a dose of real ray wednesday...

I'm really in awe of how well satan is at stirring pots.  He loves to put people against one another.  He loves to cause division.  He loves for rumors to flourish and spread like wildfire.  He loves for people to take those rumors and believe them.  He loves for rumors to tear apart the body of Christ.

Yet as well as satan is at stirring pots and causing conflict and division...... he is NO where near the goodness of God.

Yet, the conflict, rumors, division seem to be what stays in the front of our minds.

Interesting how that works, isn't it?

It pulls at my heart strings to watch it all go down... seemingly right in front of me.  I've felt the effects of this before... similar smell... my heart and mind are tempted to assume the end result will be the same.  

I'm so thankful for individuals I trust dearly who center their lives on the gospel.  Thankful for leaders who are as serious about the Bible as a heart attack.  Thankful for those older than me being willing to walk me through a concept or idea... or for their willingness to help challenge/grow me in too many ways to list here.

Yet - sometimes I miss being a youth student - able to learn more and more about Christ and what it means to walk with Him and have fun while I'm at it.  All the while being somewhat disconnected to the church as a whole.

As I type those words I shake my head.  I don't really mean that.  But sometimes my heart remembers that season and how 'innocent' it was.  Of course I have such a better understanding of walking with Christ now than I ever did in youth -- so I would never actually wish to go back there.  But when satan stirs these pots... the desire to go back to that season is tempting.

My favorite thing about all of this.... God is bigger.  He is using this 'allowing-satan-to-stir-the-pot' thing to mold and grow me.  I feel Him maturing me.  I feel Him challenging my heart and my motives and I'm thankful.

Note to self:  5-years-ago-Raylene would not be responding the way you're responding now.  God is in the midst of that growth.

It doesn't get much more real {on this real ray wednesday} than that, folks.

I do want to leave you with some things I'm overwhelmingly thankful for today...

-growing relationships
-craft nights with the crafts gone while crew
-the fact that craft nights are SO much more than craft nights... it is good for my soul
-good conversations with people in my church community
-the interesting things God uses to grow me
-my church body
-the way God challenges my heart

How about you be real with me... how are you {really} today?

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