Monthly Archives: August 2017

When the waters rise…

Like most of you, I have had Texas and particularly those in Houston on my mind this past week.

Disasters like this happen around the world, but somehow we seem to take note of it the closer to home it hits.

I have been walking around our house and going around town conducting the business of my life with various activities, constantly trying to grasp how different my life would be if we were buried under flood waters.

I think about how my To Do list would be radically shortened if it involved only…

find clean water to drink, food to eat and wait for this muck to recede so we can go and see what’s left of our home.

I think of schools and the days of education being lost. Kids who will need course work done for college entrance. Athletes and musicians and such who were counting on scholarships based on this year’s achievements.

I think of photographs saved in boxes and on hard drives.

Records of taxes and receipts saved in filing systems.

Businesses that you would hire to come help you clean up after water damage have been washed away.

Babies are still being born, and Alzheimer patients still need regular meds.

I think of trying to find out if people I love are ok and where are they?

I think of how I rely on my cell phone…but it has to be charged twice a day to keep going.

I think of the huge amount of debris and inoperable equipment that will have to be disposed of.

And I am overwhelmed to even know what to pray.

Cat in the Hat messes is what I used to call them.

Messes so big and so great and so tall…there is no way to fix them…there is no way at all.

And all I know to do is spread my hands wide before an Almighty and Holy and Righteous God who has offered to extend grace and mercy to help us in our time of need, and cry out…surely Lord…Thou knowest what to do.

Maybe that seems odd since I don’t normally speak in King James vernacular.

But when I am interceding for needs that exceed any hope of human intervention to bring about peace…I resort to words that remind me that our help in times we can not understand will only come from our God who is greater than all our needs.

The larger the mess…the fewer the words…it would seem.

It is in times when things are at the worst that we most feel God’s heart of compassion.

And when we go to our knees and humbly confess our helplessness, we begin to see His mighty hand unfold in ways we could not ask or imagine.

There are many dear ones, going through floods of a different kind.

The nations are in turmoil as people and governments, businesses and families experience greater and more frequent shakings.

May God lead each of us to a place of seeking Him and crying out for His intervention in the lives of those who are being severely tested.

I pray we will all be found faithful, as He is faithful, to the end <3

But this is what the LORD says…the One who made you…the One who formed you…the One who has ransomed you…bought you back from the land of captivity…when you pass through the deepest waters, I will be with you…even as the rivers rise around you…they will not overtake you…when you walk through fire…you will not be consumed by it….for I AM…the LORD…your God…you are precious in My eyes…and I love you <3

My paraphrase of Isaiah 43:1-4 based on ESV <3

Sharing your food <3

One of the beautiful parts about starting the day in God’s Word is, most of the time…you pick up morsels that are so good and so rich and so filling…you can’t help sharing them throughout the day with others.

This past week, I have been digesting a study I attended last Tuesday evening.

The teaching was on Prophecy.

Please don’t leave because you think this is going to be scary.

It wasn’t about the Prophets or about becoming a Prophet – it was about speaking God’s Words of healing and hope and life over others.

It was about sitting down in those moments we have at the start of the day..

(and I have some precious friends who start their day getting up in the wee hours of dawn to serve in health care or on the front lines of a young family so you all have to get your Word in at different times…but you do it, so just adjust the time frame here!)

as if you were getting a good feeding for your own soul and then some to take out there and spread amongst others who are hungry and malnourished spiritually.

As I recopy my notes, I have been taking time to really read and meditate on the Scripture passages.

This morning as I worked, I was able to consecutively read five passages recording different healings Jesus did.

As I read and took note, I marveled at the variety of ways He healed.

In the midst of my reading and jotting notes and pondering, my heart began to fill and swell and I was reminded of a precious Jesus-follower who no longer walks this journey with us named Phil.

I thought how she would take her time with the Lord and she would lift her arms straight up and shout Hallelujah! and then she would go out into the world and share with others, in the course of ordinary conversations, what God had shown her in His Word.

I am pretty certain this lady, who provided spiritual mentoring to me and to so many, lived the promise of Isaiah 55:11.

The picture of this verse is that God has spoken out His Word and as it goes around and comes back to Him, it does not return to Him without fruit.

His Word accomplishes what He has purposed it to do and so when we are taking His Word into our minds and our hearts and our souls and our spirits, it is with prayerful consideration that He intended that Word to activate things here on planet earth.

My biggest take-away from last Tuesday night’s gathering was the encouragement to intentionally look for how I can speak words of God to those I will meet each day in the way God made me to do this.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to pull off a hearty “Hallelujah! Let me tell you what the LORD showed me this morning…”

But I pray to be so filled with His Word each day that I share it the way He made me to share it.

We are each unique in personality and style and we each one have an area of influence every day.

Use the gifts He has given you to bless others in obedience to His direction.

There are a lot of hungry people out there…

let’s make sure we share what we have been given <3

In this little corner of the world

Good Monday morning to you.

The weekend kind of flew by in a blur but we were able to kick off football season with our first taste test of Concessions 2017 with a pork sandwich from the Maroa Forsyth home game…

and we would say…it ranks right up there with the Clinton ribeye sandwich of 2015 that was a 10 out of 10.

Go Trojans!

Yesterday we celebrated Rachel’s birthday…sadly missing Zach and Uncle John…but

Tia made it and was kind of all that…

and more <3

We took the opportunity to try and get a picture for the Christmas card (possibly) and mommy wanted one with her crew for her birthday.

On my phone alone we have 49 shots with a reported additional “bursts” on Rachel’s phone making our grand total of group shots worthy of updating our data packages…

and yet…

and

we got a lot of this going on.

but we did manage at least a few so…

we’ll take it.

Thankful for a full day and full arms and a full heart.

But now…

I am sitting here comfortably recovering from a busy weekend as much needed rain falls gently outside our home.

And my thoughts and prayers are with those who continue to receive much, too much, rain in the coastal areas along shoreline of Texas.

I am thinking about the crisis they are in and the recovery that will come after it finally stops.

Photos of homes devastated as people are rummaging through looking for anything to salvage of their physical life bring us to tears.

A grateful couple emerging from a rescue boat carrying a backpack each stops to embrace the rescue workers who will go back out and do it again.

The businesses and homes and schools…all of it.

And so we pray.

We pray for what we cannot wrap our minds around, here and around the world…

for all those who are devastated, homeless, refugees…

from disasters of the earth or disasters of mankind.

We pray God’s comfort and love, healing and hope, rescue and provision.

Come Lord Jesus.

Come <3

 

When other people are nice to your children <3

I have watched and watched and rewatched…and zoomed in and paused and taken screen shots of an early celebration thrown for our Rachel’s upcoming birthday last night.

This guy…

made sure they had cake and sang for mom since he will be working this weekend.

Thank you Apple iPhone that I can play a video and also zoom in on faces and I have sat with sweet, wet tears dripping as I see Rachel beaming while dad and the band of brothers sing happy birthday to her…

or I guess it’s actually Happy Birfday…I am always learning.

And while six pairs of eyes are intently focused on …

instead of mommy…

my heart spills over to see her beaming face as she is honored by her family.

And it blesses me.

It blesses me more than if I was the guest of honor.

She’s our girl.

And to see her treated with love and respect and dignity and honor fills my heart to brim over.

For all of our children, when they are treated well and shown kindness and love…it is wonderful.

We also know the pain when they are not.

And I think how it blesses the Father when we, His children, show love and respect to one another.

How our acts of kindness to each other bless Him and honor Him.

I have written and deleted several ways to end this.

Maybe it is just best for you to stop and reflect on how your heart has been blessed by the kindness shown by others to someone  you love and then draw near to the Father and thank Him.

Perhaps take all of that lovely glow that is in your heart as you replay it in your mind and lift it up to Him…a fragrant offering of thanksgiving to Him who is Love.

In the same way, perhaps someone has deeply hurt and betrayed your precious loved one.

We are so blessed that we can also lift the pain and sorrow to Him and entrust it to His care. He knows the hearts of all. Release it to Him and allow Him to heal, correct, restore…in HIs time.

Have a blessed weekend and I will see you on Monday <3

 

When a melody is like a broken record <3

As we all know, unless we were outside the continental USA this week, we had an Eclipse on Monday.

I have to tell you, I got multiple chuckles out of humorous posts from our family as we documented it in all our far-flung places through text messages and photos.

I laughed out loud at some of the shots people took of other people on FaceBook and it was all in all just a fun day to share via social media.

That morning, when I went to write my post, I almost made a reference to an old song that kept popping up in my head and I thought I would be clever.

I actually was singing the lyrics “a total eclipse of the sun”, but when I googled it I found out that I had the lyrics wrong AND every single person in America (that may be an exaggeration) had already thought of the same thing.

After sitting and watching the full five plus minutes of Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 video which is actually a Total Eclipse of the HEART, I decided not to reference it since it was already an American cliche before 7:30 am and the whole thing was disturbing on numerous levels.

But all that aside, guess what song I wake up with in my head?

Guess what I find myself humming?

Go ahead…guess…because yes…although I have not heard that song in 30 plus years and only listened through it one time on Monday….

It

is

stuck

in

my

head.

Now ask me if I can recite any of the memory verses I have worked on for the first eight months of 2017.

Ask me if I can sing all the verses of some of the praise songs that have been consistently sung in church this summer.

I can sing an entire album of John Denver songs, which I stopped listening to in 1976…but falter to get the correct order of the 23rd Psalm.

And I think there is a reason and it doesn’t have to do with my memory.

I believe that to write God’s word on my heart….to learn and retain the lyrics and notes so that I can sing “hymns, and psalms and spiritual songs of praise” in my heart to the Lord… will always be something I have to work hard at.

Please hear me, I am not condemning secular music.

But this week, when I find my mind calling up this song; I also find the images I saw in the brief moments of the video replaying over and they are not edifying and they do not breathe life into me.

So I have been countering this by intentionally singing any hymn or praise song I can think of quickly.

If nothing else, I can always throw together a few run throughs of “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

Maybe music isn’t your thing that pulls you off. Maybe it’s critical thoughts of others or a movie or something you read.

Maybe it’s negative self-talk or destructive bitterness that leads you down a dark path in the middle of an average day.

Whatever it is that has the ability to alter who you are in Christ, can be identified as you begin to prayerfully look for what “your thing” is.

And them make every effort to nip it in the bud.

Or more honestly, to pull it up by its roots.

Let’s be proactive about what we let our hearts and thoughts dwell on over the course of the day. You are too precious to God to waste your time on things that do not edify and bring life to you and those around you.

Blessings to you and for crying out loud….do not go google that song…it’s a total eclipse of your time.