Aug 18

There are certain verses in the Bible that just fascinate me. Don’t get me wrong, they are all good; they are all God breathed useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting. But there are some verses that when I read them I just want to ask, “Are you sure God?”

This is one of them:

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

First and foremost God does not tempt us (James 1:13). But He does allow temptation in our lives in order to purify us. First, He measures what you can handle and second, He always provides a way out.

Insert personal application now :) The other day I had driven over to my mom’s house to hand her some papers she needed. As I was leaving her house, out of the blue she made some backhanded comment. Kind of shocked, I quickly said goodbye and got in the car. I immediately started mulling the comment over. “Why had she said that to me?” “I did not deserve that.” I had just driven to her house as a favor and now I was getting an attitude. Also, what she said wasn’t even fair or correct which made me even more upset. So, upset turned to anger, anger to hot under the collar, and hot under the collar to “I’m going to call her right now and tell her exactly how I feel!”

As I scrambled for my phone with my freehand I realized where I was- on the corner of Imperial and Brea Blvd. Also known as the dead cell zone. Never in my life (or the 5 years that I have lived in La Mirada) have I ever been able to maintain a clear connection in that 4 mile stretch from Brea Blvd to Beach. I was going to have to make a choice: A) I was going to have to sustain my anger until I reached a better cell zone. B) Call anyway and yell extra hard to break through the static. C) And this is when the verse came to me – use this time to calm down and escape the temptation to act out in anger.

Right at the exact moment I needed, God brought His word to me. Pretty cool, right? You think I would feel relieved, right? Not exactly. Yes I was excited that I was putting two and two together but on the other hand if I were to follow through that meant I would have to put down the phone and swallow my righteous indignation. Painful! But I knew I had to; it was too clear to ignore. I had to go forward. Thankfully, I know myself pretty well, so just to be safe I hurled the phone to the back of the car and settled that temptation once and for all.

Later that night my mom called me. She began to tell me what a hard time she had been having finding a job lately. She was feeling overwhelmed having to deal with this issue so late in life and she was frustrated. Before we got off she said if she ever came off short or upset she was sorry.

Can you imagine if I had given into my anger and made that call? I would have hurt my mom’s feelings, created one more frustration for her, and acted like a fool over something that I should have overlooked.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says this regarding 1 Corinthians 10:13, “A persons inner nature, what he possesses in the inner, spiritual part of his being, determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation fits the true nature of the person being tempted and reveals the possibilities of his nature.”

What God has allowed to be put before you has already been measured and is according to what you are able to overcome. But let’s not even try to pretend here. Resisting a temptation is not for the faint of heart. You need God’s help and to remember what you have been allowed to experience is not more than you can bear and with the temptation He will be faithful to provide a way of escape.

Aug 12

So my goal is to post a blogotional every other week.  I was thinking that during the down week If I have something interesting that I am reading or that I stumble across I could post it here and share.  Today I was reading from  “Loving God with All Your Mind”  and this really struck me.  I am now trying to memorize Philippians 4:8-9.  If you see me don’t test me :)

“It’s been estimated that 10,000 thoughts pass through the human mind in one day.  Obeying God’s command to filter our thoughts through His grid  of true and real is no easy task.  But, thanks be to God, He helps us to accomplish whatever He asks us to do!”  – Elizabeth George “Loving God with All Your Mind”

Philippians 4: 8-9 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Aug 3

After dropping the kids off at school one day I realized I had an hour to kill so I decided that instead of driving home I would work on my bible study in the peace and quiet of my car. Thankfully I had all my equipment with me: my bible, study book, pen, and me. I flipped the pages to week 5, day 1 and read the big-bold- title:

“You Can Do All Things Through Christ.”

And in a big, bold, response I quickly replied “Oh no I cant!” Immediately one perfectly good reason after another came pouring out of my mind as to why that statement was not true of me. The truth of me is, some things I can do, most things maybe, but all things- no way.

God must have had it with my self loathing because right then I audibly heard in a shouting chorus, “YOU CAN DO IT!”

For a second I couldn’t breathe. Was it the end of the world? What was going on? Had I actually heard the voice of GOD? And then I looked up and just a few feet away I saw the school field and the 4th grade class (my son’s class) running the mile run.

The mile run. It had been the talk of our house for the past month. All the 4th graders were determined to accomplish the race and finish in good time. I was able to make out my son in the field and could see he had crossed the finish. But he along with some of the other children were cheering on the kids who were lagging behind trying to finish that last grueling lap.

“You can do it!” they shouted “Don’t give up”, “You only have a little more to go”, “Your almost there!” The kids were speaking to the runners and God was speaking to me. I stayed glued to the scene until the last child triumphantly crossed the line. And when they all had finished they walked back to class and the field was empty.

Leaving me alone to process.

First of all, is God the king of timing or what! All the moments that had to perfectly coincide just so God could shake me by my insecure shoulders. If that isn’t love I just don’t know what is. Secondly, can I do all things through Christ? I can when I stop thinking its all about me and instead remember its all about Jesus. Jesus no doubt can do all things. And through him I can also. The door is wide open and the possibilities in our lives are endless.

All God wants us to do is keep our eyes securely fastened on Him and believe that He will empower us to do what he commands of us. That He loves us more than we can imagine and He would never lead us to failure. In fact 2 Corinthians 2:14   tells us God always leads us to triumph in Christ.  So with that truth confidently under our belt we can step out in faith in whatever challenge He puts before us.

And if you tremble, it’s okay; walk forward anyways and watch as He comes and steadies those shoulders.

Philippians 4:13 (Amplified Bible):

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

Aug 3

One day after school as Isabelle ate her snack, she began to tell me what she had learned in class.

She said “Mom, you know how Jesus and God and the ….. hmm, the spirit, is that what you call it? Did you know they’re like all the same?”

“Yes” I answered nervously because I knew within seconds, I was going to have to explain the mystery of the trinity to a five year old.

“Well I don’t get it. My teacher said it’s kinda like an apple, like Jesus is the core but God is umm the meaty part and then ummm, the spirit is…”

As I saw her struggle I remembered the explanation I was once given.

“Honey you can also think of it as an egg. An egg is three parts: the shell, the white, and the yoke. It’s one egg but made of three separate parts.”

Apparently she had had enough at this point and no longer being able to take all this egg-apple business she said, “Mommy, Mommy- just stop – just hold on. Just tell me one ting, when I die and get to heaven, is there going to be like three guys standing there or just one!”