Monthly Archives: March 2013

T-I-M-E THE GREATEST EXPRESSION OF LOVE

Relationships not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matters most in life. So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick? When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming relationally, cutting back on giving the time, energy and attention that loving relationships require. What’s most important to God is the displaced by what’s urgent. Busyness is a great enemy of relationships. We become preoccupied with making a living, doing our work, paying bills, and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life. They are not. The point of life is learning to love-God and people. Life minus love equals zero.

One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships. Jesus said the way to love him is to love his people.-Pastor Rick Warren-

What On Earth Am I Here For?

Along this journey of recovery from foot/ankle surgery the Lord has really shown me the value of relationships. There are many different kind of relationships and how we operate and relate in each of them. Often times our background, how we were raised to relate to one another is how we will treat one another & prioritize relationships as we grow into adulthood ; friends, family, marriage and acquaintances.

I have now been home for the most part for roughly 8 weeks and without relationship I am not sure how I would have walked through this very difficult time. I have been amazed at those who have taken the time to come to the house to visit, bring food or just give me a call. Relationship says I want to take the time to invest in you. I have also noticed that I can tell who I haven’t developed close relationships with that I assumed I had. More of an “arms length” kind of relationship. I really am not a fan of these I have learned, I want to know how folks are doing and if there is anything I can do that says, ” I see you.” How and who do we decide is important to us and that we choose to invest in?

This isn’t a multiple choice question. The Bible says, the investment in people (family of God) is how we express the love of God and also help the meeting needs of His people. I am the queen of not being able to do small talk. I have found out that it’s a fear of not being able to relate. I usually just go straight to personal, and how can I help you with something. The interesting thing is people really do want to “small talk” just listen and relate. It says, I want to invest in you and spend time listening.

For example, my grandparents came to visit me this past weekend. We sat and talked for over 4 hours. We watched a video when I was in a school play from the 6th grade. We looked through pictures and talked about those in them that have already gone on to be with the Lord. We drank buckets of coffee and ate donuts. My grandfather talked about what it was like when he was in school and how how vastly different things are today. I learned about part of my family history and on and on. My grandmother enjoyed just sitting and listening, relating and spending time. At no point were we focused on our accomplishments or diplomas, we focused on relationships, showing love by spending T-I-M-E.

How do we overcome our fears of letting others in? How do we spend T-I-M-E in a world where it seems there isn’t enough? How do we overcome the issues from our past and how we were raised to relate? How do I invest in someone I really may not know?

I am so glad you asked, it’s a decision to see people (God’s family) as an investment that is of more value than work, hobbies, tv shows, opinions , the need to be right and so on. We make a choice to reprioritize . Slow down, spend and hour and just listen. That person that keeps popping up in your heart, give them a call and just listen.  The person you see who has a need when you are out and about, help fulfill it. The elderly person you see while out shopping, help them get something off of a shelf they can’t reach. Invest in your spouse by just sitting down to talk and listen. Spend time listening to your kids and not just telling them what they should do and not do. If you have pets, go throw the ball, give them a bath & set down and pet them. The list goes on and on. The answer is T-I-M-E. Showing we love God’s people is investing into them. Stop the excuses and make a decision to make a difference today by investing in someone by spending the T-I-M-E to show them you love them.

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The Victor’s Crown

VICTORS CROWN
Written by: Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe

REVEALING JESUS

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Don’t Give Up

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I have walked through one of the most difficult times to date in my life. In short I had foot/ankle surgery 7 weeks ago. I just knew I would be back to it, the daily routine and being my ever so busy bee self within 2 weeks. Here we are 7 weeks later and I am still not walking and haven’t driven in months. I am literally learning to walk all over again and this process is so painful at times. Can you hear the screams on the inside? What? Are you kidding me? I am not going according to “my” pace? Not to mention I have to receive help, key word receive not resent the fact I must have help.

One of the key factors of the above paragraph is pride. I had no idea that was in my heart, I know I don’t ever feel I exalt myself above another. I without a doubt just know I have it together and that has been rooted out years ago. Clearly this isn’t the case.

The first few weeks I was totally 100% relying on my husband to do everything. Our church kindly provided meals for the first few weeks, thank the Lord for this or we would have starved. This is important to know because in the past I wouldn’t do that on any level. You know the “I can handle it,” “someone else needs that above me,” and the all to common “I just don’t want to bother anyone.” P-R-I-D-E!

In no way does our Heavenly Father do something to harm us, it would go against His nature (everything good, perfect, noble, kind and so on). However, I have learned he will allow a hardship, trial and test to show us what is in our heart. To root it out and grow us, which is for our benefit because He loves us so much.

Being in the 7th week of this process (which in retrospect of the rest of my life isn’t that much) I have learned to just trust my Father that He will protect me. Also, that everything will be completed and taken care of if I am not always involved. After all I am a Pastors wife and isn’t it my job to make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted? NO!!! I have learned that my girls will be ok and they actually LOVE to help if I will give them the opportunity. Also, do not worry how others see you, I have in the past felt I needed to “look together” and be able to handle anything thrown my way always with grace. Well news flash, I have found I don’t and that is what makes this so perfect, it gives God the ability to show Himself strong on my behalf. Lastly, Josh, my ever so kind husband, I didn’t realize I have felt I didn’t want to let him down and look “weak”. Wow, what a mistake that was, because I was not giving him the opportunity to be strong for me and stand in the gap. I could go on and on but you get the point.

Pride will keep us from the blessing of letting others close into our lives. We will lose the ability to receive love by letting others in and be a blessing. Meekness isn’t weakness, but power under control.

I found is so interesting when my mom-in-law drove from Oklahoma this week to cook us dinner, I just set there. She mentioned to me that 3 months ago I wouldn’t even let her in my kitchen. WOW!!! That is years of behavior wiped out in this 7 week difficulty. To my amazement I could not believe how much change had happened in my heart.

It is important to mention during this time I have continued to seek Him through, loads and loads of teaching, reading my word and many great books and of course prayer.  I knew if  I just kept my heart open to what God wants to show me then I would overcome this very hard season in mine & my family’s life. Making the choice of getting into a place of why me, why can’t it be someone else or just giving up and letting “life” just do what it will (which is chance not faith in Jesus) will not help you to overcome. Just keep your Spirit open to all God has for you and let him transform you.

In conclusion, I have learned that often times God  will use people to show us love. If we are to busy (prideful) to not receive the help, care & support, we keep people/God our Father at the same arms length. I never knew this was part of my nature I had developed I believe as a child; with the loss of my father & abandonment of my mother. It is so important to just let those things go, they can help shape you into all God has called you to be. I am no where close to where I want to be, but I am not where I once was in my heart. God can use every situation to totally transform your life. Our job is to keep walking, don’t give up, walk in the love of God and his grace & forgiveness. Don’t Give Up!

 

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