Archive | January 2017

Allowing

Romans 14:22 – “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”

Yep. Another verse that I’ve read a thousand times and when I read it the other day, it practically jumped off the page and slapped me in the face. 

I really want to focus on the last part of the verse – “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”  What do you think about that?

What are we allowing in our life? What kind of sin are we deeming “acceptable” in our life? What actions are we justifing that we know displeases God? What excuses are we coming up with to alleviate our guilt of doing what we know is wrong?

Yikes. Condemning stuff. Remember, that verse jumped off the page and slapped me in the face. 

How much are we condemning ourself because of what we allow? In my case, a lot. I can justify myself with the best of them. I can find ways around things that didn’t even seem possible. Not something to be proud of, I assure you. 

Each and every day I find myself making excuses. If I’m honest, I condemn myself over and over again by what I allow in my life. 

And this doesn’t just have a personal meaning. It also applies on a much bigger scale. What are we allowing socially that is condemning us spiritually? Oh my. How long do you have?

But for now, I need to clean up around my own tree before attacking someone else’s tree. 

As I’m typing this blog, my verse of the day popped up on my screen – Psalm 103:8 – “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”  Doesn’t it just make you smile when you are beating yourself up for failing and falling and being a piece of uncontrollable trash and God reminds you of this. He is gracious. He is merciful. He is slow to anger. He is…

Let me encourage you this week to be on guard about what you allow in your life. Don’t let it control you. Let the Holy Spirit do His thing and convict you of unrighteousness and lead you in the path of Truth. Don’t condemn yourself by what you allow in your life. 

Advertisements

Feeling colors

Romans 12:18 – “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

It is bound to happen – The time when you feel like you have butted in where you don’t belong and fear that you have upset the balance of things. The time when you see and or hear of a situation and your tender heart can’t help but feel like you have to do something about it. And after it is done, someone close to you shows you what you have done. It wasn’t done with malice or discontent in your heart. It was done out of love. But someone could construe it as you butting in. 

When I was a teenager at church, our children’s church leaders had a story about Rudy Red and Butt-in Brown and Yelling Yellow. There were other colors but for some reason those stick out in my head. I wonder why…..probably because I relate to them the most. Some days I find myself feeling “red” – not happy, rude, ornery and irritable. Some days I find myself “yellow” – a loud, obnoxious response to every little thing. Last night, I felt “brown” – I had butted in. I don’t like feeling brown. It presses heavy upon my heart. 

But when I feel any of these colors, I need to repent. I need to try and make it right. So I did. I did what I could at the time. I prayed and talked to God about it. I sought out wise counsel from my husband. I did what I could. But I don’t know if the offense has been forgiven and/or dealt with. Suspense. I just have to let God handle it now. I have to choose not to walk this way again. And I have to keep praying that God will continue to work it out. It is in His hands now. 

Feeling colors is no good. Any of those colors I listed brings no peace. It only causes strife and dischord – none of which any of us need in our life. But it is our choice to let Rudy Red or Yelling Yellow or Butt-in Brown have a day in our life. Sometimes they slip in unannounced. But some days we open wide the door for them to walk right on through. That’s why we must let God guard the door to our heart. He is the only One that can keep the peace we all so desperately need. 

He’s still working on me

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Lyrics for He’s Still Working on Me by Bill & Gloria Gaither

He’s still working on meTo make me what I need to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be..’Cause He’s still workin’ on me.

There really ought to be a sign upon my heart “Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part”. But I’ll be better just according to His plan. Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands.

He’s still working on me To make me what I need to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be…’Cause He’s still workin’ on me. 

In the mirror of His word, Reflections that I see. Makes me wonder why He never gave up on me. But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray. Remember He’s the potter, I’m the clay.

This song has been in my head for a few days. I remember singing it when I was a little girl. It has a whole different meaning now. 

I understand better that I am a work in progress. I understand better that I won’t be perfect until I get to Heaven where there is no sin. I understand better that when I do sin and God brings it to my attention, I need to take care of it right then and turn and go the other direction. I am understanding more His work, His hand and His love for me – although I appreciate fact that I will never fully grasp it. 

But He is still working on me. He is trying to make me what I should be. I really do need a sign some days that says “Don’t judge me yet. He’s not finished.” I want to see His reflection in my life. 

So when you are feeling totally inadequate and unable to accomplish anything and everything, remember – when you are His child, He will always be working on you. Happy Wednesday. 

Hiding

Psalm 17:5-8 – “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings”

The weather was rough last night. We didn’t know if we would have tornados or not. The wind whipped. The rain poured. The sky rumbled. The lightening dance through the sky. But no tornados that I know of in my area. 

But as we headed to church last night, listening to the radio, we couldn’t hear a full song because of all the warnings that were being issued. We called some friends of ours that we knew were over by our church building to ask about the weather over there. When they told us it was okay for now, we headed that way. 

It reminded me of something my grandma said one time – She was cooking Christmas dinner while a storm was raging outside her house. A tornado actually danced across the field across from her house. She just kept basting the turkey. When we asked her, “Grandma, shouldn’t you have tried to get somewhere safe? The tornado could have come right for your house!” She replied, “If the Lord wants you, He gonna git you whether you’re hidin’ or not!” 

God holds all His children in His hand. He knows our fears. He knows our circumstances. He knows it all. And He cares. He cares more than we could ever comprehend. We are the apple of His eye. We can never hid from God. He knows our every step and every thought. 

So the next time you find fear in your heart or uncertainty in your step, remember that God knows. He knows the tornados threatening you. He knows the rocks in your path. He knows the joy in your heart. He understands the concerns that you may have. Let Him be in control of it all. 

Promise from on High

Deuteronomy 26:15-19 – “Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey. This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.”


I rode a really, really, really tall Ferris wheel the other night. I’m not too fond of heights but it was pretty cool to see the city all lite up and pretty. 

But as I stepped onto this giant wheel, I needed a promise – the promise that I wouldn’t plummet to the ground but rather would be brought safely down 23 minutes later. And I was. The Ferris wheel operators kept their promise. 

Sometimes I think that we take for granted that God is watching us from somewhere beyond the reaches of a Ferris wheel or airplane or space shuttle. We take for granted that even though He is right beside us, He is also way far above us. 

He has made us promises as well. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He has promised to provide all that we need (not necessarily what we want). He has promised that if we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we have an eternal home in Heaven. 

And just like He always kept His promises (and consequences for forgetting His promises) to the children of Israel, so He does for us today. 

He may be way far above us and right beside us at the same time however, there is one thing we can always count on – God keeps His promises. And He has promised that one day, He is coming back for me and all the rest of y’all who have accepted Him as your Savior. (Yes, I did just use “y’all” – it’s in my blood!)   Any way, it’s going to be an amazing day – that day when we see all His promises fulfilled!

Roller coasters

Psalm 37:25 – “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Well, I feel like I may have crossed over into new territory. I sat out a ride at a theme park. 

As I sat watching the roller coaster smoothly travel along the tracks, I recall the last time I rode it. I felt like my brain was being sloshed around in my head like a milkshake! I remember the days I could take on something like this time and time again. I remember waiting 4 hours for a 75 second roller coaster that boasted the highest and steepest drop. I remember spending hours and hours riding one roller coaster after another with hardly a slow down for food. Those were fun days. 

But now, I’m content to stay seated by the support pole and watch as my children are turned this way and that and loving every minute of it. 

So what does this have to do with spiritual issues? God hasn’t let me down through it all. He has seen me through the seemingly smooth times of my life. He has seen me through the times when life has thrown me for a loop. He has held me together when I have been jostled like a milkshake. He has kept me from physical hunger and provided me with spiritual food when I ask. You see, He has been there and provided for it all. 

So as you enter into a new week of uncertainty and potential loops and insanity- remember where your certainty lies…Jesus Christ. 

I could never say “thank you” enough. 

2 Samuel 22:47,50 – “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.”

How He Loves

John Mark McMillan

He is jealous for me.                                   Loves like a hurricane.                                      I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.                                  When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.         And I realize how beautiful You are and how great Your affections for me.

Oh how He loves us so.                                  Oh how He loves us.                                    How He loves us so.                                       Yes He loves us

We are His portion and He is our prize. Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And heaven meets earth like a unforeseen kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us.     

Oh how he loves us so.                                 Oh how he loves us.                                    How he loves us so

So in the course of my day, I heard this song “How He Loves” sung by Crowder. I have heard this song a million times. But for some reason when I heard it yesterday, my heart was so touched. It really brought to mind just how much I could never say “thank you” enough. 

I could never say “thank you” enough for:         

Loving me enough to send Your Son to die for me.                                                                   For the way that You always listen and understand and care.                                            For the blessings that I see each and every day walking and breathing and existing for me.                                                   For His Word that speaks to me through countless generations.                                     For providing for everything I could possibly imagine and more.              

For these and so much more, I find myself blessing the Lord. Shouting His praises in the confines of my car. Crying because I could never say or do or be enough. Because He first loved me and pursued me to learn to love Him. 

What a beautiful, encouraging and promising moment while driving along in my car, hoping that my mascara wasn’t running too bad because man, oh man, my daughter let the tissues roll under the seat!

Happy Friday!