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3/19/2015

A MUST READ: I Tried Until I Almost Died: From Anxiety and Frustration to Rest and Relaxation


 The title says it all. And while some people can relate to it - it is almost a guarantee that legalism has somehow not crept into our lives and grace has taken a backseat.
G R A C E
A simple word but yet a profound and beyond our understanding to grasp how powerful it is.  And Sandra has done just that as she waved the while flag an invited God to her rescue.  Grace is not for the ‘perfect’ people who have it all together – it a free gift to us by our loving and gracious Father.

If you are looking for a deep book theologically then you will have find another one but if you are in the trenches of life, leaving in fear, and frustration then she has something to share with you. She had me with the first few words in chapter 1: “From as far back as I can remember until age forty-two, I lived in a prison – not one built of bricks and mortar, but a mental prison, locked up by legalism, rules, and regulations”.

It’s as if she’s been reading my mail.  That described me and further in the book ended up realizing that I am been leaving a legalistic lifestyle trying to ‘do’ all that I can to please God but never measuring up. And frustration can quickly set in and because she has been there she’s able to hold our hands as we take the shackles off and come to the light of grace.

You will find her prayers that she prayed to God during the process of relying on God’s grace and letting Him take the wheels of her life and as she gently followed and continue to do so.
If you’d ask me if I was leaving under the law- would think you were crazy but God has graciously been taking the scales off where I do not have to perform to earn His love. 

Are you need in of some grace?  Do you need to return to living in God’s grace?  Are you tired of not measuring up?  Is peace lacking in your life?

Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book.  I promise you that you will not be the same person when you turn the last page.  Just like her life was transformed on that faithful January 2, 2012 – yours can too.  Let today be the day.




 “I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”





2/18/2015

Lent Challenge Day 1

Margaret Feinberg is hosting a 40 Day Lent Challenge (#LentChallenge) through the Gospel books.  And of the questions that she’s posing is:

What do I most need to read but least want to hear?

For me, it’s a sense that I need WAKE up and not live a life of complacency any longer.  There is too much at stake.  I need to WAKE and get in the fight and not be a bystander.  My heart cry is for Christ’s light to shine in my life and in the process radiate his light to others.
I think of the following passage: This is why it is said: "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Eph. 5:14.

The assigned reading for today was Matthew chapters 1-2. And I couldn’t help but focus on the names of the Child that was to be born as Matthew points us to his genealogy from the beginning of time.  And in the fullness of time from the entire Old Testament, Jesus “God saves” shows up to save his people from their sins.

In the first 2 chapters of Matthew, Jesus is:

Davis’s Son
Abraham’s son
Jesus – God saves
Immanuel “God is with us”
King of the Jews
Messiah
Leader
Shepherd-rule



What do I most need to read?  That He is everything on that list and more.






2/09/2015

Enough



The moment when you say to yourself  'enough is enough' and you get mad enough to do something about a dragging situation that is long overdue.

It could be anything such as eating better, getting out of debt, reading the Bible, spending more time with the family, making an overdue phone call, stepping out of the boat, dreaming big dreams and taking action.  And the problem is if we don't address it soon, the ramifications will be great and regret will continue to hunt us. Let's not waste another moment and do the thing. It's not easy but we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses so let us throw off everything that hinders and run the race marked for us.

The time is now.

It requires sacrifice. Great sacrifice. A wake up call and I can't continue to sleep through and what if e act on the conviction and plead with God to help us.




2/02/2014

Who Am I? Really



My name is Myriam and I am …Fill in the blank.

This is how the AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) attendees introduce themselves and it’s been playing in my head. Not that I have been to any AA meetings but relying on what I have seen on TV.  But in a very similar fashion I carry a number of hidden labels spelled out in big letters written all over me.  You just don’t see until I let you in but they are there:
Fear
Shame
Insecure
Discontent
Afraid
Failure
Stupid
Good-for-nothing
People pleaser

I cannot trace the labels to their  origins but for quite some time, I have worked around many of them written all over me in BOLD letters.  Sure, I try to hide it well and one can hardly tell but they have weighed me down and I am getting tired of carrying them on my back.  Sometimes as in this season of life.
Every now and then I get a glimpse of what it’s like to shake them off and walk with my head high but far too often, it’s shortly lived only to add another label to the ever growing list.
My life verse is Galatians 5:1 –
  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
And
2 Cor 3:17 - …Where the Spirit of the Lord there is freedom.
Yoke of Slavery?  Yep.  I've lived in bondage for most of my life and the freedom in Christ at best seems to be an illusion.  And I whisper to myself: can I really be free? And I can hear a voice behind me saying:
 ‘yes you can.  The TRUTH will set you free”.  
 Ah the truth! After all, Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

Mentally, I know that.  But deep down do I really believe that?  And that is the question before me.  Do I really believe God or just merely believe in God? How many times, I’ve silently said to myself that this applies to this or that person but for me, a cast-away, don’t even dare think about it. 
That raises another question – what is this voice in my head telling me who I am and it’s very boastful in convincing to just accept that c’est-la-vie?
Herein lies the solution.  I hear both voices and one is louder and quick to get me to settle down by putting more chains around my ankles and hands hereby building a massive stronghold around me.
Freedom is calling my name because God has redeemed my life from the slave market of sin.  I want to know why the enemy of my soul invests so much in tripping me up.  As I am concluding this post, this verse literally popped up in my head:

For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said:" You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence. But you are not willing."  HCSB Isa 30:15.


Could this be my answer?