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Some New Years Resolutions

Taken from sxc.hu. Credit goes to abeall

Holy aspirations go hand in hand with New Years resolutions, if you think about it. It’s all about trying to make ourselves better, to get closer to what we would optimally like to be. I thought it might be interesting to post some I thought of this year, (and this will help me to remember them too)
  • To put greater emphasis on Church.

This was something that I really lacked in during the past year.  It was so easy to make an excuse NOT to go. I was tired. I didn’t really feel like I was growing at my Church. It was a long drive. We were in the middle of a move. When you boil it all down to the heard treason thought, it comes to one thing: I didn’t feel like it. (I’ll probably make a post about church one of these days. It’s been something really brought to my attention lately). Since this was something that started about January, it was really easy to look back and see where it impacted my faith during the year. It wasn’t good, is the short way to say it. I found that without Church to ground my week in Christ, even a church which I didn’t think was deep and helping me, my week was less likely to be focused on Him. My thoughts of Him, my prayers, were less long and frequent. This year I am going to put much more effort into church, and forcing myself to go even when I don’t feel like it.

  • To stop treating time with God as something I want to check off my to do list, and make it much more personal.

I often find myself falling into the habit of saying “Oh, better read two chapters of my Bible today.” It doesn’t sound bad, on the surface. But dig into it and you see that I’m really just doing it because I feel duty called to, not because I so crave to see deeper into God’s word. I’ve been working on reading the New Testament over Christmas break, and though I don’t think I’ll actually finish it all, it has pointed something out to me. When I read two chapters for the sake of reading two chapters, I’m generally focused on one thing: finishing two chapters. But when I sit down and just start reading, with an end point far in the future or not set at all, I fucus much more on the words themselves and not how many verses I’ve gotten past. I want to fucus on the Bible because I want to grow and find my Lord’s will for me, not because I should as a good little Christian. Something I’ m working on and hopefully growing in. The same goes for prayer sometimes. It’s something I’m going to change, with God’s help.

  • To be much more helpful around the house.

I’ve often been frustrated about not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve paced, and thought, and tried to figure out the path I was to take. And I kept asking God what I was to do. And somewhere in my thoughts an idea would always pop up: Maybe I’m not sure where I’m going now, but I do know where He has placed me at the moment, and there I should be working diligently. I might be frustrated about not knowing about jobs or school, but home is where He has placed me to work right now.

  • To post here more often

This isn’t just a “I should be a better blogger” thing. When I post on here it draws my thoughts to Him more, makes me grow more, makes me learn more. I will think throughout the day about what I need to post and then post it. It helps me put my mind on “things above, not on things on the earth.” When I post here, it often means me discovering verses I hadn’t noticed before, things coming to mind that wouldn’t have otherwise. I often think of how much this blog is often best for me, and not for everyone else in cyberspace.

  • To chip away at some of my terrible habits and sins

We all have them, different ones, all rooted in our sinful nature. One of my big issues is I can be so downright lazy and procrastinate so often. I want to fix this, to get better at it, to grow closer to what I should be. There are so many things I could have done this year, should have done this year, but I didn’t get around to because I was watching TV, or reading a book. Or didn’t feel like studying and doing hard work. This and other things, obviously. I want to be polished more to shine for God.

I’m sure I’ll think of more (New Years Resolutions are often a few day thing for me). What was going to be a short post with a list has become this (and it’s helped me to lay out my thoughts even better, trust me. Part of the posting more often resolution.) I hope you’ve got your own resolutions, even if you only have one, and are working to get closer to Him who we owe are all to.

With His help, without which we are helpless on our own, (Amen!)

Victoria

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A Spirit of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I have a confession. I can sometimes be, er, paranoid. I might go so far that it comes into my head that I’m allergic to something, which I’ll proceed to avoid for quite a while until I force myself out of it (one of my current issues. Grr). It’s annoying. Even though I know nothing is wrong, I can’t help myself worrying over it. I was telling some such thing to my mother the other day, when she quoted the above verse to me.

Now, I’m pretty sure I memorized that verse once upon a time, but I had never actually thought of it the way she was telling it to me. I don’t have to be worried about anything, because it’s all in God’s hands, He’s in control, and whatever happens He has already planned. That’s a load off my shoulders!

Of course, I’m not cured off all my little worries. I’m probably never going to be. But when they pop up, I can think of that verse, and remember that even though I have these fears, I don’t need to.

Anyway, just a thought to share. Isn’t it great we have a Lord and Savior who doesn’t want us to be afraid? 🙂

Praise be to Him!
Victoria

P.S. If you’re wondering why there’s no picture, it’s because when I searched for one I kept getting pics of spiders. Oi! I wasn’t going to look through all those.

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“She Wouldn’t Want Me To”

So it had been a long day of picking out colors for the new house, and I cheerfully sat down on the couch to see what was on TV. As watching the Bourne Supremacy on television, – Here there be spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie before – and I came to the part where he’s got the CIA guy who’s in charge of Treadstone. Jason wants to shoot the guy, to get revenge for everything that he put him through, for making him run for years and for the death of his girlfriend. But he realizes that his girlfriend wouldn’t want him to kill this guy, that she would want him to take the high road, not the vengeful one.  And he doesn’t, telling the man who’s pretty much ruined his life “She wouldn’t want me to.”

Now, as I watched this I had a little “blogging thought” . As we go through life, we are going to come to points that we want to do something wrong. We want to take that revenge. We want to bring pain to those who have brought pain to us. But as Christians we should always turn from those things. Not grudgingly, but willingly. Because God wouldn’t want us to. We so much want to please Him that we turn from the things He wouldn’t like. We should be so in love with Him that our selves and our own desires fall by the wayside.

So, just a thought to keep in mind. (And yes, yes I can make a blog post out of such random things)

We must always work for His glory, and not our own.

Victoria

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Being Thankful When a Doors Close

Image from sxc.hu. Credit goes to tsfree

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Recently, my brother has been trying to buy a truck. He was supposed to go and look at one the other weekend, but a day before he was supposed to go see it the seller called and told him that someone else had bought it. I’m sure it was frustrating.

But it got me to thinking about something. It’s really easy to be thankful to God about doors that He opens; when something falls perfectly into place, or when everything happens at just the right time. But God also closes doors sometimes. You can see this with my brother and his truck. That particular truck was closed off from him. Now, don’t you think that we should be just as thankful to God for this?

By closing doors God can guide us in the direction that we need to take, or protect us from harmful situations, or any manner of things! Closed doors are just as important as open ones. And we need to be thankful for all the guidance God gives us in our lives.

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Television >.<

And here I thought I was finally getting an upperhand on my laziness issues.  Living at Grandma’s has brought me into contact with something my family gave up a long time ago: Television.  We still have a TV for watching movies, but cable we got rid of.  I had forgotten what a major time sucking device this was.

Now, I could blame the TV, which is actually what I was planning on doing before I wrote this post, but a thought just occurred to me.  The TV has no power over me, and is not at fault for my time wasting.  It’s all my fault.  I can’t blame the TV, or the computer, or a book, because it’s all my own actions, my own laziness, my own lack of self control.  Moving the blame to something else isn’t going to help me fix my issues, in fact, it will probably hinder my fixing them.

It’s all an excuse.  It’s so much easier to say that our problems aren’t our own, that we aren’t at fault.  But in the end are we really fooling anyone?

So from now on I’m placing the blame where it really is, and I’m going to work at my laziness from where it truly is: my own self.

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A Spiritual Journal

Taken (again) from sxc.hu.  Credit goes to ba1969It has actually been my intent to post about this for a while now, because I find spiritual journals so useful and I think they are a great thing to have.  I started mine a little over a year ago now, just a simple, gold notebook that I fill with the things I’ve learned, current prayer requests and struggles, answers to those struggles, what goals I have in my spiritual life, what songs I absolutely love to sing in praise, etc.  I also use it to take notes during talks or sermons.

The reason I find all this good, is not actually for the now, but for the future.  Every now and then I open up the pages and relearn old lessons, remember the joys and heights I have experienced as God’s child, see the prayers that have been answered, the struggles I’ve overcome, and just how much I’ve grown since I’ve started it.  It helps to uplift, and is a major blessing.  I would recommend that you keep one too.

I know, I know, you’re just not a journal keeper.  I’m not really one either, when it all boils down to it.  I’ve tried journals and diaries and they’ve all flopped (actually, my journal keeping mirrors my blog life.  I’ll start and stop and eventually give up.  Except for one site, Holy Aspirations, or one journal, my spiritual one.  Honestly, there a gaps of months where I haven’t written in either, but I find that the posts/days I do write are well worth the effort of keeping both things going.)

So I would at least encourage you to try.  Who knows what you might fill those pages with that you will want to remember again!

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Take a Walk With God

 
What can I say except that I’m an imperfect sinner, and that I’m working with God to make it better?
 
But yesterday, in one of the rare days the weather was beautiful this time of year, I decided to go take a walk.  Just up and down our rather long driveway, back and forth, back and forth, relaxing, taking in the fresh air, trying to avoid the large mud puddles in my path.  And somewhere along the way I just felt an urge to pray.  There was no thought leading up to it, just the sudden realization that what better could I do in those moments than talk with God?
 
So I did, and I covered so many of my hurts and requests and joys it felt amazing!  So amazing to once again pour my heart out to my savior.  For once my mind didn’t wander into the earthly realm, as I just enjoyed the minutes, sometimes crying, sometimes wanting to dance with joy.  I solved quite a few of my problems out there on that long driveway.  I realized that what God wanted me to do at this moment (something I’ve been trying to figure out for ages it seems) was just to help around the house and be joyful to those around me in this chaotic time of moving.  I realized that I’m not as friendless as I sometimes feel, because I have a wonderful friendship with my brother and sister and my loving parents.  I realized that whenever I needed to poor my heart out to someone, God is there to cover me with his love and tender comforts.
 
It was a joy, a blessing, the highlight of my week, and so so many other things.  And it helped me to get my prayer life back on track and remember what it really is: taking everything before God, sometimes asking, sometimes just pouring out the conflicts and joys of our hearts, and sometimes just silently listening or worshiping.
 
I would recommend you find time to take a walk with God, even if your prayer life is better than mine, for no matter what you are going through it is pure bliss and brings such great peace that will sustain you through the terrible parts of life.
 
Go with God,
Victoria

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