I do and I move

Yep, I’m a planner and a detailed planner at that.  It’s a spiritual gift.  I was born an administrator and a teacher.  It has come in handy to manage my family business over the years and it comes in handy for times like planning weddings and getting the details of name changing in order.

When you change your name in todays society, its not like the olden days….we aren’t talking just change your drivers license, social security card and names on bills.  No, we are in different times.  There are things like twitter accounts….facebook pages….blogs.  The things that really matterSmile

The one good thing about this sort of change is that it can be done in advance.  No marriage certificate required.  The other important changes legally need to be made after we have a marriage license…but the social media things can be changed at anytime.  Which is really good for a planner!

So, soon after our marriage begins on 3/25, immediately following the I Do’s and He did’s….you’ll find me at a different address.  You’ll need to just go to my website…www.TracyLynnPaul.com.  Fun huh! If you come to this site you’ll be redirected to the new address automatically for a while, but you may want to make a note of it for future reference.
The first post you’ll find there will be a continuation in the God Worked It Together for Good proclamation….its part of the beginning of this new bonus family God created when he brought Mr. Wonderful into my life and into the lives of my kids.

Look forward to seeing you there…..I’m leaving on a jet plane to say….

Mrs. Paul

Mrs. Paul is a wonderful woman.  As I’ve come to know her over the last couple of years I know enough about her to know I can count my blessings that she raised my future husband.  She is sweet, lovely, caring, sentimental, submitted, soft, and a dear, dear woman.  Her husband chose well and I see the love they still carry for each other. 

You know you have a good man when he loves his momma.  Not in a momma’s boy way but in a way that shows utmost respect and love for the woman who gave him life.  My soon to be husband…in 5 days…loves and honors his parents.  They are very much his best friends and they are very much supportive and protective of their boy.

I knew the moment we met that this woman would be an important part of my life.  I’m not sure to the extent that God has plans to use her in HIS continued growing of me, but I know God has some plans in this relationship.

All this to say, I have been asked to be Mrs. Brek Paul.  Being a Mrs. Paul has an honor bestowed on it that I don’t take lightly.  I accept the proposal with joy in my heart.  Not only to be the wife of a man who I anticipate navigating life with and to forever be with my best friend(I know Bre is my best girlfriend, but this man holds my heart in a way Breanna Jo Johnson can not) but I also accept this proposal with the understanding that stepping into the role of a Mrs. Paul is nothing to take lightly.  I promise to be a Mrs. Paul that will honor my husband and carry on in the integrity of character that encompasses the woman Mrs. Paul.

Almost there…www.tracylynnpaul.com…details to follow!

CALLED

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

After concluding that God causes all things to work together for good…FOR THOSE THAT LOVE GOD.  My joy in this hope filled verse quickly plummeted when I read the end of the verse.  I needed to be called according to HIS purpose.  Would God call me?  Isn’t a call from God for the super Christians or for those called to life long ministry or for people that live in monasteries or nunneries.

Nope..Called is the word Kletos. It is used to be called, invited to the kingdom of heaven and its privileges, in a sense appointed, chosen.

Oh to be chosen.  YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!  Here is what God says about your called-ness…

(God) who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 2 Timothy 1:9

~Please note you were called before the beginning of time.  Before you were even conceived, before given a choice to choose God back, you were called.

He predestined us to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—Ephesians 1:5

~Predestined…determined in advance to be adopted as God’s children!

Lastly….just read ahead in the verses that follow Romans 8:28.  Our answers can actually be found in the context of what we are already studying.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:29-31

Can we actually go back full circle to PROVIDENCE? Care and preparation in advance….God’s foresight to call you.  Now what you do with that call, with the God providence in your life is your choice.  Respond or not….you’ve still been called, even before you drew your first breath on this earth.

And this is why I know that GOD is indeed the one who has worked all things, thus far, in my little life for good.  For HIS good.  For a good that I couldn’t have even dreamed of and a good that is not just for me but for the generations that follow me.  A good that my children and grandchildren will testify of.  A good that others are watching right now and some know and understand it is the goodness of God.  Others are looking out of the corner of their eye holding out their trust in such a God to see if it really does work out, if God really does work it together. 

Keep watching and soon you too will know, the love of God will overwhelm you and compel you to love Him back and all things will indeed work together for good, because you, my friend were called!

 

Those who love God

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Who can claim this verse?  Is it a promise God gives everyone? It says…’to those who love God’.  Therefore, we must draw the conclusion that God works all things together for good for THOSE WHO LOVE GOD.

Now, I know a lot of people that SAY they love God.  And I know a lot of people who try to portray an outward picture of loving God.  But do those people really love God just because they say it or just because they are good at trying to represent what it might ‘look’ like to love God?

I’m not trying to start trouble, I’ve just observed that in our Christian culture today we see a lot of empty talkers and a lot of Oscar performances that would lead us to believe that a person must love God but well I just wonder….if we aren’t seeing fruit from our Christianity are we really LOVING GOD?

How do we know? How do I know that I love God in the way that would cause HIM to work all things together for good?

Let me take a risk and say it has nothing to do with my Love but everything to with God’s love for me.  I think its about understanding and accepting God’s love for me.  It has a lot to do with obedience and giving my all things and every hope to Christ Jesus, as Lord of my life.  Its not about just believing IN God but BELEIVING GOD.  Trusting that He is who He says He is and knowing that when HE says He will work it together for good, He will indeed do it!

Loving God is about active FAITH.  A belief in God that creates a fervent love that somehow takes over your life and compels you to trust in the unseen and believe in that which is unbelievable.  Those that love God, love Him only because HE first loved us and it was that LOVE that transformed us to Love God back.

Lets pray:  Work it together for good, Lord, for those who love you and are called according to your purpose…..WHOA hold up, we have to be called to?  I thought we could just have all things work together for good….don’t fear, I just happen to know you have been called according to His purpose and I’ll prove it to you!

….CALLED

GOOD

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I’m continuing to pull this little profound scripture apart.  We started with talking about providence, then we moved on to The Know, followed by ALL things where we found out that all things means all things, each and everyone of them, and lastly we touched on Worked Together.

Today we move on to GOOD.  I like good, good things and goodness.  I love how David said it “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” Psalm 23:6  Dwelling in God has everything to do with Him working ALL things together for good but what does good really mean anyway?

Good: Agathos…beneficial, profitable or useful. 

Yep I like good, but remember GOOD is what is good from God’s perspective.  For example bankruptcy…good to us might look like restoration of the fortune we lost.  Good to God might just mean breaking down pride and bringing forth humility and graciousness in our life.  And lets remember that it doesn’t say all things are good but that all things work together for good.

This verse and this good tells me that the good that is ultimately produced is something far more better and couldn’t happen in any other way but through our trials, our broken places and the messed up parts.  Its all about making us more like Jesus.  It is the providence of God that we learn more in darkness about light, we find more life from sickness than from health, we find more depth when deep in the pit, the last shall be first and from bad comes good.

My life is a testament to this verse, to this God goodness.  Without a doubt I profess that GOD WORKED IT TOGETHER FOR GOOD.  And whatever your IT may be, HE to can and will work it together for good….

…..to those that LOVE GOD and are called according to His purposes.

Loving God and Called , coming upSmile

Dear future husband….

I’m taking a little break form the Romans 8:28 breakdown and make a little post to my future husband, so that this confession will forever be in print and he can’t say I didn’t warn him!

Dear fine man (aka. future husband),

When you are out of town working hard and the kids are gone for the night, things happen that you should be aware of.  I am only telling you this so that it won’t come as a surprise to you in the future when you come home from your work trips and find some evidence of my waywardness.

I have a small addiction that I will often satisfy when the family is away….it looks like this:

photo

and is always paired with this:

photo (2)

and I usually spend all my time here:

photo (3)

I love my alone time and very much enjoy the quietness of this home but it doesn’t compare with the JOY that you bring to my life and the time we spend together with much of the same stuff in the pictures above…you fit me well.  Just don’t judge me because of the Cadbury eggs…I have some issues…

2 weeks until ‘Someday’ finally arrives.  I love you!

~Beloved

WORKED TOGETHER

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28

Studying this verse has been so good.  This is one of those verses that people drop in your lap during hard times as an attempt to offer God security.  Usually when you are the one receiving the DROP you find the verse to be oddly irritating.  It does offer hope but when you are in the depths of the battle it can really be hard to hold onto this truth….that God works ALL things together for good.  Especially when your moments seem so full of despair and finality.

Lets be honest….how could God work abuse for good, or cancer for good, or ALS for good, or death for good, or divorce for good, or loosing everything for good, or any other kind of life struggle for good?  How?

WORKED TOGETHER in this verse is the word sunergeo from sun = with, speaks of intimacy + ergon = work….this is the English word synergy.  Meaning the potential ability to be more successful or productive as a result of a merger.  CO-OPERATER.  God is the co-operator in our lives. God merges with us and our sin and our fallen selves to increase our potential and to create a more-better result (can you say more better?  I do. Better is good but more-better is, well, more better).  God himself is the one working together the various ‘ALL THINGS’ in our lives to produce something greater than and completely different from, the sum of each thing acting separately.  WORKING ALL THINGS TOGETHER.

It is really a divine recipe.  It is our sin, our fallen nature, our failures and tragedies…mixed with a little divine….stirred together by the Creator and baked into a beautiful masterpiece!  We can’t do this one on our own, no amount of cover-up or repurposing of our pain will make it work together.  It takes the divine, the One and Only God, full of wisdom and grace to do the work.  Partnered with us, a merger….we bring our brokenness and He does the work…..then out comes goodness.

and the goodness is so good sometimes you can barely stand in the glory of it……

…..goodness coming right up!

All Things

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

All things means all things.  Every last one of them.  From your headache last night to the early morning alarm.  All things means the tragedies and the victories.  All things include all things.  Abuse, disaster, house fires, loss, cancer, surgery, pain, arguments, bad grades, bad sermons, good sermons, happy times and sad times.  It includes sin, murder, lying, cheating, stealing, addiction, crime….even these.  God works it for good.

Spurgeon says it really well….There is nothing idle in God’s domain, “All things work together.”  There is no discord in the providence of God.  The strangest ingredients go to make up the one matchless medicine for all maladies.  “All things work together for good” – for lasting eternal good.

True the next part of this verse adds a conditioning statement…for those who love God.  But for all intents and purposes I’m going to declare that I love God and believe it to be true that ALL THINGS work together.  I have to….

These past 40 years of life have a bunch of good and bad and ugly and regretful and momentous moments that need the hope of working together for good.  I have to believe that the days of my youth, the poor decisions of my 20’s, the insisting upon my own way, the mistreatment against me, the loss of family, the premature loss of friends to death, the hurt, the pain, the arguments, the divorce, the bankruptcy, the scares, the tears….I have to believe that they work together for good and produce a victory!  If not then what purpose would it serve?  Just for pain and suffering?  Just to be used for shame and condemnation?  Just to bring misery and sorrow?  Tears and horror?  Just for Satan’s Glory?

No….ALL THINGS work together for good, for the Glory of God.  Because He meant you to be something great.  Something that no other someone can be and therefore in His mercy and Grace, God will do something great out of the not so wonderful. WE KNOW(read it here) God is faithful and we must trust that each and every one of the THINGS in our life that cause us uncertainty and just plain don’t make much sense, will be worked together for Good.

ALL THINGS, its true…ALL

The Know

28We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.  Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible

WE KNOW, WE ARE ASSURED….

The word ‘WE KNOW’ is OIDA, which means absolute positive knowledge which one has beyond doubt.

This is not something we have to learn, it is something the SPIRIT gives us in our hearts.  By the Spirit we KNOW and by our experience we prove this to be true, that all things are worked together for good.  It is a knowledge that fills our heart and our affections, building a confidence in the TRUTH of God.  It is certainty of faith.

I have this assured knowing….you have it to, but like any muscle you have to exercise it to grow it!  Opportunities to trust and persevere have riddled my life.  Giving me long seasons to live in the ‘oida’, in the knowing.  Seasons to worship, pray, wait and KNOW that God WILL work it together for good.  With each opportunity for growth came the resulting building of the the ‘knowing assuredly’ muscle.  It grew and I KNEW.  Pursuing the Holy Spirit causes His presence to come and work miracles.  To give you The Know, The Oida, and you can choose to live it out or not.

I think to often we seek to know and figure out what to do with all the broken pieces in our life ourselves.  Making something out of the mess, instead of waiting and watching God work it together for good.  If you haven’t had opportunities to have your ‘Assured Know’ grow in you or you haven’t taken the opportunities afforded to you, I challenge you to sit back, pray, watch and wait…God will work it together and the result is so much better then anything your creative repurposing of pain could make.  Ask God to give you The Know…He will, then you wait and know and then you’ll see and rejoice and be amazed and awed.  I am!

Though I do not know the reason, I can trust and so am blest.  God is Love and God is faithful. So in perfect peace I rest ~Anon

PROVIDENCE

(prŏv’ĭ-dəns, -dĕns’)
n.

  1. Care or preparation in advance; foresight
  2. The care, guardianship, and control exercised by a deity; divine direction
  3. Providence God.

My Future husband has a wonderful story about providence, the providence of God and how amazingly divine it is and how it jumps out of no where and picks you up and places you in the very place God intends for you to be. I’ll not be sharing his story here but I would like to look at this a little bit.

This month we’ll be getting married and continuing on the path of providence.  We both know and believe that we are together for such a time as this and that God led us here.  Its one of those moments in life that you know, that you know, that you know that God has this one!

From the moment we met we both knew it was special and divine.  As the years, almost 2 now, went by we continued to be assured beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was up to something good and right.  We both came from a jaded past and both weren’t super willing to trust 100% in each other but we were both 100% willing to trust in God and that is just what we did.

Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

In Raymond Ortland’s commentary he says:

The hand of God is at the helm, He’s steering us through the storms of life toward home, toward a safe haven.  And he takes care to order all the events of our lives right now to speed us on our way there. This is what we call PROVIDENCE.  God’s over ruling hand at work everywhere in a fallen world.  Our confidence in the providence of God is a faith so bold, so demanding, so unapologetic that we cannot believe it without being transformed.  Either all things work together for good or nothing makes sense.

….A faith so bold, so demanding….WOW, do I have this kind of faith?  I’d like to believe I do and I’ll live it out to prove it.  Faith is the key to seeing God’s providence and it’s the key to living a life of circumstances, troubles and difficulties with joy and freedom.

Join me over the next couple of blogs as I dissect this little verse in the bible that is packed full of meaning and depth and truth.  Its our family verse and it leads us and guides us to living abundant life.  

God worked it together for good!