Jumping out of my skin 

This is an old blog that I wrote 7 years ago that I found and read this morning. I share because as I read this I find I’m feeling the same way today. I don’t think I can re-write this any better than it already is. That’s my opinion of course, so I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Jumping out of my skin!

Current mood:  hyper

Category: Religion and Philosophy

Do you remember your first love? Do you remember how you felt? Remember how you couldn’t eat, couldn’t think straight, couldn’t do anything but focus on that one person who made your heart throb, your stomach flutter and your cheeks hurt from smiling so much? Remember how you felt like you would jump out of your skin because of the intense desire to be with your love? How you couldn’t wait to be in his/her presence? You couldn’t wait to hear his/her voice…You could talk for hours or sit in silence for hours but you couldn’t stand being away from him/her. Do you remember?

That is exactly how I feel today.

No, I don’t have a new boyfriend or even an old boyfriend at that. So what is making me jump out of my skin and bubble over with joy today? Thanks for asking.

It’s Jesus Christ!

The past couple of days have been amazing. Yesterday I was sort of stuck at home and I spent the day just reading and listening to the Bible, I prayed and praised and just worshiped for the majority of the day. It was awesome! I’ve arrived at such a new level of intimacy with the Lord that I just want to scream and shout and jump out of my skin and tell everyone about it.

Now this is not something entirely new for me, I do these things regularly. I pray daily and I read the Word and study it and listen to it, I sing and praise all day either in my head or out loud. You can ask some of my co-workers and they’ll tell you because they have caught me singing out loud a time or two. I should probably apologize to them because I don’t sing all that great. But I digress.

So today I was thinking about how absolutely excited I was and how I just feel this fresh fire in my spirit and how I just want to tell everyone!! I know, this is not a surprise to many of you reading this right now. Many of you know what I am talking about. You understand the reality of a real 24/7 relationship with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and you are probably rejoicing with me right now. Praise the Lord!
But can I confess here that I used to only have “head knowledge” about what a real relationship with Jesus Christ was all about. You see I was looking for the microwave miracle deliverance that would sweep me away into a blissful life of blue skies, green grass and no problems. Hello…was I thinking of a Julie Andrews movie or something?

So I once had this idea in my head that if I just went to this revival meeting…or read that book…or sing the right christian song…or recite someone else’s beautifully written prayer that I found on a website or in a book I was reading…that I would find the right formula to the blessed life. Yes, I was sure that there was a formula to follow to get my instant microwave miracle. I mean look at all the TV evangelists who tell you how you can send in your love offering and they will send you a miracle handkerchief that they have prayed over and once you receive it you will be healed and your life will be blessed. Oh and if you send in a hundred dollars to that ministry you are sure to get a miracle financial blessing because God will honor your gift and open the floodgates of heaven to pour out a blessing that you will not have enough room for it…I pause here to confess that I sent in my hundred dollars about 22 years ago and I’m still waiting for the miracle blessing.

Well I know today that the miracle blessing is not coming, not in that form anyway. Not because of a TV evangelist or because of a formula prayer or because of anything that has absolutely nothing to do with a real 24/7 intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. You see I was looking for a Savior who would take away all my problems but as I look over m y life I see that I had a Savior that walked with me, carried me and loved me through all my problems even when I didn’t know He was there. Even when I thought that He was far from my life and yet He was right there.

You know, this is my second writing of this blog…the first version disappeared when I hit the back button on this page instead of another page I had up with BibleGateway.com. I guess that version was the one my kids needed to hear because I read it to them and asked them how it sounded. I think it was much funnier too but this version is a little more personal. And the funny thing is that even if I am just writing this for myself and no one else reads it, I’m okay with that because one day I will read it when I am hit with a situation and I need to be reminded of today then it will be good. On the other hand, if one person reads it and God is glorified because of their response then it will be worth it.

Now, getting back to my former idea that being a Christian would mean that I could have a life with no problems, well I want to show you what the Word says…

James 1:2-4 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Hmm…Does that sound like a life with no problems? Let’s see what Jesus says…

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

No, there’s no blissful life without problems there either…

Now this is a passage of scripture that is one of my favorites and has probably kept me sane through many a trial in my life…

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

But now I want to show you the scripture that describes where I am today…

1 Peter 1:3-9 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth more than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Oh friends, did you read that? Read it again. This is the reason for my joy, this is the reason I am jumping out of my skin today. Do I still have problems? Most definitely, as a matter of fact, my problems have problems! But I have joy inexpressible! And it’s only because I have spent time with Jesus.

I wish I had grasped this long ago. I remember being at a point in my life where I thought nothing would ever turn around for me, I was desperate, alone, depressed, fearful and questioning my very existence. I told my Pastor at that time how I was feeling and the circumstances in my life that were making me feel that way and I’ll never forget his response. He said “all you need is Jesus”. He was right, he knew the answer but I was appalled and actually left his church because I felt that was not the answer. I just didn’t grasp it. I wanted an instant microwave miracle to stop all the pain in my life and make everything better. I was so immature then.

I thank God today that He has allowed me to grow so much over the past 4 years. Each time I think I have arrived at a place where I can’t possibly learn any more, I get blown away by the Lord. The more I read the Word, the more I pray, the more I sing, praise and worship, the more I share with others, the more I sit and just spend time with Jesus the more I learn, the more I am healed, the more I am delivered, the more I am maturing and exceedingly joyful. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I can hardly stand where I am at today so I know that tomorrow is going to be so much more glorious and each day that I yield myself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and obey His Word I am blessed and transformed.

Jesus said…
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10

I love Jesus and I obey His Word. Do I still fail? Sure I do and I still fall into sin but not for long anymore because I know what the Word says…”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive u s our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Do you know Jesus? I pray that you do. Do you have a real 24/7 realationship with Jesus? If not, why not start today? It’s time to repent and get right with God. It’s time to read the Word and believe what it says and live it out daily. It’s time to make sacrifices. My Pastor asked a couple questions back in January that was the beginning of a powerful weekend of deliverance for me. He said “How much of God do you want?” and “How much of you are you willing to give God?” I want more and the more I seek God, the more He reveals, revives and restores me. I will never be the same again. Hallelujah!!

How much of God do you want?

How much of you are you willing to give God?

2016 update:

Over the past 7 years I have seen more healing in my life than ever before but my prayer life, I’m embarrassed to admit, turned dry and almost nonexistent through many seasons. But today I’m living in the fullness of how I felt on this Monday back in 2009. I pray that I will stay in this place as a lifestyle not just a season. I realize we can’t always be on top of the mountain as the walk is usually through the plains and there will always be valleys but we can go through each of these with joy. Thank You Jesus!

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(Days 16 & 17) That’s It I Surrender!

Image-1I cannot get away from the planning and balance phase of this journey. I am just not getting it. I try to do well and it works for a couple of days but then life just happens and gets in the way. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Last week I shared the following verse in my Days 8-12 post: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV. My intention was to learn to plan better, my days get away from me and at the end of some days I just say “what happened?”. Today was one of those days. Yesterday was another one of those days. So now I am looking at this and saying “OK God, what are you saying to me?” Then I look a few verses down from Proverbs 16:3 and read “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV

So now I am assessing my week and I see a pattern of 3 good days and 2 not so good days. The common denominator for the 3 good days is that I started me day with my planner at the place of prayer and sought the Lord to help me plan the day. Then at the end of those days I moved over anything that wasn’t accomplished to the next day. No condemnation, no guilt, no stress just grace and mercy. On the other 2 days, I woke up late, jumped into my day without my morning prayer time. I had times of prayer during those days but there was no plan for the day. The day just started and before I knew it I was in the fast lane of busyness.

That’s it, I surrender! I surrender! I can’t do this one my own. I need to depend more on Jesus! I know what my goals are, I know what my why is, I know what the plans in my heart that I want to accomplish are to get to the next level in my journey. I cannot do it alone. I have to consistently bring the Lord into my plans. Today’s verse says “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV. Last week’s verse says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV. I thought just committing to the Lord whatever I do would cause the Lord to establish my plans and that is true. But when I look further and see that I can plan my way but the Lord will establish my steps, oh that brings a peace to my heart. So I surrender to this truth today.

Lord you know the plans and intentions of my heart. Establish my steps so that my life brings you glory. Help me to rise early and bring my schedule to you so that I truly learn to walk this journey with you depending on you every step of the way. Thank you for being patient with me as I learn each day to apply what I am learning. It’s all about you Jesus. Thank you for grace and mercy. Thank you for teaching me and training me by your Word. Amen.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Oh by the way before you leave, DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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Death To Self

death-to-self

This is going to hurt. I am going to be real transparent here but I know that it must be done. I need to die to self. I need to come to the place of truly dying to my flesh. My flesh has died before but it just won’t stay dead! September 5, 2011 I died to self and turned my eating habits over to the Lord to lead and guide me. The reality however is I didn’t stay dead for very long. The truth is there is just no way to overcome the flesh on our own.

 Let’s read a few verses from the Bible:

Galatians 5:24 ~ Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Romans 6:11 ~ Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

These were the verses I shared back in September 2011. Now let’s take a look at another verse:

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Did you see what I saw? “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”. Hmm, yes that changes everything. I keep trying to make my flesh die but I think what really needs to happen is that I need to surrender. I need to remember that Christ lives in me. And since He lives in me, I need to do what the rest of this verse says “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Now let’s look at another few verses:

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

 

Now let’s read just verses 3-4 in the Message Bible:

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you.

 

Wow.

 

I wrote the following in 2006, if I’m not mistaken it was after my Pastor spoke on dying to self. I am not even sure if I am the one who wrote it or if it was from my notes from the sermon. I am reminded today though that this is what needs to happen in my life if I am to be successful at getting healthy and losing weight. Quite honestly, this is what needs to happen for all of life. I apply it today to this journey of moving toward better health but death to self is really about living daily for Christ.

When you are dead to self, you no longer are drawn to the old sinful habits of your past. You will no longer respond to people who scorn you or speak evil of you, you just pray for them and love them.

When you are dead to self, nothing affects your walk with the Lord. Nothing can move you from your place in Christ Jesus.

When you are dead to self, you no longer are self-absorbed with your problems and situations instead you are ready to help others through their trials.

When you are dead to self, your focus is on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. You have a yearning to bring others to Him so they too can receive forgiveness.

When you are dead to self, you are drawn more to the things of God then to the things of the world. You would rather read your Bible than watch TV all day. You would rather minister to someone in need than sit and sulk about your own problems.

When you are dead to self, no matter how bad your day is going you still smile at your neighbors and you praise the Lord for each and every moment of your bad day.

When you are dead to self, your focus is on the Lord and how you can be used by Him to further His kingdom.

Dying to self is a daily process.

To be continued…

Genuine sanctification … is nothing less than a daily dying to self and daily conformity to the will of God. ~ Ellen G. White

Three Years and Three Days Later

Three years and three days ago I started this blog with great intentions. I had seven things I desired to lose for Christ, let’s take a look at that list real quick…

  1. Weight
  2. Sin
  3. Bondage
  4. Damaged Emotions
  5. Lack of discipline
  6. Fear
  7. Control

My primary focus was on # 1. Weight and that’s where I failed even before I began. The most wonderful thing about it however is the lessons I learned over the past 3 years. I haven’t written a lot of entries at this point and pretty much I shared a few of my many trips back into the pit of failure and how I was determined to get back up and keep moving. The problem was I was so concerned with the aspect of my weight that I didn’t see what God’s plan was in the process. So I am publicly repenting and I am declaring today that I am going to re-visit the vision for real this time and just follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance in what area of my life needs to be worked on at any point in time.

I know that God is calling me back to re-visit the vision for healthy living and weight loss. I don’t know what it will look like but I can tell you right now that I refuse to allow myself to get caught up with the same detrimental patterns that I had in the past. So with that said I just ask that you would pray for me. I need it! I am ready to move forward and I pray that I will not turn back anymore from this day forward. I hope along this journey I will be able to encourage you as well. Come along with me as I surrender to God’s plan and vision for my 7 goals above. I’m going to take it one day, hour, moment at a time.

Who’s with me?

 

I Died Last Night!

It was bound to happen, It was time afterall. So after two days of vegging out on the couch watching 4 seasons of Burn Notice and ordering food from the local pizza place three times I finally hit the bottom of the pit that I was dwelling in for a few months now and there was nothing more that I could do but die. Praise God I made the decision to die to my flesh and start letting the Lord get through to my thick little skull. All day long for both days I saw glimpses of God speaking to my heart and I couldn’t take you back to those things that I read because they came from several directions but the signs were clear to me that it was time to get up and out of the pit, not on my own but by putting my hand in the Lord’s hand and allowing Him to help me climb out. I’ve been frequenting the pit that I had once deserted and I think I was starting to get comfortable there again. Oh I tried to get out. I stepped out a few times and thought I was okay. I tried to motivate myself to do the things that I knew the Lord wanted me to do. He called me to lose weight, lose sin, lose bondage, etc. I was running a good race and somehow something cut in on me and threw me for a loop and there I was back in that pit. I didn’t want to be there but I found that I just couldn’t get out. I let the smallest things get in the way of my walk with Jesus. I walked right back into sin.

But last night I was granted true repentance from God. I know it was true repentance because I’ve repented so many times over the past couple months and yet I still sat in the pit shackled to the chains that bound me to the sin of gluttony. I was convinced in my head that I was trying to get control of it but I was in total darkness and could not even see my hand in front of me. I was blind and separated from God because of my sin.

I am amazed continually at how much Love that Jesus has for me. I being the fleshly selfish human that I am would have given up on me a long time ago. But not Jesus, He continues to pursue me even when I am in rebellion. WHY? Why would He continue to pursue me when I continue to fail Him over and over and over? He died on that cross over two thousand years ago to save me not because I was worthy but because He loved me. And the Word of God says He will never leave me nor forsake me and so therefore He continues to pursue me and waits for me to turn from the sins that bind me in darkness and look at Him and let the Light of His Love permeate me to the core. I can relate to why Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned. I know why now, they were separated from God because of their sin and they no longer knew how He would respond. Their sin blinded them and put them in darkness so they no longer had a connection to God. I lost my connection to God because I was choosing food over Jesus. Ugh! Just writing that pains my heart but it is the truth. I know you might be thinking that I am being hard on myself and I hope that is not what you are thinking because the bottom line is that sin is sin.  I didn’t make the rules. I didn’t write the Bible. God did, He set the standard and we can try to minimize it based on our cultural ideas or upbringing but it won’t hold up to the Word of God. I have to be honest with myself and examine my own heart and allow the Holy Spirit to really examine my heart and show it to me. I cannot do anything without Him. I have to get right with God when my life is not lining up with what He has set forth for me. I have the choice. Every day, every hour, every moment. I have the choice to choose to live in obedience to God or live in sin. There’s no middle ground. So as I came to the place of true repentance I received the refreshing that is promised in the Word. (Acts 3:19)

I woke up today with a new perspective, I woke up with a clear vision. I’ve been resurrected (if you will).  The Word says we are to crucify our flesh, well guess what I died last night and I am so glad I did because I feel so much better now. I am connected with my savior once again. I have taken my place once again as the princess of the King. I refuse to listen any more to the lies of the enemy that condemn me and keep me in the pit of darkness and despair. I am free because Christ has set me free. I will move forward and allow the Holy Spirit to challenge me and search me every day and show me my heart so that each day I live to honor Jesus Christ with my life and give glory to God. I know this time will be different, I feel it and I am determined to walk this out and not let anything else get in the way. Today I re-commit to offering my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God by choosing to eat the way He wants me to eat and not allow the sin of gluttony to control me. For every temptation has a way out, I just have to keep my eyes open and choose to take the way out every day, every hour, every moment for the rest of my days. Praise God I have a choice, as long as there is breath of life in my nostrils I have the opportunity to honor God with my body, my mind, my whole life. This is my choice. This is my commitment. Thank you Jesus!

Galatians 5:24 ~ Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Romans 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~ Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Remember who you are

“Remember who you are”

These were the words that stuck with me from the Made to Crave session from Lysa TerKeurst that I was watching today. I think I forgot for a few days who I am. I am God’s child, I am God’s temple, I am God’s co-worker, I am God’s workmanship, I am complete in Christ. I forgot who I was for a few days and allowed myself to indulge my flesh with food and more food. I felt miserable but instead of reaching for the food that Jesus talked about to the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4 I indulged my flesh. John 4:32 says “But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” and John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

I am so amazed at my Lord and Savior because right after I was remembering these verses I turned back on the Made to Crave session and guess what she started talking about? You got it she started talking about the story of the Samaritan woman. I was floored. I was just amazed and then she took it a step further and gave us this verse: “Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.”

Well while I was upstairs walking on the treadmill before I started writing this I repented for walking back into indulging my flesh with food instead of seeking and craving Him. I am also reminded of the Word the Lord gave me back about 6 months ago. He gave me this:
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” I had apparently forgotten that one too because the last few days I was very discouraged and that is what drove me to eat so much. Not making excuses here but just being real, I used my discouragement to give me license to indulge my flesh. Boy if that isn’t sad but it’s what we do. I know I am not the only person with this struggle. I know I am not the only one who has this problem, no but the solution is always right there. We just have to choose to do the right thing and not let our flesh take over. This is why we are called to crucify the flesh daily.

God is so good!

Weight Loss Part 2

In continuation of my previous post we were talking about how we make the decision to eat healthy and exercise and then we start strong and then at some point lose the momentum and go back to our old habits. We resolve that we look fine the way we are and people just need to accept us. Well the truth is that is just an excuse. Maybe we do look fine the way we are and yes people should accept us but for those who are like me that are overweight to the point where it’s really affecting our health and our daily life we cannot keep making excuses. We need to face reality and stop saying that we want change and actually do it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Sure it does but the reality is it’s not that simple.

Over the years, I have tried just about every diet and like a lot of people I lost weight and then I gained it back. I’ve tried it all with the exception of weight loss surgery. I was planning on having the gastric bypass back in 2004 and I started researching it and there were several friends of mine that did it and it worked well for them. But I had prayed and asked God to only allow me to have the surgery if that was His will for me. I found out that it was absolutely not His will because twice I was scheduled for surgery and something happened that made me have to cancel. I believe the Lord showed me that He made my body perfect, with all the right organs and He designed my body to function properly and why should I have to alter His creation so that I could lose weight. No, He wanted me to learn how to be disciplined and He wanted me to learn how to take care of my body that He created so that I could also encourage others to do the same.  It was my undisciplined life and unhealthy food choices along with a sedentary lifestyle that put the weight on me so it was not something I needed a surgeon to repair, I needed to learn to let the Holy Spirit lead me and guide me in every area of my life.

A little over a year ago I took a Christian web course to help me lose weight. It pointed out the fact that gluttony is a sin. I lost 51 lbs and while the program was excellent and I know it was the Lord that led me there, I guess I wasn’t quite ready to really surrender my weight and my gluttony over to the Lord. Oh I said the prayers and cried and went through all the motions and when I felt like giving up I felt guilty because I had a mentor and an accountability partner so I couldn’t just give up. The two ladies who were helping me through the course were wonderful and I know today that there were many lessons for me through that journey but after the course was over I fell again. This was my big crash and burn type of fall. I gained almost all my weight back. My life spiraled out of control between major life changes and overwhelming stress and finally depression. It was pretty ugly. I got to a place where I felt that I was going to hell because I had failed God by gaining my weight back. I failed Jesus by taking my eyes off of Him and looking at my circumstances and letting them overwhelm me and consume me. I was a mess. Then I went through a time of trying to figure it all out. What happened to the freedom that I was walking in? What happened to my passion for Christ and zeal for evangelism and my desire to help people and be an encourager? What happened?

To be continued…..