Get a New View

I’m sold out to seeking, proclaiming, and living Truth, and encouraging others to do the same. Why? Because I believe that it is the key to life.

I believe that the starting point of seeking truth is authenticity. I really believe that God calls us to live authentic lives, honest lives, and that He asks us to live lives abandoned to the cause of truth, both in seeking Him and seeking what’s of Him. It’s where we are at our best. It’s a place where we communicate in true community with others: this is who I am, this is where I’m at.

So where do we find this place of truth? The temptation is to think that truth lies within us. It does not.

Let me ask you a question: When are you most likely to be dishonest with yourself or others? I would guess that for 99% of us, it’s when we are afraid. When the truth is bigger than us, when the truth might cause consequences,or the hardest yet, when truth is going to cause CHANGE. Because that’s what truth does…it’s transformational.

Well the good news is that the Good News is cheering us forward. John 14:16 says

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus assures His followers that we don’t have to be afraid because He is truth. But bigger than that: He is the one who calls to us to truth. Look at verse 1. Jesus says that there is a place prepared; and then in verse 3, he says he goes before us to prepare that place and that He, himself, walks us there.

We said before that we often don’t live authentic lives because we are scared. But Christ says that if we are walking the path of truth, He’s already going to be in that moment when you’ll need to call that thing out as a lie and seek truth. As I was reminded this weekend, He tells us in 1 Samuel 12:12 that as long as we live under Him, we’ll never meet a foe we can’t conquer.

Our job is to keep our eyes wide open, looking for Him and following Him. It’s time to tear down everything that would hinder us from doing that. It’s just not worth it.

But this song is. I’ve never advocated a purchase in my writing before. Not even when I worked in PR. This song is worth much more than the buck. And it’s challenging me to be even more honest.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VW0RO4/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk10

Advertisements

Stop!

My name is Pam, and I’m a workaholic. I’ve been clean for about one year now. Can I share my story?

Last year, I had an amazing experience. God asked me to do nothing. To stop and get rest. And I actually did it.

For those of you who know me, I never had rested. My husband was always shocked that I would roll out of bed and start working and close my eyes as I was working. When God asked me to stop this behavior, I wanted to say no, but when you’ve surrendered to God, you know the feeling of Him pressing in to you. It’s a time where He tells you to do something and you can’t say no. So, for nine months, I rested.

My food during this time was something my pastor had told me. He said, “Pam, I’ve learned that when God asks me to rest, and I don’t, there’s always something big that’s coming. And I’m not ready for it when it comes.” Sometimes, out of sheer longing for the excitement, I would rest. Sometimes it was because I was overwhelmed at what might be ahead.  Sometimes it was purely an ugly, righteous spirit that wanted to be ready, But regardless, it got me to rest.

I pulled back for 9 months.  A lifetime in the life of a workaholic. And I learned something precious. Even more so, I gained a strength I’ve never known. Truly, functioning in a spirit of rest is far more powerful. You end up having a lot more authority over situations and events. And far more clarity on what’s from the Kingdom of God and what’s from the Kingdom of darkness.

And so now, I have resumed my life since November, but I’ve done so with strict boundaries on my time and what I take on. I don’t try to control, and when I do find that I am, I quickly back down. It’s not worth it. I very embarrassingly run to Jesus and ask Him to hide me so I don’t do something stupid. He always is very gracious and tells me not to be embarrassed or self-condemning, but that yes, I’m allowed to seek balance. There’s always an invitation waiting to slip away and get back to the Holy Spirit with a sound mind, back to pure relationship with Jesus, back under the authority of the Father.

Love,

Pam

Keeping Fear at Bay

Fear can rule your life.

I feel like that statement needs to be said. Out loud.

Fear can rule your life. For some of you, fear is ruling your life.

When I was a kid, I was afraid of everything. I was afraid to ride my bike past four houses because my grandma told me that a man would come kidnap and rape me. I was afraid to cry because my dad told me that I was too much of a basket case (at 7). I was afraid to get a “C” on a test because I thought that it would go on my permanent record. These are just some  of the many examples of how fear was a method of absolute control. (A fear based control). And it stole from me. It killed part of me that I have yet to reclaim. It destroyed many significant relationships.

But God.

But God has restored the years the locusts have eaten, or in this case, the years that fear have eaten. Does that mean I’m not tempted to fear anymore? Heck no. Fear is incredible weapon in the kingdom of darkness. Satan, or more likely, one of his minions, come after me continuously, desiring to devour me. They will use any tactic — lately, the one of choice is doubt — to get me to give way to fear. They’re just waiting for me to crack. They know, better than most of us humans, that it only takes one agreement to usher in a flood of thoughts that will cloud judgment, mislead me, and render me useless. It’s why I grip so tightly to the words in 1 Timothy.

“For God did not give you a spirit of fear, but one of peace, of love, and of sound mind.”

I have a right to my sound mind. I have a right to choose to have faith in the One who is faithful. You have a right to your sound mind. You have a right to choose Jesus. To choose to lean on Him. To choose to trust Him. Every time.

Because when it comes down to it, Jesus was right. You can’t be slave to two masters. Not money. Not fear. I want to stand with authority and choose Jesus as my master every time. There’s simply no other way.

This Old House

When I was a kid, I didn’t get too much time with my dad. He worked around the clock. When he was home, the poor man was so tired that he often just crashed in front of the TV. Ergo, if I wanted to spend time with my dad, I spend time watching his programs: dragster racing, Star Trek the Next Generation, and home improvement shows, especially this Old House.

These were the days before makeover editions, before the cute-clipsy scenes of decorators’ advice. And yet, even then, the idea of transformation enthralled me.

Yesterday, after listening to Sarah Groves’ new album, Fireflies and Songs, I realized that there has been a far more significant transformation in my life than I had previously thought. One of the songs really stood out to me. It’s called This House. In it, she sings about visiting the house she grew up in, and then, in an emotionally captivating moment, tells her daughter “Ruby, take it all in, see He’s withheld no good thing.” As tears streamed down my face, I not only recalled the house and community that I grew up in, but what He’s done for my body, this old house, this temple of His.

There’s moments where I’ll catch a whiff of something that was from my past or have to visit an old school, and the sense memory overwhelms me. It takes my breath and catches me off guard. It takes everything I have to process the pain of some of the hurts I experienced or of feeling my old insecurity flying back. But I, too, can turn to my daughters and with great tears in my eyes, say “see girls, He’s withheld no good thing from me.”

It’s one thing to read the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new). It’s another to know that from the depth of your soul. To have failed, to have hurt, to have been hurt — and to have had the Lord of the Universe tenderly and loving put you back together. Somehow gratitude falls short of expressing my feelings.

I don’t have a link to Sarah’s song, but I’ve often felt this way reflecting on the first part of the song below.

A Little Bit of Balance

My son has a host of allergies. You name it, and he’s probably allergic to it. Because his allergies are so high, he tends to get sick easily, which means that I spend a lot of time waiting in line at pharmacies.

Predictably, when I’m in these lines, my eye is drawn very easily to the magazines. Recently, I was especially captured by Good Housekeeping’s May issue. In this issue, they have an article called 125 Women who Changed our Lives. I couldn’t resist.  I added the magazine onto my order.

I read the article this morning and have found myself ridiculously torn. Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, & Amelia Earhart were all heroes of mine growing up. And the article was right to praise them.  In fact, so many of the women had achieved so much to change the world for the better.  However, while I appreciate many of the women highlighted in the text, my heart mourns a little for the interpretation of others’ lives or work.

It was under the honoring of Virginia Woolf that I became especially saddened. The authors wrote under her achievements that she reminded us… “of what remarkable things women might have written throughout history if they hadn’t been too burdened by household cares and society restrictions.”

While I’m sure that women have been censored throughout history, and many through evil, abusive ways and devices, I felt that the focus was all wrong. It’s not what women would have written.  It’s what women did do, knowing that it may have gone unnoticed, that has not only changed the world, but sustained it.

As a Christian, I wondered what a list of 125 women who changed our lives from this standpoint would look like. I assume they would be women who would remind us of the incredible, lasting, powerful, and life-changing legacy women have made by sacrificing, loving, and planting life through, even despite, household chores and society’s sometimes lack of faith in woman. It would probably celebrate the fact that women have always been at the heart of society. Truly, we are ezer kinegdos — helpmates — life sustainers — essential. We are, as God states, powerful strength.

For me, I’m reminded this morning that to only celebrate achievements of that strength through overcoming societal bad behavior lessens the effect that women have had throughout the years. If we are to celebrate, let us celebrate that women have always encouraged and inspired, regardless of the praise they got. That is one of our biggest strengths — to love, to sacrifice, and to meet the needs of others because it’s in our character to do so. We are beautiful. We are powerful. And we do change the world. Just not always through toughening up or speaking out. Both praises are needed if we, as women, are to sharpen each other and leave a lasting impact.

There’s no law against such things

I’ve been thinking a lot about limits lately. Probably none of my current friends know this, but for many years, I lived by the motto “Blind to Limitations.” My AOL screen name was byndlimits (beyond limits). I can tell you that the motto did not serve me well.

Now, I was not a rebellious kid. I wasn’t attracted to that phrase because I liked to have some sort of skater kid mentality. I used that line to strive for perfection. To be the best that I could be in athletics, work, friendships, and relationships. It still didn’t serve me well.

Just today, I realized why. I didn’t persist … I didn’t go beyond limits … out of a place of love or peace or sound mind. I went beyond limits in an attempt to prove myself. To earn my place. To fight insecurity. It’s not surprising that it was as addictive as crack and that it never quite paid off.

My revelation came from focusing on Galatians 5:22-23 (thanks, N.).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23

The strange thing about this verse is that even thought my eyes were fully opened today, I have been submitting to this verse for about three years now. It’s a verse that hangs on my wall in my home. I first memorized it. Then started applying it. Then, realizing that I could not even attempt to do this on my own, prayed to God to bear fruit in these ways and to open my eyes, soften my heart. But when my friend called out this verse on her Facebook page 2 weeks ago, I was stunned because I had only memorized half the verse. I had stopped after self-control. But that last phrase is so essential.And it was so personal to me.

I CAN go beyond limitations WHEN I am persisting in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Neither the Kingdom of Darkness nor this world can hold me back because God has told me these are boundless areas to explore. I won’t get hurt. I won’t be bound.

There is no law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. I love the freedom.