Archive | February 2014

Thank you

Psalm 100:1-5 – “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

Do you ever have days and or moments in your life where you are overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy? I had one of those days yesterday.

I went to a mechanic yesterday for a routine oil change and tire rotation with alignment. As it turns out, I had two tires that were primed to blow, at any moment. All I know is that God has protected me and my family in an amazing way!

And to boot, the mechanic loaned me his car to go and get my children at school! Chivalry lives! Praise The Lord!!

In my Bible study, God has been encouraging me to give Him more public praise, be more aware of His goodness and not to shut down when I get overwhelmed. All of these areas were addressed in one brief afternoon. But God is good. And I want to be faithful in acknowledging Him.

So thank you Jesus, for your love, your protection, your blessings from strangers, your provisions in times of need and for the opportunity to praise your Name. Thank you.

Princess, He is so worthy of our praise, so worthy of our honor and respect. Please, this weekend acknowledge your blessings and praise His Name. All that we do could never be enough to say “thank you”.

I got it all planned out!

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

Do you believe that he Holy Spirit directs even the smallest details of your life? I do. Yesterday, I didn’t have to work. I just work on Tuesdays when I am needed and yesterday I was not needed. So, I thought “Woohoo! I can get my cleaning done and get some skirts made for my daughter!” Then, I got up and remembered that I needed to do some continuing education for my license renewal. Bummer. I had to be a responsible adult.

At first, I chalked the remembering up to just that, remembering. But then, I considered things. My memory is not that good. It had been days since I had even thought about continuing ed. Why would I remember that this needed to be done when I was so excited about sewing? Answer: the Holy Spirit.

See, I believe that God cares about every detail in my life. I believe that if it is important to me, it is important to God. And He has an opinion about it. And I need to listen. And other times things are important to God and thus it needs to be important to me. And I need to listen. (See a pattern here?)

So today princess, you may have your day all planned out. But God may have a different plan. Trust me, His plan is way better. Yours may be more fun (at least in your eyes) but His is more needful. Listen to Him.

Jump!

Psalm 56:3,4 – “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”

Have you ever been so far out of your comfort zone that you went into panic mode?

Take someone who is afraid of heights. Just talking about walking out into the glass outputs on top of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) in Chicago sends them into hives! (By the way, totally cool if you can get over the fact that it is glass.)

We all have times when we are pushed to our limits. And it says a lot about who you are and where your confidence lies when you get to that point. Do you trust the One who will never drop you?

We usually hate storms. But did you know that we need storms to make the trees stronger? Trees send their roots deep into the ground in preparation for a storm. The stress from a storm makes the tree stronger. We never ask for storms in our life, but they make us stronger. We grow during these times. We learn to rely upon our Savior more.

Trust is something that has to be earned. But think about it, you have to have trials in order to trust someone. When you began dating, you had to learn to trust the other person. Sometimes that trust was broken. But sometimes that trust grows so strong that it remains even to this day. Do you remember your best friend from elementary school? BFF4EVER! Childhood trust is quickly built. Adulthood trust….well, that takes more time. We have more baggage to go through. That is why becoming a follower of Christ is easier as a child than as an adult. Adults have too many questions. Children, well, they just believe. But that’s not to say that adults can’t come to salvation. Oftentimes, adults becoming saved appreciate the sacrifice more because they do have all the reserves of who they were before they trusted Christ.

Any way, I ramble on.

Trust. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to lean over the edge of what you are comfortable with, Jesus is holding on to you. He might even ask you to jump. It can be scary to do something you don’t usually do, like go up to a stranger and begin a conversation about salvation. But if that is what God is telling you to do, trust Him. He knows what He is doing. Besides, what can man do to you that God hasn’t already planned for?

Be more thankful

Romans 1:20,21 – “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Science is amazing. We can learn so much with a microscope. Humans have made tremendous strides in research because we are able to see super tiny things. Did you know that every cell in your body is held together with a protein that is in the shape of a cross? Yep, look it up dear! How can we look at the smallest part of who we are and not be thankful that we are fearfully and wonderfully made?

Our society is falling apart. People in general don’t give a rip about anyone other than themselves. Even Christians have a problem with this. Don’t think this is true? Why are there missionaries who are struggling? Why are our church buildings not filled to capacity every time the doors are open?

What can we do to help fix this situation? I believe we need to begin with being more thankful. For every thing. When you are in the midst of being a mom do you ever stop and say “thank you God for inspiring someone to create the washing machine”? “Thank you for creating me in the time of electricity.” “Thank you for parents who loved me enough to take me to church every Sunday.” I could go on for hours and hours and hours.

My point is this, princess: We have so much to be thankful for. We have so much thankfulness to share. We need to be more faithful in sharing our thankfulness. Maybe by sharing we would inspire someone else to stop and look at their life and see how blessed they really are. Maybe our tiny spark of thankfulness would help someone else to decide to change how they view their life and their situation.

So this week, princess, make a concerted effort to be thankful. And don’t be afraid to be thankful for what others might see as goofy stuff. Give God thanks for the dishwasher, vehicles to travel in, windows that open and close, the tangle in your daughter’s hair – this means she slept good, your son’s ability to burp the alphabet – he learned something in school, your husband’s bad breath in the morning – he woke up. Everything princess. Give thanks for it all. It could change a life, starting with your own.

Alert! I’m shutting down!

How do you respond to stress? When you are overwhelmed and feeling like you could go bald at any minute?

I shut down. I just give up. Let someone else figure it out. I’m done. So sad. I hate it when I get to that point. I’m a fighter. And I don’t like to lose. But there are times when too many things are on my plate and I shut down.

John 6:5-9 “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

So, here we have Jesus tasking His disciples to feed these 5000 men, not counting women and children. And Philip shuts down. Philip had to have been thinking “well, he has fallen off his wagon now…” This was an impossible task in his eyes. He saw the need but had no idea where to even begin. And then here comes Andrew. He offers this child’s lunch. How kind. But at least he offered Jesus something. Jesus already knew what He was going to do. He knew how the disciples were going to respond to this task. Yet, He wanted them to grow, wanted them to learn to let Him handle it but to at least try to do something. Offer something. God can use anything.

Today, princess, you will face impossible tasks – getting out the door on time for school, meeting a deadline at work, paying your bills, creating dinner from nothing – the list goes on and on. Jesus really cares about all this. He wants to help. He wants you to trust Him but He also wants you to try. Don’t shut down. Don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t quit. Whether people want to believe it or not, miracles still happen everyday. Just look in the mirror.

“Show Jesus” by Jamie Grace

I have been listening to Jamie Grace a lot lately. Have you ever heard any of her songs? They are spunky and upbeat and singing about Jesus. Great stuff! She has a song out that seems to be in my head most mornings when I wake up. (Well, one of two songs are usually there. I’ll tell you about the other one some other time.) It is called “Show Jesus”. LOVE IT!!! Here is the chorus:
I gotta tell you that I like the way
Any time anywhere any place
It’s written all over your face
The way you love Jesus
And it always speaks to me
A little joy with a touch of peace
It’s so inspiring
The way you love Jesus

It makes me think of this verse: Matthew 5:17 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
You know, you can show people Jesus without speaking a word about Him. Check out the first verse of the song:
Your smile’s always shining out
And they know what it’s all about
It’s not hard for them to figure out
The way you love Jesus
You know love is what they heard
And you didn’t even say a word
Ain’t it funny that’s the way it works
When you know Jesus

True, true. Just your smile to a downtrodden person can show them the love of Christ more than any sermon they may hear. Oh, they probably still need the sermon but start by opening the door. No one wants to listen to a sourpuss Christian.

So today princess, I want to encourage you to first, listen to the song. Check it out. Dance a bit. Listen to it multiple times and sing along. Then, go out there and show people Jesus. The multitudes are waiting for the joy you have in your heart. Start by showing Him to one person at a time.

Chill out!

Psalm 23:1-3 – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

Do you ever just need a day to do nothing? A day where you want to find yourself outside reading a book for the greater part of the day? A day where you have pretty much all the laundry caught up; a day where you aren’t concerned about what you are going to eat; or a day where work does not follow you around like a lost puppy? Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t you feel like a new person the next day?

Maybe you need one of those days. Maybe you need to take some time away. Maybe you need to chill out. That was me yesterday. It was a day off from school, work and life. Very nice, indeed. I found myself outside in 75 degree weather reading and reading and reading some more. And my house was packed this weekend. We had family visiting with 3 small children. Oh, how I love nap time! Not that they were naughty or annoying, they weren’t. It just reminded me that we all need some down time.

And down time is something our society rarely allows. But Jesus implores us to take some time and rest. He reminds us in this famous Psalm that sometimes you just have to lay down in the grass and chill. Let Him restore you both physically and spiritually. It is very hard to do the right thing and make the right choices when you are exhausted. Your mind is skewed. Things look different. Trust me, I know we have all been there.

So, princess, begin making plans now to chill. Find some time in your insane schedule to schedule some time to do absolutely nothing. A time to rest, whether it be sleeping or just reading a book in the sunshine. Life is too short to forget that you need to chill out!