Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coincedence? I think not.

I think God's trying to tell me to "Shut up!" Well, I don't think He would use that exact wording. However, the message is still the same. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut more than I do...or at least be kinder when I do speak.

This blog jumps around quite a bit today, so try your best to follow me here, alright?

This past week, I've had a really bad attitude with someone. I've had several friends offer to pray for me, while other's tell me that they'll be praying for this person to change. And while that certainly would be nice, I can't wait around for those changes to occur before I make changes of my own. I'm not saying this person's behavior is to be accepted and condoned. This person is at times very wrong in some things...however, God commands us in His Word to love others the way He has loved us-regardless of what they may or may not be doing. There is no escape clause in that verse. And yet humanly, there is NO WAY I can do it!! Trust me. I've tried. I've failed. I've tried again. I've failed again. I've tried many, many, many times...and once again, I've failed many, many, many times. It's not humanly possible to love others with God's love. It has to be Him reaching down into, and then through us. Imagine a cyclist's glove. A glove in and of itself can do nothing. But when it's filled with the hand, the fingers can reach out even past the extent of where the glove stops, and allows the glove to do things it couldn't do otherwise. Kind of neat, huh?

Well, last night after our Women's Bible Study (another story in and of itself), a friend of mine & I went to Wal-Mart to look for the book "Love Dare" (the one talked about in the movie, "Fireproof"). She was wanting to read it with her husband & hopefully help out their marriage. I on the other hand just love to read-regardless of what it is or whether I need it or not. The price was marked at $10.43, so we both grabbed a copy. On the way back to my car (it was parked at the church), she had me read the first part to her. The Dare for Day 1 is to not say anything negative to your spouse. Honestly, I normally don't have a problem in this area. But this person that I'm struggling with came to it did during the movie as well. I don't know if this Love Dare will work on someone other than a spouse.? I haven't cheated and looked ahead, but I'm thinking it might be worth a try. I'm sure it will have to be altered somewhat too.

This morning, when I woke up, I reached over and got my Bible. I've been reading in the book of Psalms. Today I started with Chapter 141, and the 3rd verse jumps out at me. This is what it says: "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."

Any coincedence that the Dare & this Bible verse go together? Okay, God, I'm hearing you.

Then after dropping the kid's off at school this morning, I went back to Wal-Mart in search of something I forgot to get yesterday. I happened to walk by the "Love Dare" books, and noticed the price on the remaining copies was $12.64!! I took that to be yet another confirmation from God that we needed those books last night! Gotta love a good deal! :)

After I got home from Wal-Mart, I grabbed my Bible Study, and sat down to read for today. This is part of what I found...

"You may feel overwhelmed by the events swirling around your life. Is there an end to the suffering? Like a raindrop in a mud puddle, the more you strive, the more muddy the water becomes. To be released from the muck and mire, you must allow the sun to release you from below to transport you above. Let Jesus take you up above your circumstances to see life from heaven's perspective where all will be made right in one single day."

This study is about being the bride of Christ, and this lesson was on wearing "clothing" fit for our position in Christ; to "put off" the deeds of fleshy, self-centered, self-absorbed behavior and to "put on" the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Ephesians 4:24

At the end of the lesson she asks us to choose one attitude from Ephesians 4:31 to put away or take off-

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."

and to choose one attitude from Ephesians 4:32 to put on-

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

I can almost imagine God walking around up in Heaven with a cell phone to his ear saying, "Can you hear me now??" :)

So, if I happen to come to mind today, would you please pray for my attitude and that I would only allow kind words to come forth in my speech? I'll be sure to keep you posted on my "Love Dare" experiment.

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