Monday, September 27, 2010

Long, Hard Seasons

So many of my friends are in hard seasons now. One is recovering from cancer, one is about to begin treatment for cancer, one lost her mother and one has lost a child.

It's so tiring as we endure a long, hard season, but thankfully we know they end. God is faithful and true. His word tells us:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Thankfully through Christ Jesus we have peace in the midst of long, hard seasons. Jesus said: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

His word also states: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When you are tired and weary let your friends carry you in prayer and receive the comfort of the Lord as He fills you with His peace.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

May the Words of My Mouth and the Meditation of My Heart Be...

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

As Christians, I believe most of us are acquainted with Psalm 19:4, we endeavor to speak godly words and not words that do harm such as gossip and harsh words. Many times however, we should not speak, we should listen. I've noticed a listening problem lately.

The following statements were made by mature Christians to seriously ill people:

Well Norma, your head has a nice shape to it. (She was recovering from cancer and bald at the time.)

I hope you will not have surgery to remove the tumor, drink this juice it will cure you.

Don't go to doctors for _____ fill in the blank. Just pray.

I was sicker with cancer than you are now. (Spoken by a cancer survivor to someone who died of cancer a few weeks later.)

Joe, I understand your heart is failing, well let me tell you about _____, fill in the blank.

We've all said things we should not say in a multitude of circumstances, for example telling a child something your parents said to you and you swore as a teen when you were an adult you would never say it. We've all lashed out at loved ones. We've all gossiped at 1 time or another. We know when we need to repent and be quiet in most areas of conversation, but sadly many people don't know when to be a listening presence when they visit or call someone who is ill.

My friend Norma always says, "We have two ears and 1 mouth for a reason. We are to listen, love and pray."

Ask the Lord to show you if you are falling short when it comes to listening.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's All About Him

So many ads tell us we need to focus on ourselves, have our guilty pleasure, they tell us it's OK to be selfish as well as other things which feed our souls and not our spirits. Yes, we should care for ourselves and having time to ourselves and vacations are not a bad thing. Focus entirely on self is a bad thing. After all it is really all about Jesus Christ our Savior, Who God the Father sacrificed in our place to reconcile us to Him.

I pray we learn to find our refreshment in Jesus. His word tells us:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

So many times when we are weary, we look for refreshment everywhere except spending time with our Lord, whether it be in praise, meditating on Scripture or sitting quietly waiting on Him.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

I suppose every generation has a day on which they remember exactly what they were doing when the news of tragedy reached their ears. I was running late to work, my husband chased me down the drive way to tell me to come inside and watch a traffic report from New York City. I thought I am late, my boss is going to have a cow and you want me to watch a traffic report which has nothing to do with the Southwest Freeway!!!

As a result of going inside to look at the TV for a minute, I saw the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. I realized America was under attack on our shores for the 1st time since Pearl Harbor. I numbly drove to work and slammed on my breaks when the DJ interrupted a song to announce more tragic news. I noticed almost everyone on Highway 59 hit their brakes when I did.

That morning my father closed the office and sent us home for the day. I cried, I stared at the TV for hours and hours. I prayed. I kept wondering if any of our allies would be attacked that day as well. I wondered if the planes had not been grounded would more have been used as lethal weapons. I wondered how the families of the hijackers really felt. Were they secretly horrified or genuinely proud? I wondered if churches would be packed over the next few days. I wondered if true revival would begin in the USA.

I could not fathom the hatred against the USA nor the hatred directed at Muslims after 9/11. Nine years later we have the Mosque at Ground Zero and the Koran burning situation facing us; both stirring up hatred in and out of the Body of Christ. Christians are called to love people not hate them. If you feel hatred rising up in you, please spend time meditating on Scripture pertaining to love. Hatred can cripple your walk with Christ and shut down your ministry.

Christ did not suggest we love people. He commanded us to love people. His word states:

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Countdown to Colorado

My mother, Anna Marie and I are going to Creede, CO for the Labor Day weekend. I cannot tell you what anticipation I feel as I think of the drive from Colorado Springs to Creede. Once we arrive in the San Luis Valley - the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests, the Rio Grande River are just a part of the dazzling beauty our Creator chose to display.

When I am in the Creede - South Fork area of Colorado I feel very close to God for several reasons: cell phone service is still sketchy; it's not 100 degrees and humid; there is little traffic noise; I rarely watch TV up there - as a result I am quiet and spending time in prayer and the Word as I sit outdoors.

I watch elk, deer, and other animals, I gaze at the mountains, I hear the wind rushing through the aspen leaves and I want to just cry over the shear beauty. I am so overcome by the greatness of God. I see His splendor in every day life too, but up there is bowls me over. Friends have told me the same thing happens to them in the wide,open, spaces of the plains and in the Texas Panhandle. Do you suppose it's because we are truly aware of how small we are and how much we need Him?

My prayer is that I will come home from Colorado and learn to sit more quietly at home in every day life and be bowled over by His splendor and greatness.

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.