Sunday, October 7, 2007

Walking my talk...

How can we ever preach/teach something we have never actually learned? We can't. Our actions will always speak louder than our words. This is why we must first learn before we can teach others.

This truth has really hit home to me this weekend as I struggled with maintaining purity within a relationship/friendship. In fact, even though I didn't lose the battle physically (which is only because of distance), I did lose it mentally and verbally, which is just as much of a loss as losing it physically.

This morning, during my prayer time, I realized that I have been choosing boys/men over obedience to God for a long time. In first grade I had my first experience with this scenario. There was a little boy that I really, really liked and I wanted him to like me. One day, the teacher told us we all had to wear our boots when we went outside because it was a wet, rainy, muddy day. Well, the boy I liked didn't wear his boots. For some reason, I thought that he would like me more if I did what he did, so I also didn't wear my boots. Being who I am, someone who can't get away with anything, I got caught and was destined to be punished for my disobedience. I had never been punished or really even disciplined in my life so far (I had been a naturally obedient child up until this day), so I was quite devastated by the thought and the teacher ended up not disciplining me as my mother intervened on my behalf.

As innocent as all of this was, there are a couple of principles coming into play in this situation that I now know helped to create the issues I am still struggling with right now. First of all, although my teacher wasn't God, she was in authority over me and I was to obey and submit to her authority as an indirect obedience and authority to God (Romans 13:1). I didn't obey her, instead I chose pleasing a boy over pleasing my teacher (or indirectly God) through obedience.

Secondly, my mother intervened, not allowing me to experience any consequences of my choice to disobey. Would the consequences of my disobedience have scarred me for life? Unlikely. Therefore, it probably would have been beneficial for me to experience the consequences as a deterrent of future disobedience in the same area.

Not that I'm trying to blame others (my teacher or my mother) for the choices I make today. I'm not, but remembering that experience helped me to understand when my problem of choosing men over God actually started and allowed me to ask forgiveness for my original sin and all that have followed.

Unfortunately, this also doesn't mean that the problem is gone, never to be an issue again. Habits don't usually die that quickly and I've been choosing men over obedience to God for many years. But, I do believe that it is the first step and maybe the most important one in the battle towards purity in relationships.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A month later...

Well, here it is a whole month later, exactly. How time does fly no matter whether you are having fun or not!

So, what can I tell you about the past month...Well, the church I go to, Otsego SDA Church, had its 140th Anniversary Celebration on the 22nd of September, which went really well...I am now half-way through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course I'm taking and haven't made any progress financially, boss and one of the other girls I work with at the office went in together and bought a workout bench, a weight bar with 5# and 10# weights, and a set of 10# ankle and wrist weights for me, along with the 10# set of barbells that my boss had already given me the week before. Unbelievable! I was completely overwhelmed at their generosity and thoughtfulness. I have been using the workout bench almost every day since. There are a couple of days during the week that I end up only having time for my aerobics, but I'm trying to get to where I do both aerobics and weights six days of the week and rest on Sabbath (except for my leisure walk with some friends after potluck)...You would think with all this exercise and with cutting my calorie intake as much as I have that I would be losing weight quickly. Nope! I'll drop a few pounds and then it seems to take forever to drop down to the next weight goal. Tonight I went to the next level of the aerobics walk, in hopes that it will help me to break through the barrier.

I have been reading, of course. Currently, I'm reading the book, "Loving God with All Your Mind," by Elizabeth George. Another excellent book. This past weekend, I read the book, "When God Writes Your Love Story." That one made me cry, but it showed me how different I want my relationship to be with whomever God has chosen for me. There are days when it feels like it will never happen. Even though I technically didn't wait on God over the past almost 30 years (marriageable age) for the right one, it feels like I have been waiting for the whole almost 45 years of my life! In Proverbs 13:12 it says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life." Now let me tell you about hope deferred! It really does make a heart sick and I have thought of this verse often while my hopes of marrying a Godly man have been deferred. I'm glad that it also talks about what it will be like to have the desire fulfilled..."it is a tree of life," that I will be truly grateful for!