Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Posts tagged ‘coffee’

Obedience Equals Joy

Last week, in our latest Bible study, our facilitator encouraged us to journal through the study.    I don’t know about you, but personally, I do not like to hand-write.  If you are a lefty like me, you’ll understand.  It doesn’t matter what pen I pick up, I end up with a smeared page and ink on my hand.  The OCD part of me comes out and it drives me nuts.

Beth Moore’s Bible Study “Stepping Up” is a step-by-step journey to draw us closer to God.   Each day is an exciting experience and I don’t want to forget any of it (but I don’t want to write it down, either).  Can you see my dilemma? So, I’ve decided to journal it here.  Maybe some of you can relate to my experiences. 

One challenge we were given was to lie facedown and surrender to God every morning.  Yes, facedown on the floor.  At first, I thought, “How can this make a difference?  I pray every morning anyway.”  It only takes a few seconds and it feels awkward at first, but after last week, I relish it.  Yes, I’ve gotten up with animal fur stuck to my forehead or in cases when I’ve forgotten about my dog in the room, she’s licking my ear feverishly and whining wondering why I am on the ground like that. 

The body in an posture of surrender seems to make the heart and mind follow.  Let me share  something that happened last week with you.

We were getting low on groceries and didn’t have any money.  I knew at some point that I would be getting either some money or a stub for my property management fees, depending on whether they took out my dues or not for the month.  I prayed silently about that check and how much we needed groceries for the week.  I went to the mailbox Thursday and there was an envelope for me with what appeared to be a check in it.  My heart skipped a beat.  I prayed on the way to the house, “Lord, I’m scared to open it.”  But I thought whether it was $25 or $75, I would be grateful and get what we could with it.  Hands shaking, I opened the envelope and it was for $179.  I squealed and shouted, “Thank you, Lord!”  I was grinning from ear to ear! 

My daughter and I headed to WalMart and I got a front parking space (which is not easy!).  I whispered, “Thank you, Lord.”  I cashed my check and we got groceries.  I had a buggy full.  I got what we needed and checked out at $99.  I was estactic!  I grabbed $20 and put it in my pocket. I promised the Lord I was going to tithe off that money and I couldn’t wait until Sunday to be able to put it in the offering.  This time, I was not ashamed of how much I was putting in.  I realized that pride had been holding me back on tithing off my meager income.  Wondering what people were thinking about my small amount and if I was “tipping” God kept me in a state of pride and I didn’t want to be “embarrassed” so I didn’t tithe.  God was trying to show me the error of my ways.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I told Lindsay that if we obey God and keep his commands, He will bless us.  She, being in the attitudinal-teenage-phase, snapped back at me, “Mom, just because you do something wrong, doesn’t mean God is going to leave you.”  I patiently explained that I didn’t say that God was going to leave me.  I just said that He would not bless us if we continue to blatantly disobey Him.  We had allowed sin in our lives and God had given me the courage to speak up this week and to stop it.  His Word says that if we knowingly allow sin to continue and do not say anything, we are  equally guilty.  He will not honor or bless that.

Sunday morning rolled around and as usual, I had a mental battle as I got out of bed.  Having some physical ramifications from a surgery over ten years ago, I struggled with pain around 5am and tossed and turned until time to get up.  As I got ready for church, the mental temptations kept barraging me.  “You don’t need to be there. There are plenty of people singing this morning.”  “You need a break.”  “You can just go to church, skip Sunday School.”  On and on it went.  Even the high about tithing had gone away.  But I know, as most of you should, especially if you are a female, you cannot go by how you feel.  You should just do what you know is right and leave the consequences to God. 

After I woke up fully, had my shower and got my coffee, all the while steadily praying about what to wear (another female issue), I got it together and headed out the door. 

As I sang Sunday morning, I felt free.  Free to worship and praise the Lord without the burden of guilt, self-loathing and sin hanging on me.  I sang for Him. 

Obedience equals joy…!

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Morning Ponderings

This morning As I got up, the temperature had dropped enough to open the windows and let some fresh air in the house.  I decided  to spend some time in God’s Word this morning but with a different twist–coffee.  I am not a coffee drinker by nature.  Ever since I’ve been a teen, I have consumed diet soft drinks from morning until night until about three weeks ago when I was determined to break the habit and start drinking water (YUK!). 

I had been praying and begging the Lord for help because  I had been in such excruciating pain that I could barely function on a daily basis.  I am only in my mid-forties and should not feel like I am in my eighties.  I am carrying around an extra hundred pounds but that shouldn’t do it either. I was getting to the point that I could barely bend my leg because of pain in my knee.  No, I didn’t injure it.  Anytime I have ever gone to the doctor about some phantom pain, they’ve never been able to find anything. 

So one morning, as I was praying, I was reminded about the devastating effects of aspartame.  I started doing some research and noted that most of what I was going through could be a side-effect.  I had just finished drinking one of my diet sodas and at that point, I decided that with the grace of God, I was going to stop.  Beside the fact that it was costing about $20 or more a week for these things, it would be healthier for me to drink water.  In three days, it will be three weeks since I’ve stopped and I can already tell a huge difference in the pain.  It has diminished immensely.

Want to hear something humorous?  I went to my doctor last Friday and told him what I was doing and he blew it off as internet scaring.  My husband and I had just watched a documentary on the Documentary channel called, “Sweet Misery.”  Indeed.  People from all walks of life were sharing their stories of how this artificial sweetener had ruined their lives by ruining their health.  I did not want to be another statistic.  I want the Lord to use me and I need to be in better health for that.  Obviously, He can use the deaf and the lame but He also told us to take care of our bodies because they were the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I, of course, have not been doing that.

I still need to kick the sweet tooth habit and get off this couch but it’s going to take time, like anything else. 

Since the weather is cooling off, I can now take my dog for a walk and we can both get some exercise.  I have a basset hound and, as you know from their reputation, aren’t very active dogs. Most of the time when I am sitting here on the computer, she is lying beside me, snoring.  She is so much company for me.  She’s my furry friend.  She’s always happy to see me and is my constant shadow.  She can be what appears to be in a sound sleep and if I get off the sofa to walk into the kitchen, she is right behind me.  I am glad she has toenails that tap wherever she goes or otherwise, I’d turn around and trip over her.  She also reminds me she is there by a gentle tap on the back of my leg with her wet nose. 

What a gorgeous day.  I am so thankful that the Lord has given me yet another day to see on this earth.  “This IS the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Ps. 118:24

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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