Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Bear!

Today is my husband's 30th birthday. I was reminiscing with him today about some of the wonderful memories we have shared in the time I've had the honor of knowing him. One memory that still seems so fresh in my mind happened exactly 9 years ago. I had met him for the first time on a cruise just about a week earlier. We had so much fun laughing all night, exchanged numbers and then went back to our respective states (at the time I was living in Indiana and he was living in Kentucky). But during that night of talking and getting to know one another he told me that his birthday was July 30th. So when his birthday rolled around a few days later I decided it was a perfect excuse to call him and wish him a happy birthday. It took me a total of seven tries to finally dial his full number. I would get a few numbers dialed and then hang up before I finished dialing because I had butterflies in my stomach. I remember his dad answering and then handing the phone over to him. I remember the surprise in his voice to find out it was "the girl from the cruise". ;) We ended up talking for 3 hours that night. That was really the beginning of "us". Fast forward to today....

Nine years later and here we are...married for almost five years. Five wonderful, love-filled years I might add! He still makes me laugh, I still get butterflies about him and I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to have him in my life! Each year, each day, and each moment with him is a blessing.

Happy Birthday, Bear! I love you endlessly!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Displaced Devotion

I was listening to a webcast recently from Kyle Idleman and he talked about the subject of idols. (You know, all of those things that we make equal to or place above God?) And he shared a statement that sent shock waves through me. He said that we tend to take Christ off of the throne and put him on a loveseat with our idols. Think about that picture for a minute. We're talking about the King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty Savior who died for you and I. We've removed Him from His rightful throne and told him to share a couch with our sin. Or for some of us, we put that something or someone else in His place on the throne and don't even give Him a seat in our hearts at all.

What is it that you treasure most? What do you get the most joy out of? What is it that you spend the majority of your time focused on?  Is it a relationship? Money? Your career? Sex? Food? A sports team? Your appearance? Success? Pleasure? Who or what are you looking towards to satisfy you? What is it in your own life that you are putting before God? What are you making more valuable than Him? We can all fill in the blank with something that we have chosen to be first in our lives instead of God. I know I can. I unfortunately have put many things above him lately. But when I take an honest look into my own life, I can clearly see where my priorities have been grievously displaced. I have been asking these other things to do for me, what only God can do for me. I gave control over to these other passions and turned my worship from God  towards these lesser substitutes expecting to be satisfied.

Truth is that none of these things we put before God can save us. None of them can truly satisfy us. And none of them even compare to His glory. There is nothing wrong with enjoying things like relationships, success, etc. but it is when we allow these things to take center stage - to be the main focus in our lives - that is when they become idols and therefor are a distraction from God. We start to worship the gift instead of the Giver. Instead of allowing these gifts to enhance a deeper devotion to the One who blessed us with them in the first place we worship the gifts instead of God who gave them to us. God also gave us free will to choose where we place our devotion. And it is a decision we all must make for ourselves.

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15