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Don’t Water It Down.

LB50ContributorSQOriginally written for Living Better 50 Magazine.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we headed to the pancake feed in Priest Lake, Idaho. With my plate of yummy pancakes in hand I began to fill my cup with orange juice. I thought it might be too sweet so I decided to water it down. I assumed the other beverage choice was water. Wrong! It was milk. What was in my cup was now a cloudy substance that tasted badly.

Often I think we do the same with our relationship with God. We water it down by picking and choosing what best fits our lifestyle and ignore what the Bible calls us to do. Why? Because it doesn’t fit with how we choose to live.

Let me explain. In college I thought I believed in God but I didn’t need to read the Bible or go to church. I believed there was a God but I was going to live with my boyfriend, now my husband. I had to be sure he was the right guy for me. I went to church on Christmas and Easter. I said a prayer only when I needed something. If God was that cup of orange juice, I dumped a whole lot of my selfish desires into it to water it down in order to achieve what tasted good to me.

What I got was nothing close to what God wanted our relationship to look like. I had clouded something that was to be so sweet. Psalm 34:8 says, Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. We are not called to take a tiny taste and mix what we want with it. God wants us to open up and take it all in. That means all His goodness and all His commands. I gave little thought about how it must look to God because I knew what I wanted. I wanted to enjoy whatever liberties I saw fit.

Today I am quick to say, “Please do not do what I did. Wait until you are married. Don’t move in with someone before you get married. Please treat the gift of sex with respect. Save it for your spouse. On my wedding day I mourned the fact that I had not waited.”

I am not trying to pick on anyone because I have my fair share of sin. But over the years I have heard adults who claim to be walking with the Lord, talk about teens with so much disgust because they feel the teen is sleeping around and yet they themselves are sleeping with more than one person outside of marriage. They water down their walk with the Lord by what feels good to them and use their age to justify it. The last time I checked, God did not say sex outside of marriage is okay if you are over a certain age.

Love for money, power, gossip, lust, and slander are just a few of the things we find ourselves adding to our cup because they bring us a temporary feeling of happiness. But in the end we are left with something that tastes way worse than my drink at the pancake feed. Watering down our orange juice to cut the amount of sugar is one thing but we should not be watering down our relationship with the Lord by filling ourselves half way with God and the other half with what is of the world.

Please take a look at your walk with God. If it could be put in a cup would you accept all of what He offers or water it down with what works for you? Choose wisely.

 

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GPS (God’s Positioning Satellite)

I wrote this post for the  “The Whatever Girls” ministry and it ran on their site today. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

One night while visiting family in the Seattle area my mother-in-law offered to watch the kids so we could go out to dinner with my husbands brother and his wife.  A night out, a nice dinner, good company and, a chance to wear pretty shoes put a smile on my face.   We had the best dinner at the restaurant where my husband’s youngest brother worked.

My husband and his older brother thought it would be entertaining to program in their parents address and see if they could confuse the GPS.  Frick and Frack are the names I choose to call them because of this goofy idea.

What us ladies thought would be a nice ride home became a series of twists and turns in neighborhoods that Frick and Frack had never been in and they are from the area. Recalculating, in so many feet take a U-turn, Left turn ahead, turn right, and dead end ahead began to block out the sound of the music as our GPS tried to navigate the way home.  gps

With every turn I came one-step closer to loosing my amazing dinner as carsickness began to creep in.  They spun the car this way and that way thinking they could get the GPS confused.  My sister in law fell asleep and I worried with each left turn her head would hit the window.  I kept asking the guys how much longer? I was not finding the same humor in this.  I told them I hoped the GPS would say, “Listen to me dummies and do what I tell you!” I had to go to the bathroom, I was carsick and I was tired. Thankfully they eventually grew tired of choosing their own course, listened to the GPS and, we found our way to where we were going.  What should have been a 15-20 min drive lasted over an hour.

Life can be a series of twist and turns, it is full of hills to climb, unknowns to navigate our way through and dead ends.  Sometimes it seems like a guessing game when it comes to which path we should choose to go down.  What may look good just might take us to a place we should have never been and we find ourselves throwing it into reverse and high tailing it out of there.  Sometime we get so lost we are not even sure how to find our way back to where we started.

Gods word is a lamp to your feet and light for your path (Psalm 119:105 NIV).  It is like the GPS of our lives.  I listened to Richelle Opland speak to a group of young ladies at the “Whatever girls” meeting in November and she used this analogy of God’s word lighting our path.  She said, “think of God’s word as a lantern and as you hold it up depending on how dark it is you may only have enough light to see one step at time but it guides you safely to where you need to go”.

No matter where we are in life at times we are faced with choice of which direction should I take? For you teens that are reading this, you are faced with often overwhelming choices about what direction your life is to go.  Where should I go to school, what kind of carrier do I want, or how will I know who is the right person for me someday?  Your teenage years are some the best years of your life but they can also be the hardest as you find yourself at cross roads not knowing which way to turn.  One thing always remains the same when you are faced with which direction to go.  God’s word will guide you every time.  If I had known this as a teen my life would have been a much smoother ride.   If you follow God’s word, the bible (God’s Positioning Satellite) and listen to the turn by turn directions of the Holy Spirit you won’t find yourself making a series of wrong turns as God tries to recalculate your direction and put you back on the right course.

If you have not checked out “The Whatever Girls” Please do so.  It is a wonderful ministry for Mom’s and Teens.  We would love to have you join us in Spokane at the Whatever Girls Live event April 25-27th.  I encourage all mom’s and their teenage girls to come for this awesome weekend.

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