Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Learning Curve...

I'm not sure if it's me or Blogger but I have been having a lot of trouble with my formatting today. It may be me as I pasted my post into Word to check it over then back again- it was then that my troubles started...
Anyway, this is just a little raised flag to say I really hope you are seeing my posts as they should be seen! Please let me know if you aren't!

I will grow up...

The other day I came across one of my favorite quotes- on that I haven’t seen a long while and it got me thinking. Of course this deep thinking had to come to me about 6 AM on the short semi-awake trip between my bed and returning to my bed... Anyway- here it is and here are a few of the thoughts that my fully awake brain later pondered...
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." -e.e. cummings
Ya it's one of those... At least for me it's a Wow...
You know, it's a thought that seems innocuous but when you stop and look at what was really said it makes you disillusioned at how you actually measure up?
Confused? Let me explain.

Thinky thought one- "Grow up"
Grow up. It's one of those things that we all have to do. Some do it early, some late, some... are incorrigible. But the thought remains we do grow up. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says "When I was a child I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man I did away with childish things." There is a time each of us has to leave behind what we did and thought and reasoned and spoke when we were children. It's called maturity. But I'll get to that in a minute. What else does Scripture have to say about growing up? In Ephesians 4 Paul talks about "walking in a manner worthy of [our] calling" (v1) and is instructing us on how we are one body with separate gifts and these gifts are for service, equipping us to build the body. Our gifts are "to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to Christ." In other words, mature men are about mature men's business and have a standard (Christ) to which they measure and seek to attain. So, Calling>Equipping Gifts>Standard by Which we Measure Accomplishment of Calling. Got it? Paul goes on and in verse 14 says: 

"As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ."
Ahh! Ok, here is the 'child' vs. 'growing up' thing. Children are "tossed to and fro" by every wave of 'new' doctrine that comes along their path. Children can be tricked by deceivers or schemes. Grown-ups are the opposite. They have firm footing. They know sound doctrine. They have discernment and can see trickery, craftiness and deceitful scheming of men. Grown-ups have learned how to get past the veneer and get to the hard truth of a matter and lovingly speak to people about Christ being our standard in all things.
So how do we become grown-up? How do we go from reasoning and thinking like a child to leaving childish things behind? Well, I'm glad you asked because that's my second point!

Thinky thought two- "become who you really are"
Just saying "become who you really are" sounds like an impossible task.
The thing is, it's not entirely up to us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." Now that's a sentence I want to put an exclamation point after!! If we are believers we already have taken step one- we have had an old corrupt life and Christ has exchanged it for new life in Him. He has "begun a good work in us." We are now new creations. We are in that first stage of growth, that newborn stage. 1 Peter 2:2 says: "Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow." Our first source for nourishment is the Word. But we don't stop there, we mature. After we take in the milk we begin to build on that with meat. 

"But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" ~Hebrews 5:14

This is the maturity I was getting to- maturity is a big part of being grown-up. Maturity requires training, practice, discipline- that's our part (through His strength). It's difficult but its yields are the grounding in doctrine and teaching from a heart of love that we talked about earlier.
My point is this: "who you really are" is the person Christ really wants you to become. We become Christians but too often don't think about the outworking of Christian our lives, you know- how our 'faith' impacts our lives- your faith is impacting your life, right? Once Christ starts changing us we should begin desiring more. More change, more meat, more maturity. If we are Christians striving for Christlikeness in our lives we shouldn't be just 'desiring God' but desiring to be who God wants us to be. 
This is the part where the Wow turns into a Whoa...
This is the true hard part...

Thinky thought three- "It takes courage"
We don't like having to be brave. Not a one of us. From the peas on our plate that mom says we have to eat to making decisions about our future to sitting down and having conversations that we never wanted to have because they are important conversations- bravery doesn't come naturally. But God does ask it of us, or rather- He commands it of us.  
Doesn’t it encourage your heart to read that with God's command he has also provided a promise? He says "For the Lord your God is with you where ever you go." He says be strong, be courageous, don't tremble and don't be dismayed- but he promises 'I will be with you everywhere'.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9
I will be with you when you take milk and when you learn to eat meat.
I will be with you when you learn sound doctrine.
I will be with you when you learn discernment.
I will be with you when you realize you want to become leave childish things behind and become mature.
I will be with you when you realize you want to be growing more like Me.
I will be with you when you pray about your future.
I will be with you when you witness or teach or mediate or speak the truth in love.

Now here's the thing, that Joshua verse we looked at- go look at it again-
Before we get to the promise or even the 'be courageous' command the verse kinda hangs on another command. To paraphrase it says: "Never stop reciting these teachings. You must think about them night and day so that you will faithfully do everything written in them. Only then will you prosper and succeed." (GWT). The 'teaching' he's talking about is Scripture- beginning to end. All our nourishment, all our growing-up, all our maturity is accomplished by Scripture and God working through that in our lives. It requires commitment from us. It means setting aside time for Bible study, devotions, reading books on doctrine and church history. It means being willing to teach others what we learn. It means making an effort to memorize verses. It means making an effort to get up early... (In case you were wondering- those last two were directed in the mirror!)
Putting away childish things is hard work.
Desiring to be who God wants me to be is hard work.
Acting courageously is hard work.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." 

But today I think it's a little easier because I know He's here with me through it...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Progress...

Well if you've been poking around here you have been seeing a bit of moving in dust! Gradually I'll be all moved in and ready to do some writing but for now I'm really enjoying playing with all the gadgets and arranging my space!
So label me "Coming Soon" and come back and see me soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To Boldly Go...

Ok, so I guess it's high time I entered the brave new world of blogging! ...Except, it's not so new and I'm kind of late to the party! ;) But I'm here and that's what counts!

Anyway, I plan to post what I'm thinking and studying and ruminating on and eating and you can expect to get a rant every now and again too but you get fair warning now- in all these things expect me to speak my mind. This is the real me here and my blog is a no holds barred zone for my thoughts. If you want to join in I love a good debate and welcome your respectful comments!

So it's nice to meet you blogging world!
Run for your life....