Tuesday, May 23, 2006

God is not a man,

that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

Numbers 23:19 & 20

God Or IN God

While driving the other day, my husband, James, asked me, "Do you believe God? Or, do you believe IN God?" My answer was, "both". He liked my answer and we had a great discussion.

So many of us believe IN God. God is the reason for our very existence and God is ultimate salvation for our souls. Yet, so many of us do not truly believe God. It is hard for some of us to believe God will do what He says He will do. There are cares of life that we must all endure. There are even times when really bad things happen to really Godly people. Death is a part of life. Hmmmm! Why? I do not have the answer, and the most intelligent human being, that lives or ever lived on earth, does not have the answer either. Our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. God's Word teaches us that He is not a man that He should lie. So, His promises are yes and amen.

Aaaah! So, it's a timing thing. It seems like we are always waiting for God to do something. The thing is, God is waiting for US to do something. God is waiting for our obedience. When our lives are in order and we are walking in the Spirit and living in the Spirit, things still happen that we do not like nor do we understand. Could it be a test? I believe, in most cases, it is.

God's Word is a constant source of assurance and hope for us. God's Word is full of promises and blessings for us. Almost always God includes an "IF you will" before the promise or before the blessing. So, it is always God waiting on us to do what He has asked us to do.

What is it that God is asking You to do? Is God waiting on YOU to be obedient to Him? What is it that You are asking God for? Often times, what we are asking God for HE requires of US.

Here is my prayer today.

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for being my Comforter, my Guide and my Friend. Thank You for loving me when I am unloveable. Help me to believe YOU and believe that what You say You will do for me You will do. I pray that I am quick to obey Your Word and quick to hear Your voice. I know it is OK to question You; just help me to accept Your answer. Your answer is always what is best for me. Your answer is always to better and grow your Kingdom. May I truly have Kingdom vision. I bless Your name, Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Swing

One pretty afternoon James thought he would go sit out on the deck in our swing. We love our swing and we have enjoyed many evenings sitting in it and we have planned vacations and events while sitting in it. This particular evening James did NOT get to sit very long because the canvas gave way. Yes, the swing had weathered too many hot Texas summers. What do you do with something this big once you are finished with it? James is usually the first one to say things like, "I will cut it up and we will trash it". James is never one to save anything. However, THIS time James made the decision to keep the frame and use it to hang flowering baskets on. Then came the question "Where?". The frame found its new home outside our bedroom window and I, of course, went to Lowes and bought a basket. I do not know much about flowers so I am trying to learn what type of flowers I can have that I will not kill with ignorance, not to mention the hot Texas summer.

I have stood, countless times, staring at this frame. What can I do with it to make it look pretty? I actually can see it my mind. I want it to have flowering vines growing up the sides and all along the top of it. It has to be vines that can live in part to full sun and they have to be in pots, not in the ground.

As I can see my frame in its future, so God sees me in MY future. I feel very much like this frame today. I feel like I am bare. Oh, I may have one little flowering basket, but there is room for so much more. I am sturdy. I have long extensions to hold much more than I am holding. I want to render wonderful baskets of flowers that I can share with others. I want my baskets to overflow. They will because I have a caretaker that is committed to me. God has been so good to me all through my life and God is not finished with me yet.

We sing a little song at our church.

I can see me in the future
and I look much better
than I look right now.

When I look at my frame, I can see it in the future and it looks much better than it looks right now.

I can see ME in the future and I look much better than I look right now.

So whatever it is today that causes you to feel bare, just remember your past cannot dictate your future. You are where you are because of where you have been but you are no where near where you are going to be.

I can see YOU in the future
and YOU look much better
than YOU look right now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

His Grace

Wednesday! My day off! Guess what? I am not sitting in the big comfy chair eating Bon-Bons watching my favorite Soap! (And, yes, I do have one Soap.) This is laundry day. I got behind. I hate it when that happens. Most of all, my husband hates it. He gets up at 4:00 AM, dresses (all by himself), has his quiet time with his Bible, eats his breakfast and heads off to perform miracles on his job. Through the years it has become our custom for him to kiss me and tell me he loves me. There is no intelligible conversation with me at this time of the morning (it is still NIGHT to me). So, we talk later in the morning. This morning when he called and asked me,

"Is it was ok to wear a blue shirt with gray slacks?".

I knew it was not going to be a "yes" or "no" answer and I think he did too. Our conversation went like this:

"Oh, Baby, what have you got on? Describe the shirt to me."

"Well, I thought it was black until I saw it in the light in my office."

"Has anyone made fun of you?"

"Not yet. I wore brown shoes, but I made sure I also wore a brown belt and socks. Mandi taught me that."

"Maybe you should come home and change."

"No, I don't have time. I'm on my way to a meeting in Waco and then I have another one in Arlington later today. I will see you at church."

And then my heart fell. Church?!?!?! Now, all MY friends will see him. I pulled myself together.

"Oh, well, maybe you can come home first and we can ride together."

"Are you doing laundry today? That might help things in the morning?"

He said it so sweetly and that's really all he had to say. I AM doing laundry today.

OK, now I know this has happened to all of you. Why is it that we can wash faster than we can dry. I have 2 loads waiting to be dried. I am finished washing but I will be drying all day long. What's up with that? I found myself wishing for 2 dryers. That's what I need -- 2 dryers. I can't imagine how women did laundry years ago with that little ringer job and even before that wonderful state of the art invention came about.

We are never satisfied, are we? We want our food faster? We want our computer to work faster? I am so spoiled to satellite TV where I can pause, rewind, fast forward, stop, record, back up and who knows what else I could do if only I understood the directions. For those of you who have satellite TV, do you find yourself trying to back up the radio in the car? You can't -- it won't happen.

It is these times that I have to stop and remind myself how blessed I really am.
A little scripture keeps playing over and over in my head. It's the one about His grace being sufficient. I want this and I want that. I need this and I need that. I wish for this and I wish for that. But, in actuality, I have everything I need.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me,
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

II Corinthians 12: 8-10

Lord, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I thank You for Your grace and Your mercy. I thank You that on my weakest days, YOU make me strong. When I am sick, YOU make me whole. Your power rests on me. Your grace IS sufficient for me. Amen

Mother's Day

The day is always hard for me. My mother is living but I never get to be with her on that day. I always call and send my card but it's not the same. As a child, Mother's Day was always a really big day. I remember Daddy going to Snell's Florist on Seminary Drive (in Fort Worth) while we were getting ready for church. He would come back with corsages for all of us. Lisa, my sister, and I were celebrated too. We were not mothers at the time but it's as if Daddy celebrated early that we would be mothers someday. (I wish Daddy were still with us because He would be so proud of us. He would not care how much we had messed up -- he would just be proud of us. And, Daddy would be proud of the children we have had and the children our children have had.) Lisa and I always got a red carnation corsage -- usually 2 flowers. Mother always got a red carnation corsage but it was slightly bigger than mine and Lisa's. Mammaw Ritter and Mammaw Davis got white corsages. Back in those days, it was very important as to the COLOR of your corsage. Red meant your mother was living. White meant she was deceased. I still have my mother and if the tradition was still practiced today, I would proudly wear a red corsage. I am so thankful that at 48 I still have my mother. My mother has changed so much through the years due to a stroke, but I know I still have her. I just found out that a dear friend from years past just lost her mother and will be burying her tomorrow. I cannot be with my mother, but I can call my mother. So, this Mother's Day I will cherish that phone call knowing that I have my mother.

However, this Mother's Day I want to honor 3 very special Mothers in my life. These are the mothers of my precious grandchildren: LORI, MANDI and DESIREE. Each of you are wonderful mothers. Lori and Mandi, I know about your lives and everything that has happened to you and everything that has caused you to be the mothers that you are. Desi, I'm getting to know you and I am loving the journey. None of you know how I have observed you through the months and years. I watch you. I really do. It's in love and admiration. I have observed each of you with your children and I am so proud of each of you. All three of you deserve "Mother of the Year" awards. The Bible teaches us to bring up our children in the way of the Lord and when they are old they will not depart from it. Each of you prove that in your own way. I am proud of you. I love you and I applaud you.

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I bring my girls to you today. Bless them, Oh God, as only You can. Give them strength and Your wisdom to raise their children in Your ways. Give Lori, Mandi and Desi supernatural wisdom and strength to be the mothers You would have them to be. Show them that You love them and You are concerned for them. Inspire them. Love them. Teach them. Correct them. Thank You Lord, for my girls. Help me to be a Godly example to them. Amen

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Change -- I Never Like It

This past Sunday our Pastor was out of town. We had a visiting minister that spoke a powerful word over our congregation. I cannot recall his name but he truly was a mighty man of God and delivered God's Word. His text was in John 5 about the pool of Bethesda. As he read the text I heard it differently than I had ever heard it and it spoke to me in a way I had never experienced. The minister spoke on CHANGE. I stayed with him as best I could but the Holy Spirit was speaking to me so powerfully that I left his sermon for a short while. Take a little journey with me through the Word. You may want to go and get your Bible right now and read these scriptures.

John 5:3&4
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

I'm going to concentrate on "the moving of the water", "troubled the water", and "stepped in". But, first, let's talk about change for a bit. Change is always hard for us. When a new car model comes out sometimes we say "I don't like what they've done with that." We see it driving down the road and we make negative comments because they changed something we liked. The more we see it the more we adjust to the change and we begin to say, "I kind of like that now." Then, before you know it, we are DRIVING one of them and we are driving it with an attitude because we LIKE it and we are comfortable with it. Keep in mind, there are still those on the same roads saying "I don't like it." See, change is hard for everyone but some of us can actually change. Some of us change at different times about different things. Some NEVER change.

But, I believe change can be redemptive. There have been times in my life when I needed change and did not know how to bring about change in a way that would give glory to God, be OK for me and those around me. I had to wait for the moving of the water. The Bible said that "whosoever then FIRST after the troubling of the water STEPPED IN was made whole. When you pray and you WAIT then quickly step into what God has for you. Troubled waters is not a bad thing -- God sent the angel to stir up the water to bring about change -- healing.

Look in Joshua 3. This is where Joshua is encouraging the children of Israel. They are about to cross over the Jordan (on DRY land). It is a powerful display of the mighty works of God. Check out verse 13. Joshua instructs them that as soon as the soles of the priests' feet are wet -- THEN God will roll back the waters. The priests had to STEP IN the water BEFORE God caused the Jordan to roll back. Get your feet wet. God is always faithful to do what He says in His Word He will do. Verse 15 says that their feet "dipped" in and then in verse 17 it says they stood FIRM on dry ground. Dipping is not hard to do. Try that first -- dip your feet. If you can do that, imagine what God will do if you just go on and "step in".

One of my favorite verses of scripture is Psalm 91. Get your Bible and read this aloud. Walk through the rooms of your home today and speak this over your home and your family. It is powerful. I love that He gives His angels charge over me. I go back to God sending the angel to trouble the water. God always goes ahead of us and prepares the way for us. Change.

Speaking of angels. Read Daniel 10. This is where Daniel was mourning for 3 weeks. He was praying and fasting (by the way, a very powerful combination). An angel of God appeared. My version is this. The Angel of God told Daniel he heard him the FIRST time he cried for help but that he had to take care of some other things for Daniel that Daniel had no idea about. Things that would have destroyed Daniel. But God sent the angel ahead. God ALWAYS hears our cry for help -- our FIRST cry. God knows the plans He has for you and there are things God has to take care of that you may not even be aware of. God wants to prosper you and give you a hope and a future (See Jeremiah 29).

Father, in the name of Jesus, change me. You know me. You know what I have need of. Change my heart. Give me a clean heart. Give me a teachable spirit that You may change me as You will. Change me that I may give You glory and give You honor for the mighty works You have done in my life. Thank You for giving Your angels charge over me. Thank You for going before me and slaying my enemy before I even know about it. Thank You for sparing me. Father, I pray that You give me YOUR strength and Your wisdom as I come to troubled waters. Let me know that it is YOU that troubles the water and with that troubling time my healing is eminent. My deliverance is made known to me. Give me boldness to step into all You have for me. Give me courage to accept those things You are changing in my life -- that they are changes that need to happen and it will be OK. You hear my first cry for You and You are faithful to respond. As my knowledge of You increases so my trust in You increases. Help me to decrease so that You increase. Father, I will step in. I give You freedom to change me, mold me and make me what YOU want me to be. I go willingly into Your arms of love and mercy. You cannot lie. Everything You said You will do for me YOU WILL DO. I commit myself, my home and my family to You, Father. Everything I am is because of You. Everything I have is Yours. You are the lifter of my head and the lover of my soul. I am nothing without You. I praise You and give You glory not for what You do but for WHO YOU ARE. Amen.