Monday, March 27, 2006

Purpose II


I want to walk circumspectly yet boldly.
Carefully yet forcefully.
With purpose and intent.
With due diligence and yet with abandonment.
What is this life, after all but a fragrance?
My essence is like the grass of the day,
the flower of the season,
the dew of the night,
the lily of the field,
the bird called from far away.
I am the coin Jesus pulls from the fish on the needed day,
the woman at the well,
the woman caught in spiritual adultry,
the woman weeping at His feet.
I am Mary and I am Martha,
forever learning, continually striving.
I am the raven sent from Noah's boat,
I am Peter walking on the water.
I am Paul sold out to Him.
I am Andrea, the woman whose desire is for Him.
And so this breath I now take
may be my last
and may be my first of a new adventure,
a new season,
a different time.
So I will live for Him and I will die for Him,
I will go across the lake for Him
to the other side
just as He instructed
just as He asked.
My mistakes sting like the salt in the wound,
but what cuts during battle
gives glory during the days of peace to come.
Christ is my life and I have no other.
I will not bow before another.
I will not quit before my time
and though I will fall
He shall lift me up again
and carry me on His shoulders
across that finish line in the sky
and we shall reign with Him
age after age after age.
So go with me Father, go.
Fight for me and I shall live and die in Your body of Christ.
Save me from the enemy of myself.
Plunge me into the baptism of Your Spirit.
Put Your mark on my forehead
that where ever I go
whatever I say
whatever I do
I would do it in You
I would do it in Christ
For today
and for all eternity.
Amen.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 4:00 AM | 8 comments

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Purpose


What is God's purpose for you? What is God's purpose for me?

So often in the Bible we see how the enemy attacks or tries to undermine a person by trying to cause him (or her) to doubt his purpose.

"If you are the Son of God then..."
David was to be king, but when oh when? Joesph's parents were going to bow before him one day...then why was he in prison?

Last year I came to realize my main purposes - that under Christ I am a wife, a mother, a doctor and a friend. But I wonder, will God expand upon that a bit for me? Will He tell me more information? How will He use me in the lives of other Christians?

For so many years I have been a pot set on simmer at the back of the stove. For so many years I was discouraged and felt inadequate because God just didn't seem to use me. It's like He didn't want or need me for much of anything, certainly nothing exciting. I couldn't do anything for God it seemed. He wouldn't even take my money.

So I sat around. I prayed and I read the Bible. I went to church. I raised my kids and taught home school. I took them to Bible study classes. Hardly anyone even knew me in the church. I melted into the pews. An invisible Christian.

But something started to happen. I came to realize serving Christ alone was best and God alone was my delight.

Lord, show me more of your purpose for my life. What secret sauce are You brewing? Pour me out and use me the way You want. And if You just want me to keep brewing, then may I be a sweet, sweet aroma that You enjoy. It is You who is worthy and I want Your life through me in all that I do.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:28 PM | 6 comments

Friday, March 24, 2006

The widow with nothing to give


The widow with only one mite to give
The child with five loaves of his
The man with the heart of stone
The lost sheep all alone

I am afraid
and I am alone
I am in love
My Lord holds me so

This day my Lord came through again
This day were blessings untold
Time passes but eternity is here
Faith anticipates and hope overturns the fear

I hold on
I cling to my God
The future He holds
He holds me in His hand

He honors me because I believe
But I did nothing except receive
In the night I saw my fear
And in the dark
His face drew near

The glory is for God alone
Though through this light He marks out His own
He comforts me in all my pain
He is alive and I am dead
Nothing lost but all is gained.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:38 PM | 1 comments

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I feel out of sorts


I need some time to sit at my computer and blog awhile! I miss yall and need to go search you guys down and catch up! But not today....I feel a little behind, and I am. But I am just trusting God that He has my schedule and knows my needs and am just walking and trusting each day. So I hope I get some time to come back soon, but we'll see when. God bless you all and I will visit when I can.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:26 AM | 5 comments

Monday, March 20, 2006

"Bless me"


"But Jacob replied, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me' (Gen 32:26)."

Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, the son of Isaac. His name was changed to Israel and Jacob is the father of all of the Jews, except for his father and grandfather, and I suppose his brother, but his brother Esau turned away from his Jewish Heritage.

Jacob was a striver and a deceiver, but he also was a man who wanted the things of God and got the things of God.

He bought Esau's birthright and he deceived his father to obtain his father Isaac's blessing. He wrestled with God or an angel of the Lord's all night and demanded a blessing.

"Let us come boldly to the throne of grace and ask for help in time of need."

What do you need? What do you want? I want my family to be sold out to Jesus Christ and to live and to die for Him, not counting their oì

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:18 AM | 1 comments

"Bless me"


"Let us come boldly to the throne of grace and ask for help in time of need."

What do you need? What do you want? I want my family to be sold out to Jesus Christ and to live and to die for Him, not counting their own lives as dear to themselves.

I want God to put our finances in order through my husband. I want God to bless my husband's business ans cause in him a desire to serve and bless his family. Even as Jacob said when he was about my husband's age and after he had served Laban for many years, "But now, when may I do something for my own household? (Gen 30:30).

I have other prayers too and things that I want. But above all, I want to be in God's will. I don't want to be a striver for the things of my flesh. I don't need to be a liar or a deceiver. God my Father shall supply all of my needs according for His riches in Christ Jesus, and I want to grab each one.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:18 AM | 6 comments

Saturday, March 18, 2006

God's Will


Father God,
I am sorry for the way that I presume upon You for the way I think things ought to be done. Teach me to be humble and still and to be satisfied and comfortable even though I don't know all the things that I wish that I did.

Thank you for the simple realization that You, as my Father, will take care of me, the child. Sometimes I wonder what is the matter with me that I continue to labor and spin and worry so. Father, teach me to declare by my evident and sustaining peace that my Father is a God who is trustworthy, faithful and dependable such that I rest no matter any circumstances.

Father, grant me humility to be more concerned with how You want to work in somebody else's life than what I do or with my own self and special things I can do. Nothing can I do apart from You!

Father, I want your will with the two prayer matters I lifted up Wednesday in my last post. Give Pastor Rich wisdom as to how you want Precepts at CCLC and the role you would have of me. Lord, I am so thrilled with Precepts and Kay Arthur and Bible Study.

Be in our home. Father, it is through many trials that we must enter the kingdom of heeaven. Bless my blogger friends.

In Jesus' name, Amen!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:01 PM | 5 comments

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

quick update & prayer


I am so excited about the Bible Study materials I got in the mail for my upcoming Bible Study.

Also, I am concerned about the unrest/division of heart in our home about another matter, namely about my older children continuing in their present school next year.

Please pray:

1. That God would open up the door for me to speak with my Pastor & husband Sunday AM & I would give a copy of the materials to the Pastor & I would ask Pastor Rich if he would consider opening up the study to the whole church, and that Rich would review the materials & God might open the study to the women in the church through me in my home the summer & fall & ongoing Precepts Studies.

2. That God would bring peace to my husband & children's hearts in this matter & put this matter to rest once & for all, and God would greatly bless all members of our family for our obedience to Him in this matter & the devil would not have a foothold to harrass or torment or tempt my husband and children with regards to this.

in Jesus' AMEN!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 10:58 AM | 7 comments

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What's holding you back?


I'm diving in! There isn't anything worth inhibiting my walk with Jesus over. But sometimes I think to myself, what if I was really able to be a "full-time Christian?" What if I had the time and the means to spend all of my work time being a Bible Teacher, an author, a speaker, would I do it or would I politely say, "thanks, but no thanks?"

I've been writing books for years now. I have two half written books that are gathering dust along with the dreams that initiated them. Recently I told my mom about some book idea or something and she wanted some clarification. With disappointment in her voice she said, "Oh, but that is for a Christian project, right?" She would have been more pleased if I would have told her "I found a great new way to make a lot of money," or "They accepted me for their older women's playboy layout" (ha).

I realized she was disappointed with any hopes centered on anything off-center from the lusts of this world.

Today I was listening with my kids to an audio book. The young girl exclaimed, "I don't think anyone would want to marry me except maybe a foreign missionary." Like that is the total, full-on bottom-of-the-barrel.

So, my dream would be as I described above. Even if my mom would be disappointed. I hope my children go into the "professional" ministries, even if they miss out on the so-called pleasures of this world. The way I see it, He is where my treasures ought to be because only Christ is worthy. Only the things of the Spirit satisfy. Only the things of God will endure forever. As far me, I want to follow hard after God. What about you?

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 5:40 PM | 7 comments

Sunday, March 12, 2006

An Undeserving Ox


The ox is told
to where she needs to go
the burden carried
is one
not her own.
I am an ox
and my Master has strapped my back.
To where I am going
My Master may let me know
So much had concerned me
when I wandered on my own
So much was out beyond
I was confused
and I didn't know what to do.
I didn't know how to plow a field
I didn't know how to bury seed
I couldn't plow a sraight trough
I wanted a lot
and though I tried
I just made a confusing mess.
I am much happier now
My burden is light
My anxieties still plague me
But they are from long ago,
when I was troubled and lost
when I didn't know where to go.
These days are much simpler
I don't walk on my own
I see the burden I'm carrying
A weight not of my own
I see the view of what is ahead
undeserving am I to go.
My Master leads me forth
"Unclean, unclean"
I want to shout
For I am undeserving
of what I carry
of where I am going
and what I eat and enjoy along the way.
Walking this path
cleared by My Lord
I obey Him as I go
I never would have gotten to this place
a place too wonderful to know
where what is seen
is grand and rich
but what is unseen
delights my inner soul.
This is ultimate fullness
This is eternal life
to know Him now
to serve Him as I go
to be one with my Master
to go where He takes me
and not where I want to go.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:21 AM | 8 comments

Saturday, March 11, 2006

God can handle all of my life and its details


Can the God of the universe, who created the heaven and the earth, who knit you together in secret in your mother's womb handle your life and its many details and needs such that He can work all out together for your good? My God can handle my life and its complications, its valleys, its peaks (my moods!) and all the details therin!

Yesterday I was thinking what I would do later, and I gave my anxieties of it all to the Lord as I have been doing for years it seems, when all of a sudden it all clicked together in a new sort of way as I thought to myself, with a new depth of belief and freedom, and I may have even said out loud, "Who cares?! God can handle it!" He knows what I should do later in the day.

Some "self-made" people, who love motivation speeches, love Revelations where it speaks of the "overcomer," who love a good competion, the vigor of 5 AM bike classes and losing an extra ten pounds for the fun of the ability to do it, have a hard time not filling out the day planner. But I have learned to give up control. To yeild to the Power higher and more powerful than myself (I actually don't have "power"), to submit, to have Almighty God fill the depths of this empty vessel so that I may worship Him and become one with Him, to unite with the church of Jesus Christ forever. To fly away unto Christ, my only love, my only passion who is worth dying for. That is the God whom I serve and He has me in His hands and will perfect that which concerns me!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:25 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Life is a Highway


Yesterday I was thinking about how my life - how everybody's life is like a freeway. You're traveling down one road and then - bam, you're on another.

I was thinking about the whole adoption experience of the second half of last year. I was on that raod and then - bam - I'm somewhere else. Now I'm running a Bible Study in association with my local church (at least in my mind). Okay Lord, I'm yours! I'll do whatever. Both or either of these options fill me with joy!

My 92 and a half year old Grandma (it is time to count the halves again) crocheted me some placemats and blankets. She has had two small but significant strokes. Well, the blankets and placemats came back so funny if it weren't so sad. They look like a small child did them, all goofy. I love them, like a mother loves the art work of a small child. They will always be precious to me. Her beautiful art work. Her beautiful craftsmanship. These pieces represent the raod she is traveling on these days.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:51 AM | 11 comments

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Two Things


It seems that there are two things thay I need to remember with regards to having a Bible Study. One thing to remember is my initial desire to be able to help disciple one willing soul. That is, the number who come or don't come to "my" Bible Study belongs to God. My desire needs to remain that I want to serve one person who is willing, while serving all who come.

The second thing that I need to remember is the gratitude, humility and awe of being allowed to teach God's people. I will do well to remember these two things. May God be with my attitude and sustain it in Him! - Please God, do this for me. May He make a great name for Himself and open a door that no one can shut.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:32 AM | 9 comments

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bible Study Update!


See last post. Here's what's happened since. So, like my hubby was driving me to the airport at 6:30 in the morning and I asked him what he thought about me having a neighborhood Bible study, right? Anyway, he said that it would be fine with him but that I should run it by the Pastor os our church first! That made me scared a little, to go ask my Pastor, for reasons that I alluded to on the last post, but I figured he gave me godly counsel.

So upon arriving in Chicago and doing a few necessities at the airport, I called Pastor Rich before connecting with my next flight. I had to call three times over one and a half hours, but they said to try calling back at specific times and that is what I did.

Finally he and I talked. Bottom line, no lie? He thinks that the Bible Study sounds great and prayed with me on the phone. He prayed that God would open a door that no man could shut.

So now I am excited. I always wanted to lead a Bible Study but God had not opened the door to it before.

I am praying that this summer I could have our first neighborhood study and it would pave the way, you guessed it, for great things to come. I welcome your prayers and I thank you for your enthusiasm! God bless yall!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 2:28 PM | 10 comments

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Am I going off again on a tangent?


I think that I want to start a Bible Study in my neighborhood, out of my house, but I am not sure if I am stepping out of the will of God, or if maybe God wants me to do something like this.

Here's the background. I love the Bible and have been in Bible studies pretty much all of the time while I have been a Christian, since 1984. I love to pray, although who prays enough? I like people. I am getting my house remodeled and would like to open it up for "ministry."

Years ago I went to my church (I was a new attendee at the time) and asked about doing a Bible Study out of my home and had developed an outline of what I wanted to teach. It was called something like Working Women something or other (and all women are "working." It pulled from Proverbs 31 and Genesis and the whole study correlated with a book that I was writing at the time about Women from God's perspective.

The church declined my idea. Later I realized that the idea kind of sprang, at least in part, from a desire to promote my own agenda and myself and my future book. There was too much of my flesh and personal investment in the whole thing and not enough of God's initiative. The book is half written, btw. Someday I am hoping that the Lord will allow me to finish it. The church suggested that I get started in some of the women's studies that they already had at the church.

Well, I got started in Bible Study Fellowship International and have been doing that for almost seven years. Meanwhile the church does have occasional women's Bible Studies but they do not seem very deep in terms of Bible Study, or consistent in terms of an on-going weekly thing. Also, I have come to realize that I think that the Lord has not had me become that involved in my local church, because not that my husband is attending, he doesn't feel like a cast-aside, or less knowledgeable, or that the church is really identified as MY place and not ours. (My husband began attending about three years ago and had previously been a nonbeliever.)

I am getting tired of my current Bible Study for a number of reasons. First, it is too impersonal, it is not that near-by/local, it has a legalistic bent that bugs me sometimes and at other times is not consistent with what I actually believe theologically (yes, KC, I do have some theological beliefs, though it may not seem that way because y'all are, okay, I admit it, above me) and I am completing their seven year program soon. Also, I was never asked to participate in any type of leadership capacity and I think that is a "sign" from God.

I wanted to go back to Precept Bible Studies with Kay Arthur, but they are no longer having them at the place that I used to go to those studies, and there is NO location within about 25 miles from where I live that have Precept Courses. In other to be an actual Precept leader, I would need to go to Tennessee (how fun) and attend one of their training courses (how fun). Then I could teach the Precepts Bible Study courses out of my home, or where ever I wanted (how fun).

Then I thought that it would be dumb to do all of that training (well, there isn't that much), if there was nobody who would come. Also, would it be going against my local church to start an independent Bible Study out of my home, not connected to the church? It is funny, but the last three Bible Studies I have participated in, and all the Studies since 1991 have been ones apart from the church.

So then I thought, well, I could do a Kay Arthur book study before becoming a Precept Leader, which is allowed. I could put up a sign in my local neighborhood of about 100 homes about starting a neighborhood women's Bible Study, and to call me if interested. If no one calls, then I can see it as a "sign." If someone calls, and wants to go ahead, then we go ahead. Then we just have a local neighborhood Bible Study with whatever women come, and then while that is going on, I can do the training to become the Precepts Leader and then maybe things may take off a bit. I think I would like to have the group ultimately be about 7-12 women, but not real big. I suppose eventually we could fit more in the home, but would want to keep it personal. Also, if there is only one other woman that would be fine with me also.

I forgot about my original idea of years ago having a women's Bible Study that talked about women from the Bible. Maybe the Lord could actually bring that to pass after a number or years. See how I get ahead of God? Wouldn't it be irritating to me be? Imagine being married to someone like me....My dear husband. This morning I talkied - yes talkied his ear off for about thirty minutes. That was a typo, but let's keep it there. It seems to fit - talkied.

That is the final "sign." I need to ask my husband if he would like/let me have a Bible Study in my home for women. I would kind of want he and the children out of the house during that time. Years ago when I asked him, he said that it would be okay, but was hesitant. This time I don't want him to be hesitant, or that would be a bad "sign."

So friends, I welcome your godly counsel, but let me pray first. "Dear My Friend Jesus, is it your will that I proceed with these things that I wrote above? If it is, let all these "signs" be like open doors, and also show me Your answer in other ways. If it is not Your desire, let the whole idea end with a frown upon my husband's face. If You don't want a Bible Study in the neighborhood out of my home, don't have any people come. Lord, I know that I get so caught up in running ahead of You and I just get running a hundred miles an hour and stumble and fall on my face. Help me walk by Your side step by step. Lord, if this Bible Study does happen, let it not be something that I did behind the church's back, so to speak. But maybe they're not even involved. Yet I go to their church and some church people live near me, and I don't want to be inappropriate in any way. But I think going to them is unnecessary, because having a Bible Study in my neighborhood, or through Precepts Ministries, is not inappropriate and they don't need to get involed, because it is not their calling, it may be my calling. Lord, guide these wise counselors who enter their advise on this blog. Open my husband's heart and mind to the idea and use our home. In Jesus' name, AMEN!"

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:29 AM | 11 comments