“Because God has given me a special gift, I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. You must decide what you really are by the amount of faith God has given you.” – Romans 12:3
Headlong I barrelled against the forces that destroy. My God is my Champion Bullfighter and I went along for the ride today. It is not always the case that vigor and energy unite and forge against the bulls charging me but today, I met my opponent headlong and stood strong. Standing is sometimes all we can do. Today, I might have even made a few inches forward. With caretaking two parents, one because he is now more childlike than not with dementia and one who complains and demands, and the immense load I continually seem to have to bear unwillingly on a day to day basis it seems, two young children who need me, a husband close to recovery from knee surgery, neighbor children drama, hot weather on painting outside day and bugs, my day was full of charging bulls. And I say thank You, God, for being my Champion today. We made it through and even a little ahead and I am thankful for it. That is all, I want to bask in this moment. Tomorrow will bring a new series of bulls charging as time is growing to a close for them to have opportunity to take me and my family down. But I know the secret to successful bullfighting. I know the Champion Bullfighter personally and I know that He has already killed these bulls, they just don’t want to go down gracefully… they want to take as many down as possible as they go. It is pathetic. Some days I barely stand but my secret Champion is always with me for as soon as my distracted self remembers it again. I need to keep alert and prepared, and on days like this I need to bask and celebrate. God is good all the time. He is the only One who is. Praise God He loves us!
“‘No one can hide where I cannot see him,’ says the Lord. ‘I fill all of heaven and earth,’ says the Lord.” – Jeremiah 23:24
There is no hiding from God! Also, there is no being alone without God! Good news both ways. 🙂
“But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Being in a relationship is difficult and time consuming. It is rewarding and lovely to be connected to someone, especially when God joins two together in marriage and kids come. However, there are some key features to success in a relationship that I wish I had been able to understand and enforce at a younger age, but alas, ignorance is still wasted on the young (no offense know-it-all youngin’s, lol). Now that I am old enough to get some of it now, I will share it with those who may not yet have a grasp on it. 1. One very important thing that takes precedence over everything else is that God is in charge of the universe and your marriage and not you. In fact, we need to work to do the right things I will mention in a minute and do every one right but God controls everything. You cannot push a rope. You can improve yourself and hope your spouse wants to do so as well but it is their choice and not yours to make. I repeat, you can not push a rope. You can want your spouse to put your needs above their wants but it is up to them what level of selfishness they will operate at, as it is up to you what level of selfishness you will operate at. Which brings me to my second point. 2. Working improving yourself. By this I do not simply mean health and beauty this world emphasizes so much. I mean that internally, drawing near to God in prayer and Bible reading improves your understanding of our Creator and His creation, including you and your spouse. When you work on being a better person, loving and kind and humble, your relationship cannot help but improve. What spouse on the planet would object to a quarrel free home and a loving spouse who treats them with honor and respect and appreciation because they see glimpses of the Creator’s greatness in them? Wow. Take that in for a minute. 3. Kids are very important but not as important as the spousal relationship. This is a tough one for moms. Kids demand everything and will take as much of you as you give them and still want more. Yes, they are valuable and worthy of time and care. However, remind yourself you are teaching a person to be a godly loving spouse one day, and these kids will hopefully spend most of their lives as adults without you nursing them along, and model this great relationship between you and your spouse. Yes they need you but you will spend the rest of your life in the same house as your spouse and not your kids. Do not neglect your spouse for your kid(s). 4. Have friends you trust who pray with you and who you can bounce things off of. We do not live in a vacuum for obvious reasons. Friends are important too, and often much more willing to speak at length with. Lol. 5. Have hobbies. If you can have at least one you do together with your spouse, that is ideal. Too much time alone allows too much introspective thought on the spouses shortcoming and tends to not focus you on improving your own. Hobbies are a great outlet and distraction that usually fall in line with using the gifts God gave you. It is a win win. It also helps your kids to see gift development in action and see that they are not the only thing the sun revolves around. Hobbies also make you much more interesting. 6. Focus on helping your spouse more. We all need help. Bethe one meeting the needs of your spouse and hopefully they will not look to others to meet those needs. But again, you can not push a rope. However, chances improve upon these attempts. 7. Be faithful with your heart, mind, eyes, ears, soul, spirit and body to your spouse and ultimately to God. The grass is greener on the side of the fence that is nurtured. And you are the gardener.
“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again.They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.” – Isaiah 40:31
Praising God is not a momentary pause in the day to flatter God to get something. In leading worship, I have seen that behavior. Like people are doing God a favor by telling Him He is good. As if He has some human doubts of His greatness. God does not need us to praise Him to boost His fragile ego. We need to live a lifestyle of acknowledgement (verbally and internally) that reflects God as the perfect Creator so we keep ourselves in check and proper perspective. In a world that belittles and undervalues the treasures of contrition and meekness and celebrates self love and personal accomplishments, we need desperately to keep our Creator’s real goodness and power and love in the forefront of our brain. We are not telling God something He does not know when we praise Him. We remind ourselves of His importance and our smallness and when we get that, He is pleased with our correct attitude and spiritual alignment. Our praises are as incense to him because our praise tells Him we are obeying and acknowledging the truth about Him. The Creator is greater than the created, and praise is a verbal and internal demonstration of our acknowledgement of that. It also is a pretty phenomenal idea to constantly be in a running dialogue and praise mode. Not only are we better, more thankful people but we are also less prone to screwup and sin. When in the presence of our perfect Creator in truth, we will feel His eyes fixed on us and will not want to disappoint Him by sinning pridefully. 🙂