Friday, December 7, 2007
So guess what? He answered me in about half an hour. I began to look on the net for a good pod cast to listen to while I worked and came across a message from John Dawson, president of YWAM. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him talking about Ruth and how her name is derived from the Hebrew word for "friend".
As I listened, I realized this message contained the healing words from the Lord that I needed. I started to see myself as God sees me and understand that God has created me to be a good friend. It is no coincidence that I have chosen Ruth's identity for myself. God actually created me to identify with her. Pretty cool huh???
John Dawson says that the story of Ruth is "intoxicating in its simplicity.... Ruth loved with a reckless love that was free of conniving and working relationships to her own advantage." Ruth covenanted herself to Naomi who was an embittered old women. She was willing to submit herself to the process without expectations.
He goes on to say that the human structure will always be inadequate....the Lord is our guarantor....not people Even though there is pain in the refiners fire, we need to maintain a childlike posture towards the Lord. We must avoid trying to seize control of the process.
In my own life, it is friendships that have caused me the deepest sorrow. I do have many wonderful friends who I am ever so grateful for. However, deep down, I am gun shy. I don't like that feeling of needing to hold back in friendships out of fear and then feeling pain when my fears are confirmed. There must be a better way. Many people deal with this pain by telling themselves they don't care. Or, as John Dawson says, using manipulation to get what they want.
I choose Ruth's way. An extravagant, selflessness in friendship that is free of EXPECTATIONS!!! Having a heart that is willing to go with the process and savor the good. Trusting the Lord to be my guarantor.
I recommend John's message if you have some time. There are some lengthy introductions that you can skip over. Unfortunately the message gets cut off at the end but it is still very worth while. He is very humorous and insightful with many facets of the Christian walk. There is something there for everyone. You can find the pod cast at http://www.newsongministry.com/ under "Sermon Podcast". Nov 10th.
I welcome your comments and insights about a better way with friendships.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. James 2:23
-to have confidence or faith in the truth of; give credence to.
-to have confidence in the assertions of
When I read the bible, it always amazes me that some of the great characters of biblical history were complete scoundrels at times. These were the same men who God found favor with and called His friends. Just to name a few – Adam, Moses, Samson, Abraham, David, all did something to tick God off. Samson was a womanizer who frequented prostitutes; Abraham tried to hurry God up with His promise of a son by conceiving Ishmael with his wife’s maidservant. David stole another man’s wife and then had him killed to cover up his sin when she became pregnant.
But they had one thing in common………….they believed God. They did more than believe in him, they believed in His character and His word.
Religion can trap us into a life of doing what is right on the outside without paying attention to what is in the inside. The more I get to know God the more I understand that He is looking at the attributes of the heart. He esteems a humble heart and He calls those who believe Him a friend.
When we have a humble heart that believes God’s word, the fruit should be reflected in our behavior. We act on what we believe. For instance, if I said I believed that my chair was strong enough to hold me but never sat in it, my actions would speak louder than my words. If I partially sat on the chair but never put my full weight on it, my actions would show that I do not fully trust the chair.
However, we must make the important distinction that the attitude in the heart must come before the actions or the actions are merely empty rituals. From the outside, it is often hard to tell if the behavior of others is motivated by a commitment of the heart or just a façade to look good. I guess that’s why Jesus tells us to leave the judging up to Him, because He knows the hearts of men.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
i love watching the auditions to "so you think you can dance". they really get all types, from the truly dedicated and talented to completely disillusioned wannabes. i've noticed that the best dancers are the most humble. they are so grateful for any critique and are sincerely honored when they are chosen. often, the really bad dancers are astonished and defensive when they are told that they don't measure up. it's like they have never taken a good look at themselves or believed any honest feedback.
possessing a teachable and humble heart is the key to spiritual and personal growth. a person with a teachable heart longs to change and knows that he or she will not find the means to do so within themselves. direction and feedback are necessary ingredients. however, unless we are willing to receive the feedback and put it into action we will remain a disillusioned wannabe.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
what would a discussion about humility be without a look at pride?
i once heard pride likened to having a booger hanging out of your nose. everyone can see it but you! sometimes we need to take a good look in the mirror, make an honest assessment and make the necessary adjustments.........easier said than done, i know. we are usually blind to our boogers so we need to be receptive to the input of others.
in my own life, pride seems to show up most in my defensiveness. i learned about "ink blots" this summer, at the jesus ministry conference in tacoma washington, http://www.jesusministryintl.org/.
"what are ink blots?" you ask......well let me tell you. they are a defense tactic that we use to confuse and ward off perceived attackers so we can escape. when an octopus feels threatened, it will emit a black inky liquid that clouds the water. we do the same thing when we won't let someone speak truth into our lives because we feel threatened. often it is an automatic response, a defensive disposition that we don't even know we are doing. these ink blots make others pay a cost for speaking truth into our lives. pretty soon, those close to us just stop trying. We miss out on the chance to receive god's direction through others and to grow.
here's some examples............recognize anybody?
this weeks homework:
ask someone close to you to help you identify an ink blot.
sound too scary? i know, i have been avoiding it too.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
god has taught me humility through this. when under pressure, my real self emerged and i didn't like her. i had to be honest with myself and god. i had boxed myself in and controlled my responses for so long that i didn't even have a real self anymore. i had to learn to be me again.
you know the saying......"just be yourself". it took me until my mid 30's to be myself. i truly value authenticity but i know how easy it is for me to put on a mask out of my own pride and fear of rejection.
i find that i like me now. i am more like the person that i was when i was 10 years old.....at least that's what it feels like in my mind. If only i could still do a back hand spring.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
—Synonyms lowliness, meekness, submissiveness.
humility is not the denial of our attributes. it is believing in our hearts that our best qualities are not good enough to cause us to deserve god’s attention. humility is seeing ourselves not in comparison to one another but in the light of god’s greatness.
humility is almost always acquired in the desert. moses, david, john the baptist, jesus spent time in the desert. god kept the israelites in the desert and withheld from them in order to reveal what was in their hearts. god uses our trials to teach us humility.
i read once that part of humility is a willingness to be known for who we really are. I find that to be the hardest. it's hard to be vunerable, to show my weaknesses and to say i'm sorry. i fear that other's will somehow think less of me or take advantage of my weakened position.
.......please share with me your desert experiences that have helped you to grow in humility.
Monday, September 3, 2007
if spirituality is like clothing, then humility is our underwear. it's really the first thing you put on, and it just doesn't feel right if you're not wearing it (for most of us that is). when we are humble we are in a better position to see truth. when we are humble, God esteems us.
i find that i can be really humble in my mind....but when i get around other people it doesn't always work out. i get defensive, i take offense, i'm selfish and impatient....you get the picture.
with all my failings in humililty, i still believe it is the most important spiritual clothes we wear. so i just (humbly) confess my shortfalls to the Lord and keep on going, trying to do better next time.. ..with humility, there is always room for improvement.
i welcome your comments!!!!!