Monday, December 10, 2012

“Be not conformed to this world” Romans 12:2

What does this mean to me? What does God want this to mean to me? That is an interesting question. As I sit and ponder this verse, I wonder if I think about it enough or really at all.

Conformed: 1.To correspond in form or character; be similar.
2. To act or be in accord or agreement
3. To act in accordance with current customs or modes
New Testament Greek - συσχηματίζω - I conform to
to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern, (fashion one's self according to)

If I am not to pattern myself after this world, then as a Christian, I would pattern myself after what? 

If I am not to 'act in accordance with current customs or modes, what customs or modes am I to act in accordance with? 

If I am not to 'correspond in form or character' to this world, what am I to correspond in form or character to? 

If I am not to 'be in agreement with this world, who or what am I to be in agreement with?

At first glance, I would answer, well God, of course. But, what does that mean, what does that look like. Giving the right answer doesn't complete the question, because this requires action, not just the right answer. Conformed is a verb; it requires action. Action requires choices, informed choices. Choices should be made after gaining understanding and knowledge. Understanding and knowledge come from study. You see where I am going?! 

'Conformed' may look different to each person, but the common denominator is that we, as Christians, don't pattern ourselves after the world. But, again, what does that look like???

I see the world creeping into the body of Christ. Historically, the church is on average, around 10 years behind current culture. Meaning, what is accepted in the world is eventually accepted in the church. Every church? No, but in many and in the beliefs of many who call themselves Christians. Are we jeopardizing the biblical view of God?

Some insights:
-The divorce rate in our churches equals or surpasses the worlds
-Some evangelical churches have taken a 'market driven' approach to  church
-Some churches have changed to 'look' more like the world
-Homosexuality is accepted in a growing number of churches
-Modesty has conformed with the standards that the world sets
-Unwed pregnancy is accepted and even celebrated

So why mention this stuff when I was talking about personal 'conformity'? Because, this effects us. I am not talking about a perfect Christian or God's forgiveness; this is about choices. We can't hide behind "well no one is perfect" or "God forgives". That is not the point here. This is about that verse at the beginning of this post. What does it mean to me??  How do I act on it? 

Is the church and therefore the Christian, different for every culture? 

What does 'be not conformed to this world' mean to me, I am reevaluating that right now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Make Lemonade???


I've always heard that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If I have heard this saying once, I've heard it a 1000 times. I have used it on many occasions.

Lately, it feels like those lemons are being hurled at me at 100mph and all I can do is dodge them. There is no lemonade to be made.

So, what do I do? 

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Sometimes all we can do is take shelter; there is no making lemonade or anything else out of the situation or circumstances. Is this failure? I don't think so, though at one time I probably would have said it was. In fact, in truth, I would have definitely thought I or anyone else that failed to 'make something out of lemons' was a failure.

As God tests and grows me, He is also changing my perspective and some of my long held beliefs. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Well, it is! It means that I am having to 'give up' some things, rethink some things, and reevaluate some things. For me, that is huge. If you know me well, you know it is huge... humongous... darn big. I am not easily swayed, hence some hard lessons have come my way. And hard is not a strong enough word for what I have experienced.

I want to be able to fix things. I want to use my intelligence to make things work. If I put enough effort out, it will work, right?  But, God doesn't value that 'effort' as much as He values my dependence on Him.

So, I am learning to hide in Him. HIDE? That means I am weak. Yes, Lisa, you are weak, in and of yourself. See, I had it all wrong. I thought I was being strong in Him, but not really. I was still working in my own strength, relying on my own intelligence and my agenda.

To hide in Him means something so much deeper than my human mind can naturally fathom. It is to be covered by Him, to be concealed. My Father wants me to run to Him in times of distress (or when lemons are being flung at my head). He is willing to shield me, but so often I just stand out in the open taking the hits.

It doesn't make me weak to hide in Him! It makes me strong in Him. I can never be strong enough myself; I have got to stop trying. It goes against everything the world says I should do. It turns the logic of the world upside down. I might even look weak to the world at times and I have got to be ok with that.

Have a figured it all out? Nope. But, I am working on it. I do not begin to have the answers. I still don't understand all that I and my family are going through. What I must do though, is find shelter in Him and forget about the lemonade.

Thursday, November 8, 2012



 Two years ago this month I experienced one of those life changing experiences. It was discovered that I had a pulmonary embolism. If you would like to read about it go back to October 17-21, 2010 on my blog. I just re-read my posts and cried a little, I relived my sweet family's pain of watching me suffer.

I can't believe it has been just two years, it seems like much longer. Much has changed since then for me and us as a family. We are certainly stronger, a little wiser, our faith is greater. I have lost 150 lbs. and my health is much better. I work a part time job now where I stand for hours at a time, which I could not have done two years ago.

This girl wouldn't leave my side for a moment and she learned a lot about herself and the strength she has.
pretty sister, pretty light

This sweetie took care of the home and my boys while I healed. I know she wanted to be with me, but she did what she needed to do. She learned a lot also, about herself and the strength of her family.
These two worried and made sure the girls were ok. My sweet, sweet boys.

John 14:27
I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I'm Back!!
It has been too long; I have been busy though with work, family and stuff. Yes, work! I have a part-time job now as a customer service manager at our local Roses!! It is not a bad gig at all and I like working with the public, believe it or not.

Weight loss is going great. 150 lbs now. Once I wrapped my mind around calories vs. energy expelled vs. metabolism it was simple. I eat within a certain calorie range, eat healthy, lose fairly regularly, experience plateaus without freaking out (most of the time) and feel 100% better. Two years ago I could not have done the job I do now at work because I couldn't stand for 30 minutes, much less hours at a time.

God has blessed us in so many ways. Earlier this year our refrigerator started going out and a dear friend felt led to get us a new one. So humbling for us, and a huge blessing. A few months ago our oven went out; we could use the stove top though. At first I thought, oh no, we can't do this, but we did and we felt blessed to have the stove top. We remained content with what we had. A month or so back we thought we had found a stove, but things didn't work out. (that happens for a reason) I wasn't upset by this and resolved that we would gather the money to buy one or continue to do with what we had. Then Wm's cousin contacted us and said he knew someone that had a gas oven they wanted to sell. I asked, of course, how much. He said $25.00. I thought, this has to be a mess; the last one we thought we had was older than this one and they wanted a lot more. It was perfect! Newer than the one we had and looked like it had never been used and it was $25.00!!!! It works perfect. God is good!!

William continues to have work into November and December, which is always a huge blessing. And the fact that his health is good as he enters his mid 50's is another blessing. He can work circles around guys half his age. He is an amazing husband and father; so faithful and devoted.

The kids are wonderful, as always. Wm. and I are so blessed to have 3 great kids. Hannah is working on a cookbook proposal and getting other photography jobs and selling her prints. Her persistence and patience is paying off, along with her amazing talent. Sarah is praying for direction from God for her life, but while she is, she is doing a beautiful job keeping the house running and the family fed while I work. It is sad that this is underrated in our society today; our homes are the heart of the family and so incredibly important. This is where we find refuge, safety, acceptance and love. They should be well cared for and Sarah is doing just that. Hayden is helping is dad with the business and has become invaluable to William. He continues to develop his musical talent on various string instruments and will begin his Eagle Scout project soon.

God continues to faithfully teach me much. Every experience is an opportunity for me to learn more about God's nature. More about His endless grace, my endless need, His extravagant love, my need for His love. My need for Him is greater than any other need I have.

Remember, the greatest is yet to come!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today's Post Brought to You By the Number 5

That is because I got a new skirt in the mail today and it is 5 sizes smaller!!!!!!
This is the first skirt I have purchased since beginning my weight loss. I, like most women, had various sizes in my closet including some that hadn't fit in a long time. So, I have had clothes to wear. But, I needed a new denim skirt desperately as my old ones were cinched up as far as they would go. 

I really thought I had been too ambitious with the size; I figured I would be sending it back to exchange it for a size up or so. BUT, NO!!! It fits, in fact, I could probably go another size down!! 

Psalms 71:14
But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thankful For His Voice

taking time to stop & smell the roses

I just miss it sometimes and it frustrates me to no end. I want to hear it above all else: above my doubts, above the world, above my need to control. But, sometimes His is not the loudest voice; it is that constant, never changing word that I already know and He has no reason to yell at me.

I am thankful that He doesn't lose patience with me, but continues to speak into my life through His Word and the Holy Spirit.

When I do hear, even if I am slow to hear, I am thankful for God's sovereignty in my life. My spirit soars when I see how He works things out for the good even when I am slow to get with the plan. To know that His plan will not be thwarted gives me peace when I am frustrated.

You shall walk after the Lord your God and [reverently] fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cling to Him. Deuteronomy 13:4

And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:2

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Catching Up


I can not believe it has been so long since I blogged. Life has been busy and full of challenges for our family. Thankfully God's blessings outweigh any of the difficulties.

In February, to mix things up a bit, my heart decided to jog one evening. I became very dizzy and ill and we made a trip to the ER. The doctors couldn't get my heart rate down in the ER so I got to spend two nights in ICU. :) The medicine finally did the job and all my tests came back great so I was sent home! No more incidents, but I think Hannah feels that two health scares in less than 1.6 yrs. too much. Bless her heart.

Sarah, Hayden and I continue to LOVE our homeschool co-op. They have made wonderful friends and their classes are great. I teach Bible to 3rd-6th grade and every week I am amazed at these kids. They are insightful and inquisitive. We studied the names of God the first semester and this semester we are studying some of the Proverbs. I enjoy every minute of teaching them and I love to see God bless our time.

God continues to work on me in many ways; sometimes it is painful and humbling...ok, most of the time it is painful and humbling. I struggle often with money and trusting God's provision when I can't see how He will provide. I struggle with empathy at times and God put opportunities (read challenges) in my path to exercise my compassion. I fail often, but He is patient and allows me to ask forgiveness and try again. It hurts to fail, but I try to learn something every time I fall short.

Proverbs 15:31
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.

As my children get older I find that this season of life is so sweet. These amazing people are my friends as well as my children. Though I still guide, provide and chasten, they are truly a joy to be around. I love our conversations and debates. I stand in awe at their zest for life. I am blessed.

Isaiah 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Spring has come to our mountains and we are enjoying it to its fullest. Winter wasn't harsh this year, but we always miss the color Spring brings and the sounds of the birds in the trees. The temperature has already reached into the 80's so I wonder what summer will be like.

I choose to seek joy daily. Do I succeed everyday? Well, certainly not every hour, but God is honoring my striving. I tell my Bible class, wisdom by definition, is something gained over time and with experience; it does not come quickly or easily. We must be patient, for it can not be gained through anything but living life and knowing God's word. And wisdom brings joy and the Bible says that wisdom gives us protection. I love God's promises!

Proverbs 4:6-7
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Journey

The weight loss journey has been interesting and eye opening. Wholly enjoyable also. Some have asked to see some progress pictures, so here they are!





just started


To be continued...