Honoring God Honoring Others

February 25, 2011 § 6 Comments

Honor has become an important word in my house. In fact it is a word that has changed how I parent, how I think, and how I view my life before God.

The idea started when I read a book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids by Turansky and Miller. They give a definition of honor that my kids can understand and now quote:

Honor: Treating others as special, doing more than what is expected, and having a good attitude.

Romans 12:10 tells us to “…Honor one another above yourselves.” We are to honor God (1Cor 6:20). We are to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12).

I discovered that I should allow honor to shape all of my relationships and all of my actions. This was news to me, yes I am slow and stubborn so if this isn’t news to you please disregard or follow my thinking and laugh with me that I am slow… 😉

1. God’s laws should be followed
not as a religious check-list to prove how righteous I am…
not to show how smart I am that I figured out I needed God…
not so that I can get God’s blessings on my life…

We follow God’s laws as a way of honoring Him because He gave us eternal life, life, gifts to use, a purpose, all those gifts I am thankful for and more.

In fact Jesus tells us that, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” (John 14:23)

2. Honor changes how I teach my kids.
I have been teaching my kids to honor each other, honor me and their dad, honor their teachers and friends. I have also been teaching them to honor God. Here is the hook…

I have to show my kids honor in order for them to honor me. Ok this is not revolutionary thinking, but let’s make it real…I need my kids to pick up their rooms. However they are deep in an imaginary world…How do I show them honor? “I will give you five minutes to finish what you are doing and then you need to pick up your room.” Honor. I don’t respond well if I am not being treated with honor, so how can I expect my kids to respond well if I don’t treat them with honor?

3. Honor is the backbone of the “Golden Rule.”

Matt 12:7 says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” So loving, honoring, treating others as we want to be treated is the crux it binds up all the things God calls us to do and puts flesh on it. I ask this of myself and of my kids…“Would you want to be treated like that?” Often I have to be even more specific. “If someone said the same thing to you would you like it?” Ouch the words sting but my calloused heart starts to heal. It starts to bleed for the people I have wounded and it is then that I can ask forgiveness. It is in that moment that I can confess my sins and do what I can to reconcile.

What are your thoughts on honoring others? I hope you stick around and discuss this topic with me!

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Why the Little Things?

January 19, 2011 § 6 Comments

Longing…Oh the stretching, longing, burning…

The dream of what could be, where to go, but how to get there hangs in the air…

We can’t see it. The journey from here to there, but the hope of there is planted firmly in our hearts.

The here seems insignificant, unimportant, little. Oh but what we do here in the seemingly insignificant, unimportant, and little is what shapes the journey. What we do with the little we have matters because when we are faithful in what seems little, He gives us more.


Remember the parable of the talents? (Matthew 25:14-30). When the servant is faithful in small things, God gives that servant more. Not to stress over, but more talents to use for His glory.

So I challenge you all who feel like God has given you “little” (laundry, dishes, little hands and feet, an insignificant job, a small blog, whatever it is that seems little to you), do the “little” things well and then He can entrust you with the “big” things. (FYI little hands and feet are not little things even if they seem that way some days. They are BIG things.)

My dream is that Rethinking My Thinking ministries will flourish for God’s glory. That I will speak and write His words to encourage and challenge others to be more like Him. That together we will walk this journey of faith in order to bring glory, praise and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ. Honestly that big dream, seems unreachable at times. Oh, but if it is God’s will it will happen. In the mean time I am reaching who He wants me to…You! 😉 I pray that this blog is a blessing and encouragement to you. I pray that as I share the things God is teaching me, you are  challenged to walk closer to Him. All for His glory….

So with that in mind, what would you like to hear from me? Are there any topics or specific encouragement you need? I want to serve God by serving you. Let me know! I can’t wait to hear from you.

How Giving Lightens Our Load

January 3, 2011 § 8 Comments

My sweet girl, not quite eight, was sitting in church with me. She held tight to her treasure – a few coins she intended to offer to the Lord, placed in a special bag. As the offering plate passed by, she plopped her coins in the plate – a loud clinking sound. Then she turned to me and whispered, “Mommy my bag was heavy like a burden when I came in, but now it is light. You know like the burden from that book.”

“Pilgrim’s Progress?” I whisper, incredulous.

“Yes,” she nods.

My heart began to burn and I felt as if God whispered this to me:

“That is how it happens. That is how you become a cheerful giver. Your possessions, your treasures are burdens to you when you have only this world in mind. They weigh you down and wear you out. Only by offering them to Me, can you lighten your load.”

I am still processing this gift from God, but it changes the way I look at the things God has given me.

My house: a blessing from God and the work it takes to clean it is a way of honoring God for the gift He gave me.
My van: a gift from God, the chipped paint, tornado-like appearance are signs of my children. Things to be thankful for and opportunities to train my children to learn to be responsible.
My money: our manna from heaven to provide for our family and their future. Oh and a wonderful chance to give for God’s glory and honor. That we may never aim for more money, but aim to honor God with what He provides.

Looking at our possessions, treasures, and finances this way takes the burdens out of the treasures. It lightens our load because our things our not ours, but God’s. When we give to Him and change our mindset to heavenly thinking, our treasures are no longer burdens. Instead we offer them back to Him to use as He sees fit. So our treasures can no longer weigh us down.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20

Father God, help us to view our treasures, finances, and possessions with You in mind. May we offer them all back to You, for they come from You in the first place. As we lay our things down to Your purpose and glory, please lighten our load. Fill us with faith to trust You for all we need and with strength to do what You ask us to do cheerfully. For Your glory and honor. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have you experienced lightening of your load through giving? If do you need to offer something to God today? Please Share your thoughts. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Submission: It’s Not for Sissies

October 1, 2010 § 4 Comments

“Submit woman,” booms a joking, but attempting an authoritative voice. Then laughter quickly follows. We all snicker at the idea of submission, especially in our culture of individual rights. Who would ever lay down their own rights and their own desires for someone else?

The problem is that we have submission and oppression confused. Oppression is “prolonged, cruel or unjust treatment or control.” We see it in domestic violence cases or in countries ruled by ruthless dictators. Submission however is “the action of yielding to the will or authority of another person.” In other words the one who submits must choose to submit and cannot be forced to submit. Just as you can force a child to sit down, you cannot force a child to willingly submit to y

Icon of Jesus Christ

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our authority. They are sitting on the outside, but on the inside they are still standing.

So it is with us whether we “submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21), “submit to the LORD” (2 Chronicles

30:8), or “submit to the authorities” (Romans 13:5). We are not made to submit, but we are to choose to submit. The very idea rubs us wrong. We have rights and we do not want to lay down our rights for anything. There is the rub. As Christ followers, we are  to trust God and submit.

When we submit to authorities in our lives, we are not necessarily trusting in that authority to do right by us. Instead when we submit, we are trusting God. Here is where I typically knit my brow, put my hand on my hip, and say while I shake my finger, “It feels like I am trusting the one I am submitting to, not God. How is that possible?”

Romans 31:1 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

Does this mean I submit to disobeying God’s law because an authority tells me to? No. Check out Daniel chapter one and see how four young men kept themselves pure before God, while submitting to Babylonian authority. What it does mean, is that we need to be like Christ Jesus, willing to lay down our rights for others.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!”               Philipians 2:3-8

This kind of submission looks more like victory, this kind of submission takes guts.

Father God, thank You for loving me. Please give me the strength to lay down my rights, my way, and submit it You and thus submit to authorities in my life. Forgive me for my lack of submission. Thank You for Jesus, my example. In His Name I pray, Amen.

So are you a sissy?

Is it Really THAT Bad?!

September 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I admit it is easy for me to think much like the Pharisees (Luke 8:10-14), I am glad I am not like that sinner. I mean, I haven’t killed anyone, I have stayed faithful to my marriage vows, and I don’t get high on wine, much less illicit drugs. I have this Christianity stuff down pat. In fact, I came to Christ at the age of seven. So I only needed a little saving. Right? I mean does fighting with my parents really hold the same sin weight as say being addicted to pornography? I know, I know James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” Really? How is gossiping the same as murder? How is murder the same as envy? So lately I have been wrestling with this issue.

There are several places in the new testament where a list of sinful behaviors and attitudes are listed. Most of what we consider “big” sins are on the list, but with nearly each list contains things like greed, envy, gossip – right next to adultery and drunkards. Yes there are difference consequences for each sin, but envy, gossip, and greed will keep you out of heaven just the same as pornography. Each of these sins have pride and selfishness at their roots. Pride that I can do things my way, I don’t have to do them God’s way. Pride that I deserve more and better. Pride that I want what she or he has. As we get more and more comfortable in our pride, we get sucked in and immune to the sin that is entangling us. We begin to think we can rank sin and be thankful that we are not like that sinner, yet we have enough sin in our hearts to drag us to the pit of hell.

So yes, if we are having trouble submitting to authority, honoring others, coveting what others have, it IS that BAD! It is the foothold Satan wants in our lives to entrap us in sin. Sin always holds us tighter and carries us farther than we ever imagined. Oh friends, let us not poo-poo our gossip sessions, or our “white” lies. It is sin! It is dangerous and it will separate us from God.

Christ had to die for those sins as well as the “big” sins. Let us never forget how desperately diseased we were before we accepted Christ. Let us stay grateful for all that Jesus has done for us and let us not let those “little” sins separate us from God.

Father, forgive me for entertaining “little” sins in my life and justifying it by comparing myself to others. Forgive me for my pride that prevents me to submit to You, the God who loves me, knows me, and has wonderful plans for me. Help me to lay down my pride and submit to You. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die for a desperately and hopelessly lost sinner, like me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Faithfulness

September 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)

I like to think that I am faithful. I do not cheat, I do not steal, I mostly do what I say I will do. I am patient, at least most of the time. I do get a bit cranky at times…Oh, but I have never cheated on my husband. I never cheated at school…Well, I did that one time in grade school and got the cheating bug knocked out of me for good! Not literally, just a well-remembered lesson. I am not faithful about getting up in the morning. I will milk that snooze button for all I can get out of it. I am also not so faithful with working-out. I start of doing great and then something comes up and wham, I end up not doing anything for weeks on end. I am not so faithful with the things I promise my children. I intend to do those things. I really really mean to get them done, but I forget or get busy or something else urgent gets in my way.

The most amazing thing is that the God of the universe, who created everything and everyone, and who keeps the planets moving and gravity working; He is interested in being faithful. He is faithful to make sure the Earth rotates so that in 24 hours we get approximately 12 hours of sun and 12 hours of night (excluding places like Alaska who get darkness for the winter and sunshine for the summer). He makes sure that the oxygen content of the air is perfect for us to breathe, there is really no room for error there. That same God, is faithful to His promises. If He says He will do it, it will be done. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man that He should lie; nor the son of man that He should repent; does He say and will He not do it? Or does He speak and will He not make it good?” God doesn’t say, “Sorry I got busy, the sun rise was an hour late. I truly apologize.” No He does what He promises He will do. He is faithful.

So why do I worry about God not fulfilling His promises? Why do act as if I serve a God who doesn’t care? Do you do it too? Sure God is “faithful,” but the moment a difficult time comes I doubt. Will He do it? He may not do what I want, but yes He will keep His promises. How do I know? I woke up this  morning, the sun is rising, and I have air to breathe. Not only that, but I have His Word and my life experiences that point to His faithfulness.

Father, forgive me for being unfaithful while You are incredibly faithful. Help me to rest in Your arms of faith. Help me to cling to You despite circumstances, because I know You are faithful. May my life change from one of anxiety to on of humble reliance on You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

In what do you need to trust God’s faithfulness in your life? I can’t wait to hear. I’ll start…Check out the comments.

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