Tag Archives: road rage

Time to Adjust My Crown

James 1:12 
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

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Under normal circumstances, I would NEVER have posted this photo of myself.  But, today is not a normal day by any means.  After a little bit of road rage on the way to the store, while driving my dad, then a few people “in my way” at the store, and a grumpy dad because of it, and then 3 hours of healthy food prep for the week only to have someone say to me (I am sure in love and concern):

Have you lost any weight since you started making all this “heathy food” because it sure doesn’t look like it.”

Preface this with the night before my body acting out of whack and not getting much sleep and this makes for a very “fleshy” day.  Under normal circumstances I usually don’t have road rage and I am not irritated by those also shopping for their weekly groceries but for some reason today was just one of those days.  Then when I heard the words of defeat concerning my weight I was just done.

On a day like today I just need to take the advice of our pastor this morning and “Adjust my crown” and know who I am in Christ.  On a day like today I need not worry about the mistakes I have made, I just need to adjust my crown and move forward.  When one realizes they are the daughter or son of the Most High King the perspective of life should change.  One should be able to stand up tall and put their shoulders back and accept who God says they are not what the world just threw at them.

I could walk around the rest of the day moping and sulking because nothing I seem to do changes my outward appearance.  I have cut out soda (6 months), I have GREATLY reduced my sugar intake and gluten.  I cook fresh veggies for lunch and eat salad…I could go on but I think we all know the routine.  What will it take to lose the weight?  More healthy eating?  More exercise?  More defeat to push me to try harder?  I have been there and done that for months now with no results.  I even was doing my Faith and Fitness videos and feeling really motivated until I saw no results so I just gave up.  Defeated I stopped encouraging others all together.  Why bother?

Well, it’s time for me to put on my “Big Girl Panties” and buck up to the plate and try harder.  Do more to be active.  Do more to be healthy.  Concentrate all my time on measuring and monitoring my meals.  Time for me to be very meticulous about what goes on health wise for my body….

WAIT…(INSERT SOUND OF A RECORD STOPPING ABRUPTLY)

I do not need to do any of those things if they are causing me to worry or be stressed.  I must simply adjust my crown and move on.  Move to prayer and resting at the feet of Jesus, for it is at His feet that I will received all of the answers I need.  It is in my resting where God can do His most mighty miracles.

I am at the heaviest I have ever been pushing 210 pounds.  No wonder I am tired.  No wonder my body is out of whack, however, I can’t do anything about it if I am worried and stressed and over achieving.  Pushing myself to get motivated.  I am only going to achieve weight loss if I take Jesus with me.  If I allow myself to be still long enough, He will show me what to do and give me the desire to complete it.

Well, now that I have decided to straighten my crown and not to accept what the world thinks about me, I can enjoy the rest of my evening with my beloved husband knowing that I am loved by the Most High King and He is happy to see me with my crown on straight and my heart in the right place.

Dear Lord,

Today I pray for all of those who are struggling with poor self image and weight issues.  Help them to see themselves as You see them not like the world does.  Help them to rest in You and to be still long enough to hear what the next move is.  I pray Lord for hearts to be healed and lives changed.  I pray for crowns to be straightened and for minds to be renewed.  Thank You Lord for direction in all areas of our lives.  Thank You that You accept us just as we are and You love us right where we are.  In Jesus Name Amen.

 

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Writing on Windows

Matthew 5:14
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

Guess what I can’t do while driving? Get angry. Flip people off. Swear at passing drivers.  Speed up or down to prevent someone from getting over just because they made me mad at some point.  I can’t scream out the window.  Shake my fists. I can’t speed.  I am prevented from even giving weird looks. Why? The back end of my van represents who I am. (for those who are seeing this without a picture go to brendafriendofjesus.com) I display for the whole driving world Who I am all about: God.  How can I even think about acting “Non-Christian” if I have “Jesus Freak” posted on the window of my van and a link to my website?  This brings me to the point of this blog: Accountability.

How many of us have said the sinners’ prayer so many times we know it my heart, with our eyes closed and in reverence about what we just did that was not very Christian?  How many of us have stood at the bottom of heaven and asked for forgiveness for something dumb we just did while representing Jesus?  We have to find a way to stop the cycle of doing the same crazy thing over and over again making us look like we really don’t have it all figured out.  We know we are to refrain from swearing or acting unkind, yet in certain circles we find ourselves doing it.  I am not claiming to be perfect because I am far from it, however, if we don’t change the atmosphere inside of ourselves, we certainly cannot begin to change it around us either.

I already shared once how I was cured from flipping people off while driving when I happened to do it to a car which held one of my youth students at the time AND their parents.  I was cured!  I knew it was not right and I changed my behavior to save myself further embarrassment, however, for awhile after I still had mild cases of road rage where I would yell or curse but not loud enough for anyone to hear me…still the same.  Since I started putting the bumper stickers on the back of my van, I changed my attitude towards other drivers and started blessing them instead.  Then when I added the website and “Jesus Freak” I really began to realize how much of an impact I was making.  I gained friendship via being parked at work and someone saw it and contacted me. People have gotten out of their cars in drivethru and taken pictures.   I was driving down the highway and some drove by just honking and thumbs upping me only to have this man tackle me down at church a few Sundays later.

What can you do today to make people around you aware that you are a Christian?  How can you change the atmosphere where you are?  Perhaps instead of putting your favorite team on your car window, you could put something which represents your faith.  Bumper stickers are pretty permanent.  You can wear clothing which represents your faith.  Perhaps a pin or a hat.  If you are truly following Jesus, don’t be afraid to stand out, we are suppose to be different, remember we are headed upstream!  I challenge anyone reading this to go buy a paint stick for window writing and start today holding yourself accountable for being a follower.  (post a picture if you can here on the blog or on my Facebook) I know for me it has held me back from getting angry when I drive and it also opens up opportunities for me to share Jesus with others.  If “Jesus Freak” isn’t your style you could write “Be Blessed” or your favorite Bible verse.  You never know how many lives you might touch in the process.  We are here to shed Light into a darkened world, what’s a little writing on the window going to do? Perhaps save a life.

Ya Never Know…..

1 Corinthians 15:3
The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me. It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.

Ever done something and just wanted to slap yourself silly knowing that you did not represent God in a very good light with your actions?  Ever wanted to go back and erase an event that just happened and ask God for a do-over?  How about being so embarrassed you just want to hide from what you just did until someone else takes the spotlight with their own act of ungodliness?  Well the story I am about to share with you is personally embarrassing, but through these ordeals we learn and grow in our relationship with Christ and learn how to respect and represent in a pleasing, mature form.

I once was a youth leader, long ago in my twenties.  We had a small group but none the less we were pretty close.  I have always been the “fun person” in the groups I participated in and was known for being a little on the weird side.  Now I am ashamed to admit that road-rage (while not the extreme kind) was once  a lifestyle I lived.  I got angry at the dumbest things.  One time in particular I was stopped at a stop light when the car behind me started honking and my reaction was confusion as traffic was coming and there was no way of me making a right turn at any given moment.  Well, the car kept honking and annoying me further so as I was able to finally turn and the car slowly passed me, the passengers waving wildly, I (this is the bad part, close your imagination eyes please) flipped them off only to realize in horror that one of my youth students was in that car, WITH their parents!

How horrible did I feel?  I am sure you can imagine.  God used that moment to at least correct me from EVER flipping off anyone again.  Now maybe a point I need to make is that I was one of the Christians trying to live that double life of world and church…never works out for the better.  Yep, I was a youth leader, leader of tomorrows youth….still partying on the week-ends and obviously not acting or behaving much like a true follower of Christ.  I thus have grown tremendously in the years since, but lots of lessons to learn in between.  I still was an angry driver, not understanding why people pulled out in front of me.  I think I may have even gotten out of my car once to make sure I did not have a new license plate that said, “Please, Pull out in front of me.”  I am not sure what changed my tune one day but I soon began to bless others instead of cursing them.  Maybe it was the issue that I was trying to take swearing out of my vocabulary and this was the place I started, I don’t know, I just began blessing and it has turned my driving into a much more pleasurable thing  to do.

Tonight as I was driving home  in the dark, I mentioned out loud that I had not even known there was a car behind me until I pulled away at the light because they were so close to me I could not even see their headlights.  As the car sped around me and weaved through traffic my daughter begins to spout out about twenty reasons why the car could be speeding.  Here are some: a family member was injured, they were headed to the hospital, they were late for work, maybe they just lost their job and don’t know how to tell there spouse, a relative had just passed away and they were trying to deal with it through driving….at some point I got lost in the numerous reasons why someone would be driving erratically and I tried to explain that some of those reasons were why I bless people now, but she just kept speaking.  She was really pushing the issue and then of course I asked the dumbest question, “What if they were driving that way just because they like to drive fast?” (I pray for their safety in that case)  She of course just sighed and said I interrupted her momentum.

I truly feel that we need to express that we are Christians no matter what we are doing.  The rear of my van is covered with stickers representing who I stand for, so I try harder now to represent Christ even in my driving.  My daughter is 100% correct when she says that we have no idea what those persons are going through, we have been there ourselves. We can only aspire in this life to live one that is worthy of being called a son or daughter of God, it is through our actions others begin to see the Light and that Light cannot shine when it is shrouded by our own darkness.  We have to make that choice between good and evil.  We can be one way in the world and a totally different person in church where:  A. You are already accepted and B. God called us to represent Him (the Great Commission).  I will continue to correct my not perfect actions from day to day, growing ever closer to the person God sees in me.  Will I ever be perfect?  Nope, but I want to be loyal to being a Christian both at church and while I am milling around in the world.