Thursday, May 20, 2010

Growing Pains Part 6

As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, "Basically, in order to fully follow Christ, we may have to leave behind possessions, earthly treasures, family, occupation, or the group (clique). Of course this is not always easy." I have shown you how God has grown me and had me change in these areas:

1. I gave up my love of dating, and dressing, among other things (Part 2)
2. I gave up how the world deals with death, and dealt with it as God intended (Part 2)
3. I gave up people pleasing for God pleasing (Part 3)
4. I gave up my hatred for forgiveness (Part 4)
5. I gave up my engagement ring and my womb (Part 5)

There are many other ways that God changed me, and many other things He led me to give up, (work for example), but I am only highlighting these, and a few more...

At the same time God called me to give up my ring and womb, He also had me give up something else... T.V. I spent way too much time watching T.V., and not to mention, all the trash that is on it these days. So if you come to our house, we have a television for watching movies, but if you try to change the channel, the screen will go to the ants.

Then about bout 2 weeks ago(written back in March 2009), God was loud and clear again. And, once again, He got loud because I had been ignoring Him. He called us to something radical, but it was a very painful thing to do. What was this radical/painful thing to do? Give up my movies. Huh? Really, that's it? Ok, let me explain...

After becoming a Christian I knew certain movies were unacceptable to God, so I got them out of my life. Easy. Then I heard God again prompting me, but I (once again), didn't like what I was hearing. If you study the word, "ungodly," you will find that it is not a synonym for wicked; no it is an antonym for godly... meaning simply, void of God. So in other words, a rated R movie with sex and cussing is wicked, while a Disney movie is only ungodly. Starting to make sense? Every time I would hear a sermon on ungodliness, (yes, the nudges from God go as far back as Kempton, Caryn), or read it in God's Word, I would see Disney, but I would shake it off. There is nothing evil about Disney, and I didn't own any rated R movies, so what is the big deal God?

The big deal? When I sat in front a t.v. show or movie for like 2 hours... well, that was 2 hours I could have spent with God. God created us to glorify Him, to love Him, to fellowship with Him. How is watching Beauty and the Beast fellowshipping with God? It is not. I may have a little free time now, but when kids come it will dwindle to nothing, I am aware. How should I spend my free time... with Cinderella? Or with God? Um, yeah, GOD!!!

God called us to give up all our secular movies, and only keep the movies that are godly. This way, if we watch a movie in our free time, we are still spending time with God!

What was so hard about that? Well:

1. I spent a good chunk of change on all of this
2. Since I was getting rid of the secular movies, I also got rid of secular books, meaning...
3. The "library" I had been collecting for my kids for years has shrunk dramatically
4. Since I don't have tv, and now I barely have any movies, what am I going to watch, (you can
only watch the same thing so many times).
5. I LOVE DISNEY! It is not wicked, so why do I have to get rid of it???

God loving said, "Because I said so." Now when your mom says that it is irritating, but when the Creator of the Universe says it, it is comforting and empowering.

All my movies and books, (I gave a good amount of the books to my sister, (future school teacher) ;)
The top 4 were particularly hard to get rid of... I LOVE princess stories, and these were four of my all time favorite!!! Serioulsy, getting rid of all of these made me feel like I did when I broke up with a boyfriend in middle school... I knew I needed/ wanted to, but it was still losing a companion... these companions are better than m.s. boyfriends... they are always there!!! Ok, drama queen! GOD IS ALWAYS THERE!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Growing Pains Part 5

I always knew I wanted to adopt. Always. But I was disobedient to God's leading on that in my life. He wanted total surrender, but that was too hard for me. So, I would surrender a little, "Ok, I'll have all the birth children I want, then I will adopt however many you want to give me... No? Ok, I will have 2 or 3 birth children and adopt the rest.... No? Ok, I will have only one child, then adopt the rest."

See, I never totally submitted to Christ's Call. I did what I felt comfortable with. You see, when it got down to "I'll have only one and adopt the rest," I was really praying, "God, please please please let me have one! I have to have one! How terrible would that be to never have a birth child!" I knew what God really wanted, but it wasn't easy to swallow. Then in July 2008, I went to Church camp with the youth, and God spoke to me loud and clear.... so much so that I couldn't pretend to be obedient any longer, total surrender was expected! David Nasser was the speaker, and he said, "there are 200,000,000 orphans in the world, and if only 7% of THE CHURCH would adopt, there would be no need for orphanages!" At that moment I realized my disobedience, and understood why God had called us to this life of adoption. 7% of a people is not much, and it isn't even 7% of the world! No, it is 7% of the believers in the world! Wow! That means it won't take that many to wipe out the orphanages! Recently I found a new blog friend, and she is someone I greatly look up to as a woman, wife, mother, and home schooler. ;) She had a quote awhile back that was heartbreaking. "
1.1% of the population has adopted." WOW! Isn't that terrible, especially in light of the statistic from David Nasser? If you feel God tugging on your heart to adopt- don't ignore it!

Now, I have had many objections in my obedience from many people. That's ok. It is a radical thing God called us to, and I wasn't to keen on it at first either. Will we ever have birth children? Sure, if that is God's will. It will never be our will, so it will never be on our terms. We will never try to get pregnant, and if God decides to bless us then we will rejoice. But do you know what? I am 100billion% ok with not having a birth child. NEVER in my life did I would think I could come to that. But, I find my joy In Christ, not in getting pregnant. I am happy to be a mommy, period. Who says being a mommy= pregnancy? There are many women out there that had birth children, but they are terrible mothers. Think of all the children that are beaten across the world. No, blood doesn't mean anything! It is a heart matter! Let me leave you with this, (on this subject): as Christians, we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ. That means that if you have an unbelieving family member, then you are more family to me than you are to them. It is the truth, people. So, in reality, when I said blood doesn't matter, I wasn't entirely correct. Our family blood does not matter... the blood of Christ does!

I know the children God created for me will only be mine for awhile, then they will grow up and have families of their own. I only have about 18 years to raise them to know Jesus and to teach them to live their lives in glory of Him. We are ready Lord; ready when you are!

Click here for my whole recount of summer camp, and read about the other thing God have me leave behind that week, my engagement ring.

Check back for part 6 of this installment soon! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Growing Pains Part 4

My Daddy. Oh, what a story. Poor guy, I hated him for a good part of 8 years, (age 12 to 20). Now when I say hated, I am not over exaggerating- I hated him with every ounce of my being. I won't go into detail here of why he didn't meet my standards of what I thought a dad should be. He had his faults, (who doesn't), but mostly I was to blame.

After I got saved when I was 16, I knew I needed to forgive my dad. If Jesus could forgive me, (not just once, but daily), why couldn't I forgive him? My hatred continued, but so did my desire to forgive. When I graduated high school, he took me to D.C. for my gift. Dream trip! Anyway, while driving back from the Pentagon, we were listening to the radio. "Live like you were dying," came on. "I gave forgiveness I'd been denying." Um, Yeah. Thank You Holy Spirit for that prompting. Even still, forgiveness was very difficult. The slightest mess up, (well a mess up in my eyes), and he returned to hated status. I received so much grace from God, and yet I could not bestow it on him.

Finally when I was 20, (September 2006), I started seeing a Christian counselor because I had many health problems... and the root cause... my dad. So I went to counseling to try to resolve the daddy conflict. I won't go into detail about what really got me to begin truly forgiving him, (that's between him and me), but I will tell you that it was working. Well, until October. After my sister died, I let go of all the good progress I made, and I was spitting angry at my dad. I gave him an ultimatum, (in my head), and if he didn't meet it then I would banish him from my life. Well, by the Grace of God, I was in counseling, so the banishment never happened. She wouldn't allow it! ;) 6 months later, I got married, and my dad started to become my dad to me, not just a man that I had to tolerate. After April, I continued to soften towards my dad, and then that next February, God broke me down, and I called my dad and apologized! Yes, me apologize to him. I always told myself that I would never forgive him until he apologized to me, but I was the one who needed his forgiveness.

You see, something I learned in counseling, (and I have eluded to it here already), was that I had a picture of what I thought a dad was supposed to be. When he didn't fit that mold, I held it against him. He is not perfect, nor am I nor is anyone else for that matter! Only Jesus Christ was perfect, so why would I think my dad could fit that mold?

Second only to my salvation, my relationship with my dad is the biggest picture of grace in my life. I have a love for my dad that I never thought possible. It is truly amazing to me to look back in my life and see where God has brought me. He forgave me, and allowed me to forgive otehrs. Mind you, I was terribly disobedient to God for a good 4 years or so by denying my dad forgiveness- see what a gracious God we have!

Once again I apologize for hating you so. I want you to know that I am blessed to be your daughter. I wish I could put into words how I feel about you, but I can't! All I can say is that I used to say I had no dad... you were just the man who fathered me. But now, I can say, with pride, that you are my daddy! I love you!

You can see I wasn't thrilled he was kissing me. I had gotten over hating him, but he wasn't out of the woods yet. This kiss irritated me... yes, I was a brat.

I LOVE this picture!!! One of my favorites from the day! When I first got my pictures in, I hated loving this picture so much! But now that Grace has covered us, I love it!!! :)

Growing Pains part 5... why adoption? :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Growing Pains Part 3

On August 21, 2006, Paul asked me to be his wife! The road to our wedding, (April 7, 2007), was laden with many "growth bumps." To spare all the details, we set a date for July 2007. We were not entirely happy with the way everything was panning out. It was all too much a people pleasing event, and not God centered like we wanted. After much prayer, and a new growing pain, we decided to move up the date. So in March, right after we sent out the July "save the dates," we told everyone that we would be getting married in April. We upset many family and friends in doing this, but it was the best decision for us. If we, (well, I), had be straight up from the front, and not tried to be people pleasers, then this never would have happened. But, since we did try to please everyone, we had to make many mad in the end. What goes along with people pleasing? People's approval. Well, in moving up the date, that was in jeopardy too. We were warned that people would think I was pregnant, and many people did. Well, I wasn't and I had to know that we were doing what God wanted, and people would talk. Period. Nothing we could do about it.

Breaking away from my people pleasing ways was such a blessing and it was so freeing! Also, what else came out of this growing pain? I got to get married sooner- duh! lol I love being Mrs. Paul Keierleber! It is such a blessing to be one with that man! In 11 days, we get to celebrate our 2 year anniversary! 2 years of wedded bliss, and 2 years since we gave up people pleasing, and turned to FULL God pleasing! :)
August 21, 2006... maybe one day I will do a series over our story, and go into detail over certain events like this one... hmmmm, we'll see... :)
Same day, just got into comfy clothes... Tracie took this pic... left for school not too long after, (she left before Paul headed back for LBK).
Taylor and Elise helping me get ready for pictures... one of my all time fav pics... can I please wear this dress again? I LOVE IT!!! I would probably have to get it altered because I am smaller now! teeheehee
Everybody LOVES the ring picture... not only is it cute, but I have it here because it will show up again later in Growing Pains, Part 5! ;)
Something about the dinner table... every wedding album I see, one of the best pictures of the couple is at the dinner table! Don't believe me... go see your/someone's wedding album! :)

Growing Pain Part 4: an AMAZING story about grace...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Growing Pains Part 2

***Disclaimer: I never anticipated to write about my sister in this series, but it was a growing experience, which God had me write to you here. It is the first time that I have gone into complete detail, and as I wrote it all I was shaking.***

After becoming a believer in Christ when I was sixteen, my life changed for the better. I became single, (for the first time in my life), because I knew now that God created dating to find a spouse... so I waited till I found "husband material." Right before I found my hubs (Jan 2006), I got restless and dated a few guys who did not meet my husband standards, therefore, I should have gone no where near them. Alas, God saw I had grown impatient, and instead of being irritated with my impatience, He graciously blessed me with Paul (4.6.06). Thank you, Lord! Your Grace never ceases to amaze me! ♥

Now that was something in particular that I had to die to myself over, and I'm sure there are more... I just didn't notice the changes He was making in my life... He was making them, I was not, so it is harder to pinpoint them. (For example, I started dressing more conservatively). He was growing me! When Paul came, I grew so much more! My faith continued to grow until October 2006.

On October 6, 2006, my 18 year old sister Tracie began her journey home from SFA University for the first time since she started that fall. I was very excited this weekend because two of my besties from high school were, (finally), coming down to stay with me, (I stayed home during college). I spent all morning cleaning my room and getting ready to have company! I had been seeing a Christian counselor at the time, (later post), and while I was in counseling I got a phone call from my Mom, two actually. It was very common for her to call during the day like that, (join me for shopping, question about ____, did you hear about so and so, etc). When I left counseling, I called her and she informed me that Tracie had been in a car accident, but she was conscience (sp?). She was a little panicky, and was back and forth about going to Nac to get her. I told her to stay where she was, (at my aunt and uncle's), and I would go with her to get Tracie. On my 15 minute drive to my aunt's house I called my boss and told him I would late to work that day, (I worked at an elementary school and we only worked 3.5 hours a day in the afternoon, and that day happened to be my last, so I wanted to at least go to say goodbye). I had to leave him a message, and in that message I started to cry as I said, "she could have a broken leg or be dead for all we know." As I said that, I knew I was being dramatic, and that couldn't be true. I also called Paul to fill him in on everything. When I got to my uncle's house, I saw him on the phone outside. He must have not heard/seen me because right as I got in ear shot of him I heard him say, "Linda, she didn't make it!"


I walked up to him crying and he hugged me, unknowing what he had just told me. I opened the door and met my mom's embrace and began to wail...

Now let me back up a bit. I was always "strong" in my family. I was the oldest of 4 kids, so I had to be an example. I was strong for them, (and my mom), when my parents got divorced and my grandma died, etc.

So when I met my mom in the entry way, I completely lost it! I never thought I would cry like that. ever. Just like in the movies. Then we let go of each other, and it stopped. I never cried that hard again. For a while I was a little worried how my emotion at that minute affected my mom, but do you know what? To this day she does not remember that. She only remembers me taking it, "rather well." Thank you God, again!

For the next 30 minutes or so, I was still in shock and denial. I wasn't sure if I heard my uncle right or not. Did she die, or did I misunderstand. I called Paul, and he asked him to come to me, (he was in Lubbock finishing school). I felt bad asking him to co
me to me, (I don't know why because losing your sister is a very big deal). I called one of my friends that was going to stay with me, and I said, "Kristina, I think my sister died." She told me not to say that, thought I was just worrying too much, but I told her, "No, I really think she did, I heard my uncle say so." Finally my uncle asked if I knew what was going on. I told him that I had overheard, but I needed to hear from him to make sure because it isn't something you easily digest. So he told me, and to this day it is unreal to me.

The next couple days I neither slept nor ate. Until about the third day, God calmed my spirit. You see, I wasn't sure if Tracie was in Heaven. Contrary to popular belief, being a good person will not get you into Heaven. You must give your life to Christ to enter into Heaven. Period. I wasn't sure if she had done that. So three days later, God revealed to me that she had in fact given her life to Him, and she was with Him in Heaven. God does not lie, so I knew she was in Heaven. After that I was able to eat, sleep, and function much better.

Something beautiful I experienced through all this was on the Sunday after her accident, (she died on Friday). I went to Church as usual, and got loved on by my Brothers and Sisters there. During the service, and during the second song in worship, I started to cry. Not because of her death, but because I was WORSHIPING GOD! I was able to worship God in spite of losing my sister! It was a wonderful gift that God gave me that day. Once I knew Tracie was in Heaven, that and my moment of worship helped my get through the loss to this day! I will leave you with the chorus of that song, which will forever have a special place in my heart. Stay tuned for my 3rd installment of Growing Pains!

"He is Lord of Lords! He is King of Kings! He is Mighty God, Lord of Everything! He is Emmanuel! He is the Great I Am! He is the Prince of Peace, who is the Lamb! He is the Living God! He is my Saving Grace! He will reign forever, He is the Ancient of Days! He is Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End! He's my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend! He's my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for Him!!!"

No wonder why that song was played, huh? ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Growing Pains Part 1

Sorry I have been absent. I will make it up to you with a series. :)

I am beginning a series on here called "Growing Pains." I will add a new part daily, (Lord willing), so be sure to check back often. Today I am stealing a post from my friend Caryn. She just said it so nicely, I decided to let you see for yourself!

The gospels contain several accounts of people leaving something behind for the sake of wholeheartedly following Jesus.

* Simon & Andrew "left their nets" (Matt. 4:18-20)
* James & John "left their boat and their father" (Matt. 4:21-22)
* The woman at the well "left her water jar" (John 4:28-30, 39-42)
* Matthew left his career (Matt 9:9)
* The grateful leper left the 9 others (Luke 17:11-19)

Basically, in order to fully follow Christ, we may have to leave behind possessions, earthly treasures, family, occupation, or the group (clique). Of course this is not always easy. For example, Matt. 19:16-22 gives account of a law-abiding rich young man who came to Jesus to inquire about following Him. When Jesus told the man to first sell what he possessed and give to the poor and then follow Him, the young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

However, God promises that "everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life" (Matt 19:29).

So, what is God calling you to leave behind? Praise the Lord for what you have already left behind for the glorious gain of Christ.

The following parts to "Growing Pains," will be experiences from my own life of things God has called me to give up or to do for Him. (Some of this stuff you will know, some of it will be brand new information about me, so be sure to stay tuned)!

Monday, January 11, 2010

proof, you want proof?

Sorry for my lack of posts. :) Happy 2010!

So, do you need proof that abortion is bad? Besides the fact that is murder.

Today I found this article on Yahoo: "More than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without spouses in 2020, state media reported on Monday, citing a study that blamed sex-specific abortions as a major factor."

There are so many proofs that come about that prove that abortion is wrong. Let's keep fighting!!!