There is a need in all of us to perform. Perhaps it is not on a stage or in front of friends and strangers at a party, but none the less, there is a deep ingrained need to express.
For some, it is with the pen...for others it is on stage, or in the kitchen preparing new and unusual gourmet delights. Whatever it is that drives each and every one of us, it is imperative that we are able to express.
Now I am not taking about the need to take off our clothes and express our nudeness to everyone or to have sex with everything that walks or the need to take our mouths and use them to destroy others with the slashing of the tongue. No, I am talking about the need to take what God put in us as not only as a way of keeping us on track, but using it to touch another life...to give them life so to speak.
Some serve, some teach, some help, some give...whatever it is that has been planted in you from the time you were conceived...and even before...it must come out.
Water was made to refresh. Light was made to illuminate dark areas. Each of us was designed specifically to refresh and illuminate in whatever area God chose for us. To not learn from the master himself how to express our gift and then not TO express our gift is death.
Every wonder why so many people sit in front of a TV set and do nothing? They have died inside because they are not learning, loving and expressing to others through their gift that God put within them.
It all comes first through the time spent in the Master's lap learning how to love others. Then He points the way and puts within us the faith required to do the task with passion and drive. It is life to us...
I'm not sure how this saying originated..."Dance with the One who Brought You"...or maybe it is "Dance with the One who Brung You"...but I like it. It is very apropos. How, you say? Aah...I am so very glad you asked!
Without getting on my soapbox, I will attempt to make this short...if possible.
Dancing with the one who brought you is not only good manners, it is respectful of the guy who went out of his way to choose especially YOU. After all, he is providing for the transportation, the meal ticket, and whatever it costs to get into the dance. A man with honorable intentions treats his date with respect. A man with intentions to marry the young woman he swings around the dance floor...if he is honorable...will love her...honor her...provide for her...and encourage her to be all that God made her to be. He will never just live with her, because that would be dishonoring...then he could just walk out on her. But rather, he will stick by her and be willing to give all he has for her and to her as he places that ring on her finger and vows before God and man that he will be there for her..."till death do us part".
Well, my fellow bloggers. America is the woman...and Jehovah God is the man. He showed her how to be free. Helped her to pattern her laws after His ways. He held her by the waist and cradled her hand as he lead her through good times and tough times. It was his hand which provided for her needs. He gave her gifts...wealth in the ground to power her. He caused her fields to gleam with grain. When thirsty, he gave her water to quench her thirsty soul. When tired, he gave her himself as a place of rest and refuge. Because of him...she has become one of the wealthiest...yet she looks at others who have come to dance...other gods...forgetting all he has done for her.
But they cannot give her life, because they do not posses life. Oh America...dance with the one who brought you...loves you...has given his all for you...
I did not have much interest in going to Friday night prayer, but as God would have it, I knew that last Friday night I was to go. It started at 10 pm and lasted until midnight. In my minds eye, I envisioned people roaming around the auditorium praying for two hours, but I was wrong.
When I walked in, a smattering of people were there...a small group of about 30. Around the room, stations were set up. Each had a theme. There was praise and worship intermittently through the evening as people went to whatever station they desired and prayed. Some had a word, while others drew pictures of what God had shown them. Some danced and others lay face down on the floor.
In the course of this two hour time, God began to talk to me about our country...America. The words He spoke over and over again were "The Eagle Has Landed". Of course, this references Neil Armstrong's remark pertaining to the lunar landing, but as I mulled this over, God began to speak again. "Pray for America to mount up". Eagles were never meant to spend a lot of time on the ground...landed. They were meant to rise up and soar.
He said this..."I am not done with this country - you don't give up on her. Though she has slept with the nations and has opened her arms to other gods, I am not finished with her. Pray my people - pray."
God's call to us is ...to pray. The eagle...America was meant to soar. She was conceived in tribulation because she was meant to rise up and soar. She was meant to ride on the winds of the Spirit of the Lord, but instead, she has decided to ground herself. Her people have killed, sued, rejected God's ways for marriage and family. She has opened her arms to accept any idol and god - yet she has held the true God at arms length...rejecting his love...forgetting it was He who caused her to prosper. Sounds like Old Testament Israel.
But, I am not ready to give up on her. I pray for miracles to break out in this country. I pray for boldness to speak the truth IN LOVE. I pray for broken hearts to be mended and those who are captive to their addictions and lusts to be freed from their prison.
It is time to Mount Up America on the winds of the Spirit of the Lord.
Jimmy asked his Dad..."Is it time yet?" to which his Father replied..."Not yet son." The day was overcast, and the drive through the mountains of New Mexico was inspiring...at least to Jimmy's father, but all his son could think about was the swimming pool waiting for him at the motel twenty five miles up ahead. --- "Can you go faster Dad?" asked Jimmy. --- "No son. If I drive faster around these winding curves, we might end up at the bottom of the mountain...that is why they have speed limits...so that we will get safely to our motel," replied his father. --- "Aah nuts!" said Jimmy. --- "Why don't you look at the beautiful mountains. You can see the creek winding it's way around the mountain at the base. And look...that ranch house looks like a speck down there. Let's roll down the windows...it is nice and cool now...and smell the mountain air...the pine trees...the pinon burning in someones fireplace...Wow!" said Father. ... Jimmy folded his arms and slumped down in his seat at his father's comments. ... "How boring," thought Jimmy as he glanced out the window in an attempt to honor his father's wishes. ... Even though the clouds had covered the sky for most of the trip, Jimmy could see one place where the sun was piercing through like a flashlight. Jimmy closed his eyes thinking he might sleep out the next few miles, but when he did, he felt the sweet scent of the mountain air crawl up his nostrils. It did smell good, just like his father had said. ... Repositioning himself, he decided to take a look over the side of the road which was winding it's way to the top to see if he could see that ranch house his Dad had mentioned earlier. There is was, small as an ant. You could see the stables...and the horses...and what looked like a person walking back to the main house. ... Jimmy and his Dad talked the rest of the trip and he was surprised how quickly that last twenty five miles passed. As they drove into the parking lot of the motel, Jimmy was glad that he had taken his father's advice...it made the trip as much fun as the destination.
--- Timing is everything... ... It was the Feast of Tabernacles, and Jesus' brother advised him to go to Judea (There were some there who sought to take Jesus' life!) and perform some miracles. They said that if he wanted a public ministry, he would need to show his stuff in public...not private. .... Jesus' response was interesting. He said, " The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right." Midway through the Feast Jesus did show up and began to teach. The things he said should have gotten him arrested, but the scripture says, "but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come..." ---- For Jimmy, any time was the right time to swim, but his father knew that if he tried to speed things up, they might never get to their destination. ---- So it is with us as God tries to speak to us of his timing. He wants us to relish the journey as well as the destination, because often times more is learned about the character of God, his love and his desires for our life in the journey than in the fulfillment of our dreams and visions.
As daughters grow up, it is a tendency of mothers to pull out the baby pictures and dream of what it was like to hold their precious sweeties. Aah...memories of brushing their hair and dressing them (better than playing Barbie's). Their first words, the funnyisms they glibly spoke and all the ways they brought a smile to your face...these are the memories mothers hold deeply in their hearts.
But I look to each day to create new memories with them. As our eldest is coming up on her second anniversary and as our youngest daughter is about to embark upon college, I find life today as full of sweet thoughts as those of their growing up years.
Little girls this is for you...
To you, our eldest
From bouncing "pinktails"
(as your little brother used to say)
on the stump at your Grandpa's house
becoming a houseparent to 8 little boys
who need your healing hands of love
to mend their broken lives...
I know with God in you
you will do what you are called to do.
To our youngest daughter,
From singing in the pole at the grocery check out...
The love of Christ is often misunderstood by the way I see myself and other Christians respond to others. It is very clear when you read John 3:16. The desire to go out each and every day and respond in love to everyone is obviously the heart felt plan, but in actuality, our selfish ambitions reach out through our mouths and grab the necks of those we deem our enemies. We want to squeeze the very life out of them. Then, in our times of quiet, we realize that our reactions were just opposite of the love God has shown us..."in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Living the life of love comes from knowing that we are loved. This is something I must daily tell myself..."Jesus loves me this I know...for the Bible tells me so..." The simple song I learned as a child speaks volumes to me. God loved me first. He reached out to me when I was His enemy and didn't grab me by the throat, but rather wooed me to himself. Yet in the walk with Jesus, we come across those who test the love of Christ in us, but should they REALLY test that love? Or, is his love in us so bountiful that we know, if rejected by the world that we can freely give of that overflow of love without straining and gritting our teeth and wishing to be back inside our little homes filled with crosses and Bibles. John writes that perfect love casts out fear. I suppose one of the greatest fears is fear of rejection. His love casts out that fear. Another fear is failure. His love casts out fear of failure. For many, it is the fear of loneliness. His love warms the most dismal, lonely life and removes all fear. We think of love as an action, and of course it is. But, it is first His love to us. His love to us is the foundation of all of our hopes and dream and it is imperative that we grasp this important concept that HE LOVES US FIRST. Can we stand rejection? Yes, because the author of all things LOVES US. Can we stand failure? Yes, because he loves us and has told us that though we fail, we will rise up again. Since His love casts out fear, then what he has called us to do can be done. It is important to remember though that it is HIS LOVE which puts us in this wonderful position of being fearless. I do not mean to say that we should go out and do what we want, but what I DO mean to say is that HE has to be the direction in our lives. He will always ask us to do something outside of our comfort zone and it is in those times that we need to remember about HIS LOVE removing our fear. Fear is bondage. Love is freedom.
Why is this blog entitled "One Step Up From Stupid"?
Quite some time ago, a friend of mine challenged me to start a blog. I knew I did not have time, nor did I want to take the time to do a blog.
One day as I was driving home from work, I was talking with the Lord and He challenged me to start a blog. "Okay, but you are going to have to give me the stupid name for this blog because I haven't a clue as to what I should call IT."
I was stopped at a light waiting for it to turn green during this whole conversation. Before the light changed, I heard in my spirit, "call it one step up from stupid". I quickly jotted down this ridiculous name and that is how it all started.
So much of my life I've stood at the crossroad of deciding whether to make a wise decision or a stupid decision. I would like to say my life has been filled with perfection, but alas that is not the case. My prayer is that this blog is a benefit to you in whatever challenges you face each day. The bottom line...you can serve a God who always loves you, will never leave you, gently corrects you, and has a good plan for your life.
Blessed with three children and a wonderful son-in law, I find life always holds an interesting twist at each turn.
I'm married to a great guy. I love the Lord who loves me and you also. I pray you will be blessed by the writings in this blog and hope you will challenge me with your insights as well.
P.S. - I love my children, their spouses and those to come!
The central theme of the Bible is God's love for you and for all people. This love was revealed when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.
Because Christ died, your sins can be forgiven, and because He conquered death you can have eternal life. You can know for sure what will become of you after you die.
You have probably heard the story of God's love referred to as the "Gospel." The word Gospel simply means "Good News." The Gospel is the Good News that, because of what Christ has done, we can be forgiven and can live forever. But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you willingly accept it.
God requires an individual response from you. The following verses from the Bible show God's part and yours in this process:
God's Love Is Revealed in the Bible "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." —John 3:16 (NIV) God loves you. He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. And He wants to give you a life which will last forever, even after you experience physical death.
We Are Sinful "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV) You may have heard someone say, "I'm only human—nobody's perfect." This Bible verse says the same thing: We are all sinners. We all do things that we know are wrong. And that's why we feel estranged from God—because God is holy and good, and we are not.
Sin Has a Penalty "For the wages of sin is death." —Romans 6:23 (NIV) Just as criminals must pay the penalty for their crimes, sinners must pay the penalty for their sins. If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity. The Bible teaches that those who choose to remain separated from God will spend eternity in a place called hell.
Christ Has Paid Our Penalty! "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8 (NIV) The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, has paid the penalty for all your sins. You may think you have to lead a good life and do good deeds before God will love you. But the Bible says that Christ loved you enough to die for you, even when you were rebelling against Him.
Salvation Is a Free Gift "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." —Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) The word grace means "undeserved favor." It means God is offering you something you could never provide for yourself: forgiveness of sins and eternal life, God's gift to you is free. You do not have to work for a gift. All you have to do is joyfully receive it, Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you!
Christ Is at Your Heart's Door "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." —Revelation 3:20 (NIV) Jesus Christ wants to have a personal relationship with you. Picture, if you will, Jesus Christ standing at the door of your heart (the door of your emotions, intellect and will).
Invite Him in; He is waiting for you to receive Him into your heart and life.
You Must Receive Him "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —John 1:12 (NIV) When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God, and have the privilege of talking to Him in prayer at any time about anything. The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity.
(From the Billy Graham website)http://www.billygraham.org