Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Status

So ... in light of my last post .... Hannah told me it was fairly depressing.
I'm gonna post another short thought.

If you have facebook, you know that writing in some kind of status is "the thing to do" in the facebook world. And it's tons of fun!
I change my status all the time ... what's up with that, by the way?
Why is telling the world what you're doing so much fun?
Am I prideful? Obsessed with myself? Lacking a life? Ha ha ha!
Anyway ... getting off again. :)
So here's a status for today .....

Mical Lynn Masterson is excited about life because even though love is often hard ... it is so worth it in the end. She would not trade the people she's loved and been hurt over for the world. And she would not trade the lessons she's learned. :) She's gonna stick to one of her favorite quotes when it says: "Love deeply. Live fully. Laugh loudly."

Life is good 'cause God's so faithful. :)
Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On My Heart These Days ...

Two questions for the day ....

#1 - Why does love sometimes feel as though your heart is being painfully ripped out of your chest?

#2 - Why is it so hard to let go of lost dreams?

Feel free to answer!
But mostly ... these are just the cries of my heart today.

Can I be reminded? .... God knows what He's doing. Period.
*Big Sigh*

Flesh-Driven or Spirit-Led?

So ... like I often do ... I didn't mean to post that last post.
When I started it ... "So I finished reading Having a Mary Spirit ...." I meant to type out a powerful passage of the book and leave it at that.
Ha! I forgot .... I'm Mical Masterson.
When do I ever stay on topic ... even with myself?
Too funny!
Well, this post is all about a passage from Having a Mary Spirit.
It is amazing and speaks for itself, so get ready!
I must warn you though .... if you don't want any conviction at the moment, don't read this.
But then again ... if you don't want any conviction at the moment, then you need to read this!
So just do it! :)

"Remember the church building program I told you about in the first chapter of this book? Now, three years later, our new facility is almost complete. But even more exciting to me is the fact that we get to keep our existing church building for a youth and ministry outreach center. That means we will be able to fulfill the dreams and visions we had in the beginning, the very dreams and visions that had to be scaled back because of finances. In His mysterious and marvelous way, God has opened a door to more ministry opportunities for less money - and right in the middle of town rather than on our new, less accessible campus.
I had a dream, you see, but God had a better idea. Which is usually the case. So often we feel frustrated in our walk with God because of what seem like roadblocks and detours. We feel as though God has forsaken us - or, worse, that we somehow misinterpreted His will. One way or another, our joy is depleted, our passion runs dry, and we settle for motions rather than movements in our walk with God.
However, we have a choice. We always have a choice. Either we can trust the Spirit's leading, or we can insist on going our own way. But let me tell you - only one choice leads to life. The other marks a gradual descent toward spiritual death, for no one can refuse God's will and prosper.
When I finally - and grudgingly - surrendered my dreams for our church building to God, I was giving them up for good. I had no idea He would resurrect them - and in a way that would be better for everyone. God really did have a better idea, but I couldn't see it until I chose to obey and follow.
We miss so much when we insist on being flesh-driven rather than Spirit-led. When we power walk in a Martha spirit - pushing, striving, and conniving - rather than adopting a Mary spirit that says, 'Wherever You lead me, Lord. I just want to be close to You,' we miss out on so many of God's good ideas ... and our chance to be a part of them.
That is why I keep on praying, 'Lord, change me.'
I want to have a heart that ponders rather than fears.
A heart that believes that God will do what He says He will do, though everything around me shouts to the contrary.
I want a Mary spirit. Oh, I'm glad God understands my Martha-ness and that He is not put out with me when I dream big dreams and go full tilt. But I'm also glad He doesn't allow me to continually operate in Martha overdrive.
In His mercy, God confounds me. He reins me in and prunes me back. And He leads me on, often along paths I don't understand. For He has much more in mind for me and for His kingdom than I can see or even know.
So I'm learning not to get uptight when things don't go my way. For if I can, like the Marys we've studied, keep in step with the Spirit, He will show me which path to take. And, better yet, I'll receive what my spirit longs for.
A gentle, beautiful life, inside and out. A soul at rest and a body in motion. A life lived in the presence of my precious Lord.
And always, as I follow His footsteps, the promise of something astonishing and new."

Galatians 5:16
Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

The God of the Heart

Alright. So I finally finished reading Having a Mary Spirit.
Amazing book!
I've decided it's the best non-Bible book I've ever read.
I think it's because it really began to help me deal with some matters of the heart that I've been leaving alone for far too long.
Ladies, if you've been struggling with some sins - deep down - you should read this book.

The more I grow to know and love Jesus, the more I realize that He is the God of the heart.
He really, really, really cares about what our hearts look like.
He does not care about our outward appearance, how much we've accomplished, how we'd like to be seen and treated ... any of those meaningless things.
God cares about the condition of our hearts.

There's a verse God brought to my attention recently that has really stuck with me ... and it sums up my previous statement perfectly.
"You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." Deuteronomy 8:2

This verse is powerful! Powerful because it, in one sentence, reveals to us why God allows trials into our lives. Trials are a huge part of all our lives. Whether they be big or small, they come to us, in some shape or form, every single day. God knew that when He put us on this earth ... so He also gave us direction.

I know that I often ask God "why?" ... Even though He's given me direction and I know the answer to my question, I ask Him. "Why, Lord?" "Why did you allow these friendships to crumble?" "Why did you allow me to give my heart away at the wrong time?" "Why couldn't I have passed that test?" "Why couldn't you have stopped these things from happening?"

God knows what He's doing. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. No exceptions. No questions or comments or complaints. Just deal with it. ..... But wait!!! We don't have to "just deal with it." God gives us direction in the midst of our "whys?"

He tells us ... right there in Deuteronomy 8:2.
"I led you through these trials for all this time so that I could find out what's really in your heart."
"I want to know ... are you really gonna trust Me and love Me and obey Me no matter what I allow into your life?"
"I allow these trials 'cause I want to watch the way you handle them ... and not just on the outside but deep down, where it really counts."
"I am the God of the heart, and I want to know if your heart really and truly desires to honor Me."

God is the God of the heart, and He really wants my heart and life to honor Him.
And so ... God's been sifting through my heart a lot lately.
It's been a painful process.
I don't want to know that I've been harboring sin.
I don't want to know that I'm not only harboring sin but holding on to sin.
I don't want to know that I'm dishonoring my Lord.
But I do want to know how I can change.
And how can I change, if I don't know I need to change?

God knows what He's doing. Period.
Aren't you glad?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Boga-isms!

So I stumbled across these "Boga-isms" while I was cleaning out my desk today, and I laughed out loud through most of them.
Sadly, most of you won't understand these 'cause you had to be in Bogalusa (and in the situation) to get most of 'em ... but they are still fun.
I could resist ... they are a great blog post. :)
Enjoy!

"He's more creepy up close."
- Josie Knapp to me about a guy we helped while we were there.

"My forgetter is what works best."
- Mr. Denver

"I didn't know you were so that way."
- Pastor Marcus to me

"You're the female version of Billy Mays."
- Frank Bennett to me

"A stick just fell from the sky!"
- Tyler Bennett (I love that kid!)

"Come back, Subway cup!"
- Tyler

"I think we all look like we've been ran over by a truck."
- Madison Johnson

"Gas station bathrooms are filth incarnate."
- Christopher Fales (he also called them "nuclear waste disposals ... couldn't forget that one!)

"Umm, can you make me pregnant?"
- Tori (from the Poplar Bluff group) to me ... and she was referring to a skit, by the way ... she was a pregnant lady. ;)

"Umm, I don't know what to do. You just got a text message."
- Charlie (from the PB group)

"Get it, girl!"
- Leah Baker

"You're not cute!"
- Pastor Mike

"I like this book because people get shot in the face by arrows."
- Tyler Bennett (the quote that started it all!)

"I'm glad i'm not an adult right now because of the economic downturn."
- Again ... Tyler Bennett ... he is a hoot!

"You're so cautious."
- Tyler to me

"Mical is a nice girl, but she's so cautious."
- Tyler to his dad ... "being careful" is an inside joke between the three of us. Ha ha! Yes!

"We're all gonna suffocate and die!"
- Madison

"The world's most awesome flea market"
- Katherine Peterson
"More like the world's lamest flea market."
- Me

"Freakin' ridonkalous!"
- Madison

"Stupid monkey."
- Jeremy Wright talking to the door we put in at Miss Sadie's. You wouldn't believe the time we had with that silly door!!!

"Bye, human."
- Brian Reagan ... and me and Frank and Tyler all week long.

"Strike 22, Johnson."
- Jeremy gave Madison strikes throughout the week for silly things. Good times!

"I'm going down with the guys and Mariah."
- Leah
"Have a nice life!"
- Madison to Leah

"It should be called the 'I hate my life' bone."
- Me after someone hit their funny bone.

"Hungry elbows?"
- Shelley Chambers after she misheard someone say 'angry hobos.'" ... Don't ask me why they said it; I have no idea! ;)

I KNOW there were other great lines ... but these were some really great quotes I wrote down as I heard 'em throughout the week in Bogalusa. ..... Good times! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thorns FOR Grace

Wahoo!
This is good! Get ready! :)

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
"Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

I'd never really thought about this passage like this before.
And by "this" I mean .....

*God GIVES us thorns in the flesh SO THAT He can GIVE us His grace.
And ...
*God not only allows but GIVES us tough times so that, in those rough circumstances, His grace can CHANGE OUR LIVES.

It's kind of funny how .... I've read these verses for years, especially verse 9, and it's throwin' a new perspective at me today. :) That's one of the coolest things about God's word. You can read it a million times and never grasp everything He wants you to take away from it.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

That seems pretty straight forward to me, but when we put it with verses 7, 8, and 10, we see that God doesn't let our thorns "leave" us ... He wants us to understand and experience the power of His grace THROUGH those thorns ... He wants us to understand and experience the power of His grace that not only can, but WILL, overcome our every weakness .......

And ultimately ... CHANGE OUR LIVES.

Condemnation vs. Conviction

So I meant to post this a while back ... I think on the same day as my talk about Colossians 3:3? ....... No .... but anyway ... a few weeks ago, I meant to post these thoughts and didn't .... so here they are now. :)

They are concerning Condemnation and Conviction.

God's been convicting me in mighty ways over the past year ... pushing me to change and let go and ultimately, become more like Him. ... Which is no easy task, as we all know very well. But anyway, from time to time, I feel condemned because I just can't get some things in this Christian walk right. Or I'm not consistent ... whatever the case may be. But recently, I was reminded that I was being selfish in this talking and feeling of condemnation because it was pointing my thoughts back to myself instead of Christ.

And I came to realize ... that's the HUGE difference between conviction and condemnation.

Conviction points us to CHRIST.
Condemnation makes us only think about ourselves.

So yeah! Good stuff!
I hope none of you are battling condemnation. It is AWFUL! I recently came out of the worst condemnation session of my life. It wasn't easy, but once I realized that my false humility (aka - condemnation) was sin in and of itself, my pity parties started to turn around. .... I was so bummed out because I wasn't living the way Jesus wanted me to live ... I was living in sin ... so when I figured out that wallowing in my sin IS A SIN, wow ... I started to change my act. I'm still working on it.

But God's grace is sufficient, and that's what my next post is about! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

9th Time's a Charm!

So ... the only thing I've ever remembered wanting to do with my life is be a teacher.

I love kids ... teens ... young people.
I love hanging out with them, interacting with them, engaging in conversation with them.
It's my favorite thing to do - ever!

To say that ... if you haven't heard ... I'm taking the Praxis ... again.
And in case you don't remember what that is ...
It's a test (much like the SAT) that you have to pass in order to get into your teaching "blocks," as they're called.
3 sections - math, writing, and reading comprehension.
I passed the math and the writing the first time I took 'em ... but the reading? Whew!
8 times.
Yes ... WHOA!

But maybe the 9th time's a charm, eh?
We shall see. ;)

I'm writing this post more for myself, I guess.
To remind myself that I can't give up.
And I've come to realize that I (obviously) don't know how. :)

So .... it's on to the Praxis once again.
Saturday, January 9, 2010 ....
(Prayers appreciated!) ;)

Onward, Mical! :)

Something Amazing!

This speaks for itself.

Or rather ... our amazing God speaks for Himself. :)


"Everyone longs to give themselves to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively!

But God to the Christian says, No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with me alone. Not until you give yourself totally and unreservedly to me and experience an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone. I love you, My child, and until you discover that only in Me can your complete satisfaction be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human love that I have planned for you. You will never be totally happily united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any desires or longings.

I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing - one you cannot begin to imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring this to you. You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things I tell you. Just wait, that’s all! Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the love others have gotten or the things I have given them. Don’t even look at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away, up to me, or you will miss what I want to show you!

And then, when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would dream of! You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready (and I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied exclusively with me and the life I have prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the pure beautiful love that exemplifies your relationship with me - this is Perfect Love!

And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me. I want you to be able to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection and pure love that I offer you in myself. (It is possible!) Know that I love you utterly. I am God, believe me, trust me, wait on me...and be satisfied."