Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fight the War with LOVE

Once again, it's been far too long since I've written. Much has happened in the gap. Rather than a lengthy explanation of events, here is a quick list: I've lost 20 lbs. focusing on God and the wonderful program of support that was put in my path called Take Shape for Life. I'm preparing to speak at an upcoming women's conference in Coos Bay, Oregon the end of September, theme: Dressed for Battle. It's a free event if you're in the area. My kids are gearing up for school. Both are going to brand new schools and are excited. One will be in sixth grade the other a senior in high school. My mom's health is lacking, making me very nervous and edgy. Work is great ... busy. Hum ... that will do it for my update summary. Now down to business. The message of the moment.

Old friends. People from the past. Sometimes they come across your path. With all the online social networking sites it's not to difficult to find yourself "face to face" with past acquaintances. In fact, searching out old school chums and such can be rather fun. I don't do it often, but I decided to check on a long-lost friend from my groupie-girl, rock star chasing, drug taking days. About five or six years ago, this old friend found me via one of my blogs or a website and fired off an email my direction. I responded. And to make a long story short, she decided that my Christianity made me stupid, bigoted, judgemental ... well, you get the picture. As a self-proclaimed "pagan" she quickly put me in a box and determined what I'd be like without even knowing me.

Well, you know how God is, He keeps bringing certain people to mind. This woman has popped into my thoughts on more than a few occasions. With the advent of facebook, I found her easily and sent my own "friendship inquiry," which she responded saying that friendship with a hateful Christian like myself wouldn't be in her best interest. Ouch!

I'll admit, after receiving her response, I felt a bit hateful. I wanted to tell her a thing or two about her own judgemental attitude. Okay, so I did mention it (just a little). Later, I realized that more than likely, someone in her life, in the name of Christianity, said or did something to her that was very un-Christian. Maybe she was hurt, badly, by someone. The point is - I have no idea how she developed this belief system, as faulty as it might be. On the other hand, I have to admit, there are individuals in our world who do some pretty atrocious things in the name of God. Sadly, people watch people. They don't always read a Bible to learn about God. Instead, they watch those of us who say we know Him. This should be a good thing, right? Should be, but it doesn't always work that way.

Every night I've been praying for my old friend. Asking God to soften her heart and open her mind. I've also, for the umpteenth time been evaluating the "face" that I present to the world around me. Am I a warrior that uses the Sword of Truth to cut off heads, or do I wield love as my weapon of warfare?

I wish I could say that I'm always a loving example of Christ. I'm not.

Again, that old saying: "You might be the only Bible that someone reads," comes to mind. What will they read if I'm their book? Unfortunately, it depends on the day, the hour, the moment. Am I PMS? Frustrated? Too hot? Freezing cold? I mean, shoot, we can let the weather dictate our emotions. How do I respond to difficult situations? Do I panic? Freak out?

I know the answers to the above questions aren't always the ones that I'd choose; which means that should someone be watching me on the wrong day of the month, I just might be a bad example of the Christian faith. Not good. Certainly not how I want to represent my royal heritage as a daughter of the Most High God.

So, ask yourself, is there a place where people are paying close attention to your Christian walk? A certain person that has her eyes trained on you? Maybe you're not even sure. But, the bottom line is, we are to be the "light on the hill" for all to see. Right now, with so much darkness in the world, shining brightly has become even more critical. God wants to use us in BIG, BIG ways for His Kingdom glory. The question is, and always will be -- are we willing to let Him use us?

I know I want to be a better example to those individuals that find Christians to be sour. I want to be sweet. After someone has contact with me, I want them to be better for the experience. I want them to want what I have - a relationship with Christ.

So, Princess Warriors, are you up for the challenge. Ready to reign real in world filled with confused people lost in the lies the enemy has so successfully concocted ...

Let's ask God for our marching orders, and head into battle with strength, courage, and most importantly love.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Following the Right Leader

So, which direction are you riding today? What leader are you following? Maybe those questions sound silly, but think again. I know I've had to.

Lately, it seems I find myself galloping ahead of God like an untamed horse. I get way ahead of God then look back to see if He has approved my travel plans. Unfortunately, I often find that I've taken the wrong route. It's so easy to to do what we want without first consulting our Leader -- the Right Leader -- Jesus Christ. Then, down the road, we wish we'd slowed down enough to pray, seek wise council, and examine what His Word tells us.
Thankfully, my decisions haven't been humongous, life-changing ones, but, still. I sometimes forget to invite God to be the Leader in every area of my life. Do you know what I mean? -- God, I'll handle this one, okay? Thank you very much. Ouch!

For example, I find myself making quick decisions for my kids without first consulting my Commander and Chief. It's kind of like an army marching ahead without their marching orders. Without guidance they might end up fighting the wrong war, or stumbling into enemy territory. It's imperative that they follow the leadership of their superiors, those who have the intelligence and technology needed to foresee the future more clearly. Thankfully, God is far more accurate in assessing the future than the best military commander. After all, He is the Author of the future (and the past and present too). There is no better leader to be found.

So, why do we decide what to buy, where to go, and how to spend our time without first consulting with our wise and loving leader? Because we are used to running the show, making quick decisions, and ultimately, doing what we want.

I don't know about you, but I want to invite God into every part of my life. I want to faithfully follow in His footsteps. My desire is for Him to be on my mind all the time. Sadly, I often find my mind cluttered and crammed with thoughts that aren't in alignment with God's. Worry has been a unfaithful companion of mine these past few months as I've fretted over finances, my children's life challenges, work, life in general. I find myself seeking to solve all my problems by my own limited power with my own lacking human resources.

I bet you already know what happens. I end up following the wrong leader -- me, the world, other people, a fad, my desires, and if I'm not careful, even the devil, who loves to get our sinful nature in the driver's seat.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is continually reminding us to give it all to the One who can handle everything. Why then would we want to take on so much gunk? We have a Savior who offers to lighten our load and guide our steps. It makes sense to let Him lead. Amen!

So what do you have planned for tomorrow, an hour from now? Is God in on your plans? Have you consulted Him? If not, call out to Him right now and ask that He lead the way. You'll be amazed how much better the journey is. God bless you princess warriors.


Dear Heavenly Father, You are the best of the best Leaders. You are our Creator and know each of us intimately. Because You know everything about us, You understand exactly what steps we should take and what roads we should travel. Please, help us keep our eyes focussed on You, for You have our best interests in mind and can clearly see our futures. Your Word says that You have plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. May each of us trust in Your goodness and grace and turn to you throughout our days, allowing you to direct our next steps. Help us make decisions that are glorifying to You and that benefit others. Give us wisdom to make choices that honor You and edify those around us. What a relief it is to turn our will over to Your capable hands. In Jesus' Name, amen