Sunday, August 30, 2009

But I Believe in Faith

But I Believe In Faith
by: Justin Harvey at The Anchor Fellowship

For 14 years I have believed in Yeshua, but my faith in him as not been so long lived.

It’s easy for me to believe something… prove it to me. Irrefutable evidence is a sure way to make me a believer. I want to touch it, taste it, feel it, smell it, see it, hear it. This is the type of belief I‘ve had in Yeshua since he proved his existence to me in ways that could take pages upon pages for me to tell. I wasn’t a church kid… quite the opposite actually. I was raised without religion and by my own reasoning deemed Christianity a worthless crutch for the mentally weak. I aggressively gave Christians a hard time… and even recruited others to join me in the assault. It was in the height of my resistance that Yeshua knocked me off my high horse. He personally revealed himself to me and that encounter had a dramatic and instantaneous effect upon the very core of my being. In a moment I went from being a professed enemy of Christ to being one of his followers. Ever since then I have believed in him… and he has continued to reinforce that belief with his constant presence and action in my life. This is why I believe in Yeshua: he proved himself to me.

This belief, however, is not a clear indicator of my faith. Belief is something we hold internally. We can believe many things and never speak of them or act upon them. Belief is nothing more than a state of mind. Faith, however, supersedes the confines of our thoughts. Faith is the manifestation of belief in the form of action. Faith is what happens when something we believe overrides the other things we believe, particularly those contradictory things, and we act on the belief despite how unlikely, impossible or unimaginable our expected outcome may be.

It’s faith that caused a man named Simon to jump out of a boat far at sea and walk to Yeshua who was also standing on the water. It’s faith that caused Martin Luther King Jr. to proclaim his dream of a racially united America in a time when racial unity seemed an impossibility. And, it was faith that lead me to say to a girl with a broken leg, “Because of God’s great love for you, you are healed.” …and she instantly was. There was a season in my life in which I had faith in Yeshua to do the unlikely, impossible and unimaginable. But over time that faith dwindled. What was a constant soon became an occasion. For the last few years it has been a rarity.

I’ve come to realize that I now live with a great belief in Yeshua, but merely marginal faith in him. It seems rationally absurd to me, but even Yeshua’s water-walking-friend, Simon, had a similar dilemma. On another occasion Simon was again on a boat far at sea. Yeshua was with him asleep in the hull of the ship. A huge storm swelled up, tossing the boat wildly. Water was coming on board and Simon, a lifelong fisherman, knew this was the end. He knew they were going to drown. He went under deck to Yeshua, shouting their certain doom. Simon had the faith to walk on water with Yeshua, but he had never seen Yeshua save a sinking ship. It would seem Simon lacked faith that Christ would save them, perhaps even that he could save them. Yeshua sat up and calmly walked on deck. He raised his arms up and told the storm to stop. It obeyed! The sky cleared and the waves stopped. Yeshua then turned and asked Simon, “Why did you have no faith?”. Simon wasn’t the only person on board. Everyone saw what Yeshua did and they were amazed. They couldn’t explain it – they couldn’t understand it – but they believed what they had just seen.

There was a man among them named Judas who also saw many of the amazing things Yeshua did. He was a believer and professed his life to following Yeshua. But, he proved himself faithless when he decided a fat paycheck was valuable enough to betray Yeshua. He believed Yeshua was God’s son but was unfaithful to that belief for the belief that money was more important.

In a lot of ways I feel like both Simon and Judas. I’ve walked on the water with Yeshua. I’ve been terrified he couldn’t save my sinking ship. I’ve sold him out for a cheap thrill and a wad of cash.

Satan believes in Christ, but it’s clear that’s not going to him much good. Just believing something to be true is a far cry from living like it is true. It’s not enough for me to believe in Christ… I need faith in him.

I once heard a man quote this scripture to justify his choice to not commit to a disciplined lifestyle modeled after Christ’s: “If we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is our Lord, we will be saved”. That’s great! I’m sure that quoting bible verses to God will work out great on our day of Judgment. Clearly the meaning of this verse was lost to him. What it’s saying is to put belief in Yeshua somewhere other than our heads – to integrate that belief into our core – at the very center of what we think and feel. When we believe things with our heart our lives reflect it… it consumes us, it bleeds out of us. Simply confessing a head-belief of Yeshua’ Lordship in my life is pretty pointless. I mean, its good show and sounds right, but what good is it really? That kind of belief isn’t faith. It’s just another categorical fact that may or may not have any weight in my life. I can believe a life jacket can keep me from drowning but that won’t do me any good if I don’t wear it.

I need my belief to turn into faith again. I long for the days when my faith in Yeshua overshadows all that I believe. I anticipate the times when I not only hear the Lord tell me to heal the sick, or prophecy to a stranger, or speak life into a dead child… but when I actually do it. The scriptures tell us that someone who hears the words of God but does not act on them is like a person who gazes in a mirror but walks off not remembering what they look like. Here I am staring at my reflection. Will I walk away and still remember who I am?

Lord, I believe. Increase my faith.

From Paige: Amen Lord! Increase my faith!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Standing in Awe of God

"Paige, guard your steps when you come into My presence. Come to listen rather than talk. Don't be quick w/ your mouth or hasty in your heart. I GOD am in heaven and you are on earth so let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:1,2

"There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear because of the noise, HURRY, and distraction that life causes as it rushes on." Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)

Awesome God,

I confess my inclination to rush into Your presence overflowing with many words. My private devotions are filled with my agendas for You. My public worship can be so flooded with noise that You are not able to get a word in edgewise. I confess my failure to listen for Your voice. Too seldom do I wait in silence before You as a servant waits before a king. Help me, Living Word of God, to learn to listen to You. Teach me to still my soul as a child with its mother. Give me a renewed vision of Your holiness, so that when I speak to You it might be with reverence and respect. (Ps. 131:2; Hab. 2:20)

With fear and trembling,

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's motivating me? Why do we homeschool?

I want to thank Daisy for bringing this Holy Experience post back to my memory. In light of my previous post about making sure I'm not chasing the wind with all my toiling this was a very fitting post by Ann Voskamp.

I'm linking you to Mrs. Voskamps post because I really couldn't say it any better myself. I hear I'm in good company with that sentiment.

So please. If you would like to know what's motivating me with homeschooling please read here.

Labor and Achievement: What's motivating me?

"And I saw that all labor and achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecclesiastes 4:4

In my Bible reading earlier the Lord reminded me through this verse to check myself on why I do the things I do. If I am not motivated to do the Lord's will in ALL things then it's MEANINGLESS and I might as well be chasing the wind.

Wow that knocked the wind out of me. I mean one of the things that stresses me out each day is feeling like there is not enough hours or minutes to get it all done. I sure do not want to be wasting my time chasing the wind. I'll be taking this to heart and really examining what's motivating me with every minor action. Making sure I'm not chasing anything but the Lord Jesus Christ.

What's motivating you? Is it really meaningless in the big picture of Jesus' will for you? Are you running around chasing the wind?

Precious Jesus,

How often I delight in what I have done: my achievements, my victories, my possesions, my, my, my. But what is it all worth apart from You, Holy One? "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain." Lord, unless You work through me, my labors will be empty. Unless I abide in You, I can do NOTHING THAT MATTERS. Unless I do Your bidding, my life will never bear fruit that will last. But when I live by Your grace and for Your glory, then my toil will not be in vain. Help me, Lord, to devote my life to doing Your will, for then I will have treasures in heaven, treasures that will last for eternity. (Ps. 127:1; Isa. 65:19-23; Mt. 6:19-21; Jn. 15:5)

In Your name, the name ABOVE all names,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Google Chrome Browser

Since I had problems with Firefox a friend told me they had the same problems and had downloaded Google Chrome. So I checked it out and downloaded it. So far I really like it. If you are looking for a new browser check out Chrome.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our Reading Room

Here's a few pictures of the newly painted reading room. I thought some of you might like to see the colors that we chose. The white strip in the corner will need to be painted before the room is done. We couldn't tape the wet green paint to fill in the orange gap LOL.

This is one of the green walls. I hope the colors are clear enough. The green is lime for sure.

The orange is called Fire Orange. I hope to have it mostly finished by next week.

We can't wait to sit in our new reading room and read.

My Wonderful Husband

I just want to tell everyone what an awesome husband I have! When I thought up changing our spare room into a reading room I fully intended to do all the work myself and with Joshua. Well yesterday my husband helped me paint and he did it with the happiest and greatest attitude. I could have done it by myself but it would have taken me at least 3 times as long to get everything done.

I am so blessed to have a husband that does things even when it's not his idea and probably the last thing in the world he wants to do at the time. He's the love of my life!

On top of that he mowed our somewhat large yard AFTER he did the bulk of the painting. How awesome is that!?!

He's the best!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Working On Our New Reading/School Room

I have been busy converting our spare room into a reading/school room. I wish I could take credit for the idea but I stumbled onto a lady's blog who had done one of her unused rooms into a library reading room for her 4.5 year old daughter. She was inspired after reading The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease I was instantly inspired by her ideas and immediately asked my husband about converting our spare room into a reading/school room. He said go for it! So I've been cleaning our spare room out and tomorrow we will buy our paint and Saturday we will PAINT it! We are kicking around colors but we are thinking orange and neon green or neon green and some shade of blue. It should be wonderful when it's finally done. I hope to be mostly done by the end of next week. I'll post pictures when it's done but for now here is a picture of the first 2 new things for our reading room.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's My Computer

I think my problems with my blog are Firefox related. I can pull up the blog on IE and it looks right. Firefox did an update and now everything is all messed up in general when I try web pages on Firefox. Soooo as much as I hate IE that's what I will be using until/unless I can fix Firefox.

I have been very happy with Firefox up until tonight LOL. I'm not such a happy camper with them right now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What does my blog look like to you?

I am having problems with my blog all of the sudden. I see a white background. Could you reply and let me know what you see?

I'll try to get it back as soon as possible.


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