Check That Verse Off

 

So I failed my husband. NO, not in the way you might think. Let me start with a verse that I thought I had down. A verse that I thought I could check off the list of what a “good” Christian looks like.

Read with me –

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Don’t conform? Check (I don’t live a life like culture dictates)

Be transformed? Check (I have had a complete transformation)

Renew my mind? Check (I am much nicer and read the Bible)

Test and approve what God’s will is? Check (He IS in control after all)

THEN, life happens and this verse took on a whole new meaning.

Back in December of 2015, my husband’s company decided to move his division to the East Coast. We had the opportunity to go, but after prayer, we stayed. Since that point, I have been a “model” loving and supportive wife. Rather than jump in and constantly question him about his job search, I have stood back and been quietly supportive.

That is NOT in my natural character… It has been tough…and then…

I started letting little things that bother me pile up. I started feeling fear creep in…and I BLEW UP. Not in a nice way, but in a way where I was bringing up anything and everything that I had stuffed inside. I brought up that it had been eight months and if it were ME I would have had a job in 2 weeks. AND that I would have this or that and how he wasn’t doing any of it.

I blew up.

I then left for some school shopping and started praying for God to help HIM because boy did HE need it. I prayed for God to help me – the saint – to endure this difficult time. I prayed for God to teach HIM whatever he needed to learn so we would be over this challenge.

And then, God hit me…with Romans 12:2

Read it with me, again…

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. – Do what it takes to get what you want?

Be transformed. – Had I really been transformed that much, to react in such a horrible way?

The renewing of your mind. – Was I constantly renewing my mind? Or did I think it was a one and done?

Able to test and approve what GOD’S Will is. – So I put a time limit on what I thought should happen. I was counting the days and at eight months it still hadn’t gone the way I though it should. Was I doubting God’s will being good, pleasing and perfect?

As I walked through all of this in my mind, I realized I had to apologize to my husband.

When I walked in the door, he braced himself for what could only be another beat down by his wife as it had only been a couple of hours. I proceeded to apologize. I told him how very sorry I was for putting a time limit on him. I apologized for playing a good wife for eight months, rather than just becoming one. I apologized for thinking that I HAD been renewed and transformed, rather than realizing it’ll be a lifetime of continual renewal and transformation.

I let him know how much I love him and how I will try and be a better wife.

What I learned…I need to embrace the whole journey. There will never be a point where I “arrive” this side of heaven. I need to keep score less and love much, much more.

In what ways can you stop keeping score with people in your life?

In what ways can you love others better?

 

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Work in Progress

As I am reading through the Bible, trying to learn how to be the best leader I can, I am stuck on 1 Timothy. In Chapter 3 Paul talks about how an overseer must be temperate and self-controlled among other things.

Those two ways of being are both VERY hard for a passionate, impulsive person like me!

Now I can use the cop-out of, that is how God made me…OR I can understand that I want to obtain maturity be being able to be temperate and self-controlled.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean subdue and a passive doormat. It just means there is a time and a place.

What I learned today…To remember that the Fruits of the Spirit show Maturity in Christ. I can say I am following the Bible…but in less I am growing in each of these areas, I’m not growing in my maturity as a believer.

Fruits of the Spirit

Pride vs Humility

Prior to giving my life over to Christ I did not battle with pride. I WAS prideful. I thought, though I am not better than the next person, NO ONE was better than me. I could stand on a stage and talk in front of 1000s and be fine as I couldn’t care less what they thought of me and/or what I was saying.

When I became a Christian and had the opportunity to teach, I FREAKED OUT. Why? Well, in reading the Bible I learned that teachers are held accountable, by GOD! (Check out Paul’s letters to Timothy).

As I learned more about abilities give at birth or learned vs spiritual gifts, given at baptism, I learned that I do have a gift of teaching. I can let the enemy use it and do it to get all the glory for myself, or I can let God use it and point all the glory up to Him.

What I still battle with, which you can read in 1/2 my earlier posts, is pride. God gave us abilities and we should not be prideful in them, yet we should be confident in them, right? How do you be confident in them, while not being prideful, while expressing humility?

I know that was written in a circle, as that is what my brain has been stuck on…until last night. We went to church and it was a terrific service. Check out “God Can Use Anybody” from April 3rd.

Pastor Rick talked about my favorite subject, how everyone is necessary in the Kingdom of God. We are all built to serve, using our God given abilities, to help others grow.

In the sermon, he said something that was a BIG AH-HA for me…

“Humility is not denying your strengths, it’s admitting your weaknesses.”

What I learned today…I can be CONFIDENT, not prideful, in how God made me. I can be humble in the fact I have a LOT of weaknesses. A LOT.

 

Day 8: HE IS ALIVE!!!

On Resurrection Sunday we reach the culmination of Passion Week.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event, the crux, you might say, of the Christian faith.

The very foundation of all Christian doctrine hinges on the truth of this account.

Early Sunday morning several women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Salome are all mentioned in the Gospel accounts) went

to the tomb and discovered that the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance had been rolled away.

An angel announced, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” (Matthew 28:5-6, NLT)

On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ made at least five appearances.

Mark’s Gospel says the first person to see him was Mary Magdalene.

Jesus also appeared to Peter, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all of the disciples except Thomas, while they were gathered in a house for prayer.

The eyewitness accounts in the Gospels provide undeniable evidence that the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened. 2,000 years after his death,

followers of Christ still flock to see the empty tomb, one of the strongest proofs that Jesus Christ actually did rise from the dead.

As you celebrate Jesus today, make sure to pause throughout the day to say , “Thank you!”.

 Happy Easter!

He is Risen!

He is ALIVE!!!!

 Read More – Sunday’s events are recorded in Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, and John 20:1-23.

What I learned today…I am so very thankful He is ALIVE!

Day 7: Jesus in the Tomb

Jesus’ body lay in the tomb where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath.

When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ’s body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus:

“He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.

Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.” (John 19: 39-40, NLT)

Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court which had condemned Jesus Christ to death.

For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.

Similarly, both were deeply affected by Christ’s death. They boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and their lives because they now realized Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah.

Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.

While his physical body lay in the tomb, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation:

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.

He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19, NLT)

Read More – Saturday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, and John 19:40.

What I learned today…We need to remember this time of pause. AND what am I willing to risk for the Kingdom?

Why Wait?!?!?!

Just Say Yes

Some people wait until the last second. They wait until they land in the hospital. Until they find out they have a life-threatening disease. They wait until they have more time. They wait until their death bed…to say, Yes, to Jesus.

Why? A lot of the time it is because they don’t want to follow all the “rules”. They don’t want to be held accountable, or KNOW that they will be held accountable. They don’t want to take the time to be “good” and follow what the Bible says…all of it.

They are also missing out on all of God’s promises.

They are missing out on years of being blessed in extraordinary ways.

They are missing out on hope.

They are missing out on an eternal family, that starts NOW.

What I learned today…I am so thankful I didn’t wait until the last minute. I had NO idea how amazing it feels to be in my forever family. Even the lows aren’t so low. I have HOPE.

Praying we are overwhelmed with people prepared to take a leap of faith and say YES, JESUS, now. At Easter. All over the world.

Day 6: Good Friday’s Trial, Crucifixion, Death and Burial

Today we’ll trace Jesus’ steps on Good Friday, the most difficult day of Passion Week. Christ’s journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to his death.

According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning.

Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations,  condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment.

After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment.

Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns.

Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.

Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross.

His first words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV).

His last were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NIV)

Then, about the ninth hour (3 p.m.), Jesus breathed his last and died.

By 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (Ar·i·ma·thea \ˌa-rə-mə-ˈthē-ə\), took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.

Take a few moments to let the events of this day sink in…

and pray.

 

Read More – Friday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, and John 18:28-19:37.

What I learned today…I need to remember this day throughout the year, not just on this one day. I need to remember the true meaning of the cross every time I see one.

 

Day 5: Passover, The Last Supper

Our tour through Holy Week takes a somber turn on Thursday.

From Bethany Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast.

That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover.

By performing this humble act of service, Jesus demonstrated by example how they were to love one another.

Today, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services.

Then Jesus shared the feast of Passover with his disciples saying, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.

For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16, NLT)

As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of the Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death.

During this Last Supper, Jesus established the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine:

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’ “ (Luke 22:19-20, ESV))

Later Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed in agony to God the Father.

Luke’s Gospel says “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44, ESV)

Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin.

He was taken to the home of Caiaphas (KAY-e-fes), the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Jesus.

Meanwhile, in the early morning hours as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing his Master three times before the rooster crowed.

 

** If you haven’t experienced a passover supper, I would suggest you find one to go to in your area, or google directions and do it with your family, friends and/or small group. Is is an amazing experience!

Read More – Matthew 26:17–75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, and John 13:1-38.

What I learned today…when we follow along in Jesus last days, it makes us feel even closer to Him and brings His story to life in remarkable ways.

Day 4: It’s Quiet

The Bible doesn’t say what the Lord did on Wednesday of Passion or Holy Week.

Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of the Passover.

Bethany was about two miles east of Jerusalem. Here Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha lived.  They were close friends of Jesus, and probably hosted him and the disciples during these final days in Jerusalem.

Just a short time previously, Jesus had revealed to the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death by raising Lazarus from the grave.  After seeing this incredible miracle, many people in Bethany believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in him.

While we can only speculate, it’s fascinating to consider how our Lord Jesus spent this final quiet day with his dearest friends and followers.

What I learned today…take time with those I love, even during difficult times where I feel like I don’t have enough time and there is so much more to do. Quality time spent with others is priceless.