237 – The Mind of Christ

237 – The Mind of Christ

December 3, 1986

Colossians 3:12-17

And so those who have been CHOSEN OF GOD, holy and beloved,

PUT ON A HEART OF COMPASSION

KINDNESS

HUMILITY

GENTLENESS

PATIENCE

BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER, whoever has a complaint against any one;

JUST AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU, so also should you.

And beyond all these things

PUT ON LOVE, which is the perfect bond of unity

And let the PEACE OF CHRIST

                        RULE

in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body

AND BE THANKFUL.

LET THE WORD OF CHRIST RICHLY DWELL WITHIN YOU,

with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

SINGING WITH THANKFULNESS IN YOUR HEARTS TO GOD.

And whatever you do in word or deed, DO ALL in the name of the LORD JESUS,

GIVING THANKS through Him to God the Father.

Precious words. It is the mind of Christ. And that is what I want, Lord.

233 – Focus on His Presence

 233 – Focus on His Presence, not Fear

November 19, 1986

Fear brings a fight-or-flight response. In my case, I pretty quickly go to panic. Fears can be real or imagined.

Here is the list I had in my journal on this day. It is a continuation of the previous blog:

*fear that I am losing the boys and I’ll not regain ‘control’ once they get distracted 

*fear that they will grow up and be weird

*fear someone will see the house messy

*fear the boys will be seen by others while they are fighting

*fear I will not be able to get Daniel playing happily with the toys and I will lose the boys’ interest in the school work while I am helping him

*fear people will see all of us as we really are, so often at odds, it seems.

Often I recognize the moment the fearful thought comes to me and I find myself going with it instead of holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

9pm After my half hour walk, I had a good time praying with Dan. I heard myself saying: “I let go of the boys, I just want to be in Your presence, Jesus.” WHAT PEACE CAME TO ME!!

Could this be the missing link?? Please continue to speak, Lord…. what comes immediately to mind is the book about George Mueller, which I began reading last night. As a newly saved believer, when he focused on his girlfriend and was infatuated with her, he had no communication or peace or presence of God. The moment he turned away from her and chose God, God was there. Is that what happens to me, Lord? Please speak to me!

10:30pm I love these verses, thank You!

In Thy presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved.; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46:5

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:2

230 – I Perceive a Grudge

230 – I Perceive a Grudge

November 14, 1986

Something really ‘clicked’ this morning.

God showed me a great boulder, a stronghold of a GRUDGE against Him, which has transferred to Dan and the boys as discontentment. PRAISE GOD.

The GRUDGE resulted in double-mindedness, which Joyce mentioned briefly a couple of weeks ago that her prayer group had received a revelation about.

This is it: I have not released the standards of the world (something I have always judged in my best friend!). My family has always upheld: security, position, home, money in the bank, nice clothes, nice car, having a comfortable life with the world’s goods.

Jesus says that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven is very difficult. That it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 19:23. That just came to mind and it makes a lot of sense.

A huge stronghold, not discernable to me until now, has been forming in me. It has worked against my missionary mindset! It has caused angst. In fact, right this second I see that part of the attraction of going to Japan was because the missionaries we visited there all had quaint comfortable houses and had not FORSAKEN ALL THINGS.

You knew it, Jesus, and that is probably why you let us visit Japan. So I could SEE that I could identify with being there in clean Japan. Not in a dry land in a dusty hut with bugs and cooking over an outside fire. I believe You work with us and that it’s fine if I don’t care to go to the jungle or the tundra.

It’s always embarrassing to realize the depth of my SELF. But it is wonderful to be free of its secret hold on me as God brings it into the open.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24

221 – Exhorted to Live in His Presence

221 – Exhorted to Live in His Presence

October 15, 1986

I see that the only way we can be gracious and go with the flow is to have come through our  experiences and stressful times being in continual companionship with Jesus.

I got to go to early morning chapel on campus yesterday. It was wonderful and God was present and moving.

Brother Edwards spoke of seeing the Lord’s presence manifested and His manifest presence. I forget which is which.

But as I read in Acts 2 this morning:

22 Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst.

25 “For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.”

26 ‘THEREFORE [being in His Presence] MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;

28 ‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’

O Lord, My God. In your presence I will not be shaken. In Your presence my heart is glad and I have hope. In Your presence we fellowship and I am full of gladness. I love gladness!

220 – Official End of Pity Party

220 – Official End of Pity Party

October 14, 1986

Father – I’m supposed to ‘forget not His benefits’ (Psalm 103:2) AND I DID FORGET! And I stayed in self pity longer than I should have. When I see it I need to jump right out into counting my blessings and His benefits.

I’m remembering that on SATURDAY all four boys played nicely with David in the morning and he stayed for lunch. Then after he went home and Daniel napped, I got to read Open Heart, Open Home, by Karen Mains for two hours. The other boys played so well together …Oh what a blessing!

On SUNDAY, we had a wonderful morning of worship and teaching at Elim and then a wonderful picnic and fellowship time with the Tarpins and McAloons. Thank You.

On MONDAY, Tracey Belcastro came over and we did her washing. I was able to give her some food and we talked and prayed uninterruptedly for almost 2 hours. Two boys went to Chris Pletcher’s and two boys napped.

MONDAY night Skiffs came to dinner. Sue helped me get it together while Dave (a barber in his former life before he became a student) cut the boys hair!! Praise God.

LET ME FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE PLEASE! LET ME PRAY THROUGH EVERYTHING AND REARRANGE WHAT I CAN IN THE TIGHT SPOTS!!

One thing I see is that the first hours of the day all the boys want to be together with me. Perhaps we could have a really loving and friendly time, playing games, reading our books, till 10 when we have snack. Then try for math and then reading after lunch when Daniel’s in bed.

The book, Open Heart, Open Home is having a wonderful affect on me. I walked all of the kids to the library on Tuesday and let Leah and Nicole stay for lunch (usually I am too stingy to share our food, rationalizing that our income is meager and we need it for ourselves). ALL the neighborhood kids were here ALL afternoon. I let them inside for drinks, mediated their squabbles, played with them a bit, checked on them, talked to them—God is working through this book! Praise Jesus!

AND to top it all off, Janet and Jackie called from Reno! And Pastor Dave called also!

I call an official end to the Pity Party.

*Open Heart, Open Home, by Karen Mains, 1976.

217 – Through the Holy Spirit, Like Jesus

217 – Through the Holy Spirit, Like Jesus

October 8, 1986

Thinking of my heaviness, harshness, at times.

Praying, pleading, for positive attitude.

Having just finished Isaiah and begun Jeremiah last night, reflecting on the fact that God so often seems negative, terrible, full of laws and penalties, unyielding, even mean—we’re a lot like that, aren’t we, Father?

But then came Jesus and the New Testament—the new covenant.

THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO LIVE.

How can I? I ask myself – and I hear:

by the power of the Holy Spirit like Jesus did!!

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit… Luke 4:1

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38

I choose Your abundant life, Jesus Christ. You are my Lord, Jesus. Let me serve You today. Let me serve my children with kindness in the fullness of Your Spirit.

214 – Praise Looses Chains

214 – Praise Looses Chains

October 3, 1986

I had a wonderful experience of  …our God inhabits the praises of His people…” (a phrase referring to Psalm 22:3)

Burdened, frustrated, overwhelmed and it was only mid-day. I went for a walk in the wind and rain and praised God determinedly and kept praising Him and acknowledging how merciful and compassionate He was. The darkness and the heaviness lifted.

I found myself hearing and welcoming some fun and creative homeschool ideas. You are wonderful and fantastic, Lord!

At home I turned some Christian music up LOUD and kept praising Him.

At home group that night I felt Dan and I were able to minister together.

Later I remembered the song by the Imperials (1979) called Praise the Lord:

“Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think
That we are paupers when he knows himself we’re children of the King.
So lift up the mighty shield of faith for the battle must be won,
We know that Jesus Christ has risen so the work’s already done.

Praise the Lord, for the chains that seem to bind you–

serve only to remind you–

that they drop powerless behind you–

when you praise Him.”

212 – More on His Love

212 – More on His Love

September 28, 1986

The Lord is showing me AGAIN that my heaviness, which is a result of analyzing myself and introspection, is putrid. I should spend my thoughts on praising and worshiping HIM. Everything else will take proper perspective and those around me will be encouraged.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Praise God for forgiveness, for the cross, for the blood shed for me, for Dan, Tim, Stevie, Markie, and Daniel….

September 29

I took a walk on the Livonia Central school grounds. Sweet communion with God. Read Philippians chapter 2 in the Phillips’ version:

Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you.

Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves….

Do all you have to do without grumbling or arguing….

Don’t worry over anything whatever, tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer…and peace will keep and guard you.

209 ~ I Was Afraid is No Excuse!

209 – ‘I Was Afraid’ is No Excuse!

September 20, 1986

Matthew 25 contains the parable of the talents:

The servant says: Lord, I knew you to be a hard man…and I was afraid, and went and hid your talent…. 24-25

For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have in abundance…. 29

I see this means that God has given each of us talents to use for His purposes and His glory, but fear and self-consciousness, mixed in with laziness and distractibility wreak havoc on good His plans.

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, p 111, says: ‘Never say, I can’t. Never let limitation or natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us!’

My prayer:

Holy Spirit, Your conviction is so penetrating. I am undone, humbled. There is no argument, no self-justification of inability which can stand against You and Your call.

You have been raising my self-esteem (actually, my identity of who I am in Christ) so that I could receive this word today. You have been working Your word and Your presence into me, so that my self-esteem is tied with you and who YOU ARE and not who I am.

Impart, I ask in Jesus’ name, the WISDOM I need, the LOVE I need, the PEACE I need.

I rebuke FEAR in Jesus’ name.

I am seeing that most of the fear is an excuse from my lazy nature—’if I cover myself with fear, surely He’ll see and not ask any more of me because I am already so overloaded!’ Deceitful heart—be quiet!!

208 ~ Glorious Times

208 – Glorious Times

September 20, 1986

Yesterday God called me apart!

I walked at noon toward the school but then turned and walked up the hill and into a field of waist-high wildflowers: yellow and purple. Bordering the field on one end were deciduous trees of every changing color. On my left, a quaint old red-brown farm house. I stood in the rain under my little blue Japanese umbrella and read Galatians in my Phillip’s pocket Bible. I had been needy, crying out to God. Through Galatians he reaffirmed:

* do not hold man’s approval in high regard—only God’s approval

*you are not under the law but under grace

* your righteousness is not of the law by your good deeds, but by faith in Jesus Christ

* walk in faith

It was a glorious time.

Dan wanted me to go to Elim to the prayer meeting. So I did. I’m often hesitant to go out on my own, especially driving the country roads at night.

As I drove on campus to the meeting, Tracey Belcastro had just pulled in. We walked together and sat together with her husband and interceded together and talked afterwards. She is a person I have been wanting to know. We have agreed to be prayer partners. God is gracious.

God lifted me through worship and then blessed me with a new release of my prayer language in intercessory prayer. He is so precious.

On Friday, God touched me in an interesting way: In my prayers before the home school meeting, feeling desperate for peace in place of anxiety, I felt a sensation on my head just back from my hairline moving from the right temple area, across to the left. Hmmmm. At the meeting I was freer to be me than I have been in ages—with no second thoughts or deep introspection. Praise Jesus.