Wrestle or Surrender?

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV): For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

I love being a Christian for many reasons: one is experiencing God’s love as He shows Himself to me as I read the Bible. Today I read in Romans 8 that nothing will ever separate me from the love of Christ. Not principalities, nor powers, nor tribulations, and I’m paraphrasing here. I’ve been running into some difficulties lately, which feels like spiritual warfare. Some of the stress is because I need to let go of things and give them to God. So when I read Romans 8 today and then Ephesians 1, which reminds me that God predestined believers to come to Him before time began, I experienced such peace, which is the second reason I’m glad to be a Christian.

In 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God does not want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. In Romans 3:23 it tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So, we all need a savior to make it into God’s holy heaven.

I wonder if everyone is predestined to go to heaven if only they will choose. I guess that doesn’t make sense. Someone once told me that they thought everyone’s name is written in the Book of Life until they reject Jesus Christ, God the Son, or the Father, or the Holy Spirit, and then their name is blotted out. So I guess they believe everyone is predestined until they say, “No thank you.”

The third thing I enjoy about Christianity is leaving the guilt behind. Once I repent, if I need to every ten minutes, God says our sins are as far away as the East is from the West in Psalm 103:12. He remembers them no more.

The fourth thing that I enjoy is that God wants what’s best for me and for all of mankind, so He tells us in the Bible to fear not. My daughter said it tells us that 365 different places in the sixty-six books. Which is why I’ve been willing to face rejections when I send manuscripts out to publishers. I ignore the fear and try to do the best writing and follow the writers’ guidelines and choose topics the editors actually want to see and send them out.

So, do I wrestle against flesh and blood when things go bad in my life and people act against me? According to God, when terrible things come my way I have to consider the source. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, Jesus said in John, chapter 10. Jesus came to give life and that abundantly, according to John 10:10.

I write because I really like to write. I surrendered my life to God many years ago so I will never have to surrender to the enemy of my soul, who only wants to inflict pain, and keep me from what I like to do. When things get bad, I turn to the word of God and He fights my battles for me. Jesus spoke the word against the devil and the power of that word sent him scurrying. I speak the word and it changes the atmosphere. To God be the glory.

 

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Goals and Life Choices

Two days ago, on the demo exercise page, I checked off the blog twice a week box as if it were done. Then for two days I couldn’t seem to get to the computer. I hate writing out goals and then watching them sit, and then writing them over and over again each day. It causes me to begin or delete. Which is not a bad thing, I suppose. It’s just if the delete thing keeps happening, it can get discouraging. So I try to delete in moderation.

Ya know, do all things in moderation. 🙂

I’m reading and writing answers in a Bible study book, “Philippians: Experiencing God’s Peace,” by Elizabeth George. I think I’ve had it for years, but I think the timing is always a God-thing with my books. So I’m learning more about Paul’s life and his admonitions. Follow him as He follows Christ. Jesus Christ laid down His life as a sacrifice for others. Paul did the same. It’s heavy stuff. Given the opportunity, would I lay down my life for another? I hope so.

I’ve also read a few books that I didn’t care for. They were recommended in writing improvement books. Read this book, it’ll help you with characterization. Read that book, it’ll help you with dialogue. In Philippians 4:8 it talks about choosing what to think about. Here’s the American Standard Version: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

One book went back to the library at chapter three. The others were good until the very end, and then I was disappointed.One of the two actually made me mad. It was based in Victorian times, but the moral at the end was very much our times. One of the characters went insane because of controlling their passions. Please.

I’m trying to decide how to live according to Phil 4: 8. Also, Jesus said to be in the world, but not of the world. So, this evening, I got out two library books, one by Davis Bunn and one by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. I figure reading Christian authors is not a bad start. I’m not sure I’ll give up secular authors, but tonight I decided to. I guess I’ll research secular authors before I grab their books.

What are you reading lately, anything you want to talk about?

 

September – a Month of Beginnings

I have a five-year old grandson that lives too far away from me. He started kindergarten this Fall. A new beginning for him and his mom. He’s her oldest.

I found an empty DEMO Exercise sheet of paper that asks you to rate everything you want to be, to do, and to have with boxes for a rating from one to ten. There is a spot to rate the benefit to myself and to others, again with a one to ten rating. The items that add up to forty are the ones you’re supposed to do first. Ten for desire, ten for enjoy, ten for benefiting me, ten for benefiting others. The problem is, I tend to have more than one forty, maybe ten or twelve of them. So then I rank them by alphabet with a number to follow. A1 is my first priority, A2 second, etc. I go as far as D and then I quit. So if I’m on a to-be item number twenty-eight and realize that it’s really important to me, I’ll make it an A1.5. It can get confusing. 🙂

The good news is that it works for me. I may not stick to it perfectly. I cleaned my refrigerator the other day, which was my A1. Yes, because I’d been avoiding that chore. The next thing I know I’m mopping floors, which was an A7, because all my life, when I clean the refrigerator, I mop the floors because I always spill water or get crumbs on the floor. I’m happy to note that blog two times a week is an A2.5, and so far so good, I think.

My husband has a hard time with goal setting he tells me. My DEMO Exercise list has thirty-six items on it and covers all of my life, although I think I missed one. Something is niggling at the back of my mind. I include vacation ideas, writing ideas, hobbies, etc. I notice I’m getting more done than I have in a while, because I forgot about these DEMO sheets, which are no longer being manufactured in Rochester, NY. Probably because everyone uses far less paper. Now that I remembered, I decided to fill one out and voila’, it’s helping me focus. Yay! So I decided to make my version on my computer.

I missed out on some fun on Saturday because I was mopping feverishly, trying to be on time. I told one of the ladies that I may not make it because I had a long list of things to do. A few of my friends never would have made plans in the first place if the house needed attention. We’re such individuals, aren’t we? This mopping instead of joining friends is a real answer to prayer. I have too many opportunities to visit with people or to set my own hours, and if I always choose the fun, things get left undone. Then I suffer, my husband suffers, and it impacts others. I’m only there half-halfheartedly, with a weight around my spirit.   It’s taken me a long time to realize this; sad but true. So September is an eye opener for me practically speaking and spiritually. I feel God wants me to take some time and sit quietly with Him to do some introspection. He wants me to make some changes for good that may not be easy, but definitely worth the effort. Whatever I do that lines up with His word always enriches my life. It may stretch me like crazy, but if I feel He’s telling me to do something, He always helps me.

When my husband became a pastor and we moved to another town, a friend gave me a plaque that reads, “The Grace of God will enable you to be what He made you to be and do what He has called you to do.” There’s a Scripture quotation on the bottom, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Do you sense God calling you to step out of your comfort zone? How are you doing with that? Has September brought you beginnings you want to write about?

Crossroads in Life

Have you ever come to a crossroad in life? Do I change jobs because I’m constantly at odds with the company’s policies? Do I continue dating this man or tell him we need to part ways? Do I continue to follow Christ when all my friends tell me I’m no fun anymore? Do I spend this money or save it toward a specific goal: education, better food, clothes, transportation, to help someone in need? Do I continue working tremendous hours or do I spend more time with my loved ones?

Life gives us so many opportunities. When a crisis hits, we can pivot and change priorities radically or in increments. Sometimes a crisis will so change us that folks that haven’t seen us in years will feel they don’t know us anymore. Tomorrow at church I am going to give a word that I’m sure God has spoken to me, in His still small voice. It is the second time I ‘ll say the same thing in a short time span. “I’m coming quickly,” that’s what I believe Jesus is saying. So many biblical prophecies are already fulfilled. His quickly may not be “my” quickly, but then again, it might be. So I consider my writing. Spend a ton of time on finishing my novel. Spend more time blogging. Continue placing ads for freelance writing for individuals or businesses.

What do you think? Part of the word is to stir up the gift within you that God has given you, now is not the time to lie dormant. Do you want to share your opinion?

Are You in a Rut?

I have been writing a paper for a lady for a week or so who advocates for brain-diseased individuals. This is new for her, hiring a writer so she can communicate her quest for help in a clearer way.

It’s at times like this that I have to pray not to get too caught up in her story so I can keep my equilibrium in life. For a time, I stopped watching the news on television because I was getting depressed. Now, I tune into the news on occasion to keep up with things, but I don’t live there. It does give me people and situations to pray for, that’s for sure.

I love writing for people most of the time. It’s a learning curve into someone else’s passion, into a subject area I might not have chosen on my own. Oftentimes, I know something about it and/or have experienced what they want to express to others. Have you ever learned about something you never dreamed you would absolutely love, once you tried it? Motorcycling grabbed the attention of someone I love. When they finally came to a place where they could buy one and learn to ride it, they dealt with the fear of possibly getting injured. Once they got past that, they went for their life-long dream. The reality became better than the anticipation.

That same person told me that the Bible said, 365 times, in various ways, “Do not fear.”

That’s a helpful antidote to staying in a rut. Putting the fear behind, reaching forward to a new hobby or job or relationship within God’s boundaries gives life fullness and freshness and tools to bless others, if you so choose to.