Thursday, January 31, 2013
We are so forgetful. Who hasn't gone to the store and forgotten what you went for? Who can remember the name of that familiar face without a panic moment of fear of embarrassment? We need reminders for these trivial things.
The list above is what God wants you to know, believe and remember. His will is looking out for your behalf. What is on your list to God? I will trust You. I will call on You. I will praise You. I will rely on Your Word. I will follow You. I believe in Your Son's saving grace. The list is endless.
Remember, where your heart is there you'll find your treasure.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
We are supposed to think of other's needs before our own. Sometimes that is an easy task but other times it is a true sacrifice. I don't know if I could do what was done for me in this story.
When we moved into our house about 30 years ago, the previous owner, Mr. Finch, had a dog but couldn't take him immediately with him. My parents agreed that the dog could stay and be picked up when he was able to. Well if you know me at all, you know I can fall in love with a dog in less than 30 seconds. Bosco and I were best buds immediately. About 2 months later, Mr. Finch told my dad's uncle across the street that he was going to take Bosco home with him. My uncle told him 'if you do, you're going to break one little girl's heart.' I know it was a God thing that moved his heart to think of me before himself. Mr.Finch lived alone and was a former POW veteran. I'm sure it was quite a sacrifice to give up his long loved companion to me. What a generous gift I received. Bosco lived many years after that and was loved like family. He was the first dog to get to come into the house. He met me every day as I got off the bus and I looked for him as much as he did for me.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Tonight we are expecting severe weather with possible tornadoes. It is wise to be aware and prepared but not to be overly anxious about it. What will be is in God's control. We can take physical cover but there is no greater cover than to pray for His protection over you.
We must remember that His control is consistent, reliable and never failing. The earth is defined by physical laws that we count on and plan our days by. Who makes the sun rise and set? It's certainly not BillyBob down in some hideaway control room. It is the Creator and Controller of all things.
Do you still think you're in control when you sleep at night? I can assure you that God brought you into this world and He can and will take you out one day.
As much as we think we would like to be in control, I think it is comforting to know we are not.
Monday, January 28, 2013
My focus has been off lately. They say 'don't sweat the small stuff' but that's more easily said than done. Isn't it the little irritations of daily life that get us so worked up? It makes me think of the song lyric 'where is the love, the love, the love?' Well I can surely tell you, don't look to me.
The ultimate show of love should be our focus and is found on the Cross. Why did Jesus have to die? We are born with a separated relationship to God because of our sin and sin nature. Jesus was the innocent sacrifice who paid our sin debt with His blood. There is no forgiveness without a blood sacrifice, the Bible says.
So when you're critical of others, remember how much it cost to forgive you. We all fall short and need a Savior who forgives all.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
We don't have to wait till Valentine's day to show our love, nor should we. God tells us 'to love one another' as a direct command. He doesn't say when the time is right or when you feel like it. He wants love to be shown thru all our actions. 'Without love, we are just a clanging gong.'
I'm no expert on love and have yet to meet a human that is. So going to the Bible is the best resource for help on advice. Above are ten ways on how we can express our love to friends, family or strangers. If we could only remember these and apply them in our daily lives, would there be peace on earth?
'All you need is love, love is all you need.'
Friday, January 25, 2013
How would you define your witness to the world? If a stranger could define you in five words, what would they be? As Christians, we should be in a process of transformation of becoming more like Christ. You should be better than you were yesterday or at least learned something from it. We don't change that quickly, do we?
I want to give two examples of people I do not know but was a witness to their walk. Our reactions to bad situations can affect our witness to others.
The other day my dad and I were in Kohl's waiting for a worker to find the flashlights that were on sale. Another lady was waiting on customer service too and she was fit to be tied. Her anger was as obvious as the smoke coming out of her ears. As we checked out, I heard the worker apologize for the problems she encountered. The lady then said 'well I'm sorry for yelling.' Do our problems justify the means in which we get them solved? No, Jesus never threw a hissy fit.
Back during my cruising days, I was driving down Camp Robinson but looking backwards at some cute guys. I totally rear ended the car in front of me. It was totally my fault and I was ready for a blame-filled, tongue lashing. The man got out and I let him speak first...maybe, hopefully I said I'm sorry first. He looked at the cars and said, 'I don't see any damage.' Are you sure? We agreed no harm, no foul and I high-tailed it out of there for the night. Being in the right doesn't always justify retribution but forgiveness pays off a greater reward.
May your witness to the world be the same as the one you want it to be in your heart and mind.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Yes, I know it is January and this cold weather is to be expected. I don't have to like it but just endure it. This too shall pass, however so slowly it seems. The temperature today is lower than my age so it's going to take a fire or a really good sale to get me out of the house. I don't like to bundle up because it interferes with my ability to move.
We can endure, tolerate and survive through more than we think we can. My two years living in the Chicago area is proof of that. I thought I was a frozen dead woman walking up there in the land of no sweet tea.
I feel for the homeless, both human and animals, on days like these. Be sure to be thankful for the things we often take for granted...heat, power, shelter, warm clothing and security.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Are you aware of God's protection over you all the time? I saw a sticker on a car the other day that said 'Faith 247'. It took me a minute for me to realize that it meant that their faith was 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is in the moments that we didn't even realize we were vulnerable, that we can thank Him for the never failing protection He provides.
In 1993, we moved from Dallas, TX to DeKalb, IL. At the time, we had a brown boat of a car and a sportscar. With the use of a Uhaul tow bar, we towed the sportscar. We stayed overnight in Little Rock to visit and rest halfway. We headed out the next day for the long drive and the less than desirable destination of the land of the frigid. We stopped in a town [I can't remember the name] in Illinois about 3 or 4 hours short of our destination. When we stopped to park, the tow bar hitch fell off the car. Whoa, that was the 'God thing' moment of protection for us and others on the road. What if it had come off while going 65mph down the highway? You can just imagine the horrific possibilities. Even tho it was hard for me, God gave me the strength to drive the car the rest of the way. We weren't about to trust that tow bar again.
There is no greater or safer place to be than in God's protective hands.
Monday, January 21, 2013
As Christians, we must accept the leaders that represent us in government. God has allowed them to have authority in their position. We can, however, pray for them.
President Obama claims with his mouth to be a Christian but yet his actions speak otherwise. I'll let God be the judge of that because He knows the heart.
I hear it often said 'We need to pray for our President and leaders.' I also know we are to be specific in our prayers. I found the following list on how to pray for the President on intouch.org. I hope our prayers speak louder than our votes.
1. Realize his personal sinfulness and daily need of God’s cleansing power.
2. Recognize his personal inadequacy for the task and therefore depend upon the Lord.
3. Reject all counsel that violates spiritual principles and then trust the Lord to validate him.
4. Resist pressure from individuals or special interest groups that would have him act in violation of his conscience or godly principles.
5. Work at reversing our country’s trends toward socialism and humanism, both of which dethrone the Lord and deify man.
6. Be ready to forsake his political career and personal ambition for the best interest of the nation.
7. Rely upon the Word of God as his source of strength and key to success.
8. Bring dignity, honor, trustworthiness, and righteousness to the office of the presidency.
9. Be a good example, especially to the fathers and sons of the nation.
10. Be reminded daily that he is accountable to Almighty God for his attitudes, actions, and motivations while in office.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
God creates life and God ends life. Anyone that interferes with either, commits murder. Today was the March for Life walk here in Arkansas. The unborn babies need a voice to speak for their right to live. I think the woman's 'right to choose' ends with prevention. After that, your choice is the chance you took to change your life. Every life is a blessing and irreplaceable.
Psalm 139:13 'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.'
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Which do you prefer? 'Don't do today, what you can put off till tomorrow.' or 'Don't put off till tomorrow, what you can get done today.' Well that depends on what it is, right? Is it a priority to you or an eye sore that bothers you? There are some things that can be delayed but eventually it will all catch up with you. Like the dishes, you can refuse to wash them but soon there won't be a clean dish in the house.. your time is up.
Our lives are on the clock and we don't know when the alarm will sound. Are you prepared? The decision to believe in God's only Son is one that many people foolishly think they can delay. Tomorrow is not promised to us, but yet we so often take it for granted.
My eternal future is secure in the One who paid my debt for me. You can't pay it yourself so start today in trusting the One who has prepared the way for you.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Perspective is how we see things. Is it always right? No, of course not. We are biased, influenced and tainted. I think it is interesting to hear someone else's comments on the same thing I just heard or saw. It can open my eyes or ears to something I totally missed.
Negativity can become a bad habit. 'You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.' Do we look for the good in things or the troublesome parts? I think life is like a rose, it has thorns so we will handle it with care and still get the beauty out of it.
How do you turn a negative into a positive? It's as simple as math, add positivity. -1 plus 2=1 So for every negative comment you hear, counter them with two things on the bright side.
May you see the bright side of the ugliest days and share it with those who need glasses.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
In May of 1989, I came home early from school one day not feeling well. As I lay on the couch, my fever climbed and I got progressively worse very quickly. My parents took me to the ER at Memorial Baptist Hospital. It was there that I was admitted to the hospital with my first bout of pneumonia. [I do not remember most of the rest of this story so this is my mom's recollection of events.] I could not go to sleep and yet I was so tired. At about 2am, the nurses or doctor decided to give me a little bit of oxygen. I went to sleep immediately. After about 30 minutes, my mom had a feeling that she should wake me up to check on me. This was the 'God thing' moment because she should've been asleep herself and she had no cause, other than the feeling, to wake me up. Normally, I wake up at the slightest noise or interruption. This was not the case here. My mom pushed the nurse call button as she struggled to get me awake. When I did come to, my eyes were rolled back in my head. I tried to talk but couldn't and whatever I did say made no sense. The nurse ran in and then out to get help. By the time they came back, I was coming around. They removed the oxygen and the next morning the doctor drained over a liter of fluid off my lungs.
So what happened? We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Because of the neuromuscular disease, I don't breathe out sufficiently to get rid of the carbon dioxide and that leads to poisoning. Carbon dioxide build up puts you to sleep and turns off your body's natural response to wake up. It's very dangerous. The oxygen level in your blood will be fine but without a blood gases check of your blood, it can go unnoticed. It can cause brain damage or death without intervention.
So don't ignore your gut feelings, it could be God nudging you. The results could be life-saving.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I lived in the 'Show Me' state, Missouri, for six years. Show me is our desire to see the proof in the pudding. I think the world is so fallen that trust has to be earned with proof so that you can trust in something.
When we start out as babies, we are helpless and have to trust our parents. With time, we are shown their love for us. We don't come out of the womb with a check of their resume to see if they're qualified.
I think God knew our show-me thoughts and provided a form of proof thru the Bible. We must not just study the Bible but apply it and trust will grow. So often tho, we are like the Israelites. We grumble, God provides, then we forget the blessing, and doubt Him in the next trial.
We are not just sinners but helpless sinners. There is nothing we can do on our own, ie. good works, to save ourselves. We must trust in the Savior who was sent to be our only help. Your life is proof He cares for you but does your life prove you care for Him?
Monday, January 14, 2013
We have all received bad or no service at a restaurant or a store. We complain with ''Isn't there anyone working here that can help me?'' We want others to be there and do for us, especially when it's their job. Patiently waiting is a rare quality in the human race.
Isn't it our job to work for the Kingdom? Is God patiently waiting for you to get started? The song is true, 'there is joy, joy, joy in serving Jesus.' There is such a rewarding feeling that comes from helping another soul.
Right now the men from my church are in Mexico helping build apartments for the Camp Berea outreach program. Yes, it requires time off work, volunteer labor and costly supplies. When you ask God to 'make me a servant', then you do it willingly with the right heart. You don't grumble and say 'oh what's this going to involve.'
'Do unto others as you'd have them do to you.' Putting yourself in the place of others in your mind will help you see their need and spark your heart to fill that need.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Our minds are often very forgetful and yet are very good at playing our own thoughts over and over. We do a good job at reaffirming ourselves, despite any contradiction. God doesn't speak to us like he did with those in the Bible but He does have His ways. The Holy Spirit is one way and can guide us, if we listen.
I think 'Yes, but' is often our response even when we do hear Him. We want to do things in our own way, instead of His. We think a little modification will still be within the boundaries but that's not true. Cain thought his offering from the ground was close enough to what God asked for. No, it had to be an offering that was a blood sacrifice and that's why Abel's offering was pleasing and acceptable to God.
Go to the Scriptures to reaffirm your thoughts. You could be right or you could be wrong, prove it to yourself.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
My wishes are my prayers for you today and always. Sometimes all you can do for someone else is pray for them. If you know a prayer warrior, I recommend getting on their list and becoming one yourself.
There is great joy in praying for others. You may see the results without them even knowing it was an answered prayer. It also takes your focus off yourself, which is a good thing.
You will be blessed when you ask for others to be blessed. It's a win-win situation.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Are you a worry wart? Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you no where. I've never known anything to change because I worried about it. Now turning my worries into prayers is a different story.
Do you trust God to take care of your problems? Many would say yes but I think our doubts arise from whether we will find His solution to our liking. If I ask, will He provide what I want and the way I want it? We have to ask and trust 'according to His will', not our own.
Abraham surely didn't like the idea of sacrificing his only son, but he trusted God's word completely. Abraham's life of faith was lived without an acceptable factor to him but one of trust in God's word and promises.
Matthew 6:34 '' Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.''
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I am reading a book this year called 'The Stranger on the Road to Emmaeus.' It brought up something I had overlooked. Where was Adam when the serpent talked to Eve? I had just assumed that he was in the garden of Eden somewhere but that she was alone. The Bible says differently, 'he was with her.' Eve gets most of the blame even tho it's referred to as Adam's curse or fall. Genesis 3;6 ''When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.''
So instead of playing the blame game, we should recognize that they were both guilty of disobeying God. They both doubted God's word. We often want to put the blame somewhere else for our own transgressions. It's easier that way than taking responsibility. Free will makes it so that we are not controlled robots so therefore we alone are responsible for our sinful choices. Yes, we all sin and are with a sinful nature but we will each face judgement alone.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
With so many people sick right now, I thought a blog post on one of the many times God has been there for me during an illness would be appropriate. It confirms the three characteristics that He alone has... all-knowing, all powerful, and ever-present.
When I was married, we lived in an apartment in Naperville, IL during 1994-95. Sometime during that winter I got the stomach flu. I've never had a case of it so bad and hope to never again. I was home alone and went to our second bathroom off the kitchen. I was sitting on the commode with my head on the vanity and feeling pretty awful. Without knowing it, I passed out. When I came to, everything looked strange and I didn't know where I was at. I soon realized I was upside down in the bathtub and looking up at the under side of the tub's spout. My shoe was caught on the corner of the vanity and I was still on the toilet. Yes, both an uncomfortable and panic moment. I can't remember exactly, but I think I wiggled my foot loose to get unstuck. I'm still in the bathtub on my head. My 'its a God thing' moment was that I used the shower curtain and rod to pull myself up and out of there. We all know how flimsy those are so I know He gave both me and the curtain strength at the needed time. I can also say 'its a God thing' that I didn't bust my head open during the fall. After all this, I made it to the phone and Marc came home. We spent the next few days suffering the virus together.
We will suffer through sickness in this world but we are never alone. He is there, He knows, and He provides the strength needed to get thru it.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Okay so I can do the first two things in this caption with no problem, but the third does just about kill me at times. Giving grace is not my specialty. 'Always be kinder than you feel' is a good starting place. You may feel irritated by a mistake someone made but if we remember our own faults then a little grace will soften your blow.
Now I'm not gracious like Princess Diana or Grace Kelly either. I think I was in dance class for about two weeks before the teacher recommended that I switch to baton class. Some of us just don't have the genes to walk on air but instead we stumble thru the best we can.
'His grace is greater than your sins.' There is no limit on what the grace of God can cover. 'His grace is sufficient.' He will not take you further than His grace will carry you. It is an amazing grace.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Nobody likes to be called upon by someone else just when they are needed for something. Wouldn't you agree? It makes a person feel used and unappreciated. Life is about give and take, not a one sided entitled-to attitude.
God is more forgiving than we are and will never turn us away. He is always there for us, even if we rarely turn to Him. The trouble with that is that we miss out on so much when we don't seek His help. Don't they say 'two is better than one' and Who better to be tied to than Him?
Prayer is not just a 911 line of communication. It is a place to thank God for all He has done for you. It is a source of peace. It is a way to express your concerns for others. It is a love offering to your Father in heaven. It is a place of repentance and forgiveness. It is where you show your dependence on Him.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
I don't think I have the words to express enough how much I love this idea and wish it could happen. There is no excuse to be a bad owner of animals. Don't own them if you can't care for them with love and respect. I think if 'love one another' was meant just for mankind, then God would've said 'love your fellow human.'
Animals are a great example of forgiveness so I'm not sure how many folks would be in the pound. Some people complain about the loud barking of dogs but they really aren't the ones to blame, but the owners are. Is it hungry, thirsty, or given attention?
'All creatures great and small, God created them all.' We have a responsibility to watch out for them, protect them and speak up for them when they are mistreated.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Are you searching for the prize of life? I'm like the raccoon and want to see what I've won before messing with the carmel popcorn. Well unlike this raccoon, we have to finish the box of life before we get our reward. The Bible helps us have an idea of what is ahead.
Our relationship with Christ is our continuous prize. Every day is a new gift that we get with unexpected rewards. Do we see each day, as a box with a desired prize or a bummer, throwaway box?
Our journey through the box of life will come to an end one day. Will you have enjoyed it all or will there be a few kernels left unpopped? Share everything that you've been blessed with.. food, clothing, shelter and most importantly, the Good News.
Friday, January 4, 2013
What does 'forever' mean to you? It could be the long line and wait at the DMV. It could be your lifetime as you know it. Forever is time and beyond to infinity. There is no limiting factor.
The Bible says over and over 'His love endures forever.' There are at least three ways He proves this to us daily.
'Forever You are faithful' God and His promises never change. God will never let us down. He will never cheat us from the good things He wants for us in our lives. Psalm 117:2 ''For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.''
'Forever You are strong' God never has a weak moment. His power and strength created and sustains all things. Psalm 136:4-5 '' to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.''
'Forever You are with us' He will never forsake us or leave us. Psalm 138:8 ''The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.''
So the next time you think something is taking forever, think about how much time God has invested in you.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Isn't it funny how our age can sometimes define us? When we are young, we can't wait to grow up so we can do whatever we want to. Then at some age point, we decide we are too old to do what we'd like to. Do we think we are only useful during the peak years of our lives?
A quote from one of my favorite movies is 'Get busy living or get busy dying.' That is so true as we are not mere statues to be gazed upon. We have an intended purpose. Jeremiah 1:7 ''But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.''
In the quote above by C.S. Lewis, we are reminded to never give up on looking forward in life and to continue to improve ourselves. We stay young by the renewing of ourselves and our minds. Old, crotchety people are often defined as 'set in their ways' or 'they'll never change.'
So if you want to keep living, you need to keep moving. The race is worth running and just because you quit, doesn't mean it's over. No matter what you think, the years before and after your peak are not bleak.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
This is my new Wednesday weekly segment for 2013. God is definitely involved in our lives all the time but there are certain special moments that we can clearly see God's handprint. I want to spend the 52 weeks of this year sharing with you these stories from past or present times in my life. Giving God the credit and glory is my goal.
So I will begin with the recent Christmas snowstorm of 2012. It was the first snow on Christmas since 1926 and it was a whopper, 10 inches here. At Christmas dinner in the basement, we prayed that our power would not go out to keep us warm and to keep my air machine powered. There were over 100,000 homes across the state without electricity. We were humbled and grateful that we only lost power for 15 minutes during the week of outages. I know 'It was a God thing' and I am truly grateful. When so many friends were without power, you can see your own blessings more clearly.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
I thought this was a good caption to start the new year with. If we consider today to be a new start to our lives then let's begin with a closer walk with Thee. Before we even know what this new year will bring to try to distract us, we should try to engage in practices that enrich our lives more and more with God's presence.
How? When you have Scripture memorized, it can help comfort you during a trial. When at a crossroad, verses can steer you into making the right decision. Prayer or talking with God can help relieve you of the burdens you bear. It's an open line of communication that hears your cry and always has the right response.
'God wants full custody of us, not just weekend visitations.' Are you walking with Him or is He dragging you kicking and screaming? 'Those who walk with God always reach their destination.' 'You can't walk with God and hold hands with the devil.' So where are you headed and by whose Hand?