Monthly Archives: January 2015

A bird’s eye view of entitlement

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One last observation from my recent trip and then I’m done…I think…

There is much talk about the problem created by “entitlement” in our country. It is related to the idea that when people expect certain things to be given to them just because…well, it creates an atmosphere that breeds discontent, arrogance, and laziness.

And it does. But it is also a sneaky little evil.

I saw it rear it’s ugly head on the airplane.

One leg of my travel itinerary was a 30 minute flight between Austin and Dallas. We all had just come from an airport with restaurants and snack stations galore, not to mention water fountains every so often with free water to quench a traveler’s thirst.

But the captain assured us that as soon as they reached altitude, the stewards would be serving beverages.

And then he had to admonish us to be courteous to them if they were unable to serve everyone due to weather conditions or the short nature of the flight.

Seriously? This must mean that somewhere in the history of these half hour treks, people have gotten out of hand because they didn’t get their thimble of free soda.

There is a kind of unwritten sense on a flight that, by golly, I paid a lot of money for my ticket and I want my complimentary drink.

We live in a country with such plenty around us that it is easy to get suckered into the mindset of “I better get all that is coming to me”.

It’s easy to spot the problem of entitlement outside of our circle, but I hope we will turn the magnifying glass on our lives as well and weed out any little seedlings in our own lives. I had to check myself on that one, and ended up declining a drink just on principle!

God bless you as you examine yourself before the Lord and allow Him to purge out those things that are not like Christ <3

Excuse me, do you have a minute?

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This was quite possibly the fastest week in my life.

It probably was in part due to the fact that from Sunday night through Tuesday morning I was extremely blessed to be in Austin, Texas with our son, John. Austin as in….70 degrees during the day…that kind of Austin. Short trip, long distance = plane ride. Air travel, like most of my life, is always an adventure for me.

By nature I am kind of introverted, but somehow am also a magnet for people who are not. I must send out some sort of signal that is the spiritual equivalent of wearing a blue vest with “How can I help you?” printed on the back.

I learned the short version life story of one of the flight attendants between Bloomington and Dallas. Seems his days are extremely long, but hey! they pay the bills.

I caught up on the family dynamics and whereabouts of a grandma of 5 who moved from England to Austin and now has daughters living coast to coast in the USA…and yes, I saw pictures…

And I met Chatty Ron.

That’s how he introduced himself after he leaned over my knitting and asked me if that was crochet. Apparently his mom crocheted.

I almost missed my plane hearing how he had helped an older lady through the airport. If Robin Williams had a Christian brother, I met him outside gate 21 on Tuesday. Complete with Mork-like tangents in conversation, animated body movements and a cross earring, he spoke at length about how we are here to help others.

Although I get lost driving across town, people constantly seek me out to ask directions when I travel.

Sales clerks of all ages tell me their employment woes and relationship issues.

My family begs me not to make eye contact with people when we are in a hurry, but it doesn’t matter because I have had people behind me in the check out line start conversations with me.

All I can figure is, people want someone to listen and maybe they would talk to anyone who will give them the time and the attention to share their story. I just happen to have grown up in a family of talkers and story-tellers, so I am pretty good at listening.

While I would rather just read my book, pay my bill, work on my project; people are more important than my comfort and privacy.

For me, laying down my life every day is setting aside the part of me that would prefer quiet isolation and extreme privacy and being open to whoever God sends my way.

And I have been blessed by those along the journey who stopped what they were doing and listened to me. Like you just did =0)

God bless you today as you make yourself available for friends, family and Chatty Ron’s of life that God may send your way  <3

In the world, but not of it…

 

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Can’t help it…I do love the Midwest <3

I am catching up with a couple of my devotional readings that are too big to lug in a suitcase or carry on. Last night I read several days from one I received for Christmas called, Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner; Harrison House Publishers.

The writing for January 27th is based on Hebrews 12:1. In this passage we are encouraged to lay aside anything, including sin, that is distracting us or inhibiting us from completing the work God has called us to do.

Renner points out in the writing that in the translation from Greek, the writer is pointing out that our environment can be a deterrent to our fulfilling the purposes God has for us.

So not only our sin can set us back, but our environment can as well.

He urges believers to be very intentional in leaving situations that are causing their faith to waiver.

Now this is a very individual thing; thanks be to God!

Depending on the gifts and talents, and the way God has wired us; one believer can be in a situation that strengthens his faith, while another in that same situation would be in danger of being led astray.

It all is a matter of the purpose God has for each individual.

It is up to each of us to determine if our environment is drawing us nearer to Christ or pulling us further away.

In the Hebrews passage there are two forces described at work on our faith: one is the great cloud of witnesses and one is the sins and circumstances (or environment) of distraction and hindrance.

What is spurring you on in your faith or what is hindering you?

These are important questions to ask, because in the end…it is your faith that will matter.

I took some notes on ways to pray for myself and for those I love in regard to holding fast to faith, and wisdom to be in places that nurture that faith:

* Pray for an environment that will keep faith alive and strong

* Pray for open eyes/enlightened minds/tender hearts that will recognize the relationships and places that need to be avoided so that faith will not be negatively affected.

* As these environments, settings and relationships are revealed; pray for strength to make the right choices and courage to make the breaks where they are needed.

* Pray for wisdom to avoid these people and places.

We can not hide from the world, but we must guard our faith and be strengthened daily in our walk so that we can be Christ IN the world.

It takes humility to recognize that I simply do not have the strength to face the temptations of certain situations and courage to avoid them. Yes, Jesus is my strength, but He is also my Shepherd and I need to follow Him.

God promised to provide a way out from all places and relationships that would tempt me away from Him, but I must look for the exit sign and take it.

God bless you as hold fast to faith and as you intercede for others in the Body <3

Simple words of blessing, bless…

Unlike these fellows…

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We saw as much as you can see in a day, walked miles and ate much.

At the capitol building….

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the guard who searched my purse, bedecked in cowboy boots, hat, weaponry and badges looked me in the eye as he handed me back my belongings from the scanner and said “Have a blessed day”…

Oh, thank you, I did …

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Such a simple thing this guard did, in the line of his work.

What a difference it made to me to have a blessing spoken over us as we toured this new hometown of John’s.

Our words can be flowing rivers of living water

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poured out on those around us to refresh and breathe life into their day.

May God bless you as you speak forth words of blessing on those you encounter  <3

 

 

Just as I am

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Good morning and….

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Yes, I am visiting our son who has just become a Texan in 2015.

So I am sitting in my room mulling over yesterday and looking forward to exploring his new home town with him today.

While the sermon was on seeking wisdom based on James 1, one of the things that stuck with me was a line from one of the songs…can’t for the life of me remember the name OF the song…but the line was “All I am is yours…”

As the music and the teaching and the marvel of God washed over, and I sang those words; I wondered…just what ‘all I am’ is…

cause it seems the answer, at first is, not much.

And that is the truth. I really didn’t bring much to the table when I came to Christ.

And all that I am…all that is worthy…all that is good and right and true…well, is what is His in me.

All the good parts of my life are because of what Christ has done…in me, with me, through me, in spite of me…

All I have is not only what I give to Him but all the bounty-beyond-what-I-could-think-to-ask-or-imagine…all…ALL…IS…HIS <3

Now let’s go explore Austin….