Monthly Archives: May 2013

Dang, that’s what I thought I wanted…

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DANG, (that’s a Christian cuss word by the way—sorry)  I STILL WANT IT.

I’ve mentioned it to my husband, my friends, my mother, even my sons.

But they still won’t get it for me.

I thought I might get it for mother’s day, or my birthday, or anniversary.

Dog-gonnit, still didn’t get it.

What’s wrong with these people?

I feel that I have been pretty clear.

But as I write you, I realize I am having a difficult time describing it to you, so maybe that’s why they didn’t get it.

HOW THOUGH?  How could you not get it?  It’s what I have ALWAYS wanted.

When daddy brought me M & M’s on his arrival home from work, I still wanted it.mms2

When my kindergarten teacher told me I was the best “horse galloper” in the class, I really wanted it.

When I had my heart set on  eight children and I had six boys, I wanted it.

When I visited other people, I wanted it.

When I saw others’ Godliness I wanted it.

Sleep.

Down time.

Righteousness.

Money.

Happiness.

Physical health and appearance.

Wisdom.

Laughter.

Loyalty.

Sternness.

Freedom.

Hope.

Humility.

Freedom from conflict.

Downtime.

Respect.

No matter what I saw in others I still craved it, longed for it, strived for it, fought for it.

MORE.

Just MORE.

more m & m’s; more affection; more love; more admiration; more beauty; more money; more health, hope, wisdom, strength; more children; more love; more friends; more assurance…more, more, more.

That’s what I’ve always wanted.

MORE.

It never really seemed important how much I had, I wanted it.

Sometimes it could even oppose other things I wanted.  But IT always won out.

HE made us to want it.  Augustine said that we have a vacuumed shaped heart that is not at peace until it is filled with Him.

Well, I have vacuumed a few 1000 times.  No matter how much I go over a spot, the vacuum still sucks, consuming something I could never see.  Our hearts want more because that’s how we are created.  More, more, more (as ABBA sang).

However, have you ever experienced this desire for more when you are overflowing?  The want of the very “thing” that never runs out?  It forces you to want more for others, not for yourself.  MORE.  More for my sinner friend, more for my Pastor, more for my neighbor, more for my disciple, more for the store manager, the slow poke in front of me, the child who wears me out, the husband who wants more, the disapproving child-care giver, the mother-in-law, etc.

We still all want it. But what if the MORE is holy more?  More of God…More for others…more avenues to die…more hope in Him.  Have you ever wanted more when you are overflowing?  You can’t sustain it for yourself.  It HAS  to go somewhere else.  One of the greatest ways to overcome this life-long desire is to long it for some one else.

No more m & m’s. No more praise about ponies or mommies or wives or school participants or church members or money or appearance.   But still more.  A holy more.  More of Him who abounds in love, whose hope never ends, whose eternity was way before and way beyond m & m’s, horsey praise, decorations, and a righteous facade…way beyond(fill in the blank, friend)…

The more in us was created for Him.

 

Back to court today…

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Well, I went back to court today.courtroom-thumb-450x360

It was a grueling process.

Strange too.

As I entered, the Judge and my lawyer

greeted me with a questioning look.  But,

I didn’t pay them much attention.

 

I did notice, however, that the Jury seemed to fully expect me there.

Honestly, though, they didn’t really seem all that interested in me.

I was surprised by that.    

I sat down and waited for the questioning to begin.  It almost seemed like I grilled myself the most, the prosecution was very sly in how he tried to trip me up and the jury had comments here and there.  My lawyer just stood there standing next to me while this went on.  I finally turned to Him and said, “What do you think?”  He  patiently answered, “Well, the Judge and I are wondering why you are back in here, back on the stand.  Don’t you remember that I stood up for you before?  How I advocated for you? Justice was served for all the crimes you had committed as well as for all the crimes that were to come.  Remember that I paid the fine because you couldn’t?  And the Judge declared you free?  We were wondering why you were walking back into the courtroom today, putting yourself on trial again, looking to the jury, hoping they’d think well of you.  Jill, the gavel has been dropped, gavel1-1024x1024once and for all.  Yes, you’ll have more crimes, sometimes the jury will even want to convict you, but the trial is over.  Remember?”

Just one question…Have you forgotten and put yourself back on the stand today?  Get outa there!

“…HE made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us ALL our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and HE has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Col. 2:13-14

 

 

 

                                                    

Brick walls & blessings….

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I’ve made some dumb mistakes.

I’ve often lost my way, tripped, fallen.

I’ve hit brick walls of my own making.Brick_Wall

I’ve been weak in faith.

And this morning I’m sad about it.

But I still hear His voice, small and whispering, yet rushing, running– the open-armed voice of Love.

I want to beat myself, hide, hang my head and refuse His love.

But you know Him.  He won’t let me.

This morning He led me to the passage in Luke 17 when Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God.  In my state of sick-to-my stomach self-condemanation, replaying my sins over and over, He brought me to the verse, “Remember Lot’s wife.”  Now, this is going to be taking the verse out of context a bit, but I know God is talking to me this morning…”Remember Lot’s wife, Jill.  DON’T LOOK BACK.  It will make you crumble.  Look ahead, look to Me, the Maker of heaven & earth, and I will be your strength.  Know that you are forgiven and that My kindness has led you to this blessed place of humble repentance.  Know that EVEN TODAY I can use you to bless others.”

I thought that just maybe, by sharing this, I might bless you.

I am worse than I ever thought, and more loved than I could ever imagine.  I am in awe of that this morning.

The voice within: what it says about who you are…

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some pretty bad & then some pretty good cds playing constantly in my head about who I am. They are my voices within.  Most of the time, if I just lay back & listen to them they are not Gospel-driven cds.  But, if I make a determined, active decision to choose the right cds, I find I am neither building myself up or tearing myself down, but resting in who God says I am in Jesus Christ.  What freedom!!

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voices within

True humility is thinking about myself according to how God thinks of me—-not less or more based on my performance.

Who God says I am:  It’s a wonderful list…just read one a day and chew on it!!  Wow, how powerful!!

(taken from a list written by Kenneth Boa)Bible

I am a child of God.

But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children … (John 1:12).

• I am not condemned by God.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

• I am a new creature in Christ.

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away–look, what is new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

• I have become the righteousness of God in Christ.

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

• I have been set free in Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

• I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

• I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.

For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).

• I am seated in the heavenly places with Christ.

… And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus … (Ephesians 2:6).

• I am God’s workmanship created to produce good works.

For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them (Ephesians 2:10).

• The peace of God guards my heart and mind.

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

• God supplies all my needs.

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

• My life is hidden with Christ in God.

… For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

Gift yourself….

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It took hours for me to prepare for this money-making venture.  And some considerable emotional out-put!  I scanned everything again and again…thinking through life without each item.  Painful.  However, I was pretty proud of myself when I filled my trunk with potential re-sales…consignment clothes.  It took me three trips to carry all the clothes into the shop.  My blood was pumping at the idea of how much money I might make!  After the third trip, I proudly stood before the store clerk who was completing her study of my goods.  I felt a drum-beat in my heart as she looked up to tell me how wonderful my clothes were.  Then she looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m sorry we can’t take any of this.”  My first reaction was humiliation, but then I thought, “But wait, I just wore some of this last week!!”  Thankfully, I didn’t say that out loud to heighten my humiliation!

This morning that memory made me laugh out loud.  It was a gift.consignment

Give yourself a gift today.

It’s a gift only YOU can give yourself.

Laugh at yourself!  Just laugh.