Stinkin’ Thinkin’

Have you ever needed an attitude adjustment? Do you have a crazy situation from your past that was a unfair and created a huge life change?

  • Job loss
  • Natural disaster
  • Unexpected pregnancy
  • Cross country move
  • Friendship loss
  • Illness
  • __________________________ (go ahead, fill in that blank!)

I know not everything has a happy ending. This life on Earth is filled with struggles and disappointments. And yet, God can bring about good from difficulties. It doesn’t erase the pain from the situations. Some people are living through some extremely difficult circumstances. Ones that I cannot even imagine walking through. I don’t have any easy or pat answers. But I know time can help. Time and distance can give us a perspective that we cannot possibly have in the moment.

God can take the manure dumps of life and use them to fertilize some other things that need to grow. That tilling and hoeing of our lives can produce new and different fruit. How many ministries have come out of despair? How many incredible hymns and books have been written that show God’s transformative work?

You have surely had an ugly thing or two happen to you. If it happened 5-10 years ago and you realized a truth of God at a deeper level, consider sharing that with someone.

May you see God at work in your past as well as in your today!
Liz

Renewing

Have you ever turned trash into a treasure? Little kids like to repurpose things —

  • a stick becomes a sword
  • acorns become soup
  • paper towel tubes become trumpets
  • a treehouse becomes a castle on a hill
  • a piece of fabric is used as a cape, skirt, or royal robe

The list is only limited by our imagination. Some kids are born to think outside of the box. And maybe we all were born to think outside of the box — but we have forgotten how!

God works outside of the box on a regular basis. He takes things that we consider useless and worthless and can make them invaluable. In His hands, what is considered ugly can actually bring about something beautiful. It doesn’t mean the ugly wasn’t ugly, but God can still work with it and use it to bring about a greater purpose.

Lord, remind me that you are the business of renewing me and my sinful patterns. It’s hard for me to get out of those ruts that seem to entangle me. Help me see that transformational work. And when I can’t see the benefits, help me to trust in You anyway. Throughout history you have proven yourself. Help me to see it in my own life and be willing to share it with others! Amen.

Transforming

I am all about music. Of course, there are times I need silence too, because music can be distracting, but what an amazing way to tuck some great Scriptural Truths into your brain!

Sometimes it is a daily battle to readjust my thinking and perspective. I don’t always have Godly thoughts about the situations I am confronted with and so I try to turn things over to God on a regular basis.

Here is one of my favorites and it involves the Scripture I talked about last week. I hope you enjoy it!

Blessings on your week!
Liz

Conforming

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect Romans 12:2 NRSV

There are so many things we need to conform to these days that it is difficult not to be lulled into complacency. I have always been a questioner. Well, maybe not always, but after a few big things happening in my life when I was younger, I have a tendency to not just trust what comes out of someones mouth, particularly if they are in a position of authority. Maybe especially if they are in a position of authority.

And so, I have a little trouble conforming. If there are throngs participating, I tend not to jump in. I have to think about it for myself. I step back and survey the big picture of activity and try to sort it out. In the last few years there are increasingly more “camps” of people who expect that you have to do _________ to prove you are ___________. And once that is “satisfied” the next required piece of proof is mentioned.

It’s never ending.

And, if you don’t conform, you will be hackled and heckled until you do. Your employer might get contacted, you might get dressed down in a very public and ugly way. I’ve watched it. I’ve experienced it. It isn’t healthy.

Conforming to the expectations of ________________ (fill in the blank that applies to you). We are all experiencing this in one way or another. This seems to be the way things are working today in the world. And it is absolutely everywhere. The need to “be transformed by renewing your mind” has never been more important than now. Do you have God’s Word hiding in your heart so you can recall it when you don’t have tangible access?

Tell me the passage that, when you are facing an incredible challenge, just comes to mind and soothes your soul. With all the challenges of these days, some soul soothing from our Creator, is essential.

If I want my mind renewed and reprogrammed, I need to go to the Source of Light, Love, and Life. It’s where I go to cast my sorrows, celebrate my joys, and ask for a reframe of what I am experiencing.

May God grant you His perspective for the day!
Liz

Big Ticket Sins

Guess what!?

There isn’t such a thing as a “big ticket sin” because every sin is a big deal!

I was recently talking with a precious friend. And we were talking about all kinds of things and how easily we can feel that separation from our Savior and not because He moved.

It’s because we have moved.

We listen when satan says “Did God r-e-a-l-l-y say ___________________?”

And we do our own thing. Of course, we might have agonized a bit. We might have counted the cost. We might have decided, “What the heck! Who is going to know?” or, even worse, “Why should I care?” But, really, let’s face it, sometimes the moment overtakes us and we just jump in, fully clothed, without much of a thought about what might come next.

Did we really count the cost?

We insist on blazing our own trail. And then we get defensive. We hide. We try to cover up whatever it is we did when we knew wasn’t the way.

Are you struggling with the consequences of a sin that the world says is a “big ticket sin”? One that satan insists is unforgivable?

satan is a deceiver. he is a liar.

The truth is that God has provided a way out of sin. The earthly consequences remain, but the eternal consequence has been washed away by Jesus, the Savior.

Many people are experiencing more time on their hands during this season of restriction. Maybe the weight of the consequences of sin are weighing heavy on your heart. God has made all the provisions. His gift of grace covers all the sins — even the ones the world considers big ticket sins.

When you are feeling burdened by the weight of your sin, pay close attention. If you are sensing condemnation, that is not from God.

There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

Feeling convicted? Well, now that is something different. That is God’s law written on your heart!

“What purposes does the Law then serve?”

First, the Law helps to control violent outbursts of sin and keeps order in the world (a curb).

Second, the Law accuses us and shows us our sin (a mirror).

Third, the Law teaches us Christians what we should and should not do to live a God-pleasing life (a guide).  The power to live according to the Law comes from the Gospel.”

Luther’s Small Catechism

Humbly confessing our sins to God is not as much for His benefit as it is for ours. He knows it all, anyway. But for us to recognize and admit our sins in specific ways is a way for God to know that we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and our hearts are softening.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God. And renew a right spirit within me!

Psalm 51:10

In Everything

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Today I am thanking God for His perfect peace!