Archive for March, 2010

God’s got my blind side…

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Good afternoon! This is going to be a short little devotional. The wireless connection here is down so I’m updating from my Blackberry – and Verizon service is limited in areas. How in the world did we function without techno stuff? Urgh!

The other night we watched the movie, The Blind Side. I had already seen it in the theatre but making it a family flick is always special. The point of the movie is that Michael Oher not only played the position in football of protecting the quarterback’s blind side, but he has that same protective instinct in life for those he loves. It’s a great movie.

I’m so glad that God is protecting my blind side. I try to be on top of my game and watch for Satan’s fiery darts, but he loves to catch us off guard! If I am walking with Jesus, He’ll take care of my blind side. He’s got my back!

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“Yet the Redeemer is strong…He will vigorously defend your cause” (Jeremiah 50:34).

Having a great time at the beach. Buddy, Cissy & Jordie were with us until yesterday. They left then Mickey, Deb & the boys joined us. It’s a beautiful day – think I’ll get back out there!

Hope

Recognize your status, and enjoy the meal!

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

banquet-tableAre you crippled in your Christian walk because of someone else’s actions? Have you allowed their treatment of you to cripple you and steal your joy? Mephibosheth, King David’s best friend’s son, was dropped in haste by his nurse at a very young age and was crippled the rest of his life. Because of his handicap, he spent his life in a state of defeat, not realizing his connection with the King. When King David sent for “anyone left in Saul’s house to whom I can show favor for Jonathan’s sake,” he was introduced to Mephibosheth. He then gave to Phibby all the land that belonged to Saul. Phib’s response was, “Who am I that you would be so kind? I’m just a dead dog.” He allowed someone else’s actions to rob him of his status as child of the King. From that point on Phibby ate at the King’s table, though he remained “crippled in both feet.”

There is much to learn from this beautiful story of grace and mercy. But today I want to focus on the fact that Mephibosheth allowed someone else’s treatment of him to cripple him for life. Maybe you’ve been crippled by someone else’s actions. Someone has hurt you desperately, and you have spent your life in defeat. If you have accepted Christ, you are a child of the King! All He wants is for you to accept the gift! Don’t miss out on what all God has for you. Don’t live life in the Woe is Me state of mind. Don’t allow someone else’s actions to cripple you for life. Recognize your status, and enjoy the meal! You are seated at the table of the King!

“‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’ Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’ Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family…And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.’” (2 Samuel 9:7-11).

Hope

Be still!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

viewSaturday morning I poured my coffee, added the Pumpkin Spice creamer, gathered my devotional book and Bible and moved to the deck overlooking Magnolia Lake and the Atlantic Ocean, all in one glance. I gazed in awe at the beautiful view and thanked the Lord for the opportunity to “get away” at such a beautiful place. I sent a text to a friend to gather information for funeral arrangements so that I could compose an email to our Sunday School class, and then began reading my Jesus Calling devotional. Here’s how that went (italics is the devotional).

 

Be still in My Presence and then my text message beeped. I picked up my phone, read the information, answered a question and asked another one, then picked up my devotional book.

 

Be still in my Presence, even though countless tasks and then my text message beeped. I read the message, responded and then finished the email, clicked Send and returned to my “quiet time” – of course starting from the beginning because I couldn’t remember what I’d read.

 

Be still in my Presence, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. My sister, Teresa (Cissy), joined me on the deck with her book. We shared a casual “Morning!”, chatted for a couple of minutes, and went back to our “quiet time.”

 

Be still in my Presence, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with me. My Blackberry beeped indicating a new email had arrived. I glanced at it to see it was a request for prayer to be sent as soon as possible. I said a prayer for the situation, forwarded it to prayer partners, and returned to my devotional (now about 30 minutes into my “quiet time.”)

 

Be still in my Presence, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you: transforming you by the renewing of your mind. I took a sip of my now 30 minute-old coffee, and it was cold. Totally gross! I went back in, got a fresh cup and returned to my swing on the porch, looking forward to what the Lord had to say to me today.

 

Be still in my Presence, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you: transforming you by the renewing of your mind. If you skimp on this time with Me, you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities, missing the richness of what I have planned for you. I re-read this entire paragraph and chuckled to myself. “Wow, Lord, I’m a little slow at getting what you’re trying to tell me!” was my prayer. He had spent the first now close to 45 minutes of my morning trying to get my attention. I was busy doing good things, necessary things (nothing like cold coffee – Yuck!), ministering to others, bonding with my sister, and all the while the Lord was trying to get me to be still!

 

What about you? Are “good and necessary” interruptions keeping you from spending quality time with the Lord? Are you skimping on your time with Him, plunging headlong into the wrong activities, missing all He has planned for you? I am SO guilty! Hear what the Lord has to say to you, “Be still!” Needless to say, the next morning I locked myself in my bedroom, left my Blackberry on the charger and spent time with my Father before plunging headlong into my day.

 

“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2b).

 

“…we know that we belong to the truth, and we set our hearts at rest in his presence” (1 John 3:19).

 

Hope

Get up and go…

Friday, March 26th, 2010

jesus-from-the-passionTagging onto my Gethsemane devotional, Pastor Danny made such a great point Sunday about Jesus carrying on. After He had poured his heart and sweat out to God, begging Him to let there be another route other than the cross, Jesus got up and went forward to face his enemies head on. He didn’t drag around. He didn’t waste time. He didn’t look for the back door to the garden. He got up and went on with the plan. How? The Bible says that an angel appeared and strengthened Him. Daddy intervened – not by taking away the trial but by giving Him what He needed to get through it.

If you’re in a personal Gethsemane, let me encourage you not to spend too much time there. You can get in deep despair if you camp out in misery. Share your heart with God, get it all out, then get up and go. Move forward. Face whatever it is in your life that’s bringing you down. Don’t coward down. I remind you that God says over 365 times in the Bible in some form or fashion, “Don’t be afraid,” “Do not fear,” “Fear not.” Be courageous – get up and go! God will be right there with you holding your hand – and should you start to fall under the pressure, He’ll pick you up. He’ll strengthen you! He may very well NOT remove the trial, but I assure you if you’ll trust Him, He’ll give you the strength to face it.

“‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him” (Luke 22:42).

“Returning the third time, he said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come…Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’” (Mark 14:41 & 42).

We serve a mighty and awesome God. He’s fully capable of taking care of little ole us. Get up and go!

Have a great weekend. We’re heading to the beach today for Spring Break. You know those “lasts” I’ve talked about a couple of times recently?…I imagine this is the last Spring Break that I’ll be “allowed” to go on with Caleb. Next year he’ll probably call and ask me to wire him some money, tell me he loves me and he’ll catch me in a few weeks. I’m going to enjoy every second of this trip!!

Hope

What is your Gethsemane?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will…” (Matthew 26:36-39).

jesus-in-gethsemane2Jesus Christ, who was 100% God and 100% human, fell with His face to the ground and BEGGED His Father to change His plan. He knew full well that He, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Kings was placed here on this earth for a purpose. God had a plan for His earthly life. And at this point Jesus wasn’t feeling it. He knew the outcome, He knew that eventually, after the horrible pain and suffering and DEATH subside He was to be back at home with His Abba Father. But right here, in Gethsemane, He was hurting. He was anxious about the plan. He shared His heart with His Daddy. But then He came back around and rested in the trust and faith that He had in God. After three times of crying out to the extent of his sweat becoming blood, Jesus closed the prayer with, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

What is your Gethsemane? Does something have you so troubled that you are overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death? Go ahead. Cry out to God. Fall on your face and pray, share your heart! Don’t hold back, God’s not intimidated by our emotions! If you’re scared, say you’re scared. Pour out your soul to your Abba Father. But then you must rest in knowing that God loves you – and trust Him with His will not your own.

Hope

Oh no, You never let go…

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

After the devotional I posted yesterday, I was blown away this morning when I opened Jesus Calling for this day, March 24 and saw the ALL CAPS in BOLD opening statement. God is so good! I have to share a little of it with you and then I’ll write my own commentary…

me-caleb-smaller1THIS IS A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU MUST LEARN TO LET GO: of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care…as you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand. Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you. 

Wow! That’s all I could say to the Lord over and over, “Wow, God!” And now I sing this morning one of the songs that we were singing as Hannah went to heaven and that we sang in her Celebration of Life service, “Oh no, You never let go! Through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, You never let go of me!” The verse says…

I can see the light that is coming for the heart that holds on

There will be an end to this trouble but until that day comes

Still I will praise you! Still I will praise you!

That’s all He wants! He wants us to let go and praise Him because He never lets go. This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go. What a message for me! Two months and four days from today Caleb, my only kid, my flesh and blood, my joy, my heartbeat for 18 1/2 years, will graduate from high school. I love Clay and miss him desperately when he’s out of town. I’m looking forward to our next chapter when it’s just Clay, Jax and me. Can’t wait to see what God has for us. But there’s just something about the child that you birthed, it’s a love that only a mom can understand. I was almost 28 years old when I had Caleb. I didn’t want children, was always fine with Mother’s Day being a holiday that I did not participate in personally, and I remember my Mom telling me that I’d never know true love until I had a child. Faye Ann had never been more right in her life! And here I am, at a time in my life when I must learn to let go. Caleb is fiercely independent. He’s been doing his own thing for quite a while now. But I’ve watched him in the last few months sort of “nest” at home. He’s been hanging with me a lot. Clay’s been out of town for much of 2010, and Caleb and I have had some good quality talks, and we’ve watched a lot of March Madness! Jacob Robinson told me, back when Caleb was spending the night away from home more than he was at home, that in his senior year he’d start hanging out at home. And he has. Which is good but it makes “letting go” even harder! A friend, a dad actually, told me last week that the dreading of Caleb leaving for college is worst than the actual event. I hope he’s as correct as Jacob and Faye Ann were!

So am I having a break down? No. Am I doing pretty good over all? Yes. Am I out of position with my circumstances? No. I’m staying above them. But do I need to let go and trust God wholly with Caleb? Yep, sure do! And the driving force for me to let go is knowing that God will never let go of me – or Caleb! As I relax more and more in the presence of Him, my grasp on my prized possission will open up and I’ll release the worry and fret into the hand of the One Who never lets go. Amen!

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).

I hope you don’t get tired of hearing about Caleb, because I have a feeling the Lord has a lot to teach more over the next few months. And what He teaches me I pass on to you. Love you all and thank you for enduring my ramblings!

Hope

Give us clean hands…

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

An invitation from Jesus Calling this morning is to come to Jesus with open hands and heart, ready to receive all He has for us. The visual I have is in order for us to offer to Jesus open hands, they must be empty of anything we’re clinging to. In order for us to hold our hands out to receive what He has for us, they cannot be filled with our own desires, our own motives, our own dreams, our own agenda – nothing that we are firmly grasping in order to maintain control. So when we pray for the Lord to give us clean hands, give us pure hearts, it’s not just dirt that we need to remove. Quite often it is the things that are most important to us.

Senior Night - Clay forever being the Voice of Reason, Caleb intently listening. Great shot of their relationship!

Senior Night - Clay forever being the Voice of Reason, Caleb intently listening. Great shot of their relationship!

I confess to you, my web family, that it is Caleb, his present and his future that I cling to most. This morning I give Caleb once again to the God of Jacob, the One Who created Caleb in His own image for His own purpose. I open my hands – letting go of any grasp that I have in hopes of controlling and molding Caleb into what I want him to be. To You, Father, I open my hands and heart in order to receive what You have for me, trusting You to fulfill your purpose for Caleb.

If our hands are open, then we are holding on to nothing.

“Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior” (Psalm 24:3-5).

Here’s a link to Chris Tomlin singing, “Give Us Clean Hands.” What a powerful prayer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSKVZid_Z7U

Hope

Are you out of position?

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Another quote from our evangelist…”If you are doing fine under the circumstances, you are out of position. As Christians we are to rise above our circumstances, not live under them.” He went on to challenge us to change our response to “in spite of the circumstances.” I love that! Dr. Len didn’t spend much time on that point but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. I’ve caught myself several times since then starting to say “under the circumstances” and quickly adjusted it to a positive response.

Christ loves us and He paid the ultimate penalty so that we may have victory over things of this world. If you are being weighed down by your circumstances, then you are out of position. Get up and get over it! There’s no way we can be effective in our Christian walk if we are carrying around a load of “circumstances.” They’ll hold us back! And no matter how hard we try, we will not run the race at the speed in which God intended if we’re burdened down.

jumping-a-hurdleAre you out of position? If so, take charge today and rise above your circumstances! God is able and He is faithful to His promises.

“Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20 & 21).

“I (Paul) am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Hope

I know…trust me

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Our all-time favorite verse took on a whole new meaning for me yesterday…

path-of-light‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I’ve always focused on the “plans” of that verse but yesterday the Lord led me to emphasize the “I.” Say it this way with me, “I know the plans I have for you…” In other words the Lord is saying, “You may have no idea what I’m doing. But I know the plans and I have your best interest at heart.” That was so comforting to me. Sometimes we wonder which direction to go, what decision to make, we fret over the fear of messing up or making the wrong turn. No fear! He knows what He’s doing. He knows the plans. He’s got it all under control.

Enjoy your weekend, and don’t waste any anxious thoughts on your future. Because God is saying to you, “I know…trust me.”

Hope

Thus far the Lord has helped us…

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Deb mentioned in her prayer this morning an Ebenezer, a stone that Samuel in the Old Testament placed as a reminder that “Thus far the Lord helped us.” I quickly scribbled a thought for my devotional as Deb prayed (of course I kept my eyes closed while I scribbled.) Thus far, and unto death was my thought. Then I looked the passage up in 1 Samuel and found that the very next verse says…

“So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines” (1 Samuel 7:13).

rock-in-the-woodsNot only had the Lord helped Samuel thus far, but He finished the work in Samuel. He continued the protection for the rest of Samuel’s lifetime.

Thus far the Lord has helped you and me as we battle the enemy. And He will finish that work. There is no shortage of God’s help. Economy doesn’t affect it, weather doesn’t interfere, no distractions at all. Thus far the Lord has helped me, and He will continue to for the rest of my lifetime. Amen!

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,  saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).

Hope