Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Salvation For Gods Will ~ Part 2

   In the Christian circles Hudson Taylor is a well known man, he is the founder of the China Inland Mission, and a man who was sold out to and for God's will. Reading in a book recently I was amazed, but also a little encouraged after reading about his life. It's encouraging to know that a great man of the faith struggled with some of the same issues I struggle with from time to time - God's will.

Hudson Taylor, son of a chemist who was also a Methodist preacher in a mining 
town, fell in love with a young music teacher while still in his teens. He wrote to
his sister, "I know I love her. To go to China without her would make the world
a blank." She thought his desire to go to China absurd, and did not plan to go. 
In process of time, it was understood they would be married. Each planning 
to change the others mind. Neither won. Her refusal made Hudson heartbroken, 
but he was comforted in the love of God. He could not get over her, and in 1853
 he asked again for her hand in marriage, which she accepted in spite of her 
unsuitability for Gods plan. Her father later settled the matter, refusing for her
to go to China. 
Hudson left for China on September 19, 1853. He was not long in Shanghai before 
he became lonely, miserable and homesick. He longed for a wife. He wrote to his 
sister to relay any news of Miss Vaughan, no news was ever fruitful for his predicament. 
In his loneliness, his thoughts turned to another woman he knew in, Elizabeth 
Sisson. Through process of time, this venture proved to be heartbreaking as well. Her 
father likewise would only permit the marriage if he came back to England. Hudson 
contemplated returning to England, but this put a "blight" on his prayer life. (Thankfully
he did not!) 
A missionary lady in whom Hudson had confided mentioned Maria Dyer, who was 
working at a mission school. He remembered her as "a good looking girl, despite
the slightest cast in her eye". She had a reputation of being devoted to her calling,
and had turned down 2 other suitors. During the next few months he began having
strange feelings for Maria, unlike he'd had for Miss Vaughn or Elizabeth. After many
months and events along the way, Hudson Taylor and Maria Dyer were married on
January 20, 1858.

    If you read this story in depth it is pretty amazing. His own loneliness and desire could have very well caused him to leave China and destroy the entire work.Many souls would/could have been lost, through his choice to follow his own will (emotions) rather than follow God's will. This story is just one way in which we can get so caught up in our idea of God's will. There are so many different scenarios we could put here. It seems very often in life once we reach one stage of life, we are very quick to set our eyes on the next 'goal' and want that now! Most people are truly never satisfied, always wanting the next big thing, which once obtained that is not enough either. 
    I know what I want but IS it GOD'S will? How do we know if what we want is God's will? This is not really a hard question, it is just a hard answer to receive I think.First, the Bible is our source for determining God's will. If any area of what you want violates ANY part of scripture, then it's not God's will. Secondly, if in your mind it doesn't violate any part of scripture, then go to you Pastor/Preacher or someone who is more spiritual than you are and ask their opinion. Many times though we just choose to overlook what the Bible says, because really it won't be THAT bad! I have had ideas and plans that I hoped was God's will, but in some way or another they violated God's Word. I even attempted to try to overlook them, but I am oh so thankful that by the grace of God I was not able to follow through with what I wanted. I can see the outline of God's hand in my life, and His salvation of keeping me in His will. So what is His will for me? It really isn't a big mystery. It simply is to keep serving where I am, until He changes my course. I have heard so many suggestion about where I should find God's will. I have not lost God's will, nor do I need to find it, I am in His will for me now. I feel such contentment and peace in where I serve and am, I have my desires, but they have not fit into God's will right now. Yes, those emotions sometimes make me want to be spontaneous, or make my spirit troubled; but I try my best to quickly get my Bible. Sometimes I will ask my Mom, "Can you pray a little harder for me today/tonight?" Then she knows those emotions are battling inside. This is really a good verse in those times. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not in us." 2 Corinthians 4:7  Those times when I want what I want, and am tempted to destroy God's will for me, I remember it's not of my own power that I can win, but His alone. It is definitely no glory of my own that I am in God's will, but it is in His power alone. It is in His power that I find strength to help in time of need.To God be all the glory!    
   Maybe you are struggling with IS this God's will? I encourage you to get into your Bible, ask God to show you the answer, but you must be willing to accept whatever the answer is. If you still aren't sure, ask someone more spiritual than you are. Maybe you know what God's will is, and you are just struggling with His answer. My answer is still the same, find your Bible. Certainly the Great Comforter, can comfort your heart too! 
    I am SO thankful today that even in my 'young' life, I can see salvation for His will! I am reminded almost daily how different my life could be, had I been allowed or able to follow through with some of my wants. More than anything I want to please God, and to be IN His will. He is so good, and so worthy of my entire life. 

 "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."
Ephesians 5:17

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Salvation for Gods Will ~ Part 1

   Over the past few days I have been so overwhelmed with the goodness of God in my life.  The best thing He ever did was reach down and save my wicked soul from hell, but also has made real to me another kind of salvation. The salvation of keeping me in His will when I am often tempted to run ahead and destroy it. I have always prayed since I was a little girl, "Lord, I want to be in your will. Keep me in Your will for my life." Then at times I get frustrated and saddened when MY own will is not followed. Yet in the same prayer each night I once again pray for His will. How thankful I am for His mercies and that He loves me, even in my fickle and sometimes emotional state. I am so thankful that He DOESN'T listen to my wants!
   A book a sweet friend bought for me quoted the very words that the Lord so often speaks to my heart when I question His will for my life. I say, "If you just give me this, I'd be so happy Lord." to which He responds "Would you be happy in any state? As the children of Israel would you not murmur against Me if I gave you what you wished? In My sovereignty what you have today is all You need right now, and is My most precious gift to you. Do not use My promises against Me as though by loving me you would be able to have what you wish and still stay in My will! When I questions why others have obtained what I so dearly long for. His reply, "I have other things for you. They walk a different path with different problems which would bring you much unhappiness. Do not be jealous, but rejoice in the path I have designed for you to walk." These times of prayer and 'conversation' with my Lord are the absolute highlight of my day. My heart wants to rush ahead and fulfill it's own desires not wanting to heed the warning "he who trusts in his heart is a fool", but when I commit these longings and desires to my Heavenly Father He reminds me through scripture. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 Once again the Lord has saved me from straying from His will for my life! The difficulty is to keep a tight rein on my emotions. They are there, but it is not they who are to rule the action. A life lived for God is not lived on the feelings, but of the will. I found this excerpt from a book which I found to be so helpful when those emotions try to battle Gods will.

    We are not to use obeying God's Word and serving Him as a condition for IF He gives me what I want, this is not true service, and is not useful to God.God is good and because He is good He does good, so no matter what happens in life He will work it to my good if my eyes are fastened on Him.I have so much more to say, and a example that I found amazing in a well known missionary who tried so hard to run ahead of God's will, but the Lord kept 'protecting' him from destroying himself, and God's will for his life. So I'm going to put this in 2 parts. This truth is so good, and maybe you are not troubled in this area, but it is still a good reminder nonetheless. We struggle so many times with is this God's will, and sometimes decide it doesn't matter, because we know what's best. This happens in many areas of life: college, work, marriage, children, and even the day to day life.God cares for every thing we do each day and has a specific plan. More on that in my 2nd part. Here are some verses that are my favorite, especially when I want what I want now! :)

Psalm 9-10, 15, 22
  "Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation."

1Timothy 6:6
"But godliness with contentment is great gain."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

This dinner/lunch is oh so easy I just had to share! For those who are always busy, but love to have a home cooked delicious meal this is a really good crock pot meal. I made this for our dinner tonight along with mashed potatoes, and Red Lobster Cheesy Biscuits. I was so nervous that it wouldn't turn out well but every one from my nephew and niece to my Dad liked it. So it was a win!! I found a similar recipe to what I made, but tweaked a few things. If you like pulled pork, or even just BBQ this is a great recipe. I will put the brand we used in parenthesis. I doubled the recipe for our family, but this would make plenty for a family with not quite so many people! ;)

- 6-8 boneless pork chops (Aldi brand)
- BBQ sauce (Baby Rays)
- 1/2 c. water
- sliced onions
- slow cooker/crock pot
- seasoning (Masterpiece BBQ Seasoning)

Pour water and BBQ sauce in crock pot and mix together.
Season both sides of pork chops (cut fat if necessary) and layer in bottom of crock pot. I was able to layer 3 across.
Pour BBQ sauce over chops and layer onions, then add another layer of seasoned pork chops followed by more BBQ sauce and onions. (Since our family is so big there was about 12 pork chops, so we had quite the layers!)
Cooked for about 6 hours in the crock pot.

These are SO tender and delicious. You could easily shred or leave as is. Most of us wanted our pork chops shredded, they are delicious either way though. This was definitely a big hit in our house, and super easy to make!
Simple BBQ "Pulled" Pork in the Crockpot using pork chops. Yum!

Also if you like biscuits or bread with your food the Red Lobster Cheesy Biscuit Mix is absolutely delicious, and super easy to make too!:) Hope this helps give someone another meal to add to their selection, and with it being so easy that is a huge plus too!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Do The Next Thing

        I am a huge fan of Amy Carmichael and Elizabeth Elliot, but especially Elizabeth Elliot. I can relate to her in so many ways. I would love to have every book written by her if I could afford it! She is such a great hero of the faith to and for me. Whether it's a good or bad day, whenever I read the one book I have from her, it always challenges me to be just a little better. To reach out and KNOW the God I serve, to not just know of Him, but to actually know Him. She had such a walk with God that I hope and try to have. She is to the point. She doesn't make things easy or allow you to make excuses for why you should or could take the easy way out in life, but strongly reminds over and over God is the ONLY choice there is. I want someone to tell me like it is, in spiritual matter that is. ;) In the recent days I have needed some comfort and words of encouragement, once again first the Bible and then Elizabeth Elliot have been those words of comfort for me. They both gave me the balm I needed for my wounded spirit, but also admonished and reminded me that my eyes are to only be on Him. When my eyes are on Him alone it doesn't matter what happens or doesn't happen, it may shake me, but won't destroy me.
       I love verses from the Bible, and also love quotes and poems from my heroes of the faith. If I could I would have many quotes and verses from the Bible on my room walls. I like to read and re-read quotes and verses from the Bible that help me keep life in perspective. There are a couple of poems I especially have found comforting. Just maybe someone else needs or will need one of these! :)


From and old English parsonage, down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me
It's quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven
And on through the hours the quiet words rang
Like a low inspiration - DO THE NEXT THING
Many a question, many of fear
Many a doubt hath it's quieting here
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven
Time, opportunity, guidance are given
Fear not tomorrows, Child of the King
Trust them with Jesus, DO THE NEXT THING
Do it immediately; do it with prayer
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverance, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wings
Leave all resulting, DO THE NEXT THING
Looking to Jesus ever serener,
(Working or suffering) be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee, DO THE NEXT THING!
                                                  ~ Elizabeth Elliot

 *** I love this poem! Are you worried, mad, sad, happy, or just melancholy? That's okay, keep your eyes fastened on Jesus and DO THE NEXT THING!

I have found the last sentence to be SO true, through trials you can either decide to walk away or trust God. Any relationship, if it is true, must stand the test of happy and sad times for that relationship to grow stronger and deeper. A relationship with God is no different. The past couple of years there have been times where I thought I just couldn't handle the difficult things that had happened, but through it all I can truly say from personal experience that that God on the mountain is truly the God in the valley. He gives you the strength to 'DO THE NEXT THING', but you must first be willing to take the next step. Recently in my Bible reading I have come upon 2 Samuel 22, and it was so timely. I have written and memorized passages over and over. I will only write a couple that stood out to me! 2 Samuel 22 7, 31 "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears." 
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him."

**I hope one of these poems encourage you like they do me. There really is no down side to living for the Lord, whether it's a time of excitement or sadness it is still fabulous all the way around!  IF you have a favorite Bible verse, poem, quote or thought that helps you in difficult times or just in ever day life, please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear it!:)