Tuesday, April 21, 2009

just say "NO"!!

i enjoy painting and decorating, but it gets me in trouble. well, not 'bad' trouble, i simply have a difficult time just saying "NO" when asked to make stuff for school. so i've been painting and creating book fair decorations for Lou-hoo's school book fair, and i love the theme: " fair! Reading makes you a star!", so it was fun, but it's not like I really have the time. however i'll be crafting more creations for Master P's school luau event coming this friday, so there is no rest for the weary, sigh.

i will say that i love the peace that comes with sitting down and painting & drawing, i usually get around to it late at night after the posse of kiddos are sleeping and my Man is consumed in a book or asleep in his 'man' chair (giggle). no one is bothering me, and my mind is allowed to fully relax and i get to pray aloud and sing and quiet my spirit enough to savor some special time in worship; maybe i should paint more?!! so last night was not an exception, as i sat at the dining room table drawing i was considering the book of Judges from the Old Testament. i just got finished with it on saturday, and i was struggling with this one: there was udder chaos for the Israelites after Joshua died, there wasn't a king (judges 21.25: at that time there was no king in Israel. people did whatever they felt like doing. The Message) and they really had a hard time just saying "NO" (did i mention that i can relate). they turned away from God over and over (seven times), worshipping false gods and not driving out the nations that God had commanded as they entered the Promise Land. my heart aches when i read this: how could God's chosen people let so much sin come in and take over their lives, they became slaves to immoral nations, sacrificed to Baal gods!! how could they forget the God of their fathers that saved their people from the Eygptians?!! He parted the Red Sea for them, for goodness sake!!

but i do know how: Romans 3.23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. i am God's chosen, as well, and i fall short of His glory daily. so after spending some serious time praying and studying over Judges, i'll say this, while not everything throughout the book makes sense to me, i am no better than the Israelites in their disobedience; i have caused Jesus pain with my attitude, my words, i've allowed worry to take over my life at times, isolated myself to ensure i don't get hurt again, i could go on. sin. BUT, and i love this...all seven times the Israelites sinned against God, were punished/enslaved by their enemies, they were redeemed and saved by our most merciful Lord and Savior (judges 2.18b:God was moved to compassion when he heard their groaning because of those who afflicted and beat them. The Message). so, as i sat and painted the Lord left that upon my heart: that regardless of the times i've put other worldly and selfish things in front of trusting & following Him, followed my feelings and left my faith at the door, He never left me and when i came back, crying for Jesus to save me, He was moved to compassion...for me. MIGHTY, AWESOME, WONDERFUL GOD OF THE UNIVERSE is moved by my prayers, my cries and saves me over and over and over...

i'm definitely going to paint more....and just say "NO" to junk that wants to draw my mind away from the things that the Lord has for me. i've done this more and more over the last year of sickness and pain, turning away from what the world says 'there is no God and He isn't going to save you from whatever disease you have.' and i have to say that it has been an uncomfortable growing experience for the last 15 months, but the more i said "NO" to the lies of this world and turned my eyes upward and said "I TRUST THE PLANS YOU HAVE FOR ME GOD, NO MATTER WHAT COMES", an amazing thing began to happen, worry & fear weren't taking God's place any longer. when i felt sick, instead of turning to the worse case scenerio, i would pray and sing louder to drown out my worldly, human thoughts, and God gave me a Word. here's some of them:

Psalm 73.25-28 : Whom have I in heaven? and there is nothing on earth that i desire besides you. my flesh and my heart may fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. for behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. but for me it is good to be near God: i have made the Lord God my refuge, that i may tell of all your works. (esv)

Psalm 34 : yes the entire chapter, please read it for yourself, i guess i love verses 17-19 the most

Phillipians 4.8 : finally, brothers, whatever is TRUE, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS.

i will get into my journey of faith with God over the last year and a half in more journal entries to come, but for today I know that no strings attached I will serve the Lord with all I have, thankful for His unending grace that has saved me, and I will continue to say "NO" boldly to that which trys to distract me from the truths of the Lord...the best is yet to come!!!

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