Category Archives: Faith

Areas of Practice

In my last post I talked about the common experiences of humanity.  Much of it being predictable and overdone, as in, repeated since the dawn of fallen mankind.  The bell toll of those thoughts still rings loudly in my soul, giving me, for the moment, a different perspective on life.  For example, right now I have the common cold, I’ve been sneezing and groaning and indulging all areas of available comfort.  We all have gotten the common cold since forever.  It’s been fun to think about it in view of that.

This last week in my Bible classes P. Joe said something that stood out to me and seemed the counterbalance of all I had been thinking about in my last post.  He said, “Do not disdain your areas of practice”.  Of course!  This is the whole reason for the “common boring idiocy” we indulge in and face every day.  Everything the Lord has given to me at salvation is all very nice on paper but if I don’t take it out and practice using it, I never bring glory to Him, or become truly blessed by it myself.  And since God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours by the same scale the universe is larger than the earth, which means, we don’t even register on the scale.  Even the mastery of the basics takes everyday practice on common boring experience throughout an entire lifetime not only to learn to use but even to understand what they are.  Take for example God’s love, it’s nothing like any love humans have on earth and I for one barely understand it, let alone use it.  I may use it by accident or not see it for what it is but God, in bringing me to everyday practice on the common easy targets and having me come back to it again and again will reveal more and more by each passing what it looks like, until I begin to recognize it and how to use it.  Well, that takes years, it takes as long as it takes and those are just the basics.  Each time I circle around the same issue that always plagues and confuses me, that is God’s grace and love towards me.  I was alive today to have the opportunity to practice.  How cool is that!?

Thanks Karen, you helped me focus these very ideas by your posts.  http://karenhancock.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/gods-thoughts-are-not-our-thoughts/

http://karenhancock.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/the-long-slow-learning-curve/

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We All Groan

Thousands of years and billions of people each one unique and each one the same; carbon copies of the human experience.  We all sin; we all cry; laugh, love and complain… each individual human is ushered onto the earthly stage to act out so much of the same.  How many of the same petty problems and predictable responses have been re-enacted over and over and over throughout human history?  How easy is it to live the same life that has always been lived by everyone who has ever come and gone before?  It’s too easy.  Too easy to think that our personal drama is the center stage, that it’s something new, as if it hasn’t been seen and done in the same way billions or even trillions of times.  Every time I hear someone talking in those animated dramatic tones about what he or she did to them or said to them, it’s all just more of the same boring, common, idiocy.  Good circumstance, happy, bad circumstance, sad, poke me I get angry, hurt me and I cry.  I tire of it.  I’m not in the least bit tired of living; I’m not saying that at all, it’s just that I’ve had enough of playing the game and sitting on the train of Satan’s world system.  I think most people want to get off, they too see that the pattern is empty or common and they want to rise above it.

The human on its frantic search for originality: Rebellion, Anarchy, Greatness, Achievement or Fame?

We are all drawn to those who live outside the norm; we are amazed by musicians, artists, writers, leaders, conquerors, geniuses, celebrities, and even the just plain odd.   We fool ourselves into thinking they are somehow truly above common humanity until you spend a little time looking closely at their lives.  They may have achieved more than the average person but they share in all the same vices and pitfalls, often self-destructive or even suicidal.

Uniqueness exists.  I think we all sense that.  There is an escape from the mass stampede of meaninglessness that is evident everywhere.  I’ve seen it and am beginning to realize it more and more in my own experience; the wide gaping door of moment by moment opportunity to live a different kind of life.

Jesus the Savior was unique.  He is called the Unique One of the universe, the uniquely born Son of God.  Here is something interesting, He is born sharing our blood and flesh and lives in the same world we do.  For 30 years limiting Him to a regular human life, learning how to walk, adolescence, work, family, and the human pace, walking, not even a bicycle to get around faster.   You would expect so much of the same life as we all have and yet He is entirely original.  He shares in our experiences and our pain but contrasts for us a life without the fallen nature.  He wasn’t predictable, personally ambitious, petty, or fearful.  He was at times troubled and tired or even righteously angry but the point is that it didn’t lead to the inevitable results that fallen humans share in; sin, bitterness and misery.  Where condemnation was expected he brought forgiveness and in great pain and suffering instead of focusing on Himself and His own crisis, He was focused on others and His Father’s plan and promises.  This one man’s life and work and death were so unique it literally changed the world forever.

This different kind of life I need, it’s not mine, it’s HisHis life is the only one that breaks the mold.  It goes so far beyond the best that mankind can be.  I want that and the best part is that because of the free gift of believing in Him for salvation, it’s mine to live in any time I want.  As I read over this, it almost sounds like I want desperately to be a better person but that is not what I’m getting at.  I’m not looking to please God with some behavior modification and pursuit of forced purity.  I am talking about becoming so like Him naturally through taking in His thoughts from His word daily, the way He designed it, by the prepared Pastor Teacher I’ve been called to.  Add to that staying in fellowship with God the Holy Spirit by confessing my personal sins to the Father as they happen on a regular basis.  These are super simple things, listen and stay in fellowship.  Through this pipeline, God creates in me a unique unpredictable life that doesn’t simply “rise above” the common human experience.  I am literally something new.  When I live the natural normal Christian life in God’s plan I’m not seeking a higher plane of existence, I’m living this life with all the chores and pain and love and problems and even the fun, as a new creature (patterned after The Lord Jesus Christ).  There will be something unexpected and wonderful in all the usual human experiences for me if I choose it.

What does all this look like, if I see the old common human experience as dead (and that is what I think is happening for me) and choose this better way of life?  Well, that is the mystery of living day by day.  I don’t truly know.  I still spend a lot of time living in the common patterns of humanity or “the flesh” for short.  I have experienced it at times but haven’t attained the life I have this fantastic view of right now.  I know it’s real though, and so I’m pressing on as the Apostle Paul would say, to reach it, to experience it in larger and larger doses.

 

 

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My Pastor Teacher; Grace And Truth Ministries, Pastor Joseph P. Sugrue

www.cgtruth.org

Go, listen, and learn! 🙂

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Unbreakable Promise

 

I have not placed my hopes in fairy tales or wishful thinking but upon a promise made to me by Someone who has proven to keep all of His promises.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ which was first proclaimed by women, which no man who wanted to make up a story in that time period would have admitted to and then witnessed by crowds, written of by men who all died torturous deaths, proclaiming it till the end and never denied it though they died separately from all the others, these men who were afraid and shattered at His death made sudden turnarounds in courage and boldness as though they had seen something which gave them such confidence in life beyond the earth, that they feared nothing.  A resurrection that both the Romans and Jews could not bring evidence against though they searched and searched.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a promise that because He was resurrected, I will be too.  God has never broken a promise and I believe Him. 

John 20:26″ And after eight days again the disciples were inside, and Thomas with them, Jesus came, the doors having been shut(they were hiding), and stood in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here you hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, ” Because you have seen Me, have you believed?  Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed”

1Thessalonians 4:13 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep(have died), that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep(died) in Jesus (believers).  15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep(died). 16 For the Lord Himself (Jesus) will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and then we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:51 ” Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep(die) but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death Is Swallowed Up in victory. 55 “O Death, Where Is Your Victory? O Death, Where Is Your Sting?”

Philippians 3:20 “for our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

Romans 10: 11 “For the Scripture says, ” Whoever Believes in Him Will Not Be Disappointed”

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Royalty Training

We have been studying about the believer’s position in Jesus Christ.  Just where do we stand?  It’s a really cool subject.  The believer is said to be seated “with Christ” in God’s throne room(Ephesians 2:6).  He(in his humanity) is said to be seated  “at the right hand of the Father”(Ephesians 1:20).  This is the highest rank available.  Believers are also said to be “in union” with Jesus Christ both in his death, because our sin natures died with Him and also in His resurrection life where He is right now seated in the highest rank that exists(Romans 6 :3-5).  We get everything He gets, we have everything He has.  We don’t earn or deserve it we simply receive it because at the moment of belief, God the Holy Spirit places us in union with Jesus Christ.  It’s called baptism and has nothing to do with water.  We are identified with Christ, we become inseparable from Him.  We are in Him, He is in us.  We are granted a spiritual royalty. 

Ok, so spiritually,  in the eyes of God, everything that God loves about Jesus is in me and that is what God sees, my position.  Now, on earth, we don’t automatically know that we have this position.  We have to learn about it for one thing and we also have a sin nature that is positionally dead still working in our bodies.  So, sinless perfection is not something we experience here and now although we own it positionally.  Mind boggling!  I absolutely love it. 

I’ve had this analogy floating around in my head of a King who found a scrawny wretch of a young beggar woman and decided to marry her.   It took some time for her to believe it was real because seriously, who would do that?  Anyway, she accepted the proposal, now instantly, she was granted the status of royalty but had no skills either in manners or speech.  The king placed her in the custody of a counselor who’s job was to train the young woman in how to live like the royalty she truly was.  She basically needed a complete education plus learning how to walk, talk, eat, and think like royalty so that she could live and work with the King.   When the training was complete she and the king would be married.  It wasn’t a sham and she had everything to gain.  The training would not be difficult if she believed herself to be in the position of royalty even though she couldn’t perform as such for a long time and even occasionally ran back to her old life when things got difficult.  Apparently this was a VERY understanding king. 

It’s not a perfect analogy by any means, I know, but it made sense to me that we are in something like royalty training.  We have the position but we have to learn how it works.  We are getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit is our counselor who teaches us the word of God which is the very thinking of Jesus Christ. 

I’m enjoying learning about the connection between position and experience and how very rich I am right now.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Resistance to Peace

No sooner do I find a measure of peace in homeschooling and I start to resist it, push it away.  Instead of constant insecurity, I find a new angle to obsess over and dedicate myself to working on, until I have no peace.  It’s like I can’t leave it alone, peace isn’t good enough, I want to DO something.  I’m finding that there is a lot of pleasure in the process of working on an area that usually brings insecurity.  That very process of thinking about it and obsessing over it makes me feel like I’m bringing it under control, that I have power over it. 

What I don’t want to do and what I think I resist most is believing what God says.  It goes back to not faith-resting.  I’m not convinced that I can’t control the outcome so I haven’t stopped trying.  Peace isn’t hard to have when I’m applying faith to God’s word about my life.  What I find interesting is that I don’t want the peace as much as I want control.  Peace is scary, as a friend of mine was pointing out this week.  Not having something to work on and take credit for is so opposite of human values.  I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it.  I’m sort of seeing peace now in the light of it’s always being there, it’s always an option.  The question is am I going to accept it/believe it on a daily basis or am I hoping that it’s a one time fix.  Peace like happiness is learned and is a daily choice.  I find that to be a challenge but I also know that going forward in the word of God day by day under the filling of the Holy Spirit and my right Pastor Teacher, with God as my perfect shepherd,will accomplish His work in me. 

Leaving today behind me and pressing on towards fellowship with God, learning Bible Doctrine, and living in God’s pre-designed plan for my life,

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Finding Peace in Homeschooling

I love home-schooling as anyone who has talked to me knows.  The experience has been equal parts totally awesome and anxiety inducing.  I have wrestled over the last 4 years with feelings of inadequacy and fear of failing.  The lessons from the conference and the current lessons have begun to do what I never thought possible.  I am beginning to be set free from the constant nagging worry that what I’m doing as a teacher is not good enough.  The Faith-Rest Drill is my friend, one that I had not spent much time with when it came to homeschool, I felt that it was all MY responsibility so I had to trust in myself (which of course is just plain idiotic).   Knowing without a doubt that God has a plan for my kids that isn’t dependent on human systems or my ability, is giving me incredible peace of mind.  God’s word is dogmatic in stating that He will accomplish everything that concerns my children and that His plans for them are complete.  I think it’s funny how it’s not the “great” revelations that set me free but the simple basic doctrines, like the Faith-Rest Drill, that set me free time and time again.  I just keep learning them and applying them  on new levels. 

School is also going really well, we took a trip to the zoo today.  The local zoo has a free day each month in the winter, so we bundled up from head to toe and had a little adventure.  My daughter became enamoured with a Radiated Tortoise, named it Slowy, and talked all the way home about how she was going to get a pet turtle when she turned 13.  Caleb has always loved animals and really liked the lizards and snakes this time.  We managed to eat lunch in the Giraffe house since they are indoors this time of year, which was nice since it was so cold outside.  I personally enjoyed the Falcon we saw, the Gorilla, the Giraffes, and my kids.  We had a great day.  Our regular days are going well too, I’ve been given some new ideas for curriculum that I’ve needed but other than that we just take it day by day.

Even with the worrying I wouldn’t give up the freedom and closeness that comes with homeschooling, not to mention that a tailored education is a huge plus.  Without the worrying, I feel very relaxed and confident about the future.  The frustration is gone which means I’m in fellowship and can focus on the Lord’s leading. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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