Monday, July 18, 2011

Judgement Seat

I had a day dream the other day. I guess I should tell you that my day dreams resemble night time dreams in that I imagine a story more than just letting my mind wander from this to that, like a butterfly flying from flower to flower.

This dream occurred after church last Sunday. I attended the marriage class and one of the points made was that our spouses are a gift from God to us. It made me think about my own receiving and enjoying the gift of Patrick in my life. That is where my dream took flight.

In my dream I stood before the Judgement Seat in heaven. God the Father sat on His throne, and I stood opposite Jesus facing the Father. Though it was a judicial setting, it also had the feel of a very intimate conversation. The Father and Jesus looked at me, smiled, and asked if I got the gifts they had sent me. I told them that I had received their gifts of Salvation and the Holy Spirit. They looked at one another and smiled knowingly and with a pure and holy joy. It made me happy knowing I had pleased them.

They then asked me about the other gifts they had chosen specifically for me. I was confused. They, looked again at one another with quizzical looks as if they wondered why I hadn't recognized their personal love gifts for me. It was Jesus who spoke directly to me saying, "Did you enjoy your husband, children, family and friends fully as gifts from Me?" I stood silent knowing that I often enjoyed my family and my friends, but never saw them as gifts from My Father and My Savior. I hung my head.

My dream ended there but the lesson, I hope, will remain with me. God has chosen specific people to be in my life. From the day I was conceived to my dying day, I am presented with gifts of people to share my life. These every day gifts can become ordinary if I forget that they are from God's hand.

Father and Dear Jesus, You are the most generous of givers! You bless me when I do not deserve Your blessings. Thank You for the gift of my husband, children , grandchildren, children through love, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors. The list goes on and on. I feel as if I am a Christmas tree piled high with gifts, and it is all because of You! I am sorry that I sometimes don't recognize the gifts You give. I even wish You had given me gifts that were different sometimes. But, I remember Your smiles when I told You how much I loved Your gifts of Salvation and the Holy Spirit. I want to make You smile more! Remind me every day to see Your presence in the presents You give! Thank You!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


We bought a new front door today. It is beautiful, and I think it will be a welcoming addition to our home.

Doors are entry ways to new places. We walk through a doorway and the environment changes. Homes, doctor's offices, workplaces, churches, and stores all have their own atmosphere. The door is the gateway to whatever lies behind and often gives us clues as to what we can expect.

We walk up to some doors with fear, others with anticipation, and still others with curiosity. Some doors are meant to be opened by us and others need to be opened by the person on the other side. Some doors should never be opened at all, but we will talk about that at another time! Do all doors hold opportunity? I think the ones that should be opened do. Every entry we pass through presents us with a new experience or new people or both. We can learn something about ourselves, others or God with each open or even locked door.

Since not all doors lead to welcoming and happy places we must be prepared to face whatever may wait behind a door. Faith is the key that makes each door, no matter what lies behind, to be something good for us. Faith in a good God who promises that He will make all thing work out for our good is the only prerequisite for entering a door with peace.

What door will await me in the coming days? I don't know. I only know that my faith will make the passageway peaceful.

Jesus, You are the door to peace with God. You also knock on my door every day wanting to come in and commune with me. You are so good! Thank You for my new door. Thank You for the lessons from our world that teach me about You. Thank you for the peace that comes with faith and trust in You. Let my focus be on You and not the door I face. It is You I seek behind every door.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Little Kingdom

The building of our little kingdoms starts early in life. How do I know? Well I have had the privilege of watching the construction of little governments with at least a dozen babies and young children.

Our experience in the world even as newborns gives us pleasure or pain. We swiftly set up rules that will increase our pleasure and limit our pain, but often we have no control over what happens. It is then we make it known to those whom we believe are our subjects, that we are not pleased and things had better change.

Today, I watched my Grandman, Jacob, try to exert his authority over me in his mini kingdom. He points his finger regally, and I am expected to give him whatever he wants. He is sweet as pie if I do, but the contorted faces and wails come swiftly if I fail to do his bidding. He has not yet realized that my kingdom is bigger, and I have conquered many little kingdoms in my time.

The idea of each of us having our own kingdoms is not my inspiration. I've been a part of a marriage class at our church with Paul Tripp's videos. He has made the point very clear that our kingdoms war against one another. I have put his teaching to the test, and I have learned that it is true. We all have our own governments with rules that we expect others to follow. I have seen kingdoms grow over the years, but it is funny that I never realized I had my own.

In my kingdom my rules must be obeyed, or I get testy and sullen. I can even get angry and mean. If you are in some relationship with me, I will expect you to follow my rules because I am the queen! I seldom recognize your kingdom unless we have a clash of rules. It is then we begin the battle for supremacy. It is only after I have wounded someone or demolished their territory that I begin to realize that there is another kingdom.

God has a kingdom. His kingdom was brought to earth by Jesus and He invited me to be a part of it years ago. There are many days when I have surrendered my rights to His government and things go well with me and those around me. But, then there are other days when My kingdom raises its selfish banner and storms out to conquer my world regardless of God's rules or royal will.

I have felt the sting of warring kingdoms. Battles between me and God, others and the world leave me sometimes prideful and often wounded and sad. It is hard to surrender to God's government when I still struggle with a sinful nature. It is a challenge to stand firm in a world that rejects God's kingdom. Most of all it is a trial to join a family of mini kingdoms under God's governing rule. Thy kingdom come, Lord Jesus!

Lord Jesus, King of the Universe and Lord and Master over my kingdom, You are the one and only worthy King! Your Government will rule and reign. Your kingdom does not always bring peace between others and myself. Your government wages war on my sin! Forgive me Lord when I do not surrender willingly to You. Forgive me for rising up in pride and the boasting of my greatness, that is not really great. Let Your kingdom come and rule in my heart daily. I surrender again to Your will. You are my King, my Sovereign Lord!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Doing What I Do Best

A square peg in a round hole just doesn't fit. Forcing the square into the hole will only cause frustration and exhaustion. The same is true for us who try to be something we are not to be.

When I try to be another Maya Angelou or Elizabeth Barrett Browning I lose a part of who I am. I become a crippled producer of the talents and gifts given to me by my Creator. I am made to be me! I am called for a purpose that can only be accomplished by being the complete person I am.

When you see my work, I want you to see the whispers of God flowing through me. I need to be the unique vessel that carries a unique message to the world. I am meant to be the square peg that cannot fit into another mold. I am also to be the incomparable talent that fits only in the place designed for me. I think you are meant for that too!

Creator God, You are unique and amaze me over and over again! Thank You for giving me a purpose and a one-of-a-kind way to fulfill it. Without You I could never make it work. I trust myself to You and Your plan. Lead me. Teach me. Fill me and finish me. I do what I do, the best I can for You!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Justice cannot be served unless the WHOLE truth is known. I thank God that He knows all truth, even mine, and yet has mercy for HIS children.

The above statement was my response after much heart searching and seeking God about the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. My heart was in conflict from the beginning. I never want to think that a Mom could take the life of their children, unborn or otherwise. I was, however convinced of Casey's guilt and more so after seeing what evidence the prosecution had. Yes, I understand that they had nothing to link her directly, but the circumstances do point to her.

I struggled over the verdict because I wanted justice to be done. I want the who, what, where, why, and how questions to be fully answered, but this is one of those circumstances where I must put my trust in a just and holy God who will bring us all to accountability for our deeds.

And, so, I have come to realize that in EVERY case, in every life, there is NO justice without the entire truth being known. In that truth, I must accept that the only true justice will happen in front of the judgement seat of God. Here on this earth we can only judge rightly by studying the KNOWN facts and handing down judgement accordingly.

The jurors in the Casey Anthony case did their best. The prosecutors did their best, and even though I do no agree with his methods, Mr. Baez also did his best and with passion. The case is closed. Casey will face a just God someday. If He finds her innocent then He will also know the truth of who is guilty and will judge him or her.

Holy and Just God of all, You are the only righteous judge. I thank You for seeing the truth that lies within me and judging me fairly and yet with an amazing mercy that I can never fully comprehend. Thank You for Your Son Jesus who took the punishment for my sin. May it be that the Anthony family will find Your mercy as well. Help me to be a voice of truth in this matter. I trust You!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ten Magical Gifts

I like to make lists of things I would like to have someday. Most of these things are listed on my computer in a file called "Gifts." I have books and music mostly. They are not expensive, but I consider them a luxury I would like to indulge in for myself someday.

Recently, however, a friend gave me a list of things to write about. Number three on the list is "Ten gifts I'd give myself with magic." To be honest I closed my eyes and went through a mental list pretty quickly. It surprised me because there were no riches, cars or houses on my list. Now don't get me wrong, after my first list, I did think it would be nice to magically give myself the house I've been dreaming about for a year now. And I also thought of a lump sum of cash that would help me finish up some special projects I've had on the back burner because of lack of funds. But looking at my first wish list made me realize what I really want.

Here is my list:
1.Wisdom: I don't need to wish for wisdom because God promises to give it to me just for the asking.
2.Liberty: God gives me freedom from all bondage's when I walk in unity with His Spirit.
3. Love: I am filled with Christ's love.
4. Relationships: He has also given me the gift of loving relationships in abundance both with family and friends.
5. Purpose: The talents and gifts God has placed in me have eternal purpose. As I use them and grow in them, I live with purpose.
6. Trust and Faith: These go so closely together that I couldn't pull them apart. In the past I thought I had to work at having faith and trust in God. I am beginning to see them as treasures that God gives in small ways like a seed, and then He waters and feeds them with His word and presence in my life.
7. Hope: Because I know Jesus as my Savior and Lord I have hope for my future. I have only eternal hope and no doubt that my faith will bring rewards.
8. Intellect: Yes, God has given me a curious and thinking brain. I am blessed to be able to choose for myself and yet able to think through all my options, of which God's way has always been found to be the best.
9. Joy: Even in the midst of trials I can always find joy in knowing that He is present in my life. Yes, God again is the source of this gift.
10: Peace: Finally, God gives me a peace that passes understanding. I cannot always understand why I am able to get through the tough times, but God's peace resides in me to help me through.

Okay, so these are not "Magical" and they are not given to myself by me. They are gifts from God. I don't need to wish for them or create a magic spell. I receive them as an inheritance for being a child of the Most High God!

I don't think I'll make another list. I like this one!

Most High God and Father, You are a generous giver of the best gifts! Thank You for letting me be Your child and for being my Father who knows exactly what I want. There are moments, Lord, when I want the other gifts more than Your precious gifts. I am sorry for being so earthly minded. Please forgive me! Continue to pour Your wonderful gifts on me every day. I will treasure all of Your presents in my life even those that are only for this earthly life. Thank You for them too!