Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am currently teaching a 4 week class, and one of the subjects I'm teaching on is "boundaries". This as many people in my life know is one of my favorite subjects. :) I haven't studied it for awhile to teaching it again brought to mind some fundamental principles that I was reminded of and would like to share.

As most of us know we need to have healthy boundaries for our lives to be in balance. If you life is feeling out of balance it is very possible that you are having boundary problems. I am going to share a few of the most common ways our boundaries become out of balance:

1. When our priorities are out of order:
We all have times that our priorities are out of alignment but if this is becoming a way of life you are probably noticing some problems. Or is 2 or more of these areas are out of balance you will notice your life becoming out of balance. Generally most people agree this is the priority order that we should strive to keep in place:
God, Spouse, Children, Job, Church, extended family and friends.

2. When you take responsibility for others daily problems and loads that were meant for them (and yes mom this includes your adult kids).

Galatians 6: - 5 says: Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something when he is nothing he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

First, look at verse 2 - "Bear one another's burdens" the Greek word for burden gives us insight into the meaning of this verse - it means "a burden so heavy that they weigh us down" like a boulder that could crush us that we can't lift on our own. We need help with these burdens and we should help others with these burdens. They are times of crisis and tragedy in our lives.

Next, look at verse 5 - "each should carry his own load" Everyone has responsibilities that only he or she can carry or should carry. The Greek word for load is "cargo" or "burden of daily toil"
These loads are like knapsacks. We are expected to carry our own knapsack. Yes they are burdensome at times but they are still our responsibility. These are the everyday issues that we need to let others take personal responsibility for. Working, paying your bills, taking responsibility for the everyday tasks of life. When we are constantly helping others in this area we are out of balance and will eventually begin to resent it and we are hindering the growth of the one that should be doing this.

We will continue the rest of the list next time. We have 3 more principles to look at.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Keeping Life in Perspective

I found an interesting verse this week during some of my bible study time. It is Psalm 38: 4- 7.

I like the New Living Translation best.

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you."

I believe this verse puts our lives in perspective. We have lived in a time of much busyness and obtaining of wealth and stuff. Things are changing in our culture and society and in some ways maybe some of it is good. It is a proven historical fact that in good times people in general become apathetic to the things of God, lazy and weak but in times of struggle we draw nearer to God, become stronger and we work harder.

As Christians I believe we need to constantly remind ourselves why we are here. I am certainly not saying we should not enjoy life but always we must remind ourselves of the shortness of our time here on earth and what we need to be doing with that time. We want to make sure our busyness is producing good results. Spending time with God, being there for our families and friends and doing the work of the ministry, whether we are in full time ministry or not. We want to make sure we are not so busy that we are missing the important things in life or the daily little assignments God may be giving us but we miss because we are so focused on our own agenda's.

It's OK and in some cases a gift to obtain large amounts of money but we need to constantly be checking our motives. Are we looking for power, position, title and our own pleasures or are we truly using the resources God has given us for His plans.

One of the people I admire most is Pastor Rick Warren, he is a man that has been given much, he has made an unbelievable amount of money off of the sales of his books and other products but has chosen to give back his salary to his church, stay in his same house, drive his same car and use much of the money to help those in greater need than himself.

I love the last sentence in this verse, as we watch so much in our world falling apart and uncertainly of everything around us. This is what we must remember and cling to on a daily basis no matter what the Dow is, what the news says, how much food costs and whether we have a job or not:

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Let us do good

The second scripture that has jumped out at me during this weeks study is one that I am so familiar with that honestly I would never have thought I would get any more from it. In fact, I have done mini teachings on this verse many times at team meetings and volunteer meetings, I used to have where I worked. It was so applicable to the type of work or volunteering we were doing at a pregnancy center.

The verse is Galatians 6:9-10. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

Well, about now I can hear you saying, long have you been a Christian and still haven't gotten this????

I guess what I realized is that I tend to focus on the first part of this verse, the part about not becoming weary and not giving up and reaping the harvest. For some reason I've not really paid a lot of attention to the second part of this verse.... the part that says....

"Therefore, as we have opportunity (time, season, a small or large portion of time) let us do good (a kindness, something that benefits) to all people, ESPECIALLY (to a distinctly greater extent) to those who belong to the family of believers."

Did I not know that I was supposed to do good to fellow believers? No, I really did know that but there is just something about a scripture that suddenly screams out at you that makes you more aware of your daily responses. That is what has happened to me as I saw this scripture with new eyes. In stead of focusing on - ME - being weary, ME - reaping a harvest and ME -not giving up. My new focus is to find and watch for daily ways I can do good ESPECIALLY to those who belong to my FAMILY of Believers. To do a kindness, encourage or do something that benefits them.

This scripture is even more important now in the times we are living, as people in general, but ESPECIALLY believers need encouragement and support more than ever before.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spiritually Mature

I am doing a Beth Moore study right now called, "Living Beyond Yourselves". It is one of her older studies but the Word of God never gets old so this study, which is full of the Word, is not outdated. In fact, it is very much speaking to my heart as I go through each lesson.

Last session there were a couple verses that jumped out at me. Were they new verses that I have never seen? No, in fact, they are common verses that I have seen, memorized and taught on many times. But they just seem to open up to me in a whole different light.

The first one is 1 Corinthians 3:1-3,
1.Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

It seems to me that the main indicator of being spiritually immature in this scripture is that they were jealous and quarreling with each other. Like I said I have read this, heard this and taught this many times but I guess when I have thought of being spiritually immature I probably would have thought about not knowing the word or committing an obvious sin but as I looked at this verse with some new eyes this week I realized that God is telling us that a Big sign of not being spiritually mature is jealousy and quarreling with each other.

I believe especially among Christians this is a huge problem. We have a tendency to compare and to quarrel. One of my greatest desires at this time in my life is to be a light and salt not only to unbelievers but also to those who are believers, to live a life that honors God and expresses the love of Jesus to all I come in contact with. This verse has made me even more determined to question myself on a daily basis. Am I jealous of anyone? Has someone offended me or hurt me? How am I going to handle that? With Spiritual maturity or as a baby immature christian? My prayer is that more and more often I will respond with self-control, love and maturity that only the Holy Spirit can give us.

Next post I will share the second verse.