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Friday, September 28, 2007

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control?

I don't know about you, but this is a line that truly hits home with me. Once again, this is totally me at times. Why? Because though I want to surrender my life to God, there are certain areas I want to cling to. There are certain parts that it is harder for me to trust Him with.
My family is one of those things. Many of you prayed with me last year when my dad was facing surgery. The thing is that it was so much easier to trust God when it was me going through the surgery. Having to hand my dad over to him knowing there was nothing else I could do was hard.
But He has proven time and again that He knows so much better than I do. He has a perfect will for each person in my family just as He has a perfect will for me. I just have to surrender to His control.
Another area I struggle with is the financials. It is so hard for me to trust when things get a little tight. I find myself scrambling for solutions when I should be praying for God to provide and trusting that He will do JUST THAT.
I'm sure that each and everyone of us have things that we want to keep to ourselves. Things we don't want to give up. Things we want to control.
But there is no such thing as partial surrender. I mean just imagine if a soldier came in holding a white flag of surrender and said, "I surrender, but first I'm going to kill 5 more of your men, and I want to keep my weapon just in case I change my mind." That surrender wouldn't be taken seriously at all. And when we give some things over to God and hold others to ourselves, we are not taken seriously either. Because that isn't trust.
It's easy to give up the things that don't bother us. It's easy for me to trust God with my drive to work. I pray believing He'll protect me each morning. It's easy for me to trust Him with my job because I feel fairly secure in my position right now.
It's those uncertainties that are hard to hand over to Him, but those are just the things He wants. He wants us to trust Him fully because He has our very best interest at heart. And if we hand everything over to Him, He will give us peace that is beyond understanding.
So this morning, I'm praying a prayer of full surrender. Surrender to God's perfect will. It's a prayer I'm sure I'll pray many more times, but I know that a place of full surrender is just where I need to be.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Somewhere between who I was and who You’re making me

A normal posting schedule is looking more and more impossible lately. Things have been completely hectic at work, home, pretty much everywhere. But I will try to keep posting as much as I can. That said, I give you this post that I should've done last week. But hey, God works things out at the perfect time, so today is evidently the day I should be talking about this!
Today I'm taking another line from the song "Caught in the Middle." This is one that constantly gets me. I'm somewhere between who I was and who God is making me. But there are many days where I feel like I'm getting nowhere. I feel like I'm stuck and can't move one step further. I want to move closer to that person God is shaping me into, but the old me keeps pulling me back to what I used to be.
And I know that one of the reasons I am stuck in the past is because I keep remembering the things I left behind. Paul very clearly tells us in Philippians 3:13 that we are to forget the things that are behind. Those things should no longer rule our thought lives. Because if they rule our thought lives, they will eventually rule our actions. The things you focus on are the things you do.
So the other half of Philippians 3:13 is what I need to do in order to move forward. I need to reach forth to those things that are ahead of me. That's what I need to focus on. Because the life God has for me is SO much better than anything I left in the past.
When I think about this line, I'm reminded of two people. Lot's wife and Paul. See, these two chose two very different paths. Lot's wife gave up the life God gave her because her past was too important for her to give up. Looking back to her past destroyed her spiritually.
Then there's Paul. He penned the verse I've been talking about today, along with a huge number of other verses in the New Testament. From the day he was saved, Paul looked ahead. That was his only choice. And in looking ahead he went from being one of the most feared persecutors of Christians to being one of the boldest proclaimers of Christ. No, his life wasn't always easy, but he always had hope. Men harmed his physical body, but they could never touch the peace in his soul.
I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be like Paul. I want to be known as one who stood strong, even in the hardest times. I don't want to look back at my past and let it destroy me. I want to press toward the future God has for me. Like Paul, I want to press toward the prize.
Philippians 3:14, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."


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Monday, September 24, 2007

It's a GIRL!!

Yep, that's right. I'm having a girl. And here's the latest picture of Miss Alaena Addison Smith:

I'll not post the picture here that proves she's a girl. Just suffice it to know that it was very obvious. And all is healthy with this little girl. I'll be around to my regular posting tomorrow morning, but I didn't want to keep you guys in suspense any longer!

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Today's the Day!!

Well, today is the day I find out if its a GIRL or a BOY! Not much time to post today, but just wanted to let you guys know I'd be making an announcement once I knew. I'll also be getting back results from blood tests. So prayers that all would be healthy would be appreciated!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Somewhere Between the Hot and the Cold

Well, I know that I had promised to start this series yesterday, but things have been hectic. The first phrase of the song really hit me. I mean how many times am I between the hot and the cold? I know I don't want to be there, but there are so many times that lukewarm is right where I end up.
A few weeks back our tub decided to go crazy. How exactly does a tub go crazy? Well, we're not sure exactly, but for some reason the way you turn the spicket for hot became the way you turned the spicket for cold. And vice versa. However, we didn't realize that there was hot anywhere for a couple of days. And the hottest water we could get was lukewarm at best.
Let me just say that I can testify as to why lukewarmness makes God want to spue! Because when it comes to bath water, there is nothing less than hot that is exceptable (well right now I can't have hot, hot, but you know what I mean.)
But how many times do I expect less than hot in my Christian life. I mean sure I go to church. I listen. I take notes. I read a verse here and there. But does it go past that. Do I let what I hear and read change me? Do I do these things simply out of habit? I must say definitely say, "Oh me!" right there. Because there are way too many times that it simply becomes routine, and I forget the TRUE meaning I'm doing any of this.
I don't know about you, but I want to be hot. I don't want to be someone who makes God spue like in Revelation 3:15-16,

"15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

I want my life to be one that is on fire for Christ. I want that to be a fire that I can't hold within (Jeremiah 20:9). Because when I really remember why I do what I do, it's the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. Definitely something to get fired up over!


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Monday, September 17, 2007

Caught In the Middle

I'm not sure how many of you have heard Casting Crowns's new CD, but if you haven't let me just tell you GO. BUY. IT. NOW. Seriously, a great CD.

One of my favorites from the CD is the song, "Caught in the Middle." Check out these lyrics:

Written by Mark Hall
© 2007 My Refuge Music/Club Zoo Music/SWECS Music (BMI) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing)
Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me
Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You’re making me
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me
Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence,
reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences,
the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves
Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You’ll find me
Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You’re by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I’m caught in the middle

Several of the phrases of this song slapped me right in the face on my way home last night. Because honestly there are many times when I have been "Caught in the Middle." So for the next several posts, I'm gonna be focusing in on some of those phrases.
Hope you'll join me!


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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sometimes We Need to Say Nothing At All

As I said yesterday, my little brother Ben got married this past weekend. The church was beautiful, everyone looked gorgeous, and my brother made everyone cry when he sang, "When You Say Nothing At All."
The tears however were short lived because as soon as Ben finished singing the song the preacher leaned up and said, "Ben, I just want you to know that there will never be a day when she says NOTHING at all." It caused everyone to chuckle.
But it made me really start to think. Are there times when I say nothing at all? I mean, I know there are times I should say nothing at all, but something brilliant always seems to pop into my mind, and it's out of my mouth before I can stop it.
Our tongues show who we really are deep inside. They show the wickedness or the goodness in our hearts.
Check out this verse from Matthew 12:34, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
It's amazing how much our tongues affect things. To be such a small part of the body, it sure can do big things. The words we speak can bring others to cry, laugh, or shout, you name it. Knowing that our tongues have such affect on others should really cause us to control them more.
Because one wrong word out of our mouths can ruin the words we may later want to say for Christ. I don't know about you, but I want there to be more times when I say nothing at all so that when I do speak it means something for Christ!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just A Little Note

I know I haven't been around in a while. My brother's wedding was this past weekend, and things around the Smith household have been hectic to say the least. I promise to get back on track soon! Today I'll just share these two verses:

Psalm 121:1-2
1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.