Aug 292017
 
Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love Eph 4:2
It all started with my season of “being the chair”.
To sum it up, this lovely season was about me being humbled and waiting.  It was about the “not yets” in regards to my God given dream of speaking to women.  But really, I am not seeking pity, my friends.   I had come to terms with truth- it was not God’s timing for this specific dream to take flight – I must trust Him in my now.
But you see their was still a problem-Even though I was “good to go” emotionally and mentally speaking, I felt my current purpose in this season was not “good to go”.  In fact it was all systems stop.  I felt tied down physically and spiritually.  I was getting antsy people!  I mean, I was waiting on this God given dream, sure, but were my God given giftings/passions simply on hold in the meantime?  Was my adventure rollercoaster ride as a Kingdom worker out of order?
I began to delve into my deep inner psychiatrist (and this is usually where things can go wonky real quick).  I began to ponder if this was all God had for me in the now….to just be still.  To just wait.  Anyone with me?  Because this felt fairly ineffective for the kingdom….and even as we know “patience is a virtue and those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength”, I had to ask God if there was more to this waiting thing….then just waiting.
So I did.  On one of my morning “runs of bliss” (picture a Snow White scene with the birds chirping, sun shining, in addition to children at home) I point blank asked God, “I feel I have no purpose as I wait, is there anything I can do as I wait on You?”  And it was impressed upon my mind and heart in this moment as I believe the Spirit responded to my cry by saying, ” Seasons of waiting are always coupled with seasons of loving”.  Then the scripture “Bear with one another in love” came to mind and I pictured myself again as “the chair”.  A chair is still, yes, waiting, but a chair holds others up as it is still.  A chairs job description is to bear the weight of the person sitting on it.  Likewise, when we are “the chair” spiritually in a waiting season, our job description is to “bear the weight” of another’s pains, trials, questions, concerns, fears, and tears.  And do you know what words proceed this job to bear in love-you got it, be humble and patient.  The season of being the chair involves patience, waiting and humility-all still, inactive characteristics, but they are coupled with the action word to love.  This was a comfort to me-we are called to take action in love in our seasons of being “being the chair”.
God allowed me to flashback to a painful “being the chair” season of 4 and a half years of waiting for our first baby.  I remember being real tiffed with God at His lack of ability to produce in what seemed to be everyone else but me!  I also recall the need to shift perspective.  Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have (and in the meantime being real ineffective for the Kingdom/His “now plans” for me), God gave me purpose and the action of loving those who were right in front of me.  And oh how in this “season of being the chair” I had the privilege to love on one who we now call our “adopted daughter”.  Time while we waited for our own biological daughter, meant time we were instead to be loving another of God’s children.  Now fast forward 9 years (a month ago) as I cried at our “adopted daughter’s” wedding and sent her off to start a new life with an amazing man of God.
So if you are in a “season of being the chair” never think all this waiting and being humbled and being patient is for not.  God.  Is.  At.  Work.  In.  You.  And your work you are called to take action in is one word:  Love.  Find hope that “He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion” Phil 1:6.  Find joy in your current purpose to love those you rub shoulders with today.  And do the impossible with Jesus-be active in your season of waiting.
Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 082016
 

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  Acts 20:35

My daughter gave me some perspective this week.  (Why is it my kids are continually teaching me the love of Jesus, I am pretty sure that me, the parent is supposed to be the one imparting all wisdom.  And yet, doesn’t seem to be the case much of the time as I have to continually swallow yucky stuff on a regular basis, like taking cough medicine when I have to swallow my pride, my selfishness, my lack of patience and my kids are the one’s feeding it to me.  Awesome, Lord.) 

Anyway, my oldest daughter who is 7 told me a story which brought tears to my eyes.  She told me she was sitting as usual in the 1st grade line in the gym waiting for their teacher to bring them to their class to start the day.  She said a boy was sitting by her and she overheard him say to someone else that he didn’t have a snack. She said, “Mom, I felt bad for him.  I knew he would feel bad in class when he had nothing to eat and everyone else was eating something.”  She continued by saying, “So I gave him my snack.  And I gave him the cheese pretzel snack.  Not the other cheese stick and meat stick one.”  And right about here is when the tears filled my eyes with overwhelming Jesus love I just witnessed in my daughter.   (you see, you have to know the backstory to understand what a selfless act this truly was.

The truth was that as we were hurridly trying to get out the door that morning my daughter requested cheese pretzels for one of her two snacks.  She doesn’t usually make requests, but I had splurged and purchased these pretzels as an end of the year treat.  She knew it.  Didn’t get them usually.  And wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to include these special ones. )  And so now you may get the tears response to the fact that she gave the cheese pretzels, in other words her best, her favorite, her “firstfruits” to the boy, (but ultimately to Jesus because we know scripture says, “what you do for the least of these you do for me”).  My daughter concluded her story by saying, “And you know what Mom.  He was SOOOOO happy.  And that made me SOOOO happy.”  And I replied with an addition of, “And it made your mama and Jesus SOOOO happy as well!”

So once again, Jesus taught me, through my daughter, that rejoicing happens in true generosity and selflessness.  My daughter could have had a very different response.  She could have not done anything in this situation.  She could have even been a little happy in the thought that she had a snack and he didn’t.  This being the delighting in evil thing we are looking at this week.  But instead she experienced rejoicing and many others did to as she acted upon The Truth in God’s Word which says as is written above:

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

My daughter challenges me to give relentlessly-I see over and over the grace and gift of giving my daughter has from the Spirit.  It’s real hard to out give her and we have to simmer her down at times to not have her immediately go buy for someone once she receives a bit of money.  But I love this about her and she inspires me to be better because this is not one of my strengths/spiritual gifts.  And I love how we as the body of Christ are all given various gifts and as we work together we function real well to bring the love and light of Jesus to a hurting world.  I can even rejoice in this truth that we are not created the same, having the same gifts, and seeing the gifts God has given others should be a place of joy for His Kingdom not a place of depression or comparing.  Because I have been given gifts too, and so have you.  Going against our culture’s evil values of “greed, all out for me mindset” and taking God’s true word and acting upon it means joy.  For you.  For others.  And for our Father who see’s it all.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 292016
 

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind (also translated “being like-minded”), maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:1-4

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:11

It was the first.  Time.  Going it alone.  It was almost like the movie, “Three men and a baby”, except minus the three men and insert “two girls, a mom” (which equals “Two girls, a mom, and a baby” if you haven’t had your coffee yet this morning).  I have heard the horror stories of going from 2 to 3 kids-“you have to switch from one on one to zone defense”, or, “now no one wants to have you over for dinner”, or, “having no time for yourself becomes the norm”, or, “now you have to divide your brain to multitask three ways, which is almost impossible” and many more.  And they are all true.  (A sincerely, heart felt hats off to mothers with more than 3 children.  Seriously.  You are my hero’s.  And I need your autograph.)

My oldest’s lunch was packed the night before to allow more time to get everyone ready for school in the morning.  Check.  The well laid out plan of attack had circled my mind over the past week as I anticipated this day-“If I get up at 6:45am I should be able to start laundry for the day, then start bowling water for oatmeal while I turn on the fire and read my Bible.  While oatmeal is going, I can run upstairs and make sure the girls outfits for the day don’t look like we are dressing for “Mismatch/backwards Day” and call out reminders for teeth brushing and bed making.  The baby “Should” sleep all the while.  During breakfast I will nurse the baby and then put her in the carseat (trying not to forget the needed binki).  And myself getting ready for the day-well, that was the part that had to be alleviated.  Sweats, sweatshirt, cozy boots, and ponytail was my new mantra.

The morning went off just as I anticipated, except for the minoot fact that my house looked like I was getting ready for a garage sale. (I guess the cleaning up part comes at some other point.)  Oh and the aftermath was a doozie as well-  I was afraid someone might talk to me and I would have to answer and if it was possible to have a word be your best friend, mine would have been “massage”.  Thankfully I had made plans to be with close friends.  Who don’t judge by outward appearance.

Our friend time together wasn’t necessarily what I was anticipating, but it was much, much better.  Instead of mustering up what I would need to repeat the morning I had for the next day, I got to muster up hope.  The word “hope” was in order for my friend.  Her daughter had been having night terrors for the past couple weeks.  For my friend, this meant getting up 20 times in the night.  No more solutions in play.  An an inability to find compassion and understanding.  Tears of tiredness, guilt of a mother, and toiled up past childhood memories of pain.  Ultimately, hope had vanished from the scene.

I thought about my morning, but it quickly left my mind as I was drawn into love expressed by affectionate compassion (like in the above scriptures), and hope for my weary, tear stained friend.  I thought about the scripture, “Love always hopes”.  And was humbled by that mornings mission to do just that.  My other friend was “of the same mind” (like in the above scriptures).  And we spent our morning listening.  Praying for a miracle to occur in hearts, minds, and sleep patterns.  And putting all our hope in Jesus.  My discouraged friend is usually the one ministering to others and had a hard time receiving our love.  She found multiple phrases to express this, “I so shouldn’t have come this morning.  I am so sorry guys.  Seriously, this is a bummer, you don’t have to keep listening to this.  Let’s talk about something else.”  But we two who had gathered with our three didn’t comply.  But were expectant for our God to meet us and answer our plea for Him to do a mighty work.  And I am so glad we did.

The next morning, I missed a call from my friend we had hoped and prayed for.  With crazy schedules over the next couple days I wasn’t able to connect, but I wondered how her night, which had typically been too many wake ups to count, had been.  I saw my other prayer warrior friend at a coffee date a couple days later and she said, “Did you hear about the night terrors?”  I said, “No, I missed a phone call from her and haven’t been able to reach her yet.”  My friend said, “For the past 3 nights her daughter has not woken up ONCE with a night terror!!!”  Wow.  Praise God.  It was a miracle.  It was a brilliant display of Christ’s body coming together in one mind-answered prayer -God’s faithfulness-love always hopes-and a good gift given by the Father to His child.  Oh-Amen Jesus!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 122015
 

Do you ever want to throw the Proverbs 31 mending, cleaning, encouraging, perfecting everything woman expectations right in the trash?  Have you ever been or are currently in a season of waiting, neediness, helplessness, or unproductivity, pain, or trial?  Does this verse- “I am weary God, but I can prevail…” -resonate most accurately with your now?  If so, I am right with you my friend.    It is in this verse, the Proverb directly before Proverbs 31, that I camped out this Mother’s Day.

Pregnancy from the pit of you know where.  Extreme exhaustion.  And vomiting.  All day.  But a thankfulness to God to be able to muster up a smile and “that is such a beautiful green candle you made for me honey.  You know I love green,” comment to my wide eyed 6 year old.  Laying on the couch.  Or bed.  Were the big changes of scenery my body stammered to.  A beautiful rose boquet was brought to my side.  I forced a smile and “thank you” while the only thought in my head was, “Please move them quickly because my blood hound sense of smell is about to due me in”.  I got some reprieve from the toilet bowl and slept being awoke to a sweet 4 year old with another gift for her sick Mom.  Again thankfulness for weakness turned to strength to respond with a hug and “I see you made this green cross.  It looks like it took a lot of work and I love the color and design you did.”  Cancelled dinner plans with extended family and instead I turned in to bed at 8 am.  This was anything but a Proverbs 31 serving Mother’s Day for me.  But I can’t say the same thing for my Mother.

My mother anticipated all the same fun plans I had for Mother’s Day only to have each of them cancelled.  A lovely dinner out with extended family.  Not so much.  Presents from her daughter.  Not a one.  A relaxing day at the spa.  Nope.  Time to put up her feet.  Not when she was waiting on “sick me” hand and foot.  No, her Mother’s day wasn’t at all what she had envisioned.  But I didn’t hear one complaint.  Not one “poor me” comment.  Instead, she so beat out the Proverbs 31 woman in my mind.  With her self-sacrificial service in cooking.  Cleaning.  Caring for.  Her husband.  daughter.  And grandchildren.  On.  Her.  Special.  Day.  What an example.  Of being Jesus’ hands and feet to other’s.  Even on THE day of the year when all would say it is her hands and feet that should be being pampered.

A Mother’s Day I will never forget.  For three primary reasons.  1-Because my weariness and sickness humbled me so I could recognize I will not always be able to measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman.  And that’s okay.  We need to receive help and strength from God and other’s in our “unable to” seasons and give thanks to God for His provision and sustaining, loving hands that get.  us.  through.  the.  day.  2-I got to witness a Proverbs 31 woman in action.  And I thanked God for the blessing and example my Mother was to me.  3-I realized unfulfilled expectations though a real bummer can be opportunities to seek out and thank God for the small glimmer’s of joy found amid the clouds.

My prayer for you and I is this:

May we give all our burdens and pain to the loving Father who cares and see’s us.  May we find grace and peace as we allow God to help us in our times of need.  May we embrace God’s provision and thank Him for it as other’s are His hands and feet to us.  May we let go of our own or others’ expectations for us because we know the expectations of our heavenly Father are  never overbearing or burdensome.   May the Lord give us life, freedom, and joy in our titles of mother and/or wife, and daughter of the King.  May we always fix our eyes on Him, finding purpose and hope in this and every season.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1b-2a

How can you express your gratitude to God for His provision of your needs in this season?

What self imposed or other’s imposed expectations do you need to let go of in order to allow God’s true expectations to reign?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 082015
 

Ah yes.  The oh so true scripture verse of Proverbs 16:18 (“Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.”) was a journey into the great unknown for me this week.  (I only wish!)  You know how you get an annoying song stuck in your head and it won’t.  Leave.  Your.  Brain?  Well, it wasn’t quite a song this week that was on repeat for me.  But something of equal consistency and frustration.  It was a phrase.  That not only wouldn’t let up in the mind but also wouldn’t let up in my life.  “Pride comes before a fall”.  As I did the dishes.  Drove to pick up kids.  Lead worship practice.  Did the Jillian Michaels work out video.  I hold out hope that one of these love attributes I will have down pat.  But unfortunately, the 1 Corinthians 13 “Love is not proud” was not the one.  I got to learn, again, how to:

Get. Over.  Myself.  And Get.  Under.  God. 

Know it all and got it all versus Modest moment #1-My daughter-  Normally we stick to our tried and true city parks, but today we happened upon what we believe to be Newberg, Oregons best kept secret.  (When it comes to parks that is.)  Tucked away on a hill in a small neighborhood we found the slide and climbing structure of my girls’ dreams.  The scene was perfect.  Sun.  (But not too much).  Good attitudes from both girls.  (And me. Which can I say is rare to get a 3 out of 3 in this category.)  Park to ourselves.  (Was feeling like and hopeful to achieve some good quality fam time.)  My youngest daughter headed straight for the climbing structure.  After 5 minutes of intense climbing her first words to me were, “I am a good climber, Mom!  I don’t even have to use 2 hands like other kids.”  And no sooner had her last word left her mouth than her footing slipped and she fell.  Not far.  But right on her bottom.  On the bark chips.  No real injuries other than her pride.  Pride literally came before a fall.

Know it all and got it all versus Modest moment #2-My Wisdom- After much prayer and research, my husband and I had decided where to send our girls to school.  I felt confident.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  I was good.  to.  go.  I ran into multiple friends who were not in the same place.  They were struggling with the where to?  Why?  What if’s?  Of the school decision.  (Insert the Mighty Mouse music here-“Here I come to save the day!”)   Sure, my motives were pure.  I legitimately felt concerned for their well being.  I desired the best for them and their kids.  I felt humbled to pray with them.  But something beyond my words and actions in these conversations was off.  If I am being honest, I felt pride.  Pride because I had it all together.  Pride because I knew and they didn’t.  Pride in the wisdom I could offer.  Pride in the peace I had.  Little did I know the 180 degrees I would be turning.  The next day.  Lo and behold, we found out the next day that our school tweaked some fairly crucial policies which left me with some intense unfulfilled expectations.  So intense and so unfulfilled that I began to question everything about our previously rock solid school decisions.  And I immediately began to scramble for other options for my kids for school next year.  I didn’t check in with the Lord about it.  Didn’t trust His already given peace.  (Did not “pass GO” or “collect $200” in Monopoly/playing to win for the Kingdom terms.)  In other words, I went from having ALL the pride, peace, and wisdom for my friends to having ALL the stressed out brain aneurisms a person can take.  Or to put it even more simply-I fell.  On my bottom.  In the bark chips.

Know it all and got it all versus Modest moment #3-My prioritising of projects and people- My.  Stuff.  Is.  Important.  What I got going on.  Is. most. important.  (To what you have going on or are doing.)  And I kind of know who or what should take precedence.  At any. given. time.  (Or so I thought.  Before this week.)  My husband had had an interview that day to determine whether he would get a job promotion (this was pretty much his final promotion he could get in his line of work.)  So, fairly big deal.  He had texted me that it had gone well during the day and I gave him a good 5 minutes before dinner to share other thoughts about how things had gone.  (Check.  Good, dutiful wife.  Listened to her husbands thoughts on important interview.)  What was strange is after dinner he kept bringing up more tidbits about the interview and analysing certain elements about it and called me in multiple times to come discuss in the other room.  My multitasking dimension went into full swing.  An “oh really, honey” to my husband, while looking in the fridge and asking my daughter, “now which kind of yogurt did you want for your lunch tomorrow?”  A “Hmmmm…that’s interesting” to my husband, while looking at my phone for the upcoming schedule of activities for this week.  A “well, I’m so proud of you” to my husband while looking in the sink for the next dish to load in the dishwasher.  You see, going back to my initial statements- I prioritise well.  My stuff is most important.  My husband got his time and now other projects needed my time.  Pride.  Pride.  Pride.  But when my husband stopped talking and said in so many words that he felt not respected/heard by me, I saw.  My pride.  And how I had fallen.  A song that had been on the brain all week immediately made an appearance again.  But this time it rooted in a new way into my soul, “My eyes are fixed on You, sovereign Lord, King of glory.”  I saw clearly.  How my eyes were not fixed on God in this moment.  My pride had gotten in the way.  My eyes looked to my priorities for that day.  Hour.  Minute.  If I was in an “eyes on Jesus” mode, I would not have pridefully been eyes fixed on projects.  They would have been on my husband.

Oh Father.  May our eyes be fixed on you today.  May we recognize ALL our giftings, wisdom, good acts are in You and because of You.  It is of nothing we have done.  We thank you for your amazing example of humbling Yourself so much so that you even died for us on a cross.  May we live out our true identities.  In which you speak to us softly the many reasons You love us.  Are proud of us.  Are gifted uniquely.  But also remind us when needed that this world does not revolve around us and our projects and needs.  Thank you for picking us up when we mess up and fall.  Thank you for still loving us the same.  Even when we think we are “all that”.  We confess that you God and we are not.  Your ways are best.  You are on the throne.  You are Lord of ALL.  THAT.  And.  more.  May our eyes be fixed on You.  Today.  And every day.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.  Proverbs 11:2

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 252015
 

To walk in humility.  To consider other’s as better than ourselves.  To have a servant attitude like Christ.  To hold our tongue when we could so let others know we are all that and more!  To lay down the pride was this week’s overall challenge.  And boy did I have opportunities this week to practice “Do not boast” love attribute of 1 Corinthians 13.  

Boasting versus Humility Moment #1-New friend-

Of course the sermon passage this week was Luke 14:11 which says, “he who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Fitting.  Very fitting.  It was obvious the boasting challenge was on.  Throughout the week I found myself operating with a new device/gadget called “The Boasting Checker”.  Meaning, my brain was continually evaluating, “to boast or not to boast, that is the question”. I met someone new at Bible study and as we talked I was cautious.   I asked her a lot of questions.  (This was a safe zone for not boasting about me.)  But then she asked what I did for work-I stated I was the worship pastor at our church.  And then kept going with, “I am also considered lead pastor at our church since we are in a team model and all 5 pastors serve as the senior pastor.”  Immediately I had a check in my spirit.  Went too far with that follow up comment.  Wasn’t necessary and wasn’t living out humility.  I guess my “Boasting Checker” didn’t catch this one.  On the way home from bible study I took a deep breath in. Then out.  Then asked for the Lord to forgive me of my boasting and prideful spirit.  (And I asked Him to fix my “Boasting Checker” gadget to have better luck next time.)

Boasting versus Humility Moment #2-Old friend-

It was Kindergarten round up day and this being the second time we have done this, I was strangely at ease.  Even though we have been unsure about which school to send our girls to in the past, today was not that day.  My husband and I were rock solid with this decision.  Rock solid with peace.  Rock solid in the vast wisdom we could extend to any needing soul.  A got the opportunity to talk with 2 old friends in regards to the half day versus full day/public versus private versus homeschool versus bilingual program options.  I asked God to give me wisdom for each of my friends and show His love to them in this place the challenging place they were in.  And He did.  But somewhere along the boasting continuum, my “rock solid” state I was in turned into a prideful spirit.  My rock solidness looked somewhat like, “I know the best choice, I know it all, I have things really put together” in my mind, heart and am sure overflowed out of my mouth.  (It’s hard to get away from the scripture, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45)  It’s a bummer to recognize even in doing good work for the Kingdom, my pride still comes into play.  And I HAVE to remember that any GOOD done for someone is not because of ME.  Alone, I can do NOTHING.  It is ALWAYS the Spirit at work in me which produces spiritual fruit.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

Boasting versus Humility Moment #3-God talk-

As I ran with the Lord I asked Him what was at the root of my struggle to boast.  Boast.  Boast.  And boast some more.  Am I so lacking.  Deficient.  Insecure that I must compensate by talking myself up?  I believe He responded to my question by directing my thoughts to the NOT portions of the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13.  He whispered to my soul that all the “DO NOT’s” in the chapter stem from a deeper lie that we carry.  And ironically, it is an “I AM NOT/I HAVE NOT” deep lie, that moves us to participate in the surface issue of boasting, or envy or other DO NOT statements of the love chapter.  We take control of the building ourselves up instead of trusting THE BUILDER (maker of us) to do this work.  For example, when I believe the lie that I am NOT enough-I take control.  I don’t trust God.  And I boast to others that I AM enough.  Or when I believe the lie that I must have more clothes, toys for my kids, newer cars, or a better tv or house to be happy/successful in our culture, saying I do NOT have enough-I take control.  I don’t trust God (to provide/give abundant life).  And I compare what I have to what others have and I get jealous/have envy when they have more (success, material things) than I do.  When we start to have the “I AM/HAVE NOT” untrue statements going through our minds, we must go to God to “renew our mind with I AM” true statements from His Word-we go to the Great I Am for our “I AM” statements.  Here are some I hold to today:

I am a child of the King.  I am created perfectly by the Potter.  I am intended to bring Him glory.  I am valued highly.  I am destined for a great purpose.  I am weak, but in Him I am strong.  I am dead to sin but alive in Jesus.  I am forgiven.  I am free.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God or am I trying to please men?  If I were trying to please men I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Galatians 6:14a

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or a cheap desire to boast. But be humble towards one another, always considering others as better than yourselves. Phil 2:3-4

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 232015
 
Since I have been primarily focusing on the current love attribute for the week, I haven’t thought much about what was the one coming up next.  But as I sit to write about this #5 attribute of “not being proud”, I have to chuckle to myself.  One of the scripture’s I kept hearing over and over in my mind yesterday was “and all your righteousness acts are like filthy rags” ( Isaiah 64:6b).  Fairly fitting.  Timely.  For dealing with this “arrogant and proud” week.  

Our #5 1 Corinthians 13 “Love it up” attribute this week is:  “LOVE IS NOT PROUD”.

Webster’s defines the word, “Proud or prideful”, for us:
  • having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.
  • having or displaying feelings of scorn for what is regarded as beneath oneself.
Friends, here are some like minded words for “proud/prideful”, to further expand our mission this week (In other words these are the DO NOT do’s for this week):.

conceited, egotistic, cool, high and mighty, lordly, lofty,  vain, self important, puffed up, presumptuous,  

know it all, domineering, superior
And to follow up with some words opposite to being prideful (which is what we want to be-in other words DO these this week!):
humblelowlymodest, submissive, compliant, yielding

Of all the like minded words of “prideful”, the words, “know it all and superior”, were highlighted in my spirit.  Questions which beg for difficult answers are, “Do I respond to criticism and someone telling me I have hurt them in some way with the attitude of, ‘Well, I only responded in that way because of…..’?”  “Has blaming others become habit?”  Bottom line being I am right.  I know what’s what.  And it is always someone else’s problem.  Hmmmm.  Not fun questions to ponder over coffee and scones.

Of all the opposites to “proud or prideful”, the word “modest” jumped out to me.  Our last week’s attribute, “to not boast”, is so similar to this week’s attribute.  Many of the opposite words like “humility” are the same, as well as the like minded words.  But while “boasting” requires an outward change, the prideful spirit is requiring an inward change.  A mindset change. A changing work of the Spirit.  To be modest and humble in heart is our goal.

I am already convicted with this love attribute of pride.  I am convicted about the good things I am doing in response to God’s Word and His Spirit’s leading.  Not because what I’m doing is wrong, but my heart behind my obedience is off.  We should be obedient to God and His Word.  But we shouldn’t have a prideful, “wow, I’ve got this Christian thing down” heart attitude when we do.  I am reminded again that nothing I do makes me righteous.  It is only Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross which makes me righteous before God.  And I know this.  But sometimes.  Okay maybe more times than I would like.  I forget.

So this week does not seem to involve any outward actions on my part.  The pride battle within ourselves unfortunately is much of what Jesus was so frustrated with the Pharisee’s about.  But Jesus knew the ticket to removing pride:

Get. Over. Yourself.  And Get. Under. God.

Quotes/Verses to say NO to the prideful spirit this week:

  • Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.  It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud.…Proverbs 16:18-19
  • Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Philippians 2:3
  • “As long as you are proud you cannot know God.  A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” C.S. Lewis
  • “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”  Sophocles
  • “It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.”  John Ruskin
  • “Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ” C.G. Jung

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 162015
 
A week of not boasting.  No helping others along to see “I am all that and a bag o’ chips”.  No sliding in my “righteous works resume” when talking with someone new.  No “tooting my horn” after helping someone in need.  No interjecting my unrequested “oh so experienced knowledge tips” to a friend’s current problem.  Challenge accepted.  I have always known “talking yourself up” was not a great trait.  I can’t stand it when I see it in other people and yet when I am forced to look at the reality of my own conversations, I struggle with this myself.  ( I believe this is one of those take the plank out of your own eye before you can remove the splinter in another person’s eye spiritual principles at play.)  

Our #4 1 Corinthians 13 Love attribute this week is:  “LOVE DOES NOT BOAST”.

Webster’s defines the word, “Boast”, for us:
  • talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.
Friends, here are some like minded words for “boast”, to further expand our mission this week (In other words these are the DO NOT do’s for this week):

bragcrowswaggerswankgloat, show off; 

exaggerateoverstate;  self praise, ride the high horse, rave, rant
informaltalk big, bloviate, blow one’s own horn, lay it on thick
And to follow up with some words opposite to being boastful (which is what we want to be-in other words DO these this week!):
humility, depreciation, modesty, quietness, reserve
To be known.  To be famous.  To be liked.  To be something.  Is our longing and desire.  And boasting can be our way of proving to all that we have hit the mark.  But I have never thought of boasting as a way to NOT show love to people.  It is not simply a bad habit.  Boasting has self rooted, self focused, self gratifying motives that cloud the heart and mind.  And blind us from looking to “someone else’s interests above our own” (phil 2:4).  Oh Lord help us to recognize our tendency to make conversations, mind set’s, and actions with the “it’s all about me” undertone.  Give us opportunities to practice self control and not say what we could say to put ourselves or our loved one’s to the place of honour (Luke 14:11).  May we lay down our pride.  And if the Anchorman mentality of, “I’m kind of a big deal, people know me”, surfaces, may the Lord give us strength to let this pride go.  And may His loving voice speak affirmation and worthiness (which we have gained through His Son, through our adoption as His sons and daughter’s) to our deepest souls.

Of all the like minded words to “boast”, the words, “brag and self praise”, were highlighted in my spirit.  How I have to fight my natural inclinations to brag to other’s about the good work I am doing.  How I see my disgust in another who seems to only talk, and talk and talk about themself-and all I am thinking is how I want to be talk, talk, talking about myself!  Oh the irony.  Lord, help us get beyond self.

Of all the opposites to “boast”, the word “humility” stuck.  In my mind.  Heart.  And deep within my soul.  May humility reign in our homes, work, and play this week as we “consider other’s as better than ourselves” (phil 2:3).  May our words and actions be pleasing to God as we fight the good fight to “be known and praised” by others.

Quotes/Verses to say NO to envy this week:

  • For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
  • May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  Galatians 6:14
  • Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.  Jane Austen
  • When boasting ends, there dignity begins.  Owen Young
  • Don’t brag.  It is not the whistle that moves the train.  D. V. Rangarajan
  • With a braggart, it’s no sooner done than said.  Evan Esar
  • Boasting speech is a mark of weakness.  Those who do great things are usually silent.  status mind.com
  • Now I’m not too keen about bragging on myself but you must admit I was the best.  Kim S. Jones

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 012013
 

HAVE YOU EVER VISITED A NEW CHURCH AND CAN’T SEEM TO BLEND IN?  You feel completely clueless as to what is and isn’t acceptable.  You are hesitant and awkward as you sing, greet the person next to you, and heaven forbid it is Communion Sunday.  It feels as though everyone is staring.  At you.  Constantly.

This has been my reality on multiple occasions.  Every time it is the same story.  I have now just come to grips with my inability to “fake it”.

We were attending my nephew’s baby dedication.  We had never visited their church before.  (You may sense the foreshadowing.)  And yes.  Luckily.  It was Communion Sunday.

I meticulously watched how to “do communion”.

IT WAS A FOUR STEP PROCESS:

  1. Go up front and take a piece of bread from server #1
  2. Dip the bread into the cup of juice from server #2
  3. Quickly eat the soaked bread (so as not to get drips on the church attire)
  4. Calmly and quietly go back to your seat

Straight forward, no sweat.  “I could do this Communion process in my sleep,” I thought to myself.  Waiting in line for my turn something caught my eye up ahead.  I noticed a tragedy.

Someone sunk their bread in the cup.  Alert the elders!  The whole scene brought a sick smile to my face.  In fact I even leaned over to my husband to clue him in.

Yes.  I judged. “How could the person have been so clumsy?  It’s not rocket science to dip a piece of bread into the cup.”

It was my turn.  And would you believe it?  I sunk my bread too.  Classic example of pride coming before a fall.  I hung my head in shame.

Why do I judge others so quickly?  My first response should be grace and mercy.  It’s what Jesus did and does for me.  “Mercy always triumphs judgement”.

It’s possible my new mission should be to start a support group for us “all thumbs communion dippers”.  Come on, I know you’re out there!  We would practice, practice, practice and then…who are the expert dippers now?  They say your greatest area of ministry is the place where your biggest life lessons have been, right?

This embaressing moment actually helped me see my legalistic, self-righteous mindset at times.  How often do I look down on someone for what they did or didn’t do “right”?

Even if I don’t say anything, I think it.  I am thankful for moments like these that humble me.  Lately it seems these teachable moments are not so few and far between.  They are every day.

Lord give me humility.  Forgive me of my self righteous attitude.  Help me see others as better than myself.  Give me grace and charity for my brothers and sister’s in Christ who think, act, or worship differently than I do.

Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Is there a specific brother or sister in Christ you look down upon?  Are you willing to humble yourself, forgive, and make peace if necessary?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 292013
 

I HAD A LOWER BACK INJURY FOR THE PAST COUPLE WEEKS.  IT DEFINITELY PUT A CRAMP IN MY RUNNING STYLE.  When I started having intense pain, everyone said I must stop the regular routine of being a “do-er” for it to heal.

It was only after the injury I realized how much improper bending and lifting filled my day.  How my street running could be taking a toll on my body.  How bath time, cleaning up time, park time, grocery shopping time all strongly rely upon using my back.

I had to humble myself to ask for help.  Over and over again.  To lift a tiny basket of laundry.  To put my girls in the swing.  To bring in the groceries.  To take out the garbage.  To carry a bag up the stairs.

I hated saying multiple no’s to lifting up my girls for a snuggle.  I wouldn’t dare say it aloud.  But I was thinking it:  I am not getting old!

It was a challenge to know when to start running again.   I was desperate to have it back in my schedule, because running “fills me up” to be a better mom, wife and joy filled woman.  My back wasn’t hurting for a day.  I thought I was ready for the run.

I didn’t want to tell my husband of my plans to begin running again because I could see the future.  He would say it was too soon.  Unfortunately he put two and two together when he saw me.  In my running gear.

My Husband:  You aren’t planning on going running today are you?

Me:  Oh.  Well.  Yea I was.

My Husband:  You know you could injure your back permanently or make it much worse if you don’t take time to let it heal completely.

Me: Uh huh.

My Husband:  You can do what you want, but I don’t think it is wise for you to go for a run.

Me:  Uh huh.  (Looking down.  Sad face.)

I was frustrated with my husband.  I was tired of living with this hurt.  Someone was to blame.

As time passed, I calmed down from my disappointment and recognized it wasn’t that my husband was enjoying depriving me of something I loved.  My injury was not his fault.  And his saying “no” was actually a reflection of his immense love and care for me.

Just like my husband was looking out for my best interest, so our God is looking out for our good.  But just like I didn’t like to hear “no” from my husband, I don’t like to hear “no” from God either.

Me:  Why aren’t you taking away this struggle Lord?  You know the desires of my heart, why am I still unsatisfied?  Why can’t things go back to normal?  My patience is all used up.
God:  Remember my unfailing love for you.  Remember I am here beside you to comfort and help you.  It pains me to see you hurt.  I know it is difficult when I answer “no”.  When you don’t understand why this is happening.  When you can’t see the future.  Trust me.  My plan for you is good.  Nothing in your life will be wasted.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jer 29:11

Are you a friend that tells another friend if they are doing something that is detrimental to their overall health?  Are you willing to hear a “no” from the Lord and trust He has your best interest at heart?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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