Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Why are you still sleeping?"

I spent this evening catching up on my read through the Bible plan as I had fallen behind. Lots of things struck me - but one verse in particular was very convicting:

“'Why are you sleeping?' he asked them.
'Get up and pray so that you
will not fall into temptation.'” - Luke 22:46

I imagine if Jesus were to say something directly to me today it would go something like this:

"Sherri, why are you still looking to Facebook and watching TV shows online to fill your time? Why are you not spending time in prayer and in God's Word as you committed to do? What about those other books  you've been wanting to read? Sherri, why do you lack such discipline? As you continue to prepare for this Easter season celebrating My resurrection and victory over sin and death FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS! I love you and don't want you to be distracted by these other things."

Despite MY efforts, I have failed in my attempt to be Facebook free for the season of Lent. While I have only posted from my blog or sharing another blog I've read, I have found myself there perusing, seeing what is going on with everyone. I have found myself there wasting time when there are so many better things I could be doing. There are probably many reasons for this...
  • I have tried to rely on my own strength rather than God's.
  • I just really suck when it comes to discipline.
  • I sometimes just want to shut my brain off and it is way too easy to get distracted by other things. 

I keep getting drawn back to what our youth pastor posted on the blog as we began our journey on this reading plan: "It's about building consistency...not perfection"  I am thankful that although God wants me to seek Him, He knows that in this human body I can not be perfect. So, I haven't kept my commitment to stay off Facebook and spend less time watching TV shows ... 
  • I CAN'T undo the past.
  • I CAN repent.
  • I CAN accept God's grace and forgiveness.
  • I CAN move on from here knowing His love isn't based on my performance.
One other verse really hit me as I read tonight:

"Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." 2 Corinthians 7:1

Facebook and TV aren't evil in and of themselves, it is how we let them affect our lives. For ME Facebook can suck up too much time which is why I will not be downloading the app to my phone even after Easter. I also look to Facebook much too often for affirmation, acknowledgment, etc. I have had far too many situations in my life where I have been dismissed and pushed away and it causes me to look to others to be recognized. So, for me Facebook can be something that contaminates my body and spirit - the way I use it and how often I use it has to change. I need to focus on God and HIS acceptance/acknowledgment of me.
  • The fact that He loves me so very much absolutely blows my mind.
  • The fact that Jesus suffered so immensely for MY sin amazes me.
  • The fact that He extends so much mercy and grace to me is way too much for me to fathom most days.
God is my Rock and I really need to spend more time being filled up with HIS TRUTH. I have spent most of my life listening to the lies that have been put in my head by people in my past and the enemy. Living and acting according to GOD'S TRUTH isn't going to happen over night. It's going to take time... building consistency.

And, speaking of time, I have one less hour of it tonight with Daylight Savings Time, so I suppose I should be thinking about going to bed soon. Ahh... SPRING IS COMING! I love Spring. In spite of my allergies which go crazy in the Spring... 
  • I love to see the flowers blooming.
  • I love to hear the birds chirping.
  • I love to see the green grass and the leaves on the trees.
According to Wikipedia: "Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth." 
This Spring I am filled with more hope than I have had in a very long time. Not too long ago I would have looked at my lack of discipline and not keeping my commitment for Lent and beat myself up. I would have listened to the lies...
  • "You're no good."
  • "You can't do anything right."
  • You're a failure."
Instead, I look at it as a lesson, an opportunity to experience God's mercy and grace, and I look forward "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Springing ahead with hope,


Monday, March 4, 2013

Lies vs. Truth

I think we all have those lies in our head - whether they are put there by an actual person or satan whispering lies into our ears.  I've been wrestling with lies a lot lately and working to replace those lies with Truth - Truth from God's Word about who I am in Christ.

My counselor had an opening today which is normally our "off" week (we are only scheduled once a week but I really want/feel the need to meet weekly but right now can only do so if he has a cancellation). Anyway, we were doing work today on dealing with those lies. In my case they are mostly lies told to me by my mother. She is my mother in the sense that she gave birth to me, but she never nurtured/cared for/loved me the way a mother should love her child. I was robbed of the childhood I deserved, the childhood God would have wanted me to have. It would be easy to just be angry and bitter about it, but the truth is we live in a broken world and that means sometimes very unfair things happen. This is the hand I was dealt and God can take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good and it is my hope and prayer that He does that in my life. As I wrote yesterday...

  • Every day when I get up my ONE GOAL is to LIVE MY LIFE IN A MANNER PLEASING TO HIM
No matter what has happened to me, no matter what will happen to me in the future - I am to live my life in a way that pleases God. I pray that He can use the suffering I've experienced to help me to help others, but first and foremost to show the world that God is the God Who heals the broken-hearted, God is the one Who can take any and every situation and use it for His good and His glory.

On my way home today the song "Remind me Who I Am" by Jason Gray came on the radio. Coincidence? No... another God-incident. After a session with my counselor dealing with addressing those lies and replacing them with the Truth about who God says I am - I hear this song on the radio. It was an awesome reaffirmation to me. Here are the lyrics:

"Remind Me Who I Am"

When I lose my way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see,
Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.
In the loneliest places,
When I can't remember what grace is.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You.
To You.

When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
When I can't receive Your love,
Afraid I'll never be enough,
Remind me who I am.
If I'm Your beloved,
Can You help me believe it.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You, whoa.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You.
That I belong to You.
To You.

I'm the one you love,
I'm the one you love,
That will be enough,
I'm the one you love.

Tell me once again who I am to You.
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You, oh.

Tell me once again who I am to You.
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You.
To You.
© Jason Gray

Clinging to the Truth,


Sunday, March 3, 2013


Another awesome morning of worship and learning from God’s Word today. I am unbelievably blessed with an awesome church family. This morning the Name of God we studied was “Adonai” - this means Master, Lord, Owner. This has a bad connotation in American society - automatically making us think of the use of blacks as slaves. But, in the context of God as our Master, our Lord, our Owner - it takes on a whole new meaning. God created me - He didn’t create me for ME. He created me to be His.

  • Life isn’t about me - it is about my Master.
  • I belong to Him, it is my job to listen to what He says.
  • Everything I have belongs to my Master and is for HIS use.
  • My one goal is to please my Master above all else.
    • Every day when I get up my ONE GOAL is to LIVE MY LIFE IN A MANNER PLEASING TO HIM!
Pastor Marty told a story from a book by Ann Spangler - I couldn’t get it all written down but googled it and found the story and what she said about it: here

Imagine that you have inherited a large box filled with diamonds. Along with the box you've also inherited a million different keys, with no indication of which one will open the box. According to the rules of the inheritance you are allowed to try one new key each day until you discover the one key that works. So you start with the most elegant-looking one in the collection. Day after day, you try one key after another, but nothing works. Finally on the one-millionth day, you try the smallest, most corroded key of the bunch, and, of course, it works. Suddenly you are a multimillionaire, rich enough to fulfill your heart's desires. There is just one problem. To use every key, you would have to live to be at least 2,740 years old!
Now consider the story from a different angle. Instead of starting with the most impressive key, let's say you decide to approach the problem counterintuitively by starting with the least attractive key. Bingo! It works. You have instant access to an enormous fortune, more than enough to support you for the rest of your life.
The point of this fanciful story is this: If we want to find the one key to everything good in life, we will need to approach the problem counterintuitively. Instead of operating by instinct, we will operate by faith. Instead of striving to do what we want when we want, we will strive to do what God wants when he wants. As we do, we will begin to understand that his lordship will not diminish or impoverish us but that it will bless us in surprising ways. Astonished by all the good he does in and through us, we will be able to echo the psalmist's praise: "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."

“Lord it is my prayer that I would live my life every day in a manner that pleases You. Help me to live counterintuitively, not operating by instinct, but by faith, not striving to do what I want but strive to do what You want. May my life simply be an instrument of Your grace.”

In the Name of Adonai,