Monthly Archives: September 2009

Preparations

I’ve been focusing a lot lately on getting ready for our upcoming move in April.  It’s the perfect time to clean out all the clutter that we’ve been hanging on to over the last 11 years.  I’m not a pack-rat, so this process is relatively easy for me.  I’m just surprised at the amount of things that we’ve held onto.  It feels very freeing letting go of old junk that contained just a hint of sentimental value but had no real purpose or beauty .  Or the old pot that I’ve been swearing I was going to need someday but never have.  It’s amazing what you don’t realize you have been keeping in boxes that never get opened.  It’s funny to think that I’ve been moving trash from house to house for years and years when I could have just lightened the load a long time ago.  All this was a very visual reminder of the secret rooms we hide in our souls that God must go through looking for the trash we don’t want to part with in our minds, and how the word of God carefully sorts through each and every dusty “box” slowly over time as we take in the mind of Christ day by day.  It’s nice to know the Holy Spirit is doing all the heavy lifting of renewing our minds!  This also makes me think of “Buy truth and sell it not” How much of my time and money was spent on things that were ultimately useless and needed to be thrown out?  In the same way, we do that with our thinking as we go through the day.  We pick up mental trash with our time in the cosmic system and each day in Bible class the word of God pinpoints it and throws it back out. 

Another aspect I see is how we get rid of the stuff that weighs us down so that we can make room for valuable useful items that will be needed in the future.  That makes a great analogy too.  We need capacity. 

I’ve been having fun with this one…

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Time of the Cross

We had a lesson this week that helped open my eyes more clearly to the purpose of this life or more exactly what isn’t the purpose of this life.

I am admittedly a romantic.  I’ve always held onto this desire for a certain kind of lifestyle.  For some it might be living in an urban setting or fulfilling a certain dream of their own but for me, it’s always been the tranquil country life with rolling green hills, farm animals and the old country house with the fireplace and the warm quilts, cozy kitchen and the soft loving cat.  Well, while there is nothing wrong with my desires they have nothing to do with God’s plan for my life.  As a military wife it’s my job to be ready to move when-ever or where-ever the Air Force sends us.  This means not getting settled in one place, this means, that particular dream is not a part of God’s plan for my life at this time.

In class, when Pastor was teaching about our lives being patterned after The Lord Jesus Christ’s on earth, and the fact that He always knew and welcomed that the Father’s plan was the Cross and never tried to live in any other plan during his life on earth, something clicked!  The Lord knew that a crown(as king of all the nations in the future) was His destiny but in order to receive the crown, He had to fulfill the Cross(The Father’s particular plan for His humanity).  I have also been promised a crown and a destiny that is wrapped up in His and I have also been given now and in the future, my own set of circumstances which constitute the fulfilling of a “cross”(participation in the Angelic Conflict) in my lifetime.  My life on earth was never supposed to be associated with earthly “crowns” and pursuing all that I consider the epitome of human existence.  My life as belonging to the Lord is supposed to be wrapped up in pursuing God’s plan for my life.  This life on earth is all about being the “time of the cross” not the time of the “crown”.  To the natural mind this may sound like some form of self imposed suffering but really what I’m talking about is quite the opposite.  I’m not talking about living the plain life and giving up all my earthly desires to live on some mental mountain top.  I’m talking about really and truly understanding that the treasures promised to me that come after the time of the cross which belongs to life on earth, are very real and go way beyond the dreams this life has to offer.  If I want a destiny better than the one I can dream up, one that contains actual happiness and reward, I have to understand that the Cross comes before the Crown, just as it did for The Lord Jesus.  The “crown” is a promise and part of it is the fantastic life that goes along with living in God’s plan right now. 

 The Bible says that  God’s plan ultimately brings unshakable happiness, contentment and an incredibly meaningful life here on earth and that there is nothing in the strictly human experience that brings lasting happiness.  I believe that there are things that bring temporary happiness but it always fades and we find ourselves restless or disappointed that the thing we have worked so long to get or achieve was empty in the end.  In fact, nothing on this planet was designed to satisfy our ultimate desire.  Truly unshakable happiness is God’s monopoly and it can only be found in Him.  Everything else is a vain pursuit for lasting contentment and happiness.  Sure, you might be happy when things are going well but be honest, human powered happiness fails when disaster falls or things don’t go our way. 

It’s hard to put into words what I’m trying to describe.  My life is about much more than my dreams.  There is a life beyond dreams.  I have experienced it in part but I have not arrived.  If my dreams fall into the Plan of God He gives them to me.  If He knows that they will make me miserable and something else will be best for me He does that instead.  His plan is perfect but baffling to someone on the outside.  How can death bring life?  How does disaster bring prosperity?  In God’s plan everything is opposite.  It really truly is.  Suffering and happiness  are inseparable on earth.  Without the Cross Jesus Christ’s crown would have ended when He died and all that we could hope for would be bottled up in life on this planet.  Because He endured the Cross and did it the Father’s way, He gets a crown that lasts forever and we get eternity.  The world tells us to hold onto our dreams and reach for them relentlessly  The Lord was also offered the world and all it’s kingdoms by Satan as a temptation to abandon the plan of the Cross.  The insidious thing about the world is that the system knows what it offers has no  lasting value, it’s empty and will leave you wanting more.  God offers you His plan which guarantees contentment and satisfaction but it also includes a measure of the “cross” individually tailored with suffering that brings blessing and it doesn’t make sense if you don’t understand what it’s all about.  The perfect loving God with a plan to give you all that He is.

What I’m getting at is, that I don’t want to miss out on fulfilling the purpose of my life in exchange for green pastures and chickens.  I can now see why those things, pleasant as they are in my mind, don’t compare to my life as it is now(I already have an amazing and challenging life) and what I have the opportunity to live in.  It would be wise to put those fantasies in God’s hands and let them go.  He loves me and always gives me His highest and best, be that outward blessing or suffering what ever I need to have capacity.  

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Moving Part 2

I mentioned a while back that we would be moving sometime in the future.  Well, my husband was accepted for his new Air Force job and we will be moving in April next year to go to Texas for his training.  We will be there 6 months and then on to where-ever they send us. 

It’s nice to know I have a while to enjoy being here some more and to go through the school year before moving. 

I’m looking forward to it.

Keep Sailing!

Mary

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Mental Hygiene

I’m so happy to be able to write a post!  Our main computer is not working at the moment so we had to hook up the old lap-top to the internet and that seems to be doing the job for now. 

We have been learning about thought testing in Bible class.  This has brought into focus the mine-field of my mind and the contradictions between what I want to think and what I actually think in daily life.  My actions and decisions are the proving ground of my thought patterns.  What are my true priorities?  What is it that I daily love and devote myself to?  I can say that it’s not what I want it to be most of the time and I can also say that I don’t know yet what it really looks like to be living the spiritual life to the max.  My imagination of what the spiritual life looks like in a person’s daily life is mostly silly religious pictures of meditation and outward orderliness.  I have many different doctrines that show snippets of the spiritual life and I sometimes see it very clearly in Bible class but the clarity fades when faced with the onslaught of working it out in daily living.  Temptations, desires, distractions and moment by moment decisions fill up the mind plus all the human viewpoint already installed in the Old Sin Nature can make it difficult to get a cohesive grasp on the bigger picture.  Yet, we are not supposed to evaluate where we think we might be in spiritual growth we are supposed to press on, always facing the next moment with courage, leaving all the rest behind(oh how hard it can be to dump a jumbled confusing failure of a day at the Lord’s feet and just leave it there).  We are to be getting that daily mental renewal in Bible class so that each principle can add to the next making things clearer and also cleaning out the mind from all the wrong thinking picked up since last class or even long held error. 

Since we rarely give up our own ways of thinking till they fail us, thought testing can be painful  but afterwards it brings incredible motivation to go forward and find out what the thinking of God is really all about. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Notes on National Chaos

Our recent lessons have been on the subject of Why Chaos?  This subject turned to the reasons for National Chaos as well.  I’ve been learning a lot and thought I’d share some thoughts on the subject:

Good leaders and bad leaders mean nothing, it’s the spiritual maturity of believers in a nation that brings stability and freedom.  You can put all the right leaders in charge but if believers are not going forward in the plan of God chaos is the inevitable result.  What we see in the nation as chaos and downfall is really the result of a majority of Christians in the nation with no idea what the plan of God is really all about and who don’t know how to live it or refuse to do so.  It takes faith to put aside the petitions, political activism, and clamor about all the undeniable evil and loss of freedom in our day and trust that your daily intake of Bible doctrine under the filling of the Holy Spirit and walking in the Spirit on a moment by moment basis has national impact.  Mankind does not possess the power to bring blessing on their nation through will or desire or human action.  National blessing comes straight from God and is a result of spiritual maturity in a nation. 

Watch the other nations who go from Chaos to Chaos as they go from one form of leadership to another.  Watch the other nations who enforce morality on their citizens and have nothing but chaos and oppression to show for it.  I would love it if my believer friends and family would be less concerned with the democrats or the republicans and all the emails that tell the story of fear and evil and do as the word of God tells us and encourage one another all the more to be in Bible class and go forward in the plan of God reaching for the things ahead, the eternal.  The believer’s power is spiritual not political so don’t waste your time.  If you want to help your nation press on to living the spiritual life.  Trust the word of God that He will bless your nation because of you.  Trust Him that He will always do what is best for you no matter what condition your nation is in. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Bound

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This picture is so powerful to me.  Meant to soar but instead bound.

How much of our lives is taken up in applying the standards of other people to our lives?  How much of our lives do we base on the “should” and not on who we were made to be?  I’ve been wondering how much of my life is dictated to me by society or convention.  The more I learn the word of God the more I’m set free from what the world says is necessary.  I learn one by one the things that God says are necessary.  I’m not talking about the typical rebellion you see in life where someone has to distort their appearance and behave strangely just to throw off conventions.  I’m talking about a real change of thinking that comes from God and releases the believer to be authentically just who they are.  They eat, dress and do the things they love but they aren’t enslaved by their passions either.  They don’t take the same paths as everyone else and they succeed where everyone says they shouldn’t.   Part of that can be human maturity but think it can be much much more, it can be the by-product of spiritual maturity. 

The Kingdom of Darkness would love to convince us that we need to stay shackled to “the should, the must, this is the way it’s done” since we are so much easier to control that way.  We are available to God’s plans when we do only what He requires and we don’t care what everyone else does.  He sets us free.  He made us to soar and we have the power if we will use it.  It is inevitable that God’s path for success must veer away from the human track to success.  Human success is the best that man can do; a big house, a family, a “good” job, travel, toys.  The best that God can do goes WAY beyond those things and gives you a purpose that goes beyond inescapable decline at age 70 something.  When all the humans are grinding to a halt, you can still have a fantastic life that counted not only for time but for eternity.  You can be dying and still living in your personal sense of destiny.  Don’t get bound to this life and it’s “requirements” you were meant to fly

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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