A Home


March 31-April1
Three of our children have bought their first homes this year and two others have done major remodeling. A house requires maintenance and attention. A home requires open hearts and loads of love.
I cannot recall any place in the Bible where Jesus' house is referenced. He went to Matthew's house, to Peter's Levi's, a Pharisee's, Simon's, Zaccheus', and was taken to the home of the high priest. Mark 2:1 tells us he called Capernaum home, but not necessarily that he had a house. My research the past two days has brought me to the place of one of my favorite quotes:
"It is not of eternal value."
What is of eternal value is where we will spend eternity and the intriguing expectation that Jesus, being quite the carpenter by trade, has said he is preparing our next abode!

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

Observant

March 30
My husband is so observant. Coming home from work the other day he inquired why there was mud on the tires of my car. "Ugh, you caught me! I went off roading with a bunch of cute college guys, " I replied. That probably would have been better than the truth which was that we had parked our cars in the yard under large trees to protect them from a hail storm and when I backed out the ground was so wet, the tires spun and tore up the yard! He also notices every license plate and everything around us when driving. While, I am on the other hand am either praying, singing along to praise songs or checking out the clouds to see if Jesus might be coming back at any moment!
As my friend Kaye use to say, "We so good 4 each otha!"

The Bible describes to us a very observant heavenly Father.
The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.
Psalm 11:4


I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.
Jeremiah 17:10

It also references what we are to observe.
Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
Deuteronomy 8:6

Father, open the eyes of our hearts today, so that we may be found faithful to walk in obedience to You and your ways. In Jesus Name, Amen.


Rejection

REJECTED
X
March 29
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:9-10

Want to experience rejection with raw (often raunchy) emotion then watch the TV reality show called "The Bachelor." (The Bachelorette isn't quite as emotional.) It begins with 30 women and each week the main character, who is looking for a wife" rejects a woman and sends her packing.

This month of March Madness Kroger has an online basketball game. When you miss it says: "Sorry, you are not a winner."

The college rejection letter comes this time of year: "We only had 4,000 spots and we are sorry to inform you there were 4,000 people we see as better than you."

Putting ourselves out in the world we risk rejection every day. When we choose Jesus, he never rejects us. When we seek him as a Savior for our sins, admitting our need, we are never turned away.

Max Lucado writes: "Confession is a necessary part of our love relationship with God through Christ. We can't pretend with him to be someone we are not. He knows us through and through. Better yet, he loves us through and through. The act of confessing our sins to him ought to bring us closer to him-knowing we are deeply loved by the only One who can help us with our weaknesses."

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Pray or Pay

March 28
A message was left on our answering machine, saying a company never received payment for some materials used in our bathroom renovation. Checking our credit card bill, I called this individual back and confirmed the payment had been made by us to the supplier who contracted this company. The woman said they were denying that we had paid them. She explained it was not our fault, as her contract was with the other company not us.
I said, "Could we pray about this?"
The reply, "Say what?"
Again, "Could we pray about this? I love the Lord and know he is able to work all things out. The gentleman who owes you the money, loves the Lord too and is a great individual."
"Why certainly," she answered. "You have made my day. I am going to call him right now."

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18


Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. Hebrews 13:18

Get Your Story Straight




March 27
The rains poured down this past weekend and my husband came into the kitchen and sang, "Pick 'em up a paw paw put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day." Inquisitively, I replied, "What is a paw paw?" He shrugged his shoulders and walked on.

The investigation began as I learned that a paw paw is actually a fruit, grown on a tree and is native to the very area in which I live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWr_Uj31L90

Accidentally, wanting to save the reference "What is a Paw Paw?" the question published on the blog and one of my favorite readers, who is a precious mentor and encourager, replied that a paw paw was a piece of cotton that would be picked up and placed in an apron. She said as a child she sang the song, "Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw patch."

That lead me to look up the lyrics and no where in the song is the refrain, "Save it for a rainy day." Calling to my husband, I felt it important to clear up this fact. "Look up Perry Como," he insisted and there we found..."Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket." We began to laugh heartily over our weekend inquiry!

When people approach us inquiring about Jesus, with questions like..."How do I get Jesus in my heart?" We need to have our story straight and not keep it as mystery like the process of putting one of those sailing ships in a bottle? We need to know who He is?

Here is Googled video which is fairly viewer friendly.

Campus Crusade's site has a wealth of information as well.

If someone asked you today..."Who is this Jesus you love so much?" do you have your story straight?

Fair Weather Fan



March 26
Maybe it is mid-life that makes me pensive or maybe the monotony of loads of laundry and a stack of ironing. My husband was the recipient of a four year football scholarship at a major university and carries an appreciation for that opportunity and love for his Alma mater deep in his heart. Although, we turned in our tickets years ago, because attend our own children were participating in sporting events we wanted to attend, he remains a sportive fan. I on the other hand have wavered with age and become a "fair weather fan". When the clock is ticking down and the score isn't padded with a positive advantage, I walk out on the viewing escapade exclaiming I don't need that kind of stress in my life.
Yesterday, I passed up the last end of a basketball game and took to bed changing. While shaking out sheets and fluffing pillows I thought..."Am I a fair weather follower of Christ?" When the going gets rough, the cruel comments are flung, the Lord's name is taken in vain...do I stay supportive and cheer on my Lord or slip away from the controversy?


So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech
.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

Last Words

March 24-25
Reading on Day 244 in Solo, The Message God's word came alive and had me fired up all day.
Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure and they had questions. Jesus said, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business."
Over and over, I've repeated that comment to myself....stop trying to figure things out...timing is the Father's business.
He continued, "What you get is the Holy Spirit....you will then be my witnesses....to the ends of the earth. These were his LAST WORDS." From Acts 1:1-11

Of all the things we could be in life...witnesses for Christ should be our top goal.

Now the "Last Word" phrase is one I will be playing out for quite some time (unless He calls me home today). I'm sure I've shared with you about my friend who was singing in the church choir when her Daddy, the minister, died in the pulpit. She ran to his side and he said to those kneeling around him, "Go quickly and tell, I see Jesus." Those are pretty powerful last words. Having had several near misses while automobile traveling, I've thought about if I were in an accident and someone came to the car, what would be the last things I would say. Up to now, my thought has been..."Tell my husband and children I will love them always." While very true, that is so earthly centered. "Tell others Jesus loves them and has prepared a home for them," might pack the more powerful punch. "Hallelujah, He's so for real!"

Laying Low

From Wikipedia-Good Samaritan Stained Glass Window

March 23
Walking up our driveway (1/2 mile through the woods) to place some letters in the mail, I was startled as I came upon a doe sleeping in tall grasses right by the drive. She jumped and fortunately ran deep into the woods instead of pouncing on me! Taking a few deep breaths my heart rate slowed back to normal, before I began the steepest part of the ascent. Reaching the top, and a straight away, I saw what appeared to be a dead possum in the road. Oh, yuck, I thought. Fortunately, it was to one side and I could try to discipline myself and not look at this deceased creature. Passing by, I sensed motion in its body as it slowly raised it head. Picking up my pace I scurried past hoping it was not a rabid critter about to bite me. Making it past several yards, I glanced back and realized the animal was a cat, which had not moved. Was it injured I wondered. What should I do? Placing my letters in the mailbox, I opted to walk down the road a bit and buy myself some time.
God brought to mind the man by the pool at Bethesda in John Chapter 5 who had no one to put him in the healing waters. He had laid there for 38 years! I knew at that point I would have to do something to help the cat, but also realized the Lord was working on my heart at a much deeper level. Would I be like the Good Samaritan if I passed by a person stranded on the road today? This weekend we are housing a large group of teenagers, who are attending a youth event here on the lake. I willingly opened my home...was it because a Christian asked me? Had it been an event put on my another religion would I have been as willing to offer hospitality? Ugh? Time for some soul searching around these parts!
Oh, the cat must have just been sunbathing in the warm road. By the time I returned, it was gone! Getting help for the cat would have been simple compared to the test God probably has ahead. :)

No Turning Back

March 22
Oh, Lord, what is on the agenda?" I asked myself when I awaken with the song lyrics
"No, turning back" on my heart.
Ransacking my brain I tried to think of situations I have been in where there was no turning back...
Getting off a ski lift in Colorado and starting down a mountain on skis.
Sitting on a plane and feeling the force that pushes you back during take off.
Contractions squeezing across my abdomen, alerting me to the onset of labor!
Publicly proclaiming my love and commitment to Christ through baptism.

Investigating the hymn on my heart, I was blown away to find it was written by either Ramke W. Momin or Obed W. Momin, who are believed to be the first converts to Christianity from the Garo tribe in India. Whew, that adds some impact to the lyrics and the realization that for them, there was no turning back after deciding to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus; No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow; Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow; No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me; The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me; No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow; Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow; No turning back, no turning back.

My cross I’ll carry, Till I see Jesus; My cross I’ll carry Till I see Jesus, :
My cross I’ll carry Till I see Jesus, No turning back, No turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus? Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus? No turning back, no turning back.

In The Twinkling of An Eye

March 21
A talented balloonist took 5 skydivers up south of Atlanta. In moments a storm rushed in and quickly the balloon operator instructed the parachuters to jump. While he saved their lives, he was whisked up into the storm and killed.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/missing-balloonist-died-saving-sky-divers/story?id=15954595

Enjoying a hot, hot afternoon with temperatures well into the 80's I sat on our screened porch and enjoyed the many boaters on the water. The sun shown brightly onto our porch as I sipped a glass of ice water to keep cool. Most of the boats came in and out quickly, but one moved at a much slower pace and was unusual in shape. It was a two seater, pedal driven, pontoon with a canape top. The ladies maneuvering this vessel were having a grand time. The skies were bright and sunny with fluffy white clouds in the direction they were headed, but I thought I heard a rumble of thunder. Minutes later, the winds whipped up, white caps appeared and lightening struck across the sky. Motorized boats could be seen scrambling for cover, but the pedal boat was out of my sight. All I knew to do was to pray they had been wise enough to take cover back in the cove.

Life is full of uncertainties. If we wait until the eleventh hour to ask Jesus into our hearts, we might be whisked away at 10.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Omni-Personal

March 20
Solo, The Message is a year long devotional that is taking me two years to complete. Day 241 thrilled my heart with the confirmation of how personable our God is. Tears had dripped down my cheeks earlier in the day, as I longed for a conversation with my girl friend who has gone ahead of me to heaven. A smile crossed my face as I read Jesus' words: "If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you. I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend(WOW) so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world cannot take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you." John 14:15-17
The writer goes on to suggest an awesome prayer:
"Make everything plain to me and remind me of all things that Jesus told the disciples and me."

If God is:
Omnipotent
Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Revelation 19:6
Omnipresent
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7–10).
Omniscient
God sees all things, and nothing can be hidden from His knowledge—not even the secret intentions of the heart. Psalm 44:21

Then God is Omni-personal!

Jubilation

Papa was more than willing to share his birthday cake with his son and grandson.
Our little lady bug is all clean after her bath and ready for bed.

This young man stripped down and ran and jumped in the lake!
Never mind that it is still March!
He swam again Sunday morning and then said, "Mama Boo, I am cold. Let's go inside and get warm by the fire." I said, "Would you like some hot chocolate?" He enthusiastically replied,
"ABSOLUTELY!"
March 19
The weekend was quiet. My husband and I prepared to pack it in for a couple days of March Madness (that's basketball, not a wild time at Shiloh), as we celebrated his birthday. The phone had rung earlier with our son asking if we would be available in the afternoon to Skype. Agreeing upon a time, we waited for the call...instead he and his two children appeared on our patio, having driven all the way from VA Beach. I screamed in total disbelief and was filled with joy at the sight of them.

Immediately, I thought...is that how I will react when I see Jesus? Total jubilation!

And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:3

The Contentment Copout

March 17-18

When we study God's Word we need to taste it all, not just the parts we like. Walking in the neighborhood with spring bursting forth all around, I reflected on yesterday's entry on contentment. Paul's passage on contentment in Philippians chapter 4 came to mind:

I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess....Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

Then I asked the Lord to search my heart in regard to contentment.
Interestingly, He took me to areas in which I should never be content.
First, with how deeply I know him...I should always thirst for Him. Psalm 42:2
Secondly, how willing I am to serve Him. John 12:26
If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you'll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment's notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

Right at my feet in the road was a blue spray painted arrow pointing towards a house. I chuckled and wondered if I was to follow that arrow and go knock on that house and simply say, "Jesus loves you."

Contentment cop outs could cause the sloth to say, "I am content with the weeds in my yard, the paint peeling off my house, the extra weight around my belly and wearing dirty clothes everyday." Not caring for what God has given us reflects neither our appreciation for those gifts, nor a heart attitude of working as undo the Lord.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
Remembering 1 Timothy 6:6, But godliness with contentment is great gain, we can seek His will concerning every aspect of our lives, readying ourselves for His reveal....ask Him to help with the clean up of the areas which don't bring Him glory....

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart). Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. Proverbs 16:2-3

Each day provides the grace for a new way to be content in the process of walking with Jesus.



Contentment

March 16
Traveling the past two weeks, I've driven through the grandeur of neighborhoods such as Nashville's Belle Meade, Atlanta's Buckhead and the Swan House, and then drooled over the lavish yachts and beach homes of West Palm Beach, Florida. The busyness of visiting family was a good distraction to the grief that lingers deep down in my heart.
Meandering back into the country side of Moneta, my husband thought it quite timely that my Bible study for that day was titled: Freedom from Want- The Burden of Discontent

Lucado says: "Discontentment is a kind of prison."

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

"We don't "want" for any thing because nothing compares with knowing and loving him-and we trust him to meet our needs."

I thirst for the living God. When can I go meet with him? Psalm 42:2

My girlfriend was the true picture of contentment. Her thoughts were always focused on others, not self. She had no desire for earthly treasures. The cry of her heart was to know Christ more. She is with Him now.

Good Grief


March 15-16
The pace I've been packing the past few weeks slowed for the first time, when I flew above the clouds, a couple days ago. Looking out into the heavens the tears flooded my face as I longed for my friend who has left this earth. (The flight attendants must have thought my husband had just said something extremely hurtful to me the way I sobbed.)
Driving back into the Roanoke Valley, I headed to my friend's home where her mother was dog sitting for a couple days. I knew it was going to be hard to enter that home.

I'd spent a long time in Bible study during the morning and Max Lucado had supplied me with many needed truths.
"God's goal is not to make you happy, his goal is to make you his. His goal is not to get you what you want, it is to get you what you need."
"Worrying over our own troubles, interferes with our ability to help others with theirs."

"Jesus reminds us although we must care for each other's burdens, the only way we can experience true freedom is to let him shoulder the full weight of our problems."

Each day this week 1 Peter 5:7 has popped up in my presence through various ways. Today's translation said: Unload all your worries onto him, since he is looking after you.

We have a God who is so very, very personal. He knows our hearts and he knows our hurts.
He longs to heal us with his love, if we will only come to him.

Tempted by Desire

March 14
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Cor. 10:13

We are to chew on the Word of God, as a cow chews on its cud. The Message puts it this way:
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you've done it.
I relish everything you've told me of life, I won't forget a word of it.
Psalm 119:16

Yesterday, I read a morsel (quote) by Adrian Rogers and I have been chewing it over and over.
"A temptation is an inducement by the devil to satisfy a legitimate desire in an illegitimate way."

He goes on to call the devil a pervert and explains he has "no raw material". All the devil is able to do is take what God has created and pervert it. What we have to do is find a legitimate, Biblically based way to satisfy those desires.

Hillsong has a great song about desiring to serve the Lord.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

Hunger

March 12-13
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Mt.5:6

The cheesecake factory is a favorite restaurant of ours. Fortunately, for our waist lines, there is not one anywhere near home. The servings are enormous and then we have to get the cheesecake, which comes covered in FRESH whipped cream. We do not hunger for anything when we leave there. My husband's saying is "We've been to the A.T.M. (ate too much)".

The Matthew verse above reminds us what we should hunger and thirst for at all times...righteousness. And the only way to get righteousness is to get Jesus.

Max Lucado has a great quote..."Spiritual hunger leads us to hear our hearts rumble with emptiness and realize anew how much we miss Him (the Lord)."

May we take time to sit at the table and be fed, by the one that never leaves us empty.

Spring Cleaning

March 10-11
It's about that time! Daffodils are dancing and the red buds are bursting out color. The tulips and forsythia will not be far behind announcing spring is here, so clean out winter's debris and put away your woolens. A friend was telling me about the cleanse she was doing for her body and how she lost 7 pounds the first week in hopes to shed winter's fluff on her body and get ready to show a little skin in her summer duds.

Tossing and turning one night the Lord's suggestion for me was a spiritual cleansing. You know...Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I started at the beginning of the alphabet and asked the Lord to begin the search of my heart:

Lord, don't let the sun go down on my anger, if there is any & help me to lay all anxiety down.
If bitterness has crept into my heart vacuum it out quickly for it breeds such destruction.
Am I coveting anything? You are all I should want.
Doubt & deceit keep my faith from blooming, so they can just head out the door today and if my mind is drifting towards drunkenness as a solution to my woes please don't let a drop of alcohol touch my lips.
Envy & evil are not becoming, so please pack them away and replace them with an eagerness for Your Word.
False gods take up so much room....if they are in my home, let's toss them in the trash.
Gossip just plain stinks and brings You no glory and does little to build up the Body.
Hatred hinders happiness and causes hurt to grow and make a mess, so let's trash it.
Idols take up way too much room and insults leave a stain that is difficult to remove.
Jealousy places a film over the window of our heart and hinders us from seeing the best in others, so wipe her away.
If the desire to kill has crept in, be my exterminator and quickly remove the thought.
Lust & Lying are much worse than lint and a little can spread like wildfire...extinguish them!
Manipulation is a nasty master and not a quality to behold.
Negativism goes against Your command to be joyful always, so sweep her right out the door.
Offense ways & orgies must go out the door.
Pride is a giant cobweb which entangles us and comes before a fall.
Quarrels put a stench in the air.
Resentment, like smudges on a window can keep us from seeing the clear picture.
Selfish ambition, self-sufficiency & sexual immorality can certainly clog up what the Lord desires to do with us.
Temptation is a trap set to bring us down...avoid him.
Unforgiveness needs to be flushed away for if we cannot forgive others, we should not expect forgiveness.
Vengance does not belong to us...return it to its rightful owner.
Worry makes us weary, please wash her away.
Xamine our hearts Lord and lead us on Your path to a Zealous life which is pleasing in Your sight.
While the clean out process can be less than enjoyable it brings about brilliant results.

Certainty

March 9
If you listed the top ten areas of uncertainty in your life right now, what would they be...the weather, where your next job will be, the day you will go into labor, which college is going to accept you, when your house will finally sell, whether your flight will be on time.....?
A friend emailed this Billy Graham story...not sure if it is true, but it is a good one on of what you can be certain.

GRAHAM'S SUIT

Billy Graham is now 91-years-old with Parkinson's disease.
In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte , North Carolina ,
invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in
his honor.

Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he
struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte
leaders said, 'We don't expect a major address. Just
come and let us honor you.' So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham
stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said,
"I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this
month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.
Einstein was once traveling from
Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the
aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he
came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He
couldn't find his ticket, so
he reached in his trouser pockets.
It wasn't there.
He looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it.
Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.

"The conductor said, 'Dr. Einstein, I know who you are..
We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket.
Don't worry about it.'

"Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued
down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to
move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great
physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his
seat for his ticket.

"The conductor rushed back and said, 'Dr. Einstein,
Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are; no problem.
You don't need a ticket. I'm sure you bought one.'
Einstein looked at him and said, 'Young man, I too, know who I am.
What I don't know is where I'm going.''
Having said that Billy Graham continued,
"See the suit I'm wearing? It's a brand new suit. My children, and my
grandchildren are telling me I've gotten a little slovenly in my old
age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new
suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that
occasion is? This is the suit in which I'll be buried. But when you
hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the suit I'm
wearing. I want you to remember this:
I not only know who I am. I also know where I'm going."

Elevators & Indifference


March 8
Is there some written rule of etiquette that upon entering an elevator you are not to speak, smile, touch, or make eye contact with anyone else? Years ago I noticed this and have made a conscious effort ever since to break such rule if it exists.

I totally believe it is a tactic of the devil to get us to disconnect from one another. If he can get us to limit our sharing, caring and commitment to one another there is less opportunity for others to feel the love of Christ.

The epidemic infiltrates our homes and family lives as well. A young mother told me they were out to dinner and in the same restaurant was a family of four and each individual was focused on an electronic device. (Phone, ipod, ipad) She was shocked.

What does your dinner table look like? Are televisions, phones, computers, or even homework adorning the table and distracting verbal communication from taking place? The pace and regulations of our school/job may keep us from these enticing gadgets, geared to fill our every desire, but it's sad that longing has us running for them when we arrive home instead of soaking in sweet fellowship with the ones we love most.
Jesus walked with people, talked to people, reached out and touched people, as well as serving, caring for and listening to them. He is to be our example.

"The only escape from indifference is to think of people as our most cherished resource. We need to work hard at reestablishing family fun, meaningful meal times, people involvement and evenings without TV times when we genuinely get involved with folks in need-not just pray for them." Charles Swindoll

When you see people today, look through the lens of Jesus and consider why they may be in your path. Consider that you may be the only one to offer them a friendly hello and smile that can help them make it through a rough day. And be sure to shake up the elevator crowd next time you are on one!

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Here is a Biblical tip for meal time from The Message.

So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love. Romans 14:19

Where He Leads



March 7
The humanness in me wants to move on to happy topics, but my spirit knows I am still grieving and where God has me in my Bible study is no coincidence. I feel I need to be honest with what He is leading me to share. So often you share that what I write is exactly where you are and you appreciate my honesty, so I will be vulnerable and honest.
Back in January I picked up a Bible study workbook I found in a drawer in our living room. The copyright date is 2003 and it has probably been in my drawer for nine years. I have not been disciplined to do the work daily...true confession - when I picked it back up yesterday I was only on Lesson Two, Day Four.
Two weeks ago when my girlfriend was nearing the end of her earthly life, the only lesson I completed was titled "Doubtstorms."
Quotes by Max Lucado like....
"It is hard to see God through our pain."
"Most of us know what it means to feel disappointed by God."
"We may feel like God has forgotten us at times." .....hit my heart right where it was.

Today, I tried to get back on the saddle and commit to digging into this study. I did two lessons.
Day Four-"Fear that Becomes Faith"
"Experiencing Jesus' peace often comes at a great price to our idea of security-what we can control. We have to let go of what we know and step out in faith.
Moses did not raise his staff on the bank of the Red Sea because it was the logical thing to do. He merely did as God commanded.
David did not face Goliath on the battlefield because he had studied his opponent's fighting style and had uncovered a weakness. He trusted God.
Paul did not decide to abandon the Law and embrace grace because it was common sense. He met Christ, and it changed him forever.
The individuals in these stories were never stronger than the moment they let go of their own security in order to experience what only God could provide. Ultimate victory. Lasting peace."
Biographies of bold disciples begin with chapters of honest terror.
Fear of death. Fear of failure. Fear of loneliness. Fear of a wasted life. Fear of failing to know God. Faith that begins with fear will end up nearer the Father." Lucado

The photo above is of a stacked stone fireplace. It was laid on a very firm foundation and then built upon. On top is a rugged wooden mantle. Our faith builds (stacks up) throughout our lives when we look up to the old rugged cross and Christ who was crucified upon it.
Whatever our fears...even if we walk through the valley of death, we need not be afraid, for God is with us and his rod and staff will comfort us. (Psalm 23:4)

Lesson Five is called "The Journey's End" and was based on 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Lucado says, "Compared to eternity, this life is fleeting." Amen
Wait for the Lord's help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord's help. Ps. 27:14
(That is how my girlfriend lived.)

The Lord wants to show his mercy to you. He wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord is a fair God, and everyone who waits for his help will be happy. Isaiah 30:18

For those of us still walking here on earth and missing those who have gone before us, these words symbolize God's hand reaching out to us. Where He leads us, it is safe to follow.

Leashed & Suffering

March 6
One of our grandsons stayed with us last week (God knew I needed a cuddly comforter). Now that he can crawl, he is on the move and has a heart for exploration. We had to watch him like a hawk. While preparing his breakfast one morning, I turned around to find that my husband had attached the dog leash to the back of his pjs. Pretty funny....hmmm, doesn't look like our little fellow is laughing.
Why didn't God just put each of us on a leash, so he could give us a tug when we neared danger(sin)?

Why when there was a man like Job, who lived like he was totally connected to God and was able to say...
“But he knows where I am and what I've done. He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I'll pass the test with honors. I've followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I've obeyed every word he's spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I've treasured it.” Job 23:10-11 MSG ...why did Job still suffer?

We look at suffering as if God is ignoring the sufferer or punishing them. What we need to do
is look to the cross and remember who suffered for us and who we are to be like.

But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
Job 36:15

Our suffering brings us closer to the Lord. While at times suffering may seem like a jerk on the leash to head us back in the right direction, there are times when it occurs in lives such as Job who haven't wandered away in the least. God is never caught off guard. Call to Him in your suffering and he will keep you close.

Shout Hallelujah

March 5
This is such a God thing! The other day I was outside on our screened porch digging deeply in the Word. Towards the end of an amazing time with the Lord, He said, "Shout hallelujah."
Well, one of our sons was home and I knew his bedroom door was open right below me, also there was a fisherman in a boat and construction workers across the cove and sound does travel over water, so I was feeling rather timid. My compromise was to quietly say, "Hallelujah." I think God cleared his throat and said, "My command was shout." So I raised the volume of my voice slightly and said, "Hallelujah." I still was wandering in disobedience. By this time my husband had arrived home from work and was getting out of his car. I gave the quickest shout of "hallelujah" I could muster up and ran in the house. So wherever you are, stop and think about how much God loves you.
The next day I received this email from God-tube. Check out the chickies shouting hallelujah!
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KZLLZWNX&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=03/02/2012
Think about the lengths He has gone to in providing a way for us to access heaven and SHOUT..."Hallelujah."

Let's Get Together

Sorry, not sure why this didn't publish over the weekend.
March 3-4
God does make me smile. I was evading Bible study and breaking a firm rule of mine to never go to Facebook or Pinterest until after my time with the Lord. He placed on my mind this song from Parent Trap and lured me back to Him and my senses!

Let's get together, yeah yeah yeah.Why don't you and I combine?
Let's get together, what do you say?We can have a swinging time.
We'd be a crazy team.Why don't we make a scene? Together.

If we want to hear from the Lord, we must to go to him and position ourselves in a way we can receive him. I think that starts with being still and knowing He is God and confessing we are not like Him and in need of forgiveness. We open up opportunities for him to speak by going to His Word.
Since today's date is the 3rd. Nibble on Psalm 3. A friend called the other day and said this Psalm has been carrying she and her husband through some tough times. She knew my heart and head had been down the past week and said, "Check it out. It says God is the lifter of our heads!" Praise God for friends who take us to Him!
Psalm 3
Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him.
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

Blown It

March 2
Cock-a-doodle-doo, Peter blew it and he knew it. When it came to his relationship with Jesus, Peter had walked with him, he had talked with him; he'd been with him through calm seas and rough rugged waters. Peter had seen the miracles first hand and felt the love, yet when the going got tough, Peter's love commitment wavered and he had short term memory loss and was ready to take a hike.
Reflect on what happened in Mark 14:66-72
While all this was going on, Peter was down in the courtyard. One of the Chief Priest's servant girls came in and, seeing Peter warming himself there, looked hard at him and said, "You were with the Nazarene, Jesus."
He denied it: "I don't know what you're talking about." He went out on the porch. A rooster crowed. The girl spotted him and began telling the people standing around, "He's one of them." He denied it again. After a little while, the bystanders brought it up again. "You've got to be one of them. You've got 'Galilean' written all over you."

Now Peter got really nervous and swore, "I never laid eyes on this man you're talking about." Just then the rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered how Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows twice, you'll deny me three times." He collapsed in tears.

Anyone who has been quick to say, "How could Peter deny knowing Christ?" need only take a look into the mirror of their past and ask to be shown ways we have hurt the ones we love and the finger of judgement will drop. I'd love the chance to rewind 35 years and take every hurtful word, action or unkind look I've tossed my husband's and children's way back.

Jesus knew Peter was going to blow it, yet he didn't love him any less. Likewise, Christ is fully aware of our weaknesses and sins. He knows we've blown it many a time and still have some blowing to do in the future, but He remains steadfast in his love commitment to us.

Still Speaking

March 1
My plan was to start fresh this month with something simple or even take a break from writing, thinking that might help the grief I am experiencing over the loss of my friend. I've found such comfort in this journey of life in trusting the Spirit to lead, when I stay in the Word and today what I've been given is the perfect follow up to the dynamic worship experience at her memorial service yesterday.
The service began with the handsome young son of her cousin strumming his guitar and singing "I Can Only Imagine." Not only was his voice melodic, his countenance and composure came straight from God. When he sang the refrain...
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I wanted to shout out...she sang "hallelujah"!

It ended with another joy filled cousin, who always made my friend laugh, singing a cappella, Chris Tomlin's arrangement of Amazing Grace and inviting the congregation to sing along!

My friend's oldest daughter, who is in the hospital, awaiting the birth of her first child was with the congregation via Skype. It was a precious solution to a heart wrenching situation.
We are prone to wander, especially when we are hurting (like a wounded animal retreating to the woods), but if we head to the lap of the Father instead and seek comfort and counsel from His Word, it will provide just what we need. I praise God this morning for the divine wisdom I found on Bible Gateway. Just what the doctor of the grieving would order for comfort on the day after a service such as I experienced.
My friend's life still has an amazing voice from heaven, because of the way she lived here on earth. The legacy of how she lived will continue to resound to the next generation!

You're all I want in heaven! You're all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they'll never be heard from again. But I'm in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is! I've made Lord God my home. God, I'm telling the world what you do!

The same verse, but in the NIV

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
Psalm 73:25-26

God will provide what we need...we just got to go to Him!

"We so good 4 each otha. Memba that!" Kaye Henderson