Thursday, November 30, 2006


Ever feel like a rubber band -stretch, stretch,stretch - and then think, "maybe I ought to get out of this situation?" Where do you run? Where do you hide? The change of the situation for me is to realize, I may feel stretched, but that is just the flesh, just the temporal that is being shaken.

Remember Paul who said he has learned the secret to be content in ANY circumstance? It is to be separated from this world. Bye, bye.

The Lord is faithful. He's doing something that I've waited 20 +h

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:04 AM | 1 comments


Ever feel like a rubber band -stretch, stretch,stretch - and then think, "maybe I ought to get out of this situation?" Where do you run? Where do you hide? The change of the situation for me is to realize, I may feel stretched, but that is just the flesh, just the temporal that is being shaken.

Remember Paul who said he has learned the secret to be content in ANY circumstance? It is to be separated from this world. Bye, bye.

The Lord is faithful. He's doing something that I've waited 20 +h

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:04 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?"

Have you ever read that psalm that says that? "How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?" It is from Psalm 6. I turned to it this morning.

When I read it this morning, it comforted me as it reminded me of a previous difficult trial. My husband did not know the Lord, and for many years I was really desperate that he should know and follow God and I used to cry out to the Lord and read and cry over this psalm.

I needed my husband to know the Lord, because I wanted to trust him that he would take cake of me properly. I wanted to trust him to be my provider. I figured that if he knew God and served Him, then I could trust him to take care of me.

Oh, how I do want to be taken care of in a dependable and reliable fashion! But only God is dependable and faithful. I need to trust in His unfailing love. Only God is perfect. It is idolatry to look to a human to meet all of my core needs. Only God can do that.

When David was being chased and pursued by enemies for no fault of his own (First Samuel), he strengthened himself in the Lord.

There is reality and there is life that we think is real. The reality is that God is for me and He is transforming me into the image of His Son. The reality is that every single thing in my life is going to turn out together to be for my good and will be used by a sovereign God to help me. The reality is that the more I am separated from the things of this world, the more I am sanctified, the less I am affected by circumstances, the less likely I am to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and the craftiness of men. The reality is that God is for me, so who can be against me? The reality is that this battle is not mine but is the Lord's. The reality is that it is a privilege to suffer for Him, and to this I was called. The reality is that it is right that I should suffer for such a kingdom, to find myself worthy of it (II Thessalonians). The reality is that His grace and will are sufficient for me and that power is perfected in my weakness. The truth is that when I am weak and flat on my back, Christ Himself can live in me and do more through me that when I get in the way. The reality is that this world is going to hell in a hand basket and the more I am separated from this world, the less pain that I will have later, when I have to lose the things anyway. The reality is that at the judgment seat of Christ when our deeds are proved, there will be the suffering of loss for the wood, hay and stubble that burns in the fire, and the less that I have of wood, hay and stubble to burn, the better. The truth is that God is pleased with me when I endure. The truth is that God is proving me to prove my faith strong and right, not to disprove me. The reality is that I am being sanctified, made holy, being set apart for God's personal use. The reality is that I am in Christ, seated in Christ, far above all principalities and powers. The reality is that I am His child.

My problems abound today and the reminders of the problems hit me like small bits of cold and frozen ice pellets on my face as I walk through the burning cold Minnesota weather, the wind piercing and mocking me. (I don't live there anymore, but I remember!)

Would you pray for me, that God would bring this trial to a close and that my husband and I would be found faithful in it? That we would make God proud of us because we endured and graduated from this trial? Also, my brother-in-law's wife just walked out on him and he is devastated. Pray that he would turn to the Lord during this time and be born-again. Thanks, I feel like we could really use your prayers!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:41 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

This is what I've been thinking (and praying) about

Since my husband and I are one body in Christ, and since I was created as a helper to him, and since Christ is the head and Christ wants to fill all in all, then it follows follows follows that.....humm. What follows that?

I was reading in "My Utmost for His Highest" about the importance when we are our wits' end NOT to panic but to continue to trust quietly and completely in the sufficiency of God.

I realize that my husband is very much of a leader and controller, even though I used to not think so. When I really actually gave up my grip I find he is there and that he is always there, since 1980, he is there. When I loosen my death grip on the essence of our single life and body, then I fall down. He falls down. We all fall down. And we wait awhile. 'Till my husband who really was controlling things anyway, does his role better and I am there. The woman at his side, who enjoys being a woman. The person she is. That "great gal."

One more thing. I've got to continually get out of the so-called "Christian" box which isn't actually Christ's life at all, but is my own presumptions. My presumptions are death. His life in my impotent life is Life and power and peace and resurrection.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:12 AM | 3 comments

Friday, November 17, 2006

here's a copy of a letter I wrote to my Assistant Pastor and Pastor

I thought that I would give you an update about the Women’s Bible Study group. We just finished the eight week session on I Samuel and God met us each week. There were just a few women, each chosen by Him. One dropped out. Three (besides me) endured. One was the Catholic woman who was with us in the summer. She is so sweet and is growing in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord. She is a stay at home Mom who used to be a nurse. She just learned last week that the Holy Spirit will not leave one who is truly born again (what a relief!). Another woman is somewhat knowledgeable about a lot of Scripture and has been a Christian for nearly forever (that is, since childhood). She is about 50 years old and is a Lutheran. She works as an OR nurse. She learned last week that consulting mediums was actually wrong. We got a little side tracked and got on a discussion about how God’s grace through us is how we perform in our gifts, by Christ Himself flowing through us. This was incomprehensible to her and tried to explain how we do our best (basically in the flesh) with the gifts that God has bestowed to us. We moved back to the subject at hand but seeds of truth were planted. The last woman goes to Harvest Church and brought a little quote to one of the sessions, “God helps those who help themselves, right?” She was in the middle of a discussion and it wasn’t actually timely to interrupt her and tell her that no, actually, “God helps those who can not help themselves.” Anyway, she appears so guilt ridden about having been a Christian since age 14 (she is probably in her 50’s too) and just hasn’t measured up. She feels badly about when she doesn’t complete the homework, etc. I thought she was going to end up dropping out and called one time having said basically that she didn’t know if she could continue, but she did not drop out and says that she wants to come back for II Samuel. I think she loves and desires God, but just is not in touch with the reality of His grace and truth. One session no one came and that was sad for me, but I thought about how hard it must be for missionaries who go to a land to try and bring about converts and can find any. Each week Brad and the children make sure the house is nice and quiet and they seem happy to participate in this way.

In mid January we will do II Samuel. Pray that God will continue the work that He has begun and that He bring His people to the study and individually teach His children. Blessings to you and your growing family.

I thought that I would give you an update on the MBA stuff that I talked with you about several weeks ago. God has just seemed to open up that way completely. I appreciate your word about the fish and the amazement that seized Peter. For me, it seems that I have repeatedly at times over the years have been trying to become less involved in psychiatry and my work and “professionalism,” not more involved, but God is so funny. Never in a million years would I have imagined … (what God is going to do, in the way He is going to do, which I do not know really what it is, so I guess my mind gets ahead of me sometimes.) Yet, I am also really excited about what God is doing and is going to do, even though it didn’t feel expected. Since asking the CEO and Medical Director for their letters of recommendation for the University program, I have been invited to be on the Board of Trustees and then to chair the board to Trustees. In another administration meeting, in the Lord, I made a recommendation about a way to handle a problem and it was embraced by all the people and then applauded at the Board of Trustees meeting. Meanwhile, this outside corporate head dude was at this meeting today and said nice things about me, what the CEO has said to him about me. I hope this doesn’t sound like bragging in the flesh, but I know that you wouldn’t be impressed with these things anyway, but only enthusiastic if the Lord is doing something Himself. It is the Spirit of God moving that give us joy, because when the Lord is pleased, then we are pleased. When His life is expressed, then we can be pleased with the glory that the Lord is receiving in heavenly places. The whole thing at the hospital where I work and in my “career” just cracks me up, because this is not the way I would have envisioned the Lord to use me, if indeed He is using me. Today at one of these smaller meetings, one social worker lady mentioned, “it is kind of like religion, sometimes people can get carried away with it.” The other social worker said, “Yeah, balance in life is what is important.” Meanwhile I’m thinking, “You just have no clue.” I’m thinking how I am trying to be so fully surrendered to God so fully and completely so that He can live His life through me. Talk about balance – NONE. My citizenship is in heaven and from there I await a Savior, Christ my Lord.

I’ve been resting in God’s grace because it is through His grace that Christ Himself will live this life for me. I just need to be humble, available and allow Him to use me how He is pleased to do so without me getting in His way. Not to freak out as He is making a left turn at a high rate of speed – “Lord, what about ----“ Oh, I guess that thing I thought mattered doesn’t matter, or mattered too much for my good! (Let me just rip that from your life, don’t you know that I am enough? That I am sufficient?) God is faithful. And He is sufficient. Not only is His grace sufficient for me, but His will is sufficient for me. It is just funny because I think I have broken almost every “common sense” thing I thought that I as a Christian I was supposed to do and be (I am not talking regarding the basic commandments, but my presumptions, my common sense of what seemed logical that God would be pleased with that I do) and God is continuing to show me that if I want to know Him, I need to lay all my common sense aside and seek His sufficiency alone. Rich, thank you for your teaching ministry and example. Keep walking strong – iron sharpens iron.

God bless you and your family (I just love them),


posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:44 PM | 4 comments

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

quick check in

Just checking in to announce that I am still in pain.

Well, let me try this alternative announcement:

Just checking in to announce that I am fine.

Here is another alternative:

Just checking in to say, part of me is dying but part of me is alive and growing in Christ. Part of me says, "this sucks." But the living part of me says, "I consider it all joy that the Lord has seen fit to choose to refine me into His vessel for the bearing of much more fruit for His glory and harvest, unto that day."

"I know Whom I have beleived, and I know that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him unto that Day."

Continuing strong in the faith and becoming a stronger person in my mind,

the Ordinary one who is strong and courageous, often times. When I'm not afraid. But I can be both. Really. Just watch me.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:07 PM | 5 comments

Monday, November 06, 2006

Born a Woman

If you've read my blog lately, I'm going through a trial. Last night as I was slumbering off to sleep and thinking about what Kay Arthur was teaching me earlier in the day, that "grace snuggles" (you had to have heard the lecture, I guess, but anyway...). I was snuggling up to the Lord in my pain and my fear. Then, in that space, I thanked God for making it difficult because I know that I am His. I am truly His bond servant. Held in bonds to Him and He could do anything that He wanted to do, because no matter what He did and no matter what it looked like, I was still there, waiting for Him to pull through on my behalf, in His perfect timing, in His perfect way. At least at that time in my life. November 5th, 2006.

I thought also that I am my husband's wife. He has a measure of governmental authority over me that God has granted and there is nothing that I can do to escape that, so why try? Why not sit there in that misery and declare that I too am my husband's indentured servant. That I am staying where I am, where I have found myself in this relationship because it is God's will for me at this time in my life.

All I know that I am to do at this time in my life is to submit myself to God and my husband in the midst of this trial and pray and wait. There isn't anything else I can do except to try to go about my day as normally as possible.

I sort-of hate being in a yoke. Don't we all? Don't we women bristle at the thought that our husband has been granted some sort of licenses authority over us, over our bodies, over our futures? Don't we as people resist fully submitting to whatever God wants to do? Don't we hold a little extra secret stash of cash, or whatever we feel can get us out of a tight space? Don't we want to hold a little back from God?

There in my submitted and humbled space of my mind, whereas I lay in my bed submitted to God and to my husband under Christ, I thought, "this isn't so bad."

But the flesh in me thinks it is really bad, and really it is a mark of utter failure, and for the flesh it is a mark of utter and complete failure and misery. Sort of like just hanging on a cross. "If you are the Christ, take Yourself down from there!" If I am a 21st century woman, just fix myself out of this situation. "God helps those who help themselves, right?" (No, not right.)

I didn't really like the fact that I was born a woman, frankly. I’d rather have the superior place in a relationship of woman and man. I’d rather be born a god myself, rather than born owing God His due authority over me. In recent years I have come to more fully grasp the beauties and wonders of womanhood. However, most of my life I did not know that there were such wonderful fruits of being a woman, pleasant things to enjoy – that I might myself enjoy.

In work, I am a powerful woman, and I see myself as becoming more and more powerful and effective. I am a leader and help organizations run effectively. I help people to do their best, helping to inspire their natural motivations. I do this, all the while, being a woman and being in that brace called a yoke, to both God and my husband.

My husband likes having a powerful and effective woman as a wife, but doesn't like or want to be personally led by her, although He enjoys her wisdom and effectiveness. It is an incredible tightrope walk. Working with my husband, not over him, not commanding him. I can not command him because I am under him in authority rank before the Lord, due to the way that God has set up His Kingdom. I can not command him because he will not submit to me. (I’ve tried!)

I believe that God has opened the door for me to do more and more and become more and more in terms of a leader in my work. I am excited about the MBA, but frankly, bowing out would be fine for me too. A relief, actually. A housewife hanging out at the house would be great (just give me servants to do all the cleaning and cooking!) But not doing God's will for me is horribly unthinkable and I believe, as imperfect as I am to know, with what I do know, I believe that I am to do this MBA and go forward in my life in this manner as a leader as an MD, MBA, Lord willing and unto His glory for His purposes, that I do not know and can not see, as I am a mere human.

God wants me, I think, to be a role model for my growing children at this time in my life and not to try and control their lives, because they are now entering into their own little miniature adult lives. God wants me, I think, to let my husband find his own way, and see the Lord's working through it as well, in regards to certain areas that God has given him to do. God is letting him know, I think, that Andrea, his wife, is NOT going to run in and rescue him or herself from the circumstances that he has allowed to develop. I can not do everything, and I can only do, am only to do that to which I have been called.

So I have decided not to worry about certain things. God is affecting a lot of things in heaven and on earth that I can not see. He is taking over certain realms of so-called invisible territories for Himself and His purposes.

Meanwhile, I will remember who I am in Christ, that I am God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has predestined that I should walk in. I will stay in my line. I will wait and I, in Christ, along with my husband, will triumph.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:10 AM | 8 comments

Friday, November 03, 2006

When the life of faith seems elusive

There is a whirlpool inside of me. Somewhere between the innocence of youth and an upright and capable adult. When the crises of life come upon me like a tornado, or what feels like a tornado, the whirlwind churns and everything goes fuzzy. In the fog, in the confusion, in the swirling around, I not only simply worry, and am worry personified.

So then I remember that for me to worry is sin, because worry is unbelief, and worry signifies that I don't believe that God is for me. Worry announces that I am disobedient to the truth. His truth. The One who is truth. The One who is for me.

But all I have is worry, so then I remember what Kay Arthur just taught me, that I am a helpless, ungodly sinner. Then it makes sense. That is why I worry anyway, even though I don't want to. I sin because I am a sinner. I am helpless to help myself because I am helpless. God likes that because then He can work. He can work in impotent people. “When I am weak, then I am strong, therefore I glory in my weakness.” Because that is when the life of Christ can work into a person His very Self, through the Holy Spirit by faith.

I am in the center of God's will. The place that James says to rejoice in. The wonderful perfect spot where God is working inside of me to change the very nature of who I am. To rearrange the chemicals in my brain so that neurons fire differently and in different places. I am in the place where my dependency of God is greater than it has ever been before in this certain area of temptation for my flesh. I am alone with my sin. And my sin is ever before me. I am a sinner. I confess my sin of unbelief and God is there, ready to supply me with what I need, the medicine of His forgiveness, His mercy, His recognition of my lack, His Almighty power as raindrops of grace. His hand that calms the sea and quiets the storm.

One problem is that it doesn't make sense that God would allow me to have such pain and confusion. The problem is that on the one hand I know that God is good and God is for me and God is working all things together for my will and that the trial is an opportunity. However, on the other hand, I feel pain and I am afraid. Truly afraid because I have no where to rest myself, because of the whirlwind and the tornado and that there is no where to place my feet. No where to go to be comforted. I can't go to God in the traditional way that I know Him because to me He has changed. But He has not changed, but my view of Him was wrong and I am having to reconcile the difference. I am having to hold to the knowledge of all that He is that is good and perfect and sovereign and at the same time suspend my confusion that contradicts the knowledge of His goodness. And just believe anyway. It isn’t a mighty or grand thing to do, because I have no where else to go. Just like Moses didn’t have anywhere else to o but across the Red Sea.

Job said, "Though He slay me, I will trust in Him." Job trusted in a God that took away everything that was good in His life until He had nothing left except a nag who told him to curse God and die.

I am afraid that I really hate where I am right now and I want to get mad like a little girl and stomp my foot and scream an holler until I get my way. The problem is, I have found that God is not to be manipulated like my parents were. I found that God is displeased with that type of grumbling. I know that if I do that I am acting spoiled, and I am not acting in a becoming way before the Lord. Oh, life is so hard! I am afraid that God will not fix this situation that I am finding myself in. I am afraid that it will get worse before it gets better. I am mad because I don’t think the problem is my fault. However, the problem exposes my sin that I spoke of in this blog the last couple of entries. The problem is that I have sin and error and problems of character and emotional instability that God is correcting through using difficult circumstances, so like Paul I can be content in whatever the circumstances.

My prayer is that God would have mercy on me in my circumstances. My prayer is that God would relieve the circumstances. My prayer is that I would know Him in the midst of the circumstances. My prayer is that I would be imparted with His grace to handle the trial. My prayer is to have less and less of myself and more and more of Him. My prayer is to thank Him for the trial through which He is reshaping my very personality. My prayer is that I would honor Him before the principalities and powers that are at war in the heavens by my steadfast spirit. My prayer is that I would not faint. My prayer is that my faith would grow brighter with each passing day until the light of the midday sun. My prayer is that His grace would be greater, that my faith would be greater. My prayer is that I would be obedient to each step of this life of faith. My prayer is that I would not be a disappointment to Him. My prayer is that I would stand, and having done everything, to stand -"stand therefore."

I would love you to pray for me. My spirit wants you to pray in the grandiose ways cited above. My simple and fragile self, just says, “help, I am afraid and in pain.”

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:20 PM | 5 comments