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This blog is simply meant to bring God the glory; no more and no less. I'd love to hear from you! Comments, questions, conversation. rebecca.labriola@gmail.com

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Author of My Life. Thursday, June 26. 2014.

I like to mentally plan out my life.
Down to every last detail.
Like I’m writing my own story.

Sometimes my hoping,
and dreaming,
and wishing,
and fantasizing,
and planning goes a bit too far.

Sometimes I bank more on my own planning
than the plans that the Lord has in store for me.

When I write my own story
I place trust and hope in myself.

I see it as my duty to do this or that
to accomplish what I want to
so that my life works out the way I have planned.

But in reality,
I should be a servant.
A servant of the most High
obediently carrying out His will for my life.

The thing is,
He is Creator.
He made everything out of nothing.
He is the Master Planner.
He has the blueprints down.
There is no need for me to live my life in accord with my plans.

It is my duty to follow His plan for my life
to the fullest extent possible.

If I should fear anything,
it should be me getting in the way of His plans for my life.

My story is written.
He knows how it plays out.
Why should I think that I have the authority to rewrite it?
Who am I to think that God makes typos?

His goal is to provide us with what is best for each of us.
Why do I think I know better than His best?

He is the God of Wisdom.
Since when do I think I’m smarter than God?
That’s just silly.

This concept comes with a bit of surrender.
A lot actually.

It doesn’t mean I have to give up on planning my life out
but it does mean that I should be more in tune to Christ’s plans for my life.

Maybe I should be humble enough to take into consideration
the perfect plans of an ever-loving and all-knowing God.

Though it is a daily struggle and sacrifice to give up my own plans,
the pain that results from me following my ‘wisdom’
is not even comparable to the joy the comes from following the wisdom of the Father.

Who’s ready for the joy that’s coming?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Society's Mottos v. The Gospel's Motto. Thursday, June 19. 2014.

Sometimes my sister and I can be heard making use of the phrase,
‘You do you boo’.

I’m going to put some cheese on my salad.
You do you boo.
Do what you want.

It is a phrase that is utilized and 
has become a lifestyle in our society.

Do what you want.
Do whatever feels right.
Do what you feel like doing.
Maybe I don’t agree,
but it’s your choice.

This strategy might be okay for how you take your coffee.
But when it comes to bigger matters,
moral matters,
it doesn’t work as well.
It gets us into trouble.

When it is no longer a matter of opinion
but a matter of right and wrong,
we can’t all be right.
We just can’t.

Life isn’t a game played by 5 year olds where everyone wins.
There are things that are right
and there are things that are wrong.

Society doesn’t think that way.
Society simply tells us to
do whatever feels right.

It’s almost as if it were the current society’s motto:
Do Whatever Feels Right!

So contradictory from what the Gospel proclaims.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have not wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.’

John 2:1-5
The motto of the Gospel:
Do Whatever He Tells You!

I do not think that these two mottos could be any more different.

Do whatever He tells you.
It means surrendering to His will.
It means setting aside our own desires and feelings.
It means taking the road less travelled.
It means doing some things that we might not want to do.

It isn’t about doing what we feel is right,
but rather,
it is about doing whatever He tells you.

This was such a bold reminder to me that
I do not want to follow the motto of society.
Not only do I not want to follow it,
I want to flee from it.
And go the complete opposite direction.

No wonder Christians are not supposed to be of this world.
The world doesn’t hold itself to the same standards that a Christian should.
The world doesn’t model itself after the Gospel.

I want to hold myself to a higher standard,
to not be of this world
and not to do whatever feels right
but rather,
I pray that in this life,
I do whatever He tells me. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Seeking Completion. Thursday, June 12. 2014.

I often wonder why divorce rates have skyrocketed
and why we don’t know how to have quality relationships.

Myself included in this.  

I think we have the wrong idea of what
relationships (romantic and not) should be.

Unfortunately, in my humanness,
I often see relationships as
‘What can I get out of this?
How can this person help me?
What do they have to offer me?
How can they complete me?’

This is so far from the mindset that I should have.

I also think that this mindset is what has led us
down a path of destructive relationships.   

When we look for completion from others,
we will be disappointed.

We are all broken
and wounded
and incomplete.

Typically if you have two incompletes
it results in a complete.
But that isn’t the case with relationships.

Two incompletes in a relationship just fester.
No matter how one does the math,
there is not a way to make incompleteness complete
via another human being.

We were not created to be fulfilled and completed by other people.
Our identity is in Christ.
His is our fulfillment.
He is our complete.

Human relationships are not made to complete
but rather, to complement.

If we continue to look for our complete in places other than Christ,
we will be disappointed.

If we see relationships as a means to complete our lives,
we will be disappointed.

If we seek our completion and identity in Christ,
we will be fulfilled and completed.
And our relationships will flourish.

If you have two people who have found their completion in Christ,
they will be able to lead each other closer to Christ,
knowing that He is fulfillment.

I truly believe that if we all believed this
and put it into practice
relationships would be radically different.

Relationships would be able to accomplish their original goal,
bringing others closer to Christ.

Challenge yourself to look at your relationships.
Are you seeking completeness?
Or are you leading others closer to their identity in Him?

Challenge yourself to see where your identity is found.
Is it in Christ?
Or are you looking for it elsewhere?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Compelled by the Spirit. Wednesday, June 4. 2014.

But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me.  Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.
Acts 20:22-24

This is part the first reading from Tuesday.
It really stood out to me.

I love that where Paul is compelled,
is where he goes.
He does not go where he wants.
He does not disobey.
He does not take the easy route.
But rather,
he goes where the Spirit leads him.

So often I don’t know the route I am supposed to take.
I don’t think it is lack of the Spirit prompting.
I think it is my lack of listening.
My lack of prayer.
My lack of being open to the Spirit compelling me.

Paul goes where he is compelled
despite the warnings from the Spirit.
The Spirit warns him of imprisonment and hardships.
He is warned,
yet he goes.

If I feel an ounce of discomfort,
I immediately flee the other direction.
If I am warned of discomforts?
I won’t even begin.

Paul does.
Full force.

Why does Paul go full force into this ministry,
knowing of all the hardships?

Because what is his life worth if he doesn’t
complete the mission set before him by God?

What are our lives worth
but for completion of Christ’s mission set before us?