Hump Day Hiatus #17 – Condemnation

Welcome to another Hump Day Hiatus!

Take a little break today and join us for a few minutes of meditation with a quick When We Listen thought, a cool song, and scripture.

Get comfy. Read. Listen. Pray. Listen again! Enjoy!

Read…..

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Listen….Mercy Me’s Dear Younger Me

Pray…..

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ~Romans 8:1~

What Does It Mean To Be Changed?

Changed

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2~

 

 

Change. Changed. Changing. So what does change or being changed really mean? I’ve heard the word “change” used in SO many ways over the past few weeks, I felt like I needed to blog about it.

 

You know when a word or subject seems to pop up in your life for no apparent reason, but it’s everywhere?!?! That’s what change has done to me lately. So, maybe this post is just to work out what it means for me. Maybe there is a big “change” about to happen in my life or with one of you and this post is suppose to get us mentally prepared. Maybe it is suppose to bring light to how often we use the word. Or maybe it’s for us to understand what it really means to be changed as a Christian.

 

Here are just a few ways I’ve heard “changed” over the past few weeks:

 

Can you give me change for $5? Asking my hubby for change because I never have money and when I do it’s always the wrong denomination.

 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” A quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Oh, she’s changed! Over-hearing a conversation between two students talking about a sorority sister whose personality had evidently gone through some major changes recently.

 

I’ve changed my mind. The reason I was returning an item to a store.

 

They were forever changed. Recounting a major event in someone’s life that obviously affected them in some way.

 

I think I’m going through ‘the change’. Thank goodness this has not fully happened to me just yet, but the dreaded mid-life hormonal change is on its way!

 

Going to college will be a major change for her. Thinking about my daughter going to college in the fall and how just her day to day routine will change.

 

He (Trump) is changing the Republican party. Comments made on a national news program.

 

Your change WILL make a difference. An ad and collection box I saw at a Wendy’s in Georgia just today asking for your change to fund state adoptions. (Not sure if it was for advertising, programs, etc. The title just caught my attention.)

 

Granted these are different meanings of the word change/changed, but you get my point. I’ve heard it a lot!

 

Called Out

 

I think when I really started to think about the word changed was when my ex-husband accused me of “changing” during a conversation we had this week. My initial response was, “Thank you!” I hope I have changed since we split! LOL!

 

He went on to say he thought I was “more judgmental than before”. When I pushed for more explanation (because I honestly hope I am NOT as judgmental as before I recommitted my life to Christ!), he went on to explain how “actions” of people and the “good” someone does reveals more about being a Christian than talking about it. He mentioned how “even Jesus hung out with thieves, crooks, prostitutes, etc.” When I remarked “Yes, yes, He did! And that’s how He won them over!”

 

He immediately came back with, “See, you already think they are wrong!”

 

I was dumbfounded. “Of course I think they are wrong! They were not believers and Jesus spent time with them in order to show them how being ‘born again’ and following Him could free them from the Law of bondage! If that’s what you think I ‘judge’ for, then okay, I’m guilty!”

 

Needless to say, the conversation didn’t go much further than that, but it did get me thinking. When I say I’m changed because I’m a believer, a Christian, a child of God, what does that really mean?

The Guest of a Sinner

A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:2-10~

 

Definitions

 

So, there are lots of definitions for change. It can mean: to make or become different, transform, alter, become new, use another, and exchange. Lots of definitions. Lots of ways to use just one word.

 

I also started thinking about HOW we change. Once we commit our lives to God and declare Him our Lord and Savior, we go through what’s called justification. Justification is an instantaneous occurrence that we receive by faith alone. It is God’s gift given to us when Christ died on the cross.

 

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ~1 Corinthians 6:11~

 

As Paul mentions in his message to the church of Corinth, we are also sanctified in Christ. Sanctification is different from justification in that it is not instantaneous and it is not given by God. We have to continually submit to God’s will, resist sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more Godly in order to be sanctified.

 

So, justification happens instantly and is God-given, and sanctification is a process and is Holy Spirit driven (it is through our actions/works that we continually strive to listen to the Holy Spirit, but this is a never-ending process).

 

Inside Out

 

So, as Christians, it seems we can be changed immediately when we decide to give our lives to Christ. But, just because it happens instantaneously, does that mean we look any differently?

 

Sadly, no.

 

With justification there is no outside, physical change apparent to the world that we are “changed”.

 

On the other hand, with sanctification, we are continually changing inside (as we listen for the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts and our actions) and outside (how we act on those directions, how we treat others, etc.). So, if you truly want the Lord’s will to direct your life, then there should be visible signs of change happening with you.

 

When I was thinking about this post, I felt the Holy Spirit say this to me:

Change2

Whao!!!!!!

 

Stuff can happen/change all around us, but if we don’t want to change, we’re not going to.

 

I’ve often heard this said about alcoholics or drug addicts, that unless they want to change their behaviors, they won’t. Guess it’s the same with any type of change we’re talking about.  We can “wish” ourselves thin or have the “desire” to stop smoking, or whatever the culprit may be, but until we put down the fork and start exercising or throw away the cigarettes (I know it probably takes more than just throwing them away!) or whatever the action may be that will start the ball rolling, that’s what we have to do.

 

Catalyst

 

I thought about calling this blog post Catalyst, but when I looked at the definition of catalyst, I decided that really was not what I was talking about or wanting to know more about. I always thought a catalyst was a person or thing that makes something change and I was partially correct, but it is more about precipitating an event than changing something. The catalyst doesn’t make the change happen, he/she simply spurs it on.

 

A catalyst could be someone’s speech that spurs on a debate. Or it could be a major life-altering event that someone lives through that spurs them on to help others or rallying for others who are in predicaments similar to what they lived through.

 

Whatever the case, something or someone can be considered a catalyst for someone else, but they cannot make the change happen in another person’s life. The person who is spurred on by the catalyst has to be the one to make the change happen.

 

Another definition of catalyst, in the chemical sense, means a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing ANY permanent chemical change.

 

Did you catch that? A catalyst does NOT go through any change….it gets the change going (increases the rate) but it does not change itself!

 

So, you can be a catalyst for someone else (by your words of encouragement, by your actions, by being a good example, etc.), but you cannot make the change FOR them. The change has to come from them and through the Holy Spirit.

 

My prayer for all of you this week is that you are a catalyst for someone who needs to change AND you will take a look at yourself and have a long talk with the Lord about anything He thinks you need to change.

 

I’m not saying we always have something to change, but if we can learn to look at our lives through the lens of sanctification and know that only when we allow His will to work through us, then we can truly see change in ourselves. Hopefully others will see that change as well.

 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~Hebrews 13:8~

 

Hump Day Hiatus #16 – Changed

Welcome to another Hump Day Hiatus!

Take a little break today and join us for a few minutes of meditation with a quick When We Listen thought, a cool song, and scripture.

Get comfy. Read. Listen. Pray. Listen again! Enjoy!

Read…..

HDH16

Listen…..Rascal Flatts….Changed

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Pray……

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~Hebrews 13:8~

Hump Day Hiatus #15 – My Story

Welcome to another Hump Day Hiatus!

Take a little break today and join us for a few minutes of meditation with a quick When We Listen thought, a cool song, and scripture.

Get comfy. Read. Listen. Pray. Listen again! Enjoy!

Read…..

HDH15

Listen….Big Daddy Weave’s My Story

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Pray….

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ~Galatians 5:1~

A Mom’s Perspective

Mom

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” ~Proverbs 31:25-30~

 

Definition of a Mom

 

When I started my outline for this week’s post, I almost titled it Definition of a Mother. I planned to define the word “mother” and proceed from there, and I did, but then I took a different turn…..

 

Meriam-Webster defines mother as a: a female parent. Okay, I can agree with that.

 

Another definition was b (1): a woman in authority; specifically: the superior of a religious community of women. At first, I didn’t quite get that one, then I remembered, Mother Teresa, Mother Mary, etc. Oh, duh!

 

And yet another definition called a mother b (2): an old or elderly woman. Okay, not all of us moms are “old” or “elderly”! Why does that have to be a definition?

 

Anyway, today is not about giving a generic definition for mother. It’s more about seeing life from the perspective of a mother.

 

My research into defining mother, did remind me of other uses than just a female parent. Mother is also used when talking about origins of something (i.e. necessity is the mother of invention), or an extreme or ultimate example (i.e. the mother of all art projects).

 

So, mother has a lot of meanings, everything from maternal parent to describing a large-scale something. That’s a lot of meaning!

 

I’m sure if I asked anyone reading this to give me your definition of your mother, I would get just as many definitions.

 

In fact, I asked my sister Courtney to give me her definition of our Mom and she said, “The most selfless, giving, Godly servant this side of Heaven. She’s always, there to listen no matter how trivial the ‘problem’. She gives great advice; whether it be fashion, home décor, cooking, stain removal tricks, or child rearing. And, I LOVE her!!!”

 

Although similar, my definition was a woman who loves unconditionally, a great listener who offers advice when needed (and sometimes when its not!), a God-fearing woman of faith, she’s fun, and a saint (especially dealing with our Dad for 50+ years!). Oh, and yes, I LOVE HER TOO!

 

Mom Easter

Many of us have great relationships and memories of our moms and others, well, not so much. Whatever our relationship with our moms, I believe our perspective changes once we become moms.

 

I use to think since my Mom was a stay-at-home mom, she “didn’t do anything”. OMG! Was I ever wrong! Once I became a mother, I realized she had THE HARDEST JOB EVER! I had no idea!

 

As a product of the 1980s, I thought I had to have a career outside of the home, not realizing moms have the hardest job of all.

 

Our pastor, Chris Hodges, recently talked about the most famous mother in history, Mary, in his series Running with the Giants. He said something that struck me as sort of funny. He said he had never thought about Mary’s perspective as she watched her baby boy nailed to the cross. As a mom, I have ALWAYS thought about that perspective!

 

Photo courtesy of The Cultural Concept

Photo courtesy of The Cultural Concept

 

My firstborn, Camp, was born in December, and although we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, just having a baby born during the time we celebrate our Savior’s birth was enough to make me think A LOT about what Mary must have felt during that time and the time of his death.

 

Perspective

 

That’s what I mean by “perspective”. When we can relate to things similar to what moms go through, how they handle situations, and how they love, we become better mothers. When faced with stress or overwhelming situations with my own kids, I could rely on memories of how my Mom handled my sister and me or I knew I could call her and get some “motherly” advice whenever I needed it.

 

In turn, I can empathize with other moms when they are out in public struggling to wrangle in a small child, or two. I can offer advice, when asked, or tell a story of when I went through something similar putting other mothers as ease, knowing there is light at the end of what seems like a very long tunnel.

 

We too can learn from others and from Jesus’ examples. If we study what Jesus, his mother, his disciples, and his followers lived through and how they empathized with others, we too can push past whatever comes our way.

 

Empathy and understanding go a LONG way to help us love others. Just as moms tend to love their children unconditionally, we know He loves us no matter how many times we stumble.

 

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. ~1 Peter 4:8~

 

 

I have stumbled too many times to count, but no matter my sin, I know I will be forgiven by two: God and my Mom. After that, nothing else matters.

 

 

Life Lessons

 

The two big lessons I’ve learned by studying God’s Word and watching my Mother and other moms are:

 

1-Empathizing with others – before judging and making assumptions, put yourself in another’s shoes and check out the fit – it could change your perspective

 

2-Loving unconditionally – loving while always forgiving will release you of anger, resentment, and bitterness

 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32~

 

 

Celebrate Mom Today

 

So, on this Mother’s Day, if you’re a mom, go call, text, hug, or kiss your kids. Do whatever you can to let them know you love them. If you’re a child, do the same for your mother.

 

If you don’t have children, think of someone you know whose mom has passed or maybe doesn’t live close. You can always be someone’s “mom”.  Or if your mother has passed, say a prayer to them and celebrate them.

Kids for Mom

Celebrated with these two yesterday! Love my kiddos!