Friday, August 24, 2012

Purpose Part 2

I was just re-reading a message I sent to my friend Todd who I mentioned in my last post. I sent him a link to a song that I heard only 2 days after Kristi passed away. The song is called "Even If" by Kutless. You can listen to the song here:

These are the lyrics:

Even If by Kutless

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn't come

And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn't come

Lord we know your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

You're still the Great and Mighty One

We trust You always
You're working all things for our good
We'll sing your praise

You are God and we will bless You

As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn't come
Even if the healing doesn't come

As I  re-read the lyrics, I was ABSOLUTELY AMAZED. The 2 verses I referenced in my last post, Isaiah 55:8 and Romans 8:28 are directly referred in this song... "Lord we know your ways are not our ways." "You're working all things for our good"

WOW! How cool is that!?!?

If you didn't read the post before this one, that will help to put this post in context!

Holding on to the TRUTH that God is good all the time,



I love this quote! I have to admit, there are times when I wonder why I am still here on earth. God has had plenty of opportunities to take me home (not that He needs an opportunity, but that is another topic!). I had a stroke at the age of 20 - I actually told God I was ready to come Home when I was praying before the surgery. When I woke up I remember thinking, "Well, He must not be done with me here yet." Last year I rolled my truck....

I can't believe I walked away from that!

I can't believe I only had a few minor scrapes and a sore neck and back after getting out of there. AMAZING!

Yet another "opportunity" God had to take me Home. As my Facebook caption for the bottom photo said, "Totally amazed by God's grace. He truly isn't finished with me yet... HE still has me here for a reason!"

Yesterday I went to a funeral visitation for the wife of a High School classmate. She would have turned 46 next week, she leaves behind a devoted and loving husband, 2 boys: ages 10 and 4, her mom, and many, many friends.

"There are 2 little boys who are going to grow up without their Mommy. Why her and not me God?"

"My friend Todd, her husband, is left without the love of his life who has been by his side for 25 years. Why her and not me, God?"

"A mother had to bury her child today, Lord. Why her and not me, God?"

Yes, I admit, these questions went through my mind.

The bottom line is, the only answer is the same answer God gave me when I questioned Him in college when a friend was killed by a drunk driver.

Isaiah 55:8: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD."  

Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

These are the answers God always seems to give me when I ask "Why...?" The answer can be summed up in one word: TRUST. I have to trust that His ways are higher than mine. I have to trust that He can take even bad things caused by sin in this world and use them for good. 

One of the first passages I memorized was Ephesians 2:8-9. These are great verses which remind us that there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to be saved... it is by God's GRACE through FAITH. But, we really need to memorize verse 10 along with verses 8-9 (I actually like to try to memorize books or chapters... it's much better to have it all in context... but again, that is another topic!) Ephesians 2:8-10: "For it by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

So, here I am... my heart is still beating. As long as it is beating, I need to remember the truth in Ephesians 2:8-10... I need to remember that thanks to God's amazing grace, He has saved me, and He has a purpose for my life. If He didn't have anything left for me to do on this earth, He would take me Home to be with Him. So, as long as my heart is still beating I need to be seeking to live my life out according to HIS PURPOSES for me.

So, go ahead, place your hand over your heart.... feel that? That's purpose - God's not through with you yet!

Running the race with purpose,


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Baby Steps

Making changes is hard.
Making changes takes work.
Making changes doesn't happen overnight.
Making changes is worth it!

This was another tough week. After a weekend where I was absolutely emotionally spent, I was not ready for Monday when it got here. But, I persevered and I did practice self-control. While it was a tough week in some regards, some baby steps were made and I feel like I made progress through the week. That's what it's really all about, isn't it? Seeing progress being made. I don't have to "get it all together" in one week. I don't even have to wait until Monday to "start over" if (when) I trip up.

Overall this week I spent more time in prayer and more time in God's Word. I was more connected with God and our relationship grew closer. Did I spend all the time I wanted to/should have/could have with the Lord? No. Did I make progress? Yes! And, that is what matters!

I made healthier food choices this week and walked on my breaks at work. I went to the gym a couple of times. Did I eat some junk I shouldn't have? Yes. Did I work out as often as I wanted to/should have/could have? No. Did I make progress? Yes! And, that is what matters!

Pressing on with faith and hope,