Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I've been ponderin' (that's Texan for "considering") the word "Surrender". I believe part of my struggle with surrendering myself to the Lord is my perception of that word. Surrender brings to mind quitting, giving up, giving in, losing, capitulating, waving the white flag. These are not good things to my mind. So, I started ponderin', and I expanded my definition a bit to be stepping aside, stop fighting, hand over the reins, release, get out of the way, join the winning team, throw yourself on the mercy of your enemies. These seem to be gentler, more positive, and that last seems a little odd, but true. Until we surrender to Jesus and accept His sacrifice, we are enemies of God. Thankfully, His mercy is vast! So I ain't quittin'! But I will get out of the way, stop fighting and hand over the reins.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quandary (aka whining)

How do you live for Jesus, but live in the US at the same time? It seems to me that in the US, more than anywhere else, you have to have money to survive. If you don't have serious cash, no one takes you seriously. How do you serve the Lord and still make a living? You can't serve God and money, right? The more Mike and I focus on serving God, the less money we have. We've cut the bills as low as we can, and we still can't come close to making ends meet. So we have to focus back on making money for basics, and then we're dropping our focus off of God. And back and forth we go.

Some not so gentle friends have suggested that if we're truly doing God's work, God will bless us financially. I think that is only sometimes true. God promises to take care of us but doesn't say anything about giving us money. And we always do seem to squeak by, but we never have any cushion. It's hard, and it's frustrating. More and more I've become suspect of people with financially "blessed" ministries, too. It's probably bitterness, but I wonder if they are serving with pure motives for bringing glory to God or if the money's just good.

It breaks my heart to see my husband having to consider giving up his ministry because it is not well-supported financially. He's doing something he loves to do, and he's doing it for God. Then we have to go around and around and ask if his motives are pure. Is he really doing this for God's glory, or does he just get a kick out of it? We think it's about God, and Mike happens to get a kick out of it. But what if we're wrong? How can we know?

I've finally reached a place where I don't want to make a decision, not because I'm afraid of choosing wrong, but because I don't believe it will make any difference. Whatever we do, we seem doomed to struggle. (Jesus did say that in this world there would be trouble, but why does it seem so much harder for us? I'm whining; I know.) Are there really any right answers?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Prayer Questions

Our pastor is doing a sermon series on prayer. This has always been hard for me. Not that I don't pray; I do - often. I don't think I could hold it together without that communication with my Father. The thing I struggle with is praying for something specific - like physical healing or weather changes or finances.

I know the Bible says we have not because we ask not, but I also know that God has a plan. So regardless of my prayers, He's working His plan. What difference does it make what I want Him to do? I believe He's going to work it all out, so my praying is more like whining for my way. Really I just want Him to do what He will do, and isn't He going to do that anyway?

I listen to a local Christian radio station that is always calling on listeners to pray for people who have called or emailed in prayer requests. It seems weird to me. They say things like "Pray that everyone's going to be ok" or "keep these families in your prayers". I really don't get it. Will God change His mind about what's happening because more of us are praying?

And we all have a different idea of what "ok" is (as far as everyone being ok). I think "ok" would mean God worked His plan in my life. That might mean I am physically injured or suffer a loss or fail in some way. Or it might mean the opposite. Other people see "ok" as being unaffected by potentially harmful events. Others interpret "ok" as suffering only minor scrapes and bruises. So how can I pray for everyone to be "ok" when most people won't be satisfied with "ok" as I define it?

Obviously I have some questions that need answering. So....pray for me!