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the purse-driven lifeIt really is all about me
By Anita Renfroe
NAVPRESSCopyright © 2005 Anita Renfroe
All right reserved.
Chapter Oneso, enough about me
Remember the one about the conceited person at the luncheon who went on and on about himself? At the end of his recounting of his various wonderful qualities, he said to his lunch date, "Enough about me. Tell me what you think of me."
If you are hyper-pious, you might have already been offended by the book's subtitle. So let me let you know that I know the same thing you know: ultimately, it's not about me; it's all about God. I get that.
But haven't we heard for years that we are all of infinite worth to God because He sent Jesus to die for us? Haven't we been told that if we were the only one, He still would have come? It's difficult to fathom that although in the grand scope of eternity I am insignificant, in His eyes I am worth everything.
I love it when people are trying to describe a situation in which they are acutely aware of God's providence in their circumstance and they say, "It was such a God thing." I try to keep a straight face and continue listening, because what I really want to say is, "As if anything isn't."
Sunrises are God things (although I've only seen a couple - "not a morning person" doesn't even begin to describe it), air is a God thing, coffee is a God thing, and my times of intimacy with my husband definitely fall into that category. Watermelons, chocolate, music, hot baths, good music, great friends, autumn evenings, Dippin' Dots ice cream, cloud formations - I believe that they are all pretty much "God things" only slightly interrupted by "Satan things."
Most times I can't tell the difference until the experience has long passed and time has sifted through the motives and emotions swirling around the circumstances. Sometimes when I thought something was a blessing from the hand of God, it turned out to be an idol in disguise. Sometimes I thought a circumstance was a plague visited on me from Satan, but it turned out to be a trial that turned to gold. Even the "Satan things" were used to instruct me, discipline me, and help me recognize God's voice. Make no mistake about this one thing: I know that God is real and He is the Holy Center of All. Therefore, all the musings, observations, opinions, and rants in the pages ahead are my own. Unless you are reading an actual Scripture from the actual Bible, pretty much everything else is someone's experience. This book reflects my experiences, twisted as they may be.
Also, I have a life view that entails the deeply held belief that God smiles more than He frowns. I cannot go to the mat theologically for this supposition, but I do know that we are told in Nehemiah 8:10 that "the joy of the LORD is your strength." From this I am guessing that we were meant to be strong and that our joy quotient has a lot to do with our spiritual fitness.
Some church people seem to believe that it is more "spiritual" to be serious and uptight. I realize that there are times when we need to weep and mourn, but the Word of God says that the mourners "will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4) and that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5, AMP). Sadness and angst were never meant to be our permanent default. And though I know that Jesus was "a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering" (Isaiah 53:3), I also know that someone who was a grouchy killjoy wouldn't have gotten in trouble for accepting invitations to too many parties and wouldn't have attracted children. I see Him not scowling but smiling when He told His disciples on board their fishing boat after He had calmed the storm, "What a tiny amount of faith you have after all we've been through together" (see Luke 8:25).
I take my faith very seriously. I take God very seriously. The God I've come into relationship with must have lots to laugh about from this girl on a daily basis. He made me like this and He loves me. That makes me full of joy.
Excerpted from the purse-driven life by Anita Renfroe Copyright © 2005 by Anita Renfroe. Excerpted by permission.
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