Tag Archive | change

Transforming vs. Conforming

Romans 12:2- “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

I enjoy cooking. I enjoy taking parts and pieces and creating something that my family and friends can enjoy. There is a sense of satisfaction in hearing your loved ones make those yummy noises. 

I also enjoy sewing, when I get the chance. Creating something wonderful out of essentially nothing is very fulfilling. Not too long ago, I took several feet of fabric and made gigantic bean bags for the teen room at church. I love walking by the room and seeing our young people lounging in their room, just enjoying the peace.

So what does sewing and cooking have to do with Romans 12:2? When one cooks and/or sews, they are transforming something. They are taking a raw material and making it into something new and useable. Now, the alternative to cooking and sewing is going out and buying it. That’s what the rest of the world does, right? Those bean bags I made would have cost several hundreds of dollars to purchase.  I made two for approximately $200. Going out to eat is fun sometimes, but man, it is expensive for a family of four! Right now, my husband is making beef jerky. He is transforming ground beef into jerky for us all to enjoy. And trust me, it is way cheaper than the stuff you get at the store, and much better tasting too.

When you transform raw materials into something different, it takes work and effort. It takes time and dedication. Going out and buying it would be a lot easier. But you save money by doing it yourself and you get a real sense of satisfaction in a job well done.

Our spiritual life is no different. We are called to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind” on a daily basis. It takes work. It takes effort. It takes time. It takes dedication. But we don’t have to be concerned with transforming ourself. No, God is the One who does all the transforming. We just need to be willing subjects to His transformation.

The other option is conforming. Everyday there are people who wake up and live like everyone else around them – and they “went to church yesterday.” Some people are afraid of transformation. It might make them different. People might think they are weird. It is much easier to be like everyone else.

The transformed individual is unique. This person is ready and willing to make the necessary choices to follow Christ. They know the path will be a challenge. They know the way will be hard. But they know that transformation to being more and more like Christ is within His “good, and acceptable, and perfect will”.

So today, you have a choice to make – will you allow God to transform you or will you just be conformed to the world one more day? No time like the present. Make the change today.

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Fingerprints 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

It’s a season of change at my house. Summer vacation has started. That means the grade transition has taken place. I now have two high school students. Friends have transitioned to non-high school life. People are moving from our everyday life to our text occasionally life. It is hard. It is sad. It is exciting. 

And as we look back over the last year, I see some heartache. I see laughter. I see adventure. I see success and I see failure. It’s the way of life. The ebb and flow of all things created. 

Yet as I see the page of a chapter in our life turning, I try to see God’s fingerprint. I see it in our continued love for one another. I see it in our attitudes. I see it in our tears for the change because we care so much. But I also see hope. I see the hope He gives in the promise that He will always be there. I see hope in the opportunity for new friends with new ideas and new dreams and new stories. 

Change happens in life just as surely as we know that the sun will come up tomorrow. Change can be scary. Change can be exciting. Change can be difficult. But in the midst of change, I encourage you to find hope. Solomon understood that “To everything there is a season”. We need to remember that as well. We need to accept that things don’t always keep us in our comfort zone. Growing doesn’t happen in that place. Growing happens when things are stressed and bothered. And that is exactly what God is doing in my house right now. Changing and growing with hope while reminding me of His fingerprints all over my life. 

No changes

Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

On occasions, I have a chance to be still. And when I have that opportunity, I realize something – no matter how crazy and technologically advanced our society gets, the birds are still going to sing and the squirrels are still going to throw acorns and the weeds are going to grow in my garden. As much as things change, some things stay the same. 

And there is a comfort in that. Especially when it comes to Jesus’ love for me and His grace and His mercy and His promises. 

People can get so consumed with the next best thing. With Christmas coming up, retailers will be vying for our attention to their “amazing” price and “unbeatable” deals on this wonderful, new do-dad. Chances are, you don’t need that do-dad but the retailer convinces you that life will never be the same without it. Know what? They’re wrong. Now, true, life is more convenient with gadgets but will we cease to exist without the latest and greatest? I doubt it. 

My point is this – sometimes we need to take the time to be away from the “stuff” of the world and listen to the birds and the squirrels and watch the grass grow. Sometimes we need to unplug and get lost in the truth that Jesus never changes. Let me encourage you to take that time. I think I’ll take some right now and listen to the birds for a while. Happy weekend. 

Turn the page

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Today is the completion of a two year project – working at the nursing home. I have worked in a nursing home setting consistently for almost 10 years. That is a lot of people and a really long time. I have learned so much from all the people I have come in contact with. Some of them have nearly driven me crazy and some of them have truly touched my heart. 

But today, I am leaving a small group of people that have come to be my adopted grandmas and grandpas. Their antics have made me laugh. Their situations have made me cry. When you work with people the way I do, your heart gets attached to them. And leaving them leaves a hole that is very difficult to fill. I think the hardest part is this – even though I will go back and visit, there will still be some I will never see again. That is hard. 

But in reality, we face that every day. It is just more clear on some days than it is on others. 

I am moving on to another job that will still keep me in contact with new people that need my help and my skills. But these people at this little facility will always hold a special place in my heart. 

And by the way, it isn’t just the older people I will miss. There are fabulous people that I work alongside. They are kind and gentle and thoughtful and dedicated to making the lives of those around them as beautiful as possible. 

I know that the older ones will probably never read this but I want them to know today that I love them. And I want to say thank you for making an imprint on my heart. For the ones that I labor alongside, I want to say thank you for caring with me to hold up this older generation. Your labor is not in vain. 

We all need to remember that Jesus said, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)  I cannot tell you how many times this verse has run through my head over the years. 

So as I turn the page today, I will remember that Solomon reminded us that there is a time for every thing. And today is my time to turn the page. 

Transformers

  
Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

My son and I were at a stoplight yesterday when he said, “Mom, look! How cool is that?” So, of course, I had to get a picture. 

We are called to be a transformer. Isn’t that what Paul is telling us in this verse?

If you know anything about Transformers, you know that they can change from a car to a robot at will. The old cartoon version had a song that said – “Transformers, more than meets the eye.” How appropriate is that for us today??!! We are supposed to be “more than meets the eye”. We have a Power within us that is beyond human comprehension. We have the Creator of the universe on our side. And that gives you the ability to transform. 

This transformation needs to happen on a daily basis. It should be the first thing you do in the morning. Now, I get that not everyone is a morning person. I have two of those at my house. BUT, just because your body won’t cooperate in the morning doesn’t mean that your mind can’t. In fact, this is where the real transformation occurs – in your heart and your mind. You have to invite Jesus to walk with you through your day. You have to invite Him to transform your thoughts and your actions. You have to allow Him to conform you to Him and not leave yourself open to the ways of the world. 

Did you notice where the cross was at in the picture above? It was on his forehead. For me, that means that I need to allow God access to my mind. My mind is a scary place sometimes. The thoughts that run through it are not always pretty. But when I get out of the way and let Jesus in, amazing things begin to happen. Instead of being frustrated that my kids are running late for school, I see the opportunity to chill for a moment. Instead of being burdened by planning yet another meal for the road, I see an opportunity to serve. God can change perspective. And perspective matters a lot. 

One more thing about the picture – it’s a helmet. In my crazy mind, it’s a helmet of salvation. The purpose is partly two-fold – protection and identification. The helmet protects your mind during battle. It keeps the devil from getting to your thoughts and attempting to control them. It also identifies you as God’s soldier. By wearing your helmet, everyone should know Who you belong to. And it only fits when He gives it to you. 

So, let me encourage you today to be a Transformer. Be more than meets the eye. Wear that helmet with confidence in the One who gave it to you. Allow Jesus to change you from the “everyday Joe” to someone spectacular!

Moving on…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

The time has come to go back to school. Last night, we had sneak peek at school. It is a time for the kids to come and get their schedules and generally, oogle over one another. It was fun, cute and incredibly stressful, at least for momma. 

But I know that in this life change must continue to happen. Life must continue to go on. The insanity must persist. 

Yet, through all of this, it is a comfort to know that there is a constant – I can still get up every morning and know that my Savior is ready to walk me through the day. Every thing that happens, every stressor that encounter, every challenge I face has a purpose. Things don’t happen willy-nilly in my life. I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe in chance. I don’t believe in Karma. I believe that my Savior guides me through life to teach me more about Him and how He wants me to live and serve Him. I believe every thing, every little detail, happens for a reason. 

And that brings me peace. That gives me an assurance. I love knowing that when I get behind someone driving 15 miles below the speed limit that maybe that person was put there to keep me from making a stupid mistake and having an accident. I love that when I get to the drive through to get coffee that the person ahead of me is paying it forward and my opportunity to be a blessing to someone has been dropped in my lap. EVERY THING HAS A PURPOSE. 

So let me encourage you today to remember this short little verse. Remember that every thing has a season and every thing has a purpose. When you have Christ as your Savior, life has meaning; life has purpose. 

One more New Year post

Isaiah 42:9-12 – “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.”

I put away all my Christmas decorations yesterday. Several hours of repacking and cleaning. It’s not all clean yet, but we are well on our way. Putting it all away is sort of bittersweet. I love looking at it and putting it out.

But there is a strange sort of metamorphosis to putting it away. It is like your getting rid of the last little bit of the old year left behind.

I’m still working on my spiritual metamorphosis. I still have some of the old me that hangs on for dear life. It just doesn’t want to leave – old habits, old thought patterns and the such.

I need to remember that the time for those things have passed. It is a new year – a fresh slate. The former things have passed away. They need to be gone. The time has come to sing.

We had such wonderful preaching yesterday at church that it makes my heart sing. What a way to start off the first Sunday of the new year with two baptisms and an opportunity to show love to a brother who desperately needed it. Beautiful. Beautiful stuff.

I want to encourage you, princess, to get rid of the former things that might be holding you back. It is still the beginning of a new year. And besides, a new you can happen any time. You don’t need the calendar to flip before you begin changing. Now is just a great opportunity. And don’t forget to sing. Sing His praises for the change. Sing His praises for the ridding of old things. Sing His praises for the opportunity to do both. God has been so good to me last year. I’m so excited to see what He is going to do this year.