A Tale of Two Teachers

What an extraordinary point of view given here. It has long since been a question in my mind as to why we would give so much attention to celebrity and ignore the teacher who chooses to be shaped by the hand of God and teach His truth. I decided to reblog this post because I truly believe that we need to decide that we are Christ-followers and not celebrity-followers.

willnotbetaken

A while ago I went to a women’s conference in another state with some of my relatives. We heard two different Bible teachers speak. Both of these women had written books. Both were well known. That is where the similarities ended. One women was older. In fact, she was in her eighties. She spoke first. She shared her heart for us younger women. She shared from the Word. She spoke of women to whom she had ministered in countries where believers are being persecuted. Her voice broke as she spoke of her sisters in Christ, living under the constant threat of imprisonment and death. You could see the love she carried for them. She spoke of Christ and the gospel. Her knowledge of the Word was so evident, and her talk was so full of scripture that she just seemed to breathe it out. I left her session with a…

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A Sweet Balm for My Soul

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Motherhood. I really didn’t have it all figured out. I was mom to one very wonderful red-headed sweet boy already, and life kept me spinning in every direction. It seemed crazy to be talking baby #2 so soon after the first one came along, but there we were in the most romantic restaurant in our area on our anniversary discussing trying for another baby. It had taken us a year and a half to become pregnant the first time, so we thought we had better get started on the second one now…as in now…and we did. Guess what? That’s right. Nine months later, another cute as anything baby boy came bounding into our world.

Life at this time was a strange turn of events and mostly those events were soul-ripping. Ministry is never for the faint at heart, but there we were, pregnant again and swimming in the deep-end of that ministry pool. Some days I swallowed too much water as I tread my way through it all. It felt like I was drowning at times, but the Lord was merciful. God graciously sent women, along with my family members,  to surround me and to make sure that me, my little, and Rick were all cared for very well. I was content to let go of the past and to move ahead with the blessing of having another child to love, teach and disciple. Life was changing rapidly for us now and frankly, I was ready for it to go in a different direction.

I look back now, and what I didn’t know then, was that God was providing me with a sweet balm for my soul through this child. Every day seemed sweeter than the one before it as I glided through this pregnancy. I seriously thought that it would take a long, long time to become pregnant again, but it didn’t. God in His infinite wisdom brought us this baby boy only seventeen and a half months after our first one. He so knew exactly what I needed, what Rick needed and what baby Richard needed in bringing another little so soon.

The months crept by and then came July. My children have this uncanny way of being born on their due dates, so the arrival of Nicholas was right on time! We barely made it to the hospital that morning. Rick later told me that he was going about 75 mph on the expressway trying to get us to Flower Hospital. I am guessing that means he was going at the very least about 80 mph. It was a hot, sunny day when Nicholas arrived and he was born in a triage room, due to the fact that all the birthing suites were occupied, about twenty minutes after we flew into the hospital. He could not wait to be born! He still has that same personality…always looking for an adventure and being quick!

All throughout his life, Nicholas has been a sweet balm to me. The Lord has used him so many times to bring me joy in the midst of great sorrow. He brightens my day. I thank God for who He made Nick to be, but most of all, I rejoice in how He will use him to minister and be a balm to so many others in the future. I know that the Lord will show him how to point others, not to himself, but to God, because this is exactly how the Lord so beautifully uses this child in my life.

Be the balm, Nicholas. Be everything that the Lord intended uniquely for you to be. Sing with your whole heart His praises. Burn with a holy passion for our living God. Never let anyone or anything rip apart your soul, your purpose, your service to God. Never give up and never give in. He who created you is far greater than any evil force that will slither your way. Oh, baby boy, there are so many things I want to tell you, but the most important thing is to love the Lord with your whole heart, soul and mind…forever and ever. Be the balm He created you to be. I love you.

Becoming

Overall, it has been a very interesting week here. My words have failed me and my emotions were a bit of a train wreck. Those same emotions wrought from fear (ugh! you would think I would know better by now) became a searing flame that I sought out forgiveness from the Scorched and from my Lord. Evil One so wants to destroy us…our lives, our ministries, our godly influence, our families, our marriages, our friendships, and the list just never ends, does it?

So, I sit and I pray. Repentence. I ask the Giver of Life to make me a more generous and faithful servant. Sudden realization comes to me and I then know  that I have not been seeing myself, more recently, as belonging to Jesus. I mean really being His as in “He can do with my life whatever He wants” kind of His. I beg God to show me what it truly looks like to be His vessel…used for whatever purpose He commands, for His glory, for the furthering of His Kingdom.  I am not my own, but bought with the highest price…the precious blood of the Lamb slain on the cross. He dictates how He will use me to bring glory to Himself.

I also see the Lord telling me that I am forgiven, and that when I stumble, it doesn’t mean that He would ever stop loving me. There is no place of trouble that would keep Him from claiming me as His very own. 

It is by His still waters that I come to rest and know that my Shepherd sees me and instills peace into me. I feel released from the burden that the Evil One used to shame me. I give it no more credence, but fully rely on the truth I know that Jesus makes all things new again. 

This becoming…this transformation, it brings me to the point of understanding that in true change, there is strength in the harnessing of learning to let go of sin, perceived control and fear. I gain wisdom when I allow myself to be fully aligned with His will for my life. Fighting, resisting and an all-out tug of war will only result in fear, shame and consequences that make life look like a war zone. 

Now, as I face the future, I hope that my life will be one that is continuously poured-out for the One who always holds me and shows me His great grace. There is no other like Him and I would ask that this little life He gave me be something He will use to make His name great. I am nobody great and never will be. That isn’t even my end-game. He is great, though, and what He decides to do with my life is every bit His business. I just want my life to always point to His greatness. 

The Destroyer can maim, but He cannot take me from my Lord or take my Lord from me. He uses his resources wisely and in a very simply devious manner. I know his unmistakable signature. Where there is shame and fear, he has been busy.

I thank God for His irrefutable love for me, His daughter, and seek to understand more fully this way of allowing God to do just as He will in my life so that others can see Him and be amazed over Him. I want them to be drawn to Him, to see intimacy with our Creator as something attainable. I continue to pray knowing that He will show me all I am asking when I am ready. It is in the being “made ready” that I enter into His sanctuary to worship and adore the very One who made me. The process will most likely be one of pain combined with more letting go. Undoubtedly, He will ask me to shed all that does not reflect Him and rightly so. I have no reason to not trust Him with me as He has never, ever shown Himself to be the unfaithful one. 

As I move into this coming week, I feel a sense of being filled with more of who He is and what He is asking of me in this idea of “letting go“. Becoming is never an easy process. There are slips and stumbles along the way, but forgiveness and grace show us just how amazing our God really is. My earthly father used to tell me that I needed to forgive myself if I had already asked God and the offended to forgive me. I am still working on this, but know that this week brought me further along in this process of becoming.

Sadness All the Way Around

Sadness All the Way Around

it is inconceivable to me that a person would be asked to leave a position in which they are very proficient because of their stand for the things of Christ, because of wanting to uphold the words from God in His book to us. But, this is exactly the age in which we are now living and that was exactly what happened. Sadness all the way around.

Conform to the current line of outrageous thinking or be cut and removed as if you were the growing cancer. 

I had a conversation with a very godly leader recently who works in the public sector at a high profile company in our area.  He expressed his outrage over things in our city that he is subject to just as he drives to his job downtown and that is before he even gets inside the building.  He says that it is all over the place and that if anyone dare speak their own thoughts about any of it, they are probably going to get that pink-slip coming their way. Ah….the pink slip. Christian, this is now our world and we must decide daily where are hearts are and with whom we will align ourselves.

Many of us will enjoy speaking freely about our faith because we are working from our homes, own our own companies, or work in a Christian atmosphere. This is our opportunity to make our light into a conflagration for all the world around us to see. We can teach God’s word and pray openly and at will in these environments…for now. In this ever-changing societal climate, it begs the question of for how long we will freely and legally be able to do these things.

You know what I love? I love it that Jesus doesn’t give us pink slips and show us the door. 

Here is a quote from an article I recently read that I found to be very interesting:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
― Theodore Dalrymple

It is interesting that now we are all expected to  bow a knee to the god of “self-definition” even when it defies the god of “science”. Ridiculous, I know, especially since God is the Creator of all and the “god of science” is no god at all and that The Maker made us in His divine image. Male and female He made us.

The world will attempt with all its might to redefine everything in existence, but know this…our God is a mighty, all-powerful God who is the author of it all. Nothing will be able to redefine Him. That is reality.

So, when marked and marred by the world system, stand. Stand still. Still stand. He will make a way. He will protect and provide. He will make right all that is backward and upside-down and inside-out. 

It brings fall-out when you are  targeted and dropped to the ground for living a life that speaks truth, His truth. I am keenly aware that this is happening all around and that it is not a few isolated instances. Do I like it? Do I respect it? Would I like to talk loudly and correct the one who does the bidding of the Evil One? Oh, yes. Yes, I would, but I don’t need to. See, I know that My Father holds our lives in His hands and that He takes care of His people in abundant ways. He controls our lives. It is only people who think they have the power to squash you who are arrogant enough to reside in the lies they expect you to believe and speak. They truly have no idea that one day they will answer for their actions. They can wrestle with God, or not. They can think that what they claim will be upheld, but sadly, they just do not understand our God. Yes, sadness all the way around.

The Truth will prevail no matter how much man attempts to change it or distort it. 

 

Making Waves

 

LF_Wave_ThinkstockPhotos-466871480I admit it. I am a wave-maker. It seems like a really strange thing to admit, right? Those waves seem to pulsate on and on for just about forever sometimes. That’s the thing about waves, they keep right on rolling one after another and crashing into someone’s shore.

There have been those times when I wished that the water would be clear as glass and oh, so calm. 

I think that I have seen the glassy sea and the water with barely a ripple at times. It seemed as though I could see straight through to the bottom of it all. Safe water, safe traversing, safe all around me. My little boat barely moves in that calm. I do hear a call, though. I recognize the voice. Time for the wave-making to begin.

I’m safe…I promise, the voice says. No wave overwhelms me. I know how to hold you. 

So, enter the waves. I take a step and the water gives under me. Another step, and another. More waves take their shape with each motion I take. Making waves….so very uncomfortable at times. I just want the safety of my little boat on the calm waters. Is that so wrong? At times this has been my mantra. I speak the words because I fail to understand  that the waves propel me toward the shore.

I may tumble head-over-heel toward that shore, landing without much grace on the dismount, but it doesn’t matter because He is there to catch me.

I have had this becoming. He not so quietly pushes me into His waters where my feet learn to walk on the waves. I hear the constant lapping of their arrival all around me. Learning to embrace the waves takes my heart time and He gently and not so quietly makes the waves ever so slightly larger than they were previously. I rest in not my ability to walk the waves, but in His, because they are of His making. He made them for me. They are His gift to me.

Come…take my hand. I’m safe…I promise, His voice says. No wave will ever overwhelm me. I know how to hold you forever. 

I am learning to love these waves. I find joy, grief, regret, peace and goodness with every cresting wave. He brings me closer and closer to all I am meant to be with each wave. When there is movement, wave-making, there is emotion and action. My whole being finds itself being thrust toward the shore of Him. I can only express gratitude to Him for these waves. He carries me over and through the pain of the waves slapping me hard. I get to be with Him. He lovingly cares for me and takes the sting from me as I hold fast to His comforting hands. Those hands will hold me forever.

Wave-making comes with a price…but the pearl that I receive is much greater than any of the discomfort I will ever feel. 

So, yes, I am a wave-maker. I choose to step out and get wet, messy and tossed around. This becoming brings joy after the waves crash to the shore. This is where I know beyond anything else that He untangles my limbs and makes sense of my world. This is where He shows me true intimacy and fellowship with Him. How could I not step out?

 

 

HOLY BOOK (Sonnet to the Word of God)

God’s word remains forever an ever. Thank you to my friend Marie for this poem that shows us how remarkable, amazing and holy our God is.

pictured words

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A book of books; a letter to mankind
God-breathed to men of many walks of life –
And yet this faultless work is undermined.
Some say its very Author causes strife.

Translated into fourteen hundred tongues,
No other book approaches such renown
As this, which is as breath to failing lungs.
Throughout, God’s living hallowed voice resounds.

Amazing in enduring relevance
Astonishing consistency of thought
Unparalleled in unbound eminence –
Deny its holiness? No, I cannot.

Though there are those who disregard His word,
My God will not be silenced, nor unheard.

© 2013, Marie Elena Good

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