Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Part One of Six

My faith story is a work in progress much like many people I know.  It is rare to find the individual who can claim they have nothing more to learn about the direction their faith is heading.  More like impossible or that person is lying through their teeth!  In any case, my journey has been and continues to be fraught with doubts and fears and the voice of Satan in my ears is louder than I care for.  I have had a difficult time really believing that Jesus died on that cross to save me...worthless, sinful, prideful, full of holes me.  I know better than anyone, with the exception of the Almighty, how much my life has reflected the temptations of this world!  Yet I am choosing to believe in hope and to believe in hope one MUST believe in the Cross and everything that signifies.  Despite the machinations of the evil one, I find myself believing more firmly now than I ever have.  In fact, I thirst for more and more of God's precious presence.  I find myself going to the Word to find answers instead of the world.  I'm spending more time reading studies that are helping me understand certain truths and one of those studies is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

Now this book isn't perfect - not one that has been written by man is - but it has helped broaden my base and see this life really isn't about's about God and how I can learn to live His purposes for my life which is ultimately to His glory.  My one HUGE criticism of this study book is the fact that Pastor Warren plugs all his other books and materials in it.  It's rather annoying actually to read a really great point that is insightful and provoking only to have it followed up with a plug like "my book X would be a great place to explore this or please see Appendix 3 for a list of my X," etc.  He should have saved his self promotion for a more appropriate place! 

So here goes...
When we know our purpose in life we can operate more confidently, right?  When that purpose is given to us  by God so we may build up our character for our eternal home in heaven there is no greater purpose.  We were made for God, for His design.  We are living a temporary existence on this earth.  But to imagine we are only here as ambassadors for God, that our permanent home is with Him and all this stuff around us is foreign soil, is overwhelming for me.  Joy will come, I'm sure of it!  But I never thought about our life on earth in such terms.  Everything we do here builds our character for our heavenly home because when we die the only thing we take with us is our character - who we are.  We get that from the sum of our life experiences and if we experience life through God's purposes, our character will become more Christlike.  This is highly desirable for this sinful chick!  WOW!  So in other words, I shouldn't get too attached to life on Terra Firma...!  It does make sense - the things of this world are earthly things, materialistic and fleeting, I can't take them with me when I die but the things of heaven are permanent and eternal.  So I should fix my eyes on the end prize - eternal life with my Lord.  And so here enters the voice of hope for me - the Voice that is slowly but surely drowning out the voice of the tempter.  I want Jesus to shove aside all the negative and evil thoughts that pop up with unnerving regularity!  As far as I'm concerned, I see no other choice for me if I want hope and love in my life.  Life with no purpose equals life with no hope and I just can't reconcile that.  We were made for something bigger than this life.  So, for me?  I choose to believe that Jesus died on that cross for me - to wipe the slate clean, to give me salvation.  I choose to live my life with purpose.  What that is I'm still working on but at least now I have a direction and I know that whatever God chooses for me I'll trust in His guidance.

Ok, I warned you!  It's unpolished and rough but it's real.  I've never felt so compelled to be involved as I am right now.  Because of my weaknesses and my sinful past, full immersion is the way to go!  I need to be surrounded by my church family and listen to Christian music and learn to pray with the right attitude.  I am too weak to do this on my own.  Thankfully I have the love and support of my family along with my church family - I've developed friendships with some really awesome people!  With God's help and a little determination on my part (as well as some really "out of my comfort zone" experiences!) I plan to stay on the right path.  I don't expect to be completely successful, I am only human and as such, prone to human failures but I do hope to deal with those failures in a more Christlike way.  One can only hope!  Which is, after all, the point!

Enough for now - must go snuggle my freshly bathed handsome wild man!  :D

Stay safe!


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Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris