Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I knew it...I knew it. The floor began to tremble and the door which had not been opened in many centuries, slowly began to part. The shimmer from the gold, silver and bronze which lay beyond was blinding. The treasure had been found.
The interesting part in this scenario, was that our hero was in the very room which contained the "key" to the treasure all along. He kept trying to find the trigger to open the door...even tried to pry open the door with the tools in his pack, but to no avail.
I read a verse this morning which made me think. It made me realize...well... let me go to the verse and you will get my point.
It is found in John 3:27. The scene...a conversation between John the Baptist's disciples and John about why some left their "ministry" to follow Jesus' ministry. John makes a statement that he could only receive what was given him from heaven.
I don't know how many times I've skipped over this scripture without catching what he was saying. He was saying...."Hey look, this is what I was made to do...to prepare the path for Jesus the Messiah...I can do nothing more...I can do nothing less than what I was called to do." John did exactly what he was supposed to do.
Like the hero who finally stepped on the right stone, we must be where God tells us to be. To go beyond is overshooting the mark. To go beneath is lacking the ability or confidence to hit the mark.
We don't mean to overshoot or undershoot, but when we are drawn to duplicate the life someone else has, we overshoot. When we fail to see we can do what He called us to do, we undershoot. The result is the same...a missed target.
God has given each of us a quiver full of arrows, specifically designed to hit the mark...the mark which God himself created just for us.
You and I are not alike. We have different talents...different callings, but each of us can walk out this life with the satisfaction and joy of knowing we did what we were called to do.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
How many times have I gotten to this point only to realize there was still someone whom I had not forgiven. We constantly have the opportunity to be offended. And when offence comes, we then have the opportunity to forgive or to hang on to un-forgiveness.
Let me remind myself of the verses just in the last several weeks which brought me to this place once again of walking in forgiveness.
"If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."
"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (NIV)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
During the Christmas holidays I found myself staying up later and later. Sometimes I was watching shows which were one step up from stupid...if you know what I mean. What a total waste of time. Bad decision on my part.
I was also spending too much time on the Internet to the point of depriving myself of much needed sleep. Ridiculous.
Well...this past Sunday I knew that I needed to NOT overdo it. The Lord told me I could spend time with my family, but that I needed to spend time with Him. After all I do want the mind of Christ so that means I need to spend time with Him.
Rest is more than just taking a nap on Sunday or staying away from the shopping mall one day a week. Rest is about doing everything God's way.
He is the one who made us and knows our frame. In other words....He has the manufacturer's specs on us. Why do you think we wants us to be obedient? Because in obedience is blessing. And rest? Rest is obedience.
Aahh...I remember when stores were NOT open on Sundays. I never felt deprived. I remember resting physically...enjoying family...preparing for a new week.
Today we have built a "panic marathon race" lifestyle. Perhaps that is why most Monday mornings around 7:30 a.m. I hear an ambulance go by. People are so stressed that they do not get the rest they need on Sundays. But the most important rest...well that is the rest which comes from being in God's presence.
Breathe in...breathe out...God.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The first half of the day, I observed as the assistant ran the show. The weather outside was a cool 30 something degrees, so the decision was made to keep the kiddos inside. We set up cones and got them on their feet to run laps inside to a couple of songs from "High School Musical".
I've always been a somewhat hands on kind of gal, so I got out there and ran with about 5 of the classes...mostly to teach them not to sprint, but to pace themselves so that they wouldn't poop out. By the end of the day I was tired physically and emotionally. We had filled our class time with running and playing capture the flag. They were great kids and I enjoyed the day, but I fell asleep during the news which is NOT my norm.
Anyway, the next day, my legs were RATHER S-T-I-F-F from the extra exercise. I was not used to THAT much in a day. Now, I know why coaches don't get out there and run with their classes.
Then today, Sunday, one of the Pastors told a story about taking his family on vacation. His comment was that it was work for him, but fun for the kids. He said that parenting is sometimes uncomfortable. I know...the long evenings of waiting up for a daughter who does not want to come in one minute before curfew. Those are the evenings you want to go to sleep at 9:00 p.m. but you don't, because it is in those late night "meetings" that you exchange stories and amazingly enough...teach...show love and care for your child.
Yes, there have been mornings where I was feeling the results of the late nights, but it was so worth it. Each moment I spent listening to the events of the evening...each moment I spent washing and "outfit" late at night...each moment I spent going shopping when I just wanted to soak my feet...each moment spent on my children was time well spent...no matter how I physically felt the next morning. My kids know...I didn't always stay up...I didn't always do everything right, but I did always love them...still do.
The extra mile will always be run for my precious children.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
All of the wives of the church staff including pastor's wives attended a female get together at the home of one of the pastors. Along with the overdone offering of finger food was a request that each of the ladies bring along with them their Wedding Albums. I'm really not sure why, but I am sure the intent was honorable.
Unfortunately, my parents did not have a church wedding and there were no pictures taken the day they eloped. (My Dad's Father was a Baptist Minister who found out about the elopement in the newspaper.) This posed a problem or rather a challenge to my 5'3" mother who came up with a very creative alternative to the one dimensional pictures the rest of the ladies would be sharing.
As the time came for each wife to present her album, my Mother pulled out the lace bra she had purchased to wear under her wedding dress. That day, my Mother endeared herself to this group of ladies. They began to look to her for their dose of humor and honesty.
My Mother resides in Heaven now, and I have a feeling there is laughter around her.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
When we picked up the car it was so cold that I didn't care what the car smelled like inside. It was relatively clean but a chain smoker had used the car so I had to drive with the windows down on a very cool day to be able to stand the smell.
The first afternoon with the car, I drove to little man's school to pick him up.
When he got into the car, I could hear him sniffing...you know...like someone slowly snarfling up the scent of a good brownie. His response...
"Wow, I love the smell of this new car...it smells like the bowling alley Dad took me to!"
Of course, this is a kid who can sit in a room after expelling body gas and not notice. He will do good in a boy's locker room.
(BTW...my hubby said I should have gotten another car...he was right, but I might have missed this wonderful comment from our little man...)
Friday, January 11, 2008
I was unloading the dryer of whites when I reached in to get little man's white uniform polo type of shirt. On the front was a very dried in booger.
How in the world did a booger hold fast washed on warm? This one escapes me unless it was stuck on both sides and didn't release until it got in the dryer.
Thankfully, there were no remnants anywhere else.
How very icky!
Hope you are not eating and reading!
Blessings and have a wonderful, full of humor day!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Pressing through to the next level. It is like watching our son play video games. Whenever we want him to come to dinner or to go somewhere with us and he is playing his games…we hear…”Let me finish this level!”
What if we took that very same desire of an eight year old boy playing video games and applied it to where God has placed us in life.
It is so funny to listen to the little man express his excitement in finishing a difficult level. He knows the next level will be hard, but he stands ready with anticipation…what does the next level hold. He wants to hurry through dinner or hurry through his chores…or hurry to get back from the store so that he can get on with the next level.
Somehow in the hurry to get back to game, he has forgotten that the time spent doing other activities and time spent with family will develop his little character and provide a foundation of love and acceptance he will need to go through the levels in life.
Are we hurrying around trying to get through the current level in our lives? Each moment is important. Each relationship holds “something” for us to learn or someone for us to encourage or to be encouraged.
But there is a lesson to be learned from the little game player. That lesson is to be excited about where we are in life and excited about where God is taking us. We are not to be afraid of what lies ahead and burrow in our closets, but we are to take task in hand as we give our lives into HIS hand and move ahead. It may be difficult, but the challenge of trusting will do nothing but build strength in us. It will not be our strength, but godly character. Let patience have her perfect will in us so that we will lack nothing.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
So, one decides that there will always be deadness around so we just get used to it. One decides that there will always be cobwebs, so why tear down the old ones. Yes, one decides to sit in the chair which smells of musky oldness and remembers the hurts and the past as if it were yesterday.
This, my friends is a year of stepping away from the past and embracing the future. Sounds like a presidential candidates speech, but it is not. They are the words of one who has decided that it is easier on the neck and back to look forward than to continually keep looking back.
Once again, I have left the confines of the easy chair and not just closed the door on the musty old room of the past, but have decided to clean it out and prepare it for a future.
There is no reason to look back in our lives or in our country as well.
So many make decisions so glibly in their own lives and then apply that same type of reasoning in their other decisions. Here is the thinking. If I voted for a Democrat last time for President, and of course I didn't like what I got, then I'll just vote for a Republican...or visa versa.
Two of our children are voting for the first time this year, and I told our youngest "soon to be voter" that she just needed to check out what each candidate was saying...what they believed, what they did and were currently doing...and even the people they hang out with. (Isn't that what you tell your children?) I told her to check out who they would listen to and take direction from.
Some Americans know more about their babysitter than they do the person they vote for. This is a day to not look to the past, but to look to the future and look at the person who wants to SERVE us as President.
The "stuff" coming out should not surprise us if we do our own investigations. But before we start thinking of who we should vote for...perhaps it would be a good idea for us to personally set our hearts and mind to look forward. I like the picture Paul the Apostle paints when he says that we should forget the past and run to win.
There are some of you who have so much hurt in the past that every decision you are currently making in all areas of your life is tainted and colored by that hurtful past. Hurt makes wrong decisions.
So what are we to do when we have hurt? Listen to what God says about us and about our future. He says the plans He has for us are for good and not for bad...to give us a hope and a future. Love yourself enough to move forward with the understanding that you were uniquely made and formed for a specific task...and that task was not to stay in the past and let it make your future decisions for you.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I just read about a man who was pardoned after 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He got a second chance at life even though he was never guilty.
I nearly hit a car the other day...I missed...no one was hurt and there was no damage of any kind...I got a second chance.
Whether you need a second chance because of a mistake you made, or a second chance because you were unjustly accused...this is your year.
This country is getting a second chance. We've been praying for the right person to become President. I have my thoughts and I'm sure you have your thoughts, but in the end our opinions are less important than God's opinions.
There was a story told of two builders. One built his house on a solid rock. When the rains came and the winds blew, his house stayed firm because it was built up high on a solid rock. The other builder didn't want the bother of building his house way up high where it was difficult to hoist materials and more costly to put together, so he built his house on the sand...beach front property. Unfortunately, when the rains came and the winds beat on his house he had something else to contend with...flooding and rushing waters. So, the house on the sand fell apart and he was left without a home.
If the "sand" builder had another chance, would he build his house again on sand? We would all say "yes", but perhaps he would try to build on sand again, hoping to get a different result. For someone who builds near water, storms are the norm and their homes must be built to withstand the beating.
We have a second chance in our country. I like many of you am focused on the Presidential race and have been daily reading about the candidates and praying for wisdom. Some I have already marked off my list because they believe in building on sand. Some have foundational truths which are rock solid. Please pray with us as we seek God's mind on these elections. I sense deeply that this election is VERY important.
How many chances do you give your kids before letting them reap what they sow? I'm not willing to test God though He is extremely patient with me and this nation. Eventually discipline has to come to turn a child around. Pray, pray and pray some more...get busy doing what God uniquely designed you to do...that goes for me as well...
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I asked him where he got that piece of information and he just shrugged his shoulders and said "I don't know."
What a hoot. Then...last night, I asked him if he would like to come and sit in my lap and give me a hug and he looked at me and said..."No speakidy English". Yeah right...but I did get a good laugh!
The joys of having kids around!
Today, he started asking questions about our government.
I guess it is time to get out the old text books and give him a lesson in how a "Republic" is supposed to operate... i.e...a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law. (We are sometimes called a democracy...i.e. a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections...when in reality, we are a republic!)
Not to get too political, but the politicians in the House and Senate have forgotten that they are responsible to us. Teach our children well and bring them back to their roots!
Little man's many questions will have to be answered with solid information...not just what someone thinks is right. The majority of Americans still think that one of our major documents has in it the "separation of church and state". Let's all get informed and see what our founding fathers set up instead of what some news broadcaster tells us, or some self absorbed...greedy for power politician tells us.