Today I started the Living Beyond Yourself Bible study. I so hope you're planning to join us. It's going to be so amazing. I did this study a few years ago, but I can tell you it's speaking a whole new and fresh Word over me this time around. My circumstances are different now. I am viewing it with different eyes as the person and mom I am today, not the person I was then. As I listened to that introduction to the study by Beth Moore this morning, a couple of things kept echoing through my mind as they related to last night. Coming fresh from that event into her challenge to Live Beyond MYSELF was really making me step out of my "me" box and into "more". She challenged us to approach our lives as an OPPORTUNITY to do the things we are not capable of doing. I haven't really thought of my challenges and difficulties in life as an "opportunity" to do something beyond my capabilities, but that is exactly what I am charged with every single day. Parenting some of the issues we face are definitely beyond me. It's an OPPORTUNITY Christ has given me to achieve the impossible. HE CAN!
Phillipians 3:12-14 says that God has grabbed hold of us for a purpose. Think of the language Paul uses... God has GRABBED HOLD of you. Ever GRAB HOLD of one of your children? it's probably not a nonchalant gesture. When I grab hold of my kids, I mean business. So, if God has grabbed hold of me for a purpose, then, like Paul, I want to press and strain to grab hold of that purpose! Beth Moore says that if we are going to grab hold of that purpose, you can bet that you're not going to touch it from your comfort zone. You're going to have to reach and stretch and PRESS and STRAIN to fulfill that purpose, because it's beyond you. So, in light of knowing that God has grabbed hold of me for a purpose, and to my knowledge, that purpose is orphans, then I am to assume that He is going to press me and strain me to get a full grasp on that prize. Believe me, I'm being pressed and strained every day, not just by my overwhelming love for the orphans, but also by the overwhelming'ness of some of the issues we face as parents. But John 11:43 is calling us out of our tombs of darkness. Like Lazarus, Jesus is asking us to COME OUT! And if the true joy of life is BEING USED UP for a purpose, then I want to pour it all out. I want to leave not one drop. I want my purpose to absolutely consume me to the point that there is no me left, only Him working through me.
I don't really know what my point is here... I guess just to say that I want to press on in that direction, no matter how distant or overwhelming, until I reach that place that God has carved out for me and my family!
And in light of highlighting some other ways that you can live out James 1:27, I wanted to introduce you to another family who is raising money to bring home an orphan. Joe and Aime McGinnis are selling some really cute T-shirts to raise money to bring home their child from Africa. I had a thought occur to me today as I was preparing to write this post. Last night at the conference, Dennis Rainey said, "Find out where God is working and go join Him." He said he sees God working in the orphan crisis so that is where others should be also. But specifically, I see God working overtime in Africa. I just see so much coming out of that continent that can only be God because the poverty and circumstances there are so overwhelmingly not of God. But He is thriving there because He is God! So, even if you haven't adopted from Africa, even if you never intend to, you can grab one of these shirts and support God in what He is doing there. This is what finding where God is working and joining Him is all about. (Lori, I thought of Hallie's Christmas stocking immediately when I saw these shirts! You know me, always thinking! :) hahaha
Okay folks, enough of my preaching for the day! Sorry if I have bored you, but I have to tell someone and it's easier to tell people who can skip the parts they don't want to "hear." :)
"I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."