For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
My life, today, is a gift from God for sure. I do want to boast about it, because He has given me this life I get to live everyday. This entry is just the beginning of what is to come… What is to come is up to God and how He instructs the Holy Spirit to work in me. I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about what is to come. I may be the only one to ever read this… along with my wife of course. However, I pray that this isn’t the case and that the words here are to be used to touch the heart of someone out there to bring them to a closer relationship with Our Father.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Before I start boasting as to why my life is so wonderful, I want to take a moment and discuss the name of this blog, Twisted in His Word. My wife and I have had some struggles with things in our lives, like everyone has, and as a way to keep moving and keep focused on what’s right, we came up with the word ‘twisted.’ How many people face a challenging situation, a frustrating situation, a what-in-the-world-are-you-thinking choice by someone else which effects your life, or a struggle that seems ginormous with laughter and confidence that it can’t touch you? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is that there are way too many people who feel they have no where to turn but to become frustrated, angry, vindictive, closed down or worse instead of responding with laughter and confidence. You have to be pretty “twisted” to do that sort of thing. But we know that if we rely on the Lord to provide for us, if we trust that God will always protect us, and that when all is said and done, we will be with Him in Heaven, then we have nothing to do but be joyful, laugh and move on with confidence. The key here is that he have faith in Christ Jesus, what He did for us and in our God the Father. That is why we have to be in the word… TWISTED in the Word, like a vine is twisted around and through a fence.
When I was in grade school, we had an area of our yard that was fenced in using rabbit cage fencing and other small holed fencing. We also had different vines, like Morning Glories, that grew around the house. They would grow up the fence, in and out and around the wires all the way to the top. Every now and then, my father would have me pull some of the vines out, especially the ones next to the air conditioning unit. In order to do this, I had to either weave them out of the wire, cut a bunch of different little sections, struggle trying to pull them through the wires or kill them with weed killer and then struggle to pull them through the wires after they died. It wasn’t just a simple thing to get rid of them. There were those vines that would go through the fence once or twice and then search for something away from the fence, sticking out a foot or two. I liked seeing these vines as they were removed with a simple pull.
If we spend our lives looking for something else, besides Jesus, to attach to, or trying to avoid troubles, the easier it will be to be pulled away. If you only read the Word once in a while, you would be like a vine that just grew up to the top of the fence and then attached itself to the fence, easily to be removed. But the more you are in the word, the more often you “attach” yourself to the fence. The more you study and get into applying the word in your daily life, the more you weave yourself through the fence and around the wires, making it hard to just be pulled away. As you climb up the “fence” of life, troubles will come and try to blow you off, pull you down, or rip you away. These are the times it is important you attach yourself to the fence through Christ Jesus and His promise. The more times you are tested causing you to attach yourself to the fence, the stronger you will become and the higher you can climb.
WHAT’S SO WONDERFUL ABOUT THAT?
That is exactly why my life is so wonderful. I have experienced both sides of the “fence” so to speak. I grew up in a Christian home, with both parents as ordained pastors, went to church every week, went to church camp every summer and was a “good kid.” However, in my late teens, through my 20’s and into my 30’s, I tried doing things on my own. Making a long story short, I found myself searching for something to attach myself too. Which leads me to today and being back in the Lord. How I got back to this point, that is a whole story in itself… stories actually… and will be explained as this blog goes on.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2
I wish I could say that I walk around every day with a big smile on my face, full of joy. Reality is, there are times when you could read me like a book and know that there is something going on that is bringing me down. But I will tell you that, even today, six months after our marriage, my wife and I are still amazed at how God worked in both of our lives to bring us to this very moment, taking two different lives on two different paths, crossing them and then intertwining them together. Two years ago, we didn’t even live in the same state and neither one of us were in a position to even think about marriage with anyone let alone with each other. (Again, you will just have to wait until later blogs to see this awesome story unfold… and yes, I may be biased, but it is an awesome story!!!) It is a such a great feeling of comfort and joy when we focus on His works and blessings in our lives. And it is easy to do so when times are good and seas are calm.
It is when we are faced with those situations that bring that scowl to our faces, where our brow wrinkles and we get that serious, mad, down look that we really need to focus on His works. Just like the disciples in the boat when the storms came up and they feared for their lives while Jesus slept, we forget that he is with us and we fear the worst. When I get in these moods, I am often reminded by friends or by the Holy Spirit of Jesus’ words:
Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? – Matthew 8:26
Then I remember God’s promise and all the blessings He has given me and I am able to laugh and be confident that He is protecting me, regardless of the situation that is in front of me.
So now, I get to boast how great my life is because God is in control of it and I have no part of the good things that He has given me. I get to face any problem, any storm that comes my way with laughter and, most importantly, confidence in Him.
I get to be…
T W I S T E D !