Monday, June 30, 2014

Learning to Live Life

So I was talking to someone the other day who said she read my blog (hi, Jessica) — I really didn't think anyone did that! Her mentioning of the blog got me thinking that it has been a really, really long time since I have actually blogged. I decided it might be good to go ahead and try to post at least 2 blog posts this year. Here you have it, the second one.

I honestly had to go back and even see where I left off from the last one. That's just sad. I am clearly not the best blogger. But one of the things that I have loved about being able to blog is to let people see that this is real life. It's funny because a pastor spoke yesterday at church and that was a big part of his message. As Christians, we are to share three things: love, the Good News and life. I pray I have been able to do that here, and I am thankful for those I get to share life with.

He also said some really other good things yesterday (see his message here). One of the things he talked about is how we try to make our lives look perfect...hello, Facebook. But sharing real life is what helps others grow. Sharing struggles, that's real. So I am thankful that's what I have gotten to do over the last year with people. Live my life...the good, the bad, the ugly. 

Since my last post, I have had another surgery, gotten out of medically induced menopause (praise Jesus), have had to deal with not being healed and have had to accept living with chronic pain. One of the things that's neat about all of this is that I can be real about it. Yeah, going into another surgery (the 4th) stunk; coming out of that surgery with new growth, though still a successful surgery, also stunk; not being able to get out of bed and go to work because the pain is crushing sometimes, yep stinks. You know what doesn't stink? Knowing that through it all God hasn't changed. He's still the God who is in control, the one that knows best, the one that loves His children and wants good for them. I probably would not have chosen this journey, and often times I still don't understand why this is my journey, but I KNOW God is using this for His glory, for His plan. 

I'm thankful that I can strongly proclaim that, yeah, this isn't always fun and I don't understand why healing doesn't happen, BUT He is faithful. That doesn't mean every day is easy because there are days that are very hard, but I have to cling to Him and be real about my struggles. I hope that can encourage you. He is good and He is constant. 

"Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For Eternal Glory

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16–18 


I have this verse posted at my desk, and it's been a great encouragements over the last few months. In all honesty, I haven't really felt like I "needed" it lately. I know it sounds bad; it's not that I don't need Scripture, it's just that as I have been feeling better, I think I haven't paid as much attention to this verse. But it caught my eye earlier, and as I read it, I was reminded that our life here isn't for us. What we do here, what happens to us, whether good or bad, are not for our glory but for the glory of God. Even in the midst of affliction, our faith and obedience in it is for Him. One of the commentaries says that the things we are afflicted with on earth are light in comparison to the eternal glory that we get to experience in Heaven. 


 So whether you are in affliction or not, remember that your life is for God's glory, and remember that the glory we get to experience in Heaven far outweighs this life.  


"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you." 2 Corinthians 4:8–12

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18 

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6–9