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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 5

I am so glad you have stopped by for


If this is your first time here, we are discussing the awesome work, "Behind Those Eyes" written by our dear friend Lisa Whittle. Chapter 5 is where we are, but please don't let that stop you from joining us at anytime.

Our newest friend is Sheena from Malaysia! I am so bad with geography, but I'm thinkin' she isn't close to me here in Nebraska. She doesn't have a blog, but e-mailed me and said, "I grew up loving God and I pray that I will be used by Him in whatever He wants me to do". So Sheena...welcome to YES to GOD Tuesdays, we are blessed to have you with us sister!

Okay...real quick. I am not trying to be rude by not visiting your blog. I do not have a computer right now and access to one is very limited. I miss visiting you all and hope everything is okay. Please e-mail me any prayer requests and as soon as possible I will start blog hopping. I love what you all have to say.

One more thing~next week we will be combining chapters 6 & 7. I know it means a little more reading and Bible study, but Lisa feels they go hand in hand. So let's trust this wonderful author and pray God gives us some extra time over the next week to read and spend some time gettin' real. Just based on the first 5 chapters of this book, we know it will we be worth it.

Let's get started...

CHAPTER 5: Ms. Spirituality
Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.


Okay, I have to talk like my southern belle/friend Susan a.k.a. Runner Mom here...
I don't about y'all, but I love Lisa Whittle's writin'.

I've learned so much from her...haven't you? I haven't liked everything I've read or learned about me, but I still love the writing gift God has blessed her with!


I absolutely loved Ms. Spirituality's checklist on page 78. So embarrassed to actually be able to check some of those off. Some of the things Ms. Spirituality does are worthy causes and are certainly pleasing to God. The point is not that Ms. Spirituality does these things, rather, why she does these things. Remember, it's all in the performance, not in the act itself.



Ouch. Really made me think about the stuff I do in the name of Jesus. Am I doing them to please Him or trying to make Lelia look better? Thank God that He is the only One who can see into our hearts. Well, I don't know if that's a good thing or not because not only does He see our heart, He sees the condition of our heart.



Lisa talked of women in the Bible who displayed the fruit of the Spirit in their lives and how we do want to imitate their behaviors.
The problem comes when our performance of these characteristics takes precedence over the actual condition of our hearts.



Sooooo Lisa Whittle...what you're saying is that God actually cares about the condition of our heart? Our lip service means nothing to Him, but our motives mean everything? Oh.

Okay...so I think I've been overtaken by Ms. Spirituality whenever I blog or someone asks me how things are. It's the only explanation I can give when asked how things are and I smile and begin speaking in what Lisa calls "Christianese". I say all the things a really spiritual woman would say.

For instance...

How are things with Gene's back and job?

Ms. S: Oh, we're just trusting God that He is bigger than all of this mess. God, not Pfizer is our Provider and He is going to heal Gene. Hallelujah...can I get an Amen?

In the privacy of my home...

Ms. Lelia: You know what Gene? I think we should separate. This is too much stress for me. How are we going to survive with no income from Pfizer from November until March? What if you're back never heals?

How are you doing with your teenage daughter being pregnant for the 2nd time in a year?

Ms. S: Oh, you know it's been tough, but this is no surprise to God. I trust Him with her completely and am just trying to shower her with grace everyday with God's help. It's going to be okay and I just believe that only God can pierce her hardened heart and teach her to make better choices. Let me quote Jeremiah 29:11 for you...

In the privacy of my own heart...

Ms. Lelia: I'm embarrassed. I'm mad. I don't even know the due date so don't ask. Will I love this baby as much as I love Amiyah...yes,, of course I will and do already, but how could Alyssa be so stinkin' selfish? Will I ever get through to this child? How will I get her to make better choices?

Lisa speaks some truth to us here:

When people are all dressed up on Sunday morning, none of us can see what is really going on inside their souls.

We get to church and Ms. Perfection walks us up to the house of God. Ms. Confidence greets everyone in the foyer and finds the perfect chair or pew to sit down in. During worship Ms. Happiness raises and praises while Ms. Spirituality takes notes and talks in her foreign language after service until she gets back to her car. So tiring sisters...just plain exhausting aren't we?

We go through the motions and leave the house of God with nobody knowing that inside of us we are just an absolute mess. If we can't be real in God's house where the heck can we face reality?

In the church there are a lot of people who are playing the role of super spiritual Christian who could possibly not even be one. Sounds harsh, I know, but the truth is that you can't tell the soul of a person by the shell she wears.

Oh Lisa girl. We'll just have to start callin' you "Tell it like it is Lisa".

The power of an honest Christian, struggling as he or she may be in life, can break down some of the emotional walls people construct out of fear of rejection by sharing their own personal truth.

I bet sometimes God just laughs at us on how much effort we put into trying to fine tune our walk with Him. I'm sure we over-complicate everything.

Though we seek it, our lack of spiritual perfection may be the best thing in the world for us since it reminds us that we are absolutely nothing like Christ.

I loved the quote Lisa shared with us from Ravi Zacharias...

"It is not about a ritual; it is about relationship...It is not about the times of the day; it is about the timelessness of His presence. It is not about appeasing God; it is about resting in His provision."


Oh girls...this chapter just really hit me.

It is about much, much more than the number of women's conferences attended per year. True spirituality is about the awesome power of God showing up in a person's life to the point that people around her notice a difference.



I hope God lets me live to be 127 years old like He did Abraham's wife Sarah...I think by then I'll be really genuinely spiritual.

Okay...if you have more to share on your own blog then sign up under Mr. Linky.

Have a great week ladies and let's continue learning how to be real! It's not easy, but anything to get us closer to Jesus is worth the pain; for He is quite the gain.

DON'T FORGET...next week read chapters 6 & 7!

~Many Blessings~





24 comments:

Jill said...

Lelia, I love your honesty - the bit you shared about the answers you give and the ones in your head is so true. Trust me that happens here as well. But you're right it is exhausting, so let's turn the corner and be real for Him and for us. Thanks for sharing and I pray God will bless you even in the struggles.

Laura said...

I'm with you, girlfriend! Loving this study. The best part is sharing it with all these wonderful gals. I'm praying for your family (and computer too!)

Cindy said...

The spiritual vs. personal answers to questions is so true. I've done in hundreds of times. Infact some similar words during the time after my son came home with news that he was to be an unmarried daddy.

Hope your computer is up and feeling well soon.
Cindy

Runner Mom said...

Hey! From one Soutern belle to a Midwestern Belle-heehee! You are something else! Loved your thoughts and your precious heart that you share with us. I am still reading this chapter...will post asap!!!

Love ya,
Susan

nothingcanseparateme said...

Hey Lelia,

This book is really amazing! I love reading everyone elses blogs-so many differing ideas and thoughts!!

Your little "christianese" conversations are soooo true of me so often. I have some close friends at my church who get the "reality" responses but I am definitely going to pay attention more to MY "christianese".

Hope you get your computer issue fixed soon!

Oh & welcome to Sheena from Malaysia--I don't think that is near me in PA either??!!

blessings & hugs,
Kim

HIS Daughter said...

Lelia,

I am praying for you and that is really not Christianese. I am praying that GOD will give you strength to keep going every day.

We, if we are really honest, will go through similar trials in our lives and no one is immune. I thank you for sharing with honesty so we all know what to pray for.

Blessings and praying,
Teri
p.s. I know my post will be late as usual...:-(

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

You are so real and so open. I am so honored to call you friend Lelia!! Praying for you and your family.

In His Graces~Pamela

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Oh, Lelia, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. Whether you are talking about the tough issues of Gene's health, money, or Alyssa...or talking about the ever-so-cute Alivia...or just showing your love for the Lord...no matter what, it is always a joy for me and I gleam so much from it. And that ain't no Christianese talk. That's heart talk straight from me wittle bitty heart.

I just wish I could come cry with you or yell with you or scream the injustice of life all while praisin' Jesus! :-) Not sure if that came across as a sarcastic Ms. Spirituality but it was meant to be funny.

Much love and prayers, sweet one.
Paula

Tammy R said...

I love how you just say what your think or do you? :)

What I like about this book is, that God is still working on me along with the sweet reminders of what how He has touch my past.


Blessings my friend,
Tammy

Liz said...

Oh Lelia! You make me laugh, cry, and think all at the same time. I love your honesty regarding the Christianese comments...don't we all do that sometimes? WHY? I am so glad to be challenged by this book, by God's word, and by the comments and posts of everyone participating.
Prayers! (real prayers!)
Liz

Karyn said...

Thanks for this blog; it's a great read. Karyn www.christiancupid.com/blog

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Friend~
I love your open honest nature. You truly touch my heart.

This has been an amazing Bible study...and I'm praying God blesses you...for hosting this.

Naomi said...

Hi Lelia! Has your co-worker been dropping rusks in the keyboard and pulling the cords out of the back of the 'puter, causing 'havok'?!!! It's amazing how quickly we come to rely on these machines... Hope yours will be up and running soon.

This study has been so uplifting, so comforting and so rejuvinating for me. I'm looking forward to reading everyones now... oh, well, that is after I make a pile of crackers with vegemite for afternoon tea... first things first!!! Does your 7 year old have a bottomless pit? Mine at the moment has an appetite to rival a teenager... Take care. Kisses to Baby A...

Sheena said...

Hi Lelia...

Malaysia is just below Thailand and above Singapore.Its in Asia.Thanks for the welcome and Hi everyone.

I can relate to this chapter.There are so many times i have to check my motives for doing something.Is it to please me or please God.Lisa book and Lelia blog has challenged me a lot to be real to God,others and myself.Its not an easy task.TOUGH.But i reckon love rejoices with the truth and i want to do just that.

My prayer is that i would be able to have a right heart and attitude and motives when i do something for God and for others.May i bring glory to His name

sheena

Lisa said...

Lelia girl!
Did you know everyone in my family who knows me well calls me "Lisagirl?" Well...you are now officially a member since that is what you called me in this post!

I love the conversations you shared and contrasted for us. How brilliantly true. And how God hears and sees both.

I love you!
Lisa :)

hkudla said...

Lelia,
Please know that I am praying for you and your whole family!

And thank you for your honesty in this post, and in all of yours.

It took me a while to know where I was. The last couple of days I just had no words. God kind of unplugged the stops for me. I just wrote my post in about 30 minutes... a pretty good record for me, considering the length!

Sorry it's late, but at least it's here! :)
Love you and God bless,
Heather

Kristen Myers said...

Lelia,
Thanks so much for your honesty regarding the differences between our spiritual answers and the real thoughts we are thinking. I can so relate.

Thanks to this book and God's work in my heart, I am trying to be better at "being real." Just this weekend at church, a friend asked how I was doing after we prayed for my mom. I smiled and said "Really Great. God is in control." Then I took a moment and with tears in my eyes said, "Really I am barely hanging on." My friend hugged me and comforted me. I could only think afterward how I would have missed that small God kiss from my friend if I had not been honest.

So thank you for yours and Lisa's encouragement.

rusty'swife said...

This has been a really really tuff week, and Ms. Spirituality is wrapped in her cloak of unhappiness and will not come out and play.

Sallye

Carol said...

Lelia,

I love your honesty, and your conversations translation. Oh how true. How many times did mine go that way.

My husband said that he loves how this study is just opening me up, and he now calls you all my peeps. He'll say hunney how are your peeps doing. I seriously wish we could all have one big slumber party.

This one was a long post (so what else is new), but it's up.

I'm praying for you and your family, and I'll ad the computer in there too.

Love you.
Carol

LynnSC said...

Hi Lelia,
Just love your honesty. I find myself in those same conversations in my head...

I am so slack about getting my post done. I finally got it up today. Do you think that we could just change the title to Yes to God Thursday??? Even if everyone else posts on Tuesday.... LOL!

Love ya girl,
Lynn

Mari said...

Lelia, I'm late with my post. I've been battling my fibromyalgia and was losing until today.

It was so completely refreshing to catch up on your blog. You really are a breath of fresh air to me. I wish you lived closer :) We could have our "real" conversations together over coffee with God :D

Life is hard and sometimes I think we speak the words we want to beleive. At least I hope that's what it is. Anyway all that to say...no matter what, you and I and everyone else is a work in progress. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). Let's all shout amen to that!

Pat's Tuesday said...

Lelia,

I just love the difference in Ms. S comments and what you are really thinking. I don't think I can count the number of times I have done that. Hope you have your computer up and running soon. Sorry I am late again this week and also if you can delete my enter for number 20, somehow I did not copy the complete url so it doesn't go anywhere. I also read your post on Keeping Jesus Quiet and your 7 year old has such a tender heart for Jesus and others. Also you are so right in that we as adult tend to walk away from a situtation because we are afraid of what others will think instead of doing what God tells us. There have been times when I have felt the urging of the HS but quenced it and I finding I am getting bolder now that I am doing this study. So thanks again for listen to God and hosting this.

Pat

Kelly said...

Yikes, Lelia, I messed up on Mr. Linky, my first two Kelly's are the wrong link! I delete them, 22 and 23. Sorry!
Thanks again for hosting this study, I am really learning a lot!
Blessings,
Kelly
PS I am glad you loved my two black labs! I will give them a smooch from you! As I recall, you have a black lab too...

Paula said...

Finally, she posts! I loved your post Lelia. This study is about getting real, and we are all certainly doing that! Now onto the double whammy chapter read. Thinking of you, Paula :-)