It’s All About Me!!! Number One!!! – gods at war

Several years ago I wrote a blog on Number One – it’s all about me.  I used the song from Toby Keith did a song – “I Wanna Talk About Me.”    It was about number one.   It is a funny video.   So it is appropriate to end the blogging on the book “gods at war” talking about number one – Me!

We are not exempt from being in the Garden like Eve and wanting to have our eyes opened and being like God.  We all want to be in charge of your destiny, but when you make a decision to be a Christian and follow Christ – you have to climb in the back seat and let him have the controls.

None of us should be doormats to other people, but we should be allowing God to lead us and direct our lives for his glory.  The day I stopped being so selfish in my faith – was a big day for me, probably bigger then the day I was baptized.   Because it was the day – when I stopped looking to the Pastor to feed me with the best sermon ever.  It was the day – that I stopped looking for someone in church to feed me spiritually.  It was the day that I decided to do everything in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ.   It was the day that I started doing more at church and without complaining.   Setting an example of what a Christian looks like in todays world.   Now do I live up to this every waking moment.  No – I need reminders like everyone.  I fall short and have to be reminded, but it helps to be in the word daily.  It helps to have a ministry you can work on daily to remind you that God has a plan for each and everyone of us.

Let’s not struggle with what’s in it for me theme.  Let’s start focusing on Christ first and then all the other stuff will start to fall into place.

Kyle didn’t write this book to proclaim that he was perfect, he wrote it to help people see the true purpose of our lives.  He isn’t perfect and doesn’t proclaim to be, but he does see the need for so many hurting people to find new way to live.

“Fighting the battle with false gods of this age is a life long battle.  Every day is filled with  decisions. Don’t just win the battle for your heart… win the war.”

Praise God

I hope you enjoyed this book and my blogs.   Next week I begin a series on “The Power of Praying Women” by Stormie Omartian.

God of Family – “gods at war”

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.

No surprise that people are not willing to become a living sacrifice to please God.  It takes a great effort.    It may be because you are involved heavily in your families lives and you are putting them first in your priorities.  It is hard at times to be a servant of God.

It is putting God and everyone before ourselves.     C.S. Lewis’s book “The Great Divorce” is mentioned in Kyle’s book “gods at war.”  It a perfect example that the lady loved her son so very much – she was not willing to even go any farther into heaven until she saw her beloved son – not the Beloved Son of God, but her son that she had been built an earthly shrine too.  Now on her way to heaven, she was not willing to give herself to God.

We all fall short, but this book points out how our view of life has to be less of this world and the patterns of this world.  It is counter to what most people believe.  Putting our children or our spouse higher then God doesn’t seem to work either.  The better our relationship is with God the better balance we have in our other relationships.

I am down to the last two chapters of the book.   It reinforces my believe that God is my Savior and without him – nothing else matters.

Romance – gods at war

At one time in my life – I wanted the Knight on the White horse to sweep me away and make my life perfect.  When I was first married the first time – Princess Diana was just married too and it looked like a fairy tale story.  Nothing really perfect about it!  Her relationship ended sadly much like mine.  We grew apart and he wasn’t my knight on the white horse anymore.

Boy was I immature even after 19 years of marriage.  I am not proud of being divorced, but it was not a good relationship – we were poison for each other.

Now 14 years of marriage to Don hasn’t always been easy, but I was real about it and I also believe God was a big part of our life together.  Trials and disappointment hasn’t made me stop loving him – it has strengthened my love for him.   It is because my relationship is real, but it is also because God is first in my heart.  Without God – Don would be my savior and he doesn’t always live up to that – nor should he.

God is the only one who can provide for me everything I need.  He doesn’t disappoint me or leave me hanging.   It is liberating to know that only Jesus can be my savior and provide strength in times of trouble.  We are not made to be perfect in a human relationship, but only in relationship with God – we were made for him.   Because of that perfect relationship – the human marriage relationship can be so much better.  Praise God for his ultimate plan for us.

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Achievement – gods at war

achievement

Nothing wrong with trying to achieve something in this world.  Even achieving things for Christ.  I would say I do a great deal of things for church, none of which take a great deal of time.  I have a book club this summer, which I am reading 3 books and commenting as we read them.   I also am on a radio program, which is really out of my comfort zone, but even with all this I still have time for other things in my life.

Even so  – this chapter has me taking a step back to examine my motives and my desires to serve God.    I believe I show others you can do many things for God and still have a life outside of church.  That doesn’t means you don’t show your faith in all that you do, but you can enjoy things or interest outside of God.  He provides us many pleasures.  It is remembering who all these things come from.  I am more then all my achievements, but do I really believe that all the time.

I was recently recognized for all my achievements at the Pentagon – it was a very nice ceremony along with 36 other Civilian DOD employees.  I appreciate the mention.  I also was embarrassed by it.  Instead of honoring me or others, we should have been honoring God.  God was the one that made all these good things happen.  I am only a humble servant.    I want everyone to be like me – I want to set an example of how we can have a life in Christ and think of the possibilities if we all gave more time to Him.

I sometimes get discouraged, but must remember why I am doing what I am doing to bring others to Christ.  It is not what defines me in achieving something.  It is showing the love of Christ in all that I do.    All of my achievements are blessed by God, but my greatest goal is to be like Christ.

This Chapter reminds me that is more important to live my life as Christ.

Amen.

Being Disowned – My comments on “gods at war” Chapter 9

Being disowned by your parents, must be an awful thing.  Having them turn you out of their home and sending you into the devil’s den.  Sometimes we have to stand and let our children know we will not stand or some of the things they are doing to themselves.  So at one point we were faced to turn our youngest out of the house.  She was doing things that we not acceptable and yet, months went by – waiting for warmer weather to turn her out or see her really make positive changes.  No changes were made on her part, so one Sunday afternoon my husband turned her out.  It was the hardest thing we ever did.  Watching one of our own kicked out of our home.  Tough love some call it.  It was tough something.  Her story isn’t over.   A day does not go by that I pray for her.

So think what it must feel like to be disowned by God.  When we get to judgment day and have Jesus say – I do not know you.  Luke 12 – Jesus is teaching a crow of thousands.  They are captivated as Jesus challenges them to be faithful to God.  “If you disown me here on earth,”  Jesus says, “I will disown you before my Father in heaven.”  Jesus urges us to see this life on earth through the lens of eternity.

Jesus wants us to be aware of distractions – like greed.  Everything we have on this earth is a gift from God.  God gives it to us to use as a resource.  It is his grateful gift to us.  When we see possessions as God’s instead of our own, they mean a great deal less to us.  When we focus on worshiping God, then nothing else is important.

Entertain Me!!! Chapter 7 – “gods at war”

Wow, do you remember feeling that as a kid, we should be entertained.

I remember as a kid, feeling like I was missing out on life because I didn’t have a great deal of outside activities.  When I went to a great movie, I would instantly feel the let down.

Kids are easily bored, but only because we have taught them to realize they should want more.   When asked how can you be involved in so many activities at church – I say that I have the time to take on one or two more projects.  People look at me like this isn’t real.  I don’t have time for that or this.  The truth is my pleasure comes from my Lord.  I find contentment in spending time with God and also sharing the Gospel with others.

I spend a great deal of time playing games and reading my kindle, but I still have time for reading the word.   Now I like all of us could devote more time to reading the word and listening to God.

Can you imagine if our worship services lasted 4 hours what most Americans would say…. “I would get up and leave”, “we cannot baptize someone in church, it will extend our service”, “he went long again today – 30 minutes is just too much time for a sermon.”

Crazy – Kyle talks about the churches in Haiti and how they go on for hours and hours because people find joy and have nothing to rush home too.   Imagine if we had the same excitement.  Imagine we set our alarms to get up extra early to be at church first.  Or imagine that we had to have crowd control because the parking lot was filling up so fast.   If we were busting at the seams and needed to add services just to have enough room for people.  Think if everyone wanted to start new ministries and be involved in church.  Growth and atmosphere of church would be so much different.   Some churches have tried to be entertaining, great bands, music that knocks your socks off, drama groups that grip your heart, and great youth programs.   Would we get as exited about listening to a teacher teach Hebrews on Sunday morning in a small non-instrumental church?   Probably not because we have made our entertainment tolerance high.  Our expectations have become unrealistic.

Let’s get excited about worship today.  God is there with us and he wants to know our hearts.  Praise Him – Praise Him.  Hosanna in the Highest.

Sex God – Chapter 6 – gods at war

Sex God – Chapter 6 – gods at war

Now many of the people in my life or around my life would be surprised by my remarks in this chapter. I wanted to avoid it, but realize I have to face my demons, even the old ones that are no longer really affecting me today.

Before I was married to Don and in the process of my first marriage tragically ending – I began using the internet, first very innocent talk with people in chat rooms and then began having fantasy relationships on these chat rooms. Even went with ‘friends’ to Las Vegas that I met on chat room. It was a very innocent weekend with girl friends who were from the chat room, but I realize it began to make all this very real.   One person I met was someone who I began becoming more intimate and lacking that love and intimacy at home began the spiral. I told myself I would stop this and would leave it a bit, but found myself back into it. As my marriage was to end – it didn’t stop and over the next few months I began living my whole life chatting and meeting men.

Now I never stop going to church and I never stop being involved in my church. I was living a double life. It was about to catch up to me and finally I realized this stuff had to stop. So I began spending more time in prayer and asking God to bring me a godly man that I could love.

I met Don on a Friday in a chat room and then talking to him on the phone and within a few days we met and our relationship began to grow.   Our first date was walking through the community and talking for hours. I realize this man could have been my savior. Hmmmm so see I was still looking for a savior other than Christ. We humans are so easily distracted.

My relationship with God was all about self. I would use and take God off the shelf when I needed him, but now I was building a relationship with a real man and a man who was a Christian. I realized my approach to God was about to change.   Now 15 years later – I am building a relationship with my Lord and growing others in the faith.   I am an unlikely candidate.   Mentoring and building disciples in Christ is a daily exercise of placing my faith in God.

It has to be a choice and I gladly make it because no satisfaction can be found in any of these earthly gods we often want to place our trust in. If God could use me and build me up in faith, then he can use any of us. I stumble and am not perfect, far from it. God uses me – I only have to choose Him.

So we have to remember the feeling of dissatisfaction and remember the feeling of our faith in Christ. Christ is our real savior.   All other things are counterfeit. Praise God for his love of us sinners.

Idols are Defeated – Chapter 5 – gods at war

Jesus is my deliverer.

The god of the quick fix promised us comfort, but we came up empty.  He invited us to consume until it consumed us.  Then finally we came to Jesus.  We will discover – we will discover peace.

“Idols are defeated not by being removed but by being replaced.”

Psalm 34:17 – David wrote – “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them, he delivers them from all their troubles.”

The only way I can be free from my temptations and my addictions is to fill my life with Jesus.  Writing, reading and speaking about my faith.  I have been a long time Christian, but they is room for improvement.  My life needs him in every corner of my life.

We need to take everything to Jesus and we’ll be able to find comfort there.  God can only give us true peace and freedom that we really seek.

Amen.

Hedging Our Bets with God + gods at war

Do you know what you believe is true?    Do you believe it with your whole heart and soul?

Elijah demands that the people stand, define the choice for what it is, and  name their path.  Choose God or Baal – the people were silent.  In the middle of a drought they didn’t want to make a decision for God or Baal.  They were hedging their bets.  If God wasn’t real then maybe Baal was real.   Kyle takes it one step farther and says – if we choose Baal or another ‘god’ why would God bless us in that area.

If you are hedging your bets for God or another little god.  Think about this.  I have trouble with food, I obsess over food, I eat too much food and I enjoy it way too much.  I have had trouble with food for many years and follow God closely.   I try to give up the food to God and try to focus on him totally, but I fall short.  I wonder if I am holding up that food god a little too much and believing in them too much.   Maybe I see the best results when I give it up to God instead.  I do see the best results when I give God my troubles.

He then blesses me in these areas.  I have success at weight loss and feel better.  My A1C gets better and my life is better because of God.  Not because of what I did, but because God blessed me.

Don’t sit on the fence my friends – God is calling us to be committed.  Let’s get behind him and let him lead us to greatest.

Amen.

Chapter 4 – gods at war

As I contemplate writing this blog – I am consumed with the idea of making a dessert.

It is called – ORANGE DREAMSICLE CAKE

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A few weeks back I indulged in a McDonalds Orange Dreamsicle and my life has never been the same.  Ok – a little dramatic, but I have been thinking about making something similar and even looked at nice cream recipes that are like ice cream, but healthy.  Then I get this recipe and see that my little ‘god’ is calling me.

I never blogged on my dreams, but one of them is to be thin – yes – healthy but thin.  I don’t think that is possible with my bone structure, but that is a dream – but I have never wanted to work at it, because my other dream is to eat everything I want without gaining a pound.  You know how that works right!!!!   It doesn’t.

So here I am in chapter 4 and reading “calling all gods”

Father in heaven gives us choices.  He allows us to choose our food god or Him.  He allows us to choose things in this world that provide pleasure, but may not be good for us.  If we choose the right door we will have peace, but if we choose the wrong door?  We will have obsession and grief.   I want to choose God, I want to serve him.  I do serve him, but do I give him 100%.  Probably not if I am obsessing over a Dreamsicle.

My nutritionist has me thinking about food and what is in it and what gives it power and the only thing I can think of is me!  I give it power.  She told me to visualize a donut being just two fingers full of Cisco and that has turned me off donuts.  So here is my Dreamsicle and I don’t want to think gross thoughts of it, but do I also want to image me bowing down to a Dreamsicle and having it love me like God.

We are wired by worship as Kyle says, so we will choose to worship something.

Today – I choose to worship God and the Dreamsicle needs to take a back seat.  It has no power over me and it is not going to satisfy me.  Only God can give me that.

Got to love scripture…. I can always find strength in it:

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us