Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Whole Heart Faith Week 2 Day 1

Well, like I said on FB today struggling...losing...struggling...maintaining...struggling.

And I do, I struggle with this walk every day. With finding time to spend in the Word and in prayer, then attempting to walk out what I am hearing. That is where I am failing...badly. I hear and I so want to do, but it's like I walk out of my refuge in to the world, and it just doesn't take to kindly to me wanting a whole heart faith that seeks after God. Either that, or I can be a woman of God at home, where it is safe, there are few distractions, no one to yell at, no one to jump on, no one to blame (except Elvis). Yet when I leave the house and join the world, there are way to many distractions. The biggest one being me. I want to fit, and I "hide" the fact that I am seeking God, so that others will not laugh and ridicule me. (I get that enough as it is). I had to go search out a poem that I wrote many moons ago that so seems to fit.

What Would Happen?

What Would Happen if I could see Jesus?
Would I sit and talk or show Him off?
Would He be a hit, or would He be ashamed?
Would He walk with pride by my side?
Or hide His face in embarrassment?
With my friends gathered round would He enter in
Or turn and walk the other way?
Do I really want to know, or am I afraid
What would happen if I could see Jesus?

I am finding it very hard to let go of my old "master". He is a devil of a taskmaster, and I do not like serving him. But he is the reality I know, and that is a cop out. I choose to cling to the old, while trying to grasp the hand of God. He is just out of reach. He needs me to choose to let go of the old master, before I grab hold of the One True Master. He is standing there arms open wide saying "jump baby, I've got you". And I try, oh I try. It's only the tips of my fingers touching the tips of the old master's, and I know it only a hop, skip, and a jump into my Father's arms. But, it's a million miles from my feet to His arms, and so I ease back feeling my fingers sliding across the old master's palms. I don't grasp it like I use to, and he does not grasp mine. Because he knows he doesn't have to, he holds me with fear. Fear of that chasm that is so deep and so wide that there is no way my Father can catch me before I fall. And I think, if He would just come get me, just snatch me up and carry me off, but He won't cause it my choice, and my will. So He stands there arms open wide, smile on His face, and a tear in His eye, just waiting, never tiring, never scolding, just waiting...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My new bed partner

After the previous post, I thought I needed to lighten it up a little, and shock ya'll just a little. This is my new bed partner, we have been together since December 11th, 2008. I think he just might be a keeper. His name is Elvis, and he is a Hungarian Vizsla. This is also my unfinished living room.

This is what I see every day, as I walk up the driveway to the front door.

And there is no way that this can be comfortable. But he can do this for hours when he is chewing on something. In this case, it's a piece of wood from the wood pile.

Elvis is a gift from God. I found him on the 11th, turned 50 on the 13th, and kicked my previous bed partner of 25 plus years to the curb on the 18th. He came house broken and has had some training. Don't know what I did to deserve him, and don't know what I would do without him. He is the love of my life, bed hogging, cat chasing, shoe chewing, snoring, bad gas thing that he is. Now if I could just teach him to mow and take out the trash, I would have it made.

Whole Heart Faith Day 4 and my Mom

This is my Mom and 4 of her 5 great-grandchildren. I think that I have posted this picture before. It is one of my favorites.

This is a hard post. You see my Mother is dying. She is in the early stages of kidney failure and has chosen not to take medical action to extend her life. I understand and respect her choices. But at the same time it is breaking my heart. I am not ready to let my mother go, whether it is next week or two years from now. I am not through needing her, enjoying her company or having her messing in my life. She is the center around which my siblings, my children, and myself rotate. And without her, we are very likely to fall off our axis.

My Mother is going to be 78 years old this year, I hope, she has survived the death of two husbands, both parents, and one brother. She raised 3 kids alone for a lot of years, and was willing to do without so that we could have. We traveled as a family, to Six Flags over Texas at least once a year, and to Florida by car twice. We went to see family often. She gave my siblings and me a love of music and reading. We went to free art shows, and developed tastes for all forms of art.

She is not without fault because she is human, and can be as stubborn and hard headed as the day is long. She can hold a grudge, especially if you hurt one of her "chicks". She is a five year breast cancer survivor, and has been through 2 hip replacement surgeries. She is saved, but she and God got cross ways years ago and she walked away from Him, and will not discuss things of God with anyone.

Warts and all she is my Mom and I love her dearly. Or as we like to say, "I love her to the moon and back again, and that's a long way baby!"

God is tying this all together with the Whole Heart Faith that I am doing with Leigh from Speaking Thru Me Ministries.

I have to trust that my Father is working in my Mother's life, and that is all I need to know.

Scriptures that caught my attention today are Luke 12:31-32 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don't be afraid little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. I love verse 32 Don't be afraid little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom.

First time the word delight is used in connection with God is Numbers 14:8 where Moses tells the Israelites, "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey." Deuteronomy 10:15 says "The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them: and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples as it is this day." Psalm 16:3 As for the saints who are on the earth, They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. Proverbs 8:30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight.

It is hard at times for me to conceive that God delights in me! And on top of that, He delights in giving me the kingdom. Me the one that has said many times, thanks, but I can handle this. Go sit over there God until I get done with this sin, and a host of assorted other things, God still delights in me!! Wrap your brain around that one. I am still trying to. And if God delights in me, bottom feeder extraordinaire, faulted, sinful, self centered child that I am, then He delights also in my Mother, and is able to draw back what has gone astray.

Father, Thank you that I can open the hand that is holding so tightly to my Mother and trust her to You. Thank you that I can rest in knowing that even if I can't see it and she won't discuss it, that You are working in her life. Father, I want to ask so badly for a healing in her life, for both her kidneys and her relationship with You. But I know that the healing in your relationship is much more important that the healing in her body, and if it takes this to bring that healing about, I will bow to Your will. Father, I am undone to think that You delight in me! How and why are the first things that come to mind. But You are the one that chose me, and there must be something redeemable in this life, that will somehow some way bring You glory, or You wouldn't be drawing me closer. Thank you that You never give up on me, and that I never get to the end of Your grace, mercy, and loving kindness towards me. Thank You seems so small in light of all that You gave in order to have a relationship with me. Your Son, Father? You love me so much that You gave Your Son, Your only begotten Son on top of that, so that I would no longer be separated from You. How Father can I say thank you to that other than to give my all to You and say here take it, it's Yours to use as You deem fit. I love you Father, and I desire to serve You and worship You with my whole heart. In Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Whole Heart Faith Day 3

Luke 8: 18 has captured me and I am chewing on it. First part says: Therefore take heed how you hear. The word that I am stumbling over or having trouble with is how. This is an option word. You ask people how was your meal, how was your day, and how do you like your steak cooked. You make a choice. So how do you choose how you listen? With your head or with your heart? With ears wide open, or eyes wide shut. Then once you choose how you listen, you have to decide what you are going to do with it after that.

I have been avidly following the India Compassion Bloggers, almost to the point of stalking. Anne Jackson on her blog wrote an entry called "So whatcha gonna do?" In this entry Anne writes about the origins of Compassion International, and the tag line to the founder was "now that you've seen what you've seen, what are you going to do about it".

I think this applies very nicely to Luke 8:18 where Jesus says "Therefore take heed how you hear. Now that I've heard what I've heard, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to believe it all from Genesis to Revelation, and attempt to walk it out in my day to day, growing and changing, to allow God to renew not only my mind but my attitude. Or am I going to say I hear, I believe, and I have your number in case I need you. I have to be honest and admit I have done more of the latter, and am discovering that as a result of this choice my life is not running as smoothly as it could. So I have jumped on board with Leigh at Speaking Thru Me Ministries on this Whole Heart Faith. And believing that as I choose how I listen, that God will grow me into a child worthy to be called His.

Side note here. I am a West Texas girl, so I call meditating on the Word, chewing the cud. Interestingly enough, animals that chew the cud are called ruminants, and are said to ruminate, which also means to ponder or think upon. Now if I could just learn to be still and at rest while I chew, I would be doing good.

Leigh thank you so much for being obedient and taking us on this journey with you. I know that it is day by day, and will not end in a month or two.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Whole Heart Faith Day 2

Boy when I ask God for something with my whole heart, He will do it!!! Stayed up way to late last night and did not get up early enough for my quiet time, or so I thought. God told me this morning that I arrange Him around my day instead of my day around Him. So I didn't make it in to work as early as I thought I would. But the quiet time was well worth it. God is also gently telling me that I have chosen not to surround myself with godly people in my day to day real life. I place them on the side lines and let them cheer me on while I walk with people that know God, but do not KNOW God.

I want to do this thing to serve only Him, to dethrone foreign gods and idols. I have, in reading through Judges tsked the Israelites for not following God continually. Over and over it talks about how with no leader, the Israelites turned to other gods. God informed me that I have done this exact same thing over and over. It should not take a man to lead me into a real relationship with God.

Scripture that God has brought to my attention a couple of times in the past few days is Joshua 18:3 Then Joshua said to them children of Israel, "How long will you neglect to go in and possess the land which the LORD God has given you?"

I can't hold what I do not possess, and I can't possess what I do not fight for. I have to fight for my relationship with God so that it has meaning and value.

I am off to do dishes, get ready for bed and spend some time in the Word.

Leigh, Dori, and Denise, I am praying for you as I know that you are praying for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Whole Heart Faith Day 1

Whew Father it has been a day. A day in which I chose not to glorify or follow You. Father I lied, cheated, and stole today. I chose me over You yet again, and saw what a failure my day was. Well maybe not totally, I did speak to Stephanie about her situation, but felt like it fell on deaf ears.

Father I need to come bathe in the shower of Your forgiveness. It's just really hard to get there, because half the time I really don't feel like I mean it when I ask for forgiveness, I feel like I do it more out of habit then I do out of true repentance. Plus you know the minute I get up from prayer with You that I am going to go running straight back to that pig pen. Father cleanse me of my unrighteousness, then give me the strength and courage not to go back there again. Strengthen me for this battle, give me the tools and encouragement I need to throw the idol of self centeredness off it's throne and in the trash where it belongs.

Father I think one of the first things I need to do this thing is a church home. I want a place where I can serve. A place where I can be ministered to and that I can minister to others. I don't have to agree with all that they teach, I just need a home where I feel safe to be real, and people that will hold me accountable. I want a home Father. A place where I belong, and am welcomed warts and all.

Father give me a hunger for Your Word. You know I love it and that I believe it from beginning to end, but I don't crave it, I don't study it, and I darn sure don't live it. I want it to be real to me, to need it more than I need my next breathe. To be the plumb line by which I judge and correct myself. I don't want to be so spiritual that no one else can measure up, and I don't want to be so holy that the only way I can look at anyone is down my nose. I just want to be Yours. To be a usable vessel. Am I asking to much Father? Have I set an unobtainable goal? I hope not.

Father God, this is not beyond You, this is the desire of Your heart and I want it to be the desire of mine. To know You, to seek You, and to follow after You regardless of where You take me. To trust with all my heart that Your promise to never leave me or forsake me is true. To believe that You are faithful and just. Father give me Jesus, make Him very real in my life. Show me how to die to self and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in all things.

I love you Father I really do, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that You love me and that Your plans are not to harm me but to give me a future and a hope. Be that future and that hope in my life Father. Here I am Father, bags of sin and disobedience hanging off of me, mold me, shape me. Take this life and make it into something that is usable by You. I am heavy laden Father, please give me rest. Thank you for never giving up on me. In Jesus name Amen.

As I can see from the above prayer, self centeredness is an ugly thing. It's all about self, rooted in puffed up pride that sometimes hides behind low self esteem. Center of the universe, smart a@#&* know it all. Not a friend of God. Self centered is what defeated satan and got him kicked out of heaven. That statement alone should be enough to shut it down, but it's not. I take pride in the fact that I have accepted Christ as my personal Savior. That because I have bowed the knee and walked the isle, there is no way that I can go to instead I decide to live a hell on earth by choosing to live separated from Him. God is reminding me that I can not serve two masters that I will love the one and hate the other, and when I choose the wrong master...I pay the price. By being the self centered person I am, I negate all that Christ did, the horrific beating and death that He willingly suffered so that I did not have to spend an eternity in hell. I say by my actions that I know what He did, and I believe what He did, but I do not honor it with my life. I do not write these things for you to come and stroke my ego and tell me oh no Sallye that is not who you are. I write these things to be honest with my self, to hold my self accountable to what I was, and to spur me on to be what God sees me as.

Whole Heart Faith Week 1

Leigh over at Speaking Thru Me has started what she calls Whole Heart Faith. This is based on I Samuel 7:2-4 and 6-12.

If you have never met Leigh or you are wondering what this is about you can go here to find out what started this, and then go here to see what her week one is. Dori is also pursuing Whole Heart Faith and you can go here to see what she is doing. Denise is also choosing to pursue God and you can go here to read her post.

Leigh and Denise are chunking their weight, and Dori is choosing to let go of idleness in favor of spending time with God and in pursuits He chooses.

Me, I could kick either one of these off the throne since I bow to both, but I think where God is calling me is my self-centeredness. Oh, I can throw on the spiritual suit and look goood. I will bankrupt myself to assist others, especially my kids. And when the mood strikes and the Holy Spirit knocks me to my knees, I can pray for others. But to come before my Father and say this ain't working, I can't or rather won't do. I had much rather wade around in the shallows, then climb out, step back, run fast, and jump as far as I can into the deep things of God. And you know what's so funny is that I have been there. I let God have so much control, that I would stand in my closest and ask Him what I was going to wear that day. But I let p-r-i-d-e get between us, I got to the point that I thought I was the only one slapped down, and instead of getting up and going ok, I need to work on that, I turned and walked off. Now I want to come back with my whole heart, , rid myself of foreign gods and idols, to commit myself to the Lord, and to serve only Him.

So I need you to pray for me, as I pray for you. To be honest with me, and to believe that slowly step by step this is doable.

Father God I ask that you show me how to set aside myself and to choose You. Father, I come before You with my whole heart asking, no begging that You draw me to You. That You become the LORD in my life, that I will fall head over heels in love with Jesus, and that I learn to lean all my weight on You. More than anything else Father I need the courage to take that leap into the deep end, knowing that You will be there to catch me. Father watch over each of us as we work to toss idols and foreign gods out of our lives. Strengthen us for this battle, be our shield. Let all that we do bring glory to You, and point not to ourselves but to You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.