Push through to the hem of His garment

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You remember the story in the Bible, Luke 8, about the lady with the long term illness? She pushed through the crowd and it says she thought “if I can just touch the hem of his cloak I will be healed”.  I do not have an illness, except for what is called LIFE.  And there are times I think if I can just push through the mess of life, the noise of issues and touch the hem of His garment things will be alright. Do you ever feel that way that you need to push through your mess, your crowds of people and their ideas or opinions, get past the road of confusion and just touch the hem of His garment?  I have to have time to settle my mind down, stop thinking about everything to really get in the presence of God.  For me I need to have a quiet room, which is really hard with 2 elderly parents, a 6 year old, 2 dogs and 3 cats, not even counting the other people in the house or the phone or etc.  So I have to pick times when everyone is calm, tummies full, they are taking naps, reading books or watching TV.  I have to choose my time.   Then I have to turn on calm, worshipful, meditative music like Grace Williams or Jason Upton.  I need to have the light off and the fan on.  I sound picky.  I can spend time with the Lord anywhere and anytime but for me to push past everything I need preparation. And this preparation calms me down and shuts the clutter and clamor of my mind down a little quicker.  Do you prepare for your time in His presence? Have you thought about what helps you to settle into a cup of tea, spend time, shut out distractions type atmosphere with Jesus?

In verse 46 (NLT) Jesus says “someone deliberately touched me”.  Is that what it takes to push through?  Just be deliberate?  Does your heart cry out like mine “I want to know you more”?  Tommy Tenny says “push back the hands of Jesus and look at His face”. Sometimes we want all the benefits but not the labor.  We want the last part of “if you do this, you will get this…”  We forget the first part.   If we love the Lord your God with all you heart, emotions, mind, strength, all of you, then He gives and He gives and He gives.

I heard a term by one of my coaches, “what you carry, you create”.  There are times we have to push through things of our own making.  If we carry around anger then anger will surround us.  And things will seem to be attracted to us that will make us angry.  If we carry around depression & refuse to get help, a counselor, or someone to pray with us then the depression is like a blanket and it surrounds us and makes everything we touch depressing. The more you think things are horrible then like a snowball effect horrible things will come to you like a magnet. But the opposite holds true as well. The more you become grateful then you will walk around with a blanket or a cloak of gratefulness. Even if something is bad, you have clothed yourself with gratefulness and you won’t stumble down the rabbit trail of “whoa is me”.  We won’t begin singing the song from the 70’s show Hee Haw “gloom despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery.  If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.  Gloom, despair and agony on me”.  It’s kind of sad that I know that song.  It really is a catchy tune with rhyme.  I need to find a catchy tune and rhyme full of gratefulness.  There are times that I really have to  work on being grateful.  A lot of times actually.  I am a positive person but sometimes LIFE presses in on me.  And I have to make a choice to be grateful.  What I have found is if I become deliberate, and choose to be grateful then my mood will change.  It is a choice.  Everything is a choice.  I can choose to carry grumpiness or I can choose to carry gratefulness.  I can choose to carry anger or I can choose to be grateful.  The more I make the choice to be grateful then the easier it gets and the quicker I make it.  We must make a choice to be deliberate, we must make the choice to push, we must make the choice to be grateful.  None of it comes easy.  At some point you must make the choice and then it will become more common.  But until the choice is made and you practice daily being deliberately grateful and push yourself to be grateful when you want to act like a spoiled child who doesn’t get their way, then change will never happen.  Let’s make the choice.  Let’s be deliberate.  Let’s push ourselves to be uncomfortable to become better.  The best way to start this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to continue this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to push past everyone and everything and to touch His garment or to spend time with Him is to be deliberate.

 

Opposite Day

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What do you do when you are so irritated or frustrated that you could “spit nails”? How about when you want to crumble in a heap, weep and not get up for years, or so you feel.  When any emotion or situation comes up that feels like it has taken over you, that it will consume you, what do you do? 

Lately I have been saying “it’s opposite day”. My dad, who has Alzheimer will do things opposite of whatever you ask him to do. Example if you say sit down he will walk away. Or he will pull his clothes on when you are trying to get him to take them off. Now we could talk about the amazing brain and what is happening. Or we could talk about if I should even share about my dad and the disease called alzheimers but the point is, it has caused me to think how we can do opposite of what is wanted.  The Bible says in Philipians 4:8 “whatsoever is good, lovely, pure…think on these things”. If our brains are healthy we have a choice of what to think about. Apparently God wants us to think about good.  And apparently we can make a choice of what we will think about. So I have decided that I am going to choose to have opposite days. So when I want to “spit nails” I must choose to think opposite. Does it sound hard? Of course it does. Anything worth doing takes effort. To choose to think opposite of where the mind is going, takes effort. First you have to acknowledge that where your mind is taking you is not where you want to go. You have to decide I don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole. I don’t want to go where it is leading me.  You have to make the choice to stop that train wreck. You have to stop…take a breathe…change your thoughts…opposite day.  I say stop and take a breath because that helps me. I am sharing this because I am not immune to those rabbit holes. I can jump in them feet first and say I have a right to be mad, sad or whatever emotion is carrying me away at that moment. I have a right! Hmmm really.  Jesus had a right to say No you will not treat me this way, but He didn’t.  I guess it comes down to what do you want for your future. Do you see the bigger picture? You can go down that rabbit hole and become “that” person, an angry, sad, depressed, always complaining person or you can choose opposite day. Take a breath, it recenters your mind. It gives you a chance to actually make the decision if that is where you want to go. It gives you a chance for your right thinking to kick in. Then you make the choice to have an opposite day or go down that hole. How do you have opposite day? I am glad you asked. When you want to tear someone up, choose to be grateful. I don’t care what it is just find something and be grateful, it can be “i am thankful the sky is blue” or “i am thankful I have breath”. Just find something. It puts a break in the thought pattern. It gives you just enough break that you can think of one more thing to be grateful for. I love this shirt I have on I am grateful I have this shirt on, I like the color… Now you have started being grateful, find something else. I am grateful Jesus died for me. Now you’ve done it. It is really starting to get hard to be mad, sad, depressed etc. Keep going and find 5 more things to be thankful for and your mood will change. Now for the big one, choose, because it is opposite day, to find something about that person or that situation and be grateful. I know this is hard….but you can do it. Colossians 3:17 says “whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord and give thanks for Him”. God wouldn’t say it if He didn’t think you could do it.  Choose to have an opposite day and then choose again tomorrow and the next day to do the same. A few months from now you will look back and say “why did I let that bother me” but you have to make the choice today.  So today choose to have a great opposite day.

Live on Purpose

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Live life on purpose.  Doesn’t everyone do that?  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?  But to live life on purpose will mean that everything we do is on purpose.  Nothing can be thought of as an accident. I didn’t mean to blow up and have a horrible argument with the one I love, it was an “accident”. I didn’t mean to steal the office supplies it was an “accident”.  I didn’t mean to cheat, lie, steal, enter whatever thing that pops into your mind, it was an “accident”.   We must come to the conclusion that we actually do live life on purpose therefore we choose what we do in our lives. We choose to be kind, on purpose. We choose to be hateful or jealous on purpose.  We choose to give in and say every thought that comes buzzing through our minds or we choose to control our tongue, on purpose.  We must do things on purpose not just haphazardly live our life doing whatever we think and want to do regardless of the consequences.  We must live on purpose, we must bite our tongue when our husband wants to know what we have done all day, when he has no idea how many people we juggle. We must choose to forgive everyone, on purpose.  It is not an accident to forgive, forgiveness takes effort.  I know there are some horrible things that have been done to people and it will take huge effort to forgive but forgiveness is something that is done on purpose.  We live on purpose. We choose to be one way or the other, it is on purpose.  We must realize that everyday.  It is showing the love of Jesus when we don’t want to. It is dying to ourselves and asking for forgiveness. It is being kind and closing our mouth even when we have one more thing to say.  Or when we want to be the smart one or the clever one instead, we must live on purpose and die to self. Dying to self is showing the love of Jesus on purpose.

What do I do with the times that are out of my control? Death of a loved one, loss of job, loss of a house, a tornado or flood and etc. Those are not choices, I have nothing to do with the outcome. Right?  I control my emotions and my attitudes on purpose.  If I crumble under adversity then I have, on purpose chosen to be defeated.  I am not saying we aren’t allowed to be sad or upset but we are not to be controlled by our emotions. There are some days that I feel I can not accomplish one thing, like I am going around in circle’s from one person or emergency to another.  Not doing one thing on my list, and I am just dealing with one person and situation.  So how can I make sure that I live on purpose during these times of feeling like I am pulled in one situation and then another?  I asked the Lord this and He reminded me one of the things I live by.  I periodically draw a box.  In that box I put the things that I believe I am held responsible.  Some people call these things values.  You can use a pie form or a list.  But write down what you are responsible for or who.  I have a small list right now.  Taking care of my parents and my little girl takes a lot of time.  I have about 4 things in my box and family is one of them.  If there are things that I need to do, I look at my box, does it fit in there?  Then the yes or no reminds me what I am supposed to do.  I live on purpose by choosing to accomplish only the things that on in my box.  House cleaning is not one of them.  That was just a bit of levity, I know that to keep a house clean  is to take care of my family but it is on the bottom of that list.  If I need to have a tea party with girlie then I will do the dishes later.  I run a business and it is in my box but it fits around my family.  Growth is in my box, but it fits around my family and my business.  I choose to live life on purpose by choosing what is in my box and the level of importance those things take.  I always tell my adult boys, you choose what your money does by telling it what to do not it telling you what to do.  I still feel guilty for not accomplishing everything that is “needed” but I have to remember I live life on purpose I choose my priorities they don’t choose for me.  In every area of life we must live on purpose.  We must, I must choose to live on purpose. Are you living your life on purpose?  What are your values?  What is on your list?  Are you valuing the things on your list on purpose  or are you living life as if it is all an accident?  Chose to live life on purpose.