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Thursday, November 30, 2017

PARDON MY INTRUSION

God has faithfully placed me in various circles of Godly friends all of my adult life.  The past few years those circles have been Sisters in Christ.  These friends have challenged me, encouraged me, supported me, and caused me to S T O P and think about the deep things of God.  It has been an unspeakable joy to be blessed with these friendships over the years.


Recently one of the often repeated conversations in the circle is our responsibility to one another.  My inner "Middle Child" ALWAYS wants to fix things for you when you present me with a problem.  It seems to be a simple formula in my head-

YOU PRESENT THE PROBLEM

I GIVE YOU THE SOLUTION

YOU FOLLOW MY ADVICE

PROBLEM SOLVED

IF IT ONLY WERE SO SIMPLE!!  To begin with we are all extremely complex human beings, and to think we can solve problems sometimes generational problems with a quick fix is borderline delusional.  It is NOT that simple!  AND--the real problem is ME!  I AM TRYING TO FIX IT---ALL ALONE--
                                                                         ME
                                                                          MYSELF
                                                                          AND I

OH GREAT---I have been challenged once again about placing myself on that throne and leaving God out of the equation.  THAT NEVER WORKS!



I am forgetting the truth of the matter---under my own power---I am powerless.  NO ONE has died and made me Queen---as much as I would L O V E
to be the Queen--I am NOT.  The fact of the matter is I am much closer to peasant than queen.  


I am at slow learner when it comes to solving the problems of others.  I forget the proper sequence of helping --I leave out the most important step--

GIVE IT TO GOD FIRST

My task of solving the problem foreshadows contacting the source of all wisdom.  ONLY God can solve the problem---He already has a course of action--a plan.  What I need to remember is to consult HIM first and ask---"What would you have me do or say?"  He must be sitting on His Heavenly Throne in amazed wonder at my audacity of taking on what HE already has a solution for.  My bumbling and stumbling only gets in the way of His perfect plan. 



What a comfort to know---I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SAVING THE WORLD!  He has ALREADY done that!  My responsibility is sharing the truth, when nudged by the Holy Spirit.  P E R I O D!!!  ONLY God can quicken the truth.  I give the message---HE does the convincing.  W H A T  A  R E L I E F!  Thank God for His infinite grace and forgiveness as I continue to insert my nose in His business.  I am praying He zips my lips ---except when the message is clearly from Him and remind me---HE'S GOT THIS!

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17







Wednesday, November 29, 2017

JEALOUS LOVER

The jealous lover always makes for a good story.  The lover Mr. Webster describes as-

 suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival  

We've all heard the stories or perhaps even experienced jealousy for a variety of reasons--some real and others imagined.

--

Jealousy comes in many forms---it may boil down to a basic distrust of one we care deeply for.  Perhaps this distrust comes because we doubt our own trustfulness.  Perhaps we doubt our worthiness.  Maybe it comes from knowing we live in a fallen world.  Who in their right mind wants to live in a relationship filled with jealousy because of a lack of trust?  

It popped in my head when I woke this morning that God is a jealous God.  He desires us to love Him above all else.  We are clearly told in The Word, we are to have no other gods before Him.  This includes our relationships -even those with our spouses and our families.  I am NOT telling you that we should not love our spouses and family.  I am telling you I was reminded this very day that God wants to be first in my life.  He wants to be my One and only--top of the list--true Love--My Beloved.  


When I love Him the Most---all the other relationships will mirror my relationship with Him.  He is jealous for my attentions and thoughts, because He knows that is what is best for me.  NO ONE will EVER love me better!  HE IS LOVE!  When I finally learn to have Him as the center of my universe, all the planets and stars will align and the world will be a better place.   AND-


I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine
Soloman 6:3

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

IN ALL THINGS GIVE THANKS

Thanksgiving was met with a boatload of anticipation and preparation!  Two thirds of the crew were scheduled to be here in Louisiana to celebrate in the new digs.  The pumpkins and fall leaves adorned every nook and cranny.  Cooking had commenced the weekend before.  The linens were fresh and the house spic and span in anticipation of a wonderful holiday visit.  


I might have been a little surprised when the four littles and their mom arrived a few hours earlier than their anticipated arrival.  NOT TO WORRY!  Playing in the yard while Lulu's psketti (spaghetti in little speak) simmered on the stove, we were building up with the preliminary feast in anticipation of turkey and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner.


With the early evening arrival of the party of two who completed our guest list, we had dinner, conversation, and a lively evening of fun.  Good company and great fun led to late bedtimes for all.  With the last dish washed and the casseroles thawing, I hit the hay with visions of a wonderful celebration of thanks on the morrow.


I am jerked from my deep sleep at 5:00 AM by the unmistakable sound of retching.  I am up and running before fully awake.  Crying, "I'm sick!" , I walk into the room and find #4 Grand throwing up for the first time.  Unfortunately my mother's instincts have gotten rusty over the years.  Instead of taking him into the bathroom, I tell him to wait and run to get the trashcan.  TOO LATE-BIG MISTAKE!  He is on round two when I sprint back into the bedroom.  By this time, his brother is awake, his mother is awake, and his sister is crying.  It is bedlam at best!  We are stripping clothes, striping beds, cleaning carpets, and all the fun things which go along with the stomach bug.  The little man in my bed manages to sleep another 30 to 45 minutes, but we are all up long before I had intended.


Somehow, we manage to get dinner on the table at exactly twelve noon.  My future daughter in law was most impressed.  Since we all got up at the butt crack of dawn, I had PLENTY of time to make it happen!  It truly was a sad sight to see the sick one with two crackers while everyone else had a heaping plate of the goodies.  


We watched a classic Christmas movies, played cards, rode scooters around the quiet streets of the hood, and enjoyed a beautiful day.  Even the poor sick one seemed to enjoy his day of fasting since he was over the worst.

Black Friday we had plans to go to the park, and perhaps do some visiting.  The Little Queen woke up with a fever and upper respiratory virus.  S E R I O U S L Y
This is NOT how I envisioned the weekend playing out.  Most of the morning The Little Queen was in my lap napping.  The meds finally kicked in and she began to perk up.  We made a trip to the park, and roasted wieners and marshmallows for somemores in the patio fireplace.

The next day finds everyone leaving to have a day at home before the holiday weekend was over.  The holiday had not played out as I planned, but in retrospect it was not all bad.  In fact, except for the two incidents of illness, it was a great weekend filled with fun and family!

Sometimes things do not always turn out the way we envisioned them.   Be it one holiday, one occasion, one day, or life in general, there is no guarantee it will look the way we anticipated.  No matter how elaborately we plan, things may not work out in the manner we have mapped out.  Life gets in the way!  That is when we have to roll with the punches, clean up the mess the best we can, and make the most out of the situation.  Things may not go as we wish, but that does not mean we cannot make the most of what we do have.  There is always something to be thankful for.  The Son is always behind even the darkest clouds.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

Monday, November 27, 2017

ARE YOU TUCK?



It was a wonderful Thanksgiving with the four little grands here.  They are an endless source of entertainment.  The antics of the youngest boy are legendary in the family.  Taking a trip to the Parish Park to run off some excess energy---their mother had the brilliant idea they should walk down to the lake from the playground.  The lake water is being sold for fracking and the level is very low exposing long stretches of muddy lake bottom.  What boy has EVER seen mud they could resist?  NOT these three AND the youngest is always the bravest.  He might have gone a little TOO far as he edged closer and closer to the water.  The next thing we knew he was up to his ankles in black mud. Quick sand might be deadlier, but lake bottom mud sucks you in and seals the exit door.  Uncle Gabe to the rescue, which seems quite ironic since this one reminds me a great deal of his beloved Uncle Gabe.  "I'm TUCK!", cries the little one.  Uncle Gabe is doing everything he can to NOT wade off into the mud (Can't say I blame him).  Obviously the rescue squad was having a difficult time NOT laughing at the TUCK four year old, but he had no one to blame but himself.


This is NO ordinary mud--but black Louisiana gumbo mud guaranteed to turn to black concrete in short order.  We made a quick dash to the bicycle wash rack and turn the cold hose on the poor little fellow.  The price he had to pay for going a bit too far.  With the first layer off, we walk back to the playground to debate who he is to ride home with.  POOR BABY---no one wants black gumbo mud in their car--so he suffers the rejection of his own family.

You do see where I am going?  We adults wade off into our own mud and mire and become tuck in the mess.  The allure and attraction of the forbidden is sometimes more than we can bear to avoid.  Bad habits, self pity, old grudges, consumerism, sloth, envy--you name it---we sometimes become tuck in unhealthy and sinful mud pits.  Once we have waded into the muck, we often find we cannot pull ourselves from the concrete hold of the pit.  We cry out for help, but who wants to risk the danger of getting mud all over them to drag us out of the hole we have fallen in?  AND even if we finally manage to free ourselves, our mud coverings often repeal the clean ones around us.  There is only one way to be washed clean again---only one who will offer to cleanse us---Jesus is the answer.  Always Jesus is the answer.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.
Psalms 51:2


Thursday, November 23, 2017

I GIVE THANKS

MAY YOUR DAY

BE FILLED

WITH LOVE

AND LAUGHTER



HAPPY THANKSGIVING,

DEAR FRIENDS

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

WHEN THANKSGIVING IS NOT HAPPY

There are many of you who are having a tough time uttering Happy Thanksgiving and in fact, dread the day.  For whatever the reason- loss, illness, estrangement, change, being alone--and a host of other reasons, the holidays are not anticipated with great joy and a thankful heart is difficult to even fake.


We have allowed the entertainment world and social media to convince us that everyone has a family centered, food filled day of joy and laughter. The entire world is riding over the hill and into the woods to the idyllic setting of grandmother's house, while we sit emotionally isolated and alone.  Getting out of the bed seems to be all you can possibly have the energy to do on this great national holiday.  For whatever the reason--Thanksgiving is not always anticipated with warm fuzzy feelings, but instead dreaded like the plague.  WHY AND HOW are the questions on your mind.


I am looking forward to the celebration this year, but can empathize with those who are not.  I am thankful for family, food, and the fun that will commence, but not every Thanksgiving was like this.  I would like to share a couple of things I learned about holidays and the dread they can create.


The most important thing I have learned is it is only a day--24 hours--and it will quickly pass.  Not in the mood to be with others---find something else to do-something new or different and out of the ordinary.  Read a book, binge watch your favorite television show reruns, go see a movie, volunteer at a shelter, take a friend to dinner.  You are not the only one alone or filled with dread.  Make the most of the day--and if you sleep 8 hours, then it is only 16 hours remaining.  Time passes quickly and so will this day.

It is a day of giving thanks--NOT necessarily a family reunion.  Spend time during the day in thinking of all you have to be thankful for.  The book I am slowly plowing through has an entire chapter devoted to our need to be thankful for ALL things.  If you believe God is omnipotent and there are no coincidences, then this day and your circumstance are all within His providence.  If we believe all things are for God's glory and our good, then we should be thankful.  If we stop to list even the smallest details of how we have been blessed, we could fill volumes.  Stop to remember the why of the day--not what is missing or not right about it.  A spirit of thankfulness can go a long way in creating a heart filled with peace and joy.

Above all KNOW there are others praying for you, standing in the gap, asking God to comfort you.  We are NEVER truly alone and He knows us better than we know ourselves.  In ALL things--give thanks!

18 In every thing give thanks:
 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, November 20, 2017

LIVING IN THE PAST

My entire adult life I have been involved in a love hate relationship.  It is the age old story of turning away and swearing to leave it all behind and clinging to the fickle love of my past.  I cannot seem to walk away and yet, I am miserable a great deal of the time because i don't.  You would THINK I would learn--but NO I cannot seem to make a complete break---EVEN with the advent of the yoga pant---I have NOT been able to put away my beloved jeans.


Somewhere in the long ago land of my younger years, jeans were perfect.  I wore them until they became soft with years of washing.  They seemed to fit every curve and line perfectly.  With a handful of favorites, I wore them over and over until society slapped me in the face with NO jeans suitable for this occasion.   I still walked in from work and immediately stripped my work uniform of a  shoulder padded suit for my close as skin jeans.  It was a long and wonderful affair that I have tried for years to recreate--to no avail.


Even though it is WAY TOO HOT here in Louisiana to wear jeans after April and you cannot get them out until after summer is over around the first of November, I STILL love jeans best.  WELL the jeans of yesteryear.  They fit like a glove--were soft as lamb's skin, and were my answer to a personal fashion statement.  I LOVE JEANS!  I adore the six months of denim bliss and groan in delight each and every time I don them!  Before I decided to be cremated, I wanted to be buried in my jeans.  That was before the fashion world took perfection and ruined it!


Fashion has morphed my beloved jeans into the current nightmare filled with holes -0N PURPOSE--and cut to fit NO ONE.   Holey jeans--NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Holy jeans are NOT what I am looking for!   I am old enough to tell you if I EVER buy a pair of jeans which have holes and rips and look as if they belong in the Goodwill reject pile--I HAVE GONE OVER THE EDGE OF REASON!   SEND ME AWAY!  My mother will roll in her grave if I EVER appear in public in this silly fashion trend.  WHO believes that looks good?  WHY would you let some silly fasionetta convince you this is exactly what you should wear?


AND now that I am bearing my heart--LET ME TELL YOU what I think about where these jeans are supposed to hit you at the top.  NO ONE--looks good with your waist line two inches above your crotch---NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON.   One of two things happen--the jeans either create a LOVELY muffin top or if you happen to be super model thin, they feel as if they may fall off after the first time you sit and start the stretch process.  By the end of the day, after multiple sittings and standings, you resemble the guy walking down the street in his sagging pants with one hand holding on for dear life at ALL times.  The ONLY way this would EVER possibly work is if you changed jeans after each sitting.  It would become a multiple course jean changing day---ALL for the sake of fashion.  



NOW they do make jeans for women my age--WHO IN THE RIGHT MIND wants to buy jeans made for old ladies????  I might be old--but I don't wear old people clothes.  I have NOT crossed the bridge and begun shopping at The Tog Shop--even if you think it's about time I did!   Thankfully the brands I like are not adverse to accepting money from an old lady's pocketbook.

Sadly I mourn for my beloved jeans as I sit here in a pair that are about three inches above my crotch and for certain when I stand will begin to droop--giving the illusion my rear end has either dropped or disappeared--depending upon the day.  I mourn for my lost lover, I pine for the soft caress of well worn jeans.  Yoga pants are great--I wear them a great deal all winter long--but the jeans of my past---will always be my true love.  IF ONLY---

A glad heart makes a cheerful face
Proverbs 15:13


Sunday, November 19, 2017

WITH THANKS

MAY YOUR HEART

BE FILLED

WITH

THANKSGIVING

EACH AND EVERY DAY




BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

TURKEY DAY
IS COMING
AND THE COOKING
HAS BEGUN



SPINACH MADELINE
A LONG TIME
FAMILY TRADITION

I AM WALKING
 THE TRAILS
AT LINCOLN PARISH PARK
SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK




AND ENJOYING
THE SOFT CARPET
OF AUTUMN LEAVES
UNDER MY FEET



WHICH BRINGS ME TO


THE CONTROVERSY
OVER THE WATER
BEING DRAINED 
FROM THE PARK LAKE
FOR FRACKING


THE NOISE IS HORRIBLE
UNLESS YOU ARE GETTING
A FAT CHECK
AND THEN IT IS TOLERABLE

THINGS ARE ALWAYS
COLORED
BY THE EYES
YOU PEER THROUGH!


AND WHILE THE BROTHER 
IS AWAY
I AM TAKING CARE
OF THE ORIGINAL
FAT CAT




AND
WE REALLY DO
HAVE WILD LIFE
HERE IN LOUISIANA


SASQUATCH
SIGHTING ON MY BUDDY'S
GAME CAMERA
RIGHT BEHIND HER HOUSE!

YOU DON'T SEE THINGS
LIKE THIS
IN THE CITY!


STILL ENJOYING LIFE
HERE IN THE LOUISIANA HOOD

Friday, November 17, 2017

THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG


My toes MUST be black and blue!  The book I am currently reading is stepping ALL over them!  If they aren't bruised, my heart is for certain.  In fact, I am down right ashamed over what I am discovering about myself.  How easily I become convinced I am being good enough.  How quickly I forget ALL fall short and my feet are made of clay.  This has been an eye opening and hopefully life changing read.  (By the way--the way this book ended up in my hands is a story unto itself---God REALLY works in mysterious ways!_



I am reading a chapter a day--to give myself time to digest after mulling it over.  Those pesky "D" words keep rearing their ugly heads.  Depression, doubt, delusion, denial, and the really convicting discontentment.  OUCH!  How easily I trot over to the road marked Discontentment.  It happens without me even giving it much thought.  Sometimes it even begins under the guise of self improvement.  The next thing I know I am sliding down the slippery slope



of discontent.  I find myself not satisfied with who I am, what I am, where I am, what I have, or any of a plethora of things I deem I should have, be, or lack.  GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY!

WHY am I not in tip top physical shape (besides the fact I am not working out enough)?  Why don't my children and grands live in close proximity to me (as in on the family compound)?  Why have I not written a best seller (ignoring the fact you must begin to write said best seller)?  Why does everyone else seem to have perfect lives (I really do know this is not the truth--but they give that illusion so convincingly)?  AND that really biggie---WHY don't I look like a super model?

OH-the book addresses it all and shot an arrow directly at my guilty heart.  In a nut shell---if God knitted me together in my mother's womb--am I saying he made a mistake with how I look?  AND---if I truly believe God is omnipotent and The One who has ordered my life---WHY would I question where I am, what I have, who I am or for that matter anything about my life?  IF God is truly who I claim Him to be--then as His Word tells us, all things are for His glory and our good.  PERIOD!

Well this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to respectable sins


AND we all know there is much more to an iceberg than the tip that is sticking out.  So it is with our respectable sins--there is an entire list we have decided to look past---for after all we haven't murdered anyone---YET.

HERE is what we quickly forget---sin is sin---PERIOD!  The Law is not a long laundry list of sins, but instead is addressed as a single item in The Word.  The Law encompasses it all!  Our fickle attempt at categorizing sin does not fly in God's eyes.

I am thankful for grace, but convicted I am free to be obedient to what God  has deemed is best for me.  My discontentment is a not so subtle denial of God's gracious provision in all areas of my life.  

Black and blue toes are not necessarily bad.  In this case they are a reminder of Who God is and how I relate and react to His Person.  I am convicted--and that is a good thing.  With conviction comes change.  Praise His faithful presence and provision.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length
 you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me,
 but you had no opportunity.
 Not that I am speaking of being in need,
 for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
 In any and every circumstance,
 I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
 I can do all things through him who strengthens me
Philippians 4:10-13








Thursday, November 16, 2017

LESSONS FROM HERO THE WONDER DOG

Hero is seriously a brick short of a load!  He lives in the lap of luxury here at Lulu's house.  All his needs are taken care of--without him contributing even a plugged nickel.


His food is served on demand, he has a monthly trip to the doggy spa, he goes for walks three times a day, and I even throw his squeaky toy when he wants to play.  There are no restrictions on where he goes in the house and he even sleeps on MY bed at night. In short--the silly little dog has found paradise!



And yet--he is a runner!  He seizes every opportunity to hit the road jack!  This necessitates keeping him on a leash anytime we leave the confines of the fenced yard or house.  Today was yet another example of the little escape artist literally heading for the hills.





I have been helping a friend paint furniture.  She did not realize I was in the garage along with the Wonder Dog and opened the door.  He was under that door and off to the races before you could say Jack Sprat.  I was forced to bend way down low--army crawl style to get under that door and in hot pursuit.  Living on a busy highway, he almost became a grease spot when a truck narrowly missed him.  I had no idea I could run so fast--since I have not run in years---but the little black and white streak was followed by the old lady who can still sprint when forced.  He KNEW I was following him and only ran faster.  WHY---would the silly mutt run away from the hand that literally feeds him?  I am gasping and wheezing and calling while trying to get a whistle out without hyperventilating.  Every time I begin to close in--he picks up his speed again!  This has NOT been a pretty sight to see me chasing the eight pound wonder down the street and the army crawl under the garage door may result in not being able to get myself out of the bed tomorrow.



Thankfully my friend had the presence of mind to drive her vehicle in the direction we were headed.  The sly little weasel can NOT resist a ride in a vehicle--EVER.  She catches up to him and calls him.  OH BOY---here he comes running back to me--thinking I am going to pick him up and we are going for a ride.  NO--you little ingrate---we are walking back.  She offered a ride, but I needed to get my heart rate down and give him a good talking to.  He's got it made--but at the first opportunity--he makes a break as if his life depended upon it.  You would think he lived in an concentration camp instead of Doggy Paradise.

There you go---the perfect example of the runner in all of us.  We also have it made in the presence of Jehovah Jireh.  God provides us with ALL we need--and yet we don't walk but actually run from His perfect plan.  We refuse to acknowledge His way is the best way and instead strike out on our own path--which often puts us in the path of danger.  It is so easy to become lost when we run away from God's sweet protection.  We are slow learners, but He faithfully calls us to Him time after time and draws us back into the shelter of His loving arms.  STAY---needs to be my prayer--STAY!


"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these
 things will be added to you."
Matthew 6:31-33

Sunday, November 12, 2017

WITH THANKS

WITH THANKS

TO HIM

FROM WHOM

ALL GOOD THINGS COME



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, November 11, 2017

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

 THE LAST
ROSES
OF SUMMER
ARE STILL HANGING ON


WHILE THE FIRST
BLOOMS OF FALL
MAKE THEIR
APPEARANCE


COOLER WEATHER
CALLS FOR 
MY MOTHER IN LAW'S
SPECIAL 
BEAN DISH


AND OH MY
THE PEOPLE
ON RUSTON RANTS
SURE KNOW HOW
TO RANT


I DON'T KNOW
WHERE
TO START
ON EXPLAINING
ALL THAT!

AND FINALLY
FROST ON THE PUMPKIN
MEANS 
HERO-THE WONDER DOG
NEEDS A COAT



THE CHIHUAHUA
IN HIM
WANTS TO 
GO BACK
TO MEXICO

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL FALL
HERE IN THE HOOD!

Friday, November 10, 2017

HOME SWEET HOME

One of the exercises we did in small group this week involved the silhouette of a house.  Inside the house you listed the good and not so good things you associated with home.  As all OC (BUT NOT D) readers will understand, I  listed mine in separate columns and in alphabetical order.  Don't laugh--some of you might benefit from a little order in your life!  I could give you the list, but the list is not the point of this muse.



This began a stream of thought over all the moves I have made in the last six plus years.


I had only moved a handful of times in my entire life and spent thirty years in this home where we raised our family.  Since moving from this house, I have lived in four different places in six plus years.  Each move always had one thing in common---I was always trying to make a home.  


From my first house alone in Ruston to my current house--one street over from the first one with the same house number, I seem to have made a complete circle.  Moving to Fort Worth I first lived in an apartment on the edge of the TCU campus, I could not wait to move into the bungalow.


I actually lived in the bungalow almost 4 years.  One thing in common in every place I have lived --I am always trying to make a home.

I have found earthly contentment almost every place I have lived, but there is a certain restlessness I cannot seem to shake.  Rolling this around it occurred to me perhaps my "True Home" will not be found on this terrestrial ball.  Although Ruston has seemed like home and I am enjoying my home here, there is still this quality of something is missing. 

I recently saw the movie, "Same Kind of Different as Me", Denver addressed all of us being homeless here in this world.  He acknowledged we will only truly "be home" when we enter the world after this one.  Our true eternal home will be found when we are welcomed into the presence of the Most High God.



For now---it is all temporary--and certainly fleeting---but the best home is yet to come...

14 For this world is not our permanent home;
 we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Hebrews 13:14

Thursday, November 9, 2017

COMPLACENT

Yesterday's blog brought this comment by Linda who blogs here:

"I'm thinking that the best church I ever experienced was the years when I co-led a Celebrate Recovery program. Loved those people - their honesty, their passion for Jesus, and praise, and recovery, and authenticity.

No masks, just raw, real, encouraging life together, the broken trusting God for every breath in many cases."

The best church she ever experienced was a group of those who have suffered from addictions and all the ravages it can afflict on us and those we love.  The broken and defeated who have learned to turn to Jesus.  Those who came to the group without a mask but instead with the real me on open display.  "The broken trusting God for every breath in many cases."  This comment kept surfacing today as I went about my day to day routine.  Why would this group be the best church she ever experienced?


As I thought this over, it occurred to me I have felt the closest to God when I was in my most desperate moments.  Heart broken, fearful, anxious, desperate, and alone--I cried out to God and He made His presence known to me.  I earnestly sought God when I was the most desperate.  When I had no answers, when all seemed lost, and when I no longer knew my way, I sought Him at a level like never before.  And He was there.  I knew the glory of the Holy Spirit interpreting the prayers I could not verbalize but only groan.  When all seemed lost--God revealed His faithful comfort in a way I had been too busy and too distracted in my comfort to know before.


So when Linda was in a group of those who had known the depths of true despair, she acknowledged their total dependence upon a Sovereign God to get them through the next moment drew them together.  They leaned heavily upon God--sought Him in their waking--trusted Him in their sleeping and knew the glory of true dependence upon Him for their very life.  You do not walk into Celebrate Recovery when all is well with the world---you walk in when you are grasping by one finger your hold on your very life.  The room is filled with desperate people who are crying out to our Great God for help.  AND, He is present--and they have church.



This brought me to this question--

If I knew my knowledge of who God is could grow, 
If I knew that my relationship with God could deepen,
If I knew I could experience faith to the fullest,
If I knew I could understand the only hope comes from Him,
If I knew my love for Him could be even deeper--

what would I be willing to experience?  How much pain, how much heartbreak, how much sorrow would I suffer in order to know God at an even deeper level?  Why in my humanness do I become complacent and satisfied with the depth of my relationship with Him?  Why am I content when it could be so much more?

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Proverbs 8:17