Consider the Lilies..: May 2013   

May 29, 2013

It's just so.. Woah..

Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1:18

Last Friday I received a phone call from the senior pastor of our church..  He was writing the sermon for Sunday and had a couple of questions for me..

The conversation went like this:

Pastor- "When you were a satanist what did you think about the laying on of hands?"

Me- "That we could do whatever we wanted for them; heal, bring money, a better job, love, whatever."

Pastor- "Is that all you did?"

Me- "No..  As far as the people we were touching knew, we were doing wonderful things for them..  And we did do what we said we would do..  We did whatever they wanted, and it worked..  They got money, love, whatever..  But that was just a smokescreen for the terrible things we were really doing to them"

Pastor- "Where did that power come from?  Did you believe it was from a god, like Odin or something?"

Me- "The power came from demons.  We told people it came from the gods..  Usually Diana or Isis..  They were non-threatening and put people at ease."

Pastor- "So it was after you were saved that you realized the power really came from demons?"

Me- "No, we always knew."

        He asked me if he could share our conversation in his sermon, I said "sure' and didn't think much more of it until the following Sunday when he relayed our conversation to the rest of the congregation..  
Seriously, it's so different hearing it than it is telling it..  I was sitting in the front row (my husband does security so we have to sit there) so I couldn't see anyone behind me, but I could hear them..

        When the pastor said the word "demons" I heard the people behind me..  "Oh gosh!  Oh no! Oh Jesus!"  It felt strange hearing the surprise in their voices..  What was so completely normal to me for so many years of my life was shocking to the people sitting near me..  I mean, I know that my background is different from the others at my church, but I never really paid attention to how it affected others when they heard about it..
        But then, when the pastor repeated the last part of our conversation; "No, we always knew."  I heard more than just surprise in the voices behind me, I heard condescension..  I heard "tsk tsk" and "that's sick"..  Things like that..  I wasn't offended, it's a natural response..  

        But at that moment I was struck with a revelation that brought me to tears..  I became very aware of the overwhelming power of God's forgiveness..  
We all know that when we receive Christ as our Savior, that our sins are forgiven..  We say it all the time.. We sing about God's forgiveness, tell other's about it, write about, pray about it, blah blah blah..  But it wasn't until that moment that it really hit home for me..

God forgave me..  Me..  A former satanist..  Someone who at one time put hands on people and cursed them..  
He.  Forgave. Me.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

He could have said "Ren, I forgive you, but I am going to remove your hands and your tongue so you never hurt another person again." and He would have been completely justified in doing so..  I deserved so much worse than that..
You know, when someone betrays our trust it can take years for us to trust that person again, if ever..  When someone hurts us, we can say we forgive them, but we never really forget it..  
But God forgave me in an instant..  Not only has He forgiven me but He actually allows me to put my hands on people and pray over them!
It absolutely blows my mind..  Seriously, it's just so..  Wow..  There isn't a word big enough to express how incredible it really is!

I can honestly say that now I understand forgiveness..  I thought I did before, but I really had no idea..  Everything, every offense against me, every argument I have ever had, every person I have ever felt angry at; it all just seems so insignificant now..  How can I be angry?  How can I hold a grudge at all?  
You know that saying: you can forgive but you can never forget?  Well pardon the expression, but screw that!  You can forget as well as forgive..  
It's just not that important..  It isn't!  The one or two things that someone has done to offend you is nothing compared to the lifetime of offenses that God has forgiven and continues to forgive you for..

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14-15

Life is short..  Forgive and forget..
Once you realize the significance of His forgiveness, how can you do anything else?

Linking up with

May 10, 2013

How about....Now..

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24

How often do we (wives) decide that we know what the role of the head of the house/spiritual leader should look like and  how many of us have thought that we are responsible for shaping and molding them into our idea of that role so that when we have achieved that, then we can begin to submit to their leadership?

In other words; "Once you start leading the way I think you should, then I will start following."

My husband and I are very different when it comes to our spiritual lives..  I am intellectual, structured, disciplined, and I believe that everything should be done a certain way at a certain moment, and for a certain amount of time..  I have a closer connection to God when I read and study the word..  Some feel close when
they sing, or spend time outdoors, listen to worship music, or just sitting quietly by themselves..  But not me.. When I read the Word I feel His presence, I hear Him speak to me, I receive revelation, conviction, and answers to my prayers..  I love; absolutely love to read the Word, because when I do, God is more real to me than ever..

My husband is very laid back, nothing really bothers him, he does things in his own time, for as long or as little as he chooses..  Though he is one of the smartest men I know, he is not a bookworm, he
doesn't study, or live by a schedule..  He enjoys change and despises routine..  He feels closer to God when he is actively doing something; working, mentoring, building something, etc..  He doesn't spend time in one place doing one thing for very long..

I read/study for 3 hours every day..  My husband reads for maybe 20 minutes in the morning.  When I pray, my prayers are long, detailed, and cover just about everything..  When he prays, his prayers are short, simple and to the point..

Many times I have thought (and said to him) that as the spiritual leader and the head of our house, that he should read at least as long as I do (if not more) so he would know more, be more disciplined, set an example, blah blah blah..  I have made remarks about his short, simple prayers..  I would say stuff like "That's it?  Don't you have any more to add?"
Until last night I didn't realize that I was actually criticising him..  Not until God reprimanded brought it to my attention..

He said: "Instead of trying to make your husband into the spiritual leader you think he should be so that you can follow him.  Submit to who he is now because he is your husband..  'do not just read my Word, do what it says'."

Don't get me wrong..  We don't argue, I don't openly defy him or try to control him..  But my thoughts and behaviors, and my criticisms toward his way of doing things where his spiritual life is concerned was not honoring to him..  My thoughts and actions were not submissive to him, nor were they honoring or obedient to God..

I sat up in bed and thought about what an awesome man my husband is..  Selfless, attentive, strong, even tempered, and an excellent provider..  He's a loving and involved father, a supportive and doting husband, and a loyal friend..  He goes out of his way to do whatever for whoever and doesn't expect so much as a 'thank you', or even a 'good job' in return..  He refuses to be out-served by anyone at home, and jumps at the chance to help anyone he can; financially, emotionally, or physically..  He has never, and I mean never raised his voice to me or Sky..  He truly is an incredible guy that God saw fit to bless me with..  

I have talked to so many women who have said that they will submit when their husbands learn how to lead, how to be responsible, how to be more this, or more that.. 
 But that's not what the Bible says..  It doesn't say "submit to your husband when you decide he's deserving of it."
It says "submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord".
I know now that there is more to it than just submitting outwardly..  It means inwardly too..  In our minds and our hearts..   

Because God said so..  

My friend Michell added this in her comment..  I absolutely love what she said, so I'm quoting here so you don't miss it :)

"It's better that our husbands job be done badly by him, than to be done excellently by us!"