The Deep Cut

“The Lump is a bone tumor” the Doctor said over the phone.    My heart dropped into my stomach as I  nearly dropped the mixing bowl full of cake batter I was whisking to the floor. The phone call from our Pediatrician confirmed the news we had been agonizing about for weeks.  The lump on the shoulder of our nine year old son  was a growth that shouldn’t exist in his young body.  The next few minutes following the bad news was a series of questions and answers; the conversation ending with the phrase ” should be benign” and a referral to a specialist.

What we’d originally thought was a sports injury turned out to be  a slow growing bone tumor. We have no idea when it started growing,  we found it when it was full grown and showed its hard presence by pushing  through his skin.

This was the second major health concern we have encountered with our only son.             At the age of Eighteen months, before he could really understand and describe the pain in words, infection plagued his body and an auto immune disorder flared. The Doctors had no idea why this was happening to our boy. Our new normal was visiting the hospital three times a week for blood draws to monitor white blood cell counts. The team of Doctors had to rule out certain health conditions. His little body could not protect itself from the germs he was exposed to. Instead It would attack  itself instead of fighting the outside threats.  He was diagnosed with a blood disorder but thankfully, he outgrew that stage of illness.  Over  a period of weeks turning to months his health slowly returned.

As I studied scripture recently, the Lord showed me the similarities of our sons illness to how sin grows in a Christian’s life.  Like the  tumor, sin can wreak havoc  if allowed to grow.  Outward sin can be clearly evident such as cheating, stealing or filthy language.  Other times sin can be deeply  hidden, as in the lust of our eyes  or coveting deep in our hearts. It can spread fast like the rapid infections in the body, as the enemy turns up the heat of temptation and the wayward believer may give in.  Or slow growing deep inside just like our son’s bone tumor not recognizing it’s presence until the inward sin is full grown .

Yet the Bible is clear about what a believer is to do with sin. Jesus said in Matthew 5:29-30: ” If your eye -even your good eye- causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body then your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand – even your stronger hand- causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than your whole body to be thrown into hell.

 When I first read this passage, I thought, ” Wow, now that is a drastic command’.             Yet when I had to deal with my own struggle recently, I saw firsthand how dangerous this sin could be.

I had to look at my struggle honestly and examine it by the Word and go into the Lord’s presence to and ask God to cut it away from me.  I knew the consequences of whatever action came from the struggle in the mind and I chose to openly confess the sin to God. I saw that it broke his heart and could hurt the ones immediately surrounding me.   He showed me the continued damage it could have done not only to me but to my family if left to grow.  The multiple x-rays and MRI looked deep into  my son’s arm to located the bone tumor’s growth along with the muscles, nerves and arteries the tumor touched.  I needed to allow the Lord to show me the internal growth of the sin in my heart and mind.

It wasn’t easy, and it was just plan hard to do. Yet the outcome of victory conquering the sin with Jesus’ redemptive grace  was such a relief.   Just like our son, who dreaded  his surgery to remove the bone tumor, we ultimately know the outcome of a better quality of life he will live after  the tumor was removed.  He endured the surgery this past June and it went very smoothly. He recovered so fast and was back to his normal silly self in no time. The only memories  left of the tumor are the pink scars of the stitches on his shoulder along with the hospital bill. We praise God because the tumor was Benign after all.

We all need to go to the “Specialist” our Lord Jesus, the Great Physician and allow him to examine our minds, hearts, eyes , motives and actions. Cutting away any sin that is holding us in bondage and keeping us from full communion with him.  We don’t have to beg for him to give us pure hearts and minds.  It is his nature to purify us and cut away the sin from our lives. His shed blood on the cross, winning victory over  sin is enough for all of us.  Just like the Surgeon cut the tumor off our sons shoulder bone, Jesus can cut away sins and bad habits from us if we allow him to.

His cut may be deep to rid us of sin but it is the only way to allow us to live a life of freedom and purity with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In His Power – Not my own

 

Ministry is the person standing in front of you.

Hearing those words from Jill Savage at She Speaks 2016, was an eye opener for me.         The phrase resonated in my heart because I want to do big things for God and make his name famous. However if I am honest, I do not always minister in a godly way to my family 100 % of the time. My husband reminded me of this shortcoming just last week and I had to ask forgiveness of the Lord and my family. Life is sweetly challenging and add in ministry – whether it is worship leading, teaching,  writing or speaking and the enemy of our souls comes in full force to wear our resolve thin. He wants you and I to just throw in throw towel and say I am not cut out for this ministry thing. When we act or serve or mission in our own strength we get worn out and overwhelmed easily.

Jill’s Session on ” First Things First” was amazing.  Jill referenced Duet 30: 19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”   I want to be a life choosing wife, mama and writer.  I want to choose God over Goals, Mission over Money and Calling over Counting.  It was a breath of fresh air knowing God has designed both ministry and the family. He is pleased with me when I attend church, when I write of his work in my life and share the Gospel with others. Yet he also smiles when I go on date night with my husband, jump on the trampoline with my baby girl, bake cookies with my middle daughter and build Lego’s with my son.

I also loved what Lysa TerKeurst said in Session two, ” God is good, God is good to me and God is good at being God”.    There is so much impact in those fifteen words.  It plays to the three levels where we doubt God. We doubt his goodness in general,   his love for us personally and his sovereignty over the details of our lives and the world around us. I know this to be true because in my past, I would get anxiety attacks from my worries and fears. Those fears and worries where often from circumstances beyond my control or when the enemy whispered lies into my head. I am very glad to have this phrase to remind myself of his goodness when those attacks come.

This was my first time attending She Speaks so I was thrilled to take the Bonus Session: Discovering God’s Power for your Life and Ministry with Micca Campbell and Wendy Blight.   Micca taught on the person of the Holy Spirit and I know there are some who may read this story and doubt the Holy Spirit.  But the truth is scripture talks about him from the very first chapter of the very first book of the bible. Genesis 1:2 says, ” the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters”.  It is so profound to me that the second verse of the whole Bible talks of the Holy Spirit. He was here since the beginning of all creation. She went on to teach of the imagery and characteristics and personality of the Holy Spirit. He is depicted through scripture as rain, wind, wine , oil and the dove descending on Jesus when he was baptized.  His character as our Teacher, Enabler, Comforter, Strength, he gives life to our gospel bearing messages. I learned so much and Acts 1:8 was very evident to me in this session” But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. My biggest takeaway from She Speaks was:              We receive our power from the Holy Spirit and not from ourselves to do this thing called Ministry.

 

I completely loved EVERYTHING at #SheSpeaks16, I can’t pick just one so here some favorites:

WORSHIP !!! – Truly gifted singers and musicians lead us to the Throne in amazing                                            worship to our King.

Fellowship – Making new friends from other states and hearing their God stories.

Anointing –  Micca and Wendy ended their session in praying on the armor of God, praying                          for our ministries and  anointing our heads with oil.

My Favorite Sessions for Writing Newbies:

Bloging with a Purpose – Cindy Bultema

Build an Enduring platform in 30 Minutes – Kathi Lipp

How to Write a Chapter  – Karen Ehman

 

 

 

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