Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Have you ever been noticed?

Have you ever been knee deep in laundry while constantly changing diapers and cleaning up endless messes? I have. Have you ever done the daily monotonous tasks and wonder if it really even makes a difference? Me too. Have you ever been the friend (or parent or spouse) investing in a relationship and wonder if she (or he) even knows the time and energy you devote? Been there too.

Actually, I was there the other day and God brought to mind a story from this summer. Back in July, I attended the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference and I was blessed by numerous speakers. Every session I attended could have easily been the keynote speech at other conferences, so you might be surprised when I tell you about one of the times God spoke the loudest.

Saturday afternoon, Lysa TerKeurst had a book signing and I'd picked up a copy of UNGLUED for a friend, so thought I'd surprise her with a personal note from Lysa. I didn't realize God had a personal message for me!

I handed Lysa the book and she said, "Hi. I saw you at breakfast, but didn't get a chance to say hello. How are you? How are all your kids?" I answered her questions, but honestly I was surprised. I was thinking, she remembers me? You see, two years ago I was part of a leadership team that invited Lysa to speak at our retreat, but there are countless other women who've done the same thing. I honestly didn't expect her to remember me.

As our conversation came to a close, I found myself replaying her words. Now if this would have happened five years ago, I would have been star struck with the whole situation, but this time that wasn't a big deal. I just saw further evidence that Lysa is the real deal.

Though that is the truth it's not the point of this post...you see as I reflected on the words she shared, God whispered to my heart, "Jill, I see you too." Friend, at that moment I can't explain the peace those words brought to me. I was in a room with 650 other women who love Him, serve Him and want His attention. I'm not sure how your mind works, but at times mine can wonder. Does what I do really matter? Does He even see what I'm doing? This summer in North Carolina God reminded He sees me and my efforts do matter. Friend, I hope and pray you hear Him whispering the same to you!

Perhaps a national speaker has noticed you, but the only ONE who matters sees you right now!! That my friend is a BIG deal because God, our Father, our Creator and our Lord is the real deal!! So whether you are in the midst of hundreds doing what you do or by yourself doing what will all too quickly be undone trust me on this - HE sees and it matters!

Something to think about - How does knowing God sees you affect your thoughts and/or actions?

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Critical Question

In a recent post, I shared about a time when I asked the question, "Seriously God?" It was during a time of pain and loss, but lately I've been thinking about a time when I uttered these words from a state of disbelief.

Thirteen years ago, I was a second year teacher living my dream...well, that's what it looked like on the outside. I was doing what I set out to do, but I was lonely, empty and depressed. At times it felt my purpose in life was to survive the day, only to wake up and do it again.

That strategy worked until I got to the place where I didn't want to do it again...13 years ago this month, I contemplated ending it all. I had a plan, but thankfully God had a different one.

Had my plan unfolded, I would be in a place of darkness F-O-R-E-V-E-R. You see prior to that Tuesday night in September I was a church go-er, I'd been baptized and I thought I was good enough to get to heaven.

But God, He knew. He knew I was a lost soul in need of a Savior. I was a religious girl who longed for a relationship. He didn't just know about my life, He worked in it. In ways that are too many for this post, but that have brought me to this place. This place of reflecting on "Seriously God?" moments of my life.

"Seriously God, I'm not good enough to get to heaven?" Now that question makes me shake my head, but there was a time when the reality of those words hit. HARD.

Growing up I was the good girl. Granted I made mistakes and wasn't perfect, but certainly my good outweighed the bad. I honestly thought I'd work my way to heaven.

That was until life (God) brought me to my knees, removed the scales from my eyes and helped me see the truth.

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." Romans 3:10-12

Now God didn't put this specific verse in front of my eyes, but He did speak the truth of it to me. No one is good enough to get to heaven, that includes me and you.

For awhile that scared me..."Seriously God, I mean if I'm not good enough, how can I assure myself I won't spend eternity in hell?"

It was then He brought Ephesians 2:8-9 to me; here Paul says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

God answered my question and invited me to accept the gift He has given. And friend today if these words have left you uttering the same ones, the ones that say, "Seriously God, I'm not good enough to get to heaven?" He wants to say the same to you...He is offering you the free gift of salvation as well!!

How do you receive it you may wonder - again, Paul has the answer, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

This seriously God question is a critical one...I pray you will answer it today!! It will change your life forever and save it for eternity!! If you have any questions, concerns or prayer requests leave a comment or send me an email - jillberan@yahoo.com. If you have a friend who believes what I once did, I encourage you to visit with them today!!

Praying for you in your "Seriously God?" moments!! Would love your prayers as I journey through mine as well!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

And the winner is...

The winner of Seriously God? - I'm Doing Everything I Know to Do and It's Not Working by Jenny Smith is Brooke S. who left a comment via Facebook! I will be contacting you! Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts!

Pray you are all trusting Him in the seriously God moments of your day!!!