Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He Knows My Name

I've recently shared that I've been mistaken for friends. I don't like that much. It makes me feel invisible. I've always thought of myself as unique and different enough to stand out a bit in a crowd. But maybe I'm not as unique as I'd like to think.

Knowing that God knows my name and never mistakes me for someone else, makes me feel so loved, important, and to put it best, His treasure. to know that He is so awesome, powerful, and all knowing, and still considers me important enough to call me by name is enough for me to fall on my face to worship Him forever!

HE KNOWS MY NAME!! He knows me! He loves me and treasures me! He delights in my frail efforts to please Him.

Almighty God, I feel like a speck or a wisp of air compared to you, yet You search for me, find me, save me, and love me! You care about every detail of my life. I must consider that You deserve the same. I will seek You, and love You! I will search for every detail I can find about You and I will delight in knowing You. I will learn Your name and who You are. You are God.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What Has Changed?

Selling fireworks is very interesting as we talk to the people strolling through the tent and trying to decide what they want to buy.

One of the frequent comments we hear from adults is how we as children had access to more fireworks than we do now. It is difficult to tell our customers that it is all too easy to loose the right to set off our own fireworks. Why? What has made the difference between what we so freely enjoyed in the old days, and what we are limited to now?

My answer needs to be self control. When we control our actions, and do unto others as we would have them do to us, we do not need our city, county, state, or national governments to control us by petty laws. Without self control we may feel free for the time being, but certainly will be oppressed by our neighbor whose rights and personal space we have invaded. This is true not only just for fireworks but in every part of our lives.

Free speech without self control can become a heated argument instead of a discussion of issues.

Freedom of expression without self control can become vulgar instead of an enlightened understanding of true beauty.

Free enterprise without self control becomes greedy, selfish, and manipulative instead of a team effort to provide and protect our resources and people.

I could go on but maybe you can see the picture I am trying to paint for you. Self control is lacking in our world. We would be wise to check our individual lives to see if we have lost self control and need to be held accountable to the authority.

Father, Giver of the Holy Spirit that lives within me, I ask Your forgiveness for the times I have been out of control and letting the world persuade me to follow instead of lead. I need Your Spirit to teach me self control and to rein in my worldly passions. I pray also for our country. May we have a change of heart. May we turn back to You and find Your ways to be freeing as we gain self control.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Time to.....

What time is it? We ask this question many times in our life. It is asked almost exclusively of the hour . but in reading Ecclesiates 3:1-8, I wonder if we should also ask God what time is it in my life?

Is it a time to birth a new adventure or a time to let a relationship die?
Is it time to put our resources to work for others or to gather in a harvest?
Is it time to kill our evil habits and thoughts, or to heal the wounds from the past?
Is it time to tear down our pride or a time to build ourselves up in Christ?
Is it time to cry over our sins, or a time to laugh at the enemy who accuses us unjustly?
Is it time grieve over lost time and lost relationships, or is it time to embrace the dance of the new?
Is it time to dig out the burdens that get in our way, or to rearrange the obstacles into bridges for going forward to our future?
Is it time to make something or someone a part of our every day living, or time to wait, holding back for the right time to change?
Is it time seek out our future, or is it time to lose ourselves so that Gods' plan would be fulfilled?
Is it time to keep our things, thoughts, and time to ourselves or is it time to throw them out to those who wait?
Is it time to tear down walls and rip away our self protection, or is it time to sew trust in our Good and Loving God into the fabric of our lives?
Is it time to be quiet before the Lord and others so we can listen to them without prejudice, or is it a time to speak up and stand for the truth?
Is it time for us to love even the sinner, or is it time to hate the sin?
Is it time to make war on the evil that seems to oppress and overwhelm the world, or is it time to make peace with God?

It is time. It is time to do something. It is time to be someone! It is time to ask God, "What time is it? "

Oh Ancient of Days, You know all my days and You have a good plan for my life. It is only You that can tell me what time it is. It is my place to ask and want to know. Today I ask. what time is it for me Lord?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

That is Not Me!

I have had a few interesting encounters with people lately that thought I was someone else. As I thought about it, I could understand some of the confusion. I have been mistaken for friends who have similar interests in teaching and writing, and also are fair complexioned with light hair.

Correcting the mistake is uncomfortable for both sides, but I really want people to know me so I gently tell them who they think I am. It is becoming old hat to me. I've always wanted to be seen as my own person, but even when I was young I was mistaken for one sister or another. Sometimes it was just that I was their sister, but with no other identity. It is a struggle to be in the shadows of someone, even if that person is special to you.

I suppose many people have had my same experience. There could be many ways in which we are hidden by others who seem to carry a spotlight. The hardest of all, though, is when others place us into a mold in which we have never fit. Those are times when I want to shout, "That is not me!"

Mistaken identity hurts can be healed by knowing my identity in Christ. He never mistakes my name, talents, gifts, or my appearance and character for anyone else. He knows me better than i know myself! Even more so, I can be secure in knowing that I belong to Him and am a part of Him. When I stand before God's throne I will want Him to see Jesus not me!

Father, You have seen me perfectly and know me intimately. You will never forget me or forsake me. You made me to be who I am and I can trust that You will never mistake my identity for someone else. I want Jesus to be seen in me whatever I do. Let Him be glorified above my own desires for being known. You alone are worthy to be glorified!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fire and Ice

Yes, it is HOT here in Florida right now. clouds, breezes, and even thunderstorms are welcome right now. Like I always say, now is our indoor time!

We spend most of our summer inside where we bask in the air conditioning like northerners huddle in their homes with cozy fires in the icy winter. We do feel lazy in the heat. We eat less and mostly keep things simple. Reading inspires or helps us imagine far away places in the hottest part of the day. Napping refreshes if you can find a cool place to rest. Nice if it could be quiet and restful all the time, but alas, we still have work to do.

Moving through the day's heat is exhausting. It reminds me of those times in my life that my soul is struggling and I long to find a quiet time alone for my spirit to be refreshed in God. He is the cool breeze and the refreshing spring of water. He is the inspiration and imagination of the future. God is enough for any time and any circumstance.

When I am hot or when I am cold He receives me. He refuses my lukewarm attitudes and like the perfect days that require no outside help, I need nothing to set me free from the temperature of my soul. He prefers me to be hot or cold.

Embrace me O God, cover me with Your wings and breathe on me! Set me on fire for You and soothe my weary heart with Your refreshing Spirit. May I never stay in my perfect world where passions are lost. Keep me in a place of needing You!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Disconnected Feelings

I have always been a very sensitive person, empathizing with others, maybe even more than i should, for my own mental health. Lately, however, i have been disconnected from those heavy duty feelings and even when I am not, I only work towards not caring so deeply.

I still don't know if it is right or wrong to feel deeply or to let emotions break into pieces shattered beyond recognition. I know I don't feel like "myself" but also trying to learn the lessons that God is guiding me through. Who knows, maybe my real self has been hidden under all those feelings for others. In any case I know that somehow god will see me through and it will come out for my good.

Father, I want to feel again as I used to. I feel so disconnected lately and though others seem to think it is a good thing, I am just not sure that I need to conform to others emotional personalities. I need You to guide me through to the truth. I need You to fill me with Yourself so that i can be who You desire me to be! I will continue to lay down my feelings and my desires, but only to You.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two Sides

Today I watched James Robinsons' program where he showed the children dying of starvation. As the show ended I flipped to another channel to watch the news. The program before the news was The Price is Right. I saw two sides of the same world within seconds of each other.

Luxury, abundance, greed and selfishness reign here on our side of the world. On the other side of the planet lives struggle in the severest poverty where the only thing they cling to or grasp for is life itself. What purpose do I have living here on the prosperous side of the earth? Could I learn to be a giver and not a taker? Could I make a difference in a child's life, providing life giving food to them?

The answer has to be "Yes." Yes, I can help, if I give up my selfish desires. Yes, I can help if I reduce the affluence I keep and offer food to the hungry from my storehouse of abundance.

Father, I have heard You say that when I feed the least of these I feed You. I seldom give as much as I am able to give. I hold back more than enough for myself. I am so sorry for my selfish greedy heart. I know it may take awhile to pry my fingers off of my things so that You can use them for Your children in need, but i want to get there Lord! I do not want to withhold anything from You.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The world is a strong magnet for my attentions. I don't want it to be, but it is. I truly desire God to be the strongest pull for my love and obedience and attention.

I am learning after many many failures and some victories that though the world and God both draw me to them, it is my choice of which to turn. In some ways that gives me power that I never thought I had. I have the power to turn away from god and His love and goodness. I also have power to turn away from evil and all of its enticements.

It all starts with my mind. What I fill my mind with will determine the direction I turn. If i fill my mind with the worlds thoughts, visions and desires I will turn to the world. If I fill my mind with God's word and His love and truth, I will turn to Him. If i can memorize the jingles on commercials and remember all the happenings on the latest shows, I can memorize scripture and learn about who God is.

The thought for the day is: I have no excuse!

God of Love, You have given me freedom and choice. You have set me free to love You or turn away without a care. You offer me everything that You are and have. I have no excuse! I cannot explain away my sin. I am able to learn from You and to put Your wisdom into my mind and heart. You have changed me and I give You all I have and all that I am today! I love You!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Honest Self

What did you take away? Today is Sunday and most people I know go to church and then get together with family or friends. Yesterday the women at our church gathered for a conference and one of the speakers asked us to share with someone beside us what we were taking away from the sessions.

I began writing this wondering what I took away from this mornings service. I have a few notes and certainly heard a few interesting things that I can ponder for a few days. But the one thing i keep thinking is instead of focusing on what I took away, what if I were to focus on what I could give?

Today I ran an errand for a friend, went shopping with my daughter to help her choose materials for a throw she wants to make, complimented my husband and prayed for my family. I visited with friends and gave lots of hugs. I gave God praise and thanksgiving for all He does to delight me. I shared my real self with others.

I once read that Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood fame once said that the greatest gift you can give is your honest self. I tend to think that is true because I love receiving that gift from others. sometimes it is hard to give that gift but even in the difficult moments of opening up to a friend I find that I offer it wrapped in joy, the joy of knowing I am giving the best I can give.

Father, I want to give You my honest self too. You have already given me your honest self and I am blessed that You did! Thank You for Your gift. Continue to help me offer my honest self to others.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Renewing My Mind

This year I have memorized 5 verses of scripture so far. John 15:5, Psalm 20:7, Matthew 22:37-38, John 14:21, Romans12:1-2. I have also been disciplining myself to think about the things I want in my life. All of these things are helping to renew my mind and keep me focused on my goal of becoming more Christ-like.

Here are some of the things I want out of life :
-to be a giver not a taker
-to focus on others not myself
-to put Christ first in everything
-to enjoy life and live abundantly
-to not let fear rule my life
-to accept that I need others
-to know I am needed.

There are probably many more ideals for which I strive. To be Christ-like is not one dimensional. Jesus was full and complete in His humanity and that is what I want also! I want to be fully who He wants me to be!

It all starts with my thinking. And so, I pour God's word and his plans for my life into my thoughts. As I do I will start to believe and obey. What about you? How do you renew your mind?

All knowing God! You know my thoughts and my heart. You know my desires, failures and capabilities. You have promised me a plan for living life abundantly and I am seeking to find that plan in You! Teach me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Love God!

I have been wrestling with God lately. It is not always a pleasant experience but always results in blessing.

I know one thing about God. He always gives me everything I need to understand and to "Come out on top," so to speak. Today was no exception.

As I wrestled with God today over issues in my life, He brought help by way of Beth Moore. She does a teaching every Wednesday on James Robinsons' show. Today she was beginning a series about wrestling with God. I was surprised but then laughed with joy over His loving preparation for my need! I am committed , like Jacob, to not let God go till He blesses me! (Even if it means my stubborn will breaks.)

Lord, bless me as I have never before known blessing! Your love and provision for me prove that You will win, but in Your victory I , too, will reap great rewards! Thank You! I love You I rejoice in You! you are my delight and Enough!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Big O

My memory verse right now is John 14:21. "Anyone who has my commands and obeys them loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father and I, too, will love him and show Myself to him." Did you catch the Big O word?

Obedience! This word conjures up images of disobedience or times when we have messed up, needed discipline, or were punished for a wrongdoing. Seldom do we look at obedience head on. Though we experience feelings of satisfaction, peace and joy when we obey, we will quickly forget and fall back into our selfish mindset that leads away from obedience.

Back to the verse. God says that if I obey Him it shows my love for Him. The Big O is my love given back to God.

Loving God, You loved me first, even before I ever thought of loving You. You are so Good and loving that to obey You shows my trust and complete surrender to You. That is Your picture of love. It is not hearts and flowers and love songs. It is the Big O. I confess that I struggle to obey sometimes. My love is not perfect, I fall short of loving You as You deserve. I do thank You, Lord, for loving me through my failures. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me so that I may want to obey.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wrestling with God

When we wrestle with God something will be broken.

A stubborn will shattered by Love and Goodness sets the imprisoned dreamer free to become real.

Almighty God, I believe You are Good and You are Love. Break the things in me that must be broken so that I might become the dream You have for me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Behind My Eyes, Inside My Skin

One thing I have learned over the years of my life is that I really do not and cannot see things the same way as others do. Yes, I do have similar feelings, similar experiences, but they are also different.

To be able to give advice or to make judgemental comments about others perceptions without their permission, or at the very least a real honest comparison to yourself, is reckless and damaging to relationships, if there is one. I have learned to be cautious and patient with others. I listen to their story and then if they leave an opening for comments or advice then I proceed with caution.

The question I have today is do you really get behind my eyes? See things from my perspective and all of my life experiences? Can you get inside my skin and really feel what I feel?

This blog is not meant to preach to anyone. It is for the sole purpose of sharing my story of relationship with God and others. It is my thoughts that may spark something in others about themselves, not about me.

Lord, open my eyes that I might see You in everyone I meet. Open my eyes to see You working in me through others relationship with You.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Roller Coasters

I do not like roller coasters. I especially dislike the roller coaster of my inner life.

Roller coasters take the rider on a series of ups and downs and sometimes upside down. They go slow and then suddenly speed up. Some people enjoy the thrill and anticipation of the slow move upward only to pause just a moment at the top before the plunge into a series of twists, turns and ups and downs. Like I said, I don't like roller coasters.

Even though I will not willingly get on a coaster for fun, I look back over my life and see one huge unstoppable coaster ride. This is true especially in my perception of my worth. I don't think I am alone in this. There are many out there just like me but we put on a good act for others. We are okay with ourselves aren't we? We are having fun?

Over the years I have at times liked myself, and at other times I have seen so much that I don't like! I want to change things like not letting my fears stop me from living an abundant life, not being so selfish, be more generous, be able to lose the weight that has been far too long holding me back from looking my best, or allowing myself to need others. I am at one of those down times right now. I have a long list of things I'd like to see changed in me right now. Bible Study and inspirational books have led me to examine myself and found myself lacking.

My walk with God has taught me that my best human efforts, by themselves, can never accomplish a lasting change in me. I must release these things to God, placing them in Jesus' hands and then obey the Holy Spirit promptings. To do this 1. I must know who God is for me in that area of my life. 2. I must be ready to let go and committed to His better way of managing my life. 3. I must obey to receive the blessing.

Lately, I have heard from various sources the story of Abraham and Issac. God is speaking to me through this story. He has offered me a choice just like Abraham. Abraham was blessed by God because he withheld nothing from God, not even his cherished son of promise. God is asking me to withhold nothing from Him. Because God is a God of relationship not religion, He also gives me a promise: "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

Sovereign God , my Father and Friend, I give thanks to You for Your generous and giving heart. You withhold nothing from those who love You and obey Your word. I want to give You all that I am and all that I have. It is a daily decision that seems lost sometimes but I will always come back to the place where I offered myself completely to You. You are my Lord and Savior. You are my King and Deliverer. Even in the coaster ride of life I choose to let You be in charge of the ups and downs, the twists and turns. I am Yours!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Am All In

Jesus is not only my Savior but also my Lord. It has been this way for a long while and I think that I have tried my best to let Him have complete Lordship over my life.

Lately, I read a story that made me re-examine my surrender to God. Is it complete surrender, or are there areas of my life that I hold back and keep for myself? My examination has been revealing in that I am seeing in myself things I really never saw before. It begins with my relationship to others.

I hold back on friendships and even with my dear husband. It isn't that I set out to hold back, I just do and then regret my failure to love fully. The question arises that if i hold back on them am I holding back on God too?

I consider my quest for character an indication that I have not yet arrived at the place of complete surrender. To trust and believe in such a deep and "All In" way takes courage, not fear; truth, not lies. I hold in my heart a mixture of all.

The only offering I can give friends, Patrick and God is my " I do" to our relationships. I do give myself. I do believe. I do trust. I do commit to us. I withhold nothing.

God, I believe. Help my unbelief! Reveal Yourself to me so that I may trust You with all I am and all I have! I am all in!

(Thanks to Chip Ingram and Erwin McManus for their teaching and insight that challenges me to examine my life in the light of scripture.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not of This World

I carry a dual citizenship. The Kingdom of God is my home. I also hold citizenship in the United States of America.

During my childhood, I found my U.S.A. citizenship to be the most discussed within the family more than the other. Patriotism was desired and celebrated. I became an adult who held the red, white, and blue in high esteem and honor. It is with much grief that today, though my heart still beats with pride in our foundations, I am finding myself to be embarrassed to be an American.

My patriotism is reserved for more private times now because to cheer my country seems to endorse its legalization of sin. I am ashamed that we as a people would so easily let our freedoms slip away from us. I am ashamed that we would embrace the killing of our most vulnerable citizens as a legal and justifiable way to end a pregnancy. Turning over our freedoms to a bureaucratic government, living greedy lives that gives no thought to others or to our beautiful land, and the lack of involvement and understanding of our political processes makes me so very sad and embarrassed to love this place I call home.

Oh, I still bleed red, white, and blue, and always will. I weep for the strong moral and high valued heritage we are quickly losing. I need to shout before it is too late! WAKE UP AMERICA!! WE ARE LOSING THE BEST OF WHO WE ARE!

On the other hand, I will never be ashamed to be a part of the Kingdom of God! It is Heaven that is my real home. If only I can bring a little heaven here! That is why I pray for revival!

Lord God, King over all the earth, set our hearts on fire for You and Your ways! Break our stubborn wills and free us to live for You! My heart is yours, I do not want to withhold anything from You!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Yesterday our church held a volunteer appreciation luncheon. We have many in our church who serve in various positions in the church. I am certain there are many more who serve in the community as well. It is right to honor each other for our good deeds.

Servanthood requires an attitude of humility. There are many ways to serve. A servant is an amateur, one who does what needs to be done out of love.

Today I say Thank You to everyone who volunteers in service of God and humanity! you are a blessing!

Father God, bless those who are giving of their time to help others. Bless them with joy in their service, love flowing back to them, and many acts of kindnesses done in service for them! Teach me to be a willing, humble and joyful servant.