Intersecting Life and Faith

Author: Jody (Page 3 of 31)

Defining Moments

September 5, 2014~~I missed my blogging anniversary this week. I can’t believe I’ve been writing for six years as of August 31. This blogging anniversary is always a time when I re-focus. 

For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, my summer writing has been sparse. I continue to remind myself why I write. I like to tell myself It is not for comments or the amount of readers who come and go or stay and become regular readers, but some days I can’t help but check the stats and comments.  But reality hits and I read my first blog post and remember, yes, I do write for an audience of ONE, always attempting to focus on what would honor the Lord. Most days and even moments I have to re-focus.

There have been several decisive moments in my life bringing me to a place of re-focusing my life and priorities.
But the turning point in my walk of faith was almost 7 years when my dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Life as I knew it with family activities, teaching women’s Bible studies, working in a bakery came to a crashing halt. I was so busy doing I had lost my focus, I had lost my passion for Jesus Christ. He was no longer the main thing, my activities which were mainly christian in nature were the focus. I was doing and not being still and knowing God.
The very next day after my dad went to be with Jesus all these “good” things fell by the wayside. I turned to Jesus who alone could comfort and love me. As I descended into a valley of profound grief and questions regarding how my dad died, I turned to the Word of God daily, many times throughout the day. My focus was now front and center on Jesus.
Questions I had were answered in God’s Word. How did I get to the point I was so busy and not focusing on the most important relationship with Jesus? As I read Matthew 5:1-11 Jesus explains here what a true disciple is and questions we can ask ourselves.

  • Do I recognize how desperately I need God and His help? Matthew 5:3
  • Is there a sin/sins in my life I need to mourn over, seeking forgiveness from God? Matthew 5:4
  • Am I meek, trusting the in sovereignty of God in my life? Matthew 5:5
  • Am I merciful, showing kindness and forgiveness to others as Christ has forgiven me? Matthew 5:7
  • Does purity affect every area of my life? Heart, mind and soul? Matthew 5:8
  • Do I show the world I value Jesus above everything else, even when persecuted? Matthew 5:10

Is Jesus all I want, more than all in Thee I find?(Charles Wesley hymn)

God’s Word is always the best way to get your eyes back on Jesus.

Farming

Archive week.

My dad was born a farmer.

He started with his father as a young man and took over the family farms once he was out of high school. I know many farmers and they are some of the hardest working people you will ever meet. My dad used a farm implement called a cultivator. It was hooked up behind a tractor then used to go between the rows of corn or soybeans to turn over the rich black soil and to dig up any weeds that weren’t supposed to be there.

The Lord often reminds me of the distractions I have in my life that keep me from Him and His Word causing me to lose my hunger for both.

There are days I catch myself spending too much time on the computer, on Facebook or allowing my mind to wander or worry about things God has already told me I have no business worrying about. 

And could it be there are days I am too busy with work, with the kids, with extended family.

Can I be too busy teaching Sunday School and Bible studies?

All these things are important and this post is for ME as well as anyone reading today.

  • How do I keep the weeds at bay and keep the soil from turning so hard there is  no longer a hunger and desire for God?

  • How do I cultivate my marital relationships, taking time to realize this relationship is my primary relationship if I am  married and should come before our relationship with our children?

  • How do I balance family, work, and ministry to others?




The Sliver in my Finger

Ever have sliver in your finger that was so small it was almost impossible to remove?

You dig and dig with whatever is handy to get the intruder removed. It becomes red and inflamed and irritating even after the culprit has long been removed. The smallest of slivers can become a big distraction. I am always on a mission to get it removed even if I have to squeeze my finger until it hurts to get that thing gone.

I had one of those recently…

As I was trying my hardest to rid my hand of this little sliver I thought of the “little” sins in my  life that tend to…distract.
(As a blogger who attempts to post on a daily basis, I am always looking for the spiritual analogy)
I don’t murder, cheat on my husband, steal from my neighbor or lie to my family. Before those thoughts are even finished,

God says to me… pharisee!  ‘I’m not like this tax collector, I pray three times a day, I read my Bible and pray, visit the lonely and depressed and love my neighbor.

It is the sins of discontent, murmuring, complaining, wanting my own way, calling people names, if not out loud at least in my heart, cutting someone off in traffic, telling that little white lie _________you fill in the blank.

These are the sins that eat at my heart and soul, robbing me of joy in the Lord and the intimate relationship I want to have with my Lord.

The serpent whispers in my ear convincing telling me lies that I am better than those who have murdered and hated their neighbor.
Today I ask myself…am I the pharisee or the tax collector?
How far will I go to remove these sins, even though the removal may cause some pain?

Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.
Song of Solomon 2:15
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