A Sacrifice of Praise, Part 2

It is amazing what a little change of perspective can do. After turning my eyes on Jesus, and focusing on His wonderful face rather than my circumstances, my perspective changed. God brought to mind some precious facts that, without refocusing on Him, I never would have appreciated.

The first one is that a friend, who knows how to replace starters, just happens to be at our house. He and Chris got parts this afternoon.

Then, God reminded me that we live in a home with hot and cold running water, in a place where I can easily buy the supplies to treat my daughter, just in case any lice made their way onto her head. Plus, He’s given me experience with lice, so I know how to treat it effectively. And, only one child was exposed, in a controlled environment, with enough common sense to protect herself and the others in her cabin from cross-contamination. She probably doesn’t have lice, but we’re treating her just in case. And I have the luxury of doing that! Mamas in Iraq and Syria, even Gaza, don’t have such luxuries. Some have held their children while they died of thirst, or watched as their heads were hacked off by militant Islamists. And one mama in particular will never again hold her child in her arms; he is dead and nothing can bring him back.

In so many different ways today, the Lord has straightened my path and “made the road rise up to meet” me. Focusing on circumstances, I would have missed the blessings. But falling on my face at the feet of my precious Savior, and lifting my eyes to look at His glorious face, I have caught glimpses of just a few of the ways He has blessed me today. Now, my praise offering is not sacrificial; it is filled with joy, and coming from a greatly humbled heart. What an awesome God I serve!!

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A Sacrifice of Praise

Tears are streaming down my face. Today has been such a difficult day. My daughter, who has been serving as a counselor at UGM Camp, may have lice; the two campers who had lice were both in her cabin. And my car needs a new starter and is leaking power steering fluid. And I spilled a coffee (which someone bought me as a special treat) in my husband’s car. We’ve had sick kids for almost two weeks, and another kid is sick, with a different set of symptoms. And I’m tired, physically, mentally, emotionally.

I know it isn’t true, but sometimes it seems like since we’re full-time minsters of the Gospel, we shouldn’t have as many challenges. Like we should get a special pass or something, you know? But that is most definitely not true. Jesus said that in this world, we will have trouble. But not to fear, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). James said we need to consider it pure joy when we face challenges, because God is keeping His promise in Romans, to make us like Jesus. And I want to be like Jesus, at least in theory.

In theory, I want to be conformed. I want to glorify Jesus. I want to be like Him. But in reality, that is a painful, difficult process that reveals ugliness – in me! I hate seeing my brokenness. I hate seeing how far short of God’s glory I truly fall. It is just plain yucky.

Paul said that his challenges were light and momentary. If anyone could have complained, it was Paul. He knew far more challenging circumstances than I do. And yet, he didn’t. He kept his eyes on Jesus and the prize. He struggled (2 Cor 1:8, 9), but he didn’t lose heart.

So, as I sit at the feet of Jesus, overwhelmed and discouraged by my circumstances, I choose to bring a sacrifice of praise. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, thinking about who He is, what He has done, and how worthy of praise He is, my circumstances begin to fade and my heart is filled with joy. How can I not praise Jesus? How can I not?

When Making Me Better Really Bites

Wise words, and healthy perspective, from a dear friend who is worth listening to…or reading. Thanks, Dayle.

Tip of My Iceberg

I will admit to being a somewhat aggressive person. A git ‘er done kind of gal.

It’s often quite positive. Moving me towards goals I’d like to achieve. Jobs I want to finish.

It does have its downside. My mouth is now suffering from my eagerness to do it right.imgres-1

I was told I’d need gum surgery to rebuild my receding gum line. The doctor explained that some genetics were involved. But I managed to exacerbate heredity with aggressive brushing. And flossing. Anything to keep my pearly whites pearly.

I went too far.

Not one to do anything halfway, I’d brush vigorously. Twice a day. And I’m the only one in my family to floss.

Life isn’t fair.

I had the surgery, and as gentle as the doctor was, the aftereffects aren’t fun. I’ve got this stent on the roof of my mouth that feels like someone glued a rock…

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It is Well

“It is well with my soul.” Those words, from a precious and well-loved song, hold so much promise and hope.

If you don’t know the story of the song, it is truly heart-breaking; you can read about it here.

The beauty of the story, though, is how Horatio responded to the heartbreak and tragedy he experienced. Instead of focusing on his circumstances, he focused on Jesus. And he chose to focus on God’s character rather than his circumstances.

Today, I want to declare that, regardless of my circumstance, it is well with my soul.