Voice of Truth Project

Finding freedom through a Christ-filled life

Weeds August 19, 2011

Filed under: Sin,Surrender,Uncategorized — Voice of Truth Project @ 10:59 am

I had a revelation a couple of weeks ago while I was getting our yard ready for our annual picnic.  Like a lot of areas, we were in a drought, and our yard was/is mostly brown except for the weeds.  It amazes me at how the weeds continue to grow without water.  That got me thinking about the sin in our lives.  It sustains even though we are not consciously cultivating it.  Conversely, when we don’t take care of the good parts of our lives (the non-sin); it dries up and turns brown just like our grass does when it doesn’t get enough water.

 

Let’s take a look at one of the most common weeds that can take over our yards… the Dandelion.  It get’s this cute little yellow flower head on it.  Kids like to pick them and give them to their moms or others that they love.  They don’t realize it is a weed.  If it doesn’t get picked, the yellow flower head turns into this soft, fluffy ball.  Then a breeze comes along, and those fluffy balls get taken away like parachutes.  These “parachutes” are individual seeds.  They fly around and land, and next year, there’s another dandelion in your yard or the neighbor’s yard.  If you decide to try and pull one it is difficult to get the whole root especially when the plants are large and the ground is dry.  It’s best to take a weed killer to it – a good one.  One that penetrates all the way down to the roots, and doesn’t leave brown spots from where the dandelion used to be.

 

Sin is like that dandelion.  At first is seems small, unobtrusive, and even a little cute.  Then it takes root in your yard and possibly your neighbors.  The longer it is left there, the deeper the root, the harder it is to get it out of your “yard”.  Then, it begins to take over and choke off the good growth. 

 

We often try to remove the weed ourselves.  We use chemicals, natural weed killers, and sometimes just pull them out hoping that we got the whole root.  When we realize we cannot get rid of the weeds ourselves we finally go to the expert.  Thank goodness we have a Savior who can tell a weed from a flower, and has the ability to dig deep down into the soul and remove the weed/sin.  It is sometimes very painful to have the weeds pulled, but the growth and beauty that comes from it is amazing.

 

Are you looking at your dandelions like they are flowers or have you gone to the expert to have the weed removed so you can flourish?  Give the expert a call.  He’s waiting, lovingly, with his root remover.

 

Not Forgotten July 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Voice of Truth Project @ 10:43 am

Hi All!

 

I just wanted to let you know that I am working on another blog entry.  It is just taking me a lot longer than I have planned.  Please be patient.  Hopefully, it will be up by early next week.

 

Take care,

Maribeth

 

Surrender vs. Quitting July 7, 2011

Filed under: Surrender — Voice of Truth Project @ 10:42 am

I have spent the last month trying to put into words the difference between surrendering and quitting.  There is a very fine line between the two.

In the simplest terms… Surrendering means giving up and quitting means stopping.  Again, these can seem like the same thing, but they’re not.  Here are examples of what I am talking about.

Photo by Corbis

SURRENDERING: I recently attempted the Rachel Carson Endurance Challenge; a 35 mile hike that is done in one day.  I made it 22.6 miles before I had to surrender to the MANY blisters on my feet.  I could barely walk any further even though I wanted to continue.  It was good to stop at this point.  Many things could have happened had I continued.  I was saved from further injury, and from having to be rescued from the middle of next hill in the woods.

QUITTING: I was working out consistently, and eating very healthy.  (You see, I struggle with food.  It is an addiction for me.)  Instead of surrendering to what I needed to do, I quit watching what I was eating.  I stopped making good choices.  It has been bad that I quit doing what I need to do.  I’m back to feeling like my life is out of control, and I have gained some weight back.

Surrendering still involves action that results in a positive end.  Quitting involves inaction or inappropriate action to a negative end.

When we surrender to God, He only has a positive end in mind for us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 23:11

When I don’t surrender, I quit doing what God wants me to do.  When I do that, there are negative effects.  I’ve been asking myself why I do this.  Here is why I think I do it… I’m prideful.  I want control.  I want to fit in to what I think “normal” is like.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  Romans 7:15-23

Okay… I know that was a long passage, but I believe that I finally understand it.  When I do not surrender to God and do “my thing” it is sin.  I am a prisoner to sin, because I have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  It is only when I surrender to Christ that I can be set free from quitting, and living in a destructive way.

 

Surrender June 8, 2011

Filed under: Surrender — Voice of Truth Project @ 12:25 pm

Photo by Corbis

[suh-ren-der]

–verb (used with object)

1. to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress: to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.

2. to give (oneself) up, as to the police.

3. to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.: He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.

 

–verb (used without object)

4. to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

Surrendering… that is the latest thing that God is working on with me, and boy, am I fighting it.  When I say “fighting it”, I mean FIGHTING IT.  I don’t understand why I am either.  I know that whatever He has planned for me is way better than anything I can even begin to dream of.  Some of the things that I need to surrender are: food, exercise, and the fact that I have to work.

My food.  Whew!  This is a big one.  First off… I have an eating disorder.  If I’m not careful, and weigh and measure my foods (most of the time), I can compulsively overeat.  When I start to feel like I want to eat all of the time, I know that there is something bothering me.  I’ve spent so much of my life stuffing any feelings that I have that I have a hard time realizing when I am stressed or angry.  I just want to eat so I don’t feel anything.  That is a sin.  It is called gluttony.  My second issue with food is that I have Celiac Disease.  I have to read every single label, and be careful with how foods are prepared.  It makes food time very tiring.  It is a battle no matter what I do.

My exercise.  I was doing really well.  I was working out on a regular basis.  Getting in shape; getting prepared for the Rachel Carson Endurance Challenge, and then something inside me just snapped.  All of a sudden, I didn’t want to workout anymore.  I just wanted to eat (see above).  I kept working out, but not at the same frequency or intensity.  Then, I did something stupid and wore flip-flops while cleaning the house all day.  Now, I’ve injured my foot.  The hike is in 10 days (June 18th), and I’m hoping that it is better by then.  Because I injured my foot, I have not been able to do the training hikes, exercise walk, or much of anything.  I am slowing getting to the point where I am realizing that I have not been trusting God with getting me through the 35 miles.  I have no choice, but to surrender to His provision.

My work.  Now, most people roll their eyes when I talk about this.  You may too.  One of the attitudes that I get is, “we all have to work, so just deal with it.”  I went for a period when I didn’t have to work.  I was able to be a stay at home wife.  I loved it!  Who wouldn’t?  Then we had to go and build a house that came in way over budget.  So, here I am back to work.  It is the right thing to do.  I really like the house, and it is a great blessing.  However, I miss being my own boss.  Determining what I wanted to do and when.  I know, wah, wah, wah.  I am to be in the workforce for now, and that is okay.

I have noticed that when I fight these things, I’m miserable.  I feel depressed, repressed, and discouraged.  When I was eating properly (notice properly not perfectly), exercising routinely, and being content with working, I was happy, and peaceful.  My focus was in the right place.  It was not on these things, but on being obedient.  It didn’t matter that I had to do all of it.  I just did.  I stayed in the moment.  It is amazing to me that when I try to control my life and at how out of control it gets.  I would like to understand why.  However, it is not for me to understand right now.  I need to just do.  The understanding will eventually come.  If I ever “get it,” I will share it with you ASAP.  In the meantime, I will keep pressing on towards my goal.  Total surrender to a loving God who only has my best interests at heart.  What are you fighting to surrender?

 

Stone #5 May 18, 2011

Filed under: Killing the Giant — Voice of Truth Project @ 1:32 pm

Okay, folks, I’m back.  Sorry for taking so long to put up a new post.  I was out of town, and honestly, I wasn’t sure how to say what I wanted to convey with this fifth stone.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34

This may sound weird, but here it is anyway.  I have been scared with thoughts that I will be martyred.  I don’t do pain very well.  I have no idea where that came from, but it has been there for years.  Since my late teens.  Anyway…

With all of the things going on around the world, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, food prices going to soar, fuel prices already soaring… I believe that we are in or are starting into end-times.  No, I’ve not turned into the guy that walks around downtown (some of you have seen him) screaming that the world is going to end this year.  Just with everything that is happening, it makes me wonder.

I am in no way an end-times scholar.  I know that I need to learn more.  I don’t know which is right with pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation as scripture is not forthcoming and saying it explicitly.  Actually, Jesus himself said,

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  Matthew 24:36

There is a lot of debate on when the rapture (the second coming of Christ when we will meet Him in the air) will occur.  It doesn’t really matter when it does; we are to be ready regardless. 

Side note: There is a great article on Crosswalk.com that explains the speculations concerning the future, called “Studying the Bible: The Future and Prophetic Scenarios.”

Over the past couple of weeks, as I mulled over my thoughts on this post, Matthew 6:34 came to mind. 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34

Ever since then, I’ve had a peace about this fear.  It is amazing to me at how, when you sit back and truly think about these things, and not panicking or living in the fear, how God answers us.  I honestly don’t think about being martyred as much anymore.  When I do, I pull out stone #5, load it in my sling-shot, and wham!  Smack that thought right back down, and move on.

This examination in Killing the Giant has been very freeing.  I will not say that I don’t struggle now and then with the old fears, because I do.  The difference… I reach right into my pouch and pull out which ever stone I need and whack that giant back.  Each time, he is getting smaller and smaller, and easier to beat.  There will come a time when I will only need to reach for the pouch and he will go running.  Until then, I will keep wailing those stones and smacking him right between the eyes.

Photo by Maribeth Moore

 

Stone #4 April 28, 2011

Filed under: Killing the Giant — Voice of Truth Project @ 3:46 pm

Oh… where to begin?  The fear that I struggle with the most…  Being accepted and liked.  I equate this to the giant’s head.  Why?  That is where the strongest muscles are, the mind and the tongue.  If the giant wants to take me down, all he has to do is even hint that I am not accepted or liked, and I go into a 100 mile an hour nosedive.  All it takes is a look, a tone of voice, an unexpected response from someone.  Down I go into feelings of worthlessness, disliked, being unwanted, or a throw-away.

I’m not sure where this fear even came from.  I have ideas, but why re-hash the past.  I know that we all want to be accepted and liked, but it is so ingrained in me that my automatic actions/reactions are based around it.  Truthfully, I feel imprisoned by it.  I don’t want to be this way.   It is time to break-free.

This is one that is going to take picking out several stones to find out which one works the best.  If you remember, David spent a lot of time out with the sheep.  He had many days, months, and years to learn which type of stone would work best.  Well, we’ve learned to pick from the water.  It is time to dive in and select a few stones to find the one to put in my pouch.

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”  Jeremiah 31:3

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.”  1 Timothy 1:15

I have to say that, so far, the scripture that speaks to my heart the most is Zephaniah 3:17.  What a wonderful picture of God…  Him rejoicing over me with singing.  It seems like I only picture God sitting on His throne appearing very distant.  He’s not, though.  He is watching me…  Loving me…  Rejoicing over ME with SINGING no less!

That is not a scripture that I know by heart.  It is one that I am committed to memorizing, but until I do, I will use an old trick that I have done on many occasions.  I will write the scripture on a piece of paper, and then I carry it around with me in my pocket.  To some, that may sound a little loony, but it is what works for me.

By the way… I need to give a shout out for a fellow believer giving me those possible stones to throw.  I was drawing a blank, and he stepped up and helped me pick them out.  That is what we, brothers and sisters in Christ, are supposed to do.  So, thanks brother!

 

Stones #2 and #3 April 14, 2011

Filed under: Killing the Giant — Voice of Truth Project @ 12:51 pm

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

This morning, while I was getting ready for work, the scripture shown above came to my mind.  This is my Stone #2.  It comes after a few days pondering my fears and how they affected my life.  It is a scripture that I wish I would have lived by throughout the years.

There are many things that I passed by or didn’t do/finish because I was afraid.  I was afraid that I would fail or that people wouldn’t approve of me.  I passed by moving to Albuquerque (Dad didn’t approve).  I passed by finishing college (I will just fail).  I passed by applying for promotions (my bosses don’t like me anyway).  I passed by starting my own business (I don’t know what I’m doing – why try. I’ll just fail and where will I get the money, how will I…).  I passed by joining a team to compete in sports in school (the other kids don’t like me anyway, besides I will not be good enough).  I passed by auditioning for plays (I don’t memorize very well and they won’t select me anyway).  I think you get my point.  There was so much that I could have done, but I let fear stop me.

This fear was very quiet.  Very cunning.  I didn’t even realize what was happening until it was a long time after.  I almost feel regret now.  I say almost, because of Stone #3.

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

I know that time of my life was not wasted.  It would be easy to think that, and let my emotions go there.  That would be the giant taunting me.  He’s not allowed to do that anymore. 

So, I now have two more stones in my bag. 

Stone #1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1  This I will use when my past sins creep across my mind and tries to bring me down.

Stone #2: When I am faced with my future and choices that I need or want to make, and I feel afraid, I can yell back at the giant “I CAN do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 Emphasis is mine.

Stone #3: When the giant tries to beat me down with my past, I can pull out this stone, put it in my sling and whack him in the forehead with “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him [and I do], who have been called according to his purpose [and I have].”  Romans 8:28 Emphasis is mine.

I’m at a point right now where I’m looking at things and I am doing what I want regardless of the fear.  One thing is that I entered the Rachel Carson Endurance Challenge.  It is a 35 mile hike.  I am a little fearful that I will not finish it, but you know what?  “I CAN do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  I’m working out.  I’m training.  That is all I can do to prepare.  For the rest, I need to rely on the one who will give me everything I need that day to accomplish that goal. 

I’m not over my fears.  I have another decision to make right now that I am a little fearful of making, but I need to pray about it and see where God wants me.

All that said, have you found your stones yet?  If so, please share them in the comments section.

 

 
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