October 31, 2014

D is for....Delight

Delight, according to the dictionary: (and check this out....a completely English teacher approved definition!)
     1. a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture:
     2. something that gives great pleasure:

     verb (used with object)
     3. to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly:

     verb (used without object)
     4. to have great pleasure; take pleasure (followed by in or an infinitive):

With that in mind, consider this repost from just over a year ago.

What am I "delighting" in?

'Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.' (Psalm 37:4 ESV). 

I often wonder what delighting myself in the Lord looks like...I often picture a child in utter amazement over something new, that look of sheer unabashed joy on their face, so perhaps it means this....'One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.'(Psalm 27:4 ESV). 

Oftentimes, this verse becomes part of "prosperity gospel" teachings. Teachings where we are told, if you do this...God will do that...you know the verses..."ask & it shall be given to you...", "if you ask anything in My name...", "if you have faith..." And the list goes on. I believe too often we take these verses out of context & think I will have more money, a better home, etc. we think in terms of 'things' when we think of the "desires of your heart."

I think the more I decide to delight in the Lord, to sit in utter awe of who He is & what He's done for lil ole me; the more the desires of my heart line up with His desires for me. And His desires go far beyond blessing me with 'things' or position. His desires are not my fleshly hearts desires...if I am delighting myself in the Lord so He will give me my hearts desire....my desires are definitely not His desires. 

So, before choosing to turn our backs on the Lord because "He isn't giving me what my heart wants"; perhaps we need to look a bit closer at a few things, the hard things in our own lives that maybe we'd rather just push under the rug & cast blame elsewhere...
    1. Our motive in spending time with God. Why do we set aside time with    
        Him? Is it because we treasure the relationship or is it so we can get
        something from Him?
    2. Where we place our value... "Where your treasure is, there your heart is
        also"? or to put it another way, what does our calendar reflect as our
    3. Are my desires more selfish or selfless?
    4. Is this truly God's best for me at this time?

And lastly, if you are a parent (or had a parent ��), do you give your child everything they ask for? If your child's hearts desire was to eat candy 24/7/365, would you allow it? Why/why not? I would not, because it would harm them, maybe not in those first moments; but eventually an all candy diet would cause them harm not good. As a parent, you know this...you can see the harmful implications down the road; so you say 'no, my dear child you may not have your hearts desire because this one will bring you harm.' Why do you tell them no? Because you love them and want the best for them, right?

Would you want your child to turn their back on you because of this? Of course not. The same is true for our Father in heaven. Not everything we want is 'good'. It may look good in the moment, but God sees the implications down the road & He does know best. So He says, 'no, my dear child you may not have your hearts desire because this one will bring you harm.' And yet, sometimes we push forward anyway...forcing our way, & just like the child who sneaks all that candy ends up with a belly ache, we end up in a 'pickle'. 
     Who is at fault for the belly-ache? ____________ 
     Who then is responsible for the 'pickle'? ___________


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October 24, 2014

Contemplating Contentment...

The definition is always the best place to start.
1. the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
2. Archaic. the act of making contentedly satisfied.

Those were my only 2 options? Wow, dictionary.com I feel a bit disappointed in your definitions this time...my English teachers would be slightly disappointed too, I think!

One thing that always comes to mind when I hear the word contentment is 1 Timothy 6:6 from the Bible. I learned that verse growing up and it has stuck with me. It was one of those verses that I never completely understood...until I lived in a rented farmhouse for 16 years. While living there, I began to understand what contentment really looked like (or rather felt like).

If you have never read this portion or pondered it, consider reading 1 Timothy. It is a wonderful instruction from an older Christian (Paul) to a younger man (Timothy). There is so much more to 6:6 than meets the eye because it starts with a "but" which means you need to read what comes before & after to get the real meaning.

For the sake of space I included some different versions of only 1 Timothy 6:6 to contemplate (Hey look at that another "c" word! I think I will adjust my post title, which will mean adding in a 2nd definition today-woohoo!) However, I would encourage you to read all of 1 Timothy. It isn't a very long book, yet it is full of so much. Paul, an older missionary, was instructing Timothy, a young man just beginning his missionary journey, on what Christ-likeness looks like.
We all have a mission field no matter where we are & what we are doing.
SAHM's: your mission field is your home
FTemployee: your workplace is your mission field
Business Owner: your mission field is everyone your business comes in contact with on a daily basis from employees to clients.
Writers: your readers or potential readers are your mission field.
Volunteer: the group you serve is your mission field.
Being a missionary does not require one to live over seas in a foreign country, because as Christ-followers, we are supposed to be foreigners in this world anyway. (But that is another post for another day!)
NIV (& quite a few other versions): "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
AMP: "[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [a]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain."
MSG: (6-8): "A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough."
NLT: "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth."
NCV: "Serving God does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have."
TLB: "Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good."
(This one feels very simplistic to me...but isn't that the point of contentment? Simplicity seems to be an intricate part of contentment.)

Oh, I almost forgot the 2nd definition for today.
verb (used with object), contemplated, contemplating.
1. to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully
2. to consider thoroughly; think fully or deeply about
3. to have as a purpose; intend.
4. to have in view as a future event
verb (used without object), contemplated, contemplating.
5. to think studiously; meditate; consider deliberately.
(Check that out...my English teachers would be so thrilled with those definitions!!! Not one strike-through!)

Contemplating Contentment:Where is your mission field?
How have you realized the value of contentment in your mission field?
Consider contemplating contentment today & sharing in the comment section...
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October 20, 2014

Blessing...a bit belated because my son was here!

I started this post before our son was due to arrive home for a long weekend on Fall Break; knowing that life may get a bit busy. Well, little did I know I'd choose to "live in the Blessing" rather than write about it!

As usual the best place to start a post on a word is with Webster, right? So here goes...
1. the act or words of a person who blesses.
 Better strike that one (my English teacher's definition of a definition once again won't allow this to as a working definition! hmmm...maybe I should consider the word definition for the letter D :) )
2. a special favor, mercy, or benefit:
3. a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
4. the invoking of God's favor upon a person:
5. praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal approval or good wishes
6. approval or good wishes

I love the word blessing & it's meaning. If you look at this previous post of mine you will see I've addressed this concept from another perspective...one that actually bothered me, at least enough to post about it.

Blessings & looking for them daily keep us focused on what is going well in our lives. Not so we can be fake & pretend that everything is just honky-dorey all the time. I think it's so we can have the true ability to be real, authentic people (see last weeks post!) Yes, sometimes my life has pain, discomfort, tears & deep aches....think child-birth for a moment here. (I know some of you won't understand & may not be able to read this example due to personal struggles...I apologize, as a writer sometimes it can be hard to share examples that every reader can relate to...This is the example that often comes to mind for me when I think of how blessings sometimes work. So please consider reading on, even if this isn't relative to you, isn't that how we learn?)

Child-birth is typically a very pain-filled experience. Mine was almost 25 hrs of close contractions, so there was ALOT of pain! After the pain, the biggest most beautiful blessing to ever be bestowed upon me was placed in my arms. Our son...has brought more joy & sorrow, laughter & tears, grey hairs & sleepless nights than I can count.

There were times he did not 'feel' like a blessing & it was in those moments that I CHOSE to look at the blessings that were there. (And trust me, some days I had to dig pretty deep into my Blessing Bag to find something, anything, a little scrap of blessing to keep me focused on the bigger picture which was NOT that moment!)Because in the midst of any & all pain, I do believe there are blessings to be found. This weekend, was FULL of blessings & I chose to soak in each & every one of them. Attempting to fill that Blessing Bag. Because I know that one day soon, I will be having a tough day, or a tough moment & it may be difficult in that moment to find a blessing. It is then I will dig back into my Blessing Bag & pull out something to remind me of just how blessed this life truly is. 

There is so much more I could write about Blessings, but this post would go on for a very long time...too long. So instead, how about you check out this Laura Story song about Blessings. And perhaps, you are a little bit like me & love a good backstory...click here for Laura's "Blessings" backstory.

Thank you Lord....for abundance of blessings in the tiniest of details all-around us. Please help me to chose to see the blessings around me. May my Blessing Bag always run deep.
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1.   B is for Balderdash

2.   Breakfast in Bed

3.   Brainstorming Fun

4.   B is for... Be Thankful

5.   Vera Brittain

6.   Beauty Instead of the Beast

7.   B is for Bats!

8.   B is for Backstory

9.   "B" is for Brick Books

10. Buried Treasure

11. Bricks of Savannah

12. Belated Because of Blessings

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October 10, 2014


I've decided it would be fun to participate in a "Blog Hop"... Thank you Lisa Betz (my friend over at www.lisabetz.com) This particular Blog Hop is 26 days from A....Z. Since I try to focus on all things relationship over here on thekingsmountain, I choose AUTHENTICITY as my first post. Here goes...

Authenticity: it seems my English teacher would not be thrilled with dictionary.com's definition at all...
the quality of being authenticgenuineness.
...well ok, maybe that second part. So let's try this instead, 
Authentic: (this one may be the better choice as per my English teacher's definition of a definition)
not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master. (I would add...the Bible is the authentic Word of God...yes, it has been verified)
entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa.
Law. executed with all due formalities: an authentic deed.
  1. (of a church mode) having a range extending from the final to the octave above.
    Compare plagal.
  2. (of a cadence) consisting of a dominant harmony followed by a tonic.
Obsolete, authoritative.

I think most of us if we were to open up a Reader's Digest (are they still in print today?) to the Word Power page (I LOVED this page!) when seeing the word "authentic" hope that definition #1 or #2 are in the options (#6....seriously would be my last guess....EVER! Ok, well, maybe not now). But I digress....

We want to talk about relationships & more specifically how today's word relates. 
Relationships....with God, my family & my friends. I want those relationships to be genuine & real. And if we are fortunate enough to have some true friendships, some authentic friendships, they will be 'verified' & 'reliable', often accepted because of known or what I'd call shared beliefs & experiences. (See definition #3)

What does authenticity in relationships look like? 
I would say it means a safe place where I can share the real me, the hurts, the pains, the joys, the delights, tears & laughter, deep wounds & scars from where I've healed all the while knowing that other person will still love & accept me. 

What keeps us from the authenticity in those places? 
For me...it's fear. Fear of being hurt again. Fear of being forgotten or left behind. Fear of being judged. I believe that for each one of us, our current & future authentic relationships can be defined in part by how our past relationships have "worked out." That makes me sad...because for me...I have been hurt, I have been forgotten, I have been left behind or worse-left out & I have been judged. What makes me even sadder though...is that when I take an authentic look inside myself, really deeply inside with the help of God's Holy Spirit, I realize that I have done this to others as well. I have hurt them. I have forgotten them or left them behind, or worse yet left them out. I have judged them. It may not have been intentional (rarely do any of us go around thinking, "hmmmm...how can I hurt this person the most today."), but I know I have still done these things. 

How am I going to be authentic when THAT happens? When I am the offendER? Authenticity says I will go to that person & bring to them the sorrow I feel over the hurt I brought to them. I will seek their forgiveness & attempt to the best of my ability to regain trust. 

What about if I am the offendED? I must be honest with the hurt, not bury it or put a smile on pretending all is well with that relationship. I need to offer forgiveness & an opportunity for the other party to regain trust in our relationship. That being said, I need to also know if this relationship is truly an authentic one. Today, in our world of social interactions, we have redefined the word 'friend' to be a number...of followers, of likes, of 140 characters. That is not authenticity. That is superficial (hmmmm an 's' word...oh shoot, I'm getting ahead of myself!) 

I think I shall end with this....what does authenticity look like in your world?