30 March 2010

Fishes or Snakes

Taken from one of my favorite blogs to stalk: resolved2worship.xanga.com (some emphasis/editing added)

"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a snake; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:11-13)

I thought how ironic. I had to ask myself, "Why is it that when I ask God for a "fish" it seems like there are times that I get a snake!"

I mean, there have been times, even this past week where I prayed, I asked for a certain something, a "fish." And it really seemed like God answered with a "snake."

Then something hit me. The answer that I thought was a snake, REALLY was a fish. Yes, it really was - is - always is.

And I think just because God didn't answer the way I thought, or because He allowed something I thought shouldn't have happened happen, that I was getting a snake! And HOW could God do that to me! ? !

Thing is I've got pretty foggy eyes. It really is a fish, even if it looks like a snake to me and feels like a snake to me. Thing is, I don't have the mind of God. Generally, I have the mind of self. My flesh thinks God's answer should look like and feel like what I think it should look like and feel like. It should always feel good, right? And it should always look good, right? Because that's what's good for me, right?

(in the background of my mind I am suddenly hearing that old country song, "I Thank God For Unanswered Prayers.")

For the first time I think ever, these verses are hitting me differently - my heavenly Father truly does give a "fish" when I ask Him - He gives what is good. ALWAYS. Does it look and feel good to me? No. But it is good. And like any father who gives good gifts to his children, it's out of love.

But what if it doesn't feel like love?

I'll tell you why it doesn't feel like love - it's because I've got nose-on-the-dot-on-the-chalk-board-syndrome...You don't see the row of dots 'cause your nose is stuck in that one dot in the line of dots on the chalk board.

I've lost all eternal perspective.

So what may look like a snake to me, is actually just my perspective based on living for myself. If I could see how God sees things - with an eternal perspective - how different I would see what comes my way in life. How different I would see His gifts. . .

How completely I would understand His love for me, His vision for me. How much more freely I would live in His grace. How peaceful my heart would remain no matter what came my way.


My Reflections:

1. I DON'T HAVE THE MIND OF GOD! (Isaiah 55:10-11) and Praise the Lord that I don't, because so many would be missing out on God's best for them! Everything would be a mess. I would be a basketcase if I always got what I wanted, when I wanted it...I am far too easily pleased, as it is!

2. I have the mind of self! (Phil. 2:1-8 [v 2, 3, and 5: "...fulfill my joy by being like-mided, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself...Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,"]) This is one of those things that will not be perfectly achieved in this lifetime (like be holy, as I am holy!) but that I am to be constantly striving for. Having Christ's mind to exalt the Father in ALL things and loving others more than myself - aren't theses the greatest commandments?!

3. My perspective, based on living for myself, is going to be skewed 100% of the time! Having an eternal perspective, "the mind of Christ," changes everything. Then, we can say like Paul, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Phil. 1:21. Only when we live for Christ is dying gain. In all things we are to be looking to our future goal - becoming like Chrsit, being with Christ, the glory of the Father! EveryTHING and everyone else are all just extra blessings from God. He is so good and so faithful! Each trial, each new joy, that flat tire, the promotion at work, no internet, free ice cream - all fish!! Psalms 118:23 "This was the LORD’s doing;It is marvelous in our eyes."

This is not in response to some trial or specific, present instance in my life. I just read her blog, and wanted to share. But, how encouraging to reflect on the Lord's perfect provision for us! And, how convicting to examine our perspectives and see if they align with eternity! God is good!

26 March 2010

Random Banter

So...we have no internet for the time being. I try not to be too disheartened, seeing that we were pilfering it from a neighbor. But, nonetheless, I haven't been able to write on my blog (I know all two [if that] of you are so upset!) or check my e-mail. All in all, though, it's been good. I have been getting a lot of reading done! That has been good...I think soon I'm going to start a mini book review blog series - so stay tuned for that gem! haha!

Also, it has given Robert and I an opportunity to get more creative with how we spend our free time. Like, last night, we got an ice cream at McDonalds and sat in the parking lot for an hour and watched this weeks LOST! (really great episode, by the way!) And, when I was sick, a neighbor let me borrow all the seasons of Friends, so we'll watch that now and again. We've also been reading a great book (a little preview of the book reviews :) 50 People Every Christian Should Know. It's fifty short biographies on strong Christians who are great examples in the faith. We recently read Katherine Von Bora (Martin Luther's wife). Wow! So good! And we talk a lot...and take the occasional nap. Mostly, we're just generally really busy...Bible study, Staff meeting, work, seminary, church, Bible study, cooking dinner, pretending like i'm going to work out... We just like any time we have together! So, no complaints on the marriage front.

My friend Ashley had her sweet baby girl, Reese Lanae Mehringer; I can't wait to meet her. And, I got to go to the park with my neighbor Marie and her son Jude the other day, too. That was fun. When I was kid parks were not this cool, which is why we played things like hot lava, instead of doing the actualy park activities! This park had a rock wall and this really neat spinny thing...I couldn't enjoy that for too long, because apparently I had/have verdigo?!

As far as those of you who thought we might be moving...we thought so too, and now we don't know. We're not too worried about it, though. It may or may not work out, but it will definitely be for our good - because God is for us (Rom. 8:31)! Tim and Joni will be here on the 8th of April! We're going to go to the melting pot! And, it's just good to see family, in general. So, all in all, life is just really great, because God is so good to us! And this is God's world (shout out to 180 staff)!

This was the LORD's doing; and it is marvelous in our sight. This is the day that the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Ps. 118:23-24

15 March 2010

Unite My Heart

“I will confess to you that over and over I am personally driven to do what I trust you may be led to do today. I look back on my life, and while I have much to thank God for, much in which to see His Spirit’s hand, yet when I feel my responsibilities and my shortcomings, my heart sinks within me. When I think of my transgressions, better known to myself than to anyone else, and remember, too, that they are not known even to me as they are to God, I feel all hope swept away and my soul left in utter despair, until I come anew to the cross and think of who it was who died there and why He died and what designs of infinite mercy are answered by His death.
It is so sweet to look up to the Crucified One again and say, ‘I have nothing but You, my Lord, no confidence but You. If you are not accepted as my substitute, I must perish; if God’s appointed Savior is not enough I have no other. But I know You are the Father’s well-beloved, and I am accepted in You. You are all I want and all I have.”
Charles Spurgeon

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. Psalm 130:3-4 (ESV)


O praise the One, Christ Jesus, my Savior and my Lord, who willingly paid the perfect price for my sin. O God, I want to love you more. I want to know you more. O Lord, I am in such need of you - great, daily need. You are so good and I am not.

Psalms 86:10-12, "Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth; UNITE MY HEART TO FEAR YOUR NAME. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever more. For great is your mercy towards me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol."

11 March 2010

Take At Least This Second To Worship


The Lord is so good!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty," Psalms 104:1

the end.

05 March 2010

Grace to You

"This is Grace to You. How can I help you?"

"This is Grace to You. How can I help you?"

I have said those two sentences over 500 times in the last few days - literally. John MacArthur and Phil Johnson have been doing a three part interview on the radio, "Answering the Big Questions About the Sovereignty of God," and everyone who hears the interview and calls in can receive it for free. Well that's great, of course. The interview is excellent - about God's sovereign control over absolutely everything: evil, government, salvation, nature...(Psalms 118:23, Mark 12:11) and, it is good. All things are for God's glory and our good. Everything past, present, and future has been so that the works of God might be wrought (John 9)! How awesome and amazing and marvelous!!!

Yet, I am so selfish. And after two days of madness I thought that my job was about me and how I felt instead of God sovereignly orchestrating every conversation. Everyone wants to tell me how they stumbled upon our broadcast, and I just want to say ok just let me give you the free offer... And when people ask me "How are you?" I want to say overwhelmed, busy, blah, blah, blah... And wow, what a selfish and prideful person I am; what a sinner. And I saw my fleshly desires overcoming me and so I asked my friend Hannah to pray for me to be patient and kind, to portray the character of Christ to these people on the phone. And she so graciously reminded me that our answer to how we are doing should always be: "Better than I deserve"

I am a sinner saved by grace, I am doing wwaaaaayyyy better that I deserve. The God of the universe who is working all things at all time for His glory and my good is on my side (Romans 8:31)! He is good and gracious and I have so many opportunities to display His character and grace in my life. Praise God from whom all blessings flow and how blessed we are!