Saturday, April 30, 2011

Feelings or Discernment?

During the training I attended this week, the difference between feelings and discernment produced quite a discussion, and a few questions. I am continuing to think about and still have questions.
I use the words "feel", "believe" and "think" in discussions I have and I am betting if I searched my blog I would find these words many times. I am an emotional being, God created me with these emotions...which leads to feelings, beliefs and thinking. What I know I need to be careful of, is that I am not lead by my emotions...and that I am lead by the Holy Spirit. The problem is how do I know if it is me...or it is Him?
Sometimes it is quite easy to distinguish. If the feeling is leading me to something that is wrong, the bible is clear about it...then it is me, and is certainly not God. Sadly, there have been times in my life where I talked myself into believing that is was okay...God would understand. Foolish! That was certainly not God, and He would not understand. I walked right into the trap of deception. I was an easy target, believing somehow that the sin would bring good things, and God would understand.
But what about the times when it is not something that falls easy into a sin or not a sin? Like where God wants you and what He wants you to do. Or making a decision about life, not a biblical principal. We want to be in God's will, we seek it and desire it, but how do we know that it is the Spirit leading us and not our own feelings? How do we know we are not being deceived? I really worry about my blog...I am sitting down and sharing my thoughts, I would not want to be used as a tool for deception. I pray over my words and I pray before I type. I follow my Pastor's lead and ask God to fix my words before I publish.
So, with all decisions, I do seek wisdom. If there are decisions I think (there is that word again) that we should seek Godly counsel. Actually, I have scripture that shows me this, the thought has been tested with his word. I have found that if I am headed into a wrong decision, God has placed Godly people in the way, they have warned me. I also found a strong conviction to turn from situations. That is discernment. We need to spend a lot of time in prayer, in the Word. We need that quiet time, seeking His will in all aspects of our lives. We need to pray over decisions.
Lately, I have been including scripture in my blog. I will be continuing this. My words are not inspired by God, they are not scripture. My Daily Dose blog is really a journal of my own spiritual journey, and I am sinner and am dealing with the same things others are. I publish this to share with others in the journey. I include scripture because it is the Word of God and is more important than any of the words I publish here.
God's words on discernment we can all take to heart.
In Hebrews there are two scriptures I found appropriate for this:
"For the word of God is living and active, Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12)
"But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:14)
May you always find Salt and Light in my words....but please always measure my words to God's word, and seek Godly counsel.

Friday, April 29, 2011

What do you most fear?

Fears are a part of our life. Some fears are very real to us. There are things that happen in the world, or situations we are placed in, and the emotion that comes out is fear. For me, most of the fears I have, begin in my mind and are usually not real. They are me allowing myself to wonder and imagine things that haven't happened, just that they could happen. Seems kind of silly when I think about that.
Without God, I would feel fear more. He is such a presence in my life and has shown me so many times how much he cares and how he takes care of me, I don't usually react with fear. He gives me peace.
However, I know many who face fears. Fear of the future, failure, rejection, or maybe even a phobia.
There are different reactions to fear. Some want to fight them. Some ignore them. Some run from them. Or just hide them.
What does God ask us to do?
He wants us to give our fears to Him. And actually He also wants us to fear only one, and that is Him. He called us to believe in his almighty power and to trust in Him.
"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:2
So, if I were to see Him like this at all times, I would run to him with my fears. I need to think of those words, refuge and fortress...those are fear rescuing images.
I need to take all my fears to Him, real and imaginary and TRUST Him to protect me from anything.
May you always find Salt and Light in my words!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's Your Heart Condition?

A very short but very meaningful post tonight.

Do you have an unbelieving heart?
"See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God."
 Hebrews 3:12

Or do you have a believing heart?

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:9

My prayer is that you have a believing heart.
May you always find Salt and Light in my words!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Purification

If you think about the purification of any substance, it is about removing what doesn't belong. So, isn't that true with us? To purify most substances in this world, it takes time, and some kind of interaction. So, I would imagine it is the same with us. We will not be instantly purified. It takes time..and it needs some kind of interaction.
So, what are some things that have happened to you that you think are bringing you through the process?
I think struggle is one for me. I believe when I am struggling with the things I want, and the things I should be doing,  I am learning. Through this learning I am in the midst of purification. It is that letting go of self, and allowing my life to be controlled by God.
Sometimes, I also think there is pain. Emotional and physical. I have been changed as a person through some of the pain I have experienced. I have become stronger. I have added to my faith. I learned how to pray and listen. I have understood how much I need God.
When you look back at your own spiritual journey, did each step toward purification or holiness occur with a trial or tribulation?
So, what needs to be removed from our lives to make us holy, purify us? Sin. It is really that simple. Until we are no longer residents of this earth we will continue in the process. We should constantly examine our hearts. But we also need to remember as we go through the trials and tribulations, we are being purified. When we face the consequences of sin, we are being purified.
As I put some thoughts together this week, I need to see people for who they are going to be and encourage them. I think of last night's post, my heart heavy for the pain in others. Well, tonight I see what God wants me to see...their pain is okay. I need to look beyond, I need to see where He is taking them. It is a purification. I need to encourage them, help them to see what they can't in the midst of it.
I love how God brings things together. I know this was a jumble of thoughts tonight. Sometimes that happens as I write....out of my head, into the keys, and a mess on the screen. However...still hoping in this mess:
May you always find Salt and Light in my words!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A View of Pain

Tonight my heart is heavy for a hurting world. There is so much darkness and so much pain. I just spent time reading some posts. Reading the writing of others truly gives you a window into lives, and into how many ways sin steals, hurts and hinders.
I am so thankful for a savior who lights this darkness. I am also understanding of those who have trouble seeing that light sometimes. Usually, it is because we are not plugged in. If we get bogged down into the things of this world, if we don't stay in the word, in fellowship and in prayer it is so easy to look at the darkness that is heavy around us, and not see the light. Or just sometimes the darkness envelopes us.
It is one of those days when I am reminded to be a light, to be sure I am shining bright. If someone needs to find their way in the darkness I should be shining brightly for them. If the darkness has been overwhelming to them, they may not be currently plugged in. We can be the light for them, until they find their way out.
I have been in that darkness. I know how easy it is to get lost there.
May you always find Salt and Light in my words...and tonight, may my light shine brightly to those that are lost in the dark.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How do you see people?

"The act of encouragement begins in seeing people as God sees them, for all they can be, for who they are becoming."
I think sometimes we forget that each of us is somewhere different in our journeys, and we each are carrying different luggage. So, I think we tend to look at each other, comparing based on our own journey. What a powerful thing it would be to change that vision and try to see each individual as God sees them. God sees down the road. He knows where we are headed, and what we will become. He knows the steps of the journey, and how each step will affect us, change us and move us forward. He looks at us today, and sees who we are becoming. He knows how the thoughts I am typing now will help change me, help me to think about people.
So, how can we look at people and see them as God does? I think we have to focus on the positive. We need to look at and respect people for who they are attempting to be, not the struggle they are having to get there. We can't put people side by side and expect the same out of each one. Can you imagine if God did that with you? We have to look at the steps they are taking, and help them to envision where they will be if they continue.
We do need to remember the luggage they carry with them. We all have different backgrounds, all the luggage of our past, who was in it, what circumstances we endured, and who helped mold us to be the person we are. We will not all move at the same pace, at times the luggage is heavy enough it slows us down.
God calls us to be encouragers. It will be easier to encourage if we look at people as God sees them...remember He sees them as ALL they can be. His vision is for them to be complete and full. He doesn't see us failing, he sees us as successful. He applauds our steps in getting there.
So whether it is a spouse, a child, a parent, a student, an addict....let's ask God to help us see them each as He does. Let's ask Him to help us see them for who they can be. Let's be encouragers and see the steps they are taking and see them for who they are becoming. One by one, not side by side.
"And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." 1 Thessalonians 5: 14
May you always find salt and light in my words!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

With whom do you identify?

It was truly a glorious day! Beginning with a sunrise service on the river, breakfast and fellowship at church, an Easter Cantata and a final message. A day to truly celebrate our risen Savior.
I have done a lot of imagining this weekend, trying to get in the hearts and minds of the people who were there. I think about how each of their lives were changed like mine when they found Christ. I thought of Mary, his mother, how hard all this must have been on her. I thought of Judas, and his betrayal, and how the guilt of his choice was something he could not live with.
Tonight I sat and read all the gospel accounts of the resurrection day. I read it trying to determine who I most identified with. It was a question brought up today during our bible study.
What amazed me was after reading all the accounts...I thought to myself, WOW, look who showed the most faith in His resurrection. It was actually the Chief Priests and the Pharisees. They were the ones who had the tomb sealed and guarded through the 3rd day, because they knew Jesus said he would rise again on the third day. They also paid for a story to be released about the disciples stealing the body. (Matthew 28:11-15)They took action because they knew of his promise to rise. They expected something to happen more than any of those who mourned his death.
Then I look at the disciples, those who followed him daily, listened to him daily, loved him completely...and they doubted. All of them. The ladies who came...they were going to anoint his body. They were expecting him to be there. They were frightened when he wasn't. The thought that he had been risen was not said. The same with Simon Peter. Even after they were told by an angel that he had risen, it speaks of unbelief.
So the difference...the relationship they had with them. They believed once he revealed the relationship with each of them, reminded them of it. He spoke their name, when he broke bread with them, when he spoke to Thomas in a way I am sure he had to many times, because Jesus knew him, He knew Thomas was a doubter. As Jesus kept his appearance hidden, it was interesting to me that he revealed himself to them with his love and relationships with them. It was the intimacy he had with them that allowed them to see and believe.
The Chief Priests and Pharisees believed it could happen all along. They knew scripture, they knew what it had said. But...even Satan believes. What they lacked that the others had, they did not have a relationship with Jesus. They knew the law, they knew scripture. They were religious!
So, sometimes I must admit I do not truly understand the scriptures or what it means for me. I think I learn and grow more as Christs works in my life as he reveals his love for me. I wonder, how often is Christ speaking to me and I am missing it? How often is he showing me something, and I stand in doubt?
I think we need a little bit of both. I do identify more with those Jesus had a relationship with. But I have to admit, I want to have some of the understanding and knowledge of scripture that the Chief Priests and Pharisees had. To blend knowledge and relationship would be empowering. (Luke 24:45) However, I know the relationship must come first...without it, knowledge means nothing.

May you always find salt and light in my words!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Secret Disciple?

Of the many times I have read the scriptures describing Jesus' death and resurrection, this weekend these words stood out to me, and I do not think I have noticed them before.
"Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews." John 19:38
How many of us are secret disciples, and what is it that we fear? I do not doubt for a minute that Joseph loved Jesus. I am imagining what he felt that day when he asked for Jesus' body, probably some shame for his fear, but above that, his love for his teacher, his savior.
I feel I use this blog to share my love for my savior, my personal testimony and pieces of my walk...but I think I do it here also because of my fear. I do not see the eye rolls, or the head shakes of those I want to share. Or the disinterest. I put it out there, and I let it go. I do leave the door open if someone wants to talk, but I avoid the rejection. Kind of like Joseph, a secret disciple. Just because my name is attached to this, I do feel like I am sharing this in secret. I am not really sure what keeps me from sharing it more often verbally. I do if the door is wide open...and I also try to do it in my walk.
This is an area I need to work on. I need to be open to the Holy Spirit and speak when I know He is asking me to. I should not keep something so wonderful a secret from a hurting world.
What about you, are you a secret disciple? What fear keeps your walk a secret?
May you always find salt and light in my words!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Feeling the Loss

When I sit and read the gospel accounts of Christ's death and the days that follow, I can't help but think about how the individuals that witnessed it were feeling. After recently losing my mother, I know  how raw and empty you feel in those moments. It makes me think of his family, disciples and friends.
I then think present time. After all we have witnessed in our own lives, after all we know, how can we ever walk away from his presence and not feel this raw and empty loss that they did. How often do we just get busy, or lazy and remove ourselves from his presence?
I am guilty of this all too often. I have spent too much time away from Him. I should feel the grief when I do this. I think what I need is to make him more present in my life, then I would feel the loss. If I do not have him enough in my presence, it doesn't make a difference when I take him out. It speaks a lot of our relationship.
So tonight, I ask forgiveness. I want to walk closer. I want to have such a significant presence that I should feel grief and loss if for a moment I make a turn away from Him.
May you always find salt and light in my words!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Cross or a Tree: Same Message and Meaning

When I think of Christ and the crucification, my days of Jehovah's Witness teachings come back to me. Many a discussions I had with them about the means of his death...they do not believe he died on a cross.
Interestingly, I think back now and wonder was that argument relevant? Was it just to mask the significance of the meaning of his death?
Tonight, the eve of Good Friday, I can only think of its meaning. Of what occured in Christ's death and the significance it has for each of us. It is the message that is highlighted now, not the means of his death. Either way, I know he suffered for me. Either way, I know he took my sins to the cross. Either way, he created the bridge between me and his heavenly Father. He was the final sacrifice. He did this because of his love for each and every one of us. That is the significance.
Often, Satan will divide us on the insignificant, allow us to mask and hide the significant. Let us focus tonight, through the weekend and all the days to follow on the significant.
"Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. " John 3:14-16
Now that is significant, and for this, I am thankful. I have believed, and I have this hope and promise to hold on to. May you too think about the significance of Easter as you celebrate this weekend.
May you always find salt and light in my words!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Did you get your fill today?

What did you put in your mind today? How full is your mind as you read my post this evening?
I have found a change in me lately, and I believe it is because what I have entering my mind. I had become a bit of a facebook addict. I would play the games, check on posts, search for old friends...and I spent a lot of time doing it. Now in examining it, there really isn't anything wrong with what I was doing...except for what I wasn't doing.
So, I have made a shift. I do not turn my computer on in the morning, I open the bible and my journal. I begin to fill my mind with the things of God. On the way to work I listen to praise music or my favorite Christian music station.
In the evenings I am spending a lot of time with my writing, which as I mentioned yesterday gives me spiritual reflection. As I have started to empty my mind of the things of this world, and replaced it with the filling of the Word, prayer and praise...it has effected my mood and my outlook on my daily life. I have a different perspective. I am much more positive. I have increased in faith. I have peace.
I am sure most of you have heard the saying, garbage in, garbage out. It is so true with our spiritual journey. We need to feed ourselves. We need to have time to fill our minds with that which is good.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Philiipians 4:8
So if these are things we put in...that is what would come out. Imagine tomorrow being a day that you have truth, noble and right behavior, pure and lovely actions, being admired by others, and walking among others in excellence and worthy of praise. And if more of us do it...what would our world be like?
May you always find salt and light in my words!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My conversation with you

It is interesting to me how this blog is making me examine so much of myself, others, and the life that goes on around us. I have to thank my pastor for the inspiration to start this, though I really do feel as God was speaking through him. I use Facebook quite a bit. And I post a lot of here I am and this is how life is going kind of things. I try to not "air the dirty laundry" of my life there, but keep in touch with those I care about.

But one Sunday, Pastor shared how we can use the new world of social media  to share things that are more positive, hopeful, and praiseworthy. So I did begin to do that on Facebook. Then I remembered this blog I had opened in January with the desire to do something daily...named it Daily Dose. I was thinking I would take photos and tie some writing to it. It never happened. I believe God had a different plan for Daily Dose. I think His plan knew I would grow from this, it would offer me a quiet time to reflect on my daily walk and write about it. I am hoping He uses it as well to speak to you.
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6
This was my find of the day, and my prayer. I want my conversation on facebook, in person, on this blog...any and all conversations I have...to be full of grace, seasoned with salt, and have the ability to answer everyone.
May you always find salt and light in my words!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hope, Faith and Peace...who needs it?

Some may ask, why can't we just be good people? What is all this stuff about God, Jesus, salvation, church, worship...for some that is a lot of yada, yada, yada.
And, as someone who experiences it and knows what life is like without it, it is still hard to explain to someone without it. Because that's when I look at you and I ask, how do you walk throught this life without faith? without hope? without peace? What do you get out of this world and what it has to offer that really brings you happiness? How do you handle the hurt and pain without knowing someone has it in their hands, and they are taking care of it. Not just anyone...but an all powerful, all knowing God.
I have walked through some very dark times. Times where without God, I would feel such despair. But with God, I walked through those times with hope. I knew there would be another side. I didn't know why I had to walk through it, how long I would walk through it, or what it would look like on the other end, but still I had peace. I was able to have hope and peace because I also had faith. When I handed my life over to God, I really handed it to Him. I knew He would take care of me in the darkest of times. I know He was carrying me through, and He did see the other side. He also knew how this would change me, grow me and how it would prepare me to help someone else.
That is the other beauty...to be with a congregation with this same hope, peace and faith. They also walk you through those times. I really don't like to be around negativity. It makes my skin crawl! So I think about those dark times...and I think if I didn't have those friends who believed as I did, who encouraged my faith, who lifted me up and increased my peace, those dark times would be much darker. They shared in the faith. They didn't tell me to let go of the fight, they didn't tell me it wasn't worth it, they didn't tell me life isn't fair.....they told me to keep the faith, they told me I was a testimony of God's love and work in practice. How inspiring is that?!
I do not want to see anyone walk this world without the knowledge and relationship I have. I want to see you all have what I have. I want to know how to reach you. I want to pray for you and I want you to see what God can do.
My comments are moderated by me before I publish them. If I can help you with anything...questions, clarification, prayer..please post a comment. Don't worry about it being published, if you tell me to keep it unpublished I will. If you ever feel God is speaking to you through my words, I want you to know I pray before I post. I ask for Him to give me the words. I believe God knows before I type who will read these words. So, if you feel like He is talking right to you, He may be. God works in such wonderful ways. He finds us and let's us know he loves us. He finds a way, a place and a time. If it isn't me you reach out to, please reach out to someone....find what I found. Walking through this world with hope, faith and peace is so much better.
May you always find light and salt in my words.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Where Does Your Fire Come From?

I just completed watching a movie about the Holocaust. Always so hard for me to watch...and to understand. The evilness is as perplexing as the hope of those suffering.
However, when I look back on my spiritual journey, it was when I was suffering when I truly reached out, got in the Word, and my faith was all I could hold onto.
Why are we like that? Why is our walk not as passionate or focused when our lives are going well. Why don't we reach out with the same fired up worship of God during the good times?
So tonight I offer questions.
I'd love to hear your answers.
I know for this reason I am thankful for my sufferings and how I grew through them. So I believe it is why  God allows them. I am hoping I learn to grow spiritually in all circumstances, be as passionate, and full in my worship.
A short one tonight.
May you always find Salt and Light in my Words.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Christians are Humans too

I purposely have left out what denomination church I attend now...it really isn't the point of my journey. I love my church, and I am happy there. There have been times when I wasn't as happy here, times I have been disappointed. Churches are full of people. People lead it. People make decisions there. And people are humans. So they tend to fail you once in a while...as well as you fail them.
So, as far as churches go, I think we have to test things. It is not about a denomation...it boils down to two things. One is absolute...the church must never preach or teach anything that isn't biblical. If it does, get out. It really is that simple for me. God is the absolute, therefore so is His Word. (Of course we need to individually be in the Word to know if the church is, that is our responsibility)
The second is about preference. Lots of churches and lots of ways of doing things....yet all founded on the Word, that is when personal preference comes into play.
So...how do we handle things when the people disappoint us, let us down, act like humans?
 I think first we pray. We pray for God to protect our churches. It kind of goes with yesterday's post...the ineffective Christian, Satan loves ineffective churches as well. So we need to protect our churches with prayer. Pray for the leaders of our churches. We must also be vigilant and aware.
We also need to test our attitudes...are we making a bigger deal of something than need be? Can we really forgive and move on? Then we better. I have no doubt that Christ forgave his disciples over and over when they disappointed him.
I have witnessed the falling apart of congregations, and there were times I weathered the storm. I stayed and remained untouched and watched the process of building back up. I also had a circumstance where I left..I think the difference in these cases was where I was spiritually. When I was strong, I stayed. When I was weaker, I almost felt like God took me out early on...before the storm took me with it.
So...taking all these random thoughts and put it together...in all things we lean on God. We seek His will first. Christ is the Head of the Church. We need to know and be prepared of the consequences of the world we live in. The one and only we can count on at all times is God...we must not let anything or anyone seperate us from His love. So our choices should keep us in our relationship with God...and we can not let our hurts keep us from His love.
May you always find  Salt and Light in my words

Friday, April 15, 2011

Growing Up

Just like growing up from childhood, to teenage years and adulthood, there is a process of growing up as a Christian. A lot to learn and gains to make, mistakes that build you and strengthen you.
It has been a pendulum for me. I get close...and I swing back. Over and over again.
I believe it is Satan's greatest tool. Oh yeah, I hadn't mentioned him yet. Oh, he is out there. He seeks to destroy your witness, and would prefer no others are added to the fold.
So, it is pretty simple for him. He keeps us busy, occupies our minds with other things, nothing we would notice too much (work, family, hobbies, etc), and then we have no time to maybe go to church, pray, spend time reading the bible. So there he leaves the ineffective Christian in this state and really he needs to do no more. The world is out of control with sin, so if he keeps us from being a light, his job is pretty easy.
I allowed this a lot for me. Sometimes years at a time. And I was fooled during those times, thinking all was still good and right. I still loved God, and I would talk to him. What a mistake, so many wasted days, so much loss of time.
The pendulum has recently engaged in this direction again, the correct and right direction. This blog is a piece of it. I intend to be a light in the world of darkness, an alien of this world, because my home is in heaven. I would love if you would pray for me, pray for me to be alert when the enemy uses his skills to stop me. Pray for me to be vigilant. I was even too tired to post this tonight...but I knew God would give me the words, and the energy to complete before I end my day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journey Destination: Salvation

What brings us to a church? A need. A want. A curiosity. An invite. Or in my case...more time with the teenage boyfriend. If God has a message for us, he will get us there. God will get us to where we need to be, whether it be church, or a specific channel on a tv, or an article, or in a crowd listening in on a conversation. If He has something we need to hear, it will happen. The thing is...will we listen? We have many walls up to block out the message.
When the message came to me at first...it wasn't making sense. My wall consisted of unbelief. The simplicity of it didn't seem possible. The previous teachings of God surrounding me, I thought I would have to earn it, I just wasn't getting this free gift thing. But, God began to chip away at the layer around my heart.
Remember, I had my belief in God..... I had learned from early on about sin, heaven, Jesus and I had that desire to learn and understand more.
I also knew everything had to come from scripture. It had to be there or it wasn't true.
So there I found myself in a bible preaching church, and the message was penetrating. I knew I was a sinner. What I began to understand was I couldn't fix those sins. I wasn't ever going to be good enough to be worthy. All I had to do, was let go of control of my life. I needed to stop making the choices, and surrender it ALL to Christ. He has made the sacrifice, and I just needed to accept and receive the gift.
The day I did that as a 15 year old girl is a day I will never forget. The overwhelming emotion and release is not something I could ever explain to you. But I knew and I know, that I had found the answer. There was no doubt, and has never been a doubt since. This is what God wants for every one of us.
On that day, Jesus did enter my life, and He has control. But don't think for a moment I became perfect...oh absolutely NOT!! I do still try to pick up that control again, make decisions and choices that do not align with what my heart and soul are telling me. The difference now....conviction. It comes strong and hard. And then, if I remain independent, it is followed by consequences. Time and time again, He will allow me to go so far...kind of like a Dad (actually just like a Dad), taking on my independence, and He will watch. Before I fall into danger, He will pull me back. However, sometimes He will let me go, and I will fall and make those mistakes, and learn. That is where my journey has been since that day. It is a continual process. It is the process of actively submitting to God's will. I am in a relationship though, and that is the difference from my first two blogs on my journey. Within this relationship, the process is easier. On my own, it was impossible. So as I continue my blog, I will share pieces of this process with you. The letting go of me...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And the journey continues...

I wondered if I offended anyone yesterday, if I did it was unintentional. I mentioned not finding what I was looking for on my journey in the churches I mentioned.  I want to remind you that this is my journey, and it is where I found answers...but I do believe what I have found could be found in many different churches, in fact many different places. What would be really cool, is if you found what I found while reading my blog.
I left you yesterday at destination Jehovah's Witness on my journey. Another thing I discovered here, was no matter how hard I tried, I was still a sinner. I could never be good enough, I could never live up to the laws and rules the bible talked about. That can obviously be discouraging and tough. But it is the state we are in...all sinners. I didn't come to this realization yet, this understanding would come later. However, due to sin and the inability to live up to standards, I found I was no longer in "fellowship" with Jehovah's Witnesses. Again, a lot more detail could come here...but unnecessary.
A few years that followed this time were teen years. I fell into the traps and snarls of this age. I can look back now and see God reached out His hand then, He lead me out of that. I made a decision to go to my dad and let him know the trouble I had fallen into and asked to come live with him. What 8th grade girl enjoying freedom and having fun would make the decision to do this? One who is lead my God. It brought me a step closer to where He needed me. He was still at work. I didn't know it yet, I know it now. As I look back and see His work in my life. Forever thankful.
God uses many things to get us where He needs us. Many times it is a church service, but not always. Still being a teen, it was a boy who lead me to the next step. God had a message for me, and He brought me to where I needed to be.
Tomorrow I will continue to share the journey....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journey Part 1: Religion

Do you ever sit back and look at how God brought you from point A to point B...and think WOW. Sometimes I can even see why. When I look at my "religious" background I can sort of see a why, or at least if I was going to be there, He would use it, to help me in my journey.
So, it begins....an infant, born to Catholic parents. I was brought to church on Sundays and attended catheticism classes later on. I remember that church...the smells, the words, the beauty of the stained glass windows. I remember my first communion, white dresses and gloves. This would also be the day of my first communion. The door closes, darkness, and the revealing of your sins. Prayers to follow.
Through this, I found there is a God. I knew from a very early age that there was heaven, God, Jesus, sin, forgiveness. All things I needed to know for the journey. I am thankful it was given to me early...I don't know of a time where God wasn't a part of my life. So, my Cathoic days were valuable, and I thank my parents for their commitment to bringing me.
From here the turn in the journey was much different. My mother had left the Catholic church and became a Jehovah's Witness. After my parent's divorce, I started to go with my mom. The desciption of this part of the journey could be detailed with a lot more..but I will set that aside today. I will go right to how God used this time. What I gained from the Jehovah's Witness was the importance of scripture. (this could also be followed with a lot of detail, but again, for today I will set that aside) During this time of my life, I spent more time in scripture than I had previously. I found through this part of my life, that I needed to study scripture. It also taught be to question, and to find truth.
Through these "religions" I did not find what I needed, I did not find what God had in mind...but because He loved me, he used these experiences. I still knew He was there, I still knew I wanted Him in my life.
I will tell more of the journey tomorrow....

Today I am adding this to a link up for a piece of my history. To me, this is the most important piece of my history.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11 Day 1 A Decision Made

A journey to tell. I had this blog open, waiting to decide to what I would devote it ,and had a few ideas floating around. I have decided to tell of a journey I started, and continue daily. My journey with God. Decision made. Tune in each day