My Great God

My Great God
This is what the Lord says:"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord"- Jeremiah 17:5

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Blog is about a race!

The purpose of this blog has been radically changed from what I intended it to be about. I initially wanted to write about the training process of the foot race in Arizona and hopefully encourage those reading that the Lord provides strength yada yada yada...AND He did, He was so evident! But in the Sovereignty of the Lord the purpose is so much more eternal. Maybe not SO different...but I am no longer doing the Arizona marathon and my heart has completely changed. I have LOVED the accountability the Lord has made this blog to be throughout the 2 months that I was intensely training. The physical training was not in vain. I want to continue to write about what the Lord is teaching me in this race of faith. It is a race, and by the grace of God I intend to beat this body till the finish line.
Yesterday was thanksgiving. I have SO much to be thankful for. From the list of what i am given to the list of what i am not given. I walk by grace and mercy. As we went around the table talking about what we are individually thankful for, the Lord pulled another scale from my eye to show me(at the right time) how much i do not deserve to be in my earthly family but more importantly how much i don't deserve to be adopted into the family of my Maker! I arrogantly walk through life with an attitude of entitlement. What a horrible associate in my heart! I Love to think I'm lovable and that I deserve things in life. What a freakin lie!! What have I made happen in my life!? NOTHING! I never chose, I never created, I never, nor will I ever, be able to control or know all things.  I read through Job 38-41 today and by the kindness of the Lord he revealed to me my heart.. and its deceits.Who am I to tell God how he should act!? To tell him that I know the perfect plan for my life, and be discontent till He gives it to me. What blindness and arrogance I am prone to. OK enough of my ranting.. you see a glimpse of my wretched heart. I am so thankful for GRACE! But thankfulness has to be an act of worship in my heart.. or else my heart uses it as a way to puff me up. Our thankfulness must be directed to a person! I'm not just thankful to some ambiguous thing. I am thankful to God!! All good things come from His hand! A very cool friend of mine came over for thanksgiving and he said he was thankful for trials. What a heart  I long to have that says that. That sees trials as a means of grace in a believers life. And like he said, in this we can rejoice. Like Romans 5 says, trials produce in me hope that doesn't disappoint! SOLID!!! I'm the queen of fearing disappointment!! I was humbled as i listened to friends and family talk about what they were thankful for... we are all thankful for things that we haven't had a part in. Thankful for gifts given, desires given, people given..all by my precious Heavenly Father!
I just came back from a run and had lots of time to think. I listened to Rick Holland preaching on Proverbs 5. Talking about the seriousness of fighting the associates in my heart. Thinking through what sins that i coddle and protect in my heart. What do i "let slide" in this fight? What am I strapping to my back before i run up the mountain towards holiness? Talk about conviction, I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit and his active work in my life, I hope you are as well. Praise be to God for His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Unexpected Conversation!!

Now if you have been reading my blog you know i have been having funky knee pain and i have been praying about whether or not it is really wise to keep pushing it. Its been about 3 weeks and no real clear answer until now. Due to various "reasons" (totally from the Sovereign hand of the Lord) plus many conversations, Amber and I have decided to hold off on the Arizona Marathon and pray about doing the LA marathon in March. Now we are thinking of doing the 1/2 in Arizona, but not sure yet.So we are still going to moderately run but not crazy pushing. It is just so cool to me to see how the Lord has revealed his will in this specific area. I totally thought it would be hard to tell everyone that i have decided to not finish the goal i initially set out to accomplish.. Now obviously this was covered by my fear of man.. I was afraid of what you people might think of me. Would i be a loser, failure, weak sauce, quitter, baby, a fatty.... you may laugh but this is real thoughts that go through my silly mind! Once again, the lord is faithful through time in his word and through sermons and godly peoples influence... he is so kind to show me how desperately I need him and i don't need everyone to think of me how I think of if i have a right view of myself. HA!! I believe a lie about me, i ain't no thang!! The bible tells me so.. so why am i longing for people to tell me lies!!! The fear of man is a straight up joke! Jesus is to be feared alone!
 He is my audience and he is already pleased with me because of what Christ has done for me. That my name, "Laura Jean Stone" (Question:what happens when you get married.. is Laura jean Stone written or my married name?? Just a stupid thought) anyyywayys!! I'm chosen!! I'm picked, I'm wanted, I'm beautiful, I'm taken, I'm making my eternal husband smile...ONLY by the blood and Resurrection of Jesus Christ!! I am these things because Jesus SET his very specific love on me! i was the target when i didn't want to be!! ( and so are you hopefully!!) The approval of man seems so disappointing when compared to my heavenly father. I obviously lose my focus, i get distracted with my own lusts and worldly desires and i deceive myself daily into believing that this world is my home. What freedom the Lord freely gives in knowing him! I have been studying Romans 5 and i cant help but tell you how thankful and peaceful it is to trust in Jesus... i have access to my maker, I live in joy that nothing can extinguish... that trials only fan it into a bigger flame. I beg the Lord to humble me to continually see my need and dependence on him as i seek to discipline my mind. I need to know my bible more because we all know i need to keep changing and there ain't no other way this stubborn selfish heart is going to change apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. He needs handle bars on my heart to direct me, these handle bars are his word.

Funnnnny story... THIS MORNING!!! OK i see this guy almost every morning i go to the gym.. I'm wearing headphones so i never talk to anyone. So i finish my workout and go to the drinking fountain and he walks out too. He asks how far i ran and I'm telling him a bit about the race i set out to do but am unable due to my knee. He was interested and told me how he does marathons yada yada yada.. and i smile and walk towards the door.. He follows me and i ask if he was done with his workout and He said no... he just wanted to talk to me. ( i tell you this because the LORD is so in control an so soveregin its sometime s funny) soo he then asked if i wanted to get a cup of coffee sometime. I said "ya know what, I'm going to be honest with you... You are probly not going to like me after we start talking" he was kinda shocked and asked why. I explained why by saying " I'm a christian and i absolutely love my savior.. (inserted gospel) and if this is not your passion in life,you will not like me. So maybe you should rethink this question."  Now by the grace of God i got to talk to him about his soul...He grew up catholic and seemed very unaffected by the gospel. Now what was sweet was that i told him I loved him enough to tell him the truth and wanted to see him in heaven. he laughed and said you do!?!!? and i said the most loving thing to do is to give you the answer to why your here to fix your greatest need! he agreed on that. We talked about the Lord and how Holy he is and how sinful we are. This was all in the stairway of the gym!!! hahahha!!! After 15 minutes i had to go, and he said well thanks for loving me and ill think about what you said.. I said I would pray for him and have my friends pray for him. i encouraged him to read john and 1John.. So we will see. But all this came about because I have been training for this race!! I love the wisdom of the Lord and his plans!! I want to live in His will and be a Christian anywhere.. Pray for GT. (That's his name)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Turbo Turtle"

Literally about to write this blog before I go to work!
I am the fastest turtle. This is a very good analogy of the pace I am running at. I am very fast for a "slow" runner. But you know what, this is ME! I give it my all every time I run, even if its not all that much. I know i am working hard at pushing myself to "win it" each run. Whats the use at doing anything unless you do it with all you got. This is all I can do. So praise the Lord he has let me run today! Praise Him for his kindness to me in giving me his word, giving me sermons that put His word in my mind giving the Holy Spirit handles in my heart to direct me to do His will. I listened to John MacArthur's sermon on the "Power of the Word of God in a Believers Life". SHOOOOT!!! You have got to go listen to it! He was explaining the text in Matthew 6 about the word of God being like a sword. The Greek word explains that the sword is not a long heavy sword, but its discribed as a dagger. That it is only effective if used in a very detailed way. To kill someone with a dagger you must go for the key spots on the body that would kill someone, not their pinky toe! so he went on to convict me by correlating the truth of the word needing to be used in the heart of a man in such a detailed way. we must KNOW it, not just heady, lofty facts... but we must know detailed scripture that pertain to each temptation in our mind and life. I cant possibly live by truth I dont know... I cant possibly love someone i don't study. (My husband doesn't even know how excited I am to study the way I don't know who my husband is..haha But Lord willing!!) Through this run today, I was driven to thankfulness. Honestly, aren't you? We have been given the very word of God, His presence. smokerydots_turbo-turtle
                                                                I can't believe I found this picture... HAHA!

This is a little taste of our weekend.. He is such a gift!

I have been going through something in my life that is driving me to pray. HOW SWEET OF THE LORD TO GIVE ME THIS TRIAL!! Driving me to beg for the Lord to make my desires His. While at the same time he is teaching me how much my life is not mine. This is freedom people!!! My expectations for my life may very well not be his plans for my future. I have had to repent and confess my selfish, self-centered expectations that i have put on the Lord. This is not faith, I am so tempted to distrust his care in my life. As if he would want to make me do, live, or even marry someone to punish me. HA!! This is not the true and living God!! The one true God is out for His own glory and HIS GLORY IS MY GOOD. Do I believe this, willing to unclench my grip on this "ideal" lifestyle, body, status and walk in faith? Is faith IN the creator of the universe, sustainer of my life, the giver of my breath that hard or disappointing to trust?? I'm jacked up if i believe I know better than Him. I'm so humbled to think about how much i sin against him. How unbelief and doubt are where I am prone to sin. Do I really believe Heaven is where i belong? I cant let my voice give evidence to that in my life, you gotta look at my life, look at my checkbook, look at my calendar, look at me alone in my closet.  Do you see Jesus, or Laura stone? I must decrease, Christ must increase! All in all, it was a great run this God be the glory..

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's the real goal...

This has been an interesting week. I know the Lord's will for my life is my sanctification. I started this blog so i could show you how evident Christ is in my life and how great He is!! Thus far it has been super positive while being hard, but i want to be faithful to still proclaim Christ when it is seemingly negative and my sin is ugly. So here ya go...
Now to give you all a brief background, I have been having weird knee pain... pain i have never ever experienced before. So after talking to a few studly runners, they encouraged me to slow my pace down and ease into training even slower. So i have been and the knee pain is better (not completely gone, but better) As i am having to slow down i am feeling so ashamed, like i failed because the initial goal to qualify for Boston seems to be very UNrealistic. I have been praying and asking the Lord for clarity on what to do. Knee pain, unattainable goal for my body right now, not wanting to injure myself for life...yet sticking to a goal no matter what, being a woman of my word.. all these thoughts have been flooding my brain. As of this moment, He has made it clear to change my goal. To not kill or injure myself to qualify, but to beat my last marathon time. I have been contemplating the thought of running the half instead of the full. In my arrogance i don't want to quit because i have committed to finish the race! (To the Lord, myself, family, friends..specifically Amber since we are training together)  At one point I had a complete peace about the decision to do this marathon. BUT I also don't want to quit at this because its getting really hard, that's why we set keep going and never stop until we reach the mark. I'm wrestling with this because I don't want to be a fool. I have loved the training, the Lord has been teaching me, encouraging me through his word through the hours i get alone with him running.
Just finished this with Carly Brannon. I HIGHLY recommend it!

I know my body is feeble and weak...(I know I'm not old) but this time around my body is responding differently to the training. haha...So the Lord, in His kindness, has brought to my mind the issue of contentment. Accepting the way the Lord made me and not trying to be someone I'm not. Lets be real guys, I ain't no long distance runner. No one would ever guess that about me, and that is totally fine! I have been told i have more of a sprinters body type if anything. Not that I'm a sprinter.. haha.. But I have always longed to look a differently than i physically look at any given moment. I constantly let myself live in the belief that i must always be changing.. loosing weight, toning up, etc. IN ORDER TO be affirmed, accepted and admired by what I have done to achieve this "look". As if looking a certain way would get me married, friends, status, respect.. whatever! There is no rest in my mind with this issue EXCEPT from the belief and honest acceptance of my Sovereign Lord hand crafting me JUST HOW HE WANTS ME to be for HIS GLORY. And for me to actually believe that His glory is for my good.

So with this being a sinful tendency in my heart, it just kind of adds to the questioning of doing this full marathon.WHY!!! I am not saying i have committed to bail or to stop training yet.. The Lord hasn't made his will clear in this exact decision yet. So i write this to beg you to pray for me. I want to honor the Lord so badly in this. I want to be so OK with whatever it is he has planned. His plans are so not my plans sometimes.. and i want to be teachable to my Lord and eager for His will to be done no matter how radical that may change my circumstances. But this is not my tendency, I fear man and I fear being alone, unloved, and undesirable. All of which my Lord offers to me in Him. I am humbled even as i am typing about my self centered thinking even. But I ant to be honest with you in hopes to encourage anyone reading this to seek the Lord while He may be found and to worship the one person we are created to worship. It comes down to a battle of what will I worship. Me... or my Creator!
This is my dirty rotten sinner heart, but I am forgiven and I am so thankful I can even run for the glory of God. Please pray and let me know any thoughts! i would love to hear your comments.