Archive | December 2013

The Word

John 1:1,2 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

Do you ever stop and ponder just how big Jesus really is? I mean truly. Jesus is “the Word” (see vs. 14 of this chapter). He was with God in the beginning. The beginning of what, you may ask. The real beginning. The point where time began. The place in time where all things were created.

In my notes that I have scrolled in the sides of my Bible, I have that this word “with” as found in “the Word was with God” means “standing face to face” in the Greek. So Jesus was standing face to face with God when creation was going on. In fact, He was God when all this was going on. That is so hard for me to wrap my puny brain around. But hey, that’s what faith is for right? There are things in this world that I am told exist that I cannot see or understand and yet I believe them. Like atoms. Really? Electrons? Hmm…. But we believe these things when a fallible human tells us these things. Why would we not believe God when He tells us things? Things written in a book that has been around for thousands of years. A book that men have died to protect. Sounds legitimate to me!

And this God who created all things has a vested interest in you. Do you truly understand and appreciate that? I know I don’t. This Word, this God, cares that I am safe, healthy, provided for, loved, troubled, confused and any other emotion that you can come up with. He cares.

So today, princess, if you are feeling stressed and brought low by the circumstances in your life, remember this, the Creator of the sky cares about you. If He can create a way to keep this big ball of dirt and rock spinning at just the right angle, He can right the toy top-like atmosphere in your life. But, you have to trust Him to do so.

Happy Birthday, little man!

Today is my son’s birthday. I still remember that day vividly when that little watermelon of a boy made his appearance not long before the first “Lord of the Rings” movie came out. I remember that because my beloved had to forgo the opening night to see the birth of his son. And he did it willingly and gladly. It was a beautiful moment. He has made our lives amazing. I never knew that you could love another human being that much.

My son has taught me so much. He has taught me to love more unconditionally. That boy ALWAYS has a hug ready for you. And he is 12! He still comes up to me randomly and says, “Mom, I love you.” I treasure that because I know that most boys his age are beginning to separate. I treasure that about him. He has a tender heart. He loves The Lord and desires to follow Him. He understands the need for good grades and does his best at school. He enjoys art and is quite good at it, if I do say so myself. He is shy, that makes him irresistible. He is good at soccer and golf. So many things to share about him.

But my one desire for him is to be whatever The Lord has sent him here to be and do. I know that He has great plans for him. I can tell. He is too different from most kids his age. God has special plans for this one.

I try to be a good mom for and to him. I try not to bug him about girls. I try to encourage him to be a better man. I try to support his interests.

This summer, I made a picture for his wall in his bathroom. Something to look at while he is brushing his teeth. It has this verse on it: Isaiah 40:31 – “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” It has the image of an eagle on it with red, gold and orange flames. It looks pretty cool. This is what I want him to remember. Your strength doesn’t come from you, it comes from God. So many other verses connect to this verse to strengthen resolve and encourage.

So today, princess, I pray that you too will take this verse and draw your strength for the day from it. Allow God to have His way in all that you do today.

Seeing the Nile

Isaiah 49:17,16a – “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”

It is test time in many schools. Time to see what the students have learned. Well, I’m sure there are some students who have not studied as they should and are trying to come up with creative ways to take the answers to the test into the room with them. Remember when you needed to remember something and you wrote it on your hand? If I had a nickel for every time I have done that very thing, especially for phone numbers, well, I could probably pay off my house!

Any way, we forget. We forget for many different reasons. Sometimes it is age induced – my mom says she is “seeing the Nile” (senile). Sometimes it is medically induced – some medications will make you forget and some illnesses will cause temporary memory loss. Sometimes we just aren’t paying attention when the information is given to us – hence the problem with multitasking mommas!

Whatever the reason, you are not alone. Not only do individuals have this problem, but whole nations do as well. How often did the children of Israel forget? Check out the Old Testament. It is full of instances of this happening. And to bring it closer to home, we, as the United States of America, have forgotten what and why we came here in the first place. Sometimes I think that is the devil trying to destroy us with that memory loss.

The engraving of names was established a long time ago. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness and God had given them the instructions for the Tabernacle, He also included a dress code for the High Priest. He was to have an ephod as one of his pieces of clothing. On this ephod was to be stones on the shoulder that had the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. An ephod is like a sleeveless vest. Fancy duds. Theses stones were to be a reminder of the importance of his position. He carried the responsibility of the twelve tribes on his shoulders.

Everything in the Old Testament was meant to point us to Christ. And this did just that. He carried the weight of the sin of man throughout all time on His shoulders. He took that sin to the cross and crucified it. It is a beautiful picture to remember that our names were written on His nail scarred hands. Not so that he wouldn’t forget but rather because He loves us that much.

Our hands are such an integral part of who we are. We have our wedding rings on our hands. Our hands serve others. Our hands hold our children. Our hands share the Word in blogs. Our hands open the Word. Our hands fold in prayer.

Today princess, I want you to remember that Jesus will never forget you. He has your name written on His hand. And though you may forget and fall, Jesus will always be there to pick you up. He never forgets His own.

Ready, willing and able

Luke 1:38 – “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.”

Let’s set this up a bit, shall we? Mary, a virgin. Given what we know about Bible times, it is pretty safe to guess that she was probably a teenager. Ok, just stop there a moment. How many teenagers do you know that would be with it enough to handle the news that they would be pregnant with the Son of God? Not many, I would wager. God knew what He was doing when all this happened when it did.

Anyway, here was Mary doing her thing that teenagers did back in the day and an angel appears. Look at Luke 1:26-38. Did Mary freak out at an angel speaking to her? Nope. And the wild thing is that the people as a whole had gone like 500 years since they had heard from God. And then wham, here is His messenger speaking to a virgin about to be married. And she wasn’t even phased. She was curious. She asked one question and a rightful question. She did not question God’s authority or anything, she just asked how a virgin could get pregnant? Valid question. And our verse today is her response to the angel’s answer.

Mary was ready for God’s will in her life. How about you? Are you ready to jump off the bridge into the unknown? A new year is quickly approaching. Is God laying it on your heart to do something way outside your comfort zone? Do you find yourself asking how this will work given all that you have to do?

Lookit, if God can work the miracle of having a virgin conceive and give birth, I am confident that He can work out whatever problem that you foresee keeping you from doing what He is telling you to do. It is about being ready, willing and able. Ready to serve. Willing to do the unexpected. And able to follow His lead.

So today, princess, let’s start praying. Let’s start praying that God will show us specifically what He wants us to do next year. It is time to start planning. It will be tough. You may face reticule. You may not understand everything completely. But you have to try. You have to get out there and be ready, willing and able.

Work, work, work

Work. It is a necessary evil. One in which we need to survive. We need the ability to take care of ourself and our family. But sometimes work gets in the way. It gets in the way of the family we are trying to protect and serve. It gets in the way of our happiness and joy and peace. It even gets in the way of our health.

How do we balance it? How do we balance what needs to be done in order to pay the bills with what we need to do to keep our sanity?

Solomon was one of the wisest men to ever live. And for all his wisdom, he was a hot mess. He accomplished so many things, solved so many problems and had so many women. Read Ecclesiastes. Many believe that this book was written by him. It almost sound a depressing when you read it. He was searching for true meaning to what he was doing.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 – “And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” This verse stopped me in my tracks. The root of why we do so much of what we do – to keep up with the Jones. Or to keep up with the competition.

Why? Why do we kill ourself and our family for that? You cannot take one single thing with you when you die. It is all gone. Left for someone else who did not work for it to take it over. (Ecclesiastes 2:17-23) Crazy, right?

So how do you work and work with the right attitude? How do you desire to do your best without trying to keep up with someone else?

Colossians 3:23,24 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for The Lord, not for men, I since you know that you will receive an inheritance from The Lord as a reward. It is The Lord Christ you are serving.”

Hmm…

It is your heart. Your heart is the key in all of this. Why are you working? Why are you striving? Why are you awake at night thinking about work? Is it for you or for God? I know you want to be successful. I know you want to do your best. But I also know that you want to serve The Lord. I also know that you want to be with your family, awake. It is tough. It is hard to let go and let Him lead. It is hard to trust Him to take care of it all. Does that mean you sit down and do nothing? No, but it does mean that you allow things to not be perfect all the time. God is not a fairy that grants wishes right now. He is a “work-in-progress” kind of being. Things aren’t always pretty as you work to complete it. Look at a house being built. Does that million dollar mansion look that way before the windows are in? Nope. Sometimes it is ugly.

Princess, or prince, stop working for yourself. Stop trying to keep up with someone else. Solomon said it is meaningless. Why do something meaningless? Don’t stop doing your best. Always do your best. But don’t be afraid to let things be ugly now and then. You don’t have to keep things perfect all the time. Life is too short for sleepless nights spent worrying about problems that you can’t take care of at 2 AM. We are not working for man or manna. We are to be working for The Lord. “It is The Lord Christ you are serving.” (Vs. 24b) Remember that. Hold tight to it.

The right place

Colossians 3:1,2 – “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Fist things first, are you a princess? If so, welcome to the family. If not, please see my page on salvation. It will literally change your life.

If you have chosen Jesus as your Savior, then you have a job to do. You have a purpose for being where you are at at this very moment. God has plans for you. Whatcha gonna do about it?

The first thing that needs to be done is to get your heart in the right place. Have you ever started to do something only to realize that your brain was not working properly and you messed it up from the get go? Oh my, if I had nickel for every time that has happened! Your heart and your mind are linked. If one is not functioning properly, the other has a hard time as well. This is true physically and emotionally/spiritually. I put those two together because more often than not they work as a team.

Princess, you have got to get your heart in the right place. Here it is Christmastime. A time to celebrate the birth of Christ and all He has done for us. Yet, we are focused on earthly things. Which do you ask more often – “have you gotten all of your Christmas shopping done” or “what have you done to celebrate our Savior’s birth”? Guilty. I fail at this more times than I care to admit. My heart is set on earthly things rather than on things of Heaven.

It is hard to get myself straightened out. I want to get presents bought. But I need to remember the greatest gift ever given – Jesus. He is the reason we give gifts. He is the reason we join together and spend time with our loved ones. He is the reason for the star on top of the tree. He is the Light in the dark, just like the lights we string up all over our house both inside and out. His blessings make our lives beautiful just like the ornaments on the tree. The purity of the snow reminds us of the purity of His love. I could go on and on. The reminders of Him are everywhere. Yet, we forget. We see a Christmas tree covered in pretty lights and ornaments. We grumble at the snow.

So today, princess, choose to set your heart in the right place. Choose to see things differently today. And don’t forget to say thank you, even for the cold. Because we all know that the colder the winter, the more we appreciate the spring.

No Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Have you ever experienced real fear? I’m not talking about being spooked. I’m talking about real, long lasting fear. Fear that makes you worry. Fear that consumes your thoughts. Fear that can cripple you if not tended to. Fear.

I think at some point or another we have all had this fear. It may manifest itself in different ways and at different times, but it is the same.

Fear is a tool of the devil. He uses it to control us. He uses it to keep us from thinking about what is good, true and righteous. He uses it to make us doubt. He knows that as long as we are trusting in Jesus to care for us that he can’t touch us. So if he can get us to think that maybe Jesus doesn’t have it all, then he can worm his way in.

The devil also uses superstition as a way to invoke fear. Black cats, things happening in 3s, walking under a ladder, broken mirrors – I’m sure you could name a hundred more. But these are vices for distrust. They are vices for fear. They are what can create a near panic moment. Are they true? No. I don’t believe in luck either. Don’t get me started.

Anyway, fear is very real. It is a battle to keep it at bay. When fear begins to rear it’s ugly head, just remember where it did not come from – Jesus.

God has given us power, love and self-discipline. Power to do what we need to do. Love to do it properly and with respect. And self-discipline to not let anything get in the way of what needs to be done.

Confidence. It is the opposite of fear. Now, I’m not talking about pride. That is sin. I’m talking about confidence. Believing you can do something. That something might be something big. Or it might be riding a bicycle. Confidence is believing that God can take care of it. That there is no need to fear. God is right there with you whispering in your heart that “you got this!”

Every situation we face, every challenge that comes our way, is an opportunity to show the world that we are a follower of Christ. That our confidence is not in ourself or our ability but rather in our Savior.

Fear is very real, princess. But so it Jesus. He is the One that wipes out fear. He is the One that is cheering us on to victory. Don’t let fear overtake you. Don’t let a lack of confidence keep you from what God is calling you to do. Be brave, sister. And get out there and make it happen!