Thursday, October 31, 2013

HORNS AND TAILS

SATAN!!!!! 

 I can just HEAR the "Church Lady" from "Saturday Night Live" calling out his name.



Today is Halloween and not only my Papa James'es birthday,but also the day that many of the creatures of the Dark World appear as tiny little people walking around demanding treats or be tricked.  You do not see many "Devil" costumes anymore.  The devil has been portrayed with forked tails and pointed ears and a  pitchfork in his hand for all of my memory.



Where did this idea of how he looks come from?  This image was created by man in an attempt to weaken Satan by attacking him at his weakest point--that point would be pride.  By depicting him as this ugly creature, man is attempting to weaken God's fallen angel by making him ugly.  A slick but ineffective tool at weakening "The Angel of Light".  Satan--Lucifer--the Accuser---he stands before God accusing us of our sins.  

What does Satan look like?  In my mind's eye---

he is the height of earthly beauty-with the decay of the flesh beneath

he is the whisper of worldly success--with the permeating slime of greed

he is the allure of the immoral--with the aroma of rotting filth

he is the easy climb to easy street--with the stench of sloth attached

he is consuming the fatted calf--with the reeking swollen belly

He is a SLICK operator--prone to whispering in our ears--blurring our vision--encouraging our wrath--whetting our appetites with the aroma of earthly pleasures.  God has proclaimed him the prince of earth and allows him to roam freely seeking to hunt us down, steal our faith, destroy our souls, and ultimately kill us when he has finished using us.

I heard not too long ago that Satan does not want to kill us as long as he can use us.  I DO NOT want to be used---I claim the protection of the Father--Satan may be alive and well--BUT he will not win---the battle has already been decided--He loses--God wins and through Jesus-so do we.  The GOOD NEWS---we win!

Today I am thankful for the joy of remembering who my 
protector is and the ultimate victory still to come.



"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
 I have come that they may have life, 
and have it to the full."
John 10:10

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FOR YOU GIRLS ONLY---

FOR THE HANDFUL OF MALE READERS I HAVE---TURN YOU EYES AWAY FROM THE BLOG AND MOVE ON TO OTHER THINGS

Girls---I need to share what has been on my mind today---and most of us girls need this little pep talk---we may be the fairer sex and we may be Steel Magnolias, but logic flies out the door when it comes to aging for most of us!

IF you have the time and the money, you can put off the inevitable---but the inevitable is truly unavoidable!  I will begin by reminding you of my OWN foolish attempts at fooling Mother Nature.  Back in O Nine---you do remember the "Face Lift"?  NO---Look here.  In an effort to "Keep My Man" and take a few years off, I had a face lift.  That worked REALLY well-- and I still have the same face.  ---I can be a little thick headed at times!

Then there is the LONG list of products that I no longer use, nor can afford--the "Keep Your Youthful Eyelashes" gel--it really works-----BUT the first second you do not follow the regiment of application--ALL the new lashes and some of the ones you still had fall out in a huge heap!    The Retina A--the super soft supple moisturizer, the restore the elasticity to your skin cream (WHAT A DUD!)---the list goes on and on   AND  we suckers just keep plopping out the money.

Then there is the SPA--OH THE GLORIOUS SPA----Facials---Mani/Pedi's---Massages---SPECIAL MAKE-UP---QUEEN FOR THE DAY Treatment---OH HOW SWEET the treatment.  You need to get a second line of credit upon your house before making a visit.

BASICALLY---if you have enough money and keep throwing it at the problem of aging daily--you CAN postpone what's coming---BUT BOTTOM LINE


MOTHER NATURE WINS!!!!!!

What has created our desperate attempts to delay her victory?  Vanity, ego, denial, ---a multitude of reasons.  Mass marketing and the beauty industry knows a sucker when they see one---and we ALL are suckers.

This is not to say that you should not exercise, eat right, and do all you can to remain healthy and active.  I am NOT a proponent of taking it laying down.  There is nothing wrong with moisturizers, massages, make-up---and on and on.  What I am telling you---with a great deal of love---is DO NOT get so hung up on it that it consumes your life and your pocketbook.  

In ALL honesty---I do not really notice what my friends are wearing--nor if they are aging--or gaining/losing weight.  What I do notice is their hearts and minds--the thing that drew me to love them in the first place.  SO RELAX--enjoy--be joyful with today and let tomorrow take care of itself.  I cherish you all--who cares about Mother Nature's Earthly victory!  WE ALL KNOW WHO WINS THE ETERNAL VICTORY!

Today I am joyful and thankful for the ever-lasting beauty
of the One True King.

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."
Isaiah 40:8


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

PASS THE FISH

It was a day like so many others---beautiful blue sky—a shy breeze blowing with a slight nip in the air.  The sunshine was beckoning me out my door and away from the four walls that leads to claustrophobic tearing out of my hair.  The city is always filled with throngs and if I stand in the front yard, under the pretense of cleaning flower beds, I can witness all forms and shapes of the humanity marching by.  I find it quite amazing as they pass by on the time broken sidewalk, the spirit of disconnect of almost all.  Holding unto their phones or reading their notes or staring straight ahead-the masses march by with never a glance or a nod—as if I do not exist.

On this beautiful day, as I stand and sheepishly observe, I notice something new—why something quite different.  In the beginning I see groups of people all headed in the same direction, but excitedly talking as they swiftly walk past.  Then the crowd begins to thicken and their voices are raised into a roar of thrilled chatter.

 My curiosity gets the best and I pick out a kind face and shout---“Where are you all going—what is happening?”  She turns and swiftly answers without missing a step, “He is here—just ahead—in the field just over the hill!”  I cry after her as her back disappears among the throng, “WHO?”  It now seems this has grown into a parade, and who am I to pass up a parade?  So I slip into the midst of the group with no thought except to see what there is to see.

Just over the hill turns into five miles.  A long walk –without being prepared—only following the crowd and pulled along by the throng.  There is much laughter and chatter, and they all seem carried away by what is in store.  We finally arrive and as I glance around I see a beautiful grassy hillside with thousands gathered round.  On top standing on a rock is one lone man –and all are stopping and quietening to listen with rapt attention as he speaks.

As I look at the man, I think he is just a man—an ordinary man.  Then I notice the sun shimmering off his garment and a rainbow like haze all around him.  While listening to his voice, I hear a melodic rhythm that is also as powerful as the largest symphony—and all are still and quiet leaning in to hear every word.

The morning passes in a flash as we all listen to his words.  I soon discover he is talking just to me and seems to know all about me—my wants, needs and desires.  Everyone surrounding me thinks the same—that he is speaking directly to them.  It is difficult to understand how a speech made to a huge throng can really be meant for only one.

        Noon is upon us and how foolish we appear.  We have all just joined the parade to hear this great man without a thought of noon and the need to eat.  The crowds begin to murmur as it becomes apparent there will be no noon repast without the long walk back.  All at once one of the men with him tells us all to sit down.  Slowly we settle on the grass and look from side to side, wondering what is next from this great teacher.

        Has he sent for food for all of us?  Is there hope for a meal?  Will a caterer soon arrive or is their pizza on the way?  Then to my great surprise, they take five loaves of bread and two small sardines from a small-ordinary child who offers to share it all.  I laugh to myself---why we all know this will never feed more than three. 

        They begin to pass the fish and the bread---it goes from person to person and wonder of all wonders---it feeds the vast number.  After we have eaten—why even stuffed ourselves—his men walk among us and collect what is left.  There is more left than we started with-why much more—how can this be—what wonder is this?

        How did a man that appeared to be ordinary---take this ordinary meal—and feed a crowd of thousands?  How did this man who seemed to be just like all other men---know all about me?  How did this man speak directly to me in the midst of a crowd?  If he can make all this happen, surely he can be trusted for more---why perhaps even with my life. 


        A day that started with watching the world go by, led to joining the parade and following the crowd, and then being fed by food for not only my belly but also words for my heart.  What a day when I decided to follow, hear, and obey as he said, “Pass the fish, please.”



Today I relish in the joy and am thankful for the
blessing of being fed from the Master's Table.


"Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee
and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick."
John 6: 1-2
COMPLETE TEXT JOHN 6:1-14

Monday, October 28, 2013

COURAGEOUS ACCEPTANCE

As I walk the path of grief, I am always searching for help and answers as I face what can often seem to be the insurmountable.  I recently read in an article  the acceptance of our adversity is the first step to healing and moving forward.  This began the slow process of analyzing what acceptance looks like and how to achieve it.






As I mulled it over, it dawned upon me, it takes GREAT courage to look life in the face and speak the words of what has happened.  It cuts me to the quick to speak "Divorced", but that is where I am.  What must it be like to say "Widowed or Widower"?  The words dying, terminal, incurable, disabled, bankrupt, guilty, -the list is long and the words are like boulders on the tongue--almost impossible to spit out.  Most of us will have times of great adversity and life will be filled with the potholes of pain, grief, and struggle.  What is most important is not the season of adversity, but what we do with and how we handle those struggles.




I am REALLY good at playing Job--I can sit under my tree or in my cave for hours on end--questioning God as to WHY?  That does not change the circumstance, but does reflect my non-acceptance of where I am.  Is that what God desires for me?  I suspect not, no I know not.




What God desires is my courageous acceptance of where I am--and like Job, to remember Who is the God of the Universe and how mighty and great He is.  I often say, "It is what it is.", but do I accept those circumstances in my heart?  Am I brave enough to say "Yes--I am divorced, but I am not defined by that status.  What defines me is Who I am in Christ---His beloved."  Does the world give me my name and status or does God?




I am courageous---I KNOW that---I have spent my life conquering my fears and taking steps of faith into the dangerous unknown.  Am I able to learn from the past, relish the good, forget the bad, and trust in Him?  I am courageous, I do trust Him, so what is my hold up with accepting where He has me?  My need and desire for control and to be placed in the position of dictating my life by what I see as best, and inability to turn it over to Him with faith.  It is a process--I am learning--my faith is growing--I will wear the badge of "Courageous Acceptance"


Today I am thankful for the joy that comes from the faith
that in all things--He is glorified.


"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be men of courage; be strong."
I Corinthians 16:13





Sunday, October 27, 2013

GOD'S WILL

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Perhaps this is secular--but God uses everything to teach us-
seems so appropriate at this time of the year-
and God uses many venues to teach us "His Will".




Today I am thankful for the joy
of His use of everything that surrounds me
to remind me of His great love.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Ephesians 2:10

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BIRDS OF A FEATHER---OR A BIRD'S EYE VIEW

Why Berdie---fancy seeing you here!  WHO IN THE WORLD IS THIS WHIPPER SNAPPER ON OUR RAIL?  Can't he see the sign??

OFF OFF SCAT, You Little Vagabond---AWAY PRIVATE TERRITORY--CAN'T YOU READ!!!  Guess I told him, Bucketbill!  The next thing you know he will be redecorating the wood on our railing!  Thinks he's too cute for words!





We have him surrounded---NOW---wait for my signal and Bucketbill, you swoop in and pull those baggy pants down and Berdie, you pinch those love hands, and I will steal the catch when he throws his hands up and screams like a girl.  WAIT FOR MY SIGNAL!






JUST A MINUTE--WHO DIED AND MADE YOU THE COCK OF THE WALK, Featherhead?  WHY would we trust you, for one minute?  We all know how fast you are at the old bait and cut!  I don't believe for one second that you are going to share in the bounty!




I wouldn't trust you to the end of my bill!  
JUST WHAT ARE YOU INSINUATING???







Berdie, who is this chuckle head cutting in on our game?
Just tuck your bill under your wing and ignore her, Bucketbill---SURELY she will get the hint!






THE HUMANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING---WATCH THIS---I WILL GET RID OF THEM!



Today I am thankful for the joy of laughter and silliness.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
Ephesians 4:2

Friday, October 25, 2013

WE MAY NEVER KNOW


Why must we suffer?  Why do good people have to go through difficult times?  Why does God allow really really bad things to happen to His people?  I DO NOT have the answer.  I DO KNOW that God will be glorified through ALL things---even those really really bad things that happen to us.



I heard a sermon recently on "Wounded Healers".  It gave me hope for how God may use my life experiences and the firm belief that though I may not see the results---HE IS having results and it is glorifying Him.  The consistent theme behind my book is how God has taken utter devastation and grown me in the knowledge of who He is---drawing me into a deeper relationship with Him.  The entire point--the consistent theme --on every page--is that God is always by my side and will carry me through the valley.



Who better to demonstrate, to those in the darkest hours of their lives, that you will survive, than one who has walked in your shoes?  It is not with sympathy that I speak, but with empathy---for I KNOW the pain you are enduring. Every page rings with the reminder of shared pain--but also the promise of God's faithful and constant promise of His presence in our lives.



We must also remember- we are not promised restoration of our losses but we are promised redemption.  Your loss--your pain--your suffering--may NEVER have an earthly explanation---You may NEVER know why---BUT you do know that God is working--God is glorified and He is using you for His good purpose-It is ALL part of the redemption story!



Today I am thankful for the joy of knowing 
that He is using me--even in my brokenness.


"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble"
Psalm 107:2



Thursday, October 24, 2013

PUT YOUR UNIFORM ON

I confess I am an addicted "People Watcher".  Name the venue or the group--I love to sit and watch and observe.  It is often VERY enlightening.  

I live in a very busy part of FW--with the added busyness of a GREAT DEAL of foot traffic.  After all, I am on the edge of a college campus and apartments and houses with college students are all around me.  Once I finally clued in on how to sleep through the night and drown out the noise at ALL HOURS--it has been pretty fascinating to live here in the midst of it all.

We recognize people by the uniforms they wear.  A policeman, a fireman, a city employee, a doctor/nurse, a soldier, a postman, the list goes on and on.  The employees of TCU all wear purple---I sometimes think I live on "Purple Street".  They are building many buildings on the campus---all the construction workers wear hard hats and safety vests.  I recognize who is walking by me by what they have on--their uniforms.

As I have watched and observed, I made a fascinating discovery--the college co-eds also wear a uniform.  It comes in the form of black tights and over-size (As In Almost A Tent) tees in pastel colors.  It seems to be the universal college co-ed uniform.  Occasionally I will see a female dressed differently---I always think-  FRESHMAN!  For the most part, the girls are taking the easy way out--and throwing on their uniform to attend class.  I wonder how many of them attended high schools that required uniforms and they SWORE they would NEVER wear another uniform.  

There is something to be said for wearing uniforms.  We conform--fit in--become part of the group.  It also takes ALL the second guessing out of "Am I wearing the right thing?"  Why I have even noticed a uniform worn by the young moms when picking up the boys from pre-school.  It is called work out clothes.  I must admit I have been guilty on occasion of doing the same thing when picking them up.  It identifies what we have been doing that morning.

I am NOT uniform bashing---I think it is great!  I must admit though that I look at these young co-eds with shirts on that totally hide any shape they might have and laugh to myself.  I would LOVE to tell them--this is as good as it is ever going to be---you will NEVER look better--DO NOT hide it under a sack!

I put on my uniform every day also---it has a breastplate, a shield, a sword--a full set of armor to face each day.  It is a great comfort and gives me a spirit of peace to know God is providing my uniform each and every day.


Today I find joy in the uniform of the day
the full set of God's armor
and I am thankful.

"13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Ephesians 6:13-17


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

YOU DON'T SEND ME ROSES ANYMORE!

There was a time-a lovely time
The doorbell would ring and I would answer 
Before my eyes what wonder would be
But not one but a dozen sweet red roses


Delicate petals and green foliage
A sweet fragrant smell
And a symbol of beauty
But heed my warning-careful do not touch
For they come with thorns hidden in the beauty


Beautiful symbols of a beautiful gift
Reminders of love and the hope for the future
Thanks for the past and delight for the day
A soft touch by the depth of the beauty of the rose


The doorbell stopped ringing and there is no knock
Only silence stands at the front of the door
The gift of the roses is no more
The scent of the sweet has gone away


The past is all gone and will never be
What is left is dried petals from all of those roses
Dried petals that crumble with a mere touch
And then it is gone in the dust of the past


But wait there is still a bud
There is still a rose that appears everyday
An eternal and lovely bloom
The most beautiful Rose of Sharon
That comes each day to the same door
All I must do is answer the knock
To enjoy the eternal, fragrant, perfect flower
Delivered with great love and tenderness
By the Master Gardener Himself
To His dearly Beloved.

~~~~~
Today I am thankful for all the roses in my life,
but especially the most beautiful rose of them all.

"I am the Rose of Sharon, a Lilly of the Valleys."
Solomon 2:1

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SUSPICIOUS EYES

Grand # 3 and #4 are 18 months apart.  CLOSE---they are old enough now-- 
4 1/2 & almost 3 to do a LOT of fighting.  Physical assaults upon each other--tears--injuries---hand to hand combat.  I well remember my older brother making my life miserable during childhood--he denies it all now--or makes light--BUT I avoided him like the plague before we were grown.  Love him dearly now--perhaps it helps to not be sharing a living space!

I recently had those grands for an afternoon.  During this brief period of time, #3 rolls a large plastic car off the bed and hits #4 in the head with same car--OF COURSE--resulting in tears.  I send #3 to timeout---and soothe #4.  AFTER the tears have stopped flowing--I go in to talk to #3.  "Why did you hit Brother in the head with the police car?"  "Because I wanted to."  Well I give him points for honesty.  WHY the need/desire to fight with our brothers and sisters?

The Bible is full of just such scenarios---check our Cain--Joseph---David--Jacob--the list goes on and on.  We are born in sin--and we sin---over and over.  Many times we are not satisfied and often jealous of those around us.  We look upon others with suspicion and distrust and envy.  

I recently told a R friend that I suspect that I am looked upon with suspicion --as a new FW resident .  She told me about a chapter in a Beth Moore book on insecurity.   A chapter on women attacking women---perhaps because of our suspicions about the intentions of one another.  I have NOT suffered any attacks--but also feel like I am being watched and wondered about.  People would like to know the story without asking what it is.  Since they do not know me nor the story, they look at me with wary--perhaps suspicious eyes.  One of the things I decided when I moved to FW was I would not discuss my life story-to try and not say anything that does not edify the cause for Christ.

Bottom line---we can be malcontents with green eyes and sinful natures.  Thank the good Lord for grace!  I am praying that I will have the eyes of Christ and the peace of contentment for all that I have been blessed with.  When I am showered with so much love and so many blessings, what else could I possibly want or need?


Today I am thankful for the joy of peace and contentment
that only comes from The Source of all my needs.

"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Phillipians 4:7

Monday, October 21, 2013

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

Today there was a problem with facebook and I could not even post today's blogpost manually until now.  The blog is published every morning at 6:00 AM CST and the problem was not with blogspot, but facebook.  If you would like to be sure and see it, you can register as a follower on the blog page -right side of the page.  It will then be emailed to you.  You do not have to use your real name, nor do you have to use a picture--it can be done with an alias and just a blank picture.  Sorry for the glitch on facebook--but it is pretty amazing that this does not happen more often as BIG as facebook is!

TIE A YELLOW RIBBON



I made a flying trip to R this weekend--strongly influenced by a friend's text that said, "Get your butt over here."  I can take a hint.  Why have I not been home since June?  Coming back to R involves a huge dichotomy of emotions.  As I drove in late Thursday---I thought--it is not going to be the same--distance and out of constant contact brings unfamiliarity.
It did not take long to realize that we could pick up in short order where we left off.  It was a breath of fresh air after living in the aroma of the unfamiliar for a few months.  I moved in May and this was my second trip home---it is VERY hard to come home---but some had tied the yellow ribbon around the old oak tree and welcomed me with open arms.

When it came time to head West again---I wanted to get out of the car in the middle of the interstate and yell at God.   WHY???  I am really homesick--and I had to drag myself back to FW.   He has really broad shoulders---and does not mind me yelling at Him-in fact He understands.  He keeps reminding me how much He loves me and I KNOW that.  I KNOW He is being glorified---just
 difficult at the moment.

The first year that Camille went away to college, we agreed when she enrolled that she would try it for one year-before we would even talk about her coming back to R.  The first time she came home was for Fall break--probably in October.  She hung around and hung around Sunday afternoon until finally she started crying and said, "I do not want to go back, I want to be in Ruston."  One of the most difficult things I ever did was remind her that we had agreed upon one year and she had to go back.  She went back and by the end of that first year, she loved it.  We would have to beg to get her to come home.  All that to say--I have committed for a year---I have to give it a chance . We are called to be obedient--He has His reasons for what he instructs us to do. God has a reason for me being here--at the moment I do not have a clue why---but I am obeying--until He tells me the next right thing to do. 

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?"
Luke 6:46







Sunday, October 20, 2013

WHEN TRIALS COME

BEFORE LISTENING TO THE VIDEO--DISABLE THE BLOG MUSIC BY CLICKING ON THE DOUBLE BLUE BARS ON THE LEFT SIDE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOG PAGE-

I have this on my play list---it was shared by a dear friend that also sends me scripture---they are ALWAYS applicable for where I am when she sends them---co-incidence--NO--I think --God-incidence!

Today I am relishing in the joy of the Sabbath!






"For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100:5

Saturday, October 19, 2013

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!

Fall Marathon season is upon us and I am enjoying seeing the pictures of the STRONG women in my life as they complete their runs for the medal---the FINISHER'S MEDAL.  The PROOF that you did complete the entire 26.2 miles--THE BLING!  I have 4 of those lovely "Proofs"---and I am trying to decide just what I will do with them--someday---Put them in the box with me?  Will them to my children to throw away?  OR best idea yet--let my grands play with them today and enjoy their "Pretending".  As I talk about in "The Book", I am NOT a gifted runner--what I am- is full of determination and perseverance--I am willing to put one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles--through blisters, pain, cramps, aches, numbness---I keep my eye on the goal and endure until the finish line.
My very favorite of the four marathons I completed was the Marine Corp in Washington, DC.  How inspiring to run through our nation's capital--by the great bastions of our liberty--by the Arlington Cemetery where our nation's heroes are resting--by the monuments to the fathers of our country and the brave men and women who died serving to protect our freedom.  The path is all staffed by Marines--men and women--who man each aide station and cheer you on.  There are marines in full combat gear--boots and all--that run the path with you.  As you run up the last hill--to the Marines Monument--the finish line is manned by Marine officers who drape the medal around your neck and tell you, "Good Job, Ma'am!"  I could almost be inspired to do one more just thinking of that great day.


The life before me is not unlike a marathon.  There is lovely scenery to be enjoyed, crowds of people to cheer you on, and great camaraderie with those you run beside.  Depending upon the race--there are hills and mountains to climb, there are long flat stretches to endure, there is weather of every kind, and obstacles along the way--just like the path of life we march everyday.  The path can be painful--difficult--impossible--but we keep running forward on our way to the finish gate.

So if life is a race---how do you claim the win as you cross the finish line?  What makes you a winner in that final day?  Will there be a medal and someone to drape it over your neck and tell you "Great Job" as you make that last step?  I am praying that I hear "Well done, good and faithful servant," as I cross that final finish line.  It is entirely in my hands how I finish--these last few miles of this life long race---I am pulling from deep within me and calling upon the power from above to give me the strength and the grace to finish well this last race.


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
II Timothy 4:7

Friday, October 18, 2013

CLEAN UP THIS MESS!!!!

As I spent the morning cleaning up the mess I sometimes live in, I started thinking about the messes our lives can become.  Often the mess is our own doing---empty glasses by my chair, dishes in the sink, clothes in a heap--sin in our life, unrest in our minds, greed in our eyes, or terror with no trust.  We worry--we fret--we covet--we rewrite the truth---and we are left with the mess in the wake of disobedience.  We have to stop--regroup-and clean up our mess--with a big splash of grace and a little scrubbing on our knees.


One of the problems when we create a mess---is those around who are subjected to the stink, disarray, and waves of grief created by the messes we make.  If you come to my house and it is in a big mess, you must suffer the consequences of the unclean--and perhaps even the stench.  So it is with the sin in our life, it is one thing when our sin has a lasting effect on our souls and our hearts.  It is quite another when those that love us are bowled over by the poor choices we make.

They are blind-sided with the waves of sorrow, grief, and despair from the repercussions of the sin.  There are times that the innocent are impacted by our narcissistic pursuit of what makes us happy-with no regard for anyone but our self.


I have been reminded of this today, and am praying for eyes that are open to see how my actions--impact others.  My sin may be forgiven, and I may be clean---but the truth is--others are still left with the scars of my actions--even at times unknown to me.  This puts an entirely different face on sin--how could I --why would I---cause pain to another?  Praying for eyes to see and a heart to know---the messes I have made and the power to clean them up---and make them right--in the eyes of God and those in the path of the stink I create when I make a big mess.


Today I am thankful for the joy of grace and praying
to be mindful of those in my wake.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
I Corinthians 10:31



Thursday, October 17, 2013

GRACE UPON GRACE

I must admit---though I am looking for the joy---trying--REALLY trying to find the hope for today---it is not always easy and I get stuck in the pit of despair--the narcissistic pool of grief.  The whispering in my ear tells me your efforts are for naught---no one cares--no one is listening--give it all up.

Then--God---in His infinite good grace---once again pours out his love over me---and gives me a glimpse of how He is using me for His good pleasure and to give Him great glory.  An email, a message, a text will come with the encouragement and reminder of how God has used the words He gave me that day to encourage someone He loves dearly.



I sent a copy of "The Book" to a dear friend that leads a divorce care group.  The whispering in my ear tells me writing it all down was an exercise in futility and who will ever read or care what was my answer to the depths of grief.  She sends me an email with a story of having the book in her purse to read while getting a pedicure--a spur of the moment pedicure.  She drives to three nail parlors before finally finding one open.  A friend of hers is there and tells her she needs to tell her about her own marriage tragedy.  As she relates the story, the friend with the book is prompted to share it with her.  God has orchestrated a beautiful pouring out of grace.  Why did I think to mail the friend a copy of the book?  Why was she prompted to get a pedicure where she does not usually go?  Why was her friend at the same place?  Why was she prompted to share her story?  Why was "The Book" shared on the spur of a moment--without even knowing what it contained?   A LOT of why's---but there is no doubt in my mind---God is raining down grace upon grace to those who are searching--seeking His perfect plan--all to give Him full glory.


Today I am thankful and filled with joy for time after time
that He has shown Grace upon Grace.


"Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, 'Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'" 
John 7:38



Paperback book here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DO NOT BE A DUMMY---SPEAK IT OUT LOUD!

It is no secret, that I am lonely here in Fort Worth.  I had something happen that took me back a couple of steps recently.  In the ladies Bible Study I am attending, the head of women's ministry challenged the large group last week to meet someone new and get their contact information before the end of the morning.  There was someone sitting close to me that said, "OH NO!" Obviously she was not anxious to meet any one new on that particular day.  I wanted to turn around and say, "Have you ever been the stranger in the room?"  I walked out deflated and temporarily defeated.  I must confess that I have stood in a group smuggly enjoying the comfort of familiarity and not always been the one to seek out the stranger in the corner. 

As I was talking it over with Camille she asked me, "What is The Next Right Thing to do.  I shook my head and said, "I am not sure."  As I have prayed about it and thought about it--it finally occurred to me---DO NOT BE A DUMMY--speak the words to those that God places in your path.  Tell them how you are struggling.

So I went to Small Group last night for an ice cream social.  It was truly a small group as many were out of town or busy.  I spoke it out loud to
those that were there.  I told them I was struggling and asked them how they made friends in a large church in a huge city.  They listened and advised, but I left with the same "alone" feeling.

The next morning as I check my email, I find an encouraging email from one of those women.  Asking that I not give up and keep trying and to give the church more time to mesh into my life.  Later in the day, the leader who was absent, emailed me an encouragement to participate in a "Family Meeting" the church is having.  He reminded me this would be an opportunity to meet more people in the church.

Today is still today--but there is hope for tomorrow.  As God gives me the opportunity, I will speak it out loud where I am and how I feel.  I KNOW it will take time to make great friends like those I have had in R for all of these years--but until someone understands I am searching the need may be unknown.

I am NO Dummy and I know how to speak--so I will just keep looking to Him and speaking my needs.

Today I find joy in the voice that He has given me to proclam Who He is!

 
"So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
Isaiah 55:11

My LONG Time Friend Vici, has copies of the book available at her
bookstore,  The Avenue-Christian Books & Gifts
In Ruston