Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Word Study Wednesday: Discipline

Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (NIV)

Discipline: (3809 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance): The Greek word for "discipline" is Paideia (pronounced pahee-di-ah). By implication, it means "disciplinary correction: chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture."

Trained (1128): The Greek word for "trained" is Gumnazo (pronounced goom-nad-zo). It means "to train; exercise."

My Take
There are two ways to interpret this verse. One way is to look at discipline as a chastening from the Lord. The other way is to view it as instruction from the Lord. I believe though that these two interpretations intermingle with each other.

Discipline is a common theme in our household. We discipline the children when they do something wrong. We discpline our dog for tearing into the trash. When we do discipline, it is not for the sake of punishment. Granted, punishment may be involved so that our children will learn more about actions and consequences (the dog is hopeless), but we discipline in order to correct a behavior or action that is wrong.

Though we may be Christians, we are still human and still exercise free will. Sometimes we do things that are not in line with Abba's way, including actions that may harm ourselves or others. Since we are His children, He will discipline us in order to correct our behavior or action.

Don't think His discipline will take away our free will. We still have the choice to either accept or rebel against His discipline. When we do accept His discipline and train ourselves according to His will, we will reap righteousness and peace. Of course, when we rebel against the Lord, there is no peace because we are not in righteous standing with Him.

The other way to interpret this verse is to see discipline as instruction from the Lord. He shows us, through His Son Jesus, how we should live our lives. It is up to us to train ourselves, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to follow His examples, His instruction.

Whether the Lord is chastening you or instructing you, it is for the good. It may hurt, but the results will include peace and righteousness in God's eyes. As children of the Lord, that should be what we desire.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm Back!

To begin with, I want to thank all of you who prayed for my Mom and the rest of my family while she was in the hospital. She is home and doing a lot better. Many prayers were answered. She amazed the doctors with her recovery (because the Lord healed her). For example, the pulminologist planned on keeping her sedated and on the ventilator for an additional day, but the fluid in her lungs started clearing faster than he thought it would. They took her off of sedation and tested her breathing ability. Her blood / oxygen levels did well while she wore the oxygen prong (the plastic tubing that goes up your nose).

I also want to thank those of you who sent me encouraging words of support. Those words helped me more than you know during a difficult time.

I plan on getting back on the blogging track beginning with my Word Study Wednesday tomorrow.

If you need prayer for anything, please let me know. I've always believed in the power of prayer and the events of last week strengthened that belief.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I dedicate this post to my mom.

I've always been thankful for my mom. We've had our disagreements, but I've never doubted her love for me. She let me know from an early age that she (and my dad) always loved me, no matter what. She also worked hard during my pesky teen years to maintain a close relationship with me (although I was nearly perfect - okay maybe not, but I can dream, right?). Though we may be hundreds of miles apart, we are still close. I call her looking for advice and I love telling her stories about her grandchildren.

One of the most important things she ever did for me (besides giving birth to me) occurred when I was five. I remember sitting in her lap and accepting Jesus as my savior. I may not have understood the complete importance of it at that time, but it impacted my life. I am forever thankful for that moment.

I truly never appreciated the difficult task of being a mom until I became one. So many of my emotions, thoughts, and actions dedicate themselves to my children. Though exhilirating, it is also exhausting. So, thank you Mom for your sacrifice, your wisdom, and your love. You are a blessing not only in my life, but in others as well. I love you.

PS: Mom, I'm listening to JG as I write this post in honor of you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Word Study Wednesday: Fear (Part 2)

Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrifed; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with your wherever you go."

My Take
God spoke these words to Joshua as He prepared him to take over the Promised Land thousands of years ago. He now uses these words to guide me through my writing career. Granted, my writing career does not entail physical war with large armies, but I am waging a war - with myself.

This past year battles raged inside me. Attacks from the enemy included "What would you write? Who would want to read something you wrote? You think you can really write?" But the message from my Commander came in loud and clear "I called you to write."

So, here I am today, writing a blog and working on a few submissions, no longer terrified, thanks to the LORD.

I will admit, discouragement, disguised as a rejection, snuck through my defense line, briefly. More attacks - "See, told you." More encouragement "I'm with you - write more." I accepted my rejection and am now re-working the article a bit for resubmission to another publication.

I've learned, re-learned, accepted, and rejected several issues throughout this battle. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that fear keeps us from our calling. Our enemy wants us to be terrified of the unknown and discouraged through rejection and failure because if we're not, then we are doing what God has called us to do - which terrifies the enemy.