Sunday, 25 June 2017

Strongholds

Wow so the last time I posted was March... which is almost four months ago.
Sheesh.
Lots of things have happened since that last post and I don't think I'll go into any of it now.
One day there will be a post about everything but today is not that day.

About a month ago now I was tuned into Bible Believer's Baptist's Wednesday night sermon. Pastor Peacock has a question and answer time before the service and I guess one of the questions was about whether or not a saved person can be devil possessed.

No, we can't be devil possessed, but we can let the devil have strongholds in our lives.
I never thought about it but the things we allow ourselves give the devil a home in us.

Our speaker at a ladies retreat once said, referring to husbands, 'ranting in your mind gives place to the devil'.
Then pastor Peacock said this 'when you're mad at someone, the devil has built a home in you and Jesus will not share His home with the devil'.

You know, when you're reading your bible, praying, and 'drawing nigh' to God but you don't feel nigh?
Maybe it's a stronghold.
Maybe there is a devil's stronghold in your life.

One of the things Pastor Peacock said was, 'when you tell a lie you are telling the devil you are more comfortable with him living in you then Jesus'. He went on to include white lies.

He also said 'if you still so much as a paperclip you'd still $25000 given the right opportunity'.

I'm not going to rehash his whole sermon. I took notes. I was writing furiously the whole time.

God is good.
He wants us to be close to Him. He shows us how.

Sorry for the short post. I'll be back soon!
Give this sermon a listen- it will help you

Saturday, 11 March 2017

What You Want

The last few weeks the Lord has reminded me of some lessons He taught me a few years back.
Before I had met the man who would become my husband, I was talking to a friend about my ideal man. I told her that I had realized that what I think I want in a man is not what I want in a man. In other words, what I think I want is not what I need because what I need is what I really want.
Or rather, I don't know what I want. I told her that God knows what I really want in a man because He knows what I need in a man. What God wants for me is better than what I want for me so I just need to leave it up to Him.
I took my hands and mind off my 'love life' and gave up looking for anything, trusting that God would bring the right person along when it was time.
He did.
Years after we were married and because of social media I started wondering things like 'why doesn't my husband do that?' or 'why isn't he like this?' and so on. There was a particular person who would really flaunt stuff like that and it would realllllly bug me. I started feeling dissatisfied with my husband because he wasn't doing things those other husbands were doing.
One day the Holy Spirit pointed out that if my husband was like those 'other husbands' he wouldn't be my husband. Other then those gestures and things those other husbands did, none of those men were appealing to me in anyway shape or form. When I really thought about it, all of those men are sentimental and rather soft. I'm not interested in men like that. That realization killed all those thoughts of dissatisfaction in me though it would be a few years yet until I got off social media.

Recently we've been asking ourselves 'what if this happens?' or 'what if that happens?' Then the Lord points out- the things He wants for us, aren't they better than things we want for ourselves? The things He knows are best, aren't they better than the things we would give to ourselves?
Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?
Genesis 18:25c
Even if the path to those things is hard, shouldn't we let go and let God bring us along through it if that is what He really wants for us?
For I know the thoughts that I think
toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of
peace, and not of evil, to give you an
expected end.
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, 20 February 2017

Good Preaching: Wive's Submission

On this blog I talk a lot about Dr. David Peacock because I listen to his sermons all the time.
He's in Florida so I listen to his morning service when I'm getting ready for church in the morning. I listen to his evening service when I get home from our church in the afternoon and I try to listen to his Wednesday service before our church's Wednesday service. He also has a question and answer time before preaching on Wednesday nights and those are always interesting to listen to too. Any sermons I miss are uploaded on Sermon Audio and I am always sure to listen to those.

David Peacock has been going through a series- since November if I recall correctly- on Christian character. It is GOOD.
At the moment he is on submission. It's not a fun topic at all but I am learning a lot from it.

Not last Sunday night but the previous one he spoke about wifely submission. It wasn't particularly groundbreaking, at least to me, but of course there were things that convicted, encouraged, and comforted me.

I thought I'd share it on here in hopes you will listen and be equally blessed by it as I was.


Here is a link to the sermon on Sermon Audio: Wive's Submission
(I highly recommend listening to the entire series on Christian Character. There are a few miniseries within it- The Judgement Seat of Christ miniseries is a must listen to.)

I hope you give that sermon a bit of your time! It's occurring to me right now that wifely submission is a topic I should tackle on this blog given that this blog is about encouraging young women like myself.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Nachos

There was a joke I heard in highschool:
What kind of cheese is not yours?
Nacho cheese!
Get it? Na-cho cheese?

So I've sat down at this computer to write posts over the last few weeks- I have the drafts to prove it- but I've been unable to publish anything and unable to really write freely as I have in the past.
Part of it is what I mentioned last time- the person I can't help but want to attack every time I write- which is a good indication I'm more in the flesh than in the spirit. The other part of it is wondering about what I am writing about on this blog. In other words- WHO am I writing about?

The obvious and immediate answer is that I write about myself- because I do. I started this blog and built it on the idea that I'd write about how God was working in my life- the things He teaches me and the way He brings me along and helps me grow. This purpose of this blog is to give God the glory in my life. Lately I've been wondering whether or not this blog is too much about me or rather, what is my motivation behind each post.

I started thinking about this months ago when I happened to come across a spat on Youtube between two bible teachers. One of them, I guess, has made hundreds of videos debunking the other. In the short clip I watched the one who has the videos made against him stand up in his church, behind the pulpit and say that the guy making the videos against him 'deserves a pulpit mention'- something about having 'worked' for it with all the videos he's made.
I was immediately struck by the fact that that pulpit that man is standing behind is not his pulpit.
It's God's.
Did God call this man to preach the Word or talk about Youtubers?

A month ago I was finishing up my son's bath after a long day and I just wanted him to go to bed. I thought maybe I'd skip brushing his teeth for that night. What difference would it make? Then it occurred to me that I am not brushing his teeth for me, I'm brushing them for him. They're his teeth! How terrible would it be for him to have bad teeth when he grows up all because his mom 'was too tired'. It's not up to me to choose not to brush his teeth- they're not my teeth, I'm taking care of them for him, and don't I want him to have good, healthy teeth?

Then I started thinking about the way I look at things in general. I usually look at things with the perspective of 'how can I learn from that?' or 'what can I learn from that person?' I don't think that's a bad thing but it may bring the focus on me a little too much.

These things- and others- has made me really realize that the voice the Lord gives you- whether you are a preacher, a teacher, blogger, someone who posts stuff on Facebook, or just a solid christian who witnesses everyday- is not yours. We are not given these things for ourselves even though they teach us, edify us, and bring us closer to God. We are given these things for others- for the things we can't see and can't know, for the unseen and unknown people brought along by God.
Recently I've been thinking about the ways God takes care of us and the impossible situations He brings us through by means we can't even comprehend. I realized that God doesn't just take care of you for that time, for that problem, for that situation, He takes care of you for the future. How many times have you wondered why something turned out this way or why that happened and you go anywhere from a day to a year down the road to see how God used that to protect and provide for you when the situation was more dire and you were more needful?
Think about all the people in the bible that Jesus healed- the woman with the issue of blood, the blind man at the pool, the lame man let down through the house, the devil possessed of the Gadarenes. I would bet you anything that those problems they dealt with- the issue of blood, blindness, lameness, etc- were not the only things Jesus healed. I bet any little problem, any little thing that bothered them besides those big things were taken away. I think that's what John meant at the end of his gospel:
And there are also many other things
which Jesus did, the which, if they should be
written every one, I suppose that even the
world itself could not contain the books that
should be written. Amen.
John 21:25
Can you imagine just being around Jesus and feeling better? All those little aches and things we deal with just gone from being a little closer to him? Not only that, the mind change, the heart change from hearing God's Words from God Himself. 
This isn't doctrine or anything and I can't prove this from the bible. Just my relationship with Jesus and my relationship with the bible leads me to believe these things.

I say all that to say that there are things we can't see and we can't know. My Sunday school teachers growing up still have an effect on me today, my preachers growing up still have an effect on me today, there are many small things done and said I can still remember and shape who I am and how I think.
So when we speak in a place God is using us- we can't use our own words. We can't take what is rightly His and use it for our own agenda. That's the quickest way to stunt someone's spiritual growth, harm someone's faith, or prevent someone from coming to know the Lord as Saviour.
The more we insert ourselves, our agendas, our motives, our message, the less room God has to work- even if we are using His words. God doesn't share His throne with anyone.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Going Goings On

Hallooo!

I've really really tried to write a few times but it's really no use.
I'm very very annoyed at someone.
I've seriously had it with them.
They've completely lost me.
I used to think they were wise.
But now I think they're calculating, vindictive, and insufferable.

This really shouldn't effect my writing but the topic I have it in my heart to write about is too hard to write about without slipping in shots at this person.
So I guess it's just best not to write about it at all at the moment.

Yes, I should just shake it off and forget about this person but this person has a constant presence in my life and almost every time I see them my opinion of them just gets lower and lower.

Someone recently asked me what my favourite verse was and the first verse that came to my head was 'with good advice, make war' (Proverbs 18:20). It's one of my favourite verses because just flies in the face of everything you hear nowadays but it's not a favourite to the point I'll go around sharing it as my favourite verse.
Anyways, when I tried to think of another favourite verse to share all I could come up with was this one:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold
a white horse: and he that sat upon him
was called Faithful and True, and in
righteousness he doth judge and make
war.
Revelation 19:11
I really love this verse and I can't wait to see Jesus coming down to earth, trampling the grapes of wrath and reclaiming His kingdom- it's going to be great. But apparently I'm really into war verses right now and that tells me I'm in attack mode so I need to take my annoyance out on something.
Until then, I won't write about anything substantial- everything I try to write about turns into an attack on this person.

Anyway, we're moving.
Yet again and just over a year since we last moved. I'm really not interested in moving but whatever it has to get done.
We're moving from a big, spacious house with a big, spacious yard to a little cabin next door to the good old USA.
The new place is literally a cabin- all wood with delightful skylights scattered throughout the various rooms. It's very close to my work- which is great- and the beach. We were exploring a bit yesterday and came across a giant park just off the beach and maybe a ten minute walk from our new place.
I'm hoping to be able to run again since the dyke will be easier on my knees than cemement- I told my husband I want runners for my birthday (which is next week).
Even though it's an inconvenience to have to move (and with short notice) it seems to be perfect timing. All the privacy we once enjoyed at our current place was cut down last week and condos will be under construction going forward. We could hear the digger this morning when we were in bed.

So we're looking forward to the new place. It will be a big change since we're moving to a new municipality and we'll be further from family and church. We put a lot of prayer into whether or not we should take this place and we know it is the right choice.

At the moment that's all. Maybe I'll get my act together and be able to write a good post about something substantial.

Please pray for my friend Aikiki who lost her son in a very tragic and heart breaking way.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

A Spoonful of Sugar

A belated merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!
I've been trying to write this post for a week and I think my problem is that I'm trying to explain something that's hard to explain.
I didn't get to write as much this year. There seemed to be lots of things in the way. Still I'm grateful for this blog- I love to write and I learn a lot from it.

I remember at the end of last year my heart was very full and happy. I was excited about the coming year. I described 2015 as difficult because my son cried the entire year and my husband spent most of the year working. That sounds like a cake walk now but I wouldn't go back to that for a second.
2016 was hard but hard like giving birth is hard.
After you have a child people ask what labour pain is like. I always say that it hurts but it's pain with a purpose. I cut my finger today and it's just a nagging pain I hope will heal soon. Labour pain brought my son into the world. 2016 was that kind of pain. Pain with a purpose. The kind that mercilessly and continuously attacks to the point you don't know if you can go on but you find it in you to keep going and as you do you start seeing things come out of you you never though possible.
My heart goes from full to empty almost daily but while that is the case there is peace that covers it all. Whatever is going on, whatever needs to get done, it's just stuff. I realized that life isn't hard- it's just life and the things you went through will carry you through the things you're going through. It's not one and done, it all goes together.
I realized that there are things that God just wants done. There is a place God wants you, there are things He expects of you, there are things He wants to bring out of you. Many times this year with different people in different places and different situations I saw myself as there for a purpose though often I had no idea what that purpose was. Somehow there were times I knew exactly what to do and more often then not it was at great personal sacrifice. It amazes me that God gives us the guidance we need and the strength to endure.
There were many times this year where I'd be doing something for my son- making him dinner or getting him ready to go to the park or going to get this so we can do that- and he would be fussing and complaining the entire time. Sometimes I would say, 'look! I'm doing this for you! I know its hard to wait but it will be fine, I promise! Just wait a few minutes!' It occurs to me that maybe I'm like that with God. I don't think I'm a complainy person- it's passive aggressive and I hate that- but I will cry and I will fuss and I will straight up ask God to change things. And I think about it now and I wonder if in my prayers and supplications I'm doing what my son does to me and God is thinking 'I'm doing this for you, your discomfort is temporary but it will end soon, we just need to go through this to get to something better'. This is all temporary and it will all burn. The only things that matter are the things we can take to heaven and only God can give what can go from this life into eternity.
The things He puts you through are for you. He wants us to bear eternal fruit and lay up treasure in heaven, He wants to give us the opportunity to get blessed by serving Him. This kind of thing doesn't happen when we live comfortably.
I used to think there were happy times and sad times. Now I know that if you are right with God and in His will, there are hard things and easy things, but you're never 'unhappy'. I realized that you take the good things when you can and deal with the bad things the best you can. Situations will make you happy and sad but applying those to any situation really doesn't help. The only thing that does help is knowing that you're in God's will, that He's taking care of you, and that He has you in His hand.
I suppose that sort of sums up part of my thoughts from 2016. There are a lot of things I've learned that I am not posting about today but maybe one day I will have the words to share them.
It's just amazing how God works. It's never big, grand gestures. It's always little subtle things that make the biggest difference when it counts.

I didn't do a thanksgiving post but I did think about what I am most grateful for this past year. This past year I am most grateful for my parents.
I know people who are caring and try to help as much as they can. It is rare though for anyone to really go out of their way to take care of you. My parents- and my whole family, really- have really taken good care of us. The problems we have, they treat them like their own problems. They've taken so much on themselves for us and I really can't describe my gratitude to them for that.

My favourite thing this year has been starting work. It was really hard and depressing at first but inevitably, I've seen that it's allowed me to put into practice things I didn't realize I had learned. I know it's a necessary thing that I go back to work and that in itself would give me peace about it but God has given it to me with a spoonful of sugar. There are many things I'm blessed by at work- the job itself, the clothes, and most of all the people I work with.

Well, that's all for now, if it made any sense. I finally had to give up trying to structure a post and just write my thoughts as they came.
It's been very busy for us but I hope I can write more. I have a lot to write but there is so much to be done. Thank you for bearing with me and for coming back and reading my posts. I hope they are a blessing and a help.


Thou therefore endure hardness, as a
good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:3

Monday, 5 December 2016

Reason vs Feelings

One of the things I quickly learned in high school was that people don't think like me. I know- duh!- but it really had not occurred to me that people would have different values and those values shaped their priorities, expectations, desires, and outlook. In elementary school there isn't really much exchanging of ideas or values but in high school there is more emphasis on individuality. You quickly learn your place and if you are not humbled there is something wrong with you.
After being home for several years and being able to choose who I am surrounded by I've almost forgotten this but I was recently reminded of it.

You see, I expect one thing from the people around me: that they are reasonable.
More often then not, however reasonable a person is in their actions and interactions, they are very unreasonable in their thoughts.

The biggest detriments to being reasonable are emotions and feelings. The things we feel and the emotions that take over us inhibit growth and that's why we have this identity politics taking over. Political correctness was borne out of people's feelings.

Recently a person described Prime Minister Trudeau's '2015' comment as 'brilliant'. It's not logically brilliant to say that an equally male to female ratio of cabinet ministers is necessary because 'it's 2015'. It's stupid. The only reason someone can describe that as brilliant is for it to appeal to their feelings.

At the moment I am faced with a problem that cannot be addressed because it would hurt this person's feelings. Believe me when I say I would gladly hurt their feelings to tell them the truth. However, this person has proved that their feelings are more important than reason, growth, and learning. Telling them the truth will serve no other purpose than to hurt their feelings and make them mad at me. So the problem goes on because it cannot be addressed because feelings.

The only way you learn is by hard things. The only way you grow as a person is by seeing or hearing the truth about yourself.
It is not an easy thing but if you want to grow and get better you will put yourself under God's knife and let Him cut away those pieces of you that need to go.

I hope I can always see the truth about myself- it keeps me humble. I hope I can always take the truth about my child and my husband and my family.
Emotions and feelings prevent the truth because the truth hurts. If you can take it, however, that is a great thing because you will learn and grow and God will use you.

The wise in heart will receive
commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
Proverbs 10:8