Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bottling Plant

What are you bottling?
Hopefully you're not bottling up the Holy Spirit.

I have, plenty of times and I did not even know I was doing it most of those times.

I am thinking on this because of the youth pastor at a local church. In his sermon Sunday night he said, "Nothing is more cool than when the Holy Spirit is not bottled up".

I agree. Crazy unexpected marvelous miracles start to happen.

How do you know you are pouring the spirit and power of the mighty God into a bottle?

Here are some questions I ask myself to help keep me focused on keeping Him free to work in my life:

1.) Does praying for God to give you the answer to a choice you are making seem silly?
If the answer is yes- you have told the Holy Spirit who and what He can be in your life and it's not Lord.

2.) Does praying more than once for that answer seem like too much?
Here's how this one goes in my head- "Lord, you know I did not get a clear answer from you yesterday so now I am just going to go with my gut". Your gut and mine are very poor decision makers.

3.)Does a great idea that popped into your head appeal more to you than searching scripture for guidance?
Hey my head is a fountain of "great" ideas, they easily pop out, but most of them are pure foolishness to someone who knows the future. Oh, wait, there is only one who knows the future. Yep, God wins again.

4.)Does obedience really depends on how good you think God is treating you lately?
Brutal honesty- this is me at times. If I think I am getting a bum wrap, I am very testy. I weigh up the idea of doing the right thing.
"Here I am working out every day and I keep gaining weight- sorry Lord no deal, I am spending my money on clothes, all bets are off."

Just like a cold soda takes great when you pour it out of a glass bottle, so the Holy Spirit comes out sweet and refreshing when uncap all the insane conditions we have put on Him.

BTW: This morning I typed a whole other blog then had to delete it this morning because it was glaringly clear I had not asked the Holy Spirit what He wanted from me today.
James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I read this quote by Mother Teresa and let's face it- she seemed to really get sacrificial living.
I think this quote explains why.

"People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build it anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. the good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway."

Maybe our feelings of hopelessness, hurt and fear come from the fact that we are waiting for the world to appreciate us and it never will, while God is thinking we are wonderful all the while.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's day

Hope you all get some Love and give some today.

(love vintage valentine cards)
For me Valentine's is about Love in all of it's forms.
Between couples.
Between Parents and Children.
Between siblings.
Between friends.
Between any who are willing to put someone else before themselves.

Love was God's idea, acutally it's His personality trait.
We were made in His image so it's natural to copy Dad.
What's hard is to copy Him in purity.

Pure love- the rarest and most precious thing in the Universe.
Love that always seeks the best for others and not self.

Family has taught me a great deal about making my love more pure.
My own parents, my husband, my children make me want to be more pure in how I love.

I think I have come a long way from the 16 year old kid, trying to figure out how to work this love thing.
My sweet husband who I met 20 years ago this fall, has most often been my inspiration and encouragment to work harder at love.

It's the nitty gritty teeth grinding moments when you choose to love, because you know it's right, not because it's easy, fun, and full of warm fuzzies- those are the most beautiful moments of love.
The elderly man who cares for his wife with Alzheimers, the mother who delays her dreams for those of her children, the parent who adopts, the young mother who chooses life, etc... those stories have a power that overwhelms the rose giving, card writing and chocolate candied love.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hate your way to a better relationship

What kind of crazy Valentine's blog is this?
One I hope caught your attention enough to get you to read the whole thing.

Sin, I thought about it all week. For me it starts out by focusing on other people's sin (yes, I am similar to the Pharisees in that way) but it ends up (thanks to the relentless Holy Spirit) with some soul searching on my own sin.

I think about how people have helped me to see and overcome sin in my life and about how I can be like them.

Usually they were honest with me.

I, naturally, did not like that. They were not mean, just honest.

They asked questions like "Do you think what you are doing is right?", "How do you think God feels about that?" and "How is that choice working in your life?".

They did not answer these questions.
They just asked.
They might have given scriptures to look at.

Once I cooled off (Hey "be angry and sin not" is one of my struggles), I could usually admit:

A.) What I was doing was wrong and it really was not getting me what I needed in my heart.


B.) God was probably grieving over what I was doing. It was probably really hurting Him.

Then the really amazing thing began to happen. I really started to Hate that sin, because it was hurting my God's heart. I cried out to Him and He showed up every time and helped me to gain strength over that sin.
(For this part to work you have to care about how God is feeling)

It took time and the weaker my hate is for the sin the longer it takes.

Take stewardship for example.

I kind of hate that if I buy clothes for fun, I have less money to do kingdom work but my hate is weak.


Because I LOVE the feeling new clothes give me. I love it more than I hate the hurt I am causing God's heart to see how I am short changing my fellow man.


You know when I write it out like that it really has a bit of a bite to it. Pretty sad really.

I think I will pray that God will help me hate my greed more each day- so He and I can get closer.