Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Like a mist

Oh, it's been rough. It's amazing how life can go from normal to tragic in the blink of an eye.  I've come so close to losing a close family member....she remains in the Intensive Care Unit on life support.  She's had a large, invasive surgery and won't be out of the woods for a while.  She looks so tiny and helpless lying there with tubes and wires running everywhere; monitors alarming that all is not as it should be.  She's so swollen from all the fluids that she's been given that at first glance her son didn't recognize her for a moment.
She's a wonderful, strong Christian woman who is at peace either way; it's us who she may leave behind that are heartbroken.
It's times like these that faith is what carries me, comforts me, and keeps me putting one foot in front of the other and doing the things that need to be done at a time like this.  Truth is, our lives are like a mist that is here today and gone tomorrow...but what a hope we have in our faith, that we will go on to the arms of our Father.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."- Revelation 21:3-4

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent
and take refuge in the
shelter of your wings.
-Psalm 61:1-4

And though the days are long and uncertain, I will continue to take refuge in shelter of my Fathers wings.

Wishing you all blessings.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Crazy Lady On The Freeway? It was me!

It was a 110 degrees and I was driving across town in my car that unfortunately has no air conditioning.  Hot and sweaty with both windows down, my shirt sticking to my back...and this song came on the radio. It started slowly but by the time the refrain hit I had it playing full blast, singing for all I was worth and keeping time with my hand on the roof. Tears of pure joy flowed down my face as I forgot all about the heat and my momentary discomfort as I sang and worshiped. How amazing that the God of all should bestow grace and forgiveness on us, that we can be reconciled to him and call him Father!
I'm so grateful for his freely given grace... as refreshing as a sudden rain in the blistering heat of the desert that is this present world.
When the song was over and a slower one started, I suddenly realized that I'd been worshiping as I do at home or in church driving down the freeway with people all around. I laughed to myself, remembering how David danced in front of the ark of the covenant and was criticized by his own wife.  But when the Lord fills us up, it can't help but bubble up and spill out. In a "let it all hang out" world, I'm not ashamed to sing to him on the freeway! You can't come up from behind my car without seeing the sticker on the back that makes my allegiance clear.
Here's what Paul tells us:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:4-7

Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; the sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!- Psalm 66: 1-5

So let your joy shine so that you reflect the light of the world...a world that is starving for a Savior.
Wishing you blessings.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Well Done

Have you been watching the Olympics?
Most of the world has been watching with fascination.  Watching them perform it's immediately apparent that although each one has an immense talent, they have given countless hours perfecting and honing it. Year after year they were up before dawn, practicing endlessly, sweating it out, pounding their bodies and spirits into perfection. Throughout their careers they have doubtless made mistakes but gotten back up and gathered their dignity and tried again, working toward perfection.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 Paul says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."
We are soldiers for our Lord. We are subject to spiritual storms and an enemy that is crafty, sneaky, and bites us with his sharp fangs in our soft spots.  But we have an advantage in that we have the Almighty God on our side.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.-Ephesians 6:10-12
So how do we run and train spiritually for the battles we face?
It takes daily training. If you wanted Olympic gold, you surely wouldn't practice only on Sundays! :)  So, we train every day. We train in heartfelt, sincere prayer; confessing, praising, submitting our all. By holding nothing back. We train by reading Gods written word: memorizing it, meditating upon it, making changes in our lives as we discover what he asks of us. We are called to live a life victorious through the Holy Spirit who lives within us and gives us the strength to do the impossible.
And when we run and train hard, letting the Spirit pour through us, the world around us will notice.  They will feel the love of the Father that flows through us, and we will have no fear or shame in sharing what it is that makes us different.
God gave you a talent. Whether it's teaching, encouraging, singing, praying for others, use your talent and train as though for the gold. And above all else, whatever talent we possess, remember the lesson of 1 Corinthians 13:13.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Do all in love. Run so that at the end of your race, your Father will tell you, "well done."

Father, please fill us with your Spirit. Light our hearts on fire, and strengthen us to do your will in all things.
Help us to run like the wind for your kingdom. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Wishing you blessings.