Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Wonderful Encouragement from Laine's Letters

If you've never read any of them you're in for a real treat, I used to read them years ago when she was writing them.  To read all of them go to http://lainesletters.com/letters.html I promise you that you will be encouraged and probably spend a lot of time there so pace yourself!  I used to print some of them off and put them in my folder of things to read while waiting for Dr. appts., etc.  Very inspirational!  This is one that I just love and it taught me so much during those questioning years when I had no one that understood what I was dealing with.
What a blessing these letters have been in my life!  She also has a lot of recipes and herbal remedies.
Perhaps you, like me years ago, are walking by sight. I can guarantee you are filled with fear and anxiousness. I cannot tell you how anxious and fearful I was. In fact, I still cannot get over the work He has done in my heart. To this day. It was all done so quietly, but so very efficiently. Do I still fear and become anxious at times? Oh, yes. But not like before. Now I run right away to Him. He stills my heart like no other and I find the fears and the anxious thoughts becoming less and less in my life. What changed?Those key Words above: ” our inner man is being renewed day by day.”

That is the one thing I used to overlook. Oh, I would take such good care of the outside even though, as the verse says above, it was decaying. Really faster than I could keep up with it. ~Smile~ The funny thing was the very good I thought I was doing for my “outer man” was really to my detriment.

When I very first began to get into God’s Word I thought that holiness began from without. If I just dressed more holy, I would be holy. So I began wearing clothes that I felt were more holier looking. If I just ate the right foods, I would be holy. So I started grinding my own grain and baking homemade bread. If I just had more children for God, I would be holy. So I asked Art for more children. If I took off all forms of outward adornment, I would be holy. So I stopped wearing earrings and stopped painting my nails. If I grew my hair longer, I would be holy. So I stopped cutting my hair. If I set aside the Sabbath day, I would be holy. So I stopped doing any work on the Sabbath. If I worked harder and relied on less conveniences, I would be holy. So I worked harder and insisted I didn’t need or want a dryer, a dish washer, or a computer. If I was just more submissive to my husband, I would be holy. So I tried keeping quiet and nodded in agreement whenever he would speak to me.

Now I know some of you are probably shaking your head in disbelief at all of this. You see, the LORD saved me out of a works related church when I was 10 years old. So much of that “religion” had been ingrained in my mind, rather than the Word of God. So when I came back to the LORD full heartedly, I read all kinds of books that espoused what holiness looked like and how I could have it for myself. Yet in the meantime I was also daily in the Word of God as well. Praise God, I was daily in His Word! Or I would have continued on this course of trying to please Him by the sacrifices of my outer man. Sacrifices that never satisfy. Let me tell you what happened instead.

I never could get the dressing holy quite right. Should I only wear purple or white? Should I wear subdued colors? Should I only wear dresses? But what length? Oh, there were so many views on that. I got confused just reading them. Should I be wearing a veil? I did that once in my church because I was sure that was what God wanted. But then I read that my veil wasn’t long enough and probably my prayers weren’t answered because of this oversight. Should I abstain from meat? How about dairy? Yet, it says He led them to a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Milk is good, isn’t it? I got so confused reading all the books that I was afraid to cook for awhile there many years ago. Yet the homemade bread was awfully good. ~Smile~ More children. That was it. But while I was trying to have more children my body kept breaking down. I would read Art the verses on children, trying to “give him eyes to see” that this is what God wanted. Art kept worrying about me because with each pregnancy I got weaker and weaker. He was sure I would keel over on the next pregnancy. Okay, if I just took off the earrings and nail polish. And if I grew my hair really long, which is my glory, isn’t it? God would then be so pleased with me. Sometime later a woman at church came up and told me that my hair badly needed a trim on the ends. She said it was never going to continue to grow with all those split and brittle ends. She offered to trim it for me. Cut my glory?! Ah, what would God think? I remember the relief the day I cut those awful split ends off and could finally pull a comb all the way through the end of my hair. But should I braid it? Was it right to put it up or should I wear it down? Again, the books were contradicting. Then there was the Sabbath. I convinced my husband that we shouldn’t do any work on the Sabbath. I would rest all day and pray to God. Yes, the dirty dishes piled up, and the beds went unmade. Then I read in a book that I was doing it on the wrong day and my husband shook his head and said he was going out to mow the lawn. I wanted so much to live a simple, godly life. Modern conveniences, that was my problem. I determined to hang out my clothes and feel the breeze on my face. But those rainy days really caused some problems for me, and my husband (who wanted to get me a dryer) was beside himself with all the wet clothes drying in disarray all over the house. I would nod my head in agreement and try to look submissive when he came home from work. I was sure this was the “quiet and gentle look”. Why did he keep asking me if I was sick or something?

Now some of those things are very good things for many people. But you see, they were not good for me. They were really to my detriment. Why? Because I was doing them to be acceptable to God. I was putting on my own holiness. Oh, I didn’t do it overnight. But I would go from one thing to another trying to find out just what God wanted from me. Just what “looked holy” to Him.

Imagine my surprise to find out that all along I was holy. I was already “set apart for God.” I was already accepted by Him! Why? Because of this:

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

Can I repeat that? Oh, it just makes my heart sing!

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

In Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

In Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus.

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

from Laine's Letters

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