What’s Your Core Values?

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My Pastor gave me an assignment, to write out my core values. It has taken me 3 1/2 weeks to do it. This has not been an easy task. Thinking about what are the powerful drivers that move me to action. To think about when they became important and how they work in my life. It has been an eye opening experience.

I set out to find somewhere between 6-8 core values.

These are things that are bottom of your gut necessary to who you are.

These are the things that are powerful drivers in your life that move you to action.

How do you find these core values?

Look at your check book, what do you spend money on?

Look at your calendar, what do you spend your time on?

Look at your conversations, what are you talking about?

Look at what you think about? What angers you? What joys you?

The Children’s Pastor at my church wrote her values in a format that I thought made sense.

Written below I have :  How did it become a value? How does it apply to my spiritual life?

How I found my 1st value is I looked at my struggles! I struggle with fear.

The opposite of fear for me is TRUST

TRUST: Without trust there is no point. Trusting in God and His goodwill toward me will take me through anything this life holds. Trusting in people is not wise but if those people also trust in God, I can have a measurable amount of success in my relationships and dealings as we walk together in Christ. With this type of trust I can have faith to be open and honest with who I am, believing that God is my defender when pain comes my way. With this type of trust I also can overcome hurt and forgive others. Trust first became a value from enduring a few negative situations that caused me to crave trust. The need for trust became so important that I spent much of my waking hours testing and looking for evidence of mistrust in the faces, words and body language of the people around me, making me a very suspicious person. When I came to know the Lord I began to walk through many situations that have required me to actively rely on God in trust. This has lessened my fears and has grounded me in the fact that Jesus is steadfast. I have also come to know when I have left this trust and started walking about in fear. I can hear it in the words I use and see it in the way that I behave. Having trust in GOD has made me free to be me.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

My 2nd value was I looked at the ways that I protect myself.

SECURITY/CONFIDENCE: is important to me because security/confidence means that I am safe and free from intentional harm. It means that I can relax and enjoy my surroundings. It means I can share myself and partake of who others are without fear,not hiding who I am or running from situations to find safety.  I have been in many instances where I did not feel safe with others. I came to see security/ confidence as a need through enduring emotional abuse, accusation, physical harm and many threating situations. No one ought to feel that way. Jesus is a strong tower of safety high above the evil and pain of this world. I may encounter it but I know in whom I trust. In the mean time I endeavor to be a safe place for others to be who they are and be honest about where they are.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe

I found my 3rd value is by examining how I see myself.

RESPONSIBILITY: What I do and what I say are expressions of who I am. Who I am is hidden in Christ. These things are an expression or the fruit of who Christ is in me. I believe, If I say I will do something, I do it. If I agree, then I follow through. If I mess up, I own it and learn and move forward. Words have meaning! What I say, I am responsible for. When I was about 13 I found out that my dad was not my dad. The way I found out was through my dad sending a request for paternity. He took me on as his responsibility. My parents never planned on telling me. When they split up that changed. I was crushed. God never did that to me,  instead He took me on and even sent Christ to pay for my sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Psalm 19:14
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

My 4th value came through looking at what brings me joy and excitement.

Exploration/Discovery: When I was a kid my Grammy took me on little trips. We never went to the same place twice. It was always an adventure in discovering what was just around the bend. I remember she would say “which way should we go?” and someone in the van would yell out “left or right.” These little trips developed a love of the unknown. I am a little more planned out than that now that I have grown up but I still love finding little places, coffee shops, nooks and crannies and finding what is behind a laugh, a smile, a sentence, a feeling, a friendship, anything really. I want to understand what I call the backstory. I want to know what is going on underneath the veneer that we put out into the word. I want to know what’s and why’s. This is also how I overcome myself and its sabotage. What I am not willing to look at I cannot understand and overcome. Walking into the dark places and letting Christ speak to me there, looking at my ways and wanderings with me in friendship has helped me see where I am invested in self-effort and pride rather than walking in love and truth. Without this process I stuff my emotions. I disconnect from life and live half alive. Exploration and discovery bring to me interest in my life, color, joy, captivating things, words, quotes, poetry, music, things to share, beauty to see and life to live!

Ephesians 4:18
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

I found my 5th value through where pride can slip me up if I am do not remain humble.

Independence: I do not depend on other people to tell me what is or isn’t. I search out the matter myself. Sometimes this takes years but I will have a solid base rather than the reason of “someone said so.” I don’t allow people to coerce me. I will stand my ground for what I believe is right. I had many instances of being made to sit and listen to what a certain person had to say. I could not question or search out an idea or topic. The conversation was for me to hear and adhere to. I sat quietly but I did not adhere nor listen if I found the information to be nonsense. When I first became a Christian the pastor at the church I attended told me that I was a Berean. I looked it up, of course! I believe it is important to look into what is said, what is common, what is normal, to see if it holds up under a close examination. God does this to us within our hearts and I believe we ought to do that too so that we are not following blindly.

Acts 17:10-12
The brothers  immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Psalm 139:23

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

My 6th value is how I am moved by God and would like to touch others.

Worship: Music has always been a part of me. When I was in Junior high I joined choir and it changed me. I continued choir all through high school. I saw how the presence of voices or absence of voices added to the ambiance of the song. I noticed that the way a song is presented had a way of reaching me or repelling me. I was told a time or two that I couldn’t sing and to just be quiet. I was determined to sing and I practiced until I knew the music inside out. I couldn’t stop. Music moved me. I have always known that singing was a major connection for me to feel my emotions and connect with a deeper place than I can get to without it. When I worship God with song I can feel it, get inside the meaning, let the emotion pour through me and out to God and people. When I worship it is a place that my mind stops spinning on what is going on and I fully focus on God. I want to create a moment for people to open their hearts to God. I want them to feel lifted into His presence, to know just how near He really is. If they have seen Him and found rest from their lives in Him and released their selves to be moved to worship Him too then I have done what I came to do.

Psalm 100:2

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

My 7th and final value is how I learn and grow.

Journal/Blogging/Writing: These are the ways that I connect with myself, Talk to myself, find myself and vent to myself. Without it I am disconnected and bury my emotions, lost in my thoughts without clarity. If I don’t take the time to write I move on too quickly and I don’t learn my lessons. I discovered a love of writing from Mr. Brower who was my English teacher in high school. I found great joy and amazing passion when I write. I have found that I respect and care for myself when I write what is going on in my life. Writing creates a safe place for me to deal with my struggles and weaknesses. It also allows me to count my blessings and remember moments, keeping track of time in journal books.  These books are the place that I work out truth and understanding of who God says that I am. I feel more confident about who I am in Christ when I am writing. I have found that when I am confused or unsure writing helps me to know what I think, what I need, what I want or do not want. It is a place that I speak to God and it is also one of the ways that God uses to speak to me. I am dry and lifeless without it.

Proverbs 2:1-8

My son (daughter), if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.

ITS AMAZING WHAT GOD CAN BUILD FROM ALL YOUR POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES. PRAISE TO THE KING!

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Do you trust me?

Idols

We have them

As Christians we don’t want to

but we can and we do and we can not even know it

Could this be another reason Christ said

Luke 23:34

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.

We are careful of the more overt idols like money &  material possessions and so on but I uncovered one in my own heart.

FEAR of what other people think!

Fear as an Idol ….OH yes!

Here is how God broke it down in me

I was praying and I heard

(God) Do you trust me?   (Me) Yes, Lord

(God) Then why do you fear?

(Me)………..silence

(God) Do you make what you think others will think your idol?

(Me)…..silence

So I looked up Idol — person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, devotion. An object of worship

Then I looked at the etymology , the root meaning of the word -Idol – and that is where a light clicked on in my heart. The word in Greek means : Appearance in a mirror or water, a reflection

And with that God said to me:  You are made in the image of God and  renewed in the likeness  of Christ. You are to have the appearance and reflection of Christ in this world. If you make what you fear that others are thinking about you,  your idol, you take on that likeness. You reflect what you turn toward.

Psalm 135:15-18
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
nor is there breath in their mouths.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

By now my research radar mode has turned on and I feel like my insides are yelling at me in the words of #5 from the movie Short Circuit — MORE INPUT!

“That which we most fear, we worship as our God. For fear is an act of worship. He who fears, worships that which is feared—which is unquestionable when his fear is transcendent. The whole worship of God is frequently in Scripture expressed by this one word “fear” (Mat. 4:10; Duet.. 6:13); and the Lord demands this worship, this fear, as due to Him alone (Isa 50:12, 19). That is our god which is our fear and dread (Luke 12:4, 5). If you fear others more than Him, you give that worship to them which is due only to God—and this is plain idolatry.”
–David Clarkson

I open my bible and search out verses about the fear of the Lord and I find this:

Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

FEAR             +         TRUST

(worship)              (help,confidence)

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When it comes to trust …..

People say things like:

Its takes years to build trust but seconds to destroy it.

Trust is like paper, once it is crumpled it cant be perfect again.

and we think things like:

I trust to easily ( thinking we need to be cautious)

I don’t trust enough ( thinking there is something wrong with me)

I can trust my friend ( hoping for a safe place for me)

I cant believe they did that I cant trust them anymore. ( defensive)

You have to earn my trust ( work for your right to me )

I don’t trust anyone ( been hurt and not willing to be open)

—-and all these are focused on other people but no where in the bible does it say to trust your brothers and sisters in Christ. It says to BEAR with each others weaknesses. It says to forgive one another. But for trust ….it say to PUT your TRUST in GOD.

The bible talks about people being trustworthy and only one place does it tell us WHO is trustworthy :

Exodus 18:21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Men who fear God is the only requirement for trustworthiness…

Not pleasing people

Not doing a good job

Not being there for  you

Not the absence of pain

Not enjoyment of company

Perhaps the expectation to HAVE trust from people and to BE trusted by someone creates a twisted idea of trust.

The bible says:

Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Isaiah 2:22 Stop trusting in mere humans,
who have but a breath in their nostrils.
Why hold them in esteem?

Trusting IN people will bring shame and confusion…

Is 30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

when the people thought that Pharaoh could protect them and keep them safe …and isn’t that why we want someone to trust – because we are looking for a safe place to be who we are and to be protected and cared for….misplaced trust bring shame because this Trust is for God alone who can provide and protect.

When I have trusted and been let down I think

“God, I am so stupid why did I trust them? <—–SHAME!

It also brings confusion the breeding ground of the enemy to bring – Fear of what people think – because we don’t want to break that “human trust” and BAM a heart idol is born.

You can not serve two Gods it makes you a double minded man <—Confusion!

Lord I confess that I have set myself up an idol

I have created my own golden calf , my sacred cow

called FEAR of what other people think

that has become a breeding ground covering me with shame

and heaping misunderstanding and confusion

on my head and in the  relationships

you have connected me too.

I repent God! I ask your forgiveness.

Lord create in me a new heart, cleanse me

I turn my TRUST to you and not man.

You Lord are my safety and my protection!

Amen

 

~Starla

linking with:

USE this for BLOG

Value vision

 

Figuring what do I have to give

to a bunch of teens

Listening to the call to look at

the bits of me

that litter the information highway

my desk and journal

covered in micro version of me

my children living – breathing

inside -outs- of- me

my patterns painted across my  life,

my values

my hard held

tight gripped musts

 

KINDNESS/LOVE

seeing the unspoken

and letting it be unseen

Sometimes space is all that’s needed

Listening and letting it breathe

quietness

 

TRUTH/TRUST

pointing out the obvious

in a push for clarity

Keeping open my mind for newness

and my heart for Light

 

CONFIDENCE/WILLINGNESS

having a vague knowing

of where the goal is

having the courage to run toward it

even though I have no idea

where it will end up

I just know it will all be ok

-God’s got this!

 

PREPAREDNESS/ORGANIZATION

getting lost in the detail paradise

to see what is

it’s like being covered

in comfortable pillows

arranging the pieces that I have found

fills me with excitement every time

 

SELF-RESPECT/COMMITMENT

Not moving

if I know its not right for me

stay the course to see it through

 

CO-OPERATION/HELPFULNESS

Paint the colors of your vision

tell me where the pencil starts and stops

I will follow along

 

INTEGRITY/TIMELINESS

A clock it runs on the inside

flagging me and ringing me

It’s loud, it must not be ignored

 

SUBMISSION/CLEANLINESS

cleanliness is next to Godliness

picking up after yourself

lets you see where you are a mess

Give it to GOD,

do the work and move forward anew

 

LOYALTY/HUMILITY

hang in there with you

together we will make it

Giving up is not an option

What I am is all for the Glory of God

it’s not about me

 

SERVICE/WORSHIP

These hands were made to serve

and lift high in thanks to the God

who made me who I am

 

Values are the power drivers

behind what we do?? What are your values?

Linking with Emily:

JoyFULL Sound OFF – March Blessings

JoyfulSoundOff

linking with Ann for Monday Multitudes

 

110. Wonderful Worship

111. Visiting a friends Church and Hearing from God –

what I heard will be in tomorrows LIGHT IT UP TUESDAY blog.

112. Soup, Salad and Breadsticks at OLIVE GARDEN

(source)

113. Spending Time – Movie Night with Friends

114. Praying for a friend

115. Remembering and dreaming of good times in Florida with BFF..lolDSC02665

116. Warm weather

117. Book study !

STARLA