Sunday, March 29, 2009

53 Days with Esther

It's Tough Being a Woman -- how true that is! Beth Moore's study was an amazing journey, mixed in with the twists and turns of my life. When I started on February 2, I was looking for work, agonizing with Al as he mourned the loss of his company and job, anxious and impatient about what the future would hold. As I poured through the scriptures and savored Beth's study, I have received wisdom and a measure of healing. Here's the pearls from the workbook and my heart that I wanted to record...

2/05/09 Father, You are in the process of writing Your story in and with my life. I long to turn to the back of the book but You reach for my hand. With romance and wonder I understand. You long to allow it to unfold slowly as we walk the road together...

"Have you ever had an associate who, rather than helping you calm down and think clearly, fanned the flame on your fiery emotions and ended up talking you into double the trouble?" Good friends help each other calm down. They empathize with the emotions, staying calm themselves. They encourage waiting until emotions stop flowing strongly before taking any actions. "I considered afresh how much power of persuasion --both positive and negative--the woman of the house can have...Sometimes I may want peace badly enough to advise my loved one to do something swift buy not necessarily wise."

"We too can become so steeped in our culture that we are almost indistinguishable from the world. We too can lose our sense of identity and forget who we are ... not so we can be obnoxious but so we can be influential." The beauty treatment for us as godly women is to come into His presence. His presence transforms us at the heart source and makes us truly beautiful, with a beauty that never fades.

"Oh, the favor that can come our way...through our simple willingness to follow instructions, ... respect authority... [not be] insulted by instruction ... practice the art of truly listening ... follow through by doing what [we're] asked...If long-term persistence doesn't win the favor of an earthly supervisor, trust the God who sees and who is by no means limited to one channel of favor toward you."

"God created time and no human can take it from Him or use it against Him. Time is significant to God mostly because His children who are temporarily bound by its tenets are significant to Him." Time and my future is in Your hands and this is a beautiful thing. Remind me to embrace it and see its peace and joy. "God never takes His eyes off us or off the clock ticking over us...God always trumps Satan."

If you would stay close to Me, obey My word, then I can use you to brighten your corner of the vineyard. Hear Me with a heart to obey. This could not be all about Esther or any woman even if she be queen!! This could be, should be, must be all about You, my Beloved. Your power, Your mercy, Your Provision, Your love. I must believe in You, point to You. That's all.

"Right now you are representing the King on official business in another land, but you are no less royal than the Queen of England would be if she visited the ... Bronx. She is queen regardless of where she is and how she is treated. Her status is secure. So is yours." We too are queen, beloved of the King. Put on your royal robes to approach Him and accept His favor, approval, welcome and grace.

"Sometimes just surviving certain tasks without falling apart is our best and at those times God is not ashamed of our performance. He's proud of us for fighting overwhelming emotions to do His will. God isn't interested in our stellar performance, but in our hearts...Sometimes people advise us to do instantly what can only be done gradually"

"Any time God calls us to die, His purpose is to reveal larger life."

Lord, I wanted to be recognized and promoted. I told you over and over that I recognized you and would promote you in due time. You needed to be healed of this. I was not punishing you from some great sin, I was healing you, then I was protecting you. I love you. I get it. Trust Me. Look to Me alone. What I desired I needed to receive from You alone. I desired to be loved best by the king, but the King of Kings does love me with an everlasting love. "In the shelter of the Most High we find our significance and the only satisfaction of our insatiable need to be noticed. There and there alone are we free to be neither depressed or impressed with the capricious reactions of this carnal world...Christ says I'm already great enough for both of us, Just follow Me."

This desire to be recognized and promoted, to succeed at what people desire from me and not what You desire of me is sin. It is not to be prayed for, but to be prayed against; to be confessed and repented of, to be release from. Forgive me, Beloved! Heal me, restore me! Do not let me forget that it is You alone who is my Everything.

I will exalt You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up and gave me a new job,
and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord, my God, I called to You for help and You healed me and gave me even a boss to encourage me in my recovery from codependency
O Lord, You brought me up from the grave and spared me from being used by men instead of by You alone, where You will empower me and bless me.

You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness and new pants---on sale yet!

that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You praise forever. Amen! --Psalm 30:1-3,11-12.

Thank You, Jesus! By Your mercy and grace I find myself here---unpredictable and unworthy; help me be an instrument of Your peace, love, joy and mercy. Beloved You intended me to come to this place to minister to these people in a way that would be healing to me too. As I continue in that walk, I urgently ask You to give me the grace and peace to love them as You do, as only You can, that they could see and feel Your love through me. Beloved Jesus, I need You more than ever! Be my Everything!

"Repentance is not your punishment. It is your glorious right of daughter-ship. Your invitation to restoration...Much carnage can take place between crisis and crown. In Christ, however, all's well that ends well because He emphatically does all things well."

I do not expect you to be perfect, baby. I expect you to be contrite. There are indeed too many voices. You need to hear Mine. You need to get your orders from Me alone. 3/28/09

Saturday, March 07, 2009

and if I perish...

Two weeks into my new job, I am still meeting residents who look at me with surprise.

"You're new.  What happened to the last woman? There has been so many!"

I love the ones who tell me, "No one in this position lasts very long.  How long do you intend to stay?"
Ok, so I replaced the last woman, who must have had the job less than three months.  The woman before her was temporary.  And ultimately, we are not employees of the building association; we are really employed by a contracted property management firm.  The nature of the thing is transitory.

I must admit, this was unnerving to me at first, me the girl who before my last job, had been employed no less then a decade at the last two places.  I am a Ruglio, truly--- and Ruglios hate change.  I was not looking for a temporary situation.  I don't want to keep changing jobs.

But isn't this whole life transitory?  I am just an alien anyway in a strange land, far from my real home.
Right now I am studying the book of Esther with Beth Moore.  Beth made the point that Esther trusted God with her difficult decision to go in to see the King.  She could have been killed.  She prayed and fasted, and then did what she had to do.  She knew there were no guarantees.  But that did not stop her.  Her testimony was: And if I perish, I perish.

Like Esther, I prayed and asked others to pray for me.  In the end, I did what God instructed me.  I talked to Him about my reservations, and He gave me no guarentees.  Only the promise of His love and His presence.

Two weeks in, I am more certain than ever that He has been guiding me.  I do not totally understand.  But I do believe.  I do trust Him.  No matter how this turns out.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  -- Romans 8:32