Not for the faint of heart – for the servants’ heart

I am quickly coming to the realization that following Christ is not for the faint of heart but for those with a servants’ heart. I am not saying this to discourage anyone from loving God and following Him, I am simply saying that if you want to move from being a believer to becoming a follower of Christ, you need to be willing to do what God asks of you, in His time, and in His way.

I have said this before, but I will repeat it – I love God! Some days the thought of Him makes my heart flutter. He has changed me in ways that cannot be explained. He is the cause of my joy, and the healer of my pain.  In the recent past I have felt the stirring of God in my heart to move past this stage of simply sitting in awe of Him, basking in His light, watching others do His work. He is calling me to do more, to stretch from my comfortable life of believing in Him, knowing I am saved,  and believing in Him to meet my needs.  I want (need) to step out in faith and do His work. But, man, when you pray those things, you had better be ready for the ride. I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into!  God answers prayer, He hears our hearts desires. It is then our job to walk out the path He has set before us. We are created with our own free will. I think back to the times when I have asked God to bring me further in Him, I remember roadblocks that came up, that I stopped at, and I remember thinking “well, this must be it, this is as much as I need to do.”  Looking back, if I had done my job, if I had not been so faint-hearted, I would have pushed through the challenges that were set there to draw me closer to God. IF I had truly had a servants’ heart I would have pushed through, without questions, obediently, walking out the path that He had laid out for me.

I wonder if he was disappointed.  I think it would be a lot like when I sat for days watching my daughter as she got ready to take her first steps. DAYS! Days of watching her let go of the table put her foot out and then stop, or fall, or sit, or go back. I would have my camera ready, wanting to be there in that moment. I wonder if God was like that each time I let go and looked up to Him. I think about my daughter and her those days – But when she stopped I encouraged her, I called to her. When she fell I was there to pick her up. When she went back I watched and waited for her to try again. I picture God looking down on me, and doing the same thing. Looking back, I can see the events that lead up to the days when He picked me up, when He called to me, when He sat and waited for me to be ready again.

A servants’ heart. More than just believing in blind faith. A willingness to die to self. A willingness to let go and take the first steps, knowing… not just believing, but KNOWING with every bit of me, knowing that this time when I step out He will have my hand.  Knowing that when I die to self, He will fill that space, He will hold on to what I am and give me what I need to be who He wants me to be.

One True God

In the van on my way home from Bootcamp and church today, a song came on… I love this song… when I hear it, I am always extremely joyous and sing it loudly, arms outstretched, soaking in the lyrics. The song is “One True God” by Mark Harris. Today, however, the lyrics caused me to pause. “I don’t have a God I can put on a stand, or a God I Can hold in the palm of my hand, I have a God that’s holding me. I don’t have a God that I can create, In the place I live with the money I make. I have a God; He made everything”…

Everytime I hear this song I think to myself just how grateful I am that I worship and love the one true God, that (as it says in the song) “He alone is the one true God”.  So I am driving along, song cranked up, and it hits me that I DON’T worship Him alone! I have many gods. MANY things that take my eyes from Him, take my time from Him, take my joy from Him, my life from Him.

I mulled that around for a bit, all this time I have been so thankful to have one God, but really, when I am sitting being honest, I give Him so little time. My mind and time is stolen by my other gods. The largest thing in my home is my TV – it sits center stage over the fireplace. My DVR is set to record at least 3 shows a night. Clothes – my kids have soooo many clothes, I have so many clothes, My husband has more clothes than all of us put together… but we look good… stuff, jewelry, my van (oh, how I love my van!), my garden (or lack there of at the moment)… FOOD!!!!!! I love me the food! My recliner… Facebook, email, cell phone, solitaire, kids, dance, baseball, competitions… DIET COKE!!!!!

I am driving home thinking I need to go home, sit right down and journal this, get to the heart of what it is God is stirring in me, and then guilt comes in… I have to do laundry, get dinner planned, clean up the maple syrup my daughter has spilled, get ready to pick the kids up, watch the news… everything that I have on my “to-do list” presses in on me and for a moment I say to myself “Marcy, you have to wait until later to write this down, maybe get up early tomorrow and journal it.” But wait… I can’t because tonight I have to watch Biggest Loser and American Idol, so I will be too tired. WOW!!!! No time for God to speak to me.

And then it hits me… I am a SLAVE to all of these gods. All of these things I think I get joy from, they are weighing me down like the millstone around my neck. No time for GOD! When did that happen? HOW does that happen? I LOVE GOD! When I think of Him and what is possible with Him, I get giddy, like a new-found love kinda giddy. I wonder how many times God has been screaming to get my attention but I am too busy chasing my gods around in circles to accept the gifts He has for me? How many missed opportunities for joy? to help others? HOW MANY?

Thou shalt have NO OTHER GODS before ME! What if you don’t realize it? I certainly didn’t. All of these things I have given priority to… just stealing my time, stealing God’s time. These things I “love”… they are thieves, they are not from God, but taking away from His kingdom.

This Sunday someone read from their journal, asking God to “Invade ME”! I think invasion is the right word. Invade me. because while I have been lulled into a passiveness, the enemy has fooled me into giving away all of my time. God’s time has been stolen right out from under me. So, God, I pray, INVADE ME! Our Pastor wrote on Facebook yesterday “God arranges the exact times and places for people to be alive. (From Acts 17)”… This is a time for strong, willing Christians. There is a battle going on and I have been caught unaware. Invade me, God, help me fight back the strongholds that I have become a servant to, so that I can serve You. Help me claim control over the things that are stealing Your time and my joy. Help me put You first in all things and in front of all things.

I Love Get Fit NH Bootcamp!

From the bottom of my underwire to the top of my underwear I am in pain! Dean has done me in. He is an evil man, with his evil boot camp ways… “Let’s do Fun Friday tomorrow”… Stupid me “Cool”… ya, Fun Friday is a new and twisted form of torture involving cards and midevil exercises. Squat thrusts, Dynamic Planks, 50 jumping jacks, Crossover planks, 100 high knees, band chest presses… you get the picture! The worst part? My mother, who I talked into trying this out with me, kept putting back the high cards! So, today I wake up, and EVERYTHING hurts. The toilet seat is my enemy! It’s like doing those squats all over again…

Seriously, though, I am in love with my new-found excercise program. I decided to attempt Get Fit NH Bootcamp, with their free 2 week trial. I figured if it was too hard I could just quit and blame it on the end of the trial. Well, I am just finished the 2 weeks, and it is WAY too hard, but I am doing it! And I don’t think I have felt so good about accomplishing anything in a long time. I have joined the gym so many times, but after 2 reps of anything I would get tired or it would get hard, and I would quit.

I lied a minute ago… when I said Dean was an Evil man… HE is actually very tricky, crafty, sneaky… My first day I had so much fun, but about 3 hours later all of my abs hurt! My back was sore… I couldn’t figure it out, we hadn’t done a single crunch. Tricky, tricky Dean! He faked me out! I was having so much fun (I know, fun-excercise…should never be in the same sentence) with the 10 other women in class, I didn’t realize what I had been doing. There is something about pushing through and working out with a small group of women. We chat, we work hard, we complain, we encourage, all the while, we sweat. We work our bodies like nobody’s business.  I have learned something in the last couple weeks – I can do anything in 40 second intervals! I want to be the Pied Piper – come along with me! finishing even one class is such a boost to your self-esteem. I feel stronger, motivated to firm up my (almost) 40-year-old body, and loving the soreness that comes with it! When I weighed in before my first class I weighed 174 pounds (OK, now I am totally outed… that 160 I tell everyone is a total lie). This morning on my scale I weighed 170.5 in my underwire and undies… I have changed very little with my diet, except now I will have to stop eating McDonald’s so I can afford the membership, I have just started moving more…

…Stay tuned to see if I can get to my goal of 155 by July 1!

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