It is so easy to be in obedience to God when it fits what we want to do or it fits with what the “others” are doing. However, when we are to take a different turn or simply walk away, it becomes a much more difficult thing. It almost feels like one is being punished by God just to see if you will obey. Of course, that is a momentary feeling. If one will stay with the obedience one always finds the beauty of obedience. God has His ways of letting one know that obeying Him has its benefits and they far outweigh the opposite. I keep seeing the truth of this as I continue reading in Jeremiah. This book is such a vivid description of man’s selfishly choosing what he wants to do from God’s leadership rather than obeying no matter the cost in man’s mind. I don’t want to live this way any more.
Today our family heads to Oregon for the weekend. Our kids want to be where we spent a lot of time when they were young. This is their mom’s homeland. Just because of the “housing circumstances” I may or may not be consistent with posting through Monday. Just a heads up.
The book of Jeremiah is filled with prophecies which he gave to the people, primarily to the king so that they could be saved from the prophesied warnings . It just didn’t matter how many times they saw God’s message through Jeremiah fulfilled, they still turned their backs and did the opposite. The consequences were just what Jeremiah had told them. They don’t get it, I think. Then, as soon as I think that I am prompted by God’s Spirit to remember the things I’ve recently done which were of my prompting, my selfishness. Did God prompt them or did I know God would not be pleased? It is then that I know I’m no different than any other man. My struggles are the same. I’m still working on my actions so that they better reflect God’s promptings rather than my own. We always have a choice. I sure want to better choose for Him and not for me as my journey continues.
Well, I’m writing today’s blog so you can know I made it on the zipline! The funny thing was that there were four legs to it meaning there were four times we had to step off the landing into open space trusting that single cable to transport us to the next. Well, in each case it did and I’m here to tell you–“it’s worth it!” Well, worth it with the kids, not worth it to just go do.
My devotional reading this morning was addressing care. The scripture was Psalms 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” What was brought out in the reading was a twist I’d never thought through before. The twist was what we do when we DON’T cast our cares on the Lord. In these cases we most often run to sinful activities to relieve the stress of the cares not cast away. Most of the things which bring people to Celebrate Recovery would be part of the “sins” used to hide the cares.
I’ve always read verses like this as “nice ones”. God is thoughtful I’d think. I know better than to leave any verse in the category of simply thoughtful. God is ALMIGHTY GOD. Of course He is thoughtful. But, He gives us verses as this so He can replace these cares we worry and fear with genuine TRUST. I’m learning this truth these days for more people than just myself. TRUST GOD. That is what He is telling us to do.
There are a few things in life I’ve been uncertain I’d ever do. One of them is a zipline. Well, today I’m doing this with our kids and grandkids from Oklahoma. So, if you read no more posts, well, you can easily know why! (Actually, I’m looking forward to it).
For several weeks now I’ve felt as though my journey is taking a twist from its original intent. When I started writing this my entire purpose was to continue putting definition to living a life in freedom from the bondage of abuse and, in some cases, continuing to find the freedom not yet found. Of late, it seems more of my writing has been about helping others find their own freedom. I write this and think that all along my intent has been to help others. However, the difference is that now I no longer feel the bondage and no longer have that nudge to hide what I once did have. It is as though I’m living in LIGHT which can see darkness when it comes. Before, I seemed to live in darkness and recognized LIGHT when it came. It is a huge shift, and today I can finally put words to it.
I love how God is continuously at work!
The weekend is past and it seems as though it was a whirlwind–which it was actually. So many people here and so much going on. When everyone finally went home last night my heart was happy that all went well, but my body was simply ready to go to bed. I am amazed over and over again how intimate God is taking care of all the details. These details are truly about relationships becoming healthy.
My grandson is now with the Air Force. He flies to San Antonio, TX this morning and basics begins. His mom and I drove him to Boise after all of our family gathered around him and prayed for him. It was a most touching time experiencing everyone’s good-byes to him. Once again, it showed the importance of family and relationships. There is also the importance of God being at the heart of a family’s relationships. He becomes the one true priority keeping a family focused on being healthy with Him and with each other.
The Mending the Soul class met yesterday morning as we do. I am nothing but amazed how open the men are. My heart grieves when it hears what each man has kept buried for so many years and the damage it has created within their belief systems. Yet, I KNOW God’s healing touch is waiting as His Light begins to penetrate into this darkness. My own journey takes on new meaning as we have each class session. God IS SO GOOD!
I’ve lived a long time to learn just how intimate God is in handling the details of my life. The drama I referenced yesterday in my family was something I knew I couldn’t address and create any health, but I also could see no way even God could. Well, with my limited capacity, and God’s unlimited capacity it was not only addressed, but we had a wonderful day and all the details of it were completed without a hitch. Unexpected details started coming together and when the first one came I knew then God was performing only what He knew to do. AMAZING!
My oldest grandson leaves later this afternoon for his Air Force training. He will spend the night in Boise and fly out in the morning. Once he flies away we can have no contact with him for a few months. Even though that will seem odd, I rejoice in his decision making. He is not just going into the Air Force, but God is leading him. I don’t ask God to go with him for I already know God is the One who opened this door. My grandson is going with God. This makes a grandpa’s heart feel awfully good!
So often through the Gospels one reads that Jesus went off by himself to meditate and pray. When his ministry started he was surrounded by great crowds continually. I can humanly understand why he would need the chance to regroup and allow His Father to minister to him. The thing Jesus understood better than any man is what sin nature did to man. Man’s selfishness always creates chaos and drama when man is together. Jesus knew this and this is why God knew we needed a Savior.
I wrote yesterday about Satan’s attempts to destroy the health of our family. Each early morning I am reminded to use this time as Jesus did–to let our Father speak and minister to me. His Holy Word does this so well and when I journal what is troubling me I am able to do as James wrote in James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds”. Journaling allows me to get the drama out of my system and let me see it for what it is–trials Satan is trying to use to destroy.
This morning when I read this in my devotional it brought a smile to my face. There is only one way to find joy in facing trials of many kinds and that is when we surrender them to the very One Who can and wants to take them. Jesus Christ is the One who can and does stand in the gap of man’s weaknesses and gives us strength when He does. Boy, do I love this about our God and Father and His Son Jesus. In this I can smile and find joy as trials come my way.
The kids arrive today! It has been a year and a half since they’ve been here. I know that isn’t such a long time for some families, but it is for ours. We’ve tried to keep the grandkids in tune with one another so they have a good connection as they mature through their childhood years. I know God is smiling because Satan is doing all he can to destroy this time. However my TRUST is in our Almighty God! His Light so SHINES! I look forward to seeing just how God orchestrates this.
Last night’s Celebrate Recovery had more newcomers and a testimony that spoke to them. I love watching this grow and how God is touching, one by one, members of our growing community. It makes a heart glad to get to be part of this. My recovery grows as I get to watch and participate with others’ growth.
Yesterday was an unusual day primarily centered around the funeral of a man who loved Jesus and lived for Him. His celebration of life was entirely done by his family including siblings, kids and grandkids all tied to video clips they’d created. The only sermon were the words of two songs he’d wanted. His wife told me he didn’t want a sermon, he wanted the song’s words to be what God would use to speak to those in attendance. I’ve known this man for years but I didn’t know his connection to others I knew who were present. It was a tremendous celebration of life as well as a tremendous reunion for the living.
Our Oklahoma kids are coming in tomorrow for two weeks. There is much planned for this time. Satan really loves the pleasure of destroying families and what would create lasting memories. He is attempting to do this with our own so that a celebration would look more like a disaster with memories being–we will never do this again. My resolve is not to try and fix this, but to let Jesus Christ take care of it. God Almighty is our family’s real Father. So, I’m letting His Son Jesus do what He knows to do and I will put my Trust in Him. To God be all Glory!
Yesterday had an unexpected blessing. My oldest grandson who is going into the Air Force, leaving next Monday, came to borrow my pickup so he could move this belongings into storage. He plans to spend his last couple days with us. I was busy getting the swimming pool ready for the grandkids’ use. I stopped when he came and we visited for about an hour. It turned into a lengthy conversation about his life’s journey and God’s influence in it. He said he doesn’t always find peace in a day and he tries to busy himself so much that what isn’t peaceful gets lost in the busyness. We talked at length regarding this. I use to do the very same thing. I told him that I often have the day’s struggles on my mind when I awake. When I was a principal I’d have my devotions and would know as soon as I got to school I’d be able to forget for a while the troubling areas. It wasn’t until I retired and took more morning time for devotions that I found the blessing of surrendering torment to God rather than stuffing it into “busyness”.
Today when I am working with a school I allow whatever time is needed to address life for the day with God ahead of leaving. There may be troubles but I don’t leave my devotions carrying them. At least for the moment they are surrendered. I also shared with him what the Serenity Prayer says about “…one day at a time, one moment at a time accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.” Hardship is what God often uses to teach us the importance of surrender. The last piece of the conversation was knowing that surrender may need to happen several times during a day–one moment at a time. God really is the BEST TEACHER!