Sunday, January 24, 2016

Still Struggling with #Pride

I am plagued by doubts about my salvation. I cannot be good enough. I do not deserve salvation. I do not deserve grace.

I know that other people can accept that free gift, but I am convinced that I must earn it or at least be worthy. 

Maybe I am not chosen by God for salvation. 

Or, maybe I was chosen, but I have wandered too far from the straight and narrow.

Is it too late?

I am trying to believe.

I am trying to have faith.

I am trying to repent. 

I am trying to change my thoughts, words, actions, and beliefs.

I am trying to accept God's grace and forgiveness.

I really am trying to figure this out. Maybe I'm trying too hard.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I Am Smart. I Am Strong. I Am Independent. #seekinggod

I just spent an hour at the gym and I came home feeling GREAT! Thirty minutes on the elliptical, 2 sets of 15 reps on all the weight machines. I am walking on air! I can conquer anything! 

Oh, and have I mentioned in the past ten minutes my collection of advanced degrees? How many countries I've visited? My IQ? The number of books I read each week?

If you know me in real life, I probably have.

You can probably tell that I struggle, really struggle, with pride. Satan's sin of choice. That's me: SO important. SO smart. SO independent. 

And, really, to be honest: so lost.

I read the Bible, but it doesn't change who I am. It doesn't make me a better person (how could it when I already think so highly of myself?).

I go to church and Bible study, but it's more for education (or entertainment) than for worship.

And I feel so far from God.

Tonight, two people came to my mind. Two people I think are "weak" and emotionally fragile. Not me. Nope. No way - I have it all figured out. 

But, wait....maybe being weak isn't the worst thing that could happen to me...

It's time to be honest: I have hit a "wall" in my faith - well, I likely have been walking around this wall for years - and I am ready to find my way THROUGH it. 

Prayers would be welcome.

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
2 Corinthians 12:10

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What Exactly ARE The Things Above?

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Col. 3:2 (NIV)

I have always imagined that heaven is magical, peaceful, beautiful – if boring – city in the clouds. There are the requisite mansions for everyone, golden streets, and angels floating by on fluffy, white clouds. And in the middle of everything, Jesus is on his beautiful, majestic throne with piles and piles of crowns surrounding the Messiah. Millions of worshipers – with their perfect bodies – sing to the King with their perfectly melodious voices.

So, when I read in Colossians that we are to set our minds on “things above”, I wonder if this is how I should be setting my mind each day. Is this the key to avoiding anger, gossip, lying, and all the other daily temptations? Does it work? How do I live in the here and now while my mind is set on Heaven?

I don’t have the answers, but I do know that what I have been doing is not working. Someone at bible study asked the question: would the way we live change if Jesus were physically present. Yes, of course, we all agree that if we could SEE Jesus at all times we would live a lot differently. So, I am trying something new: a physical reminder of things above, of Heaven.

I’m wearing a necklace called Heaven (from Premier Designs). It has the key to Heaven, a door with a keyhole, a crown of pearls on one side and multiple colored gemstones on the other, one of the charms has a golden cross on one side and a golden road on the other, and the last charm says “Rev. 21: 18-22”. This physical object that I’m wearing is my way of reminding myself often to set my mind.

What do you think Heaven will be like? And, how do you “set your mind”?

These are not rhetorical questions. I really would like to know what others think and do.