Archive | July 2015

A Rock and A Hard Place

Exodus 14:13-14 – “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

Do you ever get freaked out? You have a list as long as you arm to accomplish in one day. The car breaks down on the side of the road. The kids have twelve different places they are supposed to be that day. Your husband is concerned about how you are going to pay the bills this month. Your boss at work is upset over your productivity level. And now you feel a migraine coming on that will stop you dead in your tracks. What’s a girl to do? 

The children of Israel had just seen the magnificence of the Lord. They had seen His mighty hand working in Egypt and they had been released from their bondage. They were free. They had plundered Egypt on their way out. No more did they have to build the pyramids. No more did they have to be in slavery to someone else. God had set them free. Yet here they were trapped between a rock and a hard place, literally. The Red Sea was on one side, mountains on the other two and pharaoh’s army was coming up the other way. They had literally no where to go. And they were freaking out. I believe God had brought them to this place specifically. He had it in His plan to do this awesome and unthinkable feat. This event was going to be one for the history books. But the people couldn’t see past their own terrors and problems. All they could see was death. 

Side note: Have you ever seen “The Incredibles”? You know, the part where the mom and the kids had just jumped out of the airplane before it explodes and when they hit the water the kids are freaking out. They are splashing around saying, “We’re gonna die!” And the mom slaps the water and says, “We are not going to die! You kids had better get a grip or so help me you are going to be grounded for a month!” This, this is what I think of when I read this account of the children of Israel. I know, I’m a weirdo, but it is how my brain works. Welcome to my world. 

Anyway, sometimes we are just like the children of Israel. All we can see is the horribleness in front of us. We don’t see the opportunity for something amazing. We don’t see how God could possibly pull us out of the situation. We think we are doomed. 

Hence the reason Moses spoke to them. Here is my paraphrasing of what Moses said – “Would y’all just chill out! God has got this! I know it doesn’t seem like it but if you will just get a grip, you will see that He is going to do something awesome! These people who are freaking you out, these people who are scaring you to death, you will never, I mean NEVER, see them again! God is going to wipe them out! So, just stop your whining, hush up and trust that He has got this!” Yes, God would say “y’all” – He was speaking to more than three people. 😉

Sometimes in the midst of your insanity, you need to stop and listen. Sometimes God is whispering this very same thing to your heart. You just have to be quiet and hear it. Life is not always going to be a red carpet event. Sometimes you may feel like you are walking in the sewer. Sometimes you may find yourself with a mountain on two sides, a really big body of water on the other and the enemy fast approaching on another. That’s when the unthinkable has to happen. That’s when you have to stop and give it all over to the One who has it all under control. Then, you just wait for Him to show up and show out. It’s a beautiful thing. 

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501

This is post 501! Can you believe it? It was first posted September 12, 2012. So many things have changed since then. My kids are 3 years older; I’m in another state and so many other things that I won’t bog you down with sharing.

But it is “Throwback Thursday ” so I thought I would throw it back to the beginning. Since I started writing this blog, I have transitioned to using KJV. So, just keep that in mind when you read this.

I hope you have a great day and remember to always appreciate and learn from the past.

This is my first post. Please check out my “About” before continuing.

Have you ever been to Disney World? It is a guarantee that you will see someone dressed up as princess. We went a couple of years ago and my daughter, Rachel, wanted to go to a boutique that would transform her into a beautiful princess. Rachel is all about the bling, so glitter and fancy clothes were nothing new. But my, oh my, what those people can do with glitter! Her hair was pulled up and hosed down with so much hairspray that even when we took out the 900 bobby pins, it did not move! It still amazes me when I think of her sitting in that chair during her personal beautification process.

Speaking of personal beautification, when was the last time you took a long hard look at your spiritual self in the mirror of God’s Word? Yes, we see ourselves daily in our mirror in the bathroom. We primp and clean until our skin sparkles. But when was the last time you sat down with the Word of God and examined yourself through His eyes? That can be a dangerous thing. But dear princess, it is vitally important to sparkle from the inside out as well.

James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.”

Okay, for all the newbies, insert woman for man.

The “perfect law that gives freedom” is Jesus. He is the one that shows us where to go and how to be. Don’t just open your Bible on Sunday. Get out the manual during the week. What if you only looked in the mirror once a week? Do you think that would fly? NO WAY! What if every time you looked in the mirror you looked in your Bible? What would change in your life?

ASAP

  
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”

I was in the store the other day and saw this cute little plaque. 

We usually think of ASAP meaning “as soon as possible”.  But when I saw this rendition of it, I thought it much more fitting. 

Too often we are caught up in the “as soon as possible” meaning. We are so focused on what needs to be done and how quickly can we get it done that we forget the other side of the coin. We have deadlines to meet and appointments to keep and lists that need to be accomplished. And those things are all well and good, in their own time. 

But how much different would our day be if we “always stop and pray”? How often do we hush the Holy Spirit when we hear that “still, small Voice” speaking to our heart? I know there have been times in my life when I have heard that Voice speaking to my heart to warn me not to do something and I do it any way and then I am faced with the guilt of sin and the rememberance that I had been warned. And then there are times when He speaks to my heart and reminds me of someone that needs my prayers right now. And I stop and pray for them and He won’t let it go. The feeling of the need for prayer stays with me. So I keep praying. And then not too long afterwards, I get a text from that very person telling me the outcome of my prayers. I love that. I love that God is so involved in our lives and that He intertwines them with just the right people. I love that He brings us through trials with the prayers of others. But how much different would those trials be if we hushed the Holy Spirit and neglected to “always stop and pray”?

So today, when you hear that Voice speaking to your heart, don’t hush Him up. Listen. There may be someone standing in the need of prayer and you need to “always stop and pray”. ASAP is more than an acronym for time. It is an acronym for life – a life of prayer that draws us closer to God and closer to one another. 

Good Monday morning

Psalm 23:4 – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Good Monday morning. 

I just returned home from visiting family this last week. We had a long drive yesterday and I really didn’t get much sleep while traveling. So, this morning I was stumbling around my kitchen trying to remember how to make coffee and put away a few things, when I dropped a can of root beer. It goes to spewing all over their floor. I tried to put my finger over the hole enough to get it to the sink. This worked somewhat but not enough to save me from having to spot mop the floor. 

Good Monday morning. 

What does this have to do with walking through the shadow of death you might ask? Perspective and attitude. Surprisingly, I handled the situation quite well. No harsh words uttered. No bad thoughts passing through my brain. Just “well, I have to clean this up.” Maybe it’s because I’m so tired that I can’t muster up the energy to get mad. Maybe though, God used this moment to remind me that it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is how I choose to respond to it. And I feel like I chose well. “Very good, young patawon!” (I told you I’m not quite all here this morning!)

Good Monday morning. 

Let me encourage you today to let it roll. Let perspective and attitude be what keeps you afloat today. Don’t let Satan drag you down with mishaps and upsets. Show him that God is on your side by choosing to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with no fear. 

Family

Psalm 119:113-120 – “I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.”

I love my family. They drive me crazy at times, and they can be really loud. But they are fun and make me laugh. We all got together yesterday for no reason, just to have fun. And fun it was. 

My uncles told several stories about my grandma. My grandma was a hot mess to say the least before she found the Lord. She was a fierce momma bear who guarded her children with a passion. And before she knew the Lord, she was….well,….let’s just say she wasn’t known as a lady, not very princess-like. 

But that all changed when she met Jesus. My mom doesn’t really remember her momma and daddy too much without Jesus. When they came to salvation, they jumped in with both feet and never looked back. They were very vocal people to begin with and salvation only amplified it. It was beautiful. 

You know, family is important. And I may not talk to each and every member of my family on a frequent basis, but I keep up with them one way or another. But you know, God wants us to keep up with Him daily. He wants to be involved in our every day life.  He wants to make our salvation real and active so that others can see the difference in us. 

One thing that one of my uncles wanted to clear up with my son was that he might give him a hard time and joke around a lot but if his back was against the wall, my uncle would be there to help. That’s what family is all about – holding each other up through the hard times. And my family has seen some hard times – we have had deaths, tornados, emotional roller coasters, depression, and many, many other issues and yet here we are – laughing and cutting up like none of it ever happened. You see, that’s because we have Jesus in our lives. We have the King of kings ruling and reigning in us. We know where our hope lies. We know who has our back (and our front). 

So let me encourage you today to take a few moments and appreciate your family. Appreciate their craziness. Appreciate their loyalty. Appreciate their unconditional love. But most of all, if you are as blessed as I am to have a family that lives for the Lord, give Him the honor and glory due for the blessings you have today, tomorrow and forever – family. 

Rejuvenate

Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What a week! I have been at church camp all week AND have been working. Needless to say that between the early mornings and late nights, I am needing the B12 vitamin like crazy just to stay awake! 

But church camp is a great time to unplug and refocus. It gives each and every one of us the much needed face to face time not only with others but also with Jesus. The lessons we learn there are things that will stick with us through all kinds of spiritual terrain, and the connections we make with others will last a lifetime. 

Jesus wants us to come to Him for rest. He wants us to crawl up in His lap and just chill for a while sometimes. He know that this world is insane. He knows that we are bombarded with all kinds of yuck and our armor gets a little dirty sometimes. We need a safe place to stay and get cleaned off every once in a while. We need to allow ourselves this time of downtime. We need to be alright with not going and doing 24-7. We need that time of rest. His burden is light compared to what the world requires of us. His yoke is easy compared to what the world says we need to accomplish. 

Today is Friday. Tomorrow is Saturday – the weekend. I want to challenge you to take some time and crawl up in His lap. Just be there for a while in His love. What that may look like will be different for each of us. One may need to lock themself in a room with their Bible; one may need to sit out on the porch and watch the sunrise or set; one may need to sleep after a really long prayer. Whatever you need to do to yoke up with Jesus and share His burden, you need to do it. Satan wants to keep us spiritually tired and mentally fatigued – that’s when we are easy  prey. Rejuvenate this weekend. Let Christ give you what you need to face every thing that is ahead. 

just a though…

Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”

I was reminded this weekend of the brevity of life. A friend of my family experienced the death of their 33 year old daughter. She left behind two young children. It absolutely breaks my heart. They have been on my mind all weekend. I can’t imagine the sorrow and grief they are bearing right now. Her funeral is today. I know it will be the hardest day they could ever have imagined. 

All of this sadness just brought to the front of my mind that we really don’t know how long God has given us here on this earth. We all have an appointment with death. But usually it is one of those rude appointments that just springs up on us. We have to be ready. 

There are so many facets to being ready. You have your family to think of; their financial future to consider and so many other things that it may seem to make your head swim. But one thing that is easy to get in line – eternity. Jesus is the “Go-to Guy” for that one! He is the One that offers the free gift of eternal life. All you have to do is accept Him. 

But after you get that squared away, you need to be able to live and love until that rude appointment. And that’s where the “house of the LORD” comes in. When you think about going to someone’s house, you think about being a guest in their home. I was blessed with the opportunity to experience that this weekend as well. My daughter had spent the week with her friend at the beach and I had to go and pick her up. I spent the night at her friend’s family home. It was delightful. I dwelt in their house for a few short hours. But I didn’t feel like a guest. It was more like a friend coming to visit – a “mi casa es su casa” kind of thing. It was refreshing. God wants our time with Him to be just the same way. He wants us to relax in Him. He wants us to spend quality time with Him that may or may not require conversation. That’s where I want to be each and every day – dwelling with Him like I dwelt with my friend at the beach. 

So as my family friends walk through the valley of the shadow of death, it is my prayer that they fear no evil. I pray that they are able to dwell with Jesus today – the kind where no words are required. And I pray that you will choose to dwell with Him today as well. Don’t take any day for granted, especially today. You never know what tomorrow will bring.