Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Storytelling….

I love to tell the WHOLE story!  Much to the chagrin of the folks who love me and know me best, sometimes they get more information than they bargained for.  It’s just how my brain works.  It’s also how my heart works!  I want to talk about my day from beginning to end, and I will admit, sometimes in the midst of my telling, I remember that the beloved family member I’m talking to asked me a question and I still haven’t answered it. Then I have to stop and ask, “What was it that you asked me?”  At other times, (okay…MOST of the time!)  I know I’m giving a lot of detailed information, but I really feel that’s it’s all relevant to the question asked.  Again, my sweet family’s opinion may differ from mine.  But that’s okay!  However……Please tell me friends that I’m not alone here!  I find it very difficult to respond with a one sentence answer….I love the story!

In Psalm 107:1-3, King David writes, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.”

Yes!  These are my people!!  I realize this verse is basically talking about how people should share their testimony of how God encountered their lives and made a difference in their lives.  But seriously…sometimes I’m desperate to tell the story of how I found a parking place in a crowded Trader Joe’s parking lot; or how the drive on 5 freeways (to get just about anywhere!) was redeemed when the crazy driver didn’t crash into me like I thought they would. And dagnabit…sometimes I want to share the story of how I feel redeemed as a homemaker at the end of the day and regale my darling husband with my tales of finished laundry (yep…folded and put away!), a sparkling bleach cleaned kitchen sink, dusting & vacuuming the whole house, AND have a meal in the oven made from scratch!  Can I get an amen!!??!!

I’ve been doing a bible study with a few mom’s at the high school where my daughter attends.  These are precious women to me and I love sharing Monday mornings with them.  This semester, we’ve been going through the book of Acts.  We read through each chapter and answer just a few simple questions…but they really make you think.  We pick out one or two verses from that chapter and then observe how we see God’s truths in that verse, and then we think about how to apply what we’ve gleaned from that verse into our lives and then follow it up with prayer.  I’m discovering that part of the reason I’m loving reading the book of Acts this time is because it’s a DETAILED STORY!  I’m truly interested and captivated by the minutia of how Paul traveled, which path he took, why he took it, how he got to the next location, etc.  I’m fascinated as well because God decided that these details were worthy enough to be put into scripture for me (and YOU!) to read today!

In Acts 10:9-23, we read about a vision the Lord gave Peter.  It was a very specific and very deliberate word from God, telling Peter how he needed to be ready to accept anyone and anything who had been declared clean by God.  That it was not up to Peter to judge.  This was in preparation of being called to the home of a Gentile of the day(Cornelius), who requested Peter to come to his home and share the Gospel with him.  The Holy Spirit could have just as easily whispered to Peter’s heart, “When Cornelius’ servant comes to you and requests your presence, just go.”  Or the Holy Spirit could have waited until the request was made and said to Peter, “Yes…go here.”  But no! The Lord told Peter a story.

In Acts 11:1-18, Peter has now gone to the home of Cornelius (which by the way…when Peter met Cornelius, he told Peter a very long story of how an angel had appeared to him and told him to send for Peter).  Before the reconciliation through Jesus, it was not lawful for Jews and Gentiles to have community.  The Jews in Jerusalem (ch.11, vs. 1-3) criticized Peter for meeting with a Gentile in his home, for many Jews still didn’t believe that the Gospel was for the Gentiles as well.  So what do we see now in Acts 11:4, “Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story:”

I totally love this!  And Peter did….he told the WHOLE story of his vision that the Lord gave him. And no one interrupted him.  No one bothered him.  No one told him to stop and “get to the point.”

The whole story IS the point!

In a nutshell, the Bible could just say: God made everything. Earth was perfect. Humans messed it up. Jesus came to earth to live, die, and rise again. Jesus’ resurrection made salvation possible. We are saved from eternal death. The end.

How boring would that “story” have been if that had been it!  I am beyond tickled that God wanted to tell us His beautiful story.

It is a story of creativity, grace, tragedy, unspeakable horror, indescribable miracles, mercy, reconciliation, and full restoration!  Because of God’s immense love for us, He wants us to know how very much we are wanted…how very much He wants to know us…how very much He wants a relationship with us.

And you know what ~ God wants you to tell YOUR STORY!

He has created  you to be unique and no one can tell your story except for you.  No one else can display the graces that God has bestowed on your life, like you can. No one can share with others how the great love of the Father has changed your life, like you will be able to.

Blessings to you as you embrace the story of your life.  

2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Strength and courage of the Lord be yours as you boldly share the story of your life!!

Blessings,

René

2 Corinthians 13 verse 11

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Seeing the Delight in being Set Apart

Does this title seem like an oxymoron to you?  It does to me ~ and I’m truly beginning to love how God has been working in my heart in the past few years.  Showing me delight in things I previously found absolutely frightening.  He is so good and so patient as I learn these truths.

What does it mean to be set-apart?  As I searched these words in scripture, there are about 60 verses that touch on the subject.  Some of them deal with animals, unclean things, or cities.  However, most of these verses deal with people and how the Lord has set us apart.  Being “set apart” is not for only certain people.  It is not for those who’ve gone through seminary or special theology classes…it is for all who call on the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  Let me share a few with you here ~

Leviticus 20:26, “You are to be holy to Me because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be Mine.”

Psalm 4:3, “Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.”

Jeremiah 1:5, “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Galatians 1:15, “But when God, who from my birth set me apart and called me by His grace, was pleased”

I Peter 1:2-3, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

I think the verse in Leviticus gives us a beautiful picture of who we are to the Lord.  The phrasing is very clear, that we have done nothing on our own to receive the bounty of God’s love.  Simply because HE is Holy, we are called holy and called to be set apart.  We are separate from those who do not have a relationship with the Lord.  This does not mean we are better than others.  But it does give us an amazing privilege ~ to call the Almighty Creator of the Universe, our Father.  We can call Him our friend, our confidante, our protector, our healer, our Savior.

God is PLEASED to call us His own ~ He yearns to reconcile us back to Him.

I know I wrote a bit about being “set apart” in my last blog, but felt like there was more to say.  It can be our delight to be set apart.  When we allow God to lead us into the calling He personally and specifically places on our life, being set apart doesn’t look lonely ~ it looks whole and full!  This is not the game of kickball in 2nd grade where you got picked last…or not at all.  God chose YOU to be right where you are at this very moment in time because YOU are the one He wants to be a light to the neighbors, family, or co-workers that surround you.  You have a unique job that no one else can quite fill the way you do.  Dive in and see what He has planned for you!

Sometimes, being set apart can feel like you are alone in the quest that God has given you.  Especially if you are the only Christian in your home, work place, dorm room, or in your family. But you are not by yourself ~ the Lord is with you and because He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8), He will never leave you or forget about you.

So take a moment today and ask God what it is that He has set you apart for.  What is it that He has been whispering to your heart to do?  Take time in your prayers to seek Him and not say a word ~ yep…just quietly listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and not give a list of wants and needs.  God is faithful to answer you when you call.

It is always safe to go where God is.

Psalm 4 verse 3

Blessings,

René