the glue that holds me together

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Write for five minutes. Don’t think too hard. Just write. Then share over @thegypsymama. There’s only one rule. Visit the link before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

The word this week is glue.

GO

Colossians 1
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Before Jesus my life was a mess. Falling apart. Hopeless. Desperate. Lost.

Then the Lord opened my eyes. Saved me.

He is the glue that holds me together. Fills me with hope.

Praise God! It’s Friday but Sunday is coming!

STOP

His… Michelle
Philippians 1:20

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Do you know what’s wrong with the world today?

I am. No really. I am.

The loss of the senior pastor at my church has caused me, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to examine my heart. And woe is me for I am found horribly wanting.

I spend so much time looking at how other people mess up and I am like the Pharisee in the temple who thanks God he isn’t like a tax collector or an adulterer or a sinner.

Meanwhile, the behaviors that instantly left me the day after I surrendered my life all those years ago have been slowly but surely resurfacing, causing me to be double minded. Today it hit me hard. I have been making God look bad. My light has been hidden under a basket. The truly scary part is it is completely unintentional. I want to be holy. I want people to see Jesus in me.

Sin is just like those crazy tumors we removed on the ship in Africa, those ameloblastomas. If even one little cell is missed in the removal, the tumor grows right back. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow process. Or sin is like the weeds that grow in a garden. You pluck that sucker up, but some are so pervasive if you don’t get the last millimeter of the root, it grows back and spreads. Sin is like cancer and we all have it.

Thank God He is faithful to point out to me my sin. Thank God I still hear His voice. Thank God He still loves me unconditionally. Thank God He never changes. Thank God His mercies are new every morning. Thank God! Praise God! He alone is worthy. He alone deserves glory, honor, and praise. Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty!

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

Linking up with

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Fractured

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I’m having a shell shocking week. My whole routine has been turned upside down. Again.

It’s funny to me how it all happens. You’re moving along, minding your own business, things calm, routine, peaceful.

Next thing you know the family’s in town, you’re road tripping for an overnight visit to your little kid, staying in a motel with 4 people you’re not used to being in close contact with anymore, finding out the church you got saved in has come undone because your favorite teacher/pastor has resigned for moral failing, your big kid has had two very close friends pass away within days of each other, hosting the visiting family who aren’t believers, no time for cycling, no time for any semblance of routine, not allowed to be yourself because your mother just doesn’t understand who you are…

I feel fractured. Pulled in about five different directions.

One arm trying to wrap around the kid who’s friends are dead, none of whom know Jesus as far as I can tell, without making him feel worse than he already feels, but what can I say? There are no words for the ones who don’t know Jesus other than God is sovereign and I trust Him. He knows who belongs to Him even when we don’t.

Another arm is wrapped around the little kid who thinks because I pushed him to grow up and be responsible, I meant I was cutting him off and would never be supportive to him again, which is, of course, not what I meant at all! He’s the main reason the Lord brought me home from Africa.

Then I have this great dysfunctional family I barely have anything in common with anymore but the shared past and it breaks my heart because I desperately want them to know Jesus and my words just seem to keep falling on deaf ears and again I have to trust God because only He knows their end.

And finally, what of my church? I confess I feel I am too cynical to call myself a Christian. I’ve been telling close friends for years I’m too mean for church, too judgmental, too critical. And I wonder. Has God just given me this incredible gift of discernment that helps me guard my heart? I’ve always been very introspective. I’m a thinker. I’m an analyzer. When I heard this sad news about the pastor, I wasn’t terribly shocked. I wasn’t stricken with terrific sadness. I don’t think I feel much of anything at all except sadness for his choice and all he and his family must suffer through now.

My pastor is a great teacher. He makes scripture come alive. He’s a charismatic leader. But somewhere over the last 8 years, he stopped listening to the Holy Spirit. And now he must face the music.

And now I must seriously examine my own heart because it could happen to me. It could happen to you. If you think you are safe from this sort of thing, be careful. Sin is standing at your front door and it wants to control you.

The biggest thing I’ve learned over the last 8+ years is the only One who is completely trustworthy is Jesus Christ. God. He never changes. He never leaves. He never forgets. He is the only reason I am alive. He is the only reason I will have the strength to carry on through this upside down week. He is the only One who can put me back together, keep me from losing my mind. Thank God He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.

This is what I’m thinking about.

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

Linking up with Lyli @3dlessons4life

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I follow Jesus

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The main thing I’m going to do is keep the main thing the main thing. This is my biggest challenge.

I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been around the block a few times. I know what lies in the hearts of men. We’re all capable of good AND evil. This cynical way of thinking is, in my opinion, a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it allows me to protect my heart from being broken by very fallible human beings. It’s a curse because it makes me stand far back from people, looking for the flaw instead of the good.

But Jesus, the perfect, sinless, God Man doesn’t think the way I do. I am so grateful for this truth. If He thought the way I thought, I would be dead in my sin. I would be hopelessly lost. His crucifixion means I am set free from this prison of cynicism. The doors of my prison cell have been thrown open. And little by little, I am walking toward the exit.

It means I can be quick to forgive others when they blow it and let me down because now I realize how much I blow it and let others down too.

The pastor at my church resigned over the weekend for a “moral failure”. That’s how the other pastors chose to describe it. I don’t need to know the details. I have nothing but respect for my pastor confessing, stepping down, facing the consequences of his actions. How many people do you know who would do the same? And I trust God. He will deal with my pastor in the most fair, righteous, loving, merciful manner we as human beings are incapable of dealing.

I pray for all involved to be comforted, forgiven, reunited, and reconciled. I pray they come through this dark valley stronger, set free, and healed.

Mostly I pray the body of Christ remembers to keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus. King of kings. Lord of lords. Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. No. Other. Name! I have decided to follow Jesus! No turning back!

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

no divisions

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When it comes to Jesus, there is no have your cake and eat it too. You are for Him or against Him. You worship Him or you don’t worship Him. Jesus + NOTHING = everything. There is no Jesus + (insert your preference here) = everything. And still I meet people I truly believe love the Lord but don’t get this concept. At. All.

I know a girl who loves Jesus, but doesn’t think He is God? Is it because she’s only heard what men have taught? I am so thankful for the Word of God, for Bible studies like this, for the ability to seek the truth and find it. Now I have to figure out how to humbly shine the light of truth into this girl’s life so she will be completely blown away by the total awesomeness of God!

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

betrayal of greatest magnitude

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This is such a chilling verse. Woes are so bad. Did you know that Judas never once calls Jesus Lord? He only calls him teacher or rabbi. I can’t remember where I read this? I think it was in the notes of my ESV Study Bible.

The thing about Judas’ betrayal is it is such a deep, dark, nefarious deed to give over the person you’ve been following voluntarily for 3 years. How much bitterness and hatred lived in his heart? I wonder? And I’m also always struck to the heart when he tries to take it back and he cannot undo what’s been done.

When I was a child of 16, my dad had a massive heart attack. A couple months later, he kind of went crazy, had a huge freak out at my mom, started throwing things, breaking things. I screamed at him to get the f#%* out of our house and I hate you and other childish things. He kicked me in the stomach and ran out the front door.

I never told him I was sorry. A couple of months later he was dead. I said what I said. I betrayed him in childish anger. I couldn’t take it back. The heartache of that alone nearly killed me.

I turned my back on God completely, blamed him. It took 26 years for me to come to my senses. All because of the wonderful, patient, merciful, loving kindness of my Savior. I thank God I didn’t drop dead the way Judas dropped dead!

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

why the last supper matters

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I’m participating in a great Bible study with friends on Facebook from Good Morning Girls. It’s a 4 week study about why Easter matters. Above is today’s scripture. Below are my thoughts.

So years ago, I took a quiz to see what gifts of the Spirit I have. My number one gift is mercy. And I am merciful… To the sick, outcast, poor people of the world. As an OR nurse, I serve all day long. I seem to be filled with so much compassion for my patients. But the co workers? This is where I fall short daily. I know what I should do. I know how I should be. I am better than I used to be, but I still have a long way to go in serving sacrificially. I praise God everyday for not treating me the way I deserve to be treated. I’m so thankful for His mercy toward me.

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20