Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mommy I Love You

I was looking diligently for a specific item when I heard, “Mommy, I love you!”  The voice was so sweet that I had to turn and see where the location of this angelic voice.  To my pleasure there was a small little boy, probably four or five years old looking up at his mommy with love and admiration. I stood there momentarily listening to his voice and hearing his mom’s gentle responses. It seemed his favorite buzz words were, “Mommy isn’t that cool!” To which, she loving and tenderly responded, “Yes, it is!”  Never once in the time they were shopping did her voice raise or did he stop talking to his mommy.
Shopping complete, I headed to the check out area. There, to my delight, in front of my buggy was the little man with his mommy. He had not stopped pointing things out nor had his mommy stopped talking with him.  And now, there was another person added to his conversation.  In front of the little boy and his mom was an older lady.  What struck me first was her hair.  It was dark black and very dry and literally stood out all over!  Yet, not once did her appearance seem to affect this little man or his verbal exchange with her. He spoke with her with the sweetest voice, always with respect and an openness  that included her in his conversation.
So struck by their exchange, I felt ashamed. The thought occurred to me, “How many people would be put off by her appearance. Deem her unworthy of their time and not engage her in conversation?”  Yet, this little angel man saw through her exterior appearance and saw her heart.  What a model of Jesus! No wonder Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”  No wonder Jesus loved children so much. And, no wonder, Jesus said, “Unless you become as a little child, you will not see the Kingdom of God.”

Heart opened and taught that afternoon, I am praying that God will give me eyes cnd a heart like that little angel man.  May I see past the exterior to the interior – the heart!  May others hear my voice as a sweet sound that will draw them to the place where they see Jesus instead of me.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Homiletics is Killing Me!

Recently God called me to join an incredible group of ladies as a group leader in a Bible study.  Each week the leaders gather on Tuesday mornings to go over the lesson that our “small group” will discuss the following day.  Part of the preparation as group leader is to complete the homiletics for the week’s lesson. This has been the living out of…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
In frustration today I asked Steve if there was historical evidence that doing Homiletics had ever killed anyone in the church.  His response was, “No.” Helpful, even encouraging but not the words I was anticipating.
This week’s lesson is Genesis 12:1-13:4. It is at this point, that you stop reading this post and go get your Bible to read. If not, you will have no idea what I’m talking about…that is more frustrating that doing Homiletics!!!
Okay, now that you are up to speed, you understand this lesson involves the call of Abram by God, Abram’s response to the call, a test of faith and Abram returning to Bethel from Egypt. 
The method of the way our group leader does her Homiletics involves the following steps: (1) Content.  This is actually kind of the fun part. You imagine you are an “on-the-scene” reporter. It is your job you report just the facts as concisely as you can.  (2) Divisions. This is where you take the content and put into paragraph form [no more than 4]. (3) Subject sentence is putting into sentence form the main thought of the divisions. (4) Aim. The Aim is important because it is what principle of the lesson. (5) Application. The Application is what it says, applying what is in the lesson to real life…whether in the office, home, grocery store and even church!
For brevity of time and space I am going to skip the Contents and Division and share my Subject Sentence, Aim and Application. Why? Because it is what is killing me that is making me stronger.

Subject Sentence: Answering a call from God requires faith and obedience.

Aim: God requires faith and obedience when you respond to His calling.
Seeking the ONE THING that God wanted to show me (thanks to my fearless leader, Nicole) came in the Application part.  Here is the applications questions that came to mind as I typed.
Are my listening ears “on” or “off” when God speaks to me?  Why?
Is there a limit to my faith or my obedience? Why?

Do I trust God when the famine hits? Where do I flee…to Egypt or to Him?
And the last one was the ONE THING that God wanted to show me. I wrote…
Where is my Bethel and how often do I return to it?  Why?

As you read the passage of Abram, a man called by God, where are you in the story?  Are you Abram and being called to something unknown? Are you Sarai who is along on the journey but the journey is getting really personal? What about Lot?  Where are you in the story?  What is the ONE THING God is trying to show you?  Will you listen?  Will you obey?  Are you will to answer His call with faith?
Would love you hear your thoughts and where you are on your journey. There is ONE THING I’ve learned, that when I have faith no matter the test, it does make me stronger! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In the Land of Busyness

 In the not too distant from here is a land called, “The Land of Busyness.”  A long time ago, an evil prince cast a spell on the land and its inhabitants.  The evil prince created a powerful illusion that moved through all generations.  This illusion is so powerful that none of its inhabitants know it exists. You can easily hear phrases widely spoken in the Land of Busyness. Phrases like, “I have to hurry! I can’t be late, again! There’s just not enough hours in the day to do what I need to do! Look at what all I have left to do!” The stress and anxiety is always at a high pitch and the people believe this is the way life it is supposed to be.  Sadly the deadliest part of the illusion is that the inhabitants have been told by the evil prince, “Don’t worry, you will have time another day.”  The evil prince knows that this is a lie…that he will never allow the time to come. He knows that he will only fill the next day and the day after that with the same lies and the same busyness. The people in the land of busyness continue on their busy way, keeping busy…teaching their children – this is the way it is here in the Land of Busyness.

Sure there are celebrations of life and expressions of love squeezed into an already packed schedule.  But by allowing this, the evil prince has stolen the essence of joy. It has been simply been squeezed out, minimized and sometimes overlooked.  Because that is just the way life is in the Land of Busyness. Moments to renew each other and bless each another are lost or quickly forgotten in the frenzied activities. Because that is the way it is in the land of busyness. 

The main clock in the tower in the center of town stopped working long ago.  Part of evil prince’s illusion is that another clock hangs in its place. The fast hand on the clock seemed blurred as it bangs out the time to hurry…get busy…pushing the inhabitants relentlessly. And such is the day for the inhabitants in the Land of Busyness.

The evil prince also cursed the inhabitants of the land of busyness with disease.  The prince is evil because he doesn’t care that it makes the inhabitants sad and causing great pain and suffering. He shortens their days and steals their hope.  Yet the inhabitants aren’t allowed the time to grieve or comfort one another.  For the illusion dictates that time is of the essence and time and activity must go on.  For such is the life in the day of the inhabitants in the Land of Busyness.

The evil prince believes that by hurting the inhabitants, that he hurts the heart of The Great Father.

Be comforted, Little Ones of the Land of Busyness, for behind a veil in the eastern sky of the Land of Busyness another Kingdom is waging war on the evil prince. Far above the heads and in the hearts of the inhabitants, The Great Father, His Son- the Mighty King and their Helper are breaking the illusion.  The Mighty King’s banner is LOVE.  Carrying the Mighty King’s banner, Angelic Special Forces are being sent by The Great Father and His Son to engage the evil prince and his army daily. The evil prince is very angry and he intensifies the suffering of the inhabitants.

Promised words of hope and redemption spoken long ago are now coming to pass.  The Great Father’s Kingdom is almost ready.  On That Day the veil will roll back like a scroll and The Mighty King will return for all those who have chosen Him as their king.  The Mighty Kingdom will be a forever Kingdom...a land of joy, a paradise filled with love and hope. There will be no tears shed for there is no sickness or death.  The Mighty King will forever banish the evil prince and along with his entire army!  The evil prince will be no more and the inhabitants (yes, the prisoners of the Land of Busyness) will be set free! 

Won’t you come today, good kind and gentle Mighty King to set us free?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

With These Hands...

With these hands you have…

Held…Served…Blessed…Cared For
Pitched & Caught Baseballs...
Assembled Toys…Stitched heirloom Christmas Stockings...
Gathered Her Family Around Her…Played with…Loved more than three generations of children (grand and great)...

One of the most precious memories I have growing up was tea parties officiated by my mom. Mom always made time for her children.  One day, my sister and I wanted a tea party outside.  Mother was thrilled to help!  First we baked the cookies, then we made the lemonade (with real lemons) and then we spread out a quilt onto the lawn outside.  We sat on the quilt laughing and sharing. I can still see it in my mind today.

In my treasure box of memories, I remember snowball ice cream, her house decorated for Christmas (seriously even the bathrooms!), her love of telling and hearing jokes, the way she made you feel like you were and still are the most important person in her world...and when she said, "I Love You," you knew without a doubt she meant it from the bottom of her heart.

My mom thinks that her hands are ugly.  Age and arthritis have taken their toll on these beautiful hands.  When I look at her hands, I do not see them as ugly… I see them as Heaven-sent to touch and bless more people than I can possibly name.  She is a treasure and I love her!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Most Times...Always Waiting For You

Growing up a "homebody, introvert, middle child, etc..." I find I am always surprised and in awe of the beauty in God's creation when I venture out into God's Kingdom.  Some of my best "aha!" moments have been while riding on the back of Steve's motorcylce.  Perched safely behind Steve, I am free to take in all the sites, sounds, and smells of the scenery.  Most times, my camera is pointed and snapping the view. Our headset plugged in, Steve will, most times, alert me to an oncoming "camera" moments.  The camera quickly goes up and click, click, click.  Sometime I do not realize the majestic scene captured until back home and editing the photos.  It is in the editing phase that my eyes behold the treasures that had been waiting for me. My breathing stops as I take in the beauty of what God showed this unseasoned traveler.  Had I not ventured out, I would have totally missed the beauty of His handiwork. You know, Life is like that...scenery like this does not come to have to seek it out. Most times, our lives are filled with scheduling, "to-do" lists begat "to-do" lists.  We find ourselves pressed between meetings, phone calls, emails. Yet, it is during the holy moments on Steve's bike (when we finally get away) that God reveals what had always been waiting...not just for me...but for anyone who will take the time to "come and see."  It is in these times that I lean back on the bike, spread my hands out in awe and just worship!  It is not uncommon to hear me over the mic saying, "God, you are sooooo good!" or "Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!!"  or "Honey, God good or what???"  I've been teased more than once by those fellow travelers riding behind us as they observed my hands and my worship...especially if I am signing the words to the songs that are playing through the speakers on our Ipod.
Once home, the photos are edited and moved onto our digital frame that rests on the counter separating our den and kitchen.  From the couch you can sit and view each frame as it scrolls, rolls and appears.  It is like a virtual travel log and draws you in and reminds you what...had been there waiting for you.
Time lapses, children grow, scenery changes yet pictures of the journey and our traveling friends continue to record the miles and the sites around us.  It is holy time with holy and friends...
When time permists, we load the bike and strike out on an adventure.  It is those times that I have grown to love and see what God has waiting to show us.   There is another adventure on the horizon. It is somewhere we have never been. SD cards and lens are packed, and camera batteries are ready to charge. I can hardly wait to "go and see." Quite a change from a home-body, don't you think? 
Is there something that God is waiting to show you? Will you go and see?

"Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!"
Psalm 66:5

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Will Remember for You

When the scenes of outside summer tea parties with cookies on a plate spread upon a quilt are distance in your memory…I will remember for you.

When the mind will not recall the births and weddings which you celebrated…I will remember for you.

When you cannot recall the joy and wonder of watching your children and grandchildren play at the lake…I will remember for you.

When your memory skips around and the mind refuses to beckon the moments your loved ones have hugged you tightly…I will remember for you.

When your friends become strangers and your children’s name escape you…I will remember for you.

When your mind goes to a place that memories are safely locked away…I will remember for you.

When you are safely home and memories flood your soul…I will be here to remember.

Until then, rest your precious heart and know that all is not lost because…I will remember for you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Single Suitcase

What is it about a single suitcase that makes you feel lonely? For the past four months, I have
lived more of a suitcase than not. Thephone would ring and I would go. So much happened during those long hours I drove back and forth. So many things happened during the time I spent there. Before I finish packing, I could feel God nudging me toward my computer. He wanted me show me something. As my fingers skipped across the keys, I knew God had something to show me. Feelings of peace and quiet settled over me. It was time for an assessment.
So, tentatively I opened my heart and looked inside. My (false) heart me told that there is simply no room for anything else! Enough is enough! But, my (where God lives) heart told me there is always room to grow and to give. Know that God would protect me, I opened my heart…and looked inside.
My!!! Look at the shelves of boxes in here! Most are clearly marked and dated. Oh my, that is an old one there! And right beside it is a new one. An organized person would look at this heart and say, “My goodness, girl! This is a mess!” But, I don’t see a mess…I see my life…
There is fresh tape on an old box. Wow, I must have visited that box a lot. As I lift off the tape to peek inside, a smile flashes across my face. It is my memory box. Wow, it is bulging with pictures, momentos, scrapes of paper…each one bearing a tag, “To Keep.” Right near the top is a
diary. My hands are trembling as I turn the cover and look inside. There, in my own handwriting are moments in time that I wanted to remember. It looks as though the ink is still fresh on
this entry, “Time with Papa Jack.” My eyes become blurry as I attempt to read the entries. Eyes are leaking as I pour over the God-given moments with Papa Jack! Wow, what precious time God gave me with this man I grew to love.
Seeing that the diary is indexed, I quickly move to the next section marked, ”Mother.” Laughter
bubbled up as I read the entries, one by one. God had given my mom and me so really fun and lasting memories. How long I stood in that chamber reading the entries, one by one, I do not know. Good thing I had tissue in my pocket! What I realized was that I had been blessed
mightily by God. What a great life I have had. It has been the best kind of adventure. Yes, there have been scary parts, funny parts, sad parts and hilarious parts! In my hands held memories that had been tenderly journaled in my heart. Just I as I turning to leave, my eyes suddenly caught a tapestry hanging near the back. Gently I made my way to the back and beheld something that only God could do. There before me were faces of people who, at some point, were in my life. It was the most intricate piece of work I have ever seen. It held every moment of my life – good and bad. There was no way that I could avoid touching it. I reached out and touched the fabric…so delicate…finely woven but containing great strength. My eyes moved from top to bottom…it was then that I noticed threads blowing gently. It was unfinished.
There at the bottom of the tapestry woven in was another suitcase. I was going on, yet another
adventure. What lies ahead, I do not know, but this I do know…God’s hands are holding every thread of my life. Every thread is being intricately woven in to a beautiful design by the Master designer.
Packing a suitcase will never be the same again. This time, I am excited…what is it that God
has planned? I don’t know. I just know that His Word promises great plans…plans
to prosper and not to harm me. (Jeremiah 29:11). I know that God sings over me (Zephaniah 3:17). I know that God is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24). I know that God will never leave me (John 14:18). I know that God will give me strength to climb whatever obstacle is placed in my path (Habakkuk 3:19) I know that God is totally aware of my circumstances and is never away
from me (Psalm 139).