Monday, November 18, 2013

TRUTH Day 02: Worry

Worrying is something I do way too much and Jesus has a lot to say about that!
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." MATTHEW 6:25-34
(emphasis added by me)

Worrying = Atheism?

Leo read this devotional to me last night and it is very convicting. Rick Warren makes a great point; by worrying, I am completely ignoring God's promises and not trusting Him to take care of me.
Worry is really a form of atheism. Every time you worry, you're basically saying, "I don't believe there's a God who is going to take care of me.” If you're a Christian and you worry, you're acting like an orphan. You're acting like you don't have a heavenly Father who has already promised over and over again in Scripture, "I will meet your needs if you will obey me and do what I tell you to do.” Trust forces you to live by faith. Rick Warren's post "Hope in God, Not Your Bank Account"

Prayer & Worry Don't Mix

I heard the song "Hands of the Healer" by Brandon Heath for the first time this weekend and the lyrics speak so much truth. I swear this song is written about me... I pray and yet continue to worry. What's the point of praying if I'm going to be like that?! I need to pray, give my worries to God, and then let them go.
If we’re gonna pray about it
There’s no use in worrying
If we’re gonna worry about it
Why are we praying
Just leave it in the hands of the Father
Leave it in the hands of the Healer
Leave it in the hands of Jesus
And walk away
Walk away

Summary

Instead of wasting time worrying, I need to seek God's Kingdom above anything else in my life and trust Him to give me all that I need. Here are a few steps I'm taking to seek God's Kingdom:
  1. Put God first in my life.
  2. Fill my thoughts with His desires.
  3. Take His character for my pattern.
  4. Serve God in everything.
  5. Obey God in everything.

I'm thankful for...

This man and his safe arrival back home after another drill weekend.
He's such a great husband and dad :)

I adore this boy. And I also like the taste of his baby food ;)

Visiting Great Grandma Grace before church on Sunday!

A barn cat and my new shoes! For any running nerds like me, they are the "Inov-8 Terrafly 277".
Got em on sale at leftlanesports.com ;)

Saturday = almost 50°F and sunny
Sunday = snow

The TRUTH Challenge Series --> Day 01: Wisdom


Study Resources: http://www.biblestudytools.com/
NLT, NIV, KJV Bible Translations

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AProverbs31Wife.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TRUTH Day 01: Wisdom

I'm starting a 30-Day TRUTH Challenge today. The purpose of this challenge is to go further into the only actual truth in this world - God's Word. For 30 not-necessarily-consecutive days, I am going to take a piece of Scripture and dig further into it, study it, research, or just write about what God has laid on my heart!

My goal is to learn more about the Lord and the Bible, to develop a deeper understanding of God's Word, and ultimately to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me through this challenge. This was important for me to write about on the blog because I want to start the challenge AND finish it! I get really excited about ideas like this, but when it's a long term goal, sometimes I can forget the mission :) If you have some insight on the Scripture I'm studying or any thoughts, please share!

Have you ever done a challenge of any sort before?
How long was it and did you finish it out?

TRUTH Challenge Day 01

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. PROVERBS 1:7

What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Biblical fear of the Lord is to honor and respect God, to live in awe of His awesome power, and to obey His Word.

What is wisdom?

In today's world, knowledge is plentiful, yet wisdom is scarce. Wisdom doesn't mean simply knowing a lot; it is a basic attitude that affects every aspect of life.

Who is Solomon calling a fool?

A fool is a know-it-all person with a dogmatic opinion about everything! They are close-minded, resent discipline, and refuse to learn. To avoid being foolish, it is important to learn from others, especially those who I know well and can give me godly insight and counsel. And, remember, only GOD knows it all!

Summary

To gain wisdom, faith in God needs to be the controlling principle for my understanding of the world, my attitudes, and my actions. By trusting in God, He will make me truly wise.

I'm thankful for...

Sunny and deceivingly cold days!
Taking little man out in the jogger!


Study Resources: http://www.biblestudytools.com/
NLT, NIV, KJV Bible Translations

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

8 Months

Well, Eli slept through the night for the first time last week! Now he's been sleeping every night since! Okay, not quite. We're back to the old routine - up 2 to 3 times a night again. I was so excited for about... one day. Meh, sleep is overrated, right?

Mr. Eli turned 8 months on Sunday and his personality is sure starting to show through!

Eli's Favorite Things

  • Army crawling and rolling has Eli on the move and usually towards trouble. He's fascinated with the wood for the living room fireplace.
  • Growling, random babbling, giggling, and high-pitch squeals are his means of communication.
  • Clawing parental faces is one of his favorite past times. It looks so innocent, "oh, he just wants to pet us!", and then BAM! out come the nails.
  • He's a good eater. Nursing, baby food, whatever - he just likes food, especially bananas.
  • Splashing in the bathtub is a new discover for him. I always have his cow and pig toys in the bath with him, but he would rather try to tear down the shower curtain.

In the last month, Eli has experienced his first sliver removal, "swam" in a pool for the first time, watched his first marathon, and has grown to 22 lbs! I can't believe how fast time has gone... Being a parent definitely hasn't been easy, but it is teaching me so much. We're so thankful God has blessed us with this little man!

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Modern-Day Idolatry

In my Gideon bible study this week, I read a devotional that lead to another heart check - it covered the topic of idolatry. That seems like such an ancient, old-school concept but it is still running rampant through the world. In today's culture, we sugar coat idolatry by calling it an "obsession", "habit", "craving", "issue", etc. Those words sound so much cuter! So, what exactly is an idol?
Idol = anything in the visible, created realm that begins to operate in a role that should be reserved for God.

The Truth About Idolatry

It's hard not to think about my two handsome dudes
all the time. Even loved ones can become an idol!
With whatever it is in your life that you worship, nothing will ever completely satisfy you other than a relationship with the Lord our God! Our human nature always wants more, more, more! For me? There is no such thing as "enough" running, coffee, food, or acceptance to fill the God-shaped whole in my heart. That place of honor is for God and Him alone!

Even "healthy" idols are never enough and will eventually take you hostage, shackling you down with something you used to rightfully enjoy.

My Personal Battle

Here are a few things that try to sneak ahead of God in this season of my life:
  • Running and exercise
  • Approval and acceptance from others
  • Coffee
My personal idols have transformed over my lifetime; believe it or not, I haven't always been a "runner". Long before I had a relationship with Jesus, I was one horse crazy girl! I loved my horses and loved showing. If I wasn't riding, I was grooming or cleaning barn or out in the pasture or thinking about horses. Completely, 100% devoted to horses. I frequently got in trouble for cleaning the barn before doing my house cleaning chores... woops. I made no room for Jesus in my life and I guess I didn't even realize there was supposed to be!


Then I moved away to college and didn't have much time to ride horse anymore. My idol transformed into ungodly relationships, ungodly activities, and then there was tennis. Still at this point, I didn't know Jesus. I played tennis in college and, even only at the Division II level, it took up quite a bit of time! Between playing matches, practice, lifting, and practicing outside of practice, my brain thought about boys, school, and tennis, tennis, tennis. On a side note, I didn't enjoy playing matches very much because I put SO much value in how I did. Because my identity wasn't rooted in Jesus, I stressed about it way too much, feared failure, and letting others down.


I dedicated my life to the Lord about 3 years ago and since then, life has changed drastically! God has been working on my heart, character, and healing me from a very ungodly past. Even now, as I am striving to lead a God-centered existence, I still struggle with the same old negative thoughts that have always ran circles in my mind. "You're just lazy" "Spoiled rotten brat" "You don't even know what work is!" "If I don't workout, I'm going to get fat!" "Don't let yourself go!" Those negative thoughts used to be the fuel behind my passion to achieve and to be the best, to go the extra mile (usually literally).


To win my personal battle with idolatry, I need strength that only comes from the Lord to focus on God's Word every day and actually believe His promises! When a negative thought comes to mind, I need to take it captive and make it obedient to Christ. I can't let those negative thoughts follow me anymore. As a new Christian, I had a hard time believing that God's Word applied to ME. "How could He love me? His promises apply to special people who have it together, everyone but me." I've wasted enough of my life A.) Not living for God and B.) Not believing His promises and accepting His grace. So onward ho! I'm living a God-centered existence for now on - enough with the worldly, unsatisfying idols and negative thoughts from Satan. This is a daily battle. I'm keeping my focus on Him and working on having healthy relationship with good, but potentially idolatrous areas for me.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
What "idols" do you struggle with in your life?
How do you combat modern-age idolatry?


Life in a Break Down