Saturday, August 29, 2009

Me, Myself and Lies

That was the name of the Bible study I just finished. I've started this new thing where I sit down and try to figure out what I learned during each Bible study. In the past, it seemed like as I was going through I'd be getting illuminations and light bulbs turning on, but then by the end I couldn't remember every important thing God showed me. So, to remedy that, I'm trying to write it down.

This Bible study was about what we talk to ourselves about on a regular basis. I do talk to myself alot and sadly, often answer myself too! So, here is what I learned over the course of seven weeks of study.

1. It doesn't have to be well with my circumstances to be well with my soul.
2. God has given me a spirit not only of love and power but also of discipline! (what a relief to know I don't have to rely on my own!!!)
3. I need to know my identity in Christ - how God sees me because that is the truth. Only God's truth is a worthy foundation of my thoughts/feelings.
4. I need to be more award of my weak spots/triggers than the enemy.
5. False assumptions and perceptions are roots to rotten fruit in my life.
6. The root of grumbling/complaining is usually selfishness.
7, Keeping God in the center of my thoughts requires effort through talk to myself about Him, lift Him up and not me!
8. Lies often feel true and every thing I feel is not always true!
9. I need to trust God more than my fears, insecurities or feelings.
10. My hope is in Christ. Hope in God, His word, His lovingkindness is what keeps me anchored and stable. Hope in a person, circumstance or event makes me shaky and drifting.
11. Perserverence is especially important after a victory or when I am feeling emotionally or physically depleted.
12. Hope comes through perserverence and the encouragement of God's Word.

So, there is it is - the dozen truths that stood out to me through this Bible study. It's interesting because it seems these ideas of my feelings/perceptions not always being true is something I have been hit with again and again in the past six months. I think God is trying to tell me something, don't you?
~Blessings, Bronte

Monday, August 10, 2009


I have been concerned. Okay, to be honest, I have been fretting. Big time about this upcoming school year - how will I get it all done? will I see my friends/family? what if someone gets sick? On and on, the worries went in my mind. I could feel my shoulders creeping up to my ears as I stressed about the start of the school year.

I whined to God. I whined to friends. I whined to family memebers. I just grumbled and complained as I fretted away. As I learned last week, complaining is often a result of fear, and boy! was I fearful about this upcoming year.

Yesterday at church, I got into the main sanctuary a bit late as I was talking to someone. As I walked in a line from a song was being song - "His grace is enough."

And that's when it hit me! HIS grace IS enough. I don't have to worry or fret- I need to trust in Him to give me the strength and self discipline and perserverence to get through the year. I don't have to worry about next week or next month. I just have to do what He has for me to do today. I don't have "borrow trouble" for tomorrow, or next week or next month or next year.

I had been putting my trust and hope in being "more" - more organized, more scheduled, more productive - when I didn't have to be more because HE is enough.

What a load off my mind! What a weight off my shoulders! God is good. God is trustworthy. God directs my paths which makes Him the best GPS there is!
~ Blessings, Bronte

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I was listening to the radio as I got ready for bed - there was a speaker talking pretty strongly about complaining and that is the reason we are still in the wilderness. I opened up my Bible study this morning and it was about complaining and how that colors our lives. I was driving down the road and a sign in front of a church read, "Complaining is just a fancy word for unthankful."

Do you think God is trying to get my attention about something? I have been very convicted about what is coming out of my thought and the tape that is playing in my head. I think complaining can become, for lack of a better term, a bad habit. I get so used to complaining about things or saying things in a negative way, that it just becomes sort of second nature. The verse, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord." Are my words and thoughts acceptable to God? Unfortunately, a lot of times they aren't.

I looked up what complaing actually meant. I found this definition in Webster's: "beating of the breast (can anyone say drama queen?); to claim/express pain or discouragement; to find fault; declare annoyance; to make an accusation.

This doesn't mean that you can never talk to someone about a concern or problem. It doesn't mean you can't ask for advice and/or prayer about a situation. We are to share each others burdens and we can't do that unless we are vulnerable with each other. But what it does mean is that complaining about things often drains our joy and enthusiasm for life and for God's work.

God showed me three things about complaining. First, when I complain it is often an expression of not trusting God. When you look back at the children of Israel - the most famous complainers - many times when they started murmuring, it was a result of fear. "God why did you take us out of Egypt? Where is our food? Where is our water? Are we going to die out here? What are You doing?" How many times do I complain out of fear and distrust? "God, how will I ever get all this done? Why aren't you changing this or that? How come this is happening?" Fear is often the root of my murmuring and complaining.

Second, when I complain about things I am expressing a complete lack of thankfulness for all God HAS blessed me with. Let's face it, compared to 2/3rds of the world, I am rich beyond measure. Just the fact that I have a roof over my head, two cars in my driveway and food in my pantry makes me in the top 5% of the materially blessed. Do I sometimes have to juggle bills around? Yes, but usually that is because I wasn't disciplined in my spending or didn't plan ahead. God has shown me over and over again His provision and not only has He provided my NEEDS, but He has also provided an awful lot of my wants too. When I complain, it is like a slap in His face instead of a thank you.

Third, when I complain sometimes it is a form of procrastination. Let's face it, it is much easier to complain about something than to actually take action to solve the problem. It is easier for me to complain about my weight than to start keeping track of calories, take the time to cook/prepare nutritious meals or start working out. It is easier to complain about my lack of time than it is to sit down and take a hard look at what I am doing and how that all fits into the hours of my day. It is easier to complain about a lack of time to write than it is to take the scary step and just start doing it! Complaining is easier than doing, at least for me.

This morning, as this truth hit me square between the eyes, I had to confess that my words and meditations often are not very pleasing to God. :( I was ashamed of myself, truth be told. I asked God to make me very aware of any complaints or murmurings that start in my mind or on my tongue.

Phil. 4:14, 15, "Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that wyou will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God in a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world."

I want to be a light in this world, not turn off people from Christ by my negative attitude and words.
~Blessings, Bronte

Sunday, August 2, 2009


We had communion this morning at church. The Pastor had preached on Psalms 22 which is a messianic psalm which simply means that it was a prophecy concerning Christ's Crucifixion. As I meditated on Christ's death on the cross and thanked Him for it as I waited for my little cup of juice and that stale tasting cracker, I was overcome by what He did for me.

When I think of Jesus, I think of how big He is, how awesome He is, how He put the stars into place and set the seas into their places and how after He was done creating it all, He spun it into motion.

As I contemplated what Christ's death on the cross really meant, (we can say that so many times it becomes sort of glib, kwim) the thing that hit me the most was the humiliation Christ had to endure. Here was the God of the universe with the power to call down the angels and turn His tormentors into ash, yet He endured. He endured not only having His back ripped to pieces, but them pushing a thorn crown into His head and mocking Him, spitting on Him, parading Him before a crowd of people who screamed and yelled insults. He endured that most of the people in that crowd just thought He was some kind of deluded crackpot that had had the stupidity to cross words with the Sanhedrin and make them mad enough to get rid of Him. He was the God who created us all, beaten, laughed at and finally crucified.

And He could have stopped it at anytime. What makes Christ so different than any other "martyr" through the ages is that He had a choice right down to the last breath that He drew. But He chose to endure not only the horrendous physical pain and agony of crucifixtion but also the humiliation of a brutal, mocking death. Even as He gasped on the cross, a mocking epitaph hung over His head and soldiers callously cast lots for his clothing.

He did all this for me, for you, for the entire world. He did it for people who are so used to the idea that they forget the magnitude of what He did (forgive me!). He did it for people who blithely ignore His existence for the most part unless they are in trouble. He did it for those that actively deny and curse Him. He died for all of us and He chose to do it the whole entire time. I left church with tears in my eyes, shaken anew at His sacrifice for me. May I never become complacent about it; may I never forget the price HE paid so that I could be free in the truest sense of the word.

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe on Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Amazing Grace - Bridge (Chris Tomlin)
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, My Savior died for me
And like a flood
His mercy flows
Unending love, amazing grace