Tuesday, July 29, 2008


God has revealed something to me about myself. He has shown me the way that I look Him and the way I look at people and He has shown me just how backwards it has been.

I have spent a long time viewing God as just like me. Now, don't get me wrong, I fully recognize my failure to measure up and have never felt on the same level as God. But I can see that I've looked at Him with the expectation that He will be like me. He will want the things I want. He will be offended by the things that offend me. He will work in this world the way I would because I can so clearly see what would be best in any given situation.

He has been faithfully bringing me to Isaiah 55:8-9. My ways and thoughts are not His. His are higher. Much higher.

One of my favorite songs by Andrew Peterson (on a side note, the number of favorite songs I have by him is equal to the number of songs he has written) is "Just As I Am." You can read all the lyrics here if you want. But one of the lines says "It's the fear that I'll fall one too many times, it's the fear that His love is no better than mine." Even something good about me, love that I have for example, falls extremely short of God's perfection. To expect God to be like me is holding Him to a very low standard.

When it comes to my perspective of other people, I expect them to not be like me at all. Are you seeing just how backwards we're talking here?

Anyway, it was pointed out to me (by a very loving God) that usually when I'm upset or hurt by someone it's because I held them to a standard that I can't live up to myself.

To help explain, I'll share a couple facts about me and then the expectations I have of others.

Me. I sometimes hurt people that I love and don't have a clue that I did because I certainly didn't intend to and completely missed what happened.

Other people always do exactly what they intended to do, and always know exactly what they did.

Me. I sometimes say things in anger or before I've really thought about it, and therefore have said things I don't mean or wish I could take back. And this is true even if I don't verbally express that I wish I could take it back.

Other people always mean exactly what they say and the fact that they said it means that they have in fact thought very long and hard about it so as to say it exactly the way they mean to say it. And if they verbally express that they wish they could take it back? Well, they never really mean that.

Me. I forget things. I forget things that I said and things that I said I'd do. It never has anything to do with how I feel about the person I've let down, I just forget things.

Other people say things and say they'll do things and whether they remember or forget indicates exactly how they feel about me. If they forget it is because they just don't care. Of course, if they just don't care then they didn't really forget, they just didn't want to do what they said they'd do.

I could go on. And on. But I think you get the picture.

I believe in the truth of God's Word and my perspective in this world should reflect that.

God is not like me...His thoughts and ways are higher.
Other people are exactly like me...For all have sinned...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Are We There Yet?

I tend to be pretty patient. The last few days, however, I have found myself praying impatiently.

It wasn't an obvious impatience like "God please help, and do it now I can't wait any longer."

No, it was much more subtle, but impatient none the less.

I have been praying for a friend. Specifically, for her broken heart. I remember going through a time while Gary and I were seperated, when I didn't feel like I cared what the outcome would be, I just wanted the struggle to be over. My head was very clear. God was in control and it is God I want to please. My place was to surrender to God's will and be obedient to Him.

But my heart had a very different perspective. Under the weight of all of the pain, it cried out for the hurting to stop. My flesh was ready to walk any road, if it meant that it could escape it's current crisis. And to watch a friend's heart breaking, my heart longs for her escape as well.

The problem with that, of course, is that it is the perspective of my flesh.

I Corinthians 13:12 reminds me: "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

I just can't see it all. But I serve a God who does. And He told me that in all things (did you catch that? all things) He works for the good of those who love Him. That's Roman's 8:28, by the way.

Philippians 1:6 says, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

So, we can be sure that God is working in each of us and that He is working for our good. I for one do not want to miss out on what God is doing. (even my best plans, hopes, and dreams pale in comparison to what God has in store)

To just quickly read through these verses my initial reaction is "My good? Do your thing God, now where's my good?" That just reduces God to a genie in a bottle. And I can look at Him that way all day and it won't change the fact that He's not.

To really read the verses, God works for the good of those who love Him, and He carries it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

He's no genie in a bottle, here to grant my wishes. Jesus said Himself in John 14 that if anyone loves Him, they will obey Him and if they do not obey Him, then they do not love Him. He does not obey me, I obey Him. If I don't, then that promise in Roman's is not for me.

He is also not bound by my opinion of when anything should take place. I would like for His work in me to be done, well, now. But more than wanting the work to be done, I want the work to be completed. So I surrender to His timing, and He plans on continuing His work in me to completion, until the day Jesus comes back.

I want the best for my friend. And God's plan is always best, even when our hearts get broken. So, I'm praying for the work that God has begun in her and that she will have the strength to choose obedience in all things. And I'm praying the same for her husband.

I Got the Message

I am working on reading through the Bible in a year. Once again, I am behind.

Last week, I was considering giving up. I felt like I was just trying to get through an assignment. It was just a task. A task I was behind on. What I want it to be is spending time with God in His Word each morning.

It was becoming frustrating that I was checking verses off a list and not just following the Spirit as He leads me into a book to just the right chapter and verse. Like a scavenger hunt, uncovering the exact message that God has for me at just that moment.

But I finally understood. He led me to read through the Bible in a year.

And each day I spend in His Word, He is faithful to speak to me. He has promised that those who seek Him will find Him.

He is teaching me through whatever I am reading from His word. And He has shown me that over and over again.

I have learned from Elijah in I Kings 18:37, a great lesson in prayer.

I have been reminded of the power of prayer in the book of Acts.

I have spoken His praises from the words of the Psalms.

And yesterday morning, I read Psalm 147. When my quiet time was done, Megan and Josh showed up (I babysit them, their mom is my best friend and our kids are great friends as well). Not five minutes after they walked in, Megan asked me, "Why are there always clouds in the sky?"

So we opened my Bible and I read to her a verse that I had just read.

"He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills." Psalm 147:8

I was reminded of Isaiah 55:10-11.
God's Word was sent to achieve a purpose and will not return to Him empty. It will accomplish what He desires. No time spent in His Word is useless.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Date With "86"

Yes, we saw "Get Smart"!!! I loved the t.v. show when I was a kid. The movie was great!

There were parts that made me laugh so hard that I kept laughing about them well after they were over. I could go on and on, reciting my favorite lines, but instead, I'm going to tell you about after the movie.

"86" and I walked out of the theater together. Still laughing. Because of his work schedule, the movie time, and the location of Grandma's house, we had driven to the theater separately. I had been running late (I know that's a real surprise) so I had not bothered to drive around looking for a good parking spot. He had found a nice close spot and I was quite a hike away. He was going to walk me to the van and I pointed him in the right direction. At least it seemed like the right direction.

We walked and walked. And walked. But we were still laughing and reciting our favorite lines from the movie, so it took quite a while to realize that we were not finding the van. Finally he took my keys and we laughed about the fact that we were about to "panic". It really tickles me that my key has a button on it marked "panic". Just strikes me funny.

So, now we're laughing about our situation instead of movie lines and finally, the van begins to call out to us.

Saved! We found the van. Now, we had been close enough for the "panic" button to turn on the alarm so we found it extremely funny that we were apparently not close enough to turn it off!

Still laughing, still listening to the van alarm, Gary, I mean "86", fumbles with the keys. And just as we come up to where there is a sewage drain in the road...he drops them.

Do you know what we laughed about then?

"He missed it by that much."