Tuesday, May 19, 2009

think about it...

"Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9)

Can you imagine asking this?
First, asking God to keep anything that is false or untrue away from you.
Second, asking to be provided only what you need to make it through the day – no more, no less.

This is really a shift from the way we think in terms of saving for retirement and planning for the future.
Can you live happily by relying on God each day with only enough vision to see through to that day’s end?

Think about it.

XOXO!

~Victoria

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

love is patient

A few weeks ago, I was visiting with some gals from my Bible Study group. We were gathered around a dining room table, enjoying one another’s company while savoring the scrumptious blueberry muffins that our host, Chris, kindly prepared in advance. (Chris wisely knew that a room full of happy, hungry women can lead to much conversation.)

While there, I was asked a particular question about The Devoted Woman website from my friend Marilyn. I proceeded to answer her and tell her all the wonderful things that the Lord had accomplished to date. When I finished, Marilyn began to return the conversation with her own suggestion for DW’s website. Before I knew it, I was interrupting her with a response, finishing her sentences, etc. Marilyn graciously allowed me to finish and then tried to interject with her suggestion only to be shot down a second time by my crazy enthusiasm. She patiently let me finish… again…and then continued to share her suggestion. By the grace of God, the third time I was about to drop an “interruption bomb” on poor Marilyn, the Holy Spirit whispered to me. “Victoria, stop and listen. What Marilyn has to say is valuable. Be still. Be patient. You have enough time to talk about everything you need to talk about.” Then it dawned on me. In my enthusiasm, I had become a rambling idiot unable to hear anyone! With that, I breathed in my dangling thoughts and listened to Marilyn’s precious words which proved to be most valuable.When Marilyn finished, I realized how patient she was with me through the course of the conversation, and how impatient I was toward her. I told her immediately what the Holy Spirit had taught me, and she laughed, commenting that I would probably write about the experience in a future blog. (Smile.)

In the end, the experience really taught me a valuable lesson. It pointed out that I was not trusting God to provide the correct amount of time to address what needed to be addressed. Also, it was a neon light with fireworks - showing off my own selfish desire to be heard over anyone else. (Don’t you hate it when you realize just how selfish you are?!!?) Lastly, it was quite clear – I needed to pray to God to help me be more patient. Without patience, I would not be honoring and loving others as Jesus loves us.

Since the incident occurred, I have confessed my sin to my Redeemer for His forgiveness (as well as Marilyn), and I have tried to keep my untamable enthusiasm in check when talking about The Devoted Woman to others. But come on!…You’ve got to admit… it is a real blessing that God has organized such a wonderful network of women committed to one another in prayer and encouragement!!! Praise Him!!! (Smile again.)

XOXO!

~Victoria

Sunday, May 3, 2009

enough

Recently, my husband upgraded our phone, Internet, and television provider to an all-in-one, fancy-schmancy package deal. At first, I thought, "Why bother - they are all the same." However, my husband insisted it was the right move to make. (He really did a lot of research on it.) To my delight, when the task was complete, I was introduced to faster Internet speeds AND the greatest device ever made for television viewing: a digital recorder box thingy. (ROFL. My hubby just corrected me - it's called a DVR.)

This wonderful device allows me to watch my 1 to 2 television shows anytime during or after their air-date as well as fast forward through all the annoying commercials and depressing news blurbs. It's better than the old VCR setup, because we can fast forward commercials while the show is still on live TV - no VHS tapes either. To be able to easily remove those unwelcomed advertising invaders from my family's life has proven to be such a calming relief for us all. I had no idea how many persuasive media messages we were unintentionally accepting on auto-pilot before this change.

Why do I bring this up? Well, it is no secret that in the United States we are monopolized almost non-stop by all varieties of advertising and promotional distractions. Thanks to modern media, our eyes and ears are desensitized by so much junk that we have come to accept it as normal. We are consistently bombarded with the same message of consumerism.... we need more... always more. More of God? (How I wish that were the case.) No, instead we are hypnotized with catchy jingles and larger-than-life advertisements that try to convince us that we aren't complete.... that life is lacking.

According to the world, the only way be fulfilled and find our true potential is to have more of the treasures of this world and to make more money. Not only that, but these messages are just about everywhere... BUY IT NEW.... BUY IT NOW.... and BUY IT NAME BRAND! Just keep looking for more, more, more. It's exhausting.

Don't get me wrong, I am not slamming advertisers in general. They too have to put bread on their table as do the businesses they represent. And we as consumers are blessed to have the convenience to be informed of what is out there. However, I do think (as in everything) a healthy balance of what we let in is very important. Remember, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and as Christian women we are the hearts of our home. It is only right that we should be on guard to defend our environment with holiness as the goal for ourselves and our families.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:19-24)

Ladies, we need to be very careful to filter out worldly temptations and distractions. I'm not saying to hide under a rock - that is not realistic. We are in this world... but we are not of this world. It is crucial that we turn away from ANYTHING that takes our eyes off of Christ. Our objective on earth is to share the gospel, to love others, and most importantly to love God with all our heart, soul and mind.

In short, with Christ we are complete... renewed... fulfilled. HE is enough!

"The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee."


Blessings!

~Victoria

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