Archives for April 2012

Transitions

But in faith Abraham left everything – his home and family – and went to the land the Lord would slowly grant him.”

Abram [Abraham] who did not always wait, obey, or trust – is chosen to have more descendants than the sands in the sea. This man from Ur was selected out of everyone on the planet of that time to receive THE PROMISE. So why Abram?

Genesis 12:4 suggests an initial answer: “So Abram left.” Perhaps one answer is simply, “Because he’d go.

All God told Abram about his ultimate destination was that He would show it to Him. In other words, “The only way you’re going to find it is to walk with Me. When we get close, I’ll show it to you.”

And He did.

“So Abram built an altar to the Lord.” [Genesis 12:7]

The Patriarchs, Beth Moore

Could the same be said of you?

Why use this girl?

“Because she’d go.”

We’re talking transitions this week.

Following,
Ginger

Friday Finds: Action Verbs

Just a few from the Old Testament:

THE GOD WHO…

HEARS Hagar – Genesis 16:11
SEES Hagar – Genesis 16:13
HEARS Ishmael – Genesis 21:17
OPENS the eyes of Hagar – Genesis 21:19
SEES Leah – Genesis 29:31
HEARS Leah – Genesis 29:33
LISTENS to Leah – Genesis 30:17
REMEMBERS Rachel – Genesis 30:22
WAS WITH Joseph – Genesis 39:2
SENDS Joseph – Genesis 45:5
INTENDED GOOD – Genesis 50:20
WAS KIND – Exodus 1:20
HEARD & REMEMBERED, LOOKED & WAS CONCERNED – Exodus 2:24-25
HEARD & REMEMBERED -Exodus 6:6
DID what Moses asked – Exodus 8:13
BROUGHT – Exodus 12:51
WILL FIGHT for you -Exodus 13:14
SAVED Israel – Exodus 14:30
HEALS you – Exodus 15:26
GIVES – Exodus 16:8
HEARD – Exodus 16:9
COMMANDED – Exodus 17:1
CARRIED you – Exodus 19:4
BROUGHT them out – Exodus 20:2
BLESSED the Sabbath day – Exodus 20:11
WILL GIVE you – Exodus 25:21
WILL MEET with you – Exodus 25:21
WILL DWELL among you – Exodus 29:45
HAS GIVEN skill – Exodus 31:6
CAME DOWN – Exodus 34:5
CHOSE – Exodus 35:30
GAVE ability – Exodus 36:2
COMMANDED – Exodus 39:21
CALLED Moses – Leviticus 1:1
GAVE – Leviticus 7:38
SPOKE to Moses – Leviticus 16:1
GIVES the Land – Leviticus 20:24
MAKES us holy – Leviticus 22:32

and on and on…

He’s moving even when you feel stagnant.
He’s listening even when you’ve run out of things to say.

I’m resting today in the fact that He sees me and the mountain that’s before me… and that His promise is to journey with me all the way.

Happy Friday,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Heart Burn

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23, NIV

Guarding your heart isn’t the same as locking it up. Go figure.

Today’s Thursday Tip is a retro video post, but it’s one of my favorites. Grab a plate, hit play and let’s chat heart to heart…

Keep sharing and guarding.

Following,
Ginger

Interested but not Desperate

Dear Ginger,

So I have a guy friend that I really like. I want to make myself available and convey my interest in him, but I also want to allow him to pursue me and not portray myself as desperate. I find it hard to create a balance, sometimes even more so when we’re already friends. I don’t know how often it’s appropriate for me to call him or initiate seeing him? T

GIRL! Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt and then had to take it back because it was the wrong size.

Awesome, I love that you’ve noticed some great characteristics in one of your guy friends. If he really is one of your friends he is already aware that you are “available.” In my mind, not dating someone = available. I remember telling a girl friend that I had “guy problems” with one of my guy friends. I liked him but he wasn’t doing anything about it. She asked me some tough questions.

Girl friend: “Are you dating him?”

Me: “Nope.”

Girl friend: “Has he expressed interest in dating you?”

Me: “Not really.”

Girl Friend: “Is he socially capable and mature?”

Me: “Yes.”

Girl Friend: “Is he coming onto you but not making dating intentions clear?”

Me: “NO!”

Girl Friend: “Then what’s the problem? It doesn’t sound like he has the problem.”

“Guard your heart” is a popular phrase thrown around in Christian dating circles and books. It’s from the book of Proverbs and has a ton of wisdom packed in one very short sentence. It’s a great truth to remember in dating situations. I should protect my heart because it’s valuable. But I often wish Solomon had something to say about the OTHER side of dating… like: “How do I put myself out there?”

After my heart was broken a few times I began to take guarding to the extreme.    I decided enough was enough.  I was not going to do any more grieving… and I took it too far.  I became a giant ice block.  When asked about my opinions or feelings I would change the topic, shy away from sharing, and refrain from making eye contact with the opposite sex. 

I’m the first to admit that I don’t want my heart to run out ahead of me, but at the same time… I can’t close myself off in relationships. Sometimes you have to “put yourself out there.” I have a go-to friend when it comes to relationships.  She’s given me countless words of wisdom over the years and her most frequent comment actually comes from her dad. She was always quick to remind me that if I want to win big, I have to be willing to risk big.

This may come as a shock to you (cough, cough), but men are not mind readers.  I know, this would have been good to know from the beginning, wouldn’t it?  I have sent hundreds of hints toward prospective guys only to find myself saying, “Why isn’t he doing anything?!”  Sometimes they need more than a hint.

-Be specific. Only show ONE guy partiality at a time.

-Be intentional. Ask him about his life and interests; convey that you want to get to know him! Remember the things he tells you.

-Be engaging. Rather than playing it super cool or hard-to-get, try SMILING when you see him!

I very much applaud your desire to have your friend pursue you. And I’m not suggesting that you need to ask him out. I still believe that the relationship needs to start with the guy. But while I admitedly don’t have all the answers, I do think it comes down to a balance of protecting what God has given us while being willing to risk rejection. 

Last minute thoughts:

  1. Don’t act weird around your friend. Just be normal and be you.
  2. Don’t manipulate situations to end up alone with him. If it happens, it happens.
  3. Surround yourself with dreamers and realists. You’re right, it’s fun to rejoice in all of the little happy moments when you like someone. “HE TEXT MESSAGED ME AGAIN!” But guarding your heart is an active decision. Make sure you have friends that are willing to keep you grounded! (And beware of telling the ENTIRE world. Choose a few solid women you trust.)
  4. Spend time with him in all sorts of settings. Get a group together to serve, to play games, and get to know each other. Let him know you are glad when he shows up!
  5. I think you have the freedom to call or text if you want to – you are friends, right? But you also have to know the motives in your heart. If your day is made or destroyed by how quickly he texts back, then I think you are treading on dangerous ground. Anything that has that much power over our emotions could be an indicator of an idol in our lives.
  6. Trust and believe that God has things under control and that your life doesn’t surprise Him! He knows your worries before you express them. Find freedom in placing the desires of your heart with the One who created your heart.
  7. If you find yourself obsessing, pull out Psalm 63 and note David’s love that kept him awake and dreaming at night. How often do we express such devotion to our Heavenly Father?

Relationships are amazing gifts, but with two broken individuals they can quickly become complicated. Continue to filter your emotions through the truth of God’s Word. Be real with yourself and with your trusted advisors. Be open and honest in prayer. Keep this situation in perspective and realize if this truly is to be part of your story, the Master Storyteller knows exactly how to make the characters come together.

Thanks for asking, T! Praying for your heart and your adventure.

Following and Listening,
Ginger

Waiting with Hope

“Your hope cannot be put in some dreamed-up future. It must be in the God who knows your past, present and future, and loves you enough to give you the best.” Lady in Waiting by Debby Jones and Jackie Kendall

“Wait with hope for the LORD. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the LORD.”
-Psalm 27:14, GWT

Are you waiting with hope or with frustration? (Asking myself that same question today.)

Waiting,
Ginger

Waiting for the Answer

Don’t fear or resent the waiting periods in your life. These are the very gardens where the seeds of faith blossom. Whenever circumstances stimulate you to deepen your faith, don’t resist them; instead embrace them willingly. Elisabeth Elliot said in Passion and purity:

“I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”

Whenever the ‘unanswered question’ captures your mind… take a moment to commit that care where it belongs. As First Peter 5:7 says, ‘Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.’

Lady in Waiting by Debby Jones and Jackie Kendall

Are you in a waiting period?

I find myself seeking answers more during a waiting period. The seeking might start as a desire JUST for the answer to my question, but God is gracious to give me more of Him in spite of my motives. I’m praying for the focus to seek Him first…

Seeking in the Waiting,
Ginger

Friday Finds: Be Still

Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10, NASB

“Let go of your concerns!
   Then you will know that I am God.
      I rule the nations.
      I rule the earth.” Psalm 46:10, GWT

Our God says, “Calm down,
    and learn that I am God!
    All nations on earth
    will honor me.” Psalm 46:10, CEV

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10, NIV

 Be. Still.


Be Still – The Fray

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Silence

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, 
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning. 
   How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). 
   He’s all I’ve got left.

 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits
   to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope, 
   quietly hope for help from God.

Lamentations 3:22-26, MSG

I’m still learning to apply those three things to my situation.

1. Passionately wait.

2. Diligently seek.

3. Quietly hope.

And I would add to that list:

4. Keep walking by faith.

Sometimes I forget to continue moving while I’m waiting, seeking and hoping. Jesus demonstrated leaving the throngs of people and going off on a mountain to pray… but after a few hours he came back down and kept loving those very people.

So how do I face the unknown future?

I walk in the truth that I know, I claim God’s good promises, and I confidently acknowledge that He will guide the life I have entrusted to Him.

Still learning,
Ginger

Strained Friendship

Dear Ginger

I have this friend that started cutting herself the other day. I told my teacher at school and now my friend hates me for telling. I don’t know what to do because I really want to keep her as a friend. –A

Dear A,

I want you to know how brave you are. Thank you for taking the time to send in your question, and for caring enough about your friend to make sure she gets the help that she really needs. I am so sorry that you are hurting because of this situation.

While it feels like your action damaged your friendship at the moment, your courage to seek help for your friend is actually the best thing you could have done for her.

The truth is that many teens cope with the hard stuff in their lives by keeping those things to themselves. I know because that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t like the way my body looked and I was desperate for attention, so I began hurting my body in secret. The first step in my healing was the day that I told someone about my dark secret. By bringing my hurt and struggle out in the open it gave that struggle less power. Satan loves to keep us trapped in our secrets.

I do think there are some things you can consider as you work toward healing in this friendship.

  1. Pray for your friend. She needs you to be her friend, but more than anything – she needs to turn to the Great Healer, God. Her hurts are deeper than just on her skin. Cutting is an indication that her heart is in so much pain. Pray for your friend every time that you think of her.
  2. Give her time and space. As you give her a chance to determine how she really feels, continue to develop your relationship with the Lord. Why don’t you try reading some of these verses and then journal about what they have to say regarding friendships, hurt, and healing: Psalm 27:14 and 147:3, Proverbs 12:26 and 18:24, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 4:7.
  3. Don’t gossip about the situation. I applaud you for telling a teacher. I am so proud of you for speaking up because I know it probably wasn’t easy. But I also want to remind you that this isn’t something you need to share with other friends at school. The quickest way to create an even bigger wedge in this friendship is to have rumors flying about your friend that somehow started because of something you said.
  4. Be ready to listen when she’s finally ready to talk again. I know from experience how much you might want to interject and explain all your reasons for telling, but she’s going to need ample time to explain why she feels hurt and even betrayed.
  5. Be genuine! Tell you friend how you feel about the situation and why it was so important for you to tell the teacher. Make sure you never make her feel as though you are the perfect one and she’s the one with issues. We all have problems and we all experience and process pain in different ways.
  6. Be empathetic. Make sure your friend knows that you care. If we move past pain too quickly and want things “to just get back to normal” before we have time to process them, we miss out on an opportunity to give love to a friend who is really hurting.
  7. Make sure YOU are sharing with a trusted adult about how you are handling the situation. This is going to be a challenging time, especially if your relationship is strained for a while. Open up and share with a teacher, youth leader, counselor or parent about what you are thinking and feeling.

A – thank you for being the kind of friend that helps rather than just stands by and watches someone fall.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NLT

Following,
Ginger

What HE says…

 

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”

Ephesians 1:11-12, MSG

Question: What are you living for?

Big topic to cover tomorrow. I hope you’ll weigh in on the conversation.

Following and listening,
Ginger