Have you ever questioned God? I know I have.
But it’s not His love or His goodness which I question.
His methods leave me bewildered at times. Why does He do things the way He does? It just doesn’t make any sense.
You know what? When we come to the end of a trial, we can sometimes make sense of it all and then there are times when…it’s still bewildering.
I watched a video by Francis Chan recently where he discusses this very subject.
I hope you enjoy.
Being Spirit-filled is just listening to him, being aware constantly of his presence. However, even though it’s not a complex idea, it’s a complex action. There are many voices vying for our attention and the ones we tend to listen to the most are the ones we can hear physically.
It is so much easier to do something just because someone we admire has told us to do it. This requires no thinking on our part. No discernment. And worst of all, no listening to the voice which matters most: the Holy Spirit’s.
As I’ve been contemplating this important topic, two scenarios involving brothers come to mind. Let me explain.
My grandfather was a very stubborn man who clung even more stubbornly to his religion (Old Order Amish). When his brother, whom he was extremely close to, became a Christian, my grandfather would have nothing more to do with him. However, my great-uncle desired for his brother to come to know freedom in Christ, so he wrote to him. And wrote. And wrote. For over thirty years, he wrote letters to my grandfather explaining salvation.
This was not received kindly. In fact, it created quite a storm of anger which grew worse with each letter. But, God used these letters and brought my grandfather to the end of himself. God took everyone out of his life. There was no one to take his anger out on. He was forced to do his battle with God.
What a blessing to know I will see him someday in Heaven!
Do you think my great-uncle was wise in writing these letters? Do you think he was listening to the Spirit?
My father came to know the Lord when I was almost four years old. For several years he heard the plan of salvation many times. The same was true for his brother. But, my uncle moved over a thousand miles away and so, the daily connection was no longer there.
With the desire strong to see my uncle come to the Lord, my father prayed about how to witness to him. The Holy Spirit said, “Don’t witness. He knows the truth. When you do see him, show him love and live the life of a Christian before him.”
Fortunately, my father listened to the Spirit. My uncle passed through our town several times a year (he drove truck long distance). Each time, we opened our arms to him, loved him, lived the Christian life before him, and never once spoke of his need for Christ.
My heart overflows with joy and my eyes fill with tears when I think back to a specific day when I was about fifteen years old. My dad told me that my uncle was passing through the area and like always, we would pray for him. We wanted so desperately for him to know Christ.
On this visit, there was such joy and peace on my uncle’s face. He wanted to tell us that he had received Christ as his personal Savior. He was listening to the broadcast “88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Come Back in ’88.” He said God said to him, “What if I did come back this year? What about you?”
Of course, we rejoiced and cried with him. What a blessing!
But, here’s the kicker. He told my dad that if he would have witnessed to him every time he came to visit, he would have been turned off and never would have come to the truth.
Do you think my father was wise in not witnessing to my uncle? Do you think he was listening to the Spirit?
Two different stories. Two different methods. Same outcome.
This is a scenario I hear preached about so often. “Do you have family members who are not saved?” they ask. “Use the time you have with them to witness. You may be the only one they hear about Christ from.”
So, then the ears are turned off to the Holy Spirit and people get blasted with something they either are not ready to hear about or they’re tired of hearing about.
Instead, like in every are of life, listen to the Holy Spirit. He may tell you to do something entirely different than what you’ve been told or he may tell you to do exactly what you’ve been told. He knows each situation so much more than any of us.
Walk in the Spirit. Listen to the Spirit. This is being Spirit-filled.
I have to admit, I'm feeling nervous about weighing and measuring tomorrow morning. How much of a difference will there be from the last time I weighed? Will it only be a couple of pounds? (Day 9)
I am now wearing the clothes I was able to wear last summer before I found myself on the slippery slope of bad eating habits. This, of course, is very exciting! (The clothes situation. Not the bad eating habits. ) However, it also happens to be where I tend to find myself stopping in any weight loss journey I embark. It has been years since I was smaller than I am right now.
Because of this, I have this fear that I won't ever be smaller. This is what I'm destined to be. Ridiculous, I know. But these feelings are still very real.
For this very reason, I will continue to fight. I look forward to proving myself wrong. One day I will have to go to the store and purchase clothing in a size I haven't had in ages. Can't wait!
I have a friend who is a size 4. No effort involved. She even looks toned with no exercise required. Not fair, right?
She told me the other day that she had some blood work done to check for food allergies. None. Not fair, right?
Of course, my first reaction (even though I didn’t let on) was jealousy. What in the world? How could life be so perfect for her? Why do I struggle and she doesn’t?
And then, I took a step back and looked at the picture through God’s eyes, not mine. Is it really true that her life is perfect and mine isn’t? A bit ridiculous, isn’t it?
Jealousy can be a serious problem in relationships. The truth gets distorted. We begin treating each other with contempt and the hurts run deep.
Truthfully, my friend’s life is not perfect. She has problems I don’t have, I have problems she doesn’t have. In the end, we all stand on even ground before God. We all need his grace and help in getting through our difficulties.
I just happen to need his help in resisting the candy in the checkout line!
I used to think I would need more than just a chicken sandwich for dinner, but today I found out differently. I like the fact that we are restricted to 400-600 calories on the non-shake meal to keep me on task with how much I eat.
It’s amazing what can be done when my mind is made up.
I’m going to weigh myself on day 23 and do the measurements, as well. Can’t wait to see the progress I’ve made!
I know. I missed yesterday. It was a crazy day! We are in the middle of getting ready for a move in 11 days. You can imagine the work going on.
I’m loving Isagenix. The high quality shakes keep me satisfied for a few hours. I can’t say that about any other shake I’ve tried. It gives me the motivation to keep going.
I highly recommend anyone try this program if you are having a hard time losing weight. It feeds your body the nutrients it needs to detox, which, in turn, helps the body shed the fat.
I can’t wait to see where the next 15 days will take me!
Woo Hoo!! I’m halfway to the end of this first 30 day weight loss goal. Or maybe I should say, I’m halfway through the beginning of the first month of a new me.
Success really is a beautiful thing. But, I know I must be careful where accomplishment is concerned. A friend once told me that success can sometimes be more difficult to handle than failure. It is easy to get a big head and believe we are more capable of handling temptation than we were before. When I reach a goal, I tend to take liberties I should not, thinking I can handle it. This cannot happen again.
I must keep the same mindset and philosophy no matter where I am on this journey, remembering to continue to stay on track. Weighing a certain amount is just a small portion of the whole picture of living in victory. I don’t want to ruin it.
With that in mind, let’s keep on moving forward.
Cassidy McClare is determined to leave love behind in Texas and start fresh in San Francisco. No more men, especially not the pretty ones. She has a vision of helping her aunt educate young girls and as a result, give them the tools needed to make an exit from the slums.
What she does not count on is Jamie McKenna making an entrance into her life and into her heart. What kind of man is he? Does he have ulterior motives like her former fiancé or is he truly interested in her?
Jamie lived a life of poverty and is determined to move up in the world and take his family with him. His plan includes marrying a wealthy woman. What he has not planned on is love becoming a part of the equation. Where will he turn, then, when his perfect plan is not so perfect?
Julie Lessman has again written a story filled with grace and hope. A story which shows the importance of coming to the end of one’s self and turning to God.
“Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This book was received free of charge for the purpose of writing this review.
I did it, people! I exercised today and I feel great. It was just 20 minutes of Pilates, but I’m so thankful I pushed myself to do something I don’t like to do.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live an extraordinary life. I know that exercise is one of the keys to this goal, because it helps you feel good and when you feel good, you can accomplish more. I also believe that living life to the fullest is what God created us to do in the first place and it is what Jesus came to earth to redeem us for. He said it so beautifully in John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.”
He doesn’t want us to settle for just getting through the day. You might have a thief in your life who wants to rob you of motivation to do anything worthwhile. Every person has a different thief lurking in the shadows. What does he whisper in your ears? You’re too lazy to exercise? Too fat to ever be what you dream of being? Your addiction to sweets is just too powerful to overcome?
Jesus came to free you from this thief. He came so you could live every day in victory. Yes, we live in a fallen world with temptation around every corner, it seems. But, He is more powerful than the devil and He is more powerful than the flesh.
I was listening to John Bevere last night and he was talking about being extraordinary. I’ve included the link because I think you would be blessed by tuning in.
I know I need to add exercise to this weight loss challenge. Eating right and taking Isagenix’s wonderful shakes and supplements simply are not enough. There’s just one problem:
I hate exercise. Need I explain further?
I know the consequences of no exercising and I know the huge benefits of exercising. I just need the motivation to get started.
At one point in my life, I was able to do one hour of Pilates without any problem whatsoever. Pretty impressive, if I must say so myself. I know how powerful this exercise is in keeping the body limber. For some reason, I let it slide. Come to think of it, I have no idea why. Pretty dumb, really.
I’ve done P90x. Wow. I know why I didn’t keep up with this one. I got pregnant the first time and I broke a toe the second time. But, I also have to say that I have a love-hate relationship with this one due to the extreme fatigue I experienced after each day of this workout. I really don’t know if I want to do this one again.
The one which intrigues me the most is Surge Training or High Intensity Training. There are different names for it. This is when you give it all you’ve got for 30 seconds and slow down for 90. This alternates several times. Of course, there are different ways to do this. I’ve read that it raises HGH dramatically.
So. I was thinking of starting the Pilates again and doing the surge training. I’m assuming the best way to get motivated is to just do it and do it and do it until I enjoy doing it.
What are your favorite exercises? What keeps you motivated?