Sunday, August 21, 2016

One Little Weed

I spent way too many hours in front of the Tube during the Olympics. Managed to squeeze laundry in during the long blocks of commercials. I carved out time for the rest of the housework around events and pretty much neglected the yard work due to heat and days of rain. It was easy to ignore. This week should be dryer which means I must attack the weeds in the flower beds after work 2 or 3 nights this week.

Weeds - In southeast Texas, we have winter weeds, we have some winter weeds which only pop up on especially cold years, we have weeds that flourish during extreme heat and drought, we have weeds which grow by the minute when we have historic, epic, and Biblical (media description) rains and floods. Weeds are a year round problem to the gardener down here. This summer, to my dismay the weeds are green and lush.

Have you ever thought of anger directed at someone as a weed? Have you ever thought of hatred directed at someone, maybe a political candidate as a weed? Have you ever thought of any sin as a tiny little weed? You see this one little sprout and ignore it because life is busy. You'll pull it later, in fact, you will wait until next Saturday to pull it after you mow the lawn. Next Saturday arrives, you realize the weed has spread through your vegetable garden and flower beds and you are looking at an all day project pulling the weeds plus mowing and edging the lawn!

That is what happens to us when we neglect sin; when we do not confess and repent; the tiny little sprout has taken root and spread through our lives. Maybe the results are not visible to anyone but you and God. The text you should not send, the tale you should not repeat, misrepresenting hours worked on a time card, the little fib you told...the list is endless.

We all sin, we all fall short, we all need a Savior. Ladies, we must confess our sin, we must repent if we want to serve. Anne Graham Lotz told a story about drawing a circle around ourselves and asking for revival to begin in that circle. I don't need to look at others, I need to look in the mirror to see someone who needs to confess and repent. Pray for others - Yes, Judge others - No!


Abba Father,

Please draw us close to You. Give us hearts to be honest with the sin in our lives. Very clearly show us the changes we need to make to live lives which are pleasing to You. We want to be examples to those around us of your love, mercy, and grace. Fasting does not always mean giving up food, show us how You would have us fast - what we should add and what we should subtract from our lives. In Jesus' Name we pray.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

August Heat

I admit it, Summer has defeated me. It has not been a terrible summer, no extended heatwave, no drought, normal, humid 97-100 degree days. I am listless, I am bored, I have no get up and go to accomplish anything outdoors, and meanwhile the weeds grow in the flower beds. I've made a deal with myself - if I weed the front yard after work tomorrow and finish Saturday morning, I can sit in front of the Tube watching the Olympics as long as I want. We'll see (the royal we of course) if this works.

Have you ever made a deal with God in the same way? Dear Lord, If You ______________________ fill in the blank, I'll ______________ fill in the blank? I used to pray that way as a teen. Dear Lord, keep the lights green so I won't miss curfew and I will not smoke tomorrow or something equally juvenile.

We are not born mature Christians and mature prayer do not pour out of us until we've prayed many prayers. The language does not have to be eloquent a la King James. Pray what is in your heart. Seek the Lord in the quiet. Of course, you can pray anywhere, anytime, but we need private, quiet time without distraction in prayer. Jesus prayed alone, He was busy, yet He made time. The more you pray, the more natural it becomes.

I think of the scenes in War Room in which Elizabeth tried to get comfortable in her closet and is reduced to drinking a soft drink and eating chips. We then see her staying in her closet all night.

There are many prayer needs in this world. People are lost, hurting, ill. Danger and violence all over the planet. How do we combat it? We stay in Word and we pray. We keep our focus on Jesus. I ask Him to give me 20/20 vision so my focus on Him remains sharp. I don't want blurry vision when it comes to our Lord.


So pray this way: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored, may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Ladies: Prayer - Just do it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Podcast

The Lord can use much to show us something missing in our lives. There are times and seasons, life does not remain the same. I noticed over the last 2 or 3 years, I have experienced trouble in the motivation department. I was motivated in short bursts. Occasionally it seemed as if I was moving from the death of the dearest of friends to another death of a dearest friend or close family member. The wind was knocked out of my sails when my cousin Bill died last Dec. I did not realize what a huge impact his death had on my life until last week.

Because I donate to a charity headquartered in Houston, I received an e-mail alerting me to a weekly podcast. I thought OK, I will listen to this manly podcast and see what I think instead of simply deleting the e-mail. There was a bit of colorful language between the 2 hosts and their guest. (3 former Navy SEALS) Their guest talked about motivation and passion. After the podcast ended, I realized I no longer had a zest for life or passion and all the motivation in the world was not enough.

After prayer, I pinpointed the moment passion left my life. I quit teaching...I no longer teach ballet and pointe, I no longer host and or teach Bible Study in my home with a group of ladies.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy many facets of life (not including being weighed at the doctor's office) and no, I was never passionate about cleaning grout but I did it when it needed to be done.

There were/are a couple health issues too which led to fatigue and lack of energy/desire to see things through to the finish line. The Hashimoto's Thyroid thing is under control, my Vitamin D level increased from 7 to 29 but is back down to 20, so I am working to raise it up past 30. I think when it gets back into the high 20's I will have more physical energy again.

I have prayed to have passion again whether it is confined to things around the home and yard or volunteering, running, advancing the Kingdom...as long as what I pursue is in the Will of God.

Ladies, if you find yourself treading water, no motivation - ask the Lord to show you clearly the cause. Shut out the distractions and really listen.

And speaking of listening - I am so glad I listened to Team Never Quit's podcast!

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Time Marches On...

Time marches on...Our faces reveal much about our lives. Did we broil in the sun working hard or in my case for summer fun? Are we under stress, sad, or filled with joy? The answer is revealed on our faces. As an owner of a "mature" face - well over middle age, but not quite a fossil, what does my face reveal about my life?

Just as the outward appearance of our faces change as time marches on, how does our life in Christ change? Are we maturing in Him? Have we been transformed by His love, dying to self, living to serve the Kingdom or are we a legalistic mess wearing our Pharisee hats?

I avoided social media during the week of the Republican convention and most likely will do so again during the Democratic convention. So much hate spewed on social media in the weeks leading up to the convention.

As Christians in America, we should vote and vote our hearts. However, where does the Bible advise us to bash candidates and their supporters? (Calling people vile names, seriously where is Christ is that?!?!?!)

If one or more of the candidates get under your skin, set your teeth on edge, make you want to curse their very being then I urge you to pray. Pray for them to live a holy life, a godly life, filling themselves with His Word each day. Pray that you see them as God sees them. He loves them. He sent His Son to save them, not just you or me. Let go of the self-righteous anger, let go of the fear, let go of the hate and love...

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.



Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spring, Rodeo, Time Change

March is here, Spring is about to show up in her full glory, Rodeo Houston is in full swing, and the Time Change is looming. I am not a fan of Daylight Savings Time, but no one asked me. In the last 2 weeks there have been joyous births and bittersweet deaths. In the words of Truvy from Steel Magnolias, "Time marches on and eventually you realize it is marching across your face." (Which reminds me, I need moisturizer.)

Changes are all around us.

This political cycle is brutal and at the risk of annoying many, I think both sides of the aisle have lost it and few if any represent me in Washington D.C. The campaigning has been hellish so far and bringing out bad behavior in people. Social Media posts are numerous and cruel, not to mention slanted in some cases and utter lies in others. People post drivel which is what they accuse the other side of doing. I for one cannot wait until it is over!

I would never presume to tell someone who they should support financially and select on the ballot. I would appreciate the same in return.

Thankfully we have promises in Scripture, the Lord promises He will never leave us or forsake us. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (APV - Annette Paraphrase Version)

So pray and put your trust in Him. Run the race. Keep your eyes on the Lord. In Him, our foundation is sure.