Monday, April 30, 2012

The Shower

Fur Ball was introduced to the shower this morning, by our son. They got in together, and seemed to have a great time, surprisingly. Fur Ball, needed a shower as much as my son, so it was a good thing. My son shampooed him from top to bottom and then rinsed him off. Fur Ball just stood there, taking it all as if he was at the spa. I helped Fur Ball get out of the shower so my son could finish up, and I toweled him off, he seemed to enjoy his towel massage as well. If I could read Fur Ball's  mind, I think he might be saying that he has it pretty good. Spa treatments, bed cuddles, car rides, and arm walks. Who knew life could be so good? And, furniture too. He has found Stinky dogs favorite chair already and settled in without any problem. He even watched TV!
I think Fur Ball is working hard to measure up to Stinky dogs Paws. As I write this, Fur Ball is cuddled next to me, as close as he can get, just like Stinky dog would do. And, this morning, he went with me in the Land Rover, traveling on Stinky dogs bed. Fur Ball is trying real hard to win my heart.
I told him that I'm not easy to give over my heart and I don't trust easy. He just stared at me. I also informed him that I've been told that I'm complex and hard to understand, but he didn't really seem too bothered by that either. I also wanted to warn him that I listen to loud music in the car and sometimes I forget important stuff, but he just laid back and closed his eyes as if it really wasn't a big deal. I decided that Fur Ball was a lot like my husband, laid back, accepting, unwavering, peaceful, loving, kind, tender, and eager to love me and please. It brings me back to the verse in James on wisdom. I shared it with a very dear friend of mine this morning James 3:17. This time I'll tell you what the Message says:
"Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor."
Wisdom is being kind to one another. It is LOVE. It is living in community with one another and being willing to help. I love that! I think it's really cool!
Jesus, give me wisdom! And Say That Again to me so I remember it everyday!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Fur Ball

Our son was in a pen of fur balls and this one jumped up and gave him a big hug. We came home with a red, curly one. When we got home, he gave him another big hug. I think they like each other.
We didn't name him right away, mostly because I couldn't decide. I told him he had some big paws to follow. He just looked at me, seemingly unconcerned. I considered names like Scout, River, Rebel. My oldest son suggested Tex, which almost won out. But, then as I was talking to him and eyeing him, the name Oscar came to mind, and it just seemed to fit. So, Oscar it is.
I haven't stopped thinking about Stinky dog yet, but my children have moved on to Oscar. And, I'm happy about that. Oscar, the fur ball, will be a good companion for them. I just now watched my son carry Oscar down the street, so he could show the neighbors his new fur ball. Fur Ball can walk, but because my son is so attached to him, he has not had the opportunity to try out his four legs at our house, yet.
We have agreed that Fur ball will not be a pom-pom. No puffs going on at our house, we don't do fluffs, puffs, and pom poms! He will remain shaggy, like a mop. Messy, and tossed.
Life does move on, for some of us it moves fast, others a little slower. Some things take time to heal, and some things take time to surface. I know for me, it all takes time. I learned this morning that the friendship of a dog is the wisest friendship of all. James even said so, in chapter 3 verse 17 he says that wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy.
This sounds just like my friendship with Stinky dog, and now that I have been blessed with a Fur Ball, I am sure that God wants to Say That Again to me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Burial

Stinky Dog and I had a lovely day together yesterday, and I will remember it fondly. I left her home around noon, sleeping soundly by the fireplace. My husband came and picked her up, along with her blanket, and off they went to visit the vet.
I went to see a friend, and then from there to pick up our children from school. I took our children to the store and we cruised up and down the ice cream aisle for awhile. They decided that this time, in celebration of Stinky dog they would have sour patch pops, and I decided on coffee chocolate heath ice cream.
We took our frozen treats back to our ministry house and sat in my office enjoying them and discussing what was about to happen. I was keeping my children inside, as my husband and a friend was bringing our stinky dog to her resting place under the cherry tree, already wrapped in her blanket.
I went out to check and my husband stood beside her grave with tears streaming down his face. He looked distraught. His friend looked pretty sad too. Our Stinky dog was at peace, but the process to get her there had felt like torture.
We were blessed with the support of loving people who came to stand with us beside her grave. And, our children offered up random words of wisdom and special gifts. We listened to a special song, "Fly Away" just for her and I envisioned her with wings flying to heaven. Both my husband and I repeated how she was the best dog ever, and we know that we will miss her. I will miss her terribly.
As a family, we were blessed to have her. Personally, I was richly blessed to have her in my life. I will Say that Again, God richly blessed me with stinky dog, and I know He will bless me in more ways again through other dogs.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Dog and I

The Dog and I have spent the morning together. She is sleeping right now, because it has been a big day for her. I lifted her into my Land Rover and took her for a ride to McDonalds. We went to get a bacon egg and cheese biscuit. She thought it was very good. Then, we came home and I took her up the hill. She use to run up the hill at full speed, then back down the hill, then up the hill again. But, today, she walked up the hill with me and when we got to the top she just stayed with me as I stood there and looked over the valley. She didn't  run about to explore. I sat for awhile on a bench and then I took pictures of the two of us. She is a good dog. I have many fond thoughts of her and I know I will keep them close to my heart.
Our walk back down the hill was not hurried, it was nice and I'm pleased that she has had today to enjoy.
This morning, my children gave her a couple little stuffed animals to treasure and they told her goodbye. I know they too will miss her. We all will miss her.
So, I am thanking Jesus today that He gave me the blessing of the years I had with the dog. She has been wonderful for me. She has been a traveling companion, someone to talk to during the day, to walk with, to love, a faithful loving friend. She has made me laugh, cry, and she has protected me. God blessed me with a gift, as He does everyday in so many ways. And, I know He will again. Say That Again, Jesus, You bless with beautiful gifts, because You love me and You keep me. Thank you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Goodbye

My stinky dog is not doing well, still. Her quality of life is very poor, and it seems to me that she is not that happy. She is unable to go in the truck with me, like she use to. She sleeps her days away, and her nights. She is challenged to walk up and down our stairs. She does not like to be touched, but prefers to be alone. It is sad, because it is very different than the way she once was. She still wags her tail when I come into the room and she still lays on the bed, but it's not the same. She is in pain.
She is going to die. We know that we need to allow that to happen so she won't be miserable. We know that after she dies we will take her and put her in a special place with her blanket and her teddy bear. It will be sad. I will be sad.
God brings me through steps all the time and I notice that life is full of wonderful Hello's and sad Goodbye's. It is full of time's when I just say "see ya later" or I just say nothing at all. It is a blessing, and sometimes it feels like a curse. Life is what it is and the more I go with it, and hand it over to God, the more I surrender it, the more I see the beauty. At the same time, the more I surrender it, the more I see how messed up it is!
I will get another dog, and I will love that dog too. But, in my heart I will always have a place that is very special for my stinky dog and all the stories I have told about her. I will remember all the life lessons God has taught me through her, and pray that growth in my heart continues.
So, Jesus, give my stinky dog a great place to live in heaven, with air fresheners and sandy beaches to run on. Jesus, give her a big soft bed with pillows and bears too, she big and she likes to cuddle up to softness. She has been a blessing in my life, a great comfort and joy for every day for seven years now. I really love her. So, thank you Jesus for giving her to me.
I want to Say That Again, Thank you for the blessing of my Stinky dog!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The House on the Hill

Our house sits on a hill. We've lived here for about five years now; it's been an adjustment for me. We moved from an older house downtown. The house downtown was well used and well loved.  It is still a well used and well loved house, it's the house we use as our ministry home now. I think of it as home, still.
The House on the Hill is lovely. It's bigger and it's comfortable. I feel good there and my children like it there. But, it has taken me a long time to make it home. I had to start by painting some walls. I made the dining room wall red. And then moved into the family room and put some deep gold on one of the walls  by the fire place. We painted the living room the same golden hue. The entry way has a brick red on one wall. The fire place in our bedroom is sky blue and on the mantle rests lots of red decorations.  My walls have writings on the them, and my children have liberally decorated their walls with their handiwork as well. It looks much better now that it has been personalized.  It's comfortable, safe, homey, and heartfelt. I'm not yet done, I just haven't purchased the next color. But, I do know the next wall that I plan to paint.
I like having big walls, each one being a canvas, and a big imagination, and the freedom to do whatever I want with the wall.
I want my House on the Hill to shine in the neighborhood. I want my house downtown to shine in the community. I want them to be a part of a city that knows Jesus, and I want to be a seed planter and a light shiner. I want Him to do whatever He needs to do, paint the walls inside of me, make them over, take them down, bring in the Firewall, personalize me according to His Will. Jesus, just make me shine. There are going to be times that I will need to adjust, colors will need to change. Jesus, write on me! Your Word, Your Way, Always! Say That Again, I surrender.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The House Auction

We had a silent auction at our ministry house, Agape Celebration. We also had a raffle, and played games, it was fun. God was good to us again and brought us sun. My team members did a great job of planning this event, and money was raised for an upcoming banquet for the community. I learned a lot during the planning of this event, there's always something to learn, and more ways to trust. God is determined to teach me to trust, and I will press on.
His ways stretch me, amaze me, boggle my mind. His ways are beyond my ways, and yet He speaks to me everyday. His ways have such magnitude, yet they can be so very simple. I just need to knock and His door is open to me. I just need to rest and His arms are there for me. I just need to call and He answers, always assuring me that He will never leave. Yes, I have learned so very much and will continue to learn.
I am thanking Him for the friends that planned the day yesterday. I am thanking Him for the weather, and for the money He brought our way. I am thanking Him for the support He continues to show to me and to Agape Celebration. I am thanking Him for growing me. Say That Again, dear, dear Jesus, and keep Your Hand on me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Righteous

One of the images I use to keep me focused is the vision of Jesus placing His Robe of Righteousness around my shoulders and then wrapping His own arms around me and holding me to keep me warm. He gave me this image while in a training and it's been ingrained in my mind and has helped me many times to get through some difficult times. Because of His Righteousness, He declares me righteous. I cannot do anything on my own, but through Him, there is the ability to do right! He has me covered.
This morning I read in Psalms, chapters 34 and verse 17 says this: "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles."
I know this is true. I am righteous in Him. I cry out to Him all the time, and I have experienced His deliverance. Sometimes, it feels like it's not going to come, but in time He always delivers. His Robe is wrapped around me, and I am warm.
I received a message from someone dear saying that I was being pruned. I replied and asked how long pruning lasts! No one can really answer that question, but I can continue to cry out to God and Say That Again, and know that He will deliver me from my troubles. For He is good all the time. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Shelter

This morning I'm listening to another song that has touched my heart: "If our hearts have turned to stone, we know the rocks will cry out. We will never walk alone in the shelter of each other, God has given us each other. We will live in the shelter of each other."
I like this song, because I'm learning that this is true. As I watch other people walk life and reach out to others shelter them in their walk, I see that relationship softens hearts, and hardens hearts. When relationship hardens hearts,  it turns it to stone and it cries out. God answers by sending more relationships! This is what He has done for me, He has showed me hard pockets in my heart, areas of stone where I have cried out to Him for help, and in turn He has sent shelter and asked that I trust. He has said to me "Trust my people, find shelter here and let them find shelter with you."  He has built Shelter over me and gently guided me in the process of trust. He has led me through His Word and given me a Firewall, a Burning Bush, and a Crystal Clear Lake. He has Hedged me in Kept me all the way.
He has been my Truth, my Reconciliation, my Renewal. He has been my Break through!
So, as He shows me the stones in my heart, today I will rejoice to know that He has promised that the rocks will cry out! I know I cry out to God and I know that He answers. Every time I ask for help, He is there. He comes. I raise my hands in surrender, and He grabs them. He shelters me, He brings me help. He brings people and he whispers "trust now".
My heart is softer today than it was yesterday. He said He would penetrate my heart.
Say That Again, Jesus, you are my Shelter and You have asked me to be a Shelter to others to walk with others. I will walk in the shelter of others and in the shelter of You.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Burning Bush

I listen to a lot of music, and right now the song that's playing reminds me a little of some of my days: "Rain, rain, on my face hasn't stopped raining for days my world is a flood.  Lift me up, lift me up when I'm falling, I need you to hold me, keep me from drowning....down pour on my soul, I'm loosing control, dark sky all around, I can't feel the ground, lift me up, lift me up, when I'm falling. I need you to hold me and keep me from drowning again.  Come storms that drench my eyes....if I can't swim lift me up, lift me up, lift up when I'm falling. I need you to hold me and keep me from drowning."
I'm still thinking about the Firewall that God led me to yesterday and I prayed about that this morning. Having His Firewall around my soul is the exact thing I need on days like this song. As I continued my discussion with Him this morning about the Firewall He sent me to Exodus 3, and there I read about God in the Burning bush, more Fire! And, God speaking to Moses through the bush and saying to Moses "I AM WHO I AM!"
He wants me to see that He is fire, that He is passion inside of me, consuming all of me, lifting me, holding me, taking me to His places and His truths. I know this, yet the journey, on some days I find treacherous.
I was with a friend last night and she said that I prayed dangerous prayers. The kinds of prayers that are soul-wrenching, deep, and full of fire. The kind that require Firewalls and burning bushes. The kind that bring glory into my midst, and the Great I AM into my heart. I will admit, that sometimes it feels like I am drowning from the down pour on my soul, yet He lifts me up.
Say That Again, lift me up when I am falling and hold me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Fire Wall

As I've posted before, I have a wall that protects me. I've talked about how I sometimes hide behind my wall when I feel afraid, or vulnerable. It's a place to run. And, how I've been praying to God, asking Him to allow me to pull out the bricks that are in my wall so I can see what's on the other side. I've asked Him to allow me to visit the other side of the wall, and asked Him to help me understand what my wall is all about.
This morning, as God and I were talking, He led me to Zechariah 2: 5 and this is what I read: " For I, declares the Lord, will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst."
Just now, several hours later, I picked up my Bible again and read the verse again. It's lovely. And, it got me thinking about my own brick wall that I've so carefully constructed around my heart. The one for protection. And, I'm wondering what it would be like to ask God to just completely remove my brick wall and place His wall of fire there instead, around my heart and my soul. And, make it known to me that because His wall of fire is around me, His glory is in my midst. I like the image of that. 
A heart of stone removed, this is His promise, and turned into a heart just like HIS. Hot with His passion, aglow with His glory, on fire with revival!
I've had a lot on my plate lately , and it's time for me to cut back a little. Time to give God a chance to fire up His wall, and demolish mine. Give up the fight, throw in the towel, turn it all over to God!!
Say That Again, God, you will build a wall of fire around me and you will be glory in my midst!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Crowned Flip Flop

Cute, huh? I'm praying for HOT weather, cuz my feet are usually cold and I really want to wear these crowned flip flops. They were in the back of my closet next to the yellow flower flip flops that I wore all of last summer. This summer, it's all about crowns!
I painted my toe nails thinking that maybe I could encourage the weather along, but then I heard the forecast for the week and it's suppose to rain. At least I have rain boots. Initially, when my husband read the forecast he said that it was going to be warm and sunny all week, then he realized he was reading the weather for a different state--bummer.
Clearly, we have no control. flip flops, painting nails, reading the forecast, and wishing, if the rain is going to come; it's going to come. It is what it is, right? It's okay, God keeps telling me that He is in control, He has the day, He has me, and He knows the plan. I just need to listen and obey. I've been blessed with intimate conversation with God because I'm His child. And, because I'm His child, I'm an heir with complete access to the inheritance and to a very lovely crown!
Say That Again, Holy Jesus, I am an heir to the inheritance and there's a crown waiting for me!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Parts

So, I've decided that my Land Rover has many parts. The smelly, stinky part, the noisy part, the flasher part, the messy part, the broken down part, the off road part, the expensive part, the I can do anything part, the comfy part, and then the parts I have not yet discovered.
Right now, the part I am experiencing the most, is the stinky smelly part. Yes, there's still something in my heater fan that is causing a rotten odor, even when the heater is off. My truck that once smelled like my stinky dog and rambunctious children now smells like a dead creature. My husband started to disassemble my dashboard so he could discover what might be creating this stinky smell, he hasn't found the culprit yet. But, once again, my truck has been ushered to the garage, until further notice. While waiting there, the flashers randomly went on, seemingly in protest and my husband had to disconnect the battery to get the flashers to stop! I worked on cleaning out my truck in hopes of feeling a little better about the stinky part of it, but it didn't really help. Nothing is going to help until the problem is solved and the stink is gone. I think my flashers would be randomly flashing too if I smelled so bad that no one would sit next to me! Warning, warning, there's a problem here!
I was telling God about all of this, of course. And, also, expressing to Him my own need for His light in my life, my need for Him to see each part of me, and to cover me, walk with me, heal me each day. I clearly heard Him say back to me that His Word was within me and He is speaking through me alive and active. He is always working within the lives of His children! I then turned to Romans 10 and smiled when I read this:  "it's the Word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us" and "The Word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart."
My flashers come on pretty often, and God sees them. He welcomes them and He goes to work to set things right for me. His Word is in my mouth and heart, I speak it daily and live it through faith. The Word is flesh, Jesus, deeply rooted within my heart.
Say That Again, Jesus, You see every part of me, and You say "Welcome, Child."

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Treasures

The timeless moments, the treasures in my life. Richness, beauty, and joy. The gifts. Say That Again, the gifts and the treasures in my life!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Source of Life

I've been thinking about life and death the last few days because my stinky dog has not been well and she is approaching the end of her life. This is a very painful and troubling thought for me. She has been in my life for close to seven years, and she has been a very faithful dog. Her body is in pain right now, and she is tired. She doesn't want to eat or run or play with our family anymore. She prefers to sleep, all day long, and all night. I feel sad for her.
As I talked to God about her this morning and the emotion that stirred within me, He reminded me about Who He is. The Source of all Life. Colossians 2 came to mind and I turned to that chapter. I've read it many times, and each time it means something new to me. This time, my eyes fell right to these words "source of life, Christ,  who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as He nourishes us."
I know that with each day, I am nourished by God. He feeds me His strength, wisdom, courage, boldness, love, hope, all through His Spirit. There are times I am feeling overcome with emotion and it is bigger than I want, not always knowing what to do with it. But, God is the source of that too, and He will provide avenues of relief. So, as I give to Him my Stinky Dog and know that even with her He is the source of life, I am working to trust in His sovereign ways.  His ways, not mine.
Say That Again, Jesus, You are my Source of Life today and you put me together one piece at a time each day. Thank you for Your breath!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Stinky Car

My Land Rover is back in my possession, the shop gave it a good look over and put in a couple bolts and declared it good. They then said that it had a "new issue" and thought that maybe it would  "fix itself." As I drove away, I noticed that the loud noise was still there, rumbling away under my hood, and as the day wore on, the noise only increased. Then, along with this irritating noise, a strong smell started, stronger and stronger as the evening came on. A rotting smell, very gross. I drove with the sun roof open and the window cracked, because the smell was a little too intense for my nose to handle.
I arrived home late last night and when I drove up our hill, the smell seemed to get worse, as did the noise. I decided I would leave all the windows down over night and hope for the best. This morning, as the kids and I went out to the garage to get in to my Land Rover, we were blasted with an unpleasant oder. But, when I turned on the truck, it was really bad. My kids pulled up their shirts and moaned loudly. The noise and the smell was enough to make them want to walk to school! I ran in the house and grabbed the lemon air freshner, hoping it would give us a little relief. It didn't really help.
I pulled out of the garage, down the driveway and onto the street, and just sat in the street for a moment. The smell was sicking. I noticed the heater was on full blast so I pushed it off and suddenly the noise was gone! The smell began to decrease. My kids faces popped out of their shirts. Ta-da! So, I sent a text to my husband and he decided the problem must be a dead mouse in the heater. Ick.
I hope the sun stays out and it doesn't get cold. I'm not turning my heater back on. My kids will find this to be fascinating, I find this to be gross. The noise?  Well, I can't go there....
And so on with another day and it's challenges, and my Land Rover. God driving, of course. No heater, but He has me wrapped up in His arms so it's okay. His Robe is around me, I'm warm in Him. Say That Again, Jesus, You are driving, You are keeping me warm today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Land Rover

My Land Rover has been going through some very rough days. It spent Spring break in our garage getting a make over, thanks to a very good friend and my husband. And, now, it is back in the shop, sitting alone waiting for yet another diagnosis. I've been told that Land Rovers are picky, and high to maintain, but my desire to drive my Land Rover still has not wavered. The fact that the window sometimes will not go down or the doors will not unlock or the seats will not move, has not seemed to bother me very much. I still like my Land Rover. My husband, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly irritated with my Land Rover! Especially, since he just spent so many intimate hours with it in the garage, I think he is ready for me to sell it and move on to something less moody. I'm probably going to have to give in to that idea, because right now I'm driving a Buick, and even though my son wants to go on a cross country trip in the Buick, I just can't see myself and the Buick being friends for a long time. No offense to the Buick, of course. It's a great car, and I'm thankful for it's services.
Another Land Rover would be cool, but I'm betting my husband would object to that idea. An old Land Cruiser, maybe, or a Jeep....
So, I'm bringing my engine issues before my God, because of course there's no money to buy anything and as long as my fantastic Land Rover is sitting in the shop needing repair it's not really worth anything either. Minor detail. I'm reminding myself that God wrote the plan, He has the solution, He knows what to do. For now, I'm in a Buick and it's all good. Say That Again, Jesus, you are my provider and you have provided well for me on this day. Thank you!


The Wholeness

 I have been led to read in Isaiah a lot lately, God has had some powerful verses for me there. This morning He took me to Isaiah 9 and I love versus 6 and 7 in the Message:

"For a child has been born--for us! the gift of a son--for us
He'll take over the running of the world
His name will be Amazing Counselor,
Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness
His ruling authority will grow and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings."

NO LIMITS, to me that means through the Son of God He can and will counsel anything for me, He can and will be strong at all times, He is always eternal, He is whole and He makes me whole IN Him! Because of who He is, and who I am IN Him, there are no limits, because HE RULES!!  
There is the issue of living here on a sin-infested earth, and I get to deal with all kinds of issues that sometimes feels like such a brokenness that I wonder if it will ever get better. Thrones in the flesh, like Paul talked about, and I continue to cry out to God to remove them and bring wholeness. I know He can, yet still there are so many challenges. The enemy roars, and though victory is mine, my day is rough!
I have come to see that with those rough days I continue to run back to my Amazing Counselor, my Strong God, and Eternal Father. He continues on a daily basis to give me the wholeness I need for the moment. Step by step, day by day, He is guiding me through the maze of my life. He has the map of my life, He is my wholeness, the victor in all things. He is not only running the world, but He gets to run my life, one day at a time! This is wholeness.
Jesus, Thank you for being such an amazing gift and an Amazing Counselor.  Thank you for running the world, and my life. Thank you for being a Strong God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Wholeness. Please Say That Again to me, I need to hear it everyday!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Glorious Morning

I don't suppose that I will ever completely understand what He has done for me. But I do know that on that Glorious Morning, the tomb was empty. And, because the tomb was empty, I am not. He has promised light, hope, courage, and a completeness IN me. Because the tomb IS empty, I can experience His power, I am forgiven, I can press on towards the goal of the call of Jesus. Because of the Glorious Morning and the empty tomb, I am a citizen of heaven, a Saint waiting for the arrival of my Savior. He will transform my body into a glorious body like His own. He will make me beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which He is putting everything as it should be, under and around Him.
Say That Again, Jesus, It was a Glorious Morning, and the tomb is empty!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Wilderness Road

This morning as I conversed with God about many of life's details He reminded me of a verse in Isaiah chapter 43:19: "Behold I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert."
Once again, He is reminding me that I'm on a Roadway, His Roadway. My job is to focus on praising His name today, loving Him today, and seeing that today He is doing a new and amazing work in me and around me, and through me! He is a God of such wonder and grace, that even in the wilderness, when I am able to focus on trusting Him there is newness and healing in my life and the lives of others. He is the Living Water, the breath that I breathe, the Light that lights the Path in the wilderness, the Roadway on which I walk!
Living in the world I live in, the busy stuff, the onslaught of one trial after another, the demands of home and work, the needs to balance life, can be a challenge to merrily skip along on the Roadway praising God's name and living in trust! The Enemy is a pro at throwing distractions my way, and if I look any other direction, I can be  gone. Gone, as in doubting, fearing about the future, lonely, isolating, unable to trust those who care.  The Roadway that God has so lovingly laid out for me has become far more treacherous and I have built many detours along the way! I've added shades here and there so its' far more challenging to see His light , and I've thrown in some rocks on the road so I stumble along, I run ahead leaving my family and friends behind so I'm isolated and alone. Or, I get caught up in the past, thinking it defines who I am, forgetting that I am a Daughter of the King! I become unaware that something new is right there in the wilderness, I forget that I'm even on the Roadway, or that there's a River of life for me to drink from!
Thankfully, God calls to me when this happens. He sends caring people to help me. He whispers in my ear verses like "will you not be aware of it?" He loves me. He does not allow the enemy to snatch me off of the Roadway, for there is a hedge around me, and His love for me endures forever. He fights for me and walks on the Roadway with me, behind me, and scouts the map out ahead of me.
Life is an incredible journey, it is for me. God's Roadway brings many interesting adventures, something new all the time! Say That Again, loving Father, You will bring something new, and You will make a Roadway through the wilderness, and Rivers in the desert.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The White Out

My children got into the white out. They painted it onto their faces, cute little mustaches. They were pretty impressed with their artwork. They posed for the camera. Everybody cheered. When it was time to clean the white out off, they weren't as impressed with their good work! My daughter was especially grumpy about all the soap and water that I needed to apply to her face in order to get off the white out! Scrub, scrub, scrub!
I have found that this is true for me as well. Sometimes I get into the "white out" and then I spend a significant amount of time working to scrub up my life. Scrub, scrub, scrub!
It's times like this that I need reminders: Jesus already did the scrubing!
Say That Again, Jesus, you've covered me, You've washed me, You've scrubed me!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Patrol

My son was riding his scooter in the house and my daughter came running to tell me. "He's riding his scooter in the house, and he's not suppose to!"  My son came whipping around the corner just in time to inform both of us that nobody ever said that he shouldn't be riding his scooter in the house! I asked him how a scooter was different than a skate board, which has been banned from the house. He clearly said with an obvious tone, "a scooter has handle bars." And, around the corner he went! Skate boards have been banned from the house because they have a way of slipping out from under ones feet and ramming into the wall, consequently making marks and holes in the walls. Scooters, on the other hand, do have handle bars as my son pointed out, and probably won't ram into the wall. So, I decided that having a scooter in the house and watching it whip around the corner with my son on it, was okay. My daughter, on the other hand, still had the need to patrol the situation. I reminded her that she has had her bike in the house, which also has handle bars, but this didn't seem to appease her. She seemed to think that scooters were too much like skate boards and it should go.
I've been thinking about the scooter episode, and wondering about my own need to patrol others. Do I start patrol by voicing who is gifted in what? Or, do I decide who hears from God and who doesn't? Do I  get to be the one that patrols anything at all? As a leader at a Ministry do I tell people what to do, or motivate them to move in the direction God is calling them? Do I take their "handle bars" and lead them, or motivate them to call out to God and listen for His voice so they can follow Him on the path of light and we can be in unity together?
It is not my job to be the patrol voice! It's my job to love. I've got my own scooter, sometimes I'm on a skate board, ramming into the wall. Sometimes, I'm on a bike. Whatever I'm on, I've got to be listening to the voice of God. And, I've got to be riding on the level ground at the cross, with everybody else. When I'm rammed into the wall, I need someone to come along and help me. And, when I see my friends stuck in a hole, I'm going to come along and motivate them, pray for them, and see God rescue them!
Jesus, I want to surrender today to Your voice. I want You to patrol me, all of me. Lead me. Drive the scooter, Jesus, and keep me from ramming into the wall when I'm on a skate board. Use me in the lives of others. Say That Again, today, You are my Patrol.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Party

Its been raining all week, and we've been praying that God would stop the rain just for a few hours, because we've been planning a party for our upcoming grandson. He's due to arrive in May. My husband read the forecast yesterday and it said chances of rain were 100 percent! I kept praying for sunshine. There were a lot of people coming to this party, and some of those people were men, they wanted to stand outside around the fire pit, and bond.  My son, the new daddy, didn't really want to join in on gift opening, and girlie games. So, we prayed.
The party was great, with all of my family there. My three older sons, their beautiful wives. My two energetic younger children, and my granddaughter.  God, kept back the rain clouds, just as He has done for every event we have done so far at our ministry house, Agape Celebration! 
My daughter in law did the finishing touches on cleaning up and just as we walked out the door, it started to rain! We both knew without a doubt, that God had given the OKAY to the weather. God does care about the intimate details of my life, even about the party for my son and daughter. He is involved and He knew how important it was to me and others that the weather was nice for us on the party day. I look at this one little thing and realize how big it is! With all the stress going on in life right now, it meant so much to me to have God's tenderness touch my day. It meant so much to have my entire family together, to be able to take pictures, and see them smile. It was a joy to see my children run through the yard and play, and even funny to find them on the roof! ( yes, they are energetic and full of mischief)
Jesus, You continue to show me how much You love me.  Yesterday, You showed up at the party, and that was pretty special. Thank you for Saying That Again to me!