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Posts tagged scripture
My Portion And My Inheritance

IMG_1947 Thursday February 14, 2019

Every morning I open a little book of daily scripture readings, and as I do so, I am asking God, “what do You want me to learn?”

Most days I have to dig into the words, using Bible Gateway to read the different Biblical translations, finding the words that speak into my heart.

Today, the words were crystal clear.

They were from Numbers 18:20: I am your portion and your inheritance.

 And they were echoed again in Psalms 6:5-6: YOU, O LORD, are the portion of my inheritance and my cup (my chosen portion).  YOU maintain, support, and hold my lot.

 And again in Lamentations 3:24, He once more reminds me: “The LORD is my portion and my inheritance” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him!”  I have hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.

I have been following a reading plan to read through the Bible and have just finished Exodus.  I have been amazed at how many times the promise made to Abraham of the promised land 400 years before, was still being repeated over again.

The Israelite children had forgotten to remember the promise and covenant that had sustained them for 400 years in captivity, and once they had been set free, it never crossed their minds.

The words from Numbers 18 were being said directly to these people.  I am your portion and your inheritance, and still they would forget, and so would I.

He is my portion and my inheritance.  He is all I need.

Fifty years ago as an 18 year old high school senior, I went on a date with the boy who became my husband.

Fifty years later, we will return to that high school hang out to celebrate with our daughter and 2 grandchildren, our family whom we had no idea of having 50 years ago.

I pondered the last 50 years, and everywhere I looked I saw God’s fingerprints on our lives and our decisions and our mistakes and our victories.  He never left and He always provided. He has always been all we have needed.

Bob and I were not thinking of Bible verses and truth be known, we didn’t know this verse existed, but that night 50 years ago was the first tentative step in the journey of us.

We didn’t know His plans for us.  We didn’t know the mountain top highs and the dark valleys He would lead us through, but something was there because we took the first tentative steps to a commitment that would find fulfillment 4 years later.

This inheritance from Him was there that Valentine’s night 50 years ago.  It has always been there, sometimes in the far distance with only brief glimpses as we grew up in our faith, and sometimes it was the very life line we clung to when we saw no other way.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and what we could not see, or even fathom, is crystal clear to our aging eyes,

We now look toward our promised inheritance and cherish our portion, and three parts of that portion will celebrate the beginning of the story of us tonight.

“The Lord is my portion and my inheritance . . . therefore I have hope in Him and wait expectantly.”

I pray that part of our inheritance will be the passing of the hope, and the expectation of His return, to our children and grandchildren.

Fifty years ago two “kids” went on a double date.  Bob spent 50 cents for two sweet teas and an order of French fries. And our life together began and God was present.

God is the rock and the strength of my heart.  He is all I need. He is my portion.

Amen and amen and amen.

 

Lovingyougood…sd

sd

By Faith, I Must

fireflies This past week I was fortunate enough to hear Beth Guckenberger, and a few other incredible people of faith share about their faith. I’ll be honest, I battled and am still battling this conference. The timing of it with personal things and work things, the title claiming it was for children’s pastors (hey, I’m not one of them), and just an overall bad attitude.  I am one gajillion percent certain that the evil one is celebrating my bad attitude while everyone around me has quickly tired of it. I’m even tired of it. Therefore, to fight the enemy, I need to share some of the nuggets I heard over the week that are taking root in my heart and ripping apart the bad attitude (trying to anyway).

Beth Guckenberger is one of my heroes, one of those real, down to earth women you want to be around because she is so in tune with the Lord that you want to be in their presence. She started our conference with this question: “What is it YOU want me to hear from YOU?” Y’all, I KNOW I heard birds chirping, maybe it was locusts or crickets, but it was static and nothing decipherable was coming out. She led us through a prayer experience-where I stewed in my bitterness instead of opening my heart to hear what God wanted me to hear. But I’m home now and I’m upset with myself over a wasted opportunity to fully worship; to express my love and adoration to the One who made me and to beg for His forgiveness for my bitterness.

Beth talked about how God’s people had light amongst them… I imagine a warm summer evening with fireflies in abundance. Isaiah 58:8-14 says,

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

I desperately want to be the person who calls out to the Lord at all times, being sure He is with me. I don’t want to be the bitter person who is unsure of life or of God’s presence. I want to be a firefly, to be the light of Christ to those around me. Not in competition with those other fireflies, but in unity.

So how, how do I release the bad attitude and fully submit to the Lord’s purpose for me? I must acknowledge my need for Him. I must submit to His sovereignty, not being dependent on what I bring to the table. I must humble myself and ask for forgiveness from those forced to be in my world lately. I must remember to give myself as much or more grace than I would others. I must remember to follow Colossians 3:12-14 (oddly enough it was these verses Jim and I selected for our wedding):

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

That’s a lot of “musts” but they are necessary; you know what’s even better? It’s all fully possible when I focus on the Lord and release everything over to Him. Will you join me in praying for me to be able to do all these musts? And to humbly seek out help when I’m struggling to be who He created me to be? Is there something God is calling you to do that must be done? Don’t you want to be firefly, full of light for Him?

Shea Rocheleau

 

 

Your Legacy Is As Real As You Are

Hearing the word legacy makes me think of people who have passed on before me and what I received from them. Not from their family or from their stuff, but THEM. What did they teach me? How did they help me evolve and become a better person?

As we begin to discover the effects of social media since it began in 1997, I wonder how will it impact legacies as we move forward? Will we continue to become so caught up and entrenched in our media feeds that we fail to give attention to those right beside us?

I’ve always been kind of, well… a self-determined weirdo. I had curly hair when everyone else had straight; I wore my brother’s hand-me-down t-shirts and jeans when my peers wore Izod and dresses; I was a fanatical sports fan and athlete at a time when girls weren’t that. We also moved a LOT, so I was often the new kid in school. Sadly, that automatically made me strange. While I could find myself uncomfortable socially, I came to appreciate and even like my uniqueness. But I also didn’t grow up in an era of social media which allows people to post only their best self if they so desire.

I worry so many people don’t embrace – much less like – what makes them stand out. What makes them… them.

The Bible tells us how God sees us. In Psalm 139:14 (NIV) “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful...”

So why is it so difficult for us to see ourselves how God sees us?

legacy

I think the devil, combined with our human nature, often creates an inner storm like no other. Social media provides a platform where we often can’t confirm we’re getting the whole, authentic story. Nor do we have to be accountable to do so ourselves. This can be where our mind starts playing games and self-loathing can creep in.

Fear, anxiety, insecurity, negative self-talk, doubt and comparison are all some of the ways we get caught up in the trap of living a life in the flesh instead of living in Christ.

Alice G. Walton wrote an article in Forbes Magazine June 30, 2017. In the article, titled “6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health,” Walker tells us that studies have shown us that social media can be detrimental for our mental wellness. It has been shown to be addictive; a source of sadness, isolation and less life-satisfaction; the comparing that occurs from social media is unhealthy; it creates jealousy and envy which often leads to depression; we buy into the trap of believing it will help us feel better; and finally, virtual friends don’t provide the same positive results that real friends do.

We continue to have this crazy notion (and image) of perfection. Everything is flawless, especially the rich and famous. We often expect perfection of our leaders, our family, our friends and certainly from those we don’t even know. But how much easier would our lives be by just accepting that perfection is an illusion? God never intended for us to be perfect.

Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God uses our flaws for His glory: “Each time He said, “my grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

When will it become ok to be imperfect and just be whatever we are – imperfections and brokenness and whatever else that entails? What needs to happen so that we look at ourselves with God’s lenses and realize we can shine brightly despite (or because of) our flaws?

Matthew 5:16 (CEV) – Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven.

When I send my boys off in the morning, I sometimes tell them to shine brightly and make the world a better place. Funny, I worry if I say it too much it will lose its meaning. I remind them: “be you. If you keep trying to do what everyone else is doing and trying to be someone else, who will be YOU? You are the only YOU in this world.” The fact that the conversation has taken place more than once, tells me it hasn’t quite had the impact I had hoped. But one day it will stick, right?

Social media isn’t going anywhere. It seems to be here for the duration. Don’t be afraid to be you.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Shouldn’t the greatest gift we leave the world reflect God and His image of us instead of reflecting who the world wants us to be? Fully embrace who God made you to be. Don’t be afraid to show the world your true, authentic wonderful self – even on social media. Be genuine and unique. Tell YOUR story. Find what REALly helps you stand out from everyone else. Make sure your legacy is the true original – fearfully and wonderfully made.

Angela

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