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Good Bye Games

Earlier this week, I posted the following as my Facebook status: Ever felt like God was leading you to do something you were not sure you could do, not even sure you were WILLING to do? Please pray that I remain open to what God wants, even if it is not what I want.

I asked others to pray for me, but I didn’t do much praying for myself. I clearly heard what God was asking me to do, and I didn’t want to do it. He was asking me to give up something I have convinced myself that I need in my life. I’ve convinced myself that this is something I cannot possibly live without. One of my cousins even responded to my status with, “He WILL equip the called!” Still, I ignored the voice in my heart.

This morning, a song came to mind as I was showering. The song was I Will Follow Christ, sung by BeBe Winans, Bob Carlisle, and Clay Crosse. Only one line kept repeating itself in my head. Over and over and over, I was singing, “As for me no matter what the sacrifice, I will follow Christ.” By the time my shower was over, I was convinced of two things—God was asking me to make a sacrifice and I could no longer ignore His voice. After all, He sacrificed His only son for me. The least I can do is give up a few modern treats for Him.

So, as of today, I am blocking all of the games on Facebook. No more farming. No more cooking. No more monsters. No more matching marble colors. I am done. With all of it. As soon as I post this blog entry, I will be blocking each of those games. I can’t say that I am in a place where I am doing so with a cheerful heart. But I am doing it with a willing heart. And I know that I will be blessed for this sacrifice.

Even if the blessing is just in more time to listen to my children fighting with each other!


I grew up hearing the old hymn I Surrender All.  Youu know what song I mean, don’t you?  “All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give.”  My dad used to have this cassette from a comedy troupe—I think tthey were The Whitehouse Players or something like that—and they did this skit based on that song.  The congregation was singing the song when God spoke to several people individually about things in their lives that they might need to surrender to Him—like a car or a boyfriend.  It was a very cute skit, and made it nearly impossible for me to sing the hymn without giggling.

Then about three years ago, I heard a song with the same name but different lyrics.  It is sung by Clay Crosse and is one of the most touching songs I have heard in a long time.  (The version below is the only one I was able to find on YouTube; sorry Clay isn’t singing it.)  This song quickly became my prayer.

The thing is, I have become more like the people in the skit, hanging on to the things in my life that I love instead of fully giving myself over to God.  Some days, I really feel like a failure about that.  

What I have come to believe is that when it comes to my Christian walk, surrender is not a one-and-done thing.  The devil is smart—he knows my weaknesses and he knows how to use them against me.  I can’t allow him to win by thinking “I gave that to God once, and He gave it back to me.” 

God didn’t give it back; I took it back.

Surrender has to be a conscious, daily decision.  I have to remember to tell God, “Here, Take this.  It’s Yours.  I don’t want it.  Give me the strength today to not take this back.”  Sometimes I have to do it several times a day.  There are days when I think God probably gets tired of all my give and take where some of my issues are concerned.

In the end, though, I know that what I want most in life is to be used by God.  Every talent I have is a gift from Him, and it is wasted if I don’t use it for His glory.

Lord, if all I have is all that You desire, I surrender all.

Lukewarm? NOT ME!

Lord, you know what is on my heart right now and the questions that I have in my mind. Please help me to say what I need to say, what You want me to say about this. Let my words reach the ears and hearts of those who need to hear them. I pray that what I write this evening will be a blessing to You above all else. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

In May 2008, Clay and Renee Crosse came to my church. Clay did a Friday night concert, mostly in the dark because of a blackout in the area that started about the time he began warming up. The next day, he and his wife led a Holy Homes Marriage Conference. It’s been two years, and that experience is something that is still in my mind. It was so nice, so freeing to be able to share with other couples who were going through some of the same struggles my husband and I faced.

One thing that I remember Renee saying, though I am sure I will not get the words exactly right, had to do with the way she dressed. She said she is always careful to wear tops that were not too low-cut and bottoms that were not too tight. She avoids clothing that is too reveling because she doesn’t want the way she dresses to cause someone else to sin. I don’t think she was saying that she is responsible for what someone else does. Rather, she wanted to be sure that she was influencing others in positive ways in every aspect of her life.

That has been on my mind a lot lately. In recent weeks and months, I’ve seen a lot of conflicting messages from Christians. While I don’t want to make any judgment on the relationship others have with Christ, I’ve not been able to help wondering if they understand how they appear to others.

These conflicts especially come up in the area of sex before marriage. In this day and age, it’s not at all an uncommon thing. But does that make it right?

I grew up knowing that sex was a sacred event, something to be shared only between a husband and his wife. Not that I always lived that. I always felt guilty about it, though. I knew that what I was doing was wrong, so I avoided God. For a while, I didn’t go to church at all. I felt like a hypocrite, standing there, singing praises and worshiping God, when I knew that I was not living a life He approved of.

Not everyone is like that, though. The attitude seems to be, “Hey, at least we are in love. The wedding is just a formality.” Recently, I’ve even heard the excuse, “We are engaged, so it is OK.” That comment led me to the story of the Birth of Christ. Mary was pregnant before her marriage, and it was such a disgraceful thing that Joseph was willing to leave her. It doesn’t make sense, at least not in my mind, that engagement would be “close enough” to marriage that God would be OK with the sex.

I don’t know. It’s late, and maybe I am not making any sense at all. It seems to me, though, that if we claim to be Christians, we need to act like it. Picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to obey and which to ignore is not Christianity. It is hypocrisy. It is lukewarm at best. Why that would be “best”, I don’t know. Jesus says He will spit out those who are lukewarm. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t like the idea of being spit out into the lakes of Hell. I want to burn up—with the love of CHRIST! I want to be so consumed by Him that everyone around me sees it.

Oh Lord, stoke the fire within me! Help me keep that fire burning bright. Let me be a light in this world for YOU. Father, I want those who see me to see You. I am not ashamed of You. I am not ashamed to share my love for You. Help me never to give off conflicting messages. Help my actions only bring others to you. Help me to never cause another to stumble by my words or actions.