Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hindered by hindrances Part 1

All Bible study is good. Anytime we open God’s Word and dig in, this is a good thing for sure. But the current study our church is doing on Children of the Day with Beth Moore is hitting HOME with me, in me….oh my….

The last two lessons I worked on are about hindrances. She bases the workbook on Paul and the hindrances that kept him from his plans and brought about all kinds of God-plans.

Here is what hindrances look like to me….

On a typical Thursday with an atypical addition of an errand added to help Russ out…

I get behind this….IMG_3077

 

and sure enough….

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he isn’t going to the gas station….

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nope…and he isn’t going in to downtown….

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But he’s just doing what he needs to do, and he can’t help it that all I can think of is how much I want to get to ….

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So I breathe deeply and I wait to pass him. And I make sure I don’t blow by him because he can’t help it that in order to do his job, he is sometimes in the way of Lola’s who are in a hurry….

and I drop off what Russ needs, because I know he would and has done the same and more for me. And he thanks me.

And that’s what we do, he and I, we are there for each other….

and I start off again back the way I came and this time….

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Large truck in left lane, road construction on right….but they can’t help it. They are doing what the need to do…so I breathe…

and….

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and breathe some more….

and THIS is what “hindrance” LOOKS like to me….

tomorrow…how it feels and what I am learning to do about it…..

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast anyone?

I don’t know if this happens to any of you, but sometimes I playback a day or an event in my head like I was a coach watching films from the game Friday night. I analyze everything about all the things I did wrong…and then I give myself a good tongue lashing. I bemoan my tendency to talk too much, express opinions at whim and use humor inappropriately just to get a laugh.

It’s ugly.

So this happened to me recently and as I have been having a lot of teachings about bringing such thoughts before God and asking what He thinks, I boldly took all my gaffs and flaws and laid them right out there before Him in full view.

And then I just braced myself for what He would say.

I fully expected a holy tirade; a wise and just upbraiding for my tendency to talk too much and think too little.

And instead, I heard…Be still…

Be still?

Yes….be still….so I was.

And the next thing that came to mind was a picture of Jesus on the shore, post resurrection, cooking up fish for some weary disciples who had messed up badly.

And He didn’t berate them. He didn’t chastise them. He didn’t go into a full scale, detailed critique of their failure.

He made them breakfast.

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He called to them and asked them, “Children, have you any food?” John 21: 5

And He instructed them about where to cast their nets, and told them to bring it on  in and then He fed them. And restored them.

And then He sent them out to fish…for men…

That’s how He is. That’s what He does.

I pray today that in whatever way you need His restoration, His feeding, His love – that you will feel it, know it, believe it, receive it <3

The lost shall be found

Happy Friday! I hope you have something fun planned for the weekend that involves apples and caramel or chili or a trip to the pumpkin patch or whatever your fall fun thing is!! =0)

Far too long ago…like maybe a month now….Russ and I put together a baby congrats/gift card for a young couple at church. I was supposed to mail or deliver it.

Well. The card was in the car, in my purse, in another purse, back in the car…as I would alternate between thinking I would find out their address and just dropping it by church.

Yesterday it hit me that I had never followed through with either one. I was determined to get it to them as I ran errands after lunch.

But I could not find the card anywhere.

I have two purses going right now – not in either one. I looked in the various bags I have with books, projects, paperwork that I take at different times to church. Nope.

I was starting to panic as I went back through each of these numerous times plus anywhere that I tuck papers. All to no avail.

I felt sick thinking I had lost it.

As I was getting ready to leave the house, so I just prayed a short prayer.

“Lord, You know where that card is. You know it was not my intent to be careless with it. If I have not lost it outside of this house, please show me where it is.”

I lifted my head, walked directly  to the dining room table. There are several bags from different stores with recent purchases for Christmas, fall decorating and who knows what.

The first one I picked up had a couple of craft items from Hobby Lobby….and the card….

Yes.

I must have gathered up all papers from the car the day I bought this stuff and threw them in the bag to bring in the house.

I had forgotten. But God hadn’t.

As I marveled at such a direct answer to such a simple prayer for such a kind of minor lost thing, it made me think of some really important lost treasures.

Like people we love who have gotten tucked away somewhere. They are off the radar of our lives right now. There are so many I know whose hearts are breaking as they watch and wait for loved ones to return.

But God knows right where they are. He knows we are looking for them; searching frantically, as it feels sometimes.

He is all about finding lost things.

Lost people.

Lost relationships.

Lost fellowship.

Be assured. He knows where they are and He is at work.

Trust Him with the things and people you think you have lost.

He will bring them home <3

 

Minimizing the blind spots

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Oh I hope some of you caught the sunrise this morning…It was GLORIOUS!! The kind that makes the whole backyard and inside of the house pink; but when you look out – the sky is an almost ridiculous blend of pink and blue. Yes, I am a nauseating morning person…my poor family.

I have many such quirks. One involves my driving.

When I am passing or merging, I check all mirrors and then look over both shoulders to make sure no cars/motorcycles/deer/trucks/whatever are in my blind spot….twice. If there are passengers in the car, they are called into action as well to provide added insurance that I am clear to change lanes.

Well, last Thursday as I was driving home on the interstate, there was no traffic and I decided to experiment with adjusting the side mirrors. Lo and behold, by angling them inward and down a bit, I had a clear shot of either side of the road. For miles and right around the car. It was such an incredible revelation.

At this point, I do need to remind everyone that Driver’s Ed Class was an ELECTIVE in Kentucky in 1974…and I did not elect it….

ok …. so I as I continued on my way, I was just ecstatic to have such clarity of vision around me.

On Sunday, I was driving the car once again,and was severely disappointed. My mirrors were not at all helpful like I had thought.

But wait a minute….Russ had driven the car over the weekend. I called him on the car phone and asked if he had adjusted them when he drove it.

As we all breathe a sigh of sympathy for my patient husband, he replied that yes, of course he had….and in his words, “It’s every driver’s responsibility to adjust the mirrors each time they get in the car.” Oh.

In hindsight, I probably should have elected to take Driver’s Ed.

But more importantly….what a great application for all of my life….I am the one responsible for how I prepare myself to move through each day. I am the one who has to take charge of adjusting my viewpoint, my lens, my vision to see what is around me clearly.

And for ME — that means, setting my mirrors to God’s perspective.
I do this by reading and applying His Word to my living out of life each day; prayer that asks for wisdom, discernment, guidance and protection; and a determination to put His Word into action as I move among the people and circumstances I will encounter.

Getting myself lined up with Him is MY responsibility.

How are your mirrors adjusted today? May God bless you as you take responsibility for how you … journey onward <3

Be careful what you pray for =0)

Based on yesterday’s post (and I DO put in to practice what I preach)….I started out the day with a new determination to pray without ceasing for WHAT I was doing in addition to praying without ceasing FOR anything that came to mind while I was doing it.

Well. I am here to tell you; it was a productive and good day all around.

Oh, there are things that didn’t get checked off the old list, but progress was made and I even have clothes set out for tomorrow. I am scaring myself ….

All this praying and thinking on things of God while I did my chores bore some fruit for sharing.

At least every few days I do a total cleaning of the bathroom after I get ready. I wasn’t always this diligent, but we recently had our bathrooms remodeled. They look so nice and new I want to keep them that way.

I still marvel at these lovely rooms that were crafted for us. I can’t even remember what the old ones looked like.  And it makes me think how you and I are made into new creations when we come to Christ.

But day in and day out, we get some build up from that “working our sanctification out” process.

And then there is the fall out and junk from the world we walk through that can accumulate on us.

Like a newly remodeled bathroom; if we don’t stay on top of it, eventually it’s hard to tell there was a transformation. It starts looking pretty much like the old one.

I find that setting aside a certain time each day to read God’s Word in meditation and study, plus having  some solid prayer time, is essential for maintaining both relationship and discipleship with Christ.

I do mine first thing in the morning, because that is the best part of the day for me to give Him. I know some of you have a VERY early start to your day, but even just a little Scripture and prayer at the start of the day is so important to set the tone.

But don’t stop there!!

I also have a variety of devotionals sent through email that, almost without fail, seem to speak directly into my circumstances as I move through the day.

But all of these are nothing if I simply read them, nod my head in agreement and head on back into the world unchanged and unmoved by God’s spoken Word to me.

That would be like setting the cloths out on the counter in the bathroom and walking out the door. I have to apply the tools to keep things clean.

Jesus said that we are to clean the INSIDE of the vessel – what’s in our hearts and minds. And the only way I know to do that is by digging in to His Word and opening my heart and mind to His instruction, correction and cleansing.

Of course we know that nothing we do – prayer, study, works – saves us. It is only God’s grace that saves us. But we are admonished to …..

add goodness to our faith…and knowledge to our goodness…and self-control to our knowledge….and perseverance to our self-control….and godliness to our perseverance…and brotherly affection to our godliness….and love to our brotherly affection.        2 Peter 1: 5-7

May God bless you as you continue to seek to know Him better <3