Monday, July 31, 2006

Valiant Warrior


"Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Take up the whole armor of God..." Eph 6

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. You will not have to fight this battle..."

"Be of good cheer and take heart."

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow (notice it is only a shadow? It is not death itself that we walk through) of death I will not fear for though art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy will pursue after and chase me (my paraphrase) all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

"It is not by might or by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts."

Spiritually speaking, the place of my fleshly need as a human, as a girl, as an infant, that place that cries out and desires to be satisfied, to be heard and to be understood is standing in courage upon the rock of the Lord Jesus Christ, like a lion, like a bear, like a brave heart and is standing there, alive and calm, knowing that I have been heard, I have been understood in Christ and I am alive in Him. And He is sufficient. And He is for me.

Meanwhile, the place that my husband as a boy recalls of his embarrassment and shame and humiliation is there now too.

And the girl is not rescuing him from his emotions, or from his own consequences of what he has brought about upon his own head, even though what he has brought about upon his own head, hurts the girls and makes her feel terrified and unprovided for and angry and rageful. But she doesn't respond in her flesh, for she is not a little girl, and in Christ she is provided for and it is the Father's responsibility to provide for all of the needs of the child. And God is doing something bigger for her and for him and she just needs to wait and trust in the Lord. He is purifying her faith, their faith, and is preparing an eternal kingdom and her heavenly reward and dwelling place, and He is watching after these things that concern her. He is testing her and refining her faith and there is no other reasonable way to purify her faith - which is more precious than gold.

So in that brokenness, that brokenness of heart - but not in spirit - she prays and waits for the deliverance of the Father, the One with the helicopter who flies over head everyday looking to and fro across the whole heart to rescue those whose heart are perfect before Him.

And so where there was to be conflict in the marriage there is oneness in Christ and healing and restoration. But this realization is by faith, not by sight. For WE LIVE BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT."

The house built upon the rock is being created as Christ is building foundation beneath us.

May God hold us and bless us today.

God is working through the administration of these things, through these difficult emotions and feelings, or in spite of them, to expand His own territory in us, in our personal lives and in this world to affect the world for Him. God is on His own mission.

So fight for us Father, oh the Lord of Hosts, the King of the Battle, the Victor in warfare. Help us in our meeting today and give us wisdom and calmness and success in implementation. Enable me to stand in the strength of Your might in the shadow of Your wing. Help my husband to learn how he is feeling in this situation and to respond with maturity to how and adult would help a child through it. Grant him wisdom. For I know that You have assigned him certain tasks that you have worked for many years to release from the grip of my cold, clammy and insecure hands. Bring us relief and success, wisdom and calmness and a future and a hope both in this world and the world to come, even while we are not of this world, yet grant us some pleasure and see our weakened state. We would die of sorrow there was not some water in this land of desert that we go through. But may we not wander but march to Your drum beat.

Ebenezer.

"And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose, for Whom He has called He has also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son." Romans 8

"And we know that in Him we are more than conquers."

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:56 AM | 3 comments

Friday, July 28, 2006

Daily prayer and Bible study!


Since I've come home from Bible Study training in Tenneessee (I think I may have added an extra letter in that word somewhere? Anyone know how to install spell check into this thing that can remind and teach me to spell as I write?) I got up each AM at about 5:00 and prayed for around 20 - 30 minutes and had a Bible Study in my Precepts course each morning for about an hour! Now, that is almost heaven on earth - well, not really, it is just experiencing a little heaven while I am on earth. Yeah, I was tired in the morning, and I want to sleep more, but I am waiting on God to pull that end of things together.

I couldn't seem to "get things done" in terms of the Bible Study stuff before when I changed every day the time I got up and the circumstances that I set time aside to meet with Him. Sure, God did continue to bless and meet with me at these sporatic times (He is so faithful), but what joy in meeting with Him with the first fruits of every day.

I am doing this, in part, to do my Precepts Bible Study course before I get to lead the Bible Study course this fall.

You know, I talk about being blessed a lot and I am. But don't think that I don't hurt, that I don't cry, that I am not disappointed. "No temptation (trial) has ceazed you except that which is common to man, but God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, but with it He will provide a way of escape that you may bear up under it."

"Be strong in the Lord and in His strength."

It is "not by strength, not by might but by my spirit says the Lord of hosts."

Hope I got those quotes exactly right, but forgive me if a word or two is off.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all of your ways, ackowedge Him and He will set your path straight."

Love to you!

Andrea

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:50 AM | 2 comments

Friday, July 21, 2006

Reflections from Precepts Ministries in Tennessee!


Thank you Lord God for blessing me so much. And as I just read what Maria's comments to me were, it isn't about me. But still. Really. I mean, REALLY! All those years, all those tears and all those fears and now this, contentment in all things and blessing upon blessing upon blessing. And not that all my prayers are answered. Indeed, there are things that I want, things that I need You to uphold and things I wanna do that I don't know if the motivations are from You, or what the time frame should be, but something is DIFFERENT now than in the past.

Remember the past years of those tears and fears and crying on my belly, yelping to You and trying to control You but You didn't change anything that I could see right then. It was like You were a big PAPA whose baby girl was crying with her blankie shouting, "BUT DON'T YOU CARE AND CAN'T YOU SEE AND WHY DON'T YOU DO ANYTHING!!!" And You just stood there and didn't even pick me up sometimes and just let me cry.

"Are You done yet?"it was as if You had said to me.

But other times, You would just hold me - like when I wasn't doing anything but plugging along in the day, or I was just waking up, or singing a love song at church and You let me know that NOTHING ELSE MATTERED. Even if everything fell down, nothing else matterred because You were there and You were my God. And there would be a still small hope, no, a big hope. Yes, the only hope that there is!! The hope of Jesus Christ in me, who is my life, and everything would be okay, I would think, and if if it wasn't, You were and are the God who sees, the God who is there and You are enough for me.

And then things and situations for me were quiet for a long, long time. Like You and I were walking together in the woods, hand in hand and just looking at the bugs and the mountains and the trees. Jumping into the lake and swinging on a swing hanging from a tree limb. And You had become my God, my Friend, my Confidant, my Defender and my every day simple life. And it was enough. And the problems faded into the distance as the Lord became my world of what I saw, cared about and was invested in.

And in that world, in that forest green, in the presence of God, He had become my great reward and enough for me, even though, even though, even though there were all of the problems that hadn't much changed. But I changed. Because I had heard God. "It's going to be okay at some point. Those problems aren't your whole world. Come, walk with Me."

Then, I was able to hear You even more clearly. Not that You were giving me distinct impressions all of the time, but I had entered into Your world and had developed eyes to see. Like a dog alert due to training for His master’s actions. You could guide me with Your eye. “Ahh, so that is what You are doing. So that is how it works. So that is what is happening,” I would realize more and more often.

But my hearing wasn't perfect. And sometimes it isn't very good. And I don't always hear right. Like the dog who jumps up and down every time the master opens the drawer that contains the leash, but the dog hasn’t discerned that not every time that drawer is opened is it time to go on a walk. I guess I am not equiped to write a book of the Bible (if there were any more available to be written, which there are not) because I am not a Prophet in that sense. I am not perfect. Well, that is obvious.

But more than that, I found that, I find now that, if I can get myself into a humble position, I can better know, hear and follow God – better see to be guided by His eye. If I can seek to emulate Jesus, and follow after godly role models that He has given me and not try to recreate the wheel and try to put my signiture on it ("Wheel made by Andrea: buy one get one at 50% off")then I can wander less and abide more and hear better and enjoy the walk in the forest with my Father, paved by Jesus Christ.

And today, and yesterday and last week it has been this new thing of blessings that I first spoke about in this writing. That of blessings flowing down, and part of those blessings is the sense that we are clicking. That I finally have become positioned in a really good place to be effective, like the antennae set just right. Yet, You are ever changing in a sense, and there is no "set way" to "know God" other than, abiding in Him by humility, prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with a church and other believers and trying to do what He says and go where He seems to be leading. Not running ahead of God, but moving forward. Hebrews says He is not pleased with one who shrinks back away from His leading. So readers and fellow bond-servants, I encourage you to go where He says to go and obey right away.

And my problems are mostly still here, but I can literally SEE by faith how You are changing them and what You are doing, and I can see that they are going to be okay at some point. But some of the problems aren’t here any more, because You have moved and acted on my behalf in so many ways. And the problems that remain are necessary for the training and instructing of me and my family in righteousness because that is how You operate. And I am praying that You will spare us from excess or fruitless suffering and harm from bad outcomes before that final point when everything is okay is reached.

But I am not paniced anymore and I am not balling and sobbing at the Lord's feet demanding my way and panicing that my (notice “MY”) world is falling apart and He is not doing anything about it. So yeah, I have faith. But it is faith received - His faith, and not based upon my personal observation of things, but based upon my knowledge of His kingdom’s view of things, so it doesn't even feel like faith, because it seems real, yet it is an evidence not seen.

So, Lord, I realize that I am conversating with You, but also to my audience. God bless them. Father, I pray that they would be encouraged that suffering is a normal and expected part of the Christian experience, and You train us up through discipline and that as Paul said, "I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstance," so too You want us to become more and more like that.

Father, enable me not to be like a ship tossed in the ocean, rocking to and fro, but to be like Paul, content in whatever cirsumstance. Yet Father, I ask for Your mercy upon me, to remember that I am but flesh. Ahh, but I am spirit also – and I have Your spirit in me. I trust You that whatever circumstance that You put me in, or allow me to go in, that You will provide Your blessed Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide me. You are faithful and have not left us without Yourself to guide and protect us. Protect me from tempatation and the evil one.

Father, I lay these requests before You: The Management School and all of those details - guide me into Your will for that; The ECT training and details of implementaion; the fall Precepts Bible Study, who will come and how will they be invited, the details of learning and teaching and opportunity to do so, open doors and Your Holy Spirit's direction; my fitness and exercise opportunities and desires including "Christian yoga" and where, how, preparedness and details as well as my nutrition and diet; that You would carry out all that You are doing in each of my children's lives, that they would become the righteousness of Christ by submitting their desires to Your will, including submitting to the training that You have for each of them in their lives at this time, that they would be good and faithful soldiers of Jesus and God would have Your way with them each individually and corporately; that my husband's business, career, mindset, daily responsibilities, habits, thoughts and duties would be held in Your hand just as You turn the King's heart like a faucet; that I would pray faithfully inasmuch as I can attain; that You would provide for the details of my husband's 50th birthday party in December; that the entire family would be in the world but not of the world and would be protected from the evil one and would go forth in the name and presence and life-blood of Jesus Christ, becoming conformed to His death and serving and making disciples of people near and far and very far by the power of the resurection. In Christ's name and for His eternal fame and glory alone, Amen.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:27 PM | 9 comments

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ten days, ten minutes


How do I summarize almost ten days in ten minutes? Humm...........

My oldest daughter turned 16 years old.
My husband said I had the "perfect-sized" behind.
I've been crying and praying like a baby for my oldest son. God has a plan for him!
I drove about 600 miles on Sunday.
I drove over 300 miles Friday night after 8:30 PM.
I have caffeinated sodas about every third day.
I have a Togo's Asian Chicken salad (no noodles please) almost every day.
My youngest son chose to have his hair cut super-duper short.
My youngest daughter smiles back and her painting of the milk cartoon looks awesome in its frame on the kitchen wall.
Praying to God is the best part of the day.
God is the best friend that I have, still.
My friend has called the last two nights as she was driving from home from work.
I got to lead two doctor's meetings and they went great.
I am walking in the power of Christ because I know who I am in Him. I am a wife, a mother, a doctor and a friend. These are my roles. I wish I were a writer. I guess I am that too, but it is secondary.
I still hope to go on a cruise around the world in about 2018, or is it 14? Can't think right now, it's late. Skip the details.
I got a patient mad at me today, and I pray that she is over it by now and doesn't hold a grudge. She thinks I'm mean. And unfair. So do my kids. Oh well. Life goes on. Who am I living to please? Only the One who counts, or least that is what I want to do, how I would like to live. To live BOLDLY in the spirit for Christ, by His Spirit. With abandonment. Ahhhh…..I’m set free and carefree!
I would love to do a Health Care Executive MBA program that I just read about. I emailed my husband and asked what he thought about it. It would start September 2007. Here Lord, I'm putting it into Your hands. I'll do whatever is pleasing to You.
The Lord has continued to supply my needs for my finances, my children's health and emotional needs, my marriage needs, my house, my mortgage, my children's school and related expenses. No creditor’s calling. No one’s knocking so I am going to thank God for this day! Where is my Ebenezer’s stone? I want to make a monument, “Thus far the Lord has helped me!”
Today was 104 and yesterday was 107 in my home town.
The Lord met me today when I awoke and has been with me all day and is with me now.
The Lord distracted me from distractions and kept me focused on better things.
I'm still a sinner. I’m the sinner covered in Christ’s blood that boldly goes to the Father’s throne, seeking grace and favor. “You have not because you ask not.”
The Bible Studies were absolutely wonderful, but emotionally draining.
I'm getting good at the yoga and Pilate stretch classes. Would like to have more cardio and spin time though.
I wish that I had more time to visit my blogging friends and to put together about four photo books on mypublisher.com and to complete items on a long to do list including a report that will take me about 15 hours to complete.
I had my nails done and am getting them done again soon.
My husband loves me and I don’t nag him, hardly ever. But he is very sensitive when I do, so he may think that I nag more that I do. Or maybe I nag more that I realize. In any event, nagging actually isn’t my job. It the Father’s job to see that His children have their needs met. If I feel oppressed, then God will be especially attentive to my cries. He cares for those who are weak by position. He wants us to ask Him for our needs and not to become something that we were not created to be. “A nagging wife is like a constant drip” (Proverbs).
I put up a sign on my bulletin board that I cut out from a magazine with a picture of a rainbow that said, "God's Faithfulness"
Tobymac, "This Christmas" is playing on the computer. My heart weeps for the sons I wanted but did not become mine. It was and is a privilege to pray for them. God heard and blessed them. I hope I meet them in heaven, if not on earth.
God bless you! And remember:
You don't need to be great to be a saint, just needy, and He'll make You great in Him - where it counts! Thank you for checking in! May God bless YOU. Yes you.
Love, Andrea, the Ordinary Christian

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 10:32 PM | 7 comments

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Seeing what is unseen


I love the Lord. Over the past week or two, I have come to understand in another new way that God chose me to be a psychiatrist and he chose to work through me while I do that, and a lot of stuff associated with that, and I didn't realize that God works through the unseen forces in the administration of this earth, that He wants to enter those realms through me, through the possession of my body by the Holy Spirit. I didn't realize that if I wanted to serve the Lord, I could do it, that the Lord could do it, while I was sitting in a board room with six other doctors and a couple of administrators of a hospital and not while evangelizing on the streets or singing hymns in the church. I came to understand this, not in an intellectual sort of way, because I knew this for many years, but in a deep abiding and more profound way. In a way that allowed me to know God more, like I saw a glimpse of Him in a mirror that He held up for a few moments.

You see, I love the Lord and I have wanted to serve Him for many years, I mean really serve Him, and how could that REALLY be done if I was spending all my time working or doing this that and the other and not having time to really devote to God?

So I prayed and waited and yearned to really be involved in God's work and He never opened any doors for that. He never really gave me the gifts or ability to evangelize or just open my mouth and talk about things of the Lord to people, like some people can do, - they can namedrop so easily, but me, I didn't have any of that ability.

Then for over 20 years I have had a problem that was almost a crisis, that I cried out to God about again and again, but still he never fixed the problem. Then I realized that I was not praying in accord with God's will, I was praying in a way that I thought was “OBVIOUSLY” God's will, but I was missing His will. I assumed what was OBVIOUS was His will, but His ways are above my ways, and He does on the earth everything that He wants according to His sovereign will and wisdom and is under the direction of no person.

So, anyway, last week the Pastor spoke on Romans chapter 8 about how sometimes when we pray we don't pray according to His Holy Spirit, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groans. The Spirit intercedes for us and prays correctly, even when we do not pray correctly. But as we grow in the Lord, we are to become more in tune with the Spirit and be praying more in accord with His will.

So I had already been reflecting about why God had not been answering my prayers in a certain important matter. I realized that I had learned a lot during the time of unanswered prayer, such as His grace that is sufficient, such that I can not hope in the worlds riches and it was my tendency to do so. But it seemed that there was more that God was trying to show me.

God didn't want to fix my problem because He wanted to enter into the problem Himself, by His Spirit, into the hidden realm of a secret administration in the hidden places on earth, the spiritual dimensions of every day interactions, like where governments and nations dwell, that hidden economy.

He hadn't answered my prayer in part because there were spiritual barriers. The devil had his strong desire not to let the Lord's spirit through this vessel enter into the hidden areas of administration. He hadn't answered my prayers in part because I wasn't mature in that God wasn't done using those problems to conform me to His will and to the image of His Son. He hadn't answered my prayers yet because I was not praying according to His will. He hadn't answered my prayers because "this kind only come out by prayer and fasting." He hadn't answered my prayers because I didn't realize that God wanted me to spend a huge amount of my time and focus upon and in exactly these problem areas that I thought God had to hurry up and fix because He wanted that to be part of my ministry where He would work in and through me - not through being an evangelist, not through being a missionary, or a Bible Study Leader or an author or a “saint” of God, but a "secular" (HA!) administrator with my husband in a secular world doing a secular job.

"God, my Father, I LOVE YOU! Not the things that You do for me. Not the things that You give me. Not to show my friends how spiritual I am. Not to show off to my friends how much You use me! I know that You use me because I LOVE YOU and I am so happy that I know YOU better!"

Oh, that was how God "broke through" to me. I was reading Oswald Chambers one day, I think entry of April 26, and it asked about if we want our problem fixed or did we want to know God better. I repented and told God that I was sorry, but for all these years, I just wanted this problem fixed and I was more concerned about fixing the problem that I was about knowing God. Then it happened. Then I came to know God better. I learned that God is VERY LARGE and that He is IN and wants to be IN a lot of stuff that seems ordinary, but He wants to possess it, like a vessel and get His strong hold into that ordinary thing so then He possesses a byway that used to be the devil's but now belongs to the Lord.


Dear Father, Thank You for using the foolish things and the weak things, thank You for using Me! I want my treasure in heaven. I want to be used by You WHEREVER and HOWEVER You want me. I am Yours. How dare I proclaim or ASSUME how You ought to use me! Should the clay demand to the Potter? Lord, You revealed my sinful nature and absolute boldfaced arrogance that I presumed to know better than You how to use me and how to pronounce me to the world. What is the world anyway? Everything is Yours, Master, and I am Yours too, and I love You. I am not worthy to untie Your sandals and let me never forget it. Give me Your eyes of humility. Let me see the greatness of God and the weakness of me and let me worship You in whatever form I find myself in. Thank You that You are able to guard what I have entrusted to You. Thank You that You have supplied all of my needs and that You are a good Father and are kind. Your heart is broken at our pain, but You see the big picture and that is why You are God and we are not. Thank You for taking care of me all of these years. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:45 PM | 8 comments