Friday, July 13, 2018

Rare and Beautiful

It is a beautiful and rare thing when people dwell in community with mutual care for one another, mutual respect for one another, and mutual submission to one another under God.

What a glorious thing!

I'm thanking God tonight for people in my life who are passionately committed to following Jesus and are on this journey with me. I'm thanking Him for people who are willing to face the truth about themselves, people who are allowing Him to ever remake them into the splendid creatures only He can create!

I wish we could convince everyone to join us!

What we do miss when we refuse to let God break our bonds of self-centeredness and pride! What we miss when we refuse to let the grace of Jesus make us into people who truly care for one another, people who are committed to one another, people who gladly trust and submit to one another. What we miss, oh, what we miss!

A perplexing thing is that only when you are on this side, can you see both sides! Once you decide to pursue the truth, the transformation begins. It isn't long before you realize how He's changing you and you remember the bondage, you remember the worm of self that was eating away at your soul. You remember the loneliness, the hopelessness, the depression over guilt, the miserable rationalizing, and you start recognizing you are not alone! There is hope! You are forgiven! With His help, you can choose to be good, to be honest, to be real, to care for others. Once you've opened your heart, surrendered your will, committed to truth above all else, you begin to taste pure, true joy, and you wouldn't go back for anything! Now you long for those who are are still enslaved to be freed!

It's a rare and beautiful thing.

New String Arrangements on the Website!

I'm finally getting around to putting some of my new string arrangements on my lubifproductions website! Check them out if you'd like!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Do I Love God?

"When I look to the mountains, I can see YOU there..."
Jackson Hole, WY
It is easy for me to forget that loving God isn't about my feelings. Most of the time, I feel a deep love for Him, but once in a while when I get busy and haven't had time to contemplate His goodness, my feelings grow dull, and I don't like that! But I was reminded last Sunday:

Loving God is to care about God. We do what He cares about if we love Him.  ~C.K. Bailey

This truth comforts my heart yet also motivates me. I'm trying to do what God cares about every moment of every day. Feelings are unpredictable and undependable. Life gets busy, and since I can't see God and can't constantly think about how good He is, I'm thankful loving Him is not about my feelings!

I hope this is helpful to you as it was to me!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Parenting: The Influence of Self (Feelings, desires, thoughts, and images)

In the last post I was grappling with helping our children recognize and deal with the influence of self in how we treat others. By nature, we don't think of others first.

In this post, I'm thinking more about the internal aspect of the self where desires, feelings, thoughts, and images are produced. We can respond to these in different ways. We can embrace each one that comes or bring it into the light of what Jesus revealed and learn to reject what He would reject, embrace what He would embrace. We can train our children by modeling this reality and by building this truth into their understanding.

Let's say, my child expresses something that reveals she is feeling jealousy. How do I help her reject that feeling?

First, I have to establish that it is safe to admit it. She can be honest and talk to me about it. Then, we discuss Jesus. How did He think about feelings like this? Next, we discuss how, at the root, this is about our inborn selfishness, that this feeling is ugly, and that Jesus wants to help us be beautiful like He is. In order to change, to do what is right and become more like Him, we go to Him in prayer. "Lord, you know what I'm feeling. I want to give you this ugly, selfish thought. I know how you would think about this situation, and that's how I want to think. Please help me." 

Friends, I don't know how He does it, but step by step, choice by choice, He transforms us as we choose to trust Him and submit to His way of thinking, and our children can experience the power of His transforming grace just like we do! The ugly thought might try to come back, but we train them not to panic: just keep taking it to Him, rejecting it, placing our mind on His way of thinking, and it loses its power! Thanks be to God!

Do we ever totally stop feeling the force of "self"? I don't think so. The scripture says we die daily, we crucify it. From my understanding, it's what we DO WITH the feelings, desires, thoughts, and images that we are responsible for, and the longer we walk in trust and faithful obedience, the quicker we recognize what to do with feelings and desires that would push us a wrong direction. We understand it is possible to question our thoughts without having our sense of worth destroyed. We know how to pinpoint and reject images that would control our mind and take us away from Christlike thinking.

There's a good chance our children will follow in our footsteps if we model this abundant life faithfully before them and train them in the way.

How good our God is!!! So worthy of our trust and our children's trust.