Today I'm praying for/about:

Today, (in no particular order) I'm praying for...
- Fresh ideas, inspiration and diligence to post regularly again

- My dad fighting mesothelioma too far away for me to hug him

- Children, parents, and teachers everywhere preparing to return to school

- My single friends as they seek God for His guidance in relationships

- Broken relationships; for grace to abound where grace has been withheld

- You; I'm praying for every single person who views this blog.

Thank you for standing in agreement with me for these precious souls!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fear Knot- Day 1

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great."  Genesis 15:1 NASB

That's the first one.

That's the first time in the bible God tells one of His to be fearless.  As it appears so many more times through the remainder of scripture, I admit I'm surprised it took this long before He had to say it.  According to translations of Masoretic text (meaning Hebrew), we are probably nearly 2000 years post-creation before God tells a human not to fear.  Really?!?  Noah didn't have to be told???  I have a new level of awe for Noah's faith.  My assumption here is that, because it was noted so many other times later when someone was told to be unafraid, if Noah had needed telling, we'd have known about it.  (But that's just my opinion...)  Further, if we back up to when God initially spoke to Abram there was apparently not a need for it then.  Why?  Honestly, if the God of the Universe suddenly started speaking to me, making promises about descendants, nations, etc. and then told me to pack up and go... away... leaving family, without including a destination or duration, in the twilight of my years, for a perpetual camping trip, I would probably need some consoling!  However, it was not until several miles into the journey that Abram needed this nugget of encouragement.

Then comes more questions:  Why did Abram have to be told?  What did he have to be afraid of?  The preceding passage quotes him as saying "that I will not take a thread or sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, 'I have made Abram rich'" (v. 14:23).  Then there was his lying about his relationship with Sarai for the sake of self-preservation.  My assumption is that while he had the gumption to pack up and take a trek, he was not operating entirely with the boldness God wanted from him.  After all, if he had REALLY taken to heart the promise God made him at the outset then he would not need to fear the opinions of men; God had already promised greatness.  He did not need to fear for his life; God had already promised descendants (which one has to be alive to make).

Which, I suppose, brings us to ourselves.  If each of us is honest, we have some level of some form of fear.  Fear is born of ingratitude which is born of ignorance.  (Let me flip that over and try to explain better...)  If we ignore the promises of God then we do not see our blessings for what they are, if we do not see our blessings then we start to feel lack, if we feel that we lack then we begin to fear for provision or fulfillment.  Once we develop a fear then we tend to begin brainstorming ideas to fix what we see as a problem and once we take problem solving into our own hands we usually end up in sin.

I hope it's not wrong for me to throw a little love in the direction of Ann Voskamp.  If you haven't heard of her, I highly recommend a visit to A Holy Experience; her posts are a very regular source of gentle, loving conviction for me.  I'm also about half way through her book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and it is helping me change my focus.  While I've been ruminating on the whole fear issue for some time now (I realized what I posted yesterday had an initial date on the draft of October 2011), I wasn't sure where to find the antidote.  I'm learning.  As Ann has pointed out, if we are constantly aware of the gifted graces all around us then we feel comfortably full.  When we miss them, we feel empty.  Abram must not have been feeling too full of God's blessings where he was in his journey if God needed to command him not to fear.

Begin asking God to prepare you for Him to reveal your fears.  It's a tough experience.  Once you are ready He will begin to show you.  As He does, dig into His Word and find out the promises He has made to the contrary of your fear.  Once you know His promises, you can remind yourself as often as you need to.  Start taking note (literally, with a pen and paper) of every instance He blesses you, and the "fear knot" that binds each of our hearts, will begin to unravel.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fear Knot

Change is hard.

Stepping out is hard.

Obedience is hard.

God has called me to do something I don't want to.  Well, He's called me many times to many things I did not want to do but you get to hear about this one!  Admittedly, and, ironically, I'm afraid.  This is a daunting task that I do not believe I'm equipped for, that I'm not disciplined enough to do, and I'm not sure how it will go.  However, when God says "go", what else are we to do but obey?  So, here I go...

Quite a while back my husband was asked to fill in on a Sunday and preach while our pastor was out of town.  The topic of his message was "fear not" and he shared the "fact" that the particular phrase, in various forms, is listed in the bible 366 times; once for ever day of the year including leap-year.  He emphasized that if God felt the need to reiterate something that many times to us then it must be vitally important.  Now, notice I used quotations around the word "fact"... that's because, at this moment, I'm not sure it actually is 366 but I'm going to find all I can!

I have been ruminating on this little "fact" for months now, pondering the insidious role fear plays in our lives, and feeling increasingly burdened to write about it.  I tried a while back to cram my thoughts all into one post and it's been sitting in the "drafts" category for a long time because it just wasn't coming together.  Then, back in November, I felt God pressing me that I should endeavor to seek out every one of those supposed 366 instances in scripture pertaining to this subject...  and, blog about it every.  single.  day.

I balked.  I haven't even been able to blog every MONTH much less daily!  Further, when I started searching via online bible resources, the compiled lists of others, keyword searches, etc. I had trouble finding the full "leap year" of scriptures.  (And to clarify, I did not just search "fear"; I went all kind of thesaurus and searched related terms like "anxious", "worry", "distress", and many others, as you will (hopefully) see).

On top of all this, another admission, I had been feeling like I had some kind of wisdom in this area to impart to others, including you, dear reader, and let me now, humbly, sincerely, ask for your forgiveness, please?  See, I had been going along for a while now thinking I had conquered fear.  I used to be terribly afraid of some major things that I was forced to face and choose faith instead.  Let me tell you now, if you struggle with any form of anxiety, the freedom that God can bring you in this area is unreal.  You want it, I promise!  However, something I'm realizing lately, the treatment for this particular malady of the soul is not a one-time treatment.  In fact, I'm not sure it isn't a permanent condition that could be considered an autoimmune disorder of the soul.  Regular therapy of God's word, prayer, and wise counsel are the best ways to keep the condition in check and in a "latent" status.  The reason I speculate so is because 1) while there may not be 366 instances in the bible, God does have to command us so often not to fear that it must be that common of a problem and 2) because of my own experience (which is not for you to base your own faith on, only as the disclaimer of the humanity from whence these words come!).  To reinforce that point, and to explain the admission I started above, I was reading a testimony the other day from someone God had healed in many facets of her physical health.  Part of said testimony included how fear-filled she had been living and I thought "Well I don't have that problem."...  Almost immediately I felt that "still, small voice" in my heart that said "Oh, really??  What about your fear of failure?  What about your fear of the expectations of others?  What about your fears of being lonely?........"  (There were several others)

Hmm...  Well...  uh...  ok, yeah, I guess there's that...  No!  I don't have...  ok, well, maybe I struggle just a little...  well, maybe, yes.  Yes, you got me.  I still struggle in those areas.

I have a lot more issues with fear than I realized.  I concoct confidence.  I have bogus bravery.  I feign fearlessness.

I've been pondering this concept since my husband shared it, and it struck me that if we trace back every sin issue we have, I'm thus far convinced that it's always rooted in some form of fear, worry or anxiety that provokes us to act outside of God's will.  Fear, worry or anxiety, after all, is the belief that God either can't or won't meet whatever need or want we might have.  Which, thereby, I suppose, is, in and of itself, a sin of unbelief.  Sins tend to beget more sins and, perhaps, akin to medical maladies, rarely does a person have just one condition; often one issue has either stemmed from or causes another.  Important to note here that sometimes, He indeed, will not meet our wants or needs as we see them to be, but, they are still not for us to take into our own hands.  Faith and peace in His Word tell us that He has a plan, nothing that can come up in our lives will surprise Him, He knows better than we can fathom what we truly need in any given instance and, thus, has a reason for not meeting that need/want in the way we have in mind.  So far I have yet to come up with a sin issue that does not have some root fear attached to it.  I realize that's a very bold statement but if we search deep in our hearts and address that fear, then the sin issue will resolve.

The next post after this I will begin to go through the list of scriptures, one at at time, to see what God has to say to me (us) about our fears.  My conviction is to go for an entire year searching out these scriptures and their correlating promises.  I am yet undecided whether to split passages verse by verse where there's two or more in a row commanding fearlessness OR to group them together; we will have to see where God leads when we get there.

As we set off on this journey, I ask your prayers: this is the biggest undertaking I have ever stepped into in my very limited study of God's word.  To do this I am having to delve into scripture in a way I never have before, I will need a diligence for this blog like never before, I need to change my sleep patterns so I can rise and write before my sons start their day (I have never been a morning person!), and all of this while we as a family juggle a lot of other stuff in our lives.

I do not know why God has asked this of me; I'm just a random wife and mom with a lot of chaos, a scattered brain, and no qualifications.  However, He also called a murderer to be a deliverer, a shepherd boy to be a king, fishermen to be leaders, and harlots to be heroes...  why not me?  Why not you?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

That He came...

I was trying to write a nice Facebook status a few minutes ago wishing everyone in my newsfeed a merry Christmas.  It grew from the size of a tweet, to a status, to too much to contain in a simple box labeled "What's on your mind?"

It grew from "Merry Christmas everyone!" to a prayerful blessing, to a pondering.  I will share it here instead and let God take it where He wills...

May God fill each of you with His light today; the day we celebrate the gift of grace unmerited, unearned, unattainable.  Today we commemorate, remember, celebrate when our Creator Perfect loved us so much, too much, to leave us wallowing in our imperfection.  Too much to set the proverbial bar lower, too much to leave us toiling to reach Him, too much to do any number of other things with us that He could have...  Because He IS love.  Love, beyond comprehension, beyond our fallible, perverse idea of the concept, so far beyond what finite minds can fathom, that He would put on soiled, human skin, breathe our tainted air, put up with our bitter repulse.  Love so fragile and yet so indestructible.  Love as intimate as a fresh babe cuddled between parents and as vast as the infinite universe.  Love that would willingly step down from the throne of eternity, peace, power, perfection so incomprehensible that the smallest blemish can not enter the presence...  The love that invented sacrifice.

Sacrifice.  The latin roots of the word, the properly neutral plural word "sacer" meaning sacred, with the root "facer" meaning "to do or perform".  A holy act, offered from the purest heart.  A heart so broken over our brokenness that He allowed us to break Him just to mend us.

May we be broken and mended all at once today.  May we be so emptied to awe yet so filled with grace.  May we accept today, in all it's fullness, the Gift that cannot be put in a box, that cannot be kept a secret, that cannot be contained by swaddling or a tomb, cannot be traded for anything but sorrow, cannot be kept but must be shared.  May we be blessed today in a measure that spills into every coming day hereafter.  May we praise the Father for our greatest Gift, our Yeshua, our Messiah.

Have a very, merry, Christmas, everyone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Plank-eye Syndrome

We have a serious problem in our house lately.  We've had an outbreak of "plank eye".  This should not be confused with pink eye; which is much easier to cure and much less irritating.  No, plank eye is a genetic heart condition that can be terminal and fatal.  The symptoms include, but are not limited to:  pointing fingers, whining, yelling, tattling, tourette-like outbursts of phrases like "MO-OMMMMMM!", "No FAIR!", and "I'm telling!", crossed arms, high noses, rolled eyes, accusations and justifications that start with some variation of "But HE (or she) started it!".  It is characterized by an incessant need for one to mind everyone else's proverbial beeswax and make sure that everyone else is being held accountable for their shortcomings while justifying one's own offenses.  The condition is often more well known as "Hypocrisy".

It.  Is.  Excruciating.  There is no medication on the market yet that will dull the pain (well, not that I can recommend as healthy anyway!), curb the symptoms, or cure the condition.  No eye drops for this one...

Thankfully,  however, our Great Physician, knows a way but it is a difficult process.  The therapy can take years to fully develop the muscles needed to bend that pointed finger, open accusing eyes, stretch one's patience,  and strengthen the loving heart.  I'm trying not to be daunted by this, especially since there are four of them that need this therapy.  Thankfully, our insurance will not be billed, nor will we owe a co-pay.

Did you notice though, I did not say the therapy is free.  There are costs and side effects...  Sore knees from time spent in prayer, loss of productivity for time spent mentoring, missed activities and outings when follow-through is called for, sacrifice of one's own rights when grace is prescribed, weary eyes from watching character building movies, and a dry throat from reading scripture and literature aloud.  It should be noted, however, that pharisaical modes of therapy, such as writing sentences, forced acts of kindness, allowing a sibling to return an offense, justifying others actions based on the patient's actions (i.e. tit-for-tat) and other similar treatments are contraindicated.  Not only do they have questionable efficacy, they can often worsen the condition.  It is further vital that one administering the therapy has been through it themselves, if not, this too, can worsen the condition of the subject.

Note also that the therapy is not guaranteed to work.  In some rare cases, due to recessive, free-will genetics or severe stubbornness, the course of therapy may appear ineffective.  In those cases, one is advised to continue the therapy regardless of indication of efficacy since no two cases' results will look the same.  Neither can it be determined how long the therapy will take from one individual to another.  Further, as this is a genetic disorder, there can be potential for a flare-up after extensive periods of remission.

Please pray for us; we have a long road to recovery.  If there is anyone else out there either suffering the condition or administering the therapy, there are local support groups available.  They often have the symbol of a cross somewhere on the building where they meet and meetings are usually held on either Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings.  Some groups offer alternative meeting times, such as Saturdays and some offer smaller groups that meet in homes.  I pray you find a solid group to help you get through this trying time.  From what I've heard it is well worth all the cost, time and effort.  May God give us strength, bring healing, and provide wisdom.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."  Matthew 7:3-5

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If This is All There Ever is...

I have a dear friend and mentor who has moments with God where she says that the new revelation makes her feel like she needs to duct tape her head to keep her brain from exploding.  We've discussed enough of these that we can now just look at each other and say "duct tape" and nod, knowing that something just crashed into our brains in a major way.  Well, I had one of those recently...

The other night I was having a little pity party and feeling pretty down on myself when my husband shared something convicting.  During a prayer meeting he was talking with someone else about contentment and, I suppose, in a round a bout way, surrender; whether he could be content with God no matter what He ever does or does not do in his life.  This is not a mysterious concept, it's rather quite simple BUT, if I'm not mistaken, we as humans have trouble actually living it out in practicality.  As I pondered the thought, BAM!  The revelation, the duct tape revelation, crashed into my heart.  I felt like the Holy Spirit asked me "What if this is all there ever is?"

See, I struggle deeply with negative self-talk and condemnation and have not ironically recently started a study as part of our ladies group on just that subject.  Jennifer Rothschild is teaching us to clean out our "thought closets" because "what we think is what we wear".  So here in the middle of this endeavor to throw out some long out-grown labels, comes these questions from the still, small voice:
"What if no one EVER approves of (me)?"
"What if (my) struggle with (my) son NEVER improves?"
"What if (I) never succeed at anything, ever?"

And, the kicker... the one that called for duct tape...

"What if what is, right now, right here, is all there ever is?  BECAUSE it really actually is; you are not promised tomorrow so therefore not promised answers, improvement, escape, rescue, etc. SO, with that line of thinking, not that what is right now will never change BUT, if it doesn't, could you still be content?  Could you still be fulfilled?  Could you still find peace in God's love if that is all you have?  Because, really, that's all you do have..."

Duct tape.

I needed to keep my brain from exploding at that convicting thought.  I had to open my white-knuckle grip on my need for my son's growth, I needed to release my need for approval, and I needed to hand over the desire to accomplish stuff.  I needed to decide that what is, right now, is enough.  After all, God has me right here, today, for His purposes, not my fulfillment and if He has so chosen that, for little 'ol me, specifically, knowingly, purposefully, and personally, then oughtn't I breathe a sigh of thanks make the best of it?

Absolutely.  Immediately.  Permanently.

This was all last Wednesday evening.  I meant to write this post the next day and ran out of time.  Good intentions for Friday were thwarted as well.  Now, here we are the following Tuesday and I'm finally writing it down.  Why?  Because I quickly developed amnesia.  I had already forgotten that mind-blowing moment and found myself, just this morning, setting up another pity party decorated with banners of "inadequacy", "failure", "disillusionment", and "doubt".  Thankfully, my knight in shining armor, my beloved, best pal, prayer warrior husband, rode in to rescue me.  He prayed over the phone with me while on a break with the loving authority of my Redeemer and jogged my memory.

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

"But Godliness with contentment is great gain" 1 Timothy 6:6

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:12-13

Here's some duct tape... pass it on!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Myth of More Than We Can Handle

I heard a song lyric the other day that got me pondering the cliché "God never gives you more than you can handle"... and it struck me what a whopper of a lie that statement is.

God certainly gives us more than we can handle and He does so quite often (At least for me!).  He doesn't want us to handle everything on our own; He wants us to need Him!  What need would we have of a Savior if we were entirely self-sufficient?  What need would we have of faith if humans truly had the capacity to get through every trial as an island??

None.  None what so ever.  Perhaps we have learned to leave off the possible remainder of the statement:  "God never gives you more than you can handle with Him." and, in so doing, what damage have we done ourselves spiritually?  How clever of the enemy to convince us, so sneakily, that if we aren't "handling it" in a manner we consider "well", then perhaps we are broken, faithless, wrong...

I remember a well-meaning piece of advice my mother gave me once, long ago, afflicted with a broken heart after her divorce from my dad and still without the presence of the Holy Spirit.  She told me "Never become dependent on a man.  Ever."

This bit of advice, colored by the pain she was enduring at the time, then afflicted my own life for quite some time.  I worked so hard for so long to be strong and not need my husband.  I felt like there was something wrong with me when I finally, one day, admitted to her, that while I could survive without my husband, I could not live without him.  Her emphatic apology for telling me that, was, I think, the first time she ever told me she was sorry.  It was a beautiful moment of growth for us both.  (Please note: I have such high regard and love for my mom and this illustration is not meant in any way to paint her as anything less than precious to me but rather to show something her and I both went through together for good)

I share that to point out that in the same way, I believe, at least for me, the statement "God never gives us more than we can handle" has afflicted my relationship with God.  Not that I have consciously thought that I oughtn't need my faith to get through trials but that there has been a quiet, underlying feeling at times along those lines.  I have noticed it most at times when, in the middle of a trial, I feel a sort of humiliation when I finally break to the point of crying out to God that I need my Savior to carry me through.  When I finally discover that I need to "cast all my cares on Him", why do I feel like I've failed somehow?  Especially when there are so many places in God's word where He makes us promises that nullify that very thought.  Here are just a few that I've immediately thought of:

If we could do it all ourselves, why would He promise not to leave nor forsake us? (Deuteronomy 31:6,  Hebrews 13:5)

If we were meant to be our own little gods, then why would He call us to cast all our cares on Him? (1 Peter 5:7)

Why would He commit to be with us until the end of the age? (Matthew 28:20)

If we were meant to draw on our own resources and strength then it would not depend on His presence. (Joshua 1:9)

If we were autonomous then He would not catch every tear and account for every step.  (Psalm 56:8)

Our God and Savior knows us so well, and so intimately... counted the hairs on our heads, every step we take, every breath, every smile, every furrowed brow...  And, He does, indeed, give us more than we can handle.  Not because He is vindictive, not because He is sadistic, not because He is cruel, but because He cares so deeply for us that He allows us to realize daily how we need Him.  In addition, He is faithful in everything to show us that when we need Him He will come through.

This is where we need to remember that the ways He comes through may not be when, how, or where we anticipate; His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts...  We will never be able to figure Him out, define Him, or fit Him in the finite box of our mind.  He is not our genie in a bottle or our Santa Claus.  If He fit our expectations or definitions then God would not be God, but, rather a contrivance of our individual imaginations, different for each one of us and, therefore, unreliable and completely contrary to who His word tells us He is.  Instead, He simply is.  He is constant, He is unchanging, He is the same God, with the same promises, the same expectations, the same purposes, and the same love, that He has been since He uttered being into being.

He... IS.

And, thus, this is why we need Him.  Not because we have failed, not because we are wrong, but because that is where our relationship with Him will grow.  It is where we will experience His love for us, where our love for Him will blossom, and where His glory will abound in the victories He attains for us, with us, and in us.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Confession time...  (I have a LOT of these)

I know that I need to read my bible every day so I can get a dose of God BUT on a daily basis, I struggle to know where to open up the Good Book.  By that I don't mean out on the patio or at the kitchen table but rather what book, what chapter.  So, I often just use one of the most simple study tools I've ever found.  Our Daily Bread.  So handy!!  They even have an iphone app so even if I forgot in the morning, if I find a quiet moment (which are albeit mythical in my life!) then I can open it up, read the devo, and it even auto links to Biblegateway for the reference and reading plan passages.  How easy is that??  And yet, I STILL struggle to make it happen daily.

That said, I actually did it the last couple days and was hit hard by the final line of the reading plan passage (which, for yesterday, was Romans 14).  That portion of scripture is basically addressing liberty versus legalism where food (at least as an example) is concerned and being considerate of each other in those respects.  It's one of those passages where I was reading along, minding my own biz, and not really getting much out of it.  Until I read these words:  "... and everything that does not come from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23b)

Now, I realize that we have to be careful not to take portions of scripture out of their context, and, in this particular context, as I said, dietary restrictions/liberties were the topic.  However, food arguments aside, this strikes me as a statement that can (should?) be applied to, well, as it says, everything.  Everything.  Every.  Thing.  

Everything that does not come from faith is sin.  Everything Lord?  Really, really?  


As I mediated on that thought I remembered 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ironically, also about dietary arguments) which says "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."  

"Whatever you do"

"Whatever" equals "Everything".

So...  God...  When you say "whatever I do" and "everything"... you mean, like, when it comes to all the major stuff in my life, right?  Not like, the little stuff, like, entertainment choices, how much time I spend online, the jokes I tell, how I spend my time beyond church and my quiet time, right??  Oh... you really meant everything...  Hmmm.  Ok.

Now, I sure hope I'm not seen as a "Sunday morning Christian" who lives in a way that I have to actually tell people outside church that I'm a Christian or else they'd never know.  I try to find ways to bless others, make a loving impact on most people I encounter, serve where I have the capacity, make entertainment choices that are not detrimental to my spirit, I listen to Christian music almost exclusively anymore, and I spend a lot of time chitchatting with God through any given day.  However, I also spend too much time on the web that could be better spent serving my family, I sometimes indulge in "the bread of idleness" in my struggle with laziness, I often find reasons to ignore the still, small voice that says "a trip to the gym would make you feel great!", and my biggest struggle, how I talk to my kids, mostly my oldest son.  I don't honor my husband the way I should in my prayer life or the way I talk to him sometimes.  I exceed the speed limit by about 5 mph over quite often.  You may have noticed above where I stated that I try to "make a loving impact on most people I encounter"... yup, I said "most"...  I have even gone through the "10 items or less" checkout with 12 items before!  I know, I'm quite the rebel but conviction is conviction.  

We silly, fallible, mortals have a propensity to "categorize" sin into degrees of depravity.  I'm sure many will roll their eyes at my 5mph lead foot but the point is not that I'm only a little over the limit and still within safe operating parameters of my vehicle and physical reaction time, I'm still breaking the law.  And, since the Word says we are to obey those in authority and the laws of our land, then I am in sin.  And, even worse, I'm doing it knowingly, willfully.  It's not a question of the degree of any given sin issue, it's a question of will versus conviction.  If the still, small voice tells me that a 5-Hour Energy is unhealthy and I need to quit having them but I ignore it, I'm choosing willful defiance to what I know is a hint of the Holy.  If the Spirit tells me I need to back away, take a time-out, catch my breath, and calm down, but instead I choose to lose my shekinah all over my son, I am in sin.  

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not about to run around making sure everyone else is minding their diet, watching their tone with their kids, or try and police other drivers to follow traffic laws (though I won't lie... THAT desire pops up OFTEN!), I'm just pointing out what God spoke to me yesterday morning with those few little words that basically said "Being mostly devoted is still not devoted".  I'm also having one of those daunting moments of realization that, until I take my last breath, no matter how many sin issues I surrender to God, there will always be one more.  That can either be a very daunting, discouraging thought, or, it can be humbling, and I can allow it to drive me, time after time, day after day, moment after moment, back into the grace shadow of my Glorious Savior.

This all makes me think of a talk I was having with my son one day.  I told him that partial obedience is actually disobedience.  It is, alas, the same with us and I think that's what the passage in Romans is telling me.  A seating at a sporting event or concert ins't "sold out" until every seat is filled, likewise, I cannot consider myself "sold out" to Him if there's any area of my heart where He isn't present.