Thursday, November 30 2017
Freedom lies just beyond the giant. It seems out of reach. The giant blocks our view. The giant seems so big, so fierce, so strong so we stay where we are allowing the taunting to continue.
I want to tell you "ENOUGH". Enough to the fear. Enough to the feeling of unworthy. Enough to hiding in the shadows. It's time to stand up to the giant, grab your Cornerstone and take it down.
"Giantslayer" isn't reserved for just those who are extra special. It's a title each one of us can claim. If the giant is telling you that you have no value, you tell him that you were bought with a price, that you are hand crafted by the Living God, a masterpiece, one of a kind and a treasure of great price. Every lie that is thrown at you throw back truth. God's word defeats giants.
You have a giant of fear harassing you? You were not given a spirit of fear but of power and a strong mind. You are strong and courageous. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Your faith covers fear.
Take every thought captive. Every thought! Do not dwell on what isn't truth. Be ready to give an answer for the hope you have in you.
Wednesday, November 29 2017
When a client of mine found out we were building our house "in the middle of nowhere" they said we needed a dog for protection. Protection from what I am not sure. We were not crossing the prairie in a cover wagon, just moving about a half hour from the big city. We didn't get "Ol Yeller", we brought home an English Setter puppy named Buck. My daughter Tori was 7 at the time and she loved playing dress up with Buck. She quickly discovered that, if she wanted him to stay with her, he needed to be on a leash. One day while sitting on her beloved green stool, which she took everywhere, she wanted something from her room, knowing Buck would leave, she tied him to the stool and walked away. I am upstairs when I hear a scream, you know the kind that a 7 year old girl makes when her world is falling apart, and this thumping noise I cannot figure out. As I am running down the stairs, I discover the other noise. Poor Buck, still tied to the stool, is running for his life from the stool that is trying to eat him. Tori is screaming as Buck keeps running by her with the stool bouncing off the walls and cabinets. Kegan, the older brother, is laughing so hard he is crying. I am trying to get ahold of the poor dog as he is running circles around the house. With the stool, in pieces throughout the house, no longer trying to kill him, Buck is finally caught. I release him from his nightmare. Tori is now crying over her stool that is absolutely destroyed. Kegan is still laughing. That's when I notice the walls. We have only been in the house a few months. On our brand new, freshly painted walls and cabinets, there are green and brown streaks everywhere. Yes, the stool was green and we have all heard about having the _____ scared out of us.
It started off so innocent. Tori just wanted Buck to stay by her. She tied him to something that he never should have been tied to. We have all, at some point in our lives, tied ourselves to something or someone we had no business being tied to and paid the consequences for it. That relationship that everyone warned us about, buying that thing we really couldn't afford or it's just one time and I can handle it. Now you are looking at your life that resembles what was left of the green stool. I had to remove the stool he was tied to. It's what we have to do. Remove the "green stool" from our lives.
The dog, with the stool gone, was fine and still played dress up with Tori. The walls and cabinets were easy to fix, they got a fresh coat of paint. Our hearts however are not as easily mended.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness Matt 6:33 "You cannot serve two masters" Matt 6:24 If it doesn't line up with the Word of God then it's a "green stool", cut it loose.
Tuesday, November 28 2017
I spent time today in a chair that no one really likes to be in, the dentist chair. I don't do great with the anesthesia. It takes forever to kick in, so I get more and then I am numb for hours. As I was checking out, my friend Jen who is the receptionist is asking me questions. With half my mouth numb, I am trying to sound normal as I answer and not have any drool come out as I do it!. I think she has heard so many speak "numb" that it probably normal to her.
It's funny how the anesthesia makes your lip stick out 3 inches, your cheek look like a balloon and your tongue twice it's size. I know, it really doesn't but it sure feels like it. No one can tell just by looking at you that you are numb. It's only when you open your mouth and talk that it becomes apparent.
As I heard the jokes about having "numb tongue" and having little success drinking from a water bottle, the thought hit me, numbness isn't visible. I don't look any different on the outside, I feel different on the inside. How many people do I encounter every day that are numb? Heart broken, overwhelmed, exhausted, abandoned, hopeless, numb. They don't wear a sign announcing it. They look like everyone else. Are they going about their life surprised that no one can see how numb they are? Sure their heart is so swollen from the pain that someone should see it.
I have heard it said that "hurting people hurt people." We have all encountered them, they are at the grocery store, where you work and everywhere in between. We can hear the numbness through the words they choose, we just have to listen. Listen deep enough to get past the hurt and see their heart. To show the love of Jesus in our words and actions. So my challenge to myself is to seek out the cashier ( the one I always try to avoid) at the store and try to impact her day in a small way. Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." It's about humility, not putting oneself above another. Stopping to take a pause in our hectic life to notice someone else. Jesus is our conerstone, our breath, our hope, our life. Jesus calls us to reach out to the hurting, broken and lost.
So with my cornerstone in my pouch I will get out of my chair and go. Jesus open my eyes to see the hurting, open my ears to hear their cry and open my heart to love them like You do.
Monday, November 27 2017
My husband was going into church to do some needed painting. This needed to be finished asap and his schedule with our own clients is full. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Sounds innocent enough ,right? My husband has owned our painting company for 15 years and worked for his dad, whom he took over for, before that. The man can paint and has a high standard for the quality of work our company does and well, I don't even come close! So when I asked, I was expecting a negative response. Pick me up off the floor, he said yes!
He walked on the wild side and outfitted me with a bucket of paint and a small roller. I watched carefully as he explained how to do the job. I've got this! I picked up the bucket and somehow managed to get paint all over my hands before I even started painting. How is this possible? The man never has paint on him. Why? Because he has been doing it for years. He could probably do it in his sleep. I struggled my way through, cleaning up all my drips, and finished the job. The only remnant is the paint that does not want to leave my fingers.
As I scrubbed my hands, my mind wandered to the thought that nothing is easy when you first start. No one begins as an expert. We see others playing a sport, knitting, singing ect and think that it looks easy. Our faith walk works the same way. We all start out as babies, grasping with both hands, Jesus as our Savior and celebrating what he did for us. Then we see someone who seems to know everything about Dueteronomy while we are still trying to spell it, and feel like we fail in comparision.
Jesus has never been in the comparision game. Whew! As believers in Christ, He is our conerstone. Our foundation. The solid rock on which we stand. He continually asks us to move forward into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. Everyone of us is on that path, some farther down( they make it look easy). Some just beginning...getting paint on their hands!. On the journey, you will fall down, make mistakes, misspell and mispronounce Old Testament names. Pick yourself back up, repent if needed, and get back on the path and let Jesus wash you clean.
Sunday, November 26 2017
One of the toughest giants we face is fear. Fear of the unknown, failure, loss. It comes in many shapes and sizes. I recently bought a sign to put up in my office "Be Fearless". I saw it and said "Yes, this is what I want to be!" I brought it home and set it aside. I was on a writing retreat and this kept coming into my mind. This idea of being fearless. The more I thought about it the less I liked It. I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with it. What came to me was that I needed to "Fear more". Crazy! Who wants to be more afraid! Yep, I didn't get it at all. This was one of those times where I felt completely confused by what I felt I was being shown by God. Well, God is not a God of confusion. The confusion was from me, I was making it more complicated that it was. I am sure no one else ever does that!
So this is how it played out. God was NOT telling me to be more afraid, He was telling me to fear HIM more.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Ps 111:10
Oh fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. Ps 34:9
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom Prov 4: 5,7
Fear of the Lord is a holy reverance of who He is. It is the surrender of what I want for what He wants. It is being in love with the Lord not just loving what He can give you. It's the desire to intimately know Him. Acts 9:31b "And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied."
Fear the Lord- increase in wisdom- increase in intimacy with Him- making disciples of all nations.
As if that was not enough, when I actively seek to fear God more, the things of this world decrease in size and I fear them less.
Saturday, November 25 2017
I get asked, "What does the 5 stones stand for?" So here is the quick back story. Earlier this year I was prompted to get up earlier to have more time with the Lord. It was not an "I am jumping out of bed excited" kind of thing. I was struggling to honor this committment I made to God. I needed help! His help. One morning I was in 1 Samuel reading about David, just skimming through, hitting the highlights, not sure why I was there. 1 Samuel 17:40 lept out at me. "Then he took his staff in his hand, and he choose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepard's bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand." There seemed something so significant about the five stones to me. I kept asking the Lord, "Why the five stones?". I know why David took five, but what do You have for me here.
The five stones are weapons we need to carry with us at all time to defeat the giants we are facing in our life, in our homes, our family, our community and our nation. They are the tools we need to rebuild, rediscover and renew after the battle. These five stones cross all areas of our life- spiritual, physical, relational, financial and emotional. These five stones I carry in my pouch are there not only for me and my family but for you and yours.
What I have gained from this indepth seeking of God in these five stones is Clarity. Clarity of purpose, direction and focus. What we focus on we find. God's word is clear Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me." I said I wanted a close, intimate relationship with God but wasn't putting Him first. We only get to know Him intimately by spending time with Him, in the word, seeking His face. Many of us are facing very difficult battles and don't know which way to turn. We cry out for clear direction but cannot hear His voice. We must take out the stone called Clarity and wield it against the giant that gets in our way of our time with God.
Seek first His kingdom. God first. We follow this and clarity comes.
Friday, November 24 2017
We saw Barrage in concert with the Chelsea House Orchestra. First, the young people in CHO are truly amazing. So much talent.
Thursday, November 23 2017
I started this blog post this Thanksgiving morning, thinking of all I have to be thankful for. After all Thanksgiving is a day set aside to remember all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. We are called to "enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise." How often do we take a "pause" to thank God? As I am "pausing" here to reflect, my husband walks in and announces he is making waffles. I LOVE waffles! He makes the best gluten free waffles. No, seriously he does! Here is the challenge, I have been grain free for the past 3 months. I went through an elimination diet with my Naturopath Doctor and am feeling good, REALLY good without adding grains back in. The thought of chucking it all and having a waffle is crossing my mind!
Our human tendancy is to focus on what we don't have. That is how satan got Eve's attention. He holds up the fruit and show it to her, declaring "it's good!" I can already smell the waffle! Focus....it's not good for me! Walking through the "food jungle", discovering what works for my body and what doesn't, I am often asked, "What can you eat?" When I first started this journey, in my "poor, poor, pitiful me" stage, the answer was NOTHING! All I could focus on was what was no longer beneficial for my health. It was all "I can't have" this. Today, I choose to eat the way I do. After all, this life is temporary and at the banquet table in Heaven, I will be able to eat anything in front of me.
Today, I am thankful for and blessed by an amazing husband that found a paleo recipe for waffles for me so we could enjoy our breakfast together. The smell of them is still lingering in the air, reminding me that I am loved, valued and worth the effort of making 2 different batches of waffles. I am thankful for the access to the food that works for my body. Too many souls are hungry today.
As you celebrate the day, let the "smell" of God's goodness remind you that you are loved, valued and created with a purpose. That you are a "2 batches of waffles" person!