The saga of the laptop is finally ended. Yesterday morning after devotions were done and this entry was written, I called the security company one last time. When they looked at all the advice they’d given and all that I’d done with it, they said there was nothing more they could suggest. I then called the company where I bought the laptop and in 2.5 hours I had it fixed. Wow, what a 4 day adventure! The remarkable thing that finally took place during my devotional time yesterday was my awakening that the computer problems were simply that–computer problems. They were not related to punishment or consequences of disobedience, or anything else. All the voices in my head were those of old Earnie. So, when I called the company that sold the computer, I was able to listen and respond without feeling like I was being punished all over again. It was a good lesson I needed to learn yet again. This time the learning went a little deeper than it ever has before.
Yesterday morning I went to the funeral service for a dear lady who use to teach for me. Her service was the most creative one I’ve ever witnessed. She had woven her voice in with those of others to tell her life story. It was a beautiful time of reflection and rejoicing of a life well lived. I’ve known her for almost 50 years and I know her life wasn’t one without struggle and strife. Yet, in all of it she never lost sight of God and her hunger to serve Him well. This is exactly what she had done too. God gave her an opportunity to reflect on her life and transpose it into a DVD that could be shared with others.
In my mind when I reflect on a day or a period of time I battle the voice telling me I’m just wanting to be better than everyone else. This is what my father use to tell me over and over when I had done something well as a child. However, God showed me yesterday a beautiful example of someone who reflected on their life’s accomplishment not to be better than anyone else, but to show them they can do this too by staying the course with God leading their life. One more great lesson from God!
Jesus, What a Savior You are! This is often the phrase that comes to my mind as I begin to journal in the morning. He died to become our Savior and He rose again so He could live eternally maintaining this position of Savior. Now that He is Savior, He wants to become Lord of our life also. When I was growing up I would often hear the pastors talk about sanctification. They would define it as an experience where we submit our lives fully to Jesus making Him Lord. I can’t tell you how many times I did this. It would stick for a few days to a few weeks and then something would happen where I knew I’d blown it again so I’d need to start over.
As I’ve matured in life (there are likely those who question the truth of this) I’ve found that my emotions were what I relied on during my younger years. I was not grounded in the scriptures as being ROCK SOLID. When Jesus said He would be my Savior if I invited Him in my heart He didn’t say He’d change His mind if I fell to temptation. He said I did need to confess it but never does it say I lose my salvation. Also, when Jesus said He’d be the Lord of my life if I turned everything over to Him, He didn’t say He took the right to change His mind on this. He does say throughout scripture that as we see our stubbornness or selfishness, we need to surrender this too. Sanctification is a conscious decision, but it is also a time of growth that I find never stops while we live in our humanness.
The truth is GOD never changes. However, we spend our life continuously changing little by little to better become more like the perfect model God gave us–His Son Jesus Christ. He is so good to us!
The journey of today has started with an unexpected surprise. I was journaling as I do to start my devotional time telling Jesus how human I am and how sorry I am for it. I was quickly reminded that my humanness is mine, not my brothers and not my dads. It is also not measured for value by either of them. My value doesn’t come from my humanness anyway. My value is already within me because of the very one who created me before dad or Rick were even thought about. At the end of the journaling I asked my daily question of Jesus wanting to know what He wanted me to know for today? This was my surprise–I instantly heard in my mind the message that today it will be God talking to me. He wanted me to know that this humanness thing I’ve struggled with all my life is just that–a struggle. Also, He was reminding me that it is no longer my identity and in fact, it is a lie. The voices I hear in my head are no longer that of dad, they are of evil–Satan. He is the father of lies. I also know that I am not to believe any of them.
When things go wrong like this silly laptop issue I beat myself up inside thinking I’m being punished for my past and even present. I allow lies to be momentary truths. I was so amazed to hear God telling me just what His Word says. As I write this I know that a reader may question me about actually hearing the voice of God. Yet, I know this is true for it happened also in my therapy when I had thought I just didn’t have value enough for God to send an angel to help me out. (I tell this full story in my book). Instead, God showed up Himself with Jesus and lifted my shame locking it away so it no longer owned me.
This morning God reminded me that He alone is my God, my DAD, and He loves me dearly. My humanness is temporary and is not my identity. He is my true identity!
Well, the laptop issues are still with me. As I began my devotions my mind kept wanting to shift to the issues and this time I said out loud that I’m here for Jesus. Yes, you may know my triggers, Satan, but Jesus is my Rock and Shield. You’ll have to go through Him to get to me. The interruptions stopped and as I type this I realize I didn’t have anymore of them. Jesus is such a Mighty Savior, Lord and Friend.
I had requested my computer protection company call me this morning at 8:00 am which they said they would. Well, they called much ahead of this while I was still in bed so they are calling me back in a little while so we can get to the bottom of the problem. I don’t function well with unresolved issues looming over me. My laptop is only a year old and I use if daily with the schools I serve so it is vital. All this said, even though yesterday was a productive day of canning beans, cutting down 3 rows of corn stalks to feed the neighbor’s cattle, etc., I was uptight all day.
The humanness of me truly shows at these times and I hate this fact. I confessed them this morning and God reminded me who He is to me and I to Him. My value to Him is not measured by any of this. I am His child and He is my God. So, as my journey continues into today I commit to Him all of these issues trusting Him in them rather than only seeing my ineptness. The Serenity Prayer says, “taking one day at a time, one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace”. I know so many hardships bigger than this so having this reminder gives perspective.
My laptop will not connect to the internet. Our wireless is working with our printer, desktop, iphones, but the laptop simply will not connect. I spent time off and on yesterday trying to remedy it with no success. As I got up this morning I found myself fighting my mind’s preoccupation with this issue so much so that listening to God and enjoying my devotions was continuously interrupted. I’ll call the bigwigs today and get to the bottom of the problem, in the meantime I just had to tell God I’m sorry.
God truly is amazing! He is even interested in these silly issues of life. I’ve asked for His leadership in finding the solution. I know it will happen. This certainly isn’t something to lose sleep over, but it sure dominates my awake time until the resolution is found!
Have you ever noticed that the closer you get to something the more you see tiny flaws which weren’t apparent from a short distance away? When I enjoy the flower beds in my yard I find this all the time. As I get up close I see the little places where bugs have done their damage, etc. However, the beauty of the flower is just as real even though there might have been attempts to destroy it. I find the same is true with man.
It seems the closer we get to one another the more we can see the character defects in each of us. The amazing thing is that when we do get closer to one another the more we are able to simply let go of the character defects knowing they are not the identity of the person. We know that God just isn’t finished with them yet.
Today, this message has been talking to me. God has been showing me the importance of surrendering fully to Him, His Son Jesus and trusting them and The Holy Spirit. Today I seem to realize that this surrender comes naturally when intimacy is firmly in place in a relationship. There is something I’m realizing about intimacy. When someone is close to you it is easy to trust them when you know they have your best interest in mind. Nothing they would do would damage you, and in fact, it would benefit you and give you joy. I’m better understanding that this is what God has been trying to teach me all along about trusting Him. He has His best interest in mind completing His Kingdom work and in so doing, my involvement would never damage me. What damages me is my fear when I won’t step into a risk God is wanting taken.
Sin has damaged everyone of us just like the insects in my garden and flower beds. However, God knows how to address and take care of this as I trust Him and surrender to His Care, doing His Will rather than mine.
I write the title of this blog this morning and I immediately think, it not only continues, it restarts too. Yesterday was the restart of my working with schools and districts on site. I was able to go to the school and prepare with the administration for the start of students returning. My prayer is that students will be able to return here and across our nation/world. Teachers and administrators across the world learned much about teaching virtually in the past several months, but there is nothing that can replace the face to face instruction. Relationships between a teacher and a student cannot be established nearly as well when a device brings us together rather than the proximity of our persons being together.
The messages of late in my devotions continue to focus on total surrender and the cost of it. I found it intriguing with today’s message. The cost of surrender is not as much my cost as it is a cost for those close to the one surrendering. Have you ever had a good friend who moved away because they were being drawn to a new location, job, etc.? When God is calling one to relocate the one being relocated has a new purpose in front of them. That in and of itself is motivating. But, if you are the one left behind with your friend or family member leaving, it can be very disheartening. The message of this morning was to keep eyes on God and listen to His message. At the same time trust that He is also taking care of the ones left. He is their God too. If we stay, we don’t allow God to complete what He has in mind for all connected.
When Kathy and I went to Yemen in the mid 90’s we struggled greatly leaving family, especially Kathy’s. She had just lost her dad month’s ahead of our departure. Only after we got to Yemen did we begin to see and hear how God was taking care of those at home. Our trust and obedience brought relationships together which otherwise wouldn’t have happened and only God can do this. Our obedience is key.
Today’s devotional time seemed to have two pressing messages for me to digest. The first one was about patient endurance. Being patient is a good characteristic and one we all need to nurture within ourselves. However, God sees us on the inside so He knows if our patience man sees is genuine or if it is just an action of man to make man think “I am a patient person”. The patient endurance person knows that God is in charge even when chaos is all around us. Our faith is not in man but in the True God we (I) serve. This is what God is pointing out to me right now.
The second thing God is pointing out to me is very personal. This morning’s devotional readings and scripture reading talk directly about Jesus Christ’s total obedience to God–total surrender to completing God’s purpose for Him. He did this perfectly. In my own journey I know there is no chance of me doing this perfectly. I’ve blundered too many times already! However, God is asking me to let Him have total control of every aspect of my life–my story–my past and now, my present and future. There are things about me I still don’t like to admit so I only talk about them when “I must”–when God is pressing in on me. God is asking me to let go of my desire to stay in control of these things. A good example is “gay thoughts”. I hate confessing this, but God is wanting me to let Him have total control of all within me. I’ve always wanted Him to take any of these things away. He is asking me to let Him use all of these things whenever He wants. My humanness has purpose when He is in control of it.
Patient endurance and total surrender are two characteristics Christ modeled totally for us (me). I’m ready today to tell God to use all of me. Help me to quit hiding and to let Him use all of me when His time is at hand. Only God can do this through His Holy Spirit’s presence within. I don’t want to fight–I want to surrender.
The weekend has been such a nice one. Two of Kathy’s brothers and wives came in so the family reunion which is annually held here at Wallowa Lake still took place but only with the immediate family at their youngest sister’s place. It was nice to be part of this.
As I have been reading through Revelation I’ve been awakened to the reality of our world. Revelation in past readings has always been much more of a mystery. It still is in many ways, but one of the things I’ve struggled a good deal with is the mindset of man towards God. How could man ever condemn God with his words and praise the ugliness of Satan and his deceptive ways? Yet, this present state of our world and the deterioration of God’s place in our world today makes me realize the reality of Revelation is genuine and will take place (if it is not already taking place).
Churches have lost so much of their voice (value) in the minds of man. Instead of being a lighthouse of God’s Wisdom, they are radical, biased, prejudiced and so much more. I’ve wondered what platform we are to use to express ourselves in this present state? Yet, God continues to remind me He is the Ultimate Victor in all of this. My role isn’t to join a platform of man’s design. He has given me a platform of purpose which is to act daily on His nudges in my life. So, more interesting than ever, is the work of God with man and man seeing God as His Lead rather than godly men being the lead. Each one of us is to be God’s Light carrier. Don’t misunderstand me. I still know our churches have a definite role to play, but God is wanting me to realize my first priority is the role He gives me and to each of us. I don’t know how much sense this is making, but it has a resonating charge within me.
The trip to Wallowa happened and we are here where the mornings are so nice and crisp. No air conditioning needed here. The nice surprise for me was that Kathy’s brother and wife came last night rather than today. We can have additional time with them which is the whole reason for the trip. I had asked God to work this time out and He sure did!
Today’s devotional time is emphasizing once again the Love of God for His creation–man. Satan has one purpose in mind and that is to turn man away from God. He is awfully good at that too. However, God in His faithfulness is always able to take each of us when we are trying to do things our way which eventually fails, and turn our failures into His Kingdom Work. He is a marvelous God and The Only True God. I don’t ever want to lose sight of this. In addition, I want to be faithful in letting my own story be used as light for God’s Kingdom Work as He opens doors for this. God is faithful and I want to be too.