Archive for June, 2009

His Word will accomplish its purpose…

Monday, June 29th, 2009

I’ve heard the scripture “My word will not come back void” for years. But this weekend I was reading a devotional and it referenced the below scripture…

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10 & 11).

bibleI love that! Just as the rain and snow do not return to the heavens without watering the earth to provide for growth, so God’s Word is not wasted. Nothing comes out of His mouth but what it will accomplish the desire and achieve the purpose for which it was said. Now I don’t know about you but I can flat rattle off some words that probably fall on deaf ears, and that’s just as well because they don’t always have a plan or a purpose. Sometimes I just talk to be talking. Jax probably wishes I would get ready in peace and quiet rather than telling him everything that’s going on. But I like to talk. Not the case with God. If He says something…especially if it made it to print, it means something. And if we will allow it, His Word will accomplish its purpose in our hearts. He knows our needs and He knows exactly what it will take to meet those needs. Let His Word do its job. He’s sent His word for a reason – don’t miss it! Hear it – then do it.

I’m at the airport preparing for take-off to Waco. Next time I update I’ll be in the beautiful Robinson home! Looking forward to a great time introducing I Have Hope pins at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. Pray for receptive hearts and safety of travel!

Hope

I want to leave a legacy…

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The contemporary Christian song by Nichole Nordeman Legacy…

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

Wow, the news this week may go down in history as one with the most activity and the saddest news as far as I’m concerned. On the heels of my devotional yesterday about the fall of our Governor, almost 24 hours to the minute later, Michael Jackson’s death strips the headlines on every news station around the world. Was I a huge Michael Jackson fan? No, not really. In my teenage years I certainly sang, “I wanna rock with you, all night. I wanna dance the night away” and many other of his pop songs. But to say I was a fan is a stretch. However, I do recognize talent when I see and hear it and Michael Jackson was one of the greatest performers in my lifetime thus far for sure. That boy could sing and dance! The only time I have any of his “moves” is when I’m fighting off a bee. I have no natural rhythm. But all of the world watched as Michael made one poor decision after another until his popularity, his reputation, his wealth, and his health spiraled. Now, at age 50, Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” has stepped into eternity to stand before his Creator. All the wealth and fame and lights and cameras and money fall off and all that matters is whether he knew Christ as his Savior. Was anything done for the glory of the Kingdom of our Creator? We’re not his judge. But what a sad, sad end to his story.

This all came to me this morning as I read today’s Psalm, Psalm 26. When I take my last breath on this earth, I want my family to be able to say that I’ve led a blameless life. I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. When the Lord tests me and examines my heart and mind, may He find that I walk continually in His truth. May I wash my hands in innocence proclaiming aloud His praise and telling of all His wonderful deeds. I pray I lead a blameless life and that the Lord will redeem me and be merciful to me. May my feet ever stand on level ground. The only way for any of us to remain faithful is to rely on His strength, not on our own.

km-smallJust as Hannah did, I want to leave a beautiful legacy for my family and friends. How about you?

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:25).

I pray each of you have a blessed weekend. I will be in Waco, TX next week at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center sharing Hannah’s Hope and introducing the I Have Hope pins. Alexia Newman and her niece, Parker Foster will be traveling with me. Pray for safety of travel and for hearts and lives to be changed as we share the hope that Hannah had and we all have in Christ. I’ll update as soon as I can on Monday. Much love to my web friends!

Hope

Except for grace…

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

praying-handsWell, I guess it’s common knowledge by now that the Governor of our state has admitted to being unfaithful to his wife. That news breaks my heart. I hear so many saying how broken they are for our state, for the Republican party, etc. While I do feel for our state, my heart only breaks for Gov. Mark Sanford and his wife and family. God ordained the family before he ordained anything…even the church. Gov. Sanford’s first responsibility is to restore his family. I pray that will be his desire, and I pray for his wife and his boys. The pain at times will be unbearable. The public eye and public opinion will be cruel. David Letterman was very quick to share an inappropriate joke last night. I believe that as Christians we should pray for repentance and restoration, focusing on the matter at hand…a family that Satan is desperately trying to destroy.

As for the political side of the matter, that is way out of my realm. I don’t claim to be politically minded so I’ll leave that to the powers that be. What I do know is that except for grace, this could be any one of us. And while God longs to be gracious, there are dire consequences to such actions. I share with you a verse that my Pastor posted on Facebook this morning. It is the basis for the golden rule.

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” (Matthew 7:12).

Pray for the fallen and don’t get caught up in the judging. Leave that to the Righteous Judge, because except for grace, so goes I.

Hope

I Thought he was the Gardener – Until he spoke!

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I thought he was the gardener until he spoke! And then I knew that he was more than just the gardener! He had a message for me – from You! I will never forget it!

                                                                                                    

We parked in that all too familiar parking lot after dropping off our new friend who is staying at Ms. Harrison’s. She needed a ride to the hospital Monday morning – what a set-up Lord – how perfect was that! What a great idea! We had someone else to minister to, to think about, to reach out to and our trip back to MD wasn’t about us, was it? It was about You and about the someone else You desired for us to reach out to. Someone who is currently on the path we have just come from – a little different path but a similar journey – a path strewn with the unexpected hurdle of cancer. We had some precious moments with this new friend. You are at work in her life! You are giving her a different perspective – an eternal one! She is seeking You, Lord! Continue to reveal Yourself to her! And thank You for giving her to us for those two days!

 

She told us where she usually parked her car and suggested that perhaps we should park there also – it would give us a little different “feel” and we wouldn’t have to go back to “that parking lot.” But of course, You wanted us to go back there. You wanted us to walk from our car to those elevators once again. You wanted us to know that the elevator, the parking lot, the walk to and from the car didn’t have any hold on us, didn’t You? It was important. If we had missed that, we would have missed a blessing. You know, it was really amazing how calm You kept our hearts. And so we went right back there – got our ticket and drove to the 6th floor – color orange – so you won’t forget where you parked!

 

The first thing I wanted to do was to walk through the rose garden. The same garden Kay had walked Hannah through on the first day she was able to leave her bed after many weeks in ICU. They went early in the morning – about 5:30 – while it was cool. I know that blessed Hannah’s heart! We obtain a whole new perspective of the beauty of Your creation when we walk through very difficult journeys – we are so desperate to see You and our spiritual eyes are opened to see You in a whole new way. And just like You met us on the parking lot, You waited for us to arrive in the rose garden. You are always waiting for us, aren’t You, Lord? I wanted to retrace those steps! So we walked through the garden that is surrounded by concrete medical buildings. When we neared the end of the path, there was a gentleman cutting roses. The first words out of his mouth to us on the campus of MD Anderson hospital were, “Look at those doves!”

 

I was looking! And perhaps, Father, if I hadn’t been looking for You so intently or if I hadn’t just written a book entitled “A Dove Set Free,” I would have let his words go right by me – but I was looking and listening for You and I didn’t miss it! There were two doves – sitting on a bench right beside where we were standing. The gentleman “gardener” went on to say that “They always travel in pairs” – how precious is that – since the time of creation and going onto the ark two by two, I suppose they have traveled in pairs! They weren’t white doves but they were doves! As we began to speak with the gardener, we came to learn that he was a volunteer at the hospital and one of his jobs was to clip the roses and take them to the rooms of the patients. What a great job – spreading sunshine!

 

I felt compelled to share with him about my “dove” that had been set free! He seemed a little amazed when I pulled out a copy of a book with a dove on the front cover. I shared a little about the story and parallel You had given me and told him I was going to donate it to the library at MD – perhaps he might want to check it out. He went on to tell us that he loved to read stories about mothers and their children and he wanted to have a copy of his own so he took out a piece of paper and wrote down the address! “The gardener” – how amazing was that for a first encounter!

 

You know, Lord, I pondered later that perhaps those two doves could have represented Hannah and Rebekah – the beautiful friend You brought into our lives while we were there. She had also been set free from this world on Valentine’s Day 2008 after a courageous battle with sarcoma.

 

You were strengthening us, Lord – step by step. You were building our courage to walk back through those doors. Doug escorted us to the library – we never knew there was a library. The girl behind the desk was precious and accepted our book and DVD’s with welcoming arms. I wrote a note to those who find themselves on a journey and asked You to use those instruments in ways I could never imagine! I’m asking again this morning! You are such a big God – show Yourself big through those little tools.

 

Physical Therapy was just around the corner on that same floor and it was our first visit. Now it was Mickey’s turn. You had met me before we even went in the door in such a detailed way and You wanted to do the same for Mickey! He had been Hannah’s encourager in physical therapy – he had been the one to push her a little beyond what she thought she could do – he had walked those first steps with her after she had been in bed for such a long time. We walked to the large room where Hannah had gone for therapy many times and didn’t see one familiar face. But as we turned around and began our journey back down the hall, Mickey thought he spotted Michelle in one of the offices. She was talking with someone and her back was to us but Mickey felt confident that was her! I couldn’t believe he remembered her name!

 

When she finished her conversation and turned to leave, she saw us, recognized us and came to give us a big hug! She knew we were “Hannah’s parents.” She told us that Hannah had been one of her very first patients! She told us that she had followed Hannah’s story after we left the hospital and had gotten a bracelet! That blessed our hearts! All three of us had tears in our eyes before we parted. I gave her a DVD – this morning Lord, I pray You will use it in ways I would never imagine.

 

You were building our strength – step by step and we were now ready for the sarcoma unit on the 10th floor. Hannah had started out on the 9th floor and we listened while they renovated the 10th floor above us to become the “new sarcoma ward.” Same elevators, same halls, same walk but this time our precious daughter’s life wasn’t hanging in the balance . . . and our hearts were not as raw. We stopped to look at the bulletin boards on the wall where the staff is pictured to see if we saw any familiar faces. We saw a few – not really a lot. You know, Lord, I think there is a lot of turnover. What an intense place to work every day! If you didn’t have a hope beyond this world I don’t know how you could work there!

 

Once again, by Your providence, as we rounded the corner, there was Chu – Dr. Trent’s physician assistant. We saw her almost everyday while we were there. She would make her rounds about 10 o’clock in the morning – and there we were – It was 10 o’clock and she was making her rounds. She had gotten to know us over those three months and knew us immediately when she looked up from her work. She came around to give us a hug and remind us of our faith that “had been so strong” in her perception. She had no idea how weak we were and how amazed we were to be standing there with her once again. We asked about her daughter who had followed Hannah’s journey. We asked about Dr. Trent and Sue and others. She seemed very pleased to receive a copy of “A Dove Set Free” and the “Hannah’s Journey” DVD for their team. This morning, Father, I pray You will use those little tools in ways I would never imagine! You are a big God – show Yourself big!!

 

“Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.”

 

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

 

“Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means teacher).”

 

Thank You Father for showing me Yourself in the garden. Thank You for speaking my name! I heard You Lord! You are so near and I bless Your name! . . .  

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unmerited favor…

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18).

me-caleb-smallWe talk so much about God’s grace and how undeserving we are. Thankfully God’s portion of grace is not based on our level of worthiness…we’d never experience grace if that were the case! Grace is defined as unmerited favor. The above verse in Isaiah says that the Lord longs to be gracious to us. If you are a parent then I’m sure you can relate. I long to be gracious to Caleb. Does he always deserve it? Of course not. But my love for him sparks a longing to show him favor that is not based on merit. When Caleb doesn’t do something I’ve asked him to do or does something I’d rather he not, it’s as though my love grows for him and I desire even more to bestow favor on him. So much more does God long to be gracious to me! Man, how often I don’t do things I should or do do things I should not, yet God loves me in spite of myself.

I hope you’ll bask in this truth today. Unmerited favor…God has an unlimited supply. And He longs to shower you with it.

Hope

Check the source of your strength…

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

My friend, Carmela’s dad had an accident yesterday. I’m not sure all of the details but I know that he was working on a tractor and decided to prop it up by throwing a rope over a large limb and tying it up. The limb broke and fell on her dad’s leg and broke the leg just above the ankle. He told Carmela that as he lay on the ground after being hit he realized that the tree was dead. She told me the story this morning and of course I said, “There’s a lesson to be learned here. I’m gonna steal this and use it for my devotional today!” Not until after I offered my sympathy and said a prayer for him, of course…

Quite often we latch onto something or someone that we think will provide strength and stability, without looking to God for wisdom and direction. We do not check the source of that strength. We trust the source and they let us down – fast and hard. When we’re lying on our backs looking up to the Lord for help, He then gives us a glimpse of the source through His wisdom and direction and we see that it was dead, rotten, providing no life at all. Only destruction. Prayerfully we escape with nothing more serious than a broken bone. But sometimes our entire spirits are broken.

dead-trees1What are you latching on to today? Have you checked the source of your strength? Have you asked the Lord for insight and wisdom or are you depending on a dead source? Check the source of your strength…before you take a fall.

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11).

Thank you, Mr. Donald for allowing me to use you today! I pray your leg heals quickly!

Hope

Out of control, not a bad place to be…

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Clay and I were chilling on the deck last night after grilling out for Father’s Day and I told him that I feel a little out of control of most every area of my life right now. I downloaded the 2009/2010 school calendar and when I saw May 28, 2010 as the day for Caleb’s graduation, I almost lost my breath. I don’t even want to allow my mind to go there yet! Clay’s work is going great but very busy so there’s much that needs to be done around the house that he typically does. Our personal calendar stays absolutely packed, mainly because we have no idea how to pronounce N-O so there’s much around the house that I typically do that needs to be done. And we are in prayer and great anticipation to see what God does next with Hannah’s Hope Ministries. He always has something up His sleeve. I just wish He’d give me a peek!

So Clay’s response to my comment was, “You’ll feel that way until you relinquish control.” My first thought was, “If I’m out of control, how do I relinquish control?” Then I thought of the popular song, “Jesus Take the Wheel.” The gist of the message in that song is that she loses control of her car on ice and all she can do is pray, “Jesus, take the wheel!” Then she applies it to her spiritual life as well. I had to admit that I’m gripping the wheel with both hands – so tightly that my knuckles are white!

When we get to that place in our lives, we must let go and let God have control. When He takes over, everything is His responsibility. If I’m allowing Him to have full control, things can only turn out for my good! So I guess what I’m admitting to you, my dearest web friends and family, is that being out of control is not a bad place to be…if we give the controls to the Father.

sunset-on-maplecroft1Clay and I talked a while longer and then we took Jax for a walk. As soon as we stepped out of the house into the front yard, the attached is a snapshot of our view. If God can control such a beautiful sunset and create a postcard picture for me in my own front yard, surely He can handle my little ole busy heart. Out of control, not a bad place to be…

“Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” (Psalm 31:3).

Hope

Your Eyes – Ranging Throughout the Earth!

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

From the first airplane ride, Father, the scripture You wrote upon my heart again and again as we flew over the surface of the earth this week was II Chronicles 16:9. You gave me an entirely new depth of understanding this scripture as I pondered the view from the window seat of the airplane.

 

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” Your eyes are scanning the earth’s surface to give strength to those whose hearts are fully committed to You! The God of the universe is looking to strengthen His little children. You are looking around to find those whose hearts are committed to You! You desire to give them strength!

 

You can see the entire earth and all of us who live upon the earth at one time from Your panoramic view! What a view that must be! That blows my little finite mind! And as I pondered that scripture, seeing a little more of the earth from Your “higher view” than I usually get to see, You brought to mind the little chorus, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine  Oh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine!!!

 

And I wondered if when You look down upon the surface of earth, ranging throughout with Your eyes, if You see little lights in the places where those whose hearts are fully committed to You are standing. Are there little lights, Lord? Is that what You see? Or is it the hearts and lives of those who seek You in the early morning hours or the late at night hours, or the middle of the day hours when no one is aware they are seeking You. They come to You in prayer – they come to Your word – and You strengthen them. You give them strength beyond themselves! That is Your promise to Your children! You desire to strengthen us – of course You would – because when You strengthen us beyond ourselves the focus is upon You and Your glory and not upon us! We are so small in the “big picture!” It must sadden Your heart to see us try and be “so big!” How laughable!  

 

Another scripture You brought to my heart and mind as I pondered letting my little light shine was from Paul’s letter to Timothy when he encouraged Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” he had been given. You challenged my heart to “fan into flame my little light!” 

 

As we flew into the GSP airport yesterday You seemed to say to me, “Don’t forget what you saw from the “higher view.”  I don’t want to forget, Father. I love being able to rise a few thousand feet above the earth and view its surface from a little higher perspective! You seem to bring so many things into sharper view!

 

You tell us that “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.” Psalm 34:15 I love that! Your eyes are watching me! And Your ears hear my little cries! What a beautiful picture! The eyes of the Creator God of the universe – Yahweh God – personal God – scanning the earth to look for me!

 

I just raised my hand on the airplane and I told You that I want You to see my little light when Your eyes range throughout this earth! I want to be fully committed to You! My hearts desire is that You would see me when You are looking for those whose hearts are fully committed to You! I’m raising my hand, Lord! I’m raising my hand! I want to be known as one who is seeking You and who is committed to You! Do You see me, Lord? Do You see me?

 

You know, Lord, I believe You do see me. I believe You know my heart as no one else. I believe You see all of the imperfections – and yet You continue to gaze upon my life. I know You strengthened me this week beyond myself! You proved Yourself to me again and again and again! Bless Your name, Lord – Bless Your Name!!

 

 

Your Hand at Every Turn!

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Your Hand at Every Turn!

 

In the corner bedroom where mother (and many others) slept while we were in Houston, I find a new computer! I slipped in here to journal, Father, before we leave this morning!

 

Prior to leaving Spartanburg we asked You to allow us to see Your hand at every turn – just like we did before we came to Houston the first time! You want us to see You in all the details, don’t You? You aren’t hiding, are You? We just have to be looking – I am!  Your heart and desire is that all may know You! And so You are constantly revealing Yourself to us! You promise in Your word that “you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” I want to be seeking You with all of my heart!

 

A Dorman coaching family “just happened” to be arriving at the airport at the same time we arrived at the airport Sunday morning – dear friends that we usually see during football season! You have used their lives many times to encourage ours! They have traveled a little ahead of us on this journey of life and the strength and grace You have given them has been a witness to us! Their oldest son “just happened” to be leaving for Africa on a mission trip!  Immediately, Lord, You placed in my heart a desire to send Hannah’s story to Africa again! So I asked Zach if he would take a copy of  “A Dove Set Free” and a copy of the DVD. I am contining to ask You to do “immeasurably more, exceedingly abundantly above anything I could ask or imagine to the praise of Your glory” through Hannah’s life and I am always looking for ways to cooperate with You! I was only going to Houston – he was going to Africa! His shirt was red and said “Rescue.” We are to rescue, aren’t we Lord? We are to rescue those that are perishing – those that need the eternal hope that only Jesus Christ can give! As I hugged his neck, I prayed that perhaps You might give him a mother who has lost a child to share it with! Oh Father, You know whose hands it might end up in – would You use it in ways I would never dream or imagine to the praise of Your glory? I don’t need to know! I just desire for You to use it as an instrument of Your truth! Use it to rescue someone!!

 

We board the airplane and for the first time that I can ever remember the announcement welcomes us to the “One World Global Airline Alliance!” We are in the Greenville Spartanburg airport Lord but the announcement sounds a little like the “Left Behind” series! “One World Global” – and You remind me once again that we are marching on Your time table, aren’t we Lord? Your truth, Your plan, Your purposes are being accomplished! You are bringing all things under One head – ultimately it will be Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ! Even so come, Lord Jesus!

 

You know, Lord, this will perhaps be the last morning I will ever walk in Mrs. Harrison’s neighborhood! It is so beautiful – right in the middle of the city! I want to enjoy Your creation! I will finish journaling in San Antonia! Thank You Father for showing us Your hand so specifically from the very beginning of our trip before we even stepped on the plane! I am looking for You today, Lord!

My Prince of Peace

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Yesterday I talked about God being our Wise Counsel. This morning as I was pulling out of Starbucks, the song “Hold Me Jesus” came on the radio.

Hold me, Jesus

I’m shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my Glory

Won’t you be my Prince of Peace

There is great comfort in knowing that not only is God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost our Wise Counsel, but He is our Prince of Peace. In other words He rules over our peace – He controls our peace. Wow, our peace does not depend on our own might. When we rely on our own power, there is no peace at all. Quite the contrary. We’re anxious, on edge, we worry about how things will turn out because we are depending on our own ability, our own success. But when we realize that Jesus is our Prince of Peace, that He wants to be in full control of our lives and will provide the peace that He reigns over, we can relax and find shelter at His feet.

Hold me, Jesus. I’m shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my glory. Won’t you be my Prince of Peace. Yes, He is my Prince of Peace.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

echoes-of-hope1Our quartet, Echoes of Hope, will be singing in the Boiling Springs Park tomorrow (Saturday) at 6pm. Come on out and join us! And please say a prayer for me that my cold will clear up by then – and that the temperatures will not be as high as they’re forecasting. I hate to sweat! Have a blessed weekend.

Hope