Tuesday, August 24, 2010

25 Years Ago Today

I married the man of my dreams who caused a few nightmares along the way. I am sure he would say the same thing about me as well.

We've endured many situations life has thrown at us, including: Love, Joy, Tears, Faith, Death, Die to Self, Live for Self, Love, Sickness, Better and Worse, Hope, Grief, Love, Laughter, Hard Financial Times, Family Feuds, Love; we always come back to love. (Not to say there were a few shouts and curse words in between in our early years.)

We are not perfect, but we are perfect for one another. Marriage is not a sprint, it's not a 5K, it's not even a marathon, it's an endurance race until the finish line.

I look forward to the next 25 years with my man next to me and my focus on Christ Jesus.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Put on the full armor of God

One of the dearest Christian men I know, a man filled with godly wisdom and love had part of his lung removed due to cancer about a month ago. Yesterday after walking quite a bit and eating lunch, having a really great day Ennis was rushed to the hospital with a collapsed lung which may have a tear it it. Since the phone call learning of his condition, I received other phone calls telling me Phillip could not begin chemo yesterday for the stage IV lung cancer discovered 2 weeks ago, his wife Bobbie is in the hospital as well with a drug resistant infection, another sister in Christ has esophageal cancer which has spread, a friend's son was diagnosed with cancer which has spread all over his body...might I just say part of me wanted to say I can't take another phone call today, the other part of me said yes I can because I am not to operate under my own strength. (The phone rang again, Mrs. Graves had a stroke, she is a beloved school teacher I had in high school.) Part of me wants to yell from the roof top I HATE CANCER but I know I need to pray - believing prayers will be answered for Mrs. Graves, Ennis, Phillip, Betty, Bobbie, and Andy. Prayers for peace, mental/spiritual/physical wholeness in Christ Jesus; prayers for physical/mental/spiritual comfort; prayers for my friends to be filled with faith, hop, love, not hopelessness, despair, and anxiety. I need to pray for their families.

I have to know and believe Scripture to pray for intense situations. You may be praying over a dire situation at this time, it may be a marriage which is on the death bed; it may be a child facing prison; your loved one may be in the grip of addiction. The enemy assaults us as well as our families and let's face it, we live in a fallen world. Earth is not the Garden of Eden. But the One Who prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane took care of it all for us. Rely on Him, press into Him, operate in His strength and when you've done all you can do - do some more:

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 rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

An update to this post, Phillip died last night. Thankfully his sister and children were with him. I am not sure about his wife Bobbie because she is hospitalized as well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Prayer, a Song and a Priest

I had so much fun last weekend. I met Karen, Anna Marie and Katie in Hallettsville, TX Friday night because we were participating in a 5K race on Saturday benefiting Young Life.

Saturday Karen and Anna Marie came to my house after the race and spent the night. We went to dinner and a movie and to church on Sunday morning. They went 45 minutes early with me to prayer walk the campus, and pray inside the gym (our temporary sanctuary). Don and Jeannine joined us for prayer. We prayed for many things to be accomplished - most especially people enter and worship with a reverent heart, knowing though we are in a gym - this is a sanctuary which is holy ground. The prayers were answered in a mighty way. The band began practicing a song called I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light. That particular song was Anna Marie and Jack's youngest son's favorite song. It was the last song sang at his funeral. No matter where Anna Marie attends church the nearest weekend to the anniversary of his birth or death, the song is played. No one at theses churches know it was Stevie's favorite song. No one knows the dates involved. It's a God moment. Our interim priest walked in the door, Karen's mouth dropped open because Father Scottie officiated at her wedding in San Antonio, TX 24 years ago. They were so happy to see each other! Another God moment.

God blesses us in many ways and answers prayers all the time. Sometimes we are so busy not listening we miss it. His Word is true, you can rely on Him. He will never fail you!Look for your God moments...

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fog, Sun, and Wind

I was asked to be an intercessor during a Christian Educators meeting last Saturday as well as say a few words. Saturday morning arrived and I thought Lord - I have nothing to say (Don't let my husband know he missed a speechless moment!) to the people attending today's conference. I was supposed to arrive at 7:30am to begin praying, the conference would begin an hour later and end at 1:30pm. It was 7:15am and I had nothing from the Lord, no message from Him for these people.

I began to prayer walk the campus as the sun was shining brightly in the sky. As I rounded the corner a heavy fog descended out of nowhere and the street lights came on and people had to use their headlights as they drove down the street. I said, "Lord what is this?" He said, "This is the fog enveloping my students, teachers and administrators. They are shrouded with fatigue, defeat and hopelessness. The sun came back out and burned through the fog. The Lord said, "My Son burns through the shroud of fatigue, defeat, and hopelessness." I rounded the corner and felt a north breeze which is highly unusual on July 31, in southeast Texas. I asked God what this was. He said, "My students, teacher, and administrators need to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit and not their own strength."

We know this, it is Christianity 101 but obviously the people I spoke to needed a reminder and many times so do we. The fog, the sun, the breeze so beautifully illustrated God's message to everyone Saturday and obviously was much better than anything I could imagine on my own.

Keep your spiritual ears open, He speaks to us in many ways, we must be listening to hear.