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This poem was shared by our speaker at our Wednesday Night Ladies Bible Study.  It was just too good not to share.  I have to take one paragraph at a time, it’s that good.  We are studying Romans and this week was Romans 6.  Ya might just want to take a gander at it before you read the poem.  God’s been showing me that I need to kill off not just my sinful nature but also those things that I think I deserve, or am entitled to: Rights.  Ouch!  I think that hurts more than killing my sin. 

Others May You Cannot

“If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
 
Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
 
The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His glory, which can be produced only in the shade.
 
Others will be allowed to succeed in making money but it is likely God will keep you poor because He wants you to have something far better than gold and that is a helpless dependence on Him; that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
 
God will let others be great, but He will keep you small.  He will let others do a great work for Him and get credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when He comes.
 
The Holy Spirit will put strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.
 
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do what He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.  He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say.
 
Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that others are not dealt with.
 
Now, when you are so possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will found the vestibule of Heaven.”
 
Now print this baby up and post it above the kitchen sink.
 
And on your bathroom mirror.
 
And on the laundry detergent container. 
 
You know, all the spots we frequent and sometimes might have a not-so-great attitude about our current lot in life. 
 
Uh, if that every happens…
 
‘Cuz I’ve heard that sometimes that happens…
 
You know.
 
 
 
 
 
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This evening, as Hubby and I were in Church, there was a whole family of several generations, sitting in the row in front of us.  Tonight were baby dedications so there were many extended family members present who don’t normally attend our Church.

But my attention was caught by the grandmother, or rather, the GREAT-grandmother.  She was easily well into her 80’s, needing help up and a steadying hand to hold her while she caught her balance, every time we stood for a prayer or song.  I half expected her to quit standing and stay seated after the first song or two.  But no, she kept getting up each time.  Her hair was disheveled, flattened on a couple sides and sticking out straight on the others.  Her aged frame was bent from a lifetime of living and the rigors that it brings.  Her hands, though gnarled and twisted with arthritis, had well-cared for nails. 

At first, it was her hands that drew my second look.  As uncomfortable as it had to have been for her, she clapped along during every song.  Her body, too unstable to sway to a melody, remained still but her hands told a different story.   They kept time with the beat.  They moved with grace and eagerness despite their frailness. 

And so my attention was led from her hands on to her face.  Or rather, the side of her face as that was all my view would afford.  She sang along!  She wasn’t just enjoying the music, she knew the words and appeared to be singing her heart out.  This lady was praising her God.  She wasn’t going to let any old, tired, aching body stand in her way.  No ma’am.  

In my mind’s eye, I could see her as she might have been picturing herself… dancing and swaying on nimble, agile feet before the very throne of her Savior.  I’m certain that’s how our honest, true worship must look to God.  He sees our souls, our true selves, as they really are.  Our souls aren’t bogged down with earthly years of toil and the physical abuse that our bodies must endure.   And for those brief moments I watched this dear sweet lady, I saw her soul…  

Her hands, that now were beautiful and lovely to me and no longer twisted and damaged, stilled their clapping as she lifted them up, closed her eyes in concentrated praise and sang those words directly to her Lord.  The words that she was singing?

“…Take my life and let it be, all for You and for Your glory.  Take my life and let it be Yours…” 

Suddenly I was struck with the lesson this beautiful, fragrant picture of a true worship offering was showing me… this woman, with most of her life already lived, STILL found reason to devote and dedicate her life to Him.  She was still choosing to give Him her all.  She wasn’t sitting in her seat, saying to herself that she’d already done her part for Him.  That she’d paid her dues.  That she’d given Him her best days and now she was content to take it easy and let the younger folks take up the slack.  No.  She was still striving to bring Him glory.  She still wanted “in” on the blessing of glorifying Him in any and every way possible.

And then I felt the sting of regret.  This sweet lady was showing me up.  Not that it is a contest.  It’s not.  But we were practically side by side examples of worship for God to see.  And while I love worshiping my Lord.  And I love to spend my quiet times with Him.  And I strive to only become closer and more intimate with Him, never taking a step that doesn’t follow His Will… What about my days that I don’t feel good?  What about the days I’m just too tired from a night of interrupted sleep?  How much glory does God receive from me when my hair doesn’t cooperate, I feel my wardrobe is severely lacking and I’m consumed with my earthly appearance instead of my heavenly one?  During my grumpy, impatient and/or stressed out moments, would God even desire my life if I’d bothered to take my eyes off myself long enough to actually offer it to Him? 

But look at her.  Just look at her.  For all earthly accounts and purposes, she has a lot to complain about.  But tonight?  I didn’t see any complaining in her body language.  Nope.  She was pure joy.  She was happy to be at Church and she was happy to offer up, again, her life to glorify God. 

Amazing.

Ouch…

Yet another kick in the pants to get my heart jolted out of it’s funk and into the place it should be.

I’m hoping she’ll be there next week. 

I’m not the fastest learner.

I was in the middle of writing a post on my “oops!” moment I had this morning when I took a little online jaunt to read some of the blogs I frequent.  Kristen from We Are THAT Family, wrote a couple posts about a new family in their neighborhood that they just met.  Not just any family, but a Christian Russian family from Uzbekistan who had to flee due to persecution.  You can read her posts here and here 

Since my sisters and I have been studying surrendering and sacrificing it ALL for sake of God’s glory, no matter the circumstances or the cost, well, this hit home right along with all the spiritual gut-shots I’ve been taking the last couple weeks in my Quiet Time.  I know “gut-shots” is probably not the best term but that’s what they feel like – on the human side of things.  Those clear precise words, whether read or heard, that clearly come from God with a resounding, “Helloooo??!! Are you listening??!!!! I’m talking to YOU!”  And the gut feeling you get when you realize you’ve had it all wrong for a long, long time. 

ANYWAY! Go read Kristin’s story of meeting this amazing family.  And then pray for them.  Because they need it.  And because we take way, way, wwaaaayyyyy too much for granted in our cushy, Christian USA lives.  Really, we have no idea what it really is like to follow Christ in any other part of the world.

And don’t worry… I’ll get that embarrasing post about myself finished up and posted tonight…

So, I’ve added a couple more buttons to my blog.  You know, I’m new at this so it takes me awhile to start “decorating” like I’d like to.

Go check them out.  The Spring Garden Tour is a marvelous idea and personally, I have 32 a couple areas of my yard that need some help.  A LOT of help frankly.  So I’m looking forward to that event.  I’m hoping I have at least one cute area or idea to share by then so I don’t look as needy as I really am in the gardening department. Yikes!

Also, I just stumbled upon The Preacher’s Wife online Bible Study.  I haven’t actually started it per-say…  I’m actually doing two separate Bible Studies already at the moment (how’s that for holiness?!! JUST kidding!  Actually, I could do with about 50 more because I have so many areas to work on but lets not get into that right now… please…. pretty please….).  One of my studies is ending in just a couple weeks so I’m looking to start a new one for the summer.  I’m really hoping Preacher’s Wifewill still have hers going at that point.  Or at least leave it up so us tag-alongs can still do it. 

Anyhoo, I started reading the introduction to the Bible Study and I didn’t just get verklemped.  No folks, I was just a flea’s hair away from the ugly cry.  Yeah.  It’s true.  It is sooo touching.  You HAVE to go read it.  I command you, Go. Now.  And then bookmark her page, add her button to your blog and join her Bible Study.  I have a sneaky suspicion you’ll be glad you did.  And I can’t wait to start it myself.  You can keep an eye out for me.  I’ll be there in May. 

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