My Fitness

Saturday, May 19, 2018

thoughts on elijah

Here are some of my passing thoughts on Elijah. I'm not studying him. I only read through his story. You can read it in 1 Kings 17.

I feel like I relate to him in a small way. I'm not a prophet but it seems whenever I start speaking truth to God's people that might be uncomfortable for them to hear, they try to get rid of me, including most recently lying to CPS and showing favor to liars instead of helping the oppressed. The tiny bit of injustice that I've been served from my church makes me marvel at the restraint of entire people groups within the US.

So I've faced my Ahabs.

I've not had any miraculous flour and oil jars. But I feel like I've seen God show up in other ways while I mock people's idols. And then the next day ran and hid because I suddenly forgot God's provision and love for me.

I've helped others when they were lost and crying but I had no one to help me when I was lost and crying. I got lost in February. I cry myself to sleep and sometimes don't sleep at all. It's getting better. The Holy Spirit is my only help. I don't know why the church doesn't care for me. The church isn't the Church. The church enjoys her Baals. She doesn't enjoy me pointing it out.

Today I wait (but not hiding in a small cave) listening for the still, unwavering, whispered voice of the Lord. He is reminding me:

I'd rather be Elijah in the wilderness than Jezebel in the palace.

Friday, May 18, 2018

philippians 2:13

In D-group this week we had a challenge to find 10 truths in Philippians 2:13. Here's my response:

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

for - from the previous verse. Why should you work out your salvation with fear and trembling? You should because it is God who is doing the work.
God works - God is working. He isn't passive. He isn't distant.
is God - It is not nature nor my will power, but it is God who is working.
works - It is a process and not just an instant achievement.
in you - God works in you and not necessarily around you. He's working on people and not necessarily circumstances.
YOU - He's working in YOU, specifically you! He's not looking for the "greater good" despite what happens to you. He desires YOUR good.
will - the interlinear says this is "gladly intend and desire." God wants to do good in you. He isn't working in you begrudgingly.
work - good is more than a state of being for God. It is action.
good pleasure - It makes God happy to work in us to bring out the best in us.
will and work - He desires and does. God desires and does good in us and somehow according to verse 12 we are also participating. We need to work out our salvation for it is God who is working in us. We need to work because it is God who is working. If we are working God's work, then we can be assured of success.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

up-cycle pen holder

My friend has this neat pen holder for her journal that she made. I searched Pinterest and found a couple of options to copy hers and went off to my local second-hand arts supply store, Scrap. I got my supplies and noticed that they also sell those tiny reading glasses cases for 25c. I grabbed five to share with my kids and to test a design. What if I just attached elastic to the back of the glasses case?

It's worked! I don't know how durable it is. I put a button on one end so that I can adjust the length whenever I change journals. I can fit 3 pens in there and they don't move around. It's pretty neat:

"can you lose God's trust?"

This was a recent submission that came across my desk:
Can you lose God’s trust? (When you sin, does it take him “time” to trust you again?) / how the heart changes from feeling guilty about sinning and just trying to do right, into understanding that you’re still going to always sin but you want to do the right thing because it honors God.
My first thought is best summarized by a head tilt and a, "huh. Interesting."

Whenever I get odd questions, like this one, I get quiet. By quiet I mean the opposite of snarky and rude. As a child and teen, and sometimes even as an adult, if I didn't phrase my questions ever so perfectly, I'd be laughed at and scorned and shamed into "learning a lesson." I'm not sure what lesson was supposed to be taught except to not ask questions in those situations. But rudeness is a character trait that was drilled into me for a couple of decades before I moved out and learned that most Christians are gracious and kind.

Well, some are gracious and kind, anyway.

What an honor it is to have someone think that I can give an answer to their question even if it is not the question that they asked. Since it is honor, I like to treat it like an honor and approach humbly. I don't know anything about the person asking this question. Maybe she is usually very articulate or maybe she was in a rush or maybe she was relaying a question (as in this situation) and wanted to preserve the question unadulterated.

Tara-Leigh added a few sentences, and I'm glad she did. I felt those sentences gave the reply a fullness. The three key points both Tara-Leigh and I wanted to touch were 1, God doesn't trust us, 2, we can't surprise God because he's sovereign, and 3, the real question is what to do with misplaced shame.

Here's my reply:
I want to be very careful with my wording and I may still fail. Give me grace and if I fail to clarify, please do not hesitate to ask me again.

If someone sins and repents, and then still feels guilty, it is not because of God’s lost trust.

God does not trust people. In some very poor translations of the Bible, certain verses translate a person’s faithfulness into God trusting him, but know that the wording in those translations fails to pinpoint the truth accurately. Consider Numbers 12:7 in the NLT (a paraphrase that is good to get the general idea of a passage but not meant to base doctrine on): “But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust.” And in the ESV (a essentially literal translation that has been created for the purpose to understand the original meaning): “Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house.”

Even Jesus did not trust humans. “ But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people, and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25

You are right that the Spirit convicts to repentance and it is the accuser who accuses to guilt us. If confession and repentance has already happened, then those feelings of shame are misplaced. You do not need to do anything to earn God’s satisfaction. God is not waiting for you to prove yourself. He already knows the future, because He’s already in it. If we had to do something, then our salvation would be of our own doing. Instead the Bible affirms that, “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

God doesn’t trust us to not sin. Christ came not only to save us from our sins committed before we were saved but also for all the sins we would commit afterwards. From the perspective of the cross, all of our sins were post-crucifixion. Jesus died for all of our sins because God knew that until we enter eternity, we would continue sinning. God’s feelings don’t get hurt like when we sin against our friends. Our friends might take time to come around and be friendly again, but Christ (through His death on the cross) has already absorbed all the Father’s wrath toward our sin. While God may be saddened by our sin, His wrath has been satisfied.

Your member might now be wondering, “when will I stop feeling guilty after sinning?” God’s love is never lost. God trusts Himself to be there for us in the form of the Convicter and Comforter, the Holy Spirit. When we sin, the Spirit convicts us while the enemy will try to accuse us. The difference will be a Spiritual conviction leads to repentance and new life whereas an accusation will lead to shame. Misplaced shame is real and sometimes difficult to deal with. This is a good sermon to help with that struggle: