Posts Tagged "Christian Living"
Some life lessons come harder than others. Being good is one of them.
While I’ve struggled with various temptations and issues as a child, teen, daughter, friend, wife, and mother, I’ve always understood one truth.
Left on my own, I tend to cross the line, dabble in what pleases me, explore areas of life better left unknown.
Yes, I might manage to hang onto to a husband, produce little people that grow up to be functioning members of society, and enjoy a few close friendships.
I may have more happy days than sad. When you look at me, you might think I have it all together, that I’ve figured life out, that I’m sure about my path. That I am a good person.
But you would be wrong.
Inside, where it counts, I could never claim to be innately good.
I do what’s expected. Cover feelings considered unacceptable. Bite back words I know shouldn’t say. Work hard to fit in. Smile and frown on cue. Move forward. Juggle life. Deal with some issues. Bury others.
But anything truly good, anything right, anything pure does not originate in me. Because inside, I hide anti-good behaviors and thoughts. Inside, I squelch desires I know I shouldn’t have. Inside, I am a completely different person.
Although on the outside it may look like we’ve become better people as adults, sometimes we’ve just become better at masking our flaws and insecurities. Emotions like jealousy, hate, and anger never completely disappear just because we age and develop a few wrinkles.
Some days maturity has more to do with what I censor and harness inside my head than how much I’ve really grown and changed.
Sad, but true.
But hiding is not what God has asked of me. He doesn’t want me to conceal who I really am. He wants to change what’s inside me to reflect what’s inside Him.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
Those are the qualities God asks me to seek.
And so I do. With His help. Hoping one day, what He wants for me will be what I am.
He wants me to be honest. Stop hiding. Quit covering. Be real. Change inside and out. Permanently. He wants a new me. A renewed me. He wants the best for me.
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9,10 NIV).
Thankfully, it is in His strength that I find the best things, put them on, and offer them back to Him.
For in my strength alone, I will always remain helpless, insecure, and eons from innately good.
Lord, help me put on the new today. Help me look to You for the things You want for me. Change me in a way that means I can never go back to the old.
As leader of my Sunday School class for the past eight years, I’ve made it a practice to read a short piece to the class each Sunday before bringing up the teacher. Sometimes it would be something funny or something to do with current events, but frequently it would be an inspirational or devotional piece I’ve received in an email. I’ve carefully saved all of these readings over the years.
Last year it dawned on me that I had a treasure trove of Christian stories I could share with others. I went back through my files and selected 67 of the pieces I’ve read through the years. The selection includes some of my own thoughts and one piece written by my daughter. The rest are those I’ve received in emails.
My first step was to try to contact the authors of the pieces whenever I could find their names. Then I sent emails to each asking permission to include his or her piece in my book. Of course, I had to omit a number of them whose authors either were unlocatable or denied permission. The result was the stories I’ve included in the book, Heaven Sent. Many of them are anonymous, but I’ve attributed those authors I found who gave me permission to use their stories.
Once I selected the stories which would go into the book, I appended comments of my own to them, except, of course, for the ones I originally wrote. To eliminate confusion, I put the original stories in italics, with my comments following in plain text.
As a special offer in conjunction with this guest blog, you can buy Heaven Sent for Kindle today and tomorrow for only $.99—as saving of $5.00. Click here to get your copy.
David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot, a would-be Nashville star, and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states.
He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers’ groups. Two of his books, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats. Click here for more information and links to purchase these books.
David is currently working on a series of novellas taking over where Fancy leaves off early in the Civil War and following her life over a period of the next twenty years or so. Fancy: Louisville – Vol 3 is now out, and others will follow every couple of months or so.
I’ve learned something over the last few years. God lives in an upside down, backward, sideways economy. At least according to human standards. For me, the prime example is how God does the most good inside my weakness. He uses my most broken moments to transform me and impact others.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV).Read More