Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't go to jail...

I got a laugh in this weekend and saw Madea Goes to Jail. I was born in and lived in the West End of Atlanta until I was almost 6 years old, so for those of you who saw the movie, "I am from the West End where we cut first and ask later..." (Don't ask me to roll down there now...LOL)

When the house lights came on the "Po-Po" were in full force trying to figure out who to haul away. Apparently, in the middle of the movie a fight broke out in the theater (that's why I usually try to go to suburban theaters....another story for another day...LOL). I mean, really though, we ARE watching a movie about someone going to jail because of their temper. It seems like someone could have talked that person out of fighting. There is a lot more to do in life than going to jail.

As I was shaking my head about people who like staying in trouble and going to jail, my head stopped mid-shake as I thought about the personal jails in which I like to stay. Like the jail of fear. Or the jail of insecurity. Or the jail of self-pity. Or the jail of...

Me: Okay God, there are some jails it seems that I like going to...
God: You don't ever have to live there.
Me: But its hard not to go to those things. I mean what if I am really sad about something...
God: You don't ever have to live there.

There are times when I get out of the jail of fear, stay out for a while and go right back. I don't even have an explanation for it...I just find myself back there. When I do get out - it seems like it is on a technicality. For instance, someone may call on me to do something and I can't make myself pass out fast enough, so I do it, and get out of the jail of fear...for like an hour.

God: You dont ever have to live there. Ever.

I am reminded of The Wiz when Diana Ross/Dorothy asks, "what are you afraid of?...don't know what I'm made of..."

We are made of the best. In His image and likeness, inwardly we are being renewed and being transformed more like Him day by day.

My prayer...

Jesus, thank you for the freedom You gave me through Your sacrifice at the cross. Thank you that I don't have to live in [name your personal jails/chains], but by the power of Your blood I am free. Thank you that everyday You are transforming me into Your likeness. Help my heart to be open to your love, let my ears be clear to hear Your voice, give me the strength to have the readiness to obey.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back on the blog grind...

Hyatus is not even the word I would use to describe my lack of blogging. So I am writing again with the hopes I can put myself out there and [gasp] write two times a week. Right now, I need all my accountability people to take note :)

I know people who write in their blog everyday, but quite frankly I am ...

1) Not that interesting
2) Not that deep
3) Not that funny
4) Not ready to write that much outside of class

So here we go...

Don't you love people who are brutally honest (doing it in love, or so we hope) with you? For example, I had a conversation today with someone who told me...

"Your hair looks stringy, but it looks nice."

Ummmm. Okay. I started laughing (surprise, surprise) because I thought it was a hilarious comment. But you, my special blog reader, get to read what went through my head at that moment, in this order...

1) I haven't combed my hair in a day
2) Wait, I haven't combed my hair in two days
3) I found my night scarf this morning after last seeing it two days ago
4) probably does.

I know this person was really trying to be nice about it and I wasn't quite sure what to say aloud after my burst of laughter, so I walked away. (Yes, I know - awkward - I am working on being less awkward.)

The amazing thing is that encounter made me thankful for all the people in my life who keep it real with me. We all need someone in our lives that help us to be a better us. Really though. I probably would have gone another day without a comb...why you ask? Sometimes I feel there are more important things than combing my hair in the morning (like brushing my teeth - hey sometimes when you have just a few minutes in the morning - its one or the other!) This person knew I would look so much cuter ;) if my hair wasn't looking stringy. And you know what... you better bet tomorrow I am going to rake a comb through my head!

Not only does God send people to speak some truth in love in our lives, or to sharpen our iron, but God himself wants to speak truth to us and make us more like Himself. That's the true better us. I encourage you to ask God to show you some "uncombed" areas of your life. In this season more than ever God is saying - be a better you! It may be that you read your Bible, but need to step it up and do some thinking about the Word. Maybe this is a time where you pray often but need to be more committed about fasting.

I know that God is calling me in some areas to be a better me - what is going to be your better you?

My prayer...

Lord, speak to me. Speak to my heart and open my spiritual eyes to the areas in which you are calling me to grow. Send people in my life who will help me be a better me and help to sharpen the areas that aren't quite together. Let me not be like one who looks in the mirror and forgets, but remind me of the beauty that You are creating from these ashes and the gold that You are bringing forth from the refining fire.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.