Thursday, December 28 2017
Yesterday during a conversation with my husband, he posed this question, " In what arena do I have the biggest struggle reflecting Jesus?" Then he followed it with "The one that I need to be a reflection of Jesus the most!"
Is the atmosphere at work changing us instead of us changing it? Are we the only Jesus our families see and is it a positive reflection? I know the moment by moment struggle it can be. I didn't ask for them to base their opinion of Jesus on my actions. My mouth gets me in trouble and how I wish I could take things I have said back! My impatience gets the best of me, and my temper flares up as I seem to watch myself acting like this and I think "What am I doing?" I am acting like the imperfect person I am, one who is in the lifelong process of being transformed into His image. One whose sinful nature trips me up and causes me to humble myself, repent and apologize.
In John 4, we are told of a woman who comes to the well during the hottest time of the day. All of her "dirty laundry" is known by everyone. She comes when no one else should be there. Yet, this time, Jesus is waiting there. He reaches out to her. All of her past failures, choices, shame, rejections, abandonments and sin are known to Him. She runs to the village to tell them of this One she had met "who knew everything I had ever done". Jesus has her share this news to the ones who have rejected her, shunned her from society, and called her names. Her past didn't stop her from being used to proclaim Jesus. My past choices, failures, words and attitudes are not a reflection of Jesus. My repentance and obedience is.
I read this quote today by David Platt. "My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than redical obedience to Him.
The arena I struggle in the most to reflect Jesus is the one where He wants me to reflect Him. He knows I will fall down and I know He will help me back up. Every time. In every situation. I will follow where he leads and I will continue to ask for "holy duct tape" to keep my words out of play so only His voice will be spoken through me.
Jesus Christ my cornerstone. The foundation of my life. I surrender all I am to Him for all He asks of me.
Wednesday, December 27 2017
We have made it through another Christmas season. I hope you had a wonderful time with friends and family celebrating Jesus. I have let the busyness of the past week interrupt many things in my life.
As I sat here at the kitchen table( well my office is a mess, but more on that later) this morning, I was looking at all the beautiful decorations. As wonderful as they look, they have NOTHING to do with Jesus. My house has never looked this "holiday cheer"ish. My daughter( who has been watching all the hallmark Christmas specials) did all the decorating while I was away.Yeah! I hate the chaos of decorating. You have to drag it all out, move things around, find places for the "not needed right now" stuff then in a few weeks do it all over again. No thanks! Yet, I am enjoying the fruits of her labors. The lighted garland above my cabinets is beautiful but it doesn't point me to Jesus, improve my relationship with Him or lead me to share Him with others.
My office, is another story. All the boxes from the decorations and the "not needed" have taken over. I enter into my quiet retreat at 5:15 for my one on one with God and I am so distracted by the mess. It seems like the noise from the chaos is drowning out the voice of God. I want to lean in and celebrate the reality of Jesus leaving heaven to come here to this dirty, smelly place so I can have a relationship with Him. I put busyness of this holiday ahead of my time with Him. I let the stress of wanting it to be perfect for everyone and push aside the One who it's all about. I want ears that filter out the noise of the world and tune in the voice of my Father. John 10: 27 "My sheep hear MY voice and I know them and they follow Me."
In truth, there is nothing special about December 25th. It's just a day, probably not even the actual day Jesus was born. What is incredibly special, what Jesus chose to do for us. Jesus, the "with us God", came to pay the price for my sin, for your sin. The price, of which is death, has been paid in full. Though Christmas day has passed, may you keep "the wonder of His love" in your heart. Continue to celebrate that our Lord has come and He will come again. Spread love, joy and peace. For Jesus is truly the reason we celebrate, not just on Christmas day, everyday we live.
Sunday, December 24 2017
Sharing from Glenda Lomax from her website Wingsofprophecy from 12/23/17
My children, the storm that is coming will overtake your lives. It is much stronger than you imagine, and it will bring chaos, and change like nothing you have seen before.
War is coming soon, and war changes everything it touches. The war that is coming will usher in the end, and the last trumpet sounds soon. The door will shut and the Bridegroom will be inside. Those who will enter into My Kingdom must enter soon.
Pray. Pray for those you love who do not know Me. If you will pray for them, I will save them, for it is My will they be saved as well. Some of them have precious little time, so do not put off to pray, for soon it will be too late. I am taking many of them home soon.
NOTE: I saw car accidents, etc. taking people very suddenly from the earth, and the saints who knew them realizing they had put off praying because they were busy.
Prioritize, My children – put what is first, first. Meditate each day on what is most needful, and do those things. Soon chaos will abound and there will be no time to think.
Thursday, December 21 2017
In planning our trip to Scotland, my husband said "We need a driver."" I do not want to drive a car that's backward ,on the wrong side of the road, where I have no idea where I am going! " He also refused to be stuck on a tour bus with a bunch of "old people" for two weeks. I pushed back at this expense. I didn't want to be stuck with someone I didn't know for our entire vacation.( what was I thinking, that's the tour bus!) With the assurance of the tour company that we could ask for a different driver, I proceeded to list off several qualities I wanted in a driver.
The first few hours with "Jimmy the Driver" were awkward. His impression of us based on the itinerary from the tour company painted us as regimented, uptight, controlling tourists. Jimmy showing up in a jacket, tie and hat, I pictured him as snobby. Well, we were all laughing at these first impressions within a short time. We threw out the time schedule and Jimmy lost the tie and jacket. We could have held onto our first impression but we would have never experienced Scotland "Jimmy the Driver" style. First impressions, in my opinion, are quite often wrong. I was carrying the " what if I don't like the driver" with me so I could play that card and most likely say "I told you so " to my husband. Once again he was right.
The second day, Brian pointed out to me that EVERYthing I had said that I wanted in a driver, Jimmy fit. God hears all of our requests. Big ones and small ones. God blessed my "need to be right list that no one could meet". Because of God's love towards us, He checked off all of my "demands" and handpicked our driver. Our trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary was filled with abundant God moments. Jimmy showed us the true beauty of Scotland, from the Highlands, to castles, ruins and mountains, God's creation held us captive.
There is never a moment when we are out of God's sight. There is never a moment when He doesn't hear us. He knows what we need before we do. He already had it set up when I was fighting it. When it seemed as if God was NOT listening to me about this trip, I wasn't listening to Him. He calls us to trust Him. When it looks like He is doing nothing, trust Him. For nothing is impossible for God.
He was moving Jimmy into place as we were booking our vacation. We could see God's hand moving in his life as he shared his story. How God planned all of this. He knew we needed Jimmy and Jimmy needed us.
Wednesday, December 20 2017
She was sitting having breakfast with her dad. Smiling and waving at everyone who walked by. I smiled and said "Good Morning Beautiful." Her reply was the biggest pancake covered smile I have ever seen. Her joy was infectious. All of us at tables near hers were caught up in it. Even the servers would pause by her table and say hello.
Nearing the end of our breakfast, I excused my self from the table to use the restroom. As I walked by, her small, syrup covered hand reached for mine. Who can refuse such a gift? I took her hand and whispered "Jesus loves you."
Her smile has stuck with me all day. The joy she shared with the entire restaurant. Her enthusiasm for the moment, her excitement for each person. I met Joy today. In Matt 18:3 and 5, Jesus said that we must become as little children and whoever receives one little child like this receives Me. Her dad was not trying to stop her, hush her nor was he apologizing for her behavior. He was letting her spill her joy.
The Christmas season, the rush, the family, the presents, the stress, take away from the joy. We say "Jesus is the reason for the Season." We stand in long lines, battle the crowds to find the perfect gift, worry about money and loose our sense of wonder. Yet, Jesus, for the joy set before Him endured the cross for each of us. The joy set before us, the gift Jesus gave us, He came here to walk among us so we can walk with Him in Heaven. I came face to face with joy today and came up short. This beautiful little girl, this package of joy, would be seen by many as disabled. I am the one who is walking around with a handicap, one that blocks me from spilling the joy of the Lord.
Joy- A feeling of great pleasure and happiness
Ps 16 :11 You will show me the path of life, in Your presence is fullness of joy: at Your right hand are pleasure forevermore.
Father, release the joy I have in You within me so it flows freely from me. Spill it over all I meet.
Tuesday, December 19 2017
Tomorrow marks the day that we have been married for 30 years. 30 years! That sounds like a long time! We spent more of our lives married than not. If you had asked me about 5 years in if we would make it this far, I am not sure it would have been a positive answer. Communication issues, selfishness and pride tripped us up daily.
I have 5 sisters. That's right no brothers. My dad left early for work, I think to escape the insanity of 5 girls getting ready for school at the same time. The bathroom schedule was inflexible and we only had one. If you were late, too bad. If you went over your time, you would be removed. I was far down on the 'food chain" and purposely tried to bother my oldest sister. I learned how to speak "pink". I never learned to speak or hear "blue".
We joke about it now, but it was not funny then. I was so sure Brian was bit crazy. I thought often "who thinks like that?" I knew he was wrong and he knew he was right. Compromise? Never! In the wedding ceremony it is says "The 2 shall become 1" and I was NOT going to be the one who disappeared. We didn't fight really. He grew quieter and I grew angrier. Worked great for us! Then came the day a friend gave us the book "His Needs, Her Needs". Light bulb moment for me when I realized that we just think differently. There was nothing wrong with my husband, he's just speaking a different language than I am.
I learned how to take my complaints to God first. I tell young couples we mentor that the best arguments I had with Brian were the ones he wasn't even there. I unfortunately I would complain to God about him, ask God to fix him and to change him. Yep, none of that happenend! Instead, God led me to Proverbs 31. Yep, I DID NOT like that! I was raised to be strong and independant. Women's Lib! Never submit! I had even refused to say "obey" in my vows.
For 2 years, I read Proverbs 31. God wasn't interested in how I wanted Brian to change, He was after me changing. I look back at the young woman I was and I do not recognize her. Of course, selfishness and pride rear their ugly heads. Over these years we have learned the art of "Speaking Purple". We get it right more times than not. We have learned to listen with love not self. To speak while holding their heart in our hands. To sprinkle grace, forgiveness and laughter throughout our day. Have we arrived? Of course not! Our relationship is stronger, deeper and more in love than yesterday. I have been crucified in Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. Jesus is the center of our life. The transformation is real. The relationship with the 3 of us is real. Proverbs 31 is still directing my life today. Prov 31:11-12
"The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good nad not evil all the days of her life."
So here is to the first 30 years. I cannot wait to see the level of transformation in the next 30!
Monday, December 18 2017
This came after my devotion time Friday morning. I believe it is a word inspired by the Holy spirit.
Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all I command you to do. Do not turn to the left or the right- stay on target. Always keep my word forefront in your mind, on your lips and your heart. Do not be afraid or discouraged. I am with you always. As I have called you- I am going with you always.
Go tell the people "Get your provisions in order- in 3 days you will cross over into the field where I have called you." Take hold of the promise. Claim it as your own- stand the ground- face the giants, slay them and finish them off. I have given you the same power within you that raised Jesus from the grave. Walk in it.
Release your past
Reclaim your inheritance
Restore what the enemy has taken
Renew hope within hearts
Now go- the time of waiting is over. Leave your chair! Pick up the weapons I have armed you with and take back this land! My people are perishing for lack of vision. Go tell them My vision. Show them the way to freedom. Put on your armor, pick up the stones, pass on what I have taught you.
Time is short. Souls are crying out "No one has told me." Go tell them!
Now is the time. I am close at hand. I am standing at the door. Fling it open! Walk through it! Can you not hear the battle cry? The sound of the shofar being blown? Arise mighty warrior, arise! Time is increasing ever faster. Open your lips and declare your alliengence to ME. I AM God- The Creator of all things. The First and the Last. Come join me. I will not tarry. There is no tomorrow. Only today. Seek Me while I may still be found. Surrender and live. The time of waiting is past, it is time. I Am a God of free will, it's your choice. Choose today whom you will serve.
This scripture followed. Jeremiah 18:3 "How long will you wait before you take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?"
Sunday, December 17 2017
Walking the tree lined drive, in the dark was not something I wanted to do. There I was, carrying my luminary bags, with the rest of the group placing the bags. The goal was to line this entire 600 foot drive with luminaries from house to road. Standing at the road and looking back at the lights that now lit up our dark walk, singing "Go Light Your World" was such a powerful moment. A reminder that the light Jesus has placed inside each of us, when combined with others, changes the landscape.
As I turned to walk back to the main house I noticed a bag that had no light. I reached in to turn on the light but no light was inside of it. I began to weep over the this bag. I found a second bag. In all on the way, I found 6 bags like these. My heart was being pulled out of my chest. As I looked back down the drive, so many lights were there pushing back the darkness, showing us the way to go. These bags in my hand were given the same opportunity but missed.
I had come to this retreat looking for a word from God, what I was given were empty bags. Bags that were designed to hold light and let the light shine out of them. These bags were not doing what thier creator designed them for. They were set out among all the rest. They looked the same as the rest. The difference was only visible in the darkness.
When sharing my "take away" from this weekend, I will hold up an empty bag. For I will allow the light of Jesus to shine in me, through me in the midst of the darkness we live in. Showing others the love, hope and life with Jesus within you. We all have a calling God crafted us for. As for me, I will not be an empty bag.
Thursday, December 14 2017
You meet someone for the first time and it feels like you have known them forever. I think this gives a glimpse of what Heaven will be like for us. A closeness which is immediate, intimate and without reservation. In this retreat setting, with a handful of ladies, heavenly sisterhood has happened. Hugs, excitement to connect and a sameness of spirit. This is just the first few hours. I am waiting expectantly for the miracles of tomorrow. It says where 2 or more are gathered. Well, the power of the Spirit that indwells in this group is so present, so real. What power will be released tomorrow!
This time is filled with urgency. You can feel it in the Spirit, in the air, in the world. The connections made here are needed for us to go forth in His name and wage war for the lost. To declare "Not today satan, not here and not them"
If we live like we truly believe that billion of souls are at stake then we should have our battle gear on, sword drawn and figth.
Wednesday, December 13 2017
Storms are big news. We are told of their track and intensity days before we will be impacted. People rush to the grocery store to get last minute supplies. We fill up our spare gas cans. We even, at times, evacuate our home. Right now, we are being pounded by a winter storm. The past few hours the snow has fallen at the rate of 2 inches per hour. The radar shows how the lower half of the state is covered. We had notice of this. At first it was a forecast of 2 to 4 inches, which increased as it came closer. Today the forecast is 7 to 9 inches of snow. Here in Michigan, we are accustomed to this.
Wouldn't it be nice is we had advance warnings of storms in our lives? We could prepare for the onslaught coming at us. Our storms are not minimized by stocking up on supplies from the grocery store. They are not solved by evacuating. One of my favorite movie quotes is from The Count of Monte Cristo. Dantes is speaking to a young man and says "Albert, in life you will face many storms. You must stand up and look right at the storm and say "Do your worst for I will do my best." For I will do my best. Yet it seems too much for us. Storms knock us off balance and destroy what we hold so dear.
In the midst of the storm, when it feels like all hope is lost and is seems like Jesus is not paying attention, discouragement covers us klike a blanket. Yet we know that the disciples went through the same thing. Jesus, asleep in the boat in the midst of what seemed like a life ending storm. He calms the wind and the waves. At times, I have thought, "That's great but I am not in a boat." I need the storm in my heart to dissapate.
The peace that floods my heart because I know that He hears me. Ps 18 :6 "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God. He heard my voice from His temple and my cry came before Him, even to His ears." Knowing that He hears me makes the storm different because I know He is in the storm with me. Jesus, the Savior of my soul, the one who calms the storms on the seas and in my soul.
Monday, December 11 2017
I have written 3 blogs today, well 4 if you count this one. Each time I try to post, they vanish. POOF! Gone to the great internet beyond. What is happening?! The first one was amazing. I thought I sounded so smooth. It flowed, the pictures were great, it was perfect except that it left. Frustrated, I tried again. Can you recreate something you thought was good? I couldn't even remember exactly what I wrote. The next attempt was okay, not like the first one but okay. The 3rd one didn't even make it into a few sentences. Then, it too left me.
What am I doing wrong? Why is the computer doing this? I was rather upset with this black machine. Reality check, it only does what I tell it to do. Somehow I was sending these "priceless" works to the abyss. As I writing this, I am thinking "why should I bother, it will disappear also" but it's not, so what is the lesson here for me.
It actually was very simple, the computer did nothing wrong, it wasn't trying to sabotage me or make me upset. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I am getting comfortable with the program. Comfortable isn't a great thing. I stopped paying close attention to each step. I missed a button I need to click on.
Yep, I am responsible for having to write this again, just like I had to yesterday because of the same mistake.
What button you push matters. Every choice you make is important. Don't get so comfortable that you get sloppy and lose your focus.
Sunday, December 10 2017
Sleep is eluding me tonight. Between the snoring and the coughing in my house, it is nowhere to be found. So instead of sleeping, I am laying in bed having conversations with God. Then I realized, I was doing all the talking and non of the listening. God tells us to "Be still and know that He is God." Be still, I am trying to sleep, of course I am being still! The more I think "I have to go to sleep", the farther it seems to be. So I will just lie here and wait. Wait. That is not one of my top 10 skills. We live in a microwave society. Everything has to be "now". "Now I lay me down to sleep", only I am not sleeping. Do I really know how to wait like God wants me to?
I keep looking the the time and doing the math of how long I have before the alarm goes off. Then the whole "take every thoght captive" goes right out the window because my mind is playing all the possible paths tomorrow could take because of my lack of sleep. That's not helping!
So I will turn off my computer and go back to bed. I will be still and quiet my mind with His truths and listen and wait. I will entrust tomorrow into His hands, regardless of how much sleep I got. Peace I leave you, My peace I give you. Thank you Jesus.
Saturday, December 09 2017
I did something today that I normally don't do. I went to a holiday craft show. I am not a knick-knacky kind of person nor am I a big holiday decorator. I wondered the aisles and saw incredible transformations. Barn wood that became signs and serving trays. Beautiful tea cup bird feeders. Antique serving utensils. Mason jars, oh what you can do with a simple mason jar.
In Genisis, God said "Let us make man in Our image." God is THE creator so since we are made in His image, we should be creative also. I look at a mason jar and see, well a mason jar. Not this adorable, rustic kleenex holder. Barn wood is just wood but now it is a beautiful board to hang my pictures on. Booth after booth, the artists displayed their creativity. Booth after booth, I thought, "I never would have seen that in that."
I am so thankful that God sees the finished "product" in me before He starts. God saw each of us before He said "Let there be light." Jesus said in 2 Cor 5:17 " Therfore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away: behold all things have become new."
I think that makes me like a piece of barn wood in the hands of my Creator. I am excited to see the finished work.
Craft on God! Craft on!
Friday, December 08 2017
In this crazy holiday season, we are often rubbing elbows with people that do not top our 'favorites" list. Many we only interact with at funerals and holidays. I watch my mother in law try to please everyone and runherself ragged in the process. Family, we don't ge to choose ours, God does.
It is the same in the family of Christ. As "brothers and sisters" in Christ we are a family. Too often we get caught up in minor differences that leads to strained relationships, unforgiveness and hurt feelings. People leave because of the hurt.
We cannot please everyone and we are all going to hurt someone's feelings. Let's take the upper hand and talk to the one who we are at odds with, apologize when necessary and above do not talk to others about them. Jesus is our example. Judas approached Him in the garden to betray Him and Jesus let him. On the cross, Jesus said "Father forgive them" We cannot let hurt feelings create barriers between us and Jesus.
Tis the season for celebration, turning the other cheek and loving them in spite of them.
Thursday, December 07 2017
The world around me looked like I had just stepped into a snowglobe. Breathtakingly beautiful! I paused for a moment to take it in. Then reality hit, snow was stinging my face and I still have to drive home through this. The first snow of the season and most seem to have forgotten how to drive in it. There is always the one who drives as if they are in perfect road conditions, sliding all over the road, putting us all in jeopardy.
Halfway home it was as if I crossed a barrier, no more snow. Road was clear and dry. Just the view in my mirror to remind me of where I had been.
Life is like that. We get caught up in what looks good and step into it. We are then scrambling for secure footing while we manuver our way through. We watch other people go through it faster( it seems). We grip so tightly trying to be in control when we really cannot see where we are going. When we make it through, we exclaim "I am never going to do that again." Time passes and if we are not careful, the same choice presents itself. Decision time. Do we step into it or do we just shake the snowglobe, remember what happened before and choose not to participate.
Wednesday, December 06 2017
I was Christmas shopping with my daughter today with the goal of getting it finished. I am normally one of those people that cut it close. This year I am trying to finish "early" because of my schedule this month. The one I am having the hardest time with is my husband. Our anniversary is 5 days before Christmas. Who had that idea was a bit nuts (me!) but the church looked fabulous! So I am really looking for something special for our anniversary, it's the big 30 this year. After all my husband took us to Scotland, what can I find that even comes close. Then my daughter, who is also shopping for him, said "You both deserve a private island but all I can afford is a candle". Stop. Right. There. I tell her the gift doesn't matter, it's the giver but my actions are saying something different.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Little Drummer Boy". I am a poor boy too. I have no gift to bring that is fit for a king. Shall I play for you on my drum. I needed the reminder today that my focus was out of focus. We are celebrating a gift beyond price. The gift of our Savior coming to earth to give us a gift. We are all "a poor boy too" that has no gift to bring that can compare His. What a blessing that Jesus isn't looking for any comparisons. He is asking us to give back to Him what he gave us, our life.
I discovered the perfect anniversary gift. It wasn't in any store. It was hidden in my heart. What I give to my husband everyday in our marriage is a wife who lives by Prov 31:11-12 "The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." A wife that is committed to this lifelong journey and loves being his wife.
Tuesday, December 05 2017
I can hear the wind howling outside. Leaves are swirling like small tornados. Chairs are moved and the garbage can is tipped over. It is definately a day where you feel like you need lead boots to keep you on the ground. Making a quick run to the mailbox, trying to keep my hair out of my face, complaining about the wind, this crossed my mind. You cannot see the wind but you can see the effect of it. The effect of it is rearranging everything on my patio and my hair I had done so nicely for the party tonight.
What if I could feel the Holy Spirit move in my life like the wind? The rearranging of priorites, useless things blown away or "wind chill" to clear my heart. The landscape of my life would look different. The old gone. A clean, fresh canvas to paint my life on.
Create in me a clean heart O Lord. Holy Spirit move in me.
Monday, December 04 2017
In my book "Stepping into Courage" I talk a bit about my food addiction journey. The title of Chocoholic, well recovering, fits me perfectly. Peeling back the layers to get to the root of my food addictions is an interesting process. I go through long stretches of time thinking I have it beat. Then the enemy deploys a sneak attack. Am I armored up to withstand the assault or am I caught off gaurd?
This past weekend as I was preparing for a Christmas party I was hosting, I bought a 4 pack of gluten free cupcakes. I was in a hurry, trying to rush through Whole Foods to get an easy dish to bring. I walked by the case with the cupcakes and I hesitated. Wrong!!! Never give the enemy an in! I reached for the cupcakes, rationalizing that there are guests who are gluten free and they will enjoy them. I ignored the voice in my head telling me to NOT get them and put them in my cart. Only two cupcakes were brought home. Yeah, I brought 2 cupcakes home. Cupcakes on my counter talking to me, getting me to think of reasons I could eat them. I know the bible says to "resist the devil and he will flee from you" I was not in the resisting kind of mind.
This morning during my 6am "Fight Club" call, we read through Ps 18. God is my Rock, my Strength, my Shield, Fortress, the list keeps going. He is my defender from the cupcake. Why do I need to be defended from the cupcake? Because I am not only a chocoholic but I am addicted to sugar. I know the cupcake is gluten free but it is loaded with sugar. I cannot let it in. I am like the childrens story "If you give a mouse a cookie" If you give me a cookie today, I will eat a pack of them tomorrow. I don't have a "sweet tooth" I have a whole mouth full!
Ps 18:37-38 I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them. Neither did I turn back until they were destroyed. I have wounded them so they cannot rise, they have fallen under my feet. Vs 42 Then I beat them as fine as dust and cast them out like dirt in the streets.
The cupcake is no longer in my house. As I was "snitching" some frosting, I had an epiphany. I am relinquishing my freedom over this for a moment of guilty pleasure. I smashed it like dust, tossed it in the trash and took the trash outside.I allowed myself to be distracted. In the distraction, I brought into my house a weapon from the enemy to take me down. I won this battle but it was unnecessary, if I had listened to that still, small voice inside my head, I would have not been in the battle.
I didn't use the stones God has given us to slay the giant I was facing. I was fighting in my own strength. I need to remember God is more than competent to fight the giant and claim victory through Him!
Sunday, December 03 2017
I had the priviledge of praying with a sweet friend today as she turned her life over to Christ. The prayers, tears and hugs filled me with joy. During service today we were reminded of a quote by Max Lucado, "The soldiers at the cross were unnecessary, Jesus would have nailed himself to the cross for us." Sobering reminder that I can do nothing to earn my salvation. Jesus chose to come because of me. He chose to come because of you. He tells us to go and make disciples. To reach those who are hurting and shine the light of Jesus in the midst of their pain. To step out of our comfortable and step into the brokenness of the world. The question "Who are you discipling?" was posed to us in church today. Uncomfortable silence filled the room. The joy I felt over my friend was just a small fraction of the celebration in Heaven over her decision. I want to be celebrating with heaven again and again so I will go and make disciples. Let the celebrations begin!
Saturday, December 02 2017
Love, loss and hope intermingled last night. At our Christmas Tea, surrounded by laughter and fun, God began to move. During one of the speakers time, I was hit so hard thinking of my mom. She has been gone almost 4 years. As the hostess for the night, I began to transisition the group to the next item on our schedule. Tears got in the way and I began to speak about my mom. When I asked the room who had lost their mom, dad, child, sibling...everyone in the room was carrying a loss. You could see it the thier eyes. You could also see the love etched on their faces. The love doesn't stop because someone is no longer right next to you. I have heard that grief is like an amputation, you are no longer quite whole but you learn how to live in this new normal. We moved from loss to love to hope. The hope we have in us through Jesus Christ. The reason why we were all there celebrating Christmas. That Emmanuel, the With us God, came so He could walk with us through our life. He came knowing He would die for us to secure eternal life for as many who choose to accept the invitation.
Looking around the room at all the beautifully decorated tables, I noticed many empty places. The place setting was there, the person was not. We all had invited but not all who were invited came. Many who had accepted the invitation didn't come.This reminded me of the parable Jesus told about the man who prepared a great banquet but all his invited guest declined the offer. He then sent his servants out to invite whoever they find. This new group came and enjoyed a feast. Jesus told his disciples to "Go and make disciples." Invite people in to meet Jesus. This is our stone of "Commission".
This Christmas season, as we mourn who we are missing, I encourage you to set a place setting. Not for the one who has gone but for the one whom Jesus wants invited in. Let them discover how love and loss intertwined with the hope we have in Jesus is just one of the reasons we celebrate Christmas.