Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: lose your life (Page 2 of 2)

I Confess

I confess…

I sinned this week.

I confess the past six months have not always been the easiest. Why am I always looking for easy anyway? Yep, this post may ramble, but you will keep reading, right?!!

It was September 2014 when Justin and Melissa decided to make good on their threat  dream to leave New York and move far west to Wyoming. Not two weeks later, I drove with Hannah cross country to move her to Arizona where she is happily living and working.  In January, Kelsey left dreary, snowy, cold NY for St. John Virgin Islands. She too, is having a blast. Who wouldn’t where it’s hot and humid in the winter? Lauren still lives at home, but is busy with school, youth group and friends, and I know she too is dreaming and planning of what her future might hold. None of this is new ‘news’, I’ve written about family here before. So, what’s this about confessing sin?

If you  know me well, I have a few mantras, one being, family is huge. Extended family, siblings, my own dear family, church family and life long friends. I love BIG. Is it possible to love too much? Is it possible to sin when I put people whether friends or family in the place that only God should be? Is Jesus, who loves me more than I could ever imagine at the center of my heart, mind and soul, or is it my loved ones?

Enter sin. I won’t go into the gory details. If you want details, ask the guy who has loved me no matter what when I put my kids where the Lord should be. I confess they have been my joy for a long time. And now that they are adults and we are beyond the terrible twos and the challenges of raising teenagers, I love them and my heart is full of joy over the beautiful people they have become, which I credit the Lord for.

Earlier this week I found myself focusing on what I no longer have and not what I do have. I confess I was sad for me, I was focusing on me, that day was a day filled with self and self-pity. I will spare you the rest, but will tell you what God did for me that evening. I was reading in the Psalms, Psalm 87 and the last verse declared me guilty of finding joy somewhere else.

Singers and dancers alike will say, ‘My whole source of joy is in you’.

Owww!! I was guilty of trying to find joy solely in my circumstances, my family, my surroundings, when all along my WHOLE source of joy should be found in God. Yes, our families, homes, jobs, friends, hobbies and pastimes can bring us joy, but if any of those things are my whole source of joy, well…I have sinned. I am the first one to say God gives everything to enjoy( 1 Timothy 6:17), but our focus should be on God who richly provides all things to enjoy.

We find ourselves with adjustments, seasons of life and transitions. Babies grow up and live their own lives, jobs come and go and we find retirement brings a whole new way of life. Sickness and death interrupt our tranquil lives, and the snow never stops in the Northeast.

Despite circumstances and the weather, the goal is to find our whole source of joy in God bringing true contentment. (Philippians 4:11)


Radical Questions

 Time marches on toward 2014 with many original posts waiting to be written in the coming year, but for the last couple of days of 2013 I am still thinking about the following questions I posted last year at this time. And today’s sermon was on this subject too. What rules my heart? Do I have idols that are ruling my heart or am I loving God supremely? Love God is the first commandment. The following is a re-post from last year. 

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Is the glory of Christ my heart’s desire? ( John Henderson)

A radical question right? Radical living has been popping up everywhere the past few weeks.

Reading my textbook for a biblical counseling course I am taking, in Sunday School, learning what Jesus is saying in the New Testament parables, and in my own thinking as the Holy Spirit convicts my heart to love God with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul, God is asking me if the glory of Christ is my heart’s desire.

 Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12:29-31 (The Message)

What or whom do I love? and do I love ‘it’ more than the glory of Christ?

What does the glory of Christ look like today?

Do I desire the obedience of my children even more than the glory of Christ?(John Henderson)

Do I desire safety more than the glory of Christ?

Do I desire a better house, car, clothes, good reputation more than the glory of Christ?

Do I desire _____________________ more than the glory of Christ?

Any desire itself can be good, but if there is a sinful response when I don’t get what my heart desires, then the glory of Christ has taken a back seat.

Yep, radical, to put Christ as the center of my life. I say I want God, but do I really?

What is the master of my heart?

What is mastering your heart?

Am I doing everything to the glory of God or my own?

When Christ rules our hearts, contentment and peace will follow. Contentment and peace feed on each other. (John Henderson)

Lord, I am Yours

This month I am reading through the book of Luke in anticipation of celebrating the arrival of my Savior. Reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible I wasn’t very far into my reading when I came across Mary, who would soon become the mother of Jesus. She ran the gamut of emotions as the angel spoke to her. She was

  • a favored woman
  • deeply troubled by what she was hearing
  • was not to be afraid
  • was stunned by the fact she would soon be carrying a child knowing she had never been with a man

What I am most struck by is she did not waste anytime in responding to the angel. In the midst of raging emotions she simply said

I am the Lord’s slave. May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:26-38)

Most other versions use the word bond-servant or servant of the Lord. 

Every time I read this passage I wonder what God saw in this very young woman to call her favored. And even when she was greatly troubled she didn’t take much time in responding to the angel. She wanted to serve the Lord.

Today and the rest of December I am praying

Oh Lord,

I give up all

my own plans and purposes,

all my own desires and hopes,


accept Thy will for my life.

I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.

Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.

Use me as Thou wilt,

send me where Thou wilt,

work out Thy whole will in my life

at any cost, now and forever.

–Prayer of Betty Scott Stam copied into my Bible


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