Humble

:having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance:

Nothing like a little humility to set me straight.

After my last post I started the research journey of lent. Which seriously means I read Facebook posts and blogs. God speaks through people, so those are total accountable resources! Right? Real stories! I opened my bible too….online….on my computer screen, for truth. I pulled sources together, cross referenced things, listened to God.

I heard this over everything:

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18

I’m pretty sure this was God covering my mouth and telling me nicely to shut up. I had to take a step back and ask myself, “Mandy, who are you fasting for? What is your purpose in this? It’s not even a real fast, what are you doing? Who’s applause do you want?”

Then I felt conviction. I felt humility. I felt a little dirty.

In came grace. Right on time. Real grace. I said He would catch me. He sat me down, rubbed my head and said, “Oh child of mine, you have so much to learn. Great enthusiasm though, keep it up!” Then I woke up humbled, renewed.

I started this thing to learn, learn I have and learning I am and will continue to do so. But I will do so quietly. I won’t complain to co workers or mention it at home. I will just do it with obedience and with silence. Of course after this blog entry I will start. I was convicted again on even writing about this, but after prayer and reflection and listening to God I believe I am to share it. To walk with Christ is to give glory in all we do to God. I just learned something HUGE and was caught beautifully by His grace.

I open myself to wisdom, ask for it and seek it. With wisdom comes humility.

I am humbled.

So strange to say and an even odder concept….I am honored to have been embarrassed by my words because the wisdom that came from my humility has humbled me and has made me in awe of my creator. God is so beautiful and so full.

And this is the purpose of a fast that I have come to realize….to have a spiritual awakening. To reflect. To curl up on God’s lap and say “God, I need you right now, more than ever. Catch me. Teach me. I love you. You fill me. You are not of this word. Thank you.” and to do so quietly. Intimacy with Yahweh.

More truth could be revealed and it will humble me more and I will be grateful.

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Lady Wisdom or Lady Folly

I am addicted to sugar. It’s better than booze and drugs, but lets relate and not compare here. So, I am throwing in the towel, taking the plunge, going off the deep end and am going to deal with this the only way I know how.

Enter in glittery Jesus with snazzy background music!

Who’s the guy who takes away the sins of the world? ….Jesus

Who’s the guy who catches me when I fall?…..Jesus

Yeah!…and guess who is going to bail me out of this mess!?……same Jesus

It’s time for lent. What a coincidence! Wait…..this Christian doesn’t believe in coincidences, but believes that God is a master at bringing the universe together for his children babies and that includes ME! So lent is sort of a weird thing to me. I’ll be honest. I feel like people do it to just do it and feel all spiritually without knowing why or how they are doing what they are doing. So usually I don’t participate for that reason. I don’t even know where lent started or why. I just know its the 40 days pre cross. It’s not even biblical. I also know that God reveals wisdom when we seek with our hearts, so maybe this year that knowledge will be revealed. And maybe not. I have been google searching though, today, just a little.

So drum roll please……..cymbal crash!  CRASH

This year I am going to do this. I am going to sort of fast for Jesus. Why? Because I do all things for the glory of God. The bible tells me to do that. (1 Corinthians 10ish look it up, it’s good) So I will jump on this lent bandwagon and throw sugar off the back end. I will do this in the name of Jesus because he is my savior and he is who rescues me when I make messes.

I keep thinking of Paul, also in 1 Corinthians….I’m in Corinth today, my thoughts just keep jumping to this book. Which, my friends, is NOT coincidence. THAT is the nudge of God. So I am fearfully going to listen to that nudge and surrender my love of sugar and also read 1 Corinthians again tonight while researching lent.

OK, 1 Corinthians 9…at the very end Paul talks about beating his flesh. I am going to hugely paraphrase, my apologies to the bible scholars in advance, but I will quote it too just so it’s there,

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

So here he isn’t speaking of actually hitting himself, but of self discipline. Or maybe he was a cutter. Maybe when he spoke about the thorn in his flesh he was LITERALLY speaking of a thorn. Mystery solved! I’m spreading rumors, sorry Paul. We all have faults and thorns. I’m not judging! Anyways. We must stay disciplined. We must stay sharp. We must deny ourselves desires of our flesh and wants of this world. If I give into my flesh, engorge on what I want and give into temptation, then who am I worshiping? My God or myself? I will choose God. I will deny myself. Physically speaking I will do this with sugar. I will keep myself sharp and keep this temple of my soul healthy. Breaking my flesh to strengthen my soul.

As I was reading “The Best Yes” today by Lisa Terkeurst I was “coincidently” reading a chapter with the same theme. Proverbs 9. It compares 2 women, wisdom and folly. It is so so good. So good I will paste these goodies too!

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has set up[a] its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
    from the highest point of the city,
    “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
    “Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
    whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
    rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
    teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom[b] your days will be many,
    and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
    if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

13 Folly is an unruly woman;
    she is simple and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out to those who pass by,
    who go straight on their way,
16     “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
17     “Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

So we have 2 women. Both call out “Let all who are simple come to my house.” They are in the same location and asking the same things. The difference is Wisdom has prepped, practiced and self disciplined herself. She is ready. There are no short cuts there. She is living. She is fruitful. I love this. I am Lady Wisdom, not perfect, never said or will say that, but teachable. I am prepping my body, heart and mind for eternity. I am kicking the sugar to the curb in the name of Jesus. Squishing my wants for His will.

It was sugar or social media. Ha…I can’t get out of bed without social media. Real talk. I choose the easy way out really. After all, I am not Jesus.