Thursday, July 24, 2014

Distracted faith

It's been a little while since I've been able to blog, since we don't have constant Internet.

Have you noticed that the moment you start praying or spending time with God in other ways is the moment that Satan starts to attack you, even in the smallest ways?

And I don't even mean attack as in tempting you, I mean attack as in trying to distract you.

The other day I was coming home from a near by city, and I started praying in the car. Something happened that made we start to question my intentions toward people, and it was a time I started feeling very close to God. Then the road I was going to take was closed, and there was a winding detour, and my mind started to go to driving instead of on God.

When I have been praying, reading my Bible and writing in my journal lately, even when I started this blog, that has been the moment my dog has demanded attention. She can be perfectly fine and then when I start to think about God, she suddenly sits by me whining or trying to play with me.

Satan obviously doesn't want us to spend time with God, and he's good at making it easy to get distracted. It could be the phone rings, something loud booms outside and you go check it out, the kids start pestering you, the dog is annoying, you start planning dinners for the week or thinking about your to-do list --- there is a myriad of ways to get distracted.

So I think it's important that we realize it's hard to spend time with God, and then we need to be aware of distractions and fight against them at those moments. Satan will do all he can to make sure our faith doesn't grow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Respect your husbands

If you're married, you should read this article.

It's definitely a huge pet peeve of mine to see women constantly trashing their husbands. It's like they enjoy talking down to them or bashing their husbands to their friends, and they're always looking for something the men do wrong. I try my best to not engage, but I have to admit sometimes their frame of mind rubs off, and before I realize it I've just made fun of my husband as well. I back track as quickly as possible, but it has slipped out.

Before getting married, I read a book full of advice from successful couples. The one item that stuck out most to me was the story of a married couple sitting with a group of other married couples. Everyone was bashing on his or her spouse, and this one couple stayed quiet.

Soon their friends asked them what they did that bugged each other. They looked at each other and couldn't think of anything.

Early in their marriage, they had decided to only look at the positives in each other. It must not have been always easy, but after so many years looking at the positive they literally couldn't see the negatives anymore.

I think that is beautiful. Like anything in life, marriage takes perspective. You might have to train yourself to look at only the positives in your husband, but if those are the only things you dwell on for so many years, that's all you will see.

But in his blog, Matt Walsh had a good point. It doesn't matter if you see the negatives in your husband. You should respect him, because he is your husband. He is the man given to you by God to be your provider. We want our husbands to love as us we are, without having to deserve it. Our men deserve our respect whether they "deserve" it or not, whether they have earned it or not. Our love and respect will give them a reason to be loving and respectable.

I told a friend once that he should love his wife even if she changes after marriage. Even if she is the "wrong" person, he chose her and it is his duty to love her. Often when people get divorced, they say it was a mistake to get married because they married the wrong "one." Marriage isn't about "one." It's about a choice, a commitment. Whether your spouse deserves to be loved, you love them. Whether your husband deserves to be respected, you respect him as the head of your house. You might not respect all his decisions, but you respect him as a man.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The beauty of God's law

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

Oh how true that is. Working in the conservation field, I daily am in awe of God's creation. The honeybees we have at work are like looking at tiny little miracles as they make plans for honeycomb with their bodies and use their wings to create a vacuum to dry down the honey they've made.

It makes me wonder how anyone in the science field can doubt the existence of God when everything around us is so miraculous that it's obvious a higher power is in charge.

Amidst all his gushing about creation, David moves into talking about God's law in Psalm 19. "The ordinances of the Lord are pure and altogether righteous."

It doesn't seem to work with the first half of the Psalm, unless you start to think about God creating the law. He put together a certain set of rules in the Bible, and every one of those rules has a reason behind it. They are to protect us, and if we follow them, each and every one is for our own good.

It's not like some of the laws in this country, which can make no sense and are ridiculous. Some of them do more harm than good. However, each one of the rules that God sets forth is good. "The law of the Lord is perfect," David said.

That in itself it a wonderful creation. God has the perfect mind that not only makes beautiful things, but it makes perfect laws that will keep us safe and give us hope and a future. If we would only follow them.

Laws are beautiful? I guess when David put it the way he did, they are.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A real relationship

I love God. I truly do.

But often I still try to fill my life with other things. I guess I don't really believe that God is enough for me.

I want what David had in Psalm 16, saying "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."

This challenge, which I'm failing at, has made it clear that God isn't No. 1 in my life. Because I'm willing to read a book of the Bible, but I have stunk at spending 15 minutes praying every day. That seems so long and boring to me. It's difficult to have a conversation for that long with no one talking back and no one to look at.

Yet, a relationship does need quality time. The No. 1 person in my life is my husband, and we obviously need to spend time together to make our relationship work. When we spend time together, talking or just doing other activities, it builds our relationship. That constant time is what has made our love strong.

God needs that from me too. He needs me to spend time with him otherwise we won't have a strong relationship, and he won't be No. 1. I can't say "apart from you I have no good thing" unless I truly am in love with God and need him in my life.

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure."

Wherever we are in life, if we have a strong relationship with God, it's all that we need. If we know that God is in charge and whatever portion and cup we have is because of God, we will know we are secure and we're where we're supposed to be.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Clean out your car!

As I was driving to a bachelorette party this weekend, I didn't notice how incredibly dirty my car was.

That's because it's usually like that.

I mean, compare it to people who live out of their cars, it's not bad. But I accidentally dumped Doritos crumbs from the bottom of the bag on the passenger side floor, and it has empty Ziplocs from when I bring food on trips or to work. There are water and pop bottles on the floor and CD cases (Yes, I still have CDs in my car). The back seat always has a blanket to protect it from my dog.

I don't really notice it. That is, until someone gets in my car. When I gave the bachelorette a ride, I quickly threw everything into the backseat. However, I still realized that the car was dirty.

It's kind of like our lives. We might have quite a bit of dirt inside our hearts and have plenty of issues with sin, but we don't really notice it as much when we're on our own. Bring in someone who is pure, and we start to notice everything that is wrong with us.

I guess that's why we're told to keep each other accountable. If no one tells you to clean your car, what's the incentive to do it?

I didn't mean to, but I think this blog goes along well with my memory verse I just chose for this week: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things." Philippians 4:8

 And just one more added note a little later this morning, guess what verse popped up on my phone as the verse of the day? Yep, Philippians 4:8. Guess God likes that as my memory verse!