Posts tagged ‘God’

January 3, 2012

Continued goal….

FOUNDATIONAL  RELATIONSHIPS

with God

with yourself

with others

These are the relationships that we must have in life.

This is the goal that we had in mind when we started this blog in 2010.

KNOW*SHARE*SERVE

YADA – KNOW

1. The first Hebrew word is Yada means: “to KNOW in a relational sense.”

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December 22, 2011

stretch of love

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Did you know that I can talk myself out of what God is asking me to do?

Or I can marinate on my fears until they stop me dead in my tracks?

I  can complain myself into a frenzy! Successfully stopping myself from learning the lesson that I am suppose to be walking through……can anyone say RETAKE!

To be a womb (where love is conceived) for God means there will be stretchmark’s.

Ann Voskamp

God has been talking to me a lot about love and stretching my understanding of what that looks like. Its definitely not running from the lady at church because I feel uncomfortable when she over lavishes me with compliments. Thankful that she likes me yes…but embarrassed Yeah A LOT! It is also not keeping my grievances or even ideas from those who may benefit from them if I would put my fears and anxiety (self-absorption) aside.

Aren’t I suppose to cast all my cares upon the Lord!!?? Don’t I stand on the promise that all things work together for good to those who love God.

While I know these things in knowledge, there are times that I do not stand u

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November 9, 2011

What’s my worth?

brown_paper

When at Rise and Shine Women’s Retreat we were asked to sit quietly with the Lord during a song and ask the Lord what He wanted to deal with in our lives. Then we were to write it on a little brown piece of paper and bring it crumpled, to the front of the room and leave it on the floor. Time to let go… I thought I knew what the Lord was going to say to me because I had recently been dealing with a few things, but to my surprise He went straight for the root of many of my issues. Why would He deal with the symptoms when He could rip out the root, right?

WORTH

It’s the reason for my insecurity, my anxiety, my fear of inadequacy, what stops me from trying something out of my comfort zone….

WORTH

I don’t tell my story very often but it haunts me. Not that I think about it all the time but the habits that I formed as a child and into my teen age years still happen at my core level and at some deep inner place, where I believe the enemies lies about me.

This core level would be what our speaker Susie Larson spoke of when she said:

“Our body and mind is amazingly made by God. If we do something over and over and over, our body starts to pave the road for us to continue and if we continue that same direction the body and mind will put up fences and plant flowers along it.”

To me this means – the longer we do something, the deeper the layers there are to deal with because in our minds, heart and body we have created a way of being. Then when we accept God into our lives, He comes to correct us and bring us to a better way. He comes to make all our crooked paths, straight. 

Isaiah 42:16
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.

WORTH

See, I saw many times of rejection as a kid. I got the sense that I was abandoned and alone. I was told a few times that I couldn’t do something because I wasn’t good. I know now that these things are lies of the enemy and have there basis on believing in man and not God, well sadly I grew up without God. I have had to learn how to trust Him. I didn’t trust my parents. They were volatile and unpredictable. They were drug users and alcoholics. They were selfish and godless. By the time I was 10 they divorced. I was told by a relative that my dad was not my real dad when I was 13. That sent me into a tale spin. I had always felt I was not fitted correctly into this family and then the truth was coming out. My real dad opted out of my life. The dad I knew as dad had a DNA test done on me to prove I wasn’t his. And many other things. Can you see my issue….

WORTH

I felt not worth keeping…

not worth loving…

not worth much.

So to counter-act how I felt deep deep down, I set out to PROVE my worth. This does not work out very well….it creates a prison of disappointment, fear, anger and misplace beliefs…and a laundry list of other side effect.

I accepted Christ when I was 19 years old. Over the years the Lord has slowly showed me my sin and errors. He has dealt with me tenderly, patiently, lovingly. Just like a Father should. Proving to me that I can trust Him. That He is not like man. He is GOD. He is LOVE. As I have allowed Him into these areas of my life He has pulled off leaves of this PLANT called WORTH in the center of my garden soul. Teaching me about it. Showing me these troubles and triggers. Showing me what causes me to be “stirred up” and reactive, running for fear or fighting for Self.   At Rise and Shine that day Susie’s message was a Holy Spirit Shovel load. It was time to dig up the tree. Rip it up from the roots.

I released  – Trying to be something that people can love. Trying to be WORTH love.

Scripture:

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Ephesians 3:17-18 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

I release the need to be WORTHY.

HE IS WORTHY!

The One who is WORHTY……loves me! I am rooted in this love.

I released…and yet a week and a half later I find I am still doing it. Its that habit Susie was talking about…So what to do? I remind myself of what He told me that day. I have it…because she also had us write a letter to ourselves from God, listen to His voice within.  If I do not do this reminding….well I slip right back into striving….only I noticed I have gotten better at concealing it from myself. But God is good…His promises are true.

Psalm 18:28 
For You will light my lamp;
The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

It never stays hidden, He always comes to shine a light on my crooked way and call me into His love. I thank God for that!

And I thank the Ladies of Rise and Shine and Susie Larson. That retreat was God breathed for me.

Starla

~Friendships of Love

November 2, 2011

Living in the Ditches

ditches

Tina and I went to Rise & Shine Women’s Retreat in North Central Iowa this past weekend. If you haven’t been or heard about it and you live in the surrounding areas, we would encourage you to attend.

This is the third year that we have attended. We haven’t been disappointed. We will certainly go again. And every year gets better and better.

Susie Larson was the speaker this year. ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. Her message was so good…it is still repeating in my mind and heart. I was touched for sure. Something she said caught my attention. ( and no, I can not repeat it word for word but I will tell you what I got and how I remember Smile)

We walk a road in this life. On the side of the road are ditches. On one side is the ditch called “self -aware” ( I don’t measure up.) On the other side is the ditch called “self-righteous” (others don’t measure up.) In order to stay on the road we must walk it as humble sinners saved by grace.  – adapted from Susie Larson

Doesn’t that make you think!?

Ditches along ol’country roads are often beautiful. You look at them and could just drift off into a dream land of simpler times, when working hard for your next meal was a staple. When neighbors helped each other just to make it through tough times.

But spiritual ditches aren’t so pretty. If you drift off into “ I cant do this, I’m not good enough, I don’t have the skill, I feel inadequate, insecure, so and so is better than me, I need attention, I need a pat on the back” well then you will end up in the ditch of self-aware.

This is the place where you drop your eyes in shame that you don’t measure up some how. -adapted from Susie Larson

It is based in the lie that you are not accepted, the lie that you have to be recognized,thanked and given compliments as proof of your worth. But the truth is you are so completely and fully accepted …you just don’t know it. It has been given to you fully, unconditionally by God. It is the delight of the enemy to make you believe the opposite. If he can do that then he can defeat a Great and Mighty in Christ warrior.

The enemy knows your worth more than you do – adapted from Susie Larson

Along the other side is the ditch of self righteousness. This ditch has you thinking you’re something great. You are better than other people. You don’t have to treat people with true dignity because they aren’t worth your time. This ditch looks down on others, lifts self up and pushes others off into the “less then” corner. This ditch creates a false sense of “self” worth. It engenders a make believe world of importance. It believes that applause, thanks and recognition means “I AM SO GOOD!”

If the enemy can get you in this ditch then he is successful at setting Gods face against you because of Pride. – adapted from Susie Larson

Proverbs 29:23
A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

But a humble sinner- sister -saved by grace knows her identity in Christ.

She is

FULLY LOVED,

ABSOLUTLY ACCEPTED, HIS JOY,

HIS TREASURE.

And because of that, she can stand with her head held high or will stoop low to give a drink to the most vilest of sinners, all because she understands from where her worth comes and how great the love of the Father is for us.

~Friendships of Love

October 18, 2011

Calloused

A calloused soul… It’s very protective. It builds a strong barrier to being hurt, but that barrier prevents any other emotion from being touched either….. writers … play with language all day long. They’ve developed an acute sense of what language does; they can “feel” the difference between silk and sandpaper…Give some thought to what your goals in life are regarding emotions, do you want to “feel” all of them, or not? Don’t opt for callousness and miss out on the rest of life.

~ Dr. Deb

Callous….dictionary.com says it means :

made hard; hardened….

insensitive; indifferent; unsympathetic

I think of my husband. He works tree service, his hands a rough and on all parts that are padded are those hard callouses.

(source)

The only thing they are good for is grabbing other tough stuff or hot stuff like hot burritos off the grill….or even scratch my back with the palms of his hands.

BUT WHAT GOOD IS A

CALLOUSED HEART?

Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

It says here that when our hearts are calloused then we cant really hear….

Ever been angry and for good reason and you don’t want to make up ? …resentment, bitterness breeds …that hardness in us makes it HARD to reconcile with.

It also says that you cant see….

Is that because you will see what you want to see?? … seeing offense, bad motives and an enemy??

When we choose instead to be soft and tender, choosing forgiveness and love, we may suffer and our soft hearts may bleed. (suffer for loves sake, choose unity instead of self, choose to give instead of withhold) and sometimes that is not easy.

But if  LOVE AS I HAVE LOVED YOU is the goal

 John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Let us instead of becoming callous ….learn to bleed out our suffering ….and Breath in New Life just like Christ did.

~Friendships of Love

October 14, 2011

Foundation Relationships

WITH GOD

(source)

This is the most important relationship that there is!

It is also the most easy to let slip.

I have been exploring what this relationship is suppose to look like. For years I understood that prayer, bible reading, study, and quietness all come into play with this relationship. But I began to noticed that this relationship was weaving through everything and not just those things I listed. I am a word person. I love to write and writing is a huge part for me to see how God speaks to me. I have been writing in a journal for years and began to see words repeat and started to notice when He was trying to tell me something. I called them theme words in my journals. These where often related to things I was struggling with or something I needed to watch for because they were things that would easily trip me. God was teaching me though my writing.

He created us unique and intelligent. He created us for communication, for intimacy, for companionship. So, you need to have some understanding about how you communicate to understand how he speaks to you. That is where relationship with yourself comes in….

WITH YOURSELF

(source)

Knowing what you like and dislike are important. Knowing what drains your energy and what invigorates you is also key to living well. Understanding how you communicate, how you interpret the world, what is important to you, what your strengths and talents are…and yes you must also know your weaknesses and your triggers for less than best behavior. When you have a grasp on these things through knowledge of yourself, you begin to see how God created you to hear Him. Suddenly ears and eyes are opening and God is speaking everywhere. Its an amazing journey. Taking personality tests are a fun way to find out some basics. Some of us can be so bogged down by the people and the world around us we don’t know what we want, like, feel or think. We are so double-mind sometimes…don’t fret. Begin to discover your TRUTHS. Take a soul oasis…relax with yourself and enjoy the view. Observe what you are like and how others react to you. Ask a trusted friend what they see in you.

See what’s there within…. unfold and unpack your selfness.

 

WITH OTHERS

(source)

And just like learning about who you are and how you communicate. It is equally important to learn about the people around you. It makes no sense to expect people to think and act and be just like you. It makes no sense to expect that they should conform to you. You must learn about others. Be proactive and become a knower of others. Communicate to them in the way in which they understand.

For example, have you ever had someone come to you to tell you about something and they start giving you every single detail and you feel like you are in a drum of a washer being emotionally spun out. That is because you could be a very direct person who does not need all the details, you get the situation loud and clear with the summed up version.

Or how about when someone comes up to you and they say something very directly with little detail and they walk away. Do you feel like you have just been daggered in the chest and you’re wondering if they are mad at you. That is because you could be someone who is tenderhearted, softer shelled and needs clear details to understand fully.

There is nothing wrong with either way.

Yet we often do not think about who the other person is that we are speaking to, we just know we have something to say and we say it.

When we do this we often leave a trail of miscommunications.

So do yourself a favor cultivate these three relationships….it will be worth it!!

~ Friendships of Love

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