I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Other Key

There is one other major key to this transformation. It is the Holy Spirit. We need to Holy Spirit to help us to understand and apply the Word of God.

John 14:26
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

John 16:13-15
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you."

Now, if you are like me, you just skimmed over those verses and quickly moved on to this paragraph. As much as I love reading the Word on my own I often skim over it when it is written in a book or on a blog. (Why I would want to know what a person says more than what God says, I can't explain, but that is what I tend to do, and I doubt that it is very unusual.) What I want you to do right now is go back and read, Read, really READ those verses above. (I would strongly recommend reading all of John 14-17. This is Jesus' last discourse to his disciples.) Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot benefit from the full impact of the Word. The Holy Spirit TEACHES us. He is the Spirit of Truth. Much of the Word of God is a mystery...foolishness to the world. We need the Holy Spirit to make it clear to us.

Yes, I am talking about being "filled with the Holy Spirit." Frankly, I haven't studied much about the Holy Spirit, and I feel rather unqualified to write about this. I wouldn't even approach this subject if I didn't feel that it was so vital. I may not have much "head knowledge" on this subject, but I was filled with the Holy Spirit at a young age with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and I know that the power I have had to live my life has come through the power of the Holy Spirit. I speak in tongues daily, and I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and to reveal truth. I cannot imagine living my life in any other way.

I realize this a controversial topic, and I definitely believe that you can be saved without being filled with the Holy Spirit, but I also know that the Bible teaches that these are two separate experiences that are still relevant today. When I read about the ministry of the Holy Spirit (comforting-John 14:16, John 15:26; leading us into truth and teaching us-John 16:13, John 14:26; revealing the things of God to us-I Cor. 2:10-14; giving us power-Acts 1:8, I Cor. 2:4, Rom. 15:19; giving us hope-Rom. 15:13; teaching us what to say-Luke 12:12; empowering us to speak the Word with boldness-Acts 4:31; etc.), I definitely don't want to be left out of any of it!

Here is an article (and also a free mp3 download) by one of my favorite ministers that explains more http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/holy_spirit

I would encourage you to look into this for yourself if you have not experienced it. Please feel free to ask me if you have questions. I'll do my best to answer them or point you somewhere that you can get the answers.

Psalm 119:97-99

O how I love Thy law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Thy testimonies are my meditation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Crux of the Core

We enjoy listening to Hank the Cowdog audiobooks when we travel. There is one silly phase that has always stuck with me as a good one: "the crux of the core." Yes, Hank is ignorantly combining two expressions that mean the same thing-- "the heart of the matter." I like it because of the double emphasis. Today, in my unusual second-day-in-a-row-with-time-in-the-morning-to-post, I am going to get straight to the main point rather than leading up to it gradually.

I can trace the beginning of my metamorphosis to one point: when I began to focus my study in God's Word. I have been a Christian since childhood. I have never seriously rebelled. I have always had daily quiet times to read the Bible and pray. Yes, there have been a few dry periods, but for the vast majority of the past 35 years--and I'll be 40 this fall--I have read my Bible every day. I know that this produced some fruit. Because of it I have a relatively good overall knowledge of the Word, and often a specific scripture would minister to me at a particular time, but I did not see wholesale changes in my life. I didn't even know that changes were possible...or needed.

At one point, three or four years ago, I decided to study out the scriptures related to widows. I was widowed in 2003 and God had since led other young widows into my life. I wanted to consolidate what God had to say about widows. It was a wonderful study. I learned so much about God's heart for the widow; but at the same time, unbeknownst to me, I was studying about the orphan, too. Most scriptures in the Bible that are about how God takes care of the widow, also tell how he takes care of the orphan. About a year or so after I did that study, God suddenly dropped into my heart that I was supposed to adopt a child from Asia. It wasn't until several months into the process that I made the connection to my Bible study. Super T came home in January and has been such a blessing to our family. I don't know what we did without him. Through my studying of scriptures about widows, God changed my heart toward the orphan. It was automatic and effortless and unperceived until the butterfly emerged and, soon after, took flight.

After I saw the benefits of my widow study, I began to study other things. The most recent item on the study menu has been education, but that will be a topic for another entire post (or several.)

Pick a topic and study it out. Think about those verses. Pray about them. It is the Word that has the power to TRANSFORM our lives. You may not see immediate changes, but they are going on in your mind. His Word renews your mind...transforming it into what He wants it to be.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Does the caterpillar know what is going to happen to it when it makes its chrysalis? Does it know that after a few weeks of seeming inactivity it will emerge a butterfly?

I am compelled to write about changes that occurred in me that I didn't even know were happening...things I didn't plan on. They were a natural outgrowth of my spiritual life...mostly of my study of the Bible, the Word of God. This is not a formula. I am going to tell what happened in me, but really I didn't plan for or expect it. Of course, now that I have seen how it works, I am more deliberate about it.

I hope this blog can help you see how this transformation has occurred in my life so you can be deliberate about building your chrysalis and effecting change in your life. You may not be able to predict the form that this change will take, but it will be good. It will be very good and exciting and maybe scary. Imagine that first thrilling flight of a newly transformed butterfly...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Floppy Wings

Do you see that fourth butterfly up there? That is how I feel. My metamorphosis has occurred, but my wings are still floppy. Soon I hope to be able to stretch them out and fly.