Live Like a King

Archive for May 2009

Today is What You Think Upon Grows Day according to the wacky holidays e-mail I receive. This is also something the Lord has been speaking to me for a long time.

If we meditate on our problems, how horrible our life is, and just general negative stuff we will not be happy. And we will not be effective witnesses for Christ. If we meditate on Him, His promises and His goodness, we will have a much more positive outlook on life. God is a creative being and He has given us His nature. Our thoughts and words are very powerful, much more powerful than we give them credit.

Proverbs 23:7a “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Philippians 4:8,9 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.”

Things I’ve done to help my thought life:

Make a list of things I want to see come about in my life and family and church and confess them

Make a list of Scriptures that speak to my situation and meditate on them…I plan to hang them around our house as well

Subscribe to Gregory Dickow Ministries “Fasting from Wrong Thinking” e-mails and make myself read them daily.

How do you change your thinking patterns?

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Every year I sense the Lord impress upon me a theme that I need to work on. This year it is my “love walk”. Joyce Meyer mentions this frequently in her teachings and in fact, her conference in September in St. Louis is called Love Revolution.

Love is not something that is natural to us humans. Over the past few months I’ve been examining my heart about the people I “love”. I’m embarrassed to say that my love is based upon what they do for me. I love my husband because he treats me great. I love my friends because they affirm me or do things for me. I’m even like that with my family. I’m closer to the people who can do things for me. I am more loving with the kids who give me less trouble. Or I do loving things so that people can see how wonderful I am. Like people will stand around saying how wonderful of a parent I am because I do xxx for my kids or my dh will brag about how wonderful I am to his co-workers and they will be jealous. My motives are not love, at least not God’s definition of love. How sad is that? It disgusts me to think that I am that way. But I am. And I have to think that I am not the only person like this.

I Corinthians 13: 1-3 tells us that we can do everything right, but if we are not doing it with agape love, it counts as nothing. Wow. All my parenting, self-sacrifice, etc. means nothing if I am not doing it with the motive of love. I’ve spent my life spinning my wheels for no reason.

Agape love is defined in 1 Corithinans 13, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

In other words, agape love is unconditionally working toward that person’s good regardless of how it affects us or what he does for us or how he treats us or how we will look to other people. This is not natural, it is a supernatural thing. Agape love is only something we can get from a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. And it takes an INTIMATE relationship to really achieve agape love as a regular part of our character. Then agape love becomes something that leaks out of us because we are so full of His love for us.

Recently I read a blog post on Matthew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” Why does love grow cold? Because of a lack of intimate relationship with Jesus. For variety of reasons, many Christians allow themselves to have a surface relationship with the Lord and are not infused with His love. I know I have this problem. When I back off from the Lord, my love does grow cold for those around me. I get too focused on me and my life instead of reaching out with Christ’s love to a hurt and dying world.

Lord, may I consciously draw near to you and become a conduit for your love. Real love.

Last night our pastor talked to us about giving our all for God. It’s a theme that’s been on my heart for some time. Even the FCM Woman’s Conference was based on this theme.

One of my favorite songs is Matthew West’s “The Motions”. Here’s the first two verses & the chorus:

This might hurt, it’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care if I break,
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

No regrets, not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

‘Cause I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

So what does giving everything look like in your life? One thing Bob said last night was that some people are able to fill their entire day with God while others fill it with satisfying their flesh. So what does filling my day with God look like? How do I do that? I certainly cannot pray all day or read my Bible for 8 hours. I know that is not what Bob means anyway.

I have to ponder this some more and see what kind of changes I can make in my life to draw near to Him. He’s the source, the only One with the solutions to the trials I am facing now.

OK, no screaming kids demanding chef and referee services! Yay!

I’ve enjoyed all three books in the King Raven series: Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck. Stephen Lawhead gives the Robin Hood myths a twist which kept me guessing. (I wonder if I will ever be that clever in my writing.) Lawhead does a good job of portraying Bran’s evolution from a spoiled prince to a leader (with anger issues) and finally to a level-headed king.

I don’t consider this fantasy. To me it seems more like historical fiction. It does not take place in another world, have magic or creatures that do not exist in this world. But those of us that like fantasy should enjoy it because the writing is fantastic, the plot full of twists and turns, and finally…(SPOILER WARNING) a Lawhead book where the hero and heroine get to live happily ever after.

That said, I am sure that male readers will enjoy this much more than I did. Stephen Lawhead is a man after all and writes books with more of a male point of view. Not much talk about feelings or emotions or relationships or romance for us ladies. LOL

Other stops on the Blog Tour:
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Grace Bridges
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Kait
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Margaret
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Epic Rat
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Most fantasy fans have read at least one of Stephen Lawhead’s books. This one is no different. His tales are full of brave heros and adventure. Tuck is no different.

Tuck the the third in the King Raven series, loosely based on the Robin Hood legends. In this case, our hero, Rhi Bran, also known as King Raven,  is a displaced king in Wales trying to regain his family lands in the midst of the reign of King William of England. The usual cast of characters are present: this installment’s namesake, Tuck; Merian, and Will Scarlet.

The first two books in the series are Hood and Scarlet. Tuck is the final book in the trilogy.

I’ll talk more about the tour tomorrow when my children are not around and being noisy. LOL