Let’s have a fight!

argument-3312463_1280Like many people, I’m not intrinsically adept at confrontation.  That’s a nice way of saying that I tend to avoid it like the Black Plague, whereas my dear husband of 30-plus years (emphasis on the “plus”) has no problem with it.  I have always struggled being overly concerned with what people think of me.  Bob…well, let’s just say, not so much.  So, one can easily imagine how, once the honeymoon period wears off (five days???) and real life kicks in, communication patterns with regard to expectations can be…challenging. 

During one of our relatively few “disagreements”, I was doing my typical backing down routine, when my counterpart surprisingly said, “Now wait a minute!  Don’t you give up so easily!  Just because I’m louder doesn’t mean I’m right.”

He’s so good for me.

Learning to argue is a definite skill set for any relationship.  Setting boundaries, no name-calling, dealing with my own ego and emo, learning healthy compromise, being motivated by love rather than the innate desire to “be right”…the human psyche isn’t born with these things; they have to be intentional in any relationship.

Except one. Continue reading “Let’s have a fight!”

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Bring on the livestock

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Our pastor is very open about both his successes and, shall we say, learning experiences.  I really appreciate that, since my “learning experiences” sometimes tend to seemingly outweigh the successes, if you get my meaning.  One story that he tells is about the time he went to visit a friend and missionary in Haiti, Jay Threadgill.  Dr. Threadgill has been in Haiti for over twenty years, and Pastor Lawrence has gone down there several times to be “on site” with this incredible ministry. 

Among his many other accomplishments, Pastor L. also plays the trumpet.  In preparing for this particular visit, he felt that God was telling him to take his trumpet along.  Well, you know, it’s just another thing to lug around on the airplane, it’s hot and sweaty down there, who knows if he would even have the occasion to use it, blah, blah, blah.  Nope, that wasn’t God speaking…

Until he got down there.  And, yes, talk about missing a real opportunity—oops.  A little more than the “I coulda had a V-8” variety.

We are bent to compromise our giving to God, a.k.a. sacrifices, due to personal convenience.  We are experts at being “practical” and thereby missing out on situations that may never pass our way again. 

Moses may have recognized this concept when, standing before Pharaoh, he refused to budge from what God was telling him to do.  After the beginning of what was to be epic hardship for the nation of Egypt as they position themselves between Yahweh and His people, the king offers a compromise (more than once) by amending what Moses says they are to do. 

Moses says the Hebrew nation as a whole is to go into the wilderness to worship God together.  Despite a few warning shots across the bow, Pharaoh still thinks he’s in control, and bargains—y’all can go, but leave the cows.

Moses’ reply:

“All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the LORD our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the LORD until we get there.”

Once again, what a profound principle is embedded in a obscure little sentence! 

Everything I have I must be emotionally and practically positioned to sacrifice to God.  And here’s the kicker: I won’t know until I get to “that place” in my life what and how to sacrifice it

In other words, when I come to Christ, I bring it all.  Not just the “good” stuff, but ALL the stuff.  My future, my present, and yes, even my past.  The things that are pretty, and the (many) things that are not.  The unwanted and shamed and broken pieces, as well as the best of the best. 

Nothing stays back “in Egypt”.   

Otherwise, it will likely be used for the wrong side.

 

Ex 10:26 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2) (Kindle Locations 3751-3753). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.