Friday, April 20, 2012

RFW: Anything, Everything, and Whatever

I finally have picked up my Resolutions for Women book again, and it was just in time for God to share with me EXACTLY what I needed.  Don't you just love that about God?  Isn't He awesome in that retrospect?!?

Continuing with the theme of shifting some things in the background for this particular season of your life so that you can focus on what really matters.  The overall goal of the chapter, I believe, is to be able to do what matters well "and with the ability to magnify and honor God." (page 98)

"You end most days with the sense that you're inadequate, that you don't have what it takes, that you just don't have it together like everybody else seems to."  (page 98)  Poof!  Gone!

You are often "paralyzed because (your) standards are at such an impossible height."  Gone!

"You can't do anything well because (you're) exhausted from doing everything."  Poof!  Disappeared!

I am guilty of taking on everything as if I were Super Woman.  I just need my cape!  Most of the time, a cape would cover my eyes from the mess of things I've created.  I look around and there are half-finished tasks everywhere.  I start one thing and my mind will drift to something else that I need to do.  I have to make a conscience effort to finish what I've started before moving on to something new. 

I am a little OCD.  (Dr. R says a lot, but will go with a little.  It just sounds better.) I so needed to read, "What you can do--yes you!--is good enough!" (page 100)  There are so many times that I don't think it is. 

Priscilla Shirer says beautifully,

"Take a second to consider that God has uniquely equipped you to do, as well as what He's asking of you (and what He's not asking of you) at this particular season of life.  Instead of focusing on what you can't do, why not carefully consider how to capitalize on what you can do in a way that will tap into God's presence and power?  Then no matter what day it is, no matter how old you are, no matter what the moment demands, you can be yourself, fully believing that your personal 'whatever you do' is fulfilling the purposes of God and will bring Him honor."  (page 101)

This chapter was about "in anything, everything, and whatever you do" bringing your best NOW.

When honoring God is your focus, it pares down your purpose and narrows your focus.  Carefully reconsider this sentence in light of your own personal circumstances, then record your thoughts:

How does a focus on honoring God...

a. Lighten the burden of the perfectionist

It takes a huge weight off my shoulders.  Society as a whole puts so many pressures on women.  We have to be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, maid, cook, transportation service, gardener, employee, etc.  And the images we are bombarded with in the media shows women doing all of those perfectly while looking and feeling her absolute best.  I'll be honest:  There are days I "hang in there" with the best of women.  Then, there are days I fall flat on my face.  It's relieving and almost exhilarating that although society expects us to be perfectionist, the Lord does not.  He really is all that matters, now, isn't He?

b. inspire you to give your best effort

Anything that brings honor and glory to the Lord inspires me to bring forth my best effort.  I hadn't really thought about this season of my life and doing what I am doing and/or "called to do" as reflecting Him and His grace and mercy on my life.  It changes my entire attitude, really.  I try to give my best at most tasks, but just knowing its okay to do a few things well rather than everything half-heartedly makes a huge difference. 

In which tasks have you felt like your best efforts were not good enough?

Definitely my job situation.  I've had a very difficult time advancing in my current company.  I'm such a hard worker.  I'm dependable, rarely absent, on time, intelligent, etc, but I was constantly told I couldn't advance because of my lack of experience.  I couldn't make anyone understand that I was worth taking a risk on.  I've worked at the same company for 14 years.  It was very frustrating and took its toll on my self-esteem.

When faced with an activity like this--one that you find particularly challenging--how are you encouraged by knowing that God will empower your efforts designed to bring Him glory?

Continuing with the above question, I prayed for change and God brought that.  He moved me into a new department (which was actually a demotion), but I really like my new job.  I know I was placed in this department to shine for Jesus while I am here.  I've had several opportunities to witness for the Lord, and I'm so encouraged by my previous frustration has seemed to disappear for now.  I fully intend on finishing school to be a teacher, but this job...for this season of my just what I needed.  I intend to bring my best to the table each day as I handle each client as a potential/prospective brother/sister in Christ.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My First Meal Plan

I haven't updated very much about my family life or the current daily chaos for the Killian's.  Things have been up and down over the past few weeks.  You'll probably be bored to tears by this post actually.

Something new we've started is meal planning in our house.  Since we have been honoring the Lord by tithing, we've had to make some cuts elsewhere.  One area where we typically spend large amounts of money is on quick trips to the grocery store.  We live so close to grocery markets that we visited them daily--or did!  Now I've joined the ranks of meal planning mom's (HELLO out there!), and it seems to have really helped us manage our spending.

Our First Meal Plan Looks Something like this:

Monday:  Pizza night (We can get a medium peperoni pizza and cheese bread sticks for $9--you can't cook any cheaper than that!

Tues:  Taco's

Wednesday:  Meat Ball Subs/Spaghetti

Thursday:  Eat around night (Kyle and I work until 6pm, so my mom feeds the boys.  He and I will typically snack, eat cereal, or salad)

Friday:  Sushi  (This is our one and only eating out during the week)  The boys will eat McDonald's.

Saturday: Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, Corn, Strawberries

Sunday:  Beef Tips with Rice and Steamed Broccoli

I purchased the ingredients for most of the above for less than $50.  There were of course other necessities, milk, bread, cheese, sandwich stuff, etc.  Some ingredients I had on hand, so I tried to plan with what we had.

I also started back couponing again, and I tried to plan around sales ads.  This week two competitor grocers each have SUPER DOUBLES!  This means both stores will double coupons up to $1.98.  I am excited to begin stock piling some items again now that our pantry isn't so full.  I'm not one of those crazy couponers who buys 5006 bottles of ketchup.  I buy only what we will use before the items will expire.  Isn't this the purpose of couponing?  But my trip yesterday saved me more than $25.00.

What meals are you planning?  Share your ideas?  I need quick and easy--typically under 30 minutes to prepare since our evenings are so hectic.  Any suggestions I can add to next week?  Emphasis on quick and easy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Church Notes from the Past: Recognize the Signs of Drifting

“So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift
away from it.” (Hebrews 2:1)

Slip: to let carelessly pass by

Response to Drifting From the Lord:

1. When we begin to drift from God, our conscience is silent in our lives

a. “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead.” (1Timothy 4:1-2)

b. “Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.” (Ephesians 4:18-19)

2. We step out of the will of God

a. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.” (Romans 12:1-2)

b. Please read the entire book of Hebrews 12. I will list a partial quotation from it below:

i. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all He endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. After all , you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin…” (Hebrews 12:1-4)

3. Denial of wrong in our life

a. People can’t understand they are wrong

b. We make justification reasons to “feel good” about our decisions

4. Begin to shriek away from spiritual things

a. Become an “ex” (Sunday School attendee, prayer warrior, etc)

b. Stop reading God’s word

c. Begin making bad decisions

5. Lose ability to hear from God

a. You lie to yourself

b. You begin believing your own lies

6. Your heart becomes hard

a. Become insensitive

b. Nothing moves you to pray (unless you find yourself in a crisis)

Results of Drifting

• Affects you mentally: You are no longer thinking on good, Godly things

• Affects you physically: When you are drifting, you have no conviction because you have no conscience

• Affects you spiritually: Grieve the Spirit of God; You begin missing God’s best for your life.

• Affects you emotionally: You lose a sense of where you are/purpose

• You begin to Experience God’s Chastening: God will come after you

“My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged
when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes
those he accepts as his children.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)

• You make a shipwreck of your Life

Remedy for Drifting

1. Get back to God’s Word

2. Remain faithful to Church

3. Stay in love with God

4. Be involved in the Work of God

"Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my laws and failed to obey them.  Now return to me, and I will return to You," says the LORD almighty.  (Malachi 3:7)

The notes above were taken from the sermon preached by Dale Faulkenbury titled "Recognize the Signs of Drifting" on 05/20/2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Church Notes From the Past: Principles to Live By

"You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food." Hebrews 5:12, NLT

• This is the time in our lives when we need to grow as a child of God.

• A person who is living on spiritual milk isn't very far along in their Christian life

• There comes a point where we must mature and crave "solids" by gaining the ability to recognize the difference between right and wrong; doing what is right

"So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start all over again with the importance of turning from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding." (Hebrews 6:1-2)

• We shouldn't be spiritual babes drinking spiritual milk

• We don't have to lay the foundation for things God established

• You cannot be a strong Christian if you are living a hit/miss Christian life.

Here are some principles to live by:

Principles:  your foundational belief system

1. Learn to obey God without excuses

• Example was given of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4 who obeyed without questions or hesitation.
“Then the LORD told Abram, ‘Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed him…”
• Obedience is better than sacrifice.
“But Samuel replied, ‘What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to Him is much better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

2. Learn to put our trust in God even when it doesn't make sense

“It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people.” (Psalm 118:8)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

3. Learn to wait on God

“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)

• “But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

4. Learn to give to God's work (time, talent, and treasures)

• This is a direct promise from God:
“If you give, you will receive . Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

• Giving of your treasure:

“They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave. Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind; The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever.” (Psalm 49:6-11)

“So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich, and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they carry nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate, and the world loudly applauds their success. But they will die like all others before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don’t understand that they will die like the animals.” (Psalms 49:16-20)

“And I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard. You should remember the words of the LORD Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

“For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10).

5. Learn to live a Christian life with God's strength

• You can’t be victorious in your own strength.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
(Philippians 4:13)

“And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the world world, you will share in all his glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

6. Accept that God Loves you unconditionally

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (1 John 1:9)

 WE/US includes ALL.

7. Remind Ourselves that God is in control

• God has never been out of Control

“The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been!” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

• God knows our limits

“For it is not up to mortals to decide when to come before God in judgment.” (Job 34:23)

• God knows what we can handle. Whatever concerns you, concerns God

8. If we are saved, forgiven, and in the family of God, His Spirit dwells in us

• The Spirit dwells in us.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” (John 14:16-17)

• Spirit of the LORD will be with us in fear, temptation, etc. We are to seek refuge in Christ.

9. Must have meditation of God’s Word as a priority

“I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways. I will delight in your principles and not forget Your Word…Even princes speak against me, but I will meditate on Your Word.” (Psalm 119:15-16, 23)

“How I will delight in your commands! How I love them! I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your principles.” (Psalm 119:47-48)

“Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.” (Psalm 119:78)

“Oh how I love your law! I think about it all day long.” (Psalm 119:97)

• We should be watchful, waiting on our next orders from God.

“I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.” (Psalm 119:148)

“ I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how He will answer my complaint.” (Habakkuk 2:1)

10. Let the Word of God radically transform your life by falling in love with Christ

• We must study the Word to be victorious

“Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the Word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Forever, O LORD, your word stands firm in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)

“Your Word is a lamp into my feet and a light into my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

“As your Words are taught, they give light; even the simple can understand them.” (Psalm 119:130)

Look it up, Let it in, Live it out!

**Notes from the sermon by Dale Faulkenbury titled “Principles to Live By” given on 11/30/2011 and 12/14/2011

I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.