Thursday, June 27, 2013

God Can Change Me

A few days ago, my husband had the “Oldies” station on the television. Most of those songs put me in a good mood – they’re happy songs and I can sing along. While I was putting on my make-up, I heard a melody that I wasn’t familiar with and when I listened to the words, they threw me for a loop.

I don’t remember ever hearing that song before. I can recognize the sentiment behind some of the lyrics, but there’s one line that really disturbs me. The title of the song is, “Let Me Be.” The artists were The Turtles.

One of the verses of the song says:
Don’t try to plan me or understand me
I can’t stand to be understood
I could never give in to or ever live up to
Being like you think I should
I’ve got some inner need which I’m tryin’ to heed
I can’t take hand-me-down destiny
That makes me sad. Here’s the story of someone who pushes back against the expectations of others. This is the part I can somewhat empathize with because living to please others can be a hard journey. I get wanting to be yourself. But now, look at the words of the chorus:
Let me be, let me be,
To think like I want to
Let me be, let me be
That’s all I ask of you
I am what I am and that’s all I ever can be
This is the really disturbing part of the song. To think that a person is what he/she is and that there is no hope of ever changing. That’s just not consistent with what God tells us in various Scriptures.


2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 43:19 – Behold, I will do a new thing.

Hebrews 13:20-21 - Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

I am so grateful to know that God isn’t finished with me yet. Jesus gave His life on the cross so that I don’t have to be held hostage by the thought that “I am what I am and that’s all I ever can be.” He’s working in and through me to make me more like His Son, Jesus Christ. I can change; there is great hope for my future when I walk with my Lord.

Isn’t God good?!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Godly Heart

I’ve been thinking lately (that makes it sound like it’s not very often that I do some thinking – just lately ☺ ). Anyway, some of my recent thoughts have taken me to a verse in the Bible that I have read and heard many times. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Whenever I wonder what it is God is asking of me, as I desire to serve Him the best ways that I can, I am reminded of this Scripture. Seems too simple, doesn’t it? Surely God is expecting grand and profound deeds and words from me, because in my mind, those are the things that will make a difference in another person’s life.

I stand corrected. God is clear in Micah 6:8. It’s not the grandiose accomplishments that are viewed as “good” by God. He asks three things in this verse:

 • First is to act justly
 • To love mercy
 • And to walk humbly with my God

I’m positive that I don’t have a complete understanding of these three exhortations, but I believe they all start with an attitude of caring about others and not focusing on myself. A regular reading of Philippians 2 helps me keep perspective about Christ’s model of humility and looking out for the interests of others.

The act of looking out for the interests of others includes doing justice – protecting the innocent and watching out for those who are mistreated. In other words, I am to be a champion for those who cannot stand on their own. A co-worker recently returned from a trip to Russia where she spent time with orphans. Those children dearly needed an uplifting hand from another person. What a wonderful example my co-worker is to me of acting justly!

The second phrase is to love mercy. I found that the Hebrew word, hesed, is included there. Hesed means “loyal love” or “lovingkindness.” As God speaks to the nation of Israel in Micah 6, He wants them to show love and mercy to others. There are an abundance of opportunities for me to express caring and hope-filled love to those in my sphere of influence. Oh, that I would seize those moments! 

Finally, God wants me to walk humbly with Him, knowing that it’s not what I do or what I bring to the mix but rather affirming that God is God and I am not.

 Lord, please help me to have a godly heart that acts justly, loves mercy and walks humbly with You.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Tea Time Thought

I have several beautiful teacups. Most of them were given to me as gifts from treasured friends. Each of those teacups and saucers are unique in design, color and size. I also have a set of teacups that is part of the china I chose almost 35 years ago now. That set is delicate and lovely and makes a stunning presentation on a table because of their uniformity.

But I absolutely love variety! There’s a wonderful tea house in Monument, Colorado, not far from my home. Whenever I’ve gone to the Wisdom Tea House, I get excited that I get to choose my own teacup. It’s also fun to see which cup another person might pick. Some will go for a soft and subtle pattern while others prefer bold colors. A person might feel that a large cup saves time and effort, and another thinks it’s proper to sip tea from a small cup. I find the assortment of options and the choices of each partaker to be telling and fascinating.

Catherine Douzel is quoted as saying, “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.” Look at the teacups below. Can you just imagine the adventure that each cup represents?

The charm and appeal of each teacup helps us to remember that God has designed every one of us with our own special attributes. I may not be my neighbor’s “cup of tea,” but I do offer a flavor all my own. And those around me will likely want a different cup than I do. It would serve me well to remember that they, too, have an essence that is distinctive to them.

We know that we are created in the image of God, to be a reflection of His glory. He knit us together in the womb and even knows the number of the hairs on our head. Thank you, Lord, for the array of splendor You have provided!