Psalm 86

Excerpts from Psalm 86, NLT

Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. Be merciful, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for my life depends on you. O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord, hear my urgent cry. I will call to you whenever trouble strikes, and you will answer me…. Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death…. But you O Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to get angry, full of unfailing love and truth. Look down and have mercy on me. Give strength to your servant; yes, save me for I am your servant. Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.

This Psalm has become a regular of mine. It so clearly expresses what’s going on in my heart – my aching need, my feeling of urgency, and also it reassures me of my standing with God – that He is not put off my my neediness. It’s the Psalm of our relationship as it takes root.

Thinking About Things

Excerpts from Romans 7:21 – 8:16
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you…. So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family — calling him “Father, dear Father”. For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.

Truths from this that I want to highlight (and remember):

  • I have a sinful nature. It’s part of the package I got when I was born, due to the Adam & Eve thing… I will not be rid of this sinful nature until heaven. It will continue to be a factor in my life until then. Sometimes I feel that God blames me for not being perfect – for being born with this sinful nature. But God doesn’t condemn me for having that sinful nature. In fact, he sent Jesus to free me from the obligations to it.
  • When I get lazy and revert to my “natural state”, my sinful nature emerges and my thinking drifts to sinful things, I fall into doing sinful things, and I feel “hostile to God”.
  • That state of hostility is not irreversable. I have “no obligation whatsoever to do what my sinful nature urges [me] to do”. Once again I’m reminded that I have the power to choose. I often feel like I am a slave to my feelings. I get tired of fighting against the fear, worry, anger, frustration that I feel. But Jesus did what he did so that I have a choice.
  • As I am reading in “The 4:8 Principle”, I have to exercise that choice, consciously, to think about things that please the Spirit.

So, that’s my goal today….to be conscious of my thoughts. To move them onto God, and things that please Him.

Where am I?

I’ve been posting more heavily, lately, at my SCOH (Thin Within) blog, and my SparkBlog.

I’ll meander back this way eventually! 😉

Have a wonderful day!

Smile, God loves you…

Did you ever get a warm fuzzy when you remembered someone special? And remembered that they love you. I still get that way when I think “John loves me.” My heart gets fuller. I smile inside. Pulse quickens. “Oh yeah.” **Smile**

I believe that’s what’s supposed to happen when you hear someone say that God loves you…isn’t it?

Strangeness…

  • I have incoming clicks from a Swedish website. No idea who, what or why. Delurk?
  • The temperature dropped about 40 degrees in a few short hours
  • J5 chattered until 9:45p. He has the most interesting little dialogues while in his crib.
  • I know what I *should* do in situations, but can’t seem to execute.
  • I’m still in a very fuzzy place in my brain. I need a vacation.
  • I don’t even know why I’m posting this except I really like lists. (The old Lundie’s in there somewhere…struggling to surface!)
  • Awesome Lip Dub.  Wow, a whole new world of tech stuff and art and I feel old.

Good night.

Competition

I recently noticed that I am obsessively alternating between competitiveness and “sour grapes”. If I see something I admire, I want to do/be/have it. If it’s not easy, or possible, then I tear it down in my mind so I don’t want to do/be/have it anymore.

I just came upon a beautiful blog called “Noticing Project“. My first response was to think, “I could do that too!” And then I thought about how many other things are going on in my life and there’s just no way to squeeze in another project that I would cast aside in a week or two. So I just got discouraged and closed the blog.

Why can’t I just enjoy and respect it for what it is? Why can’t I just be a consumer of such wonderful things. I have felt the same way about a few other inspiring blogs. They’re well designed and well written. Why do I feel the need to try to transform myself into what I admire?

Well, there’s the rub of it…I try to do the transformation. I am seeing a theme here – big surprise! God’s the transformer. He’s the one to make the change in me. It’s my job to be changed by Himinto what HE wants me to be.

Am I Unwilling?

There’s a lot going in my head today. Super introspective, which is nothing new, but some of the things I’m reading and meditating on, are resonating strongly within me.

Heidi wrote, in Part 4 of her testimony on her blog:

Shame is dangerous. It causes us to isolate, to hide, and furthers our sin/shame patterns. have you found that to be true? I know now that if I have been hiding out at home and not getting out to see people as often, to evaluate my life…what is going on. Am I caught again in a shame cycle?

From Part 5:

In my arrogance and pride, I refused to see what God was saying. I even tried participating in online support groups, but these experiences, too, were cold–devoid of heart for me. My heart was rock solid—frozen…HARD. I wanted God to snap me out of it, but He was calling me to live according to the truth that He had already revealed to me. He had done so much for me…and yet I continued to insist that He do more. I was not yet willing to make the hard choices.

I don’t think I could write what I’ve been going through for the past couple of months any better than this:

  • …hiding out at home and not getting out to see people as often…
  • …I wanted God to snap me out of it…I continued to insist that He do more…

Yes, welcome to Lundie’s life.  **sigh**

The good news is – God can take me exactly where I am, exactly as I am and make some good.  He just needs my cooperation…my permission…my willingness.

Christmas Gifts

At first glance, my favorite Christmas gift is my new webcam from my husband. With it I am now able to have great online conversations with my mom and dad, whom I miss an awful lot! And I’m able to give them the “J5 fixes” they need. 😉

J5 and Mommy

The late bloomer gift is my new “The Message” New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, by Eugene H. Peterson. I’m just reading it from front to back. I doubt I’ll use it as a study Bible, but then that was not what it was written for. I’m only in as far as Matthew 14, but I am really enjoying it! I don’t struggle to keep my mind focused – of course I still struggle to have a few uninterrupted moments to sit and read, but that has less to do with the book than it does with a certain 2-year-old…

In talking with Beth last night, I realized that my life needs “exercise and church”. I am going to try to find a way to get connected with one of the churches around here. Most likely, I’ll try to go to CCC. I want to get into another small group and they have morning women’s groups with child care. As for the exercise, I dug out my pedometer (I was allowing it to dry out after a trip through the washing machine). I don’t know yet what I want to do, but mostly I want to get my step count up out of the triple digits…

Sadly, I will be in church tomorrow for the funeral of my Great-Aunt Millie (My Grandma Forman’s sister). She was killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve. She was a super sweet lady. I will be happy to see all the family again. It seems that’s what brings us all together lately. The last time I saw this whole group was at my Grandma Forman’s funeral. It’s that generation shift. Family gatherings don’t seem as big as they used to, but maybe that’s just because I’m one of the grown-ups now.

Well, I’d best be going. My 15 minutes of rest are about up and I need to get back to the “Today” list that keeps growing.

Blessings.

Sometimes, it’s just a struggle…

I don’t like to whine. I don’t want to complain. But this is where I need to be the real me, so here I go.

I am depressed. I am unhappy. I have no reason for either. I am afraid. Many little things cause me emotional distress. Things that do not signify danger, but get blown out of proportion in my mind.

I did not get enough sleep last night. I stayed up trying to write my devotional for Faith Lifts. Then, I just couldn’t sleep. Too many thoughts racing. Never enough accomplished in my day. Feelings like I’m just insufficient. I am never enough.

And it has carried over into today. Feelings like I can never catch up. I will always be behind. Lacking. A day late and a dollar short.

I don’t WANT to feel this way. I’ve read that some of this can be attributed to pride – which I do not doubt as I know that’s one of my regular sins. I just don’t know how to get out. Sometimes I just have better days than others.

I know that God can heal whatever bad things are going on in my head and in my soul. I just wish I knew how to make it happen RIGHT NOW.

And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. we, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. but the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:23-28

Father, I’m going to have the let the Holy Spirit do the praying for me here. I know you’re the answer. Your word has everything I need to heal this soul-pain and distress I am feeling. I do not want to resort to medication if I don’t have to. Please give me the spiritual solution, rather than the pharmaceutical one. I know you have the power to heal everything – including my anxiety and depression. Let me be filled with your Comforting Spirit – and know that that is enough. Help me to deny the lies that my head seems to be believing – that is causing my fear. I believe in You. Help me.

Writing

Lord, I don’t know what lies within. But this writing is to take the time to listen to You and find. And then, to take up a different life.
— Ann, at Holy Experience

So much of my writing is reflecting on what was or what is, but what it should really become is a way to pour out so I can change.

Lord, I am still just a hearer, and not a doer. I hear a lot of things.

The laundry being spun. The cheerful, but as of yet unintelligible, chatter of a near 2 year old. Squeals of alternating delight and disappointment as his faithful playmate, the dog, keeps a toy just out of his grasp.

A little here, a little there. Playing with building blocks. Squeezing two of them together, but then unable to separate them, squawks in frustration. “Bring it to mommy, and I will help you”, I hear myself say. But he’s thrown the blocks away and moved on to the next thing.

Ah, how much of myself I see in him. I try to do something, run into difficulty, and do not listen when my Father says “Bring it to me, child, and I will help you.” Instead, I decide that this new thing just doesn’t work, and discard it. Moving on to something else. And nothing else satisfies. Nothing else works. And I keep moving and searching and dabbling.

Lord, slow me down. Teach me to see. To wait. To bring all things to you for your help. In the way of a 2-year old, I want to do it all by myself. Trying to exert independence. Why? What will I gain. I come to you to be changed. To start to DO what it is that I’ve been thinking, talking and hearing about. Please show me what this doing looks like. It’s so easy for me to leap into legalism and striving and I know that there is a difference between striving and doing.

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
Luke 11:28