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Becoming

‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

Last night, one of the guys at my church brought a message partially centered around this verse. He did a great job.

I had listened to a podcast earlier in the day about becoming who you are. Of course, it was a secular thing and there was really no spiritual meaning attached to anything they said, but I believe that God brings things into your life to teach you and grow who you are, no matter the source.

So, those things together got me to thinking about becoming. What does it actually mean? Off to Dictionary.com I went. Here is the definition I found – “to come, change, or grow to be (as specified)”. The 1828 Webster’s definition is this – “to pass from one state to another; to enter into some state or condition, or by assuming or receiving new properties or qualities, additional matter, or a new character”.

I am not the same person I was yesterday. I will not be the same person tomorrow that I am today. I should be growing and changing and becoming closer to the person God would have me to be.

When Jesus called out His first disciples, they were a ragtag bunch of men that really had no significant background. They were fishermen who had probably been fishermen since they came into that area. It was what they did and who they were. They weren’t great scholars or problem solvers or men of renown. But Jesus saw something in them that made Him call them away from their nets and everything that they had ever known.

And they weren’t great missionaries straight off the starting line. It was something they had to grow into. It was a pattern of growth from one state to another by the learning of new qualities and the refining of pre-existing qualities. But it required challenges and choices and being thrusted into situations that were confusing and combative. It wasn’t an easy growth period to be sure. But each one became someone different, someone better, someone who would advance the Kingdom of God beyond all human comprehension.

Where does that leave me? Have you ever heard that song “He’s still working on me”? That’s where I am. I am still becoming. I am still becoming the wife, mother, employee, blogger, daughter, friend, occupational therapist (and whatever other word to describe me that I’m currently leaving out) that He wants me to be. I’m a process – a work in progress. I need a sign some days.

I guess what I want to send out to everyone is this – be patient with yourself and with others. We are all becoming. We are all works in progress. It might take a while to get where God wants us to be, but one day, we will get there.

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Thanksgiving week

1 Chronicles 16:8,9 – “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.”

It is the week of Thanksgiving. I agree with the statement that we should be thankful more often than once a year. I try very hard to live a life of thankfulness. As you can see here, I wear a bracelet to remind me to be grateful and thankful.

What does it mean to give thanks? 

I think that being thankful can take many forms. 

Prayer – Reaching out to God in prayer just to tell Him how appreciative you are for Him being active in your life.                    Songs – Singing praises to God with a heart in a position of humbleness and gratitude.                                                         Conversation – Have you ever taken the opportunity to turn the spotlight off yourself and turn it on God? Giving Him the glory for an achievement in your life is a great way to show thankfulness. All too often, we are so focused on ourself that we take away the opportunity to praise Him and give Him glory.                                                                                                                                      Giving –  I think that when we take the time to give to someone else out of the abundance that we have, we are, in a way, giving thanks. When we give with the heart of humbleness and the desire to help someone else along, we are telling God thank you for supplying my needs and giving me the opportunity to help someone else.

Just like anything else, all of these acts of thankfulness can be corrupted by our heart-itude. If our heart is focused on ourself, if our motive is promoting self, then each act is torn to pieces in front of the throne of Christ. Our acts of thankfulness becomes acts of pride and selfishness, neither of which is honoring or glorifying to God. 

So, as you enter this week of busyness – planning, traveling, buying, cooking, cleaning, preparing and all the other craziness that I know goes on at my house – check your heart. Make sure that you determine in your spirit that you will choose to plan, travel, buy, cook, clean and prepare with thankfulness in your heart because all of these actions require prayer, singing (to keep from going crazy), talking with others and giving of yourself and what you have out of your abundance. Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks. Make sure THAT is your primary priority.

Songs in my head

Psalm 96:1-2 – “O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.”

Almost every morning I wake up with a song in my head. For me, it is a good indicator of where my thoughts are at. This morning, I woke up with a song from our Christmas contata in my head. The name of the song is “Thank you Lord”. Just a simple little song of praise with a swinging beat. Love it!

But there are some mornings when I wake up with a song that does not lift up and/or magnify the name of Christ. Those mornings I struggle a bit more to keep my focus on Him.

Music is very important in my life. It always has been. From the time I can remember, I have been singing in church, in the car, in my room (while listening to my record player – ouch!) – basically anywhere. I listen to all different types of music and enjoy most of it (I’m not too fond of rap). I’ve sang in choirs. I’ve done solos. I’ve done some pretty amazing concerts in my car.

But no matter how much I have done, nothing can compare to the love in my heart when I hear my daughter sing. She loves music just like me. We always laugh and say that her life is a musical – she’s always singing and talking.

You know, I think God gave us music and the ability to create it for a very specific purpose – His honor and His glory. King David was a musician and song writer. I also hear-tell that he was quite the dancer. You can’t dance without some kind of music, if nothing else, you can have music in your head. But David’s dancing and singing and songwriting had one purpose – to glorify God.

That’s exactly where we need to have our focus as well. I don’t know if I can control the songs that I wake up with in my head, but I have found that they stem from the day before. Some days I listen to all Christian music and some days I don’t. But when I fill myself with more of Him, I will be better equipped to follow after Him more proficiently.

We all have a choice here in what we fill our days with – the music we listen to, the songs we sing, the people we interact with (well, maybe not always this one), the shows we watch. Life is about choices. How will you choose Him today?

My little kingdom

Ephesians 3:14-19 – “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

As a Princess, it should be my desire to be more like Christ each and every day. But you want to know something, I fail. I fail miserably. I get up each morning thinking that today will be the day when I am most like Him. And then I go to bed each night filled with regrets with just how much I was not like Him.

I have had “More of You” by Colton Dixon stuck in my head this morning. The part of the song that keeps repeating is “this is my kingdom and it needs to fall”. Gee, I wonder what God is trying to tell me here?

My kingdom. My own little world where I’m the big shot. I do what needs to be done and what I want to do. But that’s it. I rarely make the effort to go above and beyond. Now, sometimes I do, but rarely. I don’t listen to Jesus whispering in my heart to do this or do that.

Man, am I Debbie Downer or what today! But seriously….

Paul was writing to the Ephesians here – the church at Ephesus. He was praying for them. He prayed that they would allow Christ to dwell in their hearts. He prayed that they would truly know the depth of Christ’s love for them. And he prayed that they would be filled with the fullness of God.

Paul knew these people were human. He knew that they would try and fail miserably. He knew that they would wake up in the morning with the desire to go and do what God would have them to do and that they would go to bed at night frustrated that they failed. He knew that they would have their own little kingdoms where they listened to no one. I think that is the reason that he prayed that they would understand the love of Christ.

You see, despite all our efforts and all our failures, Jesus loves us. He loves the fact that we have the desire to serve Him to our utmost every morning. And He loves that we come to Him with our sorrow and regret asking for forgiveness and for one more chance to get it right. He loves that we recognize that we have our kingdoms. And He loves that we have the desire to let Him tear them down.

When we give our life to Him willingly, there is nothing that we can say or do to lose our adoption. We may not always be filled with the goodness of God, but we always have the opportunity to go back and get a refill. In fact, we need a refill every day. That is why I try to encourage people to get into God’s Word every morning. You wouldn’t start out anywhere without gas in your vehicle. Why would you leave the house without the fullness of God in your heart?

Today, Princess, fill up with the goodness of God. Be open to the kingdom walls that need to come down. Go to Him with your hopes for the day and with your regrets at night. Let Him deal with them.

Stuck in my head

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

I have a problem.
I love music. I love all kinds of music, well, not all kinds – I’m not a big fan of rap or techno music. I have a tendency to get songs stuck in my head. Every morning when I wake up, I have a song waiting for me in my head.
Unfortunately, lately, I have not had uplifting songs in my head. And you know why? Because I have let those type of songs be played in my car. My kids like to listen to secular stations after school. And I usually let them. The bad part is that those songs that they play over and over again on every single station get stuck in my head. The songs are not encouraging. They don’t honor God.
What’s a mom to do?

The Bible tells us to think on things that are pure and true and honest and lovely. These songs tiptoeing around in my head are catchy but not pure, honest and lovely.

I think I need a purge. My kids are not going to like it. They need an alternative. And our area just doesn’t have a super good Christian station that plays a wide variety of new Christian music. I guess it’s time to break out the phone and play some music that we already have that we know we enjoy that is catchy and honest.

Music has such a potential in our life. It has the power to bring us to tears or send us to the mountain top dancing. Most people don’t pay two cents worth of attention to the lyrics. But I do. I hear them and am typically appalled when I hear secular music. So why do I let my kids listen to it? That is a really good question. I don’t have a good answer. Maybe it’s because we don’t have cable or satellite and this is my way of allowing them something “normal” in their life. Maybe it’s a break that I need too. Maybe I just want to give them a little control. I don’t really know why we listen to that stuff.

So, let me encourage you today, princess, to really listen to whatever you listen to. Is it true and pure and honest and lovely? Or is it full of stuff that is none of those things? Remember, junk in, junk out.

By the way, “Favorite Song” by TobyMac was stuck in my head this morning. And it is currently fighting for control as I write.