Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Your Secret Name...

I find it completely fascinating to watch God work throughout my life the last few weeks. I have been struggling with various things- one of them being the masks that I (and most people) tend to wear. I was having this conversation the other day with a friend that I don't want to wear a mask at church- or in life. Next thing I know- God is working through circumstances to show me that masks (aka labels) have often been controlling my life and affecting who I *think* I am.

Last weekend we had a Ladies Event at church and the lady who spoke shared with us the damage labels can do to a person and how when we truly come to accept Christ's love and mercy in our lives we gain new labels of who Christ says we are. Just very needed at the time.

Then, this weekend, while at my parents' house for Thanksgiving I spent some time reading a book that I ran across in the local Christian bookstore (Cedar Springs). The name of the book- Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner. It dealt along the same vein- Names are powerful things- parents spend hours/days/weeks/months poring over names for their future children. Many times the name is picked by how it all sounds together but still other times names are chosen based on their meaning. We have given names- names that we have gained through our circumstances, through our choices. We also have Secret names- the names that God whispers to us that tell us who we REALLY are.

This book was very timely- and in fact, I actually dealt with this exact issue while I was reading the book. My given name was unloved, unworthy of love (not from my parents- I have always felt loved with them). This has been something that I have been struggling with quite some time- when I finished reading the book- I knew my secret name- and it goes back to my favorite verse- Zephaniah 3:17- I am "Delighted In". I know that I am loved, and am worthy of love.

I would encourage everyone to read this book and recognize your Given Name(s) and then rest in your Secret Names...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Am I Really Seeking HIM?

I had a friend today ask me a tough question. I was talking to her and mentioned that I was struggling with one thing in particular- not being single, not financial, not anything that I have struggled with in the past- no, I am struggling with the desire to be closer to home. The question she asked- have I prayed about it? And yes, I have but I think I have been praying as if God is not going to answer, as if God is going to say no- and why should I pray diligently about something I know is going to be a 'no'? I know that is "not right" thinking and I know that I can't go into prayer thinking I know God's mind. He has said in his Word that his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. So, why, would I, be so presumptuous as to know God's answer if I don't spend time praying about it?

ETA: I actually started this post way back in October with the intention of adding to it- but I just decided to post as is...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Eyes on Him

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:25-31

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine regarding a book that I read years ago (and I still have in my possession). The author is John Ortberg- If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get out of the Boat. It's been a while since I looked at this book and after talking to my friend I pulled it out and flipped through it- I also decided to look up the above scripture and just focus on them for a few minutes tonight. The thing that really struck me was how much Peter's "failure" to focus is the thing that people zero in on and while I see that as an important fact and then the following verse 31- IMMEDIATELY after Peter asked for help, Jesus reached out his hand- what about the people in the boat? They didn't even attempt to step out in faith. Why? What fear held them back? What fear holds me back?

I posted the following questions on my FB tonight: Just some thoughts I have been thinking. Faith and what it means. How I am living that out- am I using both words and actions? Would people who don't know me be able to tell that I am a believer before being told? Am I being bold? Am I loving boldly? Am I using my past brokenness to reach others and have compassion toward others?

Part of this stemmed from this quote by C.S. Lewis: "

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will
certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of
keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an
animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your
But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."

and then a friend posted this: "And a broken heart can show compassion to others, be used for God and redeemed."

I also read this article today- which drove the point home for me!

and finally- I leave you with one of my favorite songs (and it's a female singer- sorry Dad)