Friday, October 22, 2010

An Unquiet Mind

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. 2 Cor 4:2

Well, whew, it’s been busy over here at the Seven Story House. We once again have had some toddlers running around…such fun! They’re the one year old and two year old sons of a friend- a joy and a challenge, as probably all children are- I know mine were and are!

I’ve had many ideas of what to write here swarming around in my head and I have a limited amount of time to write….I’ve decided to write about why (the swarm in my head) that is…I think it’s because I’m BiPolar and have what Kay Redfield Jamison PHD, calls, “An Unquiet Mind”.

I’ve always just been straightforward in my writing, I don’t beat around the bush, I call a spade, a spade. I love Joyce Meyer (who is also straightforward) and I listen to her CDs about everyday, when I’m driving around to pick up my kids or working out in my basement. A few months ago, she sent an offer in the mail of a DVD of her testimony; it’s about her being sexually, verbally, mentally and physically abused by her dad. I highly recommend this DVD or any of her materials! In this offer came an usual book mark- it was transparent- made of plastic – you could SEE through it- and it says, THE POWER OF TRANSPARENCY- at the bottom is a verse from the book of Revelation, “They overcame him (the enemy) by…the word of their testimony….” (12:11) Just as Joyce does and Kay, I’m hoping my testimony will help someone else. I once spoke with a Christian singer who had shared that God healed him of BiPolar and he was able to go off medication--- well, I just hope and pray no BiPolar person hears this, goes off his medication and dies! I said, it was fine how this man shared HIS testimony, but he should add that God doesn’t heal everyone the same way and perhaps he could say he met a woman in Warner Robins Georgia who was healed through medication. I feel as though, instead of being “out of control”, not sleeping etc. my “Unquiet Mind” is “harnessed”, so to speak and I can better use this controlled “fire” to glorify God! I hope and pray so! I’m so happy that I’m not what I was when untreated! I'm glad I can say as Lewis Carroll (“Alice in Wonderland”) said, “I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then.” Sleeping well is really great too! “He gives His beloved sleep” Ps. 127

Kay Redfield Jamison says, “I have no idea what the long- term effects of discussing such issues so openly will be on my personal and professional life, but, whatever the consequences, they are bound to be better than continuing to be silent. I’m tired of hiding, tired of misspent and knotted energies, tired of hypocrisy, and tired of acting as though I have something to hide. One is what one is, and the dishonesty of hiding behind a degree, or a title, or any manner or collection of words, is still exactly that: dishonest.”

Father, cleanse me from twisted thinking and deceptive ways so that I will come to love truth and reflect it in my thoughts, in my actions and in my words. Give me the courage to speak the truth, the selflessness to relinquish concern about pleasing people. But let me speak truth only in love. Catherine Marshall and Leonard LeSourd, “My Personal Prayer Diary”

Lord, as Your light of understanding penetrates my unconsciousness , I am discovering how much “acceptance” of dishonesty has crept on me unawares. I have not always been vigilant against deception, in fact, have sometimes condoned it in others when I saw my own desires mirrored in them.
Thank-you Lord, for making it clear that it is only as I stand firmly for open honesty in my personal life shall I be free to confront dishonesty wherever I find it. Catherine Marshall and Leonard LeSourd, “My Personal Prayer Diary”

'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'
Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland"

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What Are You Pursuing?

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…Psalm 42:1-2

I was sharing something at our small group once about how I dealt with a certain situation. We were doing a series by Andy Stanley called “Take It to the Limit” about having “margins” in your life, as opposed to spending all your money, using all your time etc. We were on the session titled “A Time to Run” about “fleeing sexual immorality”. I shared that once (a long time ago…at different church than where we are now) I was uncomfortable with a man at church that kept winking at me and how I dealt with that. After praying about it (I also actually talked to an older Christian woman about it too) I decided to simply avoid eye contact with him. I didn’t have to do this for a long time, like never look at him ever again, but for a while and when I started to acknowledge him again, he stopped the winking and the uncomfortable feeling I had around him went away. Now what I didn’t share is that I enjoyed this affirmation from a good-looking man. He also seemed a very serious Christian and I don’t know that he meant anything bad by his winking at all, perhaps it was nothing. It was just me. God seems to always be reminding me to not desire the praise of man, over His praise. Not long after this incident I was reading, A.W. Tozer’s, The Pursuit of God, and as I read it (esp. the part I’ll quote later) I felt God’s love and approval and wept and I was so thankful to God for the unique ways He shows me His love!

Reading my Mom’s old prayer journals have made me think it would be beneficial for all Christians to keep such a prayer/spiritual journal. Also it seems to show me what really matters when it all boils down…what really matters when it’s all said and done…what really matters after we’re gone…Mom wasn’t perfect…far from it….she would drive me nuts with her criticisms…we argued politics…House-keeping....raising kids….bed time…too much sugar….spankings….ETC. I often felt she was jealous…insecure…prideful…So am I and so have I been. Hopefully, as Christians we recognize these things and learn how to have less of these negative traits and grow more Christ-like as we age. Mom kept reading her Bible and praying- so she kept growing til the end. And I’m happy to say that in her last years Mom and I declared a truce and enjoyed and even closer relationship than we ever had before. When I read her journals, I can see that she was trying so hard to please God and He knew that and He honored that… Like, for instance an entry of my Mom’s I shared yesterday (her birthday) “Father God I praise Your Holy Name. I know that You are God. Fill me with Your Spirit. May I trust You more. Make me obedient to Your will Lord. I cannot do it alone. My body is so weak that I fall by the wayside. And yet Lord, I feel that in many ways I am stronger than I feel. Thank-you for this time alone, may it become a more regular time spent alone with You & Your Word.” Mom 8-18-82

In chapter 8 of A.W. Tozer’s, The Pursuit of God, titled Restoring the Creator-Creature Relation, after Tozer talks about Eli and his sons and how they failed in honoring God and how that resulted in their tragic end (I Samuel 2 & 4), Tozer says, “Now over and against this set almost any Bible character who honestly tried to glorify God in his earthly walk. See how God winked at weakness and over looked failures as He poured on His servants grace and blessing untold. Let it be Abraham, Jacob, David, Daniel, Elijah or whom you will; honor followed honor as harvest the seed. The man of God (or woman of God) set his (or her) heart to exalt God above all; God accepted his (or her) intention as fact and acted accordingly. Not perfection, but holy intention made all the difference.”

How about you? Whose “wink” are you seeking? I pray we’d have this “holy intention” Lord…Let us seek to honor You above all else…..Amen

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