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Heaven and Earth May 29, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Music, Testimony.
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I changed my theme again and I was thinking that I liked it okay. The next day I actually looked at it and realized – the header goes perfectly with the scripture I keep in my sidebar.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps. 73:25-26 NIV

So now I really like it, and it brings to mind the song ‘Glory in the Highest’ by Chris Tomlin.  And here it is with words and pictures. Beautiful!


I AM lesson 6 August 21, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back? This lesson has been sitting so long, waiting. And now I can say “He is current-up to date-this very moment.”

2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are ‘old news’ that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can’t possibly be affecting you now? Yes. The great lie of the enemy. The truth is they are very central to how we live now, unconsciously. Which takes some serious time with the Lord and deep soul-searching to see. Then understand. And finally to release them to the Lord and ask for healing. To learn to stop and think before acting or maybe I should say before reacting in the old way.

3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name? Yes, I believe He does. Where am I? The “right” answer would be (in my mind) to say on my knees. But really, am I going to spend all day long on my knees? No, so enough of that! I am living in this moment He has given me, open to hear Him speak to me at all times of the day or night.  Awake or asleep, it matters not to Him, just that I am open.

4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your ‘west side of the wilderness’? I could say yes for sure. I think it’s a natural feeling, one that His Spirit overcomes when we stop to seek Him. Because I know (in my head) that He is always with me, He hasn’t forgotten me. Feelings – it is not good to be ruled by our feelings! What I really think is that I just couldn’t hear or see Him because circumstances (feelings) overcame me and I wasn’t trusting Him. Mostly because I was holding on to things from the past – which colored everything else.

5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now? Yes. This last month I have spent many, many hours alone with God, His Word, journaling, praying, reading. God is faithful, sometimes it requires much action my part. Dedication to God for a time specified by Him. It really is amazing that we know when He really wants to talk the hard talk with us. We know how long we are to be facedown. We know when we have learned what He is saying, we have sought forgiveness, we have forgiven, we have laid it all before Him. And we know when He has released us from this intense time.
This makes my daily time spent with Him alone so sweet, because I am in His will. At least until the next time – and I know there will be – but less and less ‘ickiness’. Does that make sense? My prayer is that as I grow in Him, that these times would be more illuminating for me. That I learn more about Him, that I gain understanding and wisdom so that I more freely, more nautrally am His light in this world.

Laughing at myself? June 20, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, Family, Feelings, Friends, Music, Random, Testimony, Thoughts.
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“When a woman can laugh at herself, she gives freedom to other women to do the same. It takes a confident and secure woman to laugh at herself. A woman who doesn’t live in fear of being “discovered” or “found out” or even “thought less” of—a woman who isn’t trying so hard to hold it all together (or still pretending that she can) –these are the women I love being around.”
~Nicole Johnson

This is a big deal for me. It was hard for a long time, and heaven forbid anyone laugh at me. Because of course that meant I had done something wrong. And I can’t do anything wrong…I mean not that I can’t because I do, but no one else is supposed to see. I can correct it before they find out. It must be done right. Doesn’t that sound awful? I lived like that most of my life, a perfectionist. An in the dark or unaware that was what was going on with me, but none the less a perfectionist.

Bondage…that is what that was. I can laugh at myself now, thank the Lord for that. And it feels good to have that freedom. Nicole is so right in that quote…it gives freedom to the other women, laughing with me and at me, because by golly it must truly be funny. I am not perfect, I can’t hold it all together and life is so much more fun, better when I don’t try for the unattainable. That is how relationships are formed. If I can’t laugh at myself, then how can my “friends” laugh? If I can’t laugh at myself how can I be real and expect to have real relationships? How can I expect to “go deep”? We are all called to “go deep” because we are all one body.

Is not laughter beautiful music? Laughter is good for the soul, and mine went way to long without it.

How about you? Can you laugh at yourself?

Okay, so I got laid off today. June 12, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, Family, God, News, Prayer, Testimony.
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And the Lord is good. I have an interview on Saturday. This job sounds like it’s right up my alley, and I would be using my gifts and talents, so I’m excited. I do want to make sure that I am in His will, so I’d appreciate prayers for wisdom and guidance.

I’m pretty particular about my job requirements or should I say, I pray specific prayers and God answers specifically. I sure love that! I know that He is faithful and will again.

Thank you all!

I AM lesson 5 May 27, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. Have you ever found yourself ‘in faith’ yet bewildered or demoralized?

Yes. In my experience, I have felt bewildered or demoralized in one area only to find that it was really only where my bewilderment was being manifested. I am close to those people, and have more interaction with them so it just came out there. Giving completely over to God and whatever He chooses, to be completely open and vulnerable exposed the truth.

2. Do you consider yourself content? Would you describe it as Decidedly Content or Dreamily Content?
Can it be both? It started out as Decidedly Content, but the longer it lasts the more it turns into Dreamily Content. Trusting that no matter how long it takes, or even if it doesn’t happen – I’m okay with it. Because I am in His will and that is good enough. He is enough.

3. If you are not content, are there circumstances that keep you from this feeling?
I am content, also I have to be careful to not let circumstances lure me into discontent – it can so easily happen.

4. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you looked back on a period of your Christian walk and believed a great opportunity passed you by?
I must catch myself here because when I think great opportunity I think “great” in the big sense, our human sense anyway. I can think of a few in my humanness – if I would have sung that song better then I would be doing “this”.
But really – the great opportunity, to speak the truth to someone who has not heard it. To share in love, with the Spirit leading – that is the missed great opportunity. And yes, I have missed it.

5. Do you ever believe your faith was stronger in an earlier time in your Christianity and find yourself floundering now?
No. I believe I am growing stronger every day.

6. Can you recognize that this season may be one of great preparation instead of a period of “I Was”?
Yes. That is taking the focus off of me and turning it to Christ. This longing I have, maybe it is just a bit misguided and He is leading me slowly to what He wants. The longing gradually changing…fading to a longing but a longing for “what” I do not know. It is there nonetheless and I so want to do, long to do big things for Him. Whatever, whenever, however He chooses. Nothing is impossible! All things are possible, through Christ.

I AM lesson 4 May 1, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Devotions/Quiet Time, Faith, Family, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Journal, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)

I have been really stymied by this question. Feeling like it has to be one thing and not being able to pick something. Thinking it has to be “not” life shattering or by the other extreme to “fluffy”. What is my problem. Well, I posted yesterday that I was stuck and partly on this. My good friend said I should just say “the last 18 months have pretty much been NLYP” which you can read about here.

2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain.

My friend also said I could say this “you have reacted in love for the Lord. I think that would be true.” Upset – my life will never be the same – I also know that it was God’s timing. Happy about it – not in the least. How to explain – my joy is in the Lord. Baffled – no, I know that again it was God’s timing.

3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling?

Yes. Yes. Maybe.

4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans?

No, not any longer, forgiveness is a wonderful thing. A bit about that here.

5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free.

See #1. I know that His ways are greater than my ways. That He knows. My faith is in Jesus…He is the only way I can make it through this life. I grow closer to Him, and stronger in Him. Stronger because in my weakness He is strong. He is the reason I live – to shine the light of His love to those He puts in my path.

6. Based on Moses’ response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself?

For me there is no other way to look at them. God has a plan and a purpose. If I need to grow and change, I pray that I do, for His glory. I do not want to do anything with a heart that is not set on Him and I pray that He will not let me.