Thursday, November 10, 2011

Family update: October

We're a third of the way through November and I'm putting up a post on October.  Better late then never.

So here are the Hodge Family October Highlights:  As remembered through photos.

I used my last can of chantrelles.  A bittersweet moment.  
Grass raised beef with a Chantrelle sauce.  Fresh from the garden green beans and new potatoes.

Time to go mushroom picking again.

 Danner picked out this pumpkin at the patch.  He insisted on getting one that "not too big!"  Mommy  and Daddy were grateful.  Any chance that will last?

Later on it was turned into a choo choo train.

I pulled this out of my garden.  You may think whatever you like.  Personally, I believe growing a three legged carrot should automatically get me a master gardener badge.

In other notes, Hudson does not like green beans.  Obviously.


My husband is awesome.  As always.
And to wrap up the month, here are the bacon and eggs.  Bacon had his first earache.  I took him out anyways.  The eggs just didn't look right alone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Battle of the Wills

Ever find yourself angry, discontent and unsatisfied with life?

I do.  On a semi regular basis at that.  It's typically not the big stuff that wears me down.  No, it's the day in, day out mound of whining, interruptions, and always being needed, needed, needed that wears me down.  It's like a load on my back that keeps growing with every complaint and load of laundry.  Until one day I'm unloading the dishwasher and I start fighting the urge to cry, throw things, and tell God how unfair life is.  I mean, I had dreams at one time too.  Any they were a lot more glamorous then this!  I wanted to do big things for you God!  Live on the edge, travel great distances, save the lives of orphans.  Oh how I had plans.

And then God whispers in my ear, "I have you right where I need you, right now."


Long and fruitless argument ensues on my part.
Finally I am humbled enough to admit God's right and that really. is. a. good. thing.

Now, there's the question of how.  How do I live for God in the little ways?  How do I learn to be content?

And this is where I currently find myself.  And it's a good place because when I'm humble, and when I'm willing to learn and willing to seek (action, effort, and discipline required)  then God promises to teach.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all 
without finding fault, and it will be given to him."  
James 1:5

One of the things I've been reminded of over and over again lately is that I'm in the midst of THE war.  A full out battle between good and evil, truth and lie.  

God is good, he is truth.  And I already know that he wins.  And those who choose to be his soldiers, to kneel in submission to his leadership, they will be rewarded eternal life and riches beyond comprehension.

The devil is evil, he is a liar and a thief.  He is cunning and deceptive.  And I do believe his greatest ally is selfishness, the # 1 motivator of a person's choices and actions.

Hence I find myself, "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15b)  I want to be content, I want to be full of joy and peace, I want to live for God.  Yet I serve myself, I do what I feel, I follow what I want, I dream my own dreams and in doing so, I serve the devil.

WHY do I do this to myself!!!

Because it's easier.  I was born with a sinful nature.  It comes naturally to me.

"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, 
selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like." 
(Galations 5:19-21a)

"What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?"  
(Romans 7:24)

What hope is there for me?  How do I change?  

The first thing I have to do, ironically, is admit defeat.  In my own power and in my own strength, there is no hope.  I was born this way and it is just the way I am.

But, "Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25)  There is hope. 

"Who, being in very nature God, 
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, 
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself 
and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
and gave him the name that is above every name, 
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
and every tongue confess that 
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
(Philippians 2: 6-11)

He did what we could not do.  He defeated the sinful nature.  And instead of rubbing it in our faces or mocking our weakness, he choose to show us the ultimate love.  He willingly became our sin offering, our sacrificial lamb.  He took our place.  All the wrath the God had for our sin, it was loaded on him!    The price for our sin has been paid.  The debt is gone.  All we have to do is admit our failure and humble except Christ as our replacement.  Bow to him and him alone.

I can't help but thing that if we truly understood what he did for us, even to the smallest degree, we would be on our knees thanking him every. single. day.  One day we will truly understand.  When we stand in the throne room of God and see him in all his glory.  Oh how I look forward to that day!

But what do I do now?  I don't fully understand it, or even have the mental capacity to fully understand.  Often times I don't even feel like serving him.

It's not about how you feel.  Feelings shift like the wind.  They are unreliable and often times they are a lie that Satan uses against us.  Do not trust them.  Trust truth.

Truth is found in the word of God, the Bible.  Read it, study it, learn it.  Seek wisdom from God, not wisdom from the world.  It's not easy, it's not our natural bend, but through the power of Jesus Christ "we are more then conquerors". (Romans 8:37) 

Put in the effort, put in the work.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness 
and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees."
Hebrews 12: 11-12

Don't be lazy.  
Start right now.  
Train long and hard.

It will be worth it.
   I promise you, and if that's not enough, God promises you.

"In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."