Archives

Last week…

Jeremiah 17:7,8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit”

The plague descended upon my house last week. Well, maybe not THE plague, but the flu. It may as well have been the plague with the amount of bleach wipes and alcohol pads I have gone through in the last week. Also, I believe I may have also consumed a bottle of immunity booster just trying to avoid it. And so far, so good. 

That’s why you didn’t hear from me last week. I just didn’t have it in me. 

It was a week of uncertainty and concern. When to take people to the doctor; when is their next dose of medicine; have they had enough fluids; do I need to go to the grocery store – again? 

But even though it was exhausting and mentally draining, there was a calm. The knowing that this too shall pass. Yes, my week was disrupted. Yes, I had clients cancel on me because I might be infected. Yes, the cashier at the grocery store gave me funny looks when they saw me for the second and third time. But, I wasn’t alone. Jesus was there with me. And even though I didn’t have the opportunity to write my post, I did keep up with my personal study. It was my moments of peace before the coughing started. 

Caring for your family is just as much of a way to produce fruit as going out on the mission field. I’m showing love and compassion to those I care about – that is applicable anywhere. My daughter kept thanking me for taking care of her. My husband was appreciative for holding it all together. My son kept tabs on how I was feeling. In their own ways, they were caring for me. It is a beautiful circle. 

So, if this week finds you plagued with some illness or situation, hold tight to the Savior. Stay planted and stay healthy – physically and spiritually. 

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. 

Blessings of a Godly Family

Jeremiah 35:12-17 – “Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.”

Sorry. I know the reading was long, but I wanted you to get the full picture. 

Oftentimes, God uses living, breathing examples for us to understand what He is trying to tell us. Here, He wanted the people of Israel to see that it can be done – you can follow after age, old commands without compromising. These people, the Rechabites, had followed after the commands of their forefathers for many generations. They chose not to drink wine. (They chose not to do other things everyone else did as well. Check out Jeremiah 35.)   

The important lesson here for the children of Israel was that they needed to repent and follow after the commands that God had given their forefathers. But this didn’t fit what they wanted to do. It interfered with their life. They had chosen a different path. 

That’s the thing here – we all have to choose our path. The Rechabites chose to follow after the commands of their forefathers. The children of Israel chose the path of everyone around them; they wanted to be like everyone else. 

I have been blessed with a beautiful spiritual background. Both sides of my family accepted Jesus as their Savior. My mom’s side was a bit more recent than my dad’s, but nonetheless, it was there. My husband’s family knows the Lord as well. Not all the distance relatives, but some. The ones with the greatest effect on his life knew the Lord. What a blessing for my children! An heritage of the Lord. 

But what I want you to understand is this – just because your family loved and served the Lord doesn’t automatically make you a child of the King. No, it’s your choice. You have to choose your own path. You have to make your own decision. Heritage will not get you to Heaven. Only the accepted blood of Jesus Christ can do that. 

A Godly family is a blessing, indeed. But don’t be fooled into thinking that’s what you need for salvation. The choice is yours and yours alone. You can’t ride in on someone else’s skirt tail. 

Crossroads

Jeremiah 6:16a – “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”

A crossroad. We come to them all the time and rarely acknowledge their existence. And also just as rare are the times when we ask for direction. “I got this. I know where I’m going.” And then, wham! Brick wall!

Yesterday, I was doing some cleaning and straightening of my house. I had my arms loaded and hit the light switch with my elbow and it sparked! Freak out mode! I needed to take my son to soccer and daughter was still upstairs asleep. I didn’t want to leave her at home and the house burn down. I’m checking the wall for heat and doing all this stuff to determine the safety level. I have a friend who is an electrician, so I text him and ask him some questions. He reassures me all is fine and tells me what to do. I safely leave the house, praying the whole time I’m gone and return to find my house still intact and my daughter up making breakfast. 

I had just visited a crossroad. I had a choice to make – go at it the way I thought best or reach out and find someone who knew more about the situation than me. I was looking for an old way, a more experienced way, a more reliable way. 

Too often, we don’t seek out an old way. We think newer is better, right? Not always. Sometimes the old worn paths are the most beautiful and most reliable. When we were in Kauai, we went hiking. It was a two mile hike around a mountain. There was an old worn path that was safe and secure. But there were, occasionally, a “new path” that seemed a bit more precarious. This “new path” was a short cut, a sometimes dangerous and steep short cut, that seemed to lead more down the mountain than I was comfortable with. We stayed on the old path. And you know what? We got to our destination safe and sound. Sure we could have shaved off a few steps by trekking the new path, but we determined that it was not worth the risk. 

Life is an adventure that has many opportunities. We are able to choose new paths or stick to the old ones. Sometimes the new path is the way to go because the old path has fallen apart. But sometimes the old path is the right way to go because the new one is just too dangerous. How do you know the difference? You have to look at the map – that means read your Bible, FYI. God has given us the perfect road map but it does you no good if you don’t look at and/or listen to it. Just like your GPS is useless until you turn it on, your Bible is useless unless you pick it up and engage in it. 

You are going to face crossroads every day. You need to know which path to take. Let me encourage you today to get into the RoadMap. Seek out the answers and be willing to hear them. If you are a follower of Christ, you are on your way Home. The scenery you take in along the way is totally up to you – will you follow Him or try your hand blazing your own path?

Forty years

Psalm 139:13,14 – “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “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. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Once upon a time, a cattle rancher’s son met a rice farmer’s daughter. They fell in love and got married in the Delta one cold winter’s night. Almost two years later, a little red headed girl entered their life – that would be me.

Today is my 40th birthday. And God has been so very good to me. Of all the people in the world that He could have given me to, He gave me to two wonderful parents who truly love Him. They may not have been the ones that sat down with us to do devotions every night, but they lived their life for Him. They showed me how to be a Follower of Christ in all aspects of my life – just by example. He used them to guide me to hope and peace. He also gave me grandparents that sought after Him. My extended family was also seeking after Him. I was surrounded by people that loved Him.

And then He brought me my husband. I cannot imagine my life without him. He dries my tears, holds my hand as well as my heart, laughs at my silliness, reminds me when I get off the path, tells me I’m beautiful and adores my cooking. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! But more than anything else, God has given me a husband that loves Him. And that is far more important than loving my pot roast!

And then He gave me my children. How can I even begin to describe the blessing they are in my life! They have taught me to laugh at the little things (again). They have reminded me that sometimes you just need to lay on the couch. They love me unconditionally. But most importantly, they love The Lord. They have both chosen Him as their Savior. And that makes my heart expand to unbelievable sizes.

And then He gave me a church that loves Him. It is not perfect, for it is made up of imperfect people. But the love it has is truly mind blowing. From the first day we darkened it’s doors, we have seen His love and felt His love surround us like a warm blanket. The Truth is found there and taught there.

My short forty years have been amazing. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God’s hand has been in my life. I can see the Fingerprints of God all over the place. I can see Him in my past. I see Him in my present. And I KNOW, He will be ever-present in my future.

I have so many promises in the Word that He will be there for me no matter what. I have promises that He will guide me if I seek after Him. I have promises that He will move heaven and earth to help me if I just ask.

You see, forty is just another number – another birthday to celebrate. There are no magical, horrible things that will happen today just because my bones have been around long enough to be considered an antique. No, I see forty years of blessings, forty years of Fingerprints.

Dig a little deeper

Jeremiah 17:7,8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

I like to grow things. Sometimes I am successful. Sometimes I am not. Right now I have mums on my porch that I know need to be watered today. I want them to continue growing. I want them to continue opening up their beautiful flowers. I have tried in the past to grow a garden. Some years were bountiful and beautiful. Other years were pitiful and sad.

Part of the reason that my garden did not do so well was from lack of water. Another issue that probably affected things was lack of nutrients. Plants need both these things in order to successfully produce fruits and vegetables. I also had weeds in my gardens. They took over one year because I didn’t pull them and tend to my garden the way that I should.

The point in all this plant talk is this – plants must be fed and tended to in order to grow. We are no different. If we want our relationship with our Savior to grow, we have to be fed and we have to tend to it. We have to make choices to be fed by His Word. We have to make choices to allow Him to tend to the garden of our life. Weeds will grow up and try to choke out new growth. Droughts will come when we feel like everything is going wrong. We will not be able to see any good whatsoever in our life. It is in those times that we have to be like a tree planted by the water. We have to ensure that our roots go down deep. We have to trust that our tap root will keep us supplied. How do you think that giant old trees stand through a tornado or hurricane? It is because their roots are strong and they go deep. We have to be the same way.

This verse in Jeremiah is encouraging to me. It helps me to remember to dig in a little deeper. It promises that blessings will be mine when I trust only in The Lord and hope only in The Lord. The verses before this one actually bring curses upon those whose hope is in man. People can and will fail. People forget to water their garden. People forget to weed their garden. And because of these choices, people aren’t always producing fruit. Why would we think that depending on them for something as important as your spiritual well being would be a good idea? God is constant. He doesn’t change. He never leaves His Living Water. He never fails to produce.

My encouragement for you today, princess, is to check out your root system. Do you need to dig a little deeper? Do you need to go to the Water for a drink or maybe a long gulp? Are you in a drought of joy? He can provide all this and more. You just have to be willing to let Him be all this and more.

Resolutions, I mean goals.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Happy 2014, everyone! I know, I know, you thought I had fallen off the ends of the earth. Well, truth be told the holidays caught up with me and before I knew it, here we are ready to get back into our insane routine.

Let me tell you about a little tradition we have. Every year on the way back from visiting family, we have a REALLY LONG DRIVE! I’m talking 10-15 hours worth of driving, one way. Well, on the way home each year, we make our resolutions. Except, we don’t call them resolutions. We call them goals. Resolutions come and go too quickly. We try to establish goals that will get us through the year. Things to make us better, whether it be in regards to health or behavior or whatever.

And we all do this – husband, daughter, son, myself – and we help each other in establishing these goals. We all have to live with the goals the other person sets, so why not be a part of the setting. We also try to encourage one another by sharing something that we think the other could improve on the next year. We have to make this a “trouble free zone” – that means that you will not get in trouble for whatever you suggest and that no hard feelings will be kept after it is shared. It could get hairy if we didn’t establish these ground rules.

But despite our well thought out goals and plans, we have One who has the ultimate plan. He always has our best at heart. And He has already planned things out. Now, does this mean we have no say in what goes on? Nope. We still have free will. We still have the option to act like a buffoon and go off on our own path. But His way always proves the better path. Oh, it may not always be rosy and smooth, but rest assured, you will not walk it alone.

So today as the insanity begins again, take a moment. Make a small goal for yourself. Allow God to show you what it should be and how it will make you better. Take one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed. Good Lord willing, life will go on.