Monday, June 30, 2014

surviving or thriving

In today's post I want to look at these two words first in isolation.
Survive: meaning to live beyond another person, thing, or event.  My intentions are not to bring a negative connotation to this word but to use it's meaning to have a greater impact on the illustration of this post.  I understand the deep significance for people who are survivors of anything.  There is much strength in overcoming something so monstrous in your life.  I would venture out to say most people have something significant that they have survived and came out alive.....wounded, scared, hurt.....yet alive.
Thrive:  to prosper, to grow vigorously, to flourish.  If you could go ahead and picture something in your mind.  Whatever that picture might be, it should put a smile on your face because not only is the process unbelievable to watch but the "product" itself, whatever that is in your mind, brings such peace and satisfaction to your soul.
Both of these words have substantial power and yet only one was meant for you to remain in.
John 10:10
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." 
When we "survive" anything, it was not God instrumental in making that was the prince of this world, the thief.  Now, God obviously might allow, but He is quick to say in His word that He will never leave or forsake you.  I know this is too big of a subject for some people.  They can't understand why God would allow it.  You need to just remember that God is sovereign and we live in an imperfect world.  When I think of surviving my childhood nightmares, I do not wish to return.  When I think of surviving a rough season of marriage, I do not wish to return.  When I think of people whom I love and watching them walk through tragedy, I do not wish for them to return.
But when I think of "thriving" it releases energy to my soul.  It is inspiration to my heart and sunshine to my world.
So why this post?  What brought this thought to life through these written words today?  Too many times we get caught in a vicious cycle of "surviving".  We do things to just do them because that's what we are supposed to do.  We get through the day.  We get through an event.  We check things off the list (I'm a list no shame in that).  We lose the purpose of the moment. When you think about surviving, it is exhausting.  Your mind usually thinks of a dark cloud before it can think of sunshine.  It's like the wilderness before you get to the promise land.  Who would choose the wilderness over the promise land?   But to THRIVE... this takes things to another level!
For example, I could write a post in this blog just to be writing, to check it off my list, to only focus on how many people are reading this blog OR I can hear from God through His word and prayer and write powerful words that will be food to someone's soul.  I can write and see how the Lord is taking me personally to a deeper place on so many levels (not just in isolation).  Now that is thriving!  On a more elementary level, I could clean my house so methodically I feel as though I'm dog paddling....aka "surviving" or I can see how God is using a routine to develop a servants heart.  I can actually take God's word and apply it; "working unto the Lord".  I do understand though that "thriving" takes effort...It's like taking the stairs, it's so much easier to walk down the steps than to walk up.  Anyone relate?  Those legs are burning with just a few flights....but man you feel good when it's over.

I choose to take God at His word and live life full.  I understand there will be difficult seasons and even days but I choose not to stay there.  I choose to change my thinking and my words to line up with His words.  I choose to deepen my walk and seek his wisdom and understanding.  I choose to remove myself from drama and people who try to suck me into that vortex. I choose to recognize the thief and use the spiritual equipment that I dress myself in daily.

Go out and thrive!
The Mrs. Pastor

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy is the Man

You don't have to be in full time ministry to see the frustration and hopelessness of so many people.  It has bombarded our media with all the reality shows.  I have to keep a tight boundary on this at my home.  Why would I want my girls to watch a show with nothing but turmoil when I work so hard to have peace in our lives.  It 's just more confirmation of how much I would love for the Lord to return and take us to a perfect place.  BUT for now.....

Here we are in this world.  The Lord meant for it to be a perfect place but then plans changed.  Man chose to cross the boundary that was made and everything changed from there.  The Lord actually meant for Adam to be the keeper of the garden.  This was his responsibility but the moment he crossed the boundary he forfeited that right over to someone else, Lucifer.  The enemy is now the prince of this world.  He does have great influence but we have a choice.  This is not an easy task.  As a matter of fact, nothing worth keeping really is an easy task.  It all requires effort.  Some even more than others.

This is where we as Christians must know His word, His character, His voice and not blame everything on the enemy.  Some things are just the influence of evil and what we are fighting against is our own flesh.  I love what Rick Renner said, "The devil's attacks against our lives wouldn't work if our flesh didn't cooperate".  That's where the study of His word comes in (don't put that word "study" in a's just a quiet time of you reading His words and letting that sink in your soul).  This is where Colossians chapter 3 comes to life, asking us to put to death sin (fleshly nature) and clothe ourselves with the very nature of Christ.  It is POSSIBLE or else He wouldn't have put it in the word!
You are asking yourself, "How do I get to the other side of hard?"

"Happy is the man who finds (that means effort on your part to seek it) wisdom, and the man who gains (this means you retain it and make it applicable) understanding; For her (meaning wisdom) proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.  She (meaning wisdom) is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.  Length of days are in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.  Her ways (meaning wisdom) are ways of pleasantness, and ALL HER PATHS ARE PEACE.  She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her." Proverbs 3: 13-18

Do I need to say anymore?  That's why God's word can stand on its own....that will preach!

Wisdom: the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.  No wonder Solomon chose this of all the things he could ask for.  Happy is the man....

-The Mrs. Pastor