Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Only Mirror that Matters

Mirror, mirror on the wall whom is the fairest one of all?  

Comparison is something with which it seems all women struggle....and something I have been struggling with lately.  We want to look like someone looks, dress like someone dresses, have the figure someone else has, have the marriage they have, have as many blog followers as another (me being transparent here), etc. 

When we compare ourselves to others, only one of two things can happen.....we can look at them and think higher of ourselves than we should or we will think lower of ourselves than we should.

God made you special.  He made you unique and so you don't need to compare yourself with anyone else.  The gifts, talents and abilities He placed in you are different than those He placed in other people.
We may see facets of people that we enjoy and we may desire to be like them, but God only wants for you to be the best you that you can be.

He has a unique, individual plan and purpose for each of our lives and what He does with another person will be different than the plan He has for you.  We need to trust Him that the plan He has designed specifically for us is the best one for us. 

You may see a person and you think.....

Wow, she is a good cook, always has a clean house, her kids seem perfect, she has a great marriage, she gets up and runs 3 miles, has an hour quiet time, always looks put together,  Ugghh.....I wish I could be like her!  

Don't compare yourself to her.  It is good to have goals, but you don't have to be like anyone else.

The only mirror we should be looking at is the mirror of God's Word.   This mirror is the only one that matters.  This mirror will show us two will show us what God says about us, (that He accepts us, so we should accept ourselves)

To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  Eph 1:6 

and it will show us what our goal be transformed to the image of Jesus.

He predestined us to be conformed to the image of His son.  Romans 8:29

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.   Romans 12:2

We shouldn't look to the world and what it says is the "perfect" image.  We should only be looking to God's Word.  His Word is the only way to renew our minds to be more like Christ, truly the perfect image.  We are never going to be perfect until we meet Jesus one day.  If you are walking with Him daily, He will transform you into His image day by day.  He has also given us His Holy Spirit to help us and He has promised that He will help us (John 16:13).

No, we shouldn't just lay down and accept all our faults as "just the way we are".  God does want us to work on ourselves and move forward in Him, but it will take some time. It doesn't happen overnight, so don't get discouraged with all your shortcomings in the meantime. 

I like what Joyce Meyer says "I'm ok and I'm on my way" and "Be happy where you are at on the way to where you are going."  Don't compare yourself and your progress with others, just know God loves you right where you are and He knows where you are going.  Enjoy the journey as you are transformed into the image of His son.

One day He will look at you and say, "Yes, I see the resemblance,"  and in the mirror you will see a reflection of Jesus, truly the "fairest one of all".

Monday, April 25, 2011

Full of Surprises

Yesterday, I had the privilege of teaching the 4year old class on Easter Sunday.  All the kids were dressed to the hilt and full of excitement for this day because they knew it was so special.  Some of them did not fully understand why it was so special, they just could tell this day was different.  It was a day full of surprises!

In the class, our wonderful Children's Pastors made it special for the kids by surprising them with a candy toss.  The kids loved this surprise!  Then, they got another surprise when our snack was a Rice Crispy Treat.  Rice Crispy Treats are great, who doesn't like them!  (I had one too.)  : )

However, as great as that surprise was, it  wasn't the best surprise.  Our story in class yesterday was about the best surprise of all!  It was the story of how the two Marys went to the tomb where they laid Jesus and this was where they found the biggest surprise ever....HE IS NOT THERE, HE IS RISEN!!! And then they saw Him on the road!  (Matt 28: 1-9) Talk about a great day of surprises!

Our God is full of surprises.  I was also pleasantly surprised yesterday.  You see, sometimes holidays are a little difficult for me.  I come from a large family that always gets together to celebrate EVERYTHING.  Usually, when they get together, there are at least 20-30 people there.  We live 400 miles away from all our family, so we cannot see them very often and we cannot be with family for every special occasion.   For the past several Easters, I have invited friends over who also do not have family nearby.  I did this to bless my friends, but also so I wouldn't feel the void of missing my family.  This year, however, we did not invite anyone over.  I was slightly concerned on how it would feel to not have a "big"celebration.  It would just be the five of us.  

I had started praying this year that I would find my satisfaction in the Lord and not from anything or anyone else.  I was looking to others to fill me, to give me the satisfaction that only Jesus can give us.  Only the Lord can fill us completely and satisfy us. 

Like I said, our God is full of surprises. How was yesterday?  Wonderful!  I praise the Lord that I felt complete and utter contentment as I spent the day with just my husband and three children.

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, 
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Ps. 90:14

The word "satisfy" above is the Greek word "saba'" and it means to be fulfilled.  

God wants us to find complete satisfaction in Him.  When we are completely satisfied in Him we don't have to look to other people to fill us up.  People cannot fill us, so when we try to gain our satisfaction in relationships, we end up desiring something from a person who cannot deliver what we need.  When we don't "need" something from others, we are free to give to others.  We need Jesus to fill us so we are free to bless others and minister to others.  We cannot satisfy them, but the Lord can use us to enrich their lives.  When we are full of the Lord, then whatever people do give us is just "icing on the cake" (or Rice Crispy Treat) : ) and we can just enjoy it without requiring it.  

I wasn't sure why the Lord wanted us to have a quiet Easter at home this year, but I think I know now.  He wanted to show me that I don't need to have people over to be satisfied, that He will satisfy me.  Now, if we decide next year to have friends over, it won't be because I need to do it to fill a void in me.  I will be able to do it only to serve and bless my friends.

I want to leave you today with Psalms 23.  If you know it, read it again in this Amplified Version.  The Lord will always surprise us, He will always fill us when we ask, and He will never leave us wanting.....

The Lord is my shepherd (to feed, guide, and shield me), 
I shall not lack.
He makes me lie down in (fresh tender) green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
He refreshes and restores my life (my self);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness (uprightness and right standing with Him-no for my earning it, but)
for His name's sake.
Yes, though I walk through the (deep, sunless) valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil;
my (brimming) cup runs over.
Surely only goodness, mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
and through the length of my days the house of the Lord (and His presence)
shall by my dwelling place.
Oh, sweet Jesus, how we need You to fill us. We are empty without You. 

Dear Lord God, Fill me today completely to overflowing, until my cup runs over so I can give out to others from the abundance of my heart.  I pray I would not look to other people or things for my satisfaction.  I pray I would only look to you so I can love others without needing anything in return.  I love you, thank you for filling me. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Missing It?

When I was in graduate school, I had started reading my bible in a desperate attempt to find peace.  I wasn't right with the Lord at that point, but I knew I needed something in my life.  I grew up in church and knew about Jesus and knew about Easter and what it meant.  I just didn't quite grasp all Easter meant.  So, it was a little strange that I did this, but I called my best friend at 11:00 pm on the Thursday before Easter.  I was prompted to call and ask her if she knew why we celebrated Easter. 

She was in Law School at that time, about 21 years old.  She did not know why we celebrated Easter.  Wow, 21 years old and no one had ever shared the story of Jesus' love with her.  I shared with her the best I could at that time, as I was pretty much lost myself.  To my knowledge, she still does not know the Lord.  I pray for her to come to know Him. 

Why do we celebrate Easter?  Hmmm.... I wonder how many people could really answer that question without saying something about eggs and bunnies.  Hey, I'm all for fun and I shared with you the other day about the bunny cake....but we are missing it if that is all it is about for us.  Bunnies and eggs, seriously?  They do represent the new life Jesus gave us at the cross, but they are not what Easter is all about.  Walk around any store and you quickly realize that Jesus, the reason we celebrate Easter, is no where to be found.  There are rows and rows of baskets, bunnies, eggs, and candy.   Where is Jesus? They have no idea what they are missing.  They are missing Jesus!

Thankfully, Jesus is not really missing. 

 Surely He had borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; 
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. 
But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities; 
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4-5

Powerful verses.

He bore our griefs, our pains......What is it that is hurting you today?  What brings you unbearable pain? Is it an emotional wound, or a physical one. Give it to Him.

He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.....What sin has you in bondage and chains?  Is it a current sin or a past sin that holds you down in shame? Ask for forgiveness, receive His forgiveness, and release it to Him.  It was nailed to the cross with Him.

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.....Are you constantly worrying about something or someone?  Are you fearful about anything?  Does your mind keep you in turmoil and torment with anxious thoughts?  He died so we could have peace.

By His stripes we are healed.....What is it you need healing for today?  God healed me completely from a severe emotional wound.  He healed my heart in a way that only the blood of Jesus could heal.  He was beaten severely to the point to death, he endured unimaginable pain so we could be healed.  Do you have a physical wound?  He wants to heal you.  His stripes were not in vain.

The blood of Jesus covers it all.  It covers all our sin, all our pain, all our fears, and all our wounds.  Give them all to Him. 

Jesus is not missing.....He is very much alive.  When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where Jesus was laid on Easter morning, He was not there.  She also thought He was missing.  An angel said to her:

"Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 
He is not here; for He is risen!"  Matt 28:5-6

Good Friday would not be called "Good" Friday if He had not risen.  We can call it "Good" because of what happened on Sunday.  Three days later He rose and is alive.  He carried our sin, our shame, our guilt, our pains on the cross.  The reason we celebrate Easter is because of the price He paid for us and that He conquered sin and death and rose again so we can live.  We cannot take Jesus out of Easter.  Without Him, it is nothing.  Is there someone you know who doesn't know Him, and perhaps doesn't know why we celebrate Easter?  I encourage you to pray for that person and invite them to church this Sunday.  Hopefully, they too will come to know the reason we celebrate, and will come to know the love of Jesus.  They really don't know what they are missing!  We have much to celebrate!!!

Dear Lord, we thank you for what you endured for us.  Thank you for loving us so much that you would suffer and die for us so we could have eternal life.  Thank you for the price you paid to buy us back.  We cannot imagine the pain you suffered for us.  Thank you that because of the blood you shed for us, our sins our washed away and we are made white as snow.  Thank you for loving us so much.  We love you.  

(He whispers back..."I love you too.")

Monday, April 18, 2011

God Kisses

Easter is a special time of year.  I have always loved Easter even before I knew all the reasons for loving it.  One of the reasons I loved it so much was because my Grandma Mary always made it special.  Every year we would go to her house on Easter.  She would go all out! There would be a table full of candy, Easter baskets full of chocolate eggs, and 2 bunny cakes ( a white one and a chocolate one).   Can you imagine my child eyes lighting up with excitement at the sight of all the tasty delights?!

In 2003, my Grandma Mary went to be with the Lord.  I miss her very much but I know I will see her again.  I know she is with the Lord and rejoicing even now.  

This is me with my Grandma Mary the Christmas before she went to be with the Lord.  She is holding a purple cow I painted for her.  She loved purple cows.  {smile}

A couple of years after she passed away, it was getting close to Easter and I was really missing my Grandma and how she made Easter so special.  I longed to go to her house again on Easter and relive those precious memories.  It was a void in my life and I was heavyhearted  knowing there would be no more Easters at her house.  It was at that time that I decided to start a tradition of making a bunny cake in honor of my Grandma Mary.  

Easter approached, but life was busy with a toddler and a baby.  I wasn't sure I would be able to make a bunny cake, plus I wasn't sure how to make the treasured cake.  It was the Thursday before Easter Sunday when Chris called home and said, "I have a surprise for you, I'll tell you about it later."  The night passed and we both forgot about the surprise.  

On Good Friday morning, I woke up and went into the kitchen and sitting there on the counter was my surprise--a bunny cake just like my Grandma Mary use to make!  A note accompanied the cake, but tears began streaming before I could read it.   Then, I read the note...

"This is your gift from God, I'll tell you the story later."  Tears turned into sobbing. 

 However, I hadn't heard the best part yet.  This cake truly was a gift from God, it was a "God Kiss".

Here is the rest of the story...Chris worked at a mortgage loan office at that time.  One of his clients owned a bakery.  On that Thursday, God led that client to make a bunny cake and take it to Chris.  This client had no idea about my grandma, no idea about her bunny cakes, and no idea what this cake would mean to me.

God knew. 

"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!  
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand"
Psalms 139:17-18

His love for you is deeper than the depths of the sea.  His love for you reaches farther than the highest star.  He eagerly anticipates ways to show His love to us.  He cares about what we care about.  I call moments like the one with the bunny cake "God Kisses".

"God kisses" are moments when He does something incredibly unique and personal to reveal His love to us.   His thoughts about you are more numerous than the grains of sand!  That is a lot of thoughts and that is how much He loves you.  : )  

Jesus loves us so much that He went to the cross to pay the price for our sins so we could have eternal life with the Lord.  If that were the only thing He did for us, it would have been more than enough.  His love is amazing! He died for me and He died for you.  I am so thankful for the cross, so thankful for Jesus.  My life was a mess before I asked Him to be my Lord and Savior.  He has completely changed my life!

However, it doesn't end with the cross.....Jesus is alive and He is the reason we celebrate Easter.  He loves you and desires a close, personal relationship with you.  He longs to shower you with His love and reveal Himself to you.  Ask Him today to do that for you and I know you will see "God Kisses" that He creates just for you.

As for my Grandma Mary, I miss her, but I know I will see her again.  I find it befitting that the holiday my Grandmother esteeemed is also the reason why I will see her again. My Grandma Mary loved the Lord and lived her life full of the kindness and love of the Lord.  I am looking forward to running into her arms and embracing her in heaven. 

After that Easter, I did start the tradition of making bunny cakes in honor of my Grandma Mary.  Mine isn't as pretty as hers yet, but I am believing that in time I will get there.  {smile}

Happy Easter week!!  May we remember the suffering Jesus endured out of His love for us and rejoice in His resurrection.  He conquered sin and death.  He is alive and at work in our lives.  He is a RISEN SAVIOR!!  Praying for Him to shower you with "God Kisses".

I would love to hear your "God Kiss" stories!  If you have one, will you share it with me! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to Chris

Today is my husband's birthday.....Happy Birthday Honey!!!!! 

36 years ago God blessed the world by bringing this wonderful person into it. 

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."  Psalms 139:14

It is so amazing to think about how God forms each and everyone of us with a plan and purpose in mind for our lives.  God knew when He made Chris that when he was 20 years old He would bring us together.

Usually we celebrate birthdays by giving people gifts.  However, I am the one who received the gift when God created Chris.  My husband is God's gift to me. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights" James 1: 17

Chris, you are a wonderful husband, a loving father to our 3 kids, a good provider, a strong leader, the faithful spiritual head of our home, and my best friend. 

"This is my beloved, this is my friend."  Song of Solomon 5:16

I thank the Lord for you, Honey.  Thank you for being a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, for being a man who loves me like Christ loves the church, and a man who loves his kids and others with the love of Jesus.  Thank you for being a man who walks the walk and lives your life in a way that reflects the Lord.

When God created you, He knew that I would need you to complete me.  You make me a better person.  I wouldn't be who I am today without you and the Lord.  I am so thankful for you! 

Chris' life verse is: 

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and hope.'"  Jeremiah 29:11

Honey, God has a great plan for you.  He created you with a wonderful purpose.  Praying you have a wonderful and blessed birthday, and that this year is full of the abundant goodness of the Lord.  I love you!

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Underwear On Your Head

Today I have to tell you a story about what my 5 year old son, Luke, did yesterday.   If you remember, I mentioned in "Spats, Fridges, and Socks" that Luke is hilarious. 

Yesterday at school Luke decided that it would be funny to take his underwear off and wear it on his head.....yes, he did.  : ) Thankfully, Luke's teacher is wonderful and gives him a lot of grace.  I have to admit, I thought it was pretty funny myself.  (We did have a talk, however, about not EVER doing that again.)  He didn't do it for attention, he really just wasn't thinking anything other than,"I think it will be funny to put my underwear on my head."  After all, he has put underwear on his head at home and mommy laughed about it, so it must be funny and ok to do.  If you knew my son, it really wouldn't surprise you that he did such a thing.   
His teacher could have scolded him and took him to the Principal's office and really made him feel bad.  Instead, she realized that he didn't really mean any harm in what he did, and he probably didn't even realize there was anything wrong with what he did. 

She chose to take the path of grace.

Don't we all have "underwear on our head" moments from time to time?  Don't we all need grace?

Webster's definition of GraceMercy, pardon

The Greek word for grace in the bible is "Charis" and it means: kindness given to one who does not deserve it.  

How do we act when others do wrong, or when we do things that are wrong? Do we extend grace to them or to ourselves?  Do we scold them and make them feel really bad? Are we critical and judgemental towards them or ourselves? Do we spend the day condemning ourselves or......... do we choose the path of grace?

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."  Eph 4: 31-32

The word above "forgiving" is "charizomai" from the Greek root "charis", and means to pardon.  When someone offends you or mistreats you or accidentally cuts you off in traffic, you can get angry and let them have it or you can choose to overlook the offense. 

"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression."  Proverbs 19:11

I have heard it said that when you are tempted to be judgmental or critical, at that moment you should pray for that person.  The waitress who is rude to you may have just had her husband leave her, or the person who cut you off in traffic might be on his way to the hospital.  You never know what people are going through. We need to give each other grace.

So many times we are even hard on ourselves.  I have a friend who shared with me how she would beat herself up all day if she missed her quiet time in the morning.  We all mess up.  When we mess up, we need to give ourselves grace as well.  We need to realize what we did wrong, repent, and then ask for forgiveness. It needs to be sincere, but God isn't pleased when we beat ourselves up all day.

So, the next time you find yourself with an "underwear on your head" moment or someone around you has one, will you do what Luke's teacher did and choose the path of grace?  We all need a little grace, I know I do.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Step Out

Stepping not usually easy.

It requires faith and belief that God will do what he says He will do.

It also requires getting out of our comfort zones.  Comfort zones are comfy, and I like my comfort zone.  However, to do what God has called us to do, we have to step out of our comfort zones.

This past weekend God required me to step out.  I could have said "No".  If I would have said "No", I would have missed out on all God wanted to do and did this past weekend.   Honestly, I am completely unable to do anything on my own, I know this and I know I need the Lord to meet me.  I need Him to fill in my inadequacies to accomplish His good work.  I know it is impossible for me to do anything of significance for God on my own.

Some examples of people in the Bible who stepped out when it wasn't easy are Moses, Abraham, and Esther.  Moses had to leave his quiet dessert and go face the Pharaoh and tell him to release all his slaves, and Moses was afraid of public speaking!  Abraham left his home and his family to follow God.  Esther had to risk facing the king with the possibility of death in order to save her people.  In all of these examples, they had to leave behind what was comfortable and step out in faith.  God came through.  He always does when we step out in belief.

1) When we step out, God steps up. 

Let's look at Peter....He is a man who stepped out of the boat to do something impossible.

"Peter answered Him and said, 'Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.' So, He said, 'Come.'  And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus."  Matt 14:29

2) God will never ask us to do something and not meet us there.  

"But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!'"  Matt 14:30  (Emphasis added)

We cannot rely on our feelings, on what we see.  We must keep our eyes on Jesus.  If we begin to sink, if we begin to doubt, the reason is because we have taken our eyes off Jesus. 

If or when that happens, go to the Word and write down scriptures that deal with trusting in the Lord, peace, and that specifically deal with what you are trusting God to do.  That is what I did this past weekend when I  started to doubt.  I thought I didn't doubt God, I thought I doubted myself.

But, when I doubted myself, I did doubt God.  For God has said He will help us perform every good work.  (2 Th 2:17)  He will enable us to do what He has called us to do.

3) God will not allow us to sink when we step out on His Word.   

 Its says that when Peter started to sink that he cried out to the Lord.  When we fail and we all fail at times, we must do what Peter did and cry out to the Lord.

"Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'"  Matt 14:30

Jesus is always there to catch us when we cry out to Him.  He will lift us back up and walk with us on the water.

It is always a little scary to step out of our comfort zones.  This past weekend, I had to step out of my comfort zone, but God met me and did what only He could do.  On Monday, I took another step of faith out of my comfort zone and I am believing that God will meet me there as well.

What is it that God wants you to do that makes you a little uncomfortable?  Pray and see if it is the Lord asking you to do it.  If He is leading you, step out and see what He will do!  : )

Friday, April 8, 2011

All Things New

I have been looking forward to this day for many weeks.  This weekend  Chris and I get to be a part of something that my heart has desired to do for over a year.   I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve Him.  Today, my husband and I are hosting Family Life's "The Art of Marriage" Conference at our church.  43 couples will come tonight and tomorrow to learn about God's design for their marriages. 

I have such a heart for marriages.  I hate to see what is happening in our world with marriages.  Over half end in divorce and so many others are broken and are not what God designed marriage to be. 

God designed marriage to be a reflection of His relationship with His church. 

The enemy has gained significant ground in this area.  Marriages are the fabric of our nation.  When they are weak and broken, our whole culture is weakened and starts to crumble.  The enemy knows this and that is why he has set out to attack marriages. 

At some point, many of our lives were broken and we came crawling on our knees to the Lord.  We asked Him to come into our hearts, to forgive us, to cleanse us, to make us new.   I am a living, breathing miracle!  When I think of where I was and how far the Lord has brought me, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.  I don't look anything like the person I was before I came to Him.  If any of my high school friends are reading this, I am sure I'd hear an "AMEN!"

Therefore, is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; 
behold, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW.  2 Cor 5:17

This verse is sooo powerful.   Jesus makes all things new.  We see how He changes people when they come to Him......He can do the same thing for our marriages and make them new when we ask Him and both are willing to change.  That is such a big factor, God won't make anyone change who doesn't want to change. 

Everything around us is changing right now.  It is Spring and the trees are getting new buds, the grass is becoming green, the flowers are starting to bloom.  As you look around today, remember this is a reminder from the Lord that He makes things new, that He brings new life.  Let Him bring new life into your marriage.  Let Him into every aspect of your life and allow Him by His power to work to turn it all around to bloom beautifully and glorify Him. 

When God brings new life, He sends rain to water it, to nourish it.  Without rain, the grass would not get green and the flowers would not bloom.  God's Word is our Living Water.

That He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word.  Eph. 5:26

I am believing today that as these couples come tonight and tomorrow that God will do only what He can do.  I am believing that He will make things new, that He will bring life back into the marriages that have become dry or dead.  He is the Living Water that never runs dry. 

If there is anything in your life that is dry or even dead, I pray that you would seek the Lord and His Word.  The same God that raised Jesus from the dead, will heal you, will give you new life wherever you need it.  I pray that He would do what only He can do and make all things new for you.  

He is sending Healing Rain to water the dry or dead areas and make them new!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How God Spoke to Me Thru Disney

God speaks in many different ways.  He spoke to Moses through a burning bush, He spoke to the king of Babylon through writing on a wall, He spoke to Elijah in a still small voice, He spoke to King David through a prophet, and sometimes He speaks to me through....... Disney movies.   Yes,  that is right....Disney movies.
: ) 

I tell you, God knows exactly how to speak to us! 

About 8 years ago, I knew I was called, I knew what God wanted me to do and I was not doing it.  I had gotten complacent, lazy, and was spending way too much time watching television.  I had a new baby at the time and was a little overwhelmed with everything, so I think I used television as a way to escape.  Well, God didn't want me to escape, He wanted me to be involved, engaged in life and in what He wanted to do. 

So, one day while I was watching Disney's "The Lion King", God spoke to me.  He spoke very plainly to me.  I hope you have seen it, if not, it is really good, you should rent it.  : )  In case you haven't seen it......  Mufasa is the King of the Jungle (lion) and he has a son, Simba, who is heir to his throne.  Mufusa is killed tragically and Simba thinks it is his fault even though it isn't.  Simba runs away instead of taking his rightful and responsible place as King of the Jungle.  He thinks he is unfit to be king. 

I think that is enough information to get my point. 

There is a part in the movie where Simba has a dream where Mufasa comes to him and says to him, "You have forgotten me."  Simba shocked says back, "No, how could I?"  Mufasa then says,

"You have forgotten who you are and so you have forgotten me."
"You are more than what you have become."
"Remember who you are, you are my son."

That is when God spoke to me.  He said the same things to me.  It was a wake up call I will never forget.  I had forgotten Him, I had forgotten who I was in Christ and who He created me to be.  I had forgotten my calling, and my responsibilities in the kingdom of God.

We are all heirs of the Kingdom.  We all have responsibilities, gifts, talents, and callings God has given us.  We may feel unfit at times (like Simba did), and we may feel like running away.  However, God has said that He has made us fit and worthy to do whatever He has called us to do through the blood of Jesus. 

When you neglect your calling, you neglect your God. (1 Tim 4:14) God has a great plan for you in His Kingdom, He has something He needs you to do for Him.  

God never gives up on us.  He sees the end result, and He knows you are more than you are right now.  (Phil 1:6, Hebrews 13:31) That is not to discourage you, but to encourage you to press on, and be patient as He works on you and in your life.  

Remember Whose You are.  ( 2 Cor 5: 20-21, Rom 8:16-17). You are the child of a King, remember who you are and Who lives in you.

 I would love to hear some different ways God speaks to you.  Please share them with me.  : ) 

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Bubble

There is a lot of hurt and pain in the world.  It can be overwhelming to think of it all.  I have been praying for God to give me more compassion for those that are hurting.....

I like to live in what I call "My Bubble".  It is a nice place where everything is wonderful, positive, there are no problems and I don't want to know about any problems, so don't tell me.  That is "My Bubble".   The only problem with my bubble is that it isn't real and what it really does is detach me from the real world we live in and the real hurts many are facing.

A few years ago, God started dealing with me about my bubble.  He started showing me that He didn't want me to have a bubble, and He started showing me some of what people are actually going through out there.  It was heart breaking to say the least.   We, as Christians, cannot afford to live in a bubble.  We can't just stay in our own safe little world.  That is not what God has called us to do. 

Like I said above, there is sooo much hurt in the world;  children born addicted to drugs, sex trafficking, prostitution, abortion, homelessness, poverty, hunger/starvation, death of loved ones, cancer, and of course all that is happening throughout the world with wars, Japan's situation, and the list could go on.  Yesterday, I just broke down and cried over it all.  Like I said, it can be overwhelming.  However, what God doesn't want us to do is just grow numb over it all, to grow cold.....

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.  Matt 24:12

To me this says that because of all the sin and pain in the world, many will just stop caring, become cynical, and stop loving.  Friends, I don't want my love for people to grow cold.

I am reminded of the story in the Bible of the "Good Samaritan".  To refresh you memory.....a  man was jumped by robbers and left for dead by the side of the road.  Two "churchy" men walked by and didn't help him.  I don't want to be like those men!

Finally, all of you being of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.  1 Peter 3:8

We are in such a hurry today with our busy lives.  We always have somewhere to go, to run the kids, work to do, and we barely look up long enough from our phones to see what people are going through around us.  Lord, I pray I would not be too busy to stop and help someone in need, to pray for someone who is hurting, to give where I need to give, to love who needs Your love.  

Let God interrupt you.  His interruption may be a divine appointment.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Col 3:12

Compassion doesn't just happen.  We have to choose to "put it on", to wear it, clothe ourselves in it.  Compassion can be in praying for someone hurting, giving a hug or a smile, talking with someone who just needs an ear, giving time or money to organizations that reach out to the homeless or the hungry locally or internationally, etc.  It really just comes down to loving and caring about others and showing it somehow.

What are you wearing today? 

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to love like you love, to see people as you see them.  Lord, I pray for a heart of compassion for the lost, the hurting. There is so much hurt in the world,  I pray for you to show me what you would have me doto be your hands and feet to help these precious people.  In Jesus Name, Amen.