Eagle or Seagull?

I was driving past a dump the other day. It was a windy day and above the dump were hundreds of seagulls "soaring" around the dump. I began thinking in my mind about the differences between a seagull and eagle and I began to wonder how we as Christians actually tend to live.

Seagulls are scavengers. They like to live above the trash and look at it all the time. They don't want to miss out on any of the junk. Like eagles they can "soar" on the wind but they choose to stay close to the earth and all the trash.

Eagles on the other hand build their nests high on the cliffs. When they soar on the wind they soar high above the earth. They have been given keen eyesight and when they need to eat they see the tiny item that they need to attack and they can dive down, grab and attack it with the strength of their legs.

As I said in the last blog I believe the Bible is the inspired Words of God and as a result I think God is very intentional when He chooses analogies for our lives. He chose an eagle on purpose and I think it is important for us to compare our lives to see if we are operating in the fullness of what He purchased for us.

Do you act like a seagull or an eagle? Both birds soar on the wind (the wind in the Bible is often compared to the Holy Spirit). But where do you let the Holy Spirit take you? Do you only allow Him to raise you high enough to see your trash and the trash of those around it? Are you obsessed with your sins and the sins of those around you and you sit with your Christian friends squawking about each others sins and the sins of this world?

Or are you like an eagle? Do you allow the Holy Spirit to take you to the heights, where the things of this world become strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace (line from "Fix Your Eyes on Jesus")? Do you soar in the glory of the Holy Spirit and in the strength that He has placed in you? There are times when we do become aware of the things of this earth, our prey and we return to the earth with great precision and insight because He has pointed out something for us to attack and take. We attack with strength; it dies and then we return to the heights.
Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles.

Psalm 103:2-5
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I pray you get the chance to soar today above the pits that you have been redeemed from into the beauty of the things He has for you this day.

The Bible: God's Word

The Holy Bible by Wonderlane

Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

I am not a theologian. I am not a philosopher. I am not an expert in any field. I am just a wife and mother. But from where I sit in this life, I would answer that question with a resounding YES.

The Bible to me is more than an amazing book of literature, a history book or a "self-help" book. If it was just literature would it have the ability to change lives? If it was just an accurate book of history, would people who read it learn how to live a better life? If it was just a "self-help" book would you be able to read it over and over and over again and still receive something new from it?

Let us say it is just a book of literature. What other book of literature has lasted thousands of years and its topics remain relevant? What other book of just literature can be translated into thousands of different languages and can still be interesting, meaningful and relevant to a poor beggar on the streets of India and a rich man on Wall Street?

If it is just a history book name one other history book that is accessible and interesting to little children yet can stump, challenge and astound scholars with their PHD's?

If it is just a "self-help" book for a better way of living why are so many people able to read it over and over and over again and still receive something new? What other self-help book would you be able to read everyday for 20 years and not get sick of it? Maybe you do have a good self-help book but could you really read it everyday for the rest of your life? And even if you could read it everyday could you find 100 or 1,000 other people who would be willing to read it everyday and still receive something new from it?

If you do not believe the Bible is God's word and contains something special to it I would challenge you to name just 1 piece of literature which can do all the things mentioned above? A piece of literature that has spanned cultures, age, race, time and economic status and has been able to reach, touch and change so many people lives.

What is the "secret" to the power of the Bible:

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active.

Sharper than any double-edged sword,

it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,

joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts

and attitudes of the heart.

The Bible has something attached to it that no other piece of literature has attached and that is the living, breathing, Spirit of God. The Spirit along with the Word gives the Bible the ability to be "alive" to you everyday. This is why you can read Psalm 23 100 times in your life and still receive something new, or have something jump out at you that you never had jump out at you before.

So let me ask you again. Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

If your answer is "YES," does your treatment of the Bible reflect this belief? Do you treat it like it is the alive word of God? Do you take time everyday to open the treasure of life that lives within your home? You have the ability to have God speak directly from His heart to yours everyday, do you take advantage of that beautiful opportunity?

If your answer to the question is, "I don't know, or a resounding NO" I would challenge you to find out more about the Bible and the fact that it is considered by scholars to be a beautiful piece of literature and a respected historical document. When you walk away with more "facts"about the Bible it might prompt you to read it more, and I guarantee it will change your life if you spend your life sitting before it. If you want to hear more facts about the Bible check out Difficult Questions - Mad City Church on Facebook for more interesting facts about the Bible.

I believe finding the answer to this question is worth finding out.

In the desert places

This year has been the hardest year of my life. In a span of 12 months I watched 5 people die (2 of which I was in the room while they were passing on to the next life) 2 people of cancer and 3 young children whose lives were torn away way too soon for earthly understanding. These events have stripped me to the core and has placed the desire in me to know God even in the midst of tragedy; are you still there God?

Throughout this year I've felt God's wooing presence but this weekend had an impact on me like no other. This weekend I attended my church's Women's Retreat and on Sunday the speaker, Barbara Sandiford, talked about being Betrothed to God. When I returned from the retreat guess what this week's topic in my Breaking Free just happened to be? Being the Bride of Christ. I just had to smile at God and say, "I hear you speaking, I'm starting to get it. I want to be your bride."

You might be starting to think what in the world does being in a desert place have to do with being the bride of Christ? What I've learned through this weekend's retreat and my devotional study has confirmed in me that the evidence of the desert places I've experienced has not shown an abandonment of God to me and my circumstances but He is right there and in fact He is inviting me to know Him and experience Him in an even more intimate way then I ever have before.

Jeremiah 2:2
I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown.

Ladies, do you remember what it was like when you fell in love with your spouses? You would follow them anywhere and do anything for them. In Jeremiah 2:2 God is reminding the people that when they understood His love they would be willing to walk into those desert places with Him, they would follow Him anywhere.

Hosea 2:14-15
Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master. '

There words have done untold wonders for my heart.

Even though I walk through the Valley
of the shadow of death I will fear no evil,
thy road and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

God does not abandon us in the valleys. He instead extends His hands towards us and invites us to know Him in an even more intimate way; to trust Him with our whole hearts and walk through those times holding His hands and letting Him love on us as a lover loves on His bride. I have said yes and taken His hand, how about you?

You are loved

Today is my 100th post! Thank you so much for supporting me and encouraging me over the last 10 months. You have been a blessing to me. The Lord began burning today's post on my heart last night and I think the essence of it sums up the purpose of For His Glory: to know who you are in Christ and from that place to be able to walk in the freedom and liberty with yourself and towards others. May you be blessed.

I've seen so many Christians walk around with brokenness as their identity. They see all the ways they fall short of the Bible and they walk around with a heaviness that they are not good enough. They walk around like they need to pay God back for all the ways they fall short. This view not only causes Christianity to be heavy for them, but it causes Christianity to be a problem for those around them. They see all the ways their brother and sisters fall short of God and suddenly those people don't only owe God a debt but they also owe them a debt for the their sin.

Beloved, the reason this happens is because we don't understand what Christ did for us and what it means. As Andrew Wommack describes it we have 3 parts to us we have a spirit, a soul and a body. As Christians our spirit is NOW 100% complete before God. This is the part of us that God views us and our lives through. Our soul and body, however, are not yet what they will be; those parts won't be perfect until we are in heaven. However, our opportunity here on earth is to bring our body and soul into unison with our spirit. Sin is sin, it still has negative consequences here on earth and negatively effects our body and soul. However, we have the Spirit of God within us and the Bible says, "Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world." Beloved, so many of us focus on the depth of yuckiness in our soul and are so overwhelmed by it that it causes us to focus only on ourselves and the enemy and to forget the truth that we have within us something GREATER than that. We have the Holy Spirit within us and we have our spirits within us that are 100% right with God. We need to begin walking around out of this place and bringing our soul and body into unison with our spirit man.

The foundation of this all is to understand that our God LOVES us with an everlasting love. He truly loves us as much today as He will in 10 years. He isn't sitting at some remote place tapping His feet waiting for you to get it and once you are there He is going to embrace you. He embraces you today just as you are. Jesus removed our sin, it is finished, it is paid in full, all our sins past, present and future have been removed.

2 Corinthians 5:19
God was reconciling the world
to himself in Christ, not counting men's
sins against them
Your sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 4:15-16

For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted
in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.

Do you see it? God removed the barrier between us and Him sin, so that we can now come into His presence confidently. He will help us in our time need. When you are feeling weak and sinful you need to turn to God. He is asking you to come to Him!

Okay, so now we know our sin is not a barrier between us and God anymore. We can't earn His love, we can't pay Him back when we mess up. The fact that we know how He feels about us should and can effect how we interact with others. This knowledge will cause us to love God with our whole hearts, mind and strength and then as a result we will be able to love others.

In Matthew 18 Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant. In this parable a man owes so much debt he can't pay it back and he will have to go to prison. He begs for mercy and receives it. 10 minutes after he is released from his debt he runs into someone who owes him way less money. What does he do? He demands full repayment! He received mercy but gave no mercy. Do you not see? Our sin has been fully forgiven by God, yet when someone sins against us we hold it against them. We have great bitterness against them and we don't want to forgive them until they prove to us that they have realized the error of their ways and made amends if at all possible.

I truly believe that when you grasp how God feels about you about you and the freedom that it brings you than you will have the ability to love others well. Let us really take time to ask God to help us understand who we are in Him and then love others well.

Oh to Understand

I've been meditating on the verse below for the last 3 weeks. While I don't have complete understanding of it all yet I wanted to share with you what I am getting so far:

Isaiah 43:10

You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,

"and my servant whom I have chosen,

so that you may know and believe me

and understand that I am he.

Before me no god was formed,

nor will there be one after me.

Beth Moore had us memorize this verse for our Breaking Free study and she emphasized the facts that our rights as daughters in this journey to freedom is to know and believe God. To have these attributes in our lives involves us learning to trust Him. Beth chose not to focus on the word understand but the Holy Spirit has had me stuck on the word "understand" for the last 3 weeks.

My fixation on the word understand began when during the same week I was memorizing that verse I watched a Love, Marriage and Stinking Thinking episode. Mark Gungor was focusing on communication between spouses and he said his ministry is not about "changing" people but about helping people understand how the other person thinks. Once a person has understanding of how the other person works and operates they can them approach them in ways that the other person can understand. In that episode, he was explaining the reasons why women think men never listen and he explained how a man's brain operates and he gave tips on how best to communicate to a man based on the way they receive information.

Mark Gungor gave the example of a man sitting on a train with his head down and his kids are jumping around, screaming and being wild. Everyone on the train car is getting irritated at the man, why doesn't he deal with his kids? Finally, someone confronts the man and says, "Would you please control your kids?" The man looks up and says, "Oh, I'm sorry. We have just left the hospital, my wife just died. I guess I was consumed with grief and didn't realize they were being disruptive." Suddenly, everyone on the train is full of compassion and they are helping the man with the kids. What changed about the situation? Nothing. The man was still despondent, the kids were still upset but the people understood why they were behaving the way they were and as a result they pitched in and helped the man.

So what does this have to do with God? According to Isaiah 43:10 God has offered us the gift of understanding Him. We all have situations in life and we would like to know the whys of why it is happening; I don't think we are guaranteed the answer to any whys. However, how many situations in life do we not understand the whys and as a result we blame the who? Over the last 3 weeks I am beginning to believe and trust that God has offered us the opportunity to understand the who without understanding the whys.

There may be situations in your life that are difficult. You cannot understand the whys of it happening and you may never get the answer here on earth. But I invite you to ask God to give you understanding of the who, who He is in the situation. Your situation may not change, but because you know where He is and who He is in it you can operate in a completely different way in the situation. You can also look back at previous situations you've been involved in and invite Him to give you understanding where He was and allow Him to break off the lies and false agreements you made because of the situation.

God loves you with an everlasting love, you are the apple of His eyes, He has invited you to walk in daily freedom with him, as his beloved child. Invite Him to give you understanding.

Who Nose Better?

My son is 5 1/2 years old and he is anxious to do many things by himself. This morning he wanted to toast his bagel all by himself in our toaster oven. He has been itching to do this for days. Today I thought we would work on it together. Our toaster oven has a glass door which gets hot and our counter is small and with James up on the small counter it is hard to get the bagel out safely. I let him put the bagel in, turn it on and was going to let him try to get it out (with my monitoring of course). However, I realized he was having trouble maneuvering the knife to get the bagel out so I had to take over. I said, "I'll stab the bagel with the knife, then you can pull it out." He did not like this idea and he immediately shut down. He didn't want to pull the bagel out anymore since he didn't stab the bagel himself. I gently picked him up and said, "Let's go look in the mirror."

I then proceeded to take him to the mirror where just by looking he was immediately reminded of the injury on his nose from Saturday.

On Saturday, he thought it was a good idea to go running, roll on an exercise ball and fall head first into a beanbag. I told him to stop because he was going to get hurt. Five minutes later though he went and did it again, and this time he did miss the beanbag and you can see the results of that on his nose.

So this morning I asked him, "Who knows (nose:) better?"

"When Mom tells you not to do something it isn't because she is trying to be mean or prevent you from doing something, but she is trying to protect you. There will be a day when you can do it all by yourself but right now you just need to trust me and believe that I am stopping you from doing something because it is best for you; even if you don't see it."

As a parent I'm starting to learn that I need to listen to the advice that I am teaching my kids because I often find that those lessons coordinate very well with what God is trying to teach me at the moment. Currently, the Lord and I are working on helping me to trusts Him better and not shutting down completely when I sense Him trying to help me out.

I know it probably sounds absurd but I realized last week during one of my Breaking Free individual study times that I had some areas where I was trusting myself more than I was trusting God. I have areas in my life where I don't understand God and what He is doing so like James, I choose to shut down and not even try anymore. I trust myself and my ability to do things more than I trust God. And God gently pulls me away and takes me to the past and points "Remember that time? You did it your way and you got hurt. Why don't you follow my lead and allow me to help you through this time?"

So I'm learning to trust again, to trust God's heart toward me is good and even though I don't understand why I can't have things my way that His ways are better than my ways. I would much rather trust Him and His infinite wisdom than trust myself and my finite and unwise ways.

He knows better!

PS Don't forget about my Giveaway for a $10 Starbucks giftcard!! Stop by my site for details on how to qualify.

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