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Archive for the ‘I AM study’ Category

Praise be to the Father in Heaven because this study is sooooo speaking to my situation in life right now.  If you missed my answers to last weeks questions, and are interested in the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say go here. A few weeks ago now, in my prayer time, God gave me Hebrews 11 to think on.  As Lisa mentions this is the “Hall of Faith”.  I have do doubt that my faith is being built in these days! I thank you Lord for allowing Lisa to speak to me as she is!  And I thank you Lisa, The Preacher’s Wife, for your willingness to spend 10 hours putting these lessons out there for us! =)

SO – without further ado here are my answers to this weeks questions! 

1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)There are quite a few things in life that are “Not Like I Planned”.  The most basic of my life is that I once announced outloud and often that I would NEVER – EVER marry a preacher……..yeah, I think God was totally laughing at me and thinking “If you only knew the plans I have for you!”  Second, and most presently is the situation in our church. We never dreamed that moving to this place would start out with such struggles right off the bat!  Things just aren’t what we planned…..but then it seems they never are…..We seem to have, like Moses, left our nice comfortable lives behind for uncertainty – to lead people that aren’t sure they want to be led…..I am hoping against all hope that like Moses one day when I get to heaven, hubby and I can be added to the Hall of Faith from Hebrews that we “By Faith………….”do all that God is calling us to do in this place.

2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain.  I have reacted in a myriad of different ways.  I have had my hissy fits, stomped, screamed and cried out to the Lord and who ever else would listen to my complaining………(my poor husband who tends to be much more optimistic gets really tired of my pessimism um – REALISM!) I have been upset and am STILL baffled by it in some ways……happy about it —definitely NOT…..trying to turn it all over to God and trust HIM and live by faith……….that is where we are.

3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling?  Girls – let me tell I question my Lord more often than I’d like to admit about being in the ministry of being a “preacher’s wife”……I often tell Him how unqualified I am for the job.  I tend to care a little too much about clothes and having a house that reflects my decorating style and being gracious to people who aren’t so gracious to me…..God has blessed me in some of that by giving me a mother who enjoys giving my daugther’s clothing for their birthday’s and Christmas and just about all other holidays.  ON the house side – parsonage living isn’t my idea of fun……I often look around and wonder just where are the 80 year old people who live here and why am I in their living room?   Being gracious outwardly is easier than the thoughts that are often swirling in my head. Thinking that is becoming of a preacher’s wife? I think not.  SO – yes – I wonder about this calling………AND I do believe it is a calling.

4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans?I suppose – in a word – yes.  I hate to admit it, but as I mentioned about being GRACIOUS isn’t a gift that I have.  I have tp continually turn those people and situations over to God and ask HIM to help me through them!

5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free.   OH my.  There are huge experiences in my life that have left my ability to trust almost non existent.  I was sexually abused as a child and I cannot put into words what that does to a child’s trust…..And then something else that happened in my life that affected my trust was when my parents got divorced after almost 25 years of marriage.  I think it affected my trust so much because I never expected it to happen. Both of these things really have had a huge impact on my ability to trust people and God in life.

5. Based on Moses’ response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself?I believe with everything in me that God presented me with the Hall of Faith in Hebrew 11 and this study in order that I can re-evaluate my NLIP experiences.  In order that I can learn how the people God used in the bible – like Moses – were able to stand the trials and STILL have faith in God.  My Father is teaching me a guiding me through my NLIP life. I think God presented me with Hebrews 11 as encouragement – that if these normal – sinners like me – can have faith in HIM then I can use them as my example to do the same.

Thanks Lisa for this study — I continue to grow and stretch each week.  I have shared a lot of personal things today, but I have learned that honestly sharing things is how working through  things really begins.  If anything I say can help ONE person even slightly then I don’t mind sharing my life experiences.

God bless each and every one of you ladies who is blessing me through this study! Because when I read your responses – YOU are!

In HIM –

Mindy 

 

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How will it work out?

 Lisa over at The Preacher’s Wife,  has served up lesson 3 in her “I AM – so you don’t have to be” study.  Girls, if you aren’t joining in this – you should be because even though I have never heard her hubby preach, I believe she is giving him a run for his money with these lessons!Lisa, I cannot tell you how much the LORD is using you to speak to me in this study. “He has placed you just in time, has saved you by his loving kindness, and either has given you or will give you a desire from the lower deep of your nature to accomplish what HE intends in your life”  OH MY, what a thing to say and for me to remember!  I’ve posted before about the difficulties the church hubby and I serve is having.  LOTS of hurt and pain.  This study is so SO speaking to my situation.  Let me tell you a little story before I get to the questions (bear with me here).  Before we moved here to the place we live now, we served a different church about an hour and a half away.  We were comfortable there – loved there – and content.  EXCEPT – we both began to feel that after 7 years there, maybe it was time for someone else to come along side this church and maybe it was time for us to move on.  We decided that instead of saying a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to moving – we’d say ‘yes’ to whatever God decided. So, hubby told his DS (district superintendent – in the Methodist church we are on an itinerant system – if you want more info on this just email me and ask – i’ll be glad to fill you in as best I can) that if we needed to move this year we would.

We were told that next March (of 2006) that yes, indeed we would be moving to a church that was about 30 minutes from where we were before.  Just on the other side of the city where we lived.  How fabulous we thought! – Our girls could still have some stability. Still see friends and still attend their dance classes with their friends.  We visited the church who was going to give us a housing allowance  – so we began looking for a home.

We decided to rent a home for a year and see from there what we wanted to do – so we went looking.  I’m NOT kiddin’  ya’ll – the very day we found a house we were ready to sign to rent, we got a phone call from hubby’s DS saying that his appointment had been changed (by this time it is May 2006) and we were now moving about an hour from where we were and EVERYTHING – literally everything changed.

We weren’t too happy to say the least.  BUT we worked through- choosing to trust that the LORD is in control of all (that thing, Lisa that you said about a “series of unrecurring incidents”) these changes and go with it. 

We moved to this church and began serving here in July 2006.  You have read here and here about the things that this church needs.  I have always believed that God sent us here for a purpose and we are to do it.  AND, Lisa, you are reinforcing and causing me to believe EVEN more that God is in CONTROL of this whole situation!    SO, with all that said – here are my answers to the questions.

1. It was stated in the Lesson that God has made you “once, twice, three times a lady.” Where are you in this progression? Obviously we have all been physically born, but are you ‘twice a lady’? Have you been born again spiritually? This may be a private matter you’d like to discuss confidentially. If so, email me. If you have already received this gift, write a brief prayer of thanksgiving or testimony.  
I grew up in the Methodist church so there wasn’t a lot of talk about being saved — but there was talk about asking Jesus into my heart and believe that those are the same thing. As I grew up though and reached adulthood my spirituality has grown so much more than what my 9 year old self was really able to comprehend.  I am definitely “born again” — although we don’t say that in the Methodist church, I know that Jesus died for my sins and is my savior!

Dear God, thank you for loving me so much even in my sin that you gave your son to save my life!  I cannot fathom most of the time why you would do this – because human love doesn’t reach that far.  BUT it is awesome Lord, that yours does and I am thankful this day that one day because of you grace and glory, that I will be in heaven with you!  Amen!

2. Are you three times a lady? Has God given you a stirring deep within your Spirit to be a ‘deliverer’? Do you have a desire or are you already meeting a need in the life of the church, a particular ministry (such as jail ministry, food ministry, etc.) or perhaps individuals who share common issues?  OK – I’m beginning to see a theme in each thing that the LORD is leading me to read these days – faith- belief – even Moses.  A few weeks ago the Lord gave the Hebrew 11 to read  — coincidence that it is one of our scriptures for today? No, no I think not!  I am grabbing on to God that he will use hubby and I to be the “deliverer” our church so desperately needs.  And the REASON I think he chose us — we are so absolutely unequipped for this challenge — only by HIS doing and with HIM will be be done!  The desire is there — the how – not so much yet.  We will wait and see.

3. Do you ever get tired of waiting for that opportunity to do something worthwhile for God? Do you ever feel God is using someone else instead of you? Yes!  Most of the time when I feel that I have no place and can do nothing well…………..I see HIM using others and long to be used.  I think all that God has been teaching me in the past months about FULLY focusing on HIM is leading up to how he will use me.  It is tense, scary and exciting all at the same time!

4. What do you consider ‘worthwhile ministry’? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself mistakenly thinking it has to be Big to be Important? All I can say, as I hang my head in shame, is yes.  Sometimes my pride wants me to be the center of attention and be doing the big and important things.  Lord, please forgive my pride!

5. Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? If yes, what are yours? If no, here’s a good one from Ephesians 4 Ministry. Will you take it and come back with a response? Knowing some of you like I already do, I can almost pick out what your gift is before you say it. I can’t wait to see if I’m right! I’ve done one but it has been a while .  I will go do this one and see…………OK – so I got  Pastor/Shepherd – 19, Showing Mercy- 18, Teaching 17 and then it went drastically down from there……was it what you thought? =)

Looking forward to reading other responses when I have time!

In HIM –

Mindy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Lisa at The Preacher’s Wife, is leading this fabulous study on the Great I AM! (so we don’t have to be).  Today was lesson 2 and I want to join in the discussion.  The topic of “being beautiful” is a big pickle for me.   The discussion questions and my answers are below.

  • What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful? My initial response whenever someone tells me I’m beautiful is one of distrust.  That  “yeah, right” kind of answer.  Even though I am thanking them on the outside – I am analyzing every reason (every blemish I see) why I’m not beautiful………all those thoughts everyone sees in themselves – my eyes aren’t symmetrical and there are HUGE bags underneath them, my nose gets bigger with each passing year, I need to see a dentist and have some bleach applied to my teeth, I’m too short……….and so forth and so on.  This brings me to question #2.
  • Do you find you engage in a lot of negative ‘self-talk’? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?   I do have a lot of Negative ‘self- talk’ in my life but not as much now as I once had.  As a small child I was abused by a caregiver which eventually led me to a different kind of sinful path where I felt like my body was the only way anyone would find me worthy of their attentions. This abuse has also affected my marriage and my life in a myriad of other ways not the least of which is my self- esteem.  I – in the past – had a LOT of negative self- talk and to this day can find myself in a very pessimistic attitude often.  My thought life, at one point was probably about 90% negative self- talk.  My self-esteem was nil!  It has been a long road and a lot of years dealing with this  issue in my life and I still have a long way to go but I know that when I get into that negative self- talk it is time to do some praying and working on things with God.  And trying to see me as HE sees me.  This is a hard one to do but I am getting better at it.
  • Has it ever occurred to you that you are a City Girl? How do you plan to use this knowledge?I love, love, LOVE the thought of being a City Girl. (Can we get a tshirt printed, please?)  Of being someone who people see as different.  I want to be that girl – the one people KNOW isn’t from around here and I don’t just mean by way of being the preacher’s wife and so obviously I’m not “from” here.  In the study,  Lisa said that what drew people to Jesus was his Spirit.  I want people to know ME by the Spirit that dwells within me and not by the selfish, ugly person that I sometimes allow to win out.   I want to be so glorifying God in my life that people are drawn to Him through me — and not the opposite to happen.  I don’t want to be the person who people in the world look at and say – “Well, if she is what being a Christian is then count me out!”.  I have just finished doing Breaking Free by Beth Moore and from that I know that I desperately want to be a Display of HIS splendor!  Less of me so there can be more of HIM!!!!
  • In what ways has your view of Godly beauty changed as a result of these Scriptures?I can’t say that my view of Godly beauty has changed.  It just reinforces what I already know.  Less of me  – more of Him.  Less of me- more of HIM!  LESS OF ME – MORE OF HIM!!! 
  • In closing, I often am reminded of this song when I think of being beautiful to God.  It is a song by Bethany Dillan and OH – this is the beauty I long to LONG for! 

    I was so unique
    Now I feel skin deep
    Count on the makeup to cover it all
    Crying myself to sleep
    Because I cannot keep their attention
    Thought I could be strong
    But it’s killing me

    Does someone hear my cry
    I’m dying for new life

    I want to be beautiful
    And make you stand in awe
    Look inside my heart
    And be amazed
    I want to hear you say
    Who I am is quite enough
    Just want to be worthy of love
    And beautiful

    Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
    Fighting to make the mirror happy
    Trying to find whatever is missing
    Won’t you help me back to glory

    You make me beautiful
    You make me stand in awe
    You step inside my heart
    And I am amazed
    I love to hear You say
    Who I am is quite enough
    You make me worthy of love
    And beautiful

    This words speak the desire of my heart.  I want to be BEAUTIFUL to HIM.  I know that He already sees me as his princess, but I desperately want to act in a way that makes HIM stand in awe, that makes God proud of me.  Someone HE  can boast about to the angels in heaven.  I want to be so beautiful that others are drawn to the Spirit of HIM within me. 

    OH, please help me my saviour to become this woman for you!  Make me beautiful and make your spirit shine through me.  Help me decrease so that you can increase.  Forgive me in the times when I allow my negative- self talk and life experiences to take precedence about what you say about me.  Change my heart, OH God – Give me one like yours!  Amen

    Thanks Lisa for this great study!  Everyone go on over and check it out.  You can add your own thoughts there, too!

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