Searching For Rainbows
|Posted on June 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM||comments (4)|
This has been another one of those days that I just cannot seem to hold my eyes open. I am on new medicines for my health issues and one of my other medicines has been increased to a higher dosage. It is really hard to function when you cannot stay awake!
There are times in all of our lives when God wants us to see something that is right under our nose, yet we are too tired or distracted to notice it. Just like my medicines make me want to lay down and sleep my day away, the distractions around us make us loose our focus on what God is trying to do in our lives.
The Christian life is all about fighting. It is a battle. Now, there are times we get to rest in Jesus and He will fight the battle for us. Then there are times when we must fight for what we know to be true.
When there is no money in the bank, we have to fight to believe the promise that God is Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider. That takes faith!
When we don't know how we will be able to function because our body fails us, we have to fight to believe that God is Jehovah Rophi, Our Healer. That takes faith!
When we can't find peace because of our circumstances, we have to fight to believe that God is Jehovah Shalom, Our Peace. That takes faith!
So, remember, even when we can't see because of our weariness, God is still there. God is still everything we will ever need and He will never leave us or forsake us.
My friend, go forth today seeing the unseen. Seeing in spite of your situation. Seeing the truth when you can't even hold your eyes open. Go forth in peace.
"Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." (Hebrews 11:1 HCSB)
.Love and Blessings,
|Posted on May 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM||comments (3)|
The word "transaction" always reminds me of a trip to the bank. I give them my money and in return they give me a piece of paper proving that I gave it to them.
It also reminds me of the times my husband and I have purchased homes over the years. We go to a lawyer's office and sign somewhere near a million papers and we leave with keys to our brand-new-to-us residence. We give something and we get something. That is how a transaction works, right?
When Jesus died on the cross, it was meant to be WAY more that just a transaction. It wasn't just Him giving something so we could get something. No ma'am. It was supposed to be the beginning of a two-way continuing relationship! A restoration of what had been lost and contaminated! A closeness like none other!
I think it breaks God's heart when we look at His offering to us as simply a transaction that gets us what we need. True, we give Him our heart and we get His fullness in return, but it goes so much deeper and wider than that.
When we left those lawyer's offices with our new set of keys, we never looked back or dealt with them again. When I leave the bank every Friday, I don't give them another thought until the next time I go through those glass doors to give them another deposit so I can leave with my little piece of paper..
It is different with Jesus. At least it's supposed to be.
We have been given a wonderful gift in exchange for our faith and obedience. We have been given the presence of God moment by moment every day of our lives. Don't go around dangling your keys to the Kingdom and never going in to visit the One Who presented them to you in the first place. Spend some one on one time with Him today and every day you wake up breathing. Build your relationship with Him deeper and deeper. The more you fellowship with Him, the more you will find you just cannot live out of relationship with Him. You will begin to crave Him as much as He craves time with you.
It's the trip of a lifetime!! Unlock that door to His presence and you WILL leave with way more that a receipt proving that you have been there. You will be a changed person with a full heart and a set of keys you wouldn't part with for anything!
Love and Blessing,
|Posted on May 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM||comments (1)|
I just got back from yet another doctor visit. I have more of those than I care to remember. Ugh!! But, every one of them seems to give me inspiration for writing. So, I leave the bland office building behind once again with a new prescription in hand and a new idea in mind.
I won't bore you with the details of the new prescription, but here is the idea for the lesson God showed me:
On the drive home, I got behind a woman who was obviously much more determined than I was to get where she was going. How do I know? Because she passed every car in sight, ran us out of her way a couple times, felt absolutely necessary to ride our back bumper, and swerved in and out of traffic more than once.
When at last she made her way directly in front of me, I noticed the bumper stickers she had on her car. One said "co-exist". One said "I have one country...it's the whole world." The other stated "In a world where you can be anything, be who you are." Then of course, there was the always familiar "Save the planet...go green."
Funny to me she didn't seem to be able to "co-exist" with the other drivers on the road. She had a plan "to be who she is" and she didn't care who she had to run over to make it happen. Now, that seems neither beneficial to unity or to love or even to "being green" if you ask me.
Reminded me of my sister's neighbor who complained about a tree my sister and her boyfriend cut down at their lake house. It was leaning directly over their dock and was amidst a few other trees that had to be removed because of storms that had broken them down and torn them in half.
Now, let me explain that there are hundreds of trees everywhere around the lake. It's not like there is a shortage of them or anything. BUT, the neighbor got seizing mad at the loss of this one leaning tree. She said it was on her property but it wasn't. So, in retaliation for the loss of a tree, she had an 8-foot wooden fence put up between her house and my sister's house.
Wow...wonder how many trees were killed to build that fence?
We sure can be funny creatures sometimes, can't we?
It takes a hurting, unsatisfied person to live in such a way that petty situations can make one get one's panties all in a wad.
Just because we are called to love ourselves as He loves us does not give us the right to put ourselves above everyone else. That God-kind of love leaves no room for pushing other people down to get to where we want to go. It leaves no room for building "fences" to keep those we don't want to tolerate out of sight.
If we really want to do the right thing, then we need to be "who He created us to be in a world where we can be anything". There is no better way to "co-exist"!
"Dear friends, since God loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:11-12 NIV)
"God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16B)
"We love because He first loved us. If anyone says 'I love God' , yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And, He gives us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4:19-21)
So, let us go out today and not love the trees or the planet, but the One Who created them. Let us not pass idly by those along the wayside of our destiny. Let us love ourselves because Christ loves us... Love ourselves in a way that allows us to respect others as we lovingly respect the One Who made us all.
Save some trees today! Tear down some fences and try hugging a person!
Love and Blessings,
|Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
I have been talking a lot about love lately. Why? I just really feel like we are way lacking in our society of some LOVE. Yep. We sure are. Been studying a few verses about it too. One of the main ones that keeps popping out at me is Mark 12:28-31. I will type it here for your convenience:
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ' Of all the commandments, which one is the most important?' 'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: 'hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 'The second is this: 'love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.' " (Mark 12:28-31 NIV)
Let's dig into that for a minute, if you will. We can see here four of the most important aspects of our human selves. First, we see "with all our hearts" . Second, we see "with all our soul". Next, we see "with all our minds". And, finally we read "with all our strength". This tells me that LOVE is to be the most overflowing part of our ENTIRE being. Our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Which one is hardest for you? Let's dig even deeper.
Loving Him with "all our heart" entails making HIM the object of all our desires and goals and worship and motives and anything else you can think of. Every part of our lives needs to be centered on HIM and HIM alone.
Loving Him with "all our soul" means that everything within us must be God-honoring. Our souls are the epitome of who we are through and through. It is our very core and our very center of being. It is the seed of our apple. It is the meat of our sandwich. It's the "who" of our "do".
Loving Him with "all our minds" means that every thought we have should be focused on Him and His purposes for our lives. We control our thoughts, We can either let them go off on a tangent or we can give each one of them purpose and direction that lines up with God's will. Our thoughts are not based on emotion (that is if we are growing spiritually). And, when we realize that our thoughts are becoming based on emotion, that is when we get out God's Word, read it, and get them back on track.
Loving Him with "all our strength" leads us to put all our energy and work into doing what is right, not just what we "feel" like doing. I'll tell ya right now, if I did only what I felt like doing, most days, I wouldn't even get out of the bed. Loving Him with all our strength also means that we keep on keepin' on even when things get tough. It means knowing that our strength does not come from within ourselves, but from Him.
So, with having given you that information, I ask you again, which is hardest for you?
Mine is loving Him with all my strength. With my health issues, my strength is little, let me tell ya. But, that is the key right there...MY strength is little. His is not. His is BIG and I am forever having to remind myself of that. He has things for me to do and His strength enables me to do them.
So...ponder this for awhile. The next time we meet, we will talk about the second greatest commandment: loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Somewhere in there, we also need to talk about loving ourselves. Cause, if we don't love ourselves, we certainly won't be any good at loving anyone else, will we?
So, have a great weekend and do some loving and we will meet up soon.
|Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM||comments (2)|
I live in North Carolina and tomorrow is the day we get to vote for some issues concerning our state. One of these is Amendment One. This issue concerns marriage.
Now, as a believer in Christ, I am all about marriage being between one man and one woman. God says that is right and I believe what He says. But, there is something about this whole Amendment One thing that is bothering me.
The issue has reared its ugly head in every front yard so proudly adorned with signs and banners all around our state. Some are for the Amendment, some against. "For" means we are upholding marriage the way God says it should be. "Against" means that we will accept marriage and unions between parties other than one man and one woman. Since this has become such a huge debate, I have been burdened by the condemnation and hate that I see springing from the spoken words and written letters to the editor in every publication available locally.And, to beat it all, these words and letters are coming from God's own children.
I KNOW that we,as God's people, are called to be bold about our faith. I KNOW that we are called to evangelize the neighborhood. I KNOW that we must stand up for what is right in God's eyes and in our hearts. BUT, I do NOT believe even for one minute that those commissions give us the right to get outright mean and nasty while we fling the Word of God around in the face of all those who are "not like us". I honestly think God sheds a tear or two when He sees us being so unloving to our fellow human beings.
Now, I also KNOW that my opinion is a minority among believers. And, that is OK. I am willing to take a stand anyway. Not against marriage as God (and myself) see it, but against the way we Christ followers are behaving ourselves.
You see, I believe we will never bring people to Christ through judgement and condemnation. I believe that people get offended when we act as though "they" are lesser than "us" because they don't believe like "we" do. That is certainly no way to convert a person.
True, people are in need of Jesus and a real relationship with Him. But, if someone came to your door and got in your face about how wrong you are and how right they are, would that lead you to come over to their side? I don't think so. But,let them show up at your door with a fresh baked pie and a hug and you would invite them in for a cup of coffee and have a meaningful conversation with them and begin to build a relationship.
There is one thing we are called to do above all other things. Know what that is? Get ready now...it's a scary thought...its... its...LOVE. Isn't that just crazy radical?
I have never seen any better way to lead someone to the Lord than to just love them. Let God do the convicting. Let Him do the judging. He is the greatest Lover of all and we are called to be like Him. In fact, that is what separates us from the world. It is the mark upon our hearts that signifies that we belong to God in the first place. It's the epitome of God's grace. It's the foundation of our faith, for goodness sake!
So, I say, that instead of forcing what we believe on those around us, how about we just love them and see what God does next. I know it sounds risky, to give it all to God and all and just flat out love other people, but let's give it a whirl anyway. What have we got to lose? Our right to be mean? To be judgemental? To be holier than thou?
Let's just get way out there beyond the norm and LOVE!! How's that for an Amendment?
"i give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, If you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 HCSB)
"Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses." (Proverbs 10:12 HCSB)
In HIS LOVE,
|Posted on April 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM||comments (0)|
Today I was sitting in the waiting room of my physical therapist's office. I glanced down and noticed a Gideon's Bible on the table beside me. It was placed there in memory of someone.
That word "memory" seemed to jump right off the cover at me. Memories have bittersweet effects on me. Most often, my memories make me sad. Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful family and a very blessed life. I think that's the problem. When I think back over the things that once were, I began to get caught up in the fact that they are gone, never again to be re-lived.
That saddens me.
I thought today about my childhood and how much I would love to take my kids back a few years so they could see what it was like to live simply; surrounded by intriguing and amazing family members who have since passed on. But I can't.
I thought about how it was when my husband and I purchased our first home and my parents and grandparents all pitched in to help us with appliances and household items. Moving in was definitely a family affair and I loved every single minute of it! The first time we made homemade ice cream at that house with my grandmother there to guide me through the recipe. Boy, did it taste good too! Those days are gone.
I remembered the Sunday afternoons at my parents house watching the NASCAR race and screaming at the drivers through the television as if they could actually hear us. We drank coffee cup after cup and ate leftovers from dinner long into the evening. Sure would love to experience that again.
I reminisced about our dream house that we couldn't keep because of medical bills. I thought we would retire and have visits from our grandchildren there. But, we won't.
I thought about when I felt good every day and was able to work, and play with my kids, and go anywhere at any time. But, that has changed too because of my declining health.
So, you can see why the word "memory" sometimes makes me sad. It probably does you also.
After contemplating what "memories" really are, it hit me that they are actually knowledge of the past. Both the good and the not-so-good.
The Christian life centers around knowledge. Not just head-knowledge, but heart- knowledge. I think it's the heart-knowledge that effects us more deeply.
When something or someone touches our heart, we are open to pain. But, that also means we are open to joy, and love and fulfillment, and life! You can't have the good stuff without the bad stuff. You can't experience loss without love or life without death. It all goes together.
So, today, if you are hurting, look at it as a sign that you are still breathing. You are still living and you are still in position to receive the love and fulfillment and joy that life has to offer us all. The best part is that if you are in Christ and He is in you, then those good times will be even better and those bad times will be tolerable growing seasons.
Knowledge is good. Memories are good. Allow your heart to be vulnerable. By doing so, you can experience the fullness of life that only a tender heart full of knowledge can perceive.
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. " (2 Peter 3:18)
"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But, endurance must also do it's complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)
Thank You Lord for my completeness which can only be found in You. Not in circumstances, or things, or people that I love, but in YOU ALONE. You are the one constant that will never change or cease to exist. Increase my heart-knowledge and my head-knowledge of You so I can serve You better each and every day, no matter what happens or doesn't happen. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
|Posted on April 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
My 9 year old son and I had an interesting conversation this morning. Heck...we have one every morning. But, this was one of those really teachable moments. It was a time for me to kick in and truly listen to his concerns. He was seeking some answers in a serious way.
Trust. That is what he was asking me about. He shared that even though he loves God with his whole heart, he can't quite trust Him for everything. Boy, could I relate to that one. I think I am still struggling with that at my ripe old age of forty-something. Truth be told, I believe every living person who follows Christ struggles with that issue.
The key is to lean on God with all your weight and even if you fall from where you want to be, He is still supporting you. Get it? From where YOU WANT to be. Not necessarily where HE WANTS you to be.
I can think of many times I wanted things that were good. At least they seemed good in my mind. Things like healing for someone I deeply love, or provision for a bill to be paid on time, or a certain job, or a certain decision to be made in my favor. All those things are good. But maybe not good for ME.
See, God knows the big picture and the final outcome and we never realize beforehand where something or someone might take us. But, He does. And, He leads us toward His plan, not ours.
Oh, He lets us have our way every now and then, and I can say from experience that those allowances can lead to rough places. I remember once when my husband was doing a lot of traveling in his music ministry and our oldest son was small. I got it in my head that we needed a big ole' conversion van so we could all be comfortable on our road trips. Goodness, we were traveling for the Lord! Surely He would give us what we wanted.
We found one at a car dealer nearby and test drove it. Man, was it just perfect for us! It had all the bells and whistles. A television for my son, comfy lounge chairs for me and my husband and plenty of room for music equipment and luggage. Everything but the kitchen sink! It was the ticket!
I prayed every day for God to bless us with that van. Guess what? He didn't.
And we survived just fine without it. We missed out on the gas it would have taken for us to just drive the thing around town. We missed out on having to maneuver it around grocery store parking lots and drive thru windows. The payment on it would have been way out of our reach, even though it was a pre-owned vehicle. In my mind God would have provided the money for those huge monthly bills, but He knew what a strain it would have placed on us financially. Many times I have looked back and thanked God for NOT giving us that van.
There are lots of other examples I could give you from my life, but the one lesson on trust that sticks out to me more than any other is when my Daddy was dying with cancer. As a family, we had trusted and prayed and anointed and did everything the Bible says to do and it just was not bringing a healing. I had two choices.
I could either chose to believe that God wasn't listening and didn't care, or I could chose to believe that God's way was better than my way. And, it was.
The healing did come. For my Daddy and for us. He received the ultimate healing! Better than any physical healing we could have expected. He now resides in heavenly places and waits on us to join him one day.
We healed emotionally as a family and have become stronger people because of our trial with Daddy's illness and death. God has shown us how to take our experience and use it for His glory! We now have the knowledge to reach out and encourage others in a way that we never could before.
So, my friend, if you are struggling with trusting God with your everything like my little boy is, let me say that we all learn how to trust Him one experience at a time. Each time will make you stronger and increase your faith. Trusting gets easier and easier and you learn that even if the worst of the worst does happen, it's still going to be ok. Why? Because God loves you and has good things for you. Always.
Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." (Proverbs 29:25 NIV)
Love and Blessings,
|Posted on April 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM||comments (2)|
Have you SmAKed anyone lately?
Now, I am well aware that this does not appear to be something any sound-minded Christ follower should be doing, but allow me to explain...
It's not what you think. I am referring to Small Acts of Kindness. Yep. An entirely different way of working out your frustrations. Surely it's not just me. If you are a human being (and I can only assume that you are), then you have surely felt like smacking someone every now and then. But, we all know that is just not ethical or Christ-like, right?
All of us feel frustration at least daily, heck...minutely (is that even a word?) If we pretend that we don't, then we are lying (and that is an entirely different discussion!). What do we do with that frustration? Well, God's Word tells us not to act hastily or negatively when we have those emotions.
"My dearly beloved brothers (and sisters), understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. For man's anger does not accomplish righteousness. (James 1:19-20)
Last time I checked, I believe that pursuing holiness is our calling as believers, so that kind of leaves out the option of punching out the lights of whoever angers us. Maybe you are fed up with your boss. Or maybe your husband forgot to take out the garbage that is obviously overflowing into the kitchen floor. Maybe your child back talked you or your best friend neglected to return your phone calls. Maybe you got a late notice from a bill collector. Maybe you are just mad at yourself.
Any or all of these things can push your anger button and send you into fight or flight mode. But, for most of us busy women, running away is not an option. Neither is having a tantrum in a public place (or at home in front of our loved-ones).
So.....I have found that instead of characterizing myself as a fool: "A fool's displeasure is known at once..." (Proverbs 12:16A), it is better to act like the daughter of God that I am.
"Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience..." (Colossians 3:12).
The best way to combat that frustration and anger is to get out an use that smacking instinct to intentionally bless anyone who crosses your path. there are lots of ways to accomplich righteousness by spreading love and kindness.
1) Pay the bill of the person behind you in the drive-thru.
2) Let that woman in line with only two items pass in front of you when your shopping cart is full.
3) Keep a friend's child for an hour or two so she can have a much needed break.
4) Do your husband's chores so when he gets home from work, he can actually sit down an relax without a honey-do list staring him in the face.
5)Play with your child and leave the dinner dishes in the sink. They will be there when you get to them.
6) Pick up your elderly neighbor's mail and take it to her door for her.
7) Call a hurting friend and meet for coffee so you can encourage her in person.
Go buy a store gift card and give it to someone who is having a hard time financially.
Now, it's your turn. Leave a comment and share even more ways we can get out and SmAK someone today and every day.
Happy SmAKing and I will see you soon!
|Posted on April 7, 2012 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
It hurts sometimes. Life.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Ressurection day.
That reminds me of the fact that Jesus knew all about how much life hurts. He knew, yet he endured and He came out the Victor. Because He did, we are victors too.
If we are victors, then why does life hurt so bad? It seems like we have to endure things that we never asked for. That we don't deserve.
Why is the mortgage so hard to pay?
Why do I have to feel physical pain every single day of my life?
Why does my child get ridiculed by those who are supposed to love and accept him?
Why are church people judgemental people?
Why do those who ignore God and all he stands for seem to get all the good stuff in life?
Why? Why? Why?
Because we live in a fallen world. And, goodness gracious...we are certainly no better than Jesus.
He wasn't a rich man.
He felt physical pain.
He was ridiculed by the religious.
He watched the proud and arrogant around Him succeed.
His Father, Our Creator, watched His one and only Son, not just judged and misunderstood, but killed for something He didn't do. Killed so we, the hurting, could become victors in the fallen world.
Victors we are! In spite of the pain of living here.
The discouragement. The pain. The bitterness. I believe all those things are just a sign that we are not home yet. We are homesick for our place at the feet of the throne. In the arms of our Savior.
Homesickness doesn't have to equal pain for us though.
Homesickness gives us a reason to endure, just like Jesus did.
"Now may God Who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
This Easter, Let's be like Jesus. Let's endure the pain as we keep our eyes set on the Joy set before us. We are victors! We have a resurrection coming!
It's a GIFT that Jesus died to give us. Because of Him, death has died and Life is good, even through the pain
Happy Easter everyone!
|Posted on May 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM||comments (6)|
May is a month that holds several happy events in my family. Two of my favorites are my sweet Momma's birthday and Mother's Day.
My Mom lives four hours from me and I sometimes have to spend Mother's Day with only a phone call to replace the hugs I would prefer to give and receive. At least the phone calls allow me to hear her voice. If you have a Mom living today, please take a few minutes to call or go see her so she knows she is loved and appreciated. If your Mom is no longer here on this earth, take a minute to lift up a prayer of thanks for her. And, tell God to give her a hug from you...I bet He will.
Even if you now have or have ever had a tense relationship with your mother, you can remember that, because of her, you are here. God planned for you to be her child. His purposes only fall to the wayside when we walk off and leave them there. He handpicked you to be your Momma's child.
I have two handsome sons of my own so I know how it feels on both sides of the coin.
As a daughter, I know I have probably failed to appreciate my Mom as much as I should have over the years. Maybe not really failed to appreciate, but failed to communicate my thoughts and feelings to her about how much she means to me.
As a mother, I know how it feels to play the part of the invisible woman every now and then. I know my family loves me; I have never doubted that. And, you know what, this Mother's Day, their love if the best gift I could ever desire. Just looking into their faces is one of the biggest blessings I have ever received! If they forget to tell you, Remember God sees everything you do and he rewards those who work for His Glory!
I pray that Sunday will be a good day for you. A day of celebration. A day of appreciation, whether given, or received, or both. I have heard it said that God created Mother's because He could not be everywhere at the same time. I disagree because I know God can very well be present everywhere at every moment, but I do agree with the sentiment that Mother's are God's way of bringing life into His world and His way of bringing that unconditional love into the hearts of people everywhere.
New life just does that to a person.
And, if you are feeling a bit left out this Mother's Day, My Jesus is also available to bring new life and unconditional love into the hearts of people everywhere. Including you. Make Him a part of your life...No...Make HIM your LIFE! No better reason for celebration than that!
See Ya Soon!