Friday, April 29, 2011

Be Flexible!

Recently I communicated with my boss about coming back to work at Chick-Fil-A once again.  I am blessed to have a summer job that I can depend on with desirable hours.  My boss briefly mentioned that the more flexible I am, the more hours he can give me.  No asking for weekends off, a certain number of hours per week, or a $5 raise.  Once you think about it, the work place isn't the only time this holds true.

God asks each of us to serve Him with our lives.  For some, this means surrendering to the mission field thousands of miles away from home.  For others, it could be to raise children to be faithful to the things of God.  He calls us to service of varying degrees, but we are all asked to do something.  

But there is something standing in the way of God using us as vastly as He desires.  It's the only thing that you can give to Him that isn't His already: your will.  Surrendering this to God makes us totally open to whatever He wants for us, whether it be what we always dreamed of doing or something even better.  How flexible are you for the Lord?

I've caught myself thinking things like:
  • I'd love to go to ________ as a missionary, but never _________!
  • I can't miss work to be a camp counselor... doesn't God know I have a school bill to pay?
  • If I served God in ________ I would never see my family!
  • I sure hope God doesn't ask me to _________.
Know what I mean?  We have the tendency to put conditions on everything we do, and unfortunately this affects how we think of God and His will for us.  The simple statement my boss made rings true in our spiritual lives: the more flexible you are, the more God can use you!

The vice president of Heartland Baptist Bible College often says to the students, "God wants to use you more than you could ever imagine."  I can imagine a lot, but I know it's true.  However, if you put limits, conditions and lists on what you'll let God do with you, He will never be able to use you to the fullest.  Don't limit God... just be flexible, and He will take you on the greatest adventure of your life.

How much is God using you now?  Are you living the life you've always dreamed of?  I am!  By God's grace, I have learned that the smack-dab-center of God's will is where I find fulfillment in life.  I promise you, as soon as you let go of your will, God will start to do something incredible.  He will give you "plenty of hours" in His service!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4 Blogs to Visit

I decided to update my list of four blogs, just because I constantly keep finding great ones!  The original four are still here, further down.  Enjoy!

1. Atheist Central
Ray Comfort's blog, specifically targeted to the seeking atheist.

2. Steve Boots Photography
One of our church member's blog on beautiful pictures of nature, his adorable family, and even goats!

3. Blessed Femina
Musings on this beautiful life and the blessing of being a lady.

The Bishop's Wife
Life, laughter and lessons from the goldfish bowl.

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Previous Entries:

1. Fruit of Her Hands
 My mom's blog on homeschooling, photography, music, and recipes!

2. Modesty Is Next to Beauty
A site dedicated to the importance of modesty to the Christian.

3. True Femininity
One young lady's journey to beautiful, biblical womanhood.

4. Girls to Grow
An encouraging blog for mothers and daughters.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quotes on Forgiveness

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.     -Unknown

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.     -George Herbert

Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die.                  -Unknown

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.
     -Mark Twain

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why Courtship?

I just read an excellent post on courtship and would like to share it with all of my readers.  "Courtship? Are You Crazy?" answers questions such as:

~ How do I explain courtship to a friend who thinks I'm crazy for wanting parental involvement in my relationship?

~ What's the big deal about "waiting?"

~ How do I deal with the guilt of my past if I've already screwed up?

~ What are some of the ramifications of impurity before marriage?

~ Does how we act in a relationship before I get married affect how I relate to my husband after we're married?

This post is designed for ladies who are old enough to be in a serious relationship, but if mothers see fit to share it with younger teens, that is completely up to their discretion.  Personally, I appreciate it more now as a 20-something adult than I would have as a teenager.  I learned a lot about the "why" of courtship just from reading this post, and I guarantee that you will, too!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Key to Finishing Well

No one can deny that Solomon struck gold when he asked God for wisdom.  I Kings 3:5-15 tells the story of Solomon starting out extremely well; God not only gave him wisdom, but riches and honor.  What a great start to his reign!  God even said if he kept the ways of his father, King David, he would get a long life, too!

Well... then chapter eleven happened.  In I Kings 11:1-6 King Solomon starts doing the big no-no's: multiple wives!  Even worse, they influenced him for the worst (I Kings 11:7-8).  Notice verses 9-11:

9And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
 10And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
 11Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

I'm no genius, but it looks to me like God was no longer impressed by Solomon's glorious beginning.  But he started out so well!  He asked God for wisdom when he could've asked for anything!  He was David's son and was surely destined for success.  He had received divine favor from God and a promising future in His service.

We are quick to scold King Solomon, yet when was the last time we started on a project but failed miserably?  Being a junior in college, I'm beginning to see why so many drop out, get dismissed, give up, don't come back, or play around with trouble one too many times.  College is not for the faint at heart!  Looking through my first yearbook, I can point to almost half of my freshman class and say, "They started out strong, but didn't even finish."

If you're up for a challenge, live a life of obedience to God.  I'm not even going to lie -- it is hard.  However, will that excuse really work when we stand before Christ after we die?  What do you think Solomon had to say when he met his Maker?  "Lord, I'm really sorry, but it was too hard.  I couldn't resist all those pretty Egyptians and Ammonites."  Do you think God told him, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant"?

Making sure we finish well starts with decisions we make today.  Solomon could've kept going strong by saying "no" to the first foreign woman who batted her eyes at him.  Every wrong decision we make takes us one step further away from God's will, until we're so far off the path we don't even know how we got there.  React to each unwise choice like Solomon should have reacted to each woman of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Hittites.

The old Solomon was never the same spiritually vibrant man he once was, and in his own words, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  Every choice you make today affects your future.  In college, you cannot expect to get an A in a class if you never study for the tests.  In a car race, you cannot expect to finish if you never make pit stops.  If life, you cannot expect a "Well done" if you cut corners, mess with trouble, or don't finish what you start.

The key to finishing well is doing well today.  If we resolve to do that every day, we will live our whole lives in obedience to God's will.  "Waste not time; for time is the stuff that life is made of" (Benjamin Franklin).  Yes, daily dying to self can be hard, but it's so much easier than wasting many precious years and trying to pick up the pieces.  Find your strength in the Lord, and you will never lack the strength to finish well!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Word to Weary Bible College Students

It's that time of year again.  With the end of every semester comes lack of sleep, impossible exams, and unexpected hardships.  I reread and once again found encouragement in this post written by Cary Schmidt.  If you are in college, please read this... it may be exactly what you need.

A Word to Weary Bible College Students by Cary Schmidt

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