I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Archive for January, 2013

Identify Yourself

Once  you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.  – Col. 1:21-22

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Eph. 2:10

The Spirit himself testifies with our Spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his suffering in order that we may also share in his glory.  – Rom. 8:16-17

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about identity lately. 

I’ve grown  up in the church.  And as a former Pastor’s daughter and a current Pastor’s wife I’m very familiar with every version of expectations that believers can subject one another to.  We’re very good at developing a mental image of what a “good Christian” look like and then imposing that standard on those around us.  Usually it involves a list of “don’t evers” and “you had betters” that we watch others for very carefully.  But if someone else tries to judge us by their standard. . .

We can grow up trying to prove to others that we are good enough.  We spend so much of our energy trying to create our “appropriately spiritual” identity that we never fully grasp the identity that was handed to us the moment we placed our faith in Christ.  And I have spent much of my life trying to figure out exactly how to define my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  Every definition I come up with comes from this skewed perspective of having to earn his love.

My recent studying is far from over and I’m certain I do not have all the answers.  But my understanding of my identity in Christ is being revolutionized.

I am fully reconciled to God.  Total reconciliation – no hoops to jump through or checklists to compIete! I was created – the implication in Ephesians is that of an artisan creating handcrafted artwork – with a specific kingdom-focused purpose.  I am a child of God and a fellow-heir of his firstborn son.

My children did not have to do a thing to earn their place in my family.  Once I placed my faith in Christ, the same was true of my place in God’s family.  What does this mean for me in a “doing life everyday” kind of way? 

I need to embrace my identity and live into it.  My choices need to be based not on a desire to earn God’s love but as a reaction to the fact that his love is already mine.  After all, my Heavenly Father is the King of Kings which makes me, as his daughter, a princess. =)  No earthly princess has to earn her membership in the royal family but she does live a certain way because of her identity as the daughter of the king.

This way of looking at identity is new for me.  It’s doing crazy things to the way I look at my life.  It’s a little unnerving to have my paradigm shifted so violently but I’m excited to see where the journey takes me.

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Just a Word

I have been thinking quite a bit about words lately.  They can heal or hurt, build up or tear down, encourage or frustrate.

It’s easy for me to identify those times when others hurt me with their words.  But I tend to justify my own use of words as weapons. After all, . . .  oh, who am I kidding!  I’m certain my words have done damage to others.

In James 3, the tongue is described as a fire and a poison. But it is also called a fountain and a tree of life.  The key is to look for ways to speak life-giving words rather than letting all of the negative thoughts we think come spilling out unchecked.

I won’t give you the details just yet but I’ve been challenged to take some specific, deliberate action.  What I can tell you is this – I’ve often heard that it takes 21 days to stop or build a habit.  Therefore, this personal challenge is set to last for 21 days.  Ready, set, go!

Trust in. . . What?

Been mulling over a difficult question today – as a follower of Jesus, what do I place my trust in?

It’s easy to say that I trust God when things are good. And it’s easy to obey when I see tangible blessings.

What about those times when God is silent? What about when life is tough?

Do I trust God or his gifts? Do I obey because I believe He is good regardless of my circumstances? Do I fully understand that there is a purpose in all of it – the good, the bad, the silent, the painful?

Am I a true follower or an easily discouraged fan?

Feeling Reflective

Maybe it’s the recent New Year holiday. Maybe it’s my age or the fact that I just celebrated my 24th anniversary or the fact that my number 3 child will turn 18 on Sunday. Whatever the reason, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in recent days “looking back”.

Are there regrets? Things I wish I has done differently? Sure. I am human after all!

Were  there situations that were lousy to walk through? You better believe it!

Would I change any of it? Hmmm. That is a tough one. It might have been nice to make fewer mistakes. But what effect would that have on lessons I’ve learned?

Maybe I would choose to avoid some painful experiences. But If I’m being totally honest, some of my greatest blessings resulted from those moments. God closed doors while preparing things for me I couldn’t fathom. He answered some of my prayers with a firm, loving “No” because what He had in store for me was SOOOO much better than what I was asking for.

So what has my period of reflection taught me? Simple: God is good and I can rest fully and peacefully in his never-changing, never-ending love for me. What else could I possibly need to know?

The Power of a Name

Letting hubby “guest blog” – sort of – on his birthday!

pastorjim86

Today marks my first day back from vacation.  Today also is my birthday.  Tonight at 11:31pm  will mark 45 years since my mother gave birth to me.  She gave birth to my twin brother 5 minutes later.

My brother received the name that was after our grandfathers – John Albert.  John was our paternal grandfather’s middle name and Albert was our maternal grandfather’s first name.  I was given the name James because of James and John, the brothers who were disciples of Jesus.  My middle name, Herbert, was after the doctor who delivered us; he was our family doctor for many years.

My middle name was an easy target for ridicule and insults up through middle school.  It is not uncommon for peers in school to do this.  I did not like my given middle name, that is, until I was given a different perspective about it which happened after…

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New Year

I don’t really do resolutions. At least not in the traditional ” tell everyone what my resolutions are” kind of way. I tend to write goals down somewhere private and date the list. Then I can pull it out in December and see how I did.

Without getting into the details, I will say that two of the areas I’ve set goals in are my use of and planning for “discretionary” time (aka time I’m not at work) an the summer theater program I work with.  There are others of a more personal nature and I’m guessing some of that will show up here!

For now, I’ll simply wish you all a blessed 2013!

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