Friday, October 21, 2011


I'm not a fan of feelings. I have them, I know they are God-given (and I am certain with good purpose) but I don't like the expression of them. If I let them out it is more natural for me to let out the harsher feelings than the tender ones. I can't stand to let anyone to see me cry, and I don't like to cry for that matter. Fact is when tears make their way out it is usually out of frustration or anger, rarely out of sadness.

Compassion for me is something I think more in my mind than I feel in my heart. The older I get, the more I find that to be the case, even the days of getting choked up at heart string pulling movies is past. I am more comfortable in my head than I am in my heart. I would rather rationalize than feel. I would rather plot out than tear up.

I don't like feelings, but I do have them. And I cannot stand to feel at the mercy of them.

Today I do not feel good.

I don't mean in the physical sense, if only that were the case. A nap and a bowl of warm soup often rectifies that kind of feeling. But the struggle I have today isn't in my body, it's in my heart, and my mind keeps trying to rise up and bring clarity to my feelings, but it keeps getting shoved back, and when my feelings get in control like that, it's never a good thing.

Today my feelings want very much to take control, and the truth is there is a part of me that wants me to let them, come what may... but feelings can be dangerous.

Today I feel walking away

from people

from relationships

from commitments.

Today I feel like people I count as friends really aren't,

like friendships are one-sided,

like I am disregarded,


just plain dis'd.

Today I feel like I am insignificant,

like nothing I do has ever had any lasting impact,

like I am completely replaceable,

like my life doesn't count.

I'm not writing this because I want anyone to feel sorry for me, or so good-intentioned people will try to boost my ego, or so that those who maybe actually have contributed to my feelings can try to rectify, justify or solidify the feelings. The truth is, right now I don't feel like giving a rat about it anyway.

I told you, feelings are dangerous, and the way I feel right now, I feel like being rash and making big sweeping cuts and moves in my life even if it means leaving a wake of "bodies" behind me. That is how I honestly feel.

It makes me wonder if this is what James referred to in the Bible as being double-minded. Because when my brain takes a back seat to my heart, I certainly feel "unstable in all my ways." And yet, even in acknowledging that struggle within, part of me feels like not caring and just being rash, making moves, living with consequences.

It's how I feel.

Maybe that's why God tells the double minded to resist the devil, because these fighting feelings want to usurp the authority in my life that should belong to the Holy Spirit of God. It is the opposite of the self-control that the Bible says is a fruit of the Spirit. These feelings, corruptible as they are. resist the wisdom that God offers, even advises the double minded to ask for.

"Be sober minded" the Bible says, but right now my mind is on a contact high of whatever my feelings are focused on. And the battle to wake up and walk right wages within me.

By the grace of God, the mind eventually rises up, remembers the Word of Truth that it has hidden in the heart of itself. But right now that eventual grace seems distant, because right now I would rather silence the wisdom and succumb to how I feel.

It makes me feel like I ought to step back, reign myself in and let the storm of emotions pass, however long that might require. So maybe not all feelings are bad after all.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
James 4:7-9

Sunday, October 16, 2011

100 Verse Challenge - Week 6

I'm super excited about this week's verses. I know the Challenge started off pretty easy, and for us at least with a lot of fervor. By week 4 the Challenge actually felt, well, challenging, and when week 5 was a light week and an opportunity to catch up, it also kind of felt like a week to slack off. I got the verse from week 5 down, but really not until yesterday. And then today I sat and read our verses for the new week, and the timing of them feels perfect. The perfect scriptures to remind me, and hopefully all of you exactly why we are doing this!

I'm excited about this week's TWO scriptures. Consider them confident "atta boy's" or "atta girl's" - there is GREAT purpose in why we are pursuing God's Word and hiding it in our hearts. So here we go, are you ready for the good news about learning and memorizing the Good News?

First scripture:

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Joshua 1:8

I love this passage- clear instruction, 3 parts; with a promise, doubled It's simple, and yet so very profound.

Robert J. Morgan clarifies this verse for us in his book "100 Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart":

The Instruction:

(1) Don't let the word depart from your mouth: Speak it, read it, repeat it, hear it.

(2) Meditate on it day and night. Morgan tells us the original Hebrew word used here came from the word for "to mutter," imagine yourself continually speaking the Word of God to yourself and establishing it into your own heart.

(3) And after you have done these things, observe it. More simply said, OBEY. (OK, I realize it's not always that simple, but you get my drift.)

The Promise:

I'm excited because the promise in this verse is two fold: Prosperity and success. Now, I am by no means a "name it and claim it" Christian. But I do believe that in God's view point, if we put into practice His word, have it in our hearts and are obeying it, then surely we will be prosperous and successful in His kingdom.

Our next scripture for week 6 is one of my favorites. I love all of Psalm 119, God's Word about God's Word. Verse 11 is one I like to remind myself and my children of often. It's a simple truth that when put into practice, has a profound effect.

Second verse:

I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11

This verse is an example of what I like to refer to as "kingdom math," the if/then passages of scripture. It's like simple mathematics, the basics of faith. 1 + 1 = 2 scripture. And the math here is simple, if you increase the Word you decrease the sin. The more of the Word you have, the less room there is for the corruptible.

Morgan shares a great D.L. Moody quote at the end of his expounding on Psalm 119:11 that is a great way to end this week's blog post: "Sin will keep us from the Bible, or the Bible will keep us from sin." Maybe this could be consider kingdom economics, but whatever way you might like to label it, in the end, the message is clear, if you're participating with us on this Challenge and learning these verses, your on your way to fulfilling the premises to some wonderful promises! And if you're new here, it's not too late to join! Click on The Challenge to RSVP now.