Monday, September 17, 2012

talking to yourself in the mirror and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.

Also, SDG retreat registration is still open!!  Click here to find out more information and learn how to register.  Registration for conference closes on September 23rd.
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Today in Bible study, we played with blocks.

Every time we answered "yes" to a question, we added a block to our tower.  We were answering questions like these:
Do you live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood?
Are your children reasonably behaved?
Do you drive a car less than 2 years old?
Is your house organized and clean most of the time?
Are you physically fit?
Do you were designer jeans?

They were superficial questions with superficial answers, but they served a purpose.  See, we were looking at Ephesians 5: 1, which says:

"Be imitators of God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children."

For those of us who have grown up in the church and we hear the same things over and over, sometimes we take for granted the fact that we ARE His dear children.  We end up looking more like we belong to the world than to God.  We fill ourselves with things of this world instead of BEing with God. We judge ourselves and others by how we look, what we drive, and how much we do or do not serve.  And we do this because the world says we need to measure up -- to what, I'm not sure -- but we better be better and more than what we simply ARE.

I asked my class to imagine themselves covered with sticky notes, each note representing something that his a part of this world -- a role they have, a talent they possess, something they own.  I asked them to think about God sitting on His throne and them walking toward Him.  With each step they take, I asked them to imagine a sticky note floating onto the floor.  When they finally reach His feet, they are no longer cloaked, but simply in front of God, as they ARE.  As He created them to be.

See, sometimes I think that we bypass the importance of the words "BE" and "ARE" and "AM."  We think they are simply there to help other verbs.  But God, He puts importance on words of this kind.

We ARE His dear children.  We can BE before Him with nothing but ourselves and He welcomes it that way.

When we are comfortable with BEing, that is when we can stop looking around at everyone else, trying to see if we measure up, we can get past comparing and get onto loving.  Here's the next point addressed in Ephesians--
"Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ."

When we BE, we get filled.  When ask God to show us how He sees us, we can receive His love.  When we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in our mother's wombs (Psalm 139), we are affirming His love for us.  When we continue to stand in that bathroom and tell ourselves that Man looks at the outward appearance, but that God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7), we can remember that this life is about being loved by God and sharing that overflow with others.

We finished our towers and discussed how if continue to shield ourselves with what we have or don't have, we cannot love.  Love has a hard time permeating through brick walls.  It's much easier to see each other if we don't have to peer over and above and around the fortresses we build to make sure that we live up to the world's expectations.

So, we knocked our towers down.  We committed to see each other as we ARE.

When we live a life filled with love, we don't compare.  When we live a life filled with love, we rest in the security of how God made us and who He made us to be.  When we live a life filled with love, we have an overflow and we cannot help but share it.

I struggle with comparisons and competition.  And so I'm taking on the same challenges that I asked my class to do.  Perhaps you can join with us?

1.  Take 5 minutes tomorrow to just "be."  For those of you not seasoned in this practice, it can be a little uncomfortable, but start with the sticky-note imagining and see where God takes you.

2.  When you look in the mirror tomorrow, start preaching to yourself, girlfriend.  Say, out loud, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  You, God, knit me together in my mother's womb.  God, Man may look at my outward appearance, but You look at my heart."  

You, friend, are worth more than the world could ever pay.  You are worth so much that Jesus paid...with His life.

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I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria.  Did you know we have small groups?  As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel.  As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world.  Would you like to be a part?  If so, please email me at jenfergie2000@me.com.  Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.


24 comments :

  1. You hit close to home here. My life reflects more of the world and it's concerns than I want to admit. I love the suggestion to imagine the sticky notes. Great challenge!

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  2. Jen, I wish I was a part of your class! You have great insight into God's word. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. yes, because just "be"ing is a truly magnificent thing. we are truly and magnificently made. love this. i'll just "be" tomorrow, thank you :-)
    steph

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  4. This is the work I think God is asking me to do--to learn to just be in his presence, and know that he is good.

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  5. You are so creative. You and all your blocks...praying for the retreat and the ladies going!

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  6. Wow. Excellent analogy with the blocks, Jen. I don't want to think about all I would have...

    I'll do the BE exercise. Thanks!

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  7. Jen, have you ever read the childrens book by Max Lucado called, 'You are Special'? It is my favorite book not just for kids. It has an amazing message and it is something like this one that you just put out here for us.

    Good insight, always! (gotta get the book if you don't have it)

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  8. This: "When we live a life filled with love, we rest in the security of how God made us and who He made us to be." is what I'm learning (as you know!). Can I tell you that since we posted that post I am different? There is freedom in confession and vulnerability and super-natural release when we take off the masks. Thank you for pushing me to do that with your invitation.

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  9. What a great exercise you shared with your class...It is so true...the more I am just with Him...BEing with Him, He changes me from the inside out (2 Cor. 3:17-18)...such freedom, and such love to receive and then give...awesome teaching, Jen :)

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  10. Wish I were in your Bible Study, Jen. Thanks for the reminder to bless that girl in the mirror!

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  11. I love the exercise you too the ladies through...living loved...really knowing and abiding in that love changes everything....blessings~

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  12. Okay, wow. This really hit me. What great imagery -- am I looking on the outside? Being like the world? I need to speak the truth over and over again (to MYSELF) to believe the truth instead of the lies.

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  13. why do you live so far from me? wish i could hang out in your class just one time!

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  14. Ah, Jen...my only question is whether it is possible, rather than tear them down, to turn some of those bricks into tools to serve the kingdom? God made them for us to use in His name and enjoy, if we can only figure out how to do it.

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    1. I know -- I agree with you. Figuring out to use them for Him and not to make ourselves look better. I think that comes when we truly remain in Him.

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  15. I would love to be a part of your Bible Study. A perfect illustration. I'm peeling off sticky notes...

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  16. Love the blocks and sticky note visual. I've grown into Being and it is a lovely place to sit. But comparison is a sly intruder that sneaks in and blindsides me more often than I care to admit. Thanks for the reminder to rest in love.

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  17. Have I told you lately how beautiful you are, how you mentor in so many ways to me? Well, consider yourself told. :)

    Love you.

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  18. Those moments where I allow myself to be - those are wonderful, peace-filled moments of great contentment - and it's when I take my eyes off of how God sees me that I lose that peace! Awesome visuals - I so love visual activities!

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  19. How creative your mind is! Reminds me of Max Lucado's book we found at Lifeway--You Are Special--about wooden people made by the Wood Carver--they put stickers on one another--the pretty ones get gold stars, and the ones not so pretty get grey dots. One little boy had lots of grey dots--until he went to see the Wood Carver--and they began to fall off, one by one--nothing stuck to him--not gold stars, and not grey dots. What a wonderful story for children. I love your brokenness before him, your vulnerable heart, your humility, how you always admit you are human--you are so refreshing, Jen--in a world of "christianese" that I become wary of--you are really refreshing, my dear. Love to you.

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  20. Praise God that we can call Him Abba Father! And that we went from being His enemies to being His children and His ambassadors! Thanks for the great post & for hosting the linkup, & God bless,
    Laurie

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  21. What a great object lesson to get across such an important truth - thanks! And thanks for this linkup, and the way you make everyone feel so welcome here.

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  22. Learning to adjust to consider others, and often compromise is what makes marriage work. My wife does it well!

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  23. So true! But it's much easier for me to DO because it's quantitative & makes me "feel" better. Thanks for sharing your insight. Love reading your stuff and I love your heart. Can't wait to read about the SDG retreat!! How's the book coming? Hugs to you! Love, Michelle

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