Monday, November 24, 2008

To tolerate....

Do you ever feel like you just tolerate things? You know, the next task, job, commitment or maybe a person you just tolerate? To tolerate, it's a very draining way to live. has one definition for Tolerate:
to put up with something or somebody unpleasant; "I cannot bear his constant criticism"; "The new secretary had to endure a lot of unprofessional remarks"; "he learned to tolerate the heat"; "She stuck out two years in a miserable marriage"

I'll be honest, sometimes it just seems like I tolerate a lot of things and people in my day. Here's the thing, I don't want to just be tolerated. When I wake up in the morning, that is not on the top of any one's list; "I hope the world and my friends and family just put up with me. I hope that I am just tolerated today!" How horrible! Yet, that is what I do with certain people in my life, (Can you tell I'm being convicted out this!?) I simply tolerate them...they drive me crazy or annoy me or whatever and I simply tolerate them and the holiday's are sometimes the worst time of year to do this. Are you hearing me?

Well, as I struggle with this and as we come into this week...I don't want to have the attitude of just "putting up with", I don't want to just tolerate. I want to see with my Master's eyes and do you know how He sees you? And me? Not with the eyes of one Who just "puts up with" us! Let that sink you ever feel like God is just tolerating you? He is not...He has gone to radically great lengths to have a personal intimate relationship with you. He loves you. He's not disgusted and putting up with all the unpleasant things about you...He's in the business of changing you from the inside out, by the power of the Holy Spirit because of the finished work of the Cross of Jesus.

He is wild about you and more than excited about the work that He is doing. Now here is where the rubber meets the road for me, Am I going to look at all those people who I tolerate with my eyes or His? He is not done in them either... and I am called to be His Hands and His Feet. Love you my sisters...

Friday, November 21, 2008

I am not God...

I am not God....I know, I know no shocker there but I had another "moment" this morning as a funny reminder of just how true that is. I am a thinker and I have been wrestling with a particular doctrinal issue lately and being who I am, a lot of times I think while I multitask...and being who I am, I am usually in some kind of hurry as I do my task.

Case in point, while getting ready this morning sitting in front of the mirror I put on my mascara and grabbed the blow dryer with my left hand and the body splash with the right hand. Here's the picture:

1.Thinking deeply about this doctrinal issue and trying to wrap my brain around it.

2.Drying my hair with my left hand.

3.Spraying body splash with my right hand...right into my eyes which of course had mascara that hadn't dried yet.

4.Frantically blinking to get the body splash out, I then had huge eyelash marks all underneath my eyes- did I mention while pondering the deep issues of doctrine?

HELLO, I am SO not God- but I did look very funny! I can't even multitask and put on my makeup for crying out loud. If you see me today, I may still have some raccoon eyes, that is why!

Point of the day, God is God and He is totally able to multitask and take care of "doctrine" and He is certainly not in a rush. Actually, I don't think God has "doctrine"...He just is and He is completely OK with that. He's certainly not thrown off the throne with my need to know. So, I'm learning to rest in Him and in the fact that He is in control. I'm learning that it is OK, if I just don't know...I can rest in the fact that He is known. The question is; Am I knowing HIM more, not just knowing doctrine? He desires to be known and He has made a way...that is eternal life. John 17:3

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shocker...2 hr. delay.

Well, the morning, we had the first of many snow-related 2 hr. delays for school. Shocker. The snow has hit and it's only November 18th! Here's the deal with 2 hr. delays, you wake up and don't know what you are going to get and then it's only a 2 hour setback. Simply put, it messes with my day. It throws me off. It messes with my mind, it messes with my plans. 2 hours delays.

Does life ever seem like it has its share of 2 hour delays to you? Or does it sometimes seem like God is just in a unexpected delay pattern, due to some sort of "weather" situations? Does life ever mess with you and leave you out of sorts, with plans delayed? Praise the Lord, He is not like the school board! (Hey now, I'm not trying to be mean to the school board!) I'm reminded of this Truth. God is always on time. There are no delays from His Perspective. My perspective says..."Why the 2-hour (or 2 day, 2 month, how about 2 get it) delay? Why is this? The 'weather' doesn't seem so bad. Why does it seem like the Lord is waiting...delaying?" Maybe I do treat the Lord like the school board!?

Isaiah 26:3,4 says, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. "

So, as I'm experiencing my "2 hour delays" from the Lord I can have peace, as I trust Him. He is on time. He is unmovable, even in our "weather". He is the Rock. He's not messing with my mind or my life. Wow. Whole new perspective on those delays and maybe I should stop judging Him like I do the school board? He sees all the roads and what is safe...He knows what He's doing and what He is "delaying" and it is not His Purposes!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Log in my eye.....

Well, I clearly had a "Mandi Moment" today. It seems I'm having trouble thinking clearly and it is not because of my hair color. As I drove home from Valpo I was multi-tasking, by catching up with my mom on my cell (that is a total other issue, I know). Anyway, got home and went inside...did a load of dishes, load of laundry, checked my email and even spent a few minutes "on the couch" with John. We decided we needed milk and bread (didn't have a thing available for lunch, again, a whole other issue), I asked him to ride with me to CVS. Had some "extra" bucks...lunch would practically be free and we could have some time together. A CVS date. :)

Anyway...I went on a search for my car keys. Shocker, they were no where to be found. No, I didn't have them in my I grabbed John's keys and we headed to the car. Well...the car was open and totally running, in the middle of the street. Found my keys. I burst out laughing...and so did John. I seriously am losing it. I had spent at least a half an hour inside doing stuff as the running car sat open in front of the house in the middle of town. What a blond! Maybe it is because of my hair color!

Here's the thing, I laughed. John laughed. It was dumb and a total mistake but do you know what? Had John done that...I would have reacted totally differently. Honestly, I would have been totally mad. My mind would have gone in a hundred different directions from someone stealing the car to the car blowing up from over-heating! No matter, I wouldn't have laughed if it was John. That is just the truth of it.

Today's events make me pause and think, how do I react to the "speck" in other people's eyes, when a huge log is hanging out of my own? I made a mistake and had a "blond" moment today. But honestly, sometimes I can have real trouble cutting other people slack when they do dumb things-things that have nothing to do with silly things like car keys, but things like keeping a commitment or an off-handed remark. Things we all tend to judge people on.

Grace is an amazing thing. John cut me a lot of grace, I cut myself a lot of grace. Taking the time to look at the circumstances around a situation does amazing things. Cutting people the same break I so desperately need does amazing things. Face it, so many of our moments, spiritually speaking, are "blond" moments and we all need a ton of grace constantly! Lesson for the day...get the log out, and cut some grace, before I react to someones speck.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Vote for Change....

Well, millions of people showed up at the poles on Tuesday to "vote for change" and a change in our government, there will be. No matter what your personal political views are, it doesn't matter to me, I don't want to talk about politics but I would just like to share an observation and then a conviction that I experienced this week, because of the "vote for change."

As I woke up on Wednesday morning to the overwhelming "vote for change", I was hit like a ton of bricks...Americans have voted, they have spoken and this American culture says, "Status quo will not do, we want change." My sisters, we live in a culture that is crying out and voting for...CHANGE.

Here's a thing, you and I know but we tend to forget. True Change can only happen when the human heart is changed by a personal relationship with Jesus. HE is the True Agent for lasting change. Presidents can't give true change (any of them), Politics can't, Government can't, Churches can't, and programs,with or without Jesus' name attached, can't change people. Only Jesus can, though His finished work on the Cross and the Power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. He changes people. Does the Church in America look like that?

What hit me and convicted me to the core is...People are desperately looking and seeking change and many, if not most (many church-goers included), don't have a clue that Christ is the answer. Do you see what kind of opportunity that this is? The fields are ripe for the harvest...this is a huge opportunity for the Church (not for the buildings and the programs), but for the Body of Believers to answer the call for change. Christ is the answer. The world is not satisfied with status quo, and the church is responsible for what they have been "selling"...the status quo brand of Christianity that looks like just another option, like another brand of another religion. Please hear my heart, I'm not talking about the words we use, I'm talking about the results in our lives. The gospel of Jesus Christ works, it changes people from the inside out! The real question is; does it look like it, in your life and mine?

This is a strategic time and place in history, and I don't want to be a part of the status quo...I want to display the grace and power of True Change. "Christ in me, the hope of Glory", pointing the many who are seeking temporary change, in my little sphere, to the Real Source of the change they seek. I believe this is a wake up call to the Body of Christ. A call for our lives to display the change that the Gospel makes in a life.

Can we look back and see that the Lord has and is changing us? Is the Gospel not only proclaimed in our words but in our lives? Not perfectly but Jesus changing us? Americans want change. I believe we need to confess and repent, personally for the lack of change in our lives, the lack of love and power...not lack of love for the issues but lack of love for Christ. Not point the finger at who and what...but in humility, raising our empty hands up, asking the Lord to change us, so that the world...those who seek change will see it, in us and as they see us...they would see Change-which is Jesus.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On the Lip....

Have you ever noticed that the lip is a very sensitive place? Yesterday I started what I thought was a cold sore on my lip, man it hurts! I started to apply some medicine and went to bed. So this morning...the pain has increased, not the size just the pain. Looking in the really is small. Actually, I don't think it is a cold sore after all, just a zit. Small, yet it feels like the size of a baseball...right on the lip! Goes to show you how big things come in small packages and they are not always "good" things!

So often the pain in our hearts can be the same way, something or someone hurts us and it's really not that big of a thing, but the pain? Feels like it's been inflicted by a baseball bat! Have you taken "one on the lip" this week? Is there a pain that shouldn't be "that bad" but it is? A pain when you look in the "mirror" it seems small or even different yet, you can't get past the pain? Do I have a point? Yes, I do.

I think it is very important to acknowledge our pain for what it is and acknowledge that some places in our lives are more sensitive than others. I also think it is so important not to diminish the fact that if something seems so small yet hurts so badly...that the Lord may have allowed a sensitive place to be "wounded" so that it may heal.

I have been in Hebrews 12 for quite some time, it is a great passage! I can get really messed up on what the "discipline" of the Lord looks like- at the root of one of the Greek words used here it means- "the sum total of child-rearing" and we learn that discipline-training heals. Catch that...the Lord trains/grows us up/disciplines to heal.

Hebrews 12:11-13 "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet those who have been trained by it, afterwards it (discipline/training up) yields peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, BUT rather be healed."

Have you taken one the the lip and it really hurts? Know that the Lord is doing good things...acknowledge the pain and rest in Him. He is working. He is growing you up. I'm almost 40 and still getting zits! They are painful, especially on the lip! We will never be "fully-grown" until we see Him face to face. Don't get so weary that you give up...know that the pain heals.