Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Joy and Humility - They Go Together!

"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" 
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  this is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself."  Matthew 22: 36-40

Humility is NOT a four letter word.  And you know what else, humility is NOT thinking less of yourself.  It is thinking of yourself less.  Jesus lived a humble life and taught us not only by His Words, but also by His actions that being humble was important.  

In this world that teaches us to focus on ourselves, how can we live humbly?  I'm learning to do this with JOY.   I use JOY to remind me how to live humbly.  Here's how I do that:

The "J" in joy stand for Jesus.   This reminds me to put Jesus first in my life.  I try to start my day with Him.  I pray to Him throughout the day.  I talk to Him when I'm in my car, and my shower, and everywhere!  I consistently have to think about what Jesus wants of me each day and not what my own desires are.  Doing this helps me to humble myself  before God and remind myself that He is Lord, and I am not.

The "O" in joy stands for others.  This reminds me to love others, and that others should come after Jesus in my life.  It reminds me to forgive others even when it's hard to forgive them.  It reminds me to serve others even when it's not convenient.  It reminds me to even let people go in front of me in lines.  Doing this helps me bring glory and honor to God. 

The "Y" in joy stand for yourself.  This reminds me to place Jesus first, then others, and then my own needs in my priority list.  Now, this doesn't mean I don't have healthy boundaries.  No, I still have healthy boundaries.  But it reminds me that I can be humble in how I live while also loving myself. 

Matthew 23:12 "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

  • What does humility look like in your life?
  • Do you put your needs above the desire of God and others?

Lord, please help me to be humble in my words and my actions.  Please forgive me for when I haven't put you and others first before my own wants and desires.  I do want to bring glory to you.  - In your precious Son's name I pray - Amen

Friday, February 13, 2015

Obedience for The Love!!!

I like hanging out with my friends.  God made me a very social woman, and sitting with my peeps laughing and chatting about life is one of my favorite things to do.  There's not many things in this life better than sitting with friends you love and just being yourself.  Sometimes we laugh, and sometimes we cry.  I love those that make me "leak" in one way or another.  (Those women that are post child bearing years will understand the leaking part more than others.)  Friendship is important to all of us, and I am confident God calls us to have godly relationships.  So you can imagine my confusion when God asked us this year to move our kids to a new school away from our friends.

The Blakeslees will be sending our children to a new school in the fall of 2015.  Just typing those words freaks me out a bit.  It's different.  It's uncomfortable.  I don't have a momma support group at this new school.  I don't even remember the name of the principal for the love of Pete.  A big part of me just wants to just say "NOOOOOO!", but my heart cries out to me to be obedient to Him.

When I look back on life I can tell you the best days I've lived so far are when I've been obedient to what God has called me to do.  And of course, the worst days - the days when I've simply made a mess of things - are when I've been disobedient to what God wanted me to do.  Obedience is important.  It's not how we are saved because I believe we are saved by faith alone, but I'm confident it is through obedience that we grow in our faith and we receive more joy than we can ever imagine in our lives.  

John 14:21a says, "The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me.  And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father."  Obedience to God's commands comes from the heart. Obedience shows our trust in our Creator.  Obedience shows the motives by which we live. Obedience is the key to loving Christ and growing in His love.

This should prove to be an interesting year for my family.  I admit, I'm anxious about what lies ahead.  I'm not living in fear, but yet anxious of the unknown.  But I know that in that unknown lies new friends, new blessings, and great opportunities to share our faith.  It's likely that I'll be shedding some tears as we walk through this change, but I have to do so out of love for Him.  His plans for me are so good.  His plans for my children are so much better than what I can imagine.  I just have to be obedient for those good plans to come to pass.

  • Is there at time that you chose to obey when it didn't make sense and God blessed you abundantly through your obedience?
  • In what areas do you need to cast your anxiety on Him and experience His care for you?

Lord, thank you that you love me enough to make me uncomfortable.  I am the clay and you are the potter.  I want to be obedient to you so you can mold me into the woman you want me to be.  I trust you with my whole heart.  Forgive me for when I have not obeyed.  In the precious name of Christ I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Texas Trust

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

I did not want to move to Texas.  I’m a Mississippi girl and I can prove it with my Southern drawl.  I love Mississippi.  It’s where my people come from.  It’s where I learned about Southern Baptist churches and Jesus.  It’s where I learned how to navigate a pickup truck down country roads.  It’s where I learned to cook fried chicken and homemade macaroni and cheese. Y’all, Mississippi is in the heart of this girl.  But God, well, He wanted me in Texas.

I was pretty salty about being in Texas the first year.  Honestly, I didn’t really trust God with my future so I was pretty sure I was supposed to take the wheel along life’s highway and direct myself right back to my hometown.  I sent resume after resume after resume to places in Mississippi looking for the right job to land me back in the Friendly State.  I was educated and experienced in business, so finding a job should not have been a problem.  But every door I knocked on was shut.  I was stuck in Texas. 

Now, all this is not to say Texas isn’t wonderful.  It’s just not where I was comfortable back then.  I wanted to be where I was comfortable.  I wanted to be around people that knew me.  Texas couldn’t offer these things to me at that time. 

I have now lived in Texas for 18 years.  In that length of time I have met and married the man of my dreams, had two wonderful healthy children, met many lifelong friends, and grown closer to my Lord and Savior.   Although I didn’t think God was trustworthy when I moved to Texas, looking back on the last 18 years now I see that He is completely trustworthy.  I’m so glad He moved me to Texas.  He was working things out in my life for me, even when I couldn’t see it.  It didn’t make sense to me, but He had a different perspective.  It was painful to be so far away from my family, and weekly fried chicken dinners, but God knew what was best for me.  Hind sight is 20/20.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have run to Texas.  If I had even a glimpse of what God was going to do in my life, I would definitely not have been so uncomfortable and I would have simply trusted him.  God bless Texas!

·        Is there something safe and comfortable that God may be calling you to leave behind?

·        What has changed in your life after going through a storm or something new?

·        How is your trust in Jesus shown in your life?

Jesus, I trust You.  I know you have good plans for me and that you are working in my life for my good.  Please forgive me when I  haven’t trusted you and when I’ve tried to direct my life with disregard to what you may have planned for me.  Your plans are so much better than anything I could ever dream for myself. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Answer the Call

What do you think has been the best invention in the last 35 years?  I admit this is a loaded question.  I know what some of you are thinking!  You’re thinking it’s the internet.  YES, praise God…let online shopping flow.  Seriously, the search engines we now have at our fingertips are amazing.  And speaking of having something at our fingertips, what about the mobile phone?  Oh, how thankful I am that I can call my daughter from the school parking lot and tell her to come to the car without ever having to get out of the car.  Yet additional proof that God loves me.  But my favorite invention of the last 35 years is…..drum roll please….Caller ID.    That’s right.  Caller ID is amazing.  I no longer have to wonder who is calling to interrupt my dinner with my family.  I no longer have to wonder who called and did not leave a message.  And I no longer have to wonder if I missed anything.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  God is calling out to us in this scripture, and He’s doing it with Caller ID.  He clearly wants us to know He is calling us and that He doesn’t want us to miss anything.  And if we answer the call, He will “come in and eat with” us.  That’s a call I don’t want to miss!  God, the Creator of the World, wants a friendship with me.  Well shut the front door!!! Oh wait!  No.  That’s a bad expression for this verse.  Actually, we would do well to OPEN the front door to Him.  And as we open the door to Him, He opens up His amazing plans for us…….plans not to harm us but to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) 

Answering God’s call for me has been an amazing journey.  It reminds me of the TV show, Charlie’s Angels.  In this show three women private detectives lived an eventful life after answering a call from their boss, Charlie.  They had many laughs, great fun doing different events, but they also had hard days of chasing down bad guys.  But the key in all their adventures was answering the call from Charlie.

Is God calling you today?  Maybe He’s calling you to salvation through His son Jesus Christ.  We’re all sinners, but because of Jesus’ death on the cross our sins have been paid.  We just have to accept this free gift.  

Or maybe God is calling you to a mission in His name.  Is He asking you to serve someone or somewhere? You don’t want to miss out on the excitement and adventure of a lifetime, so I would strongly suggest you answer the call!

Lord, thank you for standing at the door of our hearts and knocking. Help us to be mindful of what you are calling us to while we are here on this earth. In the name of Jesus - Amen.