Well today’s sermon I knew would be good. Tommy (pastor for newcomers)…asked for prayer earlier in the week because he knew this sermon would speak to so many people. You know if your Pastor is asking for prayer…well change is coming! Right?! I actually asked him for the notes (he usually records his messages on a lap top). I tried taking my bible and a notepad into church to take notes…but the problem, I have is that I will miss what he is talking about while I am recording what he already said..so I quit that…..the sermons are getting longer (which I love), so that means I can’t remember everything. But It is all so profound. It’s all building upon each previous lesson. Last weeks lesson…anyone remember? Pride.
I think there was so much in this lesson for me to grasp..I may take it bit by bit and write about it all week.I need to digest and study it myself.
This weeks lesson? Conforming…transforming ourselves to be more like Jesus. We need to let go of the negative stronghold in ourselves and be Christlike. What are strongholds? what are the things that get in the way of our relationship and transformation of Christ?
I am not supposed to be the best ME I can be…I am supposed to be the image of Jesus…That’s how God created me.
1. The World.
2. Experiences…what has happened to us..and what we have done to ourselves.
3. Relying on other people to have our relationship with God.
I actually think i am may be mixing up a few of the lessons ….I will fix it later if I have..so on these subjects….
Lets see..what do we all think I probably need to let go???hmmmmm Well this week going through this “trial” I got a few phone calls from some elderly women in my church. Very loving and nurturing.
One of them basically said…what do you expect when you take on so much? LOL Why do you think you need to do all of that? You are already a good mother, a good wife, you have a good family…a successful business and a student…then I see you work with the youth group…How much do you think one person can take? LOL
In all reality…I tell myself that I am not into “religious works” right? I am not beating myself up to do God’s work for the church….I am beating myself up because I am trying to gain acceptance…I wouldn’t even dare say acceptance from anyone around me…I know I surround myself with people that do love and accept me. At this point it is overwhelmingly obvious that God loves me…I am trying to gain acceptance of myself. No matter how much I “succeed” in any area of my life I still hate myself. How can I say that out loud? I can say that because I know so many of you all ( reading this) are afflicted with the same self -hatred.
What causes this?…well first ..what the world has done to me (stronghold one)…my experiences…(stronghold two). So many of my experiences have shaped my thoughts and actions. So lets see..why do I have a need for acceptance??? There are to many to count…but without actually thinking to myself “Wow Charisma …you are so worthless”….if someone asks me to do something I will say “Oh sure…I can handle that no problem!” Aren’t I really saying the same thing? Sure Charisma that vacation you were going to take isn’t worth it…just whittle it away until everyone around you gets what they need first. Right? I can do that in a blink of an eye and not know what happened until it is already gone. I already knew my stronghold before getting to church this morning. God has worked on me all week about this.
How to re-train my brain to actually think about what I am thinking…I am already exhausted with thinking about everything , analyzing my every move…and thinking about the future. I can’t sleep at night because my mind is constantly racing…I have to have the tv on…to actually sleep. I put on a show or something I have seen a 100 times..so i am not stimulated to watch it…I already know what’s going to happen but it keeps my mind occupied enough to fall asleep for a few hours. That is not healthy ..right? I live in fear of having to get up to go to the bathroom..because once I am up..it is hard to go back to sleep.
A few months ago I justified my habits to myself. I was reading my bible one night and looked up what a Godly wife is supposed to be. The godly wife wakes before her household….and the Godly wife goes to sleep after her household. There is a whole bunch of stuff in between… but I focus on …”Oh OK ..well I am just doing my job…clearly sleep is not for me”…that’s ridiculous right? Totally wrong!
These negative strongholds are more difficult to deal with than pride. I am telling ya! I think (dare I say it) that if I can get a hold of these I will really start to flourish! But in our sinful nature we like habits…and hate change ( I am totally guilty!) so thinking of letting go of those comfortable places we dwell almost seems foreign….doesn’t it?
I have so many to think about personally and professionally.
I mean my professional life is documented ..as you all know. This week alone..I had to get rid of my comfortable place on my old PDA. That was such a secure place..where so many of us dwelled and chatted….and now we have this place. I hope we can make it a comfortable and positive place for us.
Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about the sermon of relying on someone else to have a relationship with God? Well my Pastor was very strong in his convictions this week to say we absolutely cannot rely on anyone else. The chosen people relied on Moses to go up and talk to God for them..their faith was in Moses not God. We need to study and educate ourselves. I try to do that all the time. Hence the perfect wife thingy..right? See how I can twist that up and justify my own actions….and serve my own purpose?..this is why we need to study for ourselves…if some one is relaying a message to you ..you are getting their perspective..their thought process and their experiences.
We have just learned that the world and our experiences and religious teachings have a HUGE impact on our thinking. So why rely on them. Look it up yourself.
There are plenty of things I don’t agree with…even people within my own church. I don’t judge them…I don’t even doubt them or what they believe. That is not for me. I have good friends in many different religions …or religious backgrounds…People who don’t believe in God at all..I don’t judge them. I love them. That is all I am called to do..just like they love me. So I just want to say to all of you..I accept responsibility for my own spiritual growth….I do take this responsibility seriously of telling you my own experience..my own thought process and putting out there….in the world… my vulnerabilities..not because I want to shine light upon myself in anyway. I am all for the GLORY of God. I want you to learn from me…but I want you to learn more about God and your own selves so that you may also want to be Christlike.
I love that so many of you look forward to the sermons every week….because it makes me “feel” ( even though we learned that feelings lie..LOL ..) like I am on the right path.
There are so many other things to discuss with this sermon…but I think those are my initial “personal” thoughts…as you all know sometimes I have to sort out certain other things as time goes on.
First strong hold to conquer (as always)…Love myself as God loves me.
I hope you all have a blessed Sunday.
I feel this is a good time to post a quilt I made for a special friend of mine. I posted it on a quilting sight…but She happened to have prayed for me this morning and I want it to have a special place in my new blog..not just mixed in with my gallery.
The Cross Quilt
This quilt is so special…I think it is my most favorite quilt of all time.
I was “inspired” on how to quit it. I actually asked a friend to piece it for me because I had so many deadlines…I gave her all the fabrics and pattern..and I had a vision of how to quilt it.
I quilted straight lines on the cross to represent the lashes Jesus took for us (me). I quilted scriptures in random areas around the quilt because his truth is woven in all the vines of our lives. I noticed when the quilt was on my frame that my friend had sewen a block out of place..I was going to take the quilt off the frame and rip out that block to fix it. It was divine. Honestly! Because the block that was out of place happened to be white when it should have been colorful. Isn’t that representative of us? Our relationship and Life with God? We are colored with wrongs and then he wipes us clean and we are made pure again. So I actually quilted that square as if it had been part of the original design….the reason? I had chosen a pure while backing fabric. When you turn the quilt over..it’s perfect..you can’t tell that there is a block out of place…and you can still see the lashes represented….The back is symbolic of what we can be….with faith in God.
If I ever make this quilt again I will always purposely make a colorful block “white” …but I would purposely choose a different block every time….so it’s one of a kind.