Monday, June 30, 2014

Right beside you

A long time ago, I heard Joyce Meyer say that when you want to believe but you don't know how just say, "I trust you Lord, help me to trust you."

I think Psalm 13 is a little bit like that. When David wrote, "Will you forget me forever," he obviously was going through a time that he felt distance from God. Things weren't going well, and it just didn't seem like God cared.

Only a few verses later though, he said "I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation."

It's a little bit like, why aren't you there Lord? Yeah, I know you're there, but sometimes it just doesn't feel like it.

I think we all get that way every now and again. We start going through troublesome times, and we immediately feel like God has forgotten all about us. Our enemies are winning, and we can't do anything about it.

But if you just stop and remember everything you've read about God, you realize that he hasn't left. He is always there to carry us through tough times. It's OK to ask God where he is. He'll always tell you he's right beside you.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Vile lying vs. good lying?

We think lying is only bad when we do it for a wrong reason.

If we lie to cover up a mistake, it's wrong. If we lie out of flattery, it's OK. However, in the next Psalm that I read, it says "Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts..."

So much of what we say and do and whether it is right or wrong comes down to our hearts. Are we using flattery to get ahead, like lying to my boss about how great he is and what a great job he's doing even if I don't believe what I'm saying? Just because that lie makes someone else feel better doesn't make it right.

However, is it wrong to flatter someone if we're not benefiting from it? Is it OK if we just want to make someone feel good so we tell them they look nice even if they don't?

Sometimes it's hard to decipher where the line is. Maybe it's best to just not even come close to it and to be honest always, or to just keep our mouths shut if we can't be honest.

The Psalm concludes with "You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man."

I pray that as vileness is exalted in this day and age that we will be guarded.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Challenging challenge

Well, I took a challenge at church on Sunday to read a chapter of the Bible each day, pray 15 minutes each day and memorize one Bible verse each week.

I started reading through the Psalms, so I figure I'll continue to read through one each day, and I'll try to write about them as I go along.

Today, I start with a short one: Psalm 11.

What can the righteous do when it seems like their enemies are attacking? Just remember that God is God in heaven. He is watching us, and he sees everything bad going on around us. Even when it seems like the evil ones are winning, they aren't overall.

"On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur, a scorching wind will be their lot."

He also sees the righteous at heart.

"He loves justice, upright men will see his face."

I haven't memorized a verse of the Bible since I was a little kid. I flipped through my Bible and looked at some highlighted verses. I think this is a good one to remember.

"Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless." Ephesians 5:10

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy birthday!

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks, from the death and funeral of my grandfather to my in-laws coming to stay for half a week.

I've spent the last few days recuperating from exhaustion!

This weekend, we get to celebrate my husband's 28th birthday. A couple of months ago he mentioned that he was turning 28, and the look on his face was comical. For some reason, 28 sounds old, at least to us! I know to people older than us, 28 still sounds quite young.

What better time to talk about how thankful I am for my husband than his birthday? When I debate about having children, I look at him and think about how thankful I am for my life with him, and not having children would mean that they wouldn't get to experience the joy and beauty of true, deep, meaningful love.

This week, his family brought some items from a drawer they had cleaned out in his room. We tried on his old glasses and laughed. We talked about his G.I. Joes. We flipped through old pictures of us from high school.

I loved Nate in high school. He was good looking, nice, funny, outgoing. However, what he was then is nothing compared to who he is today. It almost brings tears to my eyes as I think about how wonderful he is and how much he has grown through the years.

Nate is a true man. He is selfless, courageous, strong, godly, generous, fun-loving, hard-working, hilarious, sweet, caring, loving, forgiving and so much more.

When I look at him, my heart sometimes jumps and sometimes it just fills up with love. Sometimes when our eyes meet I just break out into a grin. 

At my grandpa's funeral, he was my rock. He didn't complain that we stood around for hours on end. He held me, stood by me, hugged me when I cried, tickled me after it all ended and I needed to laugh and break the tension. He was everything I needed.

We have grown and changed together, but it's all done nothing but bring us closer. I am so thankful for his birthday, the day that God brought this amazing man into the world.

Happy birthday honey. I love you so much, and I don't know what I'd do without you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A few words at the end

My grandpa is dying.

It all started when I was in sixth grade, and he went into the hospital and was diagnosed with COPD. He was told to stop smoking or he would die. He did stop smoking, and actually I think he has lived much longer than they expected.

However, it's come to that time, and it's pretty awful to think about. I haven't had a grandparent pass away. My aunt died from cancer, and my great-grandma died a few years ago, but I haven't been surrounded by much death in my life.

In "I Promise," a book I'm reading, the main character's grandfather passes away, and her friend tells her "he was a good man." I haven't seen it in my life, because my grandfather truly loves me, but I know that most of his life he hasn't been a good man.

But as the end comes, it makes me realize that God is so good. That's because at this time, all I want is to know that my grandpa has accepted Jesus and will go to heaven. It doesn't matter what he did in his life, what mistakes he made, how long he has waited to accept Christ. All that matters in the end is that we believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he gave his life for us on the cross. We can say it in our dying breath, and God, in his graciousness, will welcome us home.

We don't always know when we're going to die, so we need to be prepared, but it is still wonderful to know that there is always hope for us until our dying breath.

When I read in the book that saying "he was a good man," I realized that some people wouldn't say that about my grandpa. I stopped to think about what I want people to say about me when I die. I don't want them to balk and wonder about where I ended up. I don't want them to have to find good things to say about me. I want them to say that I was a wonderful woman who loved her family, loved God and gave selflessly.

If you can put into a few words what you want people to say when you die, because they will sum you up in just a sentence or a few words of condolence to your family, then you can figure out what your true goals are. You can find out who you want to be and what you should focus on.

A selfless wife, mother and God-lover. That's who I want to be.

And a God-lover is who I pray my grandpa becomes before the end.