Face Time

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I was running some errands today when my cell phone rang with a call from Rachel.

Let me say up front that I feel pretty blessed to have a car that picks up my phone calls. Kudos to my husband because if we depended on my income….well….I would be talking to  people through two soup cans connected by string…(if you are under 40, google it…)

I answered and I was greeted with Graham’s voice….”Hey Lola, can we face time?”

Well of course.

So I told him to wait a minute, pulled off into the parking lot of a doctor’s office next to the highway and sat in a stifling hot car face timing with those two cuties while their mom fixed their lunch.

Errands were put on hold, a spot was found and I was a captive audience. Win win for everyone….and honestly there wasn’t any serious issues resolved or brilliant discoveries made.

We sent hugs and kisses, we laughed, we marveled over whatever objects were nearby that he and Emmett could hold up for me to look at, because I am really good at making a big to do over nothing.

But I can’t always pull off the road or take the time, much as I would like to.

However, we have a heavenly Father who is ALWAYS ready for face time with us.

He is never too busy.

He is never inconvenienced or thrown off schedule.

He is never thinking our conversation is silly or unimportant.

We are assured in Scripture that we have open access to His throne…His throne of GRACE and MERCY…24/7.

I urge you to take Him at His Word.

With childlike faith…call out to Him….

Talk to Him while you wait for your lunch.

Show Him what is on your heart.

Or just sit in His Presence.

Take time to Face Time with your Father…..it will do you a world of good <3

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know <3      Jeremiah 3:33

 

 

 

Link-ed in (see what I did there….)

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I think it is spring, right? Although this week I have seen people go from flip flops to thermal jackets…sigh…gotta love the Midwest.

Russ and I have been planning on being more intentional about getting some golf in when the weather finally settles into … unbearable heat and humidity. We like to go in the evening after work.

It’s kind of a mercy thing for Russ. Since we can’t play once it starts to get dark, he is spared what seems like an eternity of mulligans.

I marveled watching the Masters Tournament a few weekends ago. Those golfers teeing off between that long, thick gallery of spectators. Like a human “Wall of Jericho” lining the tee box. So intimidating to me.

Can I tell you…when I am teeing off, if there is anyone in the vicinity I get so nervous that I either leave a divot that could potentially be a new sand trap or flub the ball about two feet away, on a good day….

But I am not a golfer.

I am someone who occasionally golfs.

The guys at the Masters are golfers. They have spent hours and days and years training, studying, playing, watching and, basically, living golf.

We will excel in the things into which we put our time and energy.

I want to make sure that I am investing myself in efforts that line up with God’s purpose for my life, don’t you?

The disciplines we practice, the pursuits that we spend our time, gifts, talents and resources on are the things we will be known for.

From time to time…we want to see if we are up to….par….so…

What are you mastering?

Because that will be what masters you.

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May God bless each of you as you dedicate your lives to His …. course <3

As the deer…

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I love God and I love His correction…even tho it is oh, so very painful when it comes…

I am singing that old praise song this morning….As the deer panteth for the water…but it’s sung from a repentant heart. And the road to repentance is paved with conviction and struggle.

You all know I talk a bit about weariness. You may have guessed that I am no stranger to the temptation to veer dangerously close to depression. And those closest to me are quite familiar with my tendency toward sarcasm and…ugh…cynicism.

So imagine my chagrin yesterday when I read this from Paul E. Miller’s “A Praying Life”…..

“Cynicism and defeated weariness have this in common: They both question the active goodness of God on our behalf. Left unchallenged, their low-level doubt opens the door for bigger doubt. They’ve lost their childlike spirit and thus are unable to move toward their heavenly Father.” Pg. 77

I wrote in capital letters at the bottom of the page….

START CHALLENGING WEARINESS

And then God led me, literally LED ME to read from a very old Bible that has been sitting around our house…The Living Bible….Psalm 42

Which starts out with David comparing his desire for the Lord to be like a deer who is seeking out water. He confesses the emptiness and hopelessness he is experiencing.

And then he writes a beautiful pep talk to himself. He starts by remembering God’s goodness and faithfulness and then asking a hard question of his own soul and spirit

Why be downcast? Why be discouraged?  Psalm 42: 5 TLB

Then he recounts again who God is and he acknowledges that there is an enemy spirit at work in him that is urging him to doubt that God is at work.

The spirit of cynicism calls out to him to quit being so gullible as to believe there is a God who works on his behalf.

But David CHALLENGES WEARINESS and responds….

But O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. EXPECT GOD TO ACT! Psalm 42:11 TLB

Expect God to act! That is how we challenge weariness. That is how we renew our hope!

That is how we put this FAITH to the test.

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And we can say, with David…

For I know …..I KNOW….that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise Him for all that He will do. He IS my help! He IS my God! Psalm 42: 11 TLB

Be encouraged today “deer” ones…He is faithful!

Do not lose hope! Do not let the enemy of your soul talk you into weariness and defeat!

 

 

 

 

Good to know when choosing sides…

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I do not like to debate.

I don’t like mind games, having people “pick my brain” (ewwww….) or dialoguing.

I like to state my opinion…passionately…and have everyone around me nod in agreement.

If someone thinks it is profound…so be it…

Also, I must confess, I dislike being wrong.

And as a Christian, it is extremely important to me that God is on my side for the issues that I feel the most strongly about.

So with a little toe crunching this morning, I find a good reminder about how God views choosing sides….

Joshua 5: 13-15 finds …. well…Joshua… near the tall walls of Jericho contemplating the first looming challenge of the people of God to begin to possess the land promised to them.

Suddenly He is joined by a Man…scholars believe He is Jesus…with a sword drawn.

And Joshua is very interested to find out whose side He will be joining. He asks Him point blank….

Are You for us or for them?

His answer…well…not what Joshua was looking for but exactly what he needed….

No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.

No. I am not for their side. No. I am not for your side.

And then He tells Joshua to take off his shoes because…by the way…he is standing on holy ground.

Tony Evans put it beautifully, “He comes, not to take sides, but to take over.”

I need to hear that today.

As all manner of issues are debated and argued and volleying around me…and my dander rises; as my defenses go up right along with my blood pressure…I need to hear this.

He doesn’t come to prove anyone right.

He is right.

He doesn’t come to join a side so they can declare a win.

 

No one wins but Him.

The only appropriate place for me in the battle is humbly worshipping Him, barefoot and on my knees, waiting for His marching orders.

It is not about sides.

It is not about who of us is right and who is wrong.

It is not about us getting God to draw His sword for our campaign.

It is all about us surrendering to His.

May God bless us as we lay down our weapons and our agendas and our passions and come under His Command <3

To all the shrinking violets…

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I am writing this on Sunday afternoon.

It’s been a few hours ago since I stood surrounded by a whole lot of people loudly singing about today being the day.

“TODAY is the day”…. we sang.

The day He has made. And because He made this day, we rejoice and we say we are glad to rejoice.

The church sang with gusto about how we were giving God our doubts and sorrows. We vowed loudly in song to trust in what He says. And then we affirmed that today…TODAY is the day.

But what about later today?

Later today when it’s quieter. Later today, when I have read the local newspaper and CNN. Later today when I see the pictures of  two more groups of Christians martyred and headlines scream at me and the calendar on the counter points to Monday.

When my heart wants to worry about those near and far that don’t know that….Today is the day.

When my heart is sad for the fears and the doubts some of my friends and family are facing. Real fears and doubts.

When I am overwhelmed by the violence and chaos that is happening all over this country and all over the world. Real violence and chaos.

When I feel so small and I know others feel so small and we are separated by so much distance…

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Do I still know Today is the day….for me to give Him all my doubts and sorrows?

Will I know tomorrow that I will trust in all He says?

By His grace I will.

I will continue to say it today.

And when tomorrow is today, I will say it again…sometimes boldly…sometimes a whisper….sometimes a trembling hand raised.

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By His grace, with His grace…I will trust in what He says. Not how I feel. Not how things look.

Today…is…the…day….every….single…day

The day HE made and we will … by His grace….rejoice and be glad in it  <3