Law of Subtraction.

(Mom went to be with the LORD before I made it home again Nov 18th, 2010. Her last words to me were that she loved me over and over. I miss her dearly, her legacy to me was to love and be good to people. She was even  searching the Scriptures the last week of her life to LOVE the LORD with all her heart and do what she could for Him)

God help all  of us who sit on spiritual backsides complaining life is hard. I reposted this  article which was written waiting to catch my plane back to Dallas Tx, March 21, 2009, to remind me not to waste my life on what might have been. GOD is my life and I am thankful for each beautiful day in my life experiencing HIM.

Subtracting the distractions and excuses from out of your life that subtract from you, in other words asking yourself a real question; what radical change do I need to make in my life that will position me where I need to be in Christ with those I love?

I was in a hurry to get to the airport to make my flight so I could hurry up and see my Mom before she passes away. There was a traffic jam because two other drivers in an obvious hurry slammed into each other. I made my flight and the stress of the traffic jam was totally unnecessary. As a matter of fact the entire rush of the weekend was totally unnecessary. We are so connected in this world but have no real connections. We have created a surface culture that stretches us from one extreme to another never offering substance, quality, and real relationships. You may stop here and think that this article is offering little substance. Well hang on a few more sentences and see if you identify.
I was looking at my Mom in the hospital bed. Here was a woman who was once your typical five foot two eyes of blue. My mom was a beautiful woman and my dad was handsome and stunning. Seeing her now at age seventy two was very hard. I knew other women at her age that were in much better shape. She was struggling to breathe without a machine to aid her breathing. She was trying to hang on to life as best she could but the hope of life as she had known it was gone. There would be no more days of walking unaided, without an oxygen tank, or without giving out more energy than she had to give. There would be no more steak dinners, movies, or simple sitting outside in the sun.

Life had been subtracting from her days each and every time she took a labored breath the deficit became more alarmingly clear. Her arms were all bruised black and blue from veins blowing. A simple finger stick left her bleeding for over an hour. Her face was worn, tired, and merely stretching over her slight skeletal frame. It was hard to see. What I want to write about is my glimpse of the future. Growing old isn’t always kind to us. We get to the end of our days and pay in our bodies and minds for the days gone by. I hope and pray I learned from this preview that there are things that matter, chiefly among them living well.  Serving the LORD with your life!

The Law of Subtraction is merely that we need to subtract things that subtract from us as much as possible in our lives. Things that interfere with our walk and purpose in life, Christ life. We live at a staggering pace and once in a while we get a glimpse of reality. When a loved one is on their death bed we can learn from them what matters in this life. I can tell you it isn’t bank accounts, living status, or job recognition. No one on their death bed wants to get up and go trade more stocks, or be promoted one more time, or have just that one bigger house.

People near death talk about life surprisingly. They talk about those they love, good memories of times that might have been hard but are good. They regret the subtractions in life but do not talk about those.

I want to talk about them. I don’t want to sweep them under the rug. Let’s get them out and be real and honest with them. We are way beyond hypocritical here because we all know we “pretend” all is well when really all is not well and we are not well. We continually monitor all areas of our life and determine what is necessary and what is ok to let slide. Letting our spiritual wholeness slide has severe consequences. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be sitting in an airport on standby 30 hours to go back to a place I do not feel welcome to work in a city 1000 miles from my family and friends.

How do we slide spiritually? For me it was first and foremost all my fault. There is no one to blame but me. Let me say that clearly. I know people do the best they can but we use the “best we can” excuse for stupid reasons sometimes.
“ Well, I was just doing the best I could and I don’t know what more I can do, if you wanted perfection you should know I am not perfect.” Ugh, horrible excuse.  Really, we are doing the best we can? I firmly believe GOD loves us unconditionally, and that as His sheep he will see to it that this little lamb finds her way. God put a plan in place the trumps my best on any day. My best is like filthy rags.
Yet to just say, “I am doing the best I can,” when really I should be saying I am doing nothing is how we slide. Doing nothing is stupid, because doing nothing is exactly what it sounds like. DOING NOTHING.

People say things like, my heart is broken and I am waiting on God to heal me one day so I can feel again. I am just destroyed right now so I know God understands why I just can’t deal with this. I have said those words!!!! I really meant them when I said them but I was so very wrong to think that way. I didn’t understand a lot that I know now though. Really can you imagine God is sitting in heaven healing you while you do nothing? Of course He can, but that would be really irresponsible on His part because that is not what His heart is for healing. The whole point of healing is to restore. If we are to just sit and do nothing, why did God go to all the trouble to spell out clearly in His Word that He wants to have an active even interactive relationship with us on an intimate level? If God waved a magic wand to each problem and made it all better what would we do? I will tell you what we would do. We would put expectations on God that would eventually lead to our disposing of the need for a relationship with him and change it to an addiction to Him based on our fleshly desires. Every time the fire gets a little hot we will just ask for our magic wand fix and suspend the suffering. We would never really get to know God because we would have our magic wand to provide for all our needs. Oh a few of us would be grateful but most would get the problem solved and move on to the next thing. Thank GOD for suffering and refining.

I am so glad God says in His Word to cry out to Him and to seek Him. What in your life is keeping you from Him and needs to be subtracted. We face this life from the vantage of victory not defeat. GOD has spoken on this clearly.

Psalm 34:19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
Proverbs 2:7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless
Psalm 5:12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 42:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Isaiah 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 4:5-6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Phillipians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

I want to thank you LORD for being patient with me….

I was listening to this song Make My Life a Prayer to You today. God’s love is truly amazing. All that he has done to secure our salvation and to also provide a way to know him intimately is truly the most well orchestrated plan to save man that could ever be created.  I read his living and loving WORD and find in it all that I truly need to know in this life.  Yet he is gracious to know my heart and know that the loneliness that comes and goes through me sometimes exists because he created me to love and be loved.

 

He knew this when he came down in the garden and saw that Adam was alone and it was not a good thing. I am so thankful that God doesn’t come at me with catch phrases about contentment when I talk to him about this. Instead his Word says he knew me and formed me and that as a Father he gives good gifts to his children. He says that he began a good work in me and will complete it. He comforts me with the “knowing” that he has all of it covered.

 

I want to praise him and thank him before you for being the very most high God who says he is touched by what touches me. What an intimate amazing relationship to have that touches my heart in deep places I can’t find words for. My eyes find tears for those words though. I can hardly see to type this. I can’t wait to see him face to face. I am overwhelmed by the most amazing filling love that blows my comprehension right off the charts.

 

I think that is what is so captivating about God. Only God could love a little sinner girl like me who just came from the most simple unassuming means. I feel like a miracle to have been born into this world and in my childhood circumstance to have been saved let alone loved by my Father in heaven. That’s what is so precious about God, that he could love me. I am amazed by that fact.

 

If I died tomorrow I would die knowing I am his and he is mine. If you don’t know this please contact me I will tell you how God can save you like he did me. 

Healthy Things Grow

Reposted from 2008

I have been learning and growning in the Lord. It’s amazing how my past has come full circle. I would love to say that I have been on a perfect journey that has always walked toward the Lord but that would be a lie. I lived 13 years of my life in legalism that I thought would save my marriage and keep my family from harm. When I divorced, which was to me a death sentence I found myself lost in the law of God. I didn’t know how to move forward and sumarily heal when I was expected to just get over it by those who keep check list and score with the law of God. Being alone for the first time in my life set things in motion that I had never experienced. First being my determination refrain from bitterness. I remember a conscious thought that if I became bitter I would sink into a mire I could not escape. I would not grow past the pain. It was some of the hardest days I experienced and all that I could do daily to resist the oppression of my situation. Even today with my ex neglecting the needs of his children financially and with my shouldering all of the burden of helping them get on the road to adulthood, I have moments I am angry more than I like to admit. Second I remember being overwhelmed. I didn’t understand the concept that I wasn’t protected from pain because I had served God. The third I think I was the hardest and that was the reality of it all.

What a long road I traveled. I had to learn of the sufficiency of Christ and who I was in Him. I had to understand a new Grace that I hadn’t been taught before because the grace I was taught was unmerited favor with God but it was buried beneath so many laws that you felt a thimble of it once in a while. It wasn’t what God intended for me to know.

I remember feeling free for the first time in the Lord to know the liberty of Christ. I remember the first time I reckoned myself to be found wanting in knowledge of God but also holiness of my own character. I know that well of life springing up in me is still being filled but I never before understood the grace of God in light of my life in Christ.

Divorce was not in my life plan, but when it happened God didn’t say “oh no now what will we do?” It has take me almost five years to be in this place of uncertainty but decidedly committed to press on. Discontent? Well my life isn’t settled and rosey yet. It might well never be. I would never promise anyone that life in Christ is picturesque.

There are decisions to make about my future that I have to settle daily. There are lessons to be learned to continue to grow in the Lord. The hurdle of loneliness is still a constant friend and sometimes ardent enemy. This one thing I know, God’s Word is forever settled in heaven and I will follow its precepts and grow to know Him more each day. That is something I can say that I aspire to and that I also know is as necessary as air.

There has been some progress and I would love to report that five years later God has restored my life to new heights but that just isn’t so. Not because God can’t do it but because the integral part of the equation, ME, has not always been a willing participant in obedience as I should. Yes, I have slowed down some processes that should be in place. I am sure I should be more healed and more mature, yet this is the precious beauty of God. Right where I am in life right now I can grow toward that restoration.

I don’t want to lie or paint pretty pictures, I want to be real and to say what is real. The real truth is Healthy Things GROW. If you are not moving forward or are not growing, there is a stronghold exalted above the knowledge of God in your life. For me it was my own pain. I hope you are honest with yourself. It was painful but so freeing for me to admit not only that I had a problem but that I was the problem.

I am excited about the future because of the solid basis I have to stand firm in the Lord’s grace and mercy and allow myself to be molded by the potter.

God bless and be a light.

Bitter? Me? *Shock Face*

I am here! I can’t believe it. I have let a root of bitterness settle in my life. I went to church today hoping to sing and lift my heart a little. It is Mother’s Day and the second one without my children. It’s been over 6 years since my family was intact as a whole traditional family. Four of those years we were surviving under the grace of God doing the best we all could to heal. Two little precious children were rocked when the “angel of divorce” ( added for dramatic emphasis) came knocking at our door. Not trying to be insensitive to divorce because it has been one of the most life changing factors in my recent life. Just able to be down the road knowing it will change your life but not end it. Pre-divorce I had a Mayberry existence and could have never entertained the idea of being single today. My bitterness came as a surprise to me. I had my own idea of who I was and how much strength I had. Never would I have admitted as a Christian that I was bitter. The connotation was one of a person who was very angry at life who didn’t have a voice in their circumstances and who now must put together what others tore apart with some of the pieces missing. Yikes! That is who I have become. My story will sound boring but you never know who is reading so I will give a brief synopsis. My Dad was distant I married a copy of him who was distant most of the marriage but I didn’t know any better because it was my normal. When he stated he was having and affair I divorced him. I haven’t had a successful relationship and don’t know if that is possible for me. That is a side issue. What I have discovered is that I am bitter from being rejected and held distant. I thought I was angry but my anger somewhere on the road turned to bitterness. I find myself angry at every person and everything. I think things I generally had a high threshold of patience for are now so annoying. My stomach is in knots and my spiritual life is AAAACCCCCKKKK!! I thought if so and so would just do this or that all would be right in my world. BUZZZZZZZZZZ nope that is not going to fix this. The root of bitterness has to go. It has to be excised. All the things that cause it have to go out the window. I had no clue it was there but now that I do, it would be pride and rebellion on my part to leave it alone to fester and infest all who are around me with my “wonderfulness” (sarcasm) I am not wonderful when I am in this shape. Never been here before but I know what wonderful is and it “aint” me. I am hard to deal with, restless, angry, short tempered, sick, hurt, frustrated. An ant crossing the 4 lane highway gets my attention just because my senses are on “full alert” Lord help anyone who gets a blast of me. It’s like meeting a flame thrower. Why would I post this? Because I want to be back to my cute and funny loving self. I don’t want to be so occupied with my pain that I forget to live the good times now. Here’s what happened at church today. I have asked God to help me forgive where needed, press the delete button on things that need to go, and to help restore what I have lost in this season of hurt and frustration. I have asked him to help me not strive, complain, and argue my way through this time of growth and healing but to put him first. I want to praise through this no matter how deep the valley or dark the storm. I am laying down my weapons and giving up my own strength to allow God to fight this battle. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)

How does a Christian have a bad day?

There are some days that are just not what you want them to be. As a matter of fact to be honest, some days are plain rotten. Today was one of those days. I woke up with a fever and was trying to figure where it came from, a bad tooth, earache, bronchitis? All of them could have been a viable possibility. To top it off my tendonitis had flaired up and was giving me a hard time. I wrestled with going to the doctor and missing work or just sticking it out. These are the choices you have to make when your livelihood is totally dependent on you working. My job has been tenuous, being in a new city, learning the ropes of something I have a hard time grasping.

Seventeen years of teaching in a Christian school setting didn’t prepare me for the secular business world. I am ill equipped but catching up. I decided at lunch to possibly go home. That’s when a kinda eh day started to sink. I found out I needed to stay at work and so I decided to get some things done and kept at it. My fever broke at about 3:30 and I figured I had avoided a visit to the doctor which meant less money I had to pay out. That didn’t disappoint me but I still had to finish my day.

I have never been able to be heard in a particular situation and it presented again today. Somehow I have an ability to articulate the things I want to say but still be dismissed. I try to figure out if it’s a lack of respect or if I am portraying a run over me essence. Either way it made the end of my day emtionally draining. I seem to try to explain my position but without fail wind up being told I am manipulative or wrong. Sometimes I am wrong, I don’t have too much pride to admit that but manipulative is so far removed from my head. It actually hurts me to be accused of being manipulative because that would indicate that I want to cause harm and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I don’t want to do that. Maybe my definition of that word is the problem. To me, manipulative is when you trick or cajole someone either honestly or dishonestly into doing something for your own advantage or gain without considering how it affects them. I was manipulated by guilt placed on me all my life and it took a lot of work to heal from that. So it would be far from my mind to do that to anyone. I guess I am venting my frustration but it seems so aggravating to me to say something and be dismissed or judged for it or to not say something and be scolded for silence. How do you accomplish anything when both streets are dead ends.

I know something new clicked with me today. The first thought I had, and I know this is the first time I have ever thought this, that I am a victim. But the further thought was almost an ephiphany moment. I don’t have to be. Before when I became a victim I thought I was being tolerant or meek and I stayed in the role and just took it as it came.

Today, I looked around me and said, I did nothing wrong. Yes, I was emotional after I saw I didn’t matter, but I expressed myself, was told I was wrong and manipulative and I know I was just expressing a need the same as a person would say I am thirsty. I came to the conclusion. If you are a victim it’s because you allow it.

People on a day in and day out basis without words do treat you the way they want to. I used to think love would win the day but now I know it doesn’t. Some people don’t care if you love them or care about your contribution to their life. They make that clear when the me’s and I’s come out.

There is a limit. I have reached mine. From this day forward, rotten days are behind me if they are the product of someone else’s issues. 🙂 Time to sing of the great faithfulness of GOD who knows me 🙂 and my widdle heart.

I know God loves me and I will be sure to remember what is true, lovely, and of a good report.

God bless Thanks for hearing.