So we have been very,very busy this Fall, between my sister coming to move in with us, and all of those adjustments, and the usual beginnings of a new school year, with adding Kindergarden into the mix this year,too. Grace being almost-2 keeps me so busy herself climbling everything in sight! And she loves to talk, which I am obligated to contantly decipher, because I want her to always feel that we listen to her, and I want to teach her the right way to enunciate!(If youv'e heard Josh speak,you know where my concern lies.) With all of the antics, there hasn't been much time for peace and quiet, or alone times with the Lord... and there there have been moments of drudgery in keeping this whole household and family running and keeping everyone on time and in the black, maybe more than just a few isolated moments,but there has been Much Joy too, as we have had our home filled to capacity with life,laughter and silliness~ and the 6 still-young cats certainly add to all of that!;), and as we have enjoyed another year of blessings in being able to Home School, and as I have watched and fertilized my children's growing minds.
Counting all of my blessings, I want to especially count our church, the training center where I have been taught and challenged,encouraged,and grown, over the past several years. Sunday was our 6th year anniversary. It is interesting for me to reflect on that this church was formed in the year 2000, when I was just graduating from URI,and did not have God's imput in my life at all(I didn't want it,at that time),that in 2001 it was the second year from our church, and I was merely consumed with who was moving, me or Alan, and if I would find an interesting enough, high-paying enough job after graduation(because,of course, I wasn't sticking with the one I'd had all throughout college; it was all about the more money you can get, you know), and that in 2002 I was saved by a merciful and gracious God who had a plan for me~ a plan that I didn't even know~and who reached down and pulled me out of the pit at exactly the right time, based upon His wisdom. It is that wisdom and mercy that has placed me in the life I am in today,and in the church family I am in today.
For someone who doesn't deserve it at all, He has moved mountains(my carnal mind was a mountain in my life, the mind was all there was for me at that time~ "the magnificent human mind", that's what all the psychologists are obsessed with~ and how little I saw,or understood, under their tutor), and He has Crushed Strongholds
(I used to be very anxious, fear-driven, self-preoccupied)and look at me now,no pillar of selflessness but far,far more peaceful and why? because I can trust God,becaue of The Gospel~ which has changed many a life.
On Sunday Dave Harvey from Covenant Fellowship church in Glen Mills spoke and his message was one that was in very good season for all of us to hear. I thought that you would be blessed too,by the sharing of some of his key points. I also love how the Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional I found in my inbox today speaks to the same subject of contentment and God's sovereignty. I have included snippets from it and then Dave's teachings~ hope you have a blessed day :)
Proverbs 31 Devotional : So there has never been a showy lightning bolt experience that told me, "Ah-ha, THIS is why you brought me here!" I've only found moment-by-moment happenings that beckon me to be Jesus with skin on as I live each day...
Looking back on my life I can see countless times where I thought I knew what God was up to, only to discover later that I had no clue.
Our infectious disease may be anger at the way God answers our prayers.
I encourage you to look beyond your helplessness and behold: The Healer...
Father, we are so blind to your ways. Open our eyes to see past our circumstances and see Your plan. Give us contentment wherever we are in this life and a joyful spirit that gives You praise in the midst of all things. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Dave's teachings: The purpose of trials and temptations is to test our faith: this life is only a test!
~ Our faith is so important to God that he built into creation a testing ground for it. Because tests reveal us, and prepare us; in His wisdom He knew that this would be the best way to wirk out our daily sanctification.
~ the best measure of who we truly are before God is where we turn in times of trial...not in one's offerings, eloquent prayers, or lifting of their hands in worship.
~ We have a sympathetic God who knows and understands,our weaknesses.
~ Indwelling sin is even redeemed by God. It shows us our weaknesses,that drives us closer to seeing our need for a Savior... Satan doesn't want us to see our lack of faith!,If we are seeing that~ count it all joy and be grateful~ because this is the Holy Spirit working in you; that's the beginning of change.
~ Authetic faith cannot be built in times of peace. Only the refiners fire brings out the impurities to the surface where they can then be scraped off. Testing produces steadfastness- that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in Nothing. Tested faith Endures.
~ The next time you, or a friend, is struggling in their situations(s) don't just tell them that God is good or that He is sovereign, though all of this is true~ go a step beyond the pat answers and tell them that not only is God doing a diagnostic on their situation, He is installing a whole new battery system of steadfastness, and He needs to work in The Workhop just as a mechanic does; the workshop is life, where He plugs us into the machinery of trials and temptations.
~ But it takes a long time~ God takes His time~ He is not on our time table. Progress is made slowly and surely, like progress is made in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Yes, it's taking longer than we anticpated it ever would to get from point A to point B but we are still getting there, eventually. God works in His time. Trails are lengthy. And unpredictable. God's pace is part of His process...
~ Wholeness and completeness doesn't come in a slain of the spirit but in how we respond to God in trials~ and when we respond in faith in the midst of trials~ then we can be lacking in nothing~ because we know that God is installing steadfastness, so we can't help but have Joy! (See James 1.)
....Good stuff,huh? Really, really great! :)