Sunday, September 27, 2009

Do I have a right attitude about suffering?

The next few weeks I'm going to post here what I spoke on at the conference in Salina. It will definitely be an abbreviated version! But it will give you the big picture of what God has been working on in me

When we begin to experience painful things in our lives... When bad things start happening and we begin to stumble and fall in our faith... When we start to lose where God is... When we wonder how to put feet to our faith when we can't find our feet OR our faith... We need to ask ourselves a few questions, remembering that a loss of faith is all about me because God hasn't changed a thing about Himself.

Do we have a right attitude about suffering?

Hebrews 12:7-8 says "Endure hardship as discipline. God is
treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are
not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate
children and not true sons." Verses 11-12"No discipline seems pleasant at the time,
but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace
for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms
and weak knees, make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be
disabled, but rather healed."

Sometimes we go through hard times. Sometimes those hard times have to do with sin in our lives. That is certainly where our minds jump when things go bad. Like Job's friends we wonder what we have done to deserve all this pain and suffering! We think that if we were living "right " then God wouldn't be punishing us this way. (which is a whole separate subject really, and this is going to be a long post so I'll save that one for later!)

Sometimes however, we go through tough things because we are being disciplined. If you look at Hebrews 11 or what is known as the "Hall of Faith" in the verses just before these, we see people who endured terrible tragedy, but in that tragedy and hardship were drawn closer to God. Ultimately it wasn't about them, it was about God.

  • I know that if we hadn't gone through what we have the past few months. I wouldn't be who I am now. Hardship has changed me, hopefully for the better. I can choose to live mad at God for what has happened, or I can choose to live victorious in the better person he has made me now.
  • Sometimes suffering comes with the territory of being a Christian. I'm not sure where the idea came from that if we are true believers that we won't have problems. It certainly didn't come from the Bible! Every person we read about in scripture suffered in their faith. Not one lived a life of perfect bliss after a decision to follow Jesus. Christianity is hard!
  • I don't understand how all of these things work together for the glory of God. I don't understand why really painful things happen to people. I know it is not in God's nature to cause us hurt. But I do know that sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own suffering I don't see the big picture. The one God sees. There is where the answer is, in the big picture that only God sees.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I can't even begin to tell you what a blessing the conference last weekend was to me. It's overwhelming to see God's hand move in my life, every time he does. I don't know why it always surprises me.

I've mentioned before that God has a tendency to really work in my life in the areas that he calls me to speak. This last weekend I spoke on how to put feet to your faith when you can't find your feet or your faith. I've been struggling to find both in the last few months. With Randy essentially out of work it has been a really hard time financially. Through family, friends and circumstances God has provided, but it has been really hard. We always wondered whether we could hold out until the house sold. About thirty minutes before I walked in to teach the first session I got a call indicating we had an offer coming in on the house. I don't believe in coincidence. What better way could God use to help me teach that session? It was amazing and overwhelming. This rough season of our life isn't automatically over just because we sold the house, I know that. But for a girl struggling to find faith, His intervention at exactly the right moment really reminded me that everything happens for a reason.

Because I made myself vulnerable and shared exactly what has been going on in my life and how God has used it. I met many women who are hurting, who's lives aren't going the way they imagined it was supposed to. But each of them are being used by God in the lives of others. God uses all things in the lives of His children to bring glory to Himself. That's the way it should be. I hope my life does that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Football Season and Ethan

Ethan was looking over my shoulder today and was highly insulted that I had not posted anything about him:) He makes me smile. So I am putting a posting up about my wonderful almost 12 year old. He is the one in the green:)

I missed his first football game today because I was at a conference in Salina. It happens every year when I go to this conference. They won today 14 to 0 (I hope that means he lets me come to the next game.) I love this time of year and going to the games. I spend most of my time following the boys up and down the sideline taking pictures. That is what this one is. Of course it's from last year. But he picked it out, for obvious reasons.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Putting Feet to my Faith

It's kind of crazy that this weekend I am supposed to be speaking on putting feet to my faith in rough times at a conference in Salina. Crazy might be a bad word to use, more like inevitable. That's the way God seems to work in my life. When He asks me to talk about something He certainly gives me the material with which to work in my own life. It happens every time I'm asked to speak, I'm guessing there is a pattern here I should get used to.
This is certainly a subject that is close to my heart, I'm praying that God can use my experience the last few months as usable and glorifying material. Please pray that He does.
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O LORD my Rock and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14