Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do Ye Now Believe?

"By this we believe....Jesus answered, Do ye now believe?"

Now we believe. Jesus says - Do you? The time is coming when you will leave me alone. Many a Christian worker had left Jesus Christ alone and gone into work from a sense of duty, or from a sense of need arising out of his own particular discernment. The reason for this is the absence of the resurrection life of Jesus. The soul has got out of intimate contact with God by leaning to its own religious understanding. There is no sin in it, and no punishment attached to it; but when the soul realizes how he has hindered his understanding of Jesus Christ, and produced for himself perpelexities and sorrows and difficulties, it is with shame and contrition he has to come back.

We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus much deeper than we do, to get into the habit of steadily referring everything back to Him; instead of this we make our common sense decisions and ask God to bless them. He cannot, it is not in His domain. it is severed from reality. If we do a thing from a sense of duty, we are putting up a standard in competition with Jesus Christ. We become a "superior person," and say - "Now in this matter I must do this and that." We have put our sense of duty on the throne instead of the resurrection life of Jesus. We are not told to walk in the light of conscience or of a sense of duty, but to walk in the light as God is in the light. When we do anything from a sense of duty, we can back it up by argument; when we do anything in obedience to the Lord, there is no argument possible; that is why a saint can be easily ridiculed.

My Utmost For His Highest - Oswald Chambers

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When God's Answer is Not What You Expect

My heart is heavy this morning and it hurts so much to even type out these words. Yesterday was my birthday and God saw fit on this day to give me the answer to my greatest prayer. His answer - was no. Or maybe it was wait - at this point in my grief process I am not sure what to think.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that my greatest desire is to become a nurse. I have poured my heart and soul into this effort. I have PLEADED with the Lord over this! Everything seemed to be working out according to MY schedule - but obvious to me now, not in GOD'S timing.
With God's help I have been able to make a 4.0 in all of my prerequisites courses. This is HUGE for me because I was never an "A" student when I was a child. I have done everything required of me to try to get into the nursing program, yet yesterday I received the letter from the college that stated I was not accepted into the program. I am devastated!

When I turned in my application for the nursing program, one of the requirements for entrance was to take a Pre-Nursing Entrance Exam. I had planned to take this test after my fall quarter classes were through so that I would have plenty of time to study for it. It is an intense 3 hour test - definitely NOT one that you want to go into unprepared! The college unexpectedly cancelled the test date that I wanted to get into, and the only test date that I was able to get into was right smack in the middle of my Fall quarter finals week! To take the time to study for THIS test would have taken much needed study time away from my classes that I desperately was trying to get the best grades in. All I could do at the time was to pray that if it was in God's will that I succeed, that He would have to make it happen! I took the test, had EVERYONE praying for God's will to be done, and I got my answer yesterday. ON MY BIRTHDAY of all days!

What does this mean for me now? I really don't know at this point. I have this weekend job hanging in the balance too - I don't know if I should keep it now.
It was the score that I made on the test- that was my downfall. It wasn't the worst grade, but it wasn't high enough to compete with the high grades that others received. This program is highly competitive and I didn't make the grade - THIS TIME - but I am not giving up yet!

I can't retake the pre-entrance exam again until June. Should I retake it in hopes of trying to get into the nursing program that opens in the summer? And what about my weekend job that is hanging in the balalnce? Should I hold onto it in hopes that when I get into the program - it will be a job that I can do while in the program, or should I let it go completely? If I let it go I will not be able to work when I DO get accepted and then I won't be able to help my husband out financially for the year it will take me to complete the program. Everything seemed to be coming together perfectly - for MY plan - but I am guessing now - this was not GOD'S plan for me - just my wishful thinking. I was trying too hard to control the outcome.

Even though this has been a hard couple of days and my head is swirling, I am trying to keep my heart open to what God wants me to learn from all of this - and in what direction He wants me move now.
During my morning time with the Lord, I have felt His loving arms around me. The devotions that I read today have nearly jumped off the page with messages meant JUST for my heart to hear. I thought I would share them with you today. Maybe you are going through a similar period of unrest or loss of direction in your life. I hope this speaks to your heart this morning as it spoke to mine. Speak to us Lord for your children are here - listening.....

"In many of our prayers, we ask God to come around to doing our will - but true prayer is to discover God's will for us. We often approach prayer as trying to wring gifts from an unwilling, reluctant God; in fact, we come before a God who knows our needs better than we do ourselves. Authentic prayer seeks to make God's will our will - and being ready and willing to make the necessary transformations in our everyday life to make our prayers a reality. Prayer worthy of God seeks the grace to do the work God calls us to do (forgiveness, charity, justice) and to become the people God calls us to become. (brothers and sisters under the one Heavenly Father)"
Daily Reflections for Lent - Not by Bread Alone

"The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples' feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God. Paul delighted to spend himself out for God's interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economical notions - "Suppose God wants me to go there - what about the salary? What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things." All that is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focuses Jesus Christ's idea of a New Testament saint in his life, viz.: (as follows) not one who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives."
My Utmost For His Highest - Oswald Chambers

If you find it in your heart to pray for me, please pray that the Lord will give me direction for HIS will in my life - HIS will be done - not mine!

God's richest blessings to you,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Call Of God

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I. Here am I; send me."

God did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, "Who will go for us?" The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone. Whether or not I hear God's call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition. "Many are called but few are chosen," that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, "Who will go for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, "Now, you go." God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here I am, send me."

Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside, The quiet passionate insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect feeedom will say. "Here am I; send me."

My Utmost For His Highest - Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Daniel Fast

I started on a new 21 day journey two weeks ago and haven't had any time to blog about it -I started this along with two of my very best friends and sisters in Christ. We decided to do a 21 day Fast that is called "The Daniel Fast." For those of you who are unfamiliar with this fast, go here to learn more.
The premise of this fast is not to restrict eating for 21 days, but to study the book of Daniel and participate in a partial fast -which restricts specific types of food for a spiritual purpose. It was not my desire to enter into anything legalistic, this is just a personal consecration - to set apart a specific period of time to immerse myself in God's Word and by studying the life of Daniel, to take by HIS example - a food plan for the next 21 days that I am sure will benefit my physical body as well as my spiritual body.

So far on my journey, I have lost 7 pounds! This is definitely an added bonus of this fast. I am now on the final week and I am sad to see it go. I have enjoyed the new diet and the way it makes me feel as well as the time set apart for my Lord. I am thinking about continuing the fast through the end of the month. I will try to be better about posting about my journey.

I have been so very busy lately and have had little time for posting. I have been eagerly awaiting word from the Lord (and my college) about whether I have made it into the nursing program that will begin in April. I should hear word any day now and as you can imagine - I am on pins and needles! This was the main purpose for beginning this fast. I needed to strengthen myself for the answer. What if God wants me to wait for awhile? What if I don't get into the program right now? What direction will I go then? What is my "back up" plan?

To occupy my mind and my time - I have been working constantly! I work at the hospital about 4 days a week and I have taken on a temporary nanny position 2 days a week, caring for a sweet 3 month old little girl while her mommy waits to get her into a nearby day care center in April.

This schedule has left me with very little time for blogging so I apologize for my absence! I am still working my weekend shift at the hospital and have just received word that the lady that I have been filling the job for will not be returning as planned so they want to hire me for this position! This will require me to commit to signing a contract for 1 year - so as you can imagine, I am very torn about this. I will have to give up going to church for a year! I have been working this position now for almost 4 months and I miss my church family desperately! It is my prayer that this is all a part of God's plan for me because if I DO get into the nursing program, I will be able to work the weekends and help my husband out financially. I am hoping to get word soon so that I can accept or reject this offer. Everything is coming together for this new journey in my life - I am now just trying to be patient for the outcome.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. I miss visiting you all and will try to be better about posting!