Hello world!

 Hey friends, family and anyone else who happens to stumble across this page..  I am starting a new blog and I am hoping to connect with people from all different places and walks of life.  Me.. I am Angela, I am 31, and I have lived in Richmond, VA since 2005 when God called me to step away from the way I knew how to do “life”.  I will also be posting things God has taught me in the past few years, because I need constant reminder of WHO God is, what He has done, and who I am in Him.  Thanks for reading.
A post I did about a year ago:

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Matters of the Heart

“We are
more able to stop the sun in its course or make rivers run uphill as by our own
skill and power to rule and order our hearts” -Puritan John FlavellI
have trusted God with my life. I know that Jesus came two thousand years ago to
die for my sins, and I know that only through that death and resurrection will I
be able to stand righteous before God. So, I have believed. My life has changed
direction, and I now desire to be like Christ. I have relinquished power over my
dating life, my heathen lifestyle, and my day in and day out activities. Christ
is my focus. God’s kingdom is far more beautiful than anything I can obtain by
my own power. I am a Christian. I am saved, and I am secure.

I have made
it through big time temptation, and I have been declared victorious.So, why,
WHY, do I lose my temper when I don’t feel like I am being respected? Why do I
get so easily annoyed and impatient with people, and why am I anxious when I
don’t have a good night at work? I don’t feel very Christ-like when these things
happen. In fact, I feel so ugly on the inside that I wonder how in the world can
I be regenerated? But, I know I am..I have seen my desires change and I have
seen my life re-orient to be lived for God. So, where is the disconnect? Am I
faithful in big things but not in the small?

God has been working to
reveal some answers to me in this area of my life. It has been really
frustrating..not matter how many times I say “ok, I’m not going to complain
today because that’s not being a good witness” or “I am going to love people no
matter what today”, it never seems to work. I can hold it together for a little
while, but then I just end up not being able to keep it up and I feel horrible
about myself. Like a failure.

So enter book: “You Can Change”(God’s
transforming power for our sinful behavior and negative emotions)” by Tim
Chester, who co-authored another favorite of mine, “Total Church”. I would like
to share a couple of key quotes I have come across so far.

“Our Christian
lives began when we received the Spirit by believing in Christ crucified, not
when we finally managed to observe the law. It’s foolish to think that we can
now take over finish the job through human effort. It’s not just that trying to
live by laws and disciplines is useless- it’s a backwards step-which ends up
undermining grace and hope.”

“When the crowd asks Jesus what God expects
of them he replies “This is the only work God wants from you. Believe in the one
he has sent.”

I think I finally understand this! It is not just believing
He was God then, or in the future, but trusting in His power to metamorphasize
ME- not by my strength but by the continual realization that I am completely
dependent on His strength and grace- EVERY DAY- Believing in this SENT one- I
know He is Lord- but I have been so disappointed in my heart- it yearns to be
like Christ but fails miserably- I need faith in everyday things- HIS power-
mini-miracles of victory and surrender only by the working of the Holy Spirit.
This is freedom. This is “the only work” God wants because it is the only way-
we will not change from our own efforts- it is IMPOSSIBLE. I have been trusting
in God only for outcomes, not for the day-in, day-out grind of Christian life. I
have not asked, not continually, for strength and wisdom in the million small
decisions and reactions I face everyday-the decisions and reactions that shape
bigger days and the way that others see Christ through me. I have realized my
ineptitude on a grand scale but neglected to address the gross selfishness and
dissatisfaction in them minutia of life. I thought I could handle them on my
own..but I CAN’T. Not like Christ. I can only do them my way.

So, it is
time to address my heart. It is time to see where I am not loving God, where I
am not believing his Word..because if “ALL THINGS” work together for the good of
those who are loved and are called according to his purpose (Jer
29:11
), then I need to trust God. I believe that He rose from the dead, but
I don’t expect that He can help me be kind to those who are not kind to me. I
believe that He has the BEST plan for my life, but that complaining is okay
because I don’t deserve to have a bad day (surely, THAT can’t be in His plan).
My sin here has been abiding with small rebellions and also with
unforgiveness..for myself and for others. My heart is at its core legalistic and
as long as I haven’t been “sinning” I am doing ok, even though my attitude may
stink. But if I do mess up, boy do I feel it. I haven’t understood grace, or the
fact that I am at best a wretched sinner and can’t be like Christ on my own, not
only as I have acknowledged on the big scale, but in the tiniest upsets or
interactions..I need GRACE. I need it for myself and for others. I need to
understand that I’m not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I’m a sinner.
It is a fatal disease, and until I leave this earthly vessel I will be
struggling against it. The evidence of Christ in me is that I AM
fighting.

I will let you know how it goes..praying big-time for Christ’s
intercession in every detail, and seeing myself fail in the meantime.. hold on
for a bumpy ride as I say goodbye to legalism and learn to trust God with ALL of
it..

———————————————————————————————–
My joke this weekend: What kind of socks do pirates wear?
           ARRRgyle!
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About Angela

I'm just trying to figure this life thing out with the help of some amazing friends and a God who loves me in spite of my tendency to forget what is truly important!
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