Friday, March 24, 2006

He is Your Life

Lately my creative juices have not been flowing, but it's funny how something said by someone or a scripture or sermon will just stick with you and cause your head to just overflow. The other night at prayer, my friend read from Colossians 3:1-17 and I've been in constant reflection ever since. This has been a week where the tears have started to flow for no apparent reason, but you let them flow, because you know it needs to happen. Times where you're so tired you don't want to get out of bed, but you know he'll be with you and help you through the day...also knowing you need to take the initiative to have some time to just simply rest in Him. I'm not going to post the whole scripture as it's lengthy, but I'm going to post some of the verses which are really sticking by me right now and will reflect on them.

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it...Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from His perspective."

It's so easy when you are being tested by illness or so many other aspects of life to walk along with your eyes to the ground, being self-absorbed with your life and your problems. Not wanting to have to expend the energy it takes to be a helper to someone else, to show the true Christ-like love which He showed through every day of His life on this earth. He was so selfless...helping people no matter how tired He might have been...He didn't stop until He had helped everyone who needed it. He did take time to be by himself in prayer and to rest, but never did it at the expense of anyone else. That's not always an easy task to take on, but it's one we're called to live out on a daily basis...for me this is a continual work to help Him with the molding and changing of my mindset and to always be examining my motives in all aspects of life, to make sure they are true and in the right perspective.

"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."

I'm really struggling with this verse right now. I know my old life is dead...I honestly don't ever want to have anything to do with it, but the reality is that when you experience emotional and verbal abuse, it sticks like crazy glue! "You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred--and you, remember, are the temple." (1 Cor. 3:16-17) I know these words so husband and I dealt with a situation early on in our dating relationship. He told me I was beautiful and I laughed at him and said he was seeing me through rose-colored glasses...his response to me was that I was beautiful, because I was created in God's image and I was a temple of God. There are some days, even though deep down I know this is the truth, that other ideas over power it. Some days to find clothes or to get ready to go to church is a battle, because when I look in that mirror, I see a person who's fat and ugly...because I heard those words so repeatedly in my past. On Sunday my Pastor preached about living with the monkey on your back. He talked about how the monkey (Satan) HATES it when we find delight in God. Satan wants to get so close to you that he's in your face and you can't see anything but him; he's relatively small, but once in your face, he appears so much bigger! I know my low self-esteem and these "voices" from the past are the monkey on my back, but during these times, I for some reason lose sight of Christ just enough to allow the monkey to get in my face, so that I can't see anything but that! I have learned from experience that it's a daily battle sometimes to keep the monkey in his place...not in our face and will probably be a continual work in progress for me, but deep down I know I'll be stronger in the end and that's an awesome blessing.

"But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk."

I have been so angry and irritable with the ones I love, to the point of being mean through hurtful comments, making my family feel like they need to walk on eggshells, giving the silent treatment and who can even remember what else right now. I had to come home the other and have a long, long talk with Mr. Cinder...I felt so heavy and ridden with guilt and shame...I know better...being sick or having trouble being content with where life or finances is at...there's no excuse to go against what the scripture tells me in black and white, about how to live my life. I can't expect to ever be Christ-like in my life if I continue to not have control over my temper or irritability...tests will happen and we need to approach them with grace and humility, not anger and irritability!

"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it."
That's so where I want to be each and everyday of my life...for anyone who might not know Christ personally...this is so truly who He is. He is the best role model you'll ever find! As a wife, parent, friend and all the other roles I play in this world, I just want to transparently reflect this. To be an example which is worth my kids looking up to, so that they know Christ's love each and everyday, because it's lived out in their home! Love is so very important in all aspects..."Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut. Doesn't have a swelled head. Doesn't force itself on others. Isn't always "me first". Doesn't fly off the handle. Doesn't keep score of the sins of others. Doesn't revel when others grovel. Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Puts up with anything. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best. Never looks back, but keeps going to the end." (1 Cor. 13:4-7) I am definitely a continual work in progress...I have so much to work on still, but thankfully His word is the perfect road map in helping along the way to being more Christ-like in our life!

"Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ--the Message--have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives--words, actions, whatever--be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way."

He so wants us to "do life together" and not separate ourselves from those around us. To find a place of fellowship where we can cultivate friendships and find the love of a church family, who will walk with you and you'll walk with them, facing whatever comes! He wants us to find accountability and mentoring, so that we can grow and learn from someone who might have already walked the road we're walking, or might be going down that path right now as well. We are to support each other, not abandon each other...we need to encourage and lift each other up, not tear each other down. And we need to be in continual praise to Him, no matter what the circumstances...because He's there no matter what is happening and He'll always willing to bring someone alongside us to help. But it's our responsibility to take that step to turn to those around us when we need guidance, encouragement, support...instead of turning inward and allowing the monkey to get in our face and blind our view from what's truly important!


curious servant said...

Honest post.

Refreshing to read.

Refreshing to write.

Jayleigh said...

Cinder. Awesome awesome AWESOME!!!

"do life together"

Sweet Lady, your words minister to me so much. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

Kc said...

Cinder it may be that you should always lack creativity (grin). This is a wonderful post! Your words will serve so well in those times that we all have when the monkey tempts us to overlook all that we are and have in Christ.

Corry said...

Wonderful post!

I sympatize! I know so well what you mean and like you said, it's a constant work in progress. Sometimes it's so difficult to get rid of that monkey. Thanks for all the encouragement in this post!

God's Grace.

Cinder said...

CS ~ Thanks so much for visiting! This was indeed a very refreshing post to write. You get a good chance to really reflect as you put the words of a post together. We'll talk to you soon...God Bless!

Jayleigh ~ I'm glad this was able to minister to you! At my old church we always were encourage to "do life together" be there in support and love of our friends in both good and bad spots of life...we do this well at our new church's a great thing to experience!

God bless you this week Jayleigh!

Kc ~ LOL...I guess you never really know if your reflections are going to come out in a creative way or not. The monkey on our back sermon last Sunday was a very good one...the visual of our pastor giving a stuffed monkey the book across stage was very effective...we do always have the upperhand in making sure the monkey stays in his place!

I hope your trip was very refreshing...God bless you Kc!

Corry ~ It's so true that it's always a constant work in progress and there are times where it is very difficult to get rid of the monkey or to make sure it's where it needs to be. I'm glad to this post was an encouragement to was simply my reflections put down on the fly!

I'm glad you had a good trip...I hope it was restful for you...God bless you Corry!

Christopher said...

what a cool blog . . . you put so much creative work into your blog design and posts . . . you could be a preacher and teacher with such thoughts.
yes, no monkeys on the back!

audrey` said...

Hi Cinder
Shall we learn and grow together?
You're a very beautiful and beloved child of God :)
Please take care, Cinder.

Patti said...

As most everyone else, these words could have been written by me (not quite so eloquently though). We do need to be in fellowship with our families and our members of our church, and other Christian outlets. It is there where Jesus refines us.

Cinder said...

Christopher ~ Thank you so much for coming by to visit. I'm humbled by your comment...I reflect through writing and my blog has been another great avenue, besides my journals, to achieve this.

I am really enjoying your blog as well...I visit it weekly. I hope you'll have a blessed week and that God will blanket your family with His love!

Audrey ~ I would love to learn and grow together! You also are a blessed and beloved child of God. He shines through you and that makes for true beauty! Take care Audrey...I hope He'll bless you and your family with His love this week :o).

Patti ~ It is so true that we need to be in fellowship with our families, our church and other Christian outlets which we have access to. Jesus does truly refine us through those He brings into our lives and I think it's that variety which allows us to be who He wants us to be. Thanks for stopping by...God bless you Patti!

audrey` said...

God bless you and your family with His love and peace too.
Shalom and Agape to you, Cinder =]