Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Love

Well, today it has been one full year since my daughter passed away. I am thankful to God that he gave us ten months to spend quality time together. I have no regrets where she is concerned and I have total peace and confidence that she is in a better place.

But there is another area of my life where I do have regrets and it concerns my father. When he was still alive I had several opportunities to have a relationship with him but sadly I chose not to . He was a kind man and he loved the Lord. I was told at his funeral that my dad didn’t know a stranger and that he was a good friend.

I guess my point in writing this on Thanksgiving Day is that many families have a hard time during the holidays and they get angry with one another over little things. If you are having a misunderstanding with a loved one this holiday season learn from my mistake and don’t let regret become part of your life.

Ask yourself, if this person that I am upset with were to die today, would I have regrets where they are concerned? Life is short and I have learned that in a moment the ones we love can be taken away. I have made it a part of my life to live every day with everyone as if it were the last time I was ever going to see them.

Colossians 3:12-15 sums up my thoughts today in a very beautiful way.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

And be thankful.”

Father, I pray for families all over this nation and world today. Mend broken hearts and bring restoration in relationships. I am truly thankful for all my family and I love them very much…bless every gathering this day, comfort and encourage every heart. AMEN.

Much love and thanks again to all of you who stuck with me last year during these last painful days of Danni’s precious life…you will never know how your kindness has forever touched and changed my life. I love you, my friends and family very much.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dishpan Greatness

Moms, do you ever feel unappreciated by your family? Ever feel like the maid instead of an honored family member? Last night I was feeling this way and in my anger I even said my kids were spoiled rotten!

We were doing some work to the kitchen and so my sink and dishwasher were out of commission. I was reluctantly reacquainted with washing dishes by hand…

I know I sound like a whiner but that is really hard work especially when you have to keep filling two bowls full of water from the bathroom sink! Ok, I’m done whining. I did, however, gain a new appreciation for my dishwasher.

As I began to labor on the many dishes that had piled up with 6 people eating and drinking nonstop for three days, my children scattered to various areas of the house so they could avoid having to help. Injustice is a hard thing for me to deal with, especially where I am concerned, but as I labored the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance Matthew 20:26-28.

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here is where the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was spoiled rotten as well…I am blessed and I don’t have to do my dishes like this every day, but what if I had to? Also, I don’t deserve any of the things God has done for me and he has cleaned up plenty of my messes!

“Why do I always have to be the one?” is the question that soared through my heart as the enemy used my hidden pride against me causing me to lose my peace and get upset, but the Spirit of God was faithful to help me.

The Spirit spoke to my heart about who is the greatest and that if I want to be as great as I think I am I must be a servant and a slave to others. I said, “I think I am great,” in the previous line because I realized that it was my pride that was pinched in doing the dishes alone; not that I am great but pride will tell you that you are too good for certain tasks.

God often orchestrates those around us into a symphony of pressure to bring things hidden in our hearts to the surface that many times we don’t even realize are there. He holds the mirror of scripture up to our face so that we can see the ugliness that he wants to cleanse out of our lives. I was grateful and I told him I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I ought and he forgave and restored me.

Jesus said in Matthew 20 that if we want to be great and first we must follow his example and be a servant and slave to others. I am a firm believer that every circumstance we go through is a rich training ground for what we will need in the future and this was one of those occasions.

Thank you, Jesus for revealing my heart and taking my pride away. Thank you for caring enough to raise the mirror of scripture in my mind so I could see what was needed. Thank you for your mercy and grace that I can learn in a safe environment over a few measly dishes. I give you praise and once again ask that you don’t let me get away with anything! AMEN.

Oh, by the way, after much loud encouragement I did manage to muster one child to help me with the task… :}

Thursday, November 12, 2009

White Horses on Parade

Ever have one of those weeks where it seems like all hell is breaking loose? This seems to be one of those weeks but I praise God because he is working things out of us and changing us. He is making us stronger once again. Whenever God allows the flames to rise higher, he also increases our faith to walk through those flames.

I wanted some encouragement from the Lord so I turned to his word, Revelation in particular and in Chapter 19: 6b-7 I read:

For the Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Woo hoo! God is in control and this is all part of the process of the bride, his church, of which I am a member preparing herself to be made perfect before him. Scripture after scripture has come to my mind by the influence of the Holy Spirit and I am strengthened once again.

Then down further in Revelation 19 in verses 11-16 here is a picture of the strong and mighty One we serve…

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:


Woo hoo again! This is my Jesus, not some mamby, pamby, wimpy Jesus! He is mighty and I will praise him with all that is within me! Just the name KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS puts all of my enemies to flight! Just speaking that name brings strength and courage to my spirit.

Hallelujah! I rejoice and I am glad in my circumstances God is on the move! It is only in times of trial and tribulation that we can clearly see the movement of God. My faith has grown bigger than Goliath and my hope is that you will be encouraged in your circumstance to view it as God does from places in him, in Christ in the heavenly realms as Colossians 3 proclaims.

James 1:2-4 comes to mind as well, check it out and MARCH, follower of Christ!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Destined for His Plan

Yesterday was bible study day and here are the highlights, we began in Jeremiah 10:1-16. In our materialistic country it’s easy to get caught up in idols but this scripture reveals false gods for what they really are, that being items made by human hands which can neither do good or bad (see verse 5).

They can be inanimate objects or attitudes of the heart but they will be dealt with by God and his purifying fire. Nothing can be compared to the one true God. He makes lightning and thunder, he causes the earth to tremble, he made the world with his hands, he controls every part of nature and weather and nothing even comes close to his power and majesty!

We were discussing how God is in control of all things and he has our lives planned in advance for us. I raised this question… can a person miss their destiny? If destiny is a set of events that will happen, is it possible to miss or mess up the sequence in that set of events? I personally don’t think so. I think things happen as they are supposed to happen.

I recently read one of those forwarded emails about how we should sign some petition to stop some treaty that would pave the way for a one world government. I didn’t get too excited because I’ve read Revelation and Isaiah 9:6-7, Jesus is in control!

Why should I wear myself out trying to stop events that are destined to happen? It’s a waste of time. Our mandate from our Lord is to make disciples of all nations and we should not to get involved in civilian affairs (2Timothy 2:4) the goings on around us are situations that Jesus said we would have to endure (Matthew 24); they are also circumstances that will come and we are not to fret, fear and stew about it.

And now I will step down from my soap box and continue :]…In Acts 17:16-34 we watched Paul cleverly speaking to the intellectuals of his time about their alter to an unknown God. Paul confirmed our Jeremiah 10 scripture and showed us the difference between a dead idol and the power of the living God!

He speaks truth to them and explains that God doesn’t need our human hands to serve him, or to take control of things for him (as if we could control things) because he is quite capable of handling things…thank you! (Verses 24 and 25)

In verse 26 he goes into detail about how God has it all planned out right down to where each man should live and answers the question of why God would do such a thing in verse 27, “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him…”

In my personal pursuit of peace I have found that the more I leave for God to take care of the better off I am. This doesn’t mean that I never do anything but what it does mean is that I try very hard never to worry or fear about things. The bible instructs us numerous times not to worry and not to fear and that applies to every aspect of our lives, not just the ones we pick and choose. I don’t always accomplish this goal and when that happens sooner or later I realize that I am trying to do things on my own again. As soon as I repent God makes the adjustment in my heart and puts me right back on track.

The final scripture for the evening was Luke 14, it was a warning to us as well as an encouragement and it rounded off the evening quite nicely. The scene opens with Jesus sitting at a banquet in the house of an upper crust religious leader and all eyes are on him…and the guy with dropsy or edema as it’s called today across from him. It’s a set up to see how Jesus will respond on the Sabbath; will he break the law and heal the guy?

He knows what the game is and reveals it by addressing the “big white elephant” in the room and he is answered by silence. How terrible, these snooty people only invited him and the poor swollen soul to be the show. Jesus heals the man and again he is answered with silence when he confronts their hardened hearts.

Once again Jesus addresses the banqueters teaching them about being kind to one another and being humble. Then he turns his face to the host of the party and instructs him about who to invite and who not to invite the next time he has a party. It’s almost as if he is instructing them as a parent instructs his child on how to behave at a formal dinner. I wonder if they ever invited him again. :}

Then the plot thickens as he speaks to their way of thinking once more by telling them another story about another banquet given by a man who sends his servants to tell the people who have been invited that it was time for the banquet to begin. The servants are greeted with responses from people who are too wrapped up with what’s going on in their little world to leave it for something greater and they totally miss the best time of their lives…literally!

Could it be that they missed their destiny? Or rather is it that they were destined to miss it so that other, more needy than themselves could attend? Maybe Jesus was trying to get them to see who they really were…poor, crippled, blind and lame. They either had to see themselves in this light or they would have to be the ones who thought they were too good to be at the banquet.

Then Jesus drives it home by letting them know that everyone is invited to the “feast in the kingdom of God” (verse 15) from the response that started the whole story and narrows it down for them who they are by saying in verse24, “I tell you not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.” He clears the muddy waters and lets them know what he thinks of them in the process for they are as we are poor, crippled, blind and lame without Jesus in the sight of God. We are a pitiful lot bound for hell without a savior.

This is a warning for us too to watch our attitudes when confronted with all kinds of people and situations. We need to remember where we came from and who is in control. The rest of Luke 14 is about the cost of following him.

If we are destined to follow him there will be cost involved. It may be the loss of our close family members or friends that don’t agree with our decision to follow him. It may be the loss of our personal dreams. The point is that to follow Jesus there is a decision to be made.

The definition of disciple according to the web dictionary of Princeton College says a disciple is this: someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another. It’s more than just following him; it’s believing him and telling others. Paul was sneered at and some believed him and others didn’t when he told them about Jesus in Acts 17. There is a price to pay but we shouldn’t worry or be afraid.

Somewhere along the way I’ve picked up this saying and it has helped me though the cost that I must pay. I won’t go back to the way I was because I’ve come too far…I certainly can’t stay here…so I will take another step and keep moving with Jesus.

If you feel like you’re at that point in your walk with him just hold tight to his hand and take another step because you can’t stay where you are and you can’t go back so go forward and if you have never given your life to Christ, now is the time to see yourself clearly…poor, crippled, blind and lame without hope of ever reaching the banquet table of heaven.

Receive him into your heart and life, confess your sins to him and believe that he died for you and tell others. Believe me this is the most important decision you will ever make.