Monday, April 30, 2012

LOL: Fill My Cup Lord

 Memory/Meditation Verse: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~ Gal 5:22-23 (HCSB)

I had one of those disheartening, just slap me in the face kind of moments with one of my daughters a couple of days ago. I was walking out of the restaurant with our carry out. When I opened the door to the car where my daughter was waiting she stated "You look mad. What did they do?" I wasn't mad and told her so. She responded with "You always look mad."

My heart sunk. I wanted to scream "NO! No I don't!! You don't see a hard face, you see the glow of the Holy Spirit in my life! Why can't you see that?!?!?!?" So the whole ride home I soaked that statement in..."You always look mad". It was very hard not to have a burrowed brow and huge frown on my face at that point.

Is that what others see? Do I carry the stress of my life in my facial reflections? Is the pain and frustrations that have made me who I am today mirrored when I think no one else is looking?

My heart broke. My spirit was humbled. That's not what I want others to see. I want them to see Jesus. I want them to see how I could mess it up and He could clean it up. I want the errors I made to be seen in His redemptive control. I want the sins and rejections of my life seen for what they are, a growing of a grace-filled Jesus girl. 

The unforgiveness has been replaced with love. The rejection replaced with compassion. The ugliness replaced with humility. The loneliness replaced with dependence on the One with the bigger plan for my life.  If that is so, why does my face not radiate God's presence?

The next day my girls found an old photo album with my spring break pictures of when I was in nursing school. I wasn't only skinny in those pictures but I appeared relaxed and my smile was vibrant. That night I looked hard in the mirror and tried to capture that smile again...but I couldn't.

 God has brought me so far and I cherish each growing pain. I really do. I wouldn't want to be back in that spring break place. I didn't know Him then like I do now. I have found a better joy. But I am still taken back to the thought of what I reflect to others. I determined in my heart and mind that I need a facelift... a Galatians 2:22-23 kind of facelift.

 I need a facelift in the worse kind of way. One that will open up and allow my inner presence to come forth. One that doesn't allow the hardness of life to camouflage the joy He has given me. In this imperfect world with my imperfections, I plan to take a daily does of the fruits of the spirit this week. Here are the verses I plan to meditate on in an attempt to create a new presence of my being, a filling of my cup, my soul:

A Mark 12 kind of facelift....
Monday: "...'The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~ Mark 12:29-31 (HCSB)

A Colossians 3 kind of facelift...
Tuesday: "Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive."~ Col. 3:12 (HCSB)

A 1 Timothy 6 kind of facelift...
Wednesday: "...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses. ~ 1 Tim. 6:11-12 (HCSB) 

A Titus 1 kind of facelift...
Thursday: "Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it" ~ Titus 1:7-9 (NIV)

An Ephesians 5 kind of facelift...
Friday: "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truthdiscerning what is pleasing to the Lord". ~ Eph 5:8-10 (HCSB)

 My holy and Sovereign God, I want to be a woman that reflects your Son. I desire to reflect Your grace and goodness as the gift that transforms and beautifies. Give me a heart that is affectionate for others, exuberance about displaying your truths. I pray the serenity I have discovered in you would be reflected in my living. Help me to develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. I want to radiate Your presence in my life, not my mistakes. Fill my cup with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Radiate through me Lord.

Striving to Live Out Loud~Pamela

Sunday, April 22, 2012

LOL: A Hiding Place

Memory/Meditation Verse: You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah. Ps 32:7 (Amplified)

Ever have one of those weeks gifted by a blessing but to be wrapped in chaos? The inner soul wants to scream out in defense, to run away, to cry, to be angry. It is amazing how healing prayer and scripture can be even in the chaos.

You are my hiding place and my shield;  I hope in Your word. Ps 119:114 (Amplified)

Living out Loud you choose to accept the chaos and not allow it to get between you and your God. It yields the whisper that says "This is all part of My greater plan" when another tattoo ends up on your 18 year old daughter. It is that same whisper "This is part of My greater plan" that calms your disappointment and heart break when all you have done as a wife, mother  and employee seems to have resulted in the opposite of what it should have.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen ~ Eph 4:20-21

Living out Loud embraces that inner voice and clings during the storms to the Rock.  Living out Loud finds in her Master a shelter and a safe place to rest. Though rejections continue to slap her from her past, she turns it back to scripture and she who she now is in Christ. Though difficulties and failures knock at her heart, she seek Gods grace passionately and in humility. Living out Loud knows the Healer...

 ... shall be like a hiding place from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land [to those who turn to them]. Isa 32:2 (Amplified)

Living out Loud takes the truth of scripture and does not turn from it but relies on it. Its a submission of ideas, attitudes and habits of the day-to-day to the absolute authority of Gods Word. In order for God to be master of your life there has be a relationship between you and scripture. 

"The secret of the Lord is with those who have been broken by His cross and healed by His spirit." ~ P.T. Forsythe (a Scottish minister)

Paul in Galatians one speaks of Living out Loud as to be set apart (vs 3-5), one who seeks to please God and not man with every action, every thought, every word. To be set apart involves grace and glory sandwiched by the death of Christ for our sins and the freedom it gives us.  Living our Loud by His grace and His love at Calvary, demonstrated in a life that glorifies Him.

"If we as a people can make these truths and this vigor a part of our thinking and our willing, the bones of our faith will be strong and not brittle, and the emotional force of our lives in Christ will not be lukewarm but ardent and intense and undivided." ~John Piper

Living out Loud is not always easy, nor is it always fun. It required us to come into Christ's playing field and to be serious about Him and His truths. Calvary compels us to play hard and diligently and professionally. We are called to be professional Christians, to live His commission for our life in the good and in the bad.
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. ~ Ps 62: 1 -2, 5-6

Today I pray we are able to Live out Loud. I pray that we will separate ourselves from the world and the chaos. I pray we will rest in the Hiding Place of God's truth-His Word. Most of all, I pray our lives minister to other in such a way they are draw to our Comforter and Healer.