Archive for September, 2010
A while back, Elizabeth posted about the True Woman movement. I read and signed the manifesto and starting thinking more about this life that is mine – a woman of God. Another friend had just finished reading Let me be a Woman by Elizabeth Elliot, and I thought what a good title to read as I consider who I really am in Christ.
This quote, in the fourth chapter struck a chord with me, and I felt compelled to share with you. Elliot is speaking about being a woman…
It is very far from being a triviality. It is our nature. It is the modality under which we live all our lives; it is what you and I are called to be – called by God.
I suppose this is nothing new. We know that we are women. We know the implications. Or do we? Do we regard being a woman as something special? Sacred? Do we acknowledge that it was no mistake that we are women, called by God to live as such? I know that I can drawn in by what the world defines as “woman” and I needed this reminder – being a woman is not trivial.
I’m not going to prescribe what our lives should look like, because even though we are all women our lives will look different. I am charging each and every one of you to look to the Word. Know what it means to be a woman, and embrace that we are called by God to this modality!
For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 1Cor 11:8
I came home from a party the other evening to find the garbage from the bedroom strewn about the house. You guessed it – Landon was at work! Yet he was nowhere to be found when we go home. There wasn’t the usual tail-wagging greeting at the door. I eventually found him cowering in his crate, ears laid back with that deer-in-the-headlight look in his eyes pleading, “please have mercy one me.” (A familiar cry of my own heart that I readily relate to…)
My dog knows what’s right and wrong for him to do, yet when our backs are turned he attempts the forbidden. Eating garbage and sleeping on the sofa. We’ve caught him on more than one occasion, and when he’s caught, right away he knows it. I’m sure his tail would be between in legs if it were long enough…
Landon knows when something is wrong, yet he is sometimes unable to help himself. And that’s just like us. There are times when we are seduced by sin, and if you’re anything like me, there have been times when you just couldn’t help yourself. When it seems like no one is watching we get sucked into that temptation, strewing the garbage on the floor behind us. We know its wrong… and when we get caught or convicted by the Holy Spirit, down go our ears, there’s fear in our eyes, and our tails…well, you the picture.
Despite all of this, consider how God deals with us. He’s reprimanded me. I’ve felt that conviction. I’ve faced the consequences, and every time God has been merciful. Some strong, stern words are needed (the Bible provides that) and the loving hand of God guides me back to right relationship. This same response is what I believe is best for dealing with my own dog. If God has been so merciful to me, I have no other option but to return that gesture to others including the little creature we have charge over.
The next time your furry little friend indulges in “sin” think about how we’re just like him in our fallen nature. Then, stop to consider reflecting God’s grace and mercy as he does unto us.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Zec 7:9
When writing blog posts I often consult my husband. I like to gauge his reaction, and I get a sense about how good (or not so good) the entry will be. When I last wrote about my dog, it was about the lesson I learned about God through trimming my dog’s nails. I consulted my husband, and his reaction was overwhelmingly positive. He even mentioned that he’d thought similarly about the dog and his potential to teach us about ourselves as children of Christ.
So, I decided to write another Lessons from my Dog.
During the school year, my husband and I both work. I admit that’s not such a great life for a dog. After my husband leaves for the day, the dog is alone for far too long. But, he has acclimated over the years and seems content with his situation. He sleeps. He sits on the back of the sofa and stands guard. He barks at anything that might attempt an invasion on our property. Small children. Squirrels. Leaves. You know how it is. He’s a good dog, and he’s just defending his home.
When we home the dog goes crazy with happiness. He is delighted to see us, and brings us his best toy (or whatever one he’s enjoying at the time). He wants to give it to us, and all he wants from us is to pet him, play with him – to love him.
Thinking about it, I am convinced this is God’s reaction when one of His children returns home to Him. I imagine when a lost sheep returns to the flock, the LORD is overjoyed and he brings His best to us (just as the father did for the prodigal son in Luke 15:20-22). He runs to us, loves us, and holds us tight. I can only imagine that all He wants in return is love.
AND! If my dog shows so much joy now, imagine what it will be like when we all come home to Him. I can hardly comprehend it, but I know it will be exceptional when we meet Him in the air!
I am constantly amazed at how God reveals these truths to us in the simplicities of every day life! Stay tuned for the next Lessons from my Dog where I examine how Landon has taught me about SIN.
Originally posted at MissWisabus.com…
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 15:5-6
A few days ago, the ladies at (in)courage offered up a pack of cards to the first few takers as long as the recipients promised to send out the cards to encourage others. I jumped at the chance and thought of the women I know who could use a little encouragement right now.
One fighting cancer.
One with a somewhat difficult and longed-for pregnancy.
One with a hectic beginning at a new job.
One experiencing a family tragedy.
One who has received a bad report from the doctor.
Some have gone out already, others are waiting to be mailed. What I hope is that these beautiful cards will bless those who receive them, if just for a moment, and let them know that someone is thinking of them. Praying for them. Hoping along with them for a good outcome, even when the chances don’t look good.
I learned not long ago from a cousin that her grandmother (my Paw Paw’s half-brother’s wife) used to have a card ministry. I’ve heard of those, but never known much about them. Being a part of the National Day of Encouragement and sending out these cards has made me consider the possibility of doing this on a regular basis. It was a blessing to me to share my heart and pray for these women. I know how I feel when I receive a card in the mail — like someone cares enough to have taken the time to write me a little note. So few do that anymore. What a blessing it must be to be on the receiving end of a card ministry. Have any of you ever been a part of one or known someone who was?
Today is the National Day of Encouragement. Take a little time to contact someone and let them know that you care and that they are valuable.
How may we pray for you today?
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)
Share your needs here and pray for the person who comments before you.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many things in life reflect God and His great love for us. He uses just about anything He can to get our attention. Just yesterday, I encountered another example. Crazy as it may be, it is a perfect illustration of how God deals with us and how we often fight it…
Trimming my dog’s nails is neither fun nor easy. In fact, it’s a pain AND painful when you consider how he scratches me. But, I know I have to take care of it or else he’s going to be very uncomfortable. I usually have to chase Landon down and grab hold of him (I promise I’m not hurting him!). Then, as he kicks and squirms and sometimes screams, I try to keep him still while positioning the clippers. I speak softly to him trying to make him relax, but usually he hears none of it. As I start the work, Landon usually attempts to nip the clipper itself if he can manage to get close enough. When finished, Landon is released and he jaunts around the room a bit before coming back to eat his nail clippings (I haven’t figured out how this really works into the bigger illustration – it’s kind of disgusting and I don’t really encourage it). And despite all his fussing, my little dog is relieved, walks easier, and generally returns to me for some good-old-fashioned dog petting.
Maybe you see the metaphor; I as his owner reflect God and how he has charge over us. He desires to protect us and keep us spiritually healthy. And I suppose that makes me the dog, a dependent creature full of self-will who doesn’t always recognize the good God tries to work in our lives. After He’s pursued us and grabbed hold of us, we fight him tooth and nail. The Lord works at clipping away unfruitful elements in our lives, yet it is only afterward that we can fully (and sometimes not even that) recognize how He’s helped us. When we do recognize the freedom and peace He has granted us through His workings, we rejoice, coming back to the Lord as he lavishes us with strokes of grace and mercy.
This illustration isn’t perfect, but my point is that God is teaching us so much about Himself and His love in the simple everyday experiences we have. It would serve us well to pay attention and reflect on everyday the everyday moments of life.
How may we pray for you today?
How was your week? Tiresome? Lonely? Depressing?
We’ve all got our burdens.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. – 1 Peter 5:7-9
Share your needs here and pray for the person who comments before you.
Driving tells us a lot about people. Whether cautious or reckless, aggressive or passive, accommodating or selfish. We can often get an idea of wealth or lack there of. Your age is often evident too! We can tell if you’re political, religious, classy or uncouth. We can see if you’re focused, distracted, vain, or attentive. Our cars are often reflections of ourselves, and the way we drive reveals to others what you value.
If I see you speeding in and out of traffic, failing to use turn signals, and running red lights or stop signs, I have a good feeling that you don’t place a high value on life – not with the way you put some many including yourself at risk. In the very least, you’re selfish and think you’re more important than the people around you.
If I see you abiding the speed limit and following traffic law, I tend to think you have a respect for authority and care whether or not someone gets hurt.
Unfortunately, the latter of the two seems to be vastly outnumbered. There are few days when I am not muttering about the state of driving in this country. It seems as though driving brings out the worst in people. A false sense of protection comes from the bubble of our cars – where we can play the music loud and ignore the rest of the world and do what we want. And people do it. Every day. Every. Single. Day.
I suppose I tend to get a little emotional – and so you better believe that this topic gets me riled up. I get agitated, I get a bit bitter. If I’m with someone else, I inevitably question, “WHY DID THAT GUY DO THAT?” or “WHAT IS HE THINKING?” I admit to calling people idiots – though afterward I recall a sermon our pastor preached about doing exactly the opposite and retract my statement, offering up a prayer for that person instead.
Especially bothersome to me, are the little fish that go flying by on the back of that car that just cut me off. There is a declaration of faith in Jesus (or so we assume), and here he is putting life in danger. Once that fish is there on your car, it’s a witness, and you disgrace the name of Jesus if your actions are do not resemble Jesus. (You better believe there is a reason Jesus WALKED almost everywhere in the time of his ministry – maybe we should be walking more!)
I have one of those fish. It’s in a drawer upstairs. I bought it years ago when I first became a Christian, yet I remain hesitant to this day to put it on my car. WHY? Though I claim to be a generally good driver, obeying the rules, I am afraid to put the name of Jesus out there and damage someone’s opinion of Christians and therefore Christ. It sounds silly I suppose, but driving around I don’t get the opportunity to speak with someone and share what Jesus has done in my life. What if I get caught up in that little bubble of my car and speed up to prevent someone from cutting me off…what if I just make a mistake when driving? What if I give the wrong impression of my Lord because of my actions with no way of explaining myself. I make critical judgments of other people by their driving, so I assume others are doing the same to me.
I wonder if I should put that fish on my car, and let it serve as a reminder of who I serve, and how I represent him. I suppose it’s something to think about at least.
That’s how I’m supposed to live my life, isn’t it?
Boldly representing my Lord in everything I do…
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1Ti 4:12