"O wretched (wo)man that I am!"

I was reading the book for my weekly Bible study last night and was given a brand new perspective on Romans 7. The quotation that she used was from the New Living Translation. This is a great Modern English translation to help us be able to more easily understand what Paul is trying to say. It made it a lot easier for me to personalize it. Here is the text:

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

We have all been here with Paul. The struggle of knowing what is right, but fighting within yourself to do that because the sin looks/feels good to us. Thankfully Paul didn't leave us hanging at the end of chapter 7, but moves on in chapter 8 in the first verse to say that there is "now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." By turning to Christ we have the Spirit of God that can help us to not turn to the sins that "so easily beset us." As our pastor pointed out yesterday in his message, we don't have to sin. Sin is a choice, just as doing right is a choice. In order to not do the sins that we are so drawn to we need to set up road blocks. Remove yourself from the temptations. Romans 8:13 says "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Our pastors message was entitled "Mortify". We need to daily, moment by moment, be "putting to death"(NAS) the deeds/desires of our flesh. What really stuck out to me is that the dying that will take place, is not just the eternal death, but when you make fleshly choices you are killing relationships. When we are selfish and only think of ourselves and making ourselves feel good, we don't think of those we will hurt in the process.

I think the best way to end this is to quote I Corinthians 15:56-58

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."

Proverbs 31

I only wish that I could attain this in my lifetime. There are so many areas listed below that I fail in - sometimes daily. BUT, I am so thankful for God's forgiveness and when needed the forgiveness of my husband and friends. The problem is that I am always trying to do it in my own strength and in my time instead of God's. That is something that God is really working in my heart about. Let go and let God - so simple yet so hard!


The Seven Principles of the Proverbs 31 Woman

The Proverbs 31 Woman...

Pursues an ongoing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Loves, honors, and greatly enriches the life of her husband, encouraging and supporting his leadership within his family and his church.

Nurtures the next generation, shaping and molding the children who will one day define who we are as a community and as a nation.

Creates a warm and loving environment for family and friends.

Is a faithful steward of the time and money God has entrusted to her.

Speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction as she encourages others and develops godly friendships.

Shares the love of Christ by extending her hands to help the poor and opening her arms to the needy.

A Japanese Version of Psalm 23

This is a Japanese version of Psalm 23 found in the book "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver. A great book if you've never read it. I encourage everyone reading this to meditate on the words and look up our version of Psalm 23 as a comparison. What an amazing interpretation of the most popular Psalm.

The Lord is my pace setter…. I shall not rush

He makes me stop for quiet intervals

He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity

He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind and his guidance is peace

Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for his presence is here

His timelessness, his all importance will keep me in balance

He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility

My cup of joyous energy overflows

Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours for I shall walk in the Pace of my Lord and dwell in his house for ever.

We Need the Process

In a book that I am reading for a Bible study there are a few thoughts that really meant a lot to me. There will probably be many things talked about on here in the next 3-4 months as the Lord is able to use this study to change my life.

The first thing is a prayer that she puts at the end of the first chapter. The prayer is as follows:

Lord Jesus, I give You my life.
I invite You to have Your way in me.
Take me and break me. Shake me and make me.
Fill me and spill me. Change me and rearrange me.
But whatever You do, Lord. . . don't leave me the same.
Spirit of wisdom and revelation, I welcome Your work.
Open my eyes so I can see. . . my ears so I can hear. . .
I choose truth over comfort, challenge over complacency.
Lord, make me forever Yours.
And most of all, make me like You.

This is not an easy thing to pray, but a good model to use if you are looking for long lasting change to happen in your life. The sentence in the first two chapters of this book that stood out to me the most was: "The Lord knows that we need the process as much as we need the product." Without the process we are not changed, lessons are not learned, consequences are never there to learn from and remind you of how the Lord is changing and needs to change your life. We need to thank the Lord for the process that He puts us through in order to be changed to be more like Him, which should be every Christians ultimate goal.

A Very Important Message

This was brought to my attention not too long ago by a person whose family is going through a rough time. This is a very important message for all to hear and adhere to. We need to be super careful with what we do because NOBODY is immune to the wiles of the devil and only the armor of God can help us defend ourselves in this daily spiritual battle we are fighting. Ephesians 6:10-24

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to keep our hearts "with all diligence". As this commentator points out we are to keep at a great distance - can never get far enough away - from evil.

Please pay close attention to the message of this song:

Casting Crowns - Slow Fade (Official Music Video)

Casting Crowns - Slow Fade Lyrics

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Mom Myths

I was listening to the radio one morning and was very interested when they said they were having a woman on as their guest who wrote an article called Top 5 Mom Myths. What mom doesn't want to be reminded that they are doing things well and don't need to be perfect? However, I must say that I didn't agree with everything she had to say (surprise, surprise).

Myth #1 is that Mom's like their children all the time. I agree that we may not like our children all the time, but she never points out that we are to love them. All children do things that are disagreeable, but I think it would have been much better had she mentioned that they all need love no matter what. I also don't agree with telling your children you don't like them. Yes, something may slip out of your mouth sometime and that doesn't make you a bad mom, but encouraging it doesn't seem like the right thing to do either.

Myth #2 is that Mom's bond with their children immediately. On this point I agree with her. It may not happen instantly, but don't give up. Many factors contribute and you need to work at this relationship from the start just like any other relationship.

Myth #3 is that Mom's balance it all. On this point I also agree with her. She quotes a Dr. Sanford who says "We’re so sure that everyone else but us is doing a great job of balancing their lives." How true is that?!?!? It's hard to schedule time for you to relax when you're taking care of so many other people, but if you don't take care of yourself you won't be able to take care of them. How many times have we all heard that? I recently bought a planner geared towards moms. It has a place to do some meal planning, a pocket to keep loose papers, stickers for certain activities so you don't have to write so much and more. I could literally feel the tension leaving my body as I wrote things down in there. Making sure there aren't too many things on your plate and keeping what you do have under control are essential. I think that everyone should evaluate their responsibilities at least once a year if not more often to make sure that everything they're doing isn't too much. Another good point made is to lean on those around you. Don't be too proud to ask for help - we all need it sometime or another.

Myth #4 is that Mom's spend a lot of time with their kids and the kids enjoy it. On this point I think that each family situation is going to be different. I also think that this starts at a very early age. It is up to you as a mom to build good relationships with your kids from the start. Don't wait until later to try to worm your way into their lives by showing up around every corner.

Myth #5 is that Mom's always get support from other moms. I can't believe that people really think that will happen when there are so many different people in the world with so many different opinions. So I agree that it doesn't exist. A good point was made that not only applies here - most people criticize others because of their own insecurities. Be careful not to get offended too easily.

Of course this wasn't a Christian article, so there are things that I don't fully agree with, but overall this can be an encouragement to mom's who try to do it all.

Logically, how do you take Christ out of Christmas?

"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake"

I was reading this article that a friend sent to me this morning and was just boggled by the fact that people are really concerned with the loneliness at Christmastime for those who don't believe in God. They want to celebrate Santa, but they don't want to acknowledge where the holiday began. There would be no Christmas and no gift giving and no celebrating had Christ not been born. As someone in the article points out, goodness doesn't exist apart from God. The Bible is what defines right and wrong/good and bad.

Praise God that we rest in the fact that Jesus is coming again. Not only waiting for that - He takes care of His children and we can rest knowing that we are founded on The Rock that is Jesus Christ.

Peace From the Saviour

This is something that I had recently posted as a note on my Facebook page. I thought it would be a good start for here. I don't plan on all of my posts being about this type of thing, but like I said - a good place to start.

The last couple of days I have been wondering and examining the reason that I feel such a calm right now when our lives are turning upside down. . . again. I've been wondering if I was maybe depressed again - went through a very tough time after the second miscarriage - and just suppressing all feeling all together. But instead of thinking about all of the bad things that have been happening to us I've been focusing on the fact that God is in control. Upon further examination of my heart and a devotional I read this morning I am so thankful that I can honestly say that I know it is the peace of God that passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:7) I know that it is certainly not the easiest thing in the world to do, but what a wonderful thing to fully trust that God is in control. He has always taken care of our family and we know that he will in the future, as well. My confusion also came with my reaction to the election. I certainly don't want a socialist that believes it is ok to kill innocent babies to be our president, but he will be. And I know that I need to honor him as such but don't have to agree with him. The Israelites didn't always have a king that trusted God, but God was always there to take care of them - even when they rejected Him. He still took care of those who trusted Him through the bad times. As a Christian I can rest confidently knowing that God will always be right here to take care of me even when it seems like the world around me is crumbling. I thank God for the peace that He has given me and the blessing that He is bestowing as a result. John has an interview on Monday for a part time job and a meeting next week at Kroger about management training. Praise God!!

From a devotional this morning:
The stillness in which we find God is not superficial, a mere absence of fidgeting or talking. It is a deliberate and quiet attentiveness--receptive, alert, ready. I think of what Jim Elliot wrote in his Journal: "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."