So now I am a preferred customer…

I just spent way more time than I am interested in spending trying to find the post where I was living in fear of a collection agency coming after me for magazine subscriptions that had expired…I gave up the search, but I did write one….

It is hard to say when, because I have been hounded for the better part of a year by two magazines. Apparently they were “extremely disappointed” in me for breaking our trust relationship.

I guess when I purchased a one year subscription, they felt we had entered into a lifetime commitment. I had other ideas.

Each month, I would get these shame-provoking statements about how, when I ordered the magazine, this poor company had sent it to me in good faith thinking I would pay my bill. Well, I had. For the one year subscription that I wanted.

It was their idea to continue sending me magazines each month beyond what I had ordered. And so, the language of the billing escalated to a kind of threatening level.

I finally decided to attempt to “do the right thing”. I wrote on the bills that I no longer wanted the magazines and could they please remove me from the mailing list. Yes, I broke down and actually put a stamp on an envelope and tried to end this relationship, as if I was dealing with people who have feelings.

Well….good news, bad news….now I am such a great customer that they are combining the two magazines and giving me enough discounts to retire on. Ok. I exaggerate. But I have gotten increasingly better offers since I contacted them with my status. I am now up to being able to purchase BOTH magazines for a combined fee of $8 for a year.

I am assuming this month, I will also be offered partial ownership in the company.

And all I can think of is a verse….

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7 (NASB)

I am not suggesting this is a great thing with publications you don’t want, but I am thinking that maybe God likes it when I swallow my pride, attempt the apology; even when I feel I wasn’t in the wrong, and humble myself by following through at whatever cost.

May God bless you today as you seek to live in ways that are pleasing to Him <3

 

 

 

For the Beauty of the Earth…

Do you just LOVE Fall???? I do ….

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As I drove up north yesterday….

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I was surrounded by the beauty of the harvest…

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So much so that I was filled with worship to God who created all things…

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and has made them beautiful in His time.

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Wherever God has placed you today….

IMG_2699I pray you have eyes to see the wonders of His creation….

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and to know that He has blessed you abundantly,  and His Presence goes with you always ….

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as you…..journey….onward <3

 

 

You want me to do what?

Well in the on-going saga of me trying to be as healthy as possible, I went back to Pilates yesterday after a small hiatus last week. Our “regular” teacher has resumed 100% of her health after a surgery so I was treated to the full instructional capacity of this 30something triathlete.

It was…brutal….

At one point, she had us lay flat on our backs with our arms stretched behind our heads, holding a 5 pound medicine ball. I thought…so far, so good….then she said…now inhale and sit straight up.

I heard her with my ears. I understood with my mind. All of my will desired to comply.

But while others around me managed various means of lifting their bodies upwards as if fueled by the weighted orb in their hands, my body remained firmly cemented from finger tip to toe right there on the mat.

I did a quick abdominal workout I like to call “deep embarrassed belly laugh” and figured if I bent my knees and brought the ball over my chest, I could possibly do a slight crunch.

I was rewarded with a smile from the instructor and a rousing – “Good job!”

What? Seriously? This pathetic effort? Was she being sarcastic?

But no, she reinforced that it’s important to modify any movement to the level of ability, and affirmed I had chosen well.

The support gave me the boost I needed to continue doing the best I could. I even tried harder on the next exercise to push myself a little.

Maybe you are in a place where you know and understand the instructions you have been given, but physically…emotionally….spiritually….it just ain’t gonna happen today. Can I encourage you?

Do the best you can muster. Give 100% of whatever percent you have available to give. Something is better than nothing.

Maybe you are at a place where you feel strong as you lead others. Look around for those who are having to modify to get by and offer a word of encouragement for the effort.

May God bless you today as you apply whatever you have been given in whatever way you are called!

And let me be the first to say…..Good Job!

TFS

Oh,  I hope those initials do not stand for something really awful…#urbandictionary =0)

As I go about my errands,  a local jewelry store billboard always catches my eye.

It has big letters —TDS….Tiny Diamond Syndrome.

A worried man looks at the downcast face of a disappointed woman.

Yes….poor dear has been given too small of a diamond.

Now please hear me…this is not a rail against this store (we are fans and customers of the establishment), materialism, diamonds or girls who equate the size of the ring with the size of the love….

No, the sign always makes me review my walk with Jesus and I ask myself ….

Am I suffering today from TFS….

Tiny FAITH syndrome….

Because drive time is prayer time.

If I am at the wheel, I am at the Throne, most likely pouring out requests and intercessions.

And when I see that girl’s downcast face, I ask myself if that is what I look like to God.

Am I making my requests with a bad case of little faith?

Or am I praying with the kind of faith that KNOWS who I am praying to and what He is able to do….

and believing Him to move heaven and earth to bring His Kingdom Come into the situations I am lifting up to Him.

I listened to a great sermon last night by Mike Baker at Eastview Christian Church, for their Vision Sunday, September 15th. While much of it has to do with the vision for their church, he speaks to the heart of all believers. You can catch it on their website: www.eastviewchurch.net

To give you a hint, he uses the text from 1 Samuel 14 where Jonathan decides to put his faith into action….

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For NOTHING RESTRAINS THE LORD FROM SAVING BY MANY OR FEW.” 1 Samuel 14: 6 NKJV

May God bless you as you expand your faith by applying what you KNOW about the One whom you have believed!

 

The paradox of all this greeness….

IMG_2559Unless you live in the midwest, you can not truly appreciate the amount of moisture we have received this year.

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Not too much….not too little….

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Just right. At just the right time.

The grass, the trees, the flowers have remained lush.

Yards that are usually brown and crisp by mid-July…

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Skies that usually are an endless, unrelenting, cloudless blue….

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have showered down rains and filled our lakes and streams.

I was talking with a friend recently. We are both going through a season of fervent prayer that is wearing and hard and long.

We have our own heart issues and are carrying the burdens of some other dear friends who seem to be getting more than a fair share of those “light and momentary trials” that feel far from that description.

As we talked, I mentioned how odd it was to have such a green summer when I felt such a…she filled in, ‘drought inside?’….well yes…exactly…

How about you? Are you in a season where you can say there is much joy, much fruit, much rejoicing in answered prayer?

Or are you experiencing a long season of waiting for the refreshing rain of the Spirit to bring new life to some areas that have needed His touch?

Our women’s ministry is doing the Children of the Day study in 1 and 2 Thessalonians with Beth Moore. I was so encouraged by something she said on page 24 of the workbook yesterday:

“During dry times we trust the God-promised values of prayer, worship and Scripture reading, knowing they each bear fruit even when we can’t see it.”

I urge you today, to press on with these disciplines….

Scripture – read the Word, fill your mind and heart with the powerful written Word of God. Recite its truths over your doubts and fears. Carry it on index cards. Tape it to your mirror. Hide it in your heart. Take it in, believe it, apply it.

Worship – find hymns and songs that you can play wherever you are working, carry a list of names of tunes that you can refresh your mind to hum, or sing, or make melody in your heart. Throughout the day, just rehearse the attributes of our God – His love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, kindness, righteousness…..all that you can think of. Or just say “I exalt You, I lift You up over _______” whatever is consuming your mind.

Prayer – sometimes words, sometimes tears, sometimes just a quiet bowing of the heart. Remain constant in prayer.

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And all these disciplines WILL bear fruit. Believe that even if you don’t FEEL it!!!

May God bless you in whatever season of life you are going through <3