Looking Forward

August 31
What I really want to write about is what a God thing the geese flyover in DC at the Restoring Honor rally was, but that's not what God gave me for today.
I find at this stage of life I awaken most mornings having no clue what day it is. The exciting thing though is that my mind searches its radar for what I am looking forward to. Seven years ago one of our sons was in a tragic accident. Driving to UVA for a check up a few months later he said, "You know Mom, I used to wake up and think about what I dreaded most about the day, now I wake up thankful to be alive."

Let's make a list of what we think God looks forward to each day.
1) Welcoming His children home to heaven.
2) Quiet chats with His children
3) Hearing the praises of His people
4) The birth of a new believer
5) Watching His children hunger for the Lord.

Wow, those are so analogous with what earthly parents look forward to!
We love to see our kids come through the door, hear how their day has been and what their dreams are, hearing them say they love us, rejoicing in the day of their salvation and seeing them enjoy their parents' cooking!

The Orchestrator of Preparedness

August 30

The Lord makes me laugh with the things He shares. "The Orchestrator of Preparedness" was a mouthful for my brain at 5:00AM. It made sense though as I was praying for relief for so many individuals from trials which seem to be trapping them. The process of our preparedness for the kingdom to come requires stretching, struggles and even suffering. God is preparing us through experiences for what is to come next...here and in heaven.
Studying the scriptures two types of preparedness came to mind. God's and what he is preparing for us and our preparedness for what we face on earth before we get to heaven.
God is up to good:
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21:2

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. Luke 2:30-32


Prep Work for us:
[Be Holy] Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15


For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

Lord, You are about it all and all about it! Forgive us when we make earthly things priority over heavenly preparation. We sure don't want to feel out of touch when we get there! When Peter, Paul and Mary great us it will be nice to have some background on them and not ask if they are part of that singing group. :) May we hunger for Your Word, long to listen for your Spirit and be excited to teach of Your love. In Jesus' name, Amen

Soap Word

August 28-29
When our children were younger we had a rule that if you said an inappropriate word you received a squirt of liquid soap. God has me at a graduate level of training on the power of our speech and would like to give me a squirt of soap.
One of our yard signs reads:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

I failed a test big time recently. Some girlfriends were talking about a painful topic and how people can say things unknowingly which bring great pain upon a person. (Like those facing cancer, divorce, infertility, financial problems etc.) I gave an example and used the name of the person who had made the comment. The same impact could have been made without siting the person's name. My comment got back to this person, whom I love, in an elaborated form and hurt them very much. At that point I had a choice to make. Doing my devotional first this morning allowed God to speak.
He placed before me in a devotional book Matthew 18:4
Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Picking up the phone I called the person and sought forgiveness. A burden has been lifted and I learned a valuable lesson. The verse on my calendar today is
Isaiah 32:17 and fits perfectly with what God is teaching me today.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
Often we ignore uncomfortable situations deciding the relationship in jeopardy is not worth the process of reconciliation. Praise the Lord Jesus isn't a friend like that and we are of great worth to Him.

Father, Your ways are so right. You sacrificed Your own Son for filthy us. You are The Way and You make a way for us to walk down the right paths in life. Give us courage to trust You and to follow in Your ways even when the process which leads to peace is painful. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Pause to Praise

August 27
The morning started off rough, because I didn't start it off right...with the Lord. Instead, I was on the phone trying to cancel a credit card before a yearly fee was automatically renewed. The lady finally said she would up my credit limit, but she was not able to cancel the card, I would have to call back. WHAT!!! I wasn't like Jesus...I lost it. My walking buddy said they are probably on commission and get a penalty if they cancel a card. It was nuts. Coming back in from walking I headed off to our screened porch for my quiet time.

My first reading was from Psalms Now #135
Despite the depressing conditions of our world and the distortions of our society, or even the problems and conflicts of our lives, let us take time to praise the Lord...Without our God to praise and worship and serve, there is no real purpose in life, no meaning, no identity, and no reason for existing in this cold, calculating world...Let us praise the Lord! He makes our lives and our living, every hour and every day, truly worthwhile; and we belong to Him forever.

My blood pressure dropped from simply reading those words. I went from squawking about my rights to cancel a card to thinking...that Master Card lady probably needed Jesus.

The next verses I was led to were:
You who still the noise.... Psalm 65:7
And the devo spoke about the art of being quiet.

He took him aside, away from the crowd. Mark 7:33
This is what Jesus did before preforming a healing upon a man. Whew, sometimes we need to go off away from everyone and be healed by Jesus.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

So when the clamor of life comes crashing down, when our blood pressure is on the rise and wrong seems to be winning as right, or you can't cancel your credit card...go off to a quiet place and pause to praise the One who really matters, the One who loves with a magnitude we can't even imagine, the One whose name is Jesus.

The Switch

August 26
Oh, my goodness Labor Day is almost here and I need to switch out the clothes in my closets. I think I will wear my white sandals, white shorts and white pants every day this week, since I can't wear them after Labor Day. "What?" you say. "Where did you hear such a rule?" From my Mama of course! The roots of this tradition are confirmed on wisegeek.com, but the paragraphs below show that there may be some leniency for me!
Wow! We've come a long way baby!
"The roots of the idea that people should not wear white after Labor Day appear to be shrouded in mystery, and the rule has been greatly relaxed since the 1950s and 1960s, when it was more heavily enforced. People who choose to wear white after Labor Day are no longer heavily criticized for the choice, and are sometimes embraced as fashion forward trendsetters. There are several theories about the the rule which governs people who wear white after Labor Day. The first and most sensible is that it reminded people not to wear summer weight clothing during the Winter. It may be tempting to don a pair of light pumps in the crisp weather of early fall, but changing weather can make it an unwise decision. By not wearing white shoes after Labor Day, people can ensure that they don't end up with soiled, cold shoes. It is also conceivable that the the rule not to wear white after Labor Day was adopted as part of a larger movement to “educate” the nouveau riche. Older society families were concerned about the fashion etiquette of more recent additions, and established a complex code of fashion rules to guide them."

While this complex code of rules has flown right out the door, there is still switching to be done. Today I began looking through my planters trying to determined which plants will make it until the first frost, which ones need to be tossed now and which ones may need to come inside for winter.

With the nightmare situation our economy is facing we need to be switching some job tactics and definitely altering our spending habits.

When it comes to our faith what do we need to switch?

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. Ephesians 4:22

We must relinquish the reigns of control on our lives and switch to a life which is Spirit led as Jesus explains to his disciples.

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? Matthew 16:24

What do you want from me?

August 25

Up long before the sun, I began my quiet time with the Lord. Singing "Glory, glory, glory to the Lamb"; I then moved on to a time of confession asking God to "Create in me a clean heart". Launching into a prayer list, which ranged from the desires of the hearts of my children to a wide sweep of healing for numerous people battling disease and miracles for some hurting marriages, I then became quiet wanting to hear from the Lord and He really caught me off guard.
"What do you want from me?" He asked. "I beg your pardon?" I replied. Shell shocked, I thought, "What do I want from Him?"
My mind drifted back to two relationship scenarios. In the parental role sometimes we have children who only call when they want something...usually money! "Oh, Lord, when I come to You I hope it is with more than just my wish list!"
A radio talk show yesterday addressed the other relationship I am referring to and nailed the different marital desires of men and women. Now don't get ahead of me here and get sarcastic about the only thing men want....I believe the title of the book being discussed on the show was Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. He explained that women want desperately to be loved by their husbands and husbands function best when respected by their wives. The book is based on Ephesians 5:33 which says:
..each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
If we step back a verse, we will gain insight into where Paul is going with this teaching. The idea is that we are to nurture our relationship with Christ like a husband and wife are to nurture their union to one another.

So back to God's question this morning...What do I want? I want His love, which He offers so lavishly, so unconditionally, and so sacrificially! Balancing the relationship I pray He relishes the love and respect I have for Him. May I live in a way in which I am found verbalizing that fact to Him personally and living it out in my lifestyle and language with others.

Let's Pray: Lord, we fall humbly before You amazed by Your complexity. Try as we might, our minds were not designed by You to comprehend Your composition. We are just to know You are God and be glad we are Your children. The other day I watched a bee buzzing on a flower and was enthralled with how you made the wings of the bee with such intricacy and how You called forth that delicate flower in such vibrant colors. Being a God of order, You have a plan and we sing glory, hallelujah part of the plan is a ticket home to heaven. Yup, the ticket is in Jesus' name, Amen

Cheers

August 24

Call me crazy, as most people do, but I just found myself cheering for Jesus.
"I love Jesus, how bout you? I love Jesus, you should too!"
Maybe it is the drop in the temperatures today and the reality that football season is two weeks away which has me cheering or possibly the message which was spoken at a friend's father's funeral yesterday reminding me of Christ's victory over death.
The funeral was such a celebration of this man's life and foremost his love for the Lord. The three hymns sung said it all:
To God Be the Glory, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, and
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.


May today be a day where you know He is near.
May your heart, mind, and soul be free from all fear,
May your moments of worship be sweeter than sweet,
and afford you the time to actually fall at His feet!

Being Joyful, but too sore to jump for joy after a Seadoo ride yesterday. :)
Boo

Live With a Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

August 23
Sitting on the dock, studying God's Word yesterday afternoon was convicting and at times uncomfortable, but my appetite was insatiable for I knew I was consuming truth and it tasted good! The transforming of our minds is like a human tune-up. We run so much smoother after the process!

Always give thanks (Eph. 5:20), pray with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6), and give thanks in all circumstances (1 Th. 5:18). Those are tall orders when we are choosing which bill will be paid on time, whether to endure more chemo or have a risky surgery, or suffering through the heartache of losing a loved from from death, divorce or separation. God purposely designed our life process so that we could not see the future, but trust in His goodness along the way. Paul writes these recommendations to us coming from personal experiences in these three passages. His life had not been cushy. The trials he faced were surmountable, but he knew whom he believed.

Corrie ten Boom was in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. If you have never read The Hiding Place you have missed a life changing testimony. The section of the prison she was in was infested with fleas, yet she taught her fellow inmates to praise God for fleas, because the fleas kept the guards from coming in which allowed Corrie the opportunity to teach the gospel freely!

God, transform our minds today to sacrificially offer up thanksgiving no matter our circumstances. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. Psalm 107:21-22


I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:17

Ease Your Mind

August 21-22

We are in the works of another wedding here at our house and today I gained some information which I knew would ease the brides's mind. I was excited to contact her. I heard the Lord say, "I want to ease your mind if you will let me".
Such a sweet compassionate spirit came upon me.
I couldn't wait to look up the definition of "to ease".
...to free from something that pains, disquiets, or burdens
And that is exactly what a walk with the Lord does!

By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

...whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.
Proverbs 1:33

I have a date

August 20

I have a date with Jesus, a need to get away,
but I am allowing routines and rigors to tempt me by whispering,
"No, it's right here where you must stay."
I am taking off my running shoes and foregoing the need to exercise
and heading to a quiet place on Christ to feast my eyes.
The grocery list has been turned over,
waffles or eggs for dinner will just have to do,
for I want time with my First Love, whom to me has been so true.

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.
Mark 6:30-31

I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8

Birthdays

August 19th

After writing my 12th birthday cheer for this month and looking ahead to September and realizing it wasn't any lighter, I counted back 9 months! Ah, Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations. There you have it! The perfect baby making months.

Maybe I should do a spiritual birthday study and see if more people have their second birthday, the time when they asked Jesus into their hearts, around Christmas and Easter? My guess is the higher percentage of people asked Christ into their lives at a time of great need. A time when they recognized nothing else was filling that void in their lives. Actually, attending/listening to a Billy or Franklin Graham crusade would probably rank right up there.

"The Song of Solomon expresses the desire implanted in every human heart, to be reunited with God Himself, and to know perfect and unbroken union with Him. He has made us for Himself, and our hearts can never know rest and perfect satisfaction until they find it in Him." Hannah Hurnard

Do you celebrate your spiritual birthday as well as the date of your physical birth?
There is another celebration date ahead for all of us who love the Lord. The one where we get the new perfect bodies...oh yeah!

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12


That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Comfort

August 18

I just love where my early morning brain goes! This AM before the eyes were open the word study with the Lord was comfort. He was like...com (come) to my fort (fortress) and I will give you rest and protection. How Kool is that?

Check out these verses and be encouraged. Chuckling I pondered on David's attitude in Psalm 31. Now he has been in some major "bad" and seen some rather rough times, but he never waivers from who he knows God to be. When David says the phrase "for your name's sake" it sounds like he is saying "lead me and guide me, get me out of this mess, so we can keep that great reputation of yours standing Lord."

Oh, Father, your ways are not our ways, but help us to trust and be comforted today, knowing Your ways are the best ways. In Jesus Name, Amen

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 31:3
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Psalm 144:2
He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Praise Anyway

August 17

Today I am having a small luncheon for some of my friends whose names begin with the letter "K". The table is set, the party favors are done, each lady has a scripture card with a key "k" word in the verse, and the food is ready to be tasted. Are you thinking kidney beans with ketchup, kale, kiwis and kit kats for dessert?
No, there are too many fabulous fresh veggies out there we are having Gazpacho.(Recipe to come!)
My mind was singing an old praise song before I even opened my eyes.
What a way to start the day!
Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart, give Him praise,
give Him praise.

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart,your voices raised,
your voices raised.

Give Him glory, honor, and power unto Him,oh, Jesus name above all names.


And then it happened, BAM! A bird had hit our dining room windows. Continuing to praise the Lord, I gave thanks my husband was home. (Not sure if you remember I have a fear of birds.) Had my husband not been home, I would have had to be the one to go out and remove a dead bird before my girlfriends arrived and they probably would have found me dead in the driveway from a heart attack!
The enemy loves to hit. The question is, do we continue to praise during the smack downs in life that come?

Have a great day, praising the name of Jesus the whole way.

Renew

August 16
Grabbing the mail the other day I realized we had not received our local newspaper in quite a while. Calling the office the receptionist informed me our subscription had run out last January. Whoops. Guess I hadn't missed it too badly. Magazine renewal notices begin coming six months before they are due. The longer you wait to renew the sweeter the deal seems to get.
There are other items in life which carry penalties for a failure to renew...like automobile inspections and city stickers. I recall being pulled over once because our station wagon did not have an updated city sticker proving we had paid our property taxes. Fortunately, we had the sticker in the car, we just hadn't stuck it on the license plate. The sticker didn't seem to concern the officer as much as why two adults, in their 40's, wearing formal black tie attire, would have a mattress laid out in the back of their station wagon. Guess he hadn't met many "harp" parents who hauled their daughter around to performances. LOL!

What happens to us when we do not spiritually renew our minds? It would be so nice if we got notices reminding us when we are getting close to conforming to the world and are about to fail God's tests when it comes to his will.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Active Sponges

August 14-15
A sponge has to soak up a liquid before it can squeezes it out.
I've been in "soak up" mode, taking in what the Lord is teaching me, but I am not certain I've been squeezing His joy out to others. While is it necessary to fill ourselves up, it is important to realize the purpose in that process is to be able to have love to squeeze out upon others. We are not to be like a sponge submerged in the bottom of a bucket. Let's allow the hand of God to lift us up and pour His love upon others through us today. Who do you know that needs a good soaking?

Jesus knew the importance of going off and being alone with his Father in order to be able to minister appropriately and to be alert for spiritual danger. He was able to pour out compassion and refreshment onto so many because of His power source....a spring of water welling up!

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Matthew 14:23

but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
John 4:14

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

Let's Pray: God, you are our God and we will ever praise You! Forgive us when we get stuck in "me mode" and gently move us back out into being active disciples taking the love of Christ into a weary world. Thrill our hearts with the hope of heaven and the remembrance of the life to come. While we are just passing through this place, let us not lose sight of the plans and purpose You have for us along the way.
As the rain drops down outside my window right now, may we be reminded we are to rain Your love upon others. In Jesus Name, Amen

Themes

August 13

Growing up, my parents had a group of friends called the Oompahs. These couples had the best parties and they often had themes. My sister and I enjoyed carrying on that tradition. Once she had a "yard" party. You could only wear a yard of fabric!
Often I would make costumes for all of our children related to their birthday party themes. We had an Indian party once and met on the property where we kept our ponies, so the boys could have pony rides. Before we got to that part, there was a walk in the woods and my husband was dressed magnificently as an Indian chief and was waiting in a tee pee in the woods.
It was a total flop, those little boys saw that big Indian chief and they all came running out of the woods crying!

Next week I am starting a series of ABC Luncheons. Praying first, I asked the Lord to give me the letter of which the names of the guest should begin. Next week it is a "K" luncheon. Meeting with two friends the other day, one whose name is actually Kaye, she said, "I will see you next week." She turned to the other friend and in a teasing tone said, "It is a "K" luncheon so you can't come. (Her name began with "D")" Quickly, I said, "Oh, I will have an A,B,C, D luncheon next." With her quick wit, Kaye replied, "My first name is Cynthia, so I will be at that one too!"

God has an everlasting theme and it is LOVE.

1 John 4:15-17
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

The Things You Do

August 12
Back in the 90's there was a movie called That Thing You Do. I don't know that I ever watched it in entirety, dead beat mom that I was by that time, but I remember our children watching it over and over again! It seems that one weekend here at the lake if ran continually and the room was filled with laughter. What The Sound of Music was to me, I think this flick was to our children. (Maybe not. :) Hmm, are Julie Andrews and Tom Hanks (I believe he was the star) comparable?
A cherished friend (one of those who keeps her ears open to God) called yesterday and had an amazing "word" for me. The timing was perfect as enemy was wanting to win the mind game with me and bring out a satchel full of sauerkraut(sadness) instead of allow me to open a jar full of jelly beans(joy). This woman has been up against huge obstacles herself, yet she was being obedient to share with me what she felt the Lord urging her to share. It was as if God himself had said, "Check this out."
(I will share the message, which is powerful in a minute.)
After being out of town for the day, I crawled into bed late to find two emails from the Lord (via a neighbor). Earlier in the week, two prayer requests that others had made on my behalf were answered within 5 minutes of these people praying them. Embarrassingly, I must admit I was amazed when this happened...like "How could God do that so quickly?" Lord, forgive me for those weak moments in my faith! Sharing these thoughts with my friend, we both agreed that as wonderful as it is to have the prayers answered the real perk is knowing how real God is and watching Him pour out his love upon us in ways that we recognize He ordained. God is the REAL DEAL!

Have our big obstacles disappeared? No, they have not, but God is still on his throne and these little faith builders help us to stay the course and realize there is always purpose in the things God does!

The message she wants me to listen to is titled Overcoming Discouragement by a speaker named Bill Johnson. It is about the battle of our minds and how when we allow disappointment to fill our hearts there isn't room for Christ to occupy our hearts. They reside in the same place in our hearts, so we need to kick discouragement our and make room for Daddy! That was my input, not Mr. Johnson's.)
The verse she referenced, which has led me into some great lessons with the Lord this morning, is Proverbs 13:12.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Man oh man, has hope been the word for me this past year. Admittedly, I think there have been times I have wavered and deferred hope and yes, it made my heart sick. What is on your longing list right now? As women, I think particularly mothers, we want to have disappointment keep its distance from our loved ones and we can slip into a manipulative mode or take just the opposite route and even suppress our dreams and desires and settle for less than God's best. (I think the later comes as we get older, young mothers fight and manipulate like mother tigers.) Neither of these actions satisfy. Satisfaction comes from trusting in the depth of God's love and believing He sees the future and knows what is best.

Let's Pray: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty! Thank You Father for your amazing grace and the ability to clean up our messes and mend our broken hearts. Awaken us to Your presence today and the realization that there is perfect purpose in the things You do! Give confidence to those of us who are waiting for You to answer our prayers. Help us to remember there is a plan and a big part of the plan is to draw us into deeper relationship with You in the midst of our longings. All glory and honor and praise to You for the things You have done and the things You will do. In Jesus' Name Amen

Topsy Turvy to Impeccable

August 11

Google Topsy Turvy and you will go right to the latest trend of upside down gardening. That is not what I was looking for though. My husband and I were walking and he was enlightening me on some of the world's news. A few minutes into this informative session he said, "I'm sorry, I guess there is no need to dwell on all this, the world is just turning upside down and the Bible speaks of this."
I of course, remembering the Diana Ross days broke into the song...Upside down ya turn me, inside out... Bringing me back to reality he spoke of the passage in 2 Timothy 3:1 which says "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days..." Trying to find the passage he had referenced this morning I put the words upside down into Biblegateway and came up with "nada". I called my man, who has an excellent command of scripture and he said, "Try the words "topsy turvy". "Ok, thanks a lot," I replied, "even though I thought he was off his rocker to think "topsy turvy" would be in the Bible. I just couldn't picture Paul and Timothy strutting around in their dusty sandals saying, "Whew brother, things have gotten down right topsy turvy."
To my surprise, going to The Message, there she stood..ole Miss Topsy Turvy way back in the day of the prophet, Ezekiel. I am thinking why would I share the upcoming passage with my readers. It is a downer. In my Women of Faith Bible there is a side note in 2 Timothy 3:1 worth sharing which coincides with the message in Ezekiel. I do this if only for the simple reason of stirring us to non-complacency and spurring us on to vote in November. Check your calendar, if you are going to be gone November 2nd look into an absentee ballot.
Terrible Times
"How long God will choose to do his work among the people and nations of the world, no one knows. The last days are a time of grace but will increasingly become a time of degeneration and disintegration of individuals, the physical environment, government and culture."
Ezekiel's take in 7:9-11 (The Message)
"I,God,the Master, say:'Disaster after disaster! Look, it comes!End time—the end comes.The end is ripe. Watch out, it's coming! This is your fate, you who live in this land. Time's up.It's zero hour.No dragging of feet now, no bargaining for more time. Soon now I'll pour my wrath on you, pay out my anger against you,
Render my verdict on the way you've lived, make you pay for your disgusting obscenities.I won't look the other way, I won't feel sorry for you. I'll make you pay for the way you've lived. Your disgusting obscenities will boomerang on you.
Then you'll realize that it is I, God, who have hit you...
Time's up. Countdown: five, four, three, two...Buyer, don't crow; seller, don't worry: Judgment wrath has turned the world topsy-turvy. The bottom has dropped out of buying and selling. It will never be the same again. But don't fantasize an upturn in the market. The country is bankrupt because of its sins, and it's not going to get any better.

Continuing on our walk I asked my husband, "So just when do you think God will say, "Ok, that's enough I am sending you back today son.'?" With his quick wit he replied, "I guess it will be like Forrest Gump when one day he just quit walking."
So what do we do with this message? We live like today is the day. We remember life is not about living for all the gusto we can get here on earth, but preparing for the eternal times ahead in heaven and we pray alongside the Lord that many more of His created ones will find the answer to the longing in their hearts and repent of their sins and ask Jesus to come in.
God has a plan and it is not the least bit topsy-turvy...it is impeccable.

It's So Simple...YW

July 10

Our daughter in law's father is making the ultimate sacrifice and running for US Congress this fall. Last week she asked a group of us to vote for him in a competition which would provide an opportunity to write on a conservative blog and gain some free advertising. One gentleman responded "Done" to my request. I wrote back "Thank you." A few minutes later I receive an email from him which simply says, "YW."
Now I realized for years I've been blond and now am gray, so I was a little slow on the uptake. Knowing this man loves the Lord, I emailed back..."Yahweh?" This totally confused him. In the meantime I googled "What does "YW" stand for?" The answer totally baffled me..."Young Women of the Church of Latter Day Saints."

The man graciously let me know "YW" simply means: Your Welcome!

What is there about the Gospel that we have tried to complicate?

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9

The Set Up

August 8-9

The Lord can push us where he wants us. Sitting on the dock I had come up with what I thought was a clever course for a writing on "SelfSINteredness". The plan, which may come to fruition someday, was to take the letters in "repent" and form an acrostic supported by scripture. Beginning with the letter "p", just where the concordance fell open, I instead was taken by coincidence to scripture after scripture related to "hope".

And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share.
2 Timothy 6:17-18

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

No sooner had I finished writing down the third verse than my cell phone rang and it was someone wanting to share an answer to a prayer for which we had prayed together over a year. God had set me up! I had hoped, but had I believed?
I turned the page in the ratty ole notebook I had with me on the dock and came across something I had written weeks ago after being challenged by a friend on what keeps God from answering our prayers.

"I spent some time digging into the prayer thing for you. Because of who God is I believe he hears not only our prayers, but our thoughts as well and he certainly knows our hearts."
Jesus said to the Pharisees: You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. Luke 16:15
David said to Solomon, Acknowledge the God of your Father and serve him with whole hearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 1 Ch. 28:9
He answered their prayers, because they trusted him. 1 Ch 5:20
If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will heal their land. 2 Ch. 7:14
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord accepts my prayer. Ps. 6:9

It was after this encounter that I stepped back and looked at some of my prayers and saw a theme of selfishness in them. Even the sacrificial ones for others were centered on the heart's desires of those individuals and lacked a fervency for bringing God glory. It is so easy to get caught up in the trappings of this present world and not have an eternal focus seeing Christ on his throne.

If He asks us, "Who did you tell about me?" how will we answer?

It's Free

August 7

Shopping online for wedding supplies I've been amazed by the fine print and extra costs or requirements for "deals". Earlier I was responding to an ad where you can get free mother daughter quotes. Clicking on the site you learn the only requirement is your cell phone number. I don't think so!
Earlier I was on what appeared to be a great discount fabric site. I was clicking away choosing some fabrics at $2.59 a yard. (All I needed was a yard of each.) A yellow box popped up to say I needed to order a minimum of 15 yards each! Not quite the deal for which I was searching. Another site touted "free shipping" in big bold letters...the fine print..."with a purchase of $150 dollars or more".

A relationship with Christ is free. Paul describes it in Ephesians as "the gift of God". Looking at the letters in "free" adjectives which are perks that come from hanging out with Jesus came to mind...
F-friendship and forgiveness
R-redemption and refuge
E-education and enlightenment
E-edification and encouragement

To learn more about how this companionship with the King can flourish go to your Bible...also available for free!

You can get the entire Bible for free on Biblegateway. Googling for other free Bible options I came across an article the author wanted to title..."How to get a free Bible without stealing it from a hotel room." If you contact the Gideons I feel certain they would give you a Bible or be happy to replace the one in the hotel room if you ask the front desk clerk. :)

Next time we come across a give away I hope we will reflect how much of Jesus we are giving away through the way we are living.

Stretch

August 6
The red sun blazed through my bedroom window beckoning me to awake and get on with the day. Rolling over onto my belly, my arms extended forward and my toes pointed right off the mattress in a long stretch and that is the word which came barrelling through my brain. "Oh, Lord, please don't tell me You are going to stretch my faith today, " I thought.
Wondering where He was leading me with this, no Bible verse came to mind with the word stretch. Flipping to the concordance in the NIV Bible by my bed there was no reference to stretch, but highlighted on the page of "st" words under "strength" was a fabulous path to head down. 2 Samuel 22 finds David not acting as shepherd, harpist, warrior or king, but as a poet expressing praise. I am going off to dig through all 51 verses, but for now will share what was highlighted....
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

Going to Biblegateway there were numerous references to "stretching out". A verse that will probably go down as my 2010 verse which comes to me again and again in a year so far which has been filled with waiting on the Lord popped up in the stretch search...

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:23

In a time when so many in our nation are aching, this is great advice on whence to keep our focus.
Father, turn our prayers to praise today for it us You who holds the future! In Jesus Name, Amen

Eyes, Ears, Nose and Tail

August 5

Moses, our bulldog, needed his rabies vaccination. $250 later, we left the vet's office with eye drops, ear wash, nose ointment, heart worm pills, Frontline and the bill for a shot of steroids (like he isn't buff enough). Now each morning I am singing..eyes and ears and nose and tail (he requires a special bootie wipe after his bathroom breaks) to help my aging mind remember how to address all his needs.
This led me to a wonderful verse for us today:

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him,
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Father, with You all things are possible, so we ask for help surrending our ways to Your ways. Thank You for sending your Spirit to guide us. Slow the pace of every day life, turn our hearts towards You and reveal things to us today through Your Spirit that give us an eternal perspective and an urgency to point others to You each day. When others see us, may they see Jesus, hear words straight fr0m the Spirit's mouth, smell the sweet aroma of Christ and follow our tails in a decision to live and love Jesus as Lord and Savior. :) In Jesus' Name, Amen

Who ya gonna call?

August 4

When gloom and doom try to wiggle their way into your life, like our bulldog Moses wiggles his way onto a couch between two people, who ya gonna call to rescue you? Not ghost busters, but a the Holy Ghost who can blow gloom right out of your brain.

Many of you know I'd been praying for a clear cancer scan for my girlfriend, but that was not the result yesterday. I struggled to regain my footing as disappointment caused my faith to be a bit unsteady. My heart was spinning with quotes like..."What's the deal God? We've prayed with gusto and believed big."
This poem was placed before me in Streams in the Desert before my head hit the pillow last night. Based on Be men of courage, be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13
Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it. It's God's gift. Be strong!

Say not the days are evil-Who's to blame?
Or fold your hands, as in defeat-O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely, In God's name, Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.

By Maltbie D. Babcock

Psalms Now #112
"What about those people who trust in God
and are committed to His will and purposes?

They are people who are rich indeed. Even amid the circumstances of poverty,
the wealth and blessings of god are within their reach.
They are people with purpose and meaning in their lives.
Even amid the disorder and void of this temporal existence, they are aware
of God's concern and love for them.
They are people who walk unafraid. The threats of violence or prophecies of doom do not detract from their validity nor alter their course.
They are people who relate to those around them. They identify with others
in their sorrows and complaints and share with them their lives and gifts.
They are people who are truly happy and through whom God works
His purposes in this world today."

Oh, Lord, make us a people like those described in Psalm 112. May You be a proud parent who looks down and says..."That is my child with whom I am well pleased." In Jesus' name we come again asking. Amen

Hope and Courage

August 3
The list is long of people for whom I am waiting to hear medical results.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss had on her site a link to a video done by a young woman named Rachel Barkey. www.deathisnotdying.com
It is not for the faint in faith or actually maybe that is part of its purpose.
Rachel challenges us with four principles which are key to life:
Know God, know yourself, know the Gospel and know your purpose.
Asking my husband what he felt his purpose was we chuckled at his response...
"To keep you happy!"
Whew, that is too tall an order for any man to keep a woman happy.
That is why God sent Jesus!

One of my friends was sharing she hoped for good results today from a scan.
I looked up the definition of hope.
Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation.
(Don't you love that?)
My friend's six year battle has been so courageous and spurred more people on to proper priorities than she will ever know.
Looking up courage, the dictionary should have had many of your names as examples: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
So my dear friends it is with hope and positive expectancy I entrust each of you to God's care today knowing you will choose to be courageous as you face today!
Love, Boo

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24

Power Up

July 31-August 2
My role in our Sunday services is to share how God showed up the week before. Being in a bit of the doldrums due to disappointment I told the Lord I really wasn't quite sure I'd seen Him last week. Going to brush my teeth before church I decided it was time to change the head on my electric toothbrush. When I inserted the new one I was shocked by the difference in the power. For the past month I had been pretty much brushing in my own power not the toothbrush's, but I had grown accustom to the lack of power and hadn't really noticed what I was missing.
Isn't that a perfect picture of life without the Spirit? We start trying to survive in our own power, forgetting who God is and what is available to us and live life in a less vibrant place than God intends for us to.
He showed up and He will do it time and time again if we seek Him.

1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.