Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Have you ever read a scripture so many times that you are sure of its meaning until you read it one more time–and then God turns you on your ear and says, “no, this is what it means?” Well this is one of those times. I was doing my Bible study lesson and reading about Peter, the Apostle and how God prepared Peter to meet and then preach and baptize Gentiles-something that as a proper Jew he would have never done-to do so would have been to become unclean. But God showed Peter a better way.

God could speak to him and show him a better way because Peter lived in close communion with Him. He was heavily involved in all of the church work at Jerusalem, but he never let it take away from his time with God in prayer. OH That Lesson Right There Is For Me! but there is more. Peter knew that God would choose the places for him to work and to preach, to testify of Jesus. So Here is The Real Kicker For Me–Do I choose what I will do and then expect God to bless it because it is good, beneficial work, or “Christian work”.  Or do I pray first so that God can tell me where He wants me to work  and when He wants me to do it.  Is this not the most important lesson I can learn and re-learn? Because when I do this, WHATEVER the work is, He blesses it enormously, and if I don’t ask-forget to ask, He blesses, but not as much. Because it isn’t doing the right, best thing He wanted done.

How marvelous are the scriptures when you just take a little time with them. This so reminds me of my Mama. She was a Bible student. I almost never saw her reading a “regular book”. She always said there wasn’t enough time to learn all that she needed to know-and this was the best Book to teach her. I am ashamed to say she nagged me a bit about it and at that time of my life  I wasn’t so interested in the things of God or what He had to say to me. It’s interesting that God gives us just enough rope to get into trouble, but He never lets go of us.  That time of my life that I went  through-when everything I touched was gold and I didn’t have a care in the world–I didn’t know what was coming down the pike! But God had a plan for me-to refine me and make me more like Jesus-to make me His witness to all those He was going to bring into my world. It was a lot of work for Him, but He says” He will accomplish that which He has started in us”. And I had given him my heart when I was twenty, so He had every right to begin the work in me…unfortunately for me and for most of us, that work will continue until we meet Him face to face some day.  And I say unfortunately, because the work is HARD, it is being stripped down naked and refinished by the Father, but with every little gain, “I can say oh, this was worth it!”

Acts 8 and 9

This year we are studying the Acts of the Apostles. I am been amazed at how present day these verses are for us, for me. Acts 8, the Apostles and believers began to scatter due to persecution after the stoning of Stephen. But those who scattered, preached the Word wherever they went. I believe that by forcing the believers out of Jerusalem, they witnessed for Christ throughout Judea and Samaria and eventually to the world.

Disruption and displacement in life are usually painful, but the new place can expand into new work and new effectiveness. What change is happening in your life right now? Have you ever considered your present trial as an opportunity for expansion? I had to look at that question and really think about it as I was asked. I don’t think I have thought all my trials and circumstances were an opportunity to go somewhere different, maybe have a different ministry. I have never thought about it like that. But now that I have, I see that there are so many other parts of my life Jesus wants to work on besides this old body! yes He has used it to teach me things–about idols, about tithing, about being thankful and satisfied–yes I have learned my lessons well. Yet I do see there is so much more to learn–so much more about the Word and even how the Holy Spirit works, so much more about what I am to do vs just praying. Not that prayer is not important. That will never go away from me; it’s how the Father and I communicate. But I am reading about ACTS and DOING and feeling like He is going to be telling me what new thing I need to do.

As I was reading about Paul’s time in the desert for 3 years with the Lord, I realized earlier tonight that I too have been in the desert with the Lord for about 3 1/2 years now. He told me in a dream that I was going to go through the hardest times of my life, but that He would be with me every step of the way and sometimes would even have to carry me…and yes, He has. As I re-read some of my early 2009 posts forward, I see that indeed I have been changed. So maybe that time is coming to an end. I certainly hope so!!  I hope that I am ready to walk through whatever new door He wants to open for me. All I know is that I wouldn’t go back to the person I once was. I am so thankful that God never lets go of us-regardless of whether we let go of Him–and that He will accomplish His purpose. ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Our New Life

We moved over the holiday weekend. Our kids came down and helped -a lot! I was very thankful. It took about a month, but finally we settled in–Sweet Dennis doing everything, unpacking, and re-tooling or fixing things to work for us in a better way. And we are only 10 minutes from the hospital! I can honestly say that I am truly satisfied–I think for the first time in my life. I have been wondering about why that is. Certainly my circumstances have changed financially, but that wouldn’t make a person want less-usually only more so! I don’t have everything I used to have in my new place-all the extra nice finishes, etc, but amazingly, that doesn’t bother me! Me who grew up wanting the perfect house-and actually having it for 7 years–not missing it or the finishes. The service people who have continued to see us have asked how we like the new place–all I can say is that I am so happy to have it and so comfortable and so satisfied. That is an amazing personality change for me, I have to admit. I was a shopper; I loved clothes and shoes and jewelry. I always wanted my house just so–and it was. 

This spring I took a personality profile for a client. I knew exactly what it would say. I had taken them previously for my company and I fit their GM profile perfectly-high dominance, high extraversion, high impatience. Imagine my surprise when my profile was read to me–dominance was mid-line (normal), high extraversion, high PATIENCE.  WHAT???   I kept asking my client if he was sure that he was reading it correctly. He was sure, of course–what was wrong? As far as he was concerned, this was a good profile of me! I asked him to email me the results so that I could read them over. And yes, really I had somehow changed.        

Now these seem to be two disconnected little stories, don’t they? But do you know that psychologists and all those who put those tests together and study behavior-especially life long behavior say that you can not change your basic personality traits; that their tests are such that regardless of how someone might try to “fix” the profile to match what the company is looking for, it is simply impossible to do that. So then my question had to be how was I so profoundly changed?  And for me anyway, these changes were truly profound.

After prayer and talking with my Holy Father, reading His Word, and at the leading of the Holy Spirit I began to find verses that said that we would be changed by the Word. It is sharper than a two-edged sword and cuts to the very marrow of the bone.    So after all the reading and praying and talking, I realized that God has been refining me just as He said He would. NOT THAT I HAVE “ARRIVED”, but only that finally there is some progress and growth in my life. This is encouragement to me and I hope to others that you can never be too old to change, for God to work on you or through you.