Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Decision is Life or Death

"But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." Ruth 1:16

This verse hit me between the eyes last night. My friend and I are in week one of Kelly Minter's Ruth bible study. When we picked this particular study, I was cynically thinking that I knew the book inside out; therefore I probably wouldn't learn anything new. It's funny that I'm always wrong when I think I know everything.

Although Ruth is saying these words to Naomi (her bitter mother-in-law) about their journey back to Bethelem, I realized that I was in the same situation....though on a spiritual rather than physical journey.

Naomi and her husband, along with their two daughters-in-law left Bethelem for Moab. Naomi's husband and sons eventually died, and Naomi decided to return to her home. I have heard and read this story 203 times since I was in Sunday School as a child. Yet I never grasped that Naomi and her family initially left Bethelem (their God-given land) for Moab, which was enemy territory. Moab was a country without God's favor, without His blessing. Therefore they were essentially leaving the place God had given them, for a land they thought would be better. Because, naturally, the grass is always greener and the land is more desirable on the other side.

Aren't I often tempted to leave "my land" when I think something else is better? Hasn't that been my situation for the last six months? Doesn't this all go back to Eve believing what the stupid serpent said was better than what God had provided already?

Without going off on Eve's tangent, Ruth's words struck me to the core. She committed in her heart to do the right thing - the "thing" that required devotion and faith. She emphatically told Naomi that she would go wherever she went....and would worship whomever she worshiped. This commitment resounded within me like that big gong on Let's Make a Deal. I had drifted into an unknown land, a land that I convinced myself was just a mini-vacation spot. Even though I knew this trip was altogether wrong, I was stubborn-headed and foolish enough to convince myself that my choices are sometimes better than God's.
And now, God has lovingly interrupted that journey because He wants me home. He knows that His joy and peace are mine only within the borders of His planned "land" for me. The enemy can tempt and taunt and deceive and make valiant efforts to make a very wrong situation look beautiful and enticing and thrilling. Then when you arrive in that place, the walls crumble; it's not what you thought; it's ugly, sinful, and just plain devastating. This place makes you weary, and it's void of peace and full of deceit. Home, you realize, is ripe with abundance, joy, love and truth.

So you make the decision to return. You grasp the gracious hand of God and allow Him to lead you back to His arms. And you cry out with the determination of Ruth and say, "I will go where you go...and I will stay where you stay." And you pray that God would trade your heart of stone for a heart of flesh...because you know that it's not sheer willpower that will keep you home. It's only His perfect love that drew you back, and it's only by absolute surrender to His love that makes you stay.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

I do have a purpose -- I really, really do!

You know I haven’t posted a normal post in a long time when the topic of this post alludes to the fact that I need to re-establish a purpose here. If that did not make sense, I’m sorry. It didn’t even make much sense to me, but I so love the word “alludes” and really needed to find a sentence in which to use it.

Now that you are completely lost, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the purpose of my blog. A normal, successful blogger would have thought about this before ever writing their first post. However I always like to do things backwards. And if you ask God, He will tell you I also do things stubbornly, pridefully, sinfully backwards. But that's altogether another topic. Thus far, I have used this blog to compose everything from toddler anecdotes to sermon summarizations to my own investigative findings in scripture. I have even shared excerpts from cooking disasters, and I have blogged about reading the Bible in 90 days...which I quit after 3 months (i'm doing that again, though...minus the blog thing at a time, please). With all that taken into consideration, I believe it’s time for a singular purpose here, and I know all three of you who read this have been wondering when I would draw this conclusion.

I originally started blogging because if I’m not writing something, I get overly explosive inside (no, not hormonally explosive). It’s like words must come out through my fingertips onto a keyboard or I will spontaneously combust. And of course, there is the part of me which loves for others to be encouraged by my mistakes or truths I have learned as a result of those mistakes. Frankly, I just always like an audience; and I’m not too proud to admit that. It’s a nice thing to know that people actually (on occasion) read what I write, and if in some way you are inspired by these humble words of mine, then praise God.

So without further adieu (another word I really like), the purpose of this blog will be to exemplify the lifestyle of a true heiress in Christ: rich in love, full of mercy and completely dependant on her benefactor.

I hope some one person in some way at some point in time will be blessed by the words written here.
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Friday, July 2, 2010

I fell off the face of the earth....

Hi Friends,

I am sheepishly writing this post....

The last few months in my life have not been full of shining moments. Needless to say, I retreated; talked to very few people; ceased any form of online communication unless it was work-related; and basically hid in a hole.

I won't discuss the reasons or issues or anything like that, simply because they are too fresh and too personal. I will say, however, that my mind has cleared and God's mercies are new every morning. I am so utterly thankful that He loves me even though I'm a mess. I'm super glad that He heals and loves and offers amazing, limitless grace. This girl is just a fool at times....a fool who needs Jesus.

SO, there you have it. I'm here. alive and well. and back to blogging. AND, get this: I'm doing the Bible in 90 Days again....this time, I'm not quitting in the second month. Take that, Devil.
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