Monday, March 27, 2017

Update

Hello Friends,
This is not a devotional blog this time. I just wanted to say hello and update you on the crazy life I'm living right now. Most of you know I am on the home street with my big project.  April 10 is my deadline and part of me cannot wait til it gets here and the other part wishes it wasn't coming so quickly. You know what I mean? I have learned a lot about pushing and perseverance. They come in spurts sometimes and other times I hit a wall and have to walk away for a bit.
 Two other, no three other big things are happening right now too. One is the prayer walk I coordinate twice a year is coming up in less than two weeks. It will happen at Moriah House and is an opportunity to come saturate our facility with prayer. May I tell you that we really need it? The enemy fights dirty and lives, childhoods, and souls are at stake. Please come by if you can on April 8th between 9 and noon. Thanks!
Number two thing is a mission trip I am leading to Gallup, New Mexico. We will conduct a women's conference for Christian Navajo women to encourage them as they reach their villages and communities for Christ.
Number three thing is my hubby is taking early retirement. This is gonna be different having him home all the time. His mother, who has dementia, lives with us and he will be providing care for her.

By now you know I am all the time trying to tell God what I don't have time and energy to do. All of this seems too much for one person to take on, but I guess the word "diligent" He gave me in January meant He would be working me like a Hebrew slave, huh? I am praying He gives me fruit for my labor and time to rest once all of this is over.
What are you up to these days? I'd love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at ordinerrygirl@yahoo.com
Love,
Georgia,
Ordinary Girl serving an Extraordinary God

Thursday, March 23, 2017

When You Feel Guilty for Saying No

"You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body."( 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Sometimes we try to live our life and somebody else's too. Let me explain what I mean.

Someone asks you for something and the answer should be "no," but you say "yes" instead. Then you do emotional stretching to make the yes fit your spirit, but like a size 6 shoe on on a six-and-a-half size foot, it won't fit. You limp around in discomfort wishing you had not gotten yourself in this mess. You said yes to protect from rejection you thought you'd feel if you said no. The truth is, you still experienced rejection because you rejected your true self that wanted to say "no." Your true self is someone God loves every bit as much as the person who made the request. You tried to buffer the other person feeling discomfort if you said "no." With respect, My Friend, God did not assign you the caretaker of other people's responses. That responsibility is theirs and God's. See what I mean by living someone else's life? It's too much and God desires you to stop it.

Or...

You say no and you feel guilty about it. Maybe you have an overactive guilt valve in your spirit and it hurts overmuch to deny a request. You feel selfish or mean or insensitive when you express the "no"that's in your heart. The enemy of your soul is a major guilt manufacturer. He has locations in every heart, but you can run him out of business with the truth. What is that truth? You are a servant of the King of Kings. When you say no to a request, you are not being selfish, you are following the orders of your King. Your King says you live to fulfill His agenda, not your own and not that of someone else. You spread yourself too thinly, and there's no room for your King's plan for the  time and energy He gave you.

There is a time to say yes, a time to deny yourself for the sake of someone else, but may I gently say that you are not the best judge of when those times are? Your sin-tainted heart ( mine too) has a permanent glitch in it that either wants to please everybody all the time or that only cares for its own interests. Neither one is what the King wants.

So how do you know when to say yes or no? Consult your King. Sometimes a tired body is His way of saying you need to say no to a request and get some rest. Sometimes He frees your schedule unexpectedly because He has assigned you to meet a need. Other times He may speak to you in your quiet time that you are to do thus-and-so. You won't know unless you ask Him. It's about having a relationship that is in tune with the Father's heartbeat. It's not a science, it's more like an art, and definitely is a relationship.

So no more living other people's lives. God has given you plenty to do in your own. Trust Him to help them handle your no and you'll always be saying yes to whatever your King wants you to do.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to Wait on God Well



Psalm 40::1-3 1
I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
2
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
3
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Waiting on God is not always easy, is it? Sometimes it feels as if He's forgotten you're standing there in His waiting room. My Friend, be confident that He knows exactly where you are. He will not keep you there any longer than necessary. You are not forgotten. Do you trust Him?
How do you wait well in your holding place? Today's passage gives some insight. Come with me and let's explore it.


I waited patiently for the Lord-- you and I are to wait patiently. That means not trying to rush things. Remember when Sara came up with the impatient idea to have her husband Abraham conceive a son with Hagar instead of waiting on God? Enough said.

 he turned to me and heard my cry- waiting well is possible when you remind yourself that God's ear turned in your direction the moment you called on Him. Just because He has not answered in your timing doesn't mean He didn't hear and doesn't care. Remember when Lazarus died and his two sisters called for Jesus? Did He come right away? No. Would they have traded their experience of witnessing  their brother resurrected? I don't think so. Waiting on God is an opportunity to see some amazing things. You really don't want to miss what God wants to show you, My Friend.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand- did you notice all of those verbs are in the past tense? Yours will change tenses too. Whatever you are asking God to do now will turn tenses and transform into a testimony. Do you believe this? Waiting well means waiting in faith.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.: oh, a new song is a beautiful thing! It sings about something God has done that He hasn't done in your life before! It's a new entry on God's resume in your story. It's notes birth a strapping stronger faith that looks like Jesus. Waiting well can mean singing about what He will do as if He's already done it. Try it!

Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.-your time of waiting is about more than getting what you want. It is divinely orchestrated for those around you too. They see your distress, your longing,  and sometimes your tears. They are waiting on God with you and for their own requests as well. When God comes through, your story will boost and encourage THEIR faith. It's a sometimes uncomfortable way to be used by God, but why not set a good example of waiting well while they watch? It makes the answer so much sweeter!

 Wait for God patiently, knowing He's heard you and has not forgotten your request. Wait for God believing He will do just what He said He will. Wait valiantly, My friend, not complaining or pouting but soberly, knowing you are setting an example for others who are watching and waiting too.

One more thing: A good waiting room always has good magazines to occupy you while you wait. May I suggest you pick up a copy of His Word and read what God did for others while they waited on Him? Hebrews 11 is a good place to start. Perhaps a good Christian biography can while away the time and remind you of His faithfulness in the lives of others who have been in the waiting room just like you! Please let me know what YOU'VE learned about waiting on God!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Nuggets God Dropped Into My Lap

Hello Friends,

This blog entry needs polishing, but there's  no time. So please be encouraged in spite of the lack of polishing.

Yes! Victory!! The day is done and I accomplished today's goal on a big project I'm working on. How did I do it?

Let me first say that every fiber of me didn't want to do it. Last night, anxiety tried to keep me awake as it raced like rabid horses through every nerve in my body. "Lord," I cried through groggy eyes and racing heart, "help me!" I had responsibilities that pulled me out of bed and to the doors of a church not my own. The temptation was there to just go home afterwards to work on my project. I'd done that before and wanted that to be the old me. Friends, if you want there to be an old you, you gotta start being the new you! Amen? We get upset when people don't expect us to change, but sometimes it's because, um, we haven't changed! 
Back to my story. The Lord impressed on my heart that worship is just as healthy for my spirit as a balanced meal. You and I were created to worship Him and important nutrients go missing when we don't. No, worship is not all about us, but it does affect us. I realize that I have too much to do NOT to worship. Yes, I did consider going home and attending Armchair Baptist, but I would have to drive right past my church to get there. Let me just say that attending church in person is so much better than watching it on TV. I can't explain it, but it is. We have to trust that God is smarter than we are and decide to do things His way even when we think we know a shortcut. Remember when God told the Israelites not to save any manna for the next day because He would provide what they needed? There's always at least one hardheaded nut in the bunch, and this one saved some anyway. Remember what happened? The manna had maggots in it. Friends, it just doesn't pay to do it our way! 

  Back to my story. I got home, ate, piddled around to avoid getting started. You ever do that? Eventually, I told myself I'd do just a little. Once I got started, I was in the zone. Then I got cold. Then I got sleepy. My mind was screaming, "Don't be a lazy bum!" My body wasn't listening. I took a nap. You know what? I needed that nap and I woke up and got back in the zone with more vigor. Know what I learned ? God will keep things on track while I rest. When I woke up, there was still some day left. We talked about this before, remember? 

Another thing the Lord taught me is that when I dread doing something, try doing it a different way to take the edge off. 
What's more, I set a timer to go at it for just an hour. The time flew by, and I was able to go a little longer. 

 For real, though, that last leg was hard. Not hard as in difficult to do, hard as in needing to push through when it's monotonous. I did another cry to the Lord, this time with more whine in my voice, "God (more like ga-ha-hod!) please help me finish this last bit! If You don't help me, it won't get done!" I remembered Jesus's words in John 15:5, "Without me, you can do nothing." Yes, that includes big projects too! 

So here I sit with a big grin in my heart because I reached my goal. Tomorrow there's a new goal, and I know God already has strength stored up for me just like today. It comes in installments sometimes because this is about growth, discipline, and perseverance.
May the Lord bless you in whatever you are trying to get through, My Friend. Determine to do it His way and share what you learned along the way. Got any tips for me in my Big Project journey? I'm all ears! 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Re-sending: When Your Faith Is Fading

Is your faith in God fading? Has what you were once so sure about become like a bridge made of rope with rotted slippery planks, swaying in a thunderstorm? Do you find yourself tempted to "call the whole thing off"? 

I've been there. 

How do you get back to center? 

I have found that when faith wavers, focus has become misdirected. Remember Peter walking on the water? (Matthew 14:29-30) He did fine until he changed focus, right? Same with you and me. So ask yourself how your focus used to be when your faith was strong.  No doubt you'll see a contrast in where it is now.  Have you been dwelling on the obstacles? Have you been composing a lengthy mental list of all that might go wrong? Believe me, I know how easy it is to do. The important thing is that you get back where you used to be.

 How?

As I've been reading through Joshua, I realize keeping focused was one of his strengths, and he kept it by being in regular contact with his original instructions. From the get-go, God instructed Joshua not to  let "this book of the law" depart out of his mouth. How do you keep God's Word in your mouth? Well, you can't keep a thing in your mouth without your mind's cooperation. This is why God said Joshua was to meditate on His Word day and night. What the mind meditates on is what the mouth will speak, My Friend.

So what does that look like in real life? It looks like a biblical hymn your mind chews on throughout the day. It looks like a verse of Scripture you try to memorize. (Don't tell me you can't memorize. If you were promised a million dollars for it, you'd find a way to get it done. It's a matter of determination, not ability.) It looks like a verse on a post-it note on your computer or bathroom window. It can also sound like a gleaning you share with a friend. Have you been as amazed as I have at the opportunities God presents to share when you are trying to memorize a gem from His Word? It looks like a consistent exposure to the Scriptures both personally and corporately. It's like eating, every meal won't make your tongue dance, but each one keeps important things alive. 

This kind of focus is  kerosene to a fiery faith. It's not an exhausting endeavor, it's a daily hangout your mind and spirit get to have with the living God. It's refreshing and intimate and fortifying. Mmmm!

Do you now see where you veered off the path of faith? Do you have a clearer picture of how to get back? I hope so, Dear Friend. Perhaps you want to share how you intend to get back to the vibrant faith you once knew? It would be my delight to pray for you and cheer you on. Kindly share in comments or shoot me an email at 
ordinerrygirl@yahoo.com. 

Until then, I'll see you at the hangout! 




Saturday, March 4, 2017

When Your Faith Is Fading

Is your faith in God fading? Has what you were once so sure about become like a bridge made of rope with rotted slippery planks, swaying in a thunderstorm? Do you find yourself tempted to "call the whole thing off"? 

I've been there. 

How do you get back to center? 

I have found that when faith wavers, focus has become misdirected. Remember Peter walking on the water? (Matthew 14:29-30) He did fine until he changed focus, right? Same with you and me. So ask yourself how your focus used to be when your faith was strong.  No doubt you'll see a contrast in where it is now.  Have you been dwelling on the obstacles? Have you been composing a lengthy mental list of all that might go wrong? Believe me, I know how easy it is to do. The important thing is that you get back where you used to be.

 How?

As I've been reading through Joshua, I realize keeping focused was one of his strengths, and he kept it by being in regular contact with his original instructions. From the get-go, God instructed Joshua not to  let "this book of the law" depart out of his mouth. How do you keep God's Word in your mouth? Well, you can't keep a thing in your mouth without your mind's cooperation. This is why God said Joshua was to meditate on His Word day and night. What the mind meditates on is what the mouth will speak, My Friend.

So what does that look like in real life? It looks like a biblical hymn your mind chews on throughout the day. It looks like a verse of Scripture you try to memorize. (Don't tell me you can't memorize. If you were promised a million dollars for it, you'd find a way to get it done. It's a matter of determination, not ability.) It looks like a verse on a post-it note on your computer or bathroom window. It can also sound like a gleaning you share with a friend. Have you been as amazed as I have at the opportunities God presents to share when you are trying to memorize a gem from His Word? It looks like a consistent exposure to the Scriptures both personally and corporately. It's like eating, every meal won't make your tongue dance, but each one keeps important things alive. 

This kind of focus is  kerosene to a fiery faith. It's not an exhausting endeavor, it's a daily hangout your mind and spirit get to have with the living God. It's refreshing and intimate and fortifying. Mmmm!

Do you now see where you veered off the path of faith? Do you have a clearer picture of how to get back? I hope so, Dear Friend. Perhaps you want to share how you intend to get back to the vibrant faith you once knew? It would be my delight to pray for you and cheer you on. Kindly share in comments or shoot me an email at 
ordinerrygirl@yahoo.com. 

Until then, I'll see you at the hangout!