Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming in to the Good life...

I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." John 16:33

Do you have trials?

Are you distressed?

Are you frustrated?

The Bible says to "Be of Good Cheer" I don't FEEL cheerful. Yet the Lord says that I can be of good cheer when I encounter trials and tribulations. It doesn't mean that I did anything wrong. That's the first thing that I think about when I'm encountering a few difficulties. The first thing I do is fall on my knees and ask God to reveal to me whatever I might have done to deserve the tribulation... Then I wait to see what He reveals to me....

But what if there's nothing to reveal?

What if I have earnestly searched my heart and asked God to reveal whatever it is that might have set up this tribulation that I have assumed has come because of some "Reaping what I've Sown" mindset... and nothing... I am right with the Lord... I have asked forgiveness for anything that might have grieved his spirit... And I still find myself in the season of tribulation...

I received healing from this word today in my Joyce Meyer daily devotional... If trials come against you, don't try to figure out whether you sowed some bad seed that produced them. Trials will come, but if you will obey the Word of God long enough (not just five minutes of trial and error), sooner or later, you will come into the good life that God has prearranged for you to live.

WOW! Do you know that God has a plan for you? He has a purpose for you? He set the wheels in motion for that purpose to be fulfilled long before you ever "DID" anything. We just have to play out that plan... All the bumps and potholes along the way are part of the plan... He is teaching us patience through the trials... He is building up in us character traits that only come through trials, temptations, and sorrows... We wouldn't know the joy of success if we hadn't felt the pain of failure, would we?

We wouldn't know the sweetness of restoration without the sorrow of separation?

We couldn't possibly understand the meaning of hope without having first received something so wonderful as a result of waiting before... If we never had to wait on anything, then what could ever be called "special", "God-given" "blessed"... All these things come from having waited on something.

Everything, God works to the good for those who "Trust in Him"... Give God the Glory for your trials... "Be of Good Cheer" because we KNOW that "Joy comes in the morning." That it's always calm after the storm...

Just trust him a little more today in the middle of the unknown... He is always faithful...

Waiting on Him,
Lea Anne

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Play offense with your Life...

I'm reading through the Chase the Lion book study and I've found some interesting material in just the first few pages that I want to reflect on. When I think of the word Offense, I immediately relate it to football where the offense is the scoring side and the defense is the protecting side. I want to state that this note is not about football, but that's the best way I can relate to offense... So with that being said, how do you live your life?

Is it in offense?

Or is it in defense?

What's the deciding factor between the two?

Here is what I read today... Satan wants us to live in a defensive posture, and he uses two primary tactics to accomplish it... Fear and Discouragement. Are these two areas that you struggle with on a daily basis? Are you afraid of life? Decisions? People? The past? Or do you battle with discouragement? Do you feel depressed, oppressed, or repressed? Are you free to be who you really are or are you afraid to show the real you?

These are real life tactics used by the enemy to KEEP us from taking risks, doing the uncertain thing, or stepping out in faith. We think because we're playing it SAFE that we're doing the right thing. When in all honesty doing nothing wrong doesn't constitute doing something right... Does that make sense? I had to read it a few times. Doing nothing wrong doesn't constitute doing something right...

We could live our whole lives and not do anything wrong... We could be the perfect "Stepford Wife". or the Perfect employee, or the perfect mom, or the perfect daughter/son... but did we do anything on purpose to advance our faith... Did we trust without knowing the outcome? Did we try something where there was a huge possibility that we would fail, but a bigger promise of promotion? What have you done with your life to live offensively...

Did you "Chase a Lion" and kill it?

WOW! Makes me want to go to a zoo and actually look a lion in the eye and see the danger but rejoice in the power that it exudes... There's power in the chase and the kill... take hold of that and do something a little risky today!

A lot of people have asked me why I'm selling my house? They say, You mean the one you just built? And I feel as though I have to defend my decision, but this verse that goes with this study was perfect affirmation about the decision that I've made to sell my house... here it is..

And Jesus replied, "I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And EVERYONE who has GIVEN UP HOUSES, or brothers, or sisters or father or mother or children or PROPERTY, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life" (Matthew 19:28-30)

Isn't that great!?! The mindset here is not a "savings" mentality... It is a risky mindset...I'm giving up to get!! We can't just keep holding on to things we don't want to lose... nothing is really ours anyway and when we trust that God is always leading us to a better life, then we can start living offensively...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Don't just Live with it... Deal with it...

I don't know how to title what I feel compelled to write about. I've searched for the topic in scripture and I haven't found exactly what I feel expressed through any passages yet. I know there is an answer in scripture and as I type, I'm praying that the Lord will lay on my heart what it is exactly that I am feeling.

What I think I'm feeling is hypocritical...

What I think I'm feeling is inconsiderate...

What I think I'm feeling is unable to relate...

It seems like I always have an answer... Like I always have the solution to the problem... Like I know what I'm talking about when I'm sought out by a friend and offer my advice...

My first thought is... "this is over-comeable... all you have to do is blank ..."I seem to have an easy answer for life's problems when they relate to other people.

But the truth is, I feel as though I'm on an island, untouched by reality... Like I live in a bubble that is isolated from all the hurt and pain that the real world feels and lives with everyday. I feel as though I can't possibly be this secure or safe, or unworried, or happy, or fiesty, or content, or excited, or loved, or fulfilled, or whatever I seem to be feeling at the moment, when another person seems to be falling apart. It just seems too good to be true... Life can't be this easy, right?

Don't misunderstand me...I have my fair share of problematic situations... I had to deal with one today... It was an advertiser that had a complaint about a charge for something back in July... He's just now telling me about it and he didn't even start with me, he went to my boss... Well, I just dealt with it... It may not have been the solution he was looking for, I may have to be taken off the account, I may have come across as a little aggressive, but I dealt with it. And I feel better and okay because I dealt with it. I don't have to wonder what I should do, what I could do, or what someone else would do... I did it... Now that problematic situation isn't over, but I don't have to dwell on it and it doesn't consume my thoughts anymore.

This brings me to the point of explaining why I feel a little insensitive to other people and their problems...A lot of times I find most people would rather live with a problem than deal with it. Dealing with things means confronting another person, or admitting guilt about something, or having to apologize to someone... Dealing with a problem means that it might be a little uncomfortable for a moment, but the truth is, NOT dealing with it causes so much more anxiety than when you do deal with it... NOT dealing with something, be it an attitude problem or a relational problem, a behavioral problem or a developmental problem will not make the problem go away... It won't go away if it isn't dealt with... It will grow bigger and bigger and finally overtake your life until that problem is controlling all your thoughts and actions... or rather "inactions" as the case may be.

Regardless of what we do or don't do about something, do you trust God with the outcome? Have you ever said "If this happens, then I'll __________." What if that something happens when you start to deal with your problem? Can you answer the question? What would you do? What do you WANT to do? If you can answer that question, then the problem is not really a problem anymore, you just have to take action and deal with it.

Is something taking over your thought life right now?

Are you NOT dealing with something that needs to be dealt with, hoping it will just go away?

Have you forgiven yourself for something that happened so long ago but you're still living with it?

Have you asked God what you should do?

Don't just live with it, Deal with it... today.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do you need a "Time Out"...

I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. (Proverbs 30:1)

I’m tired.

I’m always trying to figure things out. Always trying to improve, to do better. You’d think you’d have something to show for all that always trying.

To put it in simple terms... I wonder if it's all worth it.

Don't get me wrong... I will keep on keeping on... Trusting the Lord and doing good... Going to work... Doing my best... taking care of kids... picking up dropping off... Church... Church... Church... (My "third" place in life)

But I wonder... will it make a difference... does it matter in the long run... Will anyone be affected by the fact that I keep on keeping on?

That's what it's all about isn't it... It's certainly NOT about ME! So if it's not about me, then who is it about? What is it all for?

It has to be about others. Do they see Jesus in me? Do I make them WANT to be a better person? Do I criticize, complain, devalue, or condemn other people? Do I encourage, build up, inspire or acclaim the value of others?

I'm doing one or the other... I get to choose how I treat people. I get to choose what attitude I want to exhibit. I get to choose to make a difference...

And I'm tired...

But I must press on...

I love you!
Lea Anne