Thursday, September 25, 2008

Better Than I Deserve

I recently went with several women from my church to our annual women's retreat in Pennsylvania. I had a wonderful time. I really felt the Lord's word for me for the weekend was LAUGH. Without knowing this, my special friend and roommate, gave me a gift of a charm with the word LAUGH on it. If that wasn't a confirmation than I don't know what is! The weekend was filled with lots of LOL moments! I also had a another Word(s) from the weekend that has really resonated with me. Nothing fancy but very profound. Whenever anyone asks "How are you?" I usually say fine or ok without much thought and sometimes without much truth. What I heard this weekend was "better than I deserve". A friend was quoting Dave Ramsey when she mentioned this but I was hearing the voice of God whisper in my heart. This little phrase has not left my mind and has really helped keep me focused on the right things namely God's great love for me and His great grace! My faith has been stronger since retreat. A Great God and special friends are a perfect recipe for peace.
I keep this poem by Beth Moore above my desk at work to help remind me of who I am called to be. Since retreat, I have read this with new eyes and have found great freedom. Enjoy!
Believing God
The Commission to Faith

Lord, today I accept my calling
Not to perfection or performance.
My calling is to faith.
I have been chosen for this generation.
I have a place in the heritage of faith.
I’m going to stop wishing and whining
And start believing and receiving.
What your Word says is mine.
I won’t let others steal my hope.
I won’t argue with a Pharisee.
I will believe and therefore speak,
For you, my God, are huge.
Nothing is too hard for You.
Our world needs your wonders.
Rise up, oh Lord!
Please renew Your works in our day.
I confess the unbelief of my generation
And ask you to begin Your revival of faith
in my own heart.
For You are who You say You are
You can do what You say You can do.
I am who You say I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
Your Word is alive and active in me.
Satan, hear me clearly:
My Father is Maker of heaven and earth.
You are under my feet,
Because today and the rest of my days,

I’m believing God!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mild Mannered Hanna and Great Expectations

Well, Hanna turned out to be somewhat of a non event. We have had some rain which was needed and not much wind which we didn't need. With memories of Isabelle and Gaston, people don't take hurricane related weather in Virginia lightly. We prepared some as well. David made sure our generator worked and went to the grocery store. With the exception of possibly having bad weather, we were looking forward to a rainy day with good food, good books and good movies. We have had a low key morning but it looks like the rain will clear out this afternoon giving us thoughts of running errands. Not necessarily what we expected but not a total waste either. As I am writing this, I am thinking about expections, met and unmet, and how they affect our lives. I think expectations have the most significant impact on our lives than anything else. By definition, expectation is looking forward to something, antitipation, hope. We either look forward, anticipate and hope for the best or the worst. When our expectations aren't met we either feel very upset or very blessed. Often our expectations are not based on truth but our perspective of truth based on our experiences. Our expectations are also more often of ourselves and others and the actions and attitudes of each. Of course experiences, actions and attitudes are all very fallible and cannot always be trusted. In our lives there is only One who is infallible, God. If our expectations are based on God's truth we cannot be disappointed. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them (whatever happens or you think may happen), for the LORD you God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake(disappoint) you." Deut. 31:6, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear(fear of failure, negative expectations); but of power(God), and of love(love covers a mulitude of sins i.e forgiveness) , and of a sound mind(wisdom)." 2 Tim. 1:7 and " Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight(even the paths of your expectations)." Proverbs 3:5-6.
To summerize, proper perspective produces peace.