Monday, October 31, 2011

Am I a 'Victim'?

Victim mentality is something we talk about fairly often in our home.  Having taken in a number of children at older ages has 'brought the topic up' so to speak.

But God has been bringing the idea to my attention for myself over the last few years and recently, even to my husbands mind for himself.

Last Sunday, our Pastor preached on John 5:1-15.  You can check it out here if you like.  He made a statement that really resonated with me.  It was this: "If I always tell myself that I can go back to my old way of doing things then I will".  If that is how I think, then I am choosing to be victim.

Dr William Glasser says "Healthy people do not make excuses."  If I expect to fail, guess what, I am going to fail.  Almost every time that is what will happen.

This applies to sin.  If I have a sin that I struggle with and I keep saying that I just can't seem to overcome it and I make excuses for why it keeps happening then I won't overcome it.

I have to believe that there is a way out in order to find that way out.  I have to persevere and do the hard work in order to win the prize.

For me, I can see this issue most clearly in the area of weight loss.  I have very often had the idea that I may just stay the same and never get past this issue.  That is the sin of unbelief and it is a sin of not persevering.  I CAN lose weight but I have to change.

I don't want to be a victim anymore.  I want to move forward in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I want to pick up my mat and walk.  I want what Jesus has for me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

God answers prayer

Just in case you didn't know.  He does.  It's just a simple statement of fact.

We are seeing healing taking place through the prayers of our church and it is truly a testimony of God's grace.

God desires that His people pray and He desires to answer their prayers.  But how can He answer if we do not ask?

How many times do we ask God to solve a given situation as the very last resort?  How many times do we never ask because we are certain that our ways will solve the situation?  How often do we seek God for direction on how to solve a problem first?

I know I need to work on this.  But what I have been discovering lately is that when I seek God in worship and prayer He is thrilled to respond.

The answers He's been giving are piling up.  What a tremendous blessing!

Recently a situation came up where my son clearly displayed signs of demonic influence.  It was not something new to us, but we hadn't seen it in him for a very long time.  Many times in the past when this has happened we have become angry and said stupid, unhelpful things.

This time, we prayed before addressing him.  Then, while my husband addressed him directly, I went into the other room and prayed and worshiped through song.  My hubby reported that while he really wanted to respond in anger and violence (no, he's not a violent man and never has been, but when someone spews venom and lies at you, believe me, you feel like being violent) instead he calmly talked to him.

For me, I avoided saying something in anger and being hurtful and just focused on God's love and mercy and greatness.

The end result, the spiritual oppression left, my son softened to the point of coming to me on his own and apologizing.  When I immediately accepted his apology and told him I loved him, he just about dove into my arms for a very long hug.  He actually sobbed in my arms and I felt like the peace and love of God came over him.  He let go, and then hugged me again.  All in all it was about 10 minutes worth of hugging and holding.

This is NOT normal.  It was God's power working because we sought Him first.  Will you praise God with me for His tender mercies?

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Cost

I wonder if I will ever feel normal again.  Did I count the cost when I decided to follow Christ?  I'm thinking that I really didn't at the time.  I can tell you that now, I count that cost quite often.

When God whispers another direction in my ear, I listen and I wonder what it will cost me.  It's not that I resent the cost so much (that is at least true before I pay said cost).  It is that I know there will be a cost. Following Christ costs.  It just does.

And the Scripture makes no bones about it.  In Luke 14:28, Jesus asks a rather pointed question of his listeners, "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?"  He is showing that if you don't count the cost you'll be sorry later.

The cost of following Christ comes in many unexpected ways.  For example, today, a fun chic on one of my favorite websites recommended a particular blog as a wonderful source of humor.  I trotted over to check it out and couldn't laugh.  I just couldn't.

All the other blog readers reported rapturous hilarity.  And I read a bit and then closed it and went away wondering.  

Why?  Because the language was foul and my Lord has removed my ability to even find that funny.  Sometimes, if I'm honest, I mourn that fact.  Ultimately, it is a good thing, but sometimes I wish I could enjoy the world around me without the truth filter.  

I don't really want that, but I am hoping you can relate to what I am saying. Because here is the thing, I'm not normal.  I don't laugh at the same jokes, I don't get my entertainment in the same way, I don't go to the same places or do the same things as most other people do.  And that is a cost.

It's not normal to live the way our family lives.  Believe me, everyone I meet feels quite free to say so in one way or another. 

And that costs.


I have Christ, Truth, Life, Eternity, Joy, Wisdom, Freedom from Sin, and Power.  All of these I have gained as a result of the payment of one perfect man on a tree and my willingness to accept it.