Friday, August 1, 2008

A Fruitful Life

You and I have been made with a powerful longing to know that our presence in this world matters. God also created us to find the fulfillment of that desire through His Son. We were created with a need that can only be met in Jesus Christ, His Son.

Our dependence on Him is absolutely central to the abundant life Christ spoken of at John 10:10. Trusting Him with all our hearts means turning over to Him the controls to our relationships, jobs, families, finances, and everything else that comprises our lives. Proverbs 3:5-7 emphasizes how necessary our trust is to a fruitful life: we are warned about being wise in our own eyes and twice cautioned not to lean upon our own understanding. When we are faced with the need to make decisions, it is tempting to gather up all the information we can and then from that choose the answer that we think is best. However, no matter how much information we gather, it is impossible to know all the facts or to predict with absolute certainty how others will respond. But our heavenly Father is omniscient. He knows all. He perceives our every thought and reads our hearts (Chron 28:9). Nothing about our lives escapes His attention (Ps 11:4), and He cares for everyone. That's why He alone is certain which decision we should make to be the best for the circumstances we are dealing with.

The abundant life mentioned earlier also includes acknowledging the Lord in everything we do. Talking about Him is just a small part of what it means to give Him the recognition He deserves. As His children, we are to have a likeness to our heavenly Father, in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. His priorities must be reflected in our priorities, and our plans must fit with His purposes.

Our lives become fruitful as we surrender ourselves and yield our wills to God and carry out His plans for our lives. By allowing His Holy Spirit to live through us (Gal 2:20), we will find our lives characterized by satisfaction, purpose, and significance.

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I didn't set the alarm last night before going to bed so I ended up over sleeping. It felt really good to sleep until I woke up on my own this morning but I'm getting a late start to my day. I learned a lesson though: it doesn't pay to hurry through your quiet time. I will feel 'cheated' all day. It's like starting off the day on the wrong foot. It didn't help that my beloved was already out on the deck when I went out, Bible and devotionals in hand. So I had to sit and visit with him for awhile before I could have my quiet time. It did, though, give me the chance to fully wake up and greet the day. Our air is clear and the weather's very nice. I think it will be a bit warmer today than yesterday. They said on the news last night that it should be a little cooler today but both of us feel like it's going to be warmer instead.

Tomorrow is our big shopping day. (Which is why I let myself sleep in this morning.) We'll be getting up about 6:30 and getting out of here by 7:00 or 7:15, hopefully, so we can get it all done and over with before the stores start to get crowded. I wish I could just kick back, relax, and enjoy shopping; but I can't. Very simply put: I hate shopping! But then, if you've been reading my blog for very long, you already know that because I complain about it every month. I've talked M into taking the car tomorrow instead of the bus. The fuel pump on the bus is making a noise that scares me. I'm afraid it's going to go out and leave us stranded some place. But then I worry about my car too. Sometimes when you turn the key nothing happens. You have to try a few times before it will "ignite." We have had more problems with the ignition on that car. Maybe we won't have to put up with it much longer. It's looking like maybe in October we'll be trading cars for the Toyota. It will be nice to have a car that is dependable. My car has surely paid for itself over and over again but I think it's time to upgrade. I'd like to have a car that would allow us to feel comfortable driving down to Stockton once or twice a year if we wanted to. Now if this ignition problem will just hold out until we can get the other car. The Toyota will be a step down from the Cadillac but it will be a better car in the long run. Or at least that's what we all think. I worry but I know I need to just turn it all over to the Lord and allow Him to work in our lives; for better or for worse.

I can't remember if I posted about this before but I'm going to go ahead and do it again (if I have, I apologize) because it's such a neat verse. I'm talking about a Scripture in Jeremiah 29. I think most of us are familiar with 29:11, that God has a plan for us, a plan to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Are you familiar with that verse? It's one of my very favorite verses. But, let your eyes drift down a couple verses to verse 13 and read that gem. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Isn't that great? God not only has a great future for us, but He's made Himself accessible to us. If we seek God ... with all our hearts we will find Him. He doesn't hide Himself from us, making it impossible for us to find Him when we need Him. He's right there if we seek Him with all our hearts. Two great promises of God just two verses apart. Remember that verse. It shows how much the Lord wants us to find Him. We mustn't ever think that we have to search for God as if He's hiding from us. No, God makes Himself available to us any time day or night. All we have to do is seek Him with all our hearts. God is so good!

I need to run out to take care of some errands in a little while. I need to go to the Post Office, pharmacy, bank, and some other place that has stubbornly hidden itself within the deep reaches of my brain. I know I thought of 4 places I needed to go when I thought about it earlier but now I can only come up with three.

I think my head is better. I noticed it yesterday afternoon. It just doesn't feel as tight as it usually does. I went to a luncheon yesterday at a friend's house and a group of friends prayed for my scalp infection and almost immediately I felt a little relief. As I said, it doesn't feel as tight. It doesn't feel so much like a swimming cap is on my head. More like a scarf tied snugly around my head. And it feels like there's a little more air getting to my scalp. It isn't completely gone by any stretch of the imagination. It just feels better. And I do so hope my hair grows back; I've lost so much. There's no way to hide my scalp from view. It's just hanging out there for the world to see. I guess God will do whatever it takes to keep me humble, ha! But, really it has been a humbling experience. It's difficult to be full of yourself when you lose most of your hair. But I could have had chemo and lost all of my hair so what am I complaining about?

The luncheon yesterday was lots of fun. There must have been a good 20 of us there, maybe more. We visited in the living room and then had a devotional and a couple prayers and then split up to go to our tables. I chose to sit outside with about 6 or 7 other women from our church. I ended up siting beside the pastor's wife and she's the one who prayed for my scalp condition as soon as she heard me say I had a problem. In our prayer time before lunch we prayed for each others' needs but I was too chicken to speak up at that time. This is just a tad embarrassing! Anyway, back to lunch. There were chips on the table when we sat down. Then a platter of sandwiches (tuna with cashew nuts on croissants) was passed around. Then came cantaloupe and iced tea. And then the salad of all salads came out to us. It was a killer salad. The best salad I've ever eaten by far. It was absolutely delicious! Spring greens with red onions, walnuts, avocado, and strawberries. The tangy sweet dressing was to die for. It was out of this world. The only bad thing was the plastic fork make it hard to eat. The salad kept falling off my fork. I can't imagine ever having a salad that tastes any better than that. Maybe not even one that is ever as good as it was. Then we had our choice of homemade cookies and lemon bars. Everything was just too good to even try to describe, though I have tried. I wanted so much to bring home some of that salad for Michael. He would have loved it. But I didn't have the courage to ask. We don't eat enough salads. We used to eat them all the time. But I've gotten tired of the dressings. I like Ranch, I'm just tired of having it all the time. And I'm tired of Caesar and Italian. I like Balsamic vinegar dressings but M's not crazy about them. Have you noticed how expensive prepared salad dressings are in the stores?!! I can't believe how expensive they are. Even if you just buy the mix and make it yourself you end up spending a fortune. Like with the Ranch. By time you mix it with a cup of mayonnaise and milk you've spent up to $3.00 on it. I need to buy Raspberry vinegar again. I've made some really good dressings using the Raspberry vinegar. And I do prefer a sweet dressing. Anyway, lunch was a terrific affair and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There were some women there that I didn't know. I'm sure they go to my church but there are so many people who sit behind me that I just don't know. I met a couple of them yesterday and we exchanged pleasantries but I promptly forgot their names. Someone told me once that if you'll turn right around and use that person's name talking back to them, it's easier to remember new names. For instance, if her name was Alice, turn right around and say, "It's nice to meet you, Alice." And I try to remember to do that because it does seem to help but I was too nervous to do that yesterday. I don't do well in groups. I'm way too self-conscious. I always feel like I don't fit in.

I have not done well with my blogs this week and I apologize. I've just seemed to be a little off my game. I think it's that I've been just so upset over this scalp business. But whatever the cause, I hope you will accept my apologies. I do need to finish this up and get to those errands before it gets any later. I did get my bed linens changed this morning so it will be nice to slip between the clean sheets tonight. I actually had forgotten to make the bed before I started this blog. But I thought about it and went in to make it and just decided to go ahead and change the sheets before going back to working on this blog. See, and you didn't even miss me while I was doing that. You didn't even know I'd gone away, did you? I just happened to think. This is communion Sunday coming up. Which means that I'll have to get up earlier than usual. Of course now that half my hair is gone it only takes half the time to dry it so I won't have to get up quite as early. Anyway, with an apology and a promise to try and do better next week, I'm going to sign off for today. So until next time...


2 comments:

Woman of Faith said...

Marj-
YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! This is a meme, and I just did it on my blog. It was my first time, so if it is too confusing to you, just do #3. Have fun!
______________________

Here are the tag rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

godlover said...

This is my second time to be tagged. But I will try to think of six things.
1. My hair is falling out.
2. My hair is falling out.
3. My hair is falling out.
4. My hair is falling out.
5. My hair is falling out.
6. My hair is falling out.
Guess you all know what I'm thinking about. But it's true. I have developed a problem on my scalp and all my hair is falling out. I am totally bald in a few places and so thin everywhere else that you could read through it. I have a medical appointment on Weds and I'll have to see what the doctor says. She better day it will grow back. That's all I can say. I mean what is the most embarrassing thing that could happen to a woman? Her hair falls out, right? Well, I'm living it. Boo. Hoo.