Monday, November 28, 2011

To Life!

 We are enticed by our own desires - it looks so good, fun, satisfying.  It promises to make our lives richer and more fulfilled.  And the enemy of our soul says "yessssss, go for it my pretty".  Sometimes we know it is not for the good of others and will hurt them.  Sometimes we don't see  how this we do will hurt anyone. 

We often try to not yield, but the more we refuse ourselves the more enticing our desired 'thing' becomes - and our enemy says 'you will losssssssse out if you delay my pretty."

And we yield.  We act on this burning desire.  Only shockingly when we come too, after a time of wallowing we find - "hay, that wasn't all I thought it would be."  Instead of  concluding that it wasn't something to satisfy, we  hear that whisper that tells us the desire was unmet 'cuz we didn't go far enough.    We conclude that we  have to do more - take a bigger risk,  or act with greater or wilder abandon.  Kick it up a notch.  And so we do, only to find the entrapment is that it only satisfies at the point of action - never longer.  The minute that thing is done, the craving returns, only stronger.  It seems our lusts are an unrelenting merry-go-round.  There is truly NO lasting  satisfaction.

Maybe if I live within the very desire - selling all the rest of my life to buy that high - that is the next whispered suggestion.  But along with it, at every step I find I cannot get what my soul is desiring. And, moreover there comes  self loathing, and depression as we recognize that striving for this desire is destructive.  It  can even lead to lost of control. 

I have thought that this is the road with drugs and sexual things.  Today it occurred to me it can also be found in less obvious desires - like the desire to eat.  The desire for improvements in the home.  Seeking for meaning in  travel, music, beauty, acclaim from others, money. Things not in and of themselves evil - but can they become evil when it is becoming the coin of the realm of ones own life?  The thing that drives us?

How do we recognize what is a temptation or lust?  For me it's that pounding in my heart -That drive that says " I've  got to do it/have it  NOW." 

I have found that the temptation we feel  we cannot resist, when we seriously resist, will end.  It seems that it is  exactly when it seems the hardest is the point where victory is found if we choose to not yield.  The enemy of our souls tries to make us believe it will be an unbearable lose, but his words are the lie. 

Christ doesn't seek to spoil our lives with Spartan rules or being a spoil sport.  He knows the truth of life and I'm finding it's in Him alone there is peace and joy and contentment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caterpillar wisdom

Light in the forest
 If a Caterpillar getting tired of crawling on the ground chooses to end it's life -

If it resists being wrapped up and held in a cocoon for an unknown period of time and refuses to be cocooned -

Or is torn by the hand of another from that  cacoon - and so is crippled-

Then it will never know and experience the joy of being able to fly.
It's beauty will never be seen.
And the world will be a poorer place.

                                                                                                                            Thoughts by Galilee

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Choose ye this day.

Now these are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.  (Judges 3:1-4 ESV)
I was startled to find that it was part of God's plan - that some of the nations in the "promised land" were not overcome totally.  I'd always thought it was lack of faith to do what God called  the Israelites to do when they went into the land.    But I see here it was in His plan.  The factor for Israel was worshiping the one true God and obeying him or choosing their own way.  Each generation had to face this choice.  It wasn't a given. 
In a way,  it seems to me to be a bit like the tree in the garden of Eden all over.  The tree was not put there to make us partakers in sin but God giving us the freedom to choose. He wants our love and worship because we want to.  The fact is God wants a people who love him and joy in his love and his gift of life.
There are consequences for our choices.  It's not just a matter of God saying, " Choose me or I'll wipe you out.  It's "I am life and in choosing me you will have life".  If you chose yourself, you are under the kingdom of self and that kingdom is ruled by another, and has it's own results.
Every generation has to face these choices for themselves.  The blessing beyond our imagination is that at any point in your life you can turn to and choose God. 
Yes, there will be battles.  But those are written into the fabric of living and faced by all.  And our part is  whether we are living for the Kingdom of self or for the Kingdom of God.  The glorious truth is that God's offer is not, in our life time ever removed.  And even in our failures he has healing and forgiveness.  He makes himself available at all times and will even make beautiful our worst failure and sin if we turn to him.

One of my favorite passages in literature is in The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.  It's the first chapter and it is to me a wonderful picture of how God makes  ".........all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Rom 8:28  (KJV)  I love the KJV language in those verses I learned while using that version.

The truth is, there is always, in our life choice, hope, joy and to be loved by the LORD God Almighty, savior and creator.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mom even made clothes to match for my dolls

I KNOW being present and cognisant  it's not within mom's control - and I KNOW my anger and impatience is not loving, or honoring. Sometimes I feel I'm doing pretty good and then something triggers the ugly in me.
I am now seeing it somewhat as fear.  But also somewhat annoyance at my life being disturbed.

All my life I've been avoiding situations I cannot control.  I'm realizing  it's 'cuz I am  a control freak.  With my own children  I was at peace as long as I could make them conform to my rules (Praise the LORD they still love me) And I've spent a lifetime of avoiding people or things I've  perceived as irrational or erratic in behavior (in my judgment - such a revealing statement of me).

But, what does one do if a situation or person cannot be avoided?  If a person in aging is becoming more and more  like a baby, regressing and nothing I do or say will cause a change in their behavior.  If you say don't do that, they just look at you and carry on doing it.  Or say, after doing something the minute before, I didn't do that'.

This is the stress - Mom's irrational behavior.  I know that I don't have control over "LIFE" as such, but I have so sought to keep my home a place in which to relax and be comfortable.  I am not comfortable when mom bursts into my bedroom in the middle of the night.  I'm not comfortable when she keeps poking through everything, and then takes whatever she wants off to her room.  I'm not comfortable with her opening mail even though she has just read the name on the front and it's not her name.  I'm not comfortable with that blank look of incomprehension when I talk to her.

But more, I am angry with my anger or impatience when I KNOW it's not within her control.

I love the LORD. I believe he is in control.  I realize my belief in the LORD  being in control was strongest during the years I felt pretty confident about my ability to handle my life.  Now, with no  income I've brought in, and a mom whose behavior is incomprehensible, I have become aware how personally I am struggling to trust, and more be thankful in the LORD in the here and now.

It is a steep learning curve - not one that is solved the minute I face it, but an ongoing facing of this situation on a daily basis and taking it to the LORD for His way.   I must trust in the LORD to enable me to behave with love and honor.  Talk about one's life being shaken. 

In the scheme of things I also know what I am facing is not the hardest thing in life.  I just have to look around and see how blessed I am.  The truth is I am more blessed than otherwise.  I  need to count and diligently give thanks for my blessings.  I am most certainly blessed.

Thank you LORD.  Please in me and through me, enable  me to bless my mom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

In thinking about Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me.

I imagined several scenes.

1.  Open door.  Okay, I say, come in.  I'm busy right now but if you can find something you like in the kitchen, knock yourself out.  You can join me and see what I'm doing if you want or just make yourself at home.  I don't have time right now  but when I have a minute I'll be glad to chat.  But, I tell you now, it's all on my terms or nothing.  I'm not giving you any rights  in my house.

2. " Oh, oh, oh.  Someones knocking at the door."  Sound of scurrying about.  "Gotta put this away.  Oh, this place is such a terrible mess.  Well, I'll stuff this all in the closet and run a duster over the visible places.  Can't invite anyone in to such a mess.  There, nobody will note the fuzz balls under the couch.  Okay"
Open the door and smiling brightly invite your guest in.  You are so glad to be able to feel confident that you only need this guest for the big things - like moving mountains.  You can handle the small stuff.

3. Open door.   "Hello.  Come in.  Hope you brought your mop and pail.  I am busy but you only came to clean up after me so have at it. But work quietly.  I don't like the sound of careless cleaners.  When it's done fix me a bite to eat.  Oh, while your at it make yourself something too.  I have a room up in the attic you can make your own. Just shove my stuff to the side and make yourself at home."

4.  Open door.  "Oh Jesus.  Welcome.  Come in  Come in." You throw your arms around him and find yourself crying into his chest.  "Thank you for coming.  I  don't even know where to begin but I want you here.  Make this home yours.  Please forgive me for the big mess I've made.  I need you to change me into a child whose life reflects you.  Thank you for coming.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yes Lord

It hurt so much - to be told that the new music I'm introducing in the service is not what the congregation likes.  That the fact after several weeks of having it in the song list, they have not entered into singing is because they don't like it. 

It made me "feel" that what I am bringing to the worship is worthless.  My immediate response was "Okay, then find someone else to  play the music and bring what is acceptable".  A huge feel sorry for myself attitude erupting like a toxic volcano.

But in the midst of the hurt and growing bad attitude I hear a still small voice - almost unheard  in my rant of self pity 

"Who cares?" 
Then I hear   "I care.  You have my love.  Your value isn't in the praise of others,  Your value is because I love you.  Know that whatever you give out of a heart of praise and worship is my delight."

"But" that quiet voice in my heart continues, "If it is important to you to be "exalted" in your service to me, that is service to your kingdom.  I love you no matter what, but look in your heart.  Is your service in the body to me or about yourself.   If the new songs you love doesn't resonate in their hearts, then make the music about songs the body can respond to joyfully.    The real purpose of this time set aside to sing is to lift up your hearts in corporate praise to rejoice and worship me."

"I love your songs and worship.  Thank you.  But in the body - cherish the body worship.  All the specific songs sung in a service my be forgotten, but where worship of me is present, that will be where the congregation finds their strength throughout the ongoing days."

So, I ask you Galilee, will my love for your offering of worship be sufficient?  I accept your time playing and singing on your own with joy.  Will you be a vessel in the body, not of your own importance, but being available to play the music of praise and worship that  the congregation will enter  into with a full heart.

Yes Lord. Thank you for the joy of allowing me to be a part of the body worshiping you.  

And so, I step out of the quick sand of self pity onto the Rock,  and find myself in the Fortress of his love.  A fortress that surrounds me completely and keeps me secure, delivered, and strengthened. Psalms 18:2a