Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Worthless Things

At this time of year, everyone is talking about the real meaning of the season and striving to live with a generous and unselfish and serving heart. The chapel speaker at school this week spoke on this very topic and used an acrostic for SERVE:

S: Single-minded Loyalty -- to be loyal to God with single-mindedness. Without such singlemindedness we become our own focus.

E: Extensive Devotion -- again, devotion to God, a devotion that overshadows all else.

R: Right Spirit -- confession is good for the soul, they say; confession allows us to reclaim the intimacy with God that allows to have the freedom to love others more than we love ourselves.

V: Victorious Life -- no more barely making it, spiritually and emotionally and physically. Christ came to give us life and life abundantly. When we live this kind of life, He overflows from up like water from a brimming cup.

E: Exalting Purpose -- My purpose is to love God and serve Him forever. I can serve Him in many ways, including serving the downtrodden around me. And the downtrodden take many forms: the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, Zaccheas, the man born blind, and the paralytic, to name a few.

So today's Psalm 119 verse is vs. 37: Turn my eyes from worthless things.

Turn my eyes to what is important. Your ways, your people, your creation.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I am a Stranger

Psalm 119: 19
I am a stranger on earth;
       do not hide your commandments from me.

I am a stranger in NYC. Don't like the city. Try to avoid it. But when I am there, I need directions. I need street signs and subway signs and the helpfulness of strangers.

That is the way it is on earth, for God's believers. We need directions, road signs, and helpful friends. Most of these come in the form of God's Word. His commandments and the life principles that can be found in His Word are the necessary tools for navigating this world, its pitfalls, and my own sinful nature.

Thankfully, God doesn't hide His commandments from me.

I just have to open my eyes to read them.

vs. 18: Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chip Ingram's Book Post 2

Thinking Great Thoughts

John Locke said, "The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thought." Basically that means: if you want to know what I think, watch what I do. We know this is true. Your mother can tell you that eating peas is good for you, but if you constantly watch her throw her peas away, you won't believe her anymore.

So if I say God's will and God's ways are important but never spend time thinking about them, do I really believe it?

Ingram writes, "The thoughts we entertain in our minds become the thoughts that guide our lives."
If all I think about is what I read in the magazines at the check-out or what I watched last night on TV, then those ideas will guide my life. The petty concerns of starlets and the drama of unreality will influence me more than anything else. If I want God's will and God's ways to guide my life, then I need to think of those things at least as much as the other.

Though I have found that the more time you spend in God's Word, the more you want to spend there.

I can say I will give equal time to God's Word but the very nature of His Word is to draw me in deeper, until soon I forsake the TV to read the Bible or some other book about godly ideas. Like Good to Great in God's Eyes.

Psalm 119: 9-16
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commandments.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chip Ingram's Book Good To Great in God's Eyes: Post 1

Do you want to be good at your job? Or great?

What about as a parent, as a friend?

Chip Ingram, in the Introduction of this book, points out that when Christians are asked that question, we have no qualms about saying we want to be great.  But ask a Christian if he/she wants to be a great Christian, and we hem and haw, ducking our heads, as if embarrassed to admit that yes, we do.

How dare we be so pompous as to desire greatness when talking of spiritual things!  Of course, when talking about  secular things, it's OK to want to be great. It's just a job or hobby, after all.  But when talking about the things of God?  It is arrogant.

"Yet what is the alternative? Should be aspire to be mediocre Christians? Is it really prideful to want to honor God with lives of great faith and excellent work?" (p 8)  Ingram goes on to point out that when the disciples argued about who was the greatest, Jesus did not admonish or chastise or reprimand them; what He did was correct their view of greatness.  "We are designed to be great in God's eyes. When he created humanity, he proclaimed us  not just good, but 'very good' (Gen. 1:31).  We exist for his glory.  That kind of purpose is not served well by mediocrity or even by settling for simply being good." (p 9)

How do atheletes become great?  They practice.

How does one become great in business?  One makes wise choices and works diligently.

How does a Christian become great in God's eyes?  How do I?

I must work and strive and take it seriously.  Greatness in God's eyes, just like greatness on the soccer field, isn't going to happen by me standing on the sidelines, no matter how loudly I cheer for others.  I need to stop living a passive life, reacting to  what happens to me and around me.  I was talking with my students this week about Christians being thermostats instead of thermometers: thermometers tell you the temperature around you but thermostats set the temperture.

Guess I should take my own teaching to heart.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Want to be Great

Most of us would say we want to be a great:

What about "Christian"?  Would we say we want to be a great Christian?  According to Chip Ingram in his book Good to Great in God's Eyes: 10 Practices of Great Christians,  most people would think saying we want to be a Great Christian is not humble, too over-reaching.

How can I -- knowing how deep my sinful nature goes -- ever call myself a Great Chrisitan?

But thinking about it, I have to ask myself, how can I NOT STRIVE for that?  Is God displeased if I want to be a Great Christian?  Would it bring Him less glory if I were? 

I am eager to read this book and share here what I am learning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The End?

I have been in counseling for my addiction for two years.  Summers are busy for everyone, including my counselor and myself.  For the second summer in a row, we met only once.  When the fall arrived, and I expected things to get back to normal, I have not been able to get in touch with her to set up a meeting.

At the end of the summer I failed but managed to pick myself up.  It is true what she says: I know the truth -- I just have to remember to live it.  And so I managed to get back where I need to be.  And have been consistently doing that for some weeks now.

Perhaps I don't need her anymore.

But the idea that I won't be meeting with her anymore makes me sad.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When God Chases You

It can be a hard thing.

As you can see by the dates of my posts, it has been nearly a month since my last post.  I wish I could claim busyness or forgetfulness or even that I have simply lost interest.

Alas, that is not the case.

I have not posted because I have not been reading the Diane Evans book.  Nor have I been reading my Bible.  Nor have I been spending much time with God or even thinking about God.  I have been willfully and determindedly running from God by sticking in my addiction like a fly in poisoned honey.

But God is not willing to let me go. 

Today I was the storyteller at church.  The young children have three main ideas that the curriculum circulates: God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever.  This month is God made me, and the verse is from Psalm 139: 14 --

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.

I did a cute song and activity -- it wasn't really a story this week.  We did "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."  We jumped and marched and used our hands to pick up stickers off the floor.  Because God gave us eyes to see and ears to hear and mouths to speak and feet to walk and hands to help. To see His people and to hear their needs and to tell them about Jesus and to walk with them and to help them. 

Then I left the kiddos with their teachers and entered the adult service.

This month our pastors are teaching from Jonah. What happens when you run from God.


The pastor was teaching on chapter 2 today, what happens when you pray to God.  Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish.  In the farthest down he could get -- the living dead way down below the surface of the sea -- he prayed to God....

And God listened.

The pastor read the passage and then turned to the psalms and said there is a psalm that very nearly mirrors what Jonah was saying, although Jonah came after the psalm.  So I guess Jonah mirrored the psalm, but the reflection is there.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.

That's from Psalm 139.


And then the pastor said that God gave us these legs, even though He knew we'd run.


"You can't run from Me, my daughter.  Wherrever you go, I am there.  You run with these legs I have given you -- given to you so that you can GO to them and tell them about Me.  I knew you'd run.  I didn't have to give you legs.  I could have made you so that you could never leave Me.  But I didn't.  Go ahead and run -- but I'm right there with you."

Oh, God, my Father.
I don't want to run anymore.
I am faithless.
You are faithful.
Thank you for loving me, for chasing me.
Oh, God, let me run only ever after You!

Monday, September 19, 2011

What is easy, what is hard?

Life is hard, wouldn't you agree?  Money is tight, my health is less than wonderful, or even adequate, and my emotions are occasionally all over the map. Sometimes I cry out, "Just take me home."

But today I am reminded that it is in this very environment that God makes me more like Himself.  Evans writes, "God's graces appear in the midst of a consecrated life as it is actually lived, not in some far-off realm set apart from real human  emotional experience.  Surrender never discounts or denies the reality of our suffering."

God isn't standing by my elbow saying, "Get it together, girl!  You can handle this, it's nothin'."

No, He is saying, "This is too hard for you, so stop trying to carry it yourself. ..

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

And though I recognize the wisdom of it, in my prideful state it is still the hard thing -- letting go, laying it at His feet, saying, "I surrender all."

Oh, God, my God, my Savior and my friend,
Give me the strength to admit my strength isn't enough.
Give me the hope that comes from knowing You.
Give me the rest that I so desire.
Oh, God, my God, give me You.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evans' Book: Chapter on Surrender

I am in the third chapter, the third of six godly characteristics that the Lord wants His daughters to exhibit.  I am also reading through Chip Ingram's r12 Christian.  In his book, Chip says the thing we are afraid of is the thing that we have not fully surrendered to God.  Evans, in this chapter, is writing about Mary the mother of Jesus, and what she says supports that thought.

Mary was told she would have a child, even though she was a virgin.  Her whole life was about to be turned upside down.  She could have been afraid of Joseph's reaction, public humiliation, her parents, even her life, if the community stoned her to death.  But she was completely surrendered to God, and even losing her life was not something to fear.

What am I afraid of?

You know, an addict's response to life often reflects fear.  Something in his/her life causes fear, discomfort, or pain, and those feelings cause the addict to turn to his/her addiction.  A year ago I was doing very well, walking on solid ground.  When I first read Chip Ingram's words last spring, I thought to myself that I was not afraid of anything.

But either I was deluding myself or I simply didn't realize:  I am afraid of losing my job.  Not just because of a down economy or poor performance.  But what if this rheumatoid arthritis that is sapping my strength and my ability to function causes me to have to quit?  It is still a loss of my job, in a way, and it does frighten me.  Because what happens next?  Where do I go?  What do I do?  I am a single woman who does not live near family.  Do I go on disability?  Move in with friends?  Move back home?

Or simply wait for God to reveal the next step, and then the next?

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
             for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
             until the disaster has passed.
                                                      Psalm 57:1

Friday, September 9, 2011

For Freedom -- Evans' Book

Still dealing with the same sin, though it seems to me when you pray thusly, "God, I don't want you as much as I wish I did.  Please change my heart to desire you as you deserve," -- seems to me He honors such prayers.  Two weeks ago, I was still steeping, like a too strong cup of tea.  Today I have re-found the sweetness of Christ.

Psalm 34: 4-9  I sought Jehovah, and he answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
 They looked unto him, and were radiant; And their faces shall never be confounded.
  This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
  The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him, And delivereth them.
  Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good: Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him.
 Oh fear Jehovah, ye his saints; For there is no want to them that fear him.

Galatian 5: 1 -- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I'd love to have a photo with this post, perhaps a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Diligence: a Thought from Evans' Book

Several days ago, I meditated here on the lack of diligence in my life and how necessary it is to overcome my addiction.  Without diligence, little actions and attitudes that seem irrelevant slowly lead me to a place where stepping into my addictive behavior is not such a big jump.

Today, reading Deborah Evans' book, I came upon a quote from a third century bishop.  His name was Nonnos, and he said, "We, the mindless ones, indifferently dismiss, without regard, the soul, instead of preferring the immortal and living God.  Moreover, we prefer what is vain and perishable, thus insulting and disdaining our dignity.  Whereupon, we suffer loss of that wonderful and ineffable delight of perpetual blessedness."

The pleasures that this world provides, whether they be sinful addictions or hours of seemingly innocuous television viewing, disregard the soul.  They are vain and perishable.  That is not what I was created for.  What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

I could say I am the only one that loses, when I prefer the vain and perishable.  But the story of Nonnos that Evans relates in her book is in reference to an actress/prostitute in her sedan chair, decked to the nines and gathering adoring and lustful looks as she drives by.  Nonnos is referring to the reactions of the godly men with whom he is speaking, and to his own reaction: downcast eyes and turning away.  It is that action that he says disregards the soul -- her soul.

Am I the only one who loses?  Or is it all the people with whom I come in contact who, because my days are spent in fleeting pleasures, do not see the joy and peace and pleasure to be had in the presence of my Savior?

Monday, August 15, 2011

from Evans' book, chapter: "Belief"

Chapter 2 in Six Qualities in Women of Character by Deborah Evans is titled "Belief."  I claimed belief in God exactly half my life ago.   At age 17, I believed that I am a sinner and that I need a Savior and that only Jesus, as God's Son, can provide that salvation.  So how does this chapter apply to me today?  What affect does it have on my sinful condition?

There are many things that we can believe about God.  Some of them are true and some are not.  Let us stick with Truth for now.  I can believe God is gracious, kind, merciful, the perfect judge, righteous, and holy.  I can say I believe God is all-powerful and sovereign, but my actions reveal otherwise.  When I return to my addiction I am saying God is not big enough, strong enough, loving enough.  My actions show what I truly believe.

Evans writes, "Without belief, we become vulnerable to all manner of attack; with it we are protected from trouble, surrounded by songs of deliverance, in a hiding place where no enemy can effectively assail us...When our troubles trap us and threaten to defeat us, we can ask the Lord to reaffirm our belief in His strong presence as we wait upon Him, in all our undeniable weakness, to renew our strength."

My addiction happens to be pleasing to me, as well as being an escape.  Sometimes I turn to it because I am lonely or afraid, but sometimes just because I want to.  1 John 2: 16 says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." It is all about pleasing myself. 

I like what Evans says later in the same chapter, quoting the 12th century monk Bernard of Clairevaux, "Inordinate love of the flesh is cruelty because under the appearance of pleasing the body we kill the soul."
I need to believe with all my heart that "As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:30.  And that I can trust Him no matter what.  That sentence sounds very "Sunday school," but it is simple enough for even a dunce like me to understand. 

I want to stop killing my soul.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In the Midst

I am a believer.  I desire to do God's will and to glorify Him. 

Like all believers, I walk somewhere between Romans 7 and 12.

When I am choosing to live in my addiction -- and I must choose my words carefully today -- when I choose to remain in my addiction, I get to a point where even Romans 7 would be progress.  I get to a point where I don't want to talk to God, about God, or hear from God, and I certainly am not concerned with glorifying Him.

And yet His Spirit in me is crying out for Him.

I sit in my chair, ensconced in my addicted behavior, trying to ignore God's calling and yet wanting to pray to Him.  But how can I pray?  I haven't repented.  My prayers will not be heard.  I don't know that that is strictly true -- as a believer, my sin has already been paid for.  Even in the midst of my sin, God sees only righteousness.  How can that be?  But it is what the Bible says.

It just proves that I am totally depraved.  Those people who believe all people are good or at least blank slates (tabula rosa) are deceiving themselves.  I am -- we are -- totally without the abiltiy to seek God.  When I am choosing to remain in my addiction, the only reason I can come out of it is because God is seeking me.  Yes, I do have the power to choose -- 2 Peter 1:3.  But I only have that power because God gave it to me.  I can only love God because He first loved me.

What a weight is lifted from my chest, that oppressive weight of sin that I carry by choice!  God is waiting to carry my burden, and He has given me the power to hand that burden to Him.  How great is His love for me!

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Holy Spirit at Work

Sometimes we have to stop doing what we have enjoyed doing for a very long time.  Not something sinful -- that we need to stop immediately.  But sometimes we have to choose between what is good and what is better.  I am thankful today that God has allowed me to do a bit of that.

I have an author whose books I enjoy a great deal.  However, there are some language issues in these books.  Yesterday I picked up the new release -- and I haven't read anything by this author in at least a year -- and began reading.  The plot was as capitvating as ever, but I never got past page 6.  I just felt that this was not the best way to spend my reading time -- there are other things, better things, I could be reading.

As always, I had a choice.  I could put the book down or I could continue reading.  If I had chosen to continue, my spirit would have become more desensitized.  It would become easier and easier to ignore the voice of God in my heart.  It would eventually lead somewhere I know I don't want to go.

But the book is innocuous, I could argue.


Maybe it falls into the category of "good".  Today I choose whatever God says is "better."

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Two days ago I made a vow, a pledge.  I was mentally complaining about my lack of funds, sipping on an iced coffee from my favorite coffee place, when I heard on the radio: Compassion International was raising funds for water filters that will serve Rwandan families for a lifetime.  Only $55 each.  I was both sad and angry that this month I just don't have that lying around. 

Sip, sip, rattle, rattle.

So I made a pledge that I would drink nothing but water for a whole month, because there are people in this world who can't drink clean water, period, but I have access to it in abundance and so often choose the sugary or tasty or caffiene-heavy instead.

Two days later I am regretting my pledge.  Not because the cause is not worthwhile but because I hate water.  Water is boring, water is bland.  Give me something to entertain my mouth.

That attitude in and of itself is appalling.  But what bothers me this morning is that I was contemplating "cheating."  I live alone.  Who would know?  And who would it be hurting, really?

But that isn't the point, is it?  The point is keeping my pledge, being a woman of my word.  So often I say I will do this or that, for God, for work, for friends or family or church.  One thing leads to another and I either forget my promise or "forget".  It shows a decided lack of discipline in my life.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,  and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.  2 Peter 1:5-11

I must persevere in my promise, to bring about godliness in my life.  For no other reason than that God always keeps His promises.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why is brokenness necessary?

I am at the end of the chapter in Evans's book.  Her conclusion answers this question.  She says that brokenness is the precursor to revival.  God takes us down to build us back up.  I've known this for awhile.  I've even said, in the past few months, as I deal with painful health issues, that I am closer to God through this trial than I ever was before.    Trials are only one of those things the book of James mentions as requiring perseverance; temptations are the other ones.  God uses whatever it takes to draw us nearer to Himself.

J.I. Packer writes in Knowing God: How does God in grace prosecute His purpose?  Not by shielding us from assault by the world, the flesh, and the Devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstances, nor yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology; but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to Him more closely."

I like the line Evans writes towards the end of the chapter: "He is not just out to make us whole -- He is out to make us holy."

And that is the answer to the question.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

God has a wonderful way

God has a wonderful way of grouping His teachings.  In Evans's book right now, I am in the chapter on brokenness.  What is another word for brokenness?


The modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance.

As according to

I can look at the greatness of God, then at myself in the mirror He holds up and see myself for the bug I am.  I can see the faults that He presently wants to work on, a non-exhaustive list of which includes stewardship, pride, perseverance (see yesterday), and self-control.  I can think of myself as squashable.

Or I can see the beautiful picture of grace: God taking His pool skimmer, gently lifting the drowning Japanese beetle from the water, and shaking her out on the beautiful roses.  Not only does He save me, but He sets me in His glorious garden!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Everything I Need

In this walk through the dark forest of addiction, 2 Peter 1:3 has been a beam of sunshine.  They are words I repeat to myself, monthly, weekly, daily, and on an as-needed basis:

"His divine power has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and excellence."

What does this mean?  What implications do these words have?

As a born again believer, I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me.  It never fails to astonish me: this is the same Spirit present at creation, the same Spirit that Christ gave to His followers after His resurrection.  That power!  That unadulterated power of God is living inside of me!  If that power resides inside of me, what can I fail to do?  Nothing.  If I set my mind to conquer this sin, I CAN do it.  The power of the Holy Spirit in me says I have all the power I need for godliness.

I have been challenged, however, in my quiet time to read the rest of the passage.  Verse 3 is mighty in its implications.  But from verse 5 to verse 7, Peter shares with me a list of attributes, character traits, qualities that I must exhibit as I continue on this path with God.  Verse 8 tells me I must apply these qualities in increasing measure -- more and more -- in order to be neither useless nor unfruitful: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.  And if I do not apply these to my life, verse 9 tells me that I am "blind and short-sighted, having forgotten [my] purification from [my] former sins."

All of that is true, but it is not the focus today of my quiet time with God.  God has created bookends around this list, one word that comes before and after, and like bookends, holds everything together.  That one words is diligence.

I must be diligent in the increase of the application of these qualities.  That sentence sounds like something from the 1700s. 

I must be diligent to apply these qualities to my life more and more.  Better. 

I must work diligently to become a woman of godly character.  This process of sanctification -- making me more like Christ -- will never be complete until I see my Father and my Savioir in heaven, but I can work to achieve more today than yesterday or last year. 

I wanted to type there "keep walking" and those words never fail to bring VeggieTales to mind: the French peas singing, "Keep walking, but you won't knock down our wall.  Keep walking, but she isn't going to fall.  It's plain to see your brains are very small to think walking will be knocking down our wall."

But the wall did come down.

So I will keep walking.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Woman of Character: Brokenness

I will be reading through Deborah Evans's book Six Qualities of Women of Character and sharing it and my own thoughts with you.

Deborah talks about these six qualities as "graces."  Not grace -- that trait of God that gives us what we do not deserve.  But "graces" --helps given to us by the Holy Spirit.

The first one she discusses is Brokenness, and I guess there is good reason why.  Without brokenness, the rest cannot and will not happen at all.  She shares examples of two of her friends.  The second friend is feeling burned out, realizing that she has too long relied upon her own strength and not on God.  This realization is going to allow her to draw nearer to God, to admit she cannot continue without Him.

But the first example is the one that resonates with me: it is the story of a woman who has sinned grievously by having an affair.  I trust Deborah  when she says this friend is a believer.  I know that believers fall into serious sin, and I know that we will only come out of it, like a drowning man out of the lake, when we are broken before God and recognize our sin.  Not only that it has occurred but admitting and understanding how much it hurts God.

And yet, the word "brokenness," here used to describe our contrition, brings to my mind the word used in another sense: "Here is My body, broken for you."  Christ, too, was broken, on my behalf.  On your behalf. 

I am also thinking of the Casting Crown's song, "Glorious Day," actually an old hymn. 

Living He loved me,
Dying He saved me,
Buried He carried my sin far away,
Rising He justified, freely forever,
One day He's coming, oh glorious day!

Today I am blessed by that line "justified, freely forever" -- forever.  FOREVER!  The sin that still so easily entangles me has already been taken care of.

Oh, Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness, given at no cost to me, but at such a high price to you and your Son.  Thank you that every sin, past and present and future, is already washed clean.  Help me to live in that truth, and to rest in you today. Amen

Woman of Character: Intital Post -- Please Read

With this initial post, I want to explain my purpose.  This is not my only blog; my other blog is strictly about my novel writing, or writing in general.  This blog is more personal.  It will be an almost daily look at my walk with God.

I became a born again believer in 1994.  For the past three years, I have been struggling with and working through an addiction.  For the past two months, I have felt myself slipping, and then this morning I jumped off the cliff.

That is my Romans 7 life, and I am tired of living that way!  I want the Romans 12 life, thus the title: Transformed.  I want to please God with every aspect of my life, every word and thought and action, when I am alone and when I am in a crowd.  And I want my life to count for something.  I want this whole long walk to mean something; perhaps that it would encourage someone else.