Archive | March 2013

Back to the bench

Psalm 37:7a – “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him”

This week, I have felt so busy! I’m starting to work more. My kids are still doing all that they do. My house still needs to be cleaned. We are getting ready to leave for spring break. Satan is still beating down the door of my heart. Man, crazy stuff!

But this morning, while I was asking God to show me what He wanted me to do for this blog today, He whispered this to my heart, “Be still.”

What? Be still! You know all that I am responsible for! But all the while, He just wants me to clear my mind and be still sometimes. No, this should not be an avenue for sleep. Although, if I had not had my coffee in reaching distance, I might have attempted that road.😊

We have all had times when our walk with The Lord was calm and peaceful. We walked with Him and listened to Him. But then we get distracted. Just like the devil wants. When we are distracted, we can’t be productive for Him.

So, here I am, princess. Trimming the bushes along the path of the garden in my heart. It was once a peaceful path, but now is quite overgrown. I want to get back to that bench where I just sit and listen to Him while the worries of the world pass me by.

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Ups and downs

Ephesians 4:22-24 – “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

It is so easy to slip back into the “old self.” I have been saved for a really long time. But like every one else, I ebb and flow. I have mountains and valleys.

It is funny, not funny ha-ha, how when you ask God for something and He opens the flood gates of Heaven and then you find yourself saying, “Wait! Maybe not that much God!” This is the time I find myself slipping back into one of those valleys where I ignore things because “I am just too busy.” “I’m way too tired.”

Have you been there?

One verse, particularly, stuck out to me this morning – “to be made new in the attitude of your minds”. Here is my challenge for myself today. I have got to allow God to do His thing and change the attitude of my heart so that my service to Him is pure. And I consider my job opportunities as service to Him. He provided them, so He must want me to serve Him in this way. But my service is nothing if my attitude stinks.

So today, despite my ever growing to-do list, I choose to have a more pure “attitude of…mind”. I choose, princess, to allow God to do something amazing in me. It might be touching someone’s life or it may be getting my list marked off. Whatever He chooses to accomplish in me today, I want to do it with a heart and mind pleasing to Him.

Singing in the Wings

Psalm 63:7,8 – “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

I love these verses. They are so beautiful. They hold such a loving and special picture.

Life is rough sometimes. Things don’t always turn out like we think they should. It is so easy to slide down into depression. We look around us and see all that we do not have and forget to look at what we do have. Even in the darkest hours, we still have Jesus. The devil has the capability of using this promise against us, if we let him. He will say, “Well, wouldn’t you rather just go and see Him?” He tries to get us to give up the fight. Yes, we want to see Him, but that doesn’t mean we quit fighting and living.

As long as God gives you breath, you must keep going. He is not finished with you yet. He still has work for you to do.

But He doesn’t ask you to go at it alone. He is your help. Look back at the key verse for today. “I sing in the shadow of your wings.” God has His mighty wings around you, protecting you from the outside world. Yes, sometimes He allows things to get through because He knows that constant protection does not allow for strengthening and growth. He protects us just enough to cause us to sing. I love to sing. And the thought of singing in His wings makes me smile.

Hold onto Him. Let Him be your flashlight if you are walking through a dark place right now. Cling to Him and ask Him to put your feet on solid ground. I guarantee He will lift you up. You just have to ask and trust.

Peace

Peace. Often we think of peace as that time when there is no war (or fighting in our home). But peace is more than the absence of conflict. In my study Bible, peace is defined as the “profound well-being of soul that flows from the experience of God’s grace.” How beautiful is that!

Peace is something we all want to experience – every day, if possible. Well, princess, it is possible.
Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”Jesus. The way to experience that “profound well-being” is through Jesus. Salvation is our avenue to peace.

And guess what! This peace comes with fringe benefits! Woohoo!
Proverbs 14:30 – “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” See, faith in our Lord Jesus brings peace, which brings life to the body. And this is not only physical life but spiritual life as well. On the other hand, envy or jealousy will bring death. This is death that rots you from the inside out. Bitter, yucky stuff.

So you might be asking yourself, “How do I claim this life after accepting Jesus as my Savior?” Glad you asked!
Proverbs 3:7,8 – “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Ok, so before you start thinking that following Christ is a weight loss and health thing, let’s get this clear – Jesus will help you in this area if you ask Him, but following Him is not an automatic weight loss key.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes” – don’t think you are all that and a bag of chips. You are a sinner saved by grace just like the rest of us. And you will mess up. You do not have all the answers. Once you realize that, life goes a lot smoother.
“Fear the LORD” – God does not want you scared of Him. Rather, it is a very healthy respect. He has done so much for you that you do not want to do anything to hurt Him.
“Shun evil” – In your innermost being, you know what is right. Don’t do that which is wrong when you know what is right. Stop choosing to sin. Yes, I know – easier said than done.

We all have glimpses of peace. Times in our life when we have it all together. That is usually when the bomb goes off and every thing is scattered. The only thing to do is hold on tight to the Anchor. Don’t let go! Peace will come again. You just have to choose to allow God to line things up so that peace may reign once again.

The Lamp

Psalm 18:28 – “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

Yesterday morning, we were on our way to school. Thanks to daylight savings time, it was still very dark. But it was that time of morning when the sun just begins to come up into the horizon. The time when the sky begins to show color but everything else is still dark. My daughter says, “Look mom. The night is still on the houses and the trees.” My 9 year old was seeing what God sees every day.

In our life, all too often we let the night rest for too long on our heart. We hold grudges, stay mad and get easily frustrated. We don’t want to see the Light that is available to us. We like the dark. We can easily hide in it.

But nothing grows in the dark. Oh, you might have some cooky plant that grows by moonlight but hello! It is moon LIGHT! God is so merciful that He sends us light even in the darkest part of our physical life.

In all of this, you cannot turn on your own light. You can’t make the sun rise. You can’t make the moon shine brighter. And you can’t flick on the switch in your own darkness. I don’t care what anyone will tell you. You must choose to allow God, who created the Light, to turn it on in you. He is the only One with the power.

And it is God who keeps your light going. When you start holding the light and wondering off the path, your light grows dim because only He can make it brighter. It’s like holding an old fashion oil lamp and only the Father can trim it and make it burn brighter.

So today, princess, if your path seems a bit dim, run to the Father and let Him trim your lamp. He wants to make your path as bright as possible.

Answered prayer

Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
I am excited today. Earlier in the week I cried out to God to help me find some work that would allow me the flexibility to care for my children at a moment’s notice. I am in the health care field and sometimes I am able to find these opportunities. I had been unsuccessful at finding anything significant. Oh, I has tons of offers to work 40 hrs.+ per week. But that wasn’t going to fit in right now.

God has provided 2 opportunities for me! 2! Now, I don’t know how this will all work out, but I do know this – I have a promise that God will supply all of my needs. He knows that we could use some extra income right now. And He is providing.

I get all parts of excited when I see answers to prayer. Not only in my own life but also in others. A little boy at my kids’ school was surprised in chapel yesterday by the return of his dad from Afghanistan. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

Don’t doubt it , princess. God is still in the answering prayer business. He wants to supply your every need. You just have to turn it over to Him and let Him do His thing.

I’m not perfect at it. I still want to fix things myself. But He hasn’t given up on me. So, I daily make the choice to surrender to His will.

Keep moving.

Run

Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

This is my son’s Bible verse to learn at school this week. We were sitting around the dinner table last night going over it and discussing its meaning.

The writer of Hebrews just finished the “Faith chapter.” (You have to say it in your deepest “James Earl Jones” voice.) Don’t get me wrong. The people spoken of in the previous chapter did some amazing things and showed tremendous faith. But they were also just people. People going around living their lives and BAM! God intervenes and does something totally out of left field.

So here we are surrounded by these “great…witnesses” and what are we encouraged to do? Run. Run with all you have. The writer says to “throw off” anything that might keep us from doing our best. You see, he wrote this because he knows that we all have sins and baggage from the past that is going to slow us down.

First of all, the baggage. Forgive and forget. Like Pumba, from the Lion King, says, “You gotta put your behind in the past.” Leave it there. Don’t carry it around and let it drag you down. You can’t go back and fix it anyway!

Next, that “sin”. We all have triggers that the devil is keenly aware of. You know, those buttons we hate for him to push because they get us riled up every time. The writer says don’t get tangled up in them. Don’t fall for the bait. I have to remind my daughter of this a lot. Don’t fall for the bait your brother dangles in front of you that makes you whine!

What I’m trying to say is this, people in the “faith chapter” (did you use the voice?:-) messed up on their walk with God. And God still used them. Don’t think that because you are not perfect that God can’t use you. Throw off all that baggage and don’t fall for the devil’s bait. Run. Run as hard as you can. Run at a steady pace and don’t look back. Run toward the prize – Heaven with Him.