The Salt Marshes or The River

I have a question for you…

Do you live in the salt marshes of Christianity or in the River of God’s glory?

Pinterest

You can be a Christian and not experience the fullness of His glory. You can live a good, “saved” life, following His commandments, yet, never comprehend His overflowing joy and complete peace. You can go to church every Sunday, work the nurseries on Wednesdays, pledge your loyalties to every youth and world missions project and still miss out on all He has for you.

Although, I have to ask, “Why?” … Why would we ever want to live beneath His potential for our lives? Why would we ever be “okay” with second best or just comfortable with less than His best? Why would we ever settle for something He knows we don’t need or even detests?

Yet, so many of us do just that! We choose to live in the salt marches of Christianity, and we completely bypass the river of God’s glory. Sometimes, it’s fear that holds us back, or maybe it’s those past pains that blind us from the reality of His promises.

Often, it’s schedules and agendas which consume every moment and spin us out of control, shielding us from the clarity of truth. Too many times, it is the sin of our past, our present, or the contemplation of sin in our future, which binds us to the salt marshes and refuses to let us venture beyond what we’ve always seen, heard and thought to be truth.

It is time to break free. It is time to live in His fullness rather than the anemia of our fears and failures. It is time to move out, beyond the norm, and step into the river of His glory.

You will find He is waiting there just for you.

*Note: I do not own nor possess any part of this video. This is from a simple google search to YouTube.

Decrease Me. Increase You. 

You teach me through Your Word that I need a reformation. I need reproofing, and I need transforming to be more of who You desire me to be. Yet, I find myself, time and again, pushing against Your sovereignty. I find myself entangled in my own desires, my own selfish perspective.

I wish that You would decrease me that I might increase You.

You draw out of my soul the ugly, the begrimed and the despised things. You point to the waywardness of my heart and challenge it to change. You mark those fleshly wanderings and call them to a duel. You refine and chastise to remove that wretched sin.

I wish that You would decrease me that I might increase You.

You extract the waste that Your purity might flow. You entrap the filth that Your Spirit might invade. You ensnare all that is lost that Your anointing might abide. As the mire is expelled, Your holiness can thrive.

I wish that You would decrease me that I might increase You.

I find that as I yield my heart and surrender my will, You are enabled to dig deep within my soul. You eliminate all that is not like You. The fire refines me. Your love renews me.

I step back from the pruning to see there is so much less of me, and then I realize there’s so much more of You. ❤

 

A Wood In Progress

When wood is raw and freshly cut, it is still rough and splinter-prone. If you rub your hand across it, you may pull away filled with a little pain from a piece of wood merging with your tender fingers. It is hard to grasp and difficult to display, but it can be used for very practical things, such as saw horses, firewood and boarding up holes or drafty windows.

background texture

myfreetextures.com

To be a bit more useful, a woodsman will begin to sand that raw wood. (Sanding, Planing and Scraping are all methods of smoothing wood. Each depends on the type of wood and the desired results from the smoothing. For simplicity, I will only refer to sanding.) The first sandpaper applied is very coarse, and it will shave away much of the roughness and splinted wood.  As the plank become smoother, more refined pieces of sandpaper are used to cause more and more fine-tuned sanding. Once, the piece is smoothed to the creator’s liking, he or she will run his hands over the fine, smooth piece of wood.

In the final stages of refining, the carpenter might even smooth the wood with cloths or apply a varnish, fiberglass or stain to finish the handiwork. He may create shelves, cabinets, tables, chairs, or even doors and window frames. In the end, a beautiful work of art is presented for daily use or display.

This is how our Heavenly Father prepares us as well. When we are first saved, our approach to Christianity, life and even each other can be so rough that, if we aren’t careful, we might leave “splinters” in the lives of those around us. God has to smooth out those rough places. He has to apply pressure, allow challenges and even trials to come to “sand away” those splintery spots. In the end, He creates a beautiful work of art within our lives that might be used by His might hand to bring impact into the lives of someone else.Sometimes, the method might seem strenuous, tedious and even unrelenting, but just trust, He will finish what He has started. Never give up through the process, and when He is finished, know you will never be the same. It will be worth it!

04-28-15-gods-dream-for-your-life-dont-waste-your-shape_mini

 

CHANGE


Guess I don’t have a lot to say today, but I’d rather ask you a question about your world… 

What are you doing thing this year to bring about good changes in your life?

Are you remaining in your comfort zone?

Are you seeking a new daily challenge?

Are you stretching yourself a little further than before?

Are you embracing a different thought pattern, eating habit or routine?

Are you taking a positive step every day to better yourself? 

Do you believe change can actually happen in your life?

Do you welcome it?
*Please, share with me your thoughts! 😊*

With or Without Hope

Originally posted on APRIL 27, 2015. I thought it fitting for today’s daily prompt…

My heart was heavy today, thinking of all the brokenness in this world.
The weight of it resting upon my shoulders like a wet, woolen blanket.
Tears filled my eyes as I pondered the wounded, the shattered, and the lost.
Heaviness so intense, I could hardly breathe.
Air stagnant with heartache, weariness and emptiness.
So many wandering in this place. So many without a face.

I drove by this house sitting beside the road.
Abandoned, dark, damaged and alone.
People driving by, hurrying to destinations, never stopping to see, never caring to know.
Shoved off to the side, barricade built, weeds and trees rummaging to find a home.
Broken down roof, shattered windows, busted doors, all haunted by lost potential.

The broken lives of those lost are a lot like this old house.
They take the abuse, receive the ridicule, accept the blame, wondering all the while if anyone cares as they wander aimlessly in the dark.
Others are like those who moved this old house.
Hard working, simply pragmatic, fighting to succeed at the task.
More are like the ones who vandalized it.
Kicking, biting, clawing, shattering the dreams of a once well made life.

Can you see them? Can you see yourself? Who are you? Where are you going?
Do you feel that all is lost? Do you wonder if there could still be any life inside?
I am here to tell you. I am here to help you see.
If there is still breath in your being, there is still hope.
If there still a beating of your heart, there is still a chance.
For your life is never so lost that He cannot see you.
You are never so far gone that He cannot hear.

See that foundation?
He placed it there in your heart before you were even born.
It is that longing you feel to find something of worth, something to adore.
It is that deep inner desire to be more than you are today.
He placed it there.
It is His drawing of your heart to bring you love, hope and life beyond your dreams.

He can rebuild a life broken.
He can mend dreams that have been shattered.
He can give hope to the hopeless.
He can bring life to the lifeless.
All can be renewed if you will just let Him in.
Let Him see the abandonment, the pain, the desperation.
He can change and transform.

All you must do is believe.

Daily Prompt: HOPE
Hope

You’re Weird! … I’m Weird, Too!

We all have our quirks and our peculiarities. My husband is so comfortable in his; I have to be honest, sometimes, I’m downright jealous. I know, I know. I shouldn’t be jealous of my own husband! I just wish I could be okay with my oddities all the time.

I love fall and winter weather, but I am incredibly cold-natured. I hate raw tomatoes; however, I love to eat anything made with tomatoes, as in spaghetti, pizza sauce and chili, and  I love to make stuff from tomatoes such as salsa and vegetable soup. I love to sleep with socks on, and I can sleep just about anywhere, but if you wake me up about an hour after I go to sleep, I may not even remember our conversation by morning. I also have a love-hate relationship with the snooze button. I love to meet new people, and carry on long conversations with one or two people; yet, I am an extreme introvert, and I have to revive myself by having long moments of solitude.

Yes, I am a quirky individual, and after 40+ years of living with myself, I am still trying to be okay with these traits. I know, we all have quirks and differences to our personalities, and so many people seem completely okay with theirs, and I am, genuinely, so happy for them. Some even seem a little too comfortable…to the point of rudeness to those around them, and I suppose, this one fact alone causes me to hone in too strongly on my own idiosyncrasies for fear of possibly becoming like them.

I am so concerned with not being rude or offensive to another person, even unintentionally. All my life, I have been conditioned to be kind and accommodating, and I have always had a pretty adaptable personality; so, the moments when someone is offended or bothered by something I have done or said, I am profusely apologetic, sometimes, even to a fault.

Yet, as I grow older, I am learning that this over concern for other people’s opinions can, often, actually be derived from a source of pride and vanity. You see, no matter how “nice and sweet” a personality trait may seem, on the flip side of it is an uglier, less delightful sounding trait. It can be used for either extreme, and we must realize what the root is in order to come back to center, Christ’s center.

Just as the opinionated, outspoken person can be seen as both truthful and rude, overbearing and bluntly honest, depending on the positive and negative extremes, the tolerable, quiet spoken person can be seen as both graciously kind and fearful, flexible and weak. All of these (negative) extremes come from a root of vanity and pride, ambition and envy, and we must recognize, acknowledge and surrender these qualities to God before we move to the extremes of either side.

When we refuse to let the flesh reign in our lives, and, instead, allow Christ to rule and reign, we will find that we will no longer worry over what people think, and we will worry most about what HE thinks. We will no longer err on the sides of brashness and  fearfulness, but rather, we will walk in complete boldness of who we are in Christ, even with all our quirks, failures and peculiarities.

When we surrender our all to Him, we will begin to actually see ourselves as He sees us, not as the world sees. We will begin to believe as He believes and act as He acts. When we are totally surrendered to Him, we will become a mirror of His life, because it will be His Spirit living in us and through us. ❤