Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What it's really all about...

I am a Goodwill junkie! I love to go there with the fam and look at old junkie pieces of furniture and dream of ways to give them new life! Old becoming New... yes, I really like the sound of that! ;-D I also get thrilled when I find old jewelry or a cool book or ENZO ANGIOLINI shoes, like new, for only 8 BUCKS!!! Yes, that was a score! This last week I picked up a couple of books (okay, more like 10!) that were really gems! Did God secretly place them in that pile knowing that I would find them? Maybe... He does cool things like that.

This title caught me eye as it peeked out from under some sweaty romance... "God Meant it for Good; A fresh look at the life of Joseph". I snatched it up and flipped it over, so pleasantly suprised by these words: "Have you ever wondered why a sovereign, all powerful, loving God would allow His own precious children to suffer injustice, humiliation and persecution? Have you ever gone through a trial and felt like the Lord was miles away and the heavens were brass? Do you feel like you fail many of the tests which God allows to come your way?" Hmmm... sound familiar? I'll be reading that one soon.

The next gem of a book looks fantastic! "Ask What Ye Will" with the cover teaser, "A challenge to troubled or dubious minds! Is prayer demonstrable or just a mere mental fancy?"
This book has the old crackly pages that I'm afraid will fall out of their binding soon. I just flipped it open this morning and delighted to read: "The great fulfillment comes when one's life is filled full of the blessings of God. When the heart overflows with the riches of His love; when self dies and the Spirit of Christ is born within, and you live in perfect love to God and your fellow man. Then and only then do you begin to sense the meaning of the GREAT FULFILLMENT for which all your life you have striven." Ahhh, God truly meant for me to find this book at this time.

My thoughts have been on Love of late...
Love is what it's really all about (definitely not the Hokey Pokey!)
I think I've had the wrong focus for a little while. I've been getting discouraged about character flaws I see in me (that nasty inner focus again!) and issues I see in my daughters. It came to my attention while driving recently that I have not focused on my wife relationship in a while. Not long after that, a dear friend reminded me that the greatest gift we can give our children is a great marriage. Hey, are you a mind-reader?!

I read these wise words over at Amy's Humble Musings... "Tons of people want to do 'great things for God.' Instead, we ought to do small things for God, everyday, right now, not tomorrow. He has already given us instructions: love God and our neighbor, act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. In the smallness, there is greatness. In the ordinary, there is extraordinary. Paul Tripp once wrote, “Remember, it is not your weakness that will get in the way of God’s working through you, but your delusions of strength.”
And I really enjoyed this response by one of her commenters... "I once heard Elisabeth Elliot answer a written question during a Q&A at the end of a women’s conference (the gist of the question was 'How do I love God and other people when I can’t even love myself?') by saying, in her matter-of-fact way: 'Well, of course you love yourself. After all, you take the time each day to clothe yourself and feed yourself and get yourself something to drink when you are thirsty. Do that for others and that looks quite a bit like love. Next question…' There are many speakers who would have told that woman (and her false sense of humility) to go get a new haircut or a pedicure or something so she could feel better about herself. I love EE’s consistent reminder to 'do the next thing.' There is something inherently humbling in the daily tasks. So, I’m off to clean out the refrigerator." Um, can you come clean mine as well?!

Maybe these questions should be what I examine my life against:
~ Have I shown Love to my Creator today?
~ Have I shown Love to my husband today?
~ Have I shown Love to my daughters today?
~ Have I shown Love to my neighbor today? (and, not just the ones who live next door. You!)

I am certain that I will not be lying on my death bed some year in the future regretting that I did not keep to my schedule, nor keep my closets clean, or attain the perfection I thought I should! No, but I would lie there in utter devastation if my faith was dead, my husband barely tolerated me, my daughters despised me, my friends all lost to me because I was too busy focusing on my failings, my grievances, my self.

Thank God that I still have time to express love...
And Thank you, Lord, for the gentle reminder to refocus.
~christa jean


Tiffany said...

I love that Elisabeth Elliot quote! And I have to say, my heart skipped a beat when I read the part about Joseph from your new book. Just last night I was reading aout him in the book I am reading, Total Forgiveness. He is such a wonderful example of true forgiveness, even in ways I would have never realized. I might have to see if you will let me borow your book!

Tiffany said...

Okay, now I am chuckling:) The book God Meant it For Good is another book by the same author as Total Forgiveness!

Sustainable Juice said...

this picture of joy looks like megen when she was a babe