Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I went into my (reasonably large) walk-in closet to get something, using my crutches, and..... FELL backwards!!! (I keep calling the crutches "stilts" for some weird reason. The word "stilts" is stuck in my brain and I can't seem to say "crutches" no matter how hard I try!! It's driving me crazy!!)
I lost my balance when I went to turn around and come back out and, about half-way into my turn around I fell. I hit the back of my head on the clothing rail on that side, but the clothes did help to slow my fall. I landed on the shoes in the floor. I don't think that I actually put any weight on the broken leg, but it did get quite a jarring.
So, I'm back to sitting with the pillows under my leg, and feeling a little like the foot is swollen inside the thing that is on my leg, which makes it quite uncomfortable, and painful too.
Guess I won't be going into the closet again for awhile, and I'll be back on the "old lady" walker.
Please continue praying for us all,
Sunday, March 28, 2010
*mumbles* Yep. Next time we’re gonna knock their socks off and leave their heads spinning...
*yells* Platinum, here we come!! WOO-HOO!!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It looks like Anna will be filling in for me on the days when I don't have something to write. I am working on the third part of the Sovereignty series. This one is entitled He's In the Midst. I hope to have it up in the next couple of days. Until then, enjoy the latest post by Anna...
Abiding in His grace,
OH MY GOSH. Winter Jam was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
Okay, so Sunday night I went to Winter Jam with a couple of friends (SweetTart and Indy/Panhead). It was ONE OF THE BEST NIGHTS EVER!!!!!!! The music was AMAZING!! They had Third Day, Newsboys, Newsong, Tenth Avenue North, Fireflight, Tony Nolan, Sidewalk Prophets, Robert Pierre, and Revive!!!! We (me and SweetTart) were jumping up and down, clapping, singing, and screaming like crazy people!! The result: a hoarse voice and stinging hands. But hey, I don’t care! It ROCKED!!
Happy Spring Break (to those of you that get one)!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sarah decided that she wanted some milk in her cereal, so my mom got the milk out of the fridge and placed it on the table for a moment. Mom stepped back into the kitchen, leaving Sarah with the milk…yeeeeaaaah…bad idea.
Soooo, Sarah decided to “take matters into her own hands” and POUR THE MILK ALL BY HERSELF. What comes next? A “SPLASH drip drip” followed by an “I need help. QUICK!” from my mother and a rush for towels.
Mm hm. Welcome to the McGuire family “three ring circus”! Milk in the floor, on my mom, and being licked up off of the floor by my wonderful dog Jasmine (AKA “the vacuum cleaner”). It’s a wonderful, scratch that, CRAZY life…
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Okay, by now most of y’all know that
And because I’m Irish I might be just a tiny bit
Soooo, with that said, here’s something cool I found:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft upon your fields
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
(it’s a traditional Gaelic blessing
I know that I don’t have much blogging “experience”, but I DO know that I would LOOOOOVE for y’all to comment! Thanks!
My original posts can be found by following the links here: The Shack - A Strong Warning and also The Shack Attack!
Excuse me for taking a detour from my current series, but I got an email today from a friend with a link to a sermon, by Michael Youseff, regarding what he refers to as the "13 Heresies" in this book. It has stirred up in me those same feelings I had about the book back in August of last year when I first wrote my articles.
There is a nice outline of the 13 Heresies, if you don't have time to hear the sermon, but there is also a link to the sermon if you'd like to listen to it. The link is http://defendingcontending.com/2010/03/11/sermon-of-the-week-the-shack-uncovered-by-michael-youseff/ .
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to What is good." Romans 12:9
Abiding in His grace,
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Part 2 - What Did I do to Cause This?
In Part 1 of this series A Crisis of Faith we covered a lot of ground. Starting with the idea that all Believers (which is how I will refer to those of us who are followers of Christ throughout the remaining parts of this series) at some point reach that place where we come up against something that is so much bigger than ourselves, and anything that we can handle on our own, and we have to make the decision whether or not we do indeed believe that which we have professed about Jesus Christ and God.
I ended that article with my own personal experience, and the fact that for me, the answers to all of my questions were in fact, “Yes and Amen.” He is in charge completely of my life! I am in complete and total surrender and submission to my Heavenly Father whom I believe to be faithful, just, gracious, merciful, true, and never changing, wanting only that which is for my ultimate good and His unending glory and I rest completely in that truth.
I’ve found that His love for me casts out any fears I may have about the direction He may take my life in at any time. It was just a few years ago that I read the following verses (one I’d seen at least a dozen times) and the light bulb went on, I got it, and felt a huge sigh of relief! 1 John 4:17-19, "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. "
So as we walked together through these steps that we took during the days, months, and years following Kathryn's death, the next issue to come up between Todd and I was – individually “What did I do to cause this?” and collectively, “What did we do to cause this?”
I want to start by saying that bad things do happen often times as a result of poor decisions made. For instance, if I’m sitting in a median waiting to pull out onto a 2 lane road and there are two oncoming 18 wheeler trucks, both within about 35 feet of me and traveling approximately 65 miles an hour, if I pull out in front of these trucks, I can expect that there is a great likelihood I might not survive. That would be a choice I made which brought about really bad consequences. This happens every day, and people “blame” these things, the "bad" things, usually on the devil. Funny how that happens. Human stupidity often gets blamed on the devil, but the things that are just out of our hands completely – like finding out you have cancer – alot of people then presume that God must have been the one that did that. So, let’s investigate what the scripture says about these things, and hopefully bring our thoughts in line with those of scripture.
We do know that the Word teaches that we are to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:11-13. Much spiritual discernment is needed to know when we may be experiencing spiritual warfare. But sometimes, it takes even more discernment to see when we are experiencing the consequences of poor choices, bad ideas, and difficulties brought on by our own sin.
(If the scriptures are not included in the text here, PLEASE take the time to look up and read the scriptures and to reflect on their message. There is something God wants to show you through every Word in the scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16)
The following is a checklist I use personally to determine where I am in my prayer life and in my personal relationship with Christ, as it relates to difficult circumstances coming into my life. It is imperative as Believers that we be willing corporately (as the body of Christ) and personally (in our own personal relationship to Christ) to ask the hard questions, do what needs doing, to lose our fear of accountability and find a heart that only wants to be laid bare before the Lord, open, waiting and ready for His use. I'm sure this list is borrowed from somewhere. I have no idea where it originally came from, or how I came about getting it. It's been written in the back of my Bible and I've been using it for years now.
BEFORE I PRAY:
- Are all my sins confessed? (Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 66:18; 1 John 1:9)
- Are all of my relationships right before the Lord? (Mathew 18:15-35)
- Am I seeking God’s will in EVERY area of my life? (I John 5:14-15) That includes even those difficult relationships that not too many other people really know about?
- Am I seeking to glorify God in all things? (John 14)
- Am I depending on God to guide me everyday through the power of the Holy Spirit? (Romans 8)
- Do I trust God in spite of what seems to be (the external appearances)? (Prov. 3:5-6)
- Will I praise God no matter how this turns out? (Romans 8:28)
So first of all, in all things, I desire for myself, and I encourage you, to try to be introspective enough to see yourself, as much as possible, the way that God sees you and your sin.
There are definite examples in scripture of sin bringing about consequences. One of the best examples is that ultimately, the child conceived through the adulteress relationship between King David and Bathsheba, resulted in the life of their son being taken. (1 Samuel 12)
As many examples like this that there are, you will find many other examples of God’s mercy and love covering our past sin, and not giving us exactly what we deserve. This is a wonderful thing as parents that we have the opportunity to teach our children – MERCY - an earthly taste of such a wonderful principle. (John 8:2-12)
Next, we must come to understand that every day of our lives is not only numbered, but ordered, before we’re even born! (Psalm 139:16 and 23-24; Psalm 37:23-24; Proverbs 16:9; 19:21.) We have a dear friend that says, “If it’s not my day to die, there’s nothing I can do that will cause it, it will all be thwarted. But, if it’s my day to go, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop that either.” I find it comforting, after having lost loved ones, that I didn’t have to “what if” we’d done this or that myself to death, because I was fully rested in the fact that God has the days of our lives determined, patterned and ordained. That’s a great relief! This is once again, an example of His perfect love casting out all of my fears (1 John 4:18)
I would like to encourage you in this way:
1) Always be ready and willing to take an account of your own actions, beliefs, behaviors, etc… to determine if in fact it is possible that you may be experiencing the chastening of the Lord. Be the first to examine your motives, attitudes, and behaviors to determine if you are “suffering” in some way that has been brought on as a result of sin in your life. “…My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:5-6 If what you are experiencing is the result of sin, REPENT, and be restored to your God, and your fellow man if necessary and if possible.
2) If you’ve made the determination that your sin has not brought this on you, rest in the knowledge that God’s Sovereignty is at work and He is busy causing all things to work together for your good and HIS GLORY!! (Even if you can’t see the good until you get to heaven, you can rest in the assurance that it’s there!!) (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11; Jeremiah 29:11)
3) Lastly, know that if you are in the midst of a current struggle, are reflecting on past struggles, or bracing yourself for the struggles life will one day bring; it is most precious for us as Believers to know that just as He has been in the midst of those throughout scripture, as an example for us, He is in the midst of your situation too, whatever that is! Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:1-9)
You see, in the beginning of our struggle with Kathryn's daignosis, illness and following death, we questioned what we’d done that would cause God to punish us in this way. We came up with a laundry list of things from our past, and decided that if this was the worst God ever did to us; we surely deserved it! But, SERIOUSLY, that is not who God is. His character is not such that He sits around waiting for just the right time to find something that means the absolute most to us and take that one thing to pay us back for all of the wrong we did prior to the beginning of our relationship with Him.
The most important principles we can take from this is that - no matter what happens, or whether or not we ever determine the “WHY?” of the happening, ultimately ALL THINGS happen to bring glory to God, whether it is in the punishment of sin and the offending sinner, grace received by those who do not deserve it, or healing brought about in order that God might be glorified.
I find great beauty in the story in John 9:1-8, "Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
God is indeed in the midst of each of every possible scenario in life. Though the circumstances may be different in your life, from mine, or your neighbors, the one constant that remains is our God and Father, and our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Abiding in His Grace and hoping God can use these ramblings to touch someone's heart...