Thursday, 24 February 2011 is closing

Hi all,

Just to let you know that, whilst I have enjoyed my years at Blogger with my two blogs (Razors-edge-of-insanity and the above), its time for pastures new.

I have migrated to Wordpress so you will now find me at The Masked Rabbit's blog

I hope very much you will come to visit me there.

Thank you for your support (all three of you) and I look forward to catching up with you in my new home.

Hugs The Masked Rabbit (formerly Bunnygirl)

Monday, 21 February 2011

Whom will you believe?

It's one of the hardest things in the world, not listen to someone when they are jabbering in your ear and you are trying to concentrate on something else. We try to focus on the task at hand but all the while, aware of that annoying background twittering which we can't help but strain to catch a few words or phrases here and there.

I know, this happens often to me as I work in an open-plan office. I miss the days of having little offices with a small group of people. Open-plan means noise can circulate.

However, as I've been working in open-plan offices a while now, I have noticed something. If I fully concentrate on a task, I can block the background chatter out. It is possible. If you really put all your energy into focusing your mind on what is in front of you, you can tune out the discussion taking place five desks down, the messenger coming in with more files but talking about the problems with the lift, the receptionist dealing with a difficult caller. When I've truly been "in the zone", my boss has to all but wave his hands in my face to get my attention.

Well, it's like that with God and the devil. God tells us He is for us and not against us. He tells us He loves us and sent His Son to die in our place, to take the punishment that was rightfully ours and lay it on Jesus instead so that, when we repent of our sins, God can forgive us because of Jesus' sacrifice and we can have relationship with Him.

But obviously this isn't what satan wants us to hear. He will tell us that God doesn't exist, a figment of our imagination, that only children believe in such fairy tales and certainly not intelligent people.
If that doesn't work and we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then satan tries another tactic and he can be very successful with this one.

He tells us that our sin is too great, that we aren't really sorry and actually, even if we are, God just doesn't forgive that sin because it's too awful, or we've done it too many times. Either way, the devil just whispers constantly those words that say we have done it this time and God no longer wants anything to do with us. We've failed Him for the last time and we are on our own - He's washed His hands of us.

Yes I am, once again, speaking from personal experience. There is that awful moment when you wonder if you actually have a conscience left, has it been seared beyond repair? Then, when you gratefully realise that isn't the case (and trust me, I am grateful my conscience is still working. Thank the Lord for giving us a conscience, when that goes or we stop listening to it, we really are in deep trouble!), you weep as you realise the extent of your sin, how you've fallen and just what this means.

Do we sometimes forget how God views sin? I recommend a reading of the Bible for God's perspective on it. It is sobering, to say the least and really I think it's important to know exactly what repentance is in the light of God's views on sin.

But having done that, what next? Well, 1 John 1 v 9 says "But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away."

You know, I have struggled to believe this. This is where the concentration becomes an issue and that twittering in the background can start to really affect us, we catch more of the words and phrases being used by the liar. The whispering voice tells me that I've been doing the same thing and keep saying sorry then doing it again. God can't forgive me, what I am doing is a mockery and I should just quit disappointing God and myself and terminate this relationship. I can't possibly keep God's high standards and I only set myself up for failure time and again. Viewed from today's culture and human perspective, the above sentiments seem like sensible advice. "Just accept that this is how it's going to be and move on. You can't help that you have this problem and you do so well in so many other areas, God is surely a bit unrealistic in His expectations that you will be perfect."

STOP RIGHT THERE! That kind of thinking, that kind of whispering is straight from hell and will lead you to a path of despair, destruction and, ultimately, death. Whom are you going to believe?
A snake that used to be an angel of light, who was thrown out of Heaven for being a prideful,selfish liar and who has always hated humanity and longs for nothing more than our destruction? Or do we believe and listen to God, our Creator, Him who gave us life in the first place, who gave us self-determination, who, when we were making a mess of things, didn't even withhold His own Son's life but gave Jesus up willingly for us so that He could remain Holy and righteous and yet still have relationship with us? But not just any relationship, He wants us as His children, He has adopted us!

Whom are you going to believe? You know what my thoughts were finally on this subject, as I battled the voice, that irritating, evil whisperer? As always, God's Word really does have an answer for everything. Jesus used it against the devil in the desert so why do we think it would be different for us?

I remembered the following, it popped into my head as I was beginning to lose the battle mentally -
John 6 v 67-69
"67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” 68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God."

Whom else will I go to except the only One who can set me free from the besetting sin? Whom else will give me hope? Whom else can see me through the dark times and lead me to better choices in the future? Only God, only the Holy one of God!

Whom will you believe today?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Standing firm, even when it costs...

I won't go into details here but this is something I am walking through at this very moment in time. Only moments ago, I was in floods of tears so I speak from a position of experience when I expound on this subject.

There are times in our walk of faith when we are called to stand firm in our faith, in what we believe God has called us to do in obedience to Him. Sometimes, when He asks this of us, we see the victory immediately and praise God for those moments when they happen. They are wonderful, we feel amazing and we lift our voices gladly to our Lord, thanking Him for that opportunity and the swiftness of the victory.

But there are also times when we really see the battle and it's not just a quick five minute test of faith but something that we have to persevere, endure and keep pushing through on.

The book of Hebrews really opens this theme of enduring in faith, how God, through Jesus, has prepared the way for us , chapter 11 listing all of those who have gone before us in the fight of faith and stating what they endured and yet how they passed the finish line, in victory and to the glory of God.

A wonderful friend, who is kindly walking beside me in this trial, reminded me of a verse that speaks of faith in the midst of tough times, of holding on when it seems victory will never come - Romans 4v18" Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”

It comes down to holding on to God, holding on to His word and believing it, even when everything around you seems to shout that the odds are impossible and that this time God can't possibly come through for you. As the hours and days go by and you see no sign of let-up, no relief from the hurt, anger, lies or whatever it is you are facing, it would be easy and, from a human perspective, understandable that you would want to give in. But God is calling you to stand strong, to speak out or even not to speak (as is the case for me currently).

Dear friend, if you are reading this and wearying in the battle, you have my sympathies and I feel so much for you. I really do. But I encourage you right now, as I have people encouraging me, HOLD FAST! STAND FIRM!

There is victory. There is hope. Just keep going. Remember Abraham? He had 20 years of hoping! I look back over 20 years and I can't imagine having that kind of faith for that long and STILL holding on to belief in God's promise. But I do believe God gives us the faith we need to endure. However, we have a part to play; we must ask for that faith then we must choose to accept it. This is also about choices, people. Choices that aren't easy but are the right ones. We will be misunderstood, we will be accused of being selfish, uncaring, stubborn, narrow-minded. But God knows our hearts, Jesus understands the pressures, having lived in our world as a man. The Spirit of God living in us urges us to cling to God.

How do we do this? How do we endure? How do we make good choices?
Hebrews 1(b) - 4 "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin".

God knows the struggle, He knows how much it hurts and how alone you feel, how tired and how much you want to just give in. Tell Him about it - it's not like you can shock God by your feelings and thoughts as He knows them all anyway. But tell Him because you need to let it  out, be open with Him and share your feelings, however negative and unsavoury. He loves you, He will listen, wipe away your tears then pour more Grace in to you and whisper "Go on, I know you can do this. Keep going, I am with you".

Let's encourage one another as we endure, as we press on. We are not alone, God is with us every step we take, through every tear shed and every moment our heart wearies and we falter. Keep going!

Hebrews 10: 23-24 "23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. "

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

"Ease up!" - When we are our own punchbag.

In the last two weeks, I have been priviledged to have unprecented times of praise and worship and feel the closeness of God which is very rare for me. It's wonderful! It's a joy to spend time with God and enjoy His Presence. Once or twice it's been a battle to let go of my self-control, my self-consciousness about standing in a room on my own and raising my hands in the air, clapping my hands, kneeling or being prostrated before Him. I have even found it hard to pray or sing in tongues but have known that it's the right thing to do and, when I have, God has been so good and blessed me incredibly. Again, I never really questioned this when I was younger and I received the gift of tongues but, as I got older, I began to question that gift. I began to wonder if it was me just making funny sounds. I wondered what was the point of it. So there are times still when I have to take a leap of faith and just go for it, trust God that I am not offending Him but am using a gift that He gave me to build myself up and for Him to use to pray about what's on His heart.

Funny how we lose that ability to feel comfortable doing such things when we grow up. Children don't have it. But when we grow up, we become suspicious of anything like that, anything remotely emotional because we know that emotions are treacherous things. We're so careful to not "get it wrong" that we end up missing the blessing that comes from just doing as we feel lead. Sometimes emotions are good and are God-given. It's why Jesus said God longs for us to have a childlike faith, we trust Him and go where He leads.

 I don't get to join with other Christians to praise and worship often. There are circumstances that mean a trip to church is a rare treat! I haven't been to a conference, worshipped with 1000s, worshipped with 100s. I dream of it but to be able to praise with other Christians, to pray with them is just something my heart longs for but at this time, can't have. When you are cut off from the Body, you can just lose touch with spending time in God's Presence singing, praising. It's like doing it every Sunday keeps you in practice. I am badly out of practice so its not so natural for me to do these things, especially alone.
I speak from 6 years of not being attached to a church or body of believers.

So to spend time alone, singing, praising, just doesn't come naturally to me. It feels odd, feels forced sometimes and uncomfortable.I lack practice!

So what's with the title of this post? I'll expand.

I've spent time in God's Presence, I've felt refreshed, blessed, challenged, loved. I've prayed for change in my life, in my attitude. Time with God, at some point, will make you aware of your need for Him, for the areas in your life that need His forgiveness, healing, cleansing.
Later that same day, or perhaps the following day, I've then acted in a manner that doesn't suggest a woman who has been communing with her Lord!

Let me give an example - I had a evening recently when I was alone for an hour or so and decided to watch worship videos online. I had an amazing time with Jesus. It took me by complete surprise and I was so blessed to the point of tears. God was so good to me.
The following day, at work, things happened and I not only lost my temper but used bad language and was in a foul mood for a good part of the day, not really communicating with my colleagues and just letting a cloud of rage envelope me (bit like Pigpen from the Snoopy cartoons).

So then, I got home, managed to calm down. Then I listened to worship music, watching God tv, thinking about what I'd experienced and then how I've behaved and I've felt defeated. I felt dirty, I felt useless and I felt like I've once again let God down, as I seem to all the time. How is it possible that I can spend time with God  being lifted into a special place in Him and yet only hours later, just act like I haven't been anywhere close to Him?

So I was beating myself up mentally this day, apologizing to God and saying "how do You put up with me? Why do You bother? I keep getting it wrong!".

Well, I've been hearing God  and He is saying clearly to me "Ease up on yourself! Stop beating yourself up. I love you." It's not the first time I've heard this. A friend has said to me recently that God loves me and He wants me to understand He loves me for me, not how well I behave. I have struggled with this feeling for many years and long to be free of it. It comes from problems with perfectionism, wanting to get it right exactly.

So what I want to say is, if you are beating yourself up about habitual sins, tempers, attitudes but you are praying and confessing, repenting, God knows your heart. He loves us. He knows we struggle with these things. If you're like me, He knows we struggle with perfectionism.

I was reading about this in my bible only today - He loves us! If God isn't beating up on us, do we think we're so much better than Him that we feel the need to do the job for Him, the one that, in our eyes, He appears to be neglecting?

No! Ease up on yourself. That's not to say be comfortable with sin but there is a difference. God is a good Father. Keep enjoying His Presence and let Him deal with you and your sins in His time but let Him spoil you in the meantime with His love. Yes, none of us deserve it but He gives it anyway. Isn't that the point? We are undeserving but God's love is so special that He gives it to us anyway.....BECAUSE HE LOVES US!!!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Button-pushing, Strongholds and Love

Ever had a time when some of your biggest fears seem to be prodded almost daily? Ever been confronted with an aspect of your character that you didn't like, swear to change it then find that daily, you fall down in that particular area?

If you're human then, at some point in your life, you will have experienced one or both of these cirumstances.
Why do these things happen, especially if you're trying so hard to overcome that fear, making every effort to knock that bad attitude on the head? It can wear a body down and, if you're not careful, you can find yourself just saying "oh well, it's me. I can't change. It's just too hard. You can even feel like stamping your feet and saying "it's not fair!". Go on, be honest now.

 One of my great fears is rejection. I feel sick when I think people don't like me and, as I've touched on in previous posts, I'm a bit of a people-pleaser. Common sense tells me this is from my own insecurities but knowing that doesn't actually change anything. In the last seven days, I've come up against real and perceived rejection. It's hurt and angered me.

These experiences have caused me to now confront something unpleasant in my character.It's the old "tit for tat" attitude. If you hurt me by rejecting me then I'm going to behave this way (withdraw from you emotionally and sometimes physically or go on the attack and either be upfront rude or mutter under my breath or to others). I agree, it's pretty infantile behaviour really and not how a supposedly mature Christian should act. I should add here that "mature" is said tongue-in-cheek. I may have been a Christian for 30+ years but I act as though I have all the understanding of a newborn (I actually think most newborns are ahead of me really).

I've been pondering this, inbetween my mood swings of sadness at the rejection then anger at the "perpetrators", and have had some thoughts in the following order :
  1. Early in the week and even up to this morning - It's the devil's fault. He knows I want to press on in God this year. He knows I want to see radical change in my life so he's chosen one of my key areas and decided to start punching that button, all the while laughing at my lack of faith whilst I boo-hoo to myself about being rejected. He must be chuckling away as I do some of his job for him in ignoring some people, whispering about people (me, who hates gossip, supposedly!). So I've thought about spiritual warfare, how might I fight him, how I need to plead for God to get him off my case so I can continue my walk in peace and harmony.
  2. In the last hour or so (I like to keep things current) - If I've been praying for God to change my heart and draw me closer to Him, won't God want me to face these things - fear of rejection, the angry attitude and selfish behaviour? God spoke to me earlier this year (see my previous post) and told me that this year would be about strongholds and their removal. Well, fear plays a big part in my life and drives quite a bit of what comes out of my mouth, how  I act and also what I don't say and don't do.Fear of rejection is one of the strongest fears I have. Wouldn't God, in His love, want to tear that stronghold down in my life? So who is responsible for these circumstances? I'm not going to say God because I don't think He makes people reject us or make us think we are being rejected even when we aren't. I do, however, believe He will make use of such events in our lives for His own purpose.
So my conclusion is, if you have recently been praying for God to move in your life, to change you and make you more like Jesus, to being you closer to your Father where you can experience more of His love and fall in love with Him yourself, don't be surprised if things get tough suddenly. I think God is answering your prayer because He takes what you say seriously (sadly sometimes what we pray about, we're not actually that serious about).

So, thanks to a good friend, I've been reminded of Romans 8: 38-39. "38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

If I feel I'm being rejected I need to use what God has so generously given to me, His Word, and pray it over myself, declare it aloud and, most importantly, BELIEVE IT! It's pointless spouting this stuff unless there is belief that it's true and, if that's the case, then pray God will help you to believe it. I will be doing that for myself because it's easy to believe it for others but not for one's self - such an error.

God's love is such that He isn't out to trip us up but that, in the confronting of the attitude, the fear, there would come understanding, repentance if required, forgiveness, healing and release. It can happen.

I write this post as much for myself as for anyone who might read it. I can be very slow-witted when it comes to God, His love for me, the promise of His Word.  So, in putting this in print, I want to reinforce the message that God does answer our prayers for change but, in doing so, He may have to take us out of a comfort zone and make us uncomfortable so He can bring about that change we long for.

Hold on, keep going, persevere.I'm running with you. Let's press on.

Philippians 1:6

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The One who cares

Life can be overwhelming.

At work, the boss just isn't making himself clear, his lack of communication is bugging you.
Or you are the boss and you have been faced with impossible tasks and business decisions that will affect the lives of others, there is so much pressure to make sure you keep everyone happy yet turn a profit or stay afloat.

You have been hit with a number of awful occurrences, a broken marriage, debts which are now out of control, a victim of abuse. Your job is on the line.
You're facing a long and difficult illness and you worry about your children. What happens to them if you succumb to this illness? What about if you survive but you've had to take alot of time from work and now your employers regret that they will have to let you go? What about the bills coming in still?
Your parents are elderly, health failing and, as they get older, they get harder to take care of. You are trying to take care of them but you have your own family demands too, children at school who need your attention.
Life just gets so busy and it doesn't even have to be some of the more drastic ones above, it can just be the day to day tasks but everything seems to come at once and you can't split yourself into enough pieces

We all have this, its part of the human experience where we just don't know which way is up or down.
This may sound simplistic but, if you are a Christian, you can go to Someone in prayer. You can cry out to God. He may not actually remove any of these factors. That's a whole other post. But you can still go to God. He is the one Person whom you can just spill it all out at. He won't tell you to pull yourself together. He won't say there there never mind

The fact of just being able to talk to God about it is a form of release. Even if, initially, we don't actually feel any better for it (and I know because I have had those times), the very fact of opening that part of our lives to God gives the option for change, for allowing His Spirit into that situation.
Sometimes God will remove the thorn that causes pain or anger or irritation, even all three. Other times He wont. But in every case, God cares for us and wants us to go to Him

1 Peter 5 v7 says "7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Ps 94 v 18 says "And when I was burdened with worries,you comforted me and made me feel secure."

So why am I telling you this? 

Well, my husband, who isn't a Christian, is going through tough times at work. He is under a lot of stress. In addition to that, two other family members are experiencing disappointment, stress, anxiety about finances, future of children. There are worries about harmful recent experiences and how this will affect them in the future, there is broken relationship. Neither of these other family members are Christians.
As I've spoken to them, listened to their worries, I have silently prayed for them, pleading with God on their behalf (no, I'm not all that as a Christian so please don't think this is me congratulating myself).
What has occurred to me is that, as a Christian, I believe that God my Father does actually give a stuff about me. The Bible tells me this is also true (see the above verses). David frequently spoke of his troubles and trials to God. Just read the Psalms. But people who have no belief, who do they turn to?

Well, yes, they can turn to family members, they can turn to friends. But as we all have our own issues to deal with, one can be reluctant to burden others with our own problems. There may be reasons why we can't involve others. This can make us feel isolated, alone in a morass of problems which no-one can rescue us from. Depression can also shut us in a room in our mind where no-one can reach us. Either way, it's very lonely there.
As I have prayed for these dear ones (no, I'm not congratulating myself on being Super Christian, I'm so not), I've had a revelation.
1) I am so blessed. God loved me so much that He sent someone to take time out to tell me about Jesus, to talk me through salvation and what it means and then God's Spirit prompted me to accept this gift of salvation and ask Jesus into my life. As a result, even when things are bad, I can turn to God always. I might rant and rail Him like David did. Our God is big enough to take this. But always, I know that He is there and that He does care. He knows the number of hairs on my head, He has all my tears collected and He values me more than the sparrows He provides for. What a privilege and a blessing to know God and to know I can cast my burdens on Him. I am never alone.
2) What about those who don't know God? Where do they go when the chips are down? When they lay in bed at night, worrying about those financial reports to be made, when they worry about how the next electricity bill will be met, when they are angry and feel that their trust has been irreparably broken and that no-one believes them or the hurt they've suffered? Who do they turn to? If they don't believe in a God that cares it doesn't leave them much.

That's what we have to do, be His hands and feet practically but also be ready to  speak up and point Him out so that they too might have the opportunity of being able to go to the God that cares about them.

Do you need to help someone today? To be God's hands and feet? Are you feeling lonely in your world of problems that just won't go away? Call on Him, please. He wants hear from you. He does care.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

More Encouragement for 2011

I have had a week of incredible blessing! From wonderful, encouraging emails and tweets from a dear friend, to being able to help someone out to getting to spend time in God's house with His people and praying and praising with them. I've had great compliments on how I'm looking, having lost 2 1/2 stone in the last 6 months.

2010 was a journey regarding physical issues, fitness, health and diet. I gave up smoking in Novemeber 2009 and was delighted, following two silly attempts to restart (why??) that God just took away the enjoyment of it. I actually felt really unwell after getting half way through the last cigarette I shall ever smoke on this earth! Thank you, God. He knows my weaknesses so well.

I began to exercise more - I can be incredibly lazy (and yes, that is still an issue for me from time to time). I also saw a nutritionist and realised my eyes were indeed bigger than my belly - I always put more food on my plate than my body actually needs! I'm still walking this out but there has been victory and I'm so glad for it.

But now, we are in a new year. This seems to be the time when people do look at their weight, their lack of exercise and make plans to work out, to eat less, to do something about it and change their habits so they will be healthy and fit.

For me, following a conversation with a friend, I felt God say to me that this year, 2011, would be a year where I would bring my mind into mental fitness. That 2011 is a year for me to get disciplined in my thought life. I feel the challenge to fill my mind with the things of God, to quote Phil 4:8, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." For years, ever since I became a Christian, I have struggled to get a love for the Bible, God's word to us. Considering there are people who would willingly risk all to have just a chapter, I feel ashamed that I have not valued it as much as I could have. But God is calling me, and others I believe, to pray for a deep love and reverence for His words to us. The Bible tells us of the Mind of God. If I want to grow to know God more, if I want to fall in love with Him, if I want to know His will for my life, surely the Bible is where I should start?!

At the moment, God seems to be encouraging me through the book of Philippians. It seems to be following me around. A friend has felt verses specifically for both of us from this book. Today at church, the sermon came from Philippians 3: 12-14. There has been exhortation, both from people and devotionals, to press in. Its a new year, a new beginning. There are opportunities for a fresh start, for new adventures in God. This year is a call to get serious with our training, to limber up for that race, to begin to stretch those legs and get stuck into endurance training.

God wants to move His Bride forward. I feel this is to be a year where people will see breakthroughs in areas they never even dreamed would be touched by the Power of God. Many have been on a journey where they have struggled, where they have been tempted, where they have battled and maybe grown weary of the fight. It seems that God is saying "C'mon, this is the last big push. Victory is around the corner. I'm shouting for you, I'm screaming at the top of My lungs for you to break through that tape, to complete the race. Victory is there, just cross the finish line. Go for it!"
If there is anything that you have been praying for in what seems like an eternity, with no sign of results, keep pressing in. I want to encourage you as I sense that God is about to release a shower of answers for His people. Finances will be released, loved ones saved, healings will finally come, that thing you've longed for in your heart for so long that it pains you to think about it - hold it up to God again. He's going to answer your heart's cry.

Right, well didn't quite expect to begin prophesying....(not something I step out in often!) God, blow on that and let it reach who it needs to reach.

So to continue with my post, I note also the encouragement to dust off dreams that have been held and maybe even allowed to die. The internet seems to ring with the sound of God's people hearing Him say that it's time to follow those dreams, to step out in them. I notice alot of people, including Vicky Beeching, have been quoting an article which talks about being afraid to succeed - Marianne Williamson, Return to Love. Others talk about people who are trying to stop one from realising their dreams. I can honestly say I know I am the one that has stopped me following my dream. Its through fear, fear of failure, fear of what others might say. Fear of getting it wrong or being ridiculed. My dream is to write about my experiences, to write how, inspite of being in the darkest places, God can break through and hold a person, even as they continue to experience things a person should never hope to experience nor would dream of for their own life or that of their children. I've had the encouragement from two close friends to begin writing but I continue to procrastinate.

Again, I feel God encouraging me that, this year 2011, this is the year I begin to take up the pen, put those words to paper and that, as I step out in obedience, He will breath on those words and what He wants accomplished through it will come to be.

Lastly, for me, I have posted before on the problems I have always had with witnessing for my faith in God. I am a people pleaser. I confess it. I long to be loved, wanted, part of the group. Sarah Markley had a post recently about being part of the gang, children's games, and feeling left out, unwanted. How it's time to grow up, to get beyond that and move on. I think this has been a part of my problem. Always seeking approval of others to the detriment of what God thinks, His approval so I've kept my mouth shut, I've stayed silent when I should have spoken up. 2011 I believe is the year this changes. God has been challenging me and challenging me on this and I believe, as I begin to fall in love with His words, as I fall in love with my first love again, He will remove that which has kept me locked up for so long. He will break my fear of man and I will no longer be an "undercover God botherer" as is quoted in my bio for Twitter. Instead I will be bold and ready to share my faith in God, ready to point people to Jesus. I believe it and I'm going to pray for it.

So I encourage any who reads this post to look to God for that fresh start, that new beginning. Seek Him for the renewal of love for Him and His word, the Bible. Seek Him for the rebirth of dreams maybe long forgotten or walled away in shadows from neglect. Look to Him for freedom from long term sins or habits or fears that make you slow in the race. Limber up, get those shoes on and get ready to surge past that finishing tape. Press on!

Phil 4:14 " I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us"