Sunday, August 22, 2010

Further Examination

I attended a Singles Christian Conference the other day entitled the Agape Event. Reknowned speaker Dr. Gary Smalley, Shaunti Feldhahn, Pastor T. C. Brantley of Restoration Springs Church and Rev. Dr. Arthur Rouner blessed the attendees with insightful and encouraging presentations.

While I welcomed the opportunity to be with other Christian singles and to be taught from God's word I can't help but wonder why the old hurts continue to come back in times of reflection as certain subjects are discussed. I have prayed and forgiven and put the past behind me in order to move forward but still, I have to it enough? I am lead to think: What have I left out, missed, neglected, is still unresolved? But then I wonder...are those hurts and those thoughts merely things the great deceiver wants me to believe or stay distracted with to keep me from doing the things God has in mind for me? for His Kingdom?

Dr. Smalley has a 4 Day Belief Challenge - that in essence teaches one to "demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" 2Cor10:5 And so I memorize and meditate on the scriptures which remind me to be humble, love the Lord, Love my neighbor and rejoice in sufferings. I replace those random negative thoughts with whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— is excellent or praiseworthy Phil 4:8 and the Spirit within me leaps for joy giving approval and rejoicing the victory over the enemy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Moving forward

First, let me say that yes, I have finally deleted the 'Sent' folder harboring my troubled emotions, wants and needs from an unhealthy relationship. I finally saw them for what they were, my troubled, repeated talking to the wind...asking for the answers that I already possessed. What closure, what a lifted weight.

I'm still sailing along on my post-cruise's kind of like the honeymoon phase I've been saying. It's interesting, usually it takes no time at all for the daily drugery and stress of work etc. to take it's toll and that relaxing feeling of vacation to rapidly fade.

I'm enjoying listening to Podcasts, audio downloads and music tracks from some of my favorite Christian ministries right now. There are the teachings of the Sheasby's, Max Lucado, Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries, Joyce Meyer and Rick Warren, and of course those who sing about my very struggles, desires and exhistance i.e. Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant and Matthew West among others. These people, these gifts from God are inspiring me to be all that I can be. I know, it sounds like a Nike commercial - but I mean it. All I can think about is what can I do? How can I use my voice, my talents and my resources for the glory of God and for the betterment of others?

I think that part of becoming who God wants me to be lies in the relationships I have with people. I am blessed with awesome friends, some long-standing, some very new...but I know that they are all in my life for very specific reasons and I am greatful to God for the gift that they are. They challenge me, encourage me, make me cry as I share their pain and their sorrow and make me laugh like a child. But it is how I treat and love those that I don't know that I am most interested in. It is stepping out from my comfort zone and availing myself to those who need a helping hand that I seek. Now I know that there is no shortage of people and situations that can use help...and so I pray that God will continue to transform me into the desciple that he has in mind, that he will break my heart for what breaks his and allow His love to flow through me and out to the direction of the need.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I am Legitimate

I shared earlier my need to be validated. The definition of ‘validating’ (which is necessary for validation) is: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of.

Verb: Justify or make lawful.
to establish as lawfully born
to justify; sanction or authorize

That brings me back to the awesome book by John Sheasby called Birthright.
Through the book and the subsequent bible studies that he presented on my Alaskan Cruise we learn that we as heirs to God’s Kingdom are loved unconditionally by our Father who sent us His son to reveal his character to us. Through the teaching of Jesus we see that God is our loving Father who simply wants to be in a loving relationship with us. For us to tug gently on his nightshirt and ask for all that we need will be freely given to us as his children.

We see in Romans 8:
15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

We are legitimate…we are sons and daughters. And…we are justified.

Galations 3: In Christ we are justified by faith

Galations 3: 26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It is sad really…to think that my Father in Heaven had to watch as I, who had been given all, beat myself up and allowed myself to be marginalized because of feelings of unworthiness and because of the pain and damage of years of not feeling validated – when in truth I am fully worthy and a legitimate heir to his Kingdom and have been all along. There is nothing that I need to measure up to…no assurance that I need to have from a person, a man, a relationship, which will validate me more than I already am!

Father, I am so sorry for being blinded by human frailty and pride and for failing to see just how worthy and legitimate I am. I accept all that you have waiting for me and am in love with the Princess that you have made, which is me - an heir to your incredible Kingdom! I walk through your creation with renewed vision and everlasting hope.