Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's Your "Response"?

If you remember the title of my last post it was "Can We Talk?" If you haven't read that post then please take a minute to scroll down to the next post. This is a continuance of that previous post. 

As a wife and mother it's mind boggling to think of how many times I've asked a question directed at one of my girls or my husband.

"What sounds good for dinner?...
When do I need to pick you up from practice?...
Do you have your homework finished?...
Have you taken time to make the dinner reservations?"...

OK, these are just a few minor examples from everyday life. A conversation with another person almost always includes a few questions being asked. Unless we are control freaks or dictators we all know that questions are important and then the value of a "response".

The Oxford Dictionary gives the definition as " a reply or answer...reaction or comeback..feeling, movement or change... accountability, liability...effect, result, consequence."

I want to take a closer look at this word "response". There are a lot of words that are derived from this one word... respond, responsible, irresponsible, get my drift. When we ask a question we are always looking for a timely "response". Yes, we want an answer from the one to whom we a asking the question. If we don't get the answer, we may feel compelled to ask again...and again... But what if the question goes we continue upon deaf ears or do we walk away?

I told you last post that God had been seriously asking me to make some changes in my life. He would bring up the subject and ask...politely. He continued asking...proding...reminding...but my "response"? I had been giving Him excuses.

Sometimes God gives me a date; a day in the future to put on my calender. Like a date that you circle, put a star next to, or outline in red. There have been lots of them, and for almost every "date" I have been given, something always takes place of importance. Well, He gave me a date in March, and I was excited. What would happen on that day? I was of course thinking along lines other than what was coming. I'd been praying about getting in better physical health, (that's always on my mind) but I was hoping some kind of miraculous thing would happen to me to all the sudden start this change. Yep, I wanted some kind of miracle, because I didn't think I could do it myself. It was easier to hope for a miracle than to take the "responsibility" to do something myself. I didn't want to make a accountable..or face any consequences.

We all probably have favorite scripture that has really spoken to us over the years. "Life Verses" I've called them. Ones that can speak to you over and over, and often result in those amazing "Aha" moments. Romans 12:1-2 are those verses for me.

Living Sacrifices
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Did you read the scripture? think of "spiritual act of worship" as our response that God is looking for. 

Just so happened that my daily Bible study time has been in Romans. I don't read to read. I know there are lots of good program schedules that tell you how to read the entire Bible in one year. Those have a purpose I'm maybe just getting you acquainted with what actually the Bible is all about. But if that's how you "read" and study the Bible then let me tell you that you may be missing what God is trying to share with you. "Volume of scripture" should never be our reason for opening the Bible. Let God lead you on where to focus. That is one of the ways He speaks to us.

So that date? came and went...swoosh...nothing...nada...sound of crickets chirping.

The next day I asked God what had happened to my "red letter day". That's when I heard Him tell me about the decision that I was going to have to make. a big one. a life changing one. one that my future depended upon. And I knew that this time I would have to give a "response"...not an God.

to be continued...
love in Jesus,

I always love to hear from you in the comment does everyone else. Has God been asking you something? What was YOUR response?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Can we talk?...

I'm still here, just in case you thought I was "backslidden" or some other dreadful thing. I have to laugh, cause, wow, I really hate that word. I've heard it my whole life bandied about by regular churchgoers who describe some poor unfortunate that maybe isn't living up to everyone else's standards. Nope, not backslidden, I've just felt like keeping my mouth shut for awhile while I try to sort out my life. Of course I'm not sure that's very easy for any of us. Cause just when you think things are figured out you can have something hit you from out of the blue and there you are again facing those big ?s.

Actually what I really want to talk about is taking God seriously in the matters of our daily life and then the issue of God's timing. That can be a sore spot for a lot of us, because sometimes His timing feels really OFF. (can I get an AMEN to that?) I just want to share a "case-in-point" in my own life.

So, most of you know I have some heart and cardiovascular problems that are hereditary, but still MY problem no matter where they came from or how I got stuck with them. AND for the last three years I've had to take some (sometimes more, sometimes less) medications that yes, can save your life, but at the same time cause all kinds of other side effects.

I'll be honest here, I'm talking about weight gain and generally having low energy and yada yada yada. Throw in post menopause and I'm not a happy camper in the "look at yourself in the mirror" department. Plus the fact that I'm short so that just compounds the problem. Now, I want to make myself perfectly clear, this isn't just about appearance, but about my overall general health. I'm all for the idea of being happy with ourselves, but I have the added concern (and responsibility) of health. Actually we ALL have that issue. Taking care of our bodies by what we eat goes WAAAAAAY beyond how we view ourselves outwardly, but how we should be answering to God's plan to be and stay healthy.

I've whined to God for the last few years about getting in better shape, but exercise for me is tricky. I have to be careful to not overdo it. A day of physical activity can put me in bed for a day. I have to keep in mind that I need to "strenghen" myself slowly, not wind up in the hospital because my heart has been overtaxed.

And then the next idea is e.a.t.i.n.g. Good grief, I wish it could be more simple. OK, maybe it IS simple and I just hadn't grasped the concept. So, I'm praying and whining and praying and whining, the whole time I know that I need to get some pounds off cause my blood pressure is too high and I have some joints that scream at me any time I try to shop the mall. Not to mention the fact that I've had plenty of conviction to eat more healthily. The only thing I can say is that I was full of excuses. I won't even go there, because there are just too many.

A few weeks ago God woke me up in the morning and said very clearly to me. "Soon you are going to have to make a decision and this time it better be the right one. Your future depends on it." GULP... Can I tell you that that statement put the proverbial "fear of God" into me? My mind started racing as to what the decision actually was and of course my thoughts were not about my eating habits...but more earth shattering possibilities.

I'm going to finish this post in a few days, because I think that God can use just this much to speak to some of you today too. Anybody out there in the same boat with me? It doesn't have to be about "eating". Chances are God has been gently nudging some of us to do His will and we've casually been either ignoring Him or just not taking Him too seriously. Are you feeling it?

If so, you can take this opportunity to be open to what God's about to say...get ready...He might say something you're really needing to hear.

p.s. just want to let you know that you can sign up to receive this blog's current posts in your email. (on the right sidebar) I'm pretty sporadic so it might be an easier way to keep track. 

love in Jesus,