Our room that we have our computers (and assorted other odds and ends, and stuff that we don't quite know what to do with) in has a window which faces east. I am sitting here with a cup of the coffee that woke me up and watching the sun begin to peek up over the hills. It's these moments when I am most at peace and content and so very aware of how truly blessed my life is. It's so easy to know that I am blessed and to feel the Lord's presence when I am in this place. My desire is to have this peace all the time. To learn rest in the Lord's presence when things aren't calm, when nothing is going the way I want it to go, when I don't understand His ways.
My ladies bible study group is doing a study from the book “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. The tag line on the title is, “A woman's guide to finding contentment.” We are on week two and I am learning or being reminded of truths that are so foundational to my learning to live in a state of peace and contentment. I am excited to see what God is going to do in my heart and mind through this study.
First of all, I think a little background is in order here. I thought I was going to write about what I am learning through this study but I think I'll save that for another post, maybe later today or tomorrow. This morning I think I'll write about another part of my Christian journey. The early years, being in a church with a false teaching, being led down a road of unrealistic expectations, false doctrine, darkness, frustration, depression, and finally coming to a place of being completely broken....being broken enough to cry out to God from the depths of my heart.....”God, I don't even know who you are or if you are real. And if you are real, I don't know if you even care. I don't know what to believe or who to turn to for answers. So, if you are who I think you are then you will draw me back to yourself. If you aren't or you aren't able to reach me and bring me back to you, then I don't want anything to do with you anyway.” This wasn't even really a prayer. It was a rant. I was angry. I was hurt. I was disillusioned with God, with Christianity, with all of it...and I was railing at God in my anger and frustration. But it was real! For the first time in so long, I was being real with God. And He responded. It didn't happen immediately. It didn't happen quickly, or in a church, or because my Christian “friends” rallied around me. It happened while I was completely backslidden, doing my own thing, lost in sin once again...God reached into my life and into my heart and drew me back to Himself. God is so good, He is so merciful...and He will meet us at the point of our need.
"Return, faithless people;
I will cure you of backsliding."
"Yes, we will come to you,
for you are the LORD our God.
The church I was involved in during the early days of my Christianity was a small, non-denominational church which taught the doctrine of prosperity. The “Word of Faith” doctrine was taught there. It would take far too long for me to talk about everything that was wrong with that doctrine and my desire is not to bash anyone. The important part of it, as it relates to my story, is that we were taught that we could somehow affect or change the circumstances in our lives by our faith. We were taught that we were created in God's image and just as God could bring things about by the power of His word, so could we...if only we REALLY believed. (and the serpent said to Eve, “you will be like God”) And, we were taught that without faith it is impossible to please God. So, I lived in this world of memorizing scripture, trying to claim the “promises of God” in my life, trying to “believe” enough to manifest change in my circumstances...and continually failing. And by failing to have enough “faith” to bring about these manifestations of health. wealth, and happiness, I was not pleasing God...because without faith it's impossible to please him. Oh, how satan twisted scripture and used it against me in those days!
It's been a long journey to bring me to this place I find myself now. The “word of faith” teaching is being washed out of my mind and heart and being replaced with a faith in God...not a faith in my ability to have faith. Layer by layer, the Spirit of God is peeling away the lies and falsehoods that I was taught for twelve years, and replacing them with truth. And that is why I am so excited about this study I am doing now. I can hardly wait to tell you about it!
Here's my menu for yesterday. It's a bit heavy on the bananas. I love bananas and I had some that were ripe and needing to be used up...so there you go...LOL
POINTS® Tracker entries
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
2 medium banana(s) 3.5
1 serving(s) Yoplait Light Yogurt 2
1 serving(s) FlatOut Flat Bread 1 slice 1
1 cup(s) lettuce 0
1 serving(s) Cheese Slice fat free 1
1 medium apple(s) 1
1 Tuna Salad 3
3 small cooked red potato(es)3.5
6 oz cooked tilapia 4
1 medium banana(s) 1.5
1 serving(s) Yoplait Light Yogurt 2
1 Tuna Salad 3
Food POINTS values total used 25.5
Food POINTS values remaining 0
weekly points used 1.5
weekly points remaining 31.5
47 min walking, brisk 3
Activity POINTS values earned 3