to now, pretend that he loves you.  He is never hypocritical.  He is always true to Himself and who He is.  God sent that Son, that Jesus, to save you, to make you whole, to preserve you from danger and destruction.  That Jesus was sent to save you from being lost.  

God sent His Only Son, he didn't have a spare, he didn't have a line of boys after Jesus, He gave His only Son to save you from condemnation.  Jesus did not come to condemn the world.  He did not come to judge the world.  He did not come to judge you.  He came to save you.

It's only fair
         those of you who don't believe there is a God, 

                   those of you who are mad at God, 

                              those of you who think God is a puppet master and only pulling strings, 

                                             those of you who believe that if there was a God he would stop evil, 
                                             stop killing, stop wars, stop devastation, stop pain. 

It's only fair that you look at this Jesus, the One who came not to condemn but to save.  

It's only fair that you look at Him, really look AT him.  Don't base your assumptions of him by what others say about him, what others do or not do in his name.  

It's not about the others. 

It's about you.

Jesus didn't come to condemn you.  Jesus didn't come to cause you harm.  Jesus didn't come to make life harder for you.  Jesus didn't come to leave you standing alone, facing your tragedies and pain by yourself.  Jesus didn't come to mock you, embarrass you, or reject you.  

Jesus came to SAVE YOU!  

Jesus came to give you life.  
Not just your day-to-day physical 24 hour scheduled life, but LIFE

ZOE !

The life that breathes into us his joy, his peace, his mercy, his goodness, his kindness, his guts, his patience, his faithfulness.  The life that is eternal, that will endure forever.

That Jesus.  

The Jesus who came in the only way He could to save us.  He came as a human being.  He came to walk the path we walk.  He felt the pain of rejection, disappointment, misery.  

He knows what you are suffering.

God so Loved you that He gave His ONLY Son for you so that believing in Him will bring you eternal life, not a life that perishes.  

God did not send His Son to condemn you but to SAVE you.

He didn't come so that you would  not experience pain or suffering or rejection or disappointment.  He came so that you would live in spite of  those things.  

You would live and experience life with Him, not without Him.  

Save your why questions for later.  Don't wait for all your questions to be answered.  You know the ones - why does God allow____________?  Why does God_____________?  Why, why, why, why! 

Just believe.  Just trust

 You say you have trust issues with people.  Well, those are only people.  God is not other people.  Jesus wasn't other people.

Just stick that big toe of yours in the water and believe.  He's not asking you to take a high dive and dive in head first.  Just take the first step and believe, leaving your unanswered questions to be answered later.   

Believe.  

Christmas didn't start out as it is now - fist fights over TV's, 24 hours shopping sprees, cooking and baking galore.

Christmas - the real celebration, the real Christmas -  started when a baby was born, sent by His Father. 
                                 
To a world that would one day kill him. 

 He knew when He left His throne what he would be facing.

He came anyway.





For you.






Because you're worth it.





For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.  
John 3:16-17 
Amplified Bible

Peace,
Ronda



Friday, November 23, 2012

TJOLC Part 2

In all the times that we have moved there always came a time when I was ready to go.  When we moved into a new home I would unpack the boxes as fast as I could to make our house look like "our" house quickly.  When our children were small and we were moving a lot, it seemed to settle their anxiety if their spaces were set up as soon as possible.

On the day the moving truck would unload our belongings, we would get the beds set up first and unpack as many lightweight boxes as we could, break down the boxes, and then move onto the next one.  After everyone was in bed, I would unpack the kitchen and get that set up.  By morning, when the kids were up "normal" was, for the most part, in place.  I always forced myself to get it all unpacked, put away, pictures on the wall within a week.

I did this not only for the kids security, but also my own.  I knew we were only going to be in our home for a short amount of time and I didn't want to live out of boxes.  I needed order as much as the little people.

I would try to limit the amount of talking we had about the next move coming up until about 2-3 months before we had to move.  It was important for me to just live in the moment we were in at that time and have our routines, without thinking about the next time we would have to pack it all up and start over again.

Usually, when we were 2-3 months out from the next move then I started feeling ready to get going.  I started looking at our routines in "Lasts."  The last time we'll go to the mall.  The last time we'll go to our church.  The last time we'll use this grocery store.  The last time I'll buy frozen food or meat in big amounts.  The last time we'll go visit a favorite spot in the area.  By the time the "last" thing was done and we were working on our moving list, I was ready to go.

Up until 2005 I wasn't going to move again.  Ever.  Never.  Ever.

Then I started hearing this still small voice in the most random places saying, "Go back."  I would wonder, I would pray, I would ask God, "Go back where?  To what?"  I'd never get an answer, but I would keep hearing, at very random times, "Go back."

For two years this went on and in 2007, when my dad and aunt auctioned off my grandparent's household items, I was sitting with another aunt at the auction,  when I heard "Go Back"  while talking to her and I knew, we were to "Go Back" to our starting spot. Home.

My Never was becoming a Maybe.  And my stubbornness to never move again was becoming, "oh, okay, one more time."

We attempted to purchase my grandmother's house and renovate it but it never worked out, leaving me puzzled about the whole "Go Back" thing I'd been hearing for two years.

Soon I was settled back into my routine, going to nursing school, graduating kids from college and planning weddings.  The idea of  "going back" now was becoming silly in my mind.

But then that changed.  Again.  My Never became Soon and plans started taking place, doors started opening and things are in motion for change to come.

So then I had what I like to call a God moment.  One of those times when confirmation comes not in a written sign but in a sign that can't be from anyone or anything else but Him who holds our life and purpose in His hands.

In our new house, the one waiting for us, there is not a closet by the front door for coats.  Not a big deal or a deal breaker, but I had been thinking about what we could do about that.

I went on Pinterest the other night, the first night in months and now I know why, it's not a "just for a few minutes" surf on that site... but I regress.  I found this little item there and thought it would be a perfect and cute solution to my front door coat dilemma.
 Turn an old door into a coat rack. 

Adorable, right?!  Just an old door with a shelf built onto the top and bottom and some hooks for hanging coats.  LOVE it!

The next day, my daughter and I went to one of my favorite towns here to antique shop.  I was not going to buy anything, because I am purging, I was just tagging along with my daughter.  (Yeah, right!)  I was looking for old doors though for my husband to make me the above item.  We found a few, so I was happy about that and was thinking of when I could bring him back to look at them.

Well, you probably know where this is going, but another little piece of the story is this:  My daughter's friend told her to go to a certain store on the square that I hadn't heard of before.  I hadn't shopped in this town for months and the last time I had shopped there it wasn't there, but this little town square has been working hard to revamp their business and voila! this new store was there.

So we went in and were browsing when in the back of the store, I mean BACK, by the cash register was this:


Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I put it on layaway!

Another thing I bought, that I wasn't looking for but felt it was handpicked for me, was a 1943 copy of Streams in the Desert.  I have been very touched through the years by that devotional and have given my copy away several times.  The Bible speaks in specific ways to our souls at just the right time, and often, God would use this devotional to confirm what He had spoken in His word to me.  

After that excitement of the door and the devotional we made our way to the store that we had intended to go to all along.  As we were walking, I said to my daughter, the only difference about that door I put on layaway is that it didn't have the glass doorknob that the one on Pinterest had.  She told me we could probably find one somewhere and I agreed.  

As we are wandering around in the last store she sees this.


I believe in Godincidences, not coincidence.  He is a God that LOVES to bless His children with good things.  He loves to show His workings in our lives, we just need to open our eyes and look for them.  They are all around you.  Ask Him to show you His sweet kindness to you.  No one but me knew about that doorway idea.  No one!  He sees into my heart and lavishes me with details that only He knows will touch me.  I know He has the same planned for you!

That readiness is in my heart now.  Firm, like concrete.  He's got us on a path that only He could guide.  I'm looking at my lasts, some of them make me cry, some make me laugh, some make me just simply sigh.  The path is clear, the way is before us, and the doors are opening.  

This is what that day's message was in the Streams devotional I bought:

November 21
"Roll on Jehovah thy way."  (Psalm 37:5, margin)

"Whatever it is that presses thee, go tell the Father; put the whole matter over into His hand, and so shalt thou be freed from that dividing, perplexing care that the world is full of.  When thou art either to do or suffer anything, when thou art about any purpose or business, go tell God of it, and acquaint Him with it; yes, burden Him with it, and thou hast done for matter of caring; no more care, but quiet, sweet, diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matters.  Roll thy cares, and thyself with them, as one burden, all on God. - R. Leighton.

Build a little fence of trust
Around today;
Fill the space with loving work
And therein stay.
Look not through the sheltering bars
Upon tomorrow;
God will help thee bear what comes
Of joy or sorrow.
-Mary Butts

"We shall find it impossible to commit our way unto the Lord, unless it be a way that He approves.  It is only by faith that a man can commit his way unto the Lord; if there be the slightest doubt in the heart that "our way" is not a good one, faith will refuse to have anything to do with it.  This committing of our way must be a continuous, not a single act.  However extraordinary and unexpected may seem to be His guidance, however near the precipice He may take you, you are not to snatch the guiding reins out of His hands.  Are we willing to have all our ways submitted to God, for Him to pronounce judgment on them?  There is nothing a Christian needs to be more scrutinizing about than about his confirmed habits and views.  He is too apt to take for granted the Divine approbation of them.  Why are some Christians so anxious, so fearful?  Evidently because they have not left their way with the Lord.  They took it to Him, but brought it away with them again."






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If I Could Do It All Over Again

I'd do it all over again.

If it meant that the mistakes, the sins, the disappointments, the rejections, the pain, the sorrow, the suffering, the joys, the heartbreak, the good times, the fun times, the painful times, the overwhelming times of sorrow times, all had to be done over again to be who I am today, to know what I know today....

Yes, I'd do it all over again.

If one event of my life, one mistake, one sin, one disappointment were to be taken out of my life's story, I would not be the same person.

You see, it hasn't been the good times, the good things, the good people, the good days that have made me who I am, it's been the hard times, the hard things, the bad people, the bad days that God has used to mold me and shape me into the person He created me to be.

Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for the good things.  My parents, my spouse, my children, my extended family, my friends, my home and all the material blessings that I've been lavished with.

BUT.....

If my life had just been made up of those things, those good things, those "you have so much to be thankful I can see it on the outside things", yes I am grateful.  Sooooo many in this world have it soooo much worse materially than I do.

BUT...

If God came to me in the flesh and said, "Okay, Ronda.  Out of all the painful events that I've allowed to come into your life, if you could take one out and it would be as if it would have never happened, which do you want gone?"

Which would you take out of your life's story?  I can think right off the top of my head a few biggies that I wish not only that could be a do-over but that they had never happened in the first place.

BUT...

If just one of them were gone I would not have met some pretty awesome people because I would have had no need for them.  I would have missed some deep and abiding friendships.

BUT....

mostly I would have missed meeting God.  I would have missed the opportunity to lean on Him, to call on Him in my trouble, to come to Him when I was weary and heavy burdened.

I would have missed Him.

And I would have had no reason for Him.

When I look at my life from a day in 1966 to this present day, November 20, 2012, there is no day that I can pick from those years that I would do over.

Those were good years those tough years, those tough moments, those heartbreaking days.  They were good because God is good.  God was in those days. God was calling me to Him through those days.  God's voice was in the voice of those people he brought in my path, that I would have never met had the circumstances been changed or altogether gone.

I am thankful for those days and those to come.  Some days in life will be hard.  Jesus promised us that one.

Put that promise on your refrigerator.

 In this world you WILL have trouble.

He didn't say we might, or we won't if we go to church, give to the church, help the poor.

 He didn't say if you memorize my Word you will skate around trouble.

He said, "In this world you WILL have trouble."  In this world you will have thlipsis - to crush, press, compress, squeeze, tribulation, affliction.  Thlipsis conveys the picture of something being crushed, pressed, or squeezed as from a great weight.    


An ancient olive press in Israel.  Photo courtesy of Rhonda Piper Photography.

Trouble, in English, means to

agitate mentally or spiritually

to mistreat

oppress

to produce physical disorder in

afflict

 to put to exertion or inconvenience

to put into confused motion 

to become mentally agitated

Trouble came to Him and what did He do?  He gave thanks to God.  He kept talking to God.  He kept listening to God.  He kept on, even when He asked for this trouble to be taken away, He let God be God and kept walking through it.  His human mind looked for escape.  He wanted so badly for the pain and the misery to end.  Remember, if there were any other way for this cup to pass.....

He begged just like we beg for our momentary troubles to go away.

He pleaded just like we plead for the pain and sorrow to end.

But in the end, He submitted to the story of His walk with God.  It's probably not what his human mind would have chosen to save the world.  But His divine mind knew it was necessary.  His divine mind gave him what he needed to make it through living a sacrificial and troubling pain-filled life.

His divine mind lives in His children.  He's in us, cheering us on, giving us what we need just when we need it to keep on keeping on.

He knows each day of your life matters for some important purpose.  He knows each person in your life, whether they are there for good times or bad times, they are there for you.

He wants to walk this walk with you.  The entire walk.  Not just the walk that has you going in the church doors on a Sunday morning.  He wants to walk with you when you're going through the hard Wednesdays and the terrible Thursdays.  When you are getting squeezed till you can hardly breathe, when you are being crushed by your great burdens.  He is there for You.  Like no other human he allows in your life.  He is there for you.

Those people you depend on, they have a purpose but it's not for complete dependency.  HE is.

He's the ONLY one who knows exactly what this world's trouble is like for you.  The ONLY ONE.

He's not surprised by anything you're going through.

He made the promise that you would go through trouble.

Guaranteed us trouble.

But then, He said, "Take heart!  I have overcome the world."

When you're giving thanks this week (and I hope it's not just this week you're giving thanks, but every week, every day) give Him thanks for the things you wish had never happened.  Give Him thanks for the things you wish you could do over.  Give Him thanks for the pain.  Give Him thanks for the sorrow.

He promised you would get it.

Rejoice that He has overcome it!

May you have a thank-filled Thanksgiving Day and everyday.

Peace,
Ronda

Taking Courage  Belief's Bully

Just Write

When Thanksgiving and the Holidays Just Seem Hard



Friday, November 16, 2012

Conduct Unbecoming

Then God said, "let us make man in our image, in our likeness...."  Genesis 1:26

Image:  English - a reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing
            Hebrew - Selem - image or likeness, resemblance, idol.  Selem does not signify an exact duplicate, but only the shadow of a thing, representing the original in an imprecise manner and lacking the essential characteristics of the original.

Likeness: - English - resemblance, the quality or state of being like
                Hebrew - Demut - to compare.  Likeness, resemblance; image, model, pattern, or shape.

Hubby tells me about Naval officers, in positions of responsibility and authority that he once held, who have been fired for "conduct unbecoming an officer."  There are multiple activities that have caused these once trusted officers of our military to be judged with unbecoming conduct.

I've always thought that it was interesting, in all our years as an active duty Navy family, that a community, the military, has such standards, a code of conduct if you will, that can and will judge your behavior as unbecoming or becoming.  A service member's entire career can be made or broken based on his conduct, becoming or otherwise.

Then it ruminates around in my brain, this word, unbecoming and I wonder, what if all of life had such a plumb line?  Conduct unbecoming a mother.  Conduct unbecoming a father.  Conduct unbecoming a restaurant cook, a bus driver, a teacher, a nurse and here's the big one...drum roll....gasp...conduct unbecoming a Christian.  Ssshhhh don't say that too loudly.

A follower of Jesus was not called Christian as an esteemed title.  In fact, it wasn't used until after Jesus had died and ascended into heaven that the followers of Jesus were given the title in ridicule, not honor.  Not much has changed in the last two thousand plus years.  Depending on the day or the hour or the moment even, I call myself a Christian in two ways:  out of pride, or out of embarrassment.

When I look back on how badly I represent my Savior, I can understand why unbelievers say the word with such scorn in their voices.  I have done my part to give Christ a bad name.  I have stood with the multitude behaving in a way, many times, in an unbecoming manner for what a Christ follower should look like.

What exactly does a Christ follower look like?  What is it that we expect a Christian do and say and proclaim?  How do you expect a Christ follower to act, to conduct themselves?

Exactly like Jesus did?  The last time I checked, Jesus was the only one who lived perfectly.  Jesus has been the only one who died, and rose again.  For me.  No one else in my life EVER said, "Ronda, I'm going to die for you so that you can have peace.  So that you can have freedom from the sin that constantly is trying to trap you and entangle you."

Nope.  That person hasn't shown up yet.  So far, Jesus has been the only one who did everything I needed to be done to be declared holy in his sight.

But me and millions of others who call ourselves by His name, don't look so holy in the world's eyes.  The hurting world's eyes.

Nope.

For children of God created by God in His image and likeness, sometimes, okay, most times, we don't do a very good job reflecting the image.  Maybe it's because we aren't expected to be an exact replica.  We can't be an exact replica.  If we could, we'd have no need for Him.  We'd have no need for the One who created us in his selem, his demut.

I know in my mind, many, many times I have thought, "well that wasn't very 'Christian of you/me/them,'" with the tones of disgust making it's way through somewhat clenched teeth.

Well duh!  If I'm expecting a Christian to be Christ I will be disappointed because Christians are not Christ!  Christians are just people, hurting people, messed up people, disappointed people, abused people, neglected people, who don't look like Christ, but are simply drawn to Christ.  They're only the shadow of Christ.

Those of us who get it, who get the gospel, who know, believe, trust and understand that there is NOTHING, no-thing, no conduct that will save me and free me from the consequences of my sinful condition except Jesus Christ alone, still, over and over - I know I'm not the only one who does this - holds myself and other Christians to an unattainable code of conduct.  I hold myself and others to one, one that I made, not God.  

I heard a radio preacher once say, I'm paraphrasing here, ' Christ coming to earth, leaving the glories of his heavenly home and coming down and putting on the flesh of a human being would be like human beings becoming a slug.'

A slug?  Really?  A slug is a pest in a garden.  A slug is a snail without a shell.  A slug is slimy and when it's in a dry place it finds a wet place in which to hide - under rocks, under fallen trees, under planters.

A slug is made in the selem of a Holy God?  Somehow, someway, we slugs resemble Christ?

Selem  "does not signify an exact duplicate, but only the shadow of a thing, representing the original in an imprecise manner and lacking the essential characteristics of the original."

Boy, we slugs sure think we have it all figured out, don't we?  We think we know what sins are the big ones, the bad ones, the unforgivable ones.  We slugs like to point our fingers at the ones who disagree with us and sin against us and commit sins we find appalling.  We slugs like to think our mucus isn't all that gross.

Somehow, someway, from time to time, the hurting world sees Christ in us slugs.

Talk about a miracle.

Somehow, someway, from time to time, we Christ followers say the right thing, do the right thing, reflect the original in an imprecise manner, even missing some of the essential characteristics of the original, but still the hurting can see Christ in us.

If we're proud to be a Christ follower, we probably shouldn't be.  Christ wasn't proud.  Christ lived in the slug suit.  He felt the humility of being a slug.  He lived the limited life of being a slug.  He left behind his throne, his heavenly, glorious home, He left His dad, the creator of the world to come and live... like a slug.

If we're throwing our bibles at the hurting and calling them sinners instead of reaching out to them like a Selem of God, following the example He showed us, then maybe we need to step back and look at the original.

Out of, and in, his slug suit.

Even in his slug suit he spoke truth in love.  He never spoke truth without love.  He had all the essential characteristics of being God while he was living like a slug.

We slugs are good at speaking the truth, without a lot, if any sometimes, Love.

We slugs are good at serving but really like being served more.

We slugs like to point fingers at the sins of others but never take the time to let God search our heart to reveal the hidden sins in us.

Ugh. Slugs.  

Look at the detail of the Original.  Find His characteristics.  Study His voice.  Listen to how He spoke to the lost and hurting.

A shadow never walks by itself.  A shadow is only present in the presence of the sun.  We might not be able to see details in the shadow, but just because we can't see them doesn't mean they are not there.

A shadow means the Son is there.

Hurting world, you without Christ, forgive us for being such a poor reflection...In the shadow that we are lies details and wonder far beyond your hopes and dreams.  Look beyond our poor and limited reflective abilities and see Him.

He, not us, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.   For by him all things were created:  things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

He's the One who loves you.  Perfectly.

He's the One who never says the wrong things to you at the wrong time.

He's the One who knows your hurting heart.

He's the One who died.  For you.

He's the One who rose.  For you.

He's the One who we slugs try and succeed horribly to reflect.

He's the One.

For you.


Peace,
Ronda




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Journey of Leaving Comfortable

We are getting ready to make some big changes.  I can hardly believe sometimes that we are doing what we're about to do.  God is simply  - amazing.  There's no other way to put it.

After digging my heels in for years and saying, "never", God has lifted those same heels out, put a song of joy and eagerness and willingness and joy and readiness in my heart and mind.  The "never" has become "soon".

Soon we will be packing up a home that our family has lived in for 14 years and moving to a new home, 700 miles away.

Moving is not unfamiliar to us, but we are VERY out of practice.  Back in the day when we were moving every 1-2 years, with a jaunt of seven months in one place and another of four months in another, we traveled light.  I did regular purges - purges of toys, clothes, and any other miscellaneous items that went unused for that tour.

When we moved into the house we now live in and  found ourselves staying longer than we expected I began accumulating stuff.  Stuff for Christmas, stuff for winter, stuff for when company comes.  Stuff, stuff, stuff.  Then, about five years ago when my grandparents home and belongings were auctioned off I made room for some more stuff, I mean Treasures.

It helped that by then the kids were beginning to leave for college and then living on their own.  Then their rooms, especially my son's, whose room was the bigger one, became a holding area for my Stuff.

I put a bedroom set of my grandmothers in his room and soon that room began to resemble the room that bedroom set sat in at Grandma's.  Her stuff room.

Now I'm purging.  We are downsizing our house, so much must go.  I've walked through the rooms with both of my girls asking them what pieces or decorative items they would like, so then my stuff will become less and their stuff will become more.

The pieces that once were for "just the right spot here" are now being looked at this way:

1.  Where will I put it in the new house?
2.  Do I still like it?

So, here I go.  Walking through memories.  Putting some in boxes to store for who knows how long, some in boxes to give away, and some memories will just float in and out of my heart.

A seventh, fifth, and fourth grader walked in these doors and left a sports reporter, a nurse, and a teacher.

Hubby and I walked in as a fairly young married couple and now have already surpassed the 25 year mark and are looking at 28 years.

Lots of growth times five.  Lots of tears, times five.  Lots of laughter, times five.  Lots of fights, times five.

Lots of friends coming and going through our doors.  Lots of games played around the dining room table.

Lots of memories.

My heels were entrenched in the sands of comfortable.  Now they are pulled out, ready to follow where He leads us next.

Just Write


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Living in after rather than before

I'm not going to lie.  My vote did not bring the result I had hoped it would bring.  My prayers did not get answered the way I had hoped they would.  My simple, if-you-can-prayers seem to have fallen on deaf ears. That's what my hopeless heart says to me.  The one BC - before Christ came to live in it - that heart.  The heart that can feel hopelessness and fear.  The same heart that can feel anger, jealousy, rage, pride and arrogance.  The same heart that tells me to depend on what the TV news says, what the polls said or didn't say.

 The same heart that got me into needing my AC - after Christ - heart.

The same heart that wants to depend on a living, breathing, I can see his or her image, I can see his or her chest move up and down with each breath it takes.  That heart.  That heart that is so easily disheartened, discouraged, disbelieving, bullied, fearful, and angry.

But my AC heart, the one that Christ lives in...  Jesus Christ, have you met Him?  The heart of mine that He lives in is at peace.  That heart is rested.  That heart is trusting.  That heart is leaning on the One that's living in it.  That heart is being drawn constantly to leaning on him more and more.  That heart is the heart Jesus is living in.  That heart is where Jesus is.  That's the place I want to be 24/7.

My BC heart is the bully heart.

But my AC heart is beating stronger.  My AC heart is throwing truth at the BC heart.

My AC heart knows the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE is in control.

My AC heart cannot be fooled into what man or woman can fool me with.

My AC heart can recognize TRUTH.

My AC heart can recognize lies.

My AC heart, remember, I told you about that heart, Jesus lives there.  Have you met Him?  Have you somehow lost track of Him?  Did your BC heart bully you into believing that He is nowhere to be found?  Did your BC heart convince you that your sin was too great for Jesus to break through?  Did your BC heart convince you that there is no way that Jesus could ever live in a heart like yours?

The heart knows.  The heart knows who is at its head.  The BC heart knows this too.

Christ is in you!  Christ is in me!  That's all we need to know.

That heart, the one where Christ lives, remember Him?  That heart is pumping rich, pure oxygen into your veins.  That heart is fearless.  That heart is courageous.  That heart has guts.  That heart has peace.  That heart knows who is running the show.

It's Jesus!  Have you met Him?

Let me introduce you.

Peace,
Ronda
November 7, 2012