Posted by: heisourstrongtower | September 30, 2012

October 1, 2012 – Week 3 Assignments – The Prisoner’s

Read Chapter 3 – The Prisoner’s and then come on back in here to read the rest of this document.

Reflections on Chapter 3

I realized when we were working on Made to Crave that I have always defined myself by who I am through someone else.  The daughter of Ruth and Frank Taylor….the sister of Mike, David or Scott Taylor….the wife of Peter Muzik….the mother of Sara and Keith….Mae Mae to Josh, Ayden, Ashton and Avery; I realized that I have very rarely defined myself to other people as a child of the King.  I mean I tell people who I am a Christian, I don’t hide that fact; but it is not the first label that I use to describe myself.  Maybe….it should be though!!  Maybe, if I default to defining myself FIRST, as His daughter, internally and externally, the devil will find it much harder to penetrate my fortress.

I truly despise the negative labels that we place on ourselves or that other people place on us.   My past has molded me into the person that I am today, it does not define me.  I have gone through some personal trials in my life, I have regrets about how I lived my life and some decisions that I made.  I am not anyone’s victim, though; I made decisions that were wrong for me and my walk with the Lord.  I do not come from a broken home, I was never abused by anyone, my father didn’t reject me…this is where the devil has a field day with me, I hear it loud and clear from him, “You have no excuse.”  You should not have strayed from the Lord.”  “You have no one to blame for your actions, but you!”  “There are so many broken women in this world with legitimate excuses for turning their back on God…you don’t have one.”  The label from my past would read, “Faithless one!”

As I read the list of labels that Lysa said had defined her in the past I thought about which of them I have worn.

I am angry.

I am a screamer

I am a stuffer

I am a wreck

I am a people pleaser

I am unglued

I am not good enough

Then I thought about a couple that she did not put on the list…

I am a worrier

I am ashamed

You know, right, that God does not want us to wear these labels and that He is doing a work within us to “chisel” those labels off and replace them with His definition of us.  The reality is…these labels have some legitimacy  and I will continue to wear them until I allow Him to prune me of my bad habits.  This is truth…I do get angry, I have been known to scream; I do stuff my emotions; I can be an emotional wreck; I want to make people happy; I can come unglued; I am not always a good person; I do worry too much; there are things that I have needed to feel shame about…all truth!!!!

But I am also God’s work in progress and He is making me into a masterpiece to rival Michael Angelo’s “David”.  He is using His chisel to shape me into all that He is calling me to be through Him.  He is the sculptor and I am the clay…chisel me, mold me…make me into something beautiful for Your glory.

I have a video for you to watch.  Click on the link below and go watch the video and then come on back here for your assignments for this week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QCkBL2DfVg

Okay, ladies say it with me….I am God’s original masterpiece and God does not make junk.  I am going to let Him chisel me and these are my new labels…

I am:

A child of God (Romans 8:16)

Forgiven (Colossians 1: 13-14)

Saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Justified (Romans 5:1)

A new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14)

Kept in Safety wherever I go (Psalms 91:11)

Casting all my cares on Jesus (1 Peter 5:7)

Doing all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)

Bringing every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Being transformed by a renewed mind (Romans 12:1-2)

The righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)

An imitator of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1)

Filled with laughter and rejoicing (Job 8:21)

I am safe in Jesus!!!!  I try to live by these truths every day.  Look up the Bible verses next to each “I am” and feel His truth fill your soul!

Truth:  We are nothing without Him!  We cannot live the way that He wants us to live unless we make Him the center of our lives.  We have to be centered on Him in every part of our lives; as a woman of God, as a wife, as a mother, as a grandmother, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, as an employee, as a volunteer; whatever your title is, keep Him in the center and through Him all things are possible.

We do this by being persistent, by going to the Lord in prayer and asking Him to guide us and direct us.  He is my Father and I am His daughter and I will praise Him and thank Him that I am defined by Him.

“Hi, my name is Patti and I am God’s original masterpiece.”

Dear God,

Sometimes I feel as if I’m pedaling a bike up a hill in the wrong gear.  Lord, You say You understand and want to help.  You watch me with compassion, and You call, “come to me!” But so often I ride by, unseeing, unwilling to believe that You would take this load of failures and troubles on Your own back and ride in tandem with me, making even the hardest uphill paths seem easy.  I want to please You, and I want to obey You. I want to put forth effort to do what is right.  Chisel me Lord; mold me, show me, Lord, how to work hard and how to love you with all my heart.  But don’t let me ignore Your sweet invitation to rest, to peace, to partner with Your strength as I go on my way today.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Word for the Week – CHISEL

Define and look up synonyms for our word of the week – write this in your “unglued” journal.  Look at your “mandate to change” and decide how the word “CHISEL” will help you meet your objectives.   Write this information down in your journal.  Date each day of your journal this week.  Make a word circle using our word for the week and include in the circle those things that will help you meet your objective and place outside of the circle those things that will hinder your objective.

Memory Verse for this week – Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to do good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.”

Look up the Memory Verse in several different translations of the Bible; decide which translation speaks to your heart and memorize that one.  Write this version in your journal and let the group know which one you picked.  Look at your “Mandate to Change” and see how this verse applies to helping your meet your objectives.  Make changes to your Mandate, as needed, including this verse.

Assignments for Week 2 of Unglued

  • Set aside 55 minutes every day this week to spend alone with God. Get out your “Unglued” journal and put the date at the top of the page.  Write out what you did during your time with God.  If you read a devotion write down which one you read, if you read your Bible…what chapters or verses did you read.  Make a note of what spoke to you during this time.  Make sure that you schedule in some quiet time, where you are just silent and listen for what God is saying to you.  Write down all the thoughts that come to you during this time of listening.
  • Examine WHAT HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE OVER THIS PAST WEEK for areas that caused you to become “unglued”.  You can do this by going back to your journal and re-reading your entries.
  • Record what you learned from each area in your journal.  Make note if this is a new “unglued” area in your life.
  • Surrender that unbalanced area to God and ask Him to show you how to abide in Him instead of relying upon yourself and your own strength.  Write out a prayer to God about those areas that you are surrendering to Him.
  • At the end of each day, reflect back on how your day went…be honest with  yourself about those moments when you became “unglued.”  Did you realize right away that you were not allowing God to hold you all together or did it take a while?  What helped you in that moment?  Record this information in your journal and, if need be, write an amendment to your “mandate to change.”

Questions for Chapter 3

When asked how he had completed the David statue, Michelangelo is reported to have said, “It was easy.  I just chipped away the stone that didn’t look like David.”  God is inclined to say something similar to us; I want to chip away the things that don’t look like you.  And these unglued moments and failures?  They don’t look like you.

How are you challenged or encouraged to consider that this is how God sees you and your struggles?

God doesn’t allow the unglued moments of our lives to happen so that we’ll label and stay stuck.  He allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done.  Briefly describe a recent raw emotion or unglued experience.  What kinds of self-defeating thoughts or labels ran through your head in the aftermath of that experience?

Beyond the experience itself, what underlying issued does your reaction make you aware of?

Instead of condemning ourselves, we can say, “God please chisel me.”  What do you think this might mean for you in practical terms?  In other words, what changes in behavior, thinking, or spiritual practices would enable you to “let God chisel”?

Consider our memory verse for this week…Ephesians 2:10

How does this image of God as an artisan or master craftsman impact your view of God and His work in you?  How does it compare to other images you might have of God, such as a father or a judge?

In your own words describe what it means to you “to be a work in progress.”  Consider what you imagine Michelangelo needed and expected from his block of marble.  What parallels might you draw between Michelangelo’s raw material and the raw material of your own life?

Sculpting a masterpiece does not happen overnight – it’s a process that requires time and careful work.  The same is true for imperfect progress, God is chiseling us, making us new – and that requires time, careful work, and a great deal of grace.  Where do you feel grace is most lacking, either in your life with God overall or specifically with your struggles with raw emotions? What grace do you need from God right now?

As most of you know Many Strands has been working on a 52 Week word study that started in June.  We took off the month of September to do a 30 day study of the word “worthy”.  We learned all of the reasons we are considered “worthy” by God.  How can those verses and “labels” help you in your unglued moments?

One final thought…”It is beautiful when the master chisels.  Unglued moments lead to opportunities for God to chisel us into a masterpiece.”  Consider it pure joy that God deems us worthy to be chiseled.

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