Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wormwood, or one of his pals

C.S. Lewis authored "The Screwtape Letters".

It is written in a satirical, epistolary style and while it is fictional in format, the plot and characters are used to address Christian theological issues, primarily those to do with temptation and resistance to it. First published in February 1942,[1] the story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle's mentorship pertains to the nephew's responsibility in securing the damnation of a British man known only as "the Patient". (from Wikipedia)

I love this book. I know that Satan is not omnipresent, so there are demons dispatched to do his dirty work. And they are good. I have been feeling under attack recently. You know how it is, you step out to do something new for God. It may not even be big by most people's standards, but it stretches you. And because it stretches you, it brings you closer to Christ and Satan doesn't like that, so enter your own personal demon.

It's an election year, for crying out loud, how can I be important enough to be under attack? Yet, I feel that I am. And my very own "Wormwood" knows the things to whisper in my ear. He knows how to get in my head. He knows what I struggle with. He knows my fears and insecurities and he really works them.

Since I know this, you would think it would remove his power over me. And most of the time, I am pretty strong. Except for when I'm not.

I hold onto my Scriptures that tell me I'm strong, Colossians 1:11 "God will strengthen you with his own great power so you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient"; and a lifetime favorite, Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (on the back of my work out shirt it references this Scripture and says "tell me I can't".

As "Wormwood" continues to whisper that I'm not good enough to serve God in any area, because I'm a loser. Seriously, he uses that word for me. Whispers I'm too old and not sexy enough for my husband. Tells me I'm weak and not smart enough or talented enough or funny enough, or wise enough, and that I talk too much and I talk before thinking. And this is not something I live with, just brief moments here and there where he sneaks it in. I choose not to listen, not to believe.

I am a child of God. Beautiful, precious, worthy. And that is enough for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

24 years ago

I've been missing writing. What better day to get back to it than a day that is special to me?

My man child turns 24 today. I love him. I miss him. He moved to Lawrence, Kansas earlier this year.

He is not the man I raised, not on the path I chose for him. He is better. He is his own man, and he is a good man, and in his words, "I like myself, Mom. You should be proud of that."

And I am proud of him.

Seeing him as a self sufficient, productive, happy adult makes me feel like I've accomplished something worth celebrating. So tomorrow, (Friday) we are going to Lawrence to celebrate him, his birthday with him and his girlfriend. I may have went overboard, it looks a little like Christmas, the amount of presents. (They are wrapped in the family tradition of Calvin & Hobbs cartoons.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Give no opportunity to the devil

This is from the passage Ephesians 4:27

How many times do I give him opportunity? How many times do I open the door wide and say "come on in?"

More than I want, but less than I used to.

When I think about it in the above context, giving him opportunity, I'm ashamed. He has no power over me, I'm a child of God. I'm forgiven, redeemed and beautiful in God's eyes. However, I am a work in progress. Because of this I need to make sure that I am not giving him opportunity.

Depression, dissatisfaction, gossip, slander, apathy, gluttony, greed, all are giving opportunity to the devil. Opening a door and letting him in.

Say only that which is good for building up. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be PUT AWAY, with all malice (even if they deserve it, lol).



As God in Christ Jesus forgave you.

Shut the door, keep out the devil, as the old spiritual says.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Death Grip

I Peter 5:7 "Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

Last week Steve and I went to Cancun to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary (a month late).

In this one week in Cancun, I faced several of my fears.
Leaving the country
fear I won't get back in (have you seen Locked Up Abroad?)
different foods as I have an iffy stomach a lot of the time
exchange rates
no diet coke (really happened, Mexico has Coca Cola Light, not the same thing)
Zip lining
ATV's through the jungle
Waverunners on the ocean
holding a parrot (I didn't know I was afraid of parrots, but yep, birds, check)

Wednesday evening eating dinner I had a revelation. I was scared of everything. EVERYTHING!

I had a death grip on the handle bars of the ATV. The harness of the superman zip line. The harness of the bungee swing. The body in front of me on the waverunner. The seat rail of the parasail. I had fun, but I couldn't let go.

It spoke to me. I want to control everything. I want to see the future. I want both feet on the ground. So I released even more. This may sound small, but I let Steve take a picture of me in my swimsuit in the ocean (yes, I went in) and then I let him put it on facebook. The areas I need to let go of are more important than a zip line or picture in a swimsuit.

I need to surrender some old hurt relationships to Christ, and let go of the hurt.
I need to surrender ALL of my finances to Christ. Not just the first 10% and then additional giving here and there (when I have it), but all. I'll tell a story on myself I'm not proud of. I got a bonus here a while back. Steve got a bonus from the gym. My 10% was almost triple what a normal week would've been. I struggled writing that big check. Steve was running the camera, so I couldn't have him make me do it, because he would've with no trouble. I had to do it. I wrote the big check, then I wrote a smaller regular check. Then I felt so guilty and untrusting and wretched that I got the big check out and asked forgiveness as I dropped it in the offering.
I need to surrender the fear of losing my dad. In the last two months he has had surgery for colon cancer and quintuple bypass. He survived, and we know it's only because God wasn't ready to take him yet.
I need to surrender the fear of my kids not living for God like I want them to.

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fight for it

Did you ever want something you had to fight for? Maybe not a physical boxing match, but that you really had to work to get?

Against opposition, against the flow, against popular opinion, against what was easy, against what was less painful?

And when you earn it, it's so sweet.

I have found myself there in the past, and was reminded of that this week.

It's worth fighting for what you believe in. For what you want. For what is good for you.

My marriage. My family. My belief in Jesus.

It doesn't have to be on a big stage, it can be a private, personal fight. It can be small, just a few friends know. But compromise? Give up? Not an option.

I'm going to go down fighting.

Here's to going after dreams, fighting for what you believe in, and living life, going hard after Jesus.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Because he loves me

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Because he loves me.

I'm talking about Jesus. I love him, more and more the older I get, the more I try to know him, the more I find I love him. The more I want to do for him. I'm not qualified or capable to do big things. I don't have a big platform. I'm happy in my anonymity, doing the things I can for those around me. It's surprising when you open your eyes and your heart what you can find to do for others.

I was talking to Steve on the way home from church this morning and I said that I was surprised by myself because I never thought I would be astute enough to recognize when a child needed a hug versus a child that wanted a hug because I hugged another child. That one child needed me to say hi and acknowledge I see him is the same for him as the one that needed three hugs. (I love my Awana Sparkies, I sure get a lot of hugs these days).

A hug doesn't cost me anything. A smile, a high five, a hello. All are free and limitless.

Encouragement is free, and I happen to be friends with someone who gets that, and does it so well. Not just for me, I watch her encourage others and it really is a gift she has. I am working on being more encouraging to others.

So many things/actions/gifts I have to give. And because he loves me, I want to share his love.