Simply Spokn Sunday: Am I teachable

I had one of those moments in church service this morning that set the wee hampsters in my head whirring.. Am I teachable?

The Pastor was talking this morning about being obedient. Obedience does require that we do what GOD says when HE says and how HE says. But Obedience is also in being teachable.

I love to learn. I mean- I love it. I take great joy in learning new things. I love to read, to study, and yes, to even watch those how-to videos online.

But am I teachable?

Stubborn

I confess. I am stubborn. To a FAULT, sometimes. There have been too many times that I have ended up with my pride (or more) hurt by trying to be so stubborn.

I like to sometimes brush it off, saying that I do come from a very long heritage of stubborn women. And yes, that is so true. My great-grandma’s legacy still nearly 40 years after she passed from this life was of being a highly-stubborn lady.

But… I regress. Am I so stubborn that I won’t move off my caboose if GOD says?

But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee.
Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee:
so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live. (Jeremiah 38:20, KJV)

I have found over the last 6 years, I have picked up a terrible habit. I have caught myself saying, “Oh I will never do that in church…”, or “I can’t do that..” Eek! Who am I to say that I will not? If GOD so calls me to do this or to do that, I must obey or I sin.

Sin, at the end of the day, is disobeying GOD.

Red Shirted

Did you play sports? I did. I played one year of basketball, and ran cross-country track for one year.

One thing that can happen to an athlete is being red shirted. Sometimes, it is for things like bad grades or other school issues. But there are times that a player sits out because they are hurt.

I wanted so badly to get to walk in a children’s cancer march 2 years ago. But I was unable because I was too badly injured. I had (in stubbornness, yes) sprained by ankle.

But what if I am red-shirting myself?

I, like so many many others in this world, have been hurt by people in the church buildings. It is honestly hard to trust and serve in a church when you have been hurt like that.

But if I do not forgive- and do not serve- I take on a double-sin penalty. I need to put myself back on the bench and say, okay, here I am.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said IHere am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:8, KJV)

Not a Team Player

This hinges a bit off the last point. I have become highly isolated. Partly due to my anxiety, but mostly out of sheer exhaustion from having been through a lot emotionally over the last three years.

I have GOT to put the past in the past, folks. I am so encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ. I can’t do that hiding under the quilt. I am to pray with and for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am to be challenging my brothers and sisters in Christ to grow Closer to CHRIST JESUS, to study Scriptures more and to be about Kingdom work. None of that happens when I am hiding in the corner. It means taking my selfishness out of the equation and start being an intentional, interactive Christ Follower.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16, KJV)


Am I teachable? 

I would never have known how to capture a perfect sunset on a camera if I hadn’t been taught. My youngest son would not have finished his last season with 7 Soccer goals if he had never been shown how to play soccer.

Will I ever be perfect? No, My readers, not here upon this earth. But I can strive to be more teachable – more useful to The Master. Pray over your life and seek out ways that you may need to be more teachable.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things,
he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master,

prepared for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)

SimplySpokn Sunday: I am Out of That Grave!

I have an odd fascination with dates. I can rattle off dates in my life that things occurred simply because those days have hammered significance on my heart.

Though I could easily (and may) reflect of numerous of those days, I want to reflect of two very significant days. Let’s call them anti-grave days.

Sunday’s child is full of Grace

I was born on a Sunday morning at 10:02 a.m. I still love hearing my Daddy & my Gran tell me the story of the miracles and messes that mark that day that I came into this world. I don’t dread the fact that with each I grow older (and greyer). I often find myself taking some time on birthday to thank GOD for the purpose HE had in me being born. I thank GOD for a GOD-fearing, faithful Daddy and two precious prayer warriors as my grandmothers.

February 27, 2011

(I must say, this isn’t easy to share)

I was blessed richly to be raised in a home where my Daddy made sure we were in church nearly every time the doors were open. And being a Daddy’s girl (and I still am), I wanted nothing more in this world than to make my Daddy proud of me.

In July 1989, I attended a small revival at my home church here in eastern Kentucky. I went forward to pray when some other youth went to pray and my Daddy asked me did I think it was time that I got baptized. ‘Sure,’ I thought. Isn’t that what a good Christian girl/kid is suppose to do? So that September at one of the milestone birthdays of my home church, my Daddy submerged me in the baptismal waters.

I attended discipleship training (shout out to all the other old schoolers who grew up in that). I went to youth events. I even read the pink leather Bible that was presented to me at my baptism. One problem.. I was no more saved than the leather on that Bible.

High School came and with it came tremendous tragedy. I endured an event that left me wondering Where was this GOD that supposedly loved me so much?

Years flipped by and in 1997 I would meet a gentleman. In 1998, we would get married. I thought, okay, LORD.. If I just be a perfect Christian wife then I will be fine.

So I tried. And oh, how I tried at first. But all the effort in the Webster dictionary did not make me any thing but broken.

2002. The world, and all I thought to be good about it broken open and broke apart. I kept trying to tell myself that if I only tried harder, if I only read God’s Word more- if I only gave up more of the things that I liked to do or even my supportive friendships, then GOD would be happy with me and I would be happy.

And then, it only got worse. March 12, 2009, I would say my last goodbyes to the only daughter I will carry on this earth. I no longer felt I had any hope of ever finding any kind of happiness.

Yes, it got worse still. The week of Thanksgiving 2010, I was notified that my husband was divorcing me.

I just didn’t understand it. Hadn’t I gone to Bible studies? Hadn’t I given to the church and to the needy? I just didn’t understand.

January of 2011, I found myself living alone in a small incredibly cold apartment. My precious sons who I had prayed with and kissed goodnight every night were now shuffled between their divorced parents. And all I could do was simply cry.

I must be honest for a moment. Those first weeks of being in that subsidy apartment were bleak. I began to lose all desire to even want to live.

Through a childhood acquaintance, I began to hear about a church. And the more I heard, I just could not shake the urge to pay them a visit. So I did.

Through the service held on February 27, 2011, I realized two very hard things: I was not saved but only going through the churchy motions. And two: I had a vast need to be changed by The SAVIOR.

I knelt at that alter so long that Sunday that I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk again. And when I walked back out the doors of the church that Sunday I knew that I knew that I knew that JESUS CHRIST had saved my soul and that HE had set me free of the sin in my heart and life.

And then there is one other date. Today, the 9th Day of July 2017.

Did I wake up knowing today would be such a significant day? Absolutely not.

I had given my word to a friend of mine that I would attend Sunday School and church with her today. I arrived at this very large church, of which I was a member for 2 of the last 3 years, with just a desire to worship GOD and learn in HIS Word.

Worship service began. And two songs in, I heard this song:

Glorious Day

Words don’t suffice for what I began to feel standing near the front of that large sanctuary. It was as if GOD MOST HIGH, my JEHOVAH RAPHA, cupped HIS mighty hands on the sides of my scared face and firmly said “I set you free. Free not only from your own sins, but free from the pain and tears of your past.”

I simply could not sit in my seat when the invitation was given. I threw myself down on the alter and just thanked my HEAVENLY ABBA for the peace that I felt pouring out on my mind and heart.

So What about you? I would love to hear about the day that you were rescued from death and given LIFE everlasting in CHRIST JESUS. 

SimplySpokn Sunday: The Truth & All Its Ugly

I have a problem with The Truth. I do believe Truth & I are at odds with one another.

Perhaps out of a desire to be wanted, I developed the propensity to lie very young. I lied often. It became routine, and it didn’t take all to long for the habit to embroider itself into what I was. It began to cause me trouble during my freshman year of High School. My lies to a boy brought bruises. Even a blackened eye wasn’t enough to make me stop. The lies cultivated more lies, snowballing into a lifestyle of deceit. I knew in my heart that it was wrong & that I was hurting people, yet I didn’t stop. In time, the sin of these lies began to reap consequences. It separated me from my family, jobs, friends, my spouse & God.

“The one who says, “I have come to know Him,”
and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.
By this we know that we are in Him.” (1 John 2:4-5)

Ouch. 

All the times I lied & thought everything was fine was only a lie to myself. 

The last 7 months (since just after the beginning of 2014), I have been emotionally trying to deal with somethings that are painful. The Truth is one of those. 

The ebony glop of lies covers everything. The immense expanse of all that the lies cover is overwhelming. Where & how do I overcome it, clean it, and eradicate it? 

One Truth After Another

I must consciously decide to live one Truth after Another. My words must be true. My actions must be true. No lies to shield my ego when I mess up. No lies to paint me in a better light.  Slowly, through truth seeking I will be set free.

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)

 

SimplySpokn Sunday: Redeem to The Uttermost

(Somehow, my scheduled post for Yesterday, Sunday, did not publish. I suppose that it was a God thing, as I have something different that I wish to write about)

Caked in eight long years of dust and mold was a small cardboard box. It was shoved in the corner of what once was the livingroom of my Grandparents house.

I didn’t know what I might find as I lifted the lid, filling my lungs with the brash burning black mold that was caked on top. Out of crumbled, yellow newsprint peered bits of ceramic. Carefully, I put the lid back on and maneuvered the box out the back door.

Once home, I unwrapped each ceramic whatnot. Carefully, I emerged each dusty lovely thing into the lukewarm foam in my kitchen sink.

Dusty Little Things, Aren’t We

Caked in over 20 years of lies and neglect was a small woman. I was shoved in the quiet corner of a small church building in Kentucky.

He dipped my wounded heart in the simple love of acceptance.

Back in the Corner (Again?)

A Pair of Lovely Ceramic Frogs and a copperheaded girl with a paintbrush adorn my shelf, two of the treasures that I rescued out of my Grandparents’ home before the roof collapsed. I dust them regularly, and proudly tell people of their rescue when I am asked about them.

Unless for the purpose of painting or moving (neither of which I hope to be doing anytime soon), the ceramic lovies will not be going back into a box & certainly not to be caked once again in mold & dust. 

Guilt & Shame bribed me back into the corner of church again. Guilt sprinkled me with the things I should have been doing while Shame doused me in reminders of all the wrong I have done. 

But Why? Why must I go back in the corner?Just as I rescued the ceramic whatnots from my Grandparents’ home three years ago, Christ rescued me. Except, He went through much more and did much more.

“….. and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” (Exodus 6: 6, NASB) I have been in slavery to Sin, and mostly of my own choosing. My Grandparents’ whatnots did not choose to be forsaken and forgotten for five years in the think, black mold of their decaying home. Me, though, Oh I fully good & well chose my paths. But Christ delivered me out. Not just for a one time display or for giggles. HE bought me back to use me.

Me. The chipped, dirty one. Yes, Me. And you.