Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dream Big!

What?!!! I accidentally posted an unfinished, unedited piece.....Oy. Here's the completed version.

I rarely tool around the stats offered by Blogger, but I was surprised to learn that I have logged 25 posts. I don't want anything to sway the the content of my writing, I just observe, live, pray, think, and mull. Kinda surprised me, as a newbie, that I had that much to say.

Today I want to take us on an awareness journey. Sounds a little new agey, but I promise that I am the antithesis of new age. I have new age pals, I know the rhetoric and I love them just as they are, but, don't worry that I'll suggest praying to your inner self or ohm. Here area some of the areas I would like to address:
1. If we know we should pray more, why don't we?
2. If we know we need to change, repent, (you fill in the black), why don't we?
3. If we want a different life, the one God intended, why don't we take the steps to get it? 
Change is difficult for most individuals. As a lay person, I have studied the topic both from a managerial angle and a Christian perspective, to understand others and myself. This week I popped in to Barnes and Noble to kill time between appointments and strolled through the aisles. How can there be so many secrets to personal success? Closer walks with God? Stronger business acumen? Keys to perfect health? Logically, if an author's claim is true, that the secrets are contained in his or her book, than why are there so many books on the shelf? Wouldn't we all purchase the same book, negating the need for the others?

After years of survival mode, I finally waived the white flag. The stressors were drowning this over-coming Christian. So much change, often painful, in such a short time. Thank God for God, I wouldn't have survived on my own.

As a 100 Fold Christian, I have prayed much. God brought me through the sufferings of Christ, according to His will, often times tearing me to pieces. Sorry if that steps on anyone's doctrine, but if you haven't been shred, you are not a Fellow Folder (Hosea 6:1-2). Or, perhaps I needed more work than you :). It doesn't mean we flagellate ourselves, but rather God orchestrates our lives into a series of events which force us to our knees, revealing the resident sin that delights in church attendance, potlucks, and all outward appearances of piety (I Sam 15:22). As a young Christian Mom, I would pray up to two hours in the morning before the kids awoke. Over the past years I have encountered the prayer battle and found myself thinking, "I should pray more." Because I want God's will, I didn't know how to pray. Focusing solely on loved ones and current problems actually became a deterrent - all that praying seemed to result in further shredding. Like touching a hot stove, over and over.

Oh, I still pray. But not like I THINK I SHOULD BE. Wait, who made me the prayer police? Hmmmm, I guess I elected myself.

I think I know what God is telling me: Quit running the show; wake up every morning with a thankful heart; look for Me in the situation and place I have put you in; tell me the desires of your heart, but not how you want them to happen; dream big; realize that it is in your lack of physical strength, poverty, and state of lowliness, that I do My best work; exercise your faith, risk, and believe that all things work together for good! Prayer is knowing God first, His will, and THEN all the rest follows. Focus on relationship. "The most important thing in any prayer is not what we say to God, but what God says to us" (North Carolina Christian Advocate).

In return, God will show me new and wonderful things. In fact, I was so engulfed in one family emergency after the other (none as a result of our own doing), that I wasn't experiencing the joy of giving to others. Self-centered by accident (OK, and part Adam). God is encouraging me to look for opportunities to share, give, and bless. As mentioned before, when you're hanging from the bottom rung of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, jumping from the bottom to the top is only possible with the Spirt of God. The top of the Christian pyramid means we have enough "New Creation" to give of ourselves, love generously, not be put off by the minutia of the day, focus on the Glory of God and what His will is for the day.

I was not relishing the privilege, the love, the glory, the excitement, the adventure of walking and talking with God. Seeing the day through His eyes. I'm not going to write a how to list, because I can't. My life's purpose is different from yours. This morning I asked God to help me recognize His miracles. They happen every day, but we expect them all to be healing from cancer, or other momentous feats. In fact, I just listened to a famous preacher say that if it isn't parting large bodies of water, it isn't a miracle. This morning at 6:00AM a Hispanic gentleman was ordering paint. We commiserated about how hard we both worked, and I shared with him that one of the common denominators of successful CEO's was getting eight hours of sleep. I suggested that he find an assistant, get proper rest, and no cerveca (my contractors like to drink, as they say, "It's beer:30 somewhere in the world."). He shared that he quit drinking five years ago, and how happy his wife is now. That may not seem like a miracle to you, but perhaps that was just what he needed to hear - hire a college aged assistant to help him, summer is right around the corner and someone will need work - cheap. I am defining that as a miracle. That man, in desperate need from exhaustion, heard just the words he needed to hear, from some lady mixing paint.

Do we believe the Bible? Do we read the Bible? Do we seek out fellowship with like-minded and attend the slowly disappearing church? I say that because I understand the "church" that we have created is not the same as the "church" in the Bible, in fact, much of what is preached is not in the Bible. My pastor likens doctrine to the scaffolding that helps build the new creation in each person. It seems that the scaffolding is no longer constructed of steel, but rather bamboo. Can you build a sky scraper while standing on dry, brittle, bamboo? America's religious foundation is deteriorating, and God put me out in the middle of no where to train for the day when Fellow Folders can't find a like-minded Bible church or may not be welcome in a watered down version of one.

Today is the day of my salvation. I had a "dream" several weeks ago. I was pregnant and in danger of losing the baby. P & N, two of the best Christians you'll every meet, were by my side to make sure I was safe. My first thought while awake was, "Me in danger, of losing my new creation?" Preposterous.   I am a Folder, after all. Wrong. Philippians 2:12 says that Diz is to work out her salvation with "fear and trembling." After much chatting with the Father, He revealed that men-pleasing was my serious repentance issue. I have mentioned it before, I know it is a problem, but no more pussy-footing around. Harvard Business Review's posted an outstanding piece, "The Thought-Patterns of Success," which is easily converted to a Christian perspective (I actually wonder if the writer is a Christian). I printed it out, and every morning during prayer, I read it. I repent. And I practice it at work. When I feel that creepy, "OOOO, people are disappointed with me, they are criticizing me, they are talking about me, they don't recognize what a fabulous employee I am" (all, by the way, may be true), I repent! I refuse to be led around by the enemy. God is my judge. God tells me my value, my purpose, my success, my self-worth, my sins - not the monkeys I work with. What good am I to God if I am easily side-tracked by other people's opinions? Think of all the stalwart Bible characters, did they operate based on the opinion of others?

That may not be your trip, but I shared it to encourage you to ask God about your repentance, and to get moving. Time is of the essence, dear Folder. We need all the strength of the Spirit we can store up to withstand the coming days.

Lastly, if I believe God is able, and I do, than why am I muddling around, discouraged in a mediocre Christian walk? It's because of me, not God. He has set a feast before me and I choose saltine crackers instead. Addressing issues one and two above, will certainly enable us to arrive at three. It doesn't necessarily mean our surroundings change, providing a new life, it means God opens our eyes to see our life from His perspective. Last night, at 1:00AM, I spent 1/2 hour trying to get my Mom off the floor, and I finally had to call 911. Six giant fireman crowded in her bedroom and put her in to bed. All that to say, my life hasn't suddenly become glamorous, writing from cushy circumstances, like many of our published brethren.  I am fixing my eye on Christ (Hebrews 12:2), focusing on the unseen (2 Corinthians 4:13), measuring my success by His standards - that of eternal value.

Ask God to open your eyes to see your life how He sees it, and be willing to do your part. I remembering seeing a picture in my kids' book, fashioned after the verse from Matthew 7:7-8, illustrating a door with no knob on the side Jesus was standing, indicating that we must initiate the interaction. I suggest, of the many buffet items available to us, that we include prayer for wisdom. Currently, I am studying how the brain functions, and scientists have actually isolated the portion which operates wisdom, stating that it is "one of the most powerful byproducts of emotional stability, giving us the capacity and fortitude to steer the car in the right direction"(Lieberman, 2010). How would you like your life to go in the right direction? Remember, you're the co-pilot, not the passenger.

PS: Lord, please give each reader ears to hear this encouragement. Having been inundated with Christianese, we can so easily turn away the fish meat, and toss it out with the bones. That's how our brains process and sort. Please grant each reader the ability to walk in Your will, see with Your eyes, and hear with Your ears. Amen.


  1. Holy mackerel... this post could also be printed out and read every day... Not sure I want to clutter things up with my own words...

    "...all that praying seemed to result in further shredding... who made me the prayer police? ...dream big... Self-centered by accident... not be put off by the minutia of the day... God tells me my value... - not the monkeys I work with... to see your life how He sees it... you're the co-pilot, not the passenger."

    Sorry, I couldn't pick just one or two...

    Gonna link to this in my next blog post, if you don't mind. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  2. Humble thanks, and to God be the glory!

  3. what an excellent post! Thank you so much for the encouragement, and may you be blessed for even taking the time to express this! Thank you!!

  4. Abbie - happy you found encouragement. Thanks for popping in!

  5. Wonderful, I say. I loathe hearing the health & wealth & prosperity false gospel that so many preach. I think it's hard to be these things when carrying a cross, which Jesus said to do, and also being hated by the world, which Jesus assured us of. Life is all about suffering and finding solace from that suffering in God. He is the only one that offers victory and rest.

    One prayer that I've recently been praying has stemmed from Bob Pierce's (founder of World Vision) prayer: to have my heart broken for the things that break God's. I yearn to love on everyone without limit or bias or fear. I want to be molded into His image with all of my being.

    Great post, once again, fellow Folder...

  6. Excellent prayer, thanks for sharing it with me.