s

Dear Mushka,

PROMISE: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 · No 12

PROMISE: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 · No 12
This year we're memorizing one promise from scripture a week. If you want to follow along with our verse cards you can find them HERE. We're also placing importance upon context and studying each verse as we go. We want to honor the original language, meaning, etc as we read so that we can accurately learn and avoid placing our own opinions upon God's words. I'm so happy you're here!

NO TEMPTATION HAS OVERTAKE YOU THAT IS NOT COMMON TO MAN. GOD IS FAITHFUL, AND HE WILL NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND YOUR ABILITY, BUT WITH THE TEMPTATION HE WILL ASLO PROVIDE THE WAY OF ESCAPE, THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ENDURE IT · 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13

Paul starts out this part of his letter to the church in Corinth recalling multiple different instances where the Israelites began in following God, and soon after abandoned their faith in Him. Many weren’t rooted in trusting the Lord – easily tempted into sexual sin, doubt, and idolatry. He recalls these accounts as a warning to the believers in Corinth – a reminder that standing firm in faith isn’t achievable on their own strength and will.

I once heard someone say, “The Holy Spirit is our only shot at fighting sin”, and I have since never forgotten it. In my weakest moments, I really struggle with overeating. It is so easy for me to choose ‘food’ as my comfort, and the consequences have had a cost. 20 pounds gained in college, many lies to friends in denying my habits, and a soul so afflicted by false-comfort that real comfort seemed out of reach. Praise God that He has used this passage to minister to me – particularly once I let people “in” to help me out of the valley this stronghold was in my life! And yet, I still have to be on guard.

Paul warns the believers who think they are ‘standing firm’ in their faith to live ‘on guard’ –prepared for temptations to come, in full knowledge that they could very well fall like the Israelites did if they aren’t careful to cling to Christ. Our best security against sin is prayerful vigilance and divine dependence.

 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man”: What an assurance. We are not alone in our fight against sin.

“God is faithful and HE WILL NOT let you be tempted beyond your ability”. I love how God’s faithfulness in this verse is directly linked to a promise He is making clear to us through Paul. He won’t allow the Enemy, the world, your friend, or even your own heart to tempt you beyond your ability to bear it.

The caveat here is this: He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability to endure it WITH HIM. On our own, goodness there are plenty of temptations that would truly be unbearable – frankly all of them are. Left to our own self-reliant defenses we are truly helpless. We need the ever-present and available help of the Lord to see freedom from temptation.

“BUT with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”: There is always a way out. The eject button will be so clear to you. The enduring ability will be found in Him alone. We’ve got to abide in His help – His strength will be enough for anything that comes our way. We will not be overcome if we rely on Him.

Are you snuggling with the sin in your life? Or seeking to kill it? Abide, ask, and be on guard. There is real freedom on the other side of your doubt, and its permanency is only possible with the help of the Lord.

___________________________

This post was written by Courtney McLean- a 23 year old introverted, but social (I KNOW RIGHT?!) marketing gal, married to a handsome finance-guru in Wisconsin. She fell in love with Jesus at age 19 and has been learning to hope in Him ever since! You can read more about her at her blog here!  Her vision for life is to leave people feeling loved by God. She hopes the words shared here on Dear Mushka leave you loved!

PROMISE: PSALM 32:8 · No 11

PROMISE: PSALM 32:8 · No 11
This year we're memorizing one promise from scripture a week. If you want to follow along with our verse cards you can find them HERE. We're also placing importance upon context and studying each verse as we go. We want to honor the original language, meaning, etc as we read so that we can accurately learn and avoid placing our own opinions upon God's words. I'm so happy you're here!

I WILL INSTRUCT YOU AND TEACH YOU IN THE WAY YOU SHOULD GO; I WILL COUNSEL YOU WITH MY EYE UPON YOU · PSALM 32:8

Have you ever really wanted someone to mentor you? Have you ever just really hoped to have someone in your corner, cheering you on and giving advice? I sure have! The people God has placed in my life as mentors have helped me grow in some significant ways.

And yet there’s this tension that can arise within even the most “hungry for a mentor” of people. It’s the “mentor me, but don’t challenge me to live differently” paradox. It’s the “help me, but only in the areas I tell you about” disposition. Its hiding - it cheapens grace and limits our healing.

David starts out this Psalm singing of the happiness that comes to those who are forgiven. We can read this and skim by in “I’ve heard that before” ignorance, but we’ve got to remember what is true of forgiven people.

Forgiven people have come out of hiding. They’ve said goodbye to rehearsed confessions and said YES to true and honest admitting. They’ve kicked shame and fear in the face and asked the Spirit to create in them an open heart – a heart that believes telling others about the good AND the hard in their lives is worth any moments of uncomfortable-ness, in exchange for growth in godliness.

Forgiven people invite others to speak into their lives - they ask for wise counsel and godly instruction, because they’re deeply aware of their inability to walk well with Jesus on their own. Humility, forgiveness, vulnerability – it’s all a part of our dance with Jesus, and without one of these, we don’t experience the full abundance He has for us- the “blessedness” that David sings of in this chapter.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

As David sings of his desire to counsel others in this verse, it’s as if he’s saying: “Look, I’ve tried to ignore the call to live a holy life and it didn’t work out well for me. I’ve learned to be honest with God and others about my sin, and I want to help you do so, too! It's refreshed me, and I want that same restoration for you.”

Don’t you crave it? Someone older and wiser, who has had more time to sin and be forgiven for it and healed from it – someone like David to speak into your life? To ask you the tough questions, loving you enough to push past discomfort so you can move forward in grace-driven holiness?

 Lord, reveal to us if we’re living in any sort of hiding. Help us to value growing in Your likeness enough that we are willing to talk with others about our sin. Make us into people who are teachable in even the tough areas, because we know it’s for our good and Your glory that we grow with others in them. Help us to acknowledge that to be fully loved by others is to be first fully known.

___________________________

This post was written by Courtney McLean- a 23 year old introverted, but social (I KNOW RIGHT?!) marketing gal, married to a handsome finance-guru in Wisconsin. She fell in love with Jesus at age 19 and has been learning to hope in Him ever since! You can read more about her at her blog here!  Her vision for life is to leave people feeling loved by God. She hopes the words shared here on Dear Mushka leave you loved!

PROMISE: JAMES 4:10 · No 10

PROMISE: JAMES 4:10 · No 10
This year we're memorizing one promise from scripture a week. If you want to follow along with our verse cards you can find them HERE. We're also placing importance upon context and studying each verse as we go. We want to honor the original language, meaning, etc as we read so that we can accurately learn and avoid placing our own opinions upon God's words. I'm so happy you're here!

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE HTE LORD, AND HE WILL EXALT YOU · JAMES 4:10

James spends this chapter warning the church about worldly living when you have a holy calling – the calling all who have trusted in Jesus have! He gives a healthy rebuke to the believers for their self-focused ways that have led them into all kinds of trouble. James is calling the believers to repentance – to confess an acknowledgement of their wrongs and ask God for forgiveness and more of His righteousness.  

Come to God and ask for humility, and He will give it. Come to Him in humility, and He will make you righteous – good, holy, restored.  He will bring you right up near His right hand – where Jesus is seated.  You get to draw near to the highest of high thrones, because of what He does for and in you! What a promise.

Exalt: The meaning of the word is to “to make noble in character or to be held in high honor”.  God promises He will exalt us if we come to Him in humility. You guys, I assure you – there is no better deal out there. Humble coming in exchange for heart transforming. True repentance in exchange for real healing. Honest evaluation in exchange for holy opportunity.

In the following chapter, James goes on to write that the “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (5:16). He writes this after again, calling the church to repentance. Why are repentance and righteousness so intricately connected?

It’s because people who have been made right with God in Jesus got there because they repented. People who continue to draw near to God repent and repent often. Righteousness, exaltation – its all dependent on repentance, and repentance requires humility, - an admission that we have been wrong about much and God was right all along. 

The prayers of a humble, made righteous person are heard by God (Luke 18:9-14), while God opposes the proud (Proverbs 29:23).  We need to seek God-dependence and flee self-reliance.

It isn’t the prideful, self-promoting, self-reliant people who God says He exalts. It is those that recognize how little they have to offer and how much God has to give.

Do you see it? The difference in this kind of Kingdom-life than that which our world entices? When we who have been redeemed by Jesus get to our Heaven-home, the last will be first – the least will be the greatest.

Dream with me! How different our workplaces, schools, cities, churches and families would be if they were founded upon humility as the route to legacy – humility as the heart towards change – humility as the hope for growth - humility as the way of exaltation.

There’s great hope here! We can rest assured that if we will only lay our hearts and minds out to God in humble repentance, He will hear our prayers and invite us near to Him again and again, exalting us so high we can hear our Abba clearer than ever before.  

Draw near to God today, friend, and He WILL draw near to you. (James 4:8)

 

___________________________

This post was written by Courtney McLean- a 23 year old introverted, but social (I KNOW RIGHT?!) marketing gal, married to a handsome finance-guru in Wisconsin. She fell in love with Jesus at age 19 and has been learning to hope in Him ever since! You can read more about her at her blog here!  Her vision for life is to leave people feeling loved by God. She hopes the words shared here on Dear Mushka leave you loved!

Dear Mushka: A Flashback

Dear Mushka: A Flashback
Before Dear Mushka was a business, it was a blog. I stumbled across some old posts the other day and thought I'd share one here, in hopes of encouraging anyone who feels called to adopt but doesn't have her spouse on board, too. This was written almost four months to the day our first son was born and adopted. 

________________________________

tuesday 4.22.14

dear mushka, 
a year and a half ago i felt a deep deep calling to adopt you. it was completely out of the blue and not something i'd ever considered before but as soon as the idea was in my head i knew. i just knew. i fully expected r to experience the same confidence and excitement, too, but much to my dismay he didn't... not even a little bit. and i was heartbroken in a way i'd never experienced before, a way i can only explain as my mama heart being pricked for the first real time. 
we spent the next year talking about adoption off and on but ultimately, i quit bringing it up in exchange for simply sitting at god's feet every few days with my questions. did i mistake the calling? should i pursue the issue further? should we try for biological children first? i really wasn't sure what to do next, but i knew adoption was not a one woman show and for anything to happen, r would have to jump on board too. 

the issue hadn't been brought up in a quite a few months, but god was working on robert's heart regardless, and as we were walking our well-worn neighborhood sidewalks today robert said the words that have already changed my life. 

baby, i think we should adopt. 

he said it casually, but i could tell the issue had been stirring long before he spoke and i don't even know what to say right now, really, except who is this god who answers prayer upon prayer upon prayer? and why is he calling us to such a beautiful picture of his gospel?

baby, we're coming for you.
xxxxxxx

PROMISE: PHILIPPIANS 1:6 · No 9

PROMISE: PHILIPPIANS 1:6 · No 9
This year we're memorizing one promise from scripture a week. If you want to follow along with our verse cards you can find them HERE. We're also placing importance upon context and studying each verse as we go. We want to honor the original language, meaning, etc as we read so that we can accurately learn and avoid placing our own opinions upon God's words. I'm so happy you're here!

AND I AM SURE OF THIS, THAT HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL BRING IT TO COMPLETION AT THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST · PHILIPPIANS 1:6

Paul starts out his letter to the church in Philippi expressing that he prays thanks to God for them often, sharing his gratitude for their ‘partnership in the Gospel’. Just after he shares these words of thankfulness, he writes of his confidence in God’s faithfulness to sanctify.

Paul is sure. He has seen God transform him from a murderer of Christians, to one who brings the Good News about Jesus in gentle and earnest love. If anyone has seen a depth of God’s ability to make people new, it’s Paul! We can take heart in this assurance. We can have such full confidence in God’s faithfulness to grow us, change us, and make us into people who look more like Him.

He who began it will finish it. Paul reminds these Christians that the growth in them began with God’s hand and ends with Him just the same. And it’s true for you and me today! We didn’t become followers of Christ on our own strength – the power of God most definitely worked in and around us to bring us into His family. And yet, we do play a role in our sanctification – in our journey to become more like Jesus.

We open our hearts to God and ask Him to work, and he A L W A Y S does. The pace, the areas, and the timing in which the growth occurs are up to Him, not us. But again, we’ve got to open our clenched fists, lay down our desires, and re-submit our lives to the Lord on a daily basis. We’ve got to make room in these hearts of ours that all too often become cluttered with the cares of the world. The rest? It’s up to Him.

It isn’t finished until the day of Christ’s return. We are not yet completed. We are not yet fully whole. We are not finished until His work is finished. There’s more for God to do in this world – most specifically, there are many He still wants to bring into relationship with Him! We hasten the return of Jesus when we remember that and seek opportunities to share it. And there’s more for God to do in our hearts until Christ comes. Until then? We recall this verse to mind and take heart that He is working.

Whatever you’re wishing was true of your heart, your life, and your relationship with God – know this: He is with you and working in you as you abide and ask.
Abide in time with Him and you will see Him move. Ask Him to change your heart and you will see His transforming power. The specifics of how/when – we can rest in that the promised results are good, and they are up to Him.

Abiding and asking with you this week, friends.

___________________________

This post was written by Courtney McLean- a 23 year old introverted, but social (I KNOW RIGHT?!) marketing gal, married to a handsome finance-guru in Wisconsin. She fell in love with Jesus at age 19 and has been learning to hope in Him ever since! You can read more about her at her blog here!  Her vision for life is to leave people feeling loved by God. She hopes the words shared here on Dear Mushka leave you loved!
  • Page 1 of 5
  • Page 1 of 5