Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Left or The Right

This morning I was reading Joshua 23, Joshua was speaking to the people of Israel. He warned them about becoming one with the other nations that surrounded them. In v 6-8 he warns them not to stray from the laws of the Lord, but to cling closely to the miracles and blessings He had given them. Joshua warns them not to look to the left nor the right from the law.
The path is very narrow to life , Jesus himself tells us so. We must be careful to follow the laws of God closely and to obey Him in our words, walk, and our wisdom. With our words- we must be careful and choose them, every idle word spoken will be held to account. I heard someone say- weigh your words carefully, you do not know yet how heavy they are. With our walk- we must daily pick up the cross and walk in a manner fitting to our calling. Jesus said we would show our love for him in how we obey him, that is easier said than done and at times it really means going against the flow. We cannot do things simply because we did them as children, or because our parents did them, or because Bob the elder at church said it is ok- is Bob God? Who ranks higher- God's law or Bob's law? Be Bereans and sift everything you do with the word of God. With our wisdom- when you are making choices or giving advice to others, whose wisdom are you using? Are you using the World's wisdom? Do you line your wisdom up with what Us Weekly said is true? Or what God's everlasting word says is true?
These are important things to remember. Everyday be in touch with God's truth and his words, this is critical for being tapped into what He says is righteous. Be righteous, like Christ is righteous, for we are made righteous through him. This blessing is beautiful but it comes with a responsibility. The responsibility is to show the world who the Lord is. You are His ambassadors. You are the way they know who Jesus is. Go, love one another and walk in a way becoming to a servant of the Lord. Do not look to the left or the right, stay fast on the narrow road to truth!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Spots

We had our carpets cleaned today, it was long overdue. Having lived in this house for 2 years now we have had our share of spills, pet stains, dirt being tracked through the house, etc. Our carpet had started out a light beige color, however, after three kids, and random pets running through the house made that beautiful beige carpet morph into a dingy darker brown colored carpet.
The potential for the carpet was not the brown. That was what happened when we didn't maintain it as we should have. When we allowed the carpet to be dirtied up and didn't fight against the small stains as they came about. Soon, after a few years the whole carpet looked dirty and was a whole other carpet. So today when we had the cleaners come and clean the carpet the put the carpet back to its clean and cleared up potential. Our carpet is once again a beige and clean beauty. However, it was a lot more work and a lot more money than it had been if we had decided to spot by spot and spill by spill clean it, or if we had regularly been cleaning it with a smaller carpet cleaner.
We are the same way all things are like that- the second law of thermodynamics says that if left to themselves all things deteriorate rather than develop. This is true of our health, our homes, our relationships, our sinful nature. If we don't take care of the things in our lives they destroy. This is what frustrates me about Christians when they say about sin "it's ok- I am forgiven by grace" or "God knows I am human, it was a small sin so I don't have to correct it" or some other such nonsense. When left to its own devices our sinful nature will take control. Slowly- like the spots in my carpet. If we are careful to take care of the little spots in our lives, like the little messes in our homes, we can keep our spiritual carpets clean. If we don't then they will take over our lives.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Character Challenge

We have recently started having some challenges in our home. I had a serious surgery on my foot a little under a month ago. I am not allowed to put weight on my foot for a total of 8 weeks so that is giving me just over a month more of not being able to walk. For a woman who has two small children and looks at running as an equal to chocolate in a feel good blessing in life- that is a serious challenge. I have found that housework is often not possible to accomplish and as such my home looks like a college frat-house, my children are having to solve their own issues more often as I cannot run to the rescue- or run at all for that matter, and my attitude is absolutely grumptastic! (My podiatrist offered Bryce some meds to deal with me in my lack of mobility!! tee hee)
This has given me a time to really think about the times in life when things are a challenge. God allows us to go through difficult seasons in our lives- some more than others. These are times when we are supposed to be learning something. It is so easy to just complain about the challenge. It is easy to forget that God is in control. However, if there is a lesson to be learned in this season of challenge- it is well suited that we are quick to learn it! Otherwise, the liklihood is that we will be blessed to repeat it!
I know that first hand in my life. I have had to endure the same challenge a few times in my life. It is primarily my dependence on others as opposed to God. In past experiences I have been more likely to draw nearer to friends or significant others than I have to draw nearer to God. I recently have learned (after about 4 different seasons of the same trial) to draw nearer to God when dealing with big trials in my life. I advise that instead of following in my stubborn footsteps that all of you, dear readers, would trust only in the power and comfort of the Almighty.
James 1:2 tells us to "Consider it pure joy, brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of all kinds" This sounds like a joke- seriously? rejoice in trials? Yes! I say wholeheartedly that we can all rejoice in trials. Now I don't suggest we all go out and beg God to try us- that will come on its own! But when it does come, I suggest you look at it as an opportunity to grow more into the image of Christ. It is a beautiful joy to become a more lovely and into who God has envisioned for you to be!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Psalm 29:4-5 "The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
The Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon"
The Lord is powerful and majestic. At His words things are destroyed or created. The cedars of Lebanon are enormous trees- 120 ft tall, 9 ft in diameter. This verse tells us the Lord's voice breaks this tree to pieces. It is a testament to the power of the Lord. He is in authority. He alone determines the direction of our lives. Proverbs 19:21 says "Many plans are in a man's heart but it its the Lord's purpose that prevails".
No matter what is going on in each of our lives, the Lord is in charge of it. Everything is in his hands. The question that remains, do you believe this?? If you do it changes the entire outlook and way that you live your life. When you decide that you are not in control, but God has the control, you do not worry about your life. God has you in His hands and is perfectly capable of working things out with out you. However, we as righteous followers of His word have unique position in that we have His ear. He hears our cries, our prayers, and our desires. He sometimes cannot fulfill our desire for our own good- but the comfort he offers is supreme.
The other end of that question is if you do not believe that God is supreme. If you cannot trust the Lord to rule your life and take care of the details then your life will be wrought with worry. You will be tossed from side to side with the winds. James 1 talks about asking wisdom from God and as it goes on it talks about not believing when you ask- 1:6 says But when you ask you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown and tossed by the winds.
When we doubt God, we are tossed about with the whoas and worries that this life has to offer. But someone who trusts in God is firmly planted. Psalms 1:2-3 the one who delights in the law of the Lord, who meditates on His law day and night, He is like a tree planted by streams of water, and yields its fruits in season. Its leaves do not wither-whatever they do prospers."
This is a difficult concept to understand- especially in a time of trial and difficulty. I know, it took me some time to understand this concept. I was a worrier. I would say I understood the authority and the sovereignty of God but when difficulty came I would lean on my own knowledge and rush God's work. When God was not fast enough for me I would "help" him along. This way of thinking has gotten me into many a difficult situation. Thank You Lord , that you are merciful and came to my rescue.
The best way to come to the understanding of God's sovereignty is to ask him to show you. Ask God to reveal himself to you and to glorify himself. He is brilliant at bringing his own glory to be known. The kicker is you cannot take credit. The credit belongs only to the Lord. This is a difficult thing for so many people to understand. Society is so "I" focused.
A perfect example is when I was having a very big difficulty in my life. My family life was truly struggling. I remember I had asked God to reveal his truth to me and show himself powerful and be glorified in the circumstances. He ended up pulling through. He made Himself known very clearly through his word and compelled me to follow. Afterwards people praised me for the things that I had done. Every time I tried to say that it was God people would try to correct me and remind me of all that I had done. No one wants to hear how I had done nothing and left to my own devices time and time again I would destroy and fail everything. I had proved that to myself very clearly!!! Every time I let God take control things work out just the way they should. But people want to take the credit. So to truly watch for God's sovereignty we need to be willing to step out of the way and let God shine through.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fighting the Foes

The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood... I think we often forget that when we have someone in our life who is causing us harm, who is frustrating us, who is being unforgivably wrong- it is not the person specifically who is the problem. There are other forces at work. Forces we cannot see. It is so easy to make the war against the person who we see sitting in front of us. But that is a big mistake.

The verse goes on to say that it is "against the spiritual forces of this dark world and against dark the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms". Satan and his minions would have us believe that we are fighting against the people in our lives, and at times to a certain extent we are. But focusing on that is a big mistake that makes the "spiritual forces of evil" cheer and keeps the battle in the enemies court. We need to see each battle for what it is- a spiritual battle. We cannot fight a spiritual battle in a physical world. The only way to fight the battle is spiritually.

Psalms 3:1-3 says "O,Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.' But you are a shield around me, O, Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head."

We often doubt the ability of God to come to our aid, though we don't admit this even to ourselves. But the evidence is clear- we are a nation addicted to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Our worry and our strife is evidence of our lack of faith that God is taking care. During a particularly stressful trial it is understanding to have the evidence of this in our life. However, do we then turn it around and pray and fast and give every free moment of our life in prayer and seeking the will of God? Typically no. I can attest that this is typically not the first thing I do either.

It is important in our trials to #1 remember who we are fighting against. Fighting the wrong enemy is a critical mistake that takes us out of the battle. The #2 thing to remember is that it is all in the power of God. He loves us incredibly and truly -as Romans 8:28 says "works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" He is looking out for our best interest- even if that is not what we would think is in our best interest. An old pastor of mine would always say- "God is more concerned with our character than our comfort" . In my life I have found that to be very true. There are spiritual reasons that you may be going through any given trial in your life. The best thing to do is find out from the creator and author of your life why you are going through that trial, and not to look at another person as the cause of this situation. Drawing into your Father in Heaven, turning it all back to a spiritual battle is the best way and sometimes the only way to overcome the problem.

I am not here as someone who has not been through the spiritual wringer. I have been there. I have fought the battle both ways. I can personally say that when I learned that nothing outside of the will of God and my own spiritual uniting with my Lord and savior would help me- ever. That was a real awakening for me. My prayer is that everyone would come to that place, the place where they learn that life begins on your knees. There is an awakening that will occur, better than anything in the world.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Stinky Internet

I have been MIA for few days because the internet has been wonky. I marvel at the fact that a decade ago I had only begun to understand the internet, and now I am literally hooked. I mean it is on my phone, I have wi-fi for the laptop, as well as being connected on the actual computer, I have an e-reader, and we have a blue-ray disc player that has a wi-fi connection and gets You Tube and netflix!
It is amazing to me how connected that our society has become- yet how disconnected we seem. If we take a look at society, we see how little interaction we actually have with people compared to the generations before us. In generations before the neighbors people had were an integral part of their lives. Kids played together, people drank iced tea together on the front porch- I mean at least they did on the Andy Griffith show, right!?
Today most people don't even know their neighbors first names. We have known our neighbors scantily before- the names, maybe said hi here or there. We are currently living in the first home where we know the majority of our direct neighbors and that is because most of them work with my husband!
The internet is an amazing tool. But I see it taking the place of real life, in my own life quite often, as well as others. I use it as a way to be connected, but then I see it distracting me from God. I am often on the internet when I should be praying. I am regularly reading a blog or two instead of my bible. These are definitely the draws of the internet- I mean I get facebook notifications on my phone- that I take with me everywhere I go!!
I know that I need to take a step back and I am learning to discipline myself to turn to God first and and my online forums second. That is a discipline of the spirit. I think it is a good thing to step back and see if there is anything in your life that is becoming your go-to; that is anything other than your Lord.

Monday, August 1, 2011


So this weekend has been a really trying weekend for me. I had foot surgery last Wednesday and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the family was here to take care of me. But then yesterday everyone left for the annual trip to Lake Powell. I was so excited to be alone for the three days- before I really thought about having to get around and feed myself on crutches!
Yesterday I thought it would be a wonderful idea to get myself Thai kitchen soup and broccoli. That was a BIG mistake!! After I had boiled the noodles and broccoli, added the seasoning and tiny oil packet, and even a little extra turmeric, I decided to try and hobble back to the bedroom. Apparently I forgot the incredible heat associated with boiling water. Apparently I forgot the incredible jumping that comes with using crutches. Apparently I forgot that I have nerves at the end of my fingers. Needless to say, I remembered VERY quickly. With some quick maneuvering I quickly was able to transfer the bowl of soup to the dresser and passed it down by the bed.
I had all these plans for the days alone- I was going to pour over the bible- that is hard to do on pain medication, harder than I expected, I was going to work on the book I am supposed to be writing- another issue with pain medication. I was going to take naps- that worked out great! Then I found out last night due to an injury that Bryce got on the boat, he is coming home early. He will be home this afternoon. My plans didn't seem to have been as easy to actualize as I had hoped. It reminds me of Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a Man's heart, but the Lord's purpose prevails.
That is so true. I look back at my life and over and over I plan. But God always directs my life in the direction he chooses. I am bummed that my plans didn't pan out as I had hoped, but I know he is looking out for my best interest.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Tongue

Proverbs 10:19 says Where words are many, sin is not absent; but he who is wise holds his tongue. This is a mistake that many people make. Often we have problem we need to solve and we run and tell everyone we see. We go to friends with "prayer requests" about others- in reality we are gossiping. When we are going through something in our lives that is too much for us to bear alone, we need to have a righteous friend or two to help steer us back on the road to God. That is appropriate and the way that the Church was meant to be.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So the tone of this blog will be changing. I will be using this as a way to share what God has done for me in my past. My goal is to turn the postings into a book eventually. I will be giving verses and expressing my memory of the past year in my life as a way to encourage others. I have had quite a year. God has truly blessed me through trial. I hope that in the months to come people are encouraged. This is something that God has called me to do. So to truly be Living Out Obedience I need to do this to honor God.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I know it has been sometime since I have posted anything. Things were crazy around here. This has been a time of growth and learning in our home. God allowed a hurricane to come to our family. But the God that He is- Praise Him!- brought us through the other side even stronger.

I saw prayer answered more specifically than I have ever seen it. In the midst of this strong storm, where my family was so close to crumbling, I had wonderful help and counsel that was wise to draw me closer to God. The people I kept close were those who kept me faithful, who kept me focused on Christ.

In all of this I was reminded of Peter's experience walking on water with Jesus. Jesus came close and called him out of the boat. Everything was fine, when his eyes were on Jesus. The second he took his eyes off of Jesus, he sank. That was true in this circumstance as well as everyday. When the waters are raging around us, the only thing we can do is keep our eyes on the creator of the storm. He holds us in his hands and keeps us so close. James 4:8 says draw close to the Lord and He will draw near to you. That is so true and it became very real to me.