Sunday, July 16, 2006

More thoughts....

My conversation with my MIL was just so amazing that I'm still thinking through all that we discussed. One of the other topics was just being amazed at God's love and protection of us... and the fact that His timing is just perfect.

We were discussing our move to HK and the timing of it but mainly how our move protected us from potential hurt and disappointment. You see... our home church has gone through a difficult time over the past year and had we not moved, we would have gotten stuck in the middle of it all and probably suffered a lot of hurt and disappointments. However... God chose the ONE place, the ONE and ONLY place, that we would have even considered moving to... China. Our ministry (and I hope this doesn't sound arrogant because I don't intend it that way at all... it's ALL GOD and not our doing) in MN was going really well. God was at work and it was awesome to be a part of His working. We LOVED our church, we LOVED our students and we just knew some AMAZING things were going to take place. If another church had contacted us, we wouldn't have entertained the thought because in our minds, our next move was overseas and God knew that. I'm not saying that the only reason God brought us to HK was to protect us but I do believe that was part of it. I had thought about this before but never focused on the fact that God called us to the only place we would have considered and as my MIL and I were discussing this.. I
sat there in awe. In awe of an amazing God!

Now on to yesterdays post...

I had to check an email before church this morning and since I had a few extra minutes I popped over to my blog to read the comment from Charlene. And I want to thank her for making me think. I started questioning my faith and how strong it was and God gave me such a peace... a peace that brought all my searching and questioning to a halt. It was like He was saying to me... 'Melissa, it's not about your faith level... it's about your understanding of MY perfect timing and MY plan for your life.' See, I have NO doubts that God could give me the desires of my heart today... all of them if He so chooses BUT if I got what I wanted... I most likely would be missing out on what God wanted for me. And I don't doubt that God will give me some of my desires but I also know that there are some things that I will never receive because that's not the life He has called me too. For example... in time I believe God will allow our family to increase but I also believe that I will never live super close to my family. Two things that I do desire but right now... the timing for a child is not right and living close to family would be living in disobedience to God's call on our lives to serve overseas.

I guess one of the big things I was thinking through was whether or not we can 'make' things happen in our lives and in a sense I think we can. I think we can be so set on something WE want that God allows it to happen. However, I feel that when this happens we're probably missing out on what He had planned for our lives though we may never even know it.

Sunday message...

On to top off these thoughts... my FIL preached an AMAZING message on bondage. All I can say is WOW and I hope that God spoke to others as He spoke to me. I think we all suffer from some sort of bondage and probably don't even realize it. He shared an illustration that I think will stick with me forever and I hope that it will always help me to let go... it went like this (okay so my version of it):

There are people in Africa who catch monkeys to sell to zoo's all over the world and they catch them by placing a bottle (think pop bottle style with a smaller neck and bigger bottom) with nuts in them on the ground. These nuts have a very strong smell to them and the monkeys LOVE them. These nuts are their bondage because the monkeys reach in to grab the nuts but cannot get their hands out. You would think they'd just open their hand and pull it out but no... they WANT those nuts. So the people can easily catch them because they will never let go of those darn nuts.

Bondage is like that for us... we hold onto it so tightly because often it means we have to do something about it and usually it's easier to live with our bondage than to be set free from it. Think about how we use the phrase 'That's how God created me' to explain away a character flaw. We use that phrase so that people just get used to us acting that way but in reality that's bondage. It's just easier to say that than to deal with that flaw and change. God can set us free, we just have to allow Him to... no matter what the cost.

And he also touched on how to know you have a 'saving' relationship with the Lord. Anybody can say they have a relationship with Christ but for some their lifestyle never changes. A true relationship with the Lord is reflected by our developing the fruits of the spirit:



That doesn't mean we've perfected them all but we should be daily working on all of these.

I don't know who all my readers are or where they stand with the Lord but I would be remiss to say all that and not ask you this:

Where do you stand with the Lord? Have you made the decision to surrender your life to God? If you have, do you/others see the fruits of the spirit in your life? Is their bondage in your life that you need to confess and let God set you free? Are their people in your life that you need to ask forgiveness from?

If there is anyone who would like someone to pray for them or anyone who would like to know more about a personal relationship with the Lord, I would be honored to listen, pray and share. Please contact me at

God has been so good to me that I pray everyone can experience a life surrendered to Him. It's not about church or rules or all the other negative things you may here, it's about a relationship and an incredible one at that.



Anonymous said...

amazing thoughts melissa..really helped my day! God bless you!

Mike said...

I think you've made a great point. There are always things we want in the flesh that may seem better than any of God's plans, but true faith also allows us to ask questions, engage Him, and subject our agendas to His discernment.
Thanks for opening up a wonderful discussion. I think you are right on! I love you!

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